November 12, 1910
So well did the Anfield forwards perform last season, that the club officials did not deem in necessary to search for much talent in this direction at the close of the campaign. They, however, secured the services of three players for their front rank, and curiously enough they were practically from Southern clubs for Brough prior to reaching Burslem had been at Tottenham, Gilligan came from Bristol, while the subject of our present sketch formerly assisted Plymouth Argyle. Two of three have already figured in the League team but Leavey has yet to gain promotion from the Reserves eleven.
Herbert Leavey was born at Guildford in Surrey, but shortly afterwards his parents removed to Devonshire, and he himself must be regarded as a product of “Glorious Devon.” He attended school at Honnicknowle, a village situate a few miles outside the town of Plymouth, but he participated in little football during his early days. As a matter of fact, beyond the mere kicking about which all youths indulge in, whenever a football is available, Leavey did not seriously turn to the game until he was about sixteen years of age.
His first club was Clovelly – a name reminiscent of many delightful days – and as an outside right he gained a regular place in the team. His fine turn of speed proved very useful, and Leavey greatly assisted towards his club securing the position of runners up in the Devon Junior League.
Clovelly were beaten for the championship by a team knows as Woodland Villa, who by reason of their success were promoted into the First Division of the League in which they were engaged. At the end of the season Leavey transferred his services to the Villa, and started the following campaign as their outside left. For three years he played regularly with this club, during which time the Woodlanders without gaining further honours justified their inclusion in the upper circle.
From here, Leavey was persuaded to throw in his lot with Plymouth Argyle, and the Southern League club gave him a trial with their reserve team at outside left. He played in five matches, and in each scored a goal, a direct consequence of this being his inclusion in the first eleven. Nor did he ever lose the position which abilities had secured for him.
Occasionally he assisted the Reserve team and was one of the leven that secured the Plymouth and District League Cup, in the season of 1907-8 for which he received a handsome gold medal. For two years he was the recognised outside left of the Argyle club, and then came a change. The usual outside right was dropped and Leavey was tried in his place. So well did he perform there, that he was chosen to fill the position during the remainder of his stay at Plymouth, and was occupying that berth when signed by the Anfielders.
Argyle reached second place in the Southern League one season, and the year before last reached the third round of the English Cup Ties, when they were beaten in the last minute of the match at Derby. It was while Leavey and his comrades were returning home, that there occurred the misfortune which led to the death of the club’s trainer.
In the practice matches at Anfield last August, Leavey and Brough constituted a clever wing, the pair playing together in such harmonious fashion that Liverpool seemed to have obtained a ready-made wing for their team. However, with the reserve eleven in which he has since figured, Leavey has been moved about to various positions in the front rank.
In his eleven appearances with them, he has played at inside right seven times, outside right once, and outside left thrice. This process will, of course, provide him with plenty of experience, but he can hardly be expected to give of his best under such conditions.
During the summer months he keeps himself fit by walking and sprinting, in each of which exercises he indulges very freely. He is also an ardent swimmer, and by these means is always found ready for the advent of football.
He stands 5ft. 9in. and weighs 11st. The extreme wings appear to suit his style best of play, and it is probably because the club has been lacking capable inside forwards that Leavey has been given so many trials in this position. We should like to see him in first class company for if he could then reproduce the form of the August trials he would be a rare acquisition to the Anfield ranks.
(Joint Everton and Liverpool Match Programme: November 12, 1910)