Saturday, June 20 – 1914
There is every prospect of Chester having quite a tip-top team next season, for Mr. Jack Jones, the secretary, and his colleagues are taking great pains over the building up of the side, and so far have met with very considerable success.
Last season several of the players did not come up to expectations, and the team as a whole was only moderate, but things will see a great change at the Sealand-road enclosure this coming September.
The directors and all concerned have, in fact, realised that if they can give the public something really worth watching there will be no lack of public support, and with this end in view they have steadily but surely getting together a team which will in every way be worthy of the city.
Since the end of April some good captures have been made, and it is pleasing to note that all the men who have up to now been engaged, have their reputations in the making, and are not “have beens,” like one or two who have played for the club in the past.
The goalkeeper and backs and the centre half who have signed on are all “strapping” fellows, and the defence looks like being one of the most formidable in the Lancashire Combination. These four players are all over 5ft. 10 in. in height, and each turns the scale at over 12 stone.
The goalkeeper is Peter Malone, who is 26 years old, stands 5ft. 10 ½in. high, and weighs 12 stone, and who for the last five season five seasons has been with Liverpool. He is a thoroughly sound players, and has only been kept in the background owing to the brilliance of Campbell and Scott. Last season he created a record by playing in ten consecutive matches in the Central League for Liverpool Reserves, without a goal being registered against him.
Anthony Donnelly will be the right back, and in securing him Mr. Jones did a good stroke of business. Only 24 years of age, 5ft 10in. high, and weighing 12st. 6 lb., he has been with Manchester United, who placed him on their transfer list at £750. He is one of the best backs outside league football, and as good, of not better, than many in it, and Chester can congratulate themselves on securing him.
For the left back position James Rothwell, who has played four season regularly with West Ham’s Southern League team, has been engaged. He is 26 years of age, height 5ft. 10 ½in., and weighs 12st. 8lb. Mr. W.L. Askew, captain of the “Hammers,” who is a personal friend of Mr. Jones, recommended him to Chester. The writer has seen Rothwell play a number of times, and there is no doubt he will be a great acquisition to the team.
George Bradley, a centre half, aged 20, 5ft. 10in. high, and weighing 12 stone, can well be described as a coming player. Already he has gained a big reputation in Liverpool district circles. At the end of last season he had a couple of trials with Liverpool, and did remarkably well. Until signing for Chester he was an amateur.
The right-wingers are Jack Smith (outside) and Sidney Billings, who were last season with Burslem Port Vale. They were by far the best wing seen at Sealand-road last season, and Billings scored the first three goals for the Vale against the Cestrians in the English cup-tie. They know each other’s play perfectly. Smith was badly wanted by Stoke when Mr. Jones signed him, while half a doen good clubs were angling for Billings.
Another half-back engaged is Midge Beech, aged 18, who last year captained Whitechurch Athletic, winners of the Ethelstone Cup and the Whitechurch and District League.
Of last season’s players only the versatile Billy Matthews has been retained, but other class players are being negotiated with.
(Cheshire Observer, 20-06-1914)