A Love Affair

David Brown 08/10/2017  129 Comments  [Jump to last]
Supporting Everton is just like a love affair. For me, I fell in love with Everton in the early sixties... our manager then – Harry Catterick – was like the father of your girlfriend, a bit intimidating but if you kept out of his way he didn’t bother you. Everton played attractive football in the sixties, not as fancy as some but we had style and determination, lots of determination as highlighted in the FA Cup Final against Sheffield Wednesday.

Then, in 1970, the team moved to another level. It was a short-lived show as soon this team was broken up, Ball being sold to Arsenal – a decision that still rankles - Harvey and Royle troubled by injury, and some disappointing new additions.

Catterick metamorphosed into many other new managers but no-one seemed to get Everton – that was until Howard Kendall suddenly hit upon the formula and then the most amazing period ever of supporting Everton arrived and I don’t need to recap on how that went. Kendall was the father-in-law we would all want: benevolent and good-humoured but behind that understanding exterior was a man of steel – someone who knew exactly what made a team play for each other – and best of all, someone who knew how to entertain us, the fans.

Unfortunately, a slow decline for many reasons has occurred since those wonderful days of the eighties. Our manager has had more reincarnations than Dr Who... even those who ‘get it’, like big Joe Royle, have found it difficult to provide success and entertain.

In recent years, we have been stuck; our ‘love’ puts on some new make-up and we all shout with joy thinking that the glory years are just around the corner... only the corner never comes. (Well, a corner may do – but certainly not many goals!)

Once more, we now find ourselves with an intimidating father-in-law, rather like Catterick but without the knowledge of how to create a team and without the bravery to entertain. Someone who says "It’s my way", yet changes his mind every time he sets up the side; who banishes players, only to bring them back; who sells our best player without any plan of whom to replace him with; yet again, someone who doesn’t understand... maybe Latin doesn’t translate into Dutch.

The sale of Lukaku is another opportunity missed, like the European ban and the Kings Dock fiasco. It has the possibility of causing real grief. It could have proved positive if the money had been used wisely; unfortunately, paying £45 million for a midfield player when you need a striker is not in my view a wise choice.

What would be a wise choice now with the season already looking to be on a slippery slope? Well, no doubt the Dutchman will be allowed some time, although last season’s pathetic performance away against West Ham showed me enough to not be that surprised by this season's equally pathetic performances against Chelsea and Spurs. And Bill – if it is Bill who calls the shots – is not normally quick to make a decision.

Anyway it will for sure end in tears. Our loved one will be crying and it will be up to us as supporters to rally round and hope that the next father / Dr Who / manager 'gets' Everton and produces a team where the make-up doesn’t dissolve at the first hint of rain. One we can look forward to watching, supporting, and being proud of again.

Perhaps we could pinch Arteta back from Man City? Unsworth and Arteta could prove an interesting combination... á la Kendall & Harvey!

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Stan Schofield
1 Posted 08/10/2017 at 18:51:11
David, yes, we played good football in the 60s, which reached a peak of style in 68-69, and a peak of effectiveness in 69-70. That short two seasons was very memorable. The football was 'cool', and I remember Kenneth Wolstenholme waxing lyrical over it on MOTD.

In those days, Merseyside was the centre of football. We were on a par with Liverpool in terms of silverware, but were the best in terms of stylish football, and for me Colin Harvey was the main symbol of that.

At the moment, Manchester is the centre of football, with us and Liverpool being mid-to-high-in-the-table sides, but not top. There's an analogy between now and the 60s: Man Utd don't have much style compared with Man City, which is similar to the 60s when Liverpool didn't have as much style as us.

Winning trophies is obviously important, but in terms of impact, memory and legend, winning with style is very important, because it's ultimately about entertainment. I had hoped Koeman would bring style to us, given his Dutch and Barca pedigree, but we're still waiting!

Darren Hind
2 Posted 08/10/2017 at 19:21:50
Is right Stan.

68/69 was when the sultans really played creole. 69/70 was far more business like.

Colin Harvey acted. thought and played like a natural footballer. That he shades a world class Bally (for me at least) speaks volume;

Did we REALLY have these two AND Kendal in the same side ?

Outrageous talent. The bastards spoiled me for life

Dave Abrahams
3 Posted 08/10/2017 at 19:31:42
Stan/Darren, the sixties had a beginning as well you know, and the 1963 team was better than the later team in 1969/70, although there might not have been much between them, that is in my opinion.
Stan Schofield
4 Posted 08/10/2017 at 19:35:14
Dave, absolutely, Alex Young and Co made a big impression on me when my dad first took me in 61-62. It's just that I was older and more appreciative of the stylish footie later that decade.
Dave Abrahams
5 Posted 08/10/2017 at 19:40:42
Fair enough Stan, but don't leave Roy Vernon out of that earlier 60's team, captain and leading goal scorer and provider, but that's another argument, and all about good things that happened then as Darren says we were spoiled but not for long enough.
Darren Hind
6 Posted 08/10/2017 at 19:43:57
Is right Dave A.

