The History of Everton FC

Everton Football Club, founded in 1878 as St. Domingo’s FC, is one of the oldest football clubs in England. Over its long and storied history, Everton has achieved numerous milestones, won multiple championships, and experienced memorable moments. Let’s dive into the rich tapestry of Everton FC’s journey, from its origins to its iconic events and triumphs.

Table of Contents

Key Takeaways

  • Everton FC, founded in 1878, is one of the oldest football clubs in England.
  • The club has achieved numerous milestones, won multiple championships, and experienced memorable moments.
  • Everton FC’s origins can be traced back to when it was formed as St. Domingo’s FC.
  • The club quickly established itself as a prominent football club after joining the Football League in 1888.
  • Everton FC has a rich history of success and innovation, including winning the 1985 European Cup Winners’ Cup.

Early Beginnings and Founding of Everton

Everton FC has a rich history that can be traced back to its early beginnings in the late 19th century. The club was founded in 1878 as St. Domingo’s FC by members of the St. Domingo Methodist New Connexion Chapel in Everton, Liverpool. What began as a local church team soon grew into something much greater.

In its early years, Everton FC played its first match against Everton Church Club, emerging victorious with a 1-0 scoreline. This initial success laid the foundation for the club’s future journey.

In November 1879, the club underwent a significant change as it transitioned from St. Domingo’s FC to Everton FC. This decision was made to allow participation from individuals outside the congregation and to reflect the club’s growing influence in the footballing community.

With the change of name, Everton FC embarked on a new era as a prominent football club, ready to make its mark on the sport.

Joining the Football League and Early Success

Everton FC, one of the founding members of the Football League in 1888, quickly asserted their dominance in the league and achieved early success. In the 1890-91 season, Everton clinched their first League Championship, setting the stage for future triumphs and solidifying their position in the footballing world.

Joining the Football League was a significant milestone for Everton FC, marking their entry into organized competitive football. The club’s early success demonstrated their prowess and served as a testament to the talent and dedication of their players.

Table: Everton FC’s League Performances since Joining the Football League

SeasonLeague Position

As the first League Champions in Everton’s history, the team’s success in the 1890-91 season showcased their ability to compete at the highest level. This achievement brought recognition to Everton FC and laid the foundation for further triumphs in the years to come.

Despite their early success, Everton faced new challenges and competition as the Football League grew in size and stature. However, their achievements in the early years remain an integral part of the club’s illustrious history and contribute to its enduring legacy.

Post-War Lull and Revival in the 1960s

After the turmoil of World War II, Everton FC faced a challenging period. The aftermath of the war left the club grappling with financial constraints and infrastructure issues, causing a temporary decline in their performance.

However, the 1960s marked a significant turning point for Everton FC. Under the leadership of manager Harry Catterick, the club experienced a remarkable revival, ushering in an era of sustained success.

During this golden era, Everton FC emerged as one of the top teams in England, winning two League Championships, one FA Cup, and the prestigious 1985 European Cup Winners’ Cup. The club’s resurgence was a testament to their resilience and commitment to excellence.

The Revival: 1960s – A Golden Era

The 1960s heralded a transformative period for Everton Football Club, marking an era that would be fondly remembered as a golden age in the club’s storied history. This decade saw the Toffees ascend to the pinnacle of English football, showcasing a blend of tactical innovation, stellar performances, and the emergence of legendary figures who would leave an indelible mark on the sport.

The onset of the 1960s brought with it a sense of optimism at Goodison Park. Under the managerial guidance of Harry Catterick, who took the helm in 1961, Everton FC underwent a significant transformation. Catterick, a shrewd tactician and a master of man-management, quickly set about building a team capable of challenging for top honors. His philosophy was simple yet effective: blend the talents of experienced players with the vigor of youth, creating a dynamic and adaptable team.

The 1962-63 Season: Triumph and Glory

This season remains one of the most memorable in Everton’s history. The team, led by the likes of Brian Labone, Alex Young, and Roy Vernon, displayed a brand of football that was both attractive and effective. Their efforts culminated in winning the First Division title, finishing six points clear of their nearest rivals. This triumph was a testament to Catterick’s vision and the squad’s execution of his tactical plans, combining defensive solidity with attacking flair.

