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Dr DAVID FRANCE
Everton Collector : 1953-date
Founder, Everton Hall of Fame : 1997
Founder, Blueblood : 1997
Everton Author: 1990-date


David France is the enthusiastic founder of both The Everton Former-Players Foundation and Gwladys Street's Hall of Fame.  And like most Evertonians, he was born a Blue.

This brief synopsis records how he started collecting Everton Memorabilia, a passion which led to a number of unique Everton ventures.  Gwladys Street's Hall of Fame was a way of creating a permanent commemoration to the key players and other figures in Everton's unequalled history who have each done their part to build the Club's great traditions. 

Blueblood, later renamed as the Everton Former Players Foundation, provided a unique opportunity to help the stars of yesteryear who played under the infamous salary cap and could put little aside for their retirement.

In July 2005, Everton launched the Everton Collection Charitable Trust, designed to secure the long-term future of the David France Collection.

He Does Know Our History

Raised in Widnes, his first royal blue experience was listening to the radio for the outcome of the fifth round FA Cup tie against Manchester United.  On February 14, 1953, at the exact moment when Dave Hickson scored and cheers resonated through the local community, Davids obsession with the Blues started.  Later that evening, a neighbour presented him with the matchday programme which became his most prized possession.  Unfortunately when he was stricken with Scarlet Fever soon afterwards.  While David was quarantined in an isolation hospital, most items in the France household were taken away to be incinerated, including his one and only Everton programme.

After visiting Goodison for the first time on September 4, 1957, he treasured the programme from that fixture against the Busby Babes and stored his fledgling collection in the safest place he could find an old shoe box.  He was allowed to go to games on his own as early as age 11, provided he showed his mother the matchday programme as proof that he had been to Goodison.  So, like it or not, David had to buy a programme and his collection expanded in direct relation to his passion for Everton.

Educated in the United Kingdom, Germany and the USA, Dr France emigrated across the Atlantic in 1977 and, while jetting back to catch as many games as possible, had forgotten about these keepsakes until his mother warned him of her plans to empty her attic of junk.  Understanding his royal blue devotion, she airmailed the motley shoe box to Texas and the mere sight of its contents kicked off Davids strategic mission to save Evertons history.  And after determining that there were no archives at the club, he embarked on amassing every post-war home programme.  That goal achieved, he turned his sights towards every post-war away issue and so on. 

In doing so, David established a network of dealers and enthusiasts to track down all types of post-war and pre-war artefacts and dedicated one evening per month trawling through catalogues and dispatching orders.  In no time at all, David had acquired thousands of programmes, medals, caps, season-tickets, photographs, cigarette cards, books, letters, etc. as well as numerous priceless items dating back to the clubs pioneering days in Stanley Park.  As football memorabilia became more popular, David travelled from Texas to auctions across the UK to secure elusive nineteenth-century treasures and, as a result, spent no small fortune in accumulating 10,000 different items.

Dr France took 25 years to compile what is widely respected as the worlds finest collection of football memorabilia before retiring to the Pacific North West.  Befitting a former-oil industry executive and former-management consultant specialising in mergers and acquisitions, it was a disciplined process involving strategic planning and significant patience.  And befitting a passionate Evertonian, it was also a genuine labour of love.

David France British by birth, American by choice and Evertonian by pedigree has travelled over 2 million miles and written a dozen Everton books to answer the Blues call for Do you know your history?

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