The Footballing Anderson Brothers of Liverpool

When asked recently who was the first Liverpool-born man to play Association Football for England or score a goal in an FA Cup final, I was not able to answer the question. I then commenced to trawl through the FA records and, after much deliberation, appeared to have found the two most likely candidates to fill these roles. I was surprised to discover that they both belong to the same family. Robert Darnley Anderson was born on 29th April, 1859 and baptised the following June at St Pauls church in the Princes Park area of Liverpool. He was the fifth child and second son of a wealthy Scottish cotton merchant who had settled at Liverpool in a large house known simply as “West Dingle”. His Mother, Dorothy nee Horsfall, was born on Netherfield Lane in Everton and her father was also a rich cotton merchant. The 1861 census reveals that the family had moved to Marine Terrace in Great Crosby and the...
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The Hope of Everton – Tony Onslow

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 17th January, 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, 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, played on...
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Alex Lochhead, the Everton Wing Half from Neilston – Tony Onslow

Many Everton players over the years have been asked to make their debut in some tough “must win” situations but the first of these must surely be a young Scotsman who arrived in Liverpool during the November of 1891 at a time when his new club were challenging to take the football league championship away from Preston North End. Alexander Lochhead had been born on 27th June, 1865 in the rural community of Neilson in Renfrewshire where he began his football career playing for the village team. His style of play soon caught the eye of a talent Scout who invited the young half back to join the football players from the Third Lanarkshire Rifle Volunteers who were based in Glasgow. The club, following their formation in 1874, had first played their home matches on the parade ground before moving to the first Cathkin Park in 1875. In September 1888, the Volunteers began a long and arduous cup run that was...
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The Life and Times of John Cameron – Tony Onslow

It had been just four weeks since the first football knockout, won the by The Wanderers, had taken place on the Kennington Oval ground in London when a boy was born on the South West Coast of Scotland. He was destined to make FA Cup history. John Cameron was born on 13 April 1872 in the Newton district of Ayr where his family, who were in the grocery business, had finally come to settle. The 1881 census finds the business has premises on Waggon Road and John is an eight-year-old scholar. He later attended Ayr Grammar School. In 1891, the Cameron family are to be found living on Church Street in Ayr and John is now working as a Clerk for the Cunard Shipping Company. They have an office at 30 Jamaica Street, Glasgow. John Cameron began his football career with a local team who played under the name of Ayr Parkhouse. This club had been formed in 1886 and were playing...
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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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