Tony Onslow

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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James Morris, a Shropshire Lad

James Morris, a Shropshire Lad

The Welsh Marches village of Trefonen in Shropshire was the birthplace of James Morris in April 1863, the third child of Anne and her Welsh husband, Robert. James made a most unusual appearance for Everton during their first season as members of the Football League.   According to the 1881 census, the family were living in Oswestry, and James was working along with his father as a brickmaker. He began his football career with an Oswestry club who were founder members of the Shropshire FA in 1879. They shared a ground with the local cricket club at Victoria Road and lifted the Welsh & Border Counties FA Cup in…
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International Football arrives on Merseyside

International Football arrives on Merseyside

The first international football match to take place on Merseyside occurred on 24 February 1883, when England took on an Irish side who were making their first excursion to mainland Britain. The match was arranged under the guidance of the FA secretary Charles Alcock, who decided to stage the game on the new home of Liverpool Cricket Club at Aigburth. He had attended Harrow Public School and would have been acquainted, through the 'Old Boy' network, with other Old Harrovians who lived on Merseyside. One such person was Percy Bateson. Born locally in 1862, Percy was the son of a…
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John Dewar

John Dewar

Thanks to the British Newspaper Archive website, the mystery of John Dewar, who made a single appearance for Everton, can be revealed. He was born in September 1867, in the Renfrewshire village of Strathbungo (today part of the City of Glasgow), and was the second child of Andrew, a Stonemason, and his wife Janet. The family had relocated to the Kinning Park area of Glasgow where John became an apprentice to his father and played junior football with Well Park, with whom he won the Glasgow Junior Cup. Around 1882 he progressed to senior football with Thistle FC (once a…
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Jack Keys and William Warmby — The Duo from Derby

Jack Keys and William Warmby — The Duo from Derby

Jack Keys and William Warmby — The Duo from Derby In preparation for life in the Football League, Everton Football Club made several new signings during the summer of 1888. Two of them, Keys and Warmby, had joined from Derby County. Despite the fact that the local newspapers made no reference to their background, they were in fact related by marriage and had reached the Mersey seaport by two slightly different routes. William Henry Warmby was born in 1863 in South Yorkshire, where he began his football career with his local team, Rotherham Town. Some time around 1883 he moved…
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John Roach, a Striker from Shropshire

John Roach, a Striker from Shropshire

The main engineering works of The Cambrian Railway Company - today a grade two listed building - once employed many of the people who lived in the Welsh Marches town of Oswestry, and provided the local football team with several players. One such person, who also represented Everton, was John Roach. John Roach's home in LorneSt (left) and the Railway Works (far right) Born April 1863, he was the third child of Martin, a labourer, and his wife Bridget, who together had moved to Shropshire from their birthplace in the County Mayo across the Irish Sea. John had begun to work as a blacksmiths striker, in the foundry of the Cambrian Company, when he started playing football for the Oswestry White Stars, who shared a ground with the local cricket club. On 29 December 1883, the little Shropshire club found themselves in the limelight, having received a home FA Cup draw with the famous Queens Park club from Glasgow, who were renowned for playing quality football with…
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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…
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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…
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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…
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