Once a Blue (11)-William Orr, the Boy from Gwladys Street – by Tony Onslow

At the time William Marr Orr made his only Football League appearance for Everton he had just moved to live in a new row of terraced houses that had been constructed by the Walton Local Board. George Goodison, their Civil Engineer, had decided to name the thoroughfare, Gwladys Street.   The parents of William, John, and Jean had married in the Ayrshire town of Kilbirnie where their first child Jessie was born.  The head of the family then worked on the Railway as a Fireman but had been promoted to the rank of Engine Driver when they took up residence at 80 Aughton Street in Liverpool. Here their third child William was born in December 1869. The 1881census finds the family have now moved to 46 Walton Road but the Head of the Household had “passed away” at the time of their move to 10 Gwladys Street somewhere around 1888. William, now working as a Clerk in the Corn Exchange, began his...
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Jack Humphreys – Blue Dragon – Rob Sawyer

Jack Humphreys – Blue Dragon – Rob Sawyer

Jack Humphreys (courtesy Humphreys family) Tommy “T.G.” Jones is rightly hailed as an Everton great yet, for the post-war phase of his 14-year association with the Blues, he frequently found himself relegated to reserve team football. Although club politics and injury problems played a role in this state of affairs, so too did the form of T.G.'s fellow Welsh centre-half, Jack Humphreys. The son of the headmaster of Llandudno's Dyffryn Road Primary School, Jack (christened John Vaughan Humphreys) attended Friars School Grammar School in Bangor. As a teenager he played football for Llandudno Town in the Welsh League North. He became a student at Loughborough College, renowned as a centre of sporting excellence. Here he captained the university's Athletics Union and was selected for a Varsity representative football team. With the advent of the Second World War, Jack enlisted with the Army, seeing action as a bombardier in France. Whilst serving he made frequent appearances in Army football teams. In 1942 Jack wrote to Everton requesting...
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Michael Knighton an Interview – By Steve Zocek

Michael Knighton an Interview – By Steve Zocek

When the name Michael Knighton is spoken in football terms, he is always associated as the entrepreneur who almost bought Manchester United FC in August 1989 for £20m.  Michael entered the field of play before a game at the Theatre of Dreams, displaying his ostentatious football skills in front of the devoted Stretford Enders. Hang on a minute. What has this got to do with any Everton-related article I hear you say? Simple. Michael was at Everton in his youth and this is what he told me of his younger days with the School of Science. The chief scout that picked me up was a man called Harry Storer who hailed from West Derby. Harry had joined the club at the age of 63 in the early 1960’s. In his younger days, Storer had been the manager of Coventry City on either side of the Second World War.  Harry was indeed a character and he saw me playing for Derbyshire schools and...
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The Scot from the Vale of Leven – John Walker by Tony Onslow

The Scot from the Vale of Leven – John Walker by Tony Onslow

John Walker Trying to compile an inventory of Scotsmen who have played football for Everton is like compressing springs in an old iron bedstead. Just when you think your task is complete, another one” jumps up”. The latest addition to this list is John Walker.  He was born on the 4th of November 1869, at Bonhill, Dunbartonshire and was the second child of John, a Carter, and his Wife Jane. He was training to be an Engine Fitter when he began his career with the Alexandria based Vale of Leven club and represented them in several Scottish FA Cup games prior to them becoming founder members of the Scottish League.  In 1890 he signed for a Grimsby Town side who had just been accepted as founder members of the Football League Division Two. Walker, playing at centre half, took part in the Lincolnshire clubs inaugural match on what was then their home ground at Abbey Park. The visitors were Northwich Victoria and the...
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