A Delve into the Everton Collection

Some of this season’s EFC Heritage Society articles are produced in partnership with the Everton Collection, the unrivalled archive of over 10,000 historical football treasures. In 2007 in order to ensure the archive remained intact for future generations, an initiative was formed with support from the Heritage Lottery Fund, to purchase David France’s memorabilia. Everton FC also gifted its own memorabilia to form The Everton Collection Charitable Trust.

The Collection is located at Liverpool Record Office at Liverpool Central Library where it is preserved and conserved in purpose-built archive accommodation meeting the highest standards for long-term preservation and under the care of professional archivists and conservators. The original items can be viewed at Liverpool Record Office by appointment. Items continue to be added – including Joe Mercer’s 1938/39 League Championship medal last year.

A crowning glory of the Collection is the series of board minutes ledgers. These ‘Everton Scriptures’ are a series of 29 books documenting, in forensic detail, the inner workings of the club from October 1887 to July 1964. They give the back-story through the decades: including star player transfers, boardroom reshuffles, the appointment and dismissal of managers and the momentous move from Anfield to Goodison Park in 1892. Now fully transcribed and digitized, the 10,000 pages of minutes can be viewed and keyword searched alongside the rest of these Toffee treasures in the Collection at evertoncollection.org.uk.

An online search for today’s visitors renders 124 hits. The earliest takes us back to 28th July 1910 when the Everton directors discussed negotiations for the proposed transfer of Bert Chetwood to the Southern League side. Clearly, Watford were unhappy with Everton’s insistence on a sell-on clause and the deal collapsed. Chetwood would, instead, move to Chester FC:

B. Chetwood: The Secretary read a letter from Watford F.C.saying they could not agree to the clause that should they at any time transfer him they pay us the whole amount received, but only up to the amount we have on him viz. £25. He was instructed to write that we could not alter our terms.

Four years before Goodison Park’s floodlights were commissioned, the minutes of 5th January 1954 record: It was reported that some new types of lights would be on view at Watford on Tuesday next, and it was agreed that Messrs J. C. Sharp, C. E. Balmforth, F. Micklesfield and the Manager should attend.

Everton would first play Watford in a Football League match in August 1982 but, eighteen months earlier they met in the FA Youth Cup. The hosts won this encounter on a gusty Goodison night, 3-1. The team sheet resides in the Collection. Three future first-teamers featured in the Blues’ line-up: Mark Ward, Kevin Richardson and Gary Stevens – the latter playing on the left of midfield. Another familiar surname was McMahon – but in this case it was Steve’s brother, John. Two of the Hornet’s team would come up against Richardson and Stevens three years later in the FA Cup Final. Nigel Callaghan had, by then, established himself as a right winger whilst Neil Price endured a torrid time against Man-of-the-Match, Trevor Steven.

By Rob Sawyer

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