A legend visits Anfield


February 4, 1916
Bob Crompton always draws the crowd. For long years he has been given up periodically as “on his last legs.” A veteran they call him, and every time his automatic selection was made for international games the cry went up, “Crompton is finished!”

But Crompton continues to play full back, and when the war season started he made up his mind to help Blackpool, because he realised that if he kept out of football during the war period he would never be able to work his muscles when the game was resumed in real earnest.

Crompton appears at Anfield tomorrow with the Blackpool team, a team that has not given up hope of the Championship honours, as will be seen by all the records given below, and as Blackpool will provide Liverpool with a severe test of strength, we can depend upon Liverpool to give of their best. They store up their worst for the teams that are lowly.

Now to-morrow a piece of football worth going a long way to see will be witnessed at Anfield. Pagnam will need to dribble cleverly to get past a man of Crompton’s solidity, and there may be a charging bout which will be rousing. The crowd loves to see healthy charging between men of Crompton and Pagnam’s build, and to-morrow’s game will doubtless produce some big cheers.

Pagnam has not been altogether successful in some of his recent games through his desire to go through entirely on his own, the long shot having been lost to his repertory. Pagnam can shoot, and though I have never recommended wild shooting. I do hope Pagnam will, when circumstances permit, save his legs and shoot with all the force we know is contained in his right-foot shooting.

Blackpool as a team have a number of personalities, mainly from the Blackburn side, and altogether the game promises to be one of the best seen in the city this season – which is saying much, for the football has been admirable throughout.

In addition to the ordinary attraction Liverpool’s side adds an attraction by the playing of an outside left, of Altrincham, named Cunliffe, who, if not a wit, is said to be a clever winger. The return of Kenneth Campbell is also a matter which will interest Liverpool folk.

Campell has not been idle during his soldiering at Crosby; he has been helping the regimental team to get the leading place in the Military League, and his form, I am told, has been of the very best.

Metcalf returns to the forward line, and to make room for Cunliffe.

Mackinlay is takin a rest.
Donald Mackinlay’s form has been of a high order throughout, but he has stood in need of a rest, and, as you know, the selection committee could not “drop him” – he’s too good. The game starts at 3.15, and as there is ample time for meal-taking prior to the match, a large crowd is expected.

Liverpool. – Kenneth Campbell, Ephraim Longworth and James Middlehurst, Norman Bradley, Arthur Goddard, and Walter Wadsworth, Ernest Pinkney, Wilfred Watson, Fred Pagnam, Arthur Metcalf, and Tommy Cunliffe.
(Liverpool Echo: February 4, 1916)

Bob Crompton

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