1950-1959

From West Derby to New South Wales: The Footballing Odyssey of Ian Hillsdon

By Rob Sawyer   Ian Hillsdon with the Dixie Dean statue in 2003(courtesy Hillsdon family) For every local lad who makes the grade at Everton, scores fall by the wayside. Some teenagers fail to develop as expected, some lack the drive and mental toughness to succeed whilst others are just plain unlucky. Of those rejected some quietly slip out of the game, whilst others have a second chance at a lower league club. An intrepid few go further afield to fulfil their footballing dreams. A prime example of the latter category is Ian Hillsdon. Born in 1937, the left-back from…
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Clocking On…

The Good Old Days of the Three O'Clock Kick-Off.....   Today’s 2.05pm kick-off inevitably gets supporters talking about the ‘good old days’, when we remember all football matches being played on a Saturday afternoon at 3pm… but just how common was that 3pm time slot? Well, it depends on how far back you look! Prior to the Premier League era, most of Everton’s home matches, aside from those played in midweek, did indeed commence at the ‘traditional’ time of 3pm – but that had only been the case from the early 1960s onwards. From 1957 to late 1961, Everton’s Saturday…
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When Parker Tamed Tigers

Run through the list of Everton’s record scorers against almost every club we’ve ever faced and one name predictably dominates. William Ralph Dean. Everton’s top scorer against Arsenal? Dixie with 12 goals. Liverpool? Dixie with 19. Chelsea? Dixie again with 10. But not today’s visitors Hull City. The man who tormented the Tigers even more than the celebrated Dixie throughout his career was another Everton striker, a man who doesn’t feature as frequently whenever lists of Everton’s great forwards are mentioned but whose goals return was impressive. John Willie Parker was described as a “stylish inside- forward” who played much…
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Another Great Book from deCoubertin: Rob Sawyer’s The Prince of Centre Halves – the Life of Tommy ‘TG’ Jones’

Another Great Book from deCoubertin: Rob Sawyer’s The Prince of Centre Halves – the Life of Tommy ‘TG’ Jones’

ANOTHER GREAT BOOK FROM DECOUBERTAIN - Q&A WITH ROB SAYWER, AUTHOR OF 'THE PRINCE OF CENTRE-HALVES: THE LIFE OF TOMMY 'TG' JONES' Posted by Jack Gordon-Brown on May 31, 2017 Rob Sawyer comes from a long line of Everton FC supporters. Listening to his father and grandfather regale the stories of Dixie Dean and the Holy Trinity led to a deep interest in Everton's illustrious history. Whilst researching his first book, a biography of Harry Catterick, Sawyer found just how important TG Jones was to the Toffees. We spoke to him about the Everton great... Hi Rob. You say that…
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The Life of Ken Birch

  Kenny Birch, who played forty-five times for the Blues in the 1950s, passed away on 24 April 2015 after a long and brave battle with illness. Born in Birkenhead, he joined Everton as a junior and made his debut in April 1956 in a 1-1 draw at Sheffield United, alongside the likes of TE Jones, Peter Farrell, Tommy Eglington and Jimmy Harris. The following season he played thirty times in League and FA Cup, scoring his one and only goal for the Club in a 4-2 victory at Maine Road against Manchester City, finding a way past the legendary…
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A Tribute to Matt Woods

A Tribute to Matt Woods

Matt Woods (1 November 1931 - 26 September 2014) Skelmersdale-born Maurice 'Matt' Woods, a centre-half on Everton’s books in the 1950s, passed away on 26 September aged eighty-two. He had been playing as a wing-half in the Wigan Sunday League, when his uncle wrote to Everton requesting a trial for his nephew. Having impressed in the B team, he signed amateur forms at fifteen, and by the 1949-50 season he was a regular in the Reserves – alongside the likes of Don Donovan, Tommy Clinton, Wally 'Nobby' Fielding, Jimmy O’Neill and Harry Catterick. An early Reserves appearance brought praise in…
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Mick Meagan – The Man Who Spanned the Eras

Mick Meagan – The Man Who Spanned the Eras

In Conversation with Rob Sawyer At the Fulham match in April 2013, five former Everton players were introduced to the Goodison Park crowd at half-time in recognition of their League Championship success fifty years earlier: Tony Kay, Alex Young, Derek Temple, Billy Bingham and Mick Meagan. Mick appeared the sprightliest of the lot, bathing in the applause and saluting the crowd with a clenched fist. Mick joined Everton as an 18-year-old and served the club for 12 years (1952 to 1964). He witnessed, at first hand, the transformation from Division Two doldrums to Division One Championship glory. Although not blessed…
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