But I had only just started going in 62/3. I got the magic, but the quality of play was kinda lost on me.

Me arl fella believed the 1963 would have beaten the 1970 team 6 times out of 10. . . . They must have been some team. I genuinely thought we just automatically won the league at the time.

Would be interested to see what others senior blues think

John Keating
7 Posted 08/10/2017 at 20:15:56
Agree that the 63 team was better than the 70 team.
Not only brilliant individuals but a fantastic hard working team. Denis Stevens an unsung hero, bought as cover for the fantastic Bobby Collins, never got the praise he deserved. Young and Vernon, well what can you say?. From front to back not a weakness. A brilliant time to be in Liverpool. Great days and a great team
Lenny Kingman
8 Posted 08/10/2017 at 20:17:22
The idea of an Unsworth/Arteta combo is laughable I would suggest.

Was there on the vast terrace under the stand in 63 when a smokin' Roy Vernon, in both senses of the word, was presented with the league trophy.

Time shift to 70 and dancing round a misty Goodison pitch on a late April evening as another league title was secured against WBA.

Comparing the two marvellous sides, its hard to say which was the superior. 70, possibly the more glamorous, but 63 for me. There was something utterly solid about that team that looked well set for the immediate future. As it proved, unlike the 70 model.

Brian Denton
9 Posted 08/10/2017 at 20:40:31
I don't remember the 62-63 side, but I remember the 69-70 side well. I went to most of the home games, and a couple of the aways (Stoke on Easter Monday if I recall correctly). Best memory of that season - probably tonking Chelsea who were themselves 'up there' in that season. Also beating Man U home and away, and Spurs home and away in the days when often the home and away games were played as consecutive fixtures.

I'd like to have gone to the West Brom away game in 67-68, but had to make do with the radio. That was some game - any old gits confirm?

Stan Schofield
10 Posted 08/10/2017 at 23:03:59
Dave, I must admit that when I first started going the match in 61, I wasn't all that bothered about football, but for some reason Alex Young stood out. Not only at the game, but also in photos when he went up for a header. He seemed to go so high, like the distance from the ground to his feet was ridiculous. Like he could hover. And when we played footie, Evertonians like me all wanted to be Alex Young (a few years later, it was Alan Ball). The only other comparable header of the ball, of his size, was Uwe Seeler of West Germany. That's a sign of how good a team is, when players really capture the imagination of kids.

Regarding which was the better team, 62-63 or 69-70, of course I'd have to go for 69-70. But my dad always says 62-63, because of Young, Vernon, Temple, et al.

Stan Schofield
11 Posted 08/10/2017 at 23:12:43
By the way, Darren has said, in other threads, that we were 'Kings', and he's had a bit of stick for saying that, because we didn't spend many years at the top of the heap. But I would agree with him. We might not have been kings in terms of trophies won or years at the top of the heap, but in the 60s we were definitely kings of stylish football. Not many teams could boast a midfield that compares with the great Brazil midfield of 1970. If only England had played that midfield, we might have won the World Cup again.
Don Alexander
12 Posted 08/10/2017 at 00:32:43
Moshiri's "we're not a museum" comments were bang on the money for me. The "we were kings" line is sadly just wishful thinking. I wish it wasn't though because as a little lad I saw the '63 team, then revelled in the style of the horribly brief late 60's team, enjoyed the horribly brief mid 80's team and, er, that's it. The much vaunted 25 Premier League years have been pants if we're being honest. Every one of the five "big" clubs participating in its inception have done way better than we have in it, fact, and now Chelsea and City are in the hunt too.

Truth is for me that I don't see a "mere" billionaire being able to fund a transition to top four unless he and everyone he appoints are right at the top of their game for two or three consecutive years minimum and, frankly, there's little visible evidence of it at the moment. But, given our true history, we could do worse than put up with the current "master-plan" until the end of next season because it'd be real easy to panic and then fire, compensate, hire, and so on and so on.

Dead easy when you have owners personally worth £11and £20billion like Chelsea and City but in the real world "mere" billionaire owners like Ellis Short and Randy Lerner have learnt the hard way that a thousand million counts for little without the necessary savvy and effort from everyone they're paying.

Stephen Davies
13 Posted 09/10/2017 at 00:56:29
Don #12 Exactly.
Thats why its very important when choosing a Manager for tbis Club.
Not for 3 or 4 yrs but to lay a winning foundation to ingrain success and uphold the Motto of the club.
Ofcourse thats easier said than done..like it or not were seen as a stepping stone for ambitious players..( and managers come to that matter) the past means nothing.

Huddersfield once won the 1st Division title 3 years in succession then some club poached their manager..and never looked back.

Laurie Hartley
14 Posted 09/10/2017 at 08:39:13
Don # 12 - we were kings in the 60's - if I am not mistaken only two other teams won three trophies in that decade.

The dark side equaled our record of two titles and one FA cup and Spurs won the FA cup three times.

