April 24, 1929
Historic Gathering of 600 at the Philharmonic Hall
Great Record of a Pioneer Club
Old Players Listen to their Feats in the Light of History –Epoch Making Reunion
Full Report of Speeches
Everton F.C celebrated its fifty-year career by a banquet at the Philharmonic Hall on Wednesday, April 24. There were over six hundred people and a feature of the gathering was the sight of famous players of the early year days, who listened to eulogies of their deeds, and signed autographs by the hundred.
In view of the tremendous interest with the attainment of fifty years’ unbroken connection with the highest class of football has caused among Everton followers all over the world, the “Football Echo” presents a full report of the proceedings for the especial benefit of thousands who could not be present.
No vivid description is necessary – the speeches tell the whole story, that is last season’s story, it is the hope of the future, along with the elusive companies, the Cup trophy. When shall they meet again? That is Everton’s concern after fifty years of football.
Mr. W.C. Cuff, chairman of the club, presided at the jubilee dinner, which was held in the Philharmonic Hall where over 600 were seated. Having taken wine with various sections and individuals, including the several ladies present. Mr. Cuff invited the old players to drink with him.
He said; The first name I will mention is one who played in the Everton team in 1878-79 –Mr. Alfred Wade, I ask that the players as I name them will stand up, that I may have the honour of presenting those who carried the banner of Everton in days gone by to the notice and acquaintance of the present day players. Mr. Alfred Wade having stood up and received his ovation.
Mr. Cuff proceeded I now present Mr. Jack McGill, Mr. George Dobson, Mr. Robert Smalley, Mr. W.H. Parry (captain in 1879), Mr. Edgar Chadwick, (the famous “Hookie”), Mr. Alfred Chadwick (his brother); still hovering about Blackburn, Mr. Tom Booth another centre half-back and captain when we won the English Cup; Mr. John Taylor. Then going back to ancient times, May I introduce you to one of our famous centre forwards – Mr. Fred Geary (loud applause). The next name I have to present to you at the famous captain Mr. James Galt, and coming to another favourite who was in the championship team –Mr. Harold Hardman, and yet another of the team that won the championship –Mr. George Crelly (applause).
Of Stanley Memory
Charlie Joliffe, Bill Stewart then with memories of Stanley Park – William Briscoe and a contemporary of his Mr. H. Williams. Let us remember with friendship two brothers whose name was Marriott. Mr. Tom Marriott is not with us now, but William Marriott is. Then we come to another well-known player, Mr. Fred Core, likewise Tom Costley, and the last name I have the pleasure to bring forward is that of Johnny Holt (prolonged applause). Other well-known former players present but not named were T. Fleetwood, G. Harrison, J. McDonald, Harry Makepeace, Harry Cook, Jock Elliott, L. Weller, T. Crossley, and R. Balmer.
F.A and League
Mr. Cuff next proposed the toast of “The Football Association and Football League” He said; “It is quite unnecessary for me to deal at great length with these two very excellent bodies. You are all aware that we are attached to one great sport under the auspices of the Football Association, which is the parent body and which controls and generals the sport in all its directions so far as play on the field is concerned and that, of course is a very important function. The Football league, however, is a member of the Football Association and, if I may say so a very important member of the Association. It performs its duties as obtrusively, and with obvious regard and respect for the players’ body. It provides the competitive spirit; it provides the match for the various towns and cities in Great Britain for an afternoon’s entertainment.
The competition is keen in the three Divisions of the English League. I will not say anything more except that I am sorry to say that owing to indisposition our worthy president of the Football league and our worthy vice president of the Football Association (Mr. John McKenna) is unable to be with us tonight. He had hoped to be with us up to the last moment, and I am sure you will regret as he regrets that he is not able to come. “In the absence I am going to ask you to drink the toast of the Football Association and the Football League and to couple with that toast the name of Mr. Richard Watson, Major of Accrington.
