Singleton & Paterson – The Everton Mariners

Tony Onslow   10/03/2021 8comments  |  Jump to last

In the summer of 1902, Grimsby Town strengthened their squad by signing two players from Everton, the first one being Harold Bertram Singleton. He was born on 3 September 1877 within the Lancashire Manor of Prescot at the village of Farnworth and was the child of Benjamin, a butcher, and his wife, Clara. The family later moved in the direction of Warrington to Bank Gardens in Penketh where his mother ran a newsagent’s shop.

Harry Singleton was working as a clark when, playing on the left wing, he began his football career with a Stockport County side who had just been accepted as members of the Football League. He played one game for the Cheshire club, a 5-0 hammering by New Brighton Tower, before moving on to sign for the FA Cup holders, Bury. Singleton had failed to find favour with the Gigg Lane selectors when, in November 1901, he penned a letter to Everton who accepted his request for a trial period at Goodison Park.

The Penketh man was first seen in the Everton colours representing the second XI at Glossop on 16th of November 1901. On the 21st of December, he and the club came to an unusual arrangement. The player would sign a short-term indenture that paid him 30/- per week until the end of the season. The club did not insist that he live in Liverpool but granted him a railway contract to cover the cost of the journey to and from his home in Penketh.

The Everton left wing position was filled by the reliable Scottish International Jack Bell, so Harry Singleton had to wait until 1 February to make his debut against Sheffield United at Bramall Lane. The game ended 0-0. He made another two appearances, against Manchester City and Grimsby Town, as Everton were just pipped to the Championship by Sunderland. Singleton was not retained at the end of the season and was transferred to Grimsby Town for a fee somewhere in the region of £50. He joined the Mariners along with Peter Paterson.

Born on 15 March 1880 into the North Lanarkshire coalfield, he was the 6th child of Peter and Elizabeth. Paterson was working as a coal miner when he began his career playing in the forward line for the Royal Albert club who were based in the town of Larkhall. They took the suffix of their name from a sailing vessel, belonging to the local Landowner, and had a home ground called Raploch Park.

On 26 October 1898, Peter Paterson married Jessie Lindsay and was living at Coatbridge when he was spotted by Everton when representing the Lanarkshire FA against their counterparts from Ayrshire in a festival game on a specially constructed arena in Glasgow. The tournament was arranged to entertain the crowds who attended the International Exhibition that was staged there in 1901.

When approached by Everton, the Scot agreed terms, which were undisclosed, and made his Football League debut on 28 September against Aston Villa. He then appeared in the next three consecutive games and scored one goal in a sequence that ended with a 1-0 home win over Stoke. He had been brought into the Everton first X1 as cover for the injured Jack Taylor who then replaced him. Paterson was not retained by Everton and, along with Harry Singleton, joined Grimsby Town during the closed season.

He could not command a regular place in the Mariners first team and left when his contract expired at the end of the season. Paterson returned to Scotland where he spent the rest of his career with Larkhall Royal Albert. He had settled in Coatbridge, where he worked as a coal miner, and died there on 19 September 1945.

Harry Singleton, meanwhile, having made 18 appearances for the Mariners, next decided to try his luck in the Southern League and signed for New Brompton. While at the Kent club, Harold met and married Mary Frisby and then spent the 1904-05 season playing for Southern League side Queens Park Rangers. He next signed for Football League newcomers, Leeds City, and took part in their opening game in September 1905 against Bradford City. Singleton appeared to enjoy his time at Elland Road where he became a regular feature in the forward line.

He went on to make 45 appearances for the Yorkshire club before retiring from the game in the summer of 1907. The family spent several years living in Kent where their 2 children were born. They later moved to the Cheshire town of Macclesfield where Harry Singleton died on 5 July 1947.

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Reader Comments (8)

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Alan J Thompson
1 Posted 11/03/2021 at 16:43:04
Lanarkshire vs Ayrshire, I wonder if our present day scouting network stretches that far. Without going all google can anyone recall the last three Scots Everton signed from Scottish clubs?
Paul Hughes
2 Posted 12/03/2021 at 10:13:31
Good question Alan. I can just think of the Rangers implosion when we signed Jelavic and Naismith - before then: Arteta? McFadden?
Dave Abrahams
3 Posted 12/03/2021 at 10:26:37
Tony, you mention that Paterson married Jessie Lindsay did you research their history, just thinking maybe Jock Lindsay signed by Everton in 1950 from Rangers was a distant relation of theirs, you never know!!
Dave Abrahams
4 Posted 12/03/2021 at 10:26:56
Tony, you mention that Paterson married Jessie Lindsay did you research their history, just thinking maybe Jock Lindsay signed by Everton in 1950 from Rangers was a distant relation of theirs, you never know!!
Alan J Thompson
5 Posted 13/03/2021 at 14:08:51
Paul(#2); I think we signed Arteta from either Valencia or Seville and neither he nor Jelavic were Scots.
Paul Hughes
6 Posted 15/03/2021 at 15:30:11
Alan (#5) - I should have read your question properly - doh!
Naismith and McFadden then.
Neil Copeland
7 Posted 15/03/2021 at 16:22:32
David Weir, Naismith and McFaddden maybe?
Alan J Thompson
8 Posted 16/03/2021 at 08:36:14
When did we sign Richard Gough, or was that Wally Smith?

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