History

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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Tom Robson – A Life too Short

Tom Robson – A Life too Short

By Rob Sawyer Everton Football Club has been ably served by many men and women with roots in the North East of England – Warney Cresswell, Harry Catterick, Howard Kendall, Jimmy Husband, Dave Thomas, Don Hutchison and Jill Scott spring to mind. Back in the inter-war years, Blyth Spartans, of the North Eastern League, gained an enviable reputation as a nursery club - developing young talent which blossomed at leading professional clubs throughout the land. The Toffees, notably, benefited from the loyal service of Gordon Watson – who joined from Blyth in a double-deal with his near-namesake Jack Watson in…
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‘Rags’: The Life of Cuthbert Tatters

‘Rags’: The Life of Cuthbert Tatters

By Rob Sawyer Few footballers’ names are more evocative of bygone times in the Goodison lexicon than that of Cuthbert Tatters. Cuthbert was born in County Durham, on 4 January 1915 and grew up on Sunderland Street in Easington. This was coal mining country and Cuthbert’s father, James, worked at Wheatley Hill Colliery. Cuthbert followed the same path, employed as a pit boy there.  On the football field, he played for Shotton Schoolboys, gaining county honours in 1929. He also turned out for Wheatley Hill Juniors. A photo also appears to show him, as a boy, wearing the stripes of…
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A Final Farewell to Jimmy Harris

A Final Farewell to Jimmy Harris

Thursday 26 May 2022 was the day of Jimmy Harris’s final farewell. In the mid-afternoon, the cortège transported the 88-year-old former Toffees striker past the stadium he had graced. A number of supporters had come out to applaud as the hearse drove slowly along Goodison Road. I chatted to an 81-year-old supporter from West Derby, who recalled watching Jimmy in his 1950s heyday. He told me of Jimmy’s quicksilver movement around the pitch and his rasping shot. He fondly recalled a smartly struck Harris goal against the Busby Babes. Another supporter had come all the way from Doncaster to stand…
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George Green – Illustrator Extraordinaire

George Green – Illustrator Extraordinaire

By Rob Sawyer The Toffee Lady is an enduring and iconic image, intrinsically linked to Everton FC. Since the 1950s, a Toffee Lady, or latterly a Toffee Girl, has paraded around Goodison before matches, dispensing the eponymous humbugs. But for many, the definitive Toffee Lady image takes cartoon form. It’s the Mother Noblett, famous for gracing the front page of the Football Echo for decades, looking elated, deflated or indifferent, depending on the Blues’ fortunes that day. Her ‘rival’ character was the Kopite, who showed a similar range of emotions, depending on the Liverpool result. The creator of these enchanting…
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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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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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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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Remembrance Service – Goodison Park 2021

Remembrance Service – Goodison Park 2021

(photo: Sarah Atherton) (photo: Sarah Atherton) Graeme Sharp and Darren Griffiths, who later tweeted; 'Lovely to attend the Remembrance Service by the Dixie statue. Well done to Everton FC Heritage Society for organising it. On this date I always think of my dad’s brother Billy, who perished aboard HMS Dasher that sank on 27 March 1943. My dad still remembers the knock at the door… (photo: Sarah Atherton) (photo: @mintisculture) Many thanks again for all the work by Paul Kelly of Everton FC Heritage Society and his wife Jean (centre) in pulling things together for the commemoration event on 11…
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