1878 - 1930
Stories of the Era
There is no place like Goodison Park when the place is full.
The atmosphere is quite unique but when the current team enters the arena to the sound of Z-Cars and the deafening noise from over 40,000 spectators, it's difficult to imagine an Everton team trotting out onto a park pitch with no dressing rooms, carrying the goalposts!
But that's how it all began.
The predecessors of heroes such as Dean, Lawton, Hickson, Labone, Ball, Latchford, Sharp, Lineker and Ferguson, were as far removed from the 21st Century image of a football player as it's possible to be.
The St Domingo Methodist Church Sunday School was opened in May 1870 and eight years later the football team using the St Domingo name played its first match in the south-east corner of Stanley Park, with the players carrying the posts from the park lodge on Mill Lane before fixing them into the metal sockets at either end of the crudely marked pitch.
St Domingo's FC quickly established a local reputation for themselves and players were recruited from outside of the parish, precipitating a change of name in November 1879 - to EVERTON.
The hugely significant meeting that decided the new title took place at the Queens Head Hotel in Village Street, off Everton Road, a short distance from the lock-up tower that figures on the Everton crest to this day.
The meeting included six men who were instrumental in the founding of Everton Football Club and also Merseyside football in general and without the influences and circumstances, the Club as we know and love today would not exist.
Reverend Ben Chambers was a Sunday School teacher in a small village named Shepley in Yorkshire before he began a career as a methodist, taking in the St Domingo Chapel in Everton in 1877.
He helped the chapel's cricketers set up a football team during the winter season, which they only did so as to keep fit - they could not have known how important that decision was to be over 100 years down the line!
John Houlding is a name that was to become synonymous with both football clubs in the city; for Everton and their Goodison Park, imperative - as you will learn by viewing the 'Early Homes' tab at the top of this page.
The first game as Everton Football Club took place on December 20th 1879 at Stanley Park against St Peter's. Wearing blue and white striped shirts, Everton won 6-0, although, sadly, there are no records of line-ups or goalscorers.
In those days, before football was a properly organised sport, a player recruited from another team could still wear the jersey of his former club, which led to much confusion!
Everton wanted a unified kit and so, to avoid purchasing a brand new one, they dyed all the various shirts of their players black! A two-inch wide scarlet sash was added and Everton rejoiced in the nickname, The Black Watch - after the famous military regiment.
Other colours were adopted as time passed, until the team settled for Royal Blue for the 1901-02 season.