T G Jones at 100

T.G. Jones at 100 Posted by Rob Sawyer on October 12, 2017 12 October 2017 marks the centenary of the birth of Thomas George Ronald Jones in Queensferry, Flintshire. The tall, quiet son of a Connah’s Quay coal merchant would find his footballing feet at Wrexham F.C. but he would achieve immortality at Goodison Park. His first two initials, T.G. became synonymous with the art of cultured defensive play. In March 1936 the footballing eye of Toffees director Jack Sharp - himself a playing great – recognised the promise in the leggy teenage centre-half. In no time T.G. had swapped The Racecourse Ground for Goodison but the callow youth initially struggled on Merseyside. Only upon returning to live just across the Welsh border did he settle and secure his place in the Everton first eleven, at the expense of Charlie Gee. Goodison Park had never seen anything quite like T.G. – here was a centre-half who could deal with the physicality of rough-house centre-forwards...
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International Football arrives on Merseyside – Tony Onslow  

The first international football match to take place on Merseyside occurred on the 24th of February 1883 where England took on an Irish side who were making their first excursion to mainland Britain. The match was arranged under the guidance of the FA secretary Charles Alcock who decided to stage the game on the new home of Liverpool Cricket Club at Aigburth. He had attended Harrow Public School and would have been acquainted, through the “Old Boy” network, with other Old Harrovians who lived on Merseyside. One such person was Percy Bateson. Born locally in 1862, Percy was the son of wealthy cotton broker who had, on leaving Harrow School, become acquainted with the association game while attending Edinburgh University. On returning home he played firstly for Bootle before becoming the secretary of the present day football club on its formation in 1882 which played under the name of Liverpool Ramblers. Alcock was based in London and would have certainly needed...
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On Tour in London with Everton – Tony Onslow

This week's clash with Arsenal, the 195th in total, will in no way resemble the occasion when the two sides first met 125 years ago, in what is today The Royal Borough of Greenwich. It was the first time that the Anfield club had visited the capital and their understrength party, which consisted of fifteen players, left Liverpool without their leading goal scorer Fred Geary who was suddenly recalled to Nottingham because of a family bereavement. Club captain Andrew Hannah, along with Alec Brady, were also absent when the train left Lime Street Railway Station in good time for the party to spend a comfortable Friday evening in London by attending a show at the Convent Garden Theatre. Everton were the present Football League champions and had been invited to tour London where a pre-arranged programme of three fixtures awaited them. The opening game was to be at the Oval Cricket Ground against a Corinthian side, which it was reported, contained...
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Keys and Warmby — The Duo from Derby by Tony Onslow

In preparation for life in the Football League, Everton Football Club made several new signings during the summer of 1888. Two of them, Keys and Warmby, had joined them from Derby County. Despite the fact that the local newspapers make no reference to their background, they were in fact related by marriage and had reached the Mersey Seaport by two slightly different routes. William Henry Warmby was born, 1863, in South Yorkshire where he began his football career with his local team, Rotherham Town. Sometime around 1883 he moved to Derby where he took up a job as an engine fitter (Midland Railway?) and played his football with a team made up of players from the congregation at the church of St Luke. They were one of the lesser known teams in the town and played on a small ground at Peat Street. On November 8th, 1884 they travelled to face Wolverhampton Wanderers in an FA Cup tie, on their home...
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With Everton at Great Lever – Tony Onslow

There has long been some confusion concerning the outcome of the first competitive game played by Everton that was won, eventually, by their opponents, Great Lever. Early local historians state that Everton drew the tie, 1-1 and then were decisively beaten in the replay by 8 goals to 1 on Stanley Park. However, the record books of the Lancashire FA, held in Leyland, prove that Great Lever did indeed venture into next round of the competition but the replay, which was rather acrimonious, took place in their home town of Bolton. The parishioners of St Bartholomew’s church had formed a football club in 1877 before making their headquarters one year later at a local tavern that was called the Old Robin Hood. Here they changed their name to Great Lever and set about constructing a simple enclosure that was adjacent to a notorious local landmark called Wellington Yard, which by its description appeared to be a tannery. The club officials then...
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The Oxford Blues of Everton Football Club

