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THEY PLAYED FOR BOTH – CHESTER & LIVERPOOL

Over the years there have been more links with Everton than with their neighbours across Stanley Park however a number of players have played in both the blue of Chester and the red of Liverpool.

One of the first players to move between the two sides was Jack Lipsham who played his first game for Chester in 1903 and his last in 1921. In 1906/07 Jack joined Liverpool but only made three appearances for the Reds and returned to Chester at the end of the season. A small but well-built left winger Jack made more than 300 appearances in a Chester shirt. The return of Lipsham also marked the arrival of inside right Bert Goode, who joined Chester from Saltney. Bert scored 13 goals in 17 Combination appearances but more importantly netted two of Chester's goals in the Welsh Cup Final victory over Connah's Quay United. It came as no surprise when Liverpool signed Bert at the end of the season after his skilful dribbling had made such an impact on the Chester team. Unfortunately Goode, like Lipsham, found it difficult to adapt to First Division football and managed only seven appearances before making a successful transition to Wrexham in 1910. He made 216 appearances at the Racecourse Ground before his retirement in 1926.

Welsh international centre half Billy Matthews was coming to the end of his career when he joined Chester in January 1932. He joined Liverpool from Colwyn Bay during the First World War and made nine appearances at Anfield. After playing for Wrexham, Northwich, Barrow, Bradford PA and Stockport he joined Chester from New Brighton. Billy only managed five games, during Chester’s first season in the football league, and joined Oswestry Town in summer 1932.

Former railway worker Bob Done was another player nearing the end of his career when he joined Chester. An attacking full back he made his debut for Liverpool on New Years Day 1927 and went on to make 147 appearances for the club. After a brief spell at Reading, Bob moved to Chester in 1937 replacing Ernie Hall at full back in mid-September and keeping his place until the end of the season. During the summer he moved to Accrington Stanley and finished his footballing career with Bangor City.

A great deal was expected of goalkeeper Alf Hobson when he joined Chester from Liverpool for £700 in October 1938. Alf made 26 appearances for Liverpool but got off to an inauspicious start at Chester, conceding 14 goals in his first four games. The outbreak of war brought an end to his Chester career but he returned to Liverpool and was virtually an ever-present from 1941/42 to 1944/45.

[John Molyneux]John Molyneux (pictured) was a talented full back who made more than 200 appearances for both Liverpool and Chester. A native of Warrington he signed amateur forms for Chester as a 16 year old in 1947 and played for England v Scotland in a youth international the following season. After making his league debut in 1949 he quickly established himself as first choice full back but then found his career interrupted by National Service. In 1954/55 Chester finished bottom of Division Three North but John did not miss a game and was transferred to Liverpool for £4,000 with an additional £1,500 due after 12 appearances. John's speed and stamina proved a great asset to Liverpool where he made 229 appearances before returning to Chester in 1962. After a single appearance, in the first game of the 1964/65 season, he joined New Brighton.

Centre half Fred Tomley made two appearances for Liverpool in 1954/55 and moved to Chester in summer 1955. A regular in the Cheshire County League side, where he briefly played alongside his brother Eric, he only made one league appearance for Chester, in the final game of the 1955/56 season against Scunthorpe United. Given a free transfer he moved to Witton Albion in summer 1956.

Pint-sized left-winger Mervyn Jones played four game for Liverpool in 1951/52 but made a name for himself at Scunthorpe United where he made 240 appearances in five seasons winning a Third Division North Championship medal in 1957/58. Mervyn joined Chester in 1961 and made 63 appearances before linking up with Lincoln City in October 1963.

Chester missed out on the opportunity of signing outside right Fred Morris from Oswestry Town in 1950 and they had to wait until 1961 before he finally signed for the club, from Gillingham. In the interim years he made more than 200 appearances for Walsall and scored 14 goals in 47 games for Liverpool between 1958 and 1960. Released by Chester in 1962 he moved to Altrincham and finally back to his first club, Oswestry Town.

John Sealey and Alan Hignett both made one appearance for Liverpool in the final game of the 1964/65 season, against Wolves, and Sealey got his name on the score sheet in a 3-1 victory. In summer 1966 both players joined Chester but started less than ten games each at Sealand Road. Sealey joined Wigan Athletic in 1968 while Hignett, an England schoolboy international, moved to Australia and played for several years in the semi-professional New South Wales league.

In the 1970s Trevor Storton, covered elsewhere in the programme, made the move directly from Anfield while the most famous player to play for both clubs, Ian Rush, is also covered in a separate article. Doug Livermore was signed by Alan Oakes for £12,500 from Cardiff City in October 1977. He became an influential figure in the Chester team that finished in its highest ever position in Division Three in 1977/78. Doug started his career as a junior at Anfield and made his debut, as a substitute against West Ham, in April 1968. His best run came at the end of the 1969/70 season when he made 13 successive appearances. After losing his place at the start of the 1970/71 season he was transferred to Norwich City for £22,000 and moved to Cardiff in August 1975. In 1994 Doug returned to Liverpool as assistant manager, a post he currently holds at another of his former clubs, Norwich City.

Other players who have played for Chester, without making the first team at Liverpool, include John Bennett, Reg Butcher, Bobby Clarke, Mick Hayde, Alan Hughes, Jimmy Rolfe, Spencer Whelan and Billy Stewart while current players Stuart Whittaker, Chris O’Brien and of course Steve Harkness also used to play at Anfield.

Chas Sumner

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