August 10, 1954
Liverpool in a hurry for promotion – and ready to spend
“Back in a season” (Don Welsh)
One season will be enough for Liverpool – first post-war League champions and now in Division II – to get back to the top division, in which they spent forty-nine years before their relegation.
That’s today’s confident forecast – two weeks before the 1954-55 Soccer’ campaign starts.
Manager Don Welsh told me: “From the chairman right down to the youngest member of the ground staff, we are all resolved to win promotion in one season.”
And if the current playing staff looks like failing in their task, then out will come the cheque book that failed to save the club last season.
Don Welsh, surely the wearer of the widest smile in Soccer, still smiles. And that is an achievement in view if the bad fortune that has attended him for twelve months.
Look at some of the bad luck that has visited Anfield Road.
First injuries. Rarely could Don field the same team for more than two games. Six matches were finished with only ten Liverpool men still on the field.
Then came the match with Manchester United which meant the end of Eddie Spicer’s playing career.
That was in December, just before Christmas, the cheque book got working. For something like £50,000 the club recruited Dave Underwood (Watford), Frank Lock and John Evans (Charlton Athletic), Geoff Twentyman (Carlisle) and Tom McNulty (Manchester United).
But it was too late to save Liverpool from going down.
Then came the bombshell. Sammy Smyth, top goalscorer, signed from Stoke City, informed the club that he would remain in business in his native Ireland and would quit the game.
That decision meant Liverpool paid for the Smyth’s services to the tune of about £200 a match.
Don Welsh had a comment – a bright and bitter – free comment – on these three bad luck spots. Injuries and Eddie Spicer: “It was just bad luck.”
Signings: “They were good signings, but they came in at a bad time. Things were bad and confidence was low. Now for a new start, with all the players pulling together.”
Smyth: “Sammy is quite rightly looking to hos future and we accept that. We will miss him, but we’ll get by without him.”
(Daily Mirror: August 10, 1954)