The Life and Times of Thomas Evans

When you read into this it might make you think that parishioners of St Saviours were more instrumental in the formation of Everton than those of St Domingos. It's true that the Cuffs and the Wades were members of the Methodist chapel but Tom Evans, who I believe was an experienced footballer, could well be the main driving force behind Everton on the football field.Tom Evans, I believe, was pal William J Clarke and both men once lived on the Derbyshire/Nottinghamshire border. Both men are the same age. It is Clarkes Father, who also came from this area, who is, in 1880, the Landlord of Queens Head in Everton. This article, I hope, could provoke some debate amongst the members who, no doubt will have their own opinion on the subject. Tony The Rugby code of football still  held sway in Liverpool when, in the summer of 1878, the first Australian touring side arrived to play a cricket match against the Stanley club...
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In Search of George Brewster

When I was asked for assistance by a fellow historian to find out what became of a former captain of Everton, I set off, armed with the information he had supplied, in the direction of Wigan. The last resting place of the man I was to search for was that of George Brewster and also to find out the year of his death because it was missing from the records of both Everton FC and the Scottish FA. I had not been aware, as my train drew slowly in to Wigan North West Station, that I had just passed within 100 yards of the spot that, eventually, was to be my final destination. This turned out to be Westwood Cemetery at Ince-in Makerfield. I had to make a short walk, after alighting from the bus, back across the West Coast railway line, to reach the cemetery gates where, luckily, I met two of the local council workers who were having their...
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Rob Howarth – a Former Everton Captain

The host of FA dignitaries who had been present at the opening of Goodison Park had now left Liverpool and the Everton committee assembled to start the new Football League season in earnest. Their first opponents would be Nottingham Forest. The much published decision to move from Anfield was complete and the new club, now a limited liability company, would be run by a board of directors. They were like-minded group of hard working individuals, from various religious backgrounds, whose politics were Liberal. The old Everton club had developed close links with the brewing trade and several of the previous membership had been unhappy with this arrangement. Nevertheless, when the new Everton team began their Football League campaign, they were captained by a man who held the licence of a public house in Preston. He was also destined to captain them in their first FA Cup final. Robert Henry Howarth was born 25-6-1865, the second son of an iron moulder who...
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A Tale of Two Secretaries

When the draw for the Second Round of the 1882-83 Lancashire FA knockout gave Everton an away tie at Turton, the Everton club secretary, John W Clarke, quickly consulted his Bradshaw’s Railway Guide before making his way down to the local offices of the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway Company on Tithebarn Street in Liverpool. Once there, he made the travel arrangements for himself and his players to compete in this important cup tie. So it was that, on Saturday, 13 December 1882, the intrepid members of Everton Football Club boarded the express train which, after making one stop at Wigan, deposited them safely at Trinity Street Station in Bolton. The journey time was 45 minutes. Here they changed trains and, following a 15-minute journey, they reached their intended destination. They were greeted on the station platform and then escorted down a steep cobbled lane, to the headquarters of Turton FC at the Chetham Arms. Their hosts were the oldest football club in...
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William H Parry, a former Captain of Everton Football Club

The clean-shaven young man, seated on the right of the middle row, is an eighteen-year-old player who had recently established himself in the first eleven of an Everton Football Club who are pictured here. As he gazes towards the camera and watches for the "birdie", he is unaware that, in the course of the forthcoming football season, he will score the goal that will earn his club the right to lift their first piece of silverware. His football career, however, is destined to be cut short by injury. William Henry Parry was born in 1864 in the north end of Liverpool. The 1881 census recorded that he was a son of Henry Parry who was a River Pilot and his Bristol-born wife, Ada. He had an elder sister, who was a teacher, and a younger brother, Frank, who was still at school. William, now age sixteen, listed his occupation as that of a Commercial Clerk. The family lived close to St...
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Tony Cottee – My Everton Years

