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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