Ever Wonder

Ever Wonder why West Ham sing ‘I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles’?

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Our ‘Ever Wonder’ series will run throughout the 2022-23 Premier League season and focuses on key stories behind the history, tradition and culture of all 20 Premier League clubs.

[ MORE: Check out our ‘Ever Wonder’ series in full ]

Have you ever sat there and wondered why certain chants became iconic at a club? Why a team has a certain nickname? Why they play in those colors? How they were founded? Yep, us too.

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA

This season we will be digging deep to tell the stories of the rich history, tradition and culture from around the Premier League and give you the answers to things you want to know more about.


Ever Wonder why West Ham fans sing ‘I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles’?

Have you ever wondered why West Ham’s fans sing loudly and proudly about blowing bubbles? The reason they sing it will blow your mind, and bubbles, of course, but mostly your mind…

When the bubble machine gets going and fans fire up the famous chant at West Ham before a game and at the start of the second half and after a big win, it is something very special, and bizarre.

History of the song

The song was originally written and composed around 1919 in the USA by Jaan Kenbrovin and John William Kellette. It was a hit on both sides of the Atlantic and was very popular in musical halls in the 1920s.

According to club records, West Ham’s fans started to sing the song at games in the mid 1920s.

But why? Yep, it is a curious question which has a wild answer.

How did it become linked with West Ham?

Schoolboy football was very popular in east London and in particular around West Ham’s home at Upton Park.

The headmaster of Park School, which was located right next to Upton Park and was very successful, was Mr Cornelius Beal. A football fanatic, Beal was close friends with West Ham United trainer, and later manager, Charlie Paynter.

Nicknamed ‘Corney’, the headmaster wrote his own version of ‘Bubbles’ and fans watching Park School would sing the song and place the name of whichever player was excelling into the song.

The legacy of William ‘Bubbles’ Murray

One player who excelled for Park School was William ‘Bubbles’ Murray. He was nicknamed ‘Bubbles’ because he looked very similar to a painting which was used in a Pears Soap advert. Seriously.

Bubbles never played for West Ham’s first team but many of his teammates, such as West Ham legends Jim Barrett and Syd Puddefoot, did.

However, ‘Bubbles’ was inextricably linked with that group of young stars who went on to make it at West Ham but he played a key part in the clubs’ identity over 100 years later.

Soap advert lookalike leads to a cult hero, and song

So there you have it.

West Ham’s famous anthem, “I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles” became popular, and is synonymous with the club, because of a star schoolboy player in east London in the 1920s, who never actually played for West Ham’s first team but was lauded because he looked like a character in a soap advert.

The next time you hear “I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles” belted out, think of William ‘Bubbles’ Murray.

The local lad who never made it to the first team on the pitch, but his West Ham legacy has lasted for over 100 years. And counting.

Ever Wonder why Liverpool owes their existence to Everton?

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Our ‘Ever Wonder’ series will run throughout the 2022-23 Premier League season and focuses on key stories behind the history, tradition and culture of all 20 Premier League clubs.

[ MORE: Check out our ‘Ever Wonder’ series in full ]

Have you ever sat there and wondered why certain chants became iconic at a club? Why a team has a certain nickname? Why they play in those colors? How they were founded? Yep, us too.

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA

This season we will be digging deep to tell the stories of the rich history, tradition and culture from around the Premier League and give you the answers to things you want to know more about.


Ever Wonder why Liverpool owe their existence to Everton?

Have you ever wondered how Liverpool Football Club were formed? Well, it’s actually because of their bitter rivals Everton Football Club. Seriously.

After being formed in 1878, Everton played home games around Liverpool with Stanley Park and Priory Road both hosting their matches. However, they moved to a brand new stadium, Anfield, in 1884.

That’s right, the historic home of Liverpool Football Club was home to Everton long before LFC were formed. Mind. Blown.

Everton moved to Anfield because they were kicked out of their previous home due to rowdy scenes in a cup win, as they rented the stadium from local brewers, the Orrell Brothers, who then donated it to the local Stanley Hospital.

