Friday, May 2 – 1930
Greatest joker in football
Jock Ewart, one of the greatest goalkeepers who ever handled a ball, has been “suspended from taking part in football, and warned off all grounds, it having been proved to the satisfaction of the FA Commission that he had endeavoured to interefere with the result of a match by offering payments to players.”
Jock Ewart has been the greatest practical joker in the game of football. I remember one story of his in particular, a story told me by Bob Ferrier – English born “£10,000 winger,” who plays for Motherwell.
When Ewart was with Airdrie he one day invited Ferrier to have tea at his home. “Let’s pull the old man’s leg,” said Jock, “he’s scarcely 80. Tell him you’re Hughie Ferguson (the old Cardiff City centre, then with Motherwell).”
So Ferrier went home with Ewart, and when the old man rose from his seat at the fireside, the winger was introduced as Ferguson.
“You’re Hughie Ferguson, are you?” said the old man. “Aye,” said Ferrier.
The aged Ewart rose to his full height. “Ye nasty mon,” he said (only it wasn’t “nasty mon”), “I’ve been waiting to see you for two years now.” Then, as Ferrier reeled before the blast, he continued. “Two years ago I went to see you play. I said to the man next me; ‘That’s Hughie Ferguson. He’ll score a couple to-day.’ ‘He could’na score a slate,’ said the other man. ‘Right,’ says I, ‘I’ll bet you a couple of bob he has one this half.’
“And d’ye know what ye did, ye scoundrel. Ye got the ball a yard from the goal, ye had nobody to beat, and ye lifted it over the bar. I lost my two bob.”
“And behind me,” said Ferrier, “Jock Ewart, who had sprung the whole joke, was laughing to split his sides.”
(Derby Daily Telegraph, 02-05-1930, by ‘Major Jinks’)