The Three Young Blues & The Story of John Robson Whittle – Tony Onslow

Like many of the young teenagers of Victorian Liverpool, William Gibson Walter Richards and Thomas Whittle would have been drawn towards the new game, association football, the was beginning to sweep the land and would have spent their early teens watching such teams as Everton on Stanley Park. They also would have observed that this particular club had, by 1882, caused the largest number spectators to frame their unguarded playing area. Next year, when they moved to an enclosure, William Gibson appeared in their line-up. Born1862, he is recorded on the 1871 census living, in Everton, at 34 Hodder Street with his Liverpool born parents William, a Boilermaker, and Anne. The family later moved to 53 Melbourne Street and William was working as a Commercial Clerk when he made his debut for Everton, December 1883, in the local knockout against Liverpool Ramblers. He scored one of the goals in a 4-1 win. Gibson then helped Everton to reach the final of...
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Only Once a Blue (7) Alfred Vaughan – Tony Onslow

Alfred Vaughan was about 8 weeks short of his 27th birthday when he made his one and only Football League appearance for Everton. He had been born, of Welsh parentage, on the 4th of April 1871 in the North Wales Coastal town of Rhyl. His Father Edward, worked as a Joiner, and his Mothers name was Margaret. The family first lived at Windsor Street before moving to Queen Street where Margaret, assisted by her Daughter, ran a Confectionary business while Alfred joined his Father in the Carpentry trade. He began playing amateur football locally until, in 1898, Rhyl Athletic amalgamated with Rhyl United and joined a Combination League that consisted almost entirely of teams from North Wales and Merseyside. The club was known simply as Rhyl and Vaughan was appointed captain. It was the first time a Rhyl football team had left the North Wales area and the local newspaper detailed a journalist – who wrote under the “non-de-plume of “Phillip,”...
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Only Once a Blue (3), Godfrey William Turner. – Tony Onslow

Almost certainly the first Southerner to play for Everton Football club, Godfrey Turner, came from a most eminent family background. His Father Charles, was a prominent floriculturist of Victorian England and was the lessee of the Royal Nurseries at Slough where he employed around 100 people. He had formerly held the license of a Flower Nursery at nearby Chelvey with his Wife Susannah and Godfrey, their 6thchild, was born here on the 26th of July 1854. Godfrey was educated Crawford School and Twickenham College after which his movements are something of an enigma. Official FA records place him acting as Umpire at an International match between Scotland and England – 23rd of March 1878 – at Hampden Park in Glasgow wherethe home side won 7-2. However, the claim that he was representing Edinburgh University does not comply with their Matriculation Album that lists his arrival as being the 12th of December 1878. Turner, at thismoment in time, claimed to be a...
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Only Once a Blue (6)  Joe Marsden by Tony Onslow

No transfer fee was mentioned when Joe Marsden joined Everton from Darwen where he had been born on the 11th of October 1869. The 1881 census finds him living with his parents, Thomas and Nancy, at 6 Sydney Street where he is employed, as a half-time Weaver, in the Cotton Industry. Marsden had fond childhood memories concerning the FA Cup exploits of his local team and would have been proud when he joined them on their home at Barley Bank Meadow. His Darwen side began the 1886-87 campaign a with stunning 7-1 win over Heart of Midlothian that was followed by victories over Bolton Wanderers and Chirk. Their hopes of winning the trophy however, disappeared at Perry Barr as they were beaten, 3-2, by Aston Villa. Marsden became club captain and was on the committee when they made an unsuccessful attempt to become founder members of the Football League. Darwen were members of the Football Alliance when he signed a Football League...
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