Rocky Road Story - Andrew Kelvin

Broomy

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Tuesday - November 08, 1892

Tommy:
"It's been a jolly good season for Liverpool hasn't it, we've played beyond expectations and it can only get better." Mr John Houlding had walked into the shop looking to purchase a new black silk top hat. Grandpa gestered for the shop to be closed as Mr Houlding was brought straight through to the back room.

As i was pouring the tea, Mr Houlding looked in my direction "Young man, if I may have your attention... some say i'm a dreamer but i'm not the only one... I believe with the way this team is playing at the moment and with the results witnessed already, it won't be the Lancashire League we'll be playing in next season, we stand an almighty good chance of securing a place in the FA League next year...."

"That would be an amazing achievement Mr Houlding. Even to see us challenging for the Lancashire League title in our inaugural season at the moment is unreal" I said.

"All credit now must go to Mr John McKenna and Mr William Barclay." Mr Houlding admitted, "Their mission this season was to assemble a team that will sustain the tradition of our Anfield Road enclosure and with the attendance numbers increasing every week I believe they have achieved that goal."

"Well they certainly have exceeded all expectations Mr Houlding, it's a mighty good team ye have assembled" Grandpa said as he lit his clay pipe.

Mr. Houlding nodded his head in agreement, "Aye and I hold Duncan McLean and Tom Wyllie in high regard following their decision to follow in my footsteps leaving Everton to join me at this new club. It took some guts to do that and face the backlash from the Everton faithful of this city"

"That's loyalty at it's finest Mr Houlding" Grandpa said.

At this stage the smoke from the clay pipes and the large open fire was filling the room, i'm sure the mucous membrane covering the front of my eye were struggling to cope at this stage!

"The signing of Andrew Hannah from Renton was a major coup. I knew him from his playing days at Everton - he ozzes all the qualities of a captain, mark my words - he'll be one of the finest men to ever pull on a Liverpool jersey."

"Aye and don't forget forward John Miller, he's been in excellent form also." I commented as I stood to open the back door to release some of the smoke.

"We just need to get John Miller to pass the ball a bit more and then he'll be an exceptional player" Mr Houlding said with a wry smile.

With the door open, Mr Houlding looked out into the yard where Ben was working in the shed "I see you have a new chap working for you Mr Callaghan".

"Aye, not only is he a mighty good worker, he's a Liverpool supporter too..." Grandpa responded. "He had Malcolm McVean in with him a few days ago to get his football boot repaired. It was like a brand new boot by the time he finished it."

"Well that's what I like to hear Mr Callaghan. I tell you what, for our next League home match at Anfield" Mr Houlding looked at me... "When yourself and that fine man out in the shed there get to the turnstiles say your here as Mr John Houlding's special guests today and you'll get to see the match under the covered stand compliments of me."

"That's very much appreciated Mr. Houlding."

Ben will be delighted, I don't think he's actually paid in to watch a match this season yet...
 
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Broomy

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Wednesday - November 09, 1892

Joe Parr :
I'd only just emptied my chamber pot in the back of the garden when beyond the fence I heard; "Alright Joe, how's the form?"

I turned around and peering over the fence looking at me stood Tommy. "How r ya Tommy, I might call into your house later if you'll be home? I've only just secured myself a new job in Liverpool's Bold Street so i'll tell you all later"

"Ah congrats mate, that's sound Joe, i'll have the fire lit for you when you call and a celebratory brandy on the table waiting for you... My father is gone to stay with my uncle for a few days so I have the house all to myself"

"That's ace Tommy, see you in a few minutes!"

Living next door to Jim Callaghan and his son Tommy on Coniston Street in Liverpool had it's advantages down through the years with plenty of tales and stories to tell - hence why myself and Tommy have remained friends ever since childhood.

There's just me, my father Charles and my mother Isabella at home in the Parr household now at the moment with my other two brothers moved out...

Terence, my older brother is currently with the Lancashire Fusiliers which is a line infantry regiment of the British Army. I do worry bout him from time to time but he usually sends us all regular individual letters to update us on his travels.

My younger brother, Alfred, following his unsucessful trial with Liverpool is currently living with a family just outside Rochdale having signed for Rossendale Football Club just last week.

Working in the mines just outside Liverpool these last two years have taken it's toll on me, the work was tough down the pits and the pay was poor.

