One rather interesting result of the inquiries I have recently made concerning the early history of some of the junior clubs has been the revelation that in several cases, thanks to the intervention of war and numerous changes of officials, there is no accurate record of the early history of the clubs. Present secretaries are doing their best to piece the stories together, and it is to be hoped that they will succeed, for it is good to look back into the years and review the struggles of early days and honour the names of those who planted the seeds of success. The Sefton Club, which earned an unbooked-for place in the limelight last week by playing sixteen men against Southport for half a game, is fortunate in assessing in its secretary, Mr. F. J. Applebee, a glutton for work and detail. His written record includes teams which appeared in every game played by the club since its foundation as The Aliens in 1907, every point scored and its scorer, and cuttings of all references to the club and its games. Mr. Applebee was one of the founders of the club, and has been its only secretary — a record of service only exceeded in Lancashire by Mr. W. Parlance, of the Manchester Club.

In its early years The Aliens was a schoolmasters’ club, and during that period Mr. J. G. Legge was its president. Starting with matches against third fifteens of the senior clubs, rapid progress was made, and when 1914 arrived first team fixtures had been secured with Birkenhead Park, New Brighton, Heaton Moor, Furness, Vale of Lune, Liverpool University, and Eccles — a strong side which was not revived after the war. Every player who could pass the doctor served in the forces, the majority from the early months, and many went under. There is something tragic about the fate of the men who played fullback for the club between 1907-1914. They numbered eight in all. Six were killed, one died of wounds, and the eighth returned so broken in health that he has since gone under. Six of the eight were members of the scholastic profession.

[see Postscript in H.W.Mitchell]

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