Nicknamed “the Toffees” Everton’s most prolific scorer was the fabulous “Dixie” Dean (349 goals) who graced the football fields of England in the 1920s and 1930s. Following his record 60 league goals in season 1927-28 the most successful manager of the day, Herbert Chapman, of Arsenal tried to buy Dixie and asked Everton to name their price. He would have mortgaged the Crown Jewels to get him but for maybe the only time in his life Herbert Chapman failed as Everton rebuffed his offer and Dixie certainly didn’t want to leave his beloved Everton who he had supported from the age of eight when his father took him to watch Everton for the first time.
The following text is taken from the book, Football Grounds, and was written by Cassandra Wells.
“Everton began life as St. Domingo’s FC in 1878, playing games at Stanley Park. In 1884 the club became the first tenants at Anfield, by which time they had changed their name to Everton. A row with their landlord in 1892 prompted them to move to Goodison Park, then called Mere Green. In 1888 the club became founder members of the League, winning the League title in 1891. Everton spent a great deal of money preparing the ground, building two uncovered stands and a third covered stand with seating, as well as improving the pitch. Mere Green was renamed Goodison Park in time for its official opening in 1892. Everton’s support was unrivalled at the time, and the FA was so impressed with the ground they allowed the 1894 Cup Final to be played there. In 1895 the Bullen’s Road Stand was built following the ground’s first international. The Goodison Road Terrace was covered, and by 1905 the ground was estimated to have a capacity of 55,000. In 1907 Scottish engineer, Archibald Leitch built the two-tiered Park End Stand at Goodison, before building the magnificent Main Stand in 1909, which had a pitched roof and central gable. It was not until 1926 that the ground saw any more improvements, when a two-tiered stand was built on the Bullen’s Road side. Twelve years later this was linked to the Gwladys Street end, making Goodison Park the first to have two-tiered stands on all sides. In 1948 the ground saw a record 78,299 fans cram in for the Merseyside derby against Liverpool. In the 1970s the new three-tiered Main Stand replaced Leitch’s original and a new roof on the Bullen’s Road Stand, which was brought round to cover the Gwladys Street end in 1986. In the aftermath of the Taylor report, seats were added to the remaining terrace, and in 1994 the new single-tier Park End Stand was built. There is now talk that the club will move to a new 55,000 purpose-built stadium at Kirkby, as Goodison Park’s capacity remains at 40,569.”