Burslem Port Vale v Liverpool 2-3 (League match: September 1, 1917)

September 1, 1917
Key note: “Last season’s champions of the Lancashire section opened the present campaign with a very creditable victory over Burslem Port Vale on Saturday. They had to go all the way, though, in order to accomplish this, for they were two goals down at the interval.As may be gathered from this fact and the ultimate result, the game was a very keenly-contested and strenuous one. There were occasions, too, when the football, especially on the part of the visitors, was of quite a pre-war character in its cleverness, and the game generally was a happy augury for the maintenance of the best standard of the sport during the coming winter.Heavy rain had rendered the ground at Hanley distinctly on the soft side, yet the pace was set and kept throughout at a most invigorating rate, while the varying fortunes of the contest sustained the keenest interest of the spectators till the final blast of the whistle.” (Liverpool Daily Post: September 3, 1917)

Match: Lancashire Section, Principal competition, at Old Recreation Ground.
Burslem Port Vale – Liverpool 2-3 (2-0).
Attendance: 4,000.
Referee: Mr. E.B. Bragg.
Burslem Port Vale (2-3-5): Jonathan Hammond, Tommy Lyons (Aston Villa), Collins, James Bennett, Phillips, Arrowsmith, George Shelton, Sammy Worthy, Griffiths, Albert Pearson, Harold Edgley (Aston Villa).
Liverpool (2-3-5): Tommy Haughton, Ephraim Longworth, Tommy Lucas, John Bamber, Walter Wadsworth, Tweedale Rigg, Robert Waine, Arthur Metcalf, Tommy Bennett, Harry Lewis, Tommy Cunliffe.
The goals: 1-0 Worthy (35 min.), 2-0 Worthy (44 min.), 1-2 own goal (Bennett, 46 min.), 2-2 Bamber (80 min.), 3-2 Own goal (Hammond, 82 min.).

Match previews:
* Liverpool Echo: “Donald Mackinlay to miss season opener”;

Match reports:
* Liverpool Echo: “Bennetts in the picture”;
* Liverpool Daily Post: “Liverpool overcome Port Vale”;



  1. Hi Kjell
    Another interesting and much appreciated post. The above report mentions how ‘Villa players had been called up to help Port Vale.’ Can you explain what that means? I presume it is something to do with the shortage of players due to the war. But how did this practice of borrowing players from other clubs work? Is it the same as ‘guest’ players?

    1. Hi Ed,

      I do believe the Midlands clubs only played friendly matches during WW1. All players were regarded as amateurs then and could play for whichever team suited them.
      Most likely there were Villa players in the Stoke area doing their war efforts one way or another, and I assume these were easily tempted by Port Vale to play more serious matches against Lancashire clubs.


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