Roaring 20s by Wooltonian - part 4

Headlines of the Day

"Sparkling play by Sunderland but Liverpool Race home"
"Allan Ordered off the Field"
"Race Performs the Hat-trick"

Match 12 1929

Henry Race was only accredited with one hat-trick in the recent publication "The Official Liverpool Illustrated History" I think it's time the record was put straight. His first was in the following game against Sunderland. And for those who care about the truth, may I also point out, that his hat-trick at home against Bolton Wanderers 9-11-29 was his SECOND.

Riley, Lucas, Done, Morrison, Jackson, Bromilow, Edmed, Clarke, Hodgson, Race, Hopkin.

Kicking into the sun on a hot summers day could be very hard work.
Just as well today’s sponsors had the answer

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It was a brilliant afternoon, and the side winning the toss and playing with the sun would have a tremendous advantage, for old King Sol blazed right into the eyes of Sunderland, who played towards the Spion Kop. The many changes expected in the Liverpool team were cut down to three, Jackson going to centre half so that Lucas could come in at full back and Morrison also played.

The crowd today was a good one, and it had it’s appetite whetted by a goal scored in the fourth minute. It was a grand opening for the Liverpool side, and although Hodgson was the actual scorer, it was Clarke’s great web which provided him with the opportunity. Clarke made two perfect up the middle passes, the first of which was not taken up, and perhaps Liverpool were a bit fortunate to get such another pass. However, there it was, and Hodgson snapped up Clarke’s pass, and, finding he could not get through at the first attempt, he offered Race the opportunity, but he too found himself crowded out. So Race in turn, gave the ball back to Hodgson, who promptly put it into the net.

Sunderland were some time getting into their stride, and Liverpool might have increased their lead when Hopkin made a centre that went straight to Hodgson, who, however, found himself totally surrounded by defenders. England took the ball which was intended for Hodgson’s head.
So far Liverpool had been the most dangerous team, and Hodgson, although a ball from Hopkin seemed to be too high for him, he put his foot up to it, and McInroy had to save from the fine overhead kick.

Careful watch was being kept on Halliday, who is reputed to be the best centre forward in the league at the present time. Twice he was stopped by Done, but the Liverpool defence was well beaten when MacLean took a dive and headed the ball against the Liverpool crossbar.
Riley could have had no chance, for he was well away from the point where the ball struck the woodwork.

Edmed and Clarke were busy in a little scene that brought danger to McInroy, who, however, was very safe in the Sunderland goal. Clarke’s trickery was amazing. He cuddled the ball in the space of a yard, and often beat two men before he sent a ball out to the point of vantage. Race too, was clever, if not quite so successful as his colleague. Bromilow took a free kick that was pulling in all the time, but McInroy again, held it quite safely. Then Done was brought up to take a free kick just outside the penalty area, but got underneath the ball, which went over the bar.
Halliday had a nasty collision with Oakley, and when McInroy left his goal as a safety valve, Hodgson shot hard and low across him, only to see the ball travel across the face of the goal. Anyone sliding in would have been gifted with a simple goal.

Straight from this Sunderland went on to equalise, and it was their crack marksman who did the trick. He had had little chance prior to this due to a fine display by Done, but when the chance did arrive Halliday was not slow to take full advantage of it. Although it was not nice from Liverpool’s point of view to see him scoring, the spectators realised his smartness in picking up a ball that came from the rear and having it in the net in the twinkling of an eye.

Hodgson replied to this with a worthy effort. Sunderland retaliating with spirit, but they could not get through the Liverpool defence who were having a quality afternoon. Clunas made a centre that Wright back-heeled and caused Riley to make a reaction save, and when the Sunderland captain got possession again, he stepped forward and made a fine shot which very nearly beat Riley. A corner resulted. There were some very narrow escapes by both sides, and Hodgson had very hard luck with a shot that had everybody beaten, only to see it pass less than a yard outside the upright.

