When The Toffees Outshone The Blades –                           Anfield Under Illumination  – Richard Gillham

When The Toffees Outshone The Blades – Anfield Under Illumination – Richard Gillham

1878 not only saw the foundation of the football team that would become Everton FC but, in October of that year, the first experiments in playing artificially-illuminated matches. At Sheffield United’s Bramhall Lane ground, dynamo-powered lamps were mounted on timber gantries to provide the light for a match contested by teams made up of representatives from local clubs. The ‘Blues’ ran out 2-0 winners. But it was here on Merseyside, on 8th January 1890, that one of the most significant trials of this nascent technology occurred. On this occasion Paraffin-fuelled lamps, manufactured by A. C. Wells & Co. of Manchester, and normally used for industrial use, were deployed. The Blades were the visitors to Everton’s Anfield ground for the 7pm kick-off. By why Anfield? According to the Liverpool Courier: ‘Anfield is perhaps the best arena in the county for such experiments as the high stands serve to contain the light within the required area.’ The novelty of this innovation...
Read More

The Birth of Sponsorship -KEN ROGERS

I was asked what appeared to be a fairly straightforward Everton FC quiz question recently but failed miserably with my answer. To be fair, it was a Richarlison-style curved ball, linked with the first known commercial sponsors of a Goodison Park fixture. I thought I started well by suggesting Hafnia and NEC but I wasn’t even close. Linked with today’s visitors I was told that the answer had a Manchester connection and links to lifeboats, a beefy end-product and an historical light spectacular. In the end I turned to a classic source of information for the answer by viewing the comprehensive Everton Collection website. A quick search turned up a photograph of one of the gold winner’s medals handed out that day. The date was 1893 when it was ‘cheers!’ to . . . Bovril, our first match sponsors. This steaming bovine-based beverage was first introduced in 1884, four years before we became one of the founder members of the Football League....
Read More

Everton – The Baseball Years – Richie Gillham & Rob Sawyer

The BATS British American Tobacco Team with John Moores (2nd from left in hat), circa 1935 Baseball may be a minority sport in the UK but 80 years ago Merseyside was a hotbed of this popular American pastime. Had it not been for the outbreak of War in 1939 perhaps it would have gained a proper foothold in our sporting life. Folklore has it that William Ralph ‘Dixie’ Dean was once introduced to the legendary Babe Ruth (of Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees fame) at a football match. Dean recalled to journalist John Roberts his encounter with Babe. The American introduced himself in typical style by booming: "You’re that Dixie Dean guy! Jeez, you’ll get some cash today." When Dean explained that his wages – capped at £8/wk – were not linked to the number of spectators through the turnstiles, Ruth reportedly exclaimed: "Jesus Christ! I’d demand two-thirds of this gate!" Dean, himself, would dabble in the American...
Read More
‘Money Can’t Buy Us Love: Everton in the 1960s’ – By Gavin Buckland – Reviewed by Rob Sawyer

‘Money Can’t Buy Us Love: Everton in the 1960s’ – By Gavin Buckland – Reviewed by Rob Sawyer

Two strong-willed, complicated, men form the axis of a new book by Gavin Buckland which explores, in greater detail than ever before, Everton during the trophy-laden 1960s Rob Sawyer For those who have only been following Everton since the 1990s, you’ll have known the Blues as the plucky underdogs – the Dogs of War, even. It’s been the People’s Club, punching above its weight against opponents with much greater financial clout. For these younger supporters - even in this more financially stable and ambitious Moshiri-led era - it must be hard to envisage a time when the Toffees were the much envied moneybags of British football. Yet, throughout the 1960s, thanks to the ambition of one man, Everton was treated with much of the same suspicion - and grudging admiration - as Chelsea FC was early in the Roman Abramovich era. That man responsible was John Moores, the self-made multi-millionaire from Eccles who made his fortune in the Pools...
Read More