October 1, 1951
Twelve months ago a 22-years-old labourer at Bromsborough candle works who was offered a trial with Liverpool thought so little of his prospects of making good that he was in two minds whether to avail himself of the opportunity.
The thought of making his living as a professional footballer had never entered his head. Even when he had decided to accept Liverpool’s offer his idea ran only to the possibility of amateur status. Over the week-end this same young man has seen his name in the headlines after as promising a debut as any I have seen in post-war football.
It would be foolish to predict at this stage that Jack Smith, follower in the footsteps of Albert Stubbins, is going to be a sensation, but he certainly pleased all who saw him against Derby County at Anfield.
It was a big ordeal for a lad who up to eight months ago, had had no experience other than just junior football and in Liverpool’s “B” team. No wonder Smith told me after the game that he was so nervous in the dressing room that his tummy seemed to be turning over and over – “though I felt all right as soon as the match started,” he added.
He told me that he was recommended to Liverpool by Keith Peters, who was once on Liverpool’s books and has acted as scout for the Anfield club. It looks as though Peters has done Liverpool a good turn.
With a bit of luck, Smith might easily have had a hat-trick. As it was, one goal and the spadework which made another was an encouraging start.
(Source: Liverpool Echo: October 1, 1951)