 


First-ever title win came for Everton at Anfield

Everton became a professional team in 1888 and in the 1890-91 season they won their first-ever league title with crowds of 20,000 packing into Anfield to cheer on the Blues.

Imagine that!?

Then came a twist which resulted in Liverpool FC’s birth.


Soaring rent, and popularity, forced the Toffees to move

Everton’s club president, John Houlding, demanded more rent for the team to play at Anfield as their success on the pitch saw their popularity soar.

But instead, they moved to a new stadium on the north side of Stanley Park in 1892.

Everton’s new home was called Goodison Park and they’ve been there ever since.


What happened to Anfield?

But what about Anfield? Well, it was left empty and had no team so that is why Liverpool Football Club was set up by John Houlding.

He initially tried to call the team Everton Athletic but that was thrown out by the Football League. And Liverpool Football Club was born.

So the next time you watch a game from Anfield, remember: Everton called it home in the late 19th century and even won their first-ever league title at the now famous home of their bitter rivals, Liverpool Football Club.

And the only reason Liverpool FC are around is because Everton didn’t want to pay soaring rent and move out of Anfield.


Ever Wonder why Newcastle fans are called Geordies?

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Our ‘Ever Wonder’ series will run throughout the 2022-23 Premier League season and focuses on key stories behind the history, tradition and culture of all 20 Premier League clubs.

[ MORE: Check out our ‘Ever Wonder’ series in full ]

Have you ever sat there and wondered why certain chants became iconic at a club? Why a team has a certain nickname? Why they play in those colors? How they were founded? Yep, us too.

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA

This season we will be digging deep to tell the stories of the rich history, tradition and culture from around the Premier League and give you the answers to things you want to know more about.


Ever wonder why Newcastle fans are called Geordies?

Newcastle’s fans are some of the most passionate in the Premier League and across the soccer world.

But have you ever wondered why Newcastle’s fans are called Geordies?

What is a Geordie?

A Geordie is defined as someone who hails from the far North East of England, particularly in the Tyneside area where the City of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and Newcastle United, are based. Where does this term come from?

There are many theories including George being a very popular name for boys in the North East, a miners lamp created by George Stephenson and because the town supported King George I against the Jacobites in the mid 1700s

Geographically Newcastle is tucked away in the far north of England and a good distance away from Manchester, London and other large cities. That gives Geordies a distinct identity.

Speaking Geordie

A Geordie speaks, you guessed it, Geordie. The Geordie accent and local dialect is extremely distinctive and hails from the Anglo-Saxon settlers in the 5th century.

After all, Scandinavia is just a short hop across the North Sea from Newcastle.

Newcastle’s fans chant “Geordies’ throughout their games and it is a key part of who they are.

Geordie culture

From Newcastle Brown Ale being served in a glass called a Geordie Schooner to the TV show Geordie Shore (yes, it’s a spin-off of Jersey Shore) and the famed chant ‘ho’way the lads’ the Geordie culture engulfs the City of Newcastle and its beloved club, Newcastle United.

‘Wey aye, man! I went doon the toon to see Newcastle play. Eddie Howe is a canny bloke, like, and we’re gannin well. But I divven naw if we’ll get top 4. Gey it some welly, lads!”

Ever Wonder why Everton are nicknamed the Toffees?

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Our ‘Ever Wonder’ series will run throughout the 2022-23 Premier League season and focuses on key stories behind the history, tradition and culture of all 20 Premier League clubs.

[ MORE: Check out our ‘Ever Wonder’ series in full ]

Have you ever sat there and wondered why certain chants became iconic at a club? Why a team has a certain nickname? Why they play in those colors? How they were founded? Yep, us too.

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA

This season we will be digging deep to tell the stories of the rich history, tradition and culture from around the Premier League and give you the answers to things you want to know more about.


Ever wonder why Everton are nicknamed the Toffees?

When it comes to why Everton are nicknamed the Toffees, obviously candy is involved.