McInroy was saved again when Race kicked round a ball sent to him squarely from Hodgson. Race had a glorious chance, and one could see his disgust of himself for his failure to accept it. Hopkin got his name in the shooter’s book, and his shot required careful watching, for it had a lot of pull on it, but McInroy must have followed it’s flight very carefully, for he made a safe catch.

A free kick was given to Sunderland just outside the penalty area, and Clunas’s drive carried so much venom, that it hurt Done’s leg, but owing to an infringement by Lucas the kick had to be retaken. Clunas hit another ferocious ball, which this time struck Bromilow on the back of the head and knocked him absolutely stone cold. He was so out of it he had to leave the field for attention. Liverpool made an advance, and Hodgson had a shot, that had the crowd on their feet in celebration, only to see McInroy make what was the best save of the day so far.

Shortly after, a fine piece of dribbling by Clarke, ended with a fine placement, which McInroy also saved. Race also went close on Liverpool’s next attack. But as usual it was Hodgson that rose to the challenge of netting. It began with nothing more or less than a melee, but out of it Liverpool got a goal.

Hodgson brushing aside all challenges strode purposefully into the area and smashed the ball home, two minutes before the interval. A very late tackle by Allan, looked serious, when Gordon hobbled back to the half way line. The tackle was very cynical and warranted a strong caution from the referee. Halliday for once in a way, missed a glorious opportunity, when in his desire to make more room for himself, missed the opportunity for a sideward pass that would have resulted in a goal.

Half time; Liverpool 2 Sunderland 1

Liverpool found the sun a very awkward affair, and it was responsible in the main for Sunderland’s equalising goal. Jackson must have lost sight of the ball when he went up to head it, but there were other defective slips which allowed Halliday to get through and score a clean cut goal. This was the forerunner to some very thrilling moments at the Sunderland goal mouth, and McInroy was a wee bit fortunate to “get away” with a header by Hodgson. However, a third goal was made in the fifty fourth minute.

Done’s free kick rebounding off McInroy’s chest out to race, who quickly placed the ball into the net.

This was followed by a very sad state of affairs. Allan, the Sunderland centre half back, had been penalised several time so far, and appeared to be arguing the matter out with referee Watson. However this latest challenge on Hodgson was to prove fatal to the Sunderland man. For he was ordered off the park just as Liverpool were storming the Sunderland goal. Many people didn’t realise what had happened till the big centre half walked across the field towards the dressing room. The sending off of Allan was to be regretted, for his absence would probably spoil what was becoming a very entertaining match, but his continual sniping at Hodgson was grossly unfair and certainly not in the best spirit of the game. From this moment Sunderland played only two half backs, and consequently with their depleted strength left Liverpool as chief attackers.

Halliday was on the hunt for his hat-trick and sadly he appeared to twist his knee when making a stunning shot on the turn. McInroy kept Sunderland in the game with a tremendous save from a Hodgson header, which derived better. Minutes later he made another save but this time from a low drive by Hodgson. Gordon was certainly pushing for his customary hat-trick this afternoon. At this stage Liverpool were well on top, and Hopkin, when most people expected him to lob the ball into the goalmouth, cleverly tipped the ball backwards to Race, who slammed the ball into the net like a rocket to make the score 4-2.

The game became so one sided that it lost quite a lot of interest, Sunderland appeared to be sulking over the Allan decision and remained on the defensive. Although on one breakaway Halliday threatened to get his hat-trick once again, but Riley proved equal with a save low to his left. McInroy made two fine catches from crosses by Hopkin and Edmed, and a good save from a Jackson volley. Geed on by the efforts of McInroy, Sunderland came back into the game and were very unlucky when MacLean hit the bar. This effort gave Sunderland new spirit, even with a man short, for some minutes, they crowded on all sail and kept the Liverpool defence on tenterhooks by their surprising revival. Jackson tested McInroy again and Halliday also tested Riley, but neither ended in a goal.

At the eightieth minute, Race scored his hat-trick and fifth goal for Liverpool. He had a simple task, for the work leading to his goal was made by Hodgson, who beat the full back and released a vicious shot. McInroy stopped the effort, but the power of the ball knocked him backwards, and this left a simple tap in for Race.

