Our 124-Year Love Affair...

Jamie Armstrong 18/01/2017  166 Comments  [Jump to last]
Goodison Park has been Everton’s home since 1892. Although days of going to Goodison could well be drawing to an end with the club confirming at January’s AGM, that progress is being made toward our new spiritual home.

Although now showing her age, the Grand Old Lady has done us proud down the years, setting the benchmark many have tried to follow. An innovator: she was the first purpose built football stadium, the first to have four sides, the first to have dugouts, the first to have under-soil heating and the first and only British club ground to host a World Cup semi-final.

For so many Evertonians she will hold a special place in our hearts and everyone will remember their first visit to Goodison Park…

For me it was the 18 December 1993 and with Newcastle United visitors, my Dad and my Uncle Phil took me up as part of my birthday treat. I can remember the day like it was yesterday. As an excited 9-year-old and hardly sleeping much the night before we made the arduous two hour journey up the motorway, the joys of supporting Everton but living in the Cotswolds.

I remember the moment we pulled into Liverpool, everything looked so different than anything I had ever seen before. Everything seemed so enormous and there were people everywhere. We slowly drove through the city along the Dock Road up through Everton Vale. I can recall the stadium slowly appearing on the horizon. My Dad turned and said, ‘There she is, Jay.’ I didn’t know what to make of it, I’d seen pictures but nothing could compare to its size and splendor. I was totally in awe!

After parking the car in the car park, we began our walk past all the supporters’ club coaches, there seemed hundreds of them, from all parts of the country. I can always remember seeing the West Country Blues coach and my Dad and Uncle Phil trying to work out what time they’d probably would have had to had left in order to get up in Liverpool for lunchtime! It made and makes our journey seem a bit insignificant.

Eventually we made it to the stadium, firstly we walked around to the old club shop on the corner of the Bullens Road. The shop seemed so small but was crammed full of supporters. My Uncle Phil treated me to my first Everton scarf and hat. To this day, my scarf still hangs proudly in my Everton Man Cave!

After exiting the shop we walked down Goodison Road to the Main Stand, it was huge, I looked straight up and nearly fell backwards, it went up so high. The tallest thing I’d come across prior to this had been the village church or one of the many visits to the Isle of Man and the Laxey Wheel! We then made our way around to St Luke's Church; I couldn’t believe there was a church attached to the ground. By this point nature was calling so my Dad asked if I could use a toilet, a lovely lady ran off and got this massive key, one you use to get on ‘Through The Keyhole’. I thought either David Frost is a Blue or this was the key to some pretty old toilets!

After the quick pit stop at St Luke's, we made our way into the ground. We went up so many flights of stairs; they seem to go on forever, until finally we reached the top. We exited onto the concourse and my Dad and Uncle Phil took me out through one of the corridors and there she was in all her glory, Goodison Park!

The stands were starting to fill up with supporters and I can remember the grass, the grass looked like the cloth from a snooker table. It was so green and so flat!

We took to our seats and hearing Z-Cars for the first time sent shivers down my spine. When that second cymbal crashed and the players began to walk out I got butterflies in my stomach! I can also remember hearing all these different accents, to a 9-year-old from ‘the sticks’ seemed pretty crazy!

The game started and was pretty woeful in all fairness, Newcastle were too hot to handle and were ahead after 15 minutes through Andy Cole. We pushed for an equaliser but they caught us on the break late on through former Blue, Peter Beardsley, with the decisive goal. The referee blew the final whistle and with it the deafening boos of frustrated supporters. Although they didn’t know it at the time, things would only get worse that season. Thank the Lord for Hans Segers, hey?!

The defeat aside I knew I couldn’t wait to come back to the Grand Old Lady again. Although it did take me a few years before I saw the Blues win at Goodison. Since then I have seen my fair share of momentous days, from the day Duncan was let out, to Rooney making history to Arteta taking the roof off against Fiorentina.

Whether you sit in the Street End, Park End, Main Stand or Bullens Road, you can sense the nostalgia and can smell the tradition seeping from the concourses. It’s such a special place that creates special memories every time we step foot in her. When the final whistle eventually blows on our time at Goodison Park, there won’t be a dry eye in the place.

Next time you are on the way to the match, pause for thought and think about your first journey and game at the Grand Old Lady, it will bring back some great memories. Goodison Park – a bastion of English football, what a place!

You can read more from Jamie at Cahill's Corner Flag

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Reader Comments (166)

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Stan Schofield
1 Posted 18/01/2017 at 16:07:18
Jamie, nice article and tribute to our great stadium.

My dad took me to my first game in 1961, at age 7. It was the first game of the 61-62 season, and we stood in the Paddock. I remember Alex Young making an impression, although I wasn't really too interested in football at the time. We beat Aston Villa 2-0, Young and Billy Bingham scoring.

In those days, the wall was low enough for me to stand at the front and see, but when Goodison was used for the '66 World Cup, the wall was made higher, and I recall kids taking milk crates to stand on. By this time we stood mainly on the Goodison Road terrace, on a big step midway up the terrace, which gave a good view.

In those days gates often exceeded 50,000, sometimes being around 60,000, and the atmosphere was great when the entire crowd seemed to be chanting "Everton", or (twice in the 60s) "Champions".

I remember us beating WBA 2-0 (Alan Whittle and Colin Harvey scoring) to secure the 1969-70 title, the team being presented with the trophy on the old Goodison Road stand, and my dad and me ending up on the pitch (to avoid a crush on the terraces). My only time standing on that hallowed turf.

Thomas Lennon
2 Posted 18/01/2017 at 16:31:28
I was a little lad in the early '70s going to my first game, high up in Bullens, I think with my Uncle Joe. I remember the smell walking up to the stadium – fat vans, cigarette smoke and horse manure. Queueing outside looking at the huge horses.

Then, once in the ground, it was walking up the stairs and seeing the bright emerald green grass that made the biggest impression.

Men all around cracking jokes made the match a very funny experience and we won 3-1 against QPR. Mick Lyons, Mike Bernard, Dobson, Latchford probably – Stan Bowles and Frank Worthington in the opposition.

I've been a member of the family ever since.

Alan McGuffog
3 Posted 18/01/2017 at 16:46:11
Here's a question to those of a similar vintage to me. Remember the programme shop on Goodison Road, between the Winslow and the Blue House? Just the front room of a terraced house I recall.

I l loved to nip in there after a game to see if there were any exotic programmes. Anyone know when it finished?

Brian Williams
4 Posted 18/01/2017 at 16:53:25
Wow! Talk about strange coincidences! Just read this article and decided to look up my first game.

It was on the 18 January 1964. I didn't even realize for a minute or so and wondered why the 18 January stuck in my head.

Then the penny dropped, and it turns out that my first game at Goodison was 52 years ago to this very day. How strange is that?

Can't remember a thing about the game apart from, the score 1-1, and the fact that my elder cousin Tony (RIP) took me to negate the attempted influence of my uncle Ken (RIP) who was a Kopite (as they were known in the days before they became the RS).

Patrick Murphy
5 Posted 18/01/2017 at 16:53:48
Alan (#3),

I'm not absolutely sure but the bloke who ran it, moved it over to the other side of the park as they seemed more interested in buying stuff than us Blues, I'm fairly certain the bloke who owned it was a reds fan from down south. I reckon the shop remained open on Goodison Road upto circa 1975 but no later than 1978.

Stan Schofield
6 Posted 18/01/2017 at 16:56:18
On 'firsts', I could be wrong, but I seem to recall that Goodison was the first ground to have an electronic score board.

During the 71-72 season we beat Southampton 8-0 (5-0 at half-time), and I can remember the scorer sequence on the scoreboard: 7, 9, 7, 9, 8, 9, 9, 7.

7 was David Johnson
8 was Alan Ball
9 was Joe Royle

Patrick Murphy
7 Posted 18/01/2017 at 16:57:45
Brian (#4),

It's also the birthday of Bob Latchford and Peter Beardsley today, as well as the anniversary of Adrian Heath's goal at Oxford in the League Cup of 1984.

January 18th

Brian Williams
8 Posted 18/01/2017 at 16:59:18
Patrick.

Thanks for that. Seems it was written in the stars for me!

Tony Abrahams
9 Posted 18/01/2017 at 17:40:08
My first game at Goodison, was against Altrincham, in the FA Cup, 42 years ago. Can't remember much,about the day, except I knew I was watching football, and I loved it.

I think me dad made a mistake, because I already loved Everton that much that it made me want to also learn to read, and when he was going somewhere with my older brother I knew he was going to Goodison!

Stan Schofield
10 Posted 18/01/2017 at 17:52:43
Tony, I remember that, we won 2-1. Downside was, we ended up buying Bernie Wright from Altrincham, who's hobby was weightlifting.

I also recall that John Connolly had his leg broken in that match.

Lenny Jameson
11 Posted 18/01/2017 at 17:57:34
Stan (40) Sorry, but the Altrincham game was 1-1. We beat them 2-0 in a replay at Old Trafford. We got Bernie from Walsall after another cup game.

I used to have a drink with him in town and he was as nuts as everyone thinks!!!
Alan McGuffog
12 Posted 18/01/2017 at 17:59:52
Stan, I'm pretty sure we were taken to a replay. Played at Old Trafford after they tried to kick us off the park at home.
Ray Atherton
13 Posted 18/01/2017 at 18:10:25
Stan (#10),

I think he signed from Walsall.

