History Of Goodison Park
Goodison Park was the first major football stadium built in England.
Only Scotland had more advanced grounds; Rangers opened Ibrox in 1887, while Celtic Park was officially inaugurated at the same time as Goodison Park.
Everton's ground-breaking development at Mere Green was to set the trend for football stadia throughout the country. The Blues initially spent up to £3000 on laying out the ground and building stands on three sides. Kelly Brothers of Walton built two uncovered stands each for 4000 people, and a covered stand seating 3000, at a total cost of £1,460.
Outside, hoardings cost a further £150, gates and sheds cost £132 10s and 12 turnstiles added another £7 15s to the bill.
The ground was dubbed Goodison Park and was opened on 24 August 1892, by Lord Kinnaird and Frederick Wall of the Football Association. Somewhat confusingly, the 12,000-strong crowd saw a short athletics meeting followed by a selection of music and a fireworks display.
Everton's first game there was on 2 September 1892 when they beat Bolton 4-2.
The publications "Out Of Doors", reported the following in October 1892:
"Behold Goodison Park! No single picture could take in the entire scene the ground presents, it is so magnificently large, for it rivals the greater American baseball pitches. On three sides of the field of play there are tall covered stands, and on the fourth side the ground has been so well banked up with thousands of loads of cinders that a complete view of the game can be had from any portion.
"It appears to be one of the finest and most complete grounds in the kingdom, and it is hoped that the public will liberally support the promoters."
A year after moving, in 1883, Everton were FA Cup finalists. They were then runners up again in the First Division in 1895. The ground hosted its firs FA Cup final in 1894 when Notts County beat Bolton, watched by a crowd of 37,000. At this time, Everton were the richest club in the country, and regular league gates such as the 30,000 which attended in February 1893 were still regarded as enormous.