September 2, 1907
A promising half-back, and one who rendered able service to the Liverpool Club during the enforced absence of Alex Raisbeck last season is the subject of our sketch this week. James Gorman was born in Middlesbrough, the birthplace of another famous half-back – Harry Makepeace – some twenty for years ago, and when quite a youth developed a fondness for the game of football.
With a junior team, known to local fame as Middlesbrough St. Mary’s, he played half-back and quickly gave evidence of possessing a more than ordinary ability to officials in this important department of the team. He shaped so well with thus minor organisation, that he was induced to join Newport Celtic, a club connected with the Southbank and District League, and when only eighteen years of age, he occupied the position of right half back for this eleven. With the Celts he remained but one season, and the transferred his services to Southbank, a team which figured prominently in the Northern League.
During his two year’s stay with this club he was deputed to occupy a place either in the front rank or the intermediate line, and was looked upon as a sort of roving commissioner, useful in every port, and always willing to give of his best wherever allocated. While with Southbank, he at one time and another, was selected to fill seven out of eight attacking positions, and was by no means a failure at centre forward. Many honours fell to South Bank while he was connected with them, and in the Cleveland Senior Cup tourney, Gorman was the pivot of the front rank in the fixture with Middlesbrough ‘A’. In his second year with them they furnished the runners-up for the trophy, being narrowly beaten in the final stage.
Living as he did at Darlington, it was no wonder therefore that he was easily persuaded to join the St. Augustine’s, for six months he rendered valuable assistance to this team. For the first time in his career he was tried at centre half back, and it suddenly dawned upon his advisers that this was his natural position on the football field. It was while at Darlington that a letter of introduction on his behalf was forwarded to the Liverpool Secretary, and he was promptly afforded a trial.
He came to Anfield to seasons ago, and in his early appearances figured in the forward department. However, it was quickly apparent to the capable judges at the Liverpool headquarters that he was more fitted for a half back than forward, and he was given a place in this latter position. He assisted the Reds in the Liverpool Cup Final, and thereby securing a medal for finishing on the winning side. Last year he figured in the League team on several occasions, and played central half back in the cup tie against Oldham Athletic, on the latter club’s ground.
He also assisted the Leaguers against Woolwich at Anfield, Sheffield Wednesday at Owlerton, and in the cup tie with Bradford City on the Liverpool enclosure, all of which matches were won. He likewise participated in the cup tie against the Wednesday, and altogether had quite a lengthy experience of first class football. During this period he certainly proved himself a zealous worked, and it should not be forgotten when speaking of his deeds that he was following a master of his craft, in having to occupy the vacancy created by such an artist as Raisbeck. It was a difficult role to fill, and Gorman acquitted himself with credit.
He stands 5 feet 8½ inches, and weighs 11 stone 5 pounds, so that he is well equipped naturally for a footballer. A moulder by trade he has learnt to endure the frowns of fortune with stoical fortitude, and we trust he will continue to develop his football abilities, so as to be able to fill the centre half back’s post without detriment to his club’s welfare. As a quoiter he has won several prizes, and by this means keep himself fit during the close season. He has a decided preference for the post of pivot of the intermediate line, and from what we have seen of his play in this city, we are of the opinion that this is his correct position. With the confidence begotten of wider experience we are inclined to think that Gorman will for some years be a prominent performer in the ranks of the Liverpool Club.
(Joint Everton and Liverpool Match Programme: September 2, 1907)