The salt of the soccer crowd: Bert Riley


December 29, 1934
Bert Riley is the Liverpool F.C. groundsman. He is a fixture at the ground because anything to be done is done without fuss or palaver; Bert can be depended upon. Riley was really built in with the bricks at Anfield; he followed a wizened old gentleman thirty years ago, when old Tom Watson and director John James Ramsay used to sit in the wooden hut which stood at the top end of what is now a running track.

Bert is an expert groundsman; he has studied the weed question, and his experience of years before, when he was connected with a nursery, has helped him in later days. Liverpool’s turf is excellent year by year, and the constant attention of the Rileys is the cause of this very important feature.

Joined the club 1908 just before manager George Patterson linked up; therefore oldest servant save in the case of trainer Charlie Wilson. Bert Riley not only brings his own resources to the club’s help; he has a family of ten, all strong and good-looking people too, and they “live on the ground” working to one end – the service of the Liverpool club. Bert, the father, is a T.T. and non-smoker, a great billiard player, and a cricket fanatic. “The best ever,” said one of the officials when we talked of Bert Riley.

Could one say more?

Bert Riley.

I have always found him the same, sure, sound, sensible fellow; never pushing his way outside his own domain but being indefatigable in his work for his club.
(Source: Liverpool Echo: December 29, 1934)

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