The Story Of The Blues: Why 'The Toffees'?

New for 2022/23, The Story Of The Blues is a weekly feature taking a closer look at a significant or quirky aspect of Everton’s rich history.

Few clubs in world football can boast history as rich as Everton Football Club.

Founding members of the Football League in 1888, 120 years of top-flight football, nine league titles, five FA Cups, one European Cup Winners’ Cup and a whole host of firsts.

The Toffees is a nickname that has been synonymous with the Club almost since its formation.

But where did it come from?

In truth, there is a degree of legend surrounding the events that led to the nickname coming to be, with two sweet shops involved in a tale of toffee-based rivalry.

First up there is Ye Ancient Everton Toffee House, owned by Old Ma Bushell, which was located near the Club’s first home of Anfield. They sold their Everton Toffee to crowds on their way to watch Everton play there. However, when Everton moved from Anfield to Goodison Park in 1892, the Club found themselves closer to another confectioner, Mother Noblett’s Toffee Shop.

Spotting an opportunity, Mother Noblett’s is said to have introduced a toffee with white sugar stripes and thus was born the Everton Mint that is still available today. 

But, it is said, Molly Bushell was not to be outdone and negotiated the right to sell original Everton Toffee within Goodison Park itself. Her granddaughter, Jemma Bushell, wore her ‘Sunday best’ and walked around the ground with a basket, selling toffees to Evertonians.

The modern-day Toffee Lady mascot, a young girl in a blue and white dress who throws sweets to the crowd before every home match, is a nod to that tradition.

Last weekend, the 2022/23 Premier League opener against Chelsea, saw the Toffee Lady - Hollie, aged eight (pictured below) - return, following a two-and-a-half year absence due to COVID-19 protocols.

Up the Toffees!