John Houlding and the reason behind Everton leaving Anfield which lead to the creation of Liverpool FC | OneFootball

John Houlding and the reason behind Everton leaving Anfield which lead to the creation of Liverpool FC

Logo: Empire of the Kop

Empire of the Kop

Ahead of the 239th meeting between Liverpool and Everton, here’s the reason for the split of the two teams and the role of the Lord Mayor of the city.

John Houlding was a businessman, brewer, owner of the Sandon pub in Anfield and the Lord Mayor.

St Domingo’s FC, named after a local church, used to hold team meetings in the pub owned by the local tycoon and his love of football and financial prowess saw him grow more and more involved with the club.

By 1879, the church team were becoming more influential and so moved to changing their name to Everton FC, upon joining the Football League and with Houlding stepping in as their inaugural President.

The new league though provided a new rule, only enclosed pitches were permitted and so there had to be a move away from playing on the field of Stanley Park and a search for a new location.

Through brewing contacts, access was permitted to Anfield and Houlding was keen to start investing in the ground where he built up the stadium and the capacity to 20,000 whilst paying rent to the owner.

In 1892, Everton were one of the most successful teams and had even clinched a league title at Anfield.

Their on-field success matched that of Houlding who’s businesses had continued to grow and he could now afford to buy the ground outright, which he did.

Due to the huge investments into the stadium, the purchase of the land and the growth of Everton – Houlding proposed an increased rent amount to the current tenants.

This was not met with much joy and the nearly 300 board members held a meeting to decide on the future of the club, the increased rent amount and involvement of alcohol to the finances of the former church club was enough to cut ties and leave Anfield.

John Houlding now had the a state-of-the-art stadium but no team to play in it, he moved to try and found Everton Athletic to spite the old tenants of the ground, but the name was rejected by the Football League and so he founded Liverpool FC in 1892.

The new team played in blue and white and were put together in weeks, most of the city didn’t care about the new club and were at Goodison Park when less than 100 people watched Liverpool’s first ever game at Anfield.

John Houlding triumphantly kicked off the maiden game where 11 Scottish players represented the ‘team of Macs’, led by former Everton captain Andy Hanner, who won 7-1 against Rotherham.

Inside eight years, Liverpool had won the First Division twice and the rest, as they say, is history.

Disputes over rent amounts and the morality of beer meant that Everton left Anfield and forced Houlding to create a new team, how different it all could have been if they just agreed to pay a bit more rent!

Mentioned in this article

View publisher imprint