History of Everton F.C.

History of Everton F.C.

Everton Football Club have a long and detailed history. The club's roots lie in an English Methodist congregation called New Connexion founded by Guto Sion Jones in 1865, who decided to build a new chapel in the Liverpool area in 1868. The following year, the church bought some land on Breckfield Road North, between St. Domingo Vale and St. Domingo Grove. This was located near the district of Everton, which had become part of the City of Liverpool in 1835. Since then Everton have had a successful history winning the Cup Winners' Cup, the league title 9 times and the FA Cup 5 times. They are the only club to have played over 100 seasons in the top flight of English football, the 2008-2009 season being their 106th. [cite web | title=All Time English Top Flight Table |work= The English Football Archive |url=http://www.the-english-football-archive.com/records/1st_level_table.htm | accessdate=9 April | accessyear=2008]

1878 the club was founded

St. Domingo Methodist Church's new chapel was opened in 1871 and six years later, Rev. Ben Swift Chambers was appointed Minister. He was responsible for starting a cricket team for the youngsters in the parish. Because cricket can only be played in the summer, they had to find something to play during the other seasons as well. So a football club called St. Domingo F.C. was formed in 1878.

Many people outside the parish were interested in joining the football club so it was decided that the name should be changed. In November 1879 at a meeting in the Queen's Head Hotel, the team name was changed to Everton Football Club, after the surrounding area. [cite web | title = I: The Early Days (1878-88) | work = Everton History | url = http://www.toffeeweb.com/history/concise/1878-1888.asp | accessdate=22 August | accessyear=2006 ] Barker and Dobson, a local sweet manufacturer introduced "Everton Mints" to honour the club. The district is also the location of the team's crest image, an old bridewell known as Prince Rupert's Tower.

Everton started the 1890–91 season in superb form with five straight victories, with Fred Geary scoring in each of the first six matches. [cite web| url= http://www.evertonfc.com/stats/?mode=season&era_id=1&season_id=4 |title = Everton match results - 1890–91 season |publisher =www.evertonfc.com| accessdate=21 September|accessyear = 2008] By mid-January, Everton had completed all but one of their fixtures and were on 29 points, while Preston North End were eleven points adrift with seven games still to play. Everton than had to sit out the next two months as Preston completed their fixture list until they were only two points adrift with one match each left to play. Both teams played their final games of the season on 14 March, with Everton losing 3–2 at Burnley (Geary scored both Everton goals) and Preston going down 3–0 at Sunderland. [cite book |author= Philip Gibbons|title= Association Football in Victorian England - A History of the Game from 1863 to 1900|year= 2001|publisher= Upfront Publishing |pages=p.161-163|isbn=1-844260-35-6] Everton were thus able to win the Football League Championship for the first time, by a margin of two points with fourteen victories from their 22 league games. Geary had been ever-present, and was the club's top goal-scorer with 21 goals.

In 1891 John Houlding, the leaseholder of Anfield stadium, purchased the ground outright and proposed increasing the rent from £100 to £250 per year. Everton, who had played at Anfield for seven years, refused to meet his demands and moved to Goodison Park. [cite web| url=http://www.liverpoolfc.tv/lfc_story/1882.htm |title=LFC Story | publisher=Liverpool F.C. | accessdate=2007-03-17]

Founder members of the Football League, they lost two FA Cup finals, 1-0 against Wolverhampton Wanderers at Fallowfield Stadium on 26 March 1893 and 3-2 against Aston Villa at Crystal Palace on 10 April 1897 before winning at their third attempt on 20 April 1906 again against Newcastle United at Crystal Palace. Their second successive final on 20 April 1907, however, finished in a 2-1 defeat by Sheffield Wednesday.

Interwar years: Dean and co.

