Kissing The Badge, Part 1 – The Name Everton

One of ToffeeWeb's esteemed Everton historians looks at the origins of the name that our club adopted from the district in 1879 and still proudly bears to this day

Pete Jones 05/11/2018 61comments  |  Jump to last

Symbols are important. They convey meanings far greater than just the shape or image, and when a symbol is itself made up of other symbols the complexity is multiplied. Symbols work on different levels and their impact is often about feeling rather than thought. Cynics laugh at players kissing the badge when they score, but they miss the point; the badge is the club in that moment.

When such symbols are altered the impact can be very negative. Everton found this out to their considerable cost when they altered the club crest at the end of the 2012-13 season. A rapid redesign resulted in the badge we have today; wisely it incorporated all of the elements which had been included in previous versions. It bears a close resemblance to the original design, but this is not quite as traditional as you might think. I was surprised to find that the crest we know today was created at the time of 60th anniversary of the founding of the club in 1938/39, although I was dimly aware that it hadn’t appeared on the shirt until 1978, for the 100th anniversary.

The design of the badge is attributed to Theo Kelly, Everton’s first manager in the modern sense, and first appeared on a club tie. He chose the symbols, but one element was already chosen, and that was the name.

The current and original badge designs (Everton FC)

Article continues below video content

The Name Everton

In November 1879 a group of young men met in the Queen’s Head on Village St in Everton. They were members of a football team formed the previous year from the congregation of St Domingo Methodist Chapel on Netherfield Road Breckfield Road, the motive behind the creation of the team appears to have been to keep the chapel cricketers out of mischief during the winter months. Running the meeting was John Clarke, not the pub’s landlord as most histories maintain, but his son, John W Clarke. John was a schoolmaster and if he took the meeting notes he would have recorded that the meeting decided to change the team name to ‘Everton’.

It was a name whose earliest surviving written record was 785 years before, in a 1094 royal financial return called a pipe roll. The spelling was ‘Evretona’ and it was written on sheepskin parchment which was then tightly rolled so that it resembled a pipe. It had been mentioned by implication eight years earlier in the Domesday book entry for what is now West Derby as one of that manor’s outlying estates. The Domesday book was a unique land ownership survey carried out in 1086 on the orders of William the Conqueror so he could see what he had conquered twenty years before . The book details who owned the land, and also records who had held it in 1066 under the last but one Anglo-Saxon king Edward the Confessor.

The area from the Mersey to the Ribble including Everton, together with all the people, were the property of a Norman Frenchman, Roger de Poitou; third son of Roger de Montgomery, Earl of Shrewsbury and Arundel, one of William the Conqueror’s inner circle . The family were granted huge land holdings as a reward for their support to go with their lands in Normandy, and Roger de Poitou probably built the motte and bailey castle at West Derby to help secure his vast territories in the North West.

The Domesday entry for West Derby as Derbei naming Roger (

The name Evretona that the scribe wrote on the pipe roll parchment in 1094 was probably old when he heard it and its origins probably went back hundreds of years into the Dark Ages, a term which reflects how little written evidence is available. Traditionally historians have used place names like Everton to theorise about Dark Age history, sometimes with contradictory results.

What’s In A Name?

A lot is the answer. We are fortunate in having the Domesday Book snapshot of late Anglo-Saxon England and its place names; as a consequence toponomy, the study of those place names has been done in great detail. Even road and field names have been analysed to find their original roots, and linguistic changes mapped back to the way the names might have been pronounced. But rigorous and thorough though this work usually is it still leaves much that is open to interpretation.

The principles of place name analysis are relatively simple; most names can be split into the bit at the front and the bit at the end, and the bit at the end tells you what kind of place it was and what language the people who chose the name spoke. The Anglo-Saxons left names ending in ton, ham and ing. Ton and ham mean settlement, and most probably started out as just a farmstead. Ing when it appears probably comes from ingas; which meant people of, tribe, or clan. Other Anglo-Saxon place name endings tell us something about the original environment. Names ending with hurst mean wooded hill, which has the same origin as the German word horst. Names ending in ley are likely to have started out as woodland clearings, although it later came to mean meadow. Endings with Mere suggest a lake or a marsh, while pool is a tidal pool or harbour, and ford describes the importance of river crossings when few bridges existed.

But there are a whole set of name endings which are of Scandinavian origin, especially ending with by; this is the Norse equivalent of the Anglo Saxon ton and ham. Just as with Anglo-Saxon other endings describe the landscape of the place; meols for example means sandhills, although it stated out as melr. Howe and gate are also of Norse origin, meaning hill and road respectively, and carr is the Norse equivalent of the Anglo-Saxon mere, being a marsh or wetland

The first part of most place names qualifies the second part, and derives from the people who originally lived there, or some characteristic that differentiated it from other settlements. The Anglo-Saxon ing names are often thought to derive from the personal name of the tribal chieftain. For example Warrington was thought to be the village of Waera’s people. It was suggested that these ing names were traces of early settlers, arriving as separate tribes before the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms developed and the people dropped the tribal ing element. A theory of the spread of the Anglo-Saxons was developed on the basis of this, but closer inspection of individual names didn’t always support it. It is now thought that Warrington is most likely to mean the settlement of the people who live by the weir.

