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Everton’s excellence


April 7, 1919
Everton, who have carried off the honours in the Lancashire Section of The League, have been solid – at times brilliant – and a well-balanced team. They have utilised the service of only 23 men.

Mitchell, the goalkeeper, has alone participated in the whole of the 30 matches, but Fleetwood, Wareing, and Jefferis have played in 29, Grenyer and Clennell in 28, Robinson and Gault in 27, Donnachie in 26, Miller in 22, and Joseph Smith of West Bromwich in 20. Kirsopp with 10 matches is the only other member of the eleven in double figures.

Gault in these competition games has been responsible for 38 goals and Clennell for 30, while Donnachie, Miller, and Jefferis have registered seven each, Grenyer six, Rigsby three, Fleetwood, Wareing, Kirsopp, and Blair each two, George Harrison and Longworth (Liverpool) each one.

Everton’s half-back were the sure foundation of the success, being strong, skilful, and subtle; the forwards, capable, crafty, and convincing; the full backs, valiant, virile, but variable; and the custodian cool, confident, and clever.

Sketches of the players.
We append thumb-nail sketches of the principal players who have attracted so much attention: –

Frank Mitchell. – Goalkeeper. Born at Elgin Graduated with Glasgow Friendly Boys, Milngavie, Maryhill, and Motherwell. Reached Goodison Park in April, 1913. Motto, “Gensistency.” Anticipates danger intelligently, and has been a potent factor in Everton’s successful progress. Height 5ft. 8½in. Weight 11st. 10lb.

Joe Smith. – Born at Dudley. A tuneful “Throstle” who has piped many a merry lay in the Everton rear ranks. Thompson’s injury enabled the Albion full back to maintain touch with good football in war time. Has proved a tower of strength in defence, and made host of friends in Liverpool. 5ft. 7in. 11st.

Bob Thompson. – Born at Bell’s Close, Scotswood, Started the season as captain, but owing to injuries has played little. Now quite fit again. Played for Blaydon, Swalwell – Tyneside clubs – and Scotswood. Thence to Leicester Fosse and Everton, in April, 1913. He and Maconnachie – utterly opposite types of full backs – blended beautifully when in harness. 5ft. 8in. 11st. 4lb.

William Robinson. – Born at Birkenhead. The only player in the team who has not figured in League football of pre-war standard. Played for Neston Nomads, Cammell-Lairds, and Tranmere Rovers as a half-back before coming to Everton. Lacks experience, but has filled a difficult position with credit. 5ft. 6in. 11st.

Tom Fleetwood. – Born at Kirkby, near Liverpool. A typical Lancashire footballer, developed in the Bolton district. Played for Nebo Excelsior there, Raynes-street, Mission Atherton, St. George the Marty’s, Hindley Central, and Rochdale, where he became a professional. Arrived at Goodison in March, 1911, as a forward. Has gained League honours as a half-back – his proper position. A powerfully built player, an honest dealer, and untiring in zeal. 5ft. 9½in. 13st.

Billy Wareing. – Born at Southport. Played for St. Cuthbert’s team, Southport Park Villa, Chorley, and Preston North End. Came to Everton in October, 1912, and has proved a capital centre half-back during the past three or four years. Unfortunately he does not enjoy the best of health, which naturally affects his football. Cool, calculating, and capable. 5ft. 9in. 11st. 9lb.

Alan Grenyer. – Born at North Shields. Played for the Western Board School eleven, North Shields Collingwood, North Shields Athletic, and North Shields. Reached Everton headquarters in November, 1910. Formerly an inside left, has become one of the best left-half backs in the country. A boiler maker by trade, sturdy, reliable and possessing a cunning left foot which directs a thrilling drive. Gained League honours this season. 5ft. 10½in. 12st. 5lb.

James Miller, a native of Tynemouth, has been hailed as the successor to John Sharp, but S. Chedgzoy has been overlooked in that connection. Nevertheless, he is a footballer of sparkling speed and considerable craft. After schoolboy culture joined South Shields Albion and Wallsend prior to helping Newcastle United. Drifted to Grimsby, and in 1914 joined the Army when danger threatened. After three years with the troops was demobilised for shipbuilding at Shields. On the recommendation of Grenyer Everton annexed him. 5ft. 6in. 10st. 7lb.

Frank Jefferis. – Born at Fordingbridge, near Southampton. His early football career was spent with Fordinbridge Turks and Southampton. Showed fine form against Everton in an English Cup-tie in 1910 and was secured by the club in March, 1911. A most intelligent forward, who believes in making opening for others to gain goals. An ideal partner for an extreme wing-forward. 5ft. 10in. 11st. 7lb.

Ernest Gault. – Born at Wallsend. Played for the Billquay School eleven, Wallsend Elm Villa, and Jarrow Caledonians. Came to Everton in December, 1909. After a varied career at Goodison, was transferred to Stockport County, and returned thence after war broke out. Formerly an inside-right or left, he drifted to the centre berth, and this season has helped himself to goodly harvest of goals. He has learnt the advantage of keeping onside. Between two artists like Jefferis and Clennell he has gained fame as a goal-getter. 5ft 9in. 10st. 11lb.

Joseph Clennell. – Born at New Silksworth, Durham. Careered in the following fashion: Silksworth United, Seaham Harbour, Blackpool, and Blackburn Rovers; thence to Everton, where he appeared in 1913. Possesses great gifts for inside left; a thrilling shot and clever ball controller. One of the most consistent scorers in the country, and not lacking in initiative. Football honours are coming rapidly to him. 5ft. 6in. 11st 7lb.

Joseph Donnachie. – Born at Kilwinning. Played for Rutherglen, Glencairn, Morton, and Newcastle United. Arrived at Everton in 1906. Was faced by severe opposition, and became utility performer, which eventually led to his transfer to Oldham Athletic. When war started returned to the Goodison camp as an outside left. Now belongs to Glasgow Rangers. A typical Scottish forward, who has gained the highest honours. Centres perfectly, and leads many a half-back astray. 5ft. 8½in. 11st.

Billy Kirsopp. – Born at Liverpool. Played for Granby-street School, South Liverpool, and Wallasey. Joined Everton in April, 1914. Has only assisted the club in a few games this winter, owing to military duties. A most promising forward – speedy, calculating, and a fine shot. 5ft. 8in., 11st.

Truly a godly company.
(Source: Athletic News: April 7, 1919)

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