Players

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 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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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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Teddy Glover

Teddy Glover

The first British Everton player to be inducted into the USA Soccer Hall of Fame in 1965 Charles Edward Glover, known as Teddy, was born in Bootle on 7 April 1902. Teddy would eventually be inducted into the US National Hall of Fame in 1965 — the first of four players to have been on Everton's books to achieve this honour, the others being: Predrag “Preki” Radosavljevic, 2010; Joe Max Moore in 2013 and Brian McBride in 2014. Predrag Preki Radosavljevic in 2010 Sam Chedgzoy Joe Max-Moore in 2013 Brian McBride in 2014 The first time Teddy pulled on an…
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The Forgotten Blue of Ruhleben Prison Camp

The Forgotten Blue of Ruhleben Prison Camp

When the Austro-Hungarian Empire declared war on Serbia, her ally Germany immediately closed her borders to prevent all British nationals from leaving the country. The date was 28 June 1914. They were then rounded up and placed in a civilian internment camp at Ruhleben race course on the outskirts of Berlin. Amongst them were several former professional footballers who, prior to the outbreak of war, had been helping to improve the standard of play at several German football clubs. Three of these individuals had once played football with Everton before accepting a coaching position in Germany. There was however, a…
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The Stanley Park Three

The Stanley Park Three

The names of Marriott, Morris, and Pickering might not instantly come to mind when mentioning former members of Everton Football Club, but they played a major defensive role during their formative years on Stanley Park. The first of this trio to appear there was Thomas Marriott. He was born 4 February 1861 and was the third son of Mary and her husband, John, who worked as a cotton porter. The family were, at that time, living at 2 Duke Street, but by 1881 they were living in better surroundings at Grey Rock Street where Thomas was working as a clerk. He first played at full back alongside Tom Evans, from whose experience all three were to benefit, during the season of 1880-81 after which he was partnered by a man from the North East of England. Born in 1862, Richard William Morris was the son of John, a sergeant major…
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