Liverpool players get down to work


July 20, 1956
Although there was only one new face among the party when Liverpool F.C. players reported for training at Anfield to-day, there are still hopes that at least one more star name will be added to the number before the season commences.

The newcomer was Tommy Younger, the Scottish international goalkeeper, whose signing from Hibernian recently was one of Liverpool’s best strokes of business for some time.

Another Scotsman who had joined the Anfield staff is David Kerr, an inside forward who was signed from Bridgeton Waverley towards the end of last season. This was Kerr’s first appearance at Anfield on reporting day. Although not a full-time player at the moment, Kerr expressed a desire to turn in with the full professionals. He is shortly starting work in Liverpool.

Younger hopes to move into a club house very shortly. He will stay in a Liverpool hotel until it is available.

He told me that he was looking forward eagerly to his debut in English football, and that he felt he could not make it with a better club.
“Naturally, it will be a little time before I settle down among my new colleagues, but I think I shall soon feel quite at home.”

The Scottish international hopes that his wife and two-years-old daughter will be down here with him, installed in their new home before the season commences.

At the moment Liverpool’s full-time professional staff numbers 24, and they were welcomed by Mr. Richard Lawson Martindale, deputising for Mr. Thomas Valentine Williams, the chairman, who is in the Channel Islands. Mr. Herbert Robson Roberts, the vice-chairman, is out of town this week on business. Acting-manager Phil Taylor was also present.

Mr. Williams sent a message wishing the players the best of fortune in the months ahead, and hoped that their bid for promotion would prove successful.

In welcoming the professionals back to the fold Mr. Martindale said that they could make their own luck as they went along.

If the younger players especially were ready to discipline themselves, worked hard, and were determined to succeed they stood every chance of achieving their ambition to reach the top.

Give him a good start
Referring to Mr. Phil Taylor, the club’s acting manager, Mr. Martindale said he hoped they would all do their best to give him a really good start.

“He is at the beginning of a new career, and if you weld yourself into a real team in every sense of the word, and regard Mr. Taylor as your captain, I am sure you will do well.

“If any of you feel you have a problem, don’t keep it to yourselves. Go to Mr. Taylor and ask his advice. He will be glad to assist you, and, if necessary, will arrange for you to have a chat with one of the directors. We directors regard ourselves as part of the team, though we are not as important as you are, and we are always ready to help you.”

In thanking Mr. Martindale for his remarks, and also expressing his own good wishes for the success of the players, Mr. Taylor said he was sure they could create a team spirit at Anfield that would be better than any they had known for many years.

“I am convinced that by the end of the next season, if we all pull together, we can satisfy the desire of our supporters for promotion,” he added. “We must work hard, fight hard, and do our utmost at all times.”

In addition to Younger and Kerr, others who were having their first experience of a “reporting day” at Anfield were Dick White, who joined the club from Scunthorpe last December; Gerry Byrne, now fully recovered from the ankle injury he received during training on the tour of France, and John Arkwright, who was demobilised from the Army last March.

Keith Burkinshaw s due out of the Forces in October, when he will resume his career as a full-time professional. The club has three other players doing National Service in Bobby Campbell, Joe Dickson and Jimmy Melia. All these have a long time to serve yet.

Friday is rather an unusual day for the resumption of training. The idea was that of Phil Taylor, who felt it would be more of a gentle breaking in if the players came towards the end of the week, and then had the week-end free for relaxation until they get down to the more serious business next Monday.

(Source: Liverpool Echo: July 20, 1956)

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