October 2, 1939
Since we have had friendly football I have met many people who, maybe because they are not satisfied with good, constructive play, without the crowd frenzy, have complained about the lack of excitement. I wish they could have been at Blackburn on Saturday!
It is not easy to get together a soccer team in wartime. We left Anfield in ample time to get to Blackburn, and at the time Liverpool had five players.
We waited at Ormskirk with Directors Messrs. Will Harrop, Walter Cartwright and W. Harvey Webb getting anxious. A supporter of the Reds, Mr. Bruce Williams, passed us in a car, and then along came Director Mr. S. Ronnie Williams, Ted Ashworth, Jack Strange and Bob Shaw.
“I’ll lash on to Blackburn and tell the folk you are delayed,” said Mr. Williams.
It was not until 2.10 p.m. that Messrs. George Kay and John Charles Rouse arrived in their cars, with the other players who had been doing their military instruction.
Away we went for Blackburn, thinking that the “delay” message would be delivered. It was not.
At Hekseth we caught up with Mr. Williams, who was lying underneath his car trying to get a jack fixed. He had blown a tyre!
With the arrival of the motor-coach, Mr. Williams and his friends abandoned the task of wheel-changing, joined us and left the car at the roadside.
After all the travel adventures, the Liverpool players went out to give a display of football which will long live in my memory. They walked home by five goals to none – and that score might easily have been doubled!
I appreciate that too much store cannot be placed on these friendly games, but as I saw the Reds going through the Rovers’ defence as easily and quickly as water passes through a sieve I could not help thinking of the “swing” tune, “It ain’t what you do, it’s the way that you do it.”
The brilliance of their play – they had craft, speed, understanding, method, defensive barriers, and 100 per cent, effectiveness – made one forget it was a no-point match.
The Liverpool goals were of the type every football critic dreams of writing about, Phil Taylor (2), Jack Balmer, Berry Nieuwenhuys and Willie Fagan were the scorers.
(Evening Express: October 2, 1939)