Innovation and Influence

The 1960s were not just about silverware for Everton; it was a period of significant innovation that would influence the broader footballing landscape. Catterick’s Everton was among the first in the English game to adopt a more continental style of play, emphasizing ball control, short passes, and tactical flexibility. This approach not only brought success on the pitch but also entertained the masses, earning the Toffees admirers far and wide.

Legacy and Legends

The legacy of Everton’s golden era in the 1960s is enshrined in the legends it produced. Players like Alan Ball, Howard Kendall, and Colin Harvey not only contributed immensely to the club’s successes but also went on to become iconic figures in football. The decade also saw Goodison Park become a fortress, with passionate support providing the backdrop to the team’s exploits.

Beyond the Silverware

While the 1962-63 title was the pinnacle, the remainder of the decade saw Everton consistently compete at the top. The club reached the FA Cup final in 1968, narrowly missing out on adding another trophy. However, the impact of this era transcended trophies. It laid the foundations for future successes and established Everton as a club with a rich heritage and a commitment to attractive, winning football.

League Championships: Everton FC’s Illustrious History

Everton Football Club, one of the cornerstones of English football, has an illustrious history that is steeped in success, tradition, and memorable moments. Known affectionately as the “Toffees,” Everton has been a fixture in the top tiers of English football since its inception, playing a pivotal role in the development of the game. The club’s journey through the annals of football is marked by periods of dominance, particularly in the context of league championships, which serve as a testament to its enduring legacy.

Everton’s golden era in league competitions can be traced back to the late 19th and early 20th centuries when they first announced themselves as a force to be reckoned with. The club won its inaugural league title in the 1890-91 season, setting the stage for a century of success. This victory was more than just a triumph; it was a declaration of Everton’s intentions to be at the forefront of English football. The Toffees have since added eight more league titles to their trophy cabinet, with victories spread across several decades: 1914-15, 1927-28, 1931-32, 1938-39, 1962-63, 1969-70, 1984-85, and 1986-87.

The 1980s, in particular, represented a golden age for Everton under the management of Howard Kendall. The mid-80s saw Everton clinch two league titles in 1984-85 and 1986-87, a period during which they also secured European success with the European Cup Winners’ Cup in 1985. This era was characterized by a blend of tactical nous, teamwork, and individual brilliance, with players like Kevin Ratcliffe, Graeme Sharp, and Neville Southall becoming legends of the club.

Everton’s league championships are a reflection of the club’s resilience, adaptability, and commitment to excellence. Each title marked a different epoch in the club’s history, from the early days of Dixie Dean, whose incredible goal-scoring feats in the 1927-28 season remain legendary, to the tactical acumen of Howard Kendall’s squads in the 80s. These triumphs have not only cemented Everton’s place in football history but have also contributed to the rich tapestry of the English game.

Despite the challenges of the modern era, with fierce competition and the ever-changing landscape of English football, Everton’s legacy of league championships continues to inspire players, fans, and everyone connected with the club. The spirit of those title-winning teams lives on at Goodison Park, serving as a reminder of the heights the club has reached and the potential for future success.

FA Cup Triumph: Everton FC’s Journey to Glory

Everton’s journey in the FA Cup has been marked by moments of brilliance, heartbreak, and ultimately, glory. The Toffees have lifted the coveted trophy five times, with their first triumph coming in the 1905-06 season. This victory set the tone for future successes and underlined Everton’s growing stature in English football. Subsequent victories in 1932-33, 1965-66, 1983-84, and 1994-95 further cemented Everton’s legacy in the competition.

The 1983-84 FA Cup win is particularly memorable for Evertonians. Under the management of Howard Kendall, Everton embarked on a remarkable run that culminated in a thrilling final against Watford. The Toffees emerged victorious with a 2-0 win, thanks to goals from Graeme Sharp and Andy Gray. This triumph was a turning point for the club, kickstarting a period of dominance in English football that would see them secure two league titles and a European Cup Winners’ Cup in the subsequent years.

