Rob Sawyer

98 Posts
Tommy ‘T.G.’ Jones by his former team mate John Cowell

Tommy ‘T.G.’ Jones by his former team mate John Cowell

Rob Sawyer in conversation with former Pwllheli goalkeeper John Cowell on his association with Everton and Wales legend T.G.Jones. Tommy G. Jones – often known by his initials, T.G., was idolised by Everton and Wales supporters in the late 1930s and 1940s. Dubbed the Prince of Centre-halves by devoted fans, Jones was described by Dixie Dean as the finest all-round player he had ever seen. A league title winner in 1939, Jones lost many of his best years to the war, and picked up a debilitating ankle injury in a Merseyside derby in 1944. Everton team in 1948 – TG…
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The Goodison Bugler’s Last Post – The Life of Francis Hamill

The Goodison Bugler’s Last Post – The Life of Francis Hamill

Rob Sawyer Unlike many clubs, Everton FC has always eschewed the use of in-match music to spur on the team or celebrate a goal – or so I thought. Tom Walker A conversation with veteran Toffees supporter Tom Walker gave me this nugget about the late 1940s, "‘The Everton Bugler used to sit in the top of the Bullens Road stand and sound the charge if we were attacking." Further corroboration of the existence of a supporter (or supporters) bringing a touch of brass to Goodison comes from Sir Paul McCartney. When recalling his childhood for the mid-1990s Anthology project…
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Derek Temple and The Story of Everton’s 1966 Cup Glory

Derek Temple and The Story of Everton’s 1966 Cup Glory

by Rob Sawyer with Derek Temple Derek Temple with his wife Maureen, pictured at home with Rob Sawyer in July 2023 As Everton kicked off their 1966 FA Cup campaign the omens were inauspicious, the club’s previous taste of cup glory had been 33 years previously when Dean, Stein and Dunn hit the goals to defeat Manchester City. A season of underachievement in the league had boiled over the previous weekend. In the aftermath of a 2-0 defeat on an icy pitch at Bloomfield Road, the infamous ‘Blackpool Rumble’ (© David France) took place in the car park. Some Toffees…
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Barry Hewitt (1953-2023) – A Tribute

Barry Hewitt (1953-2023) – A Tribute

by Rob Sawyer, with members of Everton FC Heritage Society Members of Everton FC Heritage Society were saddened to learn of the death of Barry Hewitt on 12 November 2023 from cancer. He may have been Suffolk-born, but his devotion to the Toffees was absolute for more than half a century, and he was a great friend to the Society. Barry was born in Ipswich on 19 May 1953. Always keen on football, he had been a talented goalkeeper in his youth – he represented Suffolk schools and had a trail at Ipswich Town but chose not to pursue it…
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Richard ‘Dickie’ Boyle

Richard ‘Dickie’ Boyle

By Rob Sawyer [Above photo: Dickie Boyle of Everton c.1894(colourised by George Chilvers) ] Everton was awash with Sons of the Rock in the early years of the Football League: fellow Dumbarton-raised John Bell, and the long-serving Jack Taylor, the latter being the captain of Everton’s first victorious FA Cup side in 1906. No less vital and dedicated to the Toffees cause in the last years of the nineteenth century was Richard Hill Boyle. Commonly known as Dickie (or Dicky), he was one of those indomitable Everton servants, like Peter Farrell and Mike Lyons, who never earned the silverware he…
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Tammy Burgess in conversation with Rob Sawyer

Tammy Burgess in conversation with Rob Sawyer

Tammy Byrne (now Burgess) was one of the emerging talents in the Everton Ladies squad which won, to date, the club’s only league title. Not a follower of a particular club, or football in general, as a child, the course of her life was changed by an encounter at Moss Farm in the mid-1990s. Here, Tammy describes the transformative impact on her of football and her Everton clubmates. I had older brothers and played football in my area, Croxteth, with the likes of Francis Jeffers. I hadn’t played football in a team, so I didn’t actually know how good I…
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Bobby Irvine – The Prince of Dribblers

Bobby Irvine – The Prince of Dribblers

Bobby Irvine, the Everton forward whose threepenny-bit dribbles used to have the million-pound note look. (Ranger – Liverpool Echo, 1954) Rob Sawyer Bobby posing in a Belfast studio in the early 1920s Hard as it is to imagine, forty years before George Best was thrilling football supporters up and down the land, Northern Ireland possessed a forward of similar talents - who played for Everton, rather than Manchester United.   Born on 29 April 1900, and raised on Low Road in Lisburn, Robert W. Irvine (always known as Bobby) made his name as a skilful and versatile forward, with a…
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The Story of The Bullens

The Story of The Bullens

Rob Sawyer Perhaps the key motif for Goodison Park is the Archibald Leitch-designed cross-braced panels - as seen at the front of the Bullens Road stand balcony. The oldest stand and the only extant one to bear witness to Dixie’s glorious 60th League goal in 1928. Now giving faithful service into its 97th year, it will be robbed of reaching its century by the impending move to Bramley Moore Dock. The new stadium will pay a respectful nod to its predecessor with the Leitch lattice pattern incorporated into brickwork. After moving to Goodison Park, Everton had a Bullens Road stand…
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Tommy White – A Player of Many Parts

Tommy White – A Player of Many Parts

by Rob Sawyer I have played in almost every forward and half-back position for Everton. That versatility helped me more than once to get a first team place. On the other hand, for a time I was regarded as nothing but a sub for other players. When they were ready for the first team again, I was out. That’s how it has been all through my football career. Shocks and pleasant surprises always round the corner. I never knew which I would meet. Tom White (June 1937) Born at Goulden Street, in Weaste, Salford, on 29 July 1908, Tom Angus…
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There’s Only Two Tommy Fleetwoods…

There’s Only Two Tommy Fleetwoods…

by Rob Sawyer and Pete Jones A contemporary cigarette card of Tommy Fleetwood It’s always good to see fellow blues doing well. Have a look at Toffeeweb’s section on celebrity fans; it’s an informative and amusing mixture of the nailed on, the apocryphal, and the downright dodgy. We have amongst our number an Oscar winner in Dame Judi Dench, star of stage, screen and the Moneysupermarket ads. She owes her allegiance to her late husband Michael Williams, although she did appear in Z-Cars in 1963, when John Moores’ ‘Mersey Millionaires’ were reigning League Champions. Another showbiz multi-award winning blue is…
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