Everton Collection

Click to read member’s articles relating to The Everton Collection
Click to view The Everton Collection online

The David France Collection

The David France Collection is regarded as the finest compilation of football memorabilia in the world. Put together over several decades by superfan Dr David France, it is a unique collection of artefacts, letters, medals and other ephemera. The depth of the collection is absolutley staggering, and Dr France’s story in how it was put together is documented in Dr Everton’s Magificent Obsession written with EFCHS member and Echo journalist David Prentice, a fascinating read. Articles about the Collection, and the history it reveals, are regularly featured in the Everton matchday programme, and on this website (as they are researched and written by members).

The Everton Collection

The Everton Collection Charitable Trust, an independent charity, chaired by Lord Grantchester and run by a board of trustees of Everton fans and senior heritage specialists, purchased The David France Collection with support from the Heritage Lottery Fund on 31 December 2007, shortly after Everton FC had gifted the Club’s own archive to the Trust. Both archives were then combined to create The Everton Collection. The Collection is still owned by the Trust and is housed at Liverpool Record Office.

Click to view The Everton Collection online

The David France Collection is a compilation of memorabilia related to the birth and development of Everton Football Club. It is lauded as the finest collection of football artefacts in the world. Employing a network of dealers, Dr France took over 20 years to assemble some of football’s rarest items dating back to the club’s pioneering days in Stanley Park. In addition to hundreds and hundreds of unique items of interest to all football enthusiasts, the real significance of Dr France’s paper-chase is that the resulting collection boasts long unbroken sequences of programmes and other memorabilia which tell the week-by-week story of life as well as football on Merseyside football. Perhaps the most priceless treasures are the official club ledgers detailing the minutes of all board meetings between 1886 and 1964 and shed light on the acrimonious split which resulted in the formation of Liverpool Football Club.

Click image to view Wikipedia page detailing more about the collection artefacts

Poor health influenced Dr. France’s decision in 2001 to find a secure and long-term home for his collection. Despite receiving offers from private investors, he was committed to make the collection available to the people of Merseyside. Six years later, the Everton Collection Charitable Trust (Charity No 1109480) announced that it had secured a grant from the UK Heritage Lottery Fund to acquire his collection, now named The Everton Collection. Subsequently, Dr France donated the priceless ledgers and transferred the other treasures at a heavily discounted price. There were, however, a few conditions to the transaction. Every piece of memorabilia had to be professionally catalogued, preserved by experts and secured in a vault. No items can be disposed of and the collection had to be augmented with quality acquisitions when they become available. Equally as important, the items should be displayed physically in Liverpool and all printed materials digitised and incorporated into a website to facilitate worldwide access. Subsequently, Everton Football Club donated its archives.

Now known as The Everton Collection, it is housed at the Liverpool Record Office where it took a team of experts some 15 months to catalogue the artefacts. Highlights of the collection are featured in two books ‘Everton Treasures’ and ‘Dr Everton’s Magnificent Obsession’. Some of the Everton Collection has been digitised and is available online at www.evertoncollection.org.uk. At the formal launch the ‘Everlution’ exhibition in late 2009, Andy Burnham, the UK Health Minister, said: “Thanks to David France the story of the heart and soul of our club has been brought together. We all owe him a huge debt of thanks for the passion and the meticulousness with which he has prepared this wonderful collection.”

(Pictured: (left) Dr David France and (right) Lord John Grantchester )

The collection has been lauded by other Everton fans and experts alike. Everton chairman Bill Kenwright said: ‘On behalf of all Evertonians, I would like to express our collective gratitude to David France for his foresight in acquiring these rarities and for his patience during the fund-raising period.’ Sir Philip Carter added: ‘There are so many sacred items spanning the 131 years from our days at Stanley Park. The treasure trove contained our first programmes, first photographs, first medals, first season-tickets, first contracts as well as the club ledgers circa 1886. Everything is in pristine condition.’ Technical experts offered similar appreciation: Janet Dugdale of the National Museums Liverpool reported: ‘The collection’s importance is increased by its integrity as a collection which has been amassed with a single-minded sense of purpose and intellectual rigour to which many museums aspire.’ Graham Budd of Sotheby’s added: ‘The collection offers an extraordinary record of the evolution of British football and of the city of Liverpool. It has no match anywhere.’

How to view it online

Liverpool Record Office Information Leaflet

A dedicated website stores thousands of images from the collection, free to view, with a searchable database of over 18,000 items. The image at the top shows the items laid out into categories. (Click the top images on this page).

How to see the collection

Memorabilia from the Everton Collection is often put on exhibition from time to time in local museums, Liverpool Central Library and Everton FC retail shops, while other items are exhibited at Goodison Park.

Use by Researchers

Reader’s application form

Access to the Collection is open to researchers, although 48 hours’ notice is essential to view items at the Record Office. A reader’s ticket is required, which can be issued by providing proof of name and address. (Download application form) However, not all original items are available to view, and this applies to anything that has been digitised for the website, or transferred to microfilm. It may be worth checking with the record office before you visit.

The Liverpool Record Office Information Leaflet containing all relevant detail and advice is available right (‘The Everton Collection’).