Mayor of Accrington
Mr. Richard Watson (Mayor of Accrington) responding said “I rise to respond to the toast that you have pleasingly streak to the health of the Football Association the noble body and gathering football in this country. I have belonged to the Association for very many years and every man who is at the table I have seen before –on the football field or in some connection with the game. My memory goes back to the Everton Football Club as it was originally. Many happy hours I spend on those occasions when Everton had to play in the Lancashire Junior Cup. From that time onwards you have come to a position when you win more than one championship and even the F.A Cup. I hope that success may attend the efforts of the Everton directors and the club itself in the future during the next fifty years as during the last fifty years (applause). I was going to say that I have only one regret and that is that probably I shall not be here at the next-banquet; nevertheless if I am not here perhaps I shall be somewhere else looking on (laughter)
Football Association’s Part
I appreciate the great honour, if I may say so of being asked to respond on behalf of the Football Association. As a member of this body, I think we do our best though I know perfectly well we don’t always please, it would be a bad job if we did. You want a decision, you get it when you want it, and sometimes before (laughter). Again to the directors and to all present I say with a grateful heart how pleased I am to be present here this evening and I wish success to all connected with the game of football, I would like to close with this plea – put your best into the game and you will get the best out of it (applause).
The Everton Club
Mr. C.E. Sutcliffe on Measure of Esteem
Mr. Charles E. Sutcliffe proposes The Everton Club,” He said I don’t know that I altogether like the fancy of talking into a sort of Noah’s Ark (a reference to the microphone that created laughter), I am afraid that sometimes that ought to go ill will never get in, and that something will get out that ought not to get out. I want first of all to thank the Everton directors for the privileges of attending this jubilee dinner and celebration (applause).
Very often, on all occasions like this there is some rankling as to which is the greater toast. There is no doubt to-night, because I shall carry everyone with me when I say that my toast is pre-qainently the toast of the evening (applause). If you don’t believe it, hear it (laughter).
Had it not been for the Everton Football Club none of you would have been here. Then I have personally the pleasure of seeing some of the old Everton players here under conditions that it is impossible for them to give any trouble (laughter). I knew a few of them in the past, and if I could have carried out my wish with one or two, I suppose they should be absent. My old friend Johnny Holt won’t mind if I say he was one of those (laughter). He caused no end of trouble, and there is Edgar Chadwick, who thought he could argue with the best lawyer in the land (laughter). But it is a real pleasure to us to see them, and see them looking so well – (hear, hear) – even my old friend Harry Makepeace –Hear, hear) – who I think, will go down to posterity as the one player who never caused any trouble to anybody (hear, hear).
Having said that, I want to say that I have got rid of the worst of my toast because I don’t know a club in football whose name stands so richly respected so universally esteemed as that of the Everton Football Club (applause). Right through from the commencement of the club they have always sought – not only the players on the field, but the directors – to give the public not only full value for their money in any competition in which they took part, but full value for their money in the exhibition of real, meritorious football (hear, hear).
A Sporting Club
If one were to sit down and write the names of the two finest sporting clubs of course a lot of you would write your own club first and Everton second. If they were subjected to censorship, I think you would more often have found that the name of the Everton club would have stood first as that of a really good honest sporting club (applause). You are good workers and you have made your mark in the world, but you have not always made your mark. I could mention something that would be intimate, but I don’t want to give you the blues, and I could mention a name at the other end of the ship that would mean an unhappy day in the life of the lot of you, one who is very, very miserable. But that is all in the game, and when all is said and done, whether you win or whether you lose, I do honestly believe that the Everton players and the club itself are always highly esteemed and respected. The full measure of estimation is not what you yourself think of it and neither our friends nor our enemies are the best judges. We have got to get down to the sport who can afford to pay a tanner a week.
