Matt Busby here


March 3, 1944
Most intriguing part about Liverpool’s tie with Oldham Athletic is that Matt Busby, the Reds’ captain and also skipper of Scotland, travels to lead his side. Busby’s presence alone will put a few thousand on the gate, which should top the 20,000 mark.

Busby should make a tremendous difference to a side which suffered a shock last week when losing 6-0 at Chester. Busby is not only a brilliant individualist, but an inspiration to any team and he will weld together the defence, and prove the driving force behind the attack.

Liverpool will play, for the first time, a new “guest” in Stan Butler, the West Bromwich Albion winger, who has been playing with Southport. Butler should prove a distinct asset. This means that there are five forwards, including Don Welsh, for the other four positions. Whom the directors will leave out is a matter for conjecture.

The chief worry is in defence, where Jack Westby has been lost. The right-back position is not yet filled, but efforts are being made to get Phil Taylor.

Another tightening up “rivet” in defence is the return of Laurie Hughes to centre half.

Oldham may be a Third Division side, but they are still one of the most consistent away teams in the north, and in the Qualifying Competition earned seven out of ten away points. Fred Worrall, the Portsmouth and England forward, is the outstanding personality in the side, of course, but there are plenty of other “good ‘uns” to back up the Warrington lad. This will be Oldham’s first visit to Merseyside for two seasons, and while I expect them to be beaten, I am confident they will put up a wonder fight.

I would impress on Liverpool the urgent need for goals, for the following week when they visit Boundary Park they will not have either Balmer and Welsh, and they must try to win this tie tomorrow.

Liverpool: Alf Hobson, Phil Taylor or A.N. Other, Jeff Gulliver, Matt Busby, Laurie Hughes, Jack Pilling, (from), Jack Campbell, Jack Balmer, Don Welsh, Robert Beattie, Cyril Done, Stan Butler.
Oldham Athletic: Mark Radcliffe, G. Samuels, Tom Shipman, Tommy Williamson, Gray, Taylor, Fred Worrall, Jack Bowden, Eddie Chapman or W.H. Cottrill, R.O. Martin and Harry Tilling.
(Source: Evening Express: March 4, 1944)

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