Only Once a Blue (8) Walter Smalley – Tony Onslow

Everton had just excepted the invitation to become founder members of the Football League when Tommy Costley declared himself “unavailable” for the home game on the 2th of April. His place was taken by the elder brother of the club goalkeeper, Walter Smalley.   Born 1864 at Over Darwen in Lancashire, he was the eldest child of Thomas, a Cotton Mill Manager, and Jane. The 1881 census finds the family, which now consists of 4 children, have moved to a larger home at St Matthews Terrace in Preston and Walter has found employment as a Clerk. He has also become a member of North End Football Club.  On the 9th April 1882, Walter is in the side when the they faced their powerful neighbours, Blackburn Rovers. He got on the score sheet but Preston North End are crushed by 13 goals to 2. Major William Sudal then took command of the club and began importing players from the Scotland whom, it was alleged, were being paid for their services. They began the 1883-84 FA Cup...
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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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