Tony Onslow

The Magnificent Footballing Andersons of Liverpool

The Magnificent Footballing Andersons of Liverpool

When asked recently who was the first Liverpool-born man to play Association Football for England or score a goal in an FA Cup final, I was not able to answer the question. I then commenced to trawl through the FA records, and after much deliberation, appeared to have found the two most likely candidates to fill these roles. I was surprised to discover that they both belong to the same family. Rupert Darnley Anderson was born on 29 April 1859 and baptised the following June at St Paul's church in the Princes Park area of Liverpool. He was the fifth…
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The Hope of Everton

In November 1890, the Everton executive dispatched their club captain, Andrew Hannah, back to his native Scotland and instructed him to find a player who would strengthen the side and help them clinch the Football League Championship. They informed him he could offer a signing on fee of £50, plus a weekly wage of three pounds and ten shillings a week. Hannah later returned with Hope Ramsey Robertson, who had agreed to join the Anfield club from Patrick Thistle. Robertson was born on 17 January 1868 in the Govan area of Glasgow, and was the third child born to assurance…
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Alex Lochhead, the Everton Wing Half from Neilston

Alex Lochhead, the Everton Wing Half from Neilston

Over the years many Everton players have been asked to make their debut in some tough 'must win' situations. But the first of these must surely be a young Scotsman who arrived in Liverpool during November 1891 at a time when his new club were challenging to take the Football League Championship away from Preston North End. Alexander Lochhead had been born 27 June 1865 in the rural community of Neilson in Renfrewshire, where he began his football career playing for the village team. His style of play soon caught the eye of a talent scout, who invited the young…
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The Life and Times of John Cameron

It had been just four weeks since the first football knockout competition, won the by The Wanderers, had taken place on the Kennington Oval ground in London, when a boy was born on the South West Coast of Scotland. He was destined to make FA Cup history. John Cameron was born on 13 April 1872 in the Newton district of Ayr, where his family, who were in the grocery business, had finally come to settle. The 1881 census recorded the business premises on Waggon Road, where John was by then an eight-year-old scholar. He later attended Ayr Grammar School. In…
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The Costley Brothers – Was It Jim Or Was It Tom?

Thomas Halliwell Costley was born in Liverpool but began his football career in Blackburn, before moving back to his birthplace in order to play for Everton. He was the younger brother of Jimmy Costley who scored the winning goal for Blackburn Olympic in the 1883 FA Cup final. Although Jimmy was never to sign for Everton he did represent his home town club in several attractive friendly fixtures where he deputised for his brother on the left wing. Tommy, the fifth child of the family, was born on 5 March 1865 at Rathbone Street on the south side of Liverpool…
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The Blacksmith of Crossmyloof

The Blacksmith of Crossmyloof

John Weir, a blacksmith who once played football for both Everton and Scotland, was also one of the players famously suspended by the Football Association for playing for Everton as a professional in November 1887. John Weir was born, 10 January 1865, at Crossmyloof, Renfrewshire, and was the third child of a fairly mature couple who had moved to the west of Scotland from their native Ireland. The 1871 census found him still living at Crossmyloof, by now fully involved in the City of Glasgow, along with his elder brother, born 1862, whose name was Charles. By 1881, the two…
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Joseph Davies, the Welsh International from Shropshire

Joseph Davies, the Welsh International from Shropshire. The picture above shows the last resting place of Joseph Davies who played for Everton during the season that they became founder members of the Football League. He was born on 27 June 1869 at St Martins in north west Shropshire and baptised at Preesgwyn Methodist Chapel. He was the son of Stephen Davies, a blacksmith at the local coal mine, and his wife Harriet. Both of them had been born in St Martins. The 1881 census finds the family living at Chirk Bank Row in Weston Rhyn where Joseph, along with his…
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Andrew Gibson, The Blue from Dalmellington

Although destined never to play a Football League match for the club, Andrew Gibson played a leading role in the years leading up to Everton becoming founder members of the new organisation.  He had been at the club for two seasons when the above picture was taken and he had travelled a somewhat round about route to reach the town where he would spend the rest of his days. Andrew Gibson was born on 31 January 1864, at 3 High Main Street of the Ayrshire market town of Dalmellington. His father and grandfather, both named Alexander, belonged to the Ancient…
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Why Leicester Fosse?

History will be made today when the present Premier League champions take to the field for what is their first ever FA Cup tie at Goodison Park. The visitors were formed in 1884 by a group of young men from a local evangelical chapel who decided to form a football team that they chose to call Leicester Fosse. This suffix was chosen because the old Roman Road, known as the Fosse Way, had once passed through the area and a military encampment was constructed to protect it from attack near to the spot where it forded the River Soar. The…
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