Everton’s FA Cup victory in the 1994-95 season was a testament to the club’s never-say-die attitude. Against Manchester United, a team that had dominated English football in the early 90s, Everton was the underdog. However, a solitary goal by Paul Rideout was enough to secure the trophy, proving that on the day, determination and team spirit could triumph over individual brilliance.

These FA Cup triumphs are not just about the silverware added to the trophy cabinet; they are about the moments that unite fans and players alike. They are about the journey through the rounds, the nail-biting finishes, the celebrations of goals scored, and the collective holding of breath during the tense moments that define knockout football. The FA Cup has a unique ability to create heroes, and Everton’s victories have given rise to legends whose names are still sung at Goodison Park.

Beyond the glory on the pitch, Everton’s FA Cup successes have strengthened the bond between the club and its supporters. The FA Cup runs have provided fans with memories that last a lifetime, from the exhilarating victories to the camaraderie experienced on match days. The competition embodies the magic of football, where anything is possible, and Everton’s triumphs serve as a reminder of the club’s place in the heart of English football culture.

As Everton continues to compete in the FA Cup, the spirit of past triumphs remains a beacon of hope and ambition. The club’s history in the competition is a source of pride and motivation, driving the team and its supporters to dream of future successes. In the world of football, where the quest for glory is eternal, Everton’s FA Cup triumphs stand as milestones in the club’s illustrious journey, inspiring generations of Toffees to strive for excellence and cherish the beauty of the beautiful game.

European Glory: 1985 European Cup Winners’ Cup

In the annals of Everton Football Club’s storied history, the 1984-85 season stands out as a beacon of international success, marking the club’s triumphant campaign in the European Cup Winners’ Cup. This victory not only highlighted Everton’s dominance in English football but also established the Toffees as a formidable force on the European stage. The journey to European glory encapsulates a period of exceptional talent, tactical innovation, and the indomitable spirit of a team that dared to dream.

The European Cup Winners’ Cup, a competition reserved for domestic cup champions across Europe, presented Everton with an opportunity to showcase their prowess beyond English shores. Having won the FA Cup in the previous season, Everton entered the tournament with high hopes and a determination to succeed. Managed by Howard Kendall, the team was a blend of defensive solidity, midfield creativity, and attacking flair, characteristics that would become the hallmark of their European campaign.

Everton’s journey through the tournament was marked by memorable victories and resilient performances. One of the standout moments came in the quarter-finals against Fortuna Sittard, where a comprehensive 3-0 victory in the second leg demonstrated Everton’s quality and ambition. However, it was the semi-final against Bayern Munich that truly encapsulated the spirit of Everton’s European adventure. Trailing at halftime in the second leg, Everton mounted a remarkable comeback to win 3-1 on the night, securing their place in the final. This victory over one of Europe’s elite clubs sent a clear message: Everton was a team to be reckoned with.

The final, held in Rotterdam against Rapid Vienna, was a showcase of Everton’s season-long journey and their unwavering desire for European glory. The Toffees triumphed with a 3-1 victory, with goals from Andy Gray, Trevor Steven, and Kevin Sheedy sealing the win. This victory was more than just a triumph in a European competition; it was a culmination of years of hard work, determination, and the realization of a dream for everyone associated with Everton Football Club.

The 1985 European Cup Winners’ Cup win remains one of the most significant achievements in Everton’s history. It was a campaign that showcased the best of English club football on the European stage, at a time when English clubs were beginning to make their mark in European competitions. For Everton, the victory was a testament to the quality of the squad, the tactical acumen of Howard Kendall, and the passionate support of their fans.

As Everton continues to compete both domestically and in Europe, the legacy of the 1985 European Cup Winners’ Cup victory serves as a benchmark for success. It’s a chapter in the club’s history that exemplifies the heights Everton Football Club can reach, echoing the sentiment that, on their day, the Toffees can compete with and beat the best in Europe. The glory of 1985 continues to resonate, a shining example of Everton’s place in the pantheon of European football.

Recent Achievements and Trophy Drought

In recent years, Everton FC has faced challenges in replicating the success of past eras. Though the club has experienced some highs, such as finishing in the top four and qualifying for the UEFA Champions League, they have encountered a trophy drought since their FA Cup triumph in 1995. However, Everton remains a formidable force in English football, determined to end this dry spell and add to their list of recent achievements.

