1878-1889

In Search of Priory Road 1883-84

In Search of Priory Road 1883-84

In Search of Priory Road Commencing to write this article on the day that government approval was granted for the Bramley-Moore Stadium, social media was awash with good wishes to all those concerned in successfully seeing the project through. There were the inevitable online exchanges, with a great many from the envious dark side, who could see they were now visibly condemned to spend yet another generation in their Big Stand with little chance of expansion, a move, or even a laughable ground-share. Meanwhile, many commented online that this would be Everton’s third stadium build in the city.  (pic: Liverpool…
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International Football arrives on Merseyside – Tony Onslow  

International Football arrives on Merseyside – Tony Onslow  

The first international football match to take place on Merseyside occurred on 24 February 1883, when England took on an Irish side who were making their first excursion to mainland Britain. The match was arranged under the guidance of the FA secretary Charles Alcock, who decided to stage the game on the new home of Liverpool Cricket Club at Aigburth. He had attended Harrow Public School and would have been acquainted, through the 'Old Boy' network, with other Old Harrovians who lived on Merseyside. One such person was Percy Bateson. Born locally in 1862, Percy was the son of a…
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John Dewar – by Tony Onslow

John Dewar – by Tony Onslow

Thanks to the British Newspaper Archive website, the mystery of John Dewar, who made a single appearance for Everton, can be revealed. He was born in September 1867, in the Renfrewshire village of Strathbungo (today part of the City of Glasgow), and was the second child of Andrew, a Stonemason, and his wife Janet. The family had relocated to the Kinning Park area of Glasgow where John became an apprentice to his father and played junior football with Well Park, with whom he won the Glasgow Junior Cup. Around 1882 he progressed to senior football with Thistle FC (once a…
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Jack Keys and William Warmby — The Duo from Derby

Jack Keys and William Warmby — The Duo from Derby

Jack Keys and William Warmby — The Duo from Derby In preparation for life in the Football League, Everton Football Club made several new signings during the summer of 1888. Two of them, Keys and Warmby, had joined from Derby County. Despite the fact that the local newspapers made no reference to their background, they were in fact related by marriage and had reached the Mersey seaport by two slightly different routes. William Henry Warmby was born in 1863 in South Yorkshire, where he began his football career with his local team, Rotherham Town. Some time around 1883 he moved…
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John Roach, a Striker from Shropshire By Tony Onslow

John Roach, a Striker from Shropshire By Tony Onslow

The main engineering works of The Cambrian Railway Company - today a grade two listed building - once employed many of the people who lived in the Welsh Marches town of Oswestry, and provided the local football team with several players. One such person, who also represented Everton, was John Roach. John Roach's home in LorneSt (left) and the Railway Works (far right) Born April 1863, he was the third child of Martin, a labourer, and his wife Bridget, who together had moved to Shropshire from their birthplace in the County Mayo across the Irish Sea. John had begun to work as a blacksmiths striker, in the foundry of the Cambrian Company, when he started playing football for the Oswestry White Stars, who shared a ground with the local cricket club. On 29 December 1883, the little Shropshire club found themselves in the limelight, having received a home FA Cup draw with the famous Queens Park club from Glasgow, who were renowned for playing quality football with…
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Only Once a Blue (10) Charles McGoldrick – Tony Onslow

Charles McGoldrick was born on 30 November 1865 at 38 York Terrace in Everton and baptised at the church of Our Lady Immaculate. This being the case, his birth might well have been attended by the future director of Everton Football Club, Doctor James Baxter. He was the first child of Denis, an Irish born warehouse man, and his Preston born wife, Mary. McGoldrick was first reported to be playing football on Walton Stiles, for the Stanley club, but by September 1886 had signed for Oakfield Rovers. Formed by members of a Wesleyan Methodist community they had, that year, opened…
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Mick Higgins – the Original True Blue – Tony Onslow

Mick Higgins – the Original True Blue – Tony Onslow

Mike Higgins No other player can claim a tighter bond with the early development of Everton Football Club than 'good old' Mike Higgins who can surely lay claim to the title of 'Original True Blue'. From the start of club records, he can be found representing them when they first appeared on Stanley Park. Higgins was with the club during their one-year tenure at Priory Road and took part in the first game Everton played at Anfield. He was the longest serving member of the playing staff, when they became founder members of the Football League in 1888. His Irish born father,…
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The History of Bramley-Moore Dock – Mike Royden

The History of Bramley-Moore Dock – Mike Royden

Evertonians are justly proud of their heritage, and as it has been with Goodison, so it will be with Bramley-Moore Dock.  As it celebrates its 170th anniversary this year, what are the origins of the site of Everton’s proposed new stadium? The dock takes its name from John Bramley-Moore (pictured), who was born in Leeds in 1800.  As a young man he went out to South America, spending several years as a merchant in Rio de Janeiro.  By 1830 he was clearly upwardly mobile, marrying Seraphina Hibernia, the daughter of William Pennell, British consul-general for Brazil.  In 1835, Bramley-Moore was…
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Frank Sugg – A Great Sporting All-Rounder – Rob Sawyer

Frank Sugg – A Great Sporting All-Rounder – Rob Sawyer

As a child, a shopping trip to nearby Stockport was not complete without a visit to the Sugg Sport emporium in the Merseyway Shopping Centre. Back then I was blissfully unaware of the link between the family giving its name to the Yorkshire-based retail chain and Everton FC. Frank Howe Sugg, like Jack Sharp and Harry Makepeace, was a notable footballer-cum-cricketer on Everton’s books. Born in Ilkeston, in 1862, Frank was raised in Pitsmoor, Sheffield from the age of four, along with his elder brother, Walter. The boys’ parents had designs on them following their father, Hubert, into the legal…
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A Christmas Tale from Liverpool

The retail stores of Liverpool had filled their windows with Christmas gifts to remind their potential customers that the festive season of 1888 was near, when a twenty years old Scotsman arrived at Tithebarn Railway Station to be greeted by the representatives of Everton Football Club. The weary traveller was John William Angus and he had been spotted while playing football in Glasgow, by a talent scout who dispatched him down to Liverpool, where he was to spend a trial period at Anfield. The Scot would have then been taken by the club conveyance, to meet the lady with whom…
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