Balmer on the wing, Shafto centre-forward

Wednesday, February 22 – 1939
Liverpool are making big efforts to solve their outside-left problem by making an interesting, if bold, experiment for Saturday’s Football League game at Anfield against Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Ever since Herman Van den Berg underwent an operation for cartilage trouble, the position has caused concern. Bill Kinghorn, George Paterson and Harry Eastham have been tried there, but the results have not come up to expectations.

Now Jack Balmer, the inside left, takes over the role for the first time this season. I think Balmer will do well, and I like the experiment because Balmer can swing those centres over to the far wing. It is such centres on which Berry Nieuwenhuys thrives. The South African will, I think, be brought back into the game – and into the goal-scoring business.

Willie Fagan has been selected for inside-left – for the first time this season – and John Shafto comes in at centre-forward to make his third appearance of the season.

John Shafto.
1939 John Shafto
A further change is at left back, where Jim Harley displaces Bernard Ramsden to resume his partnership with Tommy Cooper.

Liverpool. – Arthur Riley, Tommy Cooper, Jim Harley, Matt Busby, Tom Bush, Jimmy McInnes, Berry Nieuwenhuys, Phil Taylor, John Shafto, Willie Fagan, Jack Balmer.
(Evening Express, 22-02-1939)

One comment

  1. John Shafto was born at Humshaugh Northumberland in 1918 he played for Humshaugh and Barrasford before signing for Hexham FC then of the North Eastern League, after being watched by Sunderland and Everton Liverpool signed him.

    In one game he was the hero of Mersyside when he scored two late goals against Everton to win the game 3-1, he continued to play for Liverpool in the early war years and also guested for Leeds and Brighton for whom he scored many goals he also represented the Army against their USA counterparts and scored 6 goals in a match played at Southampton.

    According to his late sister Mrs Heslop from Humshaugh he was involved in some Army drug trials and never returned to football after the war and ran a small grocers shop in Liverpool he died in 1978.

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