1878-1889

Everton’s First League Match

Everton’s First League Match

Everton 2 v 1 Accrington Football League Division One, 8 September 1888 Anfield - Attendance: 12,000 - Referee: J Bentley Everton: Smalley, Dick, Ross, Holt, Jones, Dobson, Fleming, Lewis, Chadwick, Waugh, Farmer Accrington: Horne, Stevenson, McLellan, Haworth, Pemberton, Wilkinson, Lofthouse, Bonar, Holden, Chippendale, Kirkham It started with just twelve. A dozen trailblazers striking out to create what would become the greatest football league in the world (at least until the Premier League ruined the top flight with its orgy of consumption, its vapid razzmatazz, and its Jamie Carraghers). The 8 September 1888 represented a watershed moment in English Football. After…
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George and Annie Jane Goodison

George and Annie Jane Goodison

Towards the Foundation of a Stadium, and how Classical Egypt came to Waterloo Mike Royden The name ‘Goodison Park’ has always had a touch of class about it, but it so easily could have been called ‘Mere Green’ or possibly ‘Walton Stiles’:  Mere Green being the land leased (and later purchased) for the new Everton FC stadium, and Walton Stiles being the ancient footpath that once ran from the Walton Church area, approximately along what is now Goodison Road, down Spellow Lane and on to County Road.   But where did the name originate, and how did it become the name…
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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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Johnny Holt – Everton’s Little Devil

Johnny Holt – Everton’s Little Devil

Rob Sawyer "The undisputed king of centre-halves – a living object lesson of the superiority of brain over muscle." (Contemporary newspaper description of Johnny Holt) Time passes, and with it go first-hand memories of footballers who bestowed greatness on Everton. T.G. Jones is widely cited as the club’s finest centre-half, with the next generation of fans also holding Brian Labone in the highest of esteem. But let us not overlook Johnny Holt, the Little Devil – without equal in his era in the art of defending, and a bedrock of the First Kings of Anfield. John Holt entered this world…
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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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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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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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