Rob Sawyer in conversation with Tony Cottee The 1987-88 season had seen Everton, the reigning League Champions, give up their crown to their Mersey neighbours. Liverpool had countered the departure of Ian Rush by investing heavily in the acquisition of John Barnes, John Aldridge, Peter Beardsley and Ray Houghton. Conversely, Everton’s new manager, Colin Harvey, had kept faith in the tried and tested squad assembled by his predecessor, Howard Kendall. Come the following summer, Harvey, belatedly, decided that it was time to freshen up the squad. Neil McDonald replaced the Rangers-bound Gary Stevens, Pat Nevin came from Chelsea for a record-breaking tribunal-set fee, and Stuart McCall was drafted in to supplement the ageing Peter Reid and injury-plagued Paul Bracewell. With Adrian Heath and Wayne Clarke notching 13 and 12 goals respectively in the previous season, the need for a new “Gary Lineker” to play off Graeme Sharp was uppermost in Harvey’s thoughts. Speculation linked Ian Rush, who had failed to settle in...
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From West Derby to New South Wales: The Footballing Odyssey of Ian Hillsdon

Ian Hillsdon with the Dixie Dean statue in 2003 (courtesy Hillsdon family) For every local lad who makes the grade at Everton, scores fall by the wayside. Some teenagers fail to develop as expected, some lack the drive and mental toughness to succeed whilst others are just plain unlucky. Of those rejected some quietly slip out of the game, whilst others have a second chance at a lower league club. An intrepid few go further afield to fulfil their footballing dreams. A prime example of the latter category is Ian Hillsdon. Born in 1937, the left-back from West Derby had starred for Lancashire and Liverpool Schoolboys. He joined Everton as an apprentice in 1952 whereupon he played for the junior teams and helped the Goodison ground staff. His progress in the junior ranks led to him successfully taking part in trials for the England Youth team. After debuting for his country against Ireland he would go on to make several more appearances at...
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The Life and Times of Frank Brettell

The name of Francis Edward Brettell first appears on the Liverpool census in 1871 when he is reported as living at No 5 house, Court 13, on Boundary Street. His Father, William Brettell, lists his occupation as that of a Nut and Bold Maker and gives his birthplace as West Bromwich in Staffordshire. His wife Harriet, the mother of Frank, has been born in Devonshire. Frank, who is 9 years old, is the eldest of her three children and he has been born at Smethwick in Staffordshire. The premature death of Harriet, in 1881, saw Frank, along with rest of the family, move in with his father’s brother at 62 Aughton Street off Netherfield Road. It was around this time that he was first reported to be playing football for Everton. The match, against Birkenhead, took place on St Anne’s field where Everton lost by 2 goals to 0. The date was January, 1880. Frank Brettell became a regular feature of the...
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The Men Who Bankrolled Everton

The original History of the Everton Football Club, by Thomas Keates, published in 1928, tells us that James Clement Baxter, who was reported to have loaned them £1,000, was the man credited with financing their move away from Anfield and over to Goodison Park. This alas, according the Liverpool newspapers, does not appear to be the case. The good Doctor did indeed make a generous donation to aid their departure but he was not alone in doing so. Several other people, some prominent local businessmen amongst them, were also credited with giving the club their support. These individuals, not all of them Everton football fans, had various reasons for doing so and their names first became known at a meeting that was held on 15 March 1892, at the Royal Street Presbyterian School in Liverpool. Mr George Mahon, who took the chair, described: …that he had in his hand a guarantee fund which contained the names of Gentleman from in and outside...
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The ‘Lost Home’ of Everton Football Club

The date is 27 October 1883 and a Liverpool-based journalist has set out to cover a game of football that is to take place on a new enclosure that had recently been completed by the executive of Everton Football Club. The need for this location had arisen because the number of people that were now assembling to watch them play had become too large to control at their previous home on Stanley Park. The spectators, around 2,000 in number, were swarming around the unguarded touchlines, spilling onto the pitch and disrupting the play. These fortunate bands of football followers were also enjoying their entertainment free of charge. If the Everton club were going to move forward, then their followers would have to prove their loyalty by being prepared to pay for the privilege of watching them play football on an enclosed ground. Such a location was now ready for occupation and it opened, officially, with a representative match between the Liverpool &...
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