1940-1949

Ted Sagar – ‘The Boss’

Ted Sagar – ‘The Boss’

When talking of great centre forwards, it is easy to rattle off numerous contenders, but when thinking of goalkeepers, just three tend to dominate the discussion. Gordon West, a brilliant keeper and a larger than life character off the pitch; then Neville of course, who achieved so much in his seventeen years, making 578 league appearances (750 in all competitions) and breaking so many records along the way. Until 1994, the record for a goalkeeper stood at 497(463 league games), and was held by a man that my father never tired of telling me about - Ted Sagar. Ted joined…
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Billy and Bob: The Fabulous Balmer Brothers

Billy and Bob: The Fabulous Balmer Brothers

Billy and Bob: The Fabulous Balmer Brothers By Rob Sawyer William and Robert Balmer formed a fearsome, and fruitful, fraternal partnership in Everton’s back-line in the early years of the 20th Century. William’s selection for national team duty would also make him the club’s first Scouse England cap. They were the sons of James (a carpenter and joiner) and Martha. William Atherton was born on 29 July 1875 whilst Robert followed on 28 November 1881. The pair - better known and Billy and Bob - grew-up alongside their siblings John (b. 1874) and Mary (b. 1877) at the family home…
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Initials T.G. – Researching Tommy Jones, The Prince of Centre-Halves

Initials T.G. – Researching Tommy Jones, The Prince of Centre-Halves

William Ralph “Dixie” Dean sits unchallenged as the king of Goodison Park. Joining him in the Royal Blue dynasty is the Prince of Centre Halves: Thomas George Jones. Tommy, as his friends knew him, was so famous in his pomp for Everton and Wales that he was known merely by his initials - T.G. Devouring Everton history books as a youngster, I would read of this artist in the Blues’ half-back line. Dominant in the air, immaculate on the ground and possessing a rocket-like shot, T.G. was so confident in his own ability that he would dribble in his own…
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Jack Humphreys – Blue Dragon – Rob Sawyer

Jack Humphreys – Blue Dragon – Rob Sawyer

Jack Humphreys (courtesy Humphreys family) Tommy “T.G.” Jones is rightly hailed as an Everton great yet, for the post-war phase of his 14-year association with the Blues, he frequently found himself relegated to reserve team football. Although club politics and injury problems played a role in this state of affairs, so too did the form of T.G.'s fellow Welsh centre-half, Jack Humphreys. The son of the headmaster of Llandudno's Dyffryn Road Primary School, Jack (christened John Vaughan Humphreys) attended Friars School Grammar School in Bangor. As a teenager he played football for Llandudno Town in the Welsh League North. He became a student…
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Tommy Eglington – The Flying Winger of the Fifties – Rob Sawyer

Tommy Eglington – The Flying Winger of the Fifties – Rob Sawyer

Tommy Eglington, the Irish international left-winger, gave unstinting service to the Blues’ cause during some of the club’s darkest days. He is forever associated with his teammate and great friend, Peter Farrell, who crossed the Irish Sea with him in 1946.  Tommy was born in Donnycarney, a Northside suburb of Dublin on 15th January 1923. He was one of seven siblings born to Christopher (a butcher by trade) and Margaret. As was the norm, Gaelic Football was played in school, so Tommy would only get to indulge his passion for the ‘British game’ in the fields near his home after…
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Searching For The Blues Baseballers – Dave Prentice

Searching For The Blues Baseballers – Dave Prentice

Everton baseball team circa 1945 Featuring Gordon Watson of EFC and Theo Kelly as trainer wearing hat The Everton team you've never heard of as Blues search for sporting pioneers Everton were once a leading name in trying to establish a popular American sport on Merseyside  Because Everton have diversified into other sports in their long sporting history - and the Everton Heritage Society - the group of historians which seeks to research and chronicle all elements of the football club, is interested in discovering more about one particular diversion. Baseball. The Toffees have flirted with another sport with American…
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WWI and WW2 Remembrance Booklet

WWI and WW2 Remembrance Booklet

Download here: The Fallen booklet WWI and WW2 Remembrance Booklet(Written by Mike Royden & Peter Jones) A great deal of research has been carried out by a number of members since the founding of the society, into players on Everton FC books who fell in both wars. This research has also been extended to include the Everton clubs of Chile and New Zealand. A booklet was produced to include a roll of honour for all three clubs, with brief biographies of the players. Copies are no longer available, but a digital PDF can be downloaded here. In 2011 a plaque…
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Any Chance of a Trial Mr Kelly? – Mike Royden

Any Chance of a Trial Mr Kelly? – Mike Royden

  Charlie Lewis had a dream How many of us have dreamt of turning up at Goodison with our boots, blagging our way inside, finding the manager’s office, knocking on the door and asking if there is any chance of a trial, being told ‘Sure son, no problem, come right this way’, playing a blinder, outshining all the other trialists who had been invited to play, walking off feeling you had blown it, only for the manager, not only to take you on, but to put you straight into the first team next Saturday alongside the England centre-forward? And then…
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Goodison Under Attack! – Mike Royden

Goodison Under Attack! – Mike Royden

  Merseyside was badly hit by enemy air raids during the Second World War, which peaked during the May Blitz of 1941.  However, the bombing had begun the previous summer, with attacks increasing during September 1940.    On the night of 18/19 September, several bombs landed in the Everton and Walton area, including Gwladys Street, causing serious injury to nearby residents while also damaging the Gwladys Street Stand. In Bullens Road, a bomb dropped in the school yard opposite, badly damaging the exterior wall of the stand, while also perforating the roof. A third bomb hit the outside of the practice…
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“Bunny” – The Robert Bell Story – Rob Sawyer

“Bunny” – The Robert Bell Story – Rob Sawyer

The Wirral has a proud tradition of producing high-calibre footballers who have graced stadia on Merseyside and beyond. For a period in the first half of the 20th century Tranmere Rovers became something of a centre-forward factory, producing some of the finest striking talent in the land. There was, of course, William Ralph “Dixie” Dean, but also Tom “Pongo” Waring, Bill “Nibbler” Ridding and Robert “Bunny” Bell (it appears that nicknames were mandatory in this era). The latter wrote himself into the record books by scoring a triple-hat-trick on Boxing Day 1935. More of which later… Bob, as he preferred…
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