Rob Sawyer

66 Posts
Mick Meagan (1934-2022)

Mick Meagan (1934-2022)

Everton FC Heritage Society are saddened to learn of the passing of Mick Meagan at the age of eighty-eight. Rob Sawyer pays tribute; Mick Meagan, who passed away on 27 November 2022 was one of Everton’s great club men, giving twelve years of unstinting service. His reward was a League Championship medal in 1963. Born Michael Kevin Meagan on 29 May 1934, and raised in the Churchtown suburb south of Dublin, Mick was dubbed ‘Chick’ on account of his mother keeping hens in the back garden of the family home. He started off his soccer career with junior club Rathfarnham…
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Neil Robinson (1957-2022)

Neil Robinson (1957-2022)

A Tribute The sudden, unexpected, passing of Neil Robinson, at the age of sixty-five, has come as a shock to Everton FC Heritage Society members and the fanbases of his former clubs. Neil had the Bluest of credentials. Born into a family of Evertonians, he spent his early years round the corner from Goodison Park on Spellow Lane. His father, Jim, had been head barman at the Winslow Hotel on Goodison Road in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Sadly Jim was paralysed in an industrial accident when Neil was a child. The Robinson family in 1957, Neil the infant…
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Dr John Rowlands  (1939-2022)

Dr John Rowlands (1939-2022)

Everton FC Heritage Society members were saddened to learn of the passing of Dr. John Rowlands at his home in Formby on 19 November at the age of eighty-three. John hailed from the north east of England, supporting Middlesbrough FC since 1946. He arrived on Merseyside, via a spell in London, in the 1970s, and worked in general practice in Maghull until retirement in 2002. He first saw Everton play at Goodison Park in 1971 and developed a great fondness of the club. A sports and local history enthusiast, he penned a number of books, including a biography of his…
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Everton’s 1964 Tour of Australia – Around the World in 35 Days

Everton’s 1964 Tour of Australia – Around the World in 35 Days

Rob Sawyer Everton players waving prior to boarding their flight from Speke Airport In November, taking advantage of the 2022 World Cup-enforced break, Everton head to Australia on missionary work to spread the gospel of St Domingo. It will be the fourth occasion on which the Toffees have visited this great nation, but the trip pales into insignificance, duration-wise, when compared to the first tour, fifty-eight years ago. Immediately after the disappointing denouement of the 1963/64 season, in which Everton missed out on back-to-back league title wins, a slightly depleted squad jetted off to begin the most ambitious tour since…
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There’s Only Two Tommy Fleetwoods…

There’s Only Two Tommy Fleetwoods…

by Rob Sawyer and Pete Jones A contemporary cigarette card of Tommy Fleetwood It’s always good to see fellow blues doing well. Have a look at Toffeeweb’s section on celebrity fans; it’s an informative and amusing mixture of the nailed on, the apocryphal, and the downright dodgy. We have amongst our number an Oscar winner in Dame Judi Dench, star of stage, screen and the Moneysupermarket ads. She owes her allegiance to her late husband Michael Williams, although she did appear in Z-Cars in 1963, when John Moores’ ‘Mersey Millionaires’ were reigning League Champions. Another showbiz multi-award winning blue is…
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Jack Taylor – Everton’s Son of the Rock

Jack Taylor – Everton’s Son of the Rock

by Rob Sawyer ‘He played anywhere readily and played well anywhere. No Everton player has left Evertonians with a more fragrant memory.’ Thomas Keates (1928) Portrait of Jack during his playing days There must have been something in the water in Dunbartonshire in the second half of the 19th century. Between 1889 and 1897, six footballers with strong connections to the Clydeside town of Dumbarton represented the Toffees. First there was Alex Latta, followed by Richard ‘Dickie’ Boyle, Abe Hartley and the Bell brothers (John and Laurie). But only one, John ‘Jack’ Taylor, would get his hands on silverware whilst…
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Warney Cresswell – The Prince of Full Backs

Warney Cresswell – The Prince of Full Backs

By Rob Sawyer Warney Cresswell at Goodison in 1929 The retirement of Leighton Baines in 2020 reignited the debate about who has been Everton’s finest left-back. Unsurprisingly, the Kirkby-born England international was in the mix, along with World Cup hero Ray Wilson and the combative but effective Pat Van Den Hauwe. A natural tendency to favour players we have seen with our own eyes makes ranking players spanning many decades fraught with difficulty. The tactical evolution of the sport is a further complication. The modern breed of full-backs play an important role in attacking movements whereas the likes of Billy…
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Tom Griffiths: The Player with More than one String to his Bow

Tom Griffiths: The Player with More than one String to his Bow

By Rob Sawyer Tom with Dixie Dean c.1927 Before Everton had T.G, there was T.P. On 16 March 1938, Tommy G. Jones (popularly known by his initials, T.G.) was sitting nervously in the changing room at the Racecourse Ground, about to make his debut for Wales. The 20-year-old was approached by his boyhood hero, Tom Griffiths, who was acting as an unofficial advisor to the squad. The older man gave the rookie a few quiet words of advice and encouragement’. Jones would later enthuse: ‘What a thrill those few words gave me. I’ll never forget it. I’ll always look back…
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“And the Linesman’s Name is Everton”

“And the Linesman’s Name is Everton”

writes Fred Harvey, with Rob Sawyer John Everton, aged 75, had a distinguished career as a match official, which included service as a linesman for the Football League between 1984 and 1992. Six of those seasons saw him refereeing Conference (now the National League) games and in the ‘Pontins’ Central League when clubs fielded reserve sides. To cap it all, John Everton is an Evertonian! He reckons that he has trodden the hallowed Goodison Park turf on twelve occasions, three as a referee. What’s in a name? Research into the Everton family tree shows an 800-year progression from Northern France,…
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Goodison Park and Women’s Football

Goodison Park and Women’s Football

December 2021 marked the centenary of the directive which flung the women’s game into the wilderness for five decades. Less than a year before this myopic edict, one of the most significant football matches in Goodison Park’s history took place – but it did not involve an Everton team. During the First World War, football matches played between women’s factory teams boosted wartime morale and raised funds for deserving causes. Goodison Park staged a charity match on 1 April 1918, contested by Aintree Munitions Ladies and North Haymarket Ladies Football Club. However, a fixture on a far grander scale took…
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