Millennium Giant - 1910-1919
Sam Chedgzoy holds a claim to fame few footballers of his, or any other generation, could claim.
He forced a change in the laws of football! The bizarre and far-reaching incident took place after the FA had reworded the corner-kick rule in their statute book in June 1924. The drafting of the law left a loophole, spotted by Liverpool Echo Sports Editor Ernest Edwards.
He spoke to officials at Everton about the wording of the clause and Chedgzoy, the Blues' regular corner taker, agreed to expose the limitations of the law.
"There's nothing in the book as it stands to prevent you dribbling the ball right into the middle instead of kicking it from the corner," explained Mr Edwards. "Why not try it out and see what happens?"
Always willing to enter into the spirit of things, Chedgzoy did just that.
In a match early that season he placed the ball for a corner kick, then calmly dribbled it through to the goalmouth, while referee, linsmen and players stood dumbfounded.
The referee began to lecture Sam, but primed by Ernest Edwards, the winger innocently declared: "What's in the rules to stop me doing it ref?" There wasn't anything. But there was an emergency meeting of the Football League afterwards and the law was altered.
|Stats and Honours|
|Everton Appearances: 300 |
|Everton Goals: 36 |
|First Division Championship: 1914/15 |
|England caps: 8 |
While Chedgzoy became famous for that incident, it did not overshadow the immense contribution he made to Everton Football Club as a dashing right-winger of pace and style.
Like Joe Mercer, Chedgzoy learned his football in the hard school of Ellesmere Port football.
He was first spotted as a 20-year-old, plying his trade down the right flank of the Burnell's Iron Works side in the West Cheshire League.
The man who spotted him was Fred Geary, a record-breaking Everton centre- forward of the Victorian era.
Geary had amassed the incredible total of 86 goals in 98 Everton appearances between 1889 and 1895 - and clearly appreciated the service a quality winger could provide.
Chedgzoy became the successor to the great Jack Sharp, and the greatest compliment that could be paid to him is that he did not suffer in the comparison.
Bobby Parker was the centre-forward who benefitted most notably from Chedgzoy's blistering pace, bewitching technique and ability to hang centres in opposition penalty boxes.
In 1914/15 Everton clinched their second League title, with Parker contributing 36 goals in 35 appearances.
Many were supplied by the right boot of Chedgzoy.
Ironically, when the young Dixie Dean kicked off his collosal Everton career in 1925/26, Chedgzoy was enjoying his final season in an Everton jersey.
Evertonians can only imagine the havoc that pairing would have wreaked on First Division defences!
Despite having four years wiped from his playing record by the First World War, Chedgzoy still went on to amass 300 appearances for the Blues. It wasn't until his 30th birthday that he was first recognised by his country - in an international against Wales - but he went on to collect eight England caps and also represented the Football League on five occasions.
At the end of his career he left Liverpool for Montreal, where he continued to play until he was 51.
He made regular visits back to England, but settled permanently in Canada where he died in 1967, aged 78.