Plaque unveiled at historic site of Liverpool FC 'birth'

130 yearsPlaque unveiled at historic site of Liverpool FC 'birth'

Published 17th March 2022

Liverpool FC participated in a special ceremony at a site of historic significance for Merseyside football on Tuesday morning.

On September 15, 1891, a meeting took place at the hall of the Everton Valley Presbyterian Church during which proposals were discussed that would lead to the removal of John Houlding – future Liverpool FC founder – from Everton Football Club.

A growing dispute between Everton’s board members and their president, Houlding, had caused the club, led by George Mahon, to seek a move away from his Anfield ground – where they had played under lease since 1884 – to Mere Green Field, which would later become Goodison Park.

The split officially occurred at a dramatic meeting back at the same venue 130 years ago this week – on March 15, 1892 – that saw the ejection of Houlding, who would immediately create a new team to play at his vacant pitch at Anfield: Liverpool FC.

The church that hosted those seismic moments was demolished in 1960. However, Modern Homes Design Ltd, the company now developing on the plot of land, has preserved and restored two sandstone gateposts from the entrance to the original building.

The significance of March 15 in Liverpool FC history
15th March 2022

130 yearsThe significance of March 15 in Liverpool FC historyToday is the 130th anniversary of a hugely significant date in Liverpool FC history.

On Tuesday’s 130th anniversary of the official split, a plaque was unveiled and placed at the posts to mark the historic significance of the location for football in the city.

The ceremony was hosted by Gordon Whitehall – who has worked with Modern Homes Design on the preservation of the site – and attended by LFC’s museum curator, Stephen Done, along with representatives from Everton.

Done laid colourful flowers at the location on behalf of the club in acknowledgement of what he described as a football ‘birth’.

“It’s quite extraordinary when you think of Liverpool Football Club, Everton Football Club and football in the city, what happened in that place 130 years ago,” he said.

“It’s really lovely that actually there is in fact a physical monument to, I suppose you could sum it up as, the creation of two great football clubs. This is marking a birth of a football club from our perspective.”

He continued: “Well done to Gordon, it’s all down to his hard work. He recognised these two old gateposts of this long-demolished church, he knew what they were.

“So when this housing development was coming along he said, ‘You can’t just drag these away and put them in landfill or whatever.’

“They are beautifully preserved, they have got a nice little fence around them, they have got a really nice plaque with lighting on it and everything. He recognised that there was some kind of history and these things are worth preserving.

“When I stood there, next to Everton and others were talking about it, you thought, ‘This is important, this really matters.’ And generations of football supporters from now on – of blue or red persuasion – you like to think some of them will stop there and think, ‘Gosh, that’s where it all started.’”

Published 17th March 2022