November 7, 1910
Liverpool, it has been said by Mr. Tom Watson, are either at the top or the bottom of the League. At this present moment they are tediously near leaving Quality Street. But they do not mean to change their address.
We understand that Liverpool have had much worry over the position of left half-back. They have played James Bradley, John McConnell, Jim Harrop, and Tom Chorlton in that position.
After an absence from four matches McConnell was restored against Middlesbrough, and he showed nice discrimination. Indeed he generally does, the most noticeable defect about this young Scotsman being a lack of strength and robustness.
John McConnell was born at Motherwell 25 years ago, and football was instilled into him in infancy, but until the age of 17 he was content to play with any junior club in need of a boy.
John McConnell, Liverpool F.C.
The he joined Motherwell Hearts, and at various times occupied each of the positions in the half-back line. McConnell migrated to Glasgow, where he became connected with the Ashfield Club, and for two seasons was their recognised right half-back. Here he gained some experience in better class football. Ashfield won the Championship of the Glasgow Junior League in both his years, and took other local honours.
His improved play attracted notice, and Motherwell persuaded him to sign as a Scottish League player. In his first campaign he occasionally assisted the premier eleven at half-back, but the following year he appeared regularly on the right wing, which had now become recognised as his natural position in a team. While with Motherwell his club won the Lanarkshire Cup.
He next joined the Airdrieonians, with whom he remained for a year, and it was while at right half-back with them that he came under the notice of Liverpool. Tried with the League team for the first time at Birmingham on December 18, Aston Villa’s left wing initiated him into some of the mysteries of English football.
At Christmastide, James Bradley was called upon to take Sam Hardy’s place in goal at a moment’s notice in the match with Bolton Wanderers at Anfield. Owing to this McConnell was given his first opportunity at left half-back. Such promise did he show that he was chosen for the same post in the Woolwich game last New Year’s Day, and certainly he strengthened the good impressions formed of his ability.
Last season he played in 13 League matches.
He stands 5ft. 7½in. and weighs 10st. 7lb. Tackling proved his strong point a year ago, but he has not been so prominent in this matter of late. Still, he possesses a capital idea of attending to the wants of his forwards, displaying skill and ingenuity. As he is also young, active and ambitious he should yet prove an acquisition to the Anfield team.
(Athletic News: November 7, 1910)