The Costley Brothers – Was It Jim Or Was It Tom? By Tony Onslow

Thomas Halliwell Costley was born in Liverpool but began his football career in Blackburn before moving back to his birthplace in order to play for Everton. He was the younger brother of Jimmy Costley who scored the winning goal, for Blackburn Olympic, in the 1883 FA Cup final. Although Jimmy was never to sign for Everton he did represent his home town club in several attractive friendly fixtures where he deputised for his brother on the left wing. Tommy, the fifth child of the family, was born, 5 March 1865, at Rathbone Street on the south side of Liverpool town centre. His father, who lists his occupation as a “Boatman” was named James while his mother, whose maiden name was Halliwell, was called Grace. The 1871 census finds the Costley family now living in one of the back courts off Duke Street where Grace, estranged from her husband, now has seven children. The 1881 census however, informs us that the family,...
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The Blacksmith of Crossmyloof By Tony Onslow  

Despite the fact that several various publications claim that John Weir joined Everton from Hibernian, the Edinburgh-based football club, there is no evidence, according to the Victorian journalists of Liverpool, that this information is correct. He did, according to their reports, play his football in Glasgow before moving south of the River Tweed to spend the rest of his life in Northwest England. John Weir was born, 10 January 1865, at Crossmyloof, Renfrewshire, and was the third child of a fairly mature couple who had moved to the west of Scotland from their native Ireland. The 1871 census finds him still living at Crossmyloff, now absorbed in to the City of Glasgow, along with his elder brother, born 1862, whose name is Charles. By 1881, the two Weir brothers are living, along with their father, on Pollockshaws Road, near to where they had been born. John is now employed as an Apprentice Blacksmith while Charles works as a Hammerdriver. It is...
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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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The Hope of Everton

The Hope of Everton In November 1890, the Everton executive dispatched their club captain Andrew Hannah back to his native Scotland and instructed him to find a player who would strengthen the side and help them clinch the Football League Championship. They informed him he could offer a signing on fee of £50 plus a weekly wage of £3 and 10s a week. Hannah later returned with Hope Ramsey Robertson who had agreed to join the Anfield club from Partick Thistle. He had been born ,17-1-1868, in the Govan area of Glasgow and was the third child born to Assurance Agent John Robertson and wife Catherine. The 1881 census finds the family now living in the Whiteinch area of the City where the young Hope, now 13, is working as a Rivet Heater in a local shipyard. He began his football career with a team who played under the name of Minerva, before joining a Partick Thistle club who, at the time,...
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The Merseyside Derby Game

The Merseyside Derby Game The people of the Merseyside “turn in on themselves” today as their two vintage football clubs line up to face each other for the 194th time. No other City in England can claim to have staged more local Derby games, at the top level of English football, than Liverpool. The atmosphere will be electric yet when these two deadly rivals first locked horns with each other it was on a football pitch that has long since faded in to local folklore. The date was April 1893 and the occasion was the final of Liverpool Senior Cup which took place, in front of 10,000 people, on the present home of Bootle Cricket Club at Wadham Road. The encounter was settled by a single goal, that was scored, in favour of Liverpool, by Scotsman Tom Wylie who had once played for Everton but, following the acrimonious “split” had chosen to remain at Anfield. His new club nevertheless, were members...
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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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