1900-1909

John Donaldson, a Blue from Garnock Valley

The second player to come to Everton from the King's Park club in Stirling, John Donaldson arrived in Liverpool at the commencement of the 1904/05 football season, along with fellow Scotsmen William Black and John Hannan. The move, however, would also to impact upon the rest of his family. John Donaldson was born on 25 July 1885 at Beith in Ayrshire and was the third child born to Thomas – a cabinetmaker – and his wife, Margaret. The 1891 census revealed that the family had by then relocated to Falkirk, which was the birthplace of Thomas, and living at a…
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William Black, a Blue from the Hebrides

  Born within the sight and sound of burning sparks and roaring bellows, William Black was the first football player to arrive at Goodison Park who had been born in the mist-covered islands of the Inner Hebrides, where his father, Duncan, had chosen to make a home for himself and his wife, Catherine. The couple had first met – and married – at Blackburn Street in the Plantation area of Govan (now part of Glasgow) where their first child, Duncan junior, was born. Shortly after this event, Duncan accepted the position of Village Blacksmith at Torosay on the Island of…
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John Crelley, an FA Cup Winner with Everton

When Everton reached the FA Cup Final in 1906 their opponents, Newcastle United, had previously done a 'league double' over them and were favourites to lift the trophy. The Merseyside club had reached this stage of the competition twice before and had been beaten on both occasions. This time, however, it was to be 'third time lucky' as the trophy found its way to Goodison Park. Playing for Everton that day at left-back was a man who, in many ways, epitomised the type of individual who shaped the development of Victorian Liverpool. His name was John Crelley and he was…
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Jack Brearley, a Prisoner at Ruhleben

Jack Brearley, a Prisoner at Ruhleben. Located beneath the dark smoking chimneys of the gigantic Spandau Munitions Factory on the outskirts of Berlin, the harnessed horse racing track at Ruhleben was hurriedly turned in to an internment camp for the 5,000 or so British civilians who found themselves trapped inside Germany due to the outbreak of World War 1. The game of association football was still in its infant stages, and several of the men held captive, former professional football players, had answered an advertisement to come as trainers and help improve the standard of the game on mainland Europe.…
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Harry Grundy An Everton Winger

When Elizabeth Bradley moved to work in Liverpool from Chirk, she caught the eye of William Grundy, then working as a groom. They were married in 1870, at the Welsh Chapel dedicated to St David on Brownlow Hill. The couple settled at 4 Moorside in Neston where the head of the household worked as a Coachman. It was here, on 15 March 1883, that their sixth child Thomas Henry was born. He became known affectionately as Harry. The 1891 census found the family living at 25 Parkgate Road where William had become the clerk at the local parish church of…
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St Luke’s – the church with its own football ground

ST LUKE’S – THE CHURCH WITH ITS OWN FOOTBALL STADIUM! Although Everton F.C. started life as the St Domingo’s church team in 1878, it is now closely associated with another place of worship. St. Luke the Evangelist, nestled between the Main and Howard Kendall Gwladys Street Stands, contributes to the uniqueness of The Old Lady. But why does the stadium have a church in such an unlikely spot? A wooden Church of England mission hall predated Goodison Park by at least nine years. Therefore, since its opening in 1892, the stadium has had to grow around this sacred spot. In…
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 Archibald Leitch – The Man Who Shaped Goodison Park

At the start of the 20th Century, Goodison Park was arguably, England’s premier football stadium. Today, for better or worse, it is one of the most historic in the land. As you sit in your seat and look across the famous 'Old Lady', two of the stands you see can be credited to Archibald Leitch — stadium designer extraordinaire. Glasgow-born Leitch was an architect specialising in the design of industrial buildings when he was commissioned to design a new 80,000-capacity Ibrox Stadium for Rangers, the club he supported.  The resulting stadium was spectacular but tragedy struck in 1902 when fatalities resulted…
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The Good Doctor of Everton

The Good Doctor of Everton

When William Baxter moved to Liverpool from Clitheroe, he opened his own business, as a Chemist and Druggist, at 259 Great Homer Street in Liverpool. Some years later he married a local girl with whom he began to raise a family. James Clement Baxter, the second child to bless this union, was born in 1857. He attended his local school, dedicated to St Frances Xavier, where he proved to be a bright pupil. He quickly moved on to the school's college, run by the Jesuit Order, from where he won a place to study medicine at the King and Queens…
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The Life and Times of Frank Brettell

The name of Everton forward Francis Edward Brettell first appeared on the Liverpool census in 1871 when he was reported as living at No 5 house, Court 13, on Boundary Street. His Father, William Brettell, listed his occupation as that of a nut and bolt maker, and gave his birthplace as West Bromwich in Staffordshire. His wife Harriet, the mother of Frank, was  born in Devonshire. Nine year old Frank, born at Smethwick in Staffordshire, was the eldest of her three children. The premature death of Harriet, in 1881, saw Frank, along with rest of the family, move in with…
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The Life and Times of John Cameron

It had been just four weeks since the first football knockout competition, won the by The Wanderers, had taken place on the Kennington Oval ground in London, when a boy was born on the South West Coast of Scotland. He was destined to make FA Cup history. John Cameron was born on 13 April 1872 in the Newton district of Ayr, where his family, who were in the grocery business, had finally come to settle. The 1881 census recorded the business premises on Waggon Road, where John was by then an eight-year-old scholar. He later attended Ayr Grammar School. In…
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