St Luke’s – the church with its own football ground

  ST LUKE’S – THE CHURCH WITH ITS OWN FOOTBALL STADIUM! Although Everton F.C. started life as the St Domingo’s church team in 1878, it is now closely associated with another place of worship. St. Luke the Evangelist, nestled between the Main and Howard Kendall Gwladys Street Stands, contributes to The uniqueness of The Old Lady. But why does the stadium have a church in such an unlikely spot? A wooden Church of England mission hall predated Goodison Park by at least nine years. Therefore, since its opening in 1892 the stadium has had to grow around this sacred spot. In 1899, the first Bishop of Liverpool laid the foundation stone of a parish church to replace the wooden building. The architect, James Francis Doyle, was known for the White Star and Royal Insurance buildings in the city centre. His original designs for  St St Luke’s included a tower and spire but these were rationalised. Construction of the adjacent parish hall commenced in 1908.  A...
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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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Ted Critchley – My Dad

Rob Sawyer in Conversation with Doris Holmes (née Critchley) Ted Critchley was the Trevor Steven, Dave Thomas or Alex Scott of his day: fast and skilful with an unerring ability to dribble and deliver crosses into the box from the right flank.Ted made his name as an outside-right with hometown club, Stockport County, whom he joined as a 17-year-old in 1922 after impressing in local football. His 188 games for The Hatters, including a few alongside Harry Catterick Senior, saw him play Second Division football and collect a Manchester Senior Cup winner's medal. Everton, on the look-out for a replacement for Sam Chedgzoy, came calling in December 1926 — albeit after some procrastination. Ted turned out to be an astute signing as he and Alec Troup marauded down the flanks to help “Dixie” reach his glorious 60 in 1928. Famed for his pace, Ted would later joke: “Let’s put it this way – I could run half-an-hour in 25 minutes!” In his 8-year...
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Charlie Gee: Stockport, Everton and England

Charlie Gee’s story is one of a remarkable rise from Stockport church football to Everton and  England honours.  In three consecutive seasons he played Third, Second and First Division football – culminating in a 1932 league championship medal. Charlie also holds the key to the Everton career of one of the most important men in the Toffees’ illustrious history – Harry Catterick. Charles William Gee was born on 6 April 1909 in the Reddish district of Stockport. He was one of eight children born to Edward and Jane Gee. Edward was a sweet shop owner who, as a side-line, also operated as a bookmaker from his cellar Charlie’s elder brother Ted was reputed to the best footballer in the family but broke his leg in a fall when working on a roof. Like Ted, Charlie trained to be a joiner but was a passionate about sport – adept at cricket, swimming and football. Appearances as right-back and captain of the North Reddish...
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