Dirk Kuyt Craig Bellamy Ryan Babel Fabio Aurelio
Alberto Aquilani Charlie Adam Maxi Rodriguez
Nathan Eccleston David Amoo Stephen Darby
Fernando Torres Raul Meireles David Ngog
Paul Konchesky Christian Poulsen Emiliano Insua Philipp Degen
Thomas Ince Milan Jovanovic Sotirios Kyrgiakos
Javier Mascherano Yossi Benayoun Andriy Voronin Andrea Dossena
Charles Itandje Damien Plessis Lauri Dalla Valle
Nicolas Anelka Gary McAllister Christian Ziege Nick Barmby
Stephen Wright Jari Litmanen Pegguy Arphexad Bernard Diomede
Vegard Heggem Markus Babbel Emile Heskey Abel Xavier
Vladimir Smicer Mauricio Pellegrino El-Hadji Diouf Alou Diarra
Igor Biscan Gregory Vignal Richie Partridge Paul Harrison
Jon Otsemobor Mark Smyth Antonio Nunez Milan Baros
John Welsh Josemi Fernando Morientes Zak Whitbread
Bruno Cheyrou Neil Mellor Robbie Fowler Jerzy Dudek
Daniele Padelli Craig Bellamy Mark Gonzalez
Chris Kirkland Paul Jones Gabriel Paletta Darren Potter
David Raven Djibril Cisse Bolo Zenden Stephen Warnock
Jan Kromkamp Momo Sissoko John Arne Riise Harry Kewell
Anthony Le Tallec Peter Crouch Danny Guthrie Robbie Keane
Steve Finnan      

Sunday, February 25, 2007


David Ashworth: Manager (1920-23)

Other Clubs as Manager : Oldham Athletic, Stockport County, Manchester City, Walsall

Honours: 2 LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIPS 1921/2, 22/3
RUNNERS UP Charity Shield - 1922

David Ashworth was a former referee who later moved into a career in football management. He was apparently a very small man, only about five foot according to some accounts, with a carefully manicured, waxed moustache. He became the first manager of Oldham Athletic Football Club in 1906, moving to manage Stockport County in 1914 and staying with them through the First World War.


In 1920 he was appointed manager of Liverpool and in his first season in charge he guided them to their second successive season in 4th place. Two Derby wins over Everton in the autumn had knocked the stuffing out of the Blues' title challenge, but just two wins in their last 10 games meant that Liverpool failed to maintain their own momentum. They finished 8 points behind the Champions Burnley.

The following season, 1921/22, Ashworth lead Liverpool to their third League Championship. The season started badly with a 3-0 defeat at Sunderland, but after that they only lost one league game, away to Middlesbrough, until the middle of March. However, after that the team began to stutter, losing 4-0 at Oldham. Then, after beating Cardiff 5-1, they lost the away game against the same team 2-0. West Brom came to Anfield and won 2-1 leaving Liverpool with a tricky return visit to the Hawthorns to wrap up the title - they won 4-1 and the title went to Anfield.
Ashworth's Championship side was built around a strong defence with the Irish International Elisha Scott in goal and Ephraim Longworth, Tom Lucas and Don McKinlay sharing the full-back duties. McKinlay also played in a solid half-back line with Tom McNab, Tom Bromilow or Walter Wadsworth. Up front Harry Chambers was top scorer with just 19 goals, supported by Dick Forshaw, who scored 17, and winger Polly Hopkin, famous for the rarity of his goal-scoring.

This same team were well on their way to a second successive Championship the following season, when in February 1923 Ashworth left the table-topping side to return to Oldham, then bottom of the league. No-one has ever satisfactorily explained why Ashworth should decide to make such a bizarre move, although he presumably had some emotional attachment with his first club. It remains a mystery to this day. Oldham ended the season relegated, while Liverpool only won one of their last seven games, but still won the Championship by six points.

Ashworth only stayed with Oldham for about a year before moving to Manchester City, but he resigned in 1925 as the club struggled towards relegation. He next tried his hand in management with Walsall in 1926, but he lasted hardly any time there either, as he left in 1927. He also had a spell as a scout with Blackpool just before the War. He died in 1947, aged 79.

No comments: