The Costley Brothers – Was It Jim Or Was It Tom? By Tony Onslow

Thomas Halliwell Costley was born in Liverpool but began his football career in Blackburn before moving back to his birthplace in order to play for Everton. He was the younger brother of Jimmy Costley who scored the winning goal, for Blackburn Olympic, in the 1883 FA Cup final. Although Jimmy was never to sign for Everton he did represent his home town club in several attractive friendly fixtures where he deputised for his brother on the left wing. Tommy, the fifth child of the family, was born, 5 March 1865, at Rathbone Street on the south side of Liverpool town centre. His father, who lists his occupation as a “Boatman” was named James while his mother, whose maiden name was Halliwell, was called Grace. The 1871 census finds the Costley family now living in one of the back courts off Duke Street where Grace, estranged from her husband, now has seven children. The 1881 census however, informs us that the family,...
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From Leicester Fosse to Leicester City…

The Premier League champions are at Goodison Park this afternoon but did you know that the club played for 25 years after its formation before becoming Leicester City? Today’s visitors were formed in 1884 by a group of young men from a local evangelical chapel who decided to form a football team that they chose to call Leicester Fosse. This suffix was selected because the old Roman Road, known as the Fosseway, had once passed through the area. The group then all agreed to pay nine old pence membership fee and another nine pence was collected to purchase a football. They then played at several different locations before, according to local folklore, a certain Miss Westland suggested they construct an enclosure at a site on Walnut Street which, in turn, became Filbert Street. Leicester Fosse first played in the Midland League before being elected to the Football League Division Two in 1893. In 1908 they gained promotion to the top flight and faced...
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Leicester’s Favourite Blue by Ken Rogers

Any visit of Leicester City stirs up personal memories of those heady days when, as the Liverpool Echo’s chief football writer, I found myself recording the most successful phase in Everton FC’s history between 1983 and 1987. international players and the English media were at an all time low. However, Gary agreed to a special interview for Evertonians. “We just missed out on the league and the FA Cup, but it went well for me personally,” he said. “I went to Mexico full of confidence, but I didn’t think for one minute that I In the middle of this glorious spell, the Blues signed Gary Lineker, a major blow for Leicester fans. Not only did they lose the top flight’s leading goalscorer in the summer of 1985, but also one of their own. I was at Bellefield on Gary’s first day. As I left, my car was stopped at the gate by a crowd of young supporters, all shouting: “Gary, can we have your autograph?”...
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Clocking On… by Steve Johnson

Today’s 2.05pm kick- off inevitably gets supporters talking about the ‘ good old days’ when we remember all football matches being played on a Saturday afternoon at 3pm… but just how common was that 3pm time slot? Well, it depends on how far back you look! Prior to the Premier League era, most of Everton’s home matches, aside from those played in midweek, did indeed commence at the ‘traditional’ time of 3pm – but that had only been the case from the early 1960s onwards. From 1957 to late 1961 Everton’s Saturday kick-offs had alternated mostly between 3pm and 3.15pm, and before that we varied primarily amongst 2.15, 2.30, 2.45, 3.00 and 3.15pm starts! Up until World War 1 the picture was even more unsettled, with all sorts of different afternoon kick-off times in vogue – although 3.30 and 4.00pm were much more prevalent. So why the moveable start times before 1957? ‘Light’ is the answer! Everton installed floodlights in 1957 (as did Chelsea), using...
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The Blacksmith of Crossmyloof By Tony Onslow  

Despite the fact that several various publications claim that John Weir joined Everton from Hibernian, the Edinburgh-based football club, there is no evidence, according to the Victorian journalists of Liverpool, that this information is correct. He did, according to their reports, play his football in Glasgow before moving south of the River Tweed to spend the rest of his life in Northwest England. John Weir was born, 10 January 1865, at Crossmyloof, Renfrewshire, and was the third child of a fairly mature couple who had moved to the west of Scotland from their native Ireland. The 1871 census finds him still living at Crossmyloff, now absorbed in to the City of Glasgow, along with his elder brother, born 1862, whose name is Charles. By 1881, the two Weir brothers are living, along with their father, on Pollockshaws Road, near to where they had been born. John is now employed as an Apprentice Blacksmith while Charles works as a Hammerdriver. It is...
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T.G. Jones And The Boys Of ‘39 by Rob Sawyer