The young football fan who today watches the highly paid Premier League stars of the modern era will find it difficult to visualise the generation of footballers who, long ago, earned a good living outside of the game and played football without reward because they loved to do so. Confined mostly to the South of England, many of them had first become acquainted with the association game at public school and then expanded their knowledge and skills at universities such as Oxford. Here, if noted by the selectors, they could be chosen to represent their University and be awarded an honour that was referred to as a “blue”. Two of these noble amateurs, who earned this distinction, later found themselves wearing the blue jersey of Everton Football Club. The first of them was William Charles Jordan. The Reverend William Charles Jordan The son of a brewery owner, he was born on 9th December, 1885 at Oldbury in Warwickshire and attended Kind Edward College...
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The Hope of Everton – Tony Onslow

In November 1890, the Everton executive dispatched their club captain, Andrew Hannah, back to his native Scotland and instructed him to find a player who would strengthen the side and help them clinch the Football League Championship. They informed him he could offer a signing on fee of £50 plus a weekly wage of £3 and 10s a week. Hannah later returned with Hope Ramsey Robertson who had agreed to join the Anfield club from Partick Thistle. He had been born 17th January, 1868, in the Govan area of Glasgow and was the third child born to Assurance Agent John Robertson and wife Catherine. The 1881 census finds the family now living in the Whiteinch area of the City where the young Hope, now 13, working as a rivet heater in a local shipyard. He began his football career with a team who played under the name of Minerva before joining a Partick Thistle club who, at the time, played on...
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Alex Lochhead, the Everton Wing Half from Neilston – Tony Onslow

Many Everton players over the years have been asked to make their debut in some tough “must win” situations but the first of these must surely be a young Scotsman who arrived in Liverpool during the November of 1891 at a time when his new club were challenging to take the football league championship away from Preston North End. Alexander Lochhead had been born on 27th June, 1865 in the rural community of Neilson in Renfrewshire where he began his football career playing for the village team. His style of play soon caught the eye of a talent Scout who invited the young half back to join the football players from the Third Lanarkshire Rifle Volunteers who were based in Glasgow. The club, following their formation in 1874, had first played their home matches on the parade ground before moving to the first Cathkin Park in 1875. In September 1888, the Volunteers began a long and arduous cup run that was...
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Alex Young: With Us Always – Peter Jones

They say you should never meet your heroes. I’ve been lucky enough to have met some of mine and I have never found that to be the case. They have been gracious, humble and even a little surprised to find that they are still revered long after they have hung up their boots. To a man they have been approachable and happy to talk about the good old days. There has been one exception: Alex Young. This is nothing to do with the man himself; I know from talking to people who met him that he was a perfect gentleman, always prepared to talk with real humility. I never saw him play and my memories of him are all monochrome, of the unforgettable ’66 Cup Final and being allowed to stay up late to watch “The Golden Vision”, Ken Loach’s extraordinary tribute to Alex from 1968. But I have talked to those who did see him play, and each one has...
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The Life and Times of John Cameron – Tony Onslow

It had been just four weeks since the first football knockout, won the by The Wanderers, had taken place on the Kennington Oval ground in London when a boy was born on the South West Coast of Scotland. He was destined to make FA Cup history. John Cameron was born on 13 April 1872 in the Newton district of Ayr where his family, who were in the grocery business, had finally come to settle. The 1881 census finds the business has premises on Waggon Road and John is an eight-year-old scholar. He later attended Ayr Grammar School. In 1891, the Cameron family are to be found living on Church Street in Ayr and John is now working as a Clerk for the Cunard Shipping Company. They have an office at 30 Jamaica Street, Glasgow. John Cameron began his football career with a local team who played under the name of Ayr Parkhouse. This club had been formed in 1886 and were playing...
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