Hodgson came close to completing his hat-trick on several occasion today, but none closer than his effort in the dying minutes. His close control in a crowd of surrounding players amazed the crowd as he spun away toward goal. His thunderous effort from all of thirty yards, gave McInroy absolutely no chance, but the woodwork came to save the keepers blushes. Never mind Gordon, I’m sure we wont have to wait too long before you add to your tally of hat-tricks.

Final score; Liverpool 5 Sunderland 2


Hat-tricks were a lot more common in the twenties, due to the open game which the spectators enjoyed. Here is the list of all those who gained hat-trick heroism.

Hat-trick Heroes of the Twenties.

Dick Forshaw 03/04/1920 Derby (Div 1) 3-0
Dick Johnson 25/09/1920 Preston NE (Div 1) 6-0
Danny Shone 19/11/1921 Middlesbrough (Div 1) 4-0
Dick Forshaw 25/02/1922 Arsenal (Div 1) 4-0
Harry Chambers 15/04/1922 Cardiff (Div 1) 5-1
Dick Johnson 26/04/1922 Arsenal (Div 1) 5-2
Dick Forshaw 16/09/1922 Preston NE (Div 1) 5-2
Harry Chambers 07/10/1922 Everton (Div 1) 5-1
Dick Forshaw 17/02/1923 Blackburn (Div 1) 3-0
Harry Chambers 29/08/1923 Birmingham (Div 1) 6-2
Jimmy Walsh 02/02/1924 Bolton (FA Cup) 4-1
Dick Forshaw(4) 18/10/1924 Sheffield U (Div 1) 4-1
Dick Forshaw 19/09/1925 Manchester U (Div 1) 5-0
Dick Forshaw 26/09/1925 Everton (Div 1) 5-1
Harry Chambers 25/12/1925 Newcastle (Div 1) 6-3
Dick Forshaw 28/08/1926 Manchester U (Div 1) 4-2
Gordon Hodgson 11/09/1926 Sheffield U (Div 1) 5-1
Harry Chambers 12/01/1927 Bournemouth (FA Cup) 4-1
Gordon Hodgson 22/01/1927 Derby (Div 1) 3-2
William Devlin (4) 31/08/1927 Bury (Div 1) 5-1
Gordon Hodgson 01/10/1927 Portsmouth (Div 1) 8-2
William Devlin (4) 01/10/1927 Portsmouth (Div 1) 8-2
Tom Reid 12/11/1927 Sheffield Wed (Div 1) 5-2
Gordon Hodgson 27/10/1928 Arsenal (Div 1) 4-4
Gordon Hodgson 26/12/1928 Burnley (Div 1) 8-0
Henry Race 20/04/1929 Sunderland (Div 1) 5-2
Henry Race 09/11/1929 Bolton (Div 1) 3-0

The legend Gordon Hodgson had racked up FIVE by the end of the twenties, but as most will know, he scored another TWELVE in the thirties. A Total of 17, which remains the record up to today.

My select eleven for the 1920's decade are as follows;

[Click on player's picture and you will see his profile on LFChistory]

1 Elisha Scott

2 Ephraim Longworth

3 Donald MacKinlay

4 John McNabb

5 Billy Cockburn

6 Tom Bromilow

7 Bill Lacey

8 Gordon Hodgson

 9 Dick Forshaw

10 Smiley Chambers

11 Fred Hopkin

I trust you will agree with my selections and hope you have enjoyed this trip through yesteryear.
One thing I think everyone will agree on, is Liverpool in the twenties, were certainly a force to be reckoned with. The front line of Lacey, Hodgson, Forshaw, Chambers and Hopkin certainly equalled if not bettered any future forward line when it came to goals scored. Hodgson the Hat-trick Hero's record of 17 top flight hat-tricks, and goals per games ratio, still remains unbeaten to this day.

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Cheers, and thanks to all those readers, who have made writing this, worthwhile.

The next time someone asks you about our history, I hope this serial has helped arm you with the information you require.

Special thanks to Steve Davies who edits all my ramblings and turns them into something worth reading.

Copyright - Wooltonian 2005 


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