I was at the meeting of the Northern Section club this afternoon and I was telling them of a friend of mine from Burnley, and he was telling me of the very splendid sporting spirit of the game, and how much he had enjoyed it. Of course, Burnley won 2-0 so that is why he had enjoyed it (laughter). But very often, nearly always, the first question-people ask is; “Where’s Everton?” That shows that as a club you are the cracks. Well, Mr. Chairman I must catch my train, which is the last and I now purpose my toast, but I do want to emphasize almost my opening words of gratitude at this opportunity of being with you. It has brought to my mind many happy memories, many names that I would always gladly have recalled, because I have known the Everton club practically from its birth have known secretary, manager, players and directors in connection with the club as they have succeeded one another.
Somebody will say it is about time I cleared off. Well, I am going to in a few minutes and yet there is a richness and sweetness, a pleasure and a joy in all these men, and I tell you frankly that whatever might have been our association in life in the past, whatever they may be in the future, there is nothing so fresh and sweet to me as the memories of the rich friendships I have made in connection with the game of football (applause).
The Major of Accrington reminded you, and perhaps I may emphasize it, we are not here merely to celebrate and to rejoice over the past, but we are here to wish the Everton club, its players and directors all goodwill for the future (hear, hear). Every success therefore, to all.
Money Not Everything
There are directors here whom I have known across the years, and who are going away also and they have an idles that it is time they were doing something. I agree with them (Laughter) they kept spending money and getting players –of course. Everton spend money, I don’t think we spend more; I have just been signing a lot of chequers –that is the only thing they ask me to put my autograph to. However, I may remind you that money is not everything and I think the directors of the Everton club would agree that a man can make a good bargain at little cost and make a bad bargain at a big cost, but whether Everton players are cheaper or not, you can reply that in the years to come as in the years gone by they will be one of the clubs that will be respected not only in Lancashire and England but throughout the world. Therefore I ask you, everyone of you except the chairman, because although I am proposing the toast of the club, and a club has no soul, I am not proposing the toast of the directors or of the shareholders – you are in a class of your own, to rise and drink with me to the Everton club coupled with the name of your worthy chairman Mr. Cuff (applause).
Mr. Cuff Responds
Everton in Prominence all over the World
Mr. Cuff rose amid applause to respond. He said I am sure you will agree with me when I say that this is a momentous occasion. It is an event unique in the history of this club, and very nearly in the history of most clubs. If you don’t agree with that you will agree that it is extremely improbable that this occasion is likely to be repeated in this club in the presence of any one of us here. That will not prevent us ladies and gentlemen from making this an occasion for rejoicing and for commemorating in festive spirit. I seriously realize my unworthiness to hold a position such as this chairman on such an occasion as this! “No, no.” the gift of oratory was never more earnestly desired by anybody than by me at the present moment, but knowing as I do and conscious as I am of my own limitations, I will do my best to accept the position and rely upon your indulgence whatever my shortcomings may be. I am addressing Mr. Sutcliffe in his absence but I say Mr. Sutcliffe, that as chairman of this club I am very deeply sensible of the very flattering eulogistic, and complimentary observations it has pleased you to pass on the club of which I am chairman. And to you, ladies and gentleman, I wish to accord my very deep appreciation of the enthusiastic manner in which you received that toast and the toast of my own personal health.
The World Over
We meet ladies and gentleman, to commemorate an event the importance of which it is impossible to overstate. We celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the existence of this club and if I may say so, with egotism, I feel confident in saying, after the complimentary remarks of Mr. Sutcliffe that Everton is one of the most prominent club organisations in the world (hear hear) and I feel it is proper that we should celebrate such an occasion as this in festive spirit (hear hear). These responsible for the celebration were anxious that not only they but their friends and acquaintances and well-wishes should join in the rejoicing and that is the main reason, ladies and gentlemen, why we have invited our football friends to honour us with their presence tonight and celebrate our fiftieth birthday. The attainment of a half-century, whether it be of one’s life or the duration of a business association or, as in the present instance a club naturally induces those who are participating therein, to pause at the prominent mile-stone to reflect for a moment to enjoy if they can the flight of mental retrospect.
To me, and to such as I, who have had thirty-eight years of my life in close and constant connection with the Everton club, the temptation to survey the past is well-nigh, irresistible and if I may, without boring you to tears, I shall attempt to fulfil some of those thoughts which pass through my mind.
