1900-1909

Lost in France: Leigh Richmond Roose

Lost in France: Leigh Richmond Roose

A talk given by author Spencer Vignes to the Everton FC Shareholder's Association Leigh Richmond Roose Leigh Roose was born in a small village called Holt which lies just on the Welsh side of the border between England and Wales a few miles outside Wrexham. As a youngster he took to goalkeeping like a duck to water, perfecting his art during kick-abouts in Holt and while at university in Aberystwyth where he went to do a science degree. While he was in Aberystwyth he also played for the top local side, Aberystwyth Town, with who he won a Welsh Cup…
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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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Everton FC’s 1909 pre-season tour of South America, Edwardian style

Everton FC’s 1909 pre-season tour of South America, Edwardian style

The amazing story of Everton's pioneering 1909 tour of South America In the summer months of 1909 a 13-strong Everton FC playing staff led by two directors and a trainer, together with travelling companions Tottenham Hotspur, travelled 14,000 miles and spent more than six weeks at sea, visiting Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina – “to introduce and develop first class football.” Their story is a fascinating one – and thanks to the diligence of director E. Bainbridge and an exhaustive tour diary he produced for the Echo, the story of the ground-breaking tour can be retold a century later. So settle…
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Architect of His Own Success: Samuel Bolton Ashworth

Architect of His Own Success: Samuel Bolton Ashworth

Samuel Bolton Ashworth was an amateur left-half of the early 1900s. Born 11 March 1877 in Fenton, Stoke-on-Trent, the son of a Mr. Thomas Ashworth who served as manager of Glebe Colliery, and Betsy Bolton; he was one of 10 children and played youth football with a succession of local sides in the Staffordshire leagues, before joining Football League founder members Stoke City for the 1901/02 season. In two seasons at Stoke, Sam Ashworth made 39 league and cup appearances, filling each of the half-back roles, but never scoring a goal – he never troubled the scorers once in his…
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Clarence Berry, Everton’s Rugby Playing Goalkeeper

Clarence Berry, Everton’s Rugby Playing Goalkeeper

Clarence Herbert Berry was the first man to sign for Everton having previously played Rugby League football at senior level. He was born on 4 October 1886, and was the fourth child of Frank and Alice who ran a grocery business on Buick Street in Warrington. Berry had begun to serve an apprenticeship as a pattern maker when he began his football career playing under association rules for a local amateur team with the name of Warrington Albion. He then switched codes and signed for Warrington Rugby League club at their Wilderspool home. Clarence Berry made his debut on 25…
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Winterhalder and Dawson, Everton Wingers

Arthur Winterhalder Signed to cover the abrupt exit of the Wilson brothers, Arthur Winterhalder, a promising outside left, joined Everton from West Ham United. He was descended from a family of clockmakers who had emigrated from Germany to settle in the Marylebone area of London. His father Richard did not choose to follow this profession but decided instead to enlist in the 3rd Dragoon Guards and was stationed at Colchester when he married local girl, Martha Gibbons. Around 1878 Richard left the army to work as a carter at Stratford in London. In 1883 he took up a position as…
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Sam Strettle

Sam Strettle

Born at the family-owned foundry on 2 February 1886, Sammy Strettle was the sixth child of Thomas who, along with his father-in-law, manufactured iron files at 125 Knutsford Road in Warrington. His mother's name was Elizabeth. By 1901, with the foundry now closed, the Strettle family had decamped to nearby Fothergill Street where Sammy had found employment in a wire works. Census records revealed that his father later became a works manager and, at the time of the 1911 survey, had moved the family home to Prescot on the outskirts of Liverpool. In the meantime, Sam Strettle had obtained employment…
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Only Once a Blue (Part 9): John Hannan

Conveniently situated on the North East coast of Scotland, the seaport of Dundee earned for itself the title of 'Juteopolis' because of the large quantities of the vegetable fibre imported to the town which were then spun into rope and canvas. The Tayside town also imported a large amount of flax from the Baltic countries, which was used to make linen. This form of industry provided employment for a budding young footballer with the name of John Hannan, born 28 April 1884, at 53 Hospital Wynd. He was the 2nd child of Daniel, a jute mill overseer, and Jane. The…
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Jack Brearley, a Prisoner at Ruhleben

Jack Brearley, a Prisoner at Ruhleben. Located beneath the dark smoking chimneys of the gigantic Spandau Munitions Factory on the outskirts of Berlin, the harnessed horse racing track at Ruhleben was hurriedly turned in to an internment camp for the 5,000 or so British civilians who found themselves trapped inside Germany due to the outbreak of World War 1. The game of association football was still in its infant stages, and several of the men held captive, former professional football players, had answered an advertisement to come as trainers and help improve the standard of the game on mainland Europe.…
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Harry Grundy An Everton Winger

When Elizabeth Bradley moved to work in Liverpool from Chirk, she caught the eye of William Grundy, then working as a groom. They were married in 1870, at the Welsh Chapel dedicated to St David on Brownlow Hill. The couple settled at 4 Moorside in Neston where the head of the household worked as a Coachman. It was here, on 15 March 1883, that their sixth child Thomas Henry was born. He became known affectionately as Harry. The 1891 census found the family living at 25 Parkgate Road where William had become the clerk at the local parish church of…
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