Gerry Quinn
14 Posted 18/01/2017 at 18:23:55
Stan, #6, just for you...

http://ToffeeWeb.com/season/13-14/comment/fan/g_quinn.pdf

David Edwards
15 Posted 18/01/2017 at 18:25:06
First game was the 3-2 v Leeds in 1969. My father perched me on his shoulder/upper arm the whole game, so I could see over the Paddock wall! He worked at Stanlow and was able to make a foldable wooden stool for me for the next game.

You've got to love the Old Lady, but It lost some of it's charm years ago when they removed the raised semi-circles behind the goals and then walled up the deeper bit of the Park End. Change! Bah-humbug! 😉

Stan Schofield
16 Posted 18/01/2017 at 18:27:06
Alan, I just checked, you're right! 1-1 at home, won 2-0 in the replay.

Ray, you're right as well!

I seem to recall we signed him after an FA Cup tie, because he impressed against us. I was convinced it was Altrincham!

John Hughes
17 Posted 18/01/2017 at 18:33:41
Stan – we signed Bernie Wright in early 1972 from Walsall after we played and beat them in an FA Cup tie at Goodison. Played 11 matches for the Blues before leaving the club owing to smacking coach Stewart Imlach at Bellefield!
Jeff Armstrong
18 Posted 18/01/2017 at 18:42:55
Stan, I think you're right about Connolly breaking his leg in that cup tie though.
Steve Carse
19 Posted 18/01/2017 at 18:51:30
David (#15), I never liked the semi circular walls myself. It meant the Gwladys Street supporters were too far from the goal and it lost a lot of its intimidatory force.

To me the best old clips of GP are those that capture the bedlam in Gwladys Street when an important goal was scored, after the wall had been removed and the terracing reinstated right down to pitchside.

Stan Schofield
20 Posted 18/01/2017 at 18:58:50
Gerry @14: Thanks for that link mate, much appreciated. I read your article, very interesting. There are some coincidences here, besides being at that game.

Firstly, I also work in the offshore industry. Secondly, I've worked in Houston, but only for 6 months. Thirdly, you mention taking your wife to her only match, and hoping for a score similar to the Southampton game.

Well, I took my wife to her one and only match at Goodison, against Chelsea, 1978-79 season, and we won 6-0! Not far off 8-0,

Stan Schofield
21 Posted 18/01/2017 at 19:02:57
Correction, it was 1977-78 season.
Brent Stephens
22 Posted 18/01/2017 at 19:05:57
Steve,

"I never liked the semi circular walls myself. It meant the Gwladys Street supporters were too far from the goal and it lost a lot of its intimidatory force".

Well, if you hadn't thrown that dart, they wouldn't have erected the wall!

Brent Stephens
23 Posted 18/01/2017 at 19:16:28
I can't find online any reference to the incident of the dart thrown at Goodison. Does anybody remember that?
Alan McGuffog
24 Posted 18/01/2017 at 19:17:39
An aesthetic improvement on the original structure crudely fashioned from bits of scaffolding poles and the like. Was it Bill Brown of Spurs who was the target?
Colin Glassar
25 Posted 18/01/2017 at 19:20:01
My first game was against WBA, we won 2-1 then battered them 6-2 at their place then lost the bloody FA Cup Final 1-0.

I still hate Jeff Astle (RIP), he broke my heart that day.

Brent Stephens
26 Posted 18/01/2017 at 19:25:03
Alan, I believe you're right about it being Bill Brown the dart was thrown at. I seem to remember pictures of a dart sticking out of a head.
Jack Farrell
27 Posted 18/01/2017 at 19:28:05
Spot on – Bill Brown of Spurs it was.
David Israel
28 Posted 18/01/2017 at 19:35:54
My first visit to Goodison was the match against Fulham at the end of the 1962-63 season, when we were Champions. I'm afraid I can't recall much from that game, apart from the said milestone. But, however blurry, the memory lives on!
Barry Thompson
29 Posted 18/01/2017 at 19:44:44
Stan @ 10. Hey Stan, didn't they used to sing - 'John Connolly, John Connolly the winger to watch' to the tune of the John Collier advert or is my memory playing tricks.

By the way, my first game was the friendly against Dundee United in Oct 75. Sure I only saw the game played in the park end half of the pitch due to the fog.

Stan Schofield
30 Posted 18/01/2017 at 19:53:56
Barry, yes, that's right about the song.

Very skillful left winger was Connolly.


Peter Mills
31 Posted 18/01/2017 at 20:25:26
Colin (#25), "Ernie" Hunt scored one of the goals in your first game. His presence in the team that season gave rise to the unique occurrence of both teams in the derby matches having a player with the same name – Roger Hunt.
Colin Glassar
32 Posted 18/01/2017 at 20:40:30
I don't remember much of that game tbh Peter, I was so excited everything passed in a blur. I did have on my rosette, scarf, hat and rattle. I strutted around like a peacock and stamped my feet so hard they were still hurting for days.
George McKane
33 Posted 18/01/2017 at 20:48:07
Southampton 8-0 – my 22nd birthday, 20 November... never forget it.

I'vebeen watching Everton since 1959. I now go to the pub I used to walk past as a kid on the way to Goodison – The Barlow Arms aka The Dark House – who'd have thought, hey.

Saw most of the games mentioned above.

Great to a Blue.

Dave Abrahams
34 Posted 18/01/2017 at 20:49:38
Tony (9) yes you were just turned five. I've never seen a supporter concentrate watching a match like you did that day. Once the game started, you never said a word but just watched the game, living every kick of the game, you were definitely born a blue.

Reminded me of my visit to Goodison Park to see Everton on the 14 March 1948 versus Arsenal, running up the steps of the boys pen and looking down at the pitch... magic. A blue before that match but hooked and grabbed body and soul that day, even though we lost 2-0.

I had been to Anfield the week before and saw Liverpool win 4-0 with four goals from Albert Stubbins, all in the first half, great watching football but Liverpool and Anfield didn't compare with Everton and Goodison Park.

I haven't missed many games at Goodison since that magic day and still feel great when 'Z-Cars' blasts out over the stadium and old men like me forget their aches pains and literally dance to their seats to the beat of the music..

Yes, Jamie, I'll have a tear in my eye at that last game at Goodison, but I will revisit 'The Old Lady' many times in my dreams.

Tony Abrahams
35 Posted 18/01/2017 at 20:53:42
Stan, I remember getting told that I was getting taken to an easy game, but Everton needed a penalty in the last ten minutes, just to get a draw.

I was told Connolly broke his leg, but I was just sitting on the back of my seat, watching people running about chasing the ball, and the noise. From that day on, I think both Everton and football took over my life.

I think this might become a common thread on a lot of Everton websites Jamie, once Bramley-Moor Dock, gets the go-ahead, because we have all got loads of great memories of Goodison, and as much as I want to go down the dock, I will miss Goodison Park, with all of my heart, because it really is a very, very special place!

Martin Nicholls
36 Posted 18/01/2017 at 21:02:21
Dreadful tackle by a guy called Davison broke John Connolly's leg in the home Altrincham game – we were already a goal behind and down to 10 men after Gary Jones was sent off but equalised I think from a penalty. We comfortably won the replay at Old Trafford but I recall the Manc fans being out in force at that game to support Altrincham.

Also remember the guy next to me repeatedly shouting "Fuck off, Davison, you broke John Connolly's leg!" throughout the game. Connolly was a good player and losing him at that point contributed to us narrowly missing out on the League Championship (as did the relegated Carlisle doing the double over us!!).

Darren Hind
37 Posted 18/01/2017 at 21:06:11
Tony Abrahams,

Sometimes we agree, sometimes we don't... But I always knew you would be one of those kids who wouldn't miss so much as a throw-in.

Peter Mills
38 Posted 18/01/2017 at 21:13:34
We all still love night matches at Goodison, but I do miss the 4 shadows. Not Hank, Bruce and Co, but the 4 shadows every player had as he ran around the pitch, cast by the floodlights at each corner of the ground.
Michael Coffey
39 Posted 18/01/2017 at 21:29:48
Martin (#38): didn't Gary Jones get sent off for poleaxing Davidson with a right hook after he'd broken Conolly's leg? And I seem to remember the crowd being in uproar because Connolly had come back that game from an earlier break.


Tony Abrahams
40 Posted 18/01/2017 at 21:46:40
I wish it was the same now Darren. I still watch the same game, but it's better being young sometimes, because the bigger picture can just blur your mind. Or maybe I've just come across too many football coaches, which has made me watch the game in a different light!

I don't think many people agree with you when it comes to Everton's manager, Darren, but I've learnt my lesson and know you only want the best "for our great club"!

Stan Schofield
41 Posted 18/01/2017 at 21:49:54
I always considered Goodison a real stadium. By that, I mean, when I first went to Anfield, for the 1968 Derby match (1-1, Ball scoring), I thought it was like a sardine can compared with Goodison.

It's odd to think that it's now considered old and old fashioned, given that it seems like yesterday that it was one of the best stadia outside of Wembley, being used by Brazil for the '66 World Cup.

Peter, I remember when the corner floodlights were replaced by floodlights along the edges of the Goodison Road and Bullens Road stand roofs, circa 1968. I found them blinding at first, when standing in the Paddock or the Goodison Road terrace.

