Season preview 1907-08: Liverpool F.C. (Cricket and Football Field)

August 17, 1907
There never was a club more given to market fluctuations – with the League table – than the organisation over which Councillor Edwin Berry presides.

Last year, injuries and illness to players played no little part, and particularly was this so in the case of Alf West, Maurice Parry, Alex Raisbeck, Jack Parkinson, and Billy Dunlop. Now all are reported fit and well, and we shall expect the club to once more assert itself.

Some people have said that Liverpool players as a team were too old last season; well, this is really not so. Several teams were riper in years that the Reds, and even Everton’s regular League eleven last season could, I fancy, give Liverpool a year or two in the aggregate!

For 1907/8 Liverpool will have the thrice capped Sam Hardy in goal, whilst the still more famous veteran Ned Doig has been retained. A third keeper is available in Edward Husbands, a bachelor from Wrexham Victoria. He stands 5ft. 8in., and weighs 11st 11lbs.

I heard some grumbling about the Livers’ lack of back strength at the annual meeting, but surely West, Percy Saul, Billy Dunlop, Harry Griffiths, Tom Rogers, Harry Wightman, and Charlie Wilson represent a sufficiently heavy wage list. West has recovered, and we shall all be anxious to see how he dovetails with the much improved Percy Saul. Dunlop will, as before, be ready to give of his best, and Rogers, the Rossendale United recruit, is expected to improve on his debut form v. Sheffield United. H. Wightman is a most promising amateur recruit from New Brighton. He stands 5ft. 11in., and weighs 12st. 10lbs.

There are no fresh faces at half back, the full list being Alex Raisbeck, Maurice Parry, James Bradley, Tom Chorlton, James Gorman, James Hughes, George Latham, and Sam Hignett. With Raisbeck in good health again, and Parry in serious training, Liverpool should not feat their middle line failing.

There is at least one notable forward absentee – Sam Raybould to wit – he has gone to Sunderland, and will reside in Wearside. When a Liver he was allowed to dwell in Derbyshire, but like Steve Bloomer he has now perforce vacated the Peak county. John Carlin has joined Preston and Jack Lipsham returned to Chester. The full forward list is:

Arthur Goddard.
Robert Robinson.
William Macpherson.
Joe Hewitt (in the article text it says Jas. Hewitt).
Jack Parkinson.
John Cox.
Robert Blanthorne.
Charles Hewitt (Tottenham Hotspur).
Mike Griffin (Darlington).
Harry Fitzpatrick (Luton).
Allan Ramsay (Oldham Athletic).
Sam Bowyer (Earlestown).

Of course, the old hands need no describing. C. Hewitt, the Tottenham recruit, will be recognised as Bloomer’s predecessor in the Middlesbrough team. He is not a giant – only 5ft. 6in., and weighing 11st. 4lbs. – but he knows his way about and knows the game. He is a capital goal-getter and a dashing assertive player. He will probably be set to partner Goddard, whilst should the latter ever be unfit to play Hewitt is a capital man on the right extreme.

H. Fitzpatrick is an ex-Army man, and last served Luton. He is a trimly built fair-headed youth of 5ft. 8in. – weight 11st. 12lbs. Another promising left winger is A. Ramsay, of Oldham. He is on the light side (10st. 6lbs.), and stands 5ft. 7in. Griffin, of Darlington (height 5ft. 8½in., and weight 11st. 7lbs.), assisted the reserves last season, as did Sam Bowyer, of Earlestown (5ft. 7in., and 10st. 5lbs.). Bowyer is a smart goal-getter.

I shall expect to find Liverpool’s team for the opening match v. Nottingham Forest (away) set out somewhat as follows: – Hardy; West and Saul; Parry, Raisbeck, and Bradley; Goddard, C. Hewitt, Parkinson, Macpherson, and Cox, although the practice games may show me in the wrong.

Parkinson has only to reproduce last season’s closing form to regain his brightest “spurs.” I am of opinion, however, that the club requires two or three added forwards to successfully tackle their League and Combination programmes.

The playing portion at Anfield has never been so good as now; there is a splendid velvety pile look about the turf which one was formerly wont to associate only with Goodison Park. The trainers are again William Connell and George Fleming.
(Source: Cricket and Football Field: August 17, 1907)

Alex Raisbeck.

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