Preston, Lancashire born inside left Dick Forshaw played for Gateshead St Vincent’s prior to the First World War during which he served in Ceylon with The Royal Garrison Artillery, and he played for both Nottingham Forest and Middlesbrough in wartime matches as well as playing twice for Liverpool in 1918-19 before gaining his first professional contract at First Division club Liverpool in July 1919. He made his Football League debut in a 1-0 defeat to Arsenal at Highbury on 8th September 1919, and he opened his goals account twelve days later at Villa Park when his 30th minute strike was the only goal of the game against Aston Villa.
Forshaw continued to find the net on a regular basis and his goals helped the Anfield club gain back-to-back League Championship titles in 1922 and 1923, Forshaw scoring 20 goals each campaign. He was an ever-present in the 84 Championship matches and scored a remarkable 36 League goals, his average was a respectable goal every 2⅓ games during this spell, not at all bad for an inside forward. His goals included a hat-trick in a 4-0 win over Arsenal in February 1922, and trebles in wins against Preston North End and Blackburn Rovers as Liverpool retained the title. Forshaw also topped the Liverpool scoring list in 1924-25 with 19 goals, which included all four goals as Liverpool beat Sheffield United in October 1924. He was described as “an artist at the game, adaptable, enthusiastic, versatile, opens out well and shoots with strength”.
The slim built Forshaw was to have his best season in the red of Liverpool in 1925-26 when his return from the 35 matches he played was 29 goals, a goal every 1.2 games. This included a hat-trick against bitter rivals Manchester United at Anfield, which ended with Liverpool defeating United 5-0 with Forshaw scoring in the 21st, 63rd and 70th minutes. Forshaw was portrayed by the Derby Daily Telegraph in 1921 as “a brainy, unorthodox lad, who does the unexpected thing, but that has been his secret of success. An opponent never knows what Forshaw will do. He never forgets his partner, but is not bound hand and foot to him. Has a powerful shot in either foot.”
When after 124 goals in 288 games, Forshaw was allowed to leave Liverpool in March 1927, he made the short journey across Stanley Park to Everton for £3,750 where he linked up with Toffees legend Dixie Dean. Forshaw’s experience helped Everton win the League Championship in his first season, becoming the first and to date, only player to win the League with both Everton and Liverpool. He went on to join Wolverhampton Wanderers in the 1929 close season after 8 goals in 42 appearances for The Toffees, but only stayed one season scoring four times in 6 appearances for Wolves. He then also played for both non league Hednesford Town and Rhyl Athletic in 1930, and Irish League club Waterford in 1931 before he finally retired.
NB in the photograph taken during the Liverpool v Cardiff City match at Anfield in October 1922, Forshaw rises to head above the Cardiff defence, with Cardiff’s Fred Keenor (back to camera) and Billy Hardy in shot. Forshaw scored in a 3-1 Liverpool victory.