Interspersed with the Saxon and Norse names are occasional survivals from the Celtic Britons and even the Romans. Names ending in chester or caster like Chester, Manchester, Ribchester or Lancaster are survivals of the Latin castra meaning fort. However the Latin comes via the Anglo-Saxon borrowing of the word; the Romans called Chester Deva Victrix and Manchester Mamcumium. Some names ending in wich are Saxon versions of the Latin vicus, meaning settlement, as in Norwich or Ipswich. Other examples of a name transferring from one language to another are the various rivers called Avon; this is from the old Welsh afon and river Avon is actually river river, although the word river is a later French borrowing. The Anglo-Saxons used the word ea, which comes to us as Mersey, which probably means boundary river, as it separated the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of Mercia and Northumbria. The most extreme example of this may be a piece of high ground in the Lake District called Torpenhow hill; this translates as hill, hill, hill, hill, being a combination of the Celtic, Anglo-Saxon, Norse and modern words, however serious toponomists are unconvinced.

Eofor Tun

Everton looks like a Saxon tun name, suggesting it was originally a farmstead on what is now Everton Brow. The Ever prefix is thought to come from eofor, which is what the Anglo-Saxons called a wild boar. The wild boar (sus scrofa to give it its proper Latin name) is the ancestor of the domestic pig, but the two groups diverged thousands of years ago. The Anglo-Saxon name for the domestic pig was swin, the origin of the word swine, so if the farmstead on the brow had been notable for pigs the name would probably have come down to us as Swinton.

Wild Boar (Valentin Panzirch/Wikipedia)

A Wild Boar in an Austrian Nature Reserve (Valentin Panzirch – Wikipedia Wild Boar article)

The presence of wild boar suggests that the area was wooded but beyond that we can infer little more. However the wild boar was more than just a forest animal in the vicinity of the early Everton. It had symbolic significance for many of Dark Age cultures, and even further back, deep into prehistory. It is represented in Stone Age cave paintings and the Celtic tribes of Britain in particular revered the wild boar, with the animal appearing often on their characteristic war trumpet, the carnyx.

A reconstruction of a stylised boar on a Celtic Carnyx (Elliot Sadourny – Wikipedia Carnyx article)

The boar was also a symbol for at least three Roman legions, including the 20th Valeria Victrix, which was part of the Emperor Claudius’ invasion force that landed in Celtic Britain in 43 AD. It was based at Chester for over two centuries and gave the Victrix part of its name to the Roman name for the city. The Anglo-Saxons also revered the animal, it is thought because it is shy and peaceable until cornered, when it becomes ferocious and apparently impervious to fear or pain. There are many surviving artefacts from the era with stylised boars on them, including the famous Sutton Hoo helmet, found in Suffolk (the territory of the south folk) in East Anglia (the land of the east Angli). The face guard is in the form of an eagle whose wings turn into the heads of wild boar.

There are three other villages in England called Everton, in Bedfordshire, Nottinghamshire and Hampshire. The first two are thought to have the same wild boar name origin as Everton on Merseyside, however the Nottinghamshire village claims Norse foundation interestingly. By contrast the Hampshire Everton is an example of how the same name can have a completely different origin; it is thought to have started out as something like Yeovilton and gradually changed to Everton. Even the accepted origin of ‘our’ Everton has not gone unchallenged. In 1201, 105 years after the first record of Everton as Evretona it makes a second appearance in an official document early in the reign of King John. The word can be read as either Everton or Eureton as the letter ‘v’ is often interchangeable with ‘u’ in written documents. This has been interpreted in one 19th century history as something like ‘Higher settlement’, this version dismisses the wild boar interpretation as romanticised. The Saxon for higher is ‘hierra’ and the Anglian version is ‘hera’ so Hierratun or Heratun is plausible at a stretch, but the great Swedish writer on English place names, Eliert Ekwall went for Eofortun and this is accepted by most historians.

A Roman era roof tile found by the River Dee between Holt and Farndon south of Chester bearing the wild boar symbol of the 20th Legion, now in the British Museum (agtigress – Wikipedia)

Meet the Neighbours

In the Dark Ages the landscape visible from what is now Everton Brow would be dominated by wood and water. The river Mersey would be much wider than it is today and to the east it is likely that thick forest covered much of the area. The streams and rivers that drained the higher ground that stretches from Walton to Woolton are now invisible and flow in the city’s drainage system. Back then even small streams would have created a barrier to movement especially in the winter. Across the river what is now the Birkenhead Docks would have been an inlet, Wallasey and New Brighton would be an island and much of the end of the Wirral beyond would be marshland behind a line of dunes. Similarly the area to the north of the ridge would be an even larger area of marshland stretching from what is now Aintree all the way up towards Preston; the Martin Mere Wetland Reserve is a survival of a huge lake in the north of the area which is believed to have been the largest area of fresh water in Britain. Smaller depressions in the landscape are likely to have been boggy, often with the name mere associated, as in Mere Green, the original name for the area around Goodison Park. The forested areas are likely to have been dense and impenetrable unlike today’s managed woodlands, and would have created another barrier to movement. And apart from the wild boar the woods would harbour wolves and possibly even bear. The European bear died out in England around 1000AD and wolves would continue to roam in remote areas until second half of the 17th century.

