No. 7 – The Day Liverpool Football Club was Formed
On 15th March 1892, Liverpool Football Club was formed at the home of John Houlding, a local brewer, local council member and future Mayor of Liverpool. Due to a dispute over rent, a split occured between Houlding and Everton on the 12th of March 1892. Houlding and William Barclay (Liverpools first ever secretary) with an empty Anfield agreed to form a new club.
Ten years earlier, in 1882, Everton football club was forced to find a permanent ground to play their home games. Everton first moved to a rented field off Priory Road and later moved to a new field rented from a fellow brewer of Houlding, John Orwell at Anfield Road where a small rental fee was agreed.
However, as Everton began to thrive a rift was about to develop. Houlding originally wanted Everton to buy Anfield off John Orwell and land adjoining the ground in which Houlding himself owned for the same price, however, Everton and the board instead wanted a long term rental agreement on the land at Anfield. No agreement was reached which resulted in the vast majority of the Board and players of Everton walking out to build a new ground.
Houlding and Barclay remained at Anfield along with just three first team players and a small number of loyal supporters helped rebuild a new squad and Liverpool Football Club was formed. Houlding appointed John McKenna to form the new squad, McKenna built a squad of 13 players, of which 9 were Scottish, the Citys colour of red was adopted in 1894 and the Liverbird crest was adopted in 1901. Liverpool Football club was ultimately built from scratch.
Once John McKenna had built the team, Liverpool applied to join the Football League, however, the application was rejected and Liverpool were forced to play in The Lancashire League.
Thursday, the 1st of September 1892, is a date that will forever be etched in the annals of Anfield history. Liverpool played their first ever game at Anfield, a friendly game against Rotherham Town in which Liverpool won by an impressive seven goals to one.
Malcolm McVean scored the first ever Liverpool goal early in the first half, also on the scoresheet was Arthur Kelvin who scored a brace, Tom Wyllie scored a hat-trick and John Miller also wrote his name into Liverpools history books with a well taken goal.