Ray Roche
42 Posted 18/01/2017 at 22:54:13
Brent (#27), Jack (#26),

Yes, Bill Brown it was, but I don't think he was hit by the dart, although the press made a big deal of it. I always thought it had missed him. There was a cartoon in one paper that showed Brown leaning against his post and a bloody big assegai sticking out of it.

Brown was the keeper in that iconic photo of Alex Young out jumping either Norman or Mancini to score the goal in a 1-0 win at Goodison.

http://www.dixies60.com/2012/04/02/60-games-that-shook-goodison-16-the-golden-vision-levitates/

Brent Stephens
43 Posted 18/01/2017 at 22:56:44
Ray, at our age (well your age) memory can play tricks but I'm reasonably sure about a photo of somebody with a dart sticking out of their head. No bull! Can anybody else help on that one?
Brent Stephens
44 Posted 18/01/2017 at 23:03:18
And I've just seen a photo of a Man Utd fan with a dart in the head. Maybe that was what I was recalling. A flight of fancy.
Eugene Ruane
45 Posted 18/01/2017 at 23:03:21
Dart pic (he was a Utd supporter) - Link
Brent Stephens
46 Posted 18/01/2017 at 23:04:12
That was it, Eugene. Cheers.
Jack Farrell
47 Posted 18/01/2017 at 23:04:37
Ray (#42), I was at that Spurs game and saw Young's goal, he scored an almost identical one against them the season before or after, if memory serves, iconic is the correct word though, probably my favourite sports photo.
Ray Roche
48 Posted 18/01/2017 at 23:05:08
'Ere, cheeky ollies, have some respect for your elders. Maybe this is what you saw:

"Pat Jennings was once struck by a dart thrown from the crowd whilst playing in a League game for Arsenal at Nottingham Forest. The offending item was plucked from his arm by The Gunners' physio"

And I've just found this on the web:

"Everton directors, who are investigating the dart-throwing incident for the Football Association, have eye-witness reports which claim that the Spurs goalkeeper picked up the dart when he arrived at the goalmouth at the start of the second half.

George Bailey says: “No one can tell when it was thrown. Who knows, one youngster who had a dart in his pocket might have said during the interval, ‘I bet I can hit the goal post.'”

Maybe the head with the dart in was some unlucky punter in the Grafton...

Brent Stephens
49 Posted 18/01/2017 at 23:08:14
I was always too scared to go to the Grafton, Ray. Felt safer in the Boys' Pen with Bill.
Paul English
50 Posted 18/01/2017 at 23:09:35
Brent, the dart was thrown the season after Alex Young's goal. We won 1-0 again against Spurs and Derek Temple scored a screamer in the Street End.

After that game, we got the arcs behind the goals. Scaffold was put in place first..
Ray Roche
51 Posted 18/01/2017 at 23:17:55
"Felt safer in the Boys' Pen with Bill."

I'm desperately trying to expunge a vision of you and Bill in the Boys Pen, especially in the light of the recent investigation into abuse in football I mean, making you listen to Bill and his luvvie remembrances about Dave Hickson and other past greats – if that wouldn't count as abuse, I don't know what would. Give me the Grafton on Grab a Granny night any time.

Brent Stephens
52 Posted 18/01/2017 at 23:23:29
Haha. Nice one, Ray. Right, nurse is calling, time for me to get on the commode before bed.
Jim Gore
53 Posted 18/01/2017 at 23:26:43
Alan (#3) I used to go in the programme shop on Goodison Road in the early 60s, spent most of my pocket money in there. I think it closed in the mid-60s. Another one opened in the 70s up the other end of Goodison Road opposite the church. I think it was called The Northern programme Shop, think it was still there early eighties.

I also used to go in St Luke's in the 90s/early 00s for the programme fair (Merseyside Football Programmes). Very well run by Steve Milne and his assistants.

Anyone remember the Everton Programme Collectors club run by Steve Mather, and later by Dave Saunston? There wasn't anything those guys didn't know about collecting Everton memorabilia.

Tom Bowers
54 Posted 18/01/2017 at 23:30:58
I may be the old coot in this column as my first matches were in the mid-fifties watching Davy Hickson and John Willie, when my Dad used to take me. After a while I started going in the boys pen watching Jimmy Harris and the likes. Not much to shout about but we took every game as it came and didn't worry about league position. Back then it was five forwards and very little defence.

Things started to change when Johnny Carey took over and Bobby Collins came in. Catterick then took over and the money of John Moores did the rest. Some great days indeed until Alan Ball left and Everton became an also ran until the Kendall era which I missed having emigrated so I have only been to the odd Goodison match since although I did see the Blues twice when they came to Canada after winning the league.

Whilst Everton is in my blood so is Goodison and it will be a sad day when they move out.

Eugene Ruane
55 Posted 18/01/2017 at 23:32:50
"Darts was never my game, I preferred to use Kung Fu stars.

In fact I had my own stainless-steel Kung Fu star case for away games.

I had 'Death or Glory' engraved on it (I made out it was a regimental thing and told people I was serving in Belfast with the 3rd Division of the 5th battalion of The Frankie Howerds).

When searched by the filth at grounds, I would casually say 'They're Capstan Full-Strength officer, would you care for one?' (people carried cigarette cases back then)

They'd just let me in, never tumbled me and I was free to create mayhem at grounds all over the country.

Yes I imagine now there's many middle-aged men across England who sit watching TV in the evenings and when casually rubbing their noses, feel a small dent that reminds them of my handy work."

Extract from my new book - 'I Was A Dead Big Hoolie - Stories Of 70's Football Violence That Are frankly Impossible To Disprove.'

Brent Stephens
56 Posted 18/01/2017 at 23:37:05
"They're Capstan Full-Strength officer, would you care for one?' (people carried cigarette cases back then)".

Cracker. I'm going to try that at Stoke.

John Hughes
57 Posted 18/01/2017 at 23:38:04
Dave (#34) our Everton lives have run parallel my Uncle Jack took me to Anfield then the next week to Goodison and the rest is history. I was eight at the time 1948.

I still meet my cousin before the match his dad has lot to answer for – the family curse, as my lot say. COYB

Patrick Murphy
58 Posted 19/01/2017 at 00:23:16
I always believed that the semi-circles behind each goal were there to comply with the rules for hosting the World Cup, but if it was a reaction to some dart throwing incident, I'll stand corrected. Below is a link to some fine pictures of the Old Lady from years gone by.

Goodison Photos

Mick Davies
59 Posted 18/01/2017 at 00:26:17
Jamie, excellent article and spawned a healthy, friendly (unusual for TW lol) debate. But I'm curious to know, was your dad an exiled scouser or from the Merseyside area?
Colin Gee
60 Posted 19/01/2017 at 01:11:55
My first game was the FA Cup 3rd Round game against Stoke in January 1977. Absolutely loved it. Duncan McKenzie running rings around Stoke.
David Ellis
61 Posted 19/01/2017 at 02:16:48
The Walsall FA Cup game in 1972 was the first time I saw Everton play... on TV. After we won I'd thought we won the Cup!

My first game at Goodison I think was 1973-74 season, and actually my first Everton live match was the derby at Anfield – a draw and an early outing for Bob Latchford.

Travelling to other grounds, particularly when I lived in London in the early 80s, it was telling how much better Goodison was than Highbury, Stamford Bridge, White Hart Lane, Elland Road, the Boleyn Ground... even Twickenham.

But that's no longer the case. Most of these clubs have far better grounds than we have (although I don't envy West Ham). We need to move on.

Christopher Nicholls
62 Posted 19/01/2017 at 03:14:55
29th August 1978 vs Wimbledon who were still in the old 4th division at the time. League Cup game. 8-0 with the Latch bagging 5 and Dobbo getting a hat-trick. The kind of score that feels more like a dream than a memory. It was under lights and I did have to stand on a crate in the Park End to look over the wall.
Martin O'Hare
63 Posted 19/01/2017 at 03:42:04
Colin (25), I was at the 68 cup final against West Brom, I remember the goal Astle scored like yesterday. As soon as he hit it I knew It was going In.

Outside Wembley we were all in tears, but we cheered up and about 6 of us all got pissed in the West End.

We should have won the cup that year as we were a much better side than West Brom.

Laurie Hartley
64 Posted 19/01/2017 at 06:41:12
Great to read the posts above. Brings back many happy memories for me. It appears Mr David Abrahams is the senior man on here (first game in 1948 – a year before I was born).

Unfortunately I can't remember my first game at Goodison* – might have been Burnley 1961-62. I remember seeing Bobby Collins trotting out – he left shortly afterwards.

* Probably due to too many visits to various hostelries in subsequent years (see below).

I would like to mention one very vivid memory of the '60s – the FA Cup 3rd Round replay against Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough.

I sagged off school in the afternoon that day and my dad (God rest his soul) picked me up with two of his steel erector – Brian Roland's and Mick Cummings both have sinned passed away. Great manic Evertonians they were all 3 of them and great mates also.

The car we went in was a Ford Zephyr (yes a Z-Car). We drove across the Pennines and I can remember my dad, who was as strong as an Ox, throwing me in the air when we scored our 3rd goal. He must have had my feet 6 feet off the ground about 4 or 5 times.

On the way back we stopped at a pub on I think on the Pennines. The boss of the pub, believe it or not, was an Evertonian. When we went in, the place was heaving with Evertonians. The game was being replayed on the bar tv.

The boss locked the pub at normal closing time but he kept the bar open for the many Evertonians while we watched the replay. I don't remember much about the trip home. All a bit naughty I know – but life was different then.

