November 25, 1890
A Pleasant reunion took place at the Falcon Restaurant, Lord Street, on Tuesday evening when the officials and players connected with the Everton Football Club, to the number of 130, sat down to an excellent dinner, served up under the superintendence of Mr. Gastrell.
Mr. John Houlding C.C. president of the clubs occupied the chair, and after the table had been cleared, addressed the company, and the usual loyal toasted having been duly honoured, the Chairman proposed the toast of “Association Football” and in doing so said the Everton Football Club was started by a few young men living in the neighbourhood of Anfield, and had played years in year out, but did not make any mark for some time until some of the members of it who had been players as lads grew up to be young men, and thought they would try to stretch out the club.
Several men who were now occupying good positions in the city had remained as players in the Everton Football Club, and it was something for them to look back and say that they were the pioneers of the present Everton Football Club.
Friends like Mr. Barclay and Mr. Jackson then began to take an interest in the club, and brought their energies into play, and the club was taken out of the park and placed on a private ground. Then he remembered in 1882 they had a benefit for the Stanley Hospital at a Fancy Fair held in Stanley Park. There was then a football match played between Liverpool and District, who put their best men in the team, and friends from various parts of Lancashire. It was expected that they would scarcely be able to play the match unless the ground was thoroughly roped round and made perfect for the players.
Some of his committeemen at the Fancy Fair said, “Your football match will not attract anyone. He laughed at them, because he had more enthusiasm in the game then they had. Although they had matches for three days he did not think that at any one time there were more than fifty spectators present, and these came and went away, and never appeared to take any interest in the matches at all.
That was in 1882. Now see what the Everton Football Club was. He believed that if they had such matches at the ones referred to now, the club’s ground, even if it were double the size it is, would be possible to contain the spectators.
Football was one of those games, which he thought every Englishman most admire. It created some excitement. Racing was a very popular sport, but it could not be watched throughout with sustained interest, whereas in football the interest was sustained from the beginning to the end of a match, and excitement was created at every moment while a game was in progress. A little excitement was good for all people. It cheered them up after their ordinary everyday work after the worrying occupations of them followed. He thought all present would agree with him in thinking that they had a right to drink. “Success to Association Football.”
Mr. Robert Edward Lythgoe, secretary of the Liverpool and District Football Association, in respecting to the toast said that he could not very well complain about football as it existed in Liverpool at the present time. He did not know any other town, which could produce a following of the game, which Liverpool could at the present time. They were always anxious to push forward local talent, and he hoped that Everton would be the first to bring into force such local talent as Liverpool possessed. He was quite sure that in a few years the local talent would come conspicuously to the front.
Mr. W.E. Barclay in proposing the toast of the evening – “Health and Prosperity to the Everton Football Club” – said he was sure they all felt that the members of the Everton team did their utmost to maintain the honour of the club. The position of the League team was not as bad as some people had tried to make it out to. There was certainly one thing to be said. They all knew that if a stick were taken from a tightly packed bundle that bundle would naturally fall to pieces.
Well, there was one stick. He did not mention it in a disparaging way – he referred to Mr. Latta (applause), who was away from the Everton bundle, and the consequence was that the team was somewhat disorganised for the time being. He would say that their unsigned sympathies were extended to Mr. Latta, and they all hoped that he would soon be able to resume his place in the team (applause) and he was quite sure that when Mr. Latta returned that player would display form quite as brilliant as that of were.
It had been mentioned that one of the members of the club objected to such gathering as they were taking part in that night on the ground that they were of a dissipated nature. It could not, however, be said that the members of the club were dissipated. They were nearly all temperance men, and it could be said that taking them altogether, they were a very temperate body.
With regard to the League, he thought that the club was coming out very favourably in the results. There were other clubs as powerful as the Everton who did not stand in better positions; and he could not see that Everton was really in any worse position now than any other club, and as a matter of fact, the head of the League was still left an open question. All the members of the Everton team would do their level best to uphold the honour of the club, and he ought not to forget to say that a more earnest lot of players did not exist in England or Scotland (applause). In the absence of Mr. Hannah, the toast was respondent to by Mr. Dan Doyle.
Mr. J. Brooke, in proposing the toast of the “Everton team” said that if any accidents were to happen to any member of the league team, he believed there were players connected with the club who could take their places, and when they appeared on the ground he hoped they would receive a hearty welcome. Mr. William Clayton responded to the toast. A capital musical and vocal programme arranged by Mr. R. Stockton, was interspersed with the toast list, and gave great satisfaction and delight to the company.
(Liverpool Football Echo: November 29, 1890)