Wednesday, August 6 – 1952
A query by a Wallasey reader set me off yesterday on a statistical search which disclosed figures in relation to Liverpool and Everton players which are, I think, sufficiently interesting to all football fans in warrant inclusion here.
The question (which reader A.K. Hirst will thus now find answered) was: Which club has the most players on its books with over 200 appearances since the war in first team matches, and which player, of either club, had made the most number of appearances since the start of the 1946-47 season?
Mr. Hirst does not say exactly what he means by “first team matches.” I don’t know whether he wanted cup-ties included, or the figures for Football League games only. I have taken the latter as the fairest basis of comparison. Injuries apart, all players have the chance to play in the same number of League matches each season, but not the same total of cup-ties, if their side happens to make an early exit.
Based, then, on league matches alone, we find it is a “draw” between Liverpool’s Billy Liddell and Everton’s Peter Farrell for the honour of taking part in most post-war matches for their side. They have each figured in 224 in the last six years, an average of 37 matches per season. This is a fine tribute to their consistency – and also to their fortunate freedom from serious injury.
Liddell in that time has scored 77 goals, his 19 last winter being his best period of marksmanship, though he also got 18 in 1949-50.
Liverpool have three players who have more than 200 post-war games, the others in addition to Liddell being Lambert, 214, and Paisley, 207.
So far as Everton are concerned, only Tommy Eglington shares with his fellow countryman the distinction of over 200 outings for Everton. His total is 208, and his goals amount to 32.
The following are totals of other players who have made over 100 post-war appearances.
Liverpool – Taylor 196, Jones 184, Hughes 158, Stubbins 155, Payne 139 and Spicer 107. Baron requires three more games to complete his 100 League outings, as he finished up last term on the 97 mark.
Everton – Fielding 185, Sagar 163, Saunders 133, Wainwright 122 and Grant 106. Lello is nearest to reaching 100. His total at the moment is 81. It would have been well over the three figure mark but for his long absence through injury. Wainwright also would have been near the 200 honour had he also not missed a season and a half.
Incidentally Stubbins and Liddell have scored the same number of goals for Liverpool – 77 – each in League games.
(Liverpool Echo, 06-08-1952)