Clocking On… by Steve Johnson

Today’s 2.05pm kick- off inevitably gets supporters talking about the ‘ good old days’ when we remember all football matches being played on a Saturday afternoon at 3pm… but just how common was that 3pm time slot? Well, it depends on how far back you look! Prior to the Premier League era, most of Everton’s home matches, aside from those played in midweek, did indeed commence at the ‘traditional’ time of 3pm – but that had only been the case from the early 1960s onwards. From 1957 to late 1961 Everton’s Saturday kick-offs had alternated mostly between 3pm and 3.15pm, and before that we varied primarily amongst 2.15, 2.30, 2.45, 3.00 and 3.15pm starts! Up until World War 1 the picture was even more unsettled, with all sorts of different afternoon kick-off times in vogue – although 3.30 and 4.00pm were much more prevalent. So why the moveable start times before 1957? ‘Light’ is the answer! Everton installed floodlights in 1957 (as did Chelsea), using...
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The Blacksmith of Crossmyloof By Tony Onslow  

Despite the fact that several various publications claim that John Weir joined Everton from Hibernian, the Edinburgh-based football club, there is no evidence, according to the Victorian journalists of Liverpool, that this information is correct. He did, according to their reports, play his football in Glasgow before moving south of the River Tweed to spend the rest of his life in Northwest England. John Weir was born, 10 January 1865, at Crossmyloof, Renfrewshire, and was the third child of a fairly mature couple who had moved to the west of Scotland from their native Ireland. The 1871 census finds him still living at Crossmyloff, now absorbed in to the City of Glasgow, along with his elder brother, born 1862, whose name is Charles. By 1881, the two Weir brothers are living, along with their father, on Pollockshaws Road, near to where they had been born. John is now employed as an Apprentice Blacksmith while Charles works as a Hammerdriver. It is...
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T.G. Jones And The Boys Of ‘39 by Rob Sawyer

EFC Heritage Society member Rob Sawyer is appealing for supporters’ memories of Everton players from a golden era. Rob, who wrote the excellent biography of Harry Catterick, says: “My dad and I watched the Blues sweep all before them in the 1980s but his greatest praise was reserved for the championship-winning team of 1938/39. This has inspired me to chronicle the players’ stories particularly that of Tommy ‘T.G.’ Jones, dubbed ‘The Prince of Centre- Halves’.” Those lucky enough to see it, claim that this team best-fulfilled the School of Science billing bestowed upon the Club by former Derby County striker, Steve Bloomer. Much like in 1984, something clicked for a team that had been in a state of transition during the previous season. And, just like Kendall’s champions, the 1938/39 team was a finely-tuned mix of youth and experience, skill and steel. Agile goalkeeper Ted Sagar was nicknamed ‘The Boss’ for the way he dominated his box. Uncompromising full-backs Billy Cook and Norman...
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Welcoming Old Friends…by Tony Onslow

Burnley's game at Goodison Park is the only top-flight fixture this weekend that features two founder members of the Football League. Burnley began life playing under the rules of Rugby School but switched to the FA code following an invitation from the local cricket club to join them at their established home of Turf Moor. The Burnley footballers first played here in 1883, which means only Preston North End have occupied their home ground for a longer length of time in English football. Burnley were soon given a shock introduction into the realities of the association game when, in October 1883, they were beaten 9-1 by a neighbouring Padiham side that included several Scottish imports. The Turf Moor outfit quickly did the same, surpassed their neighbours and, in September 1888, became a founder member of the Football League. They first met Everton on alternative weekends in November 1888. The first was on a section of Turf Moor that had been fenced off from the cricket...
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When Parker Tamed Tigers by David Prentice

    Run through the list of Everton’s record scorers against almost every club we’ve ever faced and one name predictably dominates. William Ralph Dean. Everton’s top scorer against Arsenal? Dixie with 12 goals. Liverpool? Dixie with 19. Chelsea? Dixie again with 10. But not today’s visitors Hull City. The man who tormented the Tigers even more than the celebrated Dixie throughout his career was another Everton striker, a man who doesn’t feature as frequently whenever lists of Everton’s great forwards are mentioned but whose goals return was impressive. John Willie Parker was described as a “stylish inside- forward” who played much of his football for Everton during the brief spell we spent outside the top flight between 1951 and 1954. He scored 89 goals in his 176 Everton appearances, many of them in that spell – and in the promotion campaign of 1953/54 top-scored with 31 goals in 38 starts. He scored once against Hull that season, but it was in Everton’s first campaign of Second Division football...
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Phew, 9-1 win is a scorcher by David Prentice