Luckily for me, my father has just helped me secure a full time job as a baker just off Bold Street in Liverpool... It's a Monday to Friday job but it'll be a half five start every morning. Having worked down the pits these last two years, working in a bakery is a whole new challenge to me - a new chapter in my life and I can't wait to get started... Only problem is, i've never baked anything me whole life so the first day on the job should be fairly interesting...
.
 

Commando

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Thursday – November 10, 1892



Tommy
: Something smelled delicious as I made my way into Grandma’s house on Rossett Street. Grandma insists that although I’ve returned home to Dad’s house that I must come here with Grandpa for my tea on the way home. That’s something that I’m mighty glad of, as the warmth of the house and the smell of the food drives away the cold that has lodged in my bones on the way here. From the aroma it smells like we’re having some kind of stew. I’m really looking forward to it along with some crusty bread. The thought of the bread brings Joe to mind. I wonder how he’s coping on his first day as a baker?

“Hello you two. I hope you’re hungry”? Grandma smiles as she comes into the living room.

“I could eat a horse” I reply.



“Well there was no horse left in the butcher’s so you’ll have to make do with pork” she grinned.


“That came for you today” Grandma said nodding towards the mantelpiece. I looked across to see an envelope. I wondered who would be writing to me and then I recognised the handwriting. I realised that it was from Dad. Grandma had told me that he’d said that he’d write to me when he told her that he’d be going away and how sorry he was for everything. I just hadn’t expected one so soon. I took the letter from the mantelpiece and thought for a second about throwing it in the fire. I relented and put it in my jacket pocket.


The atmosphere in the house had changed after Grandma had told me about the letter. Even though I was hungry I struggled to finish my tea. I felt that I was being watched to see my reaction to Dad’s letter.
I’m sat here back at Dad’s house now with the envelope in my hand. I’d not stayed long at Rossett Street after tea fibbing that I was tired so that I could make my escape and find time to think. I’d used the same fib to cut short my visit to the Parrs’ house. Joe told me that he’d had a tiring but enjoyable first day in the bakery. The conditions were a million times better than down the mine, and to cap it all there were a couple of girls Ada and Eileen working there as well.


I looked at the envelope and with the feeling of a large piece of something caught in my throat I opened it.


Dear Tom,

I hope that you will take the time to read this letter. I would not blame you if you decide not to. I asked Grandma to tell you how sorry I am for what I did to you. I wish now that I had waited and told you myself. I loved your Mum so much and it was her who made me into the man I was and kept me on the straight and narrow. I know that she loved me back and loved you more than anything in the world. When she left us I was very selfish and thought only of my own misery. It was only when I was sitting in Grandma’s house when I went to see her that I realised how lucky I am to still have a Mum. I’ve come to Uncle Frank’s house for a bit. I want to make it up to you for the way that I have been. Uncle Frank will get me straight. When I am better I hope that I can come home and be your Dad again. It is for you to decide whether you can forgive me. I hope you can and promise to never let you down again.


Dad


I’ve been sat here now for over an hour with so many questions running through my head. Should I rip the letter up? Should I reply to it? What would I say. How do I feel about what’s happened?



I’ve decided to sleep on it before deciding. Hopefully things will be clearer in the morning.
 

Broomy

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* The Rocky Road Player Profiles *
#2

JOE PEARSON

Birthplace : Lancashire, England
Signed : 1892 from West Derby
Total LFC Games : 1
Total LFC Goals : 0

Tommy :
I've just been given the inevitable task of writing this month's Rocky Road Player Profile into Grandpa Mike's notebook...

This month's featured player is Joe Pearson... It's a tough task - i'm one of only a few people who can claim to say they saw Pearson play for Liverpool as he only made one competitive appearance for us - a match that saw only 300 spectators attend Anfield to watch the newly formed Liverpool team play in their blue and white quadrant kits.

Joe Pearson signed for Liverpool in the summer of 1892 from West Derby arriving highly recommended by followers of Bolton where he played a number of games in their left-half back position during their FA Cup run of the 1888-1889 season.