Mike Royden

[Article originally written for The Everton Collection on Mike Royden’s Everton FC Heritage page , (plus Wikipedia info.]

Treasure Hunter

A private viewing of the Everton Collection with Dr David France and the Evertonian Magazine

Bringing History Up To Date

The Evertonian magazine takes a visit to Liverpool Record Office toview The Everton Collection and to discover more about access.

Everton Treasures

David France reveals the story behind ‘Dr Everton’s Magnificent Obsession‘ (in Evertonian magazine)

Everton Treasures on Display

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is The-Everton-Collection-Charitable-Trust-logo.png
Click to read member’s articles relating to The Everton Collection

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is The-Everton-Collection-Charitable-Trust-logo.png
Culture Liverpool have also featured The Everton Collection. Jan Grace of Liverpool Record Office has put together an article about the Collection, what it contains, examples of holdings, and how to access it. Read a PDF of her excellent article here.


  • Currently undertaking a project on the match officials for Division 1 games in 48-49 & 49-50

    Can you help with any of the the lino’s for Everton away games in 1949-50?

    Wed 7 9 1949 Manchester C. v Everton
    Sat 22 10 1949 Birmingham C. v Everton
    Sat 5 11 1949 West Bromwich A. v Everton
    Sat 3 12 1949 Burnley v Everton
    Sat 31 12 1949 Huddersfield T. v Everton
    Sat 7 1 1950 Queen’s Park Rangers (FAC 3) v Everton
    Sat 28 1 1950 West Ham United (FAC 4) v Everton
    Wed 8 3 1950 Bolton W. v Everton
    Sat 1 4 1950 Manchester U. v Everton
    E. Mon 10 4 1950 Blackpool v Everton
    Sat 15 4 1950 Derby Co. v Everton
    Sat 29 4 1950 Sunderland v Everton

    12 3 1949 at Derby

    best wishes,


  • I’m not sure if it’s significance

    I have in my collection an Everton programme (FA Cup SF v Southampton 1984 Highbury) where there is an error in it where they used Plymouth Argyles badge instead of Everton’s on the teams centre pages

    • Hi William, so you have a scan of this please? I have looked at a few copies and not seen this issue, I’s love to get hold of a copy, thanks

  • I am chair of Dunfermline Athletic Heritage Trust and we are looking for an image of match ticket for the ECWC match in 1962 at Goodison Park. Can you advise how we might obtain one?

  • I believe I have a match ticket for this game against Dunfermline as I recall going to this game with my Dad, as we used to both buy programmes at each game we went to there is a possibility that I may have both tickets.

  • Morning All,

    Hope someone may be willing to help me please.
    I’m a Nottingham girl, now living in Brum, who never knew why her Dad had an Everton Mug. He died young and I never knew his side of the family.
    Turns out, my Great Great Grandad was George Farmer, who played for Everton and was one of the first paid professionals in the game.
    He also had 2 Welsh caps.

    I’m aware of the Everton collection archive and wondered if it possible to view?
    I’ve seen match reports and a couple of pictures online and have visited his unmarked grave. Considering trying to mark the grave with a memorial of some kind, once it’s confirmed by the cemetery.

    I just feel drawn to finding out more. I feel drawn to the club and hoped there may be some archive relating to him for public view?

    Thanks for taking the time to read

    • Brilliant to hear from you Teresa, and great timing, as we are hard at work on researching George Farmer at the moment, with significant plans coming up – a lot of which relates directly to your own work and your hopes for a memorial. We hope to include you in our plans and have contacted you directly. Best wishes, Mike Royden

  • About 20 yrs ago I bought a spiral bound paperback copy of ‘Gladys Street Hall of Fame’ by David France from a bookshop in Southport. It is a spiral bound A4 copy published by Bluecoat Press. A little while after this purchase, I was given Mr France’s email address. I managed to contact him and he said it it was one of his pre publication drafts that he circulated to half a dozen Evertonians. Also in his email he describes a little anecdote where he had picked up his first edition copies from the printers and he drove to W.H.Smith in Church St Liverpool but they would only take 3 copies! Subsequently, he ended up publishing editions 2 and 3. I also have a signed first edition of the original book (only 1000 copies produced). i have the emails! My third book – ‘Everton Crazy -sixty seasons – two million miles’ limited edition 1000 copies signed by D. France and D. Temple
    I would be interested in possibly selling the 3 books if you could give me an indication of what value they may have.
    Thank you
    Robert Johnston

    • Hello Robert, I also have a couple of early drafts as I was one of Dr David’s proof readers for the HoF books, but that copy is still a rarity. The printed books were given to attendees of the HoF events at the Adelphi, and many copies in circulation were signed by several of the former players who were there. The Everton Crazy book is still relatively easy to get hold of, and the Doc signed a large number for the various outlets. The best advice I think, is to research online to see what similar copies are selling for. Everton Crazy is selling for between £2-£30 depending on signatures etc. Our member Richie Gillham, who runs the book stall in St Luke’s on matchdays, may be interested, although he does have a stock of David’s books and he does receive many donations. He can be contacted via Twitter – @RWGbluenose
      Mike Royden

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *