April 30, 1923
What is the secret of success? A day spent with the players and directors of the Liverpool Football Club convinces me. It is the unanimity of purpose, confidence in each other, and above all the spirit of bonhomie which permeates the club.
Yesterday was Mr. William Robert Williams (the chairman of the champion club) 55th birthday, and the players secretly set out to make the occasion one of happiness for the chairman, and they accomplished the fact at a gathering of players and officials of the club at the Sandon Hotel. It was a happy day, and a day of surprises. The first part of the programme was devoted to a game of bowls between sides chosen by the chairman and the captain. Singles and doubles were played, and although the captain’s side gained a point victory in the singles, the chairman’s side went on to win the doubles by 9.
William Robert Williams.
Then came the feast and surprise presentation. When Mr. Williams was asked to vacate his chair for a few minutes he did so willingly, but when he knew the reason he was surprised out of his life.
Donald Mackinlay, on behalf of the players and staff, requested their worthy chairman to accept a set of pipes and a pouch on the occasion of his birthday, and also presented Mr. and Mrs. Williams with a large silver tray, which was inscribed:
“Presented to Mr. and Mrs. W.R. Williams by the players and staff to commemorate the unique success of winning the League championship in 1921-22, 1922-23.”
Mr. Williams, who was obviously touched by the thoughtfulness of those concerned, said it had come as a complete surprise. He could never hoped to have had the friendship and kindliness he had experienced during the last four years in many difficult situations. The smoking materials would be very acceptable. At times when things had been going wrong his pipe had been very soothing and kept his feelings within reasonable bounds.
So far as the handsome tray was concerned his partner in 35 years married life would highly appreciate it, and would be overjoyed at the honour done them. Mrs. Williams had always been a great support to him, and had the welfare of the club at heart as much as he had.
In conclusion, Mr. Williams paid a tribute to the team, and said they always tried to play the game off as well as on the field.
The programme ended with musical numbers, and although Mr. Williams has been touched to the heart, he was the first to oblige with “Mountains of Mourne,” and the boys were not stinting in their appreciation. Maurice Parry mentioned that although he was a wicked sinner, all his songs were sentimental. Maurice has a nice tuneful voice, which made much appeal. Other singers were John McNab, Donald Mackinlay, William Lacey, William Connell, John Bamber and David Pratt, but unfortunately the latter was only able to get half-way through his number through Harry Chambers who put the fluence upon him. Walter Wadsworth was an admirable M.C.
Liverpool have created history by winning the championship two years in succession. They are creating further history. Few, if any, club directors can boast of being entertained by their players. If this spirit continues – and there is no reason why it should not – more successes are due at Anfield Road. Their great ambition is to capture the “English” Cup, and if wholeheartedness can do it – it is done now!
Mr. Williams made one statement which was most marked: “If there is a better feeling in any other club than the Liverpool club; I do not want to go there.”
Scores in the bowling match:
(Source: Liverpool Echo: May 1, 1923)