The Good Doctor of Everton

When William Baxter moved to Liverpool from Clitheroe, he opened his own business, as a Chemist and Druggist, at 259 Great Homer Street in Liverpool. Some years later he married a local girl with whom he began to raise a family. James Clement Baxter, the second child to bless this union, was born in 1857. He attended his local school, dedicated to St Frances Xavier, where he proved to be a bright pupil. He quickly moved on to the school's college, run by the Jesuit Order, from where he won a place to study medicine at the King and Queens University in Dublin and qualified on 6 February 1879, to practice medicine. James Baxter, having returned to his native town, set up a consulting room, along with his cousin Austin Hughes, at 102 Robson Street in Everton. Six months later, he married the daughter of an Irish born Merchant who was now established as Liverpool Cotton Dealer. The lady of his choice...
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The First Everton Scot

The Life and Times of an Everton Goalkeeper It was the winter of 1880 and the football players of Everton were trouping off their pitch on Stanley Park having just been soundly beaten by the parishioners of St John's Church in Bootle. Later that year they were approached by a young Scotsman who, having just moved in to the area, asked them if he might be allowed to join them in their “kick about” matches on the park. The Everton players agreed and welcomed him in to the fold. The new arrival then commenced to demonstrate his considerable football skills to the Everton players who quickly offered him the role of both club captain and coach. The newcomer's name was Jack McGill. The newspapers of the time state that McGill was an ex-Rangers player while John Keats, the famous Everton historian, tell us he was born in Ayrshire.  This however, is not correct. John McGill first saw the light of day, 25...
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The Life and Times of Thomas Evans

When you read into this it might make you think that parishioners of St Saviours were more instrumental in the formation of Everton than those of St Domingos. It's true that the Cuffs and the Wades were members of the Methodist chapel but Tom Evans, who I believe was an experienced footballer, could well be the main driving force behind Everton on the football field.Tom Evans, I believe, was pal William J Clarke and both men once lived on the Derbyshire/Nottinghamshire border. Both men are the same age. It is Clarkes Father, who also came from this area, who is, in 1880, the Landlord of Queens Head in Everton. This article, I hope, could provoke some debate amongst the members who, no doubt will have their own opinion on the subject. Tony The Rugby code of football still  held sway in Liverpool when, in the summer of 1878, the first Australian touring side arrived to play a cricket match against the Stanley club...
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In Search of George Brewster

When I was asked for assistance by a fellow historian to find out what became of a former captain of Everton, I set off, armed with the information he had supplied, in the direction of Wigan. The last resting place of the man I was to search for was that of George Brewster and also to find out the year of his death because it was missing from the records of both Everton FC and the Scottish FA. I had not been aware, as my train drew slowly in to Wigan North West Station, that I had just passed within 100 yards of the spot that, eventually, was to be my final destination. This turned out to be Westwood Cemetery at Ince-in Makerfield. I had to make a short walk, after alighting from the bus, back across the West Coast railway line, to reach the cemetery gates where, luckily, I met two of the local council workers who were having their...
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Rob Howarth – a Former Everton Captain

The host of FA dignitaries who had been present at the opening of Goodison Park had now left Liverpool and the Everton committee assembled to start the new Football League season in earnest. Their first opponents would be Nottingham Forest. The much published decision to move from Anfield was complete and the new club, now a limited liability company, would be run by a board of directors. They were like-minded group of hard working individuals, from various religious backgrounds, whose politics were Liberal. The old Everton club had developed close links with the brewing trade and several of the previous membership had been unhappy with this arrangement. Nevertheless, when the new Everton team began their Football League campaign, they were captained by a man who held the licence of a public house in Preston. He was also destined to captain them in their first FA Cup final. Robert Henry Howarth was born 25-6-1865, the second son of an iron moulder who...
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A Tale of Two Secretaries

