Everton FC’s 1909 pre-season tour of South America, Edwardian style – David Prentice

Everton FC’s 1909 pre-season tour of South America, Edwardian style – David Prentice

Edwardian style Amazing story of Everton's pioneering 1909 tour of South America A contemporary cigarette card of Bert Freeman, the star of Everton's 1909 tour of South America. In the summer months of 1909 a 13-strong Everton FC playing staff led by two directors and a trainer, together with travelling companions Tottenham Hotspur, travelled 14,000 miles and spent more than six weeks at sea, visiting Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina – “to introduce and develop first class football.” Their story is a fascinating one – and thanks to the diligence of director E. Bainbridge and an exhaustive tour diary he produced for the Echo, the story of the ground-breaking tour can be retold a century later. So settle down with a cup of finest Brazilian and a corned beef sandwich, and enjoy the exploits of the Evertonian adventurers. Like many great Evertonian trips, the story began at Lime Street station. The Blues boarded a steam train to London Euston on Thursday...
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When The Toffees Outshone The Blades –                           Anfield Under Illumination  – Richard Gillham

When The Toffees Outshone The Blades – Anfield Under Illumination – Richard Gillham

1878 not only saw the foundation of the football team that would become Everton FC but, in October of that year, the first experiments in playing artificially-illuminated matches. At Sheffield United’s Bramhall Lane ground, dynamo-powered lamps were mounted on timber gantries to provide the light for a match contested by teams made up of representatives from local clubs. The ‘Blues’ ran out 2-0 winners. But it was here on Merseyside, on 8th January 1890, that one of the most significant trials of this nascent technology occurred. On this occasion Paraffin-fuelled lamps, manufactured by A. C. Wells & Co. of Manchester, and normally used for industrial use, were deployed. The Blades were the visitors to Everton’s Anfield ground for the 7pm kick-off. By why Anfield? According to the Liverpool Courier: ‘Anfield is perhaps the best arena in the county for such experiments as the high stands serve to contain the light within the required area.’ The novelty of this innovation...
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Everton – The Baseball Years – Richie Gillham & Rob Sawyer

The BATS British American Tobacco Team with John Moores (2nd from left in hat), circa 1935 Baseball may be a minority sport in the UK but 80 years ago Merseyside was a hotbed of this popular American pastime. Had it not been for the outbreak of War in 1939 perhaps it would have gained a proper foothold in our sporting life. Folklore has it that William Ralph ‘Dixie’ Dean was once introduced to the legendary Babe Ruth (of Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees fame) at a football match. Dean recalled to journalist John Roberts his encounter with Babe. The American introduced himself in typical style by booming: "You’re that Dixie Dean guy! Jeez, you’ll get some cash today." When Dean explained that his wages – capped at £8/wk – were not linked to the number of spectators through the turnstiles, Ruth reportedly exclaimed: "Jesus Christ! I’d demand two-thirds of this gate!" Dean, himself, would dabble in the American...
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Searching For The Blues Baseballers – Dave Prentice , Richie Gillham & Rob Sawyer

Everton baseball team circa 1945 Featuring Gordon Watson of EFC and Theo Kelly as trainer wearing hat The Everton team you've never heard of as Blues search for sporting pioneers Everton were once a leading name in trying to establish a popular American sport on Merseyside  Because Everton have diversified into other sports in their long sporting history - and the Everton Heritage Society - the group of historians which seeks to research and chronicle all elements of the football club, is interested in discovering more about one particular diversion. Baseball. The Toffees have flirted with another sport with American roots, basketball, when the Toxteth based Tigers operated under the Everton brand between 2007-2010. However, six decades earlier Everton was a leading English name in another American sport – Baseball. Now, Richie Gillham of EFC Heritage Society is researching the rise of the sport on Merseyside and its connections to Everton. An Everton baseball team, with no...
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