Gwladys Street banner shows the changing face of Everton

A banner unfurled on the Gwladys Street last Saturday honoured Everton’s black players both past and present

Before Saturday’s 3-0 victory over Bournemouth, Everton supporters on Gwladys Street erected a banner featuring some of the Blues’ icons, and understandably, no one seemed to notice. That wasn’t always the case at Goodison Park, though.

The artwork was made last year in memory of notable figures in the history of the African diaspora and in honour of Black History Month, which is observed in October in the UK. It pays tribute to both past and current Goodison greats. Images of Cliff Marshall, the team’s first black player developed in-house; Daniel Amokachi, the club’s first African recruit; Joseph Yobo, the African player with the most appearances for the team and currently wearing number nine; Kevin Campbell, the club’s first black captain; Mike Trebilcock, who scored twice in the 1966 FA Cup final

One of the most international domestic football leagues is the Premier League, which draws talent from all around the world. The playing staffs of its clubs are diverse, and Everton is no exception.

However, Everton’s squad was all white when the Premier League began in 1992.

Although there weren’t many foreign players at Goodison Park at the start of the season—the only two players of that type were Australian backup goalkeeper Jason Kearton and Polish winger Robert Warzycha—there was still a lot of black British talent available, and its absence from the royal blue jersey was already a cause for concern.

Predrag Radosavljevic, also known as “Preki,” is a midfielder from Belgrade who has been playing indoor football in the United States. However, Everton still lacked a black player in their ranks, having not had one since Scouser Cliff Marshall made his final eight appearances in 1975. This led the ECHO to publish a letter from B. Tierney, a Kirkdale resident, to columnist Tommy Smith, saying, “I think Everton should change their motto from ‘Nothing but the best will do’ to ‘Nothing but white will do.”

“There must be a discrimination issue at Goodison, right? According to Howard Kendall, there isn’t a player on the transfer market that could help his club.

“I have no doubt that Sheffield United’s Brian Deane would be a better addition. Players like Fitzroy Simpson, Chris Armstrong, David Rocastle, Ian Wright, Mark Bright, Mark Walters, and Michael Thomas have all been available and taken by others in recent years.


“I believe that most Everton supporters don’t give a damn about a player’s race as long as he’s good.”

The former Liverpool player responded to the message with a “Bounce Ball,” saying, “I disagree with you, but held back with a ‘Over the Top’ because this is too important an issue to be flippant.”

“Yeah, perhaps it’s time for Everton to have a black player in the team, but signing someone for show would be inappropriate. Football prowess should be the deciding factor, not race.

Actually speaking, Colin Harvey attempted to sign Mark Walters prior to him joining Rangers and then Liverpool. The boy declined to meet Everton.

“Ian Wright was definitely pursued by Howard Kendall, who also made an offer for Paul Parker, but he ultimately decided to stay in London and sign with Arsenal. Dion Dublin was another player Kendall courted during the summer before he committed to Manchester United.

This implies that there isn’t any bias within. Regarding Brian Deane, I’m confident Kendall would sign him right away if Sheffield United parted ways, but as of right now, all clubs have said “no deal.”


Thus, it would appear that Everton tried to attract black players for a considerable amount of time, but the potential signings were still unwilling. It is also widely known that Kendall returned for the aforementioned Dublin in late 1993 and worked out a deal with Alex Ferguson, the manager of Manchester United, for the striker, who had fallen out of favour at Old Trafford because of an injury and Eric Cantona’s explosive impact. However, after the Blues defeated Southampton 1-0 at home on December 4, chairman Dr. David

It is believed that Marsh made a football-related decision when he declined to finance the relocation.

For a considerable amount of time, the city’s professional football teams have faced racism from their respective fan bases. The first black player at Liverpool was Howard Gayle, a Toxteth native who played in just five games. Merseyside’s first prominent black football player, John Barnes, faced bigotry from both sides of Stanley Park when he joined the Reds from Watford in 1987.

Racist graffiti was found on the Kop walls, and even though the England star was born in Jamaica, some Anfield supporters were first reluctant to welcome him. The classic picture that has come to symbolise the issue, though, is of Barnes nonchalantly backheeling a banana thrown at him from the supporters during a derby game in his debut season with Liverpool.

Following this, Philip Carter, the chairman of Everton, denounced the racial aspects of the team’s supporters and declared, “We do not need this kind of nonsense.” The message is extremely clear if people are unable to manage themselves: we do not want you here, so please leave. The idea that 60,000 people can love a game and yet a few simple-minded fools can try to ruin it is astounding. These were comments that led to the national news running the headline, “Stay Away You Scum.”

Fortunately, this horrible chapter in history came to an end when Amokachi signed a contract with Everton in August 1994. The Nigerian international remembered how his agent first informed him that a transfer to Goodison Park would be problematic because “it’s Everton and they’re a racist club,” even if he was excited to join the Premier League.

Though he had a warm reception from the Everton supporters and endured a lacklustre personal form in England, Amokachi was happy that he disregarded the advise because he went on to become a major cult hero among Blues supporters, who would frequently bend down to him from Gwladys Street while screaming “Amo, Amo.” Eton John’s single After completing a club record £3 million move, Daniel was presented to his new loving audience ahead of the home game against Nottingham Forest on August 30, 1994. The then-21-year-old was glowing over the PA system at Goodison Park in a blue jacket he bought for the occasion.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.