CUFF, William 'Will' Charles  [1868-1949]

Will Cuff’s association with Everton F.C. spanned over half a century, a period in which the club grew to be a giant of the English game and in which Cuff established himself as one of the leading football administrators of the first half of the twentieth century.

He was born on 19th August 1868 the son of Henry Cuff, a pork butcher, and his Welsh-born wife Mary. Initially living in Byrom Street the family moved to 34 Spellow Lane L4 which was where Will Cuff grew up. His father was a trustee of St Domingo Chapel and Will was the choirmaster, alongside George Mahon as organist, who was also to feature strongly in the early years of Everton F.C. Will Cuff joined Everton in 1890, also becoming a shareholder, and having been elected a director in 1894 he was appointed club Secretary in 1901. Having qualified as a solicitor Cuff was ideally qualified for the administrative role but also lent his expertise in other areas such as team selection. He served as Secretary until 1919, a period which saw the FA Cup triumph of 1906 and a League title in 1914-15, also being runners-up in the League on no fewer than four occasions and being losing cup finalists in 1907.

After a break of three years cuff was appointed Chairman, a post he was to fill until 1939 a stewardship that was to coincide with a true Golden Age for Everton as William Ralph ‘Dixie’ Dean spearheaded them to titles and F A Cup triumph.

Cuff was a very influential figure in the wider football world, serving as an F A Vice Chairman and being appointed President of the Football League in 1939. In this role he worked alongside F A Secretary Stanley Rous to reorganise football during the war to allow it to continue as a morale booster and fund raiser.

As was the case with many of those whose association with the club stemmed from their involvement with St Domingo chapel Cuff adopted a very moralistic stance to his football administration. He was vehemently against any close association with football pools, ironic when one considers the part that John Moores’ wealth would later play in the club’s fortunes. Towards the end of his time as a director Cuff was strongly opposed to the way the club was being run, a dispute that would be pursued with some degree of acrimony on both sides. He eventually felt unable to continue as a director, resigning his position in 1948.

In 1894 Cuff married Jessie Ford and they lived first at 14 Alroy Road L4, moving to 15 Albert Drive L9 and then 5 Albert drive L9. By the 1920’s they had moved to Belle Vale Cottages in Wambo Lane L25, an area which in those days would have been a wholly rural setting. They lived there until the last year’s of their life when they resided in the Holywell Hotel at Parkgate.

After 54 years of marriage his wife died in 1948 and Will Cuff died a year later. He was buried in Anfield Cemetery, the service being conducted by one-time Liverpool F.C. player James Jackson.

14 Alroy Road L4

The Cuff's first home after their marriage in 1894.

5 Albert Drive L9


There is an excellent article on Will Cuff to be found on the Everton Encyclopedia website.