Only Once a Blue, Humphrey Jones – Tony Onslow

Only Once a Blue, Humphrey Jones – Tony Onslow

Once a major force in Scottish football, the Vale of Leven club are basedin the small Dunbartonshire town of Alexandria. Originally formed in 1872, there were the first team to take away the SFA Cup from the famous Queens Park club of Glasgow when they won the trophy threetimes on the run between 1877-78 -79. In 1890, now founder members of the Scottish League, the Scots made their first visit to Liverpool where a certain Humphrey Jones made his only appearance for Everton. He had been born, 17th of December 1863, at Summerhill Terrace in the North Wales town of Bangor and was the 5th child born to Humphrey, a successfulBuilder, and his Wife Jane.Privately educated, he first attended the local Friars School before moving to Christ College in Brecon from where he won a place at Cambridge University.Humphrey played association football for Peterhouse College but owing to his style of play, failed to gain a Blue. When his studies permitted, hewould be seen in the half back line, for Bangor City on their homeground, (here featured) at Maes-y-Dref. The club were members of the North Welsh Football Association and regularly won their local knockoutcompetition. The dominant style of play shown by Jones soon caught the eye of the Welsh selectors and, on the 23rd of March 1885, he won his first...
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BARRY REES A Blue from Rhyl – Steve Zocek

BARRY REES A Blue from Rhyl – Steve Zocek

Barry Rees was a bright young lad who originated from Rhyl in North Wales. An excellent footballer from an early age, he caught the eye of an Everton scout. Having represented his county of Flintshire, he eventually made the grade as a professional footballer.  Barry impressed his manager sufficiently to feature in four first team games, netting twice, before being sold to Brighton and Hove Albion. Barry died in tragic circumstances at the age of 21 and I am indebted to Barry’s brother Geraint for sharing Barry’s all too short career with me.  Barry was a bit of a home boy and he was forever coming back to Rhyl and staying at home, which manager Harry Catterick didn’t like, preferring his players to stay local around the Liverpool area. That may be what brought things to a head between Barry and Mr. Catterick. I don’t think they really saw eye to eye.  Barry was discovered by Everton’s North Wales region scout, Fred Bennett, in Flint. Barry played representative schoolfootball and went on to play for Wales schoolboys. He was playing for Rhyl in the Cheshire League, before joining Everton at the age of 17 and serving an apprenticeship as a plumber, as many did...
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Richard Williams, an Everton Goalkeeper- By Tony Onslow

Richard Williams, an Everton Goalkeeper- By Tony Onslow

Predating the renowned Port Sunlight Model Village by some 25 years, Bromborough Pool was built to house their workforce by the executive who conducted the affairs of the Price Candle factory. It was also the birthplace of former Everton goalkeeper, Richard Williams. Born 17th of April 1866, he was the 3rd Child of Richard, a General Labourer, and his Wife, Margaret. After being educated at the village school, the 1881 census finds young Richard has now started employment in the Soap Factory where he met Sarah Jane Brocklebankwho he married in 1889. He had started his football career playing a full back for Bromborough Pool but eventually established himself in the position of Goalkeeper.The club were members of both the Wirral and the Liverpool & District FA. In 1889 they became founder members of the West Lancashire League along with such teams as Kirkdale, Stanley and Tranmere Rovers. At the time of the 1891 census the couple are living, in the Model Village, at 11 South View.(here featured) On the 29th of April that year Richard Williams is seen at Anfield playing for a Liverpool District X1 against a team of players who were based in the City.Next September – following thesudden death of John Angus – he signed professional forms with Everton for a wage of 45/- per week. Standing at...
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Jack Earp – The Gentleman Amateur By Rob Sawyer

Jack Earp – The Gentleman Amateur By Rob Sawyer

Martin John “Jack” Earp’s Everton appearances only just made it into double-figures yet his tale is worth telling. Born into a Nottingham printing family on 6 September 1872; his early footballing experience was with small teams in England’s lace capital. He went on to represent  Nottingham Forest as a “gentleman amateur”, signing on in September 1889 and debuting in January 1890 in an East Midlands derby against, naturally, Derby. He was also selected for the famous Corinthians when only 17 years-old. Jack’s elder brother Fred would also represent Forest and later become the club’s secretary manager (1909-1912). In January 1891 Jack Earp was in the Forest XI which hit 14 goals without reply in a FA Cup tie against Clapham Orient, a record that stood for over one hundred years.  Having appeared in his habitual right full-back position for Forest against Sheffield Wednesday on 7 November 1891 he swapped the Midlands for Merseyside, the curious arrangement was explained in the Birmingham...
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