Complementing that mental retrospect takes me back to when I was a very little boy in 1878, when I was a junior member of the Sunday school of St. Domingo, attached to the chapel in St. Domingo-road. In that year the senior scholars of that school formed themselves into a football club, and they gave it the title of St. Domingo Football Club. The following year, owing to the influx of membership of a number of youths having no connection with the church or Sunday school, the club changed its name from St. Domingo to that of Everton, and it was in 1879 in Stanley Park that the Everton Football Club, the members of the Everton Football first set the ball rolling which has been rolling continuously for fifty years from that time till now (applause).
During the next few years the members played as amateurs and it is unique that of those players who first donned the jersey of the Everton Football Club we have three present tonight (applause). There may be more, at any rate I recall three that is Mr. Alfred Wade, Mr. Jack McGill, and Mr. W.H. Parry. Substantial progress during the next few years brings me to 1888, when Mr. W.H. McGregor found the Football League, consisting of the supposedly twelve best clubs in the kingdom, and the Everton club was invited to become a member and did become a member of the League. I think I may say, with the greatest respect to other clubs present that the Everton club, of that original twelve has maintained unbroken membership of the League to the present moment.
Lord Derby Arrives
At this point Lord Derby entered the half, and was enthusiastically received. Continuing, Mr. Cuff said; I am quite sure you will permit me to break into my retrospect to tell you that Lord Derby, when he responded to the invitation to come this evening, said he was engaged in London on that date but expected to arrive back in Liverpool, at 9.35 and if it was possible he would come and join us. I have very little more than to say, on your behalf that those of us, and there are a multitude who know Lord Derby, say,” That is exactly what Lord Derby would do” (applause and cries of “Good old Lancashire”). Personal convenience does not count but to show his interest in his fellow countrymen he comes here after a long hard day’s work and a long journey to show his interest in the sport we are here to celebrate the anniversary of and to show his interest in the county generally (applause).
I had arrived at a point in 1890-91 when my club won the League championship and I think I see several members here tonight of the team that won the championship –Holt, Crelley, Edgar Chadwick, and Fred Geary, others do not for the moment occur to me. The year 1892 was a very important one, not from a playing point of view but that year saw the removal of the Everton Club from its headquarters at Anfield road, to Goodison Park, their present headquarters. It is not necessary for me to dwell at all on the circumstances that occasioned the removal. It is too far back to go into now. At any rate, I will say this, that the reasons were satisfactory to both sides, but one cannot help but refer to the energy displayed by those pioneers who took the Everton Club, without anything but a team of players – no stands, no ground at the moment – to Goodison Park where they established themselves and founded the club afresh, where it now stands. I refer of course, to stalwarts such as George Mahon – (applause) –Dr James Baxter – (applause) – John Atkinson, who did great work, and who unhappily has now passed beyond. And I would like to refer to others who happily are still living –Mr. William Clayton – (applause) –and Mr. James Griffiths.
Two Great Sportsmen
The owners of those names represented the cream of the talent at Anfield road but not all the cream of the talent. Some of the cream remained, and help to form the club which is now the Liverpool Football Club, and I refer only to one – Mr. John McKenna (applause). The next important event was in 1897, when we participated in a memorable final at Crystal Palace against Aston Villa, and it was by common consent the finest game that ever was played in a final tie before or since (applause). In 1905-06 we were successful in winning the English Cup, and of those players who brought that trophy to Goodison Park there are members present here this evening. I refer to Mr. Jack Sharp, my colleague on the board, and one of the greatest all round sportsmen in the world (applause). Harry Makepeace (applause) who might in this respect be bracketed with Mr. Sharp (hear, hear). Harold Hardman (applause) and our then captain John Taylor (applause), John Crelly, and Roberts Balmer (applause). The following year 1906-07, we again appeared in the final, and were, unfortunately, beaten by Sheffield Wednesday, who deservedly won the cup in that year. In 1914-15 we won our second League championship, and tonight we recall the 1927-28 championship, a fitting prelude for the jubilee festivities we are now holding (applause). That ladies and gentlemen, is something of a mental retrospect of the past fifty years, but there are one or two other things for which I am going to claim credit for the Everton Football Club as being pioneers. The Everton Football Club –and when I mention the Everton Football Club I mean necessary men and officials, or mostly with the Everton Football club –were the pioneers thanks to Dr. Brodie, of goals nets, of printing in the programme information concerning the home and visiting players. That was considered a great innovation. Another one was affixing numbers to the players in the programme, and announcing team alteration by notice board. The public were not aware of the personality of the players until they saw these names and numbers. Everton also originally started the system of communicating half and full time results by means of a telegraph board. We were the first board to give a League match as a benefit, and the first club to institute or guarantee £500 benefits to our players.
