Everton Tour of Argentina – 1909

Transcribed from the Liverpool Echo by Blue Correspondent, Billy Smith


The Liverpool Football Echo         July 24 1909


EA BainbridgeThe following is the exhaustive diary of Mr. E.A.Bainbridge, of the Everton Football Club, who, together with Mr. A.E.Wade, was in charge of the Argentine tour. Mr. Bainbridge writes as follows: –

On the 13 th May last, numerous friends and admires assembled at Lime-street Station, Liverpool to wish bon voyage to the Everton football team and officials on their departure by the four p.m. train to play a series of matches in two of the South American Republics. The number of players including the trainer (fourteen) accompanied by Messrs, E.A.Bainbridge and AR Wade directors, were as follows: – C.H. Berry, R. Balmer, J. MaConnachie, D.Rafferty, V. Harris, R. Clifford, H. Adamson, JD Taylor, T. Jones, W. Lacey, BC Freeman, W. White, and H. Mountford, and of course the irrepressible John Elliott, who has served the club faithfully and well during the last twenty-one years. We were a very merry and comfortable party. The train steamed out of the station to quite a demonstration of good wishes. Arrived in London, buses were in readiness to convey the party to the Imperial Hotel, Russell square, where we stayed the night, and at 9.28 the following morning left Waterloo for Southampton, but, prior to our departure, we were subjected to the not uncommon process of being snapshots on the station platform as our London friends were determined to have the last impression of us before we left.


We were pleased to receive and have a chat with F.J. Wall, secretary of the English Association. He did us the honour of being included in the picture. We were much concerned by the non-appearance of our old opponents, Tottenham, who through an accident, did not catch the train, but subsequently turned up by a latter one. In fact we were on our journey down stream before Tottenham caught us up by chartering a special tug. We were glad to see our old opponents again, and everyone was in good humour in anticipation of a pleasant outing. We were most fortunate in being able to go out in such a fine ship as the Royal Mail steamer Uraguaya (meaning “Heart’s Desire “) commanded by captain J. Pope, who did all in his power for our comfort and entertainment throughout the voyage of twenty-one days. In like manner we were indebted to the officers and crew, for the many acts of kindness we were the recipients of. In the evening of the day of our leaving Southampton, we arrived at Cherbourg, on the coast of France, and after taking on mail and passengers, proceeded on our trackless course and arrived, at our next port of call. Vigo on the coast of Spain, where we entered the following morning.


After a brief stay here we sailed on along the Portuguese Coast, reaching Lisbon about 8.30 a.m. we landed by steam launch on the jetty, and strolled on towards the now historical “Black Horse Square” the ever to be remembered place of the assassination of the late King Carlos. We visited the botanical gardens situation on the entrance overlooking the town, and made a halt at the Café Royal for comfort and duly presented ourselves ready to continue our journey. We weighted anchor about 6a.m. , and having taken up a good position on the observation deck. We were delighted with the natural beauty of our surrounding, and the approach to the River Tagus. The next call was Madera and we paid a visit to the cathedral, quietly strolling round and observing how native bargain. We had sufficient time to admire the liner Britain, which had just come into the bay. On Friday the 21 st , we sighted Cape de Vorde Islands, and unchored before St. Vincent on a sterious morning. We remained about three hours, and during that time were visited by a delegation of the officials of the Eastern Telegraph Company, who have about 150 employees’ stationed here. We given’ an exhibition of high diving and copper-diving, one of our party, who at home is somewhat careful, was so enamoured of the of the sport that he consigned to the deep his last bronze coin. We left for Percamburn, the first call in South America, and district, 1,610 miles for St. Vincent.


We were not long in settling down for a five days run across the Atlantic Ocean. We formed to various committees for sport and pastimes and suitable to the various nationalities on board. I may say that spectators at Goodison Park may look out for a variety of language and deportment this coming season. The day after leaving St Vincent, a small company organised a Derby sweep, and one of our stalwart drew a favourite and was on good terms with himself until we reached the Brazilian coast, when he found his horse had met with a serious spill. Sport on board was of the usual varied description, and was thoroughly enjoyed.


Tuesday, May 25, being the anniversary of the independence of the Argentine Republic, a grand carnival and fairly dress ball was orgainised and carried out on an laborate scale, the dresses’ being most costly and magnificent and would have done justice to Covent Gardens on festival night. It was an unqualified success in every detail. Modestly alone compels me to refrain front going into particulars as to my own part. At 2.30 p.m. we all assembled for the Argentine National Anthem, the Everton directors calling for three hearty British cheers for the Argentine Republic, and an extra “Football Whisper” which almost brought the roof off. Imagine for one moment 250 ladies and gentleman in character ranges from “Bridges” to the “Merry’ Widow” during and fraternising. “We paraded in pairs headed by “Miss R Balmer”as PO Peep” who appeared for this night and your humble corespondent. Dancing was indulged until 1 p.m. This was a red-letter day on board, and afforded great pleasure and fun for all.