Joe had a good start to his Liverpool career when he was selected to start in our first ever Lancashire League match where we trashed Higher Walton 8-0 on September 3rd, 1892. James Kelso was out with an injury so Joe Pearson was given the opportunity to stake a claim in the starting eleven. Joe had a good game in the half back position, he maintained possession of the ball very well that day, taking the ball from the backs Andrew Hannah and Duncan McLean before feeding it to the forwards, as well as dispossessing the opposing players on numerous occassions.

Unfortunately, to the surprise of many, that was to be Joe's only competitive appearance for Liverpool....
.
 
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Commando

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Friday - November 11 1892


Joe:
“Are you even listening cloth ears”?



Tommy: “Sorry Joe. What were you saying”.



Joe: “I was saying that me Mam is pleased not having to wash my filthy pit clothes any more.

Listen, I can see you’re not in a talking mood. I’ll pop round and see you when you get in from your Grandma’s later”.



Tommy:
“Right you are Joe. I’ll hopefully be better company then”.



Joe: “See you later then. Don’t forget to take the loaf home”.



Joe was right. I wasn’t in a talking mood. It was good of him to pop in on his way home to drop a loaf in. A couple of free loaves a day was a perk of working at the bakery. I’d hardly slept last night thinking about the letter from Dad. I’d finally decided that I would write back to him. But what to say was a whole different matter. I was still very angry with Dad. We’d never really been like my friends and their dad’s. It seemed to me that Dad always thought of me as weak. Even before I’d gone to work in Grandpa’s shop instead of being a manual worker like he was. The fact that Mum and Grandma had stuck up for me just seemed to confirm my weakness to him. I’ve started writing the letter in my mind a couple of times, but not got much further than “Dear Dad”. I’ll try to put all thought of Dad and his letter to the back of my mind and think of more pleasant things. Liverpool are to play Fleetwood Rangers tomorrow in the Lancashire League. I’ll be watching it along with Ben in the covered stand, thanks to Mr John Houlding. I’m sure that Liverpool will put the defeat to Blackpool behind them and getting back to winning ways. Let’s hope that John Miller or Tom Wylie have their scoring boots on.
 

Broomy

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Saturday - November 12, 1892

FLEETWOOD RANGERS 1 - 4 LIVERPOOL
LANCASHIRE LEAGUE
THE COPSE GROUND

Joe Parr called over to the house last night with news that the match is actually in Fleetwood and not Anfield today...

We must be crazy I though to myself as I knocked on Joe Parr's front door. It was half six in the morning.... Unfortunately Joe's mother Isabella Parr opened the front door "Is everything ok Tommy, do you realise what time it is?"

"Everything is the finest Mrs Parr, i'm just looking for Joe... Is he awake yet?" Well I definitely wasn't going to tell Isabella Parr where we were off too today. Dad calls her "The Who, What, Why, When, Where Woman" and with very good reason... She was the private investigator of the street, there to welcome all information and distribute it to all the women living on the street...

Seconds later Joe appeared, "Alright Joe, are you ready to go...."

"Where on earth are you off to at this hour of the morning Joe" Mrs Parr said as she looked him up and down.

"We're on our way to Fleetwood Town for their match against Liverpool Mam, we've organised to stay at Uncle Robert's house in Bispham so i'll be home tomorrow."


"Ye's are hardly going to cycle that length... Are ye's mad, in this weather? That will take ye hours.... Well come here, you'll catch pneumonia dressed like that", Mrs Parr disappeared and returned with two woolly scarves and hats for myself and Joe.... "Mind yourselves and take care cycling on those old lanes now."

Joe pushed his bike out of the house and we were off. It was nearly half twelve by the time we made it to Blackpool when Joe shouts out... "I'm bolloxed Tommy, let's go into Blackpool and rest for a few minutes?"

I'd never been to Blackpool before and boy it didn't disappoint. The promenade by the sea looked incredible with its striking piers. In the distance, construction was taking place on a structure to be known as Blackpool Tower. An old woman walking past us told us "Twill be dee Eiffel Tower of England - set to be completed in two years time in 1894."


Over six hours after leaving home we finally made it to Fleetwood Town. We were wrecked by the time we arrived. Joe suggested we head straight to the Fleetwood Promenade - "Jeez Joe, the sights here are boss with that view across Morecambe Bay." It was a cold windy winters afternoon on the Fleetwood seafront but kick off wasn't till three down at the Copse Ground which we had yet to locate. "We should have brought a few towels with us Tommy and went for a swim."