Just wondering if by any fantastic coincidence any of you were in that pub that night? You never know.

Martin Nicholls
67 Posted 19/01/2017 at 07:50:14
Michael (#38),

I've just done a bit of research on net. According to the Red Echo, Jones had already been sent off for chinning Morris when Davison launched his assault on John Connolly. Another report suggests this was Connolly's first leg break and that it happened a second time (same break) in a pre-season game.

There was a time when I could have recalled this but like many on this thread, I'm an old guy and time is catching up with my long term memory!

PS - on that Spurs game, the dart didn't hit Brown although he made a big issue when he found it, and the arcs were installed as a result of that incident.

Jim Robinson
68 Posted 19/01/2017 at 07:55:15
I've been an avid reader for some years but this is my first attempt at a post. I grew up in the wilds of South Cheshire. My Dad had passed away when I was only 7 so Mum's brother would take me to games but since he didn't drive we were restricted to Crewe and the Fourth Division.

I did go to one big game when another rello took me to Old Trafford shortly after the Munich disaster. It was against Spurs but to be honest I don't remember much about the game.

As a kid The Alex were the local team but I also supported a big team for TV purposes. This team tended to vary according to who had done well the previous season. So I had a brief flirtation with Blackburn in the days of Jimmy Adamson and Sheffield Wednesday with Peter Swan, Ron Springett and Tony Kay.

For some reason I could never bring myself to support Spurs back when Danny Blanchflower and his troops had so much success. I had been happily following Wolves for a couple of seasons when a friend at school asked if I'd like to go to a game with him and his parents.

"Who are you going to see?" I asked.
"Everton," came the reply.
"What division are they, in I inquired.
"The First," he said.
"Where is Everton?" I asked.
"In Liverpool," was the answer (I led a very sheltered life in Cheshire).
"Who are they playing?" was the next question. The opposition would be Wolves.
"Count me in."

We caught the train from Crewe and as we made our way to Lime St I learned something about the history of Everton and the School of Science and the man who was the Golden Vision, Alex Young. Goodison was like another world compared to Gresty Road. We stood right by the touchline on the Bullens Road side. I could just see over the wall and my head was at ground level I recall.

What a game. Wolves had a decent side in the era of Billie Wright and Ron Flowers but Everton with Alex Young, the Welsh wizard Roy Vernon, the sublime Brian Labone and hard as nails Jimmy Gabriel were in a class of their own. The result was 4-0 to the blues and I'd witnessed the School of Science in all it's glory.

By 4:45 Saturday 3rd March 1962, I was an Evertonian.

There's been a few ups and downs since then but there's far more to Everton than just what happens on the pitch. Their support of Bradley Lowery is an example of the essence of the club which I'm proud to support. I brought my daughter up the same way and she's now passing on the torch to my Grandson Jack. And would you believe it, she married a one-eyed Wolves supporter. Funny old world.

Rob Halligan
69 Posted 19/01/2017 at 09:33:10
I vaguely remember a derby match, probably around season 67-68 or 68-69. There was me, me dad and me elder brother. So I'd have only been about 8 or 9 years old.

Anyway, we only had 2 tickets for the Lower Gwladys terrace. Me dad eventually managed to buy 3 more tickets for ten bob (50p in today's money). As we only needed one ticket, me dad then sold the other 2 , again for ten bob. So I suppose at least one of us got in for nothing!

God knows what would have happened though, if we hadn't managed to get those spares?

The result... I haven't got a bloody clue!!

Peter Mills
70 Posted 19/01/2017 at 09:37:20
Patrick (#58), great photos, thanks. The one showing Pele signing autographs "in the streets around Goodison" suggests Walton, for all its qualities, is a rural idyll – I reckon that was taken outside the Lymm Hotel, Cheshire.
Paul English
71 Posted 19/01/2017 at 10:02:39
Patrick, good photos of the Old Lady, but can anyone spot what's so odd about the photograph of Brian Labone and Bobby Collins???
Ray Roche
72 Posted 19/01/2017 at 10:10:15
Peter, you've just beaten me to it! I wondered what had happened to the bucolic setting that was, apparently, Gwladys Street in 1966.

Some random thoughts: I remember games against Wolves (great side in the '50s and still a big draw in the '60s) , Spurs, Burnley, Blackburn and others, were all ticket affairs. As it was terraced it was easier, I suppose, for the club to sell tickets and you could buy tickets from the ground or the old Stadium near Tithebarn St in town.

The club could just send so many thousand tickets to the Stadium which would continue selling them until they sold out. My Dad would get me Ma, bless her, to go into town and queue all day to get two tickets for himself and me from the Stadium. I remember going there to a circus in about 1953, but never a boxing match.

Going to Molineux in '67 and drawing a FA Cup match 1-1. The replay was on the Tuesday afterwards and we won 3-1 but the crush was unbelievable. Getting carried along with the throng of people crushing into Gwladys St, it's a miracle we didn't have a Hillsborough scenario that night.

When the RS were promoted, there was no sleep for days before the match due to the excitement and, of course, the fear of losing. But both games ended honours even, 2-2 at home and 0-0 away where I stood in the Paddock with me Dad. I'd been to Anfield regularly with my mates when the Blues were away just to appreciate how it must be to be poor and they'd come to Goodison for a treat when the RS were on their travels.

Seeing, and appreciating, stars like Bobby Moore, George Best, Charlton, Billy Wright, Stanley Matthews, Greaves and Shredded Wheat himself, Blanchflower. Good football from the opposition was applauded then and Goodison Park had one of the most respected crowds in football for their appreciation of something special happening on the pitch. Unfortunately, the late 1960s-70s and hooliganism put paid to that – not just here but everywhere.

Paul Baxter
73 Posted 19/01/2017 at 10:43:31
My first match was in 1980, I think against Bristol City, Joe Royle was playing for them. I was in Bullens Road and like a lot of fans have commented the main thing that sticks in my mind was how green the grass was. I also couldn't believe how colossal the Main Stand looked once inside the ground.

I decided then that I wanted to sit in the Top Balcony at a match, I managed it against Coventry when Kendall was in charge. I could have taken a double bed with me and could have sat anywhere as it was the infamous match when only 13,000 turned up!!!

Morgan Edwards
74 Posted 19/01/2017 at 10:49:35
My first game was against Blackpool in 1960, my uncle Jim took me god bless him. The score was 1-0 to Everton I think!! Haven't a clue who scored it. Loved the club ever since!!!
Stan Schofield
75 Posted 19/01/2017 at 11:02:25
Rob @68: Those prices remind me of my first season ticket, which I bought for 70-71, the season after we won the league. I recall it being £7, for the Paddock, which works out at about 33p/home game. It included all Central League reserve games as well.
Michael Spear
76 Posted 19/01/2017 at 11:29:35
Great article Jamie, and all the comments above.

It is difficult to forget your first game, especially when you were in the front row of the Gwladys Street stand seeing Alex Young, Roy Vernon and the rest demolish Forest 6-0.

Before that fateful day in October 1961 I hadn't been to a football match anywhere because, although 14 then and brought up in Huyton, I'd been watching rugby league, mainly St Helens (where I went to grammar school) and Liverpool City just down the road in Knotty Ash.

That all changed when my mate Harry McCann invited me along to Goodison that Saturday. I hardly missed a home game (or many away) for the next 10 years until I left uni (Manchester) and moved south.

Now in Watford for the past 30 years and retired, I'm back in the Park End for every game. That means staying over quite often for evening games, like Arsenal last month when I got chatting to a bloke in the bar of The LIner after the 2-0 win. He was up from Gloucester for the match and when I asked how long he'd been an Evertonian (like me, he was an exiled scouser), he said: "since 1961 when I was 7... First game 6-0 home against Forest"!

As I said, you never forget your first game. It might be a small world but it's full of Evertonians with long memories.

Alan Bodell
77 Posted 19/01/2017 at 12:27:27
Tony (#9),

I was at that Altrincham game. They were right clonking bastards as I remember and I actually heard the crack when they broke John Conolly's leg right in front of me.

1-1 draw and we won the replay and the RS played their cup game at Anfield the same time as us, that never happens these days.

Patrick Murphy
78 Posted 19/01/2017 at 12:35:52
There's a brief report of the Altrincham game in the link below.

FA Cup Minnows

James MacGlashan
79 Posted 19/01/2017 at 12:55:09
Re: Christopher Nicholls (#62)

29th August 1978 vs Wimbledon League Cup 8-0. This wasn't my first match but I do remember (6 yrs old) coming down the following morning and seeing on the fireplace the note:

Everton 8 Wimbledon 0 (Latchford 5 Dobson 3). My Dad had written it and it was great. I only wish I had kept it though – what a wonderful memory. I shall have to remind my Dad of it later today and more importantly thank him and tell him that I have never forgotten it. Thanks, Dad!

Phil Jeffries
80 Posted 19/01/2017 at 14:41:08
I was so lucky that my first game was 4-1 Sunderland in the 84-85 season. I was only 7 and I jumped up when Sunderland took the lead (according to my brother who took me!). We sat in the Lower Bullens closer to the Gwladys Street.

The 3 goals we scored (1 og) have been replayed so many times, it's not hard to forget. 'Reid's cross, GRAY... what a fantastic goal!'

