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Wednesday, 23 November 2011

How Did Goodison Park Get It's Name?

George William Goodison, a city engineer who had a road named after him because of his expertise at planning trenches for sewage pipes!

Born in Holbeck, a suburb of Leeds, in 1846, the young George studied at the local Mechanics Institute.

In 1861, at the tender age of 15, he was articled to a Civil Engineer in Merseyside named Alfred Taylor and moved in with the Taylor family at their home in Kershaw Terrace, Great Crosby.

A successful scholar, Goodison swiftly rose through the ranks of his trade and eventually, became the consultant engineer to the Local Boards of both Walton-on-the Hill and Much Woolton (These areas had not as yet been incorporated in to Liverpool) and took up office at 4, South John Street in Liverpool.

The Walton Board had purchased a large flower and vegetable nursery on County Road, which they planned to give over for housing.

George W Goodison then surveyed the land and planned a pattern of trenches in which the pipe work for the local sewerage system could be laid.

He did this so successfully that Goodison Road, which was at the centre of the development, was named in deference to his work.

It was a straightforward decision by the Everton board to adopt the name of the road their new stadium was to be constructed upon in 1892 – this ensuring the Goodison name passing into local sporting immortality.

At that time, however, Goodison himself was no longer living locally.

In 1869 George Goodison married Anne Jane Padley of Adelaide Terrace, Waterloo at Holy Trinity church in Chester.

She was a trained Egyptologist and took up residence with her husband at Gateacre House. They soon moved to the Lake District.

The reasons that prompted them to move are unclear, but around 1881 the couple lived near to Lake Coniston in a house called Coniston Bank. Goodison’s success was evident in the listing of “five servants” amongst his household.

In August 1887, during his time at Coniston, Goodison took oaths at Lancaster and became a Justice of Peace for County Palatine of Lancashire.

He also became a fellow manager of the village school and, along with the poet John Ruskin, shared the rota as official school visitor.

His wife, in the meantime, had also been pursuing her career. Anne Goodison, in 1887, was nominated to become a member of the Biblical Archeology Society while, in 1889, her kindness was acknowledged for donating an Egyptian object to the Kendal Museum.

Around the turn of century, when the stadium that bore his name was emerging as one of the most renowned in the country, Goodison returned to Merseyside and took up residence at Beech Lawn in Waterloo.

Aged 57, he was partner in a civil engineering firm named Goodison, Atkinson & Forde, with offices located at 32a Castle Street in Liverpool.

He also occupied the bench at the Liverpool County Sessions Court before leaving Merseyside to spend his final years in the Cotwolds.

George William Goodison took up residence at Elm House in the Gloucestershire village of Stratton where his wife Anne died in December 1906.

In 1911 he was recorded as living by Private Means and married his former servant, Sarah Ann Newby.

At the same time, back in Liverpool, a gigantic new grandstand had recently been completed along Goodison Road and the Everton Football Ground was very much in demand.

The FA Cup final replay of 1909 was staged at Goodison Park while the home International game, played between England v Scotland, was also played there in 1911.

George William Goodison, who died in 1913, would have no doubt spent his twilight years thinking, “Goodison Park . . . I gave that ground its name!”

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