Swedish Select XI v Liverpool 0-8 (Friendly: May 17, 1914)

May 17, 1914
Match: Friendly, Tour of Scandinavia, Stockholm.
Swedish Select XI – Liverpool 0-8 (0-5).
Attendance: 9,000.
Swedish Select XI (2-3-5):
Liverpool (2-3-5): Kenneth Campbell; Ephraim Longworth, Robert Crawford; Thomas Fairfoull, Bob Ferguson, Walter Wadsworth; Jack Sheldon, William Banks, Tom Miller, William Lacey, Donald Mackinlay.
The goals: 0-1 Banks (2 min.), 0-2 Lacey, 0-3 Own goal, 0-4 Miller, 0-5 Lacey, 6-7 Mackinlay, 0-7 ?, 0-8 ?.

Mr. Tom Watson sends me a card, on which is the latest photograph of the Liverpool F.C. party, and says: – “Everyone has enjoyed himself. Home on Thursday at 2:15 p.m.”

Fairfoull, writing under the date of May 18, sends another letter about Liverpool’s tour: –
We played our third and last match in Stockholm on Sunday, 17th inst., against a select Swedish eleven. Unfortunately, on this occasion, the Stadium was not available owing to a Marathon race being on. This, it was feared, might to some extent soil the gate, as the ground on which the game had to be played is situated three miles outside the city. It was therefore a big compliment to Liverpool F.C. to find 9,000 people (amongst those present were the two children of the Crown Prince) when the turned out in sweltering heat, more suited to cricket than football.

“The team was: Campbell; Longworth and Crawford; Myself, Ferguson, and Wadsworth; Sheldon, Banks, Miller, Lacey, and Mackinlay. This was expected to be our stiffest match, and after our comparatively poor display on the Friday, the Swedish people were not without hope of at least a draw. These hopes were very soon dissipated. Our boys, settling down to a fine passing game, completely wandered the Swedes, Banks scoring in a few minutes.

The play was entirely confined to our opponents’ half of the field, our boys having some nice practice in weaving patterns, back heeling, swerving, etc. They could do this sort of thing with the greatest confidence, as the Swedes were very poor stuff indeed.

“Lacey scored, and then to make things worse, the Swedish left back, with a beautiful header, gave us a third. The Swedish team were completely demoralised. Miller scored a fourth (a really good goal – he beat the centre half cleverly, and went straight through between the backs, who closed in, but failed to keep pace with Tommy, who ran right in and gave the goalkeeper no chance).

“Lacey again scored before the interval, but perhaps the best forward on the field at this time was little Banks; his play was great, and he kept Sheldon running the whole time, and this wing was easily the best on the field.

“The second half is not worth chronicling, the game being a farce. Our boys did as they liked, and kept the Swedes on the trot the whole time. Mackinlay scored a beauty, the crowd cheering him enthusiastically. They kept up a continual cry for more goals! It seemed bit funny for spectators to want more goals against their own club! This was only a sample of their good sportsmanship, for they never failed to encourage their own players. The game finished up eight goals to nothing.

“We had all been looking forward to seeing the centre who had opposed us in Gothenburg play again. He couldn’t get away, so we were disappointed. We were again entertained by the Swedish Football Association after the match, and later on some of the players and Mr. Watson were tossed by the Swedish team. I was a bit afraid they might toss me up, and forget to catch me coming down, so I skipped off. We had a great night and I am sure nether player nor officials will forget the kindly and appreciative way in which they have been treated by the Swedish people.”
(Liverpool Echo, 26-05-1914)

Thomas Fairfoull


  1. Hi Kjell, Here’s a cigarette card of Fairfoul from my collection, in case you wanted to illustrate the article below. Thanks for posting it. I really enjoy reading the words of the players themselves. Jeff

    Date: Mon, 19 Nov 2012 00:31:01 +0000 To: hwitbooi@hotmail.com

    1. Hi Jeff, I can’t get the card through here. Can you email me instead and I will add it?

      I am working on the next match on the tour now. Another fantastic letter from Fairfoull. Should be up shortly.


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