Liverpool’s first ever soccer mom?


August 25, 1938
Mother of Chelsea’s new outside left, Alf Hanson, will travel 400 miles to see him play in every “home” game. For Mrs. Hanson has always been Alf’s greatest supporter and severest critic since he started playing school Soccer at the age of nine.

She lives in Bootle, Lancs, and when Alf played for Liverpool it wasn’t so bad. But now, although she lives so far away, Mrs. Hanson will become one of Chelsea’s most ardent supporters. Actually she is divided between Chelsea and Bolton Wanderers, because Alf is not the only football member of the family. His brother Stan keeps goal for Bolton Wanderers.

When Alf Hanson had his benefit game in May, it was coincidence that Liverpool’s opponents were Bolton, and the two brothers were made captains for the day.
“That was one of the proudest days in my life,” said Mrs. Hanson.
“I was really thrilled, but refused to favour my sons. If Alf had scored I would have been pleased for his sake, but sorry for Stan.
“He did not score, but I know he was trying hard, because his wife had a friendly bet with Stan’s fiancée that he would beat his brother.”
Although Mrs. Hanson has season tickets for the Liverpool stand she preferred to go into the cheaper enclosure on that occasion.
“I knew I would not have been able to keep still. I was so excited, so I went into the popular enclosure and thoroughly enjoyed myself shouting excitedly to my two boys,” she said.

“I used to shout for Alf eighteen years ago,” she said, referring to Alf’s school football.
“I can well remember running up and down the line shouting encouragement and criticisms.
“Even in those days Alf, who has always played outside left, was recognised as a match-winner. He played for Bootle schoolboys for two years and I travelled with the team to Manchester and Bury.

“While I was sorry to see Alf leave Liverpool, I have always thought it was a wise move.
“The crowd can have too much of you. Moreover, I feel that there is a much better opportunity for Alf to get an international cap now that he is with a London club, and nobody can deny he has earned it.
“I am delighted that Chelsea are opening the season on Saturday with a visit to Liverpool, for it enables me to see Alf in action at Anfield without the necessity of travelling very far. That will come later.

“My husband is going to Bolton to see Stan play against Charlton, and we will compare notes afterwards.
“What I am hoping for more than anything is to see Alf score against his old side and, what is more, I am confident he will do so on Saturday.”
(Daily Mirror: August 25, 1938)

Alf Hanson
Alf Hanson

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