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📚 EOTK Insider: From Liverpool, to Everton, to prison - the double league winner who swapped medals for a life of crime
The idea of swapping Merseyside allegiances could lead some to suggest you need locking up but one legendary Liverpool goalscorer took this a little too far
The idea of a Liverpool player directly joining Everton, or vice versa, is something that would cause huge uproar today but one man who completed this feat went on to achieve an even more extraordinary life after he retired from the game.
In a new book, Crossing the Park, written to tell the story of all the men who have played for both Liverpool and Everton - one player’s tale really jumps off the page.
From winning the league in back-to-back seasons with the Reds in the early 1920s, Dick Forshaw spent eight years at Anfield and scored 123 goals in his 288 appearances - before swapping red for blue in 1927.
No one was more shocked to hear of the transfer to blue side of the city, than the wife of the much-love goal scorer: 'Neither man nor wife knew that the transfer was being negotiated until Everton club officials arrived at the family home and convinced the forward to change his allegiances.
'The Liverpool Daily Post reported that his wife said, ‘I have never been an Evertonian, and I don’t know what I shall do about it’.’
Although his time as a Toffee was less lengthy and successful than his time at our club, the Preston-born forward won the First Division in his maiden campaign and ensured that he was set for a life of Merseyside celebrity status - that was until some very questionable post-retirement decisions.
Crossing the Park goes on to reveal: 'he mysteriously disappeared following a bet he was commissioned to make by a local bookmaker on a horse race in Ascot. It was then discovered that he and his wife had been running a fish and chip shop in London, before police tracked him down following the missing £100 that was supposed to have been bet on the race. Forshaw had run off with the money and now faced prison time...
'This was far from the end of his criminality though. By 1944, the now 49-year-old had spent most of his retired footballing life in prison. Forshaw was a common thief and not a very good one. Stealing suitcases from train stations and hotels was a trademark, as well as stealing clothes from shops. One crime was committed two hours after he was released from prison and it seemed that the former hero couldn’t stop himself'.
Quite a way to go from hero to zero and possibly why the career of Dick Forshaw isn't remberred quite as well today, especially considering he's our 13th highest goal scorer in history and sits above Sadio Mane.
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