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Everton Football Club: Behind The Club

In this series, we profile one Premier League team each week, looking at some of the History, Records and Trivia associated with each club. This week we profile Everton FC. Join us on a journey from 1878 to 2017 as we go, Behind the Club.

In 1878, St. Domingo FC was formed. Named initially after the local St. Domingo Methodist New Connexion Chapel, it changed its name to Everton Football Club in 1879 as it began to attract people from outside the chapel.

To become a professional club, Everton needed enclosed facilities. These were obtained in 1882 as a donation from a local landowner, but they were ordered to leave two years later as the crowds became too noisy for the area.

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They moved to Anfield and within seven years the ground went from a brick field to a 20,000+ capacity closed stadium. As the profile rose, so did the club, becoming professional before long and eventually becoming a founder member of the Football League in 1888.

In just the Football League’s third season, Everton won their first title. A final day loss at Burnley was not enough to stop them as rivals Preston slipped up at Sunderland, Everton winning by two points.

Issues with the ground arose in 1892. President John Houlding became embroiled in legal disputes with football authorities and the Everton Committee over his attempts to hijack the club during a land dispute.

As a result, Everton abandoned Anfield and moved to Goodison Park, starting the bitter rivalry with Liverpool FC, who became the occupants of Anfield. Following the move, Everton enjoyed good results, reaching four FA Cup Finals (winning one) and claiming their second league title in 1914/15, the final season before the league was suspended due to WWI.

Everton returned after the war to several fluctuating mid-table finishes but in this time, legendary striker William “Dixie” Dean joined the club from Tranmere.

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Dean was unstoppable, scoring 53 over his first two league campaigns before firing 60 league goals (in just 39 matches) in 1927/28, single-handedly winning Everton the title once again.

A bizarre relegation followed, but Dean fired them back up at the first attempt before bagging 45 goals in another title-winning season a year later.

An FA Cup triumph followed in 1933 as Everton returned to mid-table for the next few seasons. Dean left the club in 1937 after 349 league goals.

Much like in 1914/15, Everton won the final season of league football before war. The German invasion of Poland cruelly denying a new team including Joe Mercer and Tommy Lawton the opportunity to dominate English football for more than a season.

Once again upon the resumption of league football, Everton began in mid-table. This time however the club plunged down, suffering only their second ever relegation in 1951, returning to the top flight three seasons later.

Following the disappointing 50s, Everton returned to the top of the English game in the 1960s, winning the league championship twice and the FA Cup once.

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That side was built by manager Harry Catterick, who structured what became known as the “Holy Trinity” midfield of Howard Kendall, Alan Ball and Colin Harvey. Joe Royle led the line for that side, which many fans consider the greatest in Everton’s history.

European campaigns arose, but Everton’s best finish was in 70/71 when they lost to Panathinaikos in the quarter-finals.

After Catterick resigned in 1974 in poor health, the toffees turned to Billy Bingham and later, Gordon Lee. Their sides managed a number of good league results and cup runs, but ultimately no silverware.

Legendary midfielder Howard Kendall returned to manage Everton in 1981 and oversaw another glory period. Two league championships, and FA Cup and a European Cup Winners’ Cup followed, before he left in 1987 to manage Spanish outfit Athletic Bilbao.

Everton’s impressive cup record continued in the years after that, but their grip on the top sides in England began to loosen. Only once did they finish in the top half of the newly formed Premier League in the 1990s; a sixth place finish in 1996, the season after they won the FA Cup for a final time.

David Moyes brought stability back to the blue half of Merseyside when appointed in 2002, setting up a side which finished fourth in 2005, and regularly knocked on the door of the “Big Four” of Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool for the rest of the decade.

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Moyes replaced Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United in 2013 and was himself replaced by Roberto Martinez. Inconsistent form saw him axed in favour of Ronald Koeman three years later.

Koeman was sacked last week, as the Toffees face a surprise relegation battle in 2017/18. Former England captain Wayne Rooney returned to the club at the start of the season, but form so far has been dire.

David Unsworth is currently in temporary charge of the club, can he lead them to safety?

Records and Trivia:

Dixie Dean’s 60 league goals in 1927/28 is the top-flight record for league goals in a single season, standing to this very day.

Everton’s’s record signing is recent arrival Gylfi Sigurdsson. The Toffees shelled out an initial £45 million to Swansea City this summer to acquire the Icelandic midfielder’s services, in a bid to replace outgoing striker Romelu Lukaku.

The player with the most appearances for Everton is former Goalkeeper Neville Southall, who made 750 appearances for the Toffees between 1981 and 1998.

Everton currently lie 5th in the all-time Premier League table, lodged between Tottenham Hotspur and Aston Villa.

Everton’s nickname is the Toffees, derived from a very popular Toffee House that used to be close to Anfield when the club were based there.

Best Performances:

Football League: Champions (9), 1890/91, 1914/15, 1927/28, 1931/32, 1938/39, 1962/63, 1969/70, 1984/85, 1986/87

FA Cup: Champions (5), 1905/06, 1932/33, 1965/66, 1983/84, 1994/95

Football League Cup: Runners-up (2), 1976/77, 1983/84

Champions League/European Competition: Quarter Final (European Cup), 1970/71; Champions (Cup Winners Cup), 1984/85.

Written by Sam Hanys.

Sam Hanys

A miserable Ipswich Town fan.

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