Wednesday, August 23 – 1933
On another page is a yarn from my pen mainly about old-time Pompey footballers, and there is a photograph of the original eleven of the 1899-1900 season. One of the men in the group is Danny Cunliffe, who was so extremely popular that he set a tonsorial fashion in Portsmouth.
He used to get his barber to run the clippers all over his cranium, and many small boys said to their hairdressers, “Cut mine like Danny’s.” It would be a joke if the flappers who now crowd Fratton Park wanted their hair done like Jack Smith’s!
Blew out the gas
This same Dan Cunliffe was a comical fellow. Before he came to Portsmouth 34 years ago he played for Liverpool, who sent their players to St. Anne’s for special training.
The morning after their arrival the hotel manager complained that one of the men had left the gas on all night in his bedroom, and the consequence would have been serious had not the door and window been open. “Well,” said Dan, “it was not me. I blew out my gas before I got into bed.”
Missed the train
When Mr. Robert Blyth was Pompey’s manager, Cunliffe, who is a Lancastrian, asked permission to remain in the North after a Saturday match, in order to visit his people. The request was granted on the strict understanding that the player returned to Portsmouth on the Wednesday to resume training.
On the Wednesday a telegram from Preston arrived at Fratton Park: “Unavoidably missed train. Returning later. – Cunliffe.”
But old birds are not caught with chaff; and having previously played for Preston North End, Mr. Blyth knew the times of the trains from Park Station. When Cunliffe arrived home he apologized profusely and said that although he ran down the platform as the train was moving out, he just missed it.
“How do you make that out?” asked the manager.
“You got a pal (of course Dan could not spell unavoidably!) to send the telegram half an hour before the train left.”
“’Strewth!” retorted Cunliffe, “Do they put the time on telegrams?”
(Portsmouth Evening News, 23-08-1933)
Dan Cunliffe with Portsmouth 1899-1900.