Tony Abrahams
81 Posted 19/01/2017 at 15:27:22
I was hooked after Altrincham, Phil, so I can imagine what you must have been like after that game! Only Bayern Munich has ever eclipsed that day for the football, and also QPR but only because we got the League Championship trophy presented to us that day.
Dave Abrahams
82 Posted 19/01/2017 at 15:30:42
John Hughes (#57), yes, we were lucky growing up in those times, well I think we were, but kids like us could go to Goodison one week and Anfield the next, just to watch and appreciate football.

Laurie Hartley (#64) I'm sure there are one or two older than me on here, Laurie, John Pierce is one I'm sure, what lovely football memories we have got.

Michael Spear (#76), that Everton versus Forest game is one of the few I've missed... I've got a good explanation for missing the game, it was the day I got married so couldn't get away, although I think my wife has wished a few times since that I had gone the match instead of turning up and marrying her!!!. Got no regrets myself – even though Alex Young had a great game that day.

Rob Halligan
83 Posted 19/01/2017 at 15:40:29
Dave (#82).

I had a similar experience meself, although wasn't my wedding, it was me brother's – the day we thumped Man Utd 5-0 in October 84.

Kept on disappearing with a radio for updates on the score. Boss day all round.

John G Davies
84 Posted 19/01/2017 at 15:48:50
Daft as it may seem given the great wins I have watched, the game that showed me how much Everton meant to me was the Wimbledon game.

I sat in my seat and cried like a big girl for 10 minutes after the game... Before joining a couple of hundred fellow Blues for an aperitif in the Wine Lodge.

Kev Johnson
85 Posted 19/01/2017 at 17:04:53
Mine was us playing Swindon Town in 1977, Gordon Lee's first game as manager. I remember him coming onto the pitch with that skeepskin coat.

My dad took me the game and him being a red try to convince me Anfield was better. I didn't buy it and I have been hooked ever since.
Dave Abrahams
86 Posted 19/01/2017 at 17:33:23
John G Davies (#84),

I bet there were thousands of us who cried silent tears of joy that day; I know I did, then watched with relief the hundreds of fans dancing the legs off themselves with absolute happiness.

I went on a coach to an arranged night out near Preston with loads of Reds, some of them whose night was fucked because we won and stayed up.

Gerry Quinn
87 Posted 19/01/2017 at 17:58:21
One question from me to those oldies who were season ticket holders in the Stands – when did Everton stop renting cushions out? You know, the ones that used to get thrown onto the pitch instead of booing in those days... :)
Ray Atherton
88 Posted 19/01/2017 at 18:46:24
Colin (#25), Martin (#63)

I also was gutted after the FA Cup Final in 1968 versus WBA. In 1971 I was working at Pontin's Holiday camp in Brixham, Devon. Being single, it was a fun job escaping from my proper trade.

I had a Saturday off, had a few beers and who passed me was Jeff Astle. I told him he broke my heart 3 years ago. We were chatting for ages, I said why are you in a Holiday camp. He introduced me to his wife and his two young girls.

I was a mate of his all week. He loved singing so every night we had a good old sing song. One night he started singing "O we hate Bill Shankly and we hate St John and most of all we hate big Ron". Well I was on cloud nine, both of us sang our hearts out.

I said how do you know that,he said "Alan Ball and Colin Harvey sing that to Emlyn Hughes on the England tours"

He told me about Bally in Mexico 1970, he would be in bed at 7:30 but Jeff would be in the town having a drink.

We had a good friendship for the week, a smashing man.

Dave Abrahams
89 Posted 19/01/2017 at 20:40:51
Ray (#88), great story Ray, it's a pity Jeff never won his case over his dementia/ Alzheimer's being related to his, and others, consistently heading a leather ball. The FA and the players union didn't and haven't done enough to get this terrible illness related, in footballers cases, to heading a ball.

The case has been illustrated recently with the treatment Nobby Stiles has received from The FA and his former club, Man Utd – largely ignored, going by Nobby's family.

Anyway, Ray, glad you and Jeff had a great week together.

Tony Abrahams
90 Posted 19/01/2017 at 20:48:57
Kev (#85), was that an FA Cup replay, with Everton coming from behind to score two late goals?
Peter Mills
91 Posted 19/01/2017 at 21:03:53
That thought will never leave me – Bally and Colin singing that to the highly unpleasant Hughes.
Patrick Murphy
92 Posted 19/01/2017 at 21:05:35
Tony (#90),

David Jones scored the winner that night if memory serves... I can't for the life of me think who scored the equaliser though.

Tony Abrahams
93 Posted 19/01/2017 at 21:09:11
If my memory is correct ,Patrick, they scored late, and then we scored two in the last few minutes? I'm sure one of our goals hit a big bobble, going into the park end goal, and I'm sure I was sitting in the main stand surrounded by loads of Swindon fans.
Patrick Murphy
94 Posted 19/01/2017 at 21:13:45
Tony,

You are correct, I can't remember the goals apart from DJ running down the Goodison Road and sticking it in the net and bedlam ensued. There was over 38k in the ground that night.

I went to all the cup-ties that season home and away. I couldn't find footage of the Goodison game but heres footage of the first game. State of that pitch!

Swindon
footage

Paul Tran
95 Posted 19/01/2017 at 21:15:23
My first game was Derby County, 1970, the season after we'd won the league. Me Dad worked most Saturdays at the Echo and that was the first time in ages he had a Saturday off when we were playing at home.

He walked me up and down Goodison Road before the game to soak up the atmosphere. I'll never forget going up the stairs of the Upper Gwladys and my first sight of that marvellous pitch.

All I remember was Whittle scoring, the place exploding, then the soon to be familiar disappointment of Derby equalising. No matter, I was on a high for days.

Last year I was wondering about the date of the game and the Internet search led me to a place where I could buy the matchday programme. It arrived the day before my birthday and I opened it up and sobbed my eyes out.

Me Dad's long gone, ashes behind the Park End goal, but I'll never forget him, that first match and the love affair that day started.

Brian Denton
96 Posted 19/01/2017 at 21:16:49
Ray Roche, I remember well that replay against Wolves in 1967. I was 8 and allowed to go the match by myself (ridiculous that parents would even consider such a thing nowadays!) and was really frightened by the crush in Gwladys Street walking out after the game.

Because I was a wimp I think I might have started blubbering and I remember some very kind – and very big – bloke lifting me on to his shoulders and all was well.

Tony Abrahams
97 Posted 19/01/2017 at 21:41:22
Thanks for that, Patrick. I don't know how you do it, and to see my very first Everton idol, lifting the ball over the keeper, on a sandpit, before sticking it in the back of the net, makes me think how good Duncan McKenzie would have been, playing on the bowling greens of today?
Alan Bodell
98 Posted 19/01/2017 at 21:42:39
Ray Atherton (#88), that is brilliant about the story with Jeff Astle.

I can only add to that I met a guy in the Dubai airport a few years ago with a WBA shirt with Astle on it , told him pretty much what he'd expected from an Evertonian but in a sort of friendly way so we shared a beer.

Bally (my fave ever, ever Everton player) – I saw him at the Cheltenham races in the late '80s, gave him a hug (I'd had a few Guiness).

Who's the greatest of them all...
little curly Alan Ball,
Who's the greatest loved the most...
Alex Young the Golden Ghost.

Dave Abrahams
99 Posted 19/01/2017 at 22:00:05
Funny enough, well not really funny at all, the goal Jeff Astle scored in the 1968 FA Cup Final was on the telly nearly every night a few months later, it was for a toothpaste advertisement with Jeff using it.

Can't think of the name of it... I know I never bought it!!!!

Ray Robinson
100 Posted 19/01/2017 at 23:09:59
Ray (#72),

I too was at that Wolves cup replay in 1967 when there were officially 67,000 in the ground. I seem to recall that the gates had been broken down in the Gwladys Street end that night so the actual attendance must have been much higher. Fans were cascading down the Street End and literally flying over the arc behind the goal. I witnessed all this from the relative safety of the old Main Stand but, as you say, it was a miracle that nobody got killed that night.

Also, talking about ticketing outlets, I moved from Liverpool to Ellesmere Port in the late '50s and used to get my tickets for the big matches in the '60s at a newsagents in Bromborough! Otherwise it was get there two hours before kick off and queue up. Grounds were quite often fairly full with an hour to go – unlike today when they fill up in the last 15 minutes.

Eric Myles
101 Posted 20/01/2017 at 00:59:47
Brent (#22), I thought those semi-circles were constructed for the World Cup games so the photographers could get behind the goals?
Eric Myles
102 Posted 20/01/2017 at 01:55:53
Paul (#71), it's a mirror image.
Eric Myles
103 Posted 20/01/2017 at 02:26:19
Brent (#22), this is what makes me think the arcs were for the WC. Pic 6

Link

If Paul (#50) is right, we played Spurs in August 1964 and that pic is dated Feb 1964??

Will Mabon
104 Posted 20/01/2017 at 04:53:03
What a great thread! I hail from Anfield, a few streets from our old ground. I'm the first born, and we lived with my dad's parents there until I was three. I'm told the "whole street" was red but our whole family were blue.

I was first taken to the game as a toddler of two in the mid '60s, with Dad and often, Mum too. We sat in upper Gwladys Street. This lasted for about two seasons. I remember nothing of the football, teams, anything, just a vague memory of the view, huge crowds in a huge place, but I remember vividly, what seemed incredible noise. I cried from the shock the first time a goal was scored, apparently.

