Essays on Football in the North-East of England 1880-1930
Chapter 3 Mercutio and Friends: The Press and the Commercialisation of North-Eastern Football 1885–1892
On January 29, 1892, the Middlesbrough-based North-Eastern Daily Gazette reported that:
Sportsmen generally throughout the North of England will learn with mingled regret and pleasure that one of the ablest and most impartial of Northern sporting journalists is about to leave the district for a higher appointment. Mr T.W. Gale … well-known in the football world under his nom-de-plume of ‘Mercutio’, has been appointed to an important position on the staff of the Sporting Chronicle, and his friends and admirers on Tyneside intend to embrace the opportunity to mark in some lasting fashion their appreciation of the man and the journalist …1
Three weeks later, on February 22, the Northern Echo told its readers in what this ‘marking’ had consisted. There had been a banquet in Mr Gale’s honour at ‘the Crown Hotel, Clayton Street, Newcastle’. It had been attended by a large number of local worthies from the city, but also from Sunderland, South Shields, Hartlepool and Middlesbrough, and Mr Gale had received a ‘substantial cheque’ and his wife a ‘valuable ring’.2 Later the same evening, according to the Shields Daily Gazette, a large number of friends had congregated in Newcastle Central Station (hot foot from ←67 | 68→the banquet presumably) ‘to bid “Mercutio” God-speed’ on his journey to Manchester and the Sporting Chronicle.3
As all this indicates, the departure of ‘Mr T. W. Gale’ from the North-East was an event of note. But, though his banquet and impending departure were reported in the...
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