Players

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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Any Dream Will Do: Don Donovan – (Son of my Father Part 13)

Any Dream Will Do: Don Donovan – (Son of my Father Part 13)

Don Donovan arrived in England from Cork, the second largest city in Ireland located in the south west of the country, an area which also produced Roy Keane. Don played junior football for Maymount Rovers then Dalymount Rovers, where he was spotted by an Everton representative whilst the club was on a pre-season tour. Don was invited to cross the Irish Sea in 1949, just after the war, leaving his close family and moving to new surroundings in Liverpool, only to be welcomed by a fellow countryman, Tommy Eglinton. Tommy later became the godfather of Don’s son, Terry. Other members…
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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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Alan and Jackie McInally – (Son of my Father Part 12)

Alan and Jackie McInally – (Son of my Father Part 12)

Alan McInally never played for Everton, but he spent pre-season with the Toffees during the days of Howard Kendall. Alan was registered a Bayern Munich player at that time and a very close friend with Mo Johnston who was at Everton back then. Alan was recovering from a knee injury eager to regain some match fitness.  The German giants authorised that Alan could play for Everton in a pre-season fixture for the Blues at Port Vale where he managed the first forty-five minutes. Following in his father’s footsteps, this is the story of Jackie McInally. Jackie started his career in…
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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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Scott and Archie Gemmill – Son of My Father (Part 11)

Scott and Archie Gemmill – Son of My Father (Part 11)

Scott Gemmill’s career unfolded at The City Ground, Nottingham where Brian Clough had the pleasure of managing Scott’s father Archie, at a very successful period in the club’s history. Scott, made his debut for Forest in March 1991 and remained there until he was signed by Walter Smith for Everton on transfer deadline day in March 1999. Heavy road traffic almost hijacked the transfer with time ticking down, but Scott was able to sign on the dotted line with minutes remaining. Scott was thrown in at the deep end on his debut as Everton played at Anfield in the local…
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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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Stuart Storer – speaking to Steve Zocek

Stuart Storer – speaking to Steve Zocek

Everton manager Howard Kendall, pictured with his two new signings from Birmingham City - Wayne Clark and Stuart Storer (Photo by Barry Farrell/Daily Mail). Stuart Storer was part of a £300,000 double swoop that brought him to Goodison Park with Wayne Clarke in March 1987. Unfortunately, Stuart failed to make a first team debut, but I took delight from talking with him about his time at Everton. Stuart continued his career with Bolton Wanderers, Exeter City and Brighton & Hove Albion, where he is fondly remembered for scoring the last ever goal at the Goldstone Ground, in the 67th minute…
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Adrian and Harrison Heath – Son of My Father (Part 10)

Adrian and Harrison Heath – Son of My Father (Part 10)

                           Adrian Heath arrived at Everton in January 1982 for a club record fee of £700,000. As a striker/attacking midfielder from the Potteries, he was signed by manager Howard Kendall who knew Adrian well from their days at the Victoria Ground, Stoke. ‘Inchy’ as he became known, made his Blues debut at home to Southampton in a 1-1 draw.  Finding it difficult to settle at first, he eventually came into his own, playing a very big part in Everton’s success. Many Evertonians class his interception from Kevin Brock at the Manor Ground, Oxford, in a January 1984 knife edge cup…
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The Likely Lads; Mark and John Higgins – Son of my Father (Part Nine)

The Likely Lads; Mark and John Higgins – Son of my Father (Part Nine)

              Mark Higgins joined Everton as an apprentice. Having excelled in his performances for the reserves, he earned a first team start a month after his eighteenth birthday in a 2-2 draw against Manchester City under the lights at Goodison Park.  Mark, a tough no-nonsense centre half, gave nothing less than 100% in an Everton jersey, but his career was blighted by injuries, which sadly led to him missing out on the success of Howard Kendall's sides of the eighties.  After over 150 appearances for the Toffees, Mark made a decision to retire from the game due to the frustration…
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