1878 - 1930
Stories of the Era
In 1888, the leading clubs in the North and Midlands decided to form the Football League, and such was Everton's standing that they were invited to become founder members.
Thus, their first ever League match was on September 8th 1888 (at Anfield!) against Accrington. Everton won 2-1 with G.Fleming netting twice.
Everton ended that inaugural Football League season in eighth position, even though they won eight of their 11 home fixtures. They only won once away from Anfield; 4-2 against Derby County.
The 35 goals scored were all spread around the side, as chief striker Edgar Chadwick finished with six goals, Nick Ross with five and Robert Watson and Archibald McKinnon with four each.
They performed a lot better the following year and indeed were tied at the top with first-ever league champions Preston North End with just one game to play.
The Toffees travelled to West Bromwich Albion's then-ground of Stoney Lane needing only to better Preston's result five days later, but fell at the final hurdle as they went down 4-1 to the Throstles - as West Brom were known until 1900.
The Lilywhites were in the driving seat then and had only to avoid an extremely heavy defeat to regain their title - which they did.
But Everton were to win their first Championship at the third attempt.
The 1890-91 title was secured in style, with Fred Geary assuming the mantle of the club's first ever goalscoring hero - netting 20 times in 22 matches, including 11 in the opening six games.