Parents divorced soon after so no more match for some years. I was aware of Everton being "my team" from about age five. My dad supplied steelwork for the new Main Stand so I often visited the site with him but we weren't actually watching games then. We started again late '73, got season tickets the year after, then had them for over 30 years.

As mentioned, Everton was a premier ground at this time. In the 70s and 80s, I visited the ground of every team that was in the first division in those days, and others in cup games. They often seemed like dumps by comparison. Derby's Baseball Ground being amongst the worst (and the pitch). Stamford Bridge too. I felt very proud of Goodison.

Hell, the memories – remember walking along Priory Road with my dad, I'd be 15 at the time. He told me he'd eventually had to stop Granddad, his father, from going to the game as he was getting far too worked up, shouting and leaping about wildly. Roll on the years, and I was having the same conversation with my sister about Dad!

One other quick point. Several have mentioned being in Anfield. Sacrilege in our family! I made a promise to never do it. I've been just about everywhere else, but not Anfield. Derby matches or not, have never set foot in there, never will.

Thanks for the article, Jamie. Stirred some real memories.

Ray Roche
106 Posted 20/01/2017 at 10:05:47
Eric Myles (#103),

Eric, there is always the chance that the club were attempting to play down the dart incident by suggesting that the arcs were for the World Cup, but at the time, there was definitely the implication that they were there due to the dart throwing incident. I don't know if you were a match-going fan at that time but that is how I remember it. It also reduced the ground capacity.

If the arcs were purely for the World Cup or for the photographers why the necessity for hastily assembled scaffolding as a temporary solution to the problem? Surely the arcs would just have been constructed in brick in the first place?

Ray Roche
107 Posted 20/01/2017 at 10:12:07
Eric, in addition, the photos in your link clearly show NO photographers using that space as a vantage point. The accuracy of the comments below such photos can also be seen in Patrick Murphy's link #58 where the comments describing the photo confuse Gwladys St with a leafy Cheshire Hotel car park!
Colin Glassar
108 Posted 20/01/2017 at 10:44:29
Just seen the video for the new White Hart Lane, very impressive. I can't wait to see the video of The Pride of The Mersey stadium.
Ray Roche
109 Posted 20/01/2017 at 11:16:47
Will Mabon (#104)

You say "Several have mentioned being in Anfield. Sacrilege in our family! I made a promise to never do it. I've been just about everywhere else, but not Anfield."

If you were 2 in the mid sixties you probably weren't going until the mid seventies, or at least going the game and really "getting" it, and times were changing. Well, despite ones allegiance, in the fifties and sixties, and probably before, but I wasn't going then(!), it was common to go to "their" place just as they came to ours.

There wasn't the bitterness that clings to football on Merseyside then as now. You loved football and you'd just go to watch a match with your mates, that's all. And they were in Div 2 and weren't a threat. You sort of, pitied them a bit with their cabbage patch of a pitch and piss stinking Kop.

Of course, I wouldn't set foot in Anfield now and haven't for years, with their crappy loft conversion and bus loads of tourist's all clutching their carrier bags full of shite memorabilia and wearing brand new bobble hats, scarves, rosettes... the only thing missing from a 1950s snap shot is a rattle. You need to be multilingual to understand half the crowd.

So, please don't be dismissive of those of us who visited Mordor in the past. It was quite normal in those days.

Colin Glassar
110 Posted 20/01/2017 at 11:32:16
As a teenager, I used to go to every home game and then, with my RS brother-in-law I'd go to Mordor to watch them. He'd pay for the tickets, food, petrol, ale etc so I wasn't bothered having a free day out. Oh, and I used to support whoever they were playing.

For about 4 seasons, I watched a match every weekend and don't regret a single one.

Rob Halligan
111 Posted 20/01/2017 at 11:32:46
Colin (#108), do you mean this video:

http://www.skysports.com/football/news/11675/10734999/watch-spurs-stadium-unveiled

James Hughes
112 Posted 20/01/2017 at 11:42:06
Colin, I hope you wiped your feet on the way out of Mordor! Been there twice for derbies and both times we gave K Doglish well dog's abuse.
Colin Glassar
113 Posted 20/01/2017 at 12:23:02
I can't open the link Rob but I imagine it's the same one. James I had a very long bath after every visit and said a few Hail Marys and ave Marias as well, just in case.
Martin Nicholls
114 Posted 20/01/2017 at 13:04:17
I too went to both the Wolves games in 1967. The first one stuck in my mind because their two wingers (Wharton and Wagstaff?) were so good.

The incentive for replay was of course playing Liverpool in next round – interesting to hear the comments about the crush on Gwladys Street because my own abiding memory is of what must have been similar on Goodison Road – queues just disintegrated into one almighty crush towards turnstiles.

A good cup run that year eventually ruined by Ian Storey-Moore – coming out of the City Ground that day (I think the day of the Foinavon Grand National) was the only time I've ever left a game intent on hitting someone (I didn't by the way!)

Ray Atherton
115 Posted 20/01/2017 at 16:52:36
Jim (#68)

That Wolves game that you made your debut in 1962. I was at the game: 4-0.

It was also the debut of Gordon West. He was a great servant for the Blues. Only a few hiccups.

COYB

Alan Bodell
116 Posted 20/01/2017 at 17:02:32
Gordon West would have been the best goalkeeper we ever had in my lifetime if not for Big Nev who probably will be unsurpassed but Gordon bless his soul, would throw up before every game and still produced superb confidence in our defence.

RIP. Gordon, lovely man, great goalkeeper.

Alan Bodell
117 Posted 20/01/2017 at 17:07:40
Martin (#114), I never went the game when Ian Store-Moore put us out at Forest, I saw the match that night on TV. in black and white and if I remember right we had the lead till he changed the game on a terrible muddy pitch.

Black-and-white TV, muddy pitches... thing of the past.

Martin Nicholls
118 Posted 20/01/2017 at 17:24:46
As you say, Alan, we did have the lead and that against a team on a long unbeaten run. I seem to remember Storey-Moore having about three goes at his hat-trick goal which made losing "our" Cup even more galling.

I was 16 at the time and remember games in that era more clearly than those this season even though I still attend them all! Age, eh??

Chris Williams
119 Posted 20/01/2017 at 17:24:51
Alan,

I went to the Forest game too. I think you're right, we were in front, maybe 2-0. That third goal seemed to hit everything, post, bar until he finally got it over the line.

He was also involved with getting Roy Vernon sent off a season or two earlier. Referee by the name of Ken Stokes I think. Big fat arrogant prick.

Martin Nicholls
120 Posted 20/01/2017 at 17:27:21
Chris – you could be right on 2-0 but my recollection is that after going one up, we were then 2-1 down before pulling back to 2 each. Might be wrong! Jimmy Husband got both goals for us.
Stan Schofield
121 Posted 20/01/2017 at 17:37:53
Ray@109: Most of my mates from Liverpool are reds. I often went to Liverpool home games with them in the 70s, standing on the Kop. They reciprocated by coming to occasional games at Goodison.

Included were testimonials, like Brian Labone's, and there was one for Tommy Lawton, at Goodison, and Roger Hunt's and Bill Shankley's at Anfield. So there was mutual respect. But it didn't stop me always wanting Liverpool to lose, regardless of the opposition.

My mates applauded Everton's football when it was good, but stopped short of praising Everton players outside of the match. I remember a derby game at Anfield (but can't remember which one) where we put together a fantastic move through midfield and a shot from Royle that required a cracking save from Clemence, and I can recall reds on the Kop extolling that move, and of course the save.

Chris Williams
122 Posted 20/01/2017 at 17:46:16
Different times, Stan.

I used to go to Anfield with my best mate in the 50s and 60s. He's still my best mate now. Then Goodison with him and my Blue best mates who are still my best mates.

I saw Dave Hickson make his Liverpool debut at Anfield and he scored, maybe even twice.

I also remember Tony Hately score a hat-trick there for Villa against them after they had been 2-0 up. I couldn't conceal my big grin, hard though I tried.

Actually I probably didn't try that hard.

Brent Stephens
123 Posted 20/01/2017 at 17:53:55
Martin (#114)

I went to the cup game at Forest without a ticket. No luck trying to get one before the game.

We were walking away from the river end 5 minutes before kick off, still without a ticket, along the side of the ground (in those days just waste land) when from inside the ground and over the wall came a bundle of tickets in pristine condition.

You can imagine the scramble once people realised what it was. We approached the turnstiles expecting to get booted out but in we went. Brilliant (up to that point).

Patrick Murphy
124 Posted 20/01/2017 at 18:03:39
Eight minutes of unbridled nostalgia even if the result went the wrong way.

Forest 67

Martin Nicholls
125 Posted 20/01/2017 at 18:07:54
Brent (#123) – brilliant!
Chris Williams
126 Posted 20/01/2017 at 18:14:44
Just watched it Patrick, I remember it like yesterday. I clearly remember Wilson launching the ball when the final whistle went.

Wiggy playing for them still.

Peter Mills
127 Posted 20/01/2017 at 18:44:46
I had Foinavon in the coach sweep, and we got back home in time to see Sandy Shaw win Eurovision – scant consolation for the 3-2 defeat at Forest!
Alan Bodell
128 Posted 20/01/2017 at 18:55:10
Brilliant thread this, I didn't realise so many of us are old enough to remember the Forest away game way back...

And Brent, who threw the tickets over the wall? That's a weird one, that.