Quite simply, William Ralph "Dixie" Dean was the one of the greatest scoring machines that the English game has seen. After averaging a goal a game for Tranmere Rovers, prolific striker Dean was lured across the River Mersey to play for Everton. In his first season for the Toffees, the 1925-26 season, Dean netted 32 league goals in 38 games (getting his first two on his debut), scored 21 in 27 the next year, and made history in 1927-28: in a seasonal performance that is unlikely to ever be bettered, Dean hit 60 league goals in 39 matches, setting a record that has stood ever since and almost single-handedly giving Everton the league title.

In a turn of events that seems unbelievable today, in 1930 Everton finished last in the first division and were relegated to the second division. Predictably, Dean was on top form in the secondary league, hitting 39 goals in 37 games and lifting the Toffees to promotion at the first time of asking. The following season, Dean hit 45 goals and Everton regained the league title. In 1933, they won the FA Cup, Dean becoming Everton's first ever number 9 in the 3-0 final win against Manchester City. The number 9 would become synonymous with commanding and high-scoring strikers at domestic and international level football, something Dean embodied.

The nickname "Dixie" has ambiguous origins, but it is thought that it was given to Dean because his curly hairstyle was similar to that sported by many people of African ethnicity, popularly nicknamed "dixies" at the time. Dean is said to have disliked but reluctantly accepted the tag. He played his last match for Everton on 11 December 1937 and died at a Merseyside derby at Goodison in 1980, leaving behind a legacy of 383 goals in 433 matches overall.

In the 1938-39 season Everton with Joe Mercer, the classy T.G. Jones and Tommy Lawton won the Football League Championship again. Lawton scored 34 goals in this season at the age of 19. Sadly the outbreak of World War II interrupted the careers of this team for six years which otherwise might have dominated for several years.

The 1940s/50s: The barren years

Although the nineties have been regarded as a poor decade, this era was worse. The great pre-war team were quickly split up in 1946. Tommy Lawton was restless and joined Chelsea, Joe Mercer disagreed with the manager Theo Kelly and was sold to Arsenal, and they tried to sell T.G. Jones to A.S. Roma. Soon only Ted Sagar was left.

Under the management of the uninspired and under-financed Cliff Britton, Everton were relegated after the 1950-51 season for only the second time in their history to the Second Division. This time it took three seasons before Everton were promoted in 1954 as the runners-up. The final match of the season decided promotion when the Everton beat Oldham away 4-0.

The era nevertheless had some notable players such as Dave Hickson and Bobby Collins. Memorable matches included ending Manchester United's long unbeaten run at Old Trafford with a 5-2 win in 1956.

Harry Catterick's Era (1961-1974)

The 1960s is regarded by many fans as the golden era of Everton Football Club. After the barren period of the 1950s, Harry Catterick took charge of the Everton in 1961. The team were soon to be dubbed the "School of Science" after their methodical approach in the tradition of the Everton team in the 1920s who were first given this name. Their football was inventive and flowing similar to Tottenham's "Push and Run" style. In Catterick's first full season as manager Everton conceded fewer goals than any other team and finished fourth.

The following season, the Toffees lost just six of their 42 matches and took the title, with the striking partnership of Roy Vernon and Alex Young scoring 46 goals between them (the last time two Everton players have scored more than 20 goals each in one season). Other notable players included Billy Bingham, Jimmy Gabriel, Derek Temple, Bobby Collins and Brian Labone.

In 1966, the same year the English international team won the World Cup, Everton took home the FA Cup after overturning a two-goal deficit against Sheffield Wednesday in the final to win 3-2. Everton went on to reach the 1968 final, but were unable to overcome West Bromwich Albion at Wembley.

A year later in the 1969/70 season, Everton won the Championship again thanks in part to the scoring sensation of one Joe Royle, who would later manage the club to FA Cup success in 1995. The success of the team could be seen from the number of points won (one short of the record) and nine clear of Leeds United. The team won the league in style, playing what was virtually a form of Total Football orchestrated by the "Holy Trinity" midfield of Howard Kendall, Alan Ball and Colin Harvey. With Labone at centre-half and club captain and Royle up front, this is regarded by many fans as the club's finest side ever.

