On Tour in London with Everton – Tony Onslow

This week's clash with Arsenal, the 195th in total, will in no way resemble the occasion when the two sides first met 125 years ago, in what is today The Royal Borough of Greenwich. It was the first time that the Anfield club had visited the capital and their understrength party, which consisted of fifteen players, left Liverpool without their leading goal scorer Fred Geary who was suddenly recalled to Nottingham because of a family bereavement. Club captain Andrew Hannah, along with Alec Brady, were also absent when the train left Lime Street Railway Station in good time for the party to spend a comfortable Friday evening in London by attending a show at the Convent Garden Theatre. Everton were the present Football League champions and had been invited to tour London where a pre-arranged programme of three fixtures awaited them. The opening game was to be at the Oval Cricket Ground against a Corinthian side, which it was reported, contained...
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Keys and Warmby — The Duo from Derby by Tony Onslow

In preparation for life in the Football League, Everton Football Club made several new signings during the summer of 1888. Two of them, Keys and Warmby, had joined them from Derby County. Despite the fact that the local newspapers make no reference to their background, they were in fact related by marriage and had reached the Mersey Seaport by two slightly different routes. William Henry Warmby was born, 1863, in South Yorkshire where he began his football career with his local team, Rotherham Town. Sometime around 1883 he moved to Derby where he took up a job as an engine fitter (Midland Railway?) and played his football with a team made up of players from the congregation at the church of St Luke. They were one of the lesser known teams in the town and played on a small ground at Peat Street. On November 8th, 1884 they travelled to face Wolverhampton Wanderers in an FA Cup tie, on their home...
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With Everton at Great Lever – Tony Onslow

There has long been some confusion concerning the outcome of the first competitive game played by Everton that was won, eventually, by their opponents, Great Lever. Early local historians state that Everton drew the tie, 1-1 and then were decisively beaten in the replay by 8 goals to 1 on Stanley Park. However, the record books of the Lancashire FA, held in Leyland, prove that Great Lever did indeed venture into next round of the competition but the replay, which was rather acrimonious, took place in their home town of Bolton. The parishioners of St Bartholomew’s church had formed a football club in 1877 before making their headquarters one year later at a local tavern that was called the Old Robin Hood. Here they changed their name to Great Lever and set about constructing a simple enclosure that was adjacent to a notorious local landmark called Wellington Yard, which by its description appeared to be a tannery. The club officials then...
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The Oxford Blues of Everton Football Club

The young football fan who today watches the highly paid Premier League stars of the modern era will find it difficult to visualise the generation of footballers who, long ago, earned a good living outside of the game and played football without reward because they loved to do so. Confined mostly to the South of England, many of them had first become acquainted with the association game at public school and then expanded their knowledge and skills at universities such as Oxford. Here, if noted by the selectors, they could be chosen to represent their University and be awarded an honour that was referred to as a “blue”. Two of these noble amateurs, who earned this distinction, later found themselves wearing the blue jersey of Everton Football Club. The first of them was William Charles Jordan. The Reverend William Charles Jordan The son of a brewery owner, he was born on 9th December, 1885 at Oldbury in Warwickshire and attended Kind Edward College...
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The Footballing Anderson Brothers of Liverpool

When asked recently who was the first Liverpool-born man to play Association Football for England or score a goal in an FA Cup final, I was not able to answer the question. I then commenced to trawl through the FA records and, after much deliberation, appeared to have found the two most likely candidates to fill these roles. I was surprised to discover that they both belong to the same family. Robert Darnley Anderson was born on 29th April, 1859 and baptised the following June at St Pauls church in the Princes Park area of Liverpool. He was the fifth child and second son of a wealthy Scottish cotton merchant who had settled at Liverpool in a large house known simply as “West Dingle”. His Mother, Dorothy nee Horsfall, was born on Netherfield Lane in Everton and her father was also a rich cotton merchant. The 1861 census reveals that the family had moved to Marine Terrace in Great Crosby and the...
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The Hope of Everton – Tony Onslow

