Sports Institutions in Liverpool - Liverpool City Region
The city of Liverpool is a sporting utopia, producing world superstars in various fields,
from world champion boxers to international footballers,
the city continues to punch way above its weight.
Without a doubt, the most adourned sport in Liverpool is football.
Hardly suprising then,
that two of the biggest clubs in world football have their roots firmly imbedded
in the city.
Both Everton and Liverpool football clubs have a remarkable history that started way back in 1878, when a local cricket team got together to form a football team called St.Domingo FC. The team played on an open pitch in the southeast corner of Stanley Park and proved very popular with local football enthusiasts. So much so, that within a year, they decided to change the name to Everton Football Club, after the surrounding area. Under the new name, the club grew from strength to strength. In 1882, they had enclosed facilities at Priory Road on Stanley Park, complete with hoarding and turnstiles. By 1884, Everton were attracting huge crowds and were in need of new facilities to accommodate the large number of fans. John Houlding, a local self-made businessman that had become involved with the club, secured a new pitch off Anfield Road. Stands were quickly erected and within a year the club were playing host to over 8,000 fans. By now, Everton had become the first professional football club in Liverpool. In 1885, John Houlding finally purchased all of the land at Anfield Road and started to charge the club rent.
In 1888, Everton became one of only twelve founding members of the world's first Football League. As a result of the club's rise in prominence, Houlding began to increase his rent on the Anfield ground.
In 1891, after the third season of the football league, Everton became champions of England, only the second team to do so, following Preston North End's two consecutive titles. This prompted Houlding to again raise the rent on the Anfield ground, which proved to be the final straw for the Everton FC Committee.
Following an ultimatum layed down by Houlding, the Everton FC Committee, led by Everton's first chairman George Mahon, sought new land off Goodison Road called Mere Green.
In an attempt seize the Everton name, Houlding registered a new company called Everton Football Club and Athletic Grounds Ltd, hoping to take over Everton's league position, fixtures and colours.
Remarkably, at this time, the city of Liverpool was home to two Everton football clubs. Houlding tried to register his new club called Everton Athletic FC with the Football Association, only to be told by the football council that he couldn't use the name, pointing out that there was already an existing member in the league with the same name. This provoked Houlding to change the name of his new company to the Liverpool Football Club and Athletic Grounds Ltd.
Following Houlding's attempted hijacking of the club, the 500 strong Everton FC Committee voted 97% in favour to purchase the new land off Goodison Road and promptly moved across Stanley Park. Houlding's new club was without players, so he put his close friend John McKenna to use, given his astute knowledge of the players in the game, particularly in Scotland. McKenna put together a squad of 13 players, nine of which were from scotland and three were tempted away from Everton FC at the promise of higher wages.
In 1892, after being refused entry into the Football League, the new Liverpool FC, playing in an identical blue and white strip that Everton FC had worn only two years prior, entered the Lancashire League, which they duly won on their first attempt.
Ironically, Everton FC's kit at this time consisted of an all red jersey, navy shorts and navy socks. It wasn't until 1895 that they reverted back to their original blue and white colours. Whilst, Liverpool FC's red and white colours on their kit didn't come about until 1896.
After Liverpool FC's successful first season in the Lancashire League, they finally joined the second tier of Football League in the 1893-94 season. They were victorious once more, however their first season in the top flight proved to be a bridge too far, whilst Everton FC finished runners up, Liverpool FC finished bottom and were subsequently relegated back to the Second Division. Unperterbed by this, they immediately won the Second Division again in 1896 and returned to the top tier once again.
These early years for both Everton and Liverpool football clubs marked the dawn of a new era of sport for the city, one that has continued to prove fruitful for the next 120 or so years. Together, both clubs have managed to accumulate a wealth of trophies unmatched by any English city.
The city of Liverpool proudly wears the badge of England's most successful footballing city, despite there only being two professional teams, it's impressive haul of 27 league titles far surpasses that of London's 18, with no less than 14 proffessional or ex-proffessional clubs to their name.
The only city that comes close to Liverpool is Manchester, they too have two professional teams and have managed to secure 24 league titles. Of course it could be rather cheekily argued that one of those teams is actually in the city of Salford, lol. Nevertheless, combined, the North West region more than doubles anywhere else for success.
When it comes to individual footballers, the city of Liverpool is where it's at, for sure. Over the years, the city has produced countless professional footballers, many of whom have played at the very highest level, for England at the biggest stage of all. Together with the wider city region, the numbers are through the roof.
Indeed, the city's success on the football pitch isn't all we have to shout about. In the boxing ring and other arenas, Liverpool has been head and shoulders above other major metropolises.
Boxing Gyms like the Everton Red Triangle Boxing Club continue to produce some of the best British boxing talent around. A series of greats have emanated from the club, such as World Lightweight Champion Colin Dunne, three time British Featherweight Champion Nel Tarleton along with a long list of national and international champion boxers. Boxing is probably the second most popular sport in the city and the success in the ring is testament to that support.
Other sporting clubs have made their mark in Liverpool and the national stage. Clubs like the Mersey Tigers Basketball Team, who were British Basketball League Champions and British Basketball League Cup Winners, until they unfortunately recently fell into financial trouble. One interesting fact is that, the first Liverpool Football Club in the city were actually a rugby team. They were established in 1857, some 35 years before the current Anfield Premier League team. They merged with St Helens RUFC in 1986 and became 'Liverpool St Helens Football Club', they are the 'Oldest Open Rugby Club in the World'.
In 1871, the original Liverpool Football Club provided four England players in the world's first ever rugby international match.
There's no doubt that Liverpool is a hotbed for sporting talent, whatever the field, arena or track, this city will be there, fighting for first place.
Everton Football Club are one of the biggest clubs in world football, no other club has been in the top tier of English football longer than the mighty blues. They have been champions of England nine times and are founder members of the world's first Football League.
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Liverpool Football Club were formed in 1892 and are one of the biggest clubs in world football. They are the most successful English team in the European competitions and have been champions of England eighteen times throughout their illustrious history.
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South Liverpool FC
South Liverpool FC were formed in 1935 and started off with a bang, winning three consecutive Lancashire Combination Leagues. They currently play their home games at Jericho Lane in Aigburth with their first team competing in the West Cheshire League.
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Waterloo Dock AFC
Waterloo Dock AFC were founded in 1963 and have had a very successful history in the local Liverpool leagues. The club is currently in the Liverpool County Premier League and plays its home matches at Edinburgh Park in Clubmoor.
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Liverpool Cricket Club
Aigburth Cricket Ground is a premier sports venue, with a range of sporting activities hosted on the site, from Hockey to Lacrosse. The cricket club is the oldest amateur sporting establishment in the city region, having been founded way back in 1807.
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