That there may be more than one interpretation of a name applies to these other settlements in the area. The name Walton, two miles north of Everton could derive from Wald tun, which means forest settlement or farmstead, which would fit in with the presence of wild boar, but is thought to be Wealas tun. Wealas is the origin of the words Wales and Welsh, and is an Anglo-Saxon word that meant foreigner or stranger. Walton is a common place name and most follow this interpretation. Two other strands of evidence seem to back this up. First there is the shape of Walton churchyard; old British settlements often had circular enclosures which may have had religious significance. The early Celtic church often built on these enclosures to create continuity of worship even though the deities had changed. Walton church stands in a circular churchyard which today makes County Road deviate around it. The second strand of evidence is just across the river. Wallasey is taken to be another Anglo-Saxon name with wealas forming part of it. This time it is island of the foreigners, Wealas eg; for Wallasey was surrounded by the water that now forms the float docks, and marshland between there and the sea to the north. There is believed to be a survival from the old Welsh in the name Liscard- Llys carreg - which means the hall at the rock. It is similar to the old Cornish name Liskeard; but you won’t be surprised that there is an alternative theory about this too.

However nine miles from Wealas eg and Wealas tun is an example of how pronunciation is such a minefield in place name studies. Willaston in south Wirral would seem to be another Wealas tun. But it’s not; it could come from the same Anglo-Saxon root as the word Wirral, which comes from the Saxon wir which describes the bog myrtle plant which grew in abundance on much of the peninsula. It still does in the coastal nature reserves around Formby. But this wouldn’t be toponomy if there wasn’t an alternative: it could derive from Wiglaf’s farm; but either way the pronunciation has changed over the centuries, like stones on the seashore, place names have their edges rounded off over time.

Looking from Everton Brow close to the village towards the island of the foreigners (author’s collection)

To the immediate north of Everton is Kirkdale, originally Kirkjrdalr. Dale meant valley in both the Anglo-Saxon and Norse languages, but the use of kirk rather than church suggests that this is Norse for church valley. Similarly two and a half miles east of Everton is West Derby, another Norse name,with the by ending. The west prefix was added much later, and the origin of the Der prefix is probably the Norse dyr, which originally meant wild animal. The Anglo-Saxon word is similar, being deor, and the words would come in time to mean deer as we know it today. By the time the place was recorded in the Domesday book in 1086 (as Derbei) it was the centre for a Saxon administrative area called a hundred, which covered 43 villages and stretched from close to Preston down to Warrington and as far east as the edge of modern Greater Manchester. It may have inherited this status from a similar Norse administrative area called a wapentake. It is recorded in Domesday as being a royal hunting estate in 1066 and had a large area of forest, which probably stretched to Everton. Derbei would become the manor associated with the Earldom of Derby after the conquest, and not the county town of Derbyshire as many assume.

To the south of Everton, past the muddy pool (lifer pol) where the stream that drained the ridge flowed into the river is Toxteth, which derives from either Toki’s staith or possibly just Toki’s place This is a Norse name and the word staith means a landing jetty; it’s still used in the North East in connection with loading coal. Beyond that along the ridge is Allerton, which started as Alortūn, the farmstead with the alder trees and Woolton, Wulfa’s settlement , on the highest point of the ridge. Both are Anglo-Saxon in origin, although Garston down by the river is not a tun name but comes from the Anglo-Saxon for great stone. It may have been one of a series of names on Merseyside which started out as landmarks, maybe marking boundaries between territories. To the north Aintree, lone or lonely tree in Anglo-Saxon may be of a similar origin, although inevitably it has been claimed to be Norse.

Across the river from Everton the landscape may have looked the same and there is a similar distribution of place names, but with a higher density. Oxton and Prenton are Anglo-Saxon while Tranmere is Norse, translating as crane or heron bank. Oxton is usually given as ox farmstead, but it has also been suggested that it is ridge farmstead, yet another alternative meaning. Just visible further down the river is Brunanburh, a fort named for a Saxon called Bruna, now called Bromborough, although it may be dark fort, with the brun bit meaning dark, or brown. Anglo-Saxon names predominate in the south of the peninsula, while Norse ‘by’ names dominate the north end. Raby is thought to be border village, which has a twin across the Mersey in Roby next to Huyton, and the villages of Irby and Frankby are thought to be settlement of the Irish and settlement of the Franks, the original tribe that founded what we now know as France.

This could all be evidence for the idea of the Norse refugees from Dublin settling on Wirral. In the 8th and 9th centuries the Norse established an empire all around Scotland and the Irish Sea coasts based on islands and coastal strongholds. Orkney, Shetland, the Western Isles of Scotland and the Isle of Man were Norse strongholds and Irish towns like Limerick, Cork, Waterford, Wexford and especially Dublin (which translates as Blackpool incidentally) became trading ports. The end of the Wirral and the coast of Merseyside would have been part of this, with trading links to Europe and the Middle East; Dublin in particular was a hub for Norse slave trading. When the Norse were temporarily driven from Dublin at the beginning of the 10th century some of the refugees crossed the Irish Sea, bringing Celtic Irish speakers and even Frankish traders with them if the names are to be believed. The alternative explanation for Wallasey is also part of this, with the foreigners being the Celtic Irish rather than Celtic Britons. Uniquely in England it is just possible to see the origins of a kind of democracy in the name Thingwall, from the Old Norse þing vollr which translates as meeting field. The Isle of Man parliament, the Tynwald is from the same root.