Rivalry with Liverpool and the Merseyside Derby

One of the fiercest rivalries in English football is between Everton FC and Liverpool FC. The two clubs, located just under a mile apart, engage in a heated battle known as the Merseyside Derby. This long-standing rivalry adds an extra layer of excitement to their matches and ignites the passion of both sets of fans.

The Merseyside Derby is characterized by an intense atmosphere and passionate displays of support from the rival fan bases. The historic clashes between Everton and Liverpool have produced thrilling encounters, memorable moments, and iconic performances. The matches are often high-stakes affairs, with the pride of the city and bragging rights on the line.

Merseyside Derby Statistics

StatisticEverton FCLiverpool FCDraw
Matches Played234234120
Everton Wins6694
Liverpool Wins9466

The Merseyside Derby has produced many unforgettable moments, including last-minute winners, contentious incidents, and incredible comebacks. The passionate support of both sets of fans creates an electrifying atmosphere in the stadiums, making the matches a spectacle to behold.

For Everton and Liverpool, the Merseyside Derby is far more than just a football match. It is a contest that showcases the deep-rooted rivalry, history, and pride of both clubs. The intense battles and rich history of the Merseyside Derby have solidified its status as one of the most iconic and eagerly anticipated fixtures in English football.

Goodison Park – The Home of Everton FC

Everton FC has called Goodison Park its home since 1892. This historic stadium has provided the backdrop for countless memorable moments in Everton’s history, cementing its place as a cherished venue for Evertonians and football fans around the world.

With a capacity of 39,572, Goodison Park offers a unique and intimate setting for Everton’s home matches. The stadium’s atmosphere is often electric, with passionate fans filling the stands and creating an unforgettable experience for both players and spectators.

Key Features of Goodison ParkHighlights
GrandstandsProvide excellent views of the pitch from all angles
The Bullens Road StandNamed after the Goodison Park founder, John Bullens
The Gwladys Street EndKnown for its lively and passionate atmosphere
The Park EndOffers a fantastic panoramic view of the stadium
Historic Archibald Leitch DesignA tribute to the legendary stadium architect

Goodison Park’s rich history and character make it a truly iconic stadium. From the famous “Grand Old Lady” nickname to the deafening roar of the crowd, stepping foot inside Goodison Park is an experience like no other.

As Everton FC continues to evolve, there are plans for a new stadium on Bramley-Moore Dock. This will not only ensure the club’s future growth and success but also preserve the legacy and memories that Goodison Park holds.

The Future: Bramley-Moore Dock

In anticipation of a new chapter in Everton’s history, the club has secured planning permission for a brand new state-of-the-art stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock. The proposed waterfront stadium will have a capacity of up to 52,888, providing a modern and vibrant home for the club.

Everton’s Success in Europe

Everton FC has had a taste of success on the European stage, with their most notable achievement being the victory in the 1985 European Cup Winners’ Cup. This triumph was the result of an impressive campaign that saw Everton overcome formidable opponents, including a memorable semi-final victory over Bayern Munich.

Their success in Europe solidified Everton’s reputation as one of the top English clubs and showcased their ability to compete on the continental stage. The European Cup Winners’ Cup victory was a testament to the skill, determination, and talent within the Everton squad.

Here is a breakdown of Everton FC’s journey to the European Cup Winners’ Cup title:

Memorable Moments of Everton’s European Cup Winners’ Cup Campaign:

  • Quarterfinals: Everton faced Fortuna Sittard, securing a 3-0 aggregate victory to progress to the semi-finals.
  • Semi-finals: The match against Bayern Munich at Goodison Park will forever be etched in Everton’s history. The Toffees fought hard and emerged as the victors with a 3-1 aggregate triumph, booking their place in the final.
  • Final: Everton faced Rapid Vienna in the European Cup Winners’ Cup final held in Rotterdam, Netherlands. The match concluded with a 3-1 victory for Everton, securing the prestigious trophy.

Everton’s success in the European Cup Winners’ Cup remains a significant milestone in the club’s history. It showcased the club’s ability to compete among the best in Europe and added to their legacy as a footballing powerhouse.

