Henry F Briggs, an Everton Goalkeeper

Signed as cover for the controversial “Happy Jack” Hillman, Frank Briggs joined Everton, from Darwen, in January 1906 having first played football in the Nottinghamshire Coalfield. He had been born at number 84 dwelling – on the Alfreton Turnpike at Eastwood - in 1872 and was the 3rd of child of John, a Domestic Servant, and his Wife, Lucy. Henry Briggs is missing from the1891 census but contemporary newspaper reports place him keeping goal for a Midland League side who were the forerunners of the Mansfield Town of today. His skills quickly caught the attention of struggling Football League Division One outfit Darwen who gained his signature in February 1894. The Cricket and Football Club ran side by side in the Peaceful Valley and the community offered Briggs, a cricketer of proved ability, terms that would also guarantee him a wage throughout the months of Summer. He immediately took his place under the crossbar but could not prevent the Darreners from...
Read More

William Wildman – Tony Onslow

An Everton Full Back William Wildman was invited to join Everton, in 1903, having been spotted playing at full back with local amateur team, Queens Road Mission. No fee was involved but the Goodison Park club made a donation - to the mission, of £6,7s & 6d. Their new recruit had been born, 5th of March 1880, and was the 7th child of Allison, a Shipwright, and his Wife Elizabeth. The family then lived in Exley Street but, at the time of 1901census, they are living in Richmond Grove where William has found employment as a Commercial Clerk. Kept out of the senior side by the consistent play of Jack Crelley and the Balmer Brothers, he eventually made his Football League debut, 28th of January 1905 in a 1-0 win over Middlesbrough at Goodison Park. Wildman was called up on one more time, a 2-1 home defeat by Bury before, after being placed on the transfer list in...
Read More