And so came to pass the second part of our trilogy of Mahon, Cuff and Baxter, unfolded on another great educational night at Goodison, the venue of this class was the aptly named ?The Peoples Lounge?, for Cuff was a man of the people.
It was held on Friday 6th of February, 2009. The following report on another great night for Blues is long but so is our history. First at the top of the class was fellow Blue and Shareholder Paul Wharton who works so hard to put these nights together.
Intro and Acknowledgements
My name is Paul Wharton EFCSA.
Ladies and Gentlemen, we at the Shareholders Association welcome you to our forum, ?The Last Domingan?.
Tonight marks the 60th Anniversary of William Charles Cuff?s Death; this is the Second part of our Trilogy Series.
We all think we are good, great Evertonians, in my view we cannot even lace his boots. We think of great players in our past like Kendall, Ball and Harvey but Cuff was so much more to Everton and tonight you will see how I make this bold statement He is the Greatest Evertonian and tonight we honour this man.
We have the acclaimed author of ?Thank God for Football? and friend of our Association Mr. Peter Lupson, who will talk about the Welsh part of the Cuff Family, along with Glyn Griffiths, the Welsh players fans connection. Then football historian Robert Galvin.
And firstly, Max Dunbar from the Everton Collection who will give a talk and take a Question and Answer Session.
Max Dunbar talked about the Everton Collection Trust
The Everton Collection? Project Update
In 2007 The Everton Collection Charitable Trust purchased the David France Collection with the generous assistance of Heritage Lottery funding. At the same time, Everton Football Club donated their own archive to the Trust.
Last year The David France Collection was integrated with The Everton FC Archive to form the most comprehensive football collection in the world ? The Everton Collection.
The Heritage Lottery Fund also awarded the Trust funding for a three year project with Liverpool Record Office. This project began in June 2008, with a mission statement ?to catalogue, conserve and promote The Everton Collection to as many audiences as possible.? The total project cost including the acquisition cost and match funding in cash and in kind is over £2 million with a grant of just under £1 million. A large amount of time and effort went into the complex process of developing and writing the application and the large number of supporting documents required.
Who owns the Collection?
The Everton Collection Charitable Trust owns The Everton Collection. The Trust are an independent body, separate from the Club. This is an important issue as it ensures the Collection is protected from any club politics or disputes that may occur in the future. The Trust has an overall responsibility to preserve the Collection for future generations.
The Chairman of The Everton Collection Charitable Trust is Lord Grantchester. There are several other trustees including a senior National Museums Liverpool officer, leading heritage experts, historians and Club officials.
The Trust meets quarterly and discusses project developments, new acquisitions and fundraising events.
It is crucial that the Trust keeps fundraising to continue building and promoting The Everton Collection further. Everton FC has pledged to support this in the HLF application.
The Trust are working in partnership with The Everton Collection project team based in Liverpool Record Office at Liverpool Central Library. The Everton Collection project began in June last year. The project team are highly-qualified with vast experience working with world-class archives and sporting collections:
- David Stoker is the Manager of Liverpool Record Office with 20 years experience as a qualified archivist, managing major cataloguing, digitisation and outreach projects. David played a leading role in securing Heritage Lottery Funding for the project.
- I?m the Project Officer, managing the project to ensure the Collection is professionally catalogued and conserved. I will be managing the digitisation of the Collection, creating a website and producing exhibitions across the city. I have an MA in Museum Studies and have worked as a Sports Memorabilia Specialist at Christie?s and was the Curator at the Museum of Rugby in Twickenham Stadium.
- Belinda Scarlett is the Learning Officer, managing the project?s learning and outreach programme. Belinda will be developing learning resources, including education packs, loan boxes and online learning resources for schools. Belinda has an MA in Arts & Museum Management and was previously working as the Access Officer at the National Football Museum in Preston.
- Karen Sayers is the project Archivist responsible for cataloguing and conserving the Collection to ensure all material is publicly accessible at Liverpool Record Office and on the website. Karen has an MSc in Information Studies and is currently studying for an MSc in Archive Administration. Prior to working on the Collection, Karen was a chartered Librarian and Archivist at the British Library and at Cumbria Record Office.
Also working on the project is Liverpool Record Office?s fully qualified and accredited conservator, Sharon Oldale, who has already been conserving and preserving programmes and photographs.
We also have ten committed volunteers who are essential to the project?s success. Our fully trained and experienced team of volunteers are currently cataloguing and labelling all 17,000 items.
With such a skilled and experienced project team, the Collection could not be in better hands!
Where is the Collection?
The majority of the Collection is housed in Liverpool Record Office at Liverpool Central Library
All material is stored in the most secure location in Central Library ? The Strong Room. All the city?s rare and valuable archives are stored here ? the Collection is shelved alongside the city?s charters, for example.
When the project team started in June we were confronted with boxes full of material from David France and the Club. None of this material was in any particular order, especially items that were brought over from the bunker underneath the Park End Stand.
Over the last 6 months the project team have taken most items from the Park End bunker to Liverpool Record Office and have integrated all the material together to create ?The Everton Collection?.
Every single item in The Everton Collection is now catalogued and packaged in conservation-quality boxes and acid-free paper. It is essential all the material is stored in conservation-quality packaging as it prevents items from deteriorating.
A major part of the project is to preserve the Collection for future generations. This has now been achieved by the project team packaging all the material to professional archival standards.
There is also material from the Collection on display at Goodison. All the trophies, silverware, medals, shirts and other memorabilia on show in the Dixie Dean, Brian Labone and other suites now belong to the Trust and are currently on loan to the Club. The project team plan to work closely with the Club to update these displays to show more of the Collection over the next few years.
What?s in the Collection?
The project team have now brought the two collections (The David France Collection and Everton FC Archive) together to form The Everton Collection.
There were originally thought to be 10,000 items in the Collection. With the Club?s own archive forming such an integral part of the Collection, there are now well over 17,000 items.
Many will have read David France?s books about his Collection and so will already be familiar with many of the highlights:
- Minute Books (29 volumes, dating from 1887-1964)
These books show the minutes from various Committee meetings at the Club. As David France calls them, they are ?the DNA of the Club? showing how the Club has evolved. Many key events have been recorded in these books and will be a football historians dream come to true when they are made fully accessible.
