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Joe Mercer Snr
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Joe Mercer Snr

 
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Flaming Pie



Joined: 26 Nov 2016
Posts: 656

PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2020 12:03 pm 
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Sometimes when you chance upon a photograph you do do not realise how historically interesting it will turn out to be. This is a photo of Bebington Victoria, Wirral probably 1908. My wife’s grandfather, Vics regular goalie,, ( second row wearing a cap) was late for the match after a shift at Port Sunlight Soap-works. The goalkeeper in the photo turns out to be Joe Mercer Snr, who stepped in in goal for the game . By all accounts , Mercer Snr was an exceptional centre- half . A few years later he signed for Nottingham Forest and was on the verge of an England call-up when the First World War brought an end to his blossoming football career. He ended up a prisoner of war and never really recovered from the horrendous conditions he had to endure. After the war he played for Tranmere for a while , but his best football years were behind him. He died when Joe Mercer junior was only 12-years-old. As we all know , Joe went on to become a great player and manager.
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Baltimore



Joined: 08 Feb 2013
Posts: 326
Location: France

PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2020 6:10 pm 
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What a great find, and equally great story!

Thanks for sharing...
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Flaming Pie



Joined: 26 Nov 2016
Posts: 656

PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2020 6:57 pm 
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Baltimore, currently reading the excellent book by Gary James Joe Mercer ‘ Football With A Smile’ 2010 edition. When l looked at the photos of Joe Snr , l realised that he was in the team line-up for Bebington Vics 1908,, but ,as l mentioned ,he was usually the team’s centre- half. What is unusual in the Joe Mercer story is that another former top player and later outstanding manager of that great post- war Wolves team,, Stan Cullis, were both in the Ellesmere Port Schoolboys team. Both went on to play for England as well. What are the chances of that happening!
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Pete’s Picture Palace
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Joined: 19 Feb 2013
Posts: 3821
Location: Wallington Surrey

PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2020 10:34 pm 
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Reminds me of getting a photo of Ellis Rimmer, who scored 150 goals for Sheffield Wednesday in the 20's & 30's & won a few England caps. I didn't know much about him but when I looked him up I saw he played in the same Birkenhead schools team as Dixie Dean.
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Flaming Pie



Joined: 26 Nov 2016
Posts: 656

PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2020 9:42 am 
Post subject: Joe Mercer Jnr
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Not very good quality Pete, but here’s Dixie and Ellis Rimmer in the Birkenhead Schoolboys team 1920. I did ask Joe Mercer, who didn’t live far away in Hoylake, to compare Dixie with his successor at Everton Tommy Lawton? Without hesitation he chose Dixie, saying both were great , but Dean was braver.. He would dive in to score with a header , even with defenders big heavy boots flying about!
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Raxfactor



Joined: 16 Jan 2020
Posts: 43

PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2020 5:17 pm 
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I always thought Dixie Dean would speak as a scouser so it was interesting to find this clip of him speaking its only 25 secs but enlightening, as I don't detect any accent.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=whYOiiJP0t8
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Flaming Pie



Joined: 26 Nov 2016
Posts: 656

PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2020 9:55 pm 
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Raxfactor,, l have seen that clip before . Dixie sounds more Lancashire than Merseyside. I remember him being asked in an interview( 1960s) if he was a scouser? ‘No, lm from Birkenhead , lm a wacker ‘ he replied . It’s only across a river, but there’s definately is a distinction between the Birkenhead and Liverpool accent, . If you think of say Paul O’ Grady from Birkenhead), ( mind you , l did know Dixie and he didn’t sound like him either ) and Jamie Carragher from Liverpool there’s a lot of difference in the accent, yet only the River Mersey divides them . All the Beatles sound totally different than Carragher and Stevie Gerrard,, l know John was from a middle- class background and put on the accent when he felt like,, , but the other were more or less from the same place. I think with the passing of time , the accent on the Liverpool side of the Mersey has now become even broader. I think accents are dynamic and forever changing. Then you have the peer group pressure factor with kids.at school,, If l don’t talk like them l might get picked on . lm writing this after a few bevies , but l still think I might get a dissertation out of this Very Happy Thinking about it , l think the closest accent to Dixie’s from the world of football would be fellow Birkonian Ron Saunders. Probably one of the most underated managers of all time. The team he built at Aston Villa was outstanding.
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