In November 1890, the Everton executive dispatched their club captain, Andrew Hannah, back to his native Scotland and instructed him to find a player who would strengthen the side and help them clinch the Football League Championship. They informed him he could offer a signing on fee of £50 plus a weekly wage of £3 and 10s a week. Hannah later returned with Hope Ramsey Robertson who had agreed to join the Anfield club from Partick Thistle. He had been born 17th January, 1868, in the Govan area of Glasgow and was the third child born to Assurance Agent John Robertson and wife Catherine. The 1881 census finds the family now living in the Whiteinch area of the City where the young Hope, now 13, working as a rivet heater in a local shipyard. He began his football career with a team who played under the name of Minerva before joining a Partick Thistle club who, at the time, played on...
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Alex Lochhead, the Everton Wing Half from Neilston – Tony Onslow

Many Everton players over the years have been asked to make their debut in some tough “must win” situations but the first of these must surely be a young Scotsman who arrived in Liverpool during the November of 1891 at a time when his new club were challenging to take the football league championship away from Preston North End. Alexander Lochhead had been born on 27th June, 1865 in the rural community of Neilson in Renfrewshire where he began his football career playing for the village team. His style of play soon caught the eye of a talent Scout who invited the young half back to join the football players from the Third Lanarkshire Rifle Volunteers who were based in Glasgow. The club, following their formation in 1874, had first played their home matches on the parade ground before moving to the first Cathkin Park in 1875. In September 1888, the Volunteers began a long and arduous cup run that was...
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The Life and Times of John Cameron – Tony Onslow

It had been just four weeks since the first football knockout, won the by The Wanderers, had taken place on the Kennington Oval ground in London when a boy was born on the South West Coast of Scotland. He was destined to make FA Cup history. John Cameron was born on 13 April 1872 in the Newton district of Ayr where his family, who were in the grocery business, had finally come to settle. The 1881 census finds the business has premises on Waggon Road and John is an eight-year-old scholar. He later attended Ayr Grammar School. In 1891, the Cameron family are to be found living on Church Street in Ayr and John is now working as a Clerk for the Cunard Shipping Company. They have an office at 30 Jamaica Street, Glasgow. John Cameron began his football career with a local team who played under the name of Ayr Parkhouse. This club had been formed in 1886 and were playing...
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‘Jack O’ Both Sides’ – The Life and Times of Jack Sharp (1878-1938) – Rob sawyer

  Jack Sharp sits in exalted company as one of England’s few dual cricket and football internationals. To Evertonians he is much more than that – an iconic player, captain, FA Cup winner, club director and founder of Liverpool’s best known sports outfitters. Born on 15 February in Everton’s founding year, Jack (christened John) was the youngest child of Charles and Annie Sharp who resided at 8 Eign Street in Hereford. Dorking-born Charles was a butcher with other business interests in the town, whilst Annie hailed from County Meath in Ireland. Jack and elder brother Bertram (Bert) grew up playing football and cricket. Jack broke scoring records at centre-forward for Hereford Thistle whilst Bert performed capably at full-back. Matches were played at The Barracks ground on Harold Street, The Grapes Tavern (which Charles had a stake in) doubled as the team’s HQ. With 17 year-old Jack in the ranks, the team won the Bristol League, progressing to the Birmingham and District League. His...
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The Costley Brothers – Was It Jim Or Was It Tom? By Tony Onslow

Thomas Halliwell Costley was born in Liverpool but began his football career in Blackburn before moving back to his birthplace in order to play for Everton. He was the younger brother of Jimmy Costley who scored the winning goal, for Blackburn Olympic, in the 1883 FA Cup final. Although Jimmy was never to sign for Everton he did represent his home town club in several attractive friendly fixtures where he deputised for his brother on the left wing. Tommy, the fifth child of the family, was born, 5 March 1865, at Rathbone Street on the south side of Liverpool town centre. His father, who lists his occupation as a “Boatman” was named James while his mother, whose maiden name was Halliwell, was called Grace. The 1871 census finds the Costley family now living in one of the back courts off Duke Street where Grace, estranged from her husband, now has seven children. The 1881 census however, informs us that the family,...
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