Johnny Holt

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Johnny Holt
Personal information
Full name John Holt
Date of birth (1865-04-10)10 April 1865
Place of birth Church, Lancashire
Date of death 1937 (aged 72)
Playing position Half back
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
King's Own Blackburn F.C.
1886 Blackpool St. John's F.C.
Church F.C.
1887–1888 Bootle
1888–1898 Everton 225 (3)
1898 Reading
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Johnny Holt (10 April 1865[1] – 1937[2]) was an English professional footballer who played in twenty-one of Everton's twenty-two game Football League title winning side of 1890–91.


Holt played for a number of clubs before signing for Everton in August 1888. His first club was called King's Own Blackburn, then he joined Blackpool St. John's in 1886, a club that pre-dated Blackpool but ceased to exist as the latter became the major club for the town. He then played for his hometown club of Church before returning to Blackpool to play for Blackpool F.C. He then went to Merseyside where, in football terms, he stayed and became a local favourite. He joined Bootle in 1887 and that must be where Everton discovered him as he signed for Everton to play in their inaugural Football League season in August 1888. Holt was a relatively small man at 5ft 5in, but he was considered to be one of the best centre-halves in the United Kingdom during the 1890s, as well as being a character in the game of football. He was a pocket dynamo with boundless energy, he could outjump the tallest opponent but was a temperamental player, known for his petty and crafty fouls performed on the blind side of the referee. His nickname, a bit of a mouthful, was "Little Everton Devil".[3]

1888–1889 season[edit]

Johnny Holt made his League debut on 8 September 1888, as a wing–half, at Anfield, the then home of Everton. The home team defeated the visitors, Accrington 2–1. Johnny Holt played in 17 of the 22 League matches played by Everton in season 1888–89. As a centre–half (13 appearances) he played in a Everton defence that achieved a clean sheet on two occasions and restricted the opposition to one–League–goal–in–a–match on four separate occasions.[4]

Rest of career[edit]

In March 1890 he became the first Everton player to win an England cap when he was picked to play against Wales. Holt joined Reading in 1897. He played 208 times for Everton after 1888-1889, scoring three goals. He also made 28 appearances in the FA Cup scoring 1 goal.


  1. ^ "Jack Holt". England career details. Retrieved 1 September 2010.
  2. ^ "Johnny Holt". England Football Online. 6 November 2014. Retrieved 13 February 2018.
  3. ^ Matthews, Tony (2004). Who's Who of Everton. Mainstream Publishing. p. 121. ISBN 1 84018 819 7.
  4. ^ "English National Football Archive". Retrieved 9 February 2018. (registration & fee required)

External Links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Andrew Hannah
Everton captain
Succeeded by
Bob Howarth