Henry F Briggs, An Everton Goalkeeper – Tony Onslow

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 being relegated at the end of the season. During the summer he returned home...
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The Charlie Parry Grave Event – 1st March 2019 – Rob Sawyer

An unprepossessing road in the shadow of Goodison Park, is named Salop Street. Salop, or Shropshire as it is more commonly known, might not, at a first glance, be awash with Everton links but that can be misleading. In fact the, largely rural, county has a loyal Blues following (the Shropshire Blues is the local official supporters club branch). Oswestry, 50 miles from Goodison, has several connections links to Everton that go back to the earliest days of the club. George Farmer, a son of the town and a Welsh international footballer, was a key player in the club’s early days and lined up in the Blue’s first ever Football League match in 1888. More recently, one of the Toffees’ greatest players, Alan Ball, spent his formative years in the area when his father, Alan Ball Senior, was managing Oswestry Town FC. But, it was to mark the life of another former player that EFC Heritage Society came to...
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Winterhalder and Dawson, Everton Wingers – Tony Onslow

Signed to cover the abrupt exit of the Wilson brothers, Arthur Winterhalder, a promising Outside Left, joined Everton from West Ham United. He was descended from a family of Clockmakers who had emigrated from Germany to settle in the Marylebone area of London. His Father Richard did not choose to follow this profession but decided instead to enlisted in the 3rd Dragoon Guards and was stationed at Colchester when he married local girl, Martha Gibbons. Around 1878 Richard left the Army to work as a Carter at Stratford in London. In 1883 he took up position as a Carriers Agent and moved the family to Oxford where Arthur, his 6th child, was born at the 13th of October 1884. The family and missing from 1901 census but records reveal that Arthur Winterhalder married Lucy Skinner, at West Ham, early in 1906. He was reported as being … a local amateur who hails from Wanstead when he made his Southern...
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James McMillan. The Lad from Leven Vale. – Tony Onslow

When the Scottish FA Cup knockout was inaugurated in 1874, Glasgow based Queens Park won it no fewer than 6 times during the first 10 years. Their run of success however, was interrupted, for 3 years running, by a side who came from the small town of Alexandria. They played under the name of Vale of Leven. This Dunbartonshire town, on the 11th of April 1869, was the birthplace of James McMillan. Born to George, a Dye Works Labourer, and his wife Martha on Bryson’s Land, in the parish of Bonhill, he first arrested the attention of the local football agents while playing for Vale of Leven. The club fought their way through the 1890 Scottish FA Cup final where McMillian, playing at inside forward, lined up to face Queens Park at Ibrox. The tie, which needed a re-play to decide the outcome, was won by the Glasgow side. Next season, on October the 12th, McMillan accepted to offer to sign...
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Robert Stevenson & William George. – Tony Onslow

Coming from dissimilar parts of the Kingdom, and completely different backgrounds, the paths of these aforementioned individuals crossed while they were playing football in Liverpool. Robert Stevenson was one of several young Scotsmen tempted to try his luck by an agent who covered the area around the Ayrshire Coalfield. He was born on the 24th of May 1861 at 34 Ardeer Square in the coastal town of Stevenson where, along with his other siblings, he spent his childhood. His Father, George, was a Coalminer while Mother Margaret, had the maiden name of Strain. The 1881 census lets us know that the family have now moved to Kilmarnock where the head of the household is running at Tavern, at 52 Low Glencairn Street, and Robert is working as a Grocers Assistant. He has also started playing football, at full back, with Kilmarnock Athletic where he was partnered by his friend and neighbour, Sandy Dick. The club had previously won the Ayrshire knockout but were...
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