From 1886 to present day there are over 10,000 programmes in the Collection ranging from Home and Away matches to Cups, overseas tours and even baseball and athletic programmes. It is estimated that more than 90% of all Everton programmes are in the Collection.
From 1881 to present day there are over 1,500 photographs showing images of teams, players and supporters. Many of the early photographs have needed some restoration work and our conservator has already restored many of the early team photographs.
- Contracts & Letters
As we are celebrating the life of Will Cuff, it is appropriate to mention a series of letters between Cuff and Harold Hardman in the Collection. The letters cover a period of several years and show a true friendship developing between Cuff and Hardman ? with Cuff even coming forward as an eye-witness to a fight Hardman was involved in.
All this material has come from The David France Collection, but it is now just as exciting to discover new material from the Club?s own archive.
Since June we?ve discovered an 1885 ticket for a charity match between Everton and Liverpool ? 7 years before Liverpool FC began!
We?ve uncovered over 200 scrapbooks and hundreds of programmes from a passionate private collector, Don Cooper.
We?ve also found more medals, tickets, trophies, shirts, badges and rosettes ? the list goes on and on!
Some other highlights are the more obscure items in the form of presentation gifts from overseas clubs ? a Czech miner?s lamp, models of a Geisha Girl and a Saudi Arabian model aeroplane!
The Everton Collection has now grown from The David France Collection to a larger, even more comprehensive collection ? all thanks to the Club?s generous donation.
What?s happening to the Collection?
The Collection will be launched in September with a new website, learning programme and a major exhibition at Central Library.
In order to successfully achieve all this, a number of phases need to be completed:
From the very first day of the project we needed to know exactly what there was before any other work began.
Bringing the two collections together has taken 8 months.
Physically, we?ve had to relocate all the Goodison material to Liverpool Record Office and package over 17,000 items to professional conservation standards
Digitally, the Collection had to be broken into sub-groups to make it easier to manage and catalogue. Excel spreadsheets were created for each sub-group and each item has now been catalogued on Excel. All these records are now being exported into the professional archival management database, CALM, at Liverpool Record Office. This digital catalogue information will then be used to produce an online collection on the new website.
The majority of the Collection will be digitised by a professional heritage digitisation bureau, UK Archiving, over the next two years.
UK Archiving are one of the leading heritage digitisation bureaus in the country, with specialist scanning and image capture equipment designed specifically for valuable archives, such as The Everton Collection.
Every page of every Minute Book is currently being digitised and transcribed, which will allow users to read and search the Minute Books like a virtual book on the website.
Every page from every pre-war programme will be digitised next, along with other early material such as contracts, letters and cigarette cards.
Why are we digitising the Collection?
- Preservation reasons ? once an item is digitised, there is no reason for anyone to handle that original item again.
- Website ? our aim is to ultimately have the whole collection fully searchable on the Trust?s website.
The website will be designed for different audiences who will want to use the online collection in different ways:
- Fans will want to look up programmes from favourite matches
- Historians will want to research the Minute Books
- Teachers will want to use old team photographs in their history lessons
- Children will want to find out who Dixie Dean was
We also want the website to be interactive and encourage debate ? discussion forums/blogs/facebook sites (e.g. visitors could pick their top 10 items and discuss, or curate their own online exhibitions)
We are currently going through a tendering process with 6 leading web designers and plan to appoint a company in the next few weeks. The first phase of the website will be ready in September ? where the Minute Books and other select material will be fully searchable.
More material will be added as more is digitised over the next few years and we hope to have the majority of the Collection online by 2011.
Since June, selected material from the Collection has already been displayed in various exhibitions across the country:
- The 12th Man Exhibition ? Central Library, Liverpool (August-September 2008)
- UEFA?s ?Only a Game? Exhibition ? World Museum, Liverpool (October-April 2009)
- FA Cup Exhibition ? Houses of Parliament, London (January 2009)
- FA Cup Trophy Tour Bus ? Williamson Square, Liverpool (February 2009)
- Some key items shown to Andy Burnham, Secretary of State for Culture
The Collection will officially be launched with a major exhibition in the Picton Room in Liverpool Central Library. The exhibition will run from September to early 2010 and all the treasures of the Collection will be on show.
It?s hoped elements from the show will then form a travelling exhibition to tour local libraries and community centres across Merseyside.
Material will also be lent to the National Museums Liverpool for the new Museum of Liverpool which opens in October 2010. Other items will also be lent to the National Football Museum in Preston for a proposed Everton Collection display in their permanent gallery.
An extensive learning programme will also be launched in September.
Education packs and online learning resources will be produced by the Learning Officer to help teachers incorporate the Collection into the National Curriculum.
Loan Boxes and specialist Handling Sessions will be developed, to take the Collection out to schools and community groups.
The learning opportunities with this Collection are huge. It can be used to teach children more than just Everton?s history ? we will use the Collection to explore local, national, social, business, advertising and economic history.
We have already held a Family Activity Day in Central Library and recently held a Handling Session in Central Library. A video of this handling session has been produced and our Learning Officer is now showing this film to teachers to develop new learning resources.
When can I see the Collection?
The Everton Collection will be launched in September 2009. This will include a major exhibition at Central Library, a new website and an extensive learning programme.
It must be stressed that not all material will be immediately accessible as we will still be digitising items over the next few years. However, as more material is digitised more will become available on the website.
By the end of the project I hope to have the majority of the Collection fully searchable online, material on display at national museums and schools across Liverpool using the Everton Collection to inspire and educate future generations.
Evertonians can be justifiably proud that their team, which has such an outstanding history, will have the most comprehensive football club archive in the country if not the world accessible for all in the public domain and preserved to professional standards.
Max then threw open to the forum questions and answers which included the following from our attentive crowd.
?How can the gaps be filled of the meagre 10% missing to complete the final items of our history ?? Max responded and said that the collection was on going and the trust is constantly looking at football auctions and EBay to add to the collection.
?Can fans lend items to the collection?? Max: By all means we would welcome any addition worthwhile.
?After the three years funding what then?? Max: We are constantly looking of methods to raise funding. There is the potential of selling copies of the football photographs etc.