The Everton Ideal
Scientific Football Played On The Turf
But in my view there is one feature of outstanding clarity and that feature was referred to in the toast so ably proposed by Mr. Sutcliffe, and I would describe that feature as an ideal, an ideal which although never mentioned on any committee that I was associated with, seems to have been set up by those who have governed the destinies of the Everton Football Club in the early days at Anfield Road, and which has been followed by succeeding candidates and directors as the goal of their ambition. I would describe that ideal as the cultivation and development of the scientific type of Association football (applause) Ladies and gentleman, there has been to my recollection, no period in the history of the club in which a predilection and perhaps a natural bizz towards the stylish type of football has not predominated. While the clever-footed artist has always exercised a great influence over the minds of those representatives of the club employed in the engagement of players, it is strange but true, that the vigorous, robust type of player has failed somehow to attract their attention.
On the Turf
It has been argued, is argued and no doubt will be argued that the best type of football, the purest football, is that which is played on the turf and not in the air (applause). I am sure that must be generally accepted, or else why do clubs and club managements go to such enormous expense ad care in providing for the production of first class conditions unless it were to play football on the turf. Ladies and gentlemen, we have endeavoured to cultivate that style of football. We may not have much to write home about when we talk about winning championships and cups, and may not have cut much ice in the Cup but all that winning of championships and winning of cups, is not the be all and end all of football (applause). Above all the game is the thing that matters (applause). It pays best in the long run. It has paid best as far as the Everton club is concerned. Its attractiveness is universal, and we have nothing to complain about in the game that we have played because we are satisfied that it has been the great consolation of hundreds of thousands of spectators who go to Goodison Park week in and week out (applause). That brings to my mind that it is now proper that I should place on record our indebtedness first to our predecessors in office who set up that high ideal and those traditions, and their successors in generations who succeeded in maintaining those traditions.
Players and Supporters
We desire also to express our gratitude to players past and present, for the manner in which they on the field of play, have exhibited that style of football, which has provided such attraction and been so entertaining to the thousands of football followers (applauses). I should also like to express on behalf of the club our acknowledgments of the Press of the country (hear-hear). They had at all times commended approved and applauded every effort to improve the style of the class of football and they had given it the very pleasant feeling that it gives us to-day (applause). Lastly I would place on record our great gratitude to the sporting British public the finest sporting body in the world, who week in and week out, no matter what the weather is, will pay money, not so much to see us win, but to be certain of seeing a game of football worthwhile (applause).
A Glorious Picture
These are thoughts which occur to one, and they are not the thoughts of a decrepit old man sitting in his armchair, who at the end of life looks back at his life with great regrets, and into the future with little favour and much resignation. This is the mental retrospect of a vigorous youth, one “full of beams,” and still going strong, and who, tonight although celebrating what we call a jubilee, is really celebrating his attainment to vigorous manhood after a lusty youth, with long life and plenty of honours before him. We leave the past behind. We look into the future and we see that it is a glorious picture. We know not what is in store for us. We do know that there are trails and tribulations which will beset us as they beset the very humblest and jumps to overcome, but of this we may be assured that comes weal or come woe, if only those who follow us will strive to carry on the good work of our predecessors and hold on to those ideals and maintain the traditions of the past success will undoubtedly be ours, and we shall undoubtedly go on to play the game (applause).
