The salt of the soccer crowd: Bob Carruthers


December 8, 1934
A mackintosh over his figure; a dark visage; a paddock devotee. Stands alone; sucks in all the juice of the Liverpool F.C. game. Never known to miss. A cautious man, it is said, but one who might be described as a son of toil who earns his living by a ton of “coil”! Bears a famous football and critic’s name; Carruthers, Bob of that ilk.

Followed the jolly old Reds for forty years, and is a coal merchant in between times. Never missed a match at home, Wednesday or Saturday, second or A team, during the whole of that forty years. There’s enthusiasm for you.

Bob Carruthers.

May have been inclined to snarl a bit when the team let him down, but always managed to find a joke out of the proceedings. Once he was late for a very important Cup-tie, and found the ground full. He was refused permission to enter. Showed his long-service record. “Full up,” said the janitor. So he went to another gate and told the man in charge: “I have to deliver coal to Mr. Tom Watson.” Was invited to go in and look for him. He saw all that game.

Another time, when Liverpool were playing Barnsley in a Cup-tie – I think this was their solitary final tie year – he arrived at the station and found the train full. So he fished up an empty lunch basket and passed into the dining car as “an extra waiter.”

He reminds me of three lads who went to Birmingham Racecourse without paying; they were dressed as waiters, full dress suits. They had bought them at a local pawn-shop, and entered Tatt’s without paying a penny piece!

Bob Carruthers has one ambition in life, to see Liverpool win the Cup. He stands in the queue of teeming thousands waiting the same pleasure.

They also serve who stand and wait. They serve to pay the money for Tommy Cooper’s transfer fee. They wait patiently; they may go red in the face, but they never change their colours; they are Red to the death.

Well, I hope it keeps fine for Bob, but not too fine, as he is in the business that likes an old-fashioned Christmas.

If we can’t have that, well, let Liverpool F.C. have “A Cup of Kindness.”
(Source: Liverpool Echo: December 8, 1934)

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