Players

Neil Robinson (1957-2022)

Neil Robinson (1957-2022)

A Tribute The sudden, unexpected, passing of Neil Robinson, at the age of sixty-five, has come as a shock to Everton FC Heritage Society members and the fanbases of his former clubs. Neil had the Bluest of credentials. Born into a family of Evertonians, he spent his early years round the corner from Goodison Park on Spellow Lane. His father, Jim, had been head barman at the Winslow Hotel on Goodison Road in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Sadly Jim was paralysed in an industrial accident when Neil was a child. The Robinson family in 1957, Neil the infant…
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Son of my Father (Part 15): Paul and Jordan Rideout

Son of my Father (Part 15): Paul and Jordan Rideout

The next item in this series takes us to the USA to the Rideout residence. Paul Rideout, of course, will be remembered for his headed goal at Wembley in 1995 which brought the FA Cup to Merseyside. Sadly, no silverware has followed since that May afternoon, so his goal remains strong in the memory of Evertonians. Paul, it will be remembered, hit the ground running in the early days of his career when he started at Swindon Town and made his début at the tender age of sixteen, becoming the youngest player to feature for the Robins.  Paul penned a…
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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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Jack Taylor – Everton’s Son of the Rock

Jack Taylor – Everton’s Son of the Rock

by Rob Sawyer ‘He played anywhere readily and played well anywhere. No Everton player has left Evertonians with a more fragrant memory.’ Thomas Keates (1928) Portrait of Jack during his playing days There must have been something in the water in Dunbartonshire in the second half of the 19th century. Between 1889 and 1897, six footballers with strong connections to the Clydeside town of Dumbarton represented the Toffees. First there was Alex Latta, followed by Richard ‘Dickie’ Boyle, Abe Hartley and the Bell brothers (John and Laurie). But only one, John ‘Jack’ Taylor, would get his hands on silverware whilst…
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Warney Cresswell – The Prince of Full Backs

Warney Cresswell – The Prince of Full Backs

By Rob Sawyer Warney Cresswell at Goodison in 1929 The retirement of Leighton Baines in 2020 reignited the debate about who has been Everton’s finest left-back. Unsurprisingly, the Kirkby-born England international was in the mix, along with World Cup hero Ray Wilson and the combative but effective Pat Van Den Hauwe. A natural tendency to favour players we have seen with our own eyes makes ranking players spanning many decades fraught with difficulty. The tactical evolution of the sport is a further complication. The modern breed of full-backs play an important role in attacking movements whereas the likes of Billy…
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Tom Griffiths: The Player with More than one String to his Bow

Tom Griffiths: The Player with More than one String to his Bow

By Rob Sawyer Tom with Dixie Dean c.1927 Before Everton had T.G, there was T.P. On 16 March 1938, Tommy G. Jones (popularly known by his initials, T.G.) was sitting nervously in the changing room at the Racecourse Ground, about to make his debut for Wales. The 20-year-old was approached by his boyhood hero, Tom Griffiths, who was acting as an unofficial advisor to the squad. The older man gave the rookie a few quiet words of advice and encouragement’. Jones would later enthuse: ‘What a thrill those few words gave me. I’ll never forget it. I’ll always look back…
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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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