The same old Spanish custom


May 28, 1952
Judging from a chat with Mr. Don Welsh, Liverpool’s manager, on his return from the Anfielders recent Continental tour, there is still little or no improvement in certain foreign countries in the interpretation of some of the rules of Soccer, despite all that our FA have done to ensure uniformity.

According to Mr. Welsh, the Spaniards still indulge in the old Spanish custom of obstruction – and the Austrians are no better. This is not “dirty” play in the accepted sence and, says the Liverpool manager, was not confined to the games against Liverpool. Other matches which the Liverpool party saw between local sides produced just as much old-fashioned pushing and shoving and jersey-tugging as those in which Liverpool took part.

It is purely a question that they have an entirely different conception of the rules governing this class of thing from what we have here. In Germany it was different. There they play the game as we do, and Liverpool had no complaint. Not that they complained in the other matches. They realised that when in Rome one has to accept the national customs and make the best of them.

Liverpool proved a big attraction wherever they went. The gates average well over 30,000 per game, and Liverpool’s standard of play, and particularly the team spirit of the side, pleased the spectators considerably.

Although they suffered two defeats, Liverpool were by no means disgraced. The combined Vienna side which beat them 2-0 contained no fewer than six internationals who played for Austria against England last week, and the combined Madrid from likewise had six Spanish “caps” on view, so that it was no surprise that Liverpool had to lower their colours against such opposition.

Apart from minor knocks, the tour was not marred by injuries, which was better than a year ago when Eddie Spicer suffered a broken leg in Sweden which kept him out of the senior side all last season.

The Anfield players have now gone off for their well-earned close-season rest, but will be back in training in a couple of months or so, ready for the “off” for another strenuous season. It will soon be here!
(Source: Liverpool Echo: May 28, 1952)

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