Harry Catterick's team of 1969/70 seemed destined for greatness but declined quickly. The team finished 14th, 15th, 17th and 7th in the following seasons. The stress of an under-performing team was said to be a factor in Harry Catterick's poor health and eventual resignation in 1974.

Mid/late 70s - Billy Bingham and Gordon Lee (1974-1981)

Everton were on course to win the Championship in the 1974/75 season under Billy Bingham (some bookmakers had even stopped taking bets at Easter) but some surprising losses to lowly opposition ended the challenge and they finished 4th. After two relatively poor seasons (11th and 9th), Bingham left in 1977. During the interregnum, Everton reached the League Cup final in 1977 losing late in extra time of the second replay. Bob Latchford scored 30 league goals in the 1977-78 season.

Under Gordon Lee Everton finished third in 1977/78 and fourth in 1978/79 after again looking serious title challengers for much of these seasons, but expectations were high given the success of Liverpool and so Lee departed in 1981 - by which time Everton had suffered another setback and narrowly avoided relegation to the Second Division.

80s - Kendall's glory years (1981-1993)

Everton emerged as strong contenders in the 1980s as one of Europe's top footballing sides thanks to the efforts of manager Howard Kendall and his impressive, though cheap, playing squad which included the likes of Neville Southall, Gary Stevens, Trevor Steven, Kevin Sheedy, Andy Gray and Peter Reid. Gary Lineker also graced Goodison for a season and hit 40 goals in all before moving on to Barcelona in 1986.

Domestically, Everton won the FA Cup in 1984 and league title in 1985 and another league title in 1987. They were also league title/FA Cup runners-up to neighbouring Liverpool in 1986 and were again on the losing side to Liverpool in the 1984 League Cup final and the 1989 FA Cup final.

Significantly, European success at last reached Goodison in 1985 in the shape of the European Cup Winners' Cup. After going through two-legged rounds against afc|University College Dublin, Inter Bratislava and Fortuna Sittard, Everton defeated German giants Bayern Munich 3-1 in the semi-finals despite trailing at half time (in a match voted the greatest in Goodison Park history) and recorded the same scoreline against Austrian club Rapid Vienna in the final.

1985 was the year in which Everton almost recorded the "treble". They managed to capture the league title and the Cup Winners' Cup but were defeated by Manchester United in the FA Cup Final thanks to Norman Whiteside's extra-time goal. Nevertheless, it was arguably the club's most successful season since its creation and has not been equalled by future Everton teams since.

Fans contend that the 1980s Everton team could have gone on to win even more European silverware after their 1985 Cup Winners' Cup success were it not for the banning of all English clubs from continental competitions by UEFA after the Heysel Stadium disaster (involving, in dark irony, Liverpool fans). Indeed, a large proportion of the title winning side was broken up following the ban. By the time the ban was lifted, Everton were no longer the team they were in 1985.

Kendall left in 1987 to hand over the reins to assistant Colin Harvey. They finished fourth in 1988 and were F.A Cup runners-up a year later.

90s Harvey, Walker, Royle and Kendall's return (1993-1997)

Harvey was eventually sacked on 1 November 1990 with Everton third from bottom in the league. During his time in charge, signed the 23-year-old striker from West Ham at the start of the 1988-89 season.

By the time of the Premier League's creation 1992, Everton were no longer one of England's top footballing sides but as a club were considered one of the "big five" and were instrumental in the formation of the breakway league. Although Howard Kendall had returned as manager in November 1990, league performance was underwhelming and the first Premiership season brought an unremarkable 13th place finish which put them below much less established teams such as Queens Park Rangers, Norwich City, and Wimbledon. Harvey made Tony Cottee the first £2million player to be transferred between British clubs when heKendall quit as manager halfway through 1993-94 and was replaced by Norwich City's Mike Walker who had done an impressive job with the Canaries and made several expensive new signings in a bid to drag Everton clear of the relegation battle they now found themselves in. They went into the final game of the season needing to beat Wimbledon in order to stay up, and all hope seemed lost when they went 2-0 down in the first half. But Everton pulled off a remarkable comeback to win 3-2 and stay up.