There appears to be a similar process going on across the river with the coastal settlements of Crosby, Formby and Birkdale and a mix of Norse and Anglo-Saxon places along what is now the valley of the little river Alt. Like the Wirral there was a meeting field, Thingwall in Knotty Ash close to the main settlement at West Derby. Kirkby and Croxteth are also Norse, with the latter suggesting that it was a landing place, like Toxteth. Huyton also means landing place but in Anglo-Saxon, and Roby, like its Wirral namesake is a Norse border settlement. Fazakerley is Saxon and suggests a border too, being derived from the hem or border of a garment. This suggests that travel by water was possible far into what is now dry land and would suggest that, like Wirral, Anglo-Saxons, Britons and the Norse lived close to each other.

This seems to conflict with the traditional view of the Dark Ages which was for successive waves of invaders to kill or displace the existing settlers; what seems to be happening is more complex. Unfortunately place names alone cannot fully explain what that process was, for while they create a geographical pattern they cannot create a timeline. For that evidence has to come from other sources, most notably archaeology, although recently a whole new area of study has opened up which involves the inside of your cheek. We need to dig deeper into this to try to find the origins of the wild boar village (dig into the archaeology that is, not your cheek). It involves going back possibly 500 years from 1094, But that’s a story for another day. For the next instalment on the symbolism of Everton’s badge we must jump forward 550 years, to a few weeks when the village of Everton was briefly at the centre of British history.


As I was starting to research the wild boar angle and the importance of the animal as a symbol, I was following the gripping story of the rescue of the football team trapped in the flooded cave system in Thailand. Coincidentally the team name is the Wild Boars; it’s an indication that the animal still has symbolic significance in the 21st century just as it did over a thousand years ago. So maybe it’s fitting that I’m finishing it on the day the Wild Boars watched the team named after the wild boar village at Old Trafford.

Dedication and Acknowledgments

This article is dedicated to Dr David France, Everton’s No. 1 fan; his devotion is so well known that he is often referred to as Dr Everton. His encouragement and guidance when I began to write about Everton’s history was so important to me.

Thanks go to Ken Rogers, former head of sport at the Liverpool Echo and historian of both Everton the district and Everton the club, whose wisdom and dedication to the facts have corrected some oft repeated errors. Thanks also to Billy Smith, the doyen of Everton FC researchers for encyclopaedic knowledge of the club and its origins. Mike Royden has also been of huge help with his wide ranging knowledge of pretty well everything to do with the history of Merseyside.

Pete Jones
Copyright 2018

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Reader Comments (61)

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Dave Horne
1 Posted 05/11/2018 at 09:10:56
Excellent article, Pete, I really enjoyed it!
Jay Wood

2 Posted 05/11/2018 at 09:59:22
What a deliciously quirky article to start the day here in Brazil! I loved it!

I am fascinated by stuff like this and the origins of words, their meaning and how they evolve.

You have done a superb job researching and compiling this into an Everton-related article, Peter. I'll look out with interest for your further contributions.

And I'll close with a challenge to you. Very recently there was a TW thread speculating on how and why the name 'Everton' (or Ewerton) is a reasonably common first name or (less commonly) surname here in Brazil.

Care to offer up some speculation or insight how this came to pass, Peter?

Again, well done on a fascinating contribution.

Rudi Coote
3 Posted 05/11/2018 at 10:08:00
Great article... But, as I understand it, St Domingo's was on Breckfield Road — not Netherfield Road.
Dennis Stevens
4 Posted 05/11/2018 at 11:23:18
Marvellous stuff, Pete!

Although they are a decade apart, for some strange reason I have a mental association of Theo Kelly's Club tie design and Thomas Keates' "History Of The Everton Football Club 1878-1928" book, maybe it's the initials that cause the confusion...

David Ellis
5 Posted 05/11/2018 at 11:31:03
Fascinating article, Pete.

On wild boars...I live in Hong Kong one of the most densely populated places on earth yet we have wild boars roaming the roads and streets where I live on the South Coast of Hong Kong Island. As Hong Kong is essentially all mountain, the hillsides are heavily wooded (between the tower blocks) so that's where they live and breed. They are huge – and entirely docile... but keep the dogs away and don't hassle them. An extraordinary sight in a bustling city.

Pete Jones
6 Posted 05/11/2018 at 18:22:02
Thanks for all the comments. Glad you enjoyed it, Dave.

Rudi, you are spot on about the Netherfield/Breckfield error, Lyndon may correct it if he reads this; no matter how often you read something back, one always gets through. Such errors are usually down to me being able to type faster than I can think; this one, however, was down to a passage that got cut about the origins of the names ending in 'feld' or 'field' – nether field, breck field, oak field and honge feld – which changed over time into Anfield.

Jay, by coincidence I've been thinking about writing something about Portugal and Brazil in honour of our manager and new players; that could be a runner. I'm also interested in the great West Indian cricketer Everton Weekes (who was apparently named after us).

Dennis – I need to get hold of the Keates book, top tip.

