Everton remembered and celebrated the life of one of the Club’s most iconic figures, former secretary and chairman Will Cuff, on Monday afternoon.
Dozens of Everton officials and supporters were in attendance at Anfield Cemetery where a ceremony to mark the rededication of his grave took place, 65 years on from his death.
Life President Sir Philip Carter and Chief Executive Robert Elstone were present at the service, along with manager Roberto Martinez who laid a wreath at Cuff’s resting place.
The restoration of Cuff’s grave was the culmination of a combined project involving the football club and the Everton Heritage Society after it had previously been unattended for a number of years.
Sir Philip, who similarly to Cuff occupied the role of Everton chairman for a lengthy spell, said Monday’s events were fitting for someone who had played an immeasurable part in the Club’s history.
“Will Cuff, when you see and hear about his background, is quite incredible,” Sir Philip told evertontv. “He was a fantastic man and I’m quite delighted that we have had this meeting.
“Those of us who do know the background to Everton – and Liverpool for that matter – realise how important it is to re-live what did happen. But not many people will know too much about Will Cuff until a situation like this occurs.
“We at Everton take an interest and get quite excited about people who have helped the Club so tremendously over the years.
“It was quite incredible when you read from starting at the Church through to him becoming president of the league. Not many people do that in their lives.”
Cuff, who passed away aged 79 in February 1949, is widely considered as the man responsible for the formation of Everton in its current guise.
He first became involved with St Domingo’s Church and helped to relocate the Club across Stanley Park to Goodison, where he first became secretary and then chairman for several decades at the start of the 1900s.
Under Cuff’s stewardship as secretary, the Club won the FA Cup for the first time in its history in 1906 and the First Division Championship in 1915.
Cuff was elected chairman in 1921. Another two league championships came to Goodison in 1928 and 1932, along with a second FA Cup triumph in 1933.
In 1938, Cuff became President of the Football League - a role he performed until his death in February 1949.
Head of the Heritage Society, Paul Wharton, explained that Cuff’s new headstone, which features a plaque listing his achievements, will help appropriately depict his impressive legacy.
He said: “The old headstone wasn’t fitting for such a great, iconic figure as Will Cuff. He’s now been recognised again, as a man of his status should be.
“This is easier now to maintain and I’m sure Everton in the Community will help to look after it.”