John Roach, a Striker from Shropshire By Tony Onslow

Today a grade two listed building - the main engineering works of The Cambrian Railway Company once employed many of the people who lived in the Welsh Marches town of Oswestry and provided the local football team with several players. One such person, who also represented Everton, was John Roach . Born April 1863, he was the 3rd child ofMartin, a Labourer, and his WifeBridget who together had moved to Shropshire from their birthplace in theCounty Mayo across the Irish Sea.John had begun to work, as a Blacksmiths Striker, in the foundry of the Cambrian Company when he started playing football for the Oswestry White Stars who shared a ground with the local cricket club. On the 29th of December 1883, the little Shropshire club found themselves in the limelight having received a home FA Cup draw with the famous Queens Park club from Glasgowwho were renowned for playing quality football with a strong emphasis based on teamwork. Their visit created a great deal of interest and special trains were “laid-on” from all areas of the Welsh Marches which produced a record crowd, reported to be over 3,000 people, to theVictoria Road ground. John Roach took his place on the left side of the Oswestry forward line where he was accompanied by a certain George Farmer. The Salopians held their own during the first half - and trailed 2-1 at the break, but the Scots overwhelmed them in the second half to win the tie by 7 goals to 1. Later that season both Farmer...
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James Morris, a Shropshire Lad – Tony Onslow

The Welsh Marches village of Trefonen - which lays in Shropshire – was the birthplace of James Morris who made a most unusual appearance, for Everton during their first season as members of the Football League. He was born in April 1863, the 3rd child of Anne and her Welsh Husband Robert. According to the 1881 census the family are living in Oswestry and James is working, along with his Father, as a Brickmaker. He began his football career with an Oswestry club who were founder members, in 1879, of the Shropshire FA. They shared a ground with the local cricket club at Victoria Road and lifted the Welsh & Border Counties FA Cup in 1884 by beating The Druids. They also won the Shropshire Senior Cup one year later by beating St Georges on Monksmoor Racecourse at Shrewsbury. Jimmy Morris had established a place in the Oswestry side when they played Everton, 13th of March 1886 and lost the game 2-0. Next season Morris had a busy time with Oswestry as they participated in the FA Cup losing, in round three, 3-0 away at Stoke, and were later eliminated from the Welsh & Borders knockout. On the 21st of March...
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Everton Tigers – a Brief Encounter with Basketball by Richard Gillham

Everton Tigers – a Brief Encounter with Basketball by Richard Gillham

Everton Football Club is well known in the game of Association Football, or ‘Soccer’ as it is known outside of the UK. England has had a fleeting romance with both the American version of Baseball and historically the area has with had links to both the English and American rules of Baseball. But did you know Everton had a short Love affair with the game of Basketball? Well it all started with the collaboration of Everton Football Club and a community youth programme which started in the late 1990’s in an area of Liverpool called Toxteth. The collaboration started with football coaching, but it developed into much more, embracing race and diversity issues. Everton Tigers chairman Gary Townsend In 2007 the then Everton in the Community trustee and Everton Tigers chairman Gary Townsend collaborated with the local community basketball club Toxteth Tigers and the club targeted youth development as one of their main goals, while the senior team was to be managed by Henry...
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The Stanley Park Three – Tony Onslow

The names of Marriott, Morris, and Pickering might not instantly come to mind - when mentioning former members of Everton Football Club – but they played a major defensive role during their formative years on Stanley Park. The first of this trio to appear there was Thomas Marriott. He was born on the 4th of February 1861 and was the 3rd son of Maryand her Husband John who worked as a Cotton Porter. The family were, at that time, living at 2 Duke Street but by 1881 they are living in better surroundings at Gray Rock Street where Thomas is working as a Clerk.He first played at full back alongside Tom Evans, from whose experience all 3 were to benefit, during the season of 1880-81 after which he was partnered by a man from the North East of England. Richard William Morris - born 1862 – was the son of John, a Sergeant Major with the South Durham Militia, and his Wife Harriet. They were then living at Scar Cottage, Bernard Castle in County Durham. Richard is residing at this address, and working as a Gardener, when the censes was taken, 3rd of April 1881 but on the 13th of the same month is recorded as attending the Everton AGM at the Queens Head Tavern in Liverpool. Marriott and Morris first appear to gather, against Chester, in the opening game of the season on Stanley Park. The Everton side, which changed week by week, are eliminated from the Lancashire FA knockoutat Turton, but it is the...
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Welcome to Part Four of ‘Son of my Father’ – Steve Zocek

George Wood was signed for Everton in August 1977 by manager Gordon Lee.  George soon became a “darling” of the Evertonians, making 126 appearances for the Toffees before joining Arsenal in August 1980. George also represented Scotland, and once told me he was the one who launched Diego Maradona’s career as the Argentinian scored his first international goal against him. Maradona scored his first international goal in the fixture after beating George Wood courtesy of SNS Group This feature is a little different to the previous ones as it features George’s son, James, who followed in his father’s footsteps wearing the green jersey between the posts, but on this occasion not with Everton. Confused? Read on and enjoy. I asked James if it was his father who encouraged him to take on the role of a goalkeeper. It was weird when I was younger, because I was multi-talented at sport. Living in South Wales, I played a lot more rugby than I did...
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