A drink to the health of the King


January 3, 1939
Football people never forget. Just about two years ago, Sir Francis Joseph presented each First Division club with a loving cup with the appeal that on each New Year’s Day officials would drink the health of the King.

The toast was duly observed at Brentford on Saturday. The function was also observed in the right manner at Middlesbrough.

The toast is…
Mr. Will Kelly, the Middlesbrough chairman was there to say just a word before the toast to the King. He paid tribute to Liverpool. “We congratulate Liverpool on their sporting display today,” he said. “We are glad we won, but you boys gave a fine exhibition and we wish you all the good fortune imaginable in your games in the future.”

Mr. William Harvey Webb, the senior Liverpool director present, was the first to drink from the cup, and in his response congratulated the Borough club on their splendid football.

Mr. Webb is right. Middlesbrough are a good side. Had I to take an outside chance for the Cup I would tip Middlesbrough.

But as Mr. Wilf Gillow, the manager of the ’Borough, said, “Good football sides, as football sides, don’t usually win the Cup.”

They have done so before and maybe that will happen again – we have two good football sides on Merseyside remember.

At Saltburn.
Liverpool had little chance to get out and taste the fresh air at Saltburn. The weather was not good and the boys spent most of the time playing table tennis, billiards and cards.

However, it was a nice rest and the party was joined during the week-end by Mr. Kelly and Messrs. Harry French and Jack Wilson, all of the ‘Borough.

Middlesbrough have made improvements in their boardroom since our last visit there. Nice modern panelling and up-to-date refreshment “bar.”

Mr. Wood, another director, said they were all proud to be able to put through the new work. He added: “Well, we are happy at the moment. We have a good team – and what is more important, a good balance at the bank.”

Wonder does that mean the Borough will be out buying players?

A visitor among the Liverpool party was Mr. George Evans, of Everton, who joined our card “school” at Harrogate and had a busman’s holiday.

Mr. Ernest Green, the Everton chairman, should have joined us, but he was worried about Alex Stevenson’s injury, and instead of going to Middlesbrough went back to Liverpool to see how things were faring.

At Harrogate I said “Good night and good luck to Liverpool.” I shall be with Everton in cup training today.
(Evening Express: January 3, 1939)

The Sir Francis Joseph cup. From the Everton Collection.
1939 drinking cup

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