1878-1889

In Search of Priory Road 1883-84

In Search of Priory Road 1883-84

In Search of Priory Road Commencing to write this article on the day that government approval was granted for the Bramley-Moore Stadium, social media was awash with good wishes to all those concerned in successfully seeing the project through. There were the inevitable online exchanges, with a great many from the envious dark side, who could see they were now visibly condemned to spend yet another generation in their Big Stand with little chance of expansion, a move, or even a laughable ground-share. Meanwhile, many commented online that this would be Everton’s third stadium build in the city.  (pic: Liverpool…
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George Fleming: The Goalscoring Bank Clerk from Arbroath

George Fleming: The Goalscoring Bank Clerk from Arbroath

Scorer of the first goal for Everton FC in the newly formed Football League of 1888   It is the summer of 1887 and the Everton team poses at the Sandon Hotel with the trophy they had just won after beating Oakfield Rovers by five goals to nothing. Two of these goals had been scored by the man sitting left of the centre row who had recently moved to Merseyside from Scotland. His name was George Spink Fleming and he was destined to etch his name into the record books of Everton Football Club. Along with his twin sister Jemima,…
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Queen’s Head Hotel Archaeological Excavations

Queen’s Head Hotel Archaeological Excavations

Hotel Confirmed as Everton F.C.'s first headquarters and the birthplace of big-time football on Merseyside Everton F.C.’s first secretary was the younger 26 years old John William Clarke, and not his landlord father John, who, down the years, had often been incorrectly credited with having had that historic role The Queen's Head Hotel has become part of Everton folklore regarding the events that took place within its walls and the decisions made that laid down the foundation of Everton Football Club. This historic venue is where St Domingo’s Football Club became Everton Football Club in November 1879, and in 2015…
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The Stanley Park Three

The Stanley Park Three

The names of Marriott, Morris, and Pickering might not instantly come to mind when mentioning former members of Everton Football Club, but they played a major defensive role during their formative years on Stanley Park. The first of this trio to appear there was Thomas Marriott. He was born 4 February 1861 and was the third son of Mary and her husband, John, who worked as a cotton porter. The family were, at that time, living at 2 Duke Street, but by 1881 they were living in better surroundings at Grey Rock Street where Thomas was working as a clerk. He first played at full back alongside Tom Evans, from whose experience all three were to benefit, during the season of 1880-81 after which he was partnered by a man from the North East of England. Born in 1862, Richard William Morris was the son of John, a sergeant major…
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James Morris, a Shropshire Lad

James Morris, a Shropshire Lad

The Welsh Marches village of Trefonen in Shropshire was the birthplace of James Morris in April 1863, the third child of Anne and her Welsh husband, Robert. James made a most unusual appearance for Everton during their first season as members of the Football League.   According to the 1881 census, the family were living in Oswestry, and James was working along with his father as a brickmaker. He began his football career with an Oswestry club who were founder members of the Shropshire FA in 1879. They shared a ground with the local cricket club at Victoria Road and lifted the Welsh & Border Counties FA Cup in…
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International Football arrives on Merseyside

International Football arrives on Merseyside

The first international football match to take place on Merseyside occurred on 24 February 1883, when England took on an Irish side who were making their first excursion to mainland Britain. The match was arranged under the guidance of the FA secretary Charles Alcock, who decided to stage the game on the new home of Liverpool Cricket Club at Aigburth. He had attended Harrow Public School and would have been acquainted, through the 'Old Boy' network, with other Old Harrovians who lived on Merseyside. One such person was Percy Bateson. Born locally in 1862, Percy was the son of a…
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John Dewar

John Dewar

Thanks to the British Newspaper Archive website, the mystery of John Dewar, who made a single appearance for Everton, can be revealed. He was born in September 1867, in the Renfrewshire village of Strathbungo (today part of the City of Glasgow), and was the second child of Andrew, a Stonemason, and his wife Janet. The family had relocated to the Kinning Park area of Glasgow where John became an apprentice to his father and played junior football with Well Park, with whom he won the Glasgow Junior Cup. Around 1882 he progressed to senior football with Thistle FC (once a…
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Jack Keys and William Warmby — The Duo from Derby

Jack Keys and William Warmby — The Duo from Derby

Jack Keys and William Warmby — The Duo from Derby In preparation for life in the Football League, Everton Football Club made several new signings during the summer of 1888. Two of them, Keys and Warmby, had joined from Derby County. Despite the fact that the local newspapers made no reference to their background, they were in fact related by marriage and had reached the Mersey seaport by two slightly different routes. William Henry Warmby was born in 1863 in South Yorkshire, where he began his football career with his local team, Rotherham Town. Some time around 1883 he moved…
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In Search of John Houlding

In Search of John Houlding

This article is not intended either to praise or to condemn John Houlding for the role he played in the decision made by Everton Football Club to move away from Anfield. It is merely an effort to try and throw some light on this 'larger than life character' who played a big part in establishing the game of Association Football in his home town of Liverpool. Local records reveal that John Houlding was baptised on 4 August 1833 at St Martin-in the-Field church. He was the second of three sons born to Thomas Houlding, a cow keeper, and his wife…
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John Roach, a Striker from Shropshire

John Roach, a Striker from Shropshire

The main engineering works of The Cambrian Railway Company - today a grade two listed building - once employed many of the people who lived in the Welsh Marches town of Oswestry, and provided the local football team with several players. One such person, who also represented Everton, was John Roach. John Roach's home in LorneSt (left) and the Railway Works (far right) Born April 1863, he was the third child of Martin, a labourer, and his wife Bridget, who together had moved to Shropshire from their birthplace in the County Mayo across the Irish Sea. John had begun to work as a blacksmiths striker, in the foundry of the Cambrian Company, when he started playing football for the Oswestry White Stars, who shared a ground with the local cricket club. On 29 December 1883, the little Shropshire club found themselves in the limelight, having received a home FA Cup draw with the famous Queens Park club from Glasgow, who were renowned for playing quality football with…
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