September 11, 1944
The tragedy of Liverpool’s 2-2 draw with Manchester City in yet another Anfield thriller was the accident to Cyril Done, the Reds’ leading goal-getter and one of football’s grandest triers. After 62 minutes Cyril made a valiant effort to reach a ball many less enthusiastic would have let alone, and came into collision with J. McMillan, the City goalkeeper. Done’s left leg – not his right, as first thought – suffered a compound fracture, and he was hastened away to hospital.
It was, I am sorry to say, a serious break, but Cyril took it like the big-hearted lad he is, and even had the courage to smile and wave to the stand spectators as he was carried off.
Club followers will be pleased to know that Done is very cheerful, and all will join me in wishing him a speedy recovery. Cyril is the type of lad who will soon get over the trouble without loss or nerve.
If memory serves me right, Done broke a leg when a schoolboy, but that did not affect his nerve. The loss to Liverpool is severe, for Done has been the most prolific scorer during the war years, so much so that it is a novelty for Cyril not to score in a game. Yes, he even scored on Saturday. Liverpool can, however, make up their minds to be without Done this season, and that is a terrific blow to a club in the first few weeks of a season. Done is the fourth member of the Reds and Blues’ side to break a leg in the last year, for Billy Lowe and Cuthbert Tatters of Everton, and Billy Liddell, of Liverpool, were all victims last season.
The one consoling thought for Liverpool is that they have plenty of first-class forwards, and stars like Jack Balmer, Phil Taylor, Willie Fagan and Don Welsh can all play centre forward. I am certain that Done, in his moment of ill-luck, was made happier when he heard that Liverpool had saved a point, thanks to Berry Nieuwenhuys’ enterprising header two minutes from time.
The equaliser came during the period of extra time necessary because of the loss of time when Done was injured and was a typical Nieuwenhuys conversion. In my opinion the Reds deserved to save the game, for their fight against adversity was magnificent. To pull back a goal against such a classic side as the City with only ten men was typical of the Anfield utter refusal to take defeat.
Nieuwenhuys, as captain, had not been having a good day, but once the side was up against ut the South African became the inspiration. Nieuwenhuys urged his colleagues on to greater effort and while little attention was paid to actual position the lads responded in a manner which thrilled.
An erstwhile steady, unruffled City defence was jolted out of its complacency by the very virility of the Liverpool raiding, and with the crowd roaring encouragement to Liverpool the City tottered and fell.
No mistaking that the City, on this showing, are a brilliant combination with a well-planned “modus operandi” which will unsettle most sides.
Outstanding stars on a day to remember were Jack Westby, Phil Taylor – a fine first half had Phil – Jack Campbell and Nieuwenhuys, while the City have found a “smasher” in George Smith. The City will go places this season. A grand day at Anfield, with Chairman Mr. William McConnell as host.
Before leaving Anfield I can tell you that the stage is set for next Saturday’s international, but shareholders and members are asked to volunteer to Anfield to act as honorary stewards. In addition to invitations to wounded members of H.M. Forces in the area sent by the FA through the Liverpool club, several Merseyside firms – Napiers, ATM, and Harland and Wolff – have “adopted” parties of wounded who will be entertained at the match and to a social evening afterwards. A grand gesture this.
(Evening Express: September 11, 1944)