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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The Birth of Sponsorship -KEN ROGERS

I was asked what appeared to be a fairly straightforward Everton FC quiz question recently but failed miserably with my answer. To be fair, it was a Richarlison-style curved ball, linked with the first known commercial sponsors of a Goodison Park fixture. I thought I started well by suggesting Hafnia and NEC but I wasn’t even close. Linked with today’s visitors I was told that the answer had a Manchester connection and links to lifeboats, a beefy end-product and an historical light spectacular. In the end I turned to a classic source of information for the answer by viewing the comprehensive Everton Collection website. A quick search turned up a photograph of one of the gold winner’s medals handed out that day. The date was 1893 when it was ‘cheers!’ to . . . Bovril, our first match sponsors. This steaming bovine-based beverage was first introduced in 1884, four years before we became one of the founder members of the Football League....
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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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Only Once a Blue (10) Roger Ord. – Tony Onslow

Courtesy of Patrick Brennan Born April 1874 in the Northumberland Coal Mining community of Cramlington, Roger Ord was the second son of Thomas and his Wife, Ann. He was working as a Coal Miner when he began his football career keeping goal for his local side Shankhouse who played their league matches in the Northern Alliance. Known as the Black Watch This club entered the FA Cup in 1892 and surprised all concerned by reaching the first round proper but were beaten, 4-0, by Notts County at Trent Bridge. The local scout persuaded Ord to sign for Everton following his appearance in the Northumberland Senior Cup final at St James Park, Newcastle. The terms, entered in the club minute book, are as follows… Resolved. We offer Ord 10/- per week, employment, without guarantee open to further arrangements. These arrangements must have been disappointing to the Young Northumbrian who, nevertheless, was present at Goodison Park in time for the new Football League campaign....
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