"You'll definitely bring pneumonia home to your mother if we go swimming in that sea today Joe"
I quipped.

On our way to the ground, news began to filter through that James McBride and Jock Smith were back in the starting line up again for Liverpool having missed the 3-0 defeat to Blackpool last weekend.

We were completely outnumbered when we arrived at the ground, only a handful of Liverpool supporters made the trip to the Copse Ground. It's safe to say we were the only two to cycle the distance.

Fleetwood started the game strongly with their forward James Brogan catching our attention early on. Luckily for us, John Miller opened the scoring for us but seconds later that man James Brogan scored an incredible goal for Fleetwood, it was a terrific long range shot - I have to admit, it was one of the best goals i've ever witnessed. It was 1-1 with just minutes played. Joe looked over at me "This game is shaping up to be a cracker, i'm fair glad we didn't miss this game now, eh?!"

Liverpool looked the stronger team as the game worn on and it wasn't long before Malcolm McVean had the ball in the Fleetwood net. Forwards John Miller, Malcolm McVean, and Hugh McQueen were having a wonderful game. McVean grabbed himself a second goal just before half time leaving Liverpool well on top at half time.

Fleetwood's goalkeeper was severely tested and under pressure throughout the second half. John Smith grabbed the fourth goal following a sharp screw shot with the game ending in Liverpool's favor by four goals to one. John Smith was undoubtedly man of the match, a fine performance from the center forward but it was the new man Matt McQueen, at centre half who caught my eye.

We left the ground eleated, to see one of our main competitiors Fleetwood Rangers lose their first League game of the season was well worth the trip...

We grabbed our bikes and made our way out of Fleetwood, darkness was beginning to set in, "So where exactly does you Uncle Robert live Joe?" I questioned...

Joe turned and looked at me sheepishly "I actually don't know Tommy, all I know is.... He owns a farm somewhere in Bispham..."

Liverpool (2-3-5): Sydney Ross, Andrew Hannah (c), Duncan McLean, John McCartney, Matt McQueen, James McBride, Thomas Wyllie, Jock Smith, John Miller, Malcolm McVean, Hugh McQueen.
 

Broomy

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Sunday - November 13, 1892

Joe Parr : Tommy hasn't spoken to me all morning, he's still pissed with me. Following the match yesterday, we had quite the eventful evening cycling around Bispham.

Bispham is a village on the Fylde coast in Lancashire. I'd never been to the village before or to Uncle Robert's house in me life, all I knew was he lived on a farm in the countryside.... News that didn't go down very well with Tommy.

After a number of unsuccessful attempts asking the locals if they knew of a Mr Robert Parr, our last option was to call into the local police house to ask. A young policeman appeared who quite unwillingly directed us in the direction of Uncle Robert's farm.

With darkness falling we finally found the old country cottage, opening the old rusted gate we walked into the yard. What we never realised was... It's not the dog you have to watch when you enter a farmyard in the country but the male goose - the bloody gander...

Tommy had just stepped off the bike and had hardly walked more than two or three hundred yards under the moon lit sky when the gander attacked.... I can still see the feathers flying up in the air while Tommy seemed to be fighting for his life ... With the commotion out in the yard, the front door of the cottage opened and out came Uncle Robert running wielding an old sweeping broom over his head ready to attack "the invaders" in his farmyard...

I'm still laughing.... The gander bit Tommy so hard in the leg, he actually still has the remains of a deep purple bruise left on his leg this morning... We stayed up till midnight last night, Uncle Robert and Aunty Maureen were quite the storytellers.

I'm sitting in the kitchen here this morning talking to Aunty Maureen showing off my new baking skills while Tommy is down in the dairy helping Robert milk the old friesian cow for this mornings milk for our porridge...


Tommy : We stayed till nearly midday in Bishpham before our long trek home. Life seemed so much simpler on Joe's uncles farm compared to city life in Liverpool, i'm sure we'll be back some day....
.
 

Broomy

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Monday – November 14, 1892

Tommy
: Grandpa was in the backroom sorting through fabrics when the shop door opened and in walked a well suited business man... "Good morning, i'm shopping for a warm heavy Winter's jacket and was hoping you might stock them here"

"Morning Sir, we have a fine selection here at the front of the shop, any colour in particular you’re looking for?"


