For over 25 years, Dr David France has been assembling what has been quoted as the most comprehensive collection of football memorabilia in the world.
A Collection of artefacts, letters and other ephemera, the David France Collection is a timeline of Everton history stemming from the very roots of the Club’s existence to the present day. Containing items which crystallised and created a nation of blue-blooded Evertonians, the Collection traces the Club’s heritage back to 1878 when Everton’s time first began.
The Collection has been valued at £1.2 million, but would fetch considerably more if broken up and sold as individual items. However, as a loyal Evertonian, David is passionate that it should remain in its entirety and has offered it to Evertonians for £800,000.
Further to this, the Collection is also of the utmost historical importance in illustrating and chronicling the formation of the oldest League system in the world. Featuring some of football’s rarest artefacts, of the 10,000 collated items, many pre-date the formative years of the Football League.
Boasting an anthology of programmes dating back to 1886, the Collection contains 6,065 programmes covering the Club’s participation in league, cup competitions, friendly games and reserve team fixtures between 1886 – 2001. The programmes provided the starting block for David France’s Collection when he first started assembling programmes as a young boy in 1953. Added to his first programme are now all the home and most of the away programmes for every game in which Dixie Dean played for Everton, along with 30 home issues and one away edition from the pre-League era and many more since.
Added to the programmes, season tickets, ticket stubs, medals, photographs, contracts, cash books, handbooks, financial statements and other ephemera, every item amassed in the collection assists in mapping out the Club’s distinguished past and its unparalleled heritage. Other items include cigarette cards, postcards and international caps from the turn of the century.
Each piece of memorabilia is unique and special in its own right. Some pieces date back to the pioneering days at Stanley Park, Priory Road and Anfield with the Everton Ledgers shedding much light and insight into the Club’s history from 1886 through to 1964, including diverse issues such as the choice of colours, selection of team line-ups and the acrimonious split which resulted in the formation of Liverpool Football Club.
With this in mind, the Collection not only documents the history and pedigree of Everton Football Club, but also the history of football in the city of Liverpool, Merseyside, and the world. Its contents provide an ideal tool to educate people in the history of the beautiful game and life in Liverpool itself, however it is also a box of memories opening a wealth of opportunity to look back and reminisce about the past and the glory of Everton Football Club.
In order to acquire this outstanding Collection, a Charitable Trust has been established by Evertonians to raise the funds needed to bring it home.
Established by Trustees Lord Grantchester, grandson of former Everton Chairman Sir John Moores, Keith Wyness, Chief Executive of Everton FC and another True Blue Evertonian, Tony Tighe; The Everton Collection Charitable Trust aims to secure the Collection for future generations, maintaining and preserving each individual item to ensure the legacy of Everton and the history of football on Merseyside and the world, lives on.
Once acquired, the Collection will initially be on display periodically at Goodison Park. However, in order that it be openly accessible to all for purposes such as research, the advancement of education and public interest, the Everton Collection Charitable Trust is currently working in partnership with the city of Liverpool’s Record Office and National Museums Liverpool, to ultimately house the Collection securely in a venue where the public may enjoy it in its full glory.