Our first view of land after leaving St. Vincent was a passing Fernando islands sixteen hours run from the Brazilian Coast. This island, I understand is a signed station and convict settlement. We duly arrived at Pernambuco our first call in South America, and after taking on boards a quantity of fresh fruits etc, some of our boys indulged in shark fishing, but only with indifferent results. After breakfast we had to listen to one or two very fishy stories to the accompaniment of questions la Harry Tate. “Any luck.” On Friday, 28 th we duly arrived at Balia about 10 a.m., and left again at nightfall, after the usual exchanges of passengers and adding to our focks of fresh water. We were advised not to land, owing to the prevalence of fever. Numerous opportunities were afforded of studying and passing judgement on the numerous and various types of Brazilians, On Sunday June 30; we arrived at Rio de Janeiro at 7 p.m.


After dinner a small party by the kindness of the captain, visited the shore by a steam launch. We were afterwards informed there had been a fracas near the quay, two persons being dangerous wounded. All were up very early, the following morning, and Everton and Spurs players with their officials, chartered an electric car, and proceeded to Topica the antiquated, residence of the Imperator Dom Pedro the second. It is now name the Grand White Hotel. The scenery up the mountains was simply magnificent in its natural beauty, abounding with a profusion of all varieties of tropical vegetation. We were again subjected to the camera, and arrived at our ship at 4.p.m. Before sailing we had an opportunity of viewing this most magnificent natural harbour with its vast number of islands. At 6 p.m. we proceeded down the Southern seas and made for Santos, where we arrived at eight o’clock on the morning of Tuesday, June 1 st . It was a most beautiful morning. The river approach to this town is very much of a serpentine character, and is not without beauty and attraction. There was, however, a peculiar dampness in the air, and I suppose it was mainly owing to this and other causes that Santos in the past earned an unenviable name of “the white man’s grave.” We strolled round the town while general cargo was being discharged and coffee –Santos and San Paul being in the heart of the coffee producing country –was taken in.


In the evening we made tracks further South and on the morrow commenced putting in good work in the way of training, which was continued each morning in anticipation of our football obligations in the Argentine. About eight o’clock on a most lovely night we arrived at Monte Video, and realised a rapid change in the temperature, which had been taking place for the last two days. We found the weather cold at Monto Video, very much like an English winter. The camera friend was again at work in a magnified form. The harbour here was very full of shipping, and moving up the river on the day of our arrival, we had perforce to plough out course through 3ft of mud, our ship responding nobly to the calls made upon her by the engineers. At last we neared the end of our journey, which had occupied a matter of twenty-three days, and had been instrumental in our making many friends on board ship. To us footballers a most pleasant feature was the fact of our landing as fit as the proverbial fiddle, and ready and willing to show the Argentine people how first-class football should be played. Buenos Ayros was reached at 8 .m., and after entering the dock awaited the Government formalies with fortitude.


On landing we were made acquainted with numerous sporting representatives. Press and public were most cordial, and the Council of the Argentine Football Association, headed by Messrs Hugo Wilson, president, and F. Williams, secretary escorted us to the Hotel Metropolis. We only remained five days, no one in the hotel being versed in English. Our stock of French and Spanish had run out. A representation to the A.F.A., however, resulted in our being transferred to the Grand Hotel Castila, immediately oppose, were we remained during our stay in Buenos Ayres. On the very day of our arrival we played Tottenham Hotspur at Palermo Park, the ground of the Sociedad Sportiva Argentina, and both teams drove down to the ground in a special reserved car. After a grand display of football, considering the teams had not regained their shore legs, the game resulted in a draw of 2-2. Balmer with a long drives scoring the first in the first half, and England’s centre B.C. Freeman, scoring in the second moiety. The sincerity of both teams was a special feature, all were trier. The match was graced by the presence of the president of the Argentine Republic and his family, and various members of the Government, including the Minister of War and Agriculture, and their families, who all evinced the closest interest and enthusiasm.


