“Bunny” – The Robert Bell Story – Rob sawyer

The Wirral has a proud tradition of producing high-calibre footballers who have graced stadia on Merseyside and beyond. For a period in the first half of the 20th century Tranmere Rovers became something of a centre-forward factory, producing some of the finest striking talent in the land. There was, of course, William Ralph “Dixie” Dean, but also Tom “Pongo” Waring, Bill “Nibbler” Ridding and Robert “Bunny” Bell (it appears that nicknames were mandatory in this era). The latter wrote himself into the record books by scoring a triple-hat-trick on Boxing Day 1935. More of which later… Bob, as he preferred to be known, was born on 10 April 1911, the son of Robert and Alice Letitia of 54 Woodchurch Road, Birkenhead. One of five brothers, Bob attended Temple Road School, a stone’s throw from Prenton Park (Jimmy Harris is another former Temple Road pupil). When the school-master was not looking, Bob’s gaze would be drawn towards Tranmere players training outside –...
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Elie Hurel – The First Jerseyman to Play in the First Division – Rob Sawyer

Elie Hurel holds a special place in the footballing folklore of the Channel Islands. Decades before Graeme Le Saux and Matt Le Tissier became household names; Elie was the first man from those Crown dependencies to play football in the English top flight. His journey there — from being orphaned as a child to lining up alongside the legendary Bill “Dixie” Dean at Goodison Park — is a remarkable one. Elie, the fifth of twelve children born to Emile Andre and Marie-Francoise Hurel, took his first breath on April 10 1915. As their names suggest, Emile and Marie-Francoise were French nationals who had moved to Jersey in 1900 in search or employment. Emile would become a market gardener, specialising the growing of tomatoes. With his brothers Elie would regularly kick a ball on the beach or grass by Five Mile Road at St Ouen's Bay. Tragically, when Elie was just seven years old, his parents died from tuberculosis within a year of...
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BRITISH HOME INTERNATIONAL 1973 – Steve Zocek

BRITISH HOME INTERNATIONAL 1973 – Steve Zocek

  The British Home International competition had been a feature of the football calendar since 1883-84 season. This consisted of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. In 1973 because of the civil unrest from the Northern Ireland conflict, Northern Ireland were ordered to play what would be their “home” games at Goodison Park, the home of Everton. On the 12th May 1973 Northern Ireland faced England with the “Visitors” claiming a 2-1 victory. Former Everton player Tommy Jackson starred in the Irish line up that day. Tottenham’s Martin Chivers gave England the lead, then a penalty from Dave Clements, who would join Everton four months later, equalised from the spot. Bryan Hamilton, who went on to play for Everton, was also in the starting line-up. Martin Chivers found the net eight minutes from time to seal victory for Alf Ramsey’s men in front of 29,865 spectators https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qn5eNgT3idg A week later Northern Ireland ended the Championships with their second and last game at Goodison, against Wales. Bryan...
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John Crelley, an FA Cup Winner with Everton – Tony Onslow

When Everton reached the FA Cup final in 1906 their opponents, Newcastle United, had previously done “league double” over them and were favourites to lift the trophy. The Merseyside club had reached this stage of the contest twice before and had been beaten on each occasion. This time however, it was to be “third time lucky” as the trophy found its way to Goodison Park. Playing for Everton that day, at left back, was a man who, in many ways, epitomised the type of individual who shaped the development of Victorian Liverpool. His name was John Crelley and he was descended from a family of Seafarers. His Grandfather, also named John, had moved to Liverpool from Wigtownshire in Scotland where he married Kilmarnock born Margaret Clerk at the church of St John the Baptist in Toxteth. The year was 1846. The couple first “set up” home in nearby Grafton Street before moving to 5 Pluto Street in Kirkdale. They were living...
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