David – the info about the wild boar in Hong Kong is both fascinating and staggering; I've only ever seen one in Europe, on the French Verdun battlefield and that was just out of the corner of my eye.

What other footy website would have such erudite comments?


David Peate
7 Posted 05/11/2018 at 18:57:57
Just one minor point. St Domingo Methodist chapel was nowhere near Netherfield Road, either North or South. It was almost in Anfield in St Domingo Grove/Vale near the former orphanage.
Lawrence Green
8 Posted 05/11/2018 at 20:21:22
Fascinating read and well researched, I see that Big Sam is now residing in an Austrian Nature Reserve (Valentin Panzirch), according to the picture in the main article.
Joe Hurst
9 Posted 05/11/2018 at 20:36:04
And in the centre of the badge as always, Prince Ruperts Tower.
Myself and my sisters would spend the weekends with nan and grandad – he was the caretaker at the Friary School – just a few hundred yards down the hill from Shaw Street, under the gaze of the Everton Lock-Up.

In later years, we've referred to where we were as the Priory, but who wouldn't? 🙂

I love these articles that add further colour to our wonderful club's history.

Dennis Stevens
10 Posted 05/11/2018 at 21:09:34
If you fancy a cure for insomnia, Pete, I'd recommend "A History Of Football" by Morris Marples – it's the driest book on football I've ever read!
Jay Wood

11 Posted 05/11/2018 at 21:31:16
Pete @ 6. If you are ever tempted to research the Everton name Brazilian connection, in the thread I referenced, there was speculation that Caribbean immigrants may have been partly responsible for introducing the name 'Everton' to Brazil, due to that Everton Weekes connection (as you probably already know, his dad was an Everton fan - probably due to Dixie Dean's goal-scoring feats -– thus the name).

You might also know the story that when Everton Weekes told Jim Laker the tale about his name, Laker replied: "Just as well your father wasn't a West Bromwich Albion fan!"

I myself doubt the Everton Weekes and Caribbean immigration to Brazil connection as a possible source of our club's name as a first or family name in Brazil, as the name appeared before Weekes was even born.

Of course, Everton did tour South America in 1909, but that was to Argentina and Uruguay rather than Brazil.

My guess is that, yes, football was introduced to Brazil by a Scotsman, but that evidence of the city of Liverpool's strong maritime presence can be found at most major Brazilian sea ports. I have seen cargo loading cranes and port side buildings branded with the name of the city of Liverpool at coastal ports and deep into the interior of the great Amazon river in Manuas.

It is not beyond the realms of possibility that seafaring sailors and construction crews from Liverpool introduced the name 'Everton' by this route at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries.

I'd be fascinated to learn more, if your detective work could unveil the mystery...

David Pearl
12 Posted 05/11/2018 at 21:50:07
Wow, what a great post.

I like the original design of the crest as it looks like a face. It's interesting that Liverpool could've been called Everton Athletic. Maybe people started supporting Liverpool back then because so many wanted to watch football and Goodison wasn't big enough?

No matter how boring they've become they grew and had to increase Anfield with their attendances growing to 20,000. Are there any records of our attendances over the years?

Lawrence Green
13 Posted 05/11/2018 at 21:57:49
David (#12),

According to Everton Results, Everton didn't average over 20,000 for league games until the 1908-09 Season. Notable that Everton beat Liverpool five nil in front of 40,000 at Goodison.

At A Glance

Paul [The Esk]
14 Posted 05/11/2018 at 22:17:08
Brilliant and fascinating – thank you.
David Pearl
15 Posted 05/11/2018 at 22:53:48
Thanks a lot, Lawrence, that's just what I was looking for. I'd settle for a 1-0 in a few weeks time.
David Pearl
16 Posted 05/11/2018 at 22:58:18
I introduced the name Everton to Canada when my son was born there in 1991. (Along with sherbet dibdabs and monster munch... changed Winnipeg forever.)
David Ellis
17 Posted 06/11/2018 at 02:02:19
David Pearl - #16,

Hope Sherbet and Monster turned out well.

Eric Myles
18 Posted 06/11/2018 at 06:17:43
Peter, when I first moved to Pattaya in Thailand 23 years ago I lived on a hill between Pattaya and Jomtien (still do but in a different place).

In those days before construction of condos became rampant the hill was densely wooded and wild boar and their offspring were regular features crossing the roads in the area.

Sadly the development of the whole area means that I've not seen any wild boar for some years now.

Paul Birmingham
19 Posted 06/11/2018 at 22:51:44
Superb read, Peter, and very interesting history of the region.
Gerry Morrison
20 Posted 06/11/2018 at 23:00:07
Great read, Pete. What a treat.
Alex Parr
21 Posted 07/11/2018 at 16:16:56
Great article Pete, very interesting read. Thanks!
Derek Thomas
22 Posted 07/11/2018 at 00:25:42
Peter, top stuff.

Who knew it? History is actually interesting.

Matt Woods
23 Posted 08/11/2018 at 02:36:51
Excellent article, loved it, Peter.

I am originally from Ormskirk, which again is Norse. The Church of Orms?

Now living in New Zealand and there is plenty of wild pig out here in the bush. There is a big hunting culture and one of the lads in our master's footy team is a keen pig hunter. I can't wait to see him now and reveal the origins of our name!!!

Superb read.

