Welcoming Old Friends…by Tony Onslow

Burnley's game at Goodison Park is the only top-flight fixture this weekend that features two founder members of the Football League. Burnley began life playing under the rules of Rugby School but switched to the FA code following an invitation from the local cricket club to join them at their established home of Turf Moor. The Burnley footballers first played here in 1883, which means only Preston North End have occupied their home ground for a longer length of time in English football. Burnley were soon given a shock introduction into the realities of the association game when, in October 1883, they were beaten 9-1 by a neighbouring Padiham side that included several Scottish imports. The Turf Moor outfit quickly did the same, surpassed their neighbours and, in September 1888, became a founder member of the Football League. They first met Everton on alternative weekends in November 1888. The first was on a section of Turf Moor that had been fenced off from the cricket...
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Joseph Davies, the Welsh International from Shropshire

Joseph Davies, the Welsh International from Shropshire. The picture above shows the last resting of Joseph Davies who played for Everton during the season that they became founder members of the Football League. He had been born, 27-6-1869, at St Martins in North West Shropshire and baptised at Preesgwyn Methodist Chapel. Records reveal that he was the son of Stephen Davies, a Blacksmith at the local Coal Mine, and his wife Harriet. Both of them had been born in St Martins. The 1881 census finds the family living Chirk Bank Row in Weston Rhyn where Joseph, along with his two brothers, is listed as a Scholar. On leaving school he began working at the local Colliery and was playing for Chirk AAA from when he joined Everton in November 1888. It is reasonable to assume that he lived, during his time with Everton, at the family home because he could catch a train from the tiny local Railway Station (now closed)...
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Andrew Gibson, The Blue from Dalmellington

Although destined never to play a Football League match for the club, Andrew Gibson played a leading role in the years leading up to Everton becoming founder members of the new organisation.  He had been at the club for two seasons when the above picture was taken and he had travelled a somewhat roundabout route to reach the town where he would spend the rest of his days. Andrew Gibson was born on 31st January, 1864, at the number 3 house in the High Main Street of the Ayrshire market town of Dalmellington. His Father and Grandfather, both named Alexander, belonged to the accident order of Fleshers (qualified slaughter men) thus making the family prominent members of the local community. The 1881 census lets us know that Andrew, now 17, had moved to the town of Kilmarnock which was expanding due to the fact that it is now the headquarters of Glasgow and South Western Railway Company. He was living with relatives...
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Keys and Warmby — The Duo from Derby

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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