EFC Heritage Society member Rob Sawyer is appealing for supporters’ memories of Everton players from a golden era. Rob, who wrote the excellent biography of Harry Catterick, says: “My dad and I watched the Blues sweep all before them in the 1980s but his greatest praise was reserved for the championship-winning team of 1938/39. This has inspired me to chronicle the players’ stories particularly that of Tommy ‘T.G.’ Jones, dubbed ‘The Prince of Centre- Halves’.” Those lucky enough to see it, claim that this team best-fulfilled the School of Science billing bestowed upon the Club by former Derby County striker, Steve Bloomer. Much like in 1984, something clicked for a team that had been in a state of transition during the previous season. And, just like Kendall’s champions, the 1938/39 team was a finely-tuned mix of youth and experience, skill and steel. Agile goalkeeper Ted Sagar was nicknamed ‘The Boss’ for the way he dominated his box. Uncompromising full-backs Billy Cook and Norman...
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Welcoming Old Friends…by Tony Onslow

Burnley's game at Goodison Park is the only top-flight fixture this weekend that features two founder members of the Football League. Burnley began life playing under the rules of Rugby School but switched to the FA code following an invitation from the local cricket club to join them at their established home of Turf Moor. The Burnley footballers first played here in 1883, which means only Preston North End have occupied their home ground for a longer length of time in English football. Burnley were soon given a shock introduction into the realities of the association game when, in October 1883, they were beaten 9-1 by a neighbouring Padiham side that included several Scottish imports. The Turf Moor outfit quickly did the same, surpassed their neighbours and, in September 1888, became a founder member of the Football League. They first met Everton on alternative weekends in November 1888. The first was on a section of Turf Moor that had been fenced off from the cricket...
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When Parker Tamed Tigers by David Prentice

    Run through the list of Everton’s record scorers against almost every club we’ve ever faced and one name predictably dominates. William Ralph Dean. Everton’s top scorer against Arsenal? Dixie with 12 goals. Liverpool? Dixie with 19. Chelsea? Dixie again with 10. But not today’s visitors Hull City. The man who tormented the Tigers even more than the celebrated Dixie throughout his career was another Everton striker, a man who doesn’t feature as frequently whenever lists of Everton’s great forwards are mentioned but whose goals return was impressive. John Willie Parker was described as a “stylish inside- forward” who played much of his football for Everton during the brief spell we spent outside the top flight between 1951 and 1954. He scored 89 goals in his 176 Everton appearances, many of them in that spell – and in the promotion campaign of 1953/54 top-scored with 31 goals in 38 starts. He scored once against Hull that season, but it was in Everton’s first campaign of Second Division football...
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Phew, 9-1 win is a scorcher by David Prentice

                  Cartoon “Referees and the Heat Wave. Suggested Outfit”; headline from the Liverpool Daily Post & Mercury –   “Football Hot O! Players Collapse”; a cartoon from the Football Echo of Saturday 8 September, reflecting on the heatwave. Caption reads: ‘Overheard last Saturday: “Tommy, come and stand in the shade; it’s cooler.” The start of September 1906 saw England sweltering in a heatwave – the most intense temperatures recorded in the 20th century. It was weather for sunbathing, not sport, as the temperatures topped 32 degrees for four successive days throughout most of the country. No surprise, then, that the Liverpool Daily Post & Mercury’s headline for Monday 3 September read: Football Hot O! A Warm Kick- Off And Enormous Crowds. Players Collapse. While the editorial began: “The Glorious First, which duly celebrates the commencement of two distinct classes of sport – football and partridge shooting – will long be remembered for its overpowering heat.” Maybe the heat helped explain the events at Goodison Park on  the  Monday evening of 3...
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Spreading the Everton name…by John Shearon

At the final whistle of this evening’s game both sets of players will be looking forward to a well-earned  rest over the coming months.   In late April 1909, this was not the case as Everton closed the season with a 4-2 win over Leicester Fosse to finish runners-up to champions Newcastle United. The Toffees, along with Spurs, who likewise had finished runners-up but in the Second Division, had been invited to play a number of friendly matches in Argentina and Uruguay where the sport was still in its infancy. This was not the first such tour. Southampton in 1904 and Nottingham Forest in 1905 had made earlier visits, but it would result in the first match between two professional teams in the Americas (until professionalism was first introduced to Argentina in 1931), and would leave a lasting impression in South America. Everton left Lime Street on 13 May 1909, boarding the Argentine-bound R.M.S. Aruguaya in Southampton the following day. Spurs literally missed the...
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