As we were rummaging through the selection of jackets, Grandpa walked into the shop front, "Good Lord, if it isn't the man himself, Mr John Alexander Brodie, you are very welcome to Callaghan's Tailor shop". Grandpa held out his hand to shake his hand. "I hope my Grandson Tommy Callaghan is looking after you?"

"Good morning Mr Callaghan, he certainly is and a very fine job he's doing aswel..."

I'm staring at Mr Brodie now but i'm still non the wiser to who he actually is! Just then Grandpa introduced us...

"Tommy, it is my great privilege to introduce you to the man whose invention has revolutionised football, Mr John Alexander Brodie. Tommy, remember last year in September 1891, the Football League decided that Goal Nets should be used between goal posts in all football games from now on? Well the man who invented the nets hails from Liverpool and is standing infront of you right now."

"Your very kind Mr Callaghan, it's an invention that i'm particularly proud of, it's a delightfully simple concept; a pocket in which the ball may lodge after passing through the goal. My football nets are quickly becoming in high demand across the World."

"I've no doubt Mr Brodie"
Grandpa quickly remarked, "it's a fantastic piece of innovation, it takes away any questions now of whether a goal should stand or not and those contentious referee decision as when that ball ripples the back of the net it's clear to everyone in the ground whether it's a goal or not"

"Aye, it first trialled in Stanley Park in 1889 and just last year I applied for a patent that was accepted by the authorities. I'm a very proud man to see the FA has come on board with the nets."


Grandpa looked at me "So everytime the ball hits the back of the net from now on you'll have this man here, Mr John Alexander Brodie, to thank."

After that fine introduction, poor Mr Brodie had no choice but to purchase a jacket before he left the shop - that's probably why Grandpa is such a great businessman...

SideNote: Mr John Alexander Brodie passed away in 1934 and Liverpool City Council named a road “Brodie Avenue” after this great engineer. Read more about him on his Wikipedia page Here

Part 1

Part 2
 
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Broomy

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Tuesday – November 15, 1892

Grandpa Mike :
Over 3,000 people attended the friendly match yesterday down at the Perry Barr ground where Liverpool faced Aston Villa - a match where they would be truly tested. With neither myself or Tommy financially able to justify the high cost of travelling down we were forced to wait till this morning to read today's Birmingham Gazette's Newspaper match report...

Birmingham Gazette: November 15, 1892

"The members of the Aston Villa football club and the Birmingham football public generally are a long suffering people, but they must have been utterly disgusted with the display given by the team which the Villa committee thought good enough to put in the field at Perry Barr yesterday in a friendly match against Liverpool.

True it was ‘only a friendly match’ so it ‘did not matter much’ but as the authorities thought fit to make the same charge for admission as to ordinary league games the public had a right to expect that the committee would pay some regard to the honour of the club and show some consideration for their feelings. But instead of that the Villa teamincluded only five or six first team players and although there were one or two good individual efforts, the eleven, for three parts of the game at least, were hopelessly outplayed.

This is not fair dealing with the public, and it is no excuse for the Villa managers to say they only did as other clubs have done. The Liverpool men were a well-balanced team in every respect, and some very fine individual and combined efforts were seen. The Villa have to thank Cowanand Dunning for the fact that they were not more decisively beaten.

The visitors won the toss, and the Villa kicked off up hill. After the opening exchanges Liverpool got down the right and Russell fouling the ball, the visitors scored with a good shot on the left, McVean, who gave the ball the final touch, being put on side by Dunning trying to clear.

Almost immediately afterwards Liverpool scored again after a smart piece of play. These reverses stimulated the Villa somewhat, and getting well up the field Hare put in a good shot, which the goalkeeper cleared.

The visitors were hard pressed for a time, their backs having plenty to do. Hare got in another good one, but it went over the bar, and Liverpoolfrom the goal-kick got away. Very fine work by Hodgetts and Campbell, however, enabled the Villa to attack again, and when the visitors retaliated, Cowan came to the rescue in brilliant fashion.

The Liverpool forwards, admirably supported by their half-backs made a desperate attack on the Villa goal, Cowan, Wollaston, Russell and Dunning all being called on. But the ball was got away, and Brown made a fine run up the right, his effort being spoiled by a mad shot by Hare.

