August 5, 1953
Goalkeeper John Arkwright signs for Liverpool … and manager Don Welsh makes his peace with the Post Office. A letter posted a year ago by 20 year old John enclosing his signature as a Liverpool player failed to reach the Anfield ground – and Don thought he had missed the season’s goalkeeping discovery.
“No word from John,” said Don.
“He’s changed his mind.”
“No reply from Liverpool,” said John.
“They’ve changed their minds.”
So John, son of England Rugby Union international John Arkwright, now a publican at Sutton, near St. Helens, Lancs. decided to forget about First Division football.
But although equally skilled at Rugby, he remained true to to Soccer. He turned down two tempting offers by Rugby League clubs.
Three-star reports continued to reach Don Welsh on the astounding form of this 6ft. 2ins. goalkeeper playing for Crompton Rec, a works team in the Liverpool Combination.
This year Don decided to try again to sign young John – and he can now write this happy post-script to the missing letter: –
“Although I’d gladly sign him today as a professional, John will remain an amateur until his weights and measures apprenticeship is finished. What a find. And what a blessing we tried again.”
(Daily Mirror: August 5, 1953)