?I noticed there are no minutes from 1965 onwards, can we see them?? Max: Well we will endeavour to ask the present custodians if we can access to these notes bearing in mind Everton are a private company and some of the information within those minutes may be sensitive.
?Will online access be free?? Max: Yes it will not just for football fans but for everyone who wants to go through the looking glass of our history on Merseyside.
?In 1938 the other lot adopted the Liver Bird, can we reclaim it as we did have the bird on our first medals and it was on the crest of the Cities Emblem. Let's not forget we were the first club in the City?? Max smiled and said he would enquire.
Next to the podium was Steve Williams who is the Trust's financial manager. He gave a very frank and honest speech including that they critical of themselves for not doing a better job of publicising this great work. Steve said that the lottery funding does not accommodate buying new articles they have been doing this with any donations. There is the E-commerce aspect to help.
One of the crowd asked how about putting a match on to help pay. In the past Everton and Liverpool have played for the benefit of the local unemployed etc.
Steve said that they would have to be careful as not to get a flop as it costs in excess of £50,000 to stage a game at Goodison and we have to be careful to cover these expenses. We are going to make the trusts minutes available so that fans can add ideas on how to help. We accept our failure in the PR, we want to make it better maybe Newsletters by email.
A lot of work has gone into this collection, it has to be right from the go.
In the run up to September fans will hear a lot more about the exhibits etc and there will be a permanent exhibition constantly refreshed in its new home and Goodison.
Next to face the class was Paul Wharton. Paul had a bonus for all his hard wok from Cuff?s past. The day before Cuff died Everton played the reds the result was 0-0 so as an omen in the week in which we played the dark side again Paul bet the same result and collected £180 for a £20 stake happy days.
Thanks, Will! Oh we beat them in extra time, good finally overcomes evil in another trilogy against the reds, bit like the Lord of the Rings.
The Last Domingan
Tonight fellow Evertonians we are honouring one of the true greats of football, on the 6th Feb 1949, Everton FC and Football lost in Will C Cuff one of the Greats. It is 60 years ago today that Will died. Let?s go back to 1878 to Stanley Park when Will started to play football.
When all of us were 8, 9, 10 years of age we all dreamt of playing for Everton Football Club, well there was no Everton FC for Will.
St Domingo, his church, started to play football with fellow church goers, with the help from the Minister Rev. Ben Swift Chambers. The minister not only started a church team that was going to burst into a fantastic league team, but created such an Enthusiasm for Football that would stay with him till he dies 70 years later.
We will learn about his morals and sense of duty.
Will The Player
There is much talk of Will Playing for St Domingo and Everton FC.
We have here a cutting from a newspaper article that ?Will? participated in, stating that he was a member for Walton Breck FC and Mount FC, where injury forced him to retire.
In 1890 he became a member of Everton FC, he was clearly friends with George Mahon and supported George?s stance against John Holding when we moved from Anfield in 1892, Will became a shareholder.
Will was training to be a Solicitor and was also the Choirmaster of St Domingo?s, at 23 to have this position was no mean feat. ?Will? took St Domingo?s choir to the runners up spot in Wales ?Estifodd?
George Mahon with the help of Dr Clement Baxter clearly laid the foundations at Goodison Park and Will kept it going. Unlike George, who was into Local Politics, Will was more interested in football politics, a career that would take him to the summit of the football world.
Will was asked to be a director in 1894, he was asked to take the combination side (Back then when you were a director your duties on Match day was to be a Steward outside, not sitting down like nowadays to a 3 course meal, I can just see Robert Earls face if asked to be a steward by Bill Kenwright)
In 1901 Will was asked to be the Club?s Secretary (This was the only paid position) In 1906 we won the Cup and in 1914-15, The Football League Championship returned to the club, as we all know we won the first at Anfield.
In 1909 Will sanctioned the South America Tour, to Argentina and Uruguay. He wanted Everton to be promoted all over South America and Europe too. In 1911 he started the Central League System and managed Everton Reserves, they hardly lost a game. In 1919 Will took a break from Football to concentrate on his work.
After a three year break, he was back as Chairman, this was a period when his leadership would really come to the for. We would go on to win the League in 1928 and 1932, also the cup in 1933, were numbered shirts were worn for the first time. We would have a world class stadium, the first double decker stand in the country, and also we were the richest club in the land.
The only black spot was when we were relegated for 1 season in 1929-30.
He sold Stopgate Lane Training Facility for £60,000 to a Brewery and bought Bellfield for £30,000.
?Dixie Dean called him the master?
He knew good players when he saw them;
Freeman, Dean, Lawton, Britton, Troup.
He saw raw talent in Gee, Chedozy, Mercer and Geldard and nurtured it, when he wanted to sign these young players he would take some of the senior players along to meet them just to impress the youngsters.
He was totally against the pools coming into football his concerns came right as Liverpool Vs Man Utd played a match that was crooked, some players from both teams had life bans.
Morals were high with Will, we agreed with Bristol Rovers to buy Cliff Britton and, when the end of the season came they sold him to Newcastle Utd, Will took Bristol Rovers To the league, they came down in our favour and awarded Everton FC £300, which we gave to charity.
Everton Stand Alone
Will was never more pleased when ?Cash n Boots? was brought to a head, when all the captains of the League Clubs stood in a room before the Management Committee, They addressed all the captains ?We know that this practice goes on, will all the players who have accepted cash or know team mates who have please sit down.?
Will said ?I have never felt more proud of Jack Sharp standing there all alone and of Everton FC.?
How we Play
We always say that we at Everton have a tradition of playing football. Well, Will burst into a dressing room at half time when we were getting beat 3-0 as the team was playing the third-back game, ?I don?t know what you are playing at but stop it now, I don?t care if we get beat 6-5 as long as we play in the Everton Tradition.?
We did get beat 6-5.
The slogan on the banner says everything about WC Cuff
We won the League again this time without Dixie; we had a new leader, Tommy Lawton.
Will stepped down as the chairman of Everton but he stayed as the Director of the club. He steered The Football League through the war, He was also on the League Management Committee from 1925 whilst he was also Vice President of the FA.
In 1938 the Shareholders Association was formed he becomes our President in 1939.
