March 23, 1945
As they look round the terraces at Anfield tomorrow, where a crowd of at least 25,000 and maybe much more, will represent about £2,500 in hard cash. I can imagine Liverpool and Everton directors humming that old familiar refrain. “The More We Are Together.” “Liverton” Derbies never pall, and when, as in this case the game is a knock-out Cup-tie you can bet the gate will make the mouths of the fortunate clubs’ water more than somewhat.
Should you get exaggerated ideas of what the clubs eventually receive however, let me remind you of another old tune, which says that “all that glitters isn’t gold.” First of all the Chancellor, as near as makes no matter cellars half the gross proceeds, which takes a lot of the gilt off the gingerbread, and then the net proceeds have to be split three ways, between the two clubs and the League Pool.
If you, dear reader, are a Liverpudlian, you can crow over your Everton pals, for of the 38 war games Liverpool have won 18 to Everton’s 15, 5 drawn), and have scored 89 goals to 85. Not much in it, and there may be less after the next three meetings.
I know what you’re waiting for. You want to decide whether I’m an Evertonian or a Liverpudlian by the way I lean to this game. Honesty, I don’t think there’s a hairs breath between ‘em, and, as I’ve said before, I don’t care a tinker’s cuss which wins so long as we get a good, clean, sporting game. If we have to split hairs about it, my fancy is slightly – very slightly – in favour of Everton.
Very Little In It.
Yet it’s so close that even were I a betting man, which I’m not, I’d hesitate to speculate my hard-earned money either way. I fancy Everton because Liverpool latterly have not been impressive in attack. Yet the return of Don Welsh may after all that, and prove me, as I’ve proved before, a bad prophet.
If I could tip the winners with absolute certainty I shouldn’t be sitting in front of this old typewriter; I’d be paying super-tax and living in as much luxury as one can get these days. Should Welsh turn out Liverpool’s trump card the Reds may win, because then there will be still less between the pair.
We know the soundness of Everton’s defence where their regulars are concerned. What we have to take on trust is the ability of Morris, of Stockport, at centre half. He comes with strong recommendation, but has yet to prove himself so far as we are concerned.
Catterick’s return strengthens the Blues front line, for he knows where the goal lies, makes a beeline for it, and shoots well and often.
Wyles also is improving, and is developing into something of an opportunist if his three neatly taken goals against Preston are a true criterion.
Jimmy McIntosh is not available, and Boyes is the outside left.
Boyes was not impressive in his earlier games after his long lay-off, but last week was better, even if still leaving something to be desired.
Liverpool’s defence on the whole – I won’t make invidious distinctions man for man – is just as sound and reliable as Everton’s, which brings me back to where I started, that this is as close a match as anybody could wish, liable to go either way or just be a draw, which at any rate would leave the stage nicely set for the return.
Liverpool (from): Alf Hobson, Jim Harley, Jack Westby, Jeff Gulliver, Harry Kaye, Laurie Hughes, Jack Pilling, Jack Campbell, Berry Nieuwenhuys, Phil Taylor, Willie Fagan, Billy Liddell, Don Welsh, Horace Cumner.
Everton (from): Ted Sagar, George Burnett, George Jackson, Norman Greenhalgh, Jack Grant, Jimmy Morris, Gordon Watson, Harry Catterick, Stan Bentham, Cec Wyles, Alex Stevenson, Wally Boyes.
Sagar May Play.
Ted Sagar, England and Everton goalkeeper is now back in Liverpool after three years’ globe-trotting, in which he has served in India, Palestine, Africa, Italy, and France. He is likely to play for Everton at Anfield tomorrow.
(Liverpool Echo: March 23, 1945)