At half-time the officials and players of both clubs were presented to the President and his colleague and a hearty British cheer was raised for the president and his party. The playing area was somewhat uneven and hard, owing to recent drought, but played reasonably will. A visit to the Casino Music Hall followed dinner, the entertainment was of the usual Continental quality for want of it, the turns being of great variety, and assorted nationality. A Greece-Roman, wresting competition proved the place de resistance, among the competitors being our Old French friend Paul Pons, who a decade ago wrestled out Tom Canton at Goodison Park. Possibly some of my readers will remember the Frenchman being well beaten on that occasion. He was going strong when we left and had not raised defeat. Out twenty days journey in South America was one continuos round of pleasure, including our football matches. The A.F.A. were unremitting their attentions for our entertainment. We also met a few of our Liverpool friends now resident in Buenos Ayres and we were made honourable members of various clubs and associations. Mr. Pilling of Walton; Liverpool, introduced us to one, the English Literary Society in Calle Cangillo, and Mr. G.H.Clarke, now manager of the Gourock Rope Company in Calle Venezueia, intriduged us to the Club de Pesidentes Estranjeoiss. We were the guests of Mr. Clarke, and also spent a quiet evening in the Brunswick, the recognised English restaurant in Buenos Ayres.


It was most pleased to acknowledge the warning influence of “Hands across the sea” in every direction. The directors of Everton and Tottenham accomplished by the council of the A.F.A. were invited to meet Mr. Hugo Wilson president of the Buences Ayres Jockey Club and we spent a pleasant and profitable afternoon in the commodious and palatial building with its magnificent appointments and internal completeness. The speeches on the occasion were brief and to point being further evidence of the kindly disposition of the Football Council towards ourselves, and those we represented. Mr. WH Jordan present of the Alumni F.C. honoured us with an invitation to his country seat at Temperley, some fifteen miles from Buences Ayros. The entire Everton team and officials met, Mr. Jordan and family and were very generously received. During the afternoon we witnessed some daring feats of horsemanship (unrehearsed). The evolution of several of our famous players in the Mexican cowboy saddles was excruciating funny and grotesque. My Wallasey chum Mr. Wade, demonstrated how battles are won and lost on the tennis courts. Towards evening we were joined by the members of the Alumni Club and took mate in a Paraguayan teapot, arrangement through the spout. This is a cemony similar to the smoking of a pipe of piece. My colleague and self were called upon to visit Mr. Clarke’s house in the vicinity and having ties there we had a very pleasant time, the member for Wallasey pulversing his opponents at billiards. We arrived at our headquarters and slept the sleep of the just. Among remaining invitations we all accepted was one from Mr. Fred Brown proprietor of the San Martin Circus and Theatre and enjoyed a capital show. One of the features of theatrical life here is the late start, nine of o’clock. In the present case the entertainment continued until midnight.


On June 15 th we played the Uruguayan League at Monte Video and beat them by 2 goals to 1. JD Taylor (“Our Jack”) refereed, but I do not recommend his being placed on the League list at present unless he can get a move on. Our team did full justice to a substantial lunch prior to the match being started. It told its tale. The “Gate” was splendid. Something like £800 being taken. The result of ours matches was four won and one drawn. The fixture on June 19 th – Everton v Tottenham –was the tit bit of the tour, and both sets of players were in real earnest and bent on victory. There was keen rivalry between the teams for gold medals of the Maltese cross pattern, and, after a most exciting contest, Everton ran out easy winners by 4 goals to nil. Freeman did the hat trick, scoring the first three goals, the third from a penalty. W. Lacey got the last point by a surprise shot. It is strange coincidence that Everton and Tottenham Hotspur should be the pioneers in Continental football and in South America. These clubs are the first to play against each other in two hemispheres. Result up to date against Tottenham as follows: –

1905 at Vienna, Everton won …………2-0

1905 at Prague, Everton won …………1-0

1909 at Buenos Ayres a draw ………………..2-2

1909 at Buenos Ayres Everton won …………4-0

Thus Everton have won three, and have a goal average of 9-2. From an Everton point of view the foregoing results make a pleasant reading proving the club’s consistency. They have yet to know defeat on foreign soil after playing thirteen matches. Below are other results of the Argentine tour: –

June 10 v Alumni at Buenos Ayres Everton won………….4-0

June 15 v Uraguayan League at Monte Video Everton won ……….…2-1

June 20 v Argentine League at Buenos Aryes Everton won ………….4-1

During a lull of football we were invited to a day’s racing at Palermo. This and other kindred sports gave great pleasure to both teams. Previous to leaving South America we were informed that our visit had been entirely successful. The profit was £300. It is to as a most pleasant reflection that we have contributed something to sport in South America and we venture to hope and trust that our visit will not have been in vain, and that a spirit of emulation will not only be maintained but persevered with. No doubt it will be with such an intelligent class of players, who only require development.


