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Everton Football Club – Some History

Ground: Goodison Park
Capacity: 40,157
Manager: David Moyes

The history of Everton FC goes back many years to the late 19th century when a Methodist church called St Domingo opened its doors in 1870. Eight years later a team playing under the name of St Domingo were formed. It was a far cry from today’s football stadiums. Back then the players would have to carry the goal posts to Stanley Park from the park lodge located on Mill Lane and try to fix then into the metal sockets so they had goals in which to score.

It was a young Reverend called Ben Chambers that ‘accidentally’ started the process which led to the formation of Everton FC. He was previously a Sunday school teacher up in Shipley in Yorkshire before joining the Methodist church. He was a keen sportsman and set up a cricket team but needed something to keep the players fit during the closed season – that was St Domingo football club.

St Domingo’s soon became a popular club and they started to recruit players from outside of their local parish as their reputation grew. Eventually in November 1879 in the Queens Head Hotel situated in Village Street they voted to change their name, and so Everton FC was born. There were six men present at the meeting and it was these men that founded Everton and football in general in the area.

It was off to winning ways for the newly formed Everton FC as they thrashed a team called St Peter’s at Stanley Park 6-0. Their first match was played in a kit of blue and white stripes but after that they dyed their shirts black and were known locally as ‘the black watch’ after a famous military regiment. It was not until the 1901-02 season that they switched to a Royal Blue kit.

Almost immediately Everton drew in crowds of 2,000 at Stanley Park but the ground was not capable of those regular numbers let alone more as their popularity continued to grow.

In 1882-83 Everton reached the final of the Liverpool Cup and lost to Bootle. It was also to be the last season at Stanley Park. The following season saw them move to a field in Priory Road which was way upmarket from Stanley Park as it boasted actual dressing rooms and a type of grandstand. It was a good omen for Everton FC as they promptly won the Liverpool cup at the second time of asking beating Earlstown.

Football wasn’t a love of the Priory Road field’s owner and he tired of the 1000′s of people walking over his land every week so Everton were off and looking for a new place in which to play their football. Amazingly it was Everton that first occupied a field in Anfield Road (one day to become the famous stadium we know today).

Everton fell out with the grounds owner as he changed the terms of their agreement from a fixed rate to a rent based upon the increase in gate receipts (basically double the previously agreed amount). This led Everton to move once again. This time having secured a club saving loan they moved to a piece of land acquired by church organist, George Mahon called ‘Mere Green Field’

In literally a matter of months the Everton members managed to develop the wasteland and turn it into the very first purpose built football stadium called Goodison Park. It opened on 24 August 1892 and the first match (a 2-2 draw with Nottingham Forest) was played in front of 12,000 spectators.

A summary of Everton FC honours include;

Division 1 Champions nine times
1890-91, 1914-15, 1927-28, 1931-32, 1938-39, 1962-63, 1969-70, 1984-85, 1986-87.

FA Cup Winners five times
1906, 1933, 1966, 1984, 1995.

Charity Shield Winners eight times and shared once
1928, 1932, 1963, 1970, 1984, 1985, 1987, 1995, Shared 1986.

European Cup-Winners’ Cup Winners just the once
1984-85.

Disclaimer: Victor Chandler, trading as BetVictor, is licensed by the Government of Gibraltar.

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