Once a Blue (11)-William Orr, the Boy from Gwladys Street – by Tony Onslow

At the time William Marr Orr made his only Football League appearance for Everton he had just moved to live in a new row of terraced houses that had been constructed by the Walton Local Board. George Goodison, their Civil Engineer, had decided to name the thoroughfare, Gwladys Street.   The parents of William, John, and Jean had married in the Ayrshire town of Kilbirnie where their first child Jessie was born.  The head of the family then worked on the Railway as a Fireman but had been promoted to the rank of Engine Driver when they took up residence at 80 Aughton Street in Liverpool. Here their third child William was born in December 1869. The 1881census finds the family have now moved to 46 Walton Road but the Head of the Household had “passed away” at the time of their move to 10 Gwladys Street somewhere around 1888. William, now working as a Clerk in the Corn Exchange, began his...
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The Scot from the Vale of Leven – John Walker by Tony Onslow

The Scot from the Vale of Leven – John Walker by Tony Onslow

John Walker Trying to compile an inventory of Scotsmen who have played football for Everton is like compressing springs in an old iron bedstead. Just when you think your task is complete, another one” jumps up”. The latest addition to this list is John Walker.  He was born on the 4th of November 1869, at Bonhill, Dunbartonshire and was the second child of John, a Carter, and his Wife Jane. He was training to be an Engine Fitter when he began his career with the Alexandria based Vale of Leven club and represented them in several Scottish FA Cup games prior to them becoming founder members of the Scottish League.  In 1890 he signed for a Grimsby Town side who had just been accepted as founder members of the Football League Division Two. Walker, playing at centre half, took part in the Lincolnshire clubs inaugural match on what was then their home ground at Abbey Park. The visitors were Northwich Victoria and the...
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The Andrew Watson Story by Tony Onslow

The Andrew Watson Story by Tony Onslow

Now accepted as the world’s first black football player, Guyana-born Andrew Watson was to have a career that would bind him tightly to both Glasgow and Liverpool. He would also make a guest appearance in the colours of Everton. His father, Peter Miller Watson, was born on 16 June 1805, in the Orkney Islands and was the fourth son of James Watson who acted as factor for a Scottish nobleman. His mother was Scottish, neé Christina Robertson, whose family were sugar plantation owners in the colony of British Guyana. When Peter was just 3 years old his father died and his mother was married for a second time to Orkney-born Dr Thomas Traill who had a practice in Liverpool. She moved to the Mersey seaport with her sons and gave birth to another six children. Peter later trained to be a lawyer in London before joining his elder brothers in British Guyana where he administered legal affairs at the family sugar plantation....
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The Allan Maxwell Story. By Tony Onslow

The Allan Maxwell Story. By Tony Onslow

When Allan Maxwell decided to leave his native Scotland to play professional football, he had no idea that, eventually, he was involved in one of the most peculiar transfers that ever happened in Victorian England. He had been born, 2-4-1869 in Lanarkshire town of Dalziel, now part of Motherwell, where his Father worked as a Coal Miner. The 1871 census finds the family have moved to 30 Sunnyside Rows in Cambuslang where young Allan is confirmed as being 2 years old. He is listed as a Scholar on the 1881 census which reveals that the Maxwell family have now moved to the town of Hamilton. They were living at 5 Windsor Street when Allan Maxwell left school and joined his Father working at the Mine. It is around this time that he started playing football for Cambuslang on their home at Whitefield Park and was at the club when they became founder members of the Scottish League in 1890.They finished in fourth place but, at the end of the season, Allan Maxwell decided his interests would be best served by moving to Scottish League outfit, 3rd Lanark in Glasgow. He had not long been with his new club when Everton came in with...
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