The high point of Lewis Weller’s life in football came at Goodison Park, though not in the blue of Everton, with whom he spent his entire professional career. At the height of the First World War, in May 1916, the left half appeared for England in a wartime international. 22,000 supporters watched a thrilling encounter, with the home nation prevailing 4-3.
Signed from Leek United* in 1909 for £10 ‘with a promise of a further £10 if Weller did well for us’, Weller was, in essence, a squad player throughout the entirety of his 15-year-long Everton career. He made his debut against Blackburn Rovers as a reserve for the injured Harry Makepeace in April 1910 and marked it with a rare goal. ‘He had indulged in a passing bout with [James] Gourlay, and after Ashcroft had saved the latter's effort, Weller pounced upon the ball, and netted with a fast rising shot, which struck the under part of the bar, leaving the custodian helpless,’ reported the Liverpool Courier. The debutant, it added, was ‘the pick’ of the Everton backs and was subsequently described as a ‘clever and resourceful defender.’
Yet there was no rapid ascent for Weller and although he was part of the team that lifted the 1914/15 League Championship, it was not enough to earn a medal. His best season came in 1919/20, when he appeared in 28 league matches, mostly at left back. Although he remained on Everton’s books until May 1924, when he was given a free transfer, he did not make a first team appearance in either of his final two years at the club. In the 1930s he returned to Everton in a scouting capacity.
* Some accounts erroneously claim Weller joined from Chesterfield, but Everton’s minute books confirm that this is not the case.