Then came another fine run by the visitors and McBride sent in a grand shot which Dunning cleared at the expense of a corner. Next the Villa attacked but Ross saved cleverly, after which Dunning gave the crowd a taste of his quality by twice in succession saving at close quarters in magnificent style. Wollaston, in trying to head out, gave a corner, but it was got away. A similar result attended another corner, and then Hare made a grand run, but had no support.

Again Liverpool took up the running, and the result of a good combined attack was that McQueen headed a third goal. The Villa made an attack but it was in a half-hearted fashion, and Brown spoiled the chance. Away went Liverpool to the other end, and Dunning saved in brilliant fashion, with a man on top of him. Trying hard, the Villa, through Brown, forced a corner, but the ball was safely cleared and half-time came with the score – Liverpool 3 goals; Villa 0.

One commencing Villa attacked for a time, but were driven back, and in turn compelled to act on the defensive. Brown made a grand run down the right, and though finally dispossessed by McLean. Cowansent the ball back and, after a desperate scrimmage, Campbellrushed the ball through the Liverpool goal.

After this Villa got two fouls in good positions, but nothing was done with them. Hodgetts made a grand shot which just went outside. The Villanext forced two unproductive corners and, playing up better maintained a perfect fusillade on the Liverpool goal, Cowan and F. Burton especially putting in the shots.

The Liverpool defence however was thoroughly reliable; Ross in goal making some very fine saves. Still keeping up the pressure, the Villaforced a corner. It was cleared and then Liverpool broke away. It was only for a time, however, and the Villareturned to the attack and after some vigorous work Davis scored. Nothing more was done, and Liverpool won by 3 goals to 2."

Liverpool: Sydney Ross, Andrew Hannah, Duncan McLean, John McCartney, Matt McQueen, Malcolm McBride, Thomas Wyllie, Jock Smith, John Miller, Malcolm McVean, Hugh McQueen.

(Birmingham Gazette: November 15, 1892)
Source : The fantastic playupliverpool website at https://playupliverpool.com/1892/11/15/liverpool-beat-aston-villa-in-birmingham/ by kjehan
.
 

andyclegs

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The Rocky Road to Anfield

Wednesday - August 31, 1892

Tommy :
The unbraided wick flickered slowly into life as I lay in bed, negative thoughts flooded my consciousness. My father had always thought of me as an impertinent and ungrateful little tosser but this was taking it to the extreme, pushing the boundaries to its limits. It was the night before the match. Would I follow Grandpa Mike to Anfield or take the safer option and go to Goodison Road where my father Jim would be.

I still see the dad I remember, a fascinating man with a way with words, he was funny and had a knack for telling a story. That all changed when Mam passed away. My father would be at Goodison tomorrow, he was fully acquainted with Everton's origin, it's rise and fall, he'd been there during it's struggle for existence to its success in that 1890–91 season.

However, all summer there was an aura of heightened interest, an air of mystery surrounding this newly formed Liverpool club. Rotherham Town who were just crowned Champions of the Midland League were the opposition and I wanted to be at Anfield tomorrow but I knew i'd get a right bollocking off my father if he ever found out.
.
Excellent research as I didn't know Rotherham Town were Midland Champions. Not a bum side at all...….
 

andyclegs

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Saturday -September 3, 1892

LIVERPOOL 8 - 0 HIGHER WALTON
LANCASHIRE LEAGUE
ANFIELD

Grandpa Mike : It was the morning of the match, the first time this new Liverpool team would play a competitive match. Rumours are circulating that centre forward John Miller may miss the match due to injury so I assume Malcolm McVean will be taking that position.

I arrived at my tailor shop early this morning before young Tommy arrived. Tommy was my tailor apprentice and was quickly becoming an expert in the skills involved in cutting and tailoring bespoke jackets, coats and trousers. I felt like a master of the trade passing these skills down to the next generation, keeping the shop in the family name.


Tommy : Grandpa already had the tailor shop opened when I arrived "We'll be closing the shop early today, it's a 3:15 kick off at Anfield today son"

Cumuliform clouds gathered overhead with rain showers falling intermittently. We arrived at Anfield early, there were hardly any spectators, the seats and benches were empty, you could actually count the numbers. Only 300 spectators turned up for Liverpool's first ever competitive match.

The rumours were right, John Miller failed to make the starting team again through injury so Malcolm McVean would have to debutize in the centre forward position.