He stated ?It existed to further the welfare of Everton and not primarily to fill seats on the board with its own nominees. So long as he was satisfied with this, the Association would continue to have his support.?
He was our president till 1949.
In 1944 he was made a life President of the League, he was presented with a Silver Fruit Bowl and a scroll.
As A Man
In 1938-39 he stood down as chairman of Everton FC and became chairman of the league.
The start of the war years and I would just like to tell you of Will Cuff the man.
In 1939 his Solicitors firm, Cuff/Roberts was told to suspend his practice till the war was over, as Mr Roberts had gone off to war.
Mr Roberts was away for 6 years till he returned in 1945, Mrs Roberts was paid every week for those 6 years.
I think that shows you the measure of the man.
In 1945 the Shareholders commissioned a portrait to an artist, Mr Frank Copnall, to celebrate 50 years service to Everton Football Club.
This was presented to Will on 1st Feb 1946, he was very pleased with this portrait and stated that he would like it to be hung in the Everton Board Room in the future.
In this period, relations became soured with the other Directors. He accused them of little ambition as he went round the country, he could see how the Everton Pedestal had slipped, how we were viewed.
He also fought against the Block Vote, he wanted ?One Man One Vote?
We have just seen a bid for 100 million for a footballer.
Before he died, he was working on a transfer ceiling of £20,000, we will never know if this would have worked.
As he died on the 6th Feb 1949, at the Holywell Hotel, Parkgate, Wirral, his funeral took place on the 10th Feb 1949 at Fairfield Church and was buried in Anfield Cemetery.
There was a mile long procession.
From Jimmy Guthrie, captain of Portsmouth 1939 Cup winning team who went on to be the leader of the PFA.
?Will Cuff was the best friend the PFA had, he would always listen and help were he could.?
?Will started the benevolent fund for players?
?Hard but fair, always fought his corner.?
David France talks about soccer widows, His Liz being one. I am fortunate to have a footballing wife, no mixed marriages, an Evertonian for me. Will?s wife Jessie would never have seen him, ?Football? ?Football? ?Football?
She must have been the first fully Football widow.
Not everything went rosy for the Cuffs.
Henry Hudston Cuff aged 4 and Hilda Margaret aged 18, are both in Alongside Will in the grave. Really Sad.
I wanted to try and see what happened to the Cuff Family in General.
Whilst I was researching in the Central Library I came across a press cutting from April 1949. It was a part of Will Cuff?s will. It stated that the Portrait would be bequeathed to EFC to hang in the Board Room and a Henry Hudston Cuff would benefit to the tune of £22,000. I rang Peter Lupson ?I thought you said this lad had died aged 4.?
He did, came the reply. Well this fellow lives in Stratfield, New South Wales, Australia, in this era if one offspring died, another would take the name.
The search was on, is there anybody left in Oz.
The trail went cold after Henry and the two Children form Oz.
I contacted the Sydney records office; they sent me a request from a Linda Riley looking for a Lillian Belinda Cuff.
I emailed Linda; she is the great Granddaughter of Will. Henry Charles and Dorothy the grandchildren of Will are still alive today at 70 and 74 years of age.
Linda has a sister Kim, who now lives in Essex, she couldn?t come tonight, work commitments.
All what you see here tonight Linda Riley has, they knew he was a chairman of Everton and the League, but they Didn?t know how much he gave our Club, they know now and are very humbled to know they are related to such a great man.
After Paul?s great input we were visited by four intrepid travelers from Chile.They where the directors of our sister club CD Everton. The four Chileans came onto the stage to rapturous applause you could clearly see they were touched by the welcoming. Tony Heslop came forward spoke to them in Spanish and related our feelings towards them for coming so far to make connections to the club that inspired the forming of our South American counter parts. It was after all Will Cuff who deemed a trip to football mad South America would be fitting to embroid the Everton name across the world. One of the directors through Tony told us their great gratitude to Mr Cuff and the strong affinity people have in Vina Del Mar with Everton. Each director was given a special momento of their visit to their holy grail. The next day at half time they where invited onto the pitch where again they where given a great welcome. I hope the talks they had over dinner with our directors will cement our special relationship and that ?match? may come to fruition, Everton v Everton!
Tony Heslop centre and our four Chilean guests
After a short break we cleared some more memory banks in our brains to store more information on what was to follow which was a talk by Peter Lupson and Glyn Griffiths on the Welsh Everton connection.
Will Cuff?s Welsh Background
Until publication of Peter Lupson's book 'Thank God for Football? it was not known that Will Cuff was half Welsh. When the book made this known, a regional Welsh language paper 'Llais Ogwan' immediately appealed to its readers for information about Will's mother as it was thought she came from their particular area. This was followed by a series of articles in the Welsh language national daily 'Y Cymro' about Will's Welsh background, and a major TV feature about Will and his Welsh family was shown on S4C. The people of Wales were obviously very proud to claim the legendary Everton chairman as one of their own!
Will Cuff, for his part, was also very proud of his Welsh heritage. There is even a photo of his daughter Hilda in Welsh national costume in the family's possession today. We also know that Will entered the St Domingo choir into the important Welsh cultural festival, the Eisteddfod, when he was choirmaster.
Will's mother was born Mary Thomas in Pwllheli in 1840. She was baptised in St Beuno Church which has since been pulled down, but the font she was baptised in now stands in St Peter's Church, Pwllheli. Her parents were John Thomas and Jane Jones, both from Pwllheli. Neither could read or write. On their marriage certificate they simply signed their names with a cross. John was a carrier by profession. He transported goods in horse-drawn wagons, and would have been the equivalent of a modern haulage firm. He combined this with transporting people from place to place in horse-drawn carriages, rather like a bus company today.
Will's mother Mary left Pwllheli in her late teens to work as a maid in Liverpool. There she met Henry Hudson who had come to the city from the East End of London to open up a butcher's shop. Henry was the son of a ginger beer manufacturer. He later became a trustee of St Domingo Chapel and the minister's right hand man. He served the chapel faithfully until his death in 1911. Henry and Mary married at St David's Church, Liverpool, in 1860. Henry was 24, Mary 20. After first living in Byrom Street, Liverpool, they moved to 34 Spellow Lane where Will grew up.