Will Mabon
129 Posted 20/01/2017 at 19:28:51
Ray, 109:

Steady on, Mr. Roche. Where do you get "Dismissive" from my writings?

You're right about when I started to regularly go to Goodison (and away games). I wrote it in the post. Things by then were more partisan than in earlier friendly times. Anyone over about 50 will remember, the fighting etc.

This stopped a lot of people going to the respective "Enemy" ground, and many away grounds, though it was never so bad with Everton - Liverpool. It probably even attracted others in those days. Things have swung back the other way today.

This though, was not the reason for staying away from Anfield. Sadly, my father and other members of the family are no longer here to ask again in detail. As I was told, it went back to my great grandfather, and when we lost RS Central as our original home.

It was maybe lighthearted at the time but was something passed on that everyone stuck to. To great uproar in the family, my eldest aunt, Dad's eldest sister, became engaged to and later married, a certain pre-war overseas Liverpool player.

He was only there a season or so before the outbreak of war stopped play. Even she didn't go to Anfield! My aunt and uncle settled in his native South Africa. During a visit here in the 80s, my uncle went to tour Anfield. He met with Bob Paisley, whom he briefly played with. Dad drove him there. They told me he waited outside and drove around town touring his old haunts. I had my suspicions but he never admitted to going in!

I also have friends that won't go to the ground of their particular nemesis or rival team – it's not that rare of a thing, just a peculiar football principle perhaps.

Will Mabon
130 Posted 20/01/2017 at 19:37:06
"Of course, I wouldn't set foot in Anfield now and haven't for years, with their crappy loft conversion and bus loads of tourists all clutching their carrier bags full of shite memorabilia and wearing brand new bobble hats, scarves, rosettes... the only thing missing from a 1950's snap shot is a rattle. You need to be multilingual to understand half the crowd."


, Ray... you can be bitter! Excellent paragraph.

Brent Stephens
131 Posted 20/01/2017 at 20:30:58
Alan (#128), "Who threw the tickets over the wall?"

No idea, Alan. We didn't hang around to ask questions! My suspicion is Ray Roche.

Brian Denton
132 Posted 20/01/2017 at 21:10:20
I can remember crying like an 8-year-old (I was 8 at the time) when that Forest game ended, having been following the updates on Grandstand. My dad looked on, no doubt a bit embarrassed – he'd been through the war on submarines, so I suppose Everton losing a quarter-final wasn't much in the grand scheme of things!

Little did I know that it was a foretaste of many such experiences to come ... Ignoring the 68 FA Cup Final, next up the Man City semi-final, then the Liverpool semi-final, then another Liverpool semi-final, then the West Ham semi-final...

I presume our proud record of having lost more semi-finals than any other team still stands?

Ray Roche
133 Posted 20/01/2017 at 22:24:45
Brent, guilty as charged. I had no use for them.

As others have said, it was also the Foinavon National and Sandie Shaw did her bare-footed best to win Eurovision. I can't stand that song.

Will (#129)

Just the way I read it Will. No offence meant.

Eric Myles
134 Posted 21/01/2017 at 00:28:17
Ray (#106), I bow to your superior knowledge of the era. I only just got interested in footy at the time of the World Cup, probably as the old man was a kopite, and wasn't deemed old enough by me mam to go to matches until the 69-70 season.

And what a way to start!!

Laurie Hartley
135 Posted 21/01/2017 at 09:47:15
In mine opinion:) the semi circles were built after a coin throwing incident. I seem to recall the Football League made us put them up. If I am not mistaken there was a veiled threat that we might have to play some games behind closed doors if there was a repeat? Maybe my memory is playing tricks with me.

As far as Anfield is concerned I have only been in the place once – we hammered them 4-0. Andy Rankin played a blinder. There was much merriment after the game in the Tarleton Street wine lodge. Perhaps John G Davies (84) was there also? (Never heard of a large white being called an "aperitif" but perhaps things had become a bit more sophisticated 30 years on).

Actually coming from Birkenhead (don't forget who was Bourne their) I think I only ever met one "real" Liverpudlian. His name was Jacky Geary a Cammell Lairds boilermaker, and I have to say, one of the best men I ever met in my youth. I suppose we all have our crosses to bear. Jacky, I am sure, will be getting his reward now.

Having retired, I now live about 100 km outside of Melbourne. The last time I was at Goodison was with my dad (God rest his soul), wife and niece for the Arsenal game which we lost 1-4. Leon Osmon scored the consolation goal. Still a great memory for me as you can imagine. I travelled all over the country with him when I was a youngster.

Reading through this thread as I said above, has brought back many fond memories for me. I am biased, but when it comes to football, I do believe Evertonians are a breed apart and I am looking forward to keeping my promise to Eric to somehow be at the last game at Goodison and also at the opening of our new waterfront stadium.

Flashback Everton 8-3 Cardiff – did Ray Veal play?


Ray Roche
136 Posted 21/01/2017 at 10:00:36
Not according to this, Laurie, which I found on the inter net, goals by Vernon (3), Young, Stevens, Temple, Gabriel and Bingham.

Line up:
Gordon West
Brian Labone
Mick Meagan
George Thomson
Jimmy Gabriel
Brian Harris
Derek Temple
Billy Bingham
Roy Vernon
Alex Young
Dennis Stevens

Ray Roche
137 Posted 21/01/2017 at 10:01:27
Eric, you certainly timed that right.
Laurie Hartley
139 Posted 21/01/2017 at 10:22:11
Thanks Ray.
Brent Stephens
140 Posted 21/01/2017 at 12:31:42
Laurie "I now live about 100 km outside of Melbourne".

Where exactly?

Tony Abrahams
141 Posted 21/01/2017 at 14:51:10
I can't promise you a ticket for the last match at Goodison, Laurie, but I will get you one for the Anfield Derby, if you are still over here mate, just imagine lightening striking twice!
Dave Abrahams
142 Posted 21/01/2017 at 16:02:40
Laurie (135) not sure if Ray Veal had signed for Everton at that time.
Ray Roche
143 Posted 21/01/2017 at 17:06:29
Dave (#142),

From what I can find on the net Veall signed in the Autumn of '61 and the Cardiff game was on 28 April 1962 and Veall made his debut on18 August 1962 at Burnley's Turf Moor stadium. Morrissey's arrival scuppered his chances though.

He now lives in New Zealand and was presented with a specially struck Championship medal for the 62-63 season.

If you just enter "Ray Veall footballer" in Google there are a couple of Echo pieces on him.

Laurie Hartley
144 Posted 21/01/2017 at 20:59:16
Brent - 106 - Corinella - a very quiet little place.
http://www.visitcorinella.com/index.html

Thanks Tony that's a fantastic offer - I reckon we'd have a good laugh and perhaps I would be a good luck charm. After all If Swansea can beat them at Mordor I am sure we can and will one day soon.

Dave and Ray - thanks. Like I said the memory took a bit of a hammering in those days. He was a good player Ray Veall but Johnny Morrisey - one of my all time favourite players.

Tony Abrahams
145 Posted 21/01/2017 at 21:16:40
That would be the plan Laurie, because if you can be a good luck charm, we will have more than a good laugh mate!

My sons just texted me, he's on the coach coming home from Palace, and must be having a laugh, singing:

This is what it feels to be Liverpool,
this is what it feels to be poor,
you've had your stand converted,
whilst we get Bradley-Moore!

(ps: I've changed a couple of words, to make the song sound better)

Dave Abrahams
146 Posted 21/01/2017 at 21:21:26
Fair enough Ray, yes I was at that game versus Burnley, was it the first game of the season?, I thought (wrongly) that they had signed him in the close season of that year.

Laurie I hope Tony gets you one for the Anfield derby game of that season, if it happens, I'm hoping he gets me one for this season's game at Anfield, but I'm only blood and kin so I doubt I'll be there.!!!!!!!!

Brent Stephens
147 Posted 21/01/2017 at 21:28:39
Laurie I had 2 years in Melbourne and 2 in Bendigo. Never got to your wee place. Sounds a gem.
Tony Abrahams
148 Posted 21/01/2017 at 21:35:45
Dave, if Laurie, is coming all the way from Australia, I was going to ask you to give him your seat, for the last match at Goodison?

I know you're getting on Dave, but I can't be giving Liverpool, any money, so I will promise to bunk you in, if you stop saying our Joseph, is a red.

Dave Abrahams
149 Posted 21/01/2017 at 21:45:21
Tony (#148) that's a deal, you jib me in at Anfield, that will be better in fact, not giving them bastards any money, and I'll get Laurie in for the last game at Goodison.

Me and Laurie will go into The Guiness Book of records, me for the oldest jibber in this years Derby a Anfield and Laurie as the oldest and last jibber at Goodison.

Tony Abrahams
150 Posted 21/01/2017 at 21:52:04
Takes me back to the start of my love-affair with Everton, and the "little black steward, with the big smile" on the main stand, shouting "here's the jibbers" something which the last ever game at Goodison, will be definately full of, I'm sure?
Dave Abrahams
151 Posted 22/01/2017 at 00:52:42
Tony (150) yes, I remember that steward shouting at Derek Ryan (God rest his soul) and all his mates. What a character Derek was and a boss jibber and not just football... boxing, theatres, clubs, you name it and Derek always got in, there was a strong rumour he even payed once, but I'm not having that.

