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Remembrance Service – Goodison Park 2021

Remembrance Service – Goodison Park 2021

(photo: Sarah Atherton) (photo: Sarah Atherton) Graeme Sharp and Darren Griffiths, who later tweeted; 'Lovely to attend the Remembrance Service by the Dixie statue. Well done to Everton FC Heritage Society for organising it. On this date I always think of my dad’s brother Billy, who perished aboard HMS Dasher that sank on 27 March 1943. My dad still remembers the knock at the door… (photo: Sarah Atherton) (photo: @mintisculture) Many thanks again for all the work by Paul Kelly of Everton FC Heritage Society and his wife Jean (centre) in pulling things together for the commemoration event on 11…
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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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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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Queen’s Head Hotel Archaeological Excavations

Queen’s Head Hotel Archaeological Excavations

The Queen's Head Hotel has become part of Everton folklore regarding the events that took place within its walls and the decisions made that laid down the foundation of Everton Football Club. This historic venue is where St Domingo’s Football Club became Everton Football Club in November 1879, and in 2015 the site was uncovered for the first time in almost half-a-century. Ken Rogers, former Sports Editor of the Liverpool Echo, and member of Everton FC Heritage Society, was determined to discover more about the site, and to see if an excavation could be organised to reveal more of the…
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In Search of Priory Road 1883-84

In Search of Priory Road 1883-84

In Search of Priory Road Commencing to write this article on the day that government approval was granted for the Bramley-Moore Stadium, social media was awash with good wishes to all those concerned in successfully seeing the project through. There were the inevitable online exchanges, with a great many from the envious dark side, who could see they were now visibly condemned to spend yet another generation in their Big Stand with little chance of expansion, a move, or even a laughable ground-share. Meanwhile, many commented online that this would be Everton’s third stadium build in the city.  (pic: Liverpool…
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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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Billy and Bob: The Fabulous Balmer Brothers

Billy and Bob: The Fabulous Balmer Brothers

Billy and Bob: The Fabulous Balmer Brothers By Rob Sawyer William and Robert Balmer formed a fearsome, and fruitful, fraternal partnership in Everton’s back-line in the early years of the 20th Century. William’s selection for national team duty would also make him the club’s first Scouse England cap. They were the sons of James (a carpenter and joiner) and Martha. William Atherton was born on 29 July 1875 whilst Robert followed on 28 November 1881. The pair - better known and Billy and Bob - grew-up alongside their siblings John (b. 1874) and Mary (b. 1877) at the family home…
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The Technicoloured Wide World of Sports

The Technicoloured Wide World of Sports

The creator of the iconic image of Goodison Park: Archibald Leitch AN INTERVIEW WITH GEORGE CHILVERS by Richie Gillham Richie Gillham: Thanks for joining us, George.  I think many of us have seen and admired your colourisations of old black and white football pictures.  So, from the beginning, how did it start? George Chilvers: I was born and grew up in Liverpool in the 50s and 60s, and as a little lad I loved reading about football.  I used to get football annuals at Christmas, and very rarely if I had saved up enough I'd buy a magazine, like Charles…
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Goodison Park – The New Home of Everton (1892)

Goodison Park – The New Home of Everton (1892)

Billy Smith has been a royal blue bloodhound for many years, sniffing out historic articles about our beloved club in microfilm archives across the region. These nuggets are posted on his excellent Blue Correspondent website (bluecorrespondent.co.uk). Working chronologically, he has reached the 1962/63 season but Billy continues locate and transcribe previously hidden gems from earlier eras. One vein of high-quality content mined by Billy is Athletic News (The Athletic News and Cyclists' Journal, to give it its full title). This Manchester-based weekly newspaper, which ran from 1875 to 1931 was a keen proponent of Association Football in its early decades. Mere Green…
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