A dreadful start to the 1994-95 season saw Walker sacked after less than a year in charge, and Everton legend Joe Royle was appointed in his place - faced with the task of achieving Premiership survival for a side who had failed to win any of their first 12 league games. His first game in charge was a memorable 2-0 victory over Liverpool. Royle dragged Everton clear of relegation and also led the club to the FA Cup for the fifth time in history, defeating Manchester United 1-0 in the final. The cup triumph was also Everton's passport to the Cup Winners Cup - their first European campaign in the post-Heysel era. Progress under Joe Royle continued in 1995-96 as they climbed to sixth place in the Premiership and were only pipped to a UEFA Cup place on the final day of the season by Arsenal. Injury problems and the sale of star Ukrainian winger Andrei Kanchelskis meant that after a promising start 1996-97 was a tough season for the blues as they slid to a 15th place finish. Royle quit in March and club captain Dave Watson was given the manager's job on a temporary basis and completed the task of Premiership survival.

Howard Kendall was appointed Everton manager for the third time during the summer of 1997, but his final reign at the helm was his least successful. With little financial backing Kendall's main concern was fighting off relegation. Everton went into the final day of the season in the Premiership's relegation places. In the end, to the immense relief of the capacity Goodison Park crowd, a 1-1 draw with Coventry City meant they finished 17th and avoided relegation because they had a greater goal difference than Bolton Wanderers. Kendall resigned soon afterwards, with the heady heights of his first spell in charge a very distant memory.

Disappointment under Walter Smith (1998-2002)

Successful former Rangers manager Walter Smith took over from Kendall in the summer of 1998 and big things were expected along with some high profile signings but his first season brought an unremarkable 14th place finish. His chances of success were hampered by continuing financial constraints which had also contributed to the club's decline in previous years. 1999-2000 brought an unimpressive 13th place finish and Smith came under increased pressure after Everton finished 16th the following season.

Revival under Moyes (2002-present)

The Everton board finally ran out of patience with Smith and he was sacked in March 2002 with Everton in real danger of relegation. The Smith years have come to be regarded by Everton fans as a uniformly bleak period in the clubs history, with particular disdain being reserved for the negative style of play of the team during this period, although it must be noted that Smith was hampered by a lack of transfer funds during his tenure. The board turned to promising young Preston manager David Moyes with the task of moving Everton forward after years of underachievement, and he was able to steer the club to safety in the last few games of the season.

2002-2003 Season

Moyes seemed to have made a positive impact on Everton during his first full season in charge, as they finished seventh in the Premiership and just missed out on a UEFA Cup place, in a campaign which was dominated by the emergence of brilliant young striker Wayne Rooney. In October 2002, he entered football folklore by scoring a sensational last-minute winner against league champions Arsenal, becoming the youngest English league goalscorer ever and Everton's youngest ever scorer, and consigning the champions to their first league defeat for almost a year. The former record was broken by James Milner, and both records were broken by James Vaughan two seasons later. He also became the youngest ever player to play for England, in February 2003 and seven months later became the youngest England goalscorer. The former record was beaten by Theo Walcott in 2006.

2002-03 was Everton's best season since 1995-96 (when they had finished sixth), and for a while it had even looked like they would qualify for the Champions League, although they never looked like competing for the Premier League title. The only real disappointment that season was a shock exit from the FA Cup in the Third Round at the hands of Shrewsbury Town, who were managed by former Everton player Kevin Ratcliffe and were just four months away from being relegated from the Football League.