Billy Roberts
24 Posted 08/11/2018 at 06:57:20
Excellent post, Pete Jones. I came to it late but I am looking forward to Part 2.

Jay Wood from Brazil, I have followed with interest a number of your posts about the occurrence of the Everton name in the Caribbean and, unknown to me, its prevalence in Brazil. I remember a documentary vaguely that mentioned a ship that either took workers from the Caribbean to Britain post war, HMS Everton? Or it was a Merchant ship? It would explain Brazil. Or, this is a long stretch, it was a slave ship?

But the slave trade connection between the Africa / Caribbean + Brazil is there and the practice of giving slaves any old name isn't that far-fetched. There is lots of ifs, buts and maybes there and maybe I dreamt it all up but I would be interested in both your opinions on my (wild) (boar) theory.

Ed Fitzgerald
25 Posted 08/11/2018 at 07:05:30
Well done that was a brilliant article – The wild boars, who would have thought it!
David Dawson
26 Posted 08/11/2018 at 08:09:18
Loved your article, Pete.

Slight correction: there is also an Everton on the Isle of Wight.

I've always believed that Everton is/was the “Catholic” club in the city, yet St Domingo's was a Methodist church. Can you explain the Catholic link?

Alan McGuffog
27 Posted 08/11/2018 at 08:17:44
David... no one can. Because there has never been one.
Paul Hughes
28 Posted 08/11/2018 at 13:05:51
Indeed, Alan. I can confirm that during 13 years of Catholic education in Liverpool in the '70s and '80s, at least 50% of classmates were of the Red persuasion. The Catholic link is a myth.
Alan McGuffog
29 Posted 08/11/2018 at 13:58:39
Indeed, Paul. My classmates in the 1960s in my LEA school were more or less 100% non-Catholic; half supported us and the other half followed the dark side. This sectarian bollocks wearies me.
Jay Wood

30 Posted 08/11/2018 at 15:13:06
Billy @ 24.

Your ponderings on whether there is any link to the slave trade as a possible way the name Everton made its way to Brazil is a non-starter I think Billy.

Nations - including the UK - first moved to abolish the slave trade at the turn of the 19th century and various countries continued to do so right up to 1888 when (shamefully) Brazil become the last country in the western hemisphere to do so.

As Everton was founded only 10 years earlier and the slave trade had long been abolished even before then in the UK, it is highly improbable there is any link between the city of Liverpool and the name Everton, to the slave trade in Brazil.

Nor could I find any sea-going vessels named 'Everton' that may have plied the route between Liverpool and Brazil, other than a trawler built in Grimsby in the 1970s!!!

Even found photos of it on a quirky site called Ships Nostalgia! The things that interest people, eh? I wonder if their forum has barnies between members, arguing which trawler covers more of the North Sea and lands the biggest catch..?


Alan J Thompson
31 Posted 08/11/2018 at 15:31:10
Having been born and raised in Ullaton I was surprised at the name Wulfa's settlement which I'd not heard before. Absolutely fascinating, many thanks, Peter.
Michael Kenrick
Editorial Team
32 Posted 08/11/2018 at 16:23:23
For those like David (#26), and coming from a split Catholic and Protestant Liverpool family myself, I became curious about this "sectarian bollocks" in the early years of ToffeeWeb, and ended up penning this article:

Catholic or Protestant?

More recently, we had a fresh and more in-depth piece posted on the topic that quickly degenerated into our own brand of religion-fuelled internecine keyboard warfare:

Is Everton Protestant or Catholic?

Well worth a read if you're still puzzled about our club's origins in the Methodist denomination. But perhaps the most definitive link I can provide is from earlier this year, when we published a link to this book by David Kennedy:

Merseyside's Old Firm? The Sectarian Roots of Everton and Liverpool Football Clubs

Shamefully, I haven't gotten around to reading that yet... but, for many, the subject has been beaten to death — and I don't really want to reopen it on this thread. [The second link is still open for comments if you feel the need...]

Benjamin Dyke
33 Posted 08/11/2018 at 16:49:14
Brilliant Peter! Thank you for a great read. As a Brit that now lives in Sweden it was fascinating to see some of the Norse words you mention have followed through to the modern Swedish so gata is Swedish for street, dal for valley and djur for animal. And of course there are many place names ending in -by, my wife comes from Torsby for example.
Peter Gorman
34 Posted 08/11/2018 at 17:13:46
As much as I enjoy coming onto TW to vent my spleen after a match, it is articles such as this and the ones from Rob, Tony and Becky that really make the site so unique.

Thanks Peter for taking the time and of course to Lyndon and Michael for putting it up. Much appreciated.

Billy Roberts
35 Posted 08/11/2018 at 17:34:22
Thanks Jay for( trawling) through all that for all Evertonians, well OK just me and you!! possibly. As I'm a lazy arse when it comes to the detective work, maybe I just hanker after the days when you could come up with some semi sensible bollocks and people, myself included would believe it. As someone once said fiction x time = fact, well Google put paid to that and confirmed that it was a lucid dream I had. I believe the truth is out there and I will find the source of this mystery like the Nile!!That Grimsby trawler bit adds to the comedy of it and reminds me of one of the funniest unintentional shouts at a match.
You may remember the near humiliation at Goodison by Grimsby in 85 a desperado in the enclosure screamed " cmon Everton were getting beat by fuckin fish"
He was so angry and serious it still makes me laugh today.
Will Mabon
36 Posted 08/11/2018 at 17:37:11
"...well Google put paid to that".

