1878-1889

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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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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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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In Search of John Houlding

In Search of John Houlding

This article is not intended either to praise or to condemn John Houlding for the role he played in the decision made by Everton Football Club to move away from Anfield. It is merely an effort to try and throw some light on this 'larger than life character' who played a big part in establishing the game of Association Football in his home town of Liverpool. Local records reveal that John Houlding was baptised on 4 August 1833 at St Martin-in the-Field church. He was the second of three sons born to Thomas Houlding, a cow keeper, and his wife…
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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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Albert Chadwick, the brother of Edgar

Albert Chadwick, the brother of Edgar

When Thomas Chadwick married Susanna Pilkington in 1865 at St Peter's church in Blackburn, both their families had a firm foundation in the grocery trade which enabled them to set up their own local outlet at 66 Darwen Street. It was here that their first child, Albert Llewelyn, was born 1 August 1867. The family then moved to a terraced house on New Park Street – while the business was expanded elsewhere – and it was here that a second child, Edgar Wallace, was born 14 June 1869. He was destined to become an early legend at Everton Football Club.…
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Isaac Roberts: The Short Life of an Everton Blue

Isaac Roberts: The Short Life of an Everton Blue

Standing at the rear of the tall buildings that today run along the thoroughfare of Dale Street are the remains of the uniquely named Ryleys Gardens. However, this once squalid and narrow court was inhabited by many destitute immigrants who had arrived in Victorian Liverpool hoping for a new start in life. Ryleys Gardens was also the birthplace of a man who played one competitive game for Everton – Isaac Roberts . The last remaining building in Ryleys Gardens contemporary with the court houses Isaac Roberts was born August 1868, the fourth child of Isaac, a mariner, and his wife…
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Walter Brown: the Kirkcudbrightshire Blue

Most of the Scotsmen who played for Everton during their inaugural Football League season made their way to Liverpool having been recommended by agents who acted for the Anfield club north of the border. Walter Brown, however, appears to have arrived in the Mersey seaport with no knowledge whatsoever of the association game. He was born 11 June 1870 in the remote Kirkcudbrightshire community of Colvend, and was one of several children born to Thomas, a tinsmith, and his partner, Agnes. The 1881 census found the family still living in Kirkcudbrightshire before Agnes, on becoming a widow, moved with her…
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Once a Blue (11)-William Orr, the Boy from Gwladys Street

At the time William Marr Orr made his only Football League appearance for Everton, he had just moved to live in a new row of terraced houses that had been constructed by the Walton Local Board. George Goodison, their Civil Engineer, had decided to name the thoroughfare Gwladys Street.   c.1870 the streets around the future site of Goodison Park yet to be laid out c.1890 - Goodison Road and Gwladys Steet laid out, plus part of Bullens Road The parents of William, John and Jean, had married in the Ayrshire town of Kilbirnie, where their first child Jessie was…
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