On the eve of out departure from Buenos Ayres we duly recongnised by letter to the A.F.A. our thanks for their kindness. One ventures to predict a progressive time for football at this, the centenary of the Argentine Republic’s independence. One is deeply impressed by the wealth and enterprise everywhere manifest. From the present rate of advancement, a twenty days observation of Brazil, Uruguay and Argentine reveals a great future for the Republic. On Friday, June 25 we took up our berths aboard the Royal mail steamer Asturals, commander W. J. Dagnall, having said, good-bye to a large number of friends, including Mr. Hugo Wilson and his Council. Contrary to expectation, we did not sail that day owing to the tide. Indeed it was not until Sunday that we moved down the River Plate homeward bound, in a dense fog, which we slowly left behind, arriving at Monte Video, a distance of 109 miles from Buenos Ayres, the next morning. In the harbour at Monte Video was H.M.battleship Amethyst. To us Britishers the preponderance in this and other ports of the British flag was most gratifying. After a stay of about eight hours we stood out for Santos. Here we passed an excursion party up the mountains to San Paul but, owing to the cloudy weather and other climatic difficulties, got only as far as Alto de Siessia. We returned in quite a downpour of rain. By the way, we were hauled up the mountains by steel cables. On our return the Asturias dropped down the river in charge of a pilot.


We deemed at wise to have another look at the town of Rio, so, R. Balmer, Clifford, Freeman and myself chartered a launch, after much bargaining they expect a lot of money here, and made for the principal streets. The day being exceptionally fine, we thoroughly enjoyed the outing. When we came aboard ship again we were in readiness for dinner in our cosy corner of the saloon. In the evening we departed from this modern city, and arrived at Bahia, 749 miles from Rio de Janeiro. As on the outward journey fever was prevalent and the passengers were advised to remain on board. Still a grand display of fireworks from a most beautiful white building on shore lasted till 11.p.m. At four o’clock the following morning, I believe we again did the anchor trick, and departed for Pernamtrico 387 miles from Balia, and our last all on the Brazilian coast, where we presented ourselves early in the morning, going on deck at nine o’clock and being regaled with the usual shark and whale storiers. The English centre forward was most profuse in his description of his share of the “catch.” The methods of landing the passengers are here, a most novel one. Owing to the heavy surf they were put in large square baskets, and swing into mid air and then lowered into primitive barges and hauled to the town beyond.


We received some spendid samples of Brazilian fruit, and left with a complement of passengers of quite twenty different nationalities, including Val Harris’s parrot. We had 2,734 miles to cover before we reached our next port of call. Madeira, a journey of eight days. We settled down for a good time as on the outward journey. July 9 th being the anniversary of the Constitution of the Argentine Republic, our commander proposed, in a speech, Long Life and Prosperity. Dr. Drago replied, I am told. His language was too rapid and complex for our newly acquired tastes. The rest of the evening was spent, as usual in, music and songs. We had the customary carnival, which was voted a great success, although not so well attended as on the outward trip. It had one most gratifying result, J.S. MaConnachie winning second prize, as a Highlander, in a costume made entirely by himself. He looked really what he is every inch a Scotsman. The character was distinctly unique and original. Messrs Wilkes and Tull, of the Spurs, the latter a gentleman of colour won third prize as Cruson and his man Friday. They really deserved their ward. In the sports department Mr. Wade was again among the prizes. He won three on his own, and Messrs. Freeman, Balmer, Mountford, Berry, and MaConnachie also won a few prizes. Last but not least mention must be made John Elliott, our evergreen who was in grand form at the shuffleboard and contended against Mr. Mie the trainer of Tottenham in the final. John rose to the occasion and won hands down. There was a collection of £130 for the purpose of sport, and we were fully in it regarding prizes. We arrived at Madaira and enjoyed a brief stay, and a bullock sleight tide, and then got under way for Lisbon.


We arrived there just too late for the ten o’clock Paris express train. We landed and a few of our people visited the Bull arena. Going on to Vigo we stayed a few hours for the customary giving and taking of passengers. We experienced some fog crossing the Bay of Biscay, which made us late at Cherbourg. From this port we made good progress to Southampton, and thence reached London. (Waterloo). We caught the midnight train for good old Liverpool, where we arrived about six o’clock a.m. In a summary of our ten weeks’ tour we are pleased to say Everton Football Club has contributed something to the sport of nations, and in a measure, has broken down many of the old standing prejudice peculiar to foreigners. We were visitors in 1905 to Budapest, Vienna, and Prague, and last year to Haarlam in Holland. Undoubtedly our latest visit –to South America –has been the brightest in our wandering. Where we may find ourselves in future years we cannot tell, but a visit to Jerusalem would not be too much to contemplate. When a team has travelled 14,000 miles in ten weeks to introduce and develop first class football, and returns with a clean bill of health, and a clean slate, and at no cost (Our guarantee being ample), it has something to be proud of.

10, Wembley-garden, Orrel Park, Liverpool.

By Billy Smith

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