When The Toffees Outshone The Blades –                           Anfield Under Illumination  – Richard Gillham

When The Toffees Outshone The Blades – Anfield Under Illumination – Richard Gillham

1878 not only saw the foundation of the football team that would become Everton FC but, in October of that year, the first experiments in playing artificially-illuminated matches. At Sheffield United’s Bramhall Lane ground, dynamo-powered lamps were mounted on timber gantries to provide the light for a match contested by teams made up of representatives from local clubs. The ‘Blues’ ran out 2-0 winners. But it was here on Merseyside, on 8th January 1890, that one of the most significant trials of this nascent technology occurred. On this occasion Paraffin-fuelled lamps, manufactured by A. C. Wells & Co. of Manchester, and normally used for industrial use, were deployed. The Blades were the visitors to Everton’s Anfield ground for the 7pm kick-off. By why Anfield? According to the Liverpool Courier: ‘Anfield is perhaps the best arena in the county for such experiments as the high stands serve to contain the light within the required area.’ The novelty of this innovation...
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Everton – The Baseball Years – Richie Gillham & Rob Sawyer

The BATS British American Tobacco Team with John Moores (2nd from left in hat), circa 1935 Baseball may be a minority sport in the UK but 80 years ago Merseyside was a hotbed of this popular American pastime. Had it not been for the outbreak of War in 1939 perhaps it would have gained a proper foothold in our sporting life. Folklore has it that William Ralph ‘Dixie’ Dean was once introduced to the legendary Babe Ruth (of Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees fame) at a football match. Dean recalled to journalist John Roberts his encounter with Babe. The American introduced himself in typical style by booming: "You’re that Dixie Dean guy! Jeez, you’ll get some cash today." When Dean explained that his wages – capped at £8/wk – were not linked to the number of spectators through the turnstiles, Ruth reportedly exclaimed: "Jesus Christ! I’d demand two-thirds of this gate!" Dean, himself, would dabble in the American...
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Searching For The Blues Baseballers – Dave Prentice , Richie Gillham & Rob Sawyer

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 roots, basketball, when the Toxteth based Tigers operated under the Everton brand between 2007-2010. However, six decades earlier Everton was a leading English name in another American sport – Baseball. Now, Richie Gillham of EFC Heritage Society is researching the rise of the sport on Merseyside and its connections to Everton. An Everton baseball team, with no...
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‘King’ Charles: Everton (Trinidad and Tobago) – Richard Gillham

Alfred Charles (Southampton Strip) Alfred Pious Charles was born in Trinidad & Tobago, 11 July 1909. He received his prestigious royal nickname from a 1931 match report when in 1931 the Touring Trinidad & Tobago national team played British Guiana: ‘Playing at centre-half. He shone like a beacon in that position and so amazed the Guianese that they christened him "King Charles". Alfred was very highly regarded in his school days at Newtown Boys’ RC – he was head and shoulders above other boy footballers in Port of Spain. In 1929 he joined the Port of Spain Football League side, Everton FC. In his first season there, Everton captured the FA Cup. The glory days carried on with Everton winning the quadruple three years on the run from 1930 to 1932, the Port of Spain Football League & FA Cup, Sperling Cup & the Wincairns Trophy. The club also won the McKinney Cup against the Rest of the League XI on the...
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