In 1867 the railway came to Pwllheli and John Thomas couldn't compete with it. He gave up his job as a carrier and became a butcher, almost certainly through the influence of his son-in-law Henry Cuff. John died in 1883 when Will Cuff was 15. His 72-year-old wife Jane, Will's nan, came to live with the Cuff family in Spellow Lane. Will would have been used to hearing Welsh in the household. His mother and nan would have spoken this language together and tthey would also have spoken it to one of their servants, Elizabeth Roberts, who was from Amlwch in Anglesey.
When Will's nan died of cancer at the family home in Spellow Lane 80 in 1891 at the age of 80, Will was by her side. She was buried in the Cuff family grave in Anfield Cemetery. Her body was not taken back to Pwllheli for burial with her husband, although there is an inscription on his grave as a memorial to her. The year Will's nan died was also the year he became secretary of Everton. He was 23.
The following year, 1892, Will's mother died of heart disease at 34 Spellow Lane. She was laid to rest in the Cuff family grave in Anfield Cemetery with her mother. When Will married Jessie Ford three years later, his dad, Henry, left Spellow Lane to join his daughter Elizabeth and her family in Llay near Wrexham, thus continuing the link with Wales.
Peter's Welsh-speaking friend Glynn then took up the baton for the nghts proceedings, starting off speaking in Welsh to greet the class, no giggling at the back!. His Dad brought Glyn to Goodison since the age of 10 and you only have to look at the coaches down Priory road on match days to see the fervent support we get from Wales. From the early days when Tommy Jones came from Connah?s Quay FC to play for Everton until he fell out with the coach at the time Theo Kelly the football links carried on.
By the way Bangor City played Napoli and beat hem 2-0 at Highbury the first European tie to be held at Arsenal. Bangor lost the away tie 3-1 and went out. On today?s rules they would have gone through on away goals. It was a tit bit by Glyn to show I think his love of all things Welsh. We all know of our greatest ever captain with silverware Kevin Ratcliff. When Kevin played for his school team many scouts would come but the Rats was only ever going to play for one team, the team his dad had a season ticket for. It?s a pity his mate and fellow Blue at the time Ian Rush never did the same.
Who remembers Barry Horne and that goal he scored, he kept our respect with a Welsh fire in his belly on the day of reckoning. Peter mentioned before S4C doing a piece on Cuff the TV company enlisted non other than our own Dai Davies to be the interviewer. I remember his song being sung to? those where the days my friend?. The great Roy Vernon came from Holywell and went to Everton glory via Blackburn. Andy Holden one of our coaches played for Rhyl, went to Oldham and now lives in Flint. No stalking him lads. Big Nev, truly a world class goalkeeper, played for Llandudno. Glyn remembers him sat in his goalmouth against Leeds at half time as a protest, I remember him most for that save away at Spurs in our title year from Falco. Big Nev gets bad press at times but he has raised many thousands of pounds for charities and does soccer schools. He would bring along the likes of Peter Beardsley, Dave Watson who would charge nothing to meet the kids at schools in Wales, many of which could not afford to see their hero?s at Goodison miles away.
Peter and Glynn spoke with pride and passion of our roots entwined with the Principality. Thanks very much, Diolch yn fawr iawn ! As a footnote Peter is launching a book in early March about the connections over the years between the Cities first club Everton and its off spring Liverpool. I?ll keep you informed on his latest works
After reinforcing our Welsh connection ( I?d like to add I have many great friends in North Wales especially who are passionate Blues and follow Everton home and away),next speaker was football historian Robert Galvin who was the creator at Twickenham and worked at the Football museum in Preston.
This is what Robert had to say, some of the following was a bit controversial but truthful in Roberts observations on Cuff.
Cuff: An insight from an historian
First of all, thanks to Paul for his invitation to this evening?s event. It has been a valuable insight and education into the life of one of the most influential administrators in the history of our great game.
Now for a few words about the David France Collection, a presentation of which opened this evening?s proceedings: how fitting it is that this marvelous assembly of football memorabilia should detail the history of Everton Football Club.
Historian Robert Galvin
No club is woven into the fabric of English football more than Everton. As everyone in this room knows only too well, Everton have been influential in every major development since the modern game emerged from the churches, cricket clubs and factories in the mid to late 19th century. This is a unique resource for historians and fans alike. No such detailed record exists for any other club in English football. And if only one such Collection should exist, we are fortunate that it should tell the story of this great institution.
The Collection has significance, though, way beyond the history of a particular club, though. The major issues, dating all the way back to the building of a ground and the organisation of competitive fixtures, that faced the directors of Everton were also discussed in boardrooms at every major club in the country. The Collection, put simply, is a national treasure.
Tonight, briefly, I will be discussing the influence exerted by William Cuff on the game in a wider context, through his work with the Football League and in determining club policy at Goodison Park. In this regard, it is timely that Everton should soon welcome their namesakes from Chile this weekend, given Everton?s pioneering role as touring football missionaries in the early years of the 20th century, a role adopted by the club during Cuff?s early years as secretary at Goodison Park.
First, I will address his work as President of the Football League, notably during the Second World War, a time of crisis for the game. The fact that football emerged from the conflict with its reputation enhanced is a testimony to his leadership ability. Though past retirement age, Cuff worked with great vigour and determination, despite the strain involved.
His contribution was all the more important, given football?s experience during the First World War, when football was subjected to heavy criticism from the Church and conservative commentators. The charge: that clubs, footballers and supporters, by continuing the league programme as scheduled following the outbreak of hostilities, were shirking their military duties and diverting energy and finances from the war-effort. Such behaviour, it was argued by some, was unpatriotic, a theme eagerly picked up by several newspapers and, with public opinion roused, the league programme was cancelled. Fair or not, the damage had been done. In modern parlance, it was a PR disaster.
In the immediate post-war years, whilst attendances on the terraces boomed, the result of all that negative publicity became evident when a number of prominent schools and universities turned away from the game and dropped the association code in favour of rugby. In the higher, influential circles of societies, the reputation of the game to suffer a similar experience again.