The game was due to start at 3:15 but we were approaching ten to 4 and there was still no sign of the Higher Walton team showing up? They finally arrived just after 4 - nearly three quarters of an hour later the match finally kicked off through Malcolm McVean.

The sheer determination and class of this Liverpool team shone through, Higher Walton were outplayed in every position which resulted in an 8-0 drubbing. Jonathan Cameron, Joe McQue and Jock Smith all scored 2 goals each with Jim McBride and Malcolm McVean securing the victory. It was an incredible victory considering the team had only been put together a few weeks ago...

Team (2-3-5): Sydney Ross, Andrew Hannah (C), Duncan McLean, Joe Pearson, Joe McQue, James McBride, Thomas Wyllie, Jock Smith, Malcolm McVean, John Cameron, Andrew Kelvin.
Secretary: William Barclay.
Goals: Jock Smith (2), James McBride, Malcolm McVean, John Cameron (2), Joe McQue (2).
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Didn't we play that formation last night v palace in the second half with virg and joe sweeping-up at the back?
 

Commando

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Thursday - November 16th 1892



Grandpa Mike:-
Young Tommy has been quiet these last couple of days. I know from Elsie that he’s replied to the letter that Our Jim sent him. Although he didn’t say what Jim had written or what he’d written back to him. He isn’t his usual chatty self. If he’s not chatting to me he’ll be laughing and joking with Ben as they get on with their work. It’s just occurred to me that I may have something to cheer him up.

“Hey mister, you were missed in church on Sunday”.



Tommy:- “Missed”? Who would be asking after me? I could only think of the Parrs, but they knew where me and Joe had gone.



Grandad Mike:- “Yes. Your young lady friend was asking Grandma and me why you weren’t attending”. I can see his face reddening. This has got his interest.



Tommy:-And what did you tell her”? Ruth was asking after me.



Grandpa Mike:- “We told her you were away to see your sweetheart in Blackpool”.



Tommy:-
“What? Why did you say that”?



Grandpa Mike:-
“I’m only joking. We told her that you’d gone to see the football and that you’d be back in church this Sunday. That seemed to please her”.



Tommy:-
“I don’t know why, we’re not friends or anything. We only went to the same school”. So, Ruth was pleased? I was caught by surprise the last two times we’ve met. I’ll be prepared on Sunday. But how do I prepare? What do girls talk about?



Grandpa Mike:-
Well he’s quiet again, but the worried, thoughtful look has gone from his face and a whole different look has replaced it. If I’m not mistaken he’s sweet on that young lady. Wait until I tell Elsie.
 

Broomy

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Friday - November 18th 1892

Tommy :
It was the day before our big match... Our FA Cup 3rd Qualifier is tomorrow against Northwich Victoria at The Drill Field. Just when I asked Grandpa who he thought would be starting upfront for Liverpool, through the front door of the shop a lad announced "I have a delivery here for a Mr Callaghan for 6 yards of red silk and red jersey fabric.

"G'wed lad and leave it on the table there." Grandpa said as he walked over to check inside the box. The shop was fairly quiet this morning, the delivery man had been the first person through the door. "Well that's all paid for Mr Callaghan, if you cud just sign here and i'll be on me way".

As Grandpa picked up the pencil and signed the form, I asked "Whats the red silk and jersey fabric for?" as i pulled it from the box.

"We've been asked to make 12 red silk ties and 12 suit pocket square hanker-chiefs for an upcoming show in the Liverpool Star Music Hall." Grandpa answered as he took the fabric from my hands to check the quality of it... Grandpa studied every inch of the fabric which seemed to be to his satisfaction.

I noted "The red fabric looks striking, it's a shame Liverpool don't wear a red jersey, ain't it? This red colour would look a fair lot better than the light blue and white halves jerseys we have at the moment with the dark blue shorts and socks.... With this fabric, we could make a few red jerseys and we could even decorate the cloth by sewing patterns on it - as in embroidering the Liver Bird on the jerseys"

"Well you can wipe that idea from your head this instance young man... We'll be sticking to the suits, as my father always said to me, stick with what you know best!"


A football team playing in an all-red kit would certainly usher in a period of unparalleled success for the club I thought to myself as I carried the box of fabric into the back room....


