April 28, 1906
There is much that is appropriate in today’s match for the Sheriff of London Shield: the Corinthians are playing the most consistent professional side of the year – Liverpool, the League Champions – on the ground of the Southern League Champions, at Craven Cottage, Fulham.
And thus if the match has been driven off into the very last days of football, the associations of the fixture have worked out rather happily. The Corinthians both at home and abroad have had a season unsurpassed in excellence of achievement by any of its predecessors: Liverpool comes to town with all the honours that have been won from a successful passage through that most rigorous test of well-measured consistency – the League Championship. The city of Liverpool possesses through the agency of its two great teams the English Cup and the League Shield: is the Sheriff of London trophy also for Lancashire?
The Liverpool team is keen on securing it. As for the Corinthians they are anxious for its possession, for last year they had to surrender it to Sheffield Wednesday The hard ground and the lively ball are not conducive to true “Soccer,” and our amateurs do not really care for football so late; they feel they cannot do themselves justice. But they are determined to do their best amid all the disadvantages of the weather and the fiery turf; in short, Liverpool will have to gallop the whole way over today’s course.
The Corinthians will have almost their best side out; the players have returned home from their Continental Easter tour rich in goal and victories, and they are hard and fresh. Liverpool ranks with the best sporting sides among the professionals; it is a superbly-balanced side, with any amount of pace and science, and Londonders will be glad again to renew acquaintance with such giants of the game as Raisbeck, Raybould and Cox. These players have been much knocked about in League matches, and but for the absence of Raybould and Cox from the Cup tie against Everton the Liverpool Eleven might have today entered the lists as the holders of both the English Cup and the League Championship.
It must be something of unique record for two seasons that Liverpool possesses. The club fights it way through the Second Division in one season and wins the Championship in the next. This Championship was won, too, after an unfortunate start, for the club had Parkinson, the dashing forward, damaged in the very first game of the season.
A good sporting side is never hard up for friends in London, and it is easy to recall the fine spirit in which the Liverpool men played the Corinthians a tremendous game last year on the Essex ground at Leyton. And so today we may confidently expect football of the real old-fashioned type: splendid pace, good honest robustness, and strong individualism.
The Fulham club has behaved handsomely in giving up its ground today; Liverpool asked for no guarantee to come up, and Mr. H.W. Hewitt, the hon. Secretary of the competition, thus hopes to secure substantial funds for the London hospitals from the match.
The kick-off is at half-past three.
(Morning Post: April 28, 1906)