October 1, 1914
A conference called by the directors of the Manchester City Football Club was held at Bolton this afternoon to consider the organised military training of footballers.
Invitations had been sent to all the leading Lancashire clubs, and representatives were present from every club except Everton and Liverpool, who are already engaged in military training and erecting rifle ranges for their players.
Mr. W.A. Wilkinson, of the Manchester City Club said his directors thought that the clubs in Lancashire should form a battalion or half a battalion from the ranks of professional players. In the first place they would have to be taught the rudiments of drill, afterwards advanced drill, and finally the use of the rifle on miniature ranges and then on a more extended scale. It was suggested that small units or squads should have fortnightly or monthly drills at a centre to be arranged.
Eventually it was decided to recommend the clubs to go in for drilling, the local clubs combining where convenient and that there should be a joint drill of all the clubs once a month.
A sub-committee was appointed to carry out the scheme consisting of Messrs. Wilkinson and Mangall (Manchester City); David Ashworth (Stockport County); John James Bentley (Manchester United); and Middleton (Blackburn Rovers).
(Manchester Evening News, 01-10-1914)