Mr. Ernest Green proposed the toast of “our guests”. He said; it is my honour and my privilege and pleasure to propose the toast of our guests, a very important toast this evening because without our guest this historic occasion could not possibly be a complete success. I dare any further that without our guests this historic occasion could not have been at all a success, and the members of our club this evening differ from our gusts in this respect, that while our members are playing at home, so to speak our guests are playing away. What I mean is, that our guests for the most part had to make journeys to be with us this evening, some very long and tedious journeys, some even involving a stay overnight. So while we members of the Everton Football Club welcome our guests, while we are indeed happy and delighted to have them amongst us, we are very grateful to them for making these journeys and making these festivities the more memorable. I thought it would fall to my lot to enumerate quite a number of our guests but I think the enumeration has taken place already. I think you have heard most of the guests’ names, and the various associations to which they belong, so that it would be invidious for me to repeat them. There still remain two that I may mention without being tedious. We have with us the representative of a national association in the person of Mr. E. Robbins, secretary of the Welsh Football Association. Since Liverpool is the capital of Wales we might claim Mr. Robbins, that you ought to be here.
One other name reminds that has not yet been mentioned –and it is one that we directors of the Everton Football Club are delighted, mention – that of the genial chairman of our friends across the Park – Mr. Tom Crompton, I should like to couple with this toast the name of the Earl of Derby. He never spares himself in the interests of Lancashire whether in the sphere of commerce of welfare or of sport (applause).
Lord Derby’s Joke
A Wembley Crowd Packed Like Sar-Deans
Lord Derby was vociferously received and said; Unaccustomed as I am to public speaking, I could wish that the order to retire to the side of the ball – (extended to the waitresses and autograph hunters) –applied to me (laughter). Alas I did not come prepared to speak to you and yet I feel that not to respond to the kind way in which the health or myself and other guests has been given and accepted by you would indeed be churlish. I have to apologise to you for arriving late on the scene, because had it been a racing meeting, I should have been disqualified from running. Yet you know already because your chairman knew I should be late, and I only came here to night because I wanted to see you, and still more because I wanted to keep faith (applause). Now Mr. Green in his kind remarks said that without your guests the dinner would not have been a success. May I say this that without any hosts we should have had no dinner at all (laughter) I think the guests are more to the hosts than the hosts to the guests.
I unfortunately did not hear the whole of your fifty years record, but I did come in just at the time when I first began to take an interest in local football. I was – and I suppose you will cry “shame” when I say it – educated in a school where Rugby football was played “(Shame”), I thought you would say so – (laughter) – but since then, since I left school and lost both my youth and my figure, I paid full attention from the spectator’s point of view to Rugby and Association, and I can safely say that never have I spent more happy hours than on the Everton football ground – (applause) –to which I have been kindly asked by your directors. I got much enjoyment from the game I am not sure that I did not get almost as much amusement from the extra ordinary outspoken and forcible comment of the crowd (laughter).
“The directors are a set of imbeciles for playing that they do” and so forth. If any player makes a mistake, the man in the crowd lets him and everybody else known. And yet, all through it there is something one cannot help admiring, and that is the extraordinary enthusiasm for the game in the first place, extraordinary loyalty for the club in the second (applause). Forcible and direct as they are, it is simply with a view to expressing what they think would be for the benefit of the club, and for no other reason (applause). You and Everton can congratulate yourself and I think you do congratulate yourselves, on having a stalwart body of supporters and I sincerely thrust that next year will see those same supporters packing themselves like sar-Dean in a tin to see the club playing at Wembley (laughter and applause).
