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History

PAST MASTERS - ALF MILWARD

23 January 2013

Richard Day looks back at the outside-right's career

Alfred Weatherell Milward was born in Great Marlow and was educated locally at Sir William Borlase’s Grammar School.

He played for his school’s Old Boys side and Marlow before joining Everton in February 1888.

Alf made his debut at Blackburn Rovers in November 1888 and his first goal came in his second game two months later in a 2-1 home win against Stoke.

That goal makes him the 14th youngest player to score a league goal for the club at the age of 18 years and 122 days. Amongst those above him in the list are the likes of Tommy Lawton, Dixie Dean, Joe Royle and Wayne Rooney.

When he was 19 he scored the first of two hat-tricks for Everton in an amazing 11-2 home victory over Derby County in an FA Cup First Round game in January 1890.  
 
At that time Everton played their home games at Anfield and in 1890-91 they won their first League Championship title when finishing two points clear of Preston.

                     P     W   D   L     F     A     Pts
Everton          22   14   1   7    63   29    29
Preston NE     22   12   3   7    44   23    27
Notts Co        22   11   4   7    52   35    26

Milward, a hard-working outside left, scored 12 goals in 23 games that season which included doubles against Accrington Stanley, Bolton Wanderers, Derby County and Wolverhampton Wanderers.

In March 1891 Alf, then aged 20, made his England debut alongside Everton team-mate Edgar Chadwick against Wales at Newcastle Road, Sunderland and both scored in a 4-1 victory.

A month later, at Blackburn’s Ewood Park, he was one of five Everton players in the national team that played in a 2-1 win over Scotland.



In September 1892 Milward scored in Everton’s first competitive match at Goodison Park – a 2-2 draw with Nottingham Forest and later that season the played in the 1893 FA Cup Final which ended in a 1-0 defeat to Wolves.

His best goalscoring season with the Toffee’s was in 1895-96 when he amassed 19 goals in all competitions – this tally included his second treble which saw off Small Heath (Birmingham City) at Coventry Road in December 1895.

An unwanted claim to fame that he holds is being the first player to be sent-off in a Merseyside derby on November 21 1896 – according to a press report in the now defunct Liverpool Mercury  “Milward charged (John) McCartney in such a style as to warrant the referee in ordering him off the field” - the game ended goalless.

It wasn’t until March 1897 that he pulled on an England shirt once more. Wales were again the opponents for a game at Bramall Lane and Milward netted twice in two second-half minutes as the home side strolled to a 4-0 win.

Three days later he played against Scotland at Crystal Palace but this time the Scots triumphed 2-1.

He was also twice selected for different representative sides to play against their Scottish counterparts in April 1896. The first of these came on the 11th when Alf played for a Football League XI in a 5-1 thrashing of a Scotland League XI in an Inter-League game staged at Goodison Park.

This was followed on the 28th when he scored for an English XI in a 2-1 win over the Scots at Ibrox Stadium in a Players Union international. 

Everton reached a second FA Cup Final in April 1897 but again they lost, this time it was 3-2 to Aston Villa and it was at the end of this campaign, three games later, that having scored 97 goals in 224 appearances he left the Toffee’s and made a short journey across Merseyside to join a newly-formed club called New Brighton Tower.

They played at an already-built 80,000-capacity stadium, the Tower Athletic Grounds, in the Lancashire League and after becoming champions at the first attempt they were admitted into the Football League as Division Two was expanded.

In 1899 Alf joined Southampton who despite being in the Southern League were a side of made up of former internationals and other players with top-flight experience.

During his first season with the Saints he scored 28 goals in 34 matches and once again reached the FA Cup Final but Milward, who had scored twice in a 3-0 First Round win over former club Everton en route, again suffered misery in the 1900 Final as Bury won the game 4-0 at Crystal Palace.

The following season (1900-01) Alf netted 12 times, in 28 league fixtures, as the South Coast side won the Southern League title.

It was at that point, the summer of 1901, that Milward arrived at New Brompton who themselves had finished that season in 12th place and he scored on his debut in a 1-1 draw at his former club Southampton on the opening day of the season.

He was an ever-present during his first campaign in Kent scoring 14 goals in 35 appearances and then in 1902-03 he played 26 more games and netted six more goals which included a hat-trick in a 3-0 win at Maidstone United in a FA Cup Fourth Qualifying tie.

It is uncertain what happened to Alf after he retired after leaving New Brompton at the end of that season except that he died in Winchester in June 1941 at 70 years of age.

N.B – In the team photo from 1902-03 on the front page, Alf is seated directly behind the player on the ground with the ball.

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