You can trust Google implicitly for info on Kardashian's ass, no doubt. Anything more contentious, I'd always advise caution.

Jay Wood

37 Posted 08/11/2018 at 17:56:28
Billy @ 35.

Crackin' tale about that Grimsby game. I do miss the tear-inducing comments from the Goodison crowd. They have a turn of phrase unparalleled in the English speaking world.

Remember the game well. We absolutely pounded them, but the ball just wouldn't go in then Paul Wilkinson scored at the death to knock us out.

Howard Kendall signed him on the back of his performance that night and by the season's end, didn't he score the winner in the derby match against that lot...? Or am I getting mixed up with Wayne Clarke, Allan Clarke's brother?

Happy days!

Billy Roberts
38 Posted 08/11/2018 at 18:44:15
Don't ask me for details, Jay, I thought Wilkinson scored for us and we went through!! I was getting my cup runs mixed up.

It does explain the fighting /charging outside though; I was standing on someone's front wall on one of the terraced houses just by the Park End and I got pushed backwards and bounced off the glass in the bay window, I don't know how I never ended up in their living room. I was a bit different then, I found that funny as well.

Anyway, don't knock Google Will, if you're looking to buy a trawler called Everton??

Dave Abrahams
39 Posted 08/11/2018 at 18:54:27
Jay (37),

I think you are correct re Paul Wilkinson scoring the winner in a derby game: It was an evening game near the end the season, 1-0, almost sure it was a rare occasion when we did the double over them.

I'm just going on memory with this. John McFarlane might confirm it.

Brian Murray
40 Posted 08/11/2018 at 18:56:27
Jay Wood. You got it right, Wilkinson scored for and against us. The derby was the third time we beat them that season. Imagine that now, eh?
Lawrence Green
41 Posted 08/11/2018 at 19:36:51
Dave (39),

Yes, Paul Wilkinson did score the winner in that derby game at Goodison in 1985 and following a cursory glance it was only the second occasion since the war that Everton beat their rivals home and away in the league since the war. The other season it happened was 1964-65 with the famous 4-0 victory at Anfield and a 2-1 win at Goodison.

Wilkinson was indeed the scorer of the winning goal for Grimsby in 1984 when he really did score against the run of play as Everton pounded Grimsby for almost the entire game, without reward.

Matt Woods
42 Posted 08/11/2018 at 19:51:00
Yes, Wilkinson scored the winner in the league cup tie for Grimsby. Everton had been on a winning streak for maybe 10 games if I remember??

We could have scored a dozen that night. It poured with rain, sheets of it, and after the match, some of the roads were like rivers. Wilkinson scored at the Park End in front of a great travelling support in the last minute!! In injury time, Gary Stevens flashed a drive just the wrong side of the post.

There other stand-out incident was in the first half when our recently signed left-back, Pat van den Hauwe, decided to demonstrate to the Paddock his ferocious tacking ability.

Grimsby had a small nippy winger and, early doors, Pat lined him up and then buried him into the Lower Bullens Stand...that was the tricksters night over.

An unbelievable team.

Alan McGuffog
43 Posted 08/11/2018 at 19:57:31
Game was a "dead rubber" as we had already won the league I think. Think it may have been rearranged. And John Wark missed a penalty!
Lawrence Green
44 Posted 08/11/2018 at 20:04:38
Alan (43) Everton were already Champions and had lost the FA Cup Final to Manchester United the previous weekend, but a 'dead rubber'? 51,045 fans crammed into Goodison Park that evening didn't seem to think so!
Alan McGuffog
45 Posted 08/11/2018 at 20:21:08
Take your point, Lawrence. We didn't need the points but I certainly enjoyed reminding that lot that we were Champions!
Matt Woods
46 Posted 08/11/2018 at 21:42:00
After practically Everton reserves had beaten Liverpool for the third time in that incredible season we bounced out of the ground. A few lads around us started a chant from a well known 80s biscuit commercial...

'Trio! Trio! Wembley, Anfield and Goodison too!! Trio!

Me and my brother still laugh to this day about it...
And yes, John Wark missed a penalty at the Park End!! Magic days.

Bill Watson
47 Posted 13/11/2018 at 01:19:09
Thanks for an enthralling read, Peter. I spotted your article last week but have only just found the time to return to it.

Dennis #4,

Back in the late 1950s I had an old, housebound, Evertonian on my paper round who, I discovered, had been a fan since the early days.
One Saturday he collared me to ask why his Saturday Echo was always delivered late and I explained that it was because I went to the match (on my bike).

He invited me in and showed me programmes and stuff going back years, amongst which was Keates's book detailing the first 50 years.

Whenever I'm in a secondhand bookshop, or charity shop etc I keep an eye out for it but, so far, without success.

John Hickey
50 Posted 15/11/2018 at 13:35:08
Great article!
Pete Jones
51 Posted 20/11/2018 at 13:40:43
Just to say another big thank you for all the comments; they will help me a lot with some of the other stuff I'm writing. The comments are excellently wide-ranging in themselves and the ones about Grimsby (a good Norse place name if ever there was one) are very apt on this day in particular:

I was at the game and my memories of it are faulty as usual (which is yet another theme I'm interested in).

