Alfred Vaughan was about 8 weeks short of his 27th birthday when he made his one and only Football League appearance for Everton. He had been born, of Welsh parentage, on the 4th of April 1871 in the North Wales Coastal town of Rhyl. His Father Edward, worked as a Joiner, and his Mothers name was Margaret. The family first lived at Windsor Street before moving to Queen Street where Margaret, assisted by her Daughter, ran a Confectionary business while Alfred joined his Father in the Carpentry trade. He began playing amateur football locally until, in 1898, Rhyl Athletic amalgamated with Rhyl United and joined a Combination League that consisted almost entirely of teams from North Wales and Merseyside. The club was known simply as Rhyl and Vaughan was appointed captain.

It was the first time a Rhyl football team had left the North Wales area and the local newspaper detailed a journalist – who wrote under the “non-de-plume of “Phillip,” to accompany them on their travels. He left his readers with this detailed, and sometimes uncomplimentary, account of the day they left home in order to play South Liverpool…

Rhyl allowed themselves ample time to journey to Liverpool last Saturday leaving on the 10:28 train we reached the “Black Spot on the Mersey” at 12:30 and “dinner money” having been doled out, we repaired to different hotels and there discussed our respective dinners. At 2 o clock we assembled under the clock at Lime Street Station and espying a Park Road tram we hailed it and took our positions on the outside seats. In a fog that we could almost eat, we trans versed through one of the most uninviting parts of Liverpool to the field of slaughter, which is situated in Wellington Road almost within a stone throw from the Mersey. The playing field was true as it sloped from one touchline to the other, but it was in fair condition and an improvement on most of the grounds I have seen thus far. There was a capital reserved enclosure and a commodious covered grandstand. Almost only the occupants however, were a couple from Rhyl, who accompanied the team, and a host of Rhylites who are now flourishing in Liverpool.  Need I say we formed distinctly the most respectable position of the spectators? It did one’s heart good to see the enthusiasm of the “Old Boys” for the old town, and it was not it was not because they lacked encouraging cheers of their friends, that Rhyl returned home beaten by 5 goals to 1. Quite 1,500 people lined the ropes when operations commenced at 3 o clock. (Rhyl Record and Advertiser, 19th of November 1898.) 

On the 3rd of December 1898, Rhyl were back in Liverpool to take on the Everton second X1. They were beaten 9-0. The return game took place 3 weeks later on Victoria Park where Everton won again by the reduced score of 5 goals to 1. Nevertheless, the play of Vaughan had been impressive and, when approached by a member of the Everton executive, he agreed to register with the club and signed an amateur form. This arrangement allowed him to continue playing for Rhyl until he was called up on to assist Everton, on the 14th of January 1899, against Preston North End at Goodison Park. Vaughan, playing at centre half, did what was required of him as his side won 2-0.

The Welshman, who was playing the best football of his career, next week took part in a Welsh FA trail game, North v South, at Wrexham but failed to be selected for full international honours. His Rhyl side, in the meantime, were finding life difficult in the Combination but, eventually, they did improve their position in the table. Alfred Vaughan continued to play for the club until his retirement early in the next century.

The 1901 census finds his Mother, who is now a Widow, running a large Boarding House at 40 West Parade in Rhyl. Alfred who resides at this address, continues to work as a Joiner. In 1907, he married Clara Gunner – the Daughter of Boot Manufacturer – at a non-conformist chapel in Rhyl. The couple took up residence at Ruthin where their son Arthur was born. At the time of 1911 census the head of the household declares himself to be a Boot Dealer who employs 2 people. He lived in Ruthin until the death of Clara and then moved back to Queens Street in Rhyl. Alfred Vaughan spent his last days working as Joiner until his death, at St Asaph in 1941.

 

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