Initials T.G. – Researching Tommy Jones, The Prince of Centre-Halves

William Ralph “Dixie” Dean sits unchallenged as the king of Goodison Park. Joining him in the Royal Blue dynasty is the Prince of Centre Halves: Thomas George Jones. Tommy, as his friends knew him, was so famous in his pomp for Everton and Wales that he was known merely by his initials - T.G. Devouring Everton history books as a youngster, I would read of this artist in the Blues’ half-back line. Dominant in the air, immaculate on the ground and possessing a rocket-like shot, T.G. was so confident in his own ability that he would dribble in his own penalty area - accompanied by gasps of fear and appreciation from the terraces. In 14 years of service at Goodison, T.G. cemented his reputation as Everton’s most cultured centre-half – overshadowing the likes of T.E. Jones, Brian Labone, John Hurst, Kevin Ratcliffe and Dave Watson. I sometimes pondered on why T.G. walked away from Goodison to run a hotel in Pwllheli but...
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Tony Cottee – My Everton Years

Rob Sawyer in conversation with Tony Cottee The 1987-88 season had seen Everton, the reigning League Champions, give up their crown to their Mersey neighbours. Liverpool had countered the departure of Ian Rush by investing heavily in the acquisition of John Barnes, John Aldridge, Peter Beardsley and Ray Houghton. Conversely, Everton’s new manager, Colin Harvey, had kept faith in the tried and tested squad assembled by his predecessor, Howard Kendall. Come the following summer, Harvey, belatedly, decided that it was time to freshen up the squad. Neil McDonald replaced the Rangers-bound Gary Stevens, Pat Nevin came from Chelsea for a record-breaking tribunal-set fee, and Stuart McCall was drafted in to supplement the ageing Peter Reid and injury-plagued Paul Bracewell. With Adrian Heath and Wayne Clarke notching 13 and 12 goals respectively in the previous season, the need for a new “Gary Lineker” to play off Graeme Sharp was uppermost in Harvey’s thoughts. Speculation linked Ian Rush, who had failed to settle in...
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Everton’s ‘Hall of Fame’ Events through the Decades – Rob Sawyer

Friday, 10 March, 2017 sees the staging of a Gwladys Street’s Hall of Fame event after an eight year hiatus. At The Hilton Hotel John Bailey, Pat Van Den Hauwe, Nigel Martyn, Ian Snodin and Kevin Campbell will join the 120-plus previous inductees in the pantheon of Blues greats. The concept of an independent Everton Hall of Fame was the brainchild of Dr David France, the uber Toffees fanatic, who was inspired by the veneration afforded ex-baseball players in the USA.  It was the first of its kind in the United Kingdom. In 1998, a panel of ex-players (including Brian Labone and Alex Young), shareholders, Merseyside sports journalists, Sir Philip Carter, season-ticket holders and other Evertonians convened by “Dr Everton” considered the claims of over 900 past-players for inclusion in the first draft of inductees. The benchmark was to have made a significant positive contribution to the Blues cause through ability, determination and sportsmanship across all eras of the club’s history....
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‘Jack O’ Both Sides’ – The Life and Times of Jack Sharp (1878-1938) – Rob sawyer

  Jack Sharp sits in exalted company as one of England’s few dual cricket and football internationals. To Evertonians he is much more than that – an iconic player, captain, FA Cup winner, club director and founder of Liverpool’s best known sports outfitters. Born on 15 February in Everton’s founding year, Jack (christened John) was the youngest child of Charles and Annie Sharp who resided at 8 Eign Street in Hereford. Dorking-born Charles was a butcher with other business interests in the town, whilst Annie hailed from County Meath in Ireland. Jack and elder brother Bertram (Bert) grew up playing football and cricket. Jack broke scoring records at centre-forward for Hereford Thistle whilst Bert performed capably at full-back. Matches were played at The Barracks ground on Harold Street, The Grapes Tavern (which Charles had a stake in) doubled as the team’s HQ. With 17 year-old Jack in the ranks, the team won the Bristol League, progressing to the Birmingham and District League. His...
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