So, almost immediately after taking over as League president, Cuff oversaw the reorganisation of domestic football. Regional leagues were established, player-contracts were scrapped, to be replaced by match-fees, and a system whereby players could ?guest? for other clubs was introduced - all of which kept organised football going. The objective was to provide sporting entertainment, but at a minimum cost in terms of energy and resources. It was an enormous administrative effort and it took its toll physically on the elderly Cuff.
The hard work, though, paid off. Under the leadership of Rous and Cuff, football gained the support of the national Government, whose ministers realised football?s value during the conflict. Huge sums were raised on behalf of the war effort by taxing gate receipts. More important still, football was considered to be vital for public morale. All this was reflected in the support given by the Establishment; members of the Royal Family, the Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, and other politicians and dignitaries were regularly spectators at Wembley. Thus, football?s position as the national sport was reinforced. For this contribution alone, football owes Cuff a debt of gratitude.
Earlier tonight, we learned more about Cuff?s formative years as a worshipper at St Domingo?s Church. The religious values that underpinned the formation of Everton would shape Cuff?s decisions as secretary and then director at Goodison Park. Everton were the first club to provide a benefit for long service, and efforts were made to make tickets affordable in tough economic times. Another example came after the war, Everton took the honourable decision retain players who had helped the club during wartime, when it was not possible to pay bonuses, partly out of ?recognition of that loyal service?, as secretary Theo Kelly stated at the time. Results suffered, but Cuff stuck to his principles.
And he would duly take those values into the committee rooms of the Football League from 1925 onwards - notably, a concern for the welfare of players, opposition to gambling and inflated transfer fees, and a belief in football as a sport rather than a business. A conservative man, Cuff formed his attitudes during the amateur era. Above all, he believed in attacking football. Circumstances, though, were changing, and the values he espoused were coming increasingly under challenge.
In 1925, the year Cuff joined the Football League Management Committee, for instance, the offside law was changed, a decision that Cuff regarded as an error of judgement; indeed, a decade or so later, he campaigned for a return to the old days, when three rather than two opponents had be between the leading forward and the goal. In Cuff?s view, the revised law increased the pace of the game but lessened its appeal as a spectacle, and he bridled against the introduction of a ?stopper?, purely defensive, centre-half that resulted. There was too much caution in the game; too much emphasis on winning, Cuff argued. And once again, he stuck to his principles: it would be more than ten years before Everton finally experimented with a stopper number five. Fortunately for them, soon after taking this decision, Everton found in T.G. Jones a commanding defender whose skill on the ball meant that Everton were not forced to compromise their values too much, and another title success followed in 1938-39.
The third-back game, which involved the centre-half concentrating solely on marking the opposition centre-forward, was championed and honed by Herbert Chapman, the Arsenal manager. In a sense, Cuff and Chapman, Everton and Arsenal, were engaged in a battle of wills. The philosophies and methods of the two most famous clubs in the country could hardly have been more different.
Arsenal were pragmatic and innovative; Everton, meanwhile, were conservative and, in some ways, idealistic. At Highbury, Chapman put the avoidance of defeat first. Everton, of course, didn?t want to lose, either; but the emphasis at Goodison Park was put on attack, rather than defence, which was the case with Chapman, who always set out, first and foremost, to save the point his side was ensured if they could stop the opposition from scoring. In contrast, Cuff demanded that Everton concentrate on the quality of their performance as a spectacle. Club policy, passed down from generation to generation, Cuff declared late in his career, had always been to sign only the ?classical and stylish type? of footballer. The ?kick-and-rush? merchant was not for Everton, he said. Of course, it helps to be wealthy in such circumstances, and the club?s high profile did attract players of the highest quality ? notably, the great William Ralph Dean.
The differences in approach between the two clubs was also apparent in the dug-out. Arsenal were the first major club to hand over absolute control of playing matters to their manager; Everton were pretty much the last. (Here again we see the influence of Cuff on national policy as a leading voice within the Football League. Like Everton, England did without a manager long after it was the norm, at club level. Not until 1946 was Walter Winterbottom was appointed by the FA on a part-time basis, with most of his attention devoted to his principal role as national director of coaching.)
As with all things, there was a downside to Cuff?s conservatism, particularly in terms of man-management. There was undoubtedly something of an authoritarian, ?them and us?, culture between players and directors at Everton. The resistance to change, it can be argued, held the club back. There was no legitimate intermediary between the dressing-room and board-room. Everton lost Tommy Lawton and Joe Mercer during Cuff?s time in charge and T.G. Jones fell into dispute with the club. The departures of Lawton and Mercer, in particular, were careless and arguably avoidable, and Everton would pay a heavy price for their arrogance in allowing them to leave prematurely. Had the club employed a football man, a former player, as manager, perhaps it would have been different. Tactically, too, Everton undoubtedly fell behind the times. Perhaps it was inevitable that, eventually, the modern game would overwhelm Cuff?s conservatism. Indeed, it can be argued that such attitudes were a factor in the club sinking into mediocrity during the late 1940s and 1950s
To the end, then, Cuff railed on the national level against defensive football, the negative impact of the revised offside rule and spiraling transfer fees. Money, he argued, was damaging football as a spectacle, making it more defensive and overly competitive. But who was right: Cuff or Chapman?
A glance at the record books suggests that Chapman and Arsenal had it right: their tally of league championships and FA Cup wins established them as the undisputed power during the 1930s.
But, as Cuff would argue, there is surely more to the game than simply winning trophies. Arsenal certainly amassed more honours, but they did so at the expense - at least to some degree - of their reputation and popularity. The Gunners were hugely unpopular throughout the county. Rival fans disliked what they considered to be Chapman?s negative tactics, and derided Arsenal as ?lucky? when they won games with a goal on the break.
Everton, in contrast, by honouring the principles laid down by Cuff, enjoyed widespread praise for their attacking play. Arguably, their reputation reached its peak during the inter-war years. We need only read the words of Steve Bloomer, the great Derby County and England inside-forward, whose quote, written in 1928, has entered Goodison folklore: ?We owe a great deal to Everton. No matter where they play and no matter whether they are well or badly placed in the League table, they always manage to serve up football of the highest scientific order. Everton always worship at the shrine of craft and science and never do forget the standard of play they set out to achieve.?
