Tony Onslow

Lewis the Fireman

Lewis the Fireman

When the Liverpool & District FA was formed in 1882, the officials turned for guidance to their more knowledgeable counterparts in North Wales, whose organisation had been formed some four years earlier. The members of the Everton executive thereafter, would make incursions into the Principality in search of experienced players they hoped would improve the standard of play at Anfield. One such man who caught their attention was William Lewis. Born in 1864 in Bangor, he was the third son of Edward, a stonemason, and his wife Margaret. The family home was at 72 Hill Street. According to the 1881 census, Billy had followed the male members of the family into the stonemason trade and had begun playing the association game with his local side Bangor. On 4 February 1884, Willie Lewis represented the North Wales FA against their counterparts from Liverpool, on what was the recently opened Bootle cricket enclosure on Hawthorne Road. He scored one of the goals as the game ended…
Read More
Edward Turner, the carpenter from Lancaster

Edward Turner, the carpenter from Lancaster

Renowned for its mint cake and grey limestone buildings, the former Westmorland county town of Kendal – now part of Cumbria – was the location at which an Everton talent scout discovered a defender by the name of Edward Turner. Born 24 February 1874 in Lancaster, he was the second child of John, a cotton spinner, and his wife Mary. The 1881 census records the family living on Rigg Lane, but by 1891 they had moved to Penfold Lane where Edward had begun to learn the carpentry trade. Around this time his name briefly appeared in the press while playing…
Read More
Only Once a Blue; Humphrey Jones

Only Once a Blue; Humphrey Jones

Once a major force in Scottish football, the Vale of Leven club are based in the small Dunbartonshire town of Alexandria. Originally formed in 1872, they were the first team to take away the Scottish FA Cup from the famous Queens Park club of Glasgow, when they won the trophy three times on the run, between 1877 and 1879. In 1890, then founder members of the Scottish League, the Scots made their first visit to Liverpool where a certain Humphrey Jones made his only appearance for Everton. He was born on 17 December 1863, at Summerhill Terrace in the North Wales town of Bangor and was the fifth child born to Humphrey, a successful builder, and his wife Jane. Privately educated, he first attended the local Friars School…
Read More
Richard Williams, an Everton goalkeeper

Richard Williams, an Everton goalkeeper

Predating the renowned Port Sunlight model village by some twenty-five years, Bromborough Pool was built to house the workforce by William Wilson, the philanthropic owner who conducted the affairs of Price's Candle factory. It was also the birthplace of former Everton goalkeeper, Richard Williams. Born 17 April 1866, he was the third child of Richard, a general labourer, and his wife, Margaret. After being educated at the village school, the 1881 census showed that young Richard had started employment in the soap factory where he met Sarah Jane Brocklebank who he married in 1889. 1881 Census - Richard Williams, soap packer at Prices Candle Factory He had started his football career playing as a full back for Bromborough Pool but eventually established himself in the position of goalkeeper. The club were members of both the Wirral and…
Read More
Albert Chadwick, the brother of Edgar

Albert Chadwick, the brother of Edgar

When Thomas Chadwick married Susanna Pilkington in 1865 at St Peter's church in Blackburn, both their families had a firm foundation in the grocery trade which enabled them to set up their own local outlet at 66 Darwen Street. It was here that their first child, Albert Llewelyn, was born 1 August 1867. The family then moved to a terraced house on New Park Street – while the business was expanded elsewhere – and it was here that a second child, Edgar Wallace, was born 14 June 1869. He was destined to become an early legend at Everton Football Club.…
Read More
Isaac Roberts: The Short Life of an Everton Blue

Isaac Roberts: The Short Life of an Everton Blue

Standing at the rear of the tall buildings that today run along the thoroughfare of Dale Street are the remains of the uniquely named Ryleys Gardens. However, this once squalid and narrow court was inhabited by many destitute immigrants who had arrived in Victorian Liverpool hoping for a new start in life. Ryleys Gardens was also the birthplace of a man who played one competitive game for Everton – Isaac Roberts . The last remaining building in Ryleys Gardens contemporary with the court houses Isaac Roberts was born August 1868, the fourth child of Isaac, a mariner, and his wife…
Read More

Walter Brown: the Kirkcudbrightshire Blue

Most of the Scotsmen who played for Everton during their inaugural Football League season made their way to Liverpool having been recommended by agents who acted for the Anfield club north of the border. Walter Brown, however, appears to have arrived in the Mersey seaport with no knowledge whatsoever of the association game. He was born 11 June 1870 in the remote Kirkcudbrightshire community of Colvend, and was one of several children born to Thomas, a tinsmith, and his partner, Agnes. The 1881 census found the family still living in Kirkcudbrightshire before Agnes, on becoming a widow, moved with her…
Read More
Stevenson of Kilmarnock

Stevenson of Kilmarnock

The Final Journey of an Everton Blue Signed during the pre-Football League era, Robert Stevenson returned eventually to live in his native Scotland but spent the last days of his life in Liverpool. He was born January 1861, at 34 Ardeer Square in the Ayrshire coastal town of Stevenson and was the seventh child of George, a coal miner, and his wife Margaret. The 1881 census found the family living in Kilmarnock at 52 Low Glencairn Street. Robert was employed as a grocery assistant. It is around this time that he began serving an apprenticeship as an engine fitter and…
Read More

Once a Blue (11)-William Orr, the Boy from Gwladys Street

At the time William Marr Orr made his only Football League appearance for Everton, he had just moved to live in a new row of terraced houses that had been constructed by the Walton Local Board. George Goodison, their Civil Engineer, had decided to name the thoroughfare Gwladys Street.   c.1870 the streets around the future site of Goodison Park yet to be laid out c.1890 - Goodison Road and Gwladys Steet laid out, plus part of Bullens Road The parents of William, John and Jean, had married in the Ayrshire town of Kilbirnie, where their first child Jessie was…
Read More
The Scot from the Vale of Leven – John Walker

The Scot from the Vale of Leven – John Walker

Trying to compile an inventory of Scotsmen who have played football for Everton is like compressing springs in an old iron bedstead. Just when you think your task is complete, another one jumps up. The latest addition to this list is John Walker. John Walker He was born on 4 November 1869, in Bonhill, Dunbartonshire and was the second child of John, a carter (driver of horse-drawn vehicles), and his wife, Jane. He was training to be an engine fitter when he began his career with the Alexandria-based Vale of Leven club and represented them in several Scottish FA Cup…
Read More