The last issue of the Referee appeared on Monday 16th November 1914. Note from the titles at the top of the front page that they were now taking adverts. More importantly all through the paper there were references to the War which had started in Europe.
The editorial was by now appearing under this banner and the content for the final issue was unsurprisingly rather sad but showed an attitude typical of the times.
The rest of the Page? The big article had a headline that read
ALL ABOUT OUR CLUBS: A Football Who’s Who – and Why
Which was a collection of comments and facts about the previous weekend’s games and about football in general. It was directly above this topical cartoon –
and beside columns about the up-coming Scottish League v Irish League football match and a boxing match between Alan Lafferty of Scotland a Berry of England. The rest of the page had snippets about football and boxing including this.
The only other item on the front page was another one with a War connotation
When we turn to page 2 we see this banner across the whole width of the page which was given over entirely to football, mainlky Scottish but including English with forecasts, results and reports.
Page three was almost half and half football and rugby. On the seven column page, four were football related and three were rugby. Rugby was largely inter-school contests – Glasgow High were playing Glasgow Academy with matches in five age groups with reports on each of them: for the record, the High School won four of them. Kelvinside Academy defeated Ayr Academy 50 – 0. But the War was in all parts of the paper:
The football on Page three was of Junior football and there were some interesting reports such as the one on Rutherglen Glencairn and Shettleston under the headline ‘Football and Fisticuffs.’
Page four was the most varied with the first two columns on Minor Football – Churches League, Secondary Schools Leagues, etc – plus two columns on ‘Field and Fen’ by Pace and the reports were largely of club runs:
Garscube Harriers had their 5 miles novice championship at Temple, Olympic had a muster of 21 runners at Springburn, Maryhill and West of Scotland had a joint fixture at Maryhill Baths, Edinburgh Northern had had a run at Saughton, Motherwell TMCA had a run at home, Clydesdale Harriers had a 5 miles championship. But the War was never far away. The extract below is rather pale but is readable and should be read in that the writer is speaking of runners from other lands who have been killed or wounded. An interesting perspective.
The last column – with the continuation of this article – is unfortunately incomplete with a strip having been torn from the edge of the page. If it is possible to get access to another copy – eg in the Mitchell Library in Glasgow – we will put it up here.
That is how this excellent sporting periodical came to its end. It had served a very useful purpose for 25+ years. There were others at the time such as the Scottish Umpire which unfortunately are not online as yet which would have been equally interesting. Would that we had one today.