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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A Christmas Tale from Liverpool

The retail stores of Liverpool had filled their windows with Christmas gifts to remind their potential customers that the festive season was near when a twenty-year-old Scotsman arrived at Tithebarn Railway Station to be greeted by the representatives of Everton Football Club. The weary traveller was John William Angus and he had been spotted while playing football in Glasgow by a talent scout who dispatched him down Liverpool where he was to spend a trail period at Anfield. The Scot would have then been taken, by the club conveyance, to meet the lady with whom he would lodge (usually a Mrs Evans on Chepstow Street) before being taken on to meet the Everton captain, Nick Ross. Anfield, shortly before the departure of Everton. Jack Angus was born on 1st December, 1868, in an area of central Glasgow long since given over to commerce, known as Bythswood. He first came to prominense when playing for a local junior club, Kelvingrove Athletic, against Queens...
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George Fleming: The Goalscoring Bank Clerk from Arbroath By Tony Onslow 04/01/2016

It is the summer of 1887 and the Everton team pose, at the Sandon, with the trophy they had just won after beating Oakfield Rovers by five goals to nothing. Two of these goals had been scored by a man, sitting left of the centre row, who had recently moved to Merseyside from Scotland. His name was George Spink Fleming and he was destined to etch his name in to the record books of Everton Football Club. Fleming, along with his twin sister Jemima, was born on the 4th of November 1859 in the Forfarshire town of Arbroath. His father was the owner of a grocery store that was situated at 72 Marketgate.  The 1881 census tells us that the family had moved to number 80 Marketgate and George, then age 22, listed his occupation as that of a Bank Clerk. He was also playing football for the leading club in the area. The above photograph, taken in 1882, shows the Arbroath...
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“Our Tam” McInnes, an Everton First By Tony Onslow 23/02/2016

When the Football Clubs of Everton and Liverpool run out to meet each other in the forthcoming Merseyside derby game, it will be for the 194th time in the League. No other city in England can claim to have staged more local derby games at the top level of English football than Liverpool. The game will take place on the former home of the Everton Club at Anfield before a capacity and fiercely partisan, crowd and the atmosphere will be electric.  Yet, when these two deadly rivals first locked horns with each other it was not at one of their present day homes but on a cricket ground before a crowd of 10,000 people at Hawthorne Road in Bootle. The date was April 1893 and the occasion was the final of Liverpool Senior Cup. There was much local speculation as the match approached whether the team from Goodison Park would include any of its Football League players, because the season was now...
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In Search of John Houlding

This article is not intended to either praise or condemn John Houlding for the role he played in the decision made by Everton Football Club to move away from Anfield. It is merely an effort to try and throw some light on this "larger than life" character who played a big part in the establishing the game of Association Football in his home town of Liverpool. Local records reveal that John Houlding was baptised on 4th August 1833, at St Martin-in the-Field church and that he was the second of three sons born to Thomas Houlding, a cow keeper, and his wife Alice.  The family resided at 19 Tenderden Street where the income from Thomas Houlding's occupation enabled him to provide his children with a good standard of education and a comfortable home in which to live. The 1851 census revealed that John Houlding was still living in Tenderden Street where, along with his younger brother William, he listed his occupation as...
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