Hope For The Future
The year is past but as long as we live there is always hope and we can hope that next year we may see you successful in bringing off the double event of the League championship and the Cup. After all, its is not so long, and you will take consolation from my own family, who took 137 years between winning one Derby Cup and the time they won another (laughter and applause) – and who thinks every year he is going to win the Derby, I hope you won’t have to wait that long lapse of time before you gain the blue ribbon. All of us, when I might call the out siders who sometimes see most of the game feel that in Everton you have got directors, players and spectators whose one and only object is what we j=know in England as the best tribute that anybody can have – the playing of the game (applause). You profess to play the game and you do play the game; and as long as you do that you will reckon all on your side, sharing gladness in your victories and sorrow in your defeats (hear hear).
Fifty years is a long time in the life of a man, perhaps not quite as long in the life of an institution and I only hope – though I shall not be here to share it – that in fifty years time my son will be honored as I am honored at present, and will be able to be in a position to be invited to your centenary (applause). If so, he will have the same delight and experiences, I am sure that I have had in finding myself amongst those –some of whom O know, some of whom I don’t –but can say to myself; I have been to a meeting where my friends predominated” (hear hear). I thank you for having invited me and before I actually sit down I would like to take this, perhaps the most fitting opportunity I have ever had of publicly thanking the directors of Everton for something they did for me sixteen years ago, when the King and Queen cam to Lancashire and came to Liverpool.
Sixteen Years Ago
There was no place I could get where they could go to see a demonstration by the school children. Everton came to my rescue and I venture to say that in that ten days, tour, when we went all round Lancashire and saw the loyalty of the people, there was nothing that gave greater pleasure to our king and queen, nothing so striking, as what they saw on the ground which Everton had so kindly placed at my disposal. In conclusion, I thank you for the toast you have received. May I also thank you for the personal welcome you gave me. I don’t thank you simply with lip service. It is from the bottom of my heart that I say to you, Mr. Chairman and to all present thank you (applause).
A Welsh Note
Mr. Ted Robbins, secretary of the Welsh F.A, acknowledged his gratitude for being allowed to be present. He could not say he had come without an ulterior motive. He came also to gain a kindness from that great club, Everton who have always been very kind to Wales in the years, brothers of ours on the great while continent what they had bred, and born in Wales and he would be delighted if he could take with him one of the Welshmen who was making a name with Everton today. Mr. Robbins’ reference was to Griffiths. Mr. Tom Crompton chairman of Liverpool Football club said he stood there in the dual capacity of representing the Liverpool Football Club and also an old player of the Everton team. He went back to the old days. There was himself, Jack Crelley, Jack Taylor, Chadwick, his colleague of the old days and they had played for the game. They had got a picture of old players before them and on their behalf he wished Everton great luck. Mr. Cuff apologized for having omitted Mr. Crompton’s name from the list of former Everton players. He was of course a valuable centre forward of the old Everton team. Mr. Joe Galt and Mr. Fred Geary also replied on behalf of the guests.
Mr. William Robert. Williams purposed the toast of the Chairman.” He said; Thirty-five or so years ago there entered into the councils of the Everton club a dapper young gentleman with an undoubted profile destined to play a large part in the councils of the club in years to come. That he has played that large part you will agree. Mr. Cuff prayed for oratory, and then proceeded to give as fine an exposition of the club’s history as we could wish. He never once mentioned the large part he had played in the club’s affairs. Through the length and breadth of the land –and I could bring men who have known him –Mr. Cuff is well known and Mr. Cuff and the Everton club are synonymous terms. Every where he has gone he has been received with open arms and respect. He was the initiator of the Central League. He nursed it through its infancy, through its early youth, during the period of adolescence, to take a prominent place in football in the South, North, and North Midlands of England. He has been associated with an agitation for better representation of the League on the F.A Council, and has been nominated by the members of the Football League to the champion of their cause with the F.A. No greater tribute could be paid to the chairman of any club. Mr. Cuff suitably responded, and the function closed with the singing of “Auld Lang Syne.” During the evening Mr. Eric Child and Mr. Griff Williams obliged with songs, and Mr. J.L. Pennington’s orchestra discouraged enjoyable music.
(Liverpool Football Echo: April 27, 1929)
Images from the Everton Collection.