Archives for posts with tag: Everton Football Club

Dixie Dean

The most surprising statistic of Tranmere’s international players is that not one single player in the club’s history has ever played for England seniors team whilst being on the books at Prenton Park.

However two local boys did make it to the top of the game but after they left Tranmere for First Division teams. Their story starts just before the First World War in 1907 on the streets of Birkenhead.

On the 2nd Janauary on Park Road North just off Lairds Street in the North End of Birkenhead a boy was born whose footballing skills would see him become a great. The son of a Butcher Ellis Rimmer would go on play for Tranmere and one day England.

A few days later another boy was born just round the corner on Laird street who would be Rimmer’s rival but also his friend. William Ralph Dean is still one of the great footballers in World history with records he set over 70 years ago still not been broken.

Not as much is known about Rimmer’s early life in Birkenhead but he first came on the radar as a footballer for his school team Upper Brassey Street. Later in life Dean said that Rimmer was the school’s ‘..star turn.’ As well as being an accomplished footballer he was an excellent pianist as his mother Edith insisted he practise for two hours a day.

Dean’s early life is far better known with countless books telling the story of his life. He grew up above a chip shop on Laird Street and attended the Albert Memorial School (a borstal school) as they had the best team.

The skills of Dean had been noticed from an early age and in 1920 he was asked to play for the Birkenhead Schoolboys team. Dean received a medal from his school during morning assembly for being picked and was allowed to go home to tell his Mum.

When Dean went to meet the rest of the team one face was very familiar as Ellis Rimmer too had been picked from his school team.

Dean’s skills were soon picked up by Rovers chief scout Jack Lee and Dean joined Tranmere reserves. His first goal in a Rovers side was against Whitehead who team included his friend Rimmer. After the game Rimmer signed for Tranmere and joined Dean once again.

In 1924 Dean made his first senior debut for Tranmere Rovers and would go on to score 27 goals in 30 games. Dean was soon snapped up by Everton in 1925.

Rimmer too made his first senior appearance for Rovers in 1924 but he was not picked up by a bigger club until 1928 when Sheffield Wednesday paid for his skills.

The two would have met on many occasions during their First Division careers but never playing for the same team. However when England called upon them they had one last chance to play together.

In 1930 the first World Cup took place in Uruguay with both Dean and Rimmer hoping to represent England at the highest level. However they never got the chance as the FA decided England didn’t need to take part as we already knew we were the best team in the world. England wouldn’t play in a World Cup until the 1950s.

Both Dean and Rimmer did however receive England Caps over the years and in 1931 the two friends from Birkenhead came together to represent England against Spain. Although neither Dean nor Rimmer scored they both had a hand in setting up two of the seven goals England scored that day at Highbury in front of 55,000 England fans.

As the 1930s went on the records for Dean mounted and in 1937 he scored his 353rd goal in 390 games which broke the record for most goals scored by one player. Both teams cheered this accomplishment but the first man over to shake his hand was none other than is old school boy friend Ellis Rimmer who was playing for the opposition that day.

Like all players their times as footballers came to an end and the two friends went their separate ways in life. In 1965 Rimmer died at age of 58 and Dean died in 1980 at the age of 73.

Their story is a rare and almost unique one which his unlikely to be replicated in football ever again. But these friends from Birkenhead left the town as schoolboys and reached the highest levels in Football making them true legends of Birkenhead.

Goodison (unknown game)

The Aintree Munitions Ladies team had spent several months visiting grounds in Wirral, Chester, Wrexham, St Helens and yet they had never actually played a game in the city they lived and worked in, Liverpool.

Touring the more provincial towns did however give the ladies the opportunity to perfect their skills as footballer in front of ever growing crowds. The introduction of the Haymarket Munitions Ladies added a new dimension as the ladies could play a team not handicapped like many of the men’s teams they played.

By April 1918 the Aintree Ladies had raised around £600 for the Sportsman’s Ambulance fund and played in front of an estimated 30,000 spectators over the months. With increasing interest in the ladies game it would only be a matter of time before a ground more use to men’s First Division football would request the lady’s services.

The game at Prenton Park in 1918 had heavily involved the Everton Chairman of Directors Mr W R Clayton and so it was not surprising he arranged for the Aintree Munitions Ladies to play Haymarket Munitions Ladies at Goodison.

The Aintree Ladies would make their debut at one of the county’s great stadiums on Easter Monday with a high attendance expected. The Liverpool Echo carried an article claiming the women had scored 55 goals this season without conceding a single goal. Although completely untrue the Aintree Ladies were the stronger side going into the game.

Unlike previous games the match at Goodison was to raise funds for the Fallen and Disabled Footballers Fund.

Although the local press had lost a fair amount of enthusiasm for the ladies matches they gave the game at Goodison a good billing.

Aintree kicked off and their dominance of the game began as Haymarket struggled to make it past Miss Geddes and Burrows in the Aintree defence. Miss Geddes was described as ‘Thompson like’ and received great applause from the spectators.

Aintree however struggled as the Echo stated the length of the pitch was too much for the ladies who failed to score from their breakaways due to being so tried from the run up field.

By the end of the first half the scored stood at 0-0 with Aintree failing to capitalise on their dominance.

The slightly longer interval however gave the ladies time to regroup and both teams came out with much more vigour. Aintree however came out the better side pressuring the Haymarket defence time after time. But the best efforts of the Haymarket defence could not stop Aintree and Miss Williamson drew first blood for . Molyneux, one of Aintree’s top scorers made it two from a corner and then scored the third.

Aintree won a penalty which Molyneux stepped up to take, however Haymarket’s Miss Blacklock cleared the shot with no difficulty. This did not dampen Aintree though as they scored their fourth from a free kick. Miss Reece eyed up the goal, shot and found the back of the net.

The final score was 4-0 to Aintree.

The attendance of at the game is not clear but according to Everton FC records the gate receipt for the game was £211 13s 4d, which was a considerable sum.

Several days after the game an opinion piece was place in the Liverpool Echo about the game which summed up well the changing attitude towards the ladies game ‘Many must have gone to Goodison Park on Monday Morning for a pantomimical affair, and they had their eyes opened. There were laughable incidents of course but some of the players showed such good form that the possibilities of Ladies football had to be recognised.’

By playing at Goodison the home of one of the biggest men’s team in the country Aintree and Haymarket had come of age in the sporting world. From this one would expect the two teams to go even further…….but did they…..?