Everton’s Support and Fanbase

Everton FC’s passionate and loyal supporters are known as Evertonians. They form a strong and dedicated fanbase that stands by the club through thick and thin. The Evertonians’ unwavering support adds to the vibrant atmosphere at Goodison Park and is a testament to the club’s rich history and traditions.

Innovations and Firsts by Everton FC

Everton FC has always been at the forefront of footballing innovations, constantly pushing boundaries and setting new standards. Throughout its history, the club has introduced several groundbreaking ideas and achieved remarkable firsts in the world of football.

1. Numbers on the backs of shirts

One of Everton’s earliest innovations was the introduction of numbers on the backs of players’ shirts. This groundbreaking move, which occurred in the 1933-34 season, revolutionized the way players were identified on the field. Everton paved the way for other clubs to adopt this practice, forever changing the game of football.

2. Purpose-built football stadium

Everton was the first club to possess a purpose-built football stadium, signaling a shift from the traditional practice of renting grounds for matches. Goodison Park, Everton’s iconic home ground since 1892, was specifically designed to cater to the needs of the club and its supporters. This pioneering move laid the foundation for the development of modern football stadiums.

3. Overseas tours

Everton FC was also a footballing pioneer when it came to overseas tours. In 1905, the club embarked on its first ever tour to Austria and Germany, an unprecedented venture at the time. This marked the beginning of Everton’s tradition of exploring new territories and spreading the popularity of the sport to international shores.

4. Installation of dugouts

Recognizing the importance of tactical preparation and team management, Everton introduced dugouts at Goodison Park in 1927. These dugouts provided a designated area for managers and coaches to strategize and make critical decisions during matches. It was yet another innovation that eventually became standard practice in football worldwide.

5. Undersoil heating

In the midst of harsh winters and frozen pitches, Everton implemented undersoil heating at Goodison Park in 1958. This state-of-the-art technology ensured that matches could be played even in the most challenging weather conditions. Everton’s adoption of undersoil heating set a precedent for other clubs to follow, ensuring that the game could be enjoyed regardless of the season or climate.

6. Penalty shootout history

During the 1970-71 European Cup campaign, Everton found themselves in a penalty shootout against Borussia Moenchengladbach. In a nerve-wracking contest, Everton emerged victorious, becoming the first English team to win a penalty shootout in the European Cup. This milestone showcased Everton’s resilience under pressure and added another first to their list of achievements.

Numbers on the backs of shirtsIntroduced the practice of identifying players with numbers on their shirts in the 1933-34 season
Purpose-built football stadiumBuilt Goodison Park in 1892, becoming the first club with its own dedicated football stadium
Overseas toursBecame the first English club to embark on an overseas tour in 1905
Installation of dugoutsIntroduced dugouts at Goodison Park, providing designated areas for managers and coaches, in 1927
Undersoil heatingImplemented undersoil heating at Goodison Park in 1958, ensuring matches could be played in all weather conditions
Penalty shootout historyBecame the first English team to win a penalty shootout in the European Cup during the 1970-71 campaign

These innovations and firsts by Everton FC have solidified the club’s position as footballing pioneers, constantly pushing the boundaries of what is possible in the beautiful game. Everton’s commitment to innovation continues to shape the sport and inspire future generations of football clubs and enthusiasts worldwide.

Milestones and Records

Everton FC’s rich history is filled with significant achievements and remarkable records that have solidified their status as a prominent club in English football. Let’s explore some of the key milestones and records that Everton has accomplished throughout the years.

  • First Club to Play over 100 Seasons in the Top Flight: Everton FC holds the distinction of being the first club to participate in over 100 seasons in the top flight of English football. This remarkable feat is a testament to the club’s enduring success and consistency.
  • 5,000 League Points: Everton FC has amassed an impressive total of over 5,000 league points throughout their history. This milestone showcases the club’s ability to consistently perform at a high level and compete with the best teams in the country.
  • 4,000 Top-Flight Games: With a rich history spanning over a century, Everton FC has played more than 4,000 top-flight games, firmly establishing themselves as one of the most enduring and competitive clubs in English football.

These milestones and records highlight the long-standing success and rich heritage of Everton FC. The club’s achievements serve as a source of pride for Evertonians and contribute to the club’s enduring legacy in English football.

