The salt of the soccer crowd: William James Puckey


November 3, 1934
Many, many years ago I watched the boys’ entrance at Anfield. A stubbly little fellow was there sorting ‘em out. He had a fatherly interest in the lads, but woe betide the lad who tried to get in with sixteen years as his record when he said he was fourteen.

A difficult task; you see, lads of fourteen look nineteen; and lads of nineteen look fourteen. What would you do? You could not get them to bring their birth certificates with them.

Well, Liverpool F.C. elected to put William James Puckey, of Penzance, on the job.

William James Puckey.

Puckey is known to all football fans; to-y he I the man “at the front gate”; he was assisting the first groundsman, Mr. Elliott, before Bert Riley got his magic hand upon the Anfield soil.

Remembers Liverpool when they dressed at the Sandon, which meant a walk along the main road! If that happened nowadays there might be a riot, at least, when they got to the hotel they would find Harry Danks a jovial, kindly soul.

Puckey went to the war; got off scot free; but in later days he struck bad luck; and eye was taken out, and recently he could not “play for Liverpool, as his foot was as big as a Christmas pudding.”

Thinks Alex Raisbeck the greatest half back ever seen, physically and in a football view.

John Cox was his ideal winger, and Harry Chambers was the “beautiful footballer,” whose work used to make the crowd laugh. We want more to make us laugh, adds Puckey. He’s right too.
(Source: Liverpool Echo: November 3, 1934)

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