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...
Read More

‘Jack O’ Both Sides’ – The Life and Times of Jack Sharp (1878-1938) – Rob sawyer

  Jack Sharp sits in exalted company as one of England’s few dual cricket and football internationals. To Evertonians he is much more than that – an iconic player, captain, FA Cup winner, club director and founder of Liverpool’s best known sports outfitters. Born on 15 February in Everton’s founding year, Jack (christened John) was the youngest child of Charles and Annie Sharp who resided at 8 Eign Street in Hereford. Dorking-born Charles was a butcher with other business interests in the town, whilst Annie hailed from County Meath in Ireland. Jack and elder brother Bertram (Bert) grew up playing football and cricket. Jack broke scoring records at centre-forward for Hereford Thistle whilst Bert performed capably at full-back. Matches were played at The Barracks ground on Harold Street, The Grapes Tavern (which Charles had a stake in) doubled as the team’s HQ. With 17 year-old Jack in the ranks, the team won the Bristol League, progressing to the Birmingham and District League. His...
Read More

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,...
Read More

From Leicester Fosse to Leicester City…

The Premier League champions are at Goodison Park this afternoon but did you know that the club played for 25 years after its formation before becoming Leicester City? Today’s visitors were formed in 1884 by a group of young men from a local evangelical chapel who decided to form a football team that they chose to call Leicester Fosse. This suffix was selected because the old Roman Road, known as the Fosseway, had once passed through the area. The group then all agreed to pay nine old pence membership fee and another nine pence was collected to purchase a football. They then played at several different locations before, according to local folklore, a certain Miss Westland suggested they construct an enclosure at a site on Walnut Street which, in turn, became Filbert Street. Leicester Fosse first played in the Midland League before being elected to the Football League Division Two in 1893. In 1908 they gained promotion to the top flight and faced...
Read More