2003-2004 Season

Everton suffered a major setback in 2003-04, finishing 17th and accumulating the lowest points total in the club's history. It was feared that the club's half-century stay in the top level of English football could be over when Rooney handed in a transfer request and was sold to Manchester United in August 2004 for a fee of £23million providing Wayne Rooney remained a Manchester United player until 30 June 2007 and could have potentially risen to £30million due to bonus payments for league positions, trophies, international caps and 25% excess sell on fees. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/m/man_utd/4270483.stm] Rooney deal explained on BBC Sport] .

2004-2005 Season

However, Everton survived well without Rooney and in 2004-05 played some of their finest football for years, thanks greatly to the 4-5-1 tactic of Moyes and the sensational form of Danish midfielder Thomas Gravesen. Despite Gravesen's sale to Real Madrid midway through the season, Everton managed to finish fourth in the table, their highest position since 1988, and achieve Champions League qualification, ahead of rivals Liverpool. In this amazing season, Everton also recorded their first victory of the decade against Liverpool and their first win over Manchester United since the 1995 FA Cup final.

2005-2006 Season

Everton started the 2005-06 season badly, with their Champions League campaign ending in the qualifying stages. They were defeated by Villarreal, after a controversial decision by Italian referee Pierluigi Collina to disallow a seemingly legitimate Everton goal late in the second leg when the score was 3-2. This disheartening defeat had a knock-on effect and the team's form slumped with a humiliating UEFA Cup exit at the hands of Dinamo Bucharest along the way. Poor decisions in the transfer market by Moyes, most notably the signing of Per Krøldrup with many predicting he 'couldn't cut it' in the Barclays Premiership and the failure to find a strike partner for James Beattie also took their toll on a season that began with much promise.

After occupying the Premier League relegation zone throughout October 2005, Everton stopped Chelsea's nine match winning run with a 1-1 draw to spark a short revival that saw the team finally start to get regular results to put much needed points on the board. However, this was followed by another dismal run including several 4-0 defeats to sides in the bottom half of the table and a one sided derby match. A 1-0 win at Sunderland on New Year's Eve started a run of five straight Premiership wins and six matches unbeaten including victory against Arsenal- the club's best run of results since the Premiership began which hauled the team away from the relegation zone, and made a top half finish or even Europe a real possibility. This was not to be as the team remained as inconsistent as ever and a disappointing draw on the last day meant an 11th place finish instead of moving into the top half. Inconsistency and a shortage of goals let Everton down in 2005-06, and ended their hopes of another European campaign.

2006-2007 Season

Everton began the 2006-07 season very strongly. A 2-0 away win at Tottenham, their first league win at White Hart Lane in twenty years, followed by a 3-0 drubbing of Merseyside rivals Liverpool brought great expectations from fans. New signing from Crystal Palace Andrew Johnson took centre stage scoring six goals in his opening seven games. Aside from some lapses in the first half of the season (including a run of 6 defeats in 9 league and cup games), Everton's season proved steady, and after only 2 defeats in their final 11 league games were able to end the season in 6th place, thereby qualifying for the following seasons UEFA Cup competition.

During the summer of 2007, the club announced an exciting new adventure with the addition of a professional basketball team, called the Everton Tigers, to the Community programme [cite web| author = BBC Sport | title = Everton Tigers to join BBL ranks | url = http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/other_sports/basketball/6222960.stm | year = 2007 | accessdate = 2007-06-27 | publisher = BBC | date = 2007 ] . An amalgam with the local Toxteth Tigers community team, the professional team were entered into the top-tier professional British Basketball League as one of three expansion franchises for the 2007-08 season, and the first participant from the city of Liverpool. The club agreed a deal with Greenbank Sports Academy to act as the clubs' home venue for their inaugural season.

The 2007-08 pre-season started with the World Series of Football. Everton played against Real Salt Lake in a 1-0 loss.

