Several dignities from the Football Association were in attendance when the new Goodison Park ground opened with a friendly match between Everton and Bolton Wanderers, which was played on 2 September, 1892. Next day, Everton began the season in earnest with a football league match against Nottingham Forest. The new location boasted a fine grandstand which ran along Bullens Road and a bank of terraces behind each of the goals. The Northern end, situated along Gwladys Street, was the first to be covered, and it was here that the main body of Everton supporters had assembled behind the goal posts. The man charged with protecting these home timbers had moved to Merseyside from the Lowlands of Scotland. His name was David Jardine and he had joined Everton from their rivals from Bootle.
He had been born, 1866, in the Dumfriesshire village of Templand where his father worked as a Stonemason. This small hamlet had been built to accommodate the craftsmen who cut the high quality sandstone from the nearby Corncrackle Quarry that was destined to be used as a decorative coating for many public building on both sides of the Atlantic. The 1881 census reveals that Davie, now 15, is still living, with his widowed Mother, in Templand and is now working as a Taylor’s apprentice.
It is around this time that he began to lend his nimble fingers to the art of goalkeeping and began his football career with Mid-Annandale FC whose home ground was situated in the nearby town of Lockerbie. He had not been playing here long before his talents arrested the attention of a local agent who was scouting the area on behalf of the Newcastle West End football club who were, at that time, playing their football in within the Northumberland Association.
The North East of England had yet to make an impression on game nationally and the Newcastle club executive, which contained several wealthy businessmen, was determined to put matters right by importing some promising young players from Scotland. Dave Jardine was one such player who accepted the offer to move over the border and play his football with Newcastle. The club executive, who was anxious to test the strength of their team, decided to send them down to Merseyside in order to play a fixture against a Bootle side who had just failed to gain entry to the new Football League.
A local journalist, who accompanied the party, wired home his first article with some decree of optimism that seemed to pay no heed to bizarre travel arrangements that the Newcastle players were about to endure…
When it became known that the leading Newcastle team had arranged a match with the well-known professionals of Bootle; opinions were rife as to what stand the north country club make against them. West End had been playing a most consistent game all season, and could point to some splendid results, which went far to indicate that, if they could not defeat, a least manage a draw with the Liverpool Club. They left Central Station by the 1:47 train and arrived in Liverpool at 9:15 (Newcastle Journal, 13 January 1889.)
The visitors arrived at Liverpool Central Railway Station on a cold winter morning having travelled through the night. There is no mention of them putting up at a hotel. They would have then wended their way across the city to Exchange Station and caught a train to out to Kirkdale. They arrived, it was reported, at the Hawthorne Road ground in good time for the kick-off that was scheduled for 14:30 and a crowd of around 1,200 people were present when the sides took to the field.
David Jardine, as he took up position between the posts, had no idea of the shock that was in store for him as the home players, through-out the next ninety minutes, laid siege to his goal. Bootle, when the final whistle sounded, had won the game by twelve goals to one. Nevertheless, the goalkeeping the talents of Jardine had not gone unnoticed by the Bootle directors who decided he would make a good addition to their playing staff. The visiting journalist however, having watched him and his team mates humiliated, was severely critical of the ordeal they had been forced to suffer...
Never before has Newcastle football received such a check as it did at Bootle. It would be sheerest nonsense to try and blame the players for the miserable exposition of Saturday. The committee of the West End club has laid themselves open to the severest censure in acting as they have done to expect that men can play football after eight hours journey by rail, under circumstances that preclude sleep is to expect the impossible. The result is only what might have been expected and should be a lesson in the future to the club committee. (Newcastle Journal 14- January 1889.)
Whether or not the Bootle directors made Jardine an offer that day is not abundantly clear because none of the club record books have survived. But what is for certain is that eight weeks later he was keeping goal for the them as they lined up to face Everton at Anfield. Bootle was captained by Rob Jamieson who had previously played one Football League game for Everton. The visitors took the lead after two minutes but the home side, with a goal from Parry, had drawn level when the half time was whistle sounded. Everton then subjected the Bootle goal to a second half bombardment but could find no way past David Jardine who was having an excellent game. His antics caused one visiting journalist to tell his readers that…
The young Scotsman between the sticks punched, kicked and caught with great agility. He threw himself down upon the ball in a manner which even the heartbroken Evertonians could not forbear to cheer. (Football Field)
Bootle then went on the win the game with last minute goal that was scored by Rob Jamieson. It had been a surprise defeat for the Football League side that immediately started to strengthen their squad by bringing several new players from Scotland. Dave Jardine, in the meanwhile, was proving to a good signing for Bootle where he soon commanded the position of first X1 goalkeeper.
Dave Jardine, centre back row, with the 1889 Bootle team
The North Merseyside club, next season, became founder members of the new Football Alliance along with such teams as Sheffield Wednesday and Newton Heath of Manchester. It was to be the first time that the Manchester and Liverpool areas were to meet in competitive league fixtures. Bootle won their home game, 4-1, so the Manchester side were anxious to get their revenge when the two sides met in the return fixture in December.
