35,668 – our number – our history

Two documents are vital for this article.
1) The foundation of Everton Football Club and Athletic Ground Company, on January 26 – 1892 (Everton Jan 1892); and,
2) The change of name from the above to Liverpool Football Club and Athletic Ground Company, on June 3 – 1892 (Liverpool June 1892-1).

Most supporters know that Liverpool F.C. were founded in 1892, and most supporters do not need to know more than just that simple fact. But, if you are mad about football history, like myself, the search for the exact day of the foundation is, and has always been, an journey into the mystique and unknown part of our club!

For years two dates has always been around in books and on websites. These dates are: MARCH 15 – 1892 and JUNE 3 – 1892. With this article I add another date to the list: JANUARY 26 – 1892.

These webpages you are on at this moment in time are a collection of newspaper articles since the dawn of the Reds. Recently I came across a small note in Daily Mirror, for 2 June, 1979. A reader asked “the expert” – what exact date was L.F.C. founded? The answer given was this: –

Liverpool were founded in 1892 – but even the club is unsure of the exact date.

Based on this I strongly feel that March 15 and June 3 is knowledge given to media of newer date without too much diving into the archives.

We know that L.F.C. was founded after a long spell of disagreement over the future of Everton Football Club. This disagreement reached fever pitch during the autumn of 1891 and the winter of 1891/92. On one side, E.F.C.’s president and the owner of Anfield football ground, John Houlding. On the other side a group of E.F.C. directors, led by Messrs. Mahon and Clayton, who claimed Houlding made too much money on his engagement with the club, Houlding renting the ground he owned to E.F.C. and so on. I will not write more about this since it has been documented many times before.

So what about the dates?

26 JANUARY, 1892
On Monday 25 January, 1892, there was a meeting of the directors of Everton F.C. at the College Hall in Shaw Street. On this meeting the opponents to Houlding made a presentation about the possibility of the club leaving Anfield and moving across Stanley Park to a new ground in Goodison Road. This was of course convenient for them since John Houlding himself, for unknown reason, did not attend the meeting.
The last point discussed and agreed upon was the following: –
Mr. Clayton then moved that the club be formed into a limited company, with a capital of £500, in £1 shares, each member to be allocated one share. This resolution was also carried.
William Barclay, a vice-president of the club, and in the chair for this meeting ended the proceedings by declaring “he resigned his position as vice-president in protest.

The next day, on 26 January, 1892 – media reported that: “Mr John Houlding threw a bombshell into the camp of his opponents when he followed up their actions at the general meeting by promptly forming a new company, and registering it under the name of ‘Everton Football Club and Athletic Ground Company, Limited’, with a capital of £15.000 in £1 shares.

What is even more interesting is that this new club, when registering with Companies House, received a Company Reg. number – 35668.

Now, if you may – please visit (http://www.companieshouse.gov.uk/toolsToHelp/findCompanyInfo.shtml) – then click on the top alternative that says (Webcheck) and the click (Access webcheck) – in the field that says “Company number” type in 35668, and enjoy the result: Date of Incorporation 26/01/1892.

Now, if you may – please visit Liverpool F.C.’s official website
(http://www.liverpoolfc.com/corporate/lfc-credit-card) – have a look at the last chapter, and you will see: – “Registered Office: Anfield Road, Liverpool L4 0TH, Registered in England and Wales (registered no. 35668).

For me this is very clear that our club was formed on January 26 – 1892 under the name of ”Everton Football Club and Athletic Ground Company, Limited.”

15 MARCH, 1892
On this Tuesday in 1892 it was a general annual meeting for members of the Everton Football Club. It was on this meeting that John Houlding was removed from the presidency of the club by voting. It was also another immense important point on the agenda, a point no one has remembered the importance of: –
“That the Everton Football Club do now amalgamate with the Everton Football Club and Athletic Grounds Company, Limited.” This resolution was not carried by the members.

Now, there are claims that what happened next this evening was that John Houlding with some close football friends went back to Houlding’s home, Stanley House, in Anfield Road, and here, William Barclay suggested that “their club” should be known as “Liverpool.”

I must admit I have looked for, but not found any evidence of this happening, but it has actually no influence on the end result of this article whether or not it happened. The reason for this is revealed under the next date.

3 JUNE, 1892
This takes us to the last date on the list, 3 June 1892. Here we find a certificate with the following wording: –

With reference to your application of the 24th instant, I am directed by the Board of Trade to inform you that they approve of the of the Everton Football Club and Athletic Grounds Company, Limited, being changed to the Liverpool Football Club and Athletic Grounds Company, Limited.

This communication should be tendered to the Registrar of Joint Stock Companies, Somerset House, W.C., as his authority for entering the new name on the Register, and for issuing his Certificate under Section 13 of the Companies’ Act, 1862. »

The certificate can be seen here: (http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/b/b6/Certificate_of_change_of_name_to_liverpool_fc.jpg)

So, my opinion is that we have forever celebrated the wrong foundation date. 3 June 1892 is simply the day we changed the name from Everton to Liverpool, as mentioned above.

But why? how can you or how dare you suggest? No – it cannot be true! We are not Evertonians!!!! I hear some of you say. You should know that in 1892 “Everton” was not part of the “City of Liverpool.” That did not happen until late 1895. So back in 1892 it was a huge battle for the right to wear the name of “Everton.” We, our forefathers, lost that fight. It is a defeat noone today is sad about – but “to know who you are, you have to know where you came from.”

But, let us go back virtually to March 1892 sometime after the meeting on the 15th. I think it is clear that John Houlding, William Barclay and their comrades on March 15 knew that they had lost the battle to represent Everton on the football field. I do suspect, but I cannot prove it, that to save time and not register a completely new club in Companies House – they just changed the name of what they started 49 days earlier. In other words they kept the registration number.

Kjell Hanssen, 6 October 2012 – 44,084 days after our foundation.

The history starts with the article you find by clicking here. Then follow the arrows under the articles to take you through to the next newspaper note, or article.

Anfield, home of Liverpool Football Club since 1892.
Anfield 1892

Main stand towards top left corner, The Kop towards bottom left corner, Kemlyn Road Pavilion towards bottom right corner. The Kemlyn Road Pavilions were taken removed and the Main stand moved across to replace it.