Endearing Moments and Memorable Events

Throughout their history, Everton FC has been a part of several endearing moments and memorable events. From lifting the FA Cup to competing in iconic matches in European competitions, Everton has left an indelible mark on the footballing world. These moments have become part of Everton’s legacy and are cherished by fans.

FA Cup Victories

Everton FC has celebrated numerous triumphs in the FA Cup, creating unforgettable memories for their supporters. Notable among these victories is their 1995 FA Cup win. In an intense final against Manchester United, Everton emerged victorious with a 1-0 scoreline, securing their place in football history.

Iconic European Battles

Everton FC has been involved in memorable European matches that have enthralled fans and showcased their talent on the continental stage. One such iconic encounter took place during the 1984-1985 season. In the European Cup Winners’ Cup semifinals, Everton faced Bayern Munich. After a thrilling encounter, Everton emerged triumphant, winning 3-1 on aggregate and securing their place in the final.

Derby Day Delight

The Merseyside Derby between Everton and Liverpool has produced countless unforgettable moments. From dramatic goals to intense battles on the pitch, this fierce rivalry has captivated fans for generations. One standout moment came in the 2018-2019 season when Everton held Liverpool to a thrilling 0-0 draw at Goodison Park, ending their arch-rivals’ hopes of securing the Premier League title.

Everton’s Endearing Moments and Memorable Events

1995 FA Cup Victory1995
Triumph over Bayern Munich in European Cup Winners’ Cup semis1985
Draw against Liverpool, ending their title hopes2018


The history of Everton FC is a remarkable journey that showcases the club’s resilience, passion, and commitment to excellence. From their humble beginnings as St. Domingo’s FC in 1878 to becoming one of the oldest and most celebrated football clubs in England, Everton has experienced numerous milestones, achievements, and historical moments that have shaped their story.

As Everton FC continues to strive for success, their fans, known as Evertonians, will forever cherish the rich tapestry of their club’s history. From the club’s founding to their early success in the Football League and their revival in the 1960s, Everton’s journey has been a testament to their enduring spirit and dedication.

Whether it’s the intense rivalry with Liverpool FC in the Merseyside Derby, the iconic Goodison Park stadium that has witnessed countless memorable events, or Everton’s triumphs in Europe, the club’s history is embedded with success stories and endearing moments that have made an indelible mark on football history.

The milestones, achievements, and historical records of Everton FC serve as a source of inspiration not only for Evertonians but also for football enthusiasts around the world. As the club looks to the future with optimism, the enduring legacy of their historical accomplishments will continue to resonate within the hearts and minds of fans for generations to come.


What was the original name of Everton FC?

The original name of Everton FC was St. Domingo’s FC.

When was Everton FC founded?

Everton FC was founded in 1878.

What was Everton FC’s first match?

Everton FC’s first match was a 1-0 victory over Everton Church Club.

When did Everton FC change its name?

Everton FC changed its name to Everton FC in November 1879.

What was Everton FC’s first major success?

Everton FC won their first League Championship in the 1890-91 season.

When did Everton FC experience a revival?

Everton FC experienced a revival in the 1960s.

When did Everton FC win the European Cup Winners’ Cup?

Everton FC won the European Cup Winners’ Cup in 1985.

Who is Everton FC’s main rival?

Everton FC’s main rival is Liverpool FC.

What is the capacity of Goodison Park?

Goodison Park has a capacity of 39,572.

What was Everton FC’s last major trophy?

Everton FC’s last major trophy was the FA Cup in 1995.

What are some of Everton FC’s innovations?

Everton FC was the first club to wear numbers on their backs, have a purpose-built football stadium, and go on an overseas tour.

What are some of Everton FC’s records?

Everton FC holds records for playing over 100 seasons in the top flight, amassing 5,000 league points, and playing 4,000 top-flight games.

What are some of Everton FC’s endearing moments?

Everton FC has had numerous endearing moments, including FA Cup final victories and iconic matches in European competitions.

What makes Everton FC’s history special?

Everton FC’s history is marked by resilience, passion, and a commitment to excellence, making it one of the most storied football clubs in England.

J.G. Riley
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