Matt Busby: Letter from Sweden (May 29, 1939)

May 29, 1939
The Liverpool tourists are having a splendid time in Sweden. Matt Busby has sent Pilot the following letter from Stockholm:

“Here we are in Stockholm after a 350-mile journey enlivened by turns from ‘Nivvy’ with his ukulele.

“We were surprised at the grand stadium where we met AIK. Stands, ground and accommodation were first-class. We made four changes, Tom Bush, Bernard Ramsden, Harry Eastham and Bill Kinghorn coming into the team.

“I am afraid the breaks are going against us, for after 20 minutes, when it seemed only q question of how many we should score, Phil Taylor was carried off with concussion. With 10 men we could not hold them, for they play attractive football. One of their goals, however, was doubtful, but the 2-0 against stands.

“These two defeats have been disappointing to us, but if we can steer clear of injuries in the remaining matches I think we can atone. Phil Taylor and Jim Harley now look as if they had been sparring with Joe Louis.”

Mr. George Kay, manager of Liverpool, writes: “The bowing here wherever we are met is almost as good as physical jerks. Fortunately for us there is no demand for curtesy.

“Our boys were a little out of tune at Malmo, where we were beaten 5-4. This was due to the three days’ travelling. We also had Harley and Jack Balmer injured.

“They gave is a wonderful reception after the match, and our chairman, Mr. William John Harrop, referred to the value of football in fostering a friendly spirit among nations.

“No wonder they have big fellows over here. They feed so well. The Swedish hors-d’eouvre consisted of 24 varieties . . . just like a quick-lunch counter, but that was only the start of the meal … now off to Stockholm, a nine hour journey … the bridge fiends have settled down to a nice, long game … Chairman and Messrs. Richard Lawson Martindale, Stanley Ronald Williams and George Alfred Richards in one school, Tommy Cooper, Matt Busby, Arthur Riley and Jimmy McInnes in the other school … more later.”
(Evening Express: May 29, 1939)

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