Simon Dalzell
52 Posted 22/11/2018 at 18:46:33
Joyous. Enlightening and enjoyable.

Thank you, Peter.

Dan Davies
53 Posted 23/11/2018 at 22:28:45
Bit late to this article, but I'm going to throw my tuppence in!

I never really thought about the Ever-TON thing before I read this piece. It was very interesting and made me look at Everton in a different light.

I say this because where I grew up I was surrounded by little villages and hamlets ending in '-TON'. There's a large coastal estuary and rivers leading to that estuary dotted all over the place. All of these settlements are within probably half a mile of the coast.

It is well known that these place names are old Viking settlements named after the particular Viking that had a home there at some point for however long.

Examples being - Hubbers-TON, Lidders-TON, Thorn-TON, Herbrands-TON,

Anyways, coming from that angle and I could be completely wrong my guess would be that there was a Viking settlement in the Everton area named after a Viking with some sort of variation of the name Everton or something very similar which maybe changed over time.

That Viking and his mates of pillagers and beserkers(!) probably hunted and or kept Boar.

This also ties in with where the word 'Scouse' comes from.

Also going back to my home area, the closest football team to those little settlements I mentioned are nicknamed 'The Vikings'.


Dennis Stevens
54 Posted 24/11/2018 at 10:08:33
Bill Watson #47,

You may have a bit of a long search ahead of you. The original copies seem to get listed for hundreds of pounds & the reprinted version from '97 now seems to get listed for about £50 or more. I picked up a copy when it was reprinted & it's well worth a read, though very much "of its time".

Dan Davies
55 Posted 12/12/2018 at 23:57:33
Pete, I've had a think. I'm going for Ivarr the Boneless!

I reckon when Ivarr got kicked out of Ireland, he sailed across to what is now Liverpool.

He then made a settlement on a defensive brow close to the sea. Possibly hunting/farming boar.

That settlement became known as Ivaarton.

Which over time got corrupted and changed to the modern day Everton.

Possibly he and his fellow Vikings just wintered there but the name stuck?

This is all guesswork and conjecture, however. What do I know!

Dan Davies
56 Posted 13/12/2018 at 00:17:51
Also, Alan @27, if there is no Catholic link then why is the club's motto written in Latin?
Brian Williams
57 Posted 13/12/2018 at 00:21:26
What the fuck has Catholicism got to do with the fact that a motto is written in Latin?
Dan Davies
58 Posted 13/12/2018 at 23:14:01
Because Brian up until the 1960's Latin was used by the Catholic Church. Or am I some sort of pariah for suggesting that there may be a link??

Only a fool would deny it.

Derek Thomas
59 Posted 13/12/2018 at 23:35:19
Dan; Fool is as fool does, or in your case types. St Domingo's, Methodist Ministers, etc...hello.

Back in the day, most mottos were written in Latin – it gave them a certain gravitas. Also, Latin was a sort of lingua franca (see what I did there) and your motto would be understood by all those other papist foreigners who worried about that sort of thing.

Those who were rich enough to have a motto, usually had some sort of classic education. Those who aspired to the riches and aped their so-called betters by copying the latin motto thing.

Doctors, Lawyers (not the best recommendation, I know) and various scientists use Latin names and terms... are they all Catholic?

Have a word with yourself, mate, I thought we'd got past this sort of faux secterian bollocks.

Brian Williams
60 Posted 13/12/2018 at 23:42:49
Latin was the language of the area, Latium, in Italy. The language originated BC, that's before Catholicism existed.

The Catholic Church uses candles. Doesn't mean every vanilla and pomegranate Yankee candle sold is linked to the Catholic church.

Some peole like to make links. Try hard enough and you can link almost anything to anything. Only a fool would deny it........

Oh, and what Derek said.

David Ellis
61 Posted 14/12/2018 at 02:17:59

So Blackburn are also a Catholic Club? No — they were just formed in the Victorian era when Latin mottos were in fashion. Gentlemen (the type of guy who chose a motto) had a classical education. This involves Latin and classical history (ie, ancient history – Greeks & Romans). So they all had a good grounding in Latin.

Jamie Crowley
62 Posted 14/12/2018 at 02:49:56
The Ever prefix is thought to come from eofor, which is what the Anglo-Saxons called a wild boar.

The Crowley family crest is a boar.

Why am I loving this link?

Derek Thomas
63 Posted 14/12/2018 at 03:38:20
David @ 61; I can still remember the Latin words of the school song and being over the road from SFX we were deemed the very antithesis of Catholic by them.

Back in the day, in the run-up to the the big orange day of the 12th July I remember, as a first year, taking part ( press-ganged really) in the last big fight with SFX in the Prince Rupert's Tower Park...It all got a bit out of hand with serious injuries, after that in the week prior to the 12th both schools were in lockdown, the cycle was broken and it (hopefully) passed into history... and a good job too.

Never say it didn't happen or it doesn't happen now, I hear they still 'march' to Southport, but in reality we should leave all those gammon-faced bigots in Belfast and Glasgow to eventually grow up and grow out of it... if they ever can.

No place for it on here.

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