Evans Dick Image 1 Southampton 1903

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Description

Smallthorne, Stoke on Trent, Staffordshire born outside right Dick Evans began his football career with Newcastle White Star from where he joined local Second Division club Burslem Port Vale in November 1894, making his Football League debut in a defeat at Newton Heath (now Manchester United) on New Year’s Day 1895. A regular during the remainder of his five seasons at Cobridge Athletic Ground, he scored his first goal for Port Vale in his next match, a 2-2 draw at Crewe Alexandra four days later.

After the club were demoted from the Football League to the Midland League in 1896, Evans became the club’s joint top scorer with Danny Simpson two seasons running, with 14 goals in 1896-97 and 11 goals in 1897-98. He helped the club lift the Staffordshire Senior Cup in 1898. The Valiants returned to Football League status in 1898 with Evans scoring their first goal back in the League in a 2-0 win over Barnsley that September, however he lost his first team place in February 1899 and joined Southern League club Reading in the 1899 close season after 48 goals in over 100 appearances for Burslem Port Vale, of which 23 goals came in 62 appearances during their three League campaigns.

At Elm Park he helped The Royals to finish fourth in the Southern League in 1899-1900, ninth in 1900-01, and fifth in 1901-02 before Evans moved to fellow Southern League club Southampton in the 1902 close season. He arrived at The Dell with a high reputation following his achievements with Port Vale and Reading. Nicknamed “Jammer”, he had a deadly shot and was a quick and reliable right winger who rapidly became a favourite with the fans, who also loved his “never-say-die” spirit”.

He made his Saints debut in the opening game of the 1902-03 season, a 6-0 victory over Brentford in which John Fraser scored a hat trick. He soon became a fixture on the right wing, with Joe Turner on the left, although in January he lost his place to Scottish international Mark Bell as a result of an injury, before returning at the end of February. In his first season with The Saints he played 23 matches, scoring seven goals, as Southampton claimed the Southern League title for the fifth time in seven years.

Evans started the 1903-04 season with three goals in the first three matches and was on the scoresheet regularly, until December when a serious leg injury forced him to sit out most of the rest of the season, (being replaced first by Joe Turner and then by Harry Turner) only returning for the last three matches. Evans’ nine goals from his 18 appearances helped Southampton retain the Southern League Championship, winning it for the sixth (and final) time. Ill health and injuries forced his retirement in 1904, by when he had scored 16 goals in 41 appearances in his two years at The Dell, although a return to Burslem Port Vale followed in September 1904, and he played in a 0-0 draw at Glossop in the Second Division, however in only his second game, a 1-0 home defeat by Wolverhampton Wanderers in the Staffordshire Senior Cup, he suffered a career-ending injury and retired that year.

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