Sidenote: The Liverpool Echo claim "It’s not known why Liverpool made the switch from blue to red" in 1896, "but perhaps it was to differentiate from already fierce rivals Everton who had started in salmon pink and ruby red shirts, before switching themselves to blue and white."

However ThisIsAnfield's Jeff Goulding is of the opinion that because "Everton had decided to ditch the red shirts and opted for royal blue. Houlding quickly saw his opportunity and immediately purchased 20 red shirts from Jack Sugg’s clothing store in the city centre."
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Broomy

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Saturday - November 19th 1892

NORTHWICH VICTORIA 2 - 1 LIVERPOOL
FA Cup 3rd Qualifier
The Drill Field
Tommy : Myself and Joe were sitting in the corner of Murphys Tavern taking in the warmth of the open log fire waiting for Mr Scanlan to arrive with the result and news of the FA Cup 3rd round qualifier with Northwich Victoria.

Mr Scanlan arrived with a handful of Liverpool supporters just before half 10... The whole tavern went completely quiet in anticipation of every word Mr Scanlan had to say...

"We're out of the cup lads.. We lost 2-1... It was disgraceful playing in them conditions, the rain never stopped, the pitch was unplayable, pools of water lying on the field - sure it ended up being a long ball game which suited Northwich Victoria's style of play..."

"It got off to the worst possible start when we learnt that Matt and Hugh McQueen were left out of the team as the Liverpool committee expressed concerns over their eligibility so Joe McQue and Andrew Kelvin took their places in the team. Their absence no doubt weakened the side..."

"Tom Wyllie got us off to the perfect start with no more than ten minutes played on the clock. Then, against the run of play, Josh Hargreaves scored for Northwich just before half time. Harry Fecitt then grabbed a second for the home team, you could feel the tension on the side-lines lads"

"Northwich were probably the better team in the final few minutes of the match and Liverpool just couldn't find the equalising point. We lost lads, we're out of the cup..."


Liverpool (2-3-5): Sydney Ross, Andrew Hannah (c), Duncan McLean, John McCartney, Joe McQue, James McBride, Thomas Wyllie, Jock Smith, John Miller, Malcolm McVean, Andrew Kelvin.

Sidenote : Harry Bradshaw was in the Northwich Victoria team - a player who would go on to become one of the finest forwards to play for Liverpool scoring 51 goals in 138 appearances...
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Broomy

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* The Rocky Road Player Profiles *
#3

ANDREW KELVIN

Birthplace : Kilmarnock, Scotland
Signed : 1892 from Kilmarnock
Total LFC Games : 6
Total LFC Goals : 0

Grandpa Mike :
Unknown to us at the time, yesterday's 2-1 FA Cup defeat to Northwich Victoria was to be Andrew Kelvin's last competitive game for Liverpool....

Andrew Kelvin was one of a number of Scottish men signed by John McKenna in that summer of 1892, joining Liverpool from Kilmarnock. Playing primarily in the outside-left position for Liverpool, Andrew Kelvin only managed 6 competitive games for Liverpool - (4 games in the Lancashire league and 2 in the FA Cup in the 1892/93 season).

Kelvin left Liverpool in the summer of 1893. It's a shame things didn't work out for Kelvin at Liverpool. I'll always remember him for his turn of speed at Anfield with the ball at his feet with his fierce shot at the end of each run, but as a footballer, as an athlete, as a person, as an all round human being, he was elite - absolutely top drawer.

Like many other men at the time, Andrew Kelvin died just a few years after leaving Liverpool, in his native Kilmarnock in 1911 at the very young age of 42.
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Previous Rocky Road Player Profiles
#1 James Kelso
#2 Joe Pearson
#3 Andrew Kelvin
 
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Broomy

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Tuesday - November 22th 1892

Grandpa Mike :
We'd just sat down for our lunch break when Ben ran into the back room with today's Mercury Newspaper in his hand... "Wait till you hear this lads, your not going to believe it...." Ben began to read the newspaper ...

"In connection with last Saturday’s ties in the 3rd round of qualification for the Football Association Challenge Cup, we are officially informed that Liverpool have protested against the result against Northwich Victoria."

Tommy looked up at Ben "I wonder is that in relation to the questions over the McQueen's brother eligibily for the cup games or is it to do with the unfitness of the ground, apparently the pitch was unplayable but the match went ahead..."
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