2007-2008 Season

The 2007/2008 season started with Everton acquiring 3 new players - Phil Jagielka from relegated Sheffield United, Leighton Baines from Wigan Athletic and Steven Pienaar acquired from Borussia Dortmund on loan. By the 4th game of the season they had bolstered their ranks further with the addition of Yakubu Aiyegbeni in a club record signing from Middlesbrough F.C. for 11.25 million pounds while Thomas Gravesen was re-signed on loan from Celtic F.C. just before the transfer deadline.

Everton started the season promisingly, occupying 5th position in the league by early October, while qualifying for the group stages of the UEFA Cup. Joleon Lescott was a key performer, netting several crucial goals. Liverpool won a controversial Merseyside derby at Goodison Park 2-1. The match ended in acrimony as the outcome seemed to hinge entirely on several questionable decisions from referee Mark Clattenburg.

Despite or because of this setback Everton's form returned, and by mid-December they had seemingly achieved a level of consistency not seen by the club since the mid-1980s. Boosted by the return of Tim Cahill who contributed 6 goals on his return from injury, and a further 10 from new signing Yakubu, Everton embarked on a sequence of 11 wins and 2 draws in 13 league and cup games, an unbeaten run which only ended when they conceded a last minute penalty to Manchester United at Old Trafford on 23 December. Everton entered the New Year in 5th place in the league, and had qualified for the UEFA Cup knockout stages as winners of their group. The Carling Cup also proved fruitful, as they negotiated a path through to the semi-final of the competition, before losing to Chelsea F.C..

Solid league form was maintained into the New Year, and by the beginning of March, on the back of only 2 defeats in 18 league matches, Everton had climbed into 4th position and a potential Champions League spot, despite the loss of several key performers to the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations.

Injuries and loss of form did, however, begin to take their toll. By the Merseyside derby at Anfield in late March, Everton had suffered a heartbreaking penalty-shoot out loss in the UEFA Cup to Fiorentina and also fallen behind Liverpool in the race for Champions League football. David Moyes was able to name only one striker in the squad for the match due to a rash of injuries while influential midfielder Cahill had also been ruled out for the remainder of the season. Liverpool won the derby 1-0, opening a 5 point gap between the 2 clubs. By the end of April, Liverpool had secured their place in the top four and Everton were left having to settle for fifth place in the final table, and a UEFA Cup spot.

The season was marked by a stark contrast in the teams relative consistency against lower ranked opposition, and poor results against the top 4 teams (Everton played 10, lost 9 and drew 1 against top 4 sides through the season).

2008-2009 Season

The following summer was one of some turmoil for Everton, as their failure to gain government acceptance for their proposed stadium move to Kirkby, the departure of Chief Executive Keith Wyness and the seeming reluctance of Moyes to pen a new contract increased the gloom amongst supporters. Added to this was the clubs inability to secure new transfers - Joao Moutinho and Wagner Love were among the names linked with Everton, but who ultimately failed to sign.

In the last week of the transfer window, several signings were made - Segundo Castillo and Lars Jacobsen and Carlo Nash on free transfers, while Louis Saha was recruited from Manchester United and Marouane Fellaini was a club record transfer of 15m from Standard Liege. Ironically, Everton failed to qualify for the UEFA Cup group stages as they were eliminated by Liege with a 4-3 aggregate scoreline.

Club honours

English football champions1890-91, 1914-15, 1927-28, 1931-32, 1938-39, 1962-63, 1969-70, 1984-85, 1986-87.

Runners-Up1889-90, 1894-95, 1901-02, 1904-05, 1908-09, 1911-12, 1985-86.

Football League Second Division Champions1930-31.


FA Cup Winners1906, 1933, 1966, 1984, 1995.

Runners-Up1893, 1897, 1907, 1968, 1985, 1986, 1989.

Charity Shield Winners1928, 1932, 1963, 1970, 1984, 1985, 1987, 1995, Shared 1986.

League Cup Runners-Up1976-77, 1983-84.

UEFA Cup Winners' Cup Winners1984-85.

FA Youth Cup Winners1965, 1984, 1998.


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