                  Cartoon “Referees and the Heat Wave. Suggested Outfit”; headline from the Liverpool Daily Post & Mercury –   “Football Hot O! Players Collapse”; a cartoon from the Football Echo of Saturday 8 September, reflecting on the heatwave. Caption reads: ‘Overheard last Saturday: “Tommy, come and stand in the shade; it’s cooler.” The start of September 1906 saw England sweltering in a heatwave – the most intense temperatures recorded in the 20th century. It was weather for sunbathing, not sport, as the temperatures topped 32 degrees for four successive days throughout most of the country. No surprise, then, that the Liverpool Daily Post & Mercury’s headline for Monday 3 September read: Football Hot O! A Warm Kick- Off And Enormous Crowds. Players Collapse. While the editorial began: “The Glorious First, which duly celebrates the commencement of two distinct classes of sport – football and partridge shooting – will long be remembered for its overpowering heat.” Maybe the heat helped explain the events at Goodison Park on  the  Monday evening of 3...
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Spreading the Everton name…by John Shearon

At the final whistle of this evening’s game both sets of players will be looking forward to a well-earned  rest over the coming months.   In late April 1909, this was not the case as Everton closed the season with a 4-2 win over Leicester Fosse to finish runners-up to champions Newcastle United. The Toffees, along with Spurs, who likewise had finished runners-up but in the Second Division, had been invited to play a number of friendly matches in Argentina and Uruguay where the sport was still in its infancy. This was not the first such tour. Southampton in 1904 and Nottingham Forest in 1905 had made earlier visits, but it would result in the first match between two professional teams in the Americas (until professionalism was first introduced to Argentina in 1931), and would leave a lasting impression in South America. Everton left Lime Street on 13 May 1909, boarding the Argentine-bound R.M.S. Aruguaya in Southampton the following day. Spurs literally missed the...
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The Influence Of Tom… by James Corbett

The Influence Of Tom...by James Corbett 16 March 1925, after months of scouting, negotiation and gentle persuasion, Everton’s secretary- manager Tom M c Int osh concluded the most important transfer deal in the Club’s history. For £3,000, William Ralph (‘Dixie’) Dean arrived from Tranmere Rovers. Three years later, Dean’s record 60-goal tally propelled Everton back to the summit of English football. Today, Dean resides amongst the football immortals, yet McIntosh, who served as Everton’s secretary-manager for 15 years, is little remembered. That is a shame, for as well as being a key figure in the signing of Dean, he helped the Club move from a state of post-War transition into a golden era. Like several of the men who followed him into the Everton manager’s office – Harry Catterick, Gordon Lee and Howard  Kendall – McIntosh was a North-Easterner, born in Sedgefield in 1879. A teenage player with Darlington in the 1890s, he reverted to the role of club secretary in 1902. Nine years later...
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ANOTHER GREAT BOOK FROM DECOUBERTAIN – ROB SAYWERS ‘THE PRINCE OF CENTRE-HALVES: THE LIFE OF TOMMY ‘TG’ JONES’

ANOTHER GREAT BOOK FROM DECOUBERTAIN – ROB SAYWERS ‘THE PRINCE OF CENTRE-HALVES: THE LIFE OF TOMMY ‘TG’ JONES’

ANOTHER GREAT BOOK FROM DECOUBERTAIN - Q&A WITH ROB SAYWER, AUTHOR OF 'THE PRINCE OF CENTRE-HALVES: THE LIFE OF TOMMY 'TG' JONES' Posted by Jack Gordon-Brown on May 31, 2017 Rob Sawyer comes from a long line of Everton FC supporters. Listening to his father and grandfather regale the stories of Dixie Dean and the Holy Trinity led to a deep interest in Everton's illustrious history. Whilst researching his first book, a biography of Harry Catterick, Sawyer found just how important TG Jones was to the Toffees. We spoke to him about the Everton great... Hi Rob. You say that when you really became aware of T.G.’s importance to Everton when researching Harry Catterick’s biography. As a keen Evertonian, how aware of T.G. were you before that research? I was certainly aware from Everton history books and talking with my father that T.G. was one of the classiest players to represent The Toffees. Profiles mentioned that he left Everton to run a hotel in...
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Sponsorship deals in the early 1900s ‘Everton by Postcard’

Sponsorship deals in the early 1900s ‘Everton by Postcard’ By Brendan Connolly In the early 1900s, postcards were the equivalent of current day text messages. Very few people had telephones, so the postal system was the main method of communication. As a result, demand dictated that there were four mail deliveries per day, with the last post being late in the evening. It was not unusual to post a letter or postcard early in the morning and receive a reply the same day. Postcards carried a lower postal rate than letters and by the early 1900s picture postcards had become very popular and companies seized the opportunity to use them to advertise. Morris Evans Household Oils were based in Festiniog, North Wales and put their name to a postcard illustrating our 1906 FA Cup-winning team. The company claimed that their products were a remedy for rheumatism, sciatica, lumbago and sore throats. They also prided themselves on how effective their oils were for dogs and farm...
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