Preston North End

Bethell Robinson – a Man of Many Clubs

Bethell Robinson was undoubtedly a man of many clubs. When the inaugural Football League season ended 30 March 1889, the Everton full-back Nick Ross returned to his former club Preston North End while his partner, Sandy Dick, returned to the family home in Kilmarnock. The club, however, had arranged fixtures that would take them in to the month of May so they invited several players to make a guest appearance. One of this group was the much-travelled Bethell Robinson. Named after his father, he was born in April 1861 in the fishing port of Fleetwood, and was the first child…
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Only Once a Blue (8) Walter Smalley

Everton had just excepted the invitation to become founder members of the Football League when Tommy Costley declared himself 'unavailable' for the home game on 2 April. His place was taken by the elder brother of the club goalkeeper, Walter Smalley.   Born 1864 at Over Darwen in Lancashire, he was the eldest child of Thomas, a cotton mill manager, and Jane. The 1881 census recorded the Smalley family, now with four children, living in a larger home at St Matthews Terrace in Preston, where Walter had found employment as a clerk. He has also become a member of North…
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