He was friends with many sporting personalities including Don King, the boxing promoter, he said to him one time, "Why don't you buy a fuckin' comb and tidy your hair up" Don King said "My hair is my gimmick."

Tony Abrahams
152 Posted 22/01/2017 at 08:42:33
He was brilliant Derek, I always loved bumping into him Dave. Got me in Wembley, against Coventry, with one of his press passes, (it had a boxing glove on it) and we sat right next to the Royal box and were with all the Coventry players after the game. If he didn't know them before, he did when we left, when they told us the Everton players were in the NEC!

I think,it was a thank fuck,they've gone, but only on to another adventure for me, like a young Jack Dawkins, following Fagin!

Laurie Hartley
153 Posted 22/01/2017 at 09:24:28
Dave and Tony - You two have rattled my memory again because although I am not sure who we played for my first game I now recall that my dad Len (God rest his soul) lifted me over one of the turnstiles at Goodison Rd.

So Dave - believe it or not - if you get me in to Goodison for the last game for nothing you will also help me set an additional world record for the only person to get into Goodison for his first and last game for nout.

John G Davies
154 Posted 22/01/2017 at 10:31:28
Dave,Tony.

Derek was the champion bunker. When Bruno faced Witherspoon at Wembley we were all there. Derek went to Witherspoons hotel and training camp in Basildon if I recall. He asked for Witherspoons manager and told him Mickey Duff had sent him and his two lads to keep an eye on things and they were to book all three of them in to the hotel and put the bill on Duffs expenses.

If you remember Derek's lads,who were two great kids by the way,you have never seen a more unlikely security team. He got away with it though.

If any of the younger generation can search online you will see Derek at the weigh in Odeon Leicester Square if I remember right.on the stage with the Witherspoon team tracksuit on. Sad to see how he went in later years but once met never forgotten.

Tony Abrahams
155 Posted 22/01/2017 at 11:38:02
This is getting better this Laurie, but Dave, it's hard jibbing in with the away supporters at Anfield, the stewards there are snitching twats. I will have to get you into another part of the ground, if you can stomach it?

John G, I'm sure Derek, ended up good mates with Timmy Witherspoon, and remember seeing his oldest lad (Carl) after one of his fights with loads of pictures, he had took on one of his training camps. It might have been after that Bruno fight actually, but I can't remember to be honest.

Very sad how he ended up, but he was funny til the very end. I remember dropping my son off at school one morning, when this fella was going about 15/20 mph, down Blenham Street driving a wheelchair. Whose this mad fucker I thought, then when I got closer it was Derek, and he started scouling, asking me, when I was gonna come and see him?

A funny man, and one of the reasons going to Goodison, has always been such a pleasure, because it's a ground full of character, with loads of characters in the crowd!

Dave Abrahams
156 Posted 22/01/2017 at 15:44:36
John G Davies, yes Derek had loads of his photo's on the wall in Ma Edgies pub, back of the Empire, he had an argument with The manager there and took them down and put them up in The Punch and Judy, back of Lime Street, The photo's were of himself with famous boxing Personalities, Don King, Witherspoon and other British champions.

He lost his two legs later in life but never lost his sense of humour, I had some laughs with Derek, larger than life.

Laurie (#153) when I get you in at Goodison, you won't have to do any climbing, not even an inch.

Brian Wilkinson
157 Posted 22/01/2017 at 17:35:33
Getting a few Grey cells but someone mentioned the two half moons behind each goal, I am sure I read it somewhere that World Cup requirements meant Everton had to do behind the both goals for the 66 World Cup matches played at Goodison.

Anyway back to business, my first game was around 74-75 season, the opening and first game I went was a nil nil draw against Derby County, remember thinking shitty Derby, hence to say They went and won the league.

Spotting the floodlights coming down the East Lancs, walking down past the coaches parked up, then seeing the ground, spotting the big BBC or Granada trucks outside the Park end addd to the buzz.

The sheer size of the main Stand, Zcars drum roll, hugging a total stranger in the Street end, the half time a-z scores along Bullens Road, going a goal down and Mr positive rallying the troops, don't worry we will have these with a come on Blue Boys roar in his same sentence.

Rushing back to the coach to catch the full time scores on the radio.

Be a big sad Day when we finally say goodbye to the old Lady.

Ray Atherton
158 Posted 22/01/2017 at 17:36:07
Dave (156#) Tony (155#)
Derek and myself were reared up together, he lived
in Erskine St. I was over the road. We attended SFX
together Infants and Juniors.

Playing in the school football team, then in 1966 we
played for the Britannia pub (Tom"s Bar)in Islington.

He was working at the Empire Theatre as a doorman
(bouncer) when Slim Whitman was on stage, Derek
was in the wings of the stage, he shouted to Slim
"give us Rose Marie. As we all know the artists keep
the best untill the last song.

American country singers staying at the Adelphi, Derek
was in their room partying.

There was plenty laughs,lots of stories.

I still remember his birthday. he would have been
70 in February.
A good Blue.

Ray Roche
159 Posted 22/01/2017 at 18:37:07
Brian Wilkinson #157

Brian, I've never heard that about the arcs behind the goal being a World Cup requirement, I don't recall Roker Park, Ayresome Park, Hillsborough, Old Trafford, or Villa Park having arcs built behind their goals. I'm of the opinion that the World Cup "requiring" these was a red herring to deflect from the dart incident.

John G Davies
160 Posted 22/01/2017 at 18:38:44
A laugh every time you met him. One of the funniest men I ever met. He had jibbed onto the stage at another boxing weigh-in (can't remember which one there were that many)

The shout went up from the MC: "Can all non boxers leave the stage please!"

The bold Derek put his arm around Richard Dunne and told him "come on Richard that includes you."

More front than Blackpool, as the saying goes

John G Davies
161 Posted 22/01/2017 at 18:51:49
Sorry I should have added Richard Dunn was weighing in at the time.
Tony Abrahams
162 Posted 22/01/2017 at 18:59:11
John, my favourite story about Derek, was when he was in a pub somewhere, winding up this fella from Blackpool, when Henry Coopers, golden belt show came on. It was Liverpool against Manchester, and it was also a pre-recorded show. Derek, says to this fella, that the Scousers would be too good for the Mancs, and would win every bout. No chance said this fella, and Derek, said to him that he would bet him a tenner? The fella says, so if Manchester win one fight, I win the bet? Ofcourse you will, said Derek, but we are to good for these Mancs.

The bet was struck, and they both stood having a bevy, watching Liverpool, take a 4-0 lead when this fella went berserk. You fuckin conniving scouse bastard, the fella' starts screaming, as the camera went into the crowd, and there was Derek, caught bang to rights!

Kev Johnson
163 Posted 22/01/2017 at 19:16:36
Tony @ 90

Yes, I think it was. Are you the same Tony who we had famous battles with in the 80s through Roma v East Villa and who went on to play for Nottingham Forest and the Mighty Blues. If you are, let me tell you fellow ToffeeWebbers Tony was one of the finest players I ever played against and ever seen. Great days they were, Tony!

John G Davies
164 Posted 22/01/2017 at 19:21:33
A great man Tony. How are his lads doing?

I remembered Carl's name when you mentioned it earlier. Seen him at an away game a good few years ago.

Can't remember the other lads name. He had ginger hair if I recall it right.

Tony Abrahams
165 Posted 22/01/2017 at 20:32:57
He had two other sons, John. The lad with the red hair, (Sean) was totally bald when I saw him on County Road, after one game earlier this season, and his other son, who was a good mate of mine in junior school, Perry, died a few years ago.
Brian Furey
166 Posted 23/01/2017 at 17:02:02
Interesting reading all these posts and your memories from over the years.
I like going to Goodison but usually only make it over from Ireland once or twice a year. I love the place when we're winning and the atmosphere is great but I think too often the fans are too quiet and wait for the team to provide them with something to cheer about.

A lot of times I read how Goodison has an amazing atmosphere and the fans are so vociferous which is a great bonus to the players.

I was wondering do the club ever organise any groups of fans to get the crowd going. Like often when I go I would love to have the songs or chants they sing as often I can't make them out.

We've heard Mourinho and Klopp recently complaining fans are too quiet so I wondered could we not have some pre-organised people to raise the crowd when things go quiet and so we are doing our bit to lift the team rather than waiting for the team to lift our spirits.

I was over at the Madrid derby last year and I expected the atmosphere to be electric but it was so poor. A few years before that I was at Porto v Benfica and wow was I shocked. That was the most noise and crazy atmosphere I've ever sampled.

John G Davies
167 Posted 23/01/2017 at 17:38:40
Thanks Tony, much appreciated.

I only met two of Derek's lads, sad news about his other lad.

Michael Williams
168 Posted 24/01/2017 at 22:15:42
Nice to get a mention for the Westcountry Blues who do get up earlier than most to get to Goodison Park on match days.We pick up at M5 J25...J16...J13. All detail can be found at www.westcountryblues.org.uk

Mike Williams
Westcountry Blues

Patrick Murphy
169 Posted 25/01/2017 at 14:18:21
According to the OS Today, 25 January marks a key anniversary in the saga that saw Everton leave Anfield Road and set up a new home at Goodison Park.

How Everton came to move

Andy Meighan
170 Posted 30/01/2017 at 20:09:12
That pic of the fan with the dart is at Anfield. Everybody knows we don't do things like that at Goodison. We leave that to them morons across the park. And if memory serves me right it was against Man utd

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