War recruitment at football grounds


Monday, December 14 – 1914
At a conference between Lord Derby and representatives of the directorates of Liverpool and Everton Football Clubs in Liverpool, on Monday evening, it was decided to put into operation an attractive form for recruiting the followers of football for reserve battalions at the two big matches on Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

The scheme, which has the approval of Lord Kitchener, is for the presentation of post-cards to those playing in and attending the matches who are eligible for the Army, on which they are requested to signify their desire to serve, or to state reasons for not doing so. In this way, Lord Derby explained, a proper cenus of the position in regard to football followers would be obtained, and accusations of lack of patriotism in this connection dealt with.

Lord Derby added that would-be recruits would register their names, and would be duly attested and medically examined at such a time as would avoid interference with their civil occupations. They would not be called up without due notice, and players would be given facilities to continue their engagements on Saturdays.
The scheme was readily approved by the football club representatives, who promised it every assistance.
(Manchester Courier, 15-12-1914)

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