When the draw for the Second Round of the 1882-83 Lancashire FA knockout gave Everton an away tie at Turton, the Everton club secretary, John W Clarke, quickly consulted his Bradshaw’s Railway Guide before making his way down to the local offices of the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway Company on Tithebarn Street in Liverpool. Once there, he made the travel arrangements for himself and his players to compete in this important cup tie. So it was that, on Saturday, 13 December 1882, the intrepid members of Everton Football Club boarded the express train which, after making one stop at Wigan, deposited them safely at Trinity Street Station in Bolton. The journey time was 45 minutes. Here they changed trains and, following a 15-minute journey, they reached their intended destination. They were greeted on the station platform and then escorted down a steep cobbled lane, to the headquarters of Turton FC at the Chetham Arms. Their hosts were the oldest football club in...
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William H Parry, a former Captain of Everton Football Club

The clean-shaven young man, seated on the right of the middle row, is an eighteen-year-old player who had recently established himself in the first eleven of an Everton Football Club who are pictured here. As he gazes towards the camera and watches for the "birdie", he is unaware that, in the course of the forthcoming football season, he will score the goal that will earn his club the right to lift their first piece of silverware. His football career, however, is destined to be cut short by injury. William Henry Parry was born in 1864 in the north end of Liverpool. The 1881 census recorded that he was a son of Henry Parry who was a River Pilot and his Bristol-born wife, Ada. He had an elder sister, who was a teacher, and a younger brother, Frank, who was still at school. William, now age sixteen, listed his occupation as that of a Commercial Clerk. The family lived close to St...
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Tony Cottee – My Everton Years

Rob Sawyer in conversation with Tony Cottee The 1987-88 season had seen Everton, the reigning League Champions, give up their crown to their Mersey neighbours. Liverpool had countered the departure of Ian Rush by investing heavily in the acquisition of John Barnes, John Aldridge, Peter Beardsley and Ray Houghton. Conversely, Everton’s new manager, Colin Harvey, had kept faith in the tried and tested squad assembled by his predecessor, Howard Kendall. Come the following summer, Harvey, belatedly, decided that it was time to freshen up the squad. Neil McDonald replaced the Rangers-bound Gary Stevens, Pat Nevin came from Chelsea for a record-breaking tribunal-set fee, and Stuart McCall was drafted in to supplement the ageing Peter Reid and injury-plagued Paul Bracewell. With Adrian Heath and Wayne Clarke notching 13 and 12 goals respectively in the previous season, the need for a new “Gary Lineker” to play off Graeme Sharp was uppermost in Harvey’s thoughts. Speculation linked Ian Rush, who had failed to settle in...
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From West Derby to New South Wales: The Footballing Odyssey of Ian Hillsdon

Ian Hillsdon with the Dixie Dean statue in 2003 (courtesy Hillsdon family) For every local lad who makes the grade at Everton, scores fall by the wayside. Some teenagers fail to develop as expected, some lack the drive and mental toughness to succeed whilst others are just plain unlucky. Of those rejected some quietly slip out of the game, whilst others have a second chance at a lower league club. An intrepid few go further afield to fulfil their footballing dreams. A prime example of the latter category is Ian Hillsdon. Born in 1937, the left-back from West Derby had starred for Lancashire and Liverpool Schoolboys. He joined Everton as an apprentice in 1952 whereupon he played for the junior teams and helped the Goodison ground staff. His progress in the junior ranks led to him successfully taking part in trials for the England Youth team. After debuting for his country against Ireland he would go on to make several more appearances at...
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The Life and Times of Frank Brettell

The name of Francis Edward Brettell first appears on the Liverpool census in 1871 when he is reported as living at No 5 house, Court 13, on Boundary Street. His Father, William Brettell, lists his occupation as that of a Nut and Bold Maker and gives his birthplace as West Bromwich in Staffordshire. His wife Harriet, the mother of Frank, has been born in Devonshire. Frank, who is 9 years old, is the eldest of her three children and he has been born at Smethwick in Staffordshire. The premature death of Harriet, in 1881, saw Frank, along with rest of the family, move in with his father’s brother at 62 Aughton Street off Netherfield Road. It was around this time that he was first reported to be playing football for Everton. The match, against Birkenhead, took place on St Anne’s field where Everton lost by 2 goals to 0. The date was January, 1880. Frank Brettell became a regular feature of the...
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