The match took place on the home of the Newton Heath club at North Road where Jardine, who took his place in goal, was beaten twice in the first nine minutes. The game then disintegrated in to “rough house” as the referee appeared to lose control. Foul followed foul until, following a third disputed goal for the home side, Rob Jamieson called his players to-gather and led them out of ground pursued by the referee and a large crowd of spectators who surrounded them and criticised their actions. Eventually, following the intervention of the club secretary, Jamieson was persuaded to take his men back in to the enclosure and the game was brought to its conclusion. (Newton Heath won 3-0.)
What Dave Jardine thought of his visit to Manchester is anybody's guess but he was none the worse for his ordeal as Bootle finished second in the table behind Sheffield Wednesday. They had also this season become the first team from Merseyside to reach the last eight of FA Cup competition but were beaten by a talented Blackburn Rovers side that went on to lift the trophy with ease.
The 1891 census now tells us that David Jardine is lodging at a house in Bedford Road, Bootle where he lists his occupation as that of a professional footballer. He appears for Bootle, in a game played on Whit Monday, which was designed to enable Everton to unveil their new goalkeeper John Angus who had just joined them from Sunderland Albion.
The Bootle club however, were now in deep financial trouble and Everton came to their aid by opening the new season with home game against their struggling neighbours and allowed them to pocket all the gate money which amounted to £125. This eased their financial worries for a while but in November they were forced to sell David Jardine to Everton. The transfer fee was £75 while the player received a personal payment of £20.
The current Everton goalkeeper, John Angus, had recently suffered a period of ill health so Jardine was signed, quite possibly, to allow him a short period to recover. They had topped the league since the season began but a recent run of poor results had now seen them drop to second place behind Preston North End.
David Jardine made his Everton debut, 29 November 1891, and helped them to reverse this trend with a 3-1 victory over Blackburn Rovers. Next Saturday, at Wolverhampton, he was involved in his second bout of “crowd trouble”.
The Everton players had surprised their band of followers by taking to the field wearing Blue and Gold striped jerseys. They began the game in some style and took the lead, after ten minutes, with brilliant individual goal from Fred Geary. The same player then became embroiled in running battle with the home captain Allan that continued throughout the game. The Wanderers had made every effort to save the match but some good goalkeeping by Jardine, well aided by his captain Andrew Hannah, made sure that the single goal was enough to give Everton two hard earned points. The home fans however, displaying a mixture of disappointment and angry, attacked the visiting players as they left the field and, it was reported, they were punched and stoned before beginning rescued by the members of the local constabulary. The details of this incident was quickly wired up to Liverpool where…The Sporting Express, the only paper in Lancashire that contained the news, was quickly purchased by the local football fans as it was circulated around the city centre taverns. These same fans, after airing their indignation, then descended on Lime Street Railway Station and had congregated on the platform when the train arrived from Wolverhampton. However, they cheered loudly when they were informed that none of the Everton players had been badly hurt and then quickly dispersed to celebrate.
David Jardine then went on to keep goal for Everton for the rest of a season that saw them win the Football League championship despite losing the final game of the season at Burnley. There is no mention, in the local press, of David Jardine being present at the end-of season celebratory dinner but John Angus was there to receive his medal before returning to spend the summer with his parents at Denny in Stirlingshire. While he was there he contacted Typhoid Fever and died at the age of just 25. The news shocked the Everton executive who quickly signed a promising young local goal keeper, whose name was Richard Williams, from Bromborough Pool. Next season he shared the goal keeping duties with David Jardine as Everton finished fifth behind league champions, Sunderland. Next Season both players chose to remind loyal to the club as they left Anfield for their new home at Goodison Park.
Dave Jardine, centre back row, with the 1889 Bootle team
David Jardine, as previously stated, then takes part in the opening match at Goodison Park where he concedes the first goal that was scored by Horace Pike. Fred Geary, with a quick reply, than became the first Everton player to score on their new home as the game ended in a 2-2 draw. Richard Williams now slowly took over the Everton goalkeeping duties from Jardine who had made 37 football League appearances when he left the club in April 1894.
He first signed for non-league side Nelson and helped them to win the Lancashire League before moving on the keep goal for Wrexham. The Welsh club were, at this time, members of the combination, and he helped them reach the 1897 Welsh FA Cup final. The game, against Newtown, took place on the cricket field at Oswestry and Wrexham won by 2 goals to 0. Jardine then appeared in the next two Welsh cup finals but Wrexham were unsuccessful on both occasions. He then retired from the game and returned to his native Scotland.
The 1901 census tell that he has returned to his trade as a taylor and is living, with his English born wife and two sons, at the School House, Crawford in South Lanarkshire. David Jardine, the first man to keep goal for Everton, at Goodison Park, died, 28 March1948, at Glencairn, Causewayend, Culter in South Lanarkshire. He was 82 years old.