It is now more than half a century since Cuff?s death. So, how do we judge him now? What is his legacy?
In terms of bricks and mortar, there is Goodison Park - the great stadium of its age and, of course, the only English club ground to stage a World Cup semi-final.
But Cuff also established values and traditions on the playing side that have filtered down through the generations. Indeed, when Everton returned to the top under Harry Catterick during the 1960s, they achieved success with a panache that lifted them alongside Spurs and Manchester United as the great attacking sides of the era. Times had changed, of course, but Everton upheld many of the traditions laid down early in their history. Theirs was a brand of football that surely Cuff would have endorsed; once again, the newspapers were referring to Everton as a ?School of Science?. Significantly, too, when Arsenal, too, enjoyed a revival in the late 1960s, it was based heavily on their defensive ability and habit of nicking one-goal wins away from home. However, it does need to be remembered that it took the arrival of John Moores, Mr Littlewoods, with his money and ruthless ambition, to make it all happen again for Everton. We can only wonder how Cuff, the implacable opponent of pools money coming into the game, would have thought about this aspect of the story.
At a time when money dominates football to an unprecedented degree and winning has never been deemed more important, it is surely worth assessing Cuff?s legacy as an administrator. Ultimately, the values that Cuff espoused helped shape English football and defined one of its most famous clubs; his way of doing e had never been lower. In his role of Everton secretary, Cuff undoubtedly saw all this at close hand. And, he, on behalf of the Football League, and working in association with Stanley Rous, the secretary of the FA, was determined that football would n things seeped into the brickwork at Goodison Park. Such traditions can be followed or ignored - that is the decision for each successive generation to make. History, though, cannot be erased. And in that sense, William Cuff is still with us today.
Robert spoke with a passion about Everton and Cuff which I found remarkable from a non Evertonian, just shows you though those that know just know what Everton are about.
Well what a night again, a great success for all that where there including our guests from South America who had the blue carpet treatment the following day at Goodison when Everton demolished Bolton. These nights come about only from hard work especially by Paul Wharton, with the only reward in that our great clubs history is developed more and an insight on our past that clubs around the county if not the world can only envy.
The time flew after the teachers had gone the classroom debated more, so much so we nearly missed the Bolton kick off.
Paul would like to thank the following who help to make these nights so special
Acknowledgements: Photos and Cuttings.
Liverpool Central Library
Dr David France
Dr John Rowlands
If I have forgotten anybody, I apologise.
Banner: Keith Wilson and me.
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1 Posted 19/02/2009 at 08:18:22
I would like to thank all the speakers and all the people who took the time to listen.
Paul Wharton Everton FC Shareholders Association.
2 Posted 19/02/2009 at 09:59:47
3 Posted 19/02/2009 at 11:20:04
4 Posted 19/02/2009 at 11:54:08
I can't wait for the Online Collection to be available in a few years. Immortalised for Eternity.
Thanks again for all your hard work & dedication.
5 Posted 19/02/2009 at 11:50:46
6 Posted 19/02/2009 at 13:59:36
7 Posted 19/02/2009 at 14:23:21
We are lucky to have people who care so much about our club and our heritage.
8 Posted 19/02/2009 at 14:33:50
A great post and more importantly great work by everyone involved.
I don?t agree with a lot of what you espouse over Kirkby etc, but I do acknowledge your feelings towards OUR club and the great work you do to keep us all informed.
Once again Ian... many thanks.
9 Posted 19/02/2009 at 17:42:37
My great great grandfather lived in Everton and had a business in Breck Road when Everton started playing at Anfield and although I have little evidence, I like to think he was one of the first Evertonians. Galvin's piece provided me with more evidence of a genetic memory passed down among Evertonians always yearning for the beautiful passing game and satisfied with nothing less.
I empathise with Simon Currie's feelings and frustration at the lack of any news on the progress of the collection, but the team are self critical of this, and we now have a comprehensive update and clear deadlines. (Although the occassional brief update of the existing website would have helped reduce our anxieties). We look forward with awe to our first view of these holy things.
This is a remarkable series, Ian, and you deserve great credit and deep thanks.
10 Posted 19/02/2009 at 19:44:11
11 Posted 19/02/2009 at 20:17:03
I too was fortunate to be there on the night, and felt honoured to be amongst great blues discussing the daddy of them all. Well done to Paul and Tony and everyone else involved, particularly the Chilean connection..... you could feel the emotion of Juan Foxley on the night when he tried to describe the importance to them of the whole occasion...... Great stuff!
12 Posted 19/02/2009 at 22:27:32
Well done both of you.
13 Posted 20/02/2009 at 01:32:10
14 Posted 20/02/2009 at 11:03:56
After a really good night, some excellent presentations and a real feel-good factor, I really feel your comments about the direction and objectives of the Trust are completely at odds with Ian’s terrific commentary and every other comment posted above. Or is that just me and your thoughts are the over-riding feeling of the majority?
The Trustees and many others offering sterling assistance are all lifelong Evertonians who are putting their heart and soul (and not to mention many unpaid hours of devotion) into bringing the publicly stated objectives of the Trust to fruition.
In a way, I am disappointed that I have reacted to your post, I guess I should have ignored it. But I just feel that it is so far wide of the mark that the record needed to be put straight.
15 Posted 21/02/2009 at 10:25:48
The Everton Collection needs to be run by Evertonians for Evertonians. It should be a passionate vocation. It should be an honour not a 9 to 5 job. Would Liverpool FC have their history managed by a Blue. Would Man United have their museum run by a City fan. I don’t think so. What have the highly paid experts done with our money? Not much if you ask me. It’s our club. It’s our heritage. In the long term the Everton Collection must be run by Evertonians for Evertonians.
16 Posted 21/02/2009 at 10:26:46
Congratulations to Ian Macdonald for capturing the spirit of these evenings for the benefit of others. He must have enough articles for a big blue book of his own by now. Great stuff from a great Evertonian.
Congratulations to Keith Wilson ? a shareholder, a member of the Everton Heritage Society and another unpaid sower of the seed who contributes so much to the royal blue cause with so little recognition. His Will Cuff banner was magnificent even though I intercepted more prototypes than is good for the soul.
