Liverpool’s link with Wembley history

I’m reading quite a lovely book at the moment.  It’s called “Match Of My Life” and has been penned by Leo Moynihan. Over a period of time, Leo caught up with a dozen former Liverpool players to capture their memories from what they consider their favourite and most memorable match that they played in.  It was one of those £1 books I picked up in discount store some years ago now.  I tend to buy a lot of these books when I travel knowing it might take me a while to get around to reading it.  Eventually I will of course.  And here I am reading “Match Of My Life”.

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The first player up is Laurie Hughes, a talented defender who was part of the 1946-47 title winning side.  It was Liverpool’s first league title since the 1922-23 season.  It was also the clubs fifth title.  His manager that season was none other than George Kay who had been at Liverpool since 1936.  Having previously been manager at Southampton (what is it with Liverpool FC and Southampton?), Kay had also been captain of West Ham in 1923 when they played Bolton Wanderers at the new Empire Stadium (now Wembley Stadium) in front of an estimated 300,000 people.  The ground was only built for 126,000 spectators so you could only imagine what it must have been like?

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West Ham lost 2-0 to Bolton on the day and the captain of the winning side, Jimmy Seddon was also the first team trainer at Liverpool under Kay.  It was indeed a unique slice of history that both captains from the white horse Final of 1923 would then go on to steer the red half of Merseyside to their first league title in 24 years.

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Hughes continues to recite how Liverpool went on the defeat Wolverhampton 2-1 on May 31 1947, the final game of the season to be crowned champions of England.  Hughes carried on to make 303 appearances for the red men scoring just the solitary goal before retiring in 1960.  He played his last game in 1957 so spent the final three years of his career warming the bench.  Following the end of his playing career, Hughes opened a grocery store on Merseyside.  In 1964, he was convicted of receiving stolen goods from Woolworths.  On September 9 2011, Laurie Hughes passed away at the age of 87.  He will forever be remembered as a key component of Liverpool’s first post war title winning side.

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George Kay, Jimmy Seddon and the white horse Final of 1923 will forever be linked to that same championship winning side of 1947.  And as for the book?  Well, I have not finished reading it yet but I am most certain there will be plenty more tid bits of history that will fall into my lap as I read on.

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