The following fascinating article appeared in the Willesden Chronicle on 19th August 1904:
The Directors of the club have been overwhelmed with offers of help from rising amateur players, and on Saturday a trial game was given to two and twenty of these amateur “youngsters”. The teams played Whites v Stripes, the Whites eventually being the winners by no less than seven goals to one.
I was informed that each team had been carefully selected, and whatever a good local lad offered he certainly had an opportunity; thus there were about six nice young players from Kensal Rise clubs, and one or two, who shaped very well, will no doubt have further opportunities offered them.
The Whites had two very good halves, McClelland and Hopkins whilst the centre was the best player on the field, but the whole quintette was exceedingly good, and each had a hand (or foot) in the scoring – Scott (2), Spurin (2), Stagg, Vine and Jones, one each.
The only goal scored for the Stripes was put on by Evans, a young fellow hailing from North Wales. Gaffney, who has played back for London, showed up well in the first half, although he was at fault several times during the second portion of the game.
Bracey (Luton) played well at outside-right and I should have thought it would have paid the Strawplaiters to look after him, whilst Woottan, of Leyton, played a really good game. Certainly, upon Saturday’s form, several of those present should prove of immense assistance with the Rangers’ Reserves.
Quite a Picnic:
Saturday’s trial was something in the nature of a picnic, for the spectators consisted of the Directors of the Club with their professionals and one or two pressmen, and surely no set of players ever had a more critical audience. After the match both teams, at the invitation of the Directors, sat down to tea at the “Plumes” hotel.
Tomorrow will be a trial of another colour, for the Possibles v Probables will be the fare, and a different contest may be expected, for the committee have no easy task to select their “best” team, and the players will be most anxious to play for their places.
Getting into Condition:
During the past fortnight, the men have been under a severe course of training, and although they are feeling the effects of that at the present time, by the time September is here, they will be no doubt as fit as a fiddle.
The Rangers are devoting the whole of the receipts tomorrow and the following Saturday to our local charities; the admission will be only 2d, whilst the same small fee will be charged for the stands.
The railway company are running several special trains from Paddington, calling at Westbourne Park, whilst two or three special motors will also run, and all these trains will leave between three and four in time for the kick-off at 4. The fares are 5d from Paddington and 4d from Westbourne Park return, and for the benefit of the Willesden supporters brakes will start from Willesden Junction at frequent intervals, whilst a service of trains from Addison Road calling at Wormwood Scrubs, will run.
It is hoped that thousands will turn out and thus help our local charities. Two things I can promise them, a good game, and a view of one of the best grounds in England.
On Saturday last, I made the journey from Westbourne Park to Park Royal and got into the grand stand in just under 15 minutes. This is good – distinctly good.
The following are the two teams for tomorrow’s trial:
Probables: Collins – goal, Archer – right-back, Newlands – left-back, Cross (J) – right-half, Hitch – centre-half, Downing – left-half, Cross (W) – outside-right, Milward – inside-right, Bevan – centre, Blackwood – inside-left, Murphy – outside-left.
Possibles: Leather – goal, Handford – right-back, T.S. Fox – left-back, White – right-half, Shufflebothom – centre-half, McGelland – left-half, Stewart – outside-right, Wootten – inside-right, Stagg – centre, Ronaldson – inside-left, Singleton – inside-left.
T. Handford will be the referee and the kick-off is at 4pm.
How to get there:
Special trains to Park Royal from Mansion House: 1.43, 2.13, 2.43 and 3.13. Specials from Paddington: 2.53 and 3.30, 5d return. From Westbourne Park: 2.31, 2.59, 3.31 and 3.43, 4d return, from Addison Road: 3.30. Wormwood Scrubs: 3.38. Brakes from “Black Lion” Hotel, Kilburn, for ground at 1.45, fare 6d, single. Buses from Willesden Junction to ground.
(The above pic features Harry Collins and is from my collection. It appeared in the “Black & White” Illustrated Budget newspaper on 19th November 1904)