The Grounds of Everton
Stories of the Era
As with their previous two homes, Everton did not own Anfield. The land was owned by local brewers, the Orrell brothers, who leased it to the Club for an annual donation to Stanley Hospital. There was much work to be done to turn the area into a football ground.
Everton officials and players, helped by the fans, took up spades, hammers, nails and barrows and turned what was a pasture on Anfield Road into a playable ground.
The first game to be played on Anfield was between Everton and Earlestown on 27 September 1884 (a full six years before Liverpool Football Club was formed!)
Everton became a professional football club whilst at Anfield and played their first Football League fixture against Accrington Stanley at the ground on 8 September 1888.
In the 1890/91 season, Everton won their first championship, playing in front of crowds of up to 20,000!
Once again, success soon brought trouble. The Club's president, John Houlding, had bought the ground and was now eager to extract more rent in view of the larger crowds the Club was attracting.
On 25 January 1892, George Mahon, who had grown tired of Houlding's demands, told members of the Club that he had an option to buy Mere Green Field, situated on the north side of Stanley Park.
It was described as having 'degenerated from a nursery into a howling desert.' It was to become Everton's new home. It was to become Goodison Park.