But have you ever wondered why, and how, that became their nickname?

There are a few reasons, but legend has it that a toffee shop located in Everton village called Mother Noblett’s.

The store was based between Everton Brow and Brow Side, which is opposite the Everton lock up which is the castle depicted on their badge.

Anyway, back to why the club are nicknamed the Toffees….

Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Everton v West Ham United - Goodison Park
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Everton mints become a big hit

A tradition arose at Goodison Park where the Toffee Girl from Mother Noblett’s walked around the pitch before a game and threw free Everton Mints into the crowd.

Everton mints had a toffee center with a hard sugar shell and were black and white striped, as the colors signified a team jersey worn by Everton, hence popular with fans.

Essentially, this was the old school version of the hotdog cannon at a baseball game…

Everton v West Ham - Premier League
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The Toffee hub of the UK

There is also another reason given for the nickname which all blends in together.

Ye Anicente Toffee House is in Village Street, right next to Goodison Park.

That house was run by the famous Ma Bushell and was close to the Queen’s head hotel, where the first club meetings were held when Everton Football Club was formed in 1878.

The streets around Everton were famous for Toffees shops in the 1700s, so when the team moved to Goodison Park in 1892, the Toffees nickname was a natural fit. And it has stuck ever since. Sorry, how could you not make that joke!?

Everton v Wolverhampton Wanderers - Premier League
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Ever Wonder why there is an actual cottage at Craven Cottage?

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Our ‘Ever Wonder’ series will run throughout the 2022-23 Premier League season and focuses on key stories behind the history, tradition and culture of all 20 Premier League clubs.

[ MORE: Check out our ‘Ever Wonder’ series in full ]

Have you ever sat there and wondered why certain chants became iconic at a club? Why a team has a certain nickname? Why they play in those colors? How they were founded? Yep, us too.

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA

This season we will be digging deep to tell the stories of the rich history, tradition and culture from around the Premier League and give you the answers to things you want to know more about.


What is cottage at Craven Cottage all about?

Fulham’s Craven Cottage is loved the world over. Their home by the banks of the River Thames is one of the most historic, and beautiful, stadiums in the game.

But have you ever wondered why there is an actual cottage in the corner of Craven Cottage?

And have you ever wondered what came first: the cottage or the stadium? Yep. Us too.


Fancy cottage and clientele

There has been a cottage on this site since 1780 when William Craven, who was the Sixth Baron Craven, built a cottage in a wooded area which is now on the site of Craven Cottage stadium.

It is also believed the site was previously used as Anne Boleyn’s hunting ground in the 1500s when she was the Queen of England. Fancy cottage indeed.

Legend has it that several famous writers also stayed at the original cottage for inspiration, and how could you not be inspired by this setting!?


Rebuild and Fulham’s arrival

A fire destroyed the original buildings in 1888 and the ground was left derelict until 1894 when Fulham (London’s oldest professional club as they being founded in 1879 at St Andrew’s Church in West Kensington) bought the land to build Craven Cottage stadium.

The stadium was updated extensively in 1905 by renowned football stadium architect Archibald Leitch.

If this doesn’t scream football history, I don’t know what does…


Why is there a cottage?

After Fulham’s first match in their gleaming new home there was one small problem to solve which explains why the cottage is there: there were no locker rooms built for players to use.

‘Not a problem, we will build a fancy cottage for that’ said Archibald Leitch, probably… And he did.

Today, the Cottage is still used for players to get changed in and directors of the club and players’ families sit in it to watch games from the balcony.

So, there you have it.


Incredible history remains

Craven Cottage the stadium was there before the actual cottage at Craven Cottage. But there has been a cottage on the site since 1780, and Anne Boleyn’s hunting grounds before that. That scent around Craven Cottage is history, folks.

Beautiful, magical, magnificent history.

Remember: when you next watch a game at Craven Cottage and see Antonee Robinson running down the wing, Anne Boleyn probably rode on a horse near that spot in the 1500s. Wild.