Jack Brearley, a Prisoner at Ruhleben – Tony onslow

Jack Brearley, a Prisoner at Ruhleben. Located beneath the dark smoking chimneys of the gigantic Spandau Munitions Factory on the out skirts of Berlin, the harnessed horse racing track at Ruhleben was hurried 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. Liverpool born Jack Brearley was 1 of 4 former Everton players detained by the German Authorities but he had played for several other clubs before arriving at Goodison Park. Records show that he was baptised,13th of February 1876, at the church dedicated to St Nathaniel at Edge Hill in Liverpool and was the 2nd child born in to the family home...
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The Eventful Life of Billy Kirsopp – Tony Onslow

The Eventful Life of Billy Kirsopp. William Henry James Kirsopp was a Liverpool born inside forward who, like many of his generation, was to have his football career interrupted in order to serve his country in World War One. Having first worked on the Mersey Docks he volunteered for the armed forces and, after seeing action in Europe, returned to the family home having been wounded. Kirsopp was born, 21st of April 1892, the 2nd son of Charles, a Landscape Gardener, and his Scottish born Wife Elizabeth. The family first resided at Drysdale Street, in the Southend of the City, and by 1911 they are living off Kingsley Road at 4, Solway Street. Kirsopp was working for Cunard Shipping Company, as a Dock Labourer, when his scoring ability attracted the attention of the Everton Talent Scouts while wearing the colours a team who played under the name of the Borough of Wallasey. Based at Mill Lane in Liscard, they were members of...
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World Cup 1966 at Goodison Park – Steve Zocek

In 1966, England was the host nation for the world’s most glamourous football event. Seven cities were chosen to stage games, with Liverpool being one. London,Manchester, Sunderland, Middlesbrough, Birmingham and Sheffield completed the set. Goodison Park in those days was a top stadium with great facilities and a capacity over 60,000. The stadium was admired and envied by many clubs in England, but this was to be shown to a worldwide audience. World champions Brazil played Bulgaria in Group 3 at Goodison Park on 12th July in front of 47,308 fans. There were no surprises as Brazil led at the break through a goal from the young Pele. The lead was doubled 27 mins from time as Garrincha secured the victory. The locals around L4 were certainly getting to grips with World Cup fever, as parentsorganised street parties for their children, draping bunting from house to house, commemorating the world’s greatest competition.   Seventy two hours later, the Brazilians returned to Goodison to face Hungary before...
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THE EVERTON MATCH DAY TOFFEE LADY EXPERIENCE – Steve Zocek

Those of us who have attended Goodison Park on a matchday have always been familiar with the figure of a lady dressed in a blue and white dress, an apron, quaint bonnet and carrying a basket of Everton mints. She tosses handfuls of the black and white humbugs into the sections of the stadium, as she walks the perimeter of the pitch, with eagerly awaiting fans clutching whatever they can catch. The fans take for granted this ritual, which goes back to a date we can’t be precise on, but the duty was certainly performed in the 1950’s and possibly earlier. I recently made contact with someone who was a Toffee lady and only lived a stone’s throw away from Goodison Park. Gillian Francis made her “debut” as a Toffee lady in August 1977 on the opening day of a new season as newly promoted Nottingham Forest, managed by Brian Clough, came to experience life in the top flight. The criteria which...
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