Goodison Park

Goodison Park: The Historic Heart of Everton Football

Goodison Park, an iconic name etched in the annals of English football, stands as one of the oldest and most storied stadiums in the sport’s history. Located in Walton, Liverpool, Goodison has been the proud home of Everton Football Club since 1892, making it one of the world’s first purpose-built football grounds. This comprehensive exploration delves into the rich history, significant matches, legendary figures, and unique trivia of Goodison Park, celebrating over a century of footballing heritage.

Founding and Early History

The inception of Goodison Park was driven by a dispute between Everton FC and John Houlding, the owner of their previous ground, Anfield. Disagreements over rent led Everton to leave Anfield in 1892, and Houlding would go on to form Liverpool FC. Everton moved to Goodison Park, originally named Mere Green Field, which was developed into a proper football ground. The first match at Goodison Park was played against Bolton Wanderers on September 2, 1892, marking the beginning of its storied legacy.

Architectural Evolution and Innovations

Goodison Park was a pioneer in stadium development. It was one of the first stadiums to feature two-tier stands and to incorporate a three-tier stand. Over the years, it has undergone numerous renovations to enhance spectator experience and safety. The 1920s saw the construction of the iconic Bullens Road Stand, designed by renowned football architect Archibald Leitch. The Park End stand, famous for its proximity to the pitch giving fans close-up views of the action, was completely rebuilt in 1994.

Memorable Matches and Seasons

Goodison has hosted a wealth of memorable matches, including more top-flight football games than any other stadium in England. One of the most remarkable periods in its history was the 1984-1985 season when Everton won the First Division and later the European Cup Winners’ Cup, with Goodison witnessing some of the most electric atmospheres in European football. The stadium also played a crucial role during the 1966 World Cup, hosting five games including the semi-final between West Germany and the Soviet Union.

Everton Legends and Goodison Magic

Many of football’s greatest players have graced the turf at Goodison Park. Dixie Dean, one of Everton’s and England’s legendary forwards, scored a record 60 league goals in the 1927-1928 season, many of which were at Goodison. More recently, players like Wayne Rooney began their careers on this hallowed ground, contributing to its lore. Goodison’s intense and intimate atmosphere has been pivotal in making it a fortress for Everton, often regarded as one of the most daunting venues for opposing teams.

Cultural Impact and Community Involvement

Goodison Park is more than just a venue for football; it is a cultural symbol of the Everton community. The stadium has been central to community initiatives, including charity matches and community engagement programs run by the Everton in the Community scheme. It has also been a filming location, featured in motion pictures and television series that highlight its iconic status in football.

Trivia and Lesser-Known Facts

  • Goodison Park was the first English league ground to have undersoil heating installed.
  • It was the first major English football stadium to construct a purpose-built stand for disabled supporters.
  • The Church of St Luke the Evangelist, famously known as the ‘football church’, is nestled between two stands, adding a unique character to the stadium.

The Future of Goodison Park

As Everton FC plans its move to a new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock, Goodison’s future is set to evolve, with proposals to transform it into a community asset, preserving its rich history. While the echoes of past glories will remain, the transition marks a new chapter for Everton and its fans, ensuring that Goodison’s legacy will continue in a different guise.


Goodison Park’s story is woven into the fabric of English football history. From its architectural innovations and memorable matches to the legends who have called it home, Goodison stands as a testament to the enduring spirit of the game. It represents more than just the sum of its parts; it embodies the soul of Everton Football Club and its community, making it a true footballing shrine.