It?s the likes of Ian, Paul and Keith who make the Everton family so special. They give and give with no expectation of anything in return. But I admire them because like my husband they get things done. So for that matter does Tony Heslop and John Shearon (who I?ve yet to meet). The relations that they have forged with our long-lost brothers in Chile are fantastic. I do hope that two fixtures are arranged (one in each hemisphere); however, I?m not looking forward to trecking down the Pacific Coast to watch another Everton game ? albeit Everton v Everton.
The Everton family is so rich. To that list I must add the following great and independent Blues who do what they do for the love of EFC: Harry & Lawrence at EFPF, Phil, Graham & Mark at WSAG, Mark at SFTH, George at Blueblood, Steve & Paul at Bluekipper, Ian & those we don?t speak of at NSNO and Lord G & apparently Steve at ECCT.
I must add Bill at EFC to that list because, although not independent, he is one of only two chairmen not to draw a salary from his club. The dedication of these Blues mirrors the Last Domingon?s enduring contributions. Perhaps Ian Macdonald could pen yet another tome about the measurable contributions of Everton?s undisputed greatest chairman.
In the interim, the initiative of Paul Wharton, Anne Asquith and the other shareholders should ensure that the great man?s standing will never be marginalised again. Of course, my husband?s bits and bobs provide a unique diary of Cuff??s iron grip. This is just one example of David?s own efforts. His dream is a world-class cyber home for his world-class memorabilia ? the greatest collection in the world. Imagine using your PC to flick through 10,000 pages of ledgers, handwritten by Cuff as well as Mahon, Kelly and Moores.
I?m delighted that the recent meeting succeeded in extracting a progress report about the Everton Collection. It?s too early to judge the efforts of their paid experts, who claim to be the best in the world, but with a £1,000,000 budget anything other than a world-class website would not be acceptable. These experts must know by now that there is a queue of well-qualified Blues who would do their jobs for nothing. Also I think all Blues on Merseyside are familiar with an Everton-mad web designer and his Everton-mad dad who could develop an award-winning web-site. These Record Office experts have been given (remember the priceless ledgers were donated to the Trust) the components for a top of the range Mercedes and come September we'd better not receive a clapped-out FIAT.
Obviously I have more than a passing interest in the good deeds of the Trust. It was slow out of the garage and, given that the transfer was finalised in late-December 2007, is still struggling 14 months later to reach full speed but with the support of the Everton family it should be purring along by September and honking and waving their birth certificate at the envious Reds.
Now for the record, I would like some explanation of Max Dunbar?s claim that ?none of the material was in any particular order?. I know that 30 locked crates of David?s collection had been stored at the Records Office for two years before the final transfer. They were listed, displayed and stored as unbroken sequences of ledgers, home programmes, away programmes, tickets and cigarettee cards from 1880 to 2007 in precise chronological order. The other ephemera were listed and stored by type. The letters were listed and stored in alphabetical order.
That?s how you treat your labour of love ? unlike the Everton archives salvaged from the infamous bunker which I have on very good authority were covered in dust and dirt, damaged by water and generally neglected. Someone needs to explain how David?s labour of love could be have so mistreat, if that really is the case.
Finally sincere thanks to the Everton family for their kind words related to Ian?s article entitled ?Don?t thank me - being a Blue is my reward?. You are an incredible bunch of caring people. Also I feel that the contributions of two other special men have been overlooked too often.
Take a bow - Michael and Lyndon. Now, take another! These two great Blues are like the not-for-profit BBC. They provide a unheralded and reliable vehicle (actually it?s sometimes interrupted) for the Everton family scattered across the globe to interact and also for the dissemination of the independent royal blue message. I?m sure that Will Cuff would be proud of them.
17 Posted 22/02/2009 at 20:03:42
I’m sorry but I don’t understand your post. If you can explain it then I’d be delighted to offer a full and considered response.
You appear to be insinuating that the Project is run by non-Evertonians. I think every Trustee and member of the Executive Committee will be appalled by that. Is that what they get for their efforts?
You also infer that money raised by the Trust is being misused. Is that inference what you meant? Please be aware that the Trust’s accounts are independently audited by a reputable city firm of accountants in accordance with Charity Commission guidelines to provide the necessary level of scrutiny as to how the Trust runs its affairs.
Finally you state (quite incorrectly) that not much has happened with the project and funds since the LRO arrangements were firmed up. Clearly you did not pay attention to Max Dunbar’s excellent presentation because he was very clear with what the stages of the project were and how far through we were. Max is a respected heritage professional and we are very lucky to have him guiding the Trustees and the Project. As Max said the first stage of cataloguing the Collection has been performed, the second stage of digitisation is well under way and the third for development of a specialist Heritage web-site is soon to start (six tenders have been obtained and considered in detail). This timetable is the one that The Heritage Lottery Fund were advised of at the start and have fully accepted. Again, if you had listened to Max, you would have understood this.
I have no desire at all to unpick your comments regarding the progress of the Project particularly as I am hugely respectful of the work that David, as supported by you over the years, has performed in bring together his wonderful collection.
I guess that somewhere along the line some misunderstandings have arisen. Given that we all feel that The Everton Collection should demonstrate our rich heritage, it is absolutely vital that the key components for delivering this to Evertonians, the wider football community and schools through a creative learning project, should be directed by Heritage professionals. Without bringing such professionals to the party, the Heritage focus and direction would be missing and a huge opportunity would have been missed. .
The cataloguing of the Collection has been performed to a Heritage standard in such a way that it will be available in an ordered manner through a Heritage standard web-site (Museum standard if you like). I know that Max did not wish to infer any criticism of how David had listed the items in the Collection, its just that to attain the Heritage standard, it had to be done in a particular way using a particular method (don’t ask me what that is, because like all of us, I’m not appropriately qualified, hence people like Max).
It would be misleading for Evertonians to believe that we had a £1m web-site budget. Oh how I wish we had! If someone out there has a spare £900,000 then I’d be very grateful if they could drop me a line!
As discussed at the meeting, acknowledging our publicity shortcomings of the past, the Trust is committed to updating the family with progress and I’ll be pleased to post this when the next stage (web design) has started.
Finally, Elizabeth, I wish you and David all the very best.