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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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You Will Go to the Ball – Son of my Father – Part 14

You Will Go to the Ball – Son of my Father – Part 14

'Who is the greatest of them all? Little, curly Alan Ball.' Alan Ball of Everton at Bellefield on July 24, 1969 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by W & H Talbot Archive/Popperfoto via Getty Images) I’m sure that sounds familiar to a majority of Evertonians who were present at the Old Lady from 1966 onwards. Personally speaking, I think I was smitten with Alan Ball before I fell head over heels in love with Everton. Bally was a footballing God to many, even making it very difficult to separate him from another hero of Goodison – Alex Young, the Golden Vision…
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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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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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Lest We Forget

Lest We Forget

NB This article was due to appear in the Everton v Tottenham Hotspur Remembrance Day fixture of 7 November 2021. Unfortunately, due to the sad death of former manager Walter Smith, it was held over for his memorial article due to lack of space. It is reprinted in full below. Corporal 19024 Tom Gracie, 16th (Service) Battalion (2nd Edinburgh) The Royal Scots (Lothian Regiment) The Life of Tom Gracie Among the names of the Fallen of Everton FC featured on the panels by the Dixie Dean statue is Tom Gracie. Born in Glasgow in 1899, he was a qualified bookkeeper,…
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Ted Sagar – ‘The Boss’

Ted Sagar – ‘The Boss’

When talking of great centre forwards, it is easy to rattle off numerous contenders, but when thinking of goalkeepers, just three tend to dominate the discussion. Gordon West, a brilliant keeper and a larger than life character off the pitch; then Neville of course, who achieved so much in his seventeen years, making 578 league appearances (750 in all competitions) and breaking so many records along the way. Until 1994, the record for a goalkeeper stood at 497(463 league games), and was held by a man that my father never tired of telling me about - Ted Sagar. Ted joined…
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