All three teams had great managers, but unfortunately and as Stephen # 13 has alluded to, much as I hate to admit it, the dark side had one that had a vision for the club's future and its importance to its fan base.

That is the sort of character we need but I don't know whether they make them like him anymore.

It is actually quite depressing for me to read this thread. It would be easy to give up but as another charismatic leader once said - "when you are going through hell, keep going".

Phil Walling
15 Posted 09/10/2017 at 09:55:04
Catterick was as cold as ice but we loved the teams he turned out and the way he set them out. After a decade of setting a standard few could match, he went all funny and set out to destroy what he had created. And did it rather well.

Howard's time was joyous but by then I was a grown man and somehow the romance of it all had faded a little. Since then nothing. And the capacity to love is no longer mine.

Stan Schofield
16 Posted 09/10/2017 at 09:59:24
Laurie, we can come good under Moshiri, but as Don says, unless someone much wealthier (Usmanov?) comes in, it's difficult to see us reaching the very top like we were so briefly in the past.

The fact that it's been nearly three decades of not being at or near the very top, means there's a lot of supporters who might be happy to see us regularly in the top-6, without necessarily winning anything. But supporters of our vintage are perhaps less likely to be satisfied, given the great sides we have experienced.

Stan Schofield
17 Posted 09/10/2017 at 10:02:53
Phil, yes, perhaps the joy of glory is mainly for youngsters. But, I wonder if we started winning big time, that capacity might return?
Tommy Bowman
18 Posted 09/10/2017 at 11:12:48
I'm sorry Everton... I need some space, it's not you - it's me. I just can't be with someone who has given up on life. You want different things from me. I've stuck with you through thick and thin, or more likely thin and thinner... yeah, there were good times - but they've all gone and since the kids have left there's nothing but drudgery and the same old same old.

I'm leaving you and you can keep the house, it's falling to bits anyway and I don't believe all your promises of a flash new gaff on the docks.

It's over... goodbye.

PS If you reach a cup final or even look like playing some decent football, I'm available for a sympathy shag

Phil Greenough
20 Posted 09/10/2017 at 15:10:14
I think a lot of fans echo your sentiments, Tommy. I give up my Park end season ticket in 2003, because I moved to Jersey. My mate carried on going, but even his patience has been stretched; he said he's not renewing it next season.
Don Alexander
21 Posted 09/10/2017 at 16:08:17
Brilliantly put Tommy!
Ed Fitzgerald
22 Posted 09/10/2017 at 16:32:20
Like all great love affairs it is painful, our adoration is oft unrequited and its makes no sense to onlookers (family and friends) as we make utter fools of ourselves. I know I should walk away, yet, I cling to the hope that the generations who never witnessed the holy trinity, the mid 80's will be rewarded with a new stadium and a great team to get behind.

We need somebody at the helm with the passion to awaken this slumbering giant of a club, at board level and at the managerial level. We certainly need a manager who sees beyond a project and embraces the clubs history but equally senses the vast potential.

I know I'm doomed because I can't give up the hope.

Martin Mason
23 Posted 09/10/2017 at 17:33:05
For me the 60's was the Everton decade with so many great players. A great era for football in general with almost any side able to win the league and cups and truly great sides like United, Liverpool and Everton. We had our legends as identified by many above but as a young lad in the early 60s I remember a great little winger called Alex Scott or Chico as he was called. Equal to the legends identified I'd also add Tommy Wright and Ray Wilson, the most cultured full back I have seen.
Dermot Byrne
24 Posted 09/10/2017 at 17:40:36
I was born into a blue family with grandfather, dad, ma and elder brother and all uncles rabid blues. I had that in my soul before christening.

Been a pain in the fucking arse for 57 years since...to the day!

John McFarlane
25 Posted 09/10/2017 at 19:36:01
I genuinely sympathise with Everton supporters who were born in the late eighties, as they will be hardly old enough to remember our last success, [the 1995 F.A. cup win.] I have a thirteen year old Grandson who falls into this category and it's heartbreaking to see him, when we trudge our way back to the Soccer Bus after another dismal performance. I cast my mind back to 1951 when we were relegated following a 6-0 defeat to Sheffield Wednesday when a 0-0 draw would have been enough to preserve our status, ironically Wednesday accompanied us to Division Two. Anyone in my age group [79m plus] would have watched a side that struggled to maintain top flight football, and despite gaining promotion in 1954 continued to struggle in the top division. As an aside I can boast that I was on the Kop at Boundary Park when Everton clinched promotion, and on the Kop at Anfield when our "Illegitimate Cousins" beat Southampton to end an eight year absence. I don't claim to be unique but I shouldn't expect there are many others. To return to my main point, it was only when John Moores joined the board and gave an interest free loan, that being an Evertonian became a pleasant way of life. The team that featured Dunlop, Parker, Thomson, Gabriel, Labone, [Brian] Harris Lill, Collins, [Jimmy] Harris, Vernon, Ring, gave us a foretaste of what was to come. it was by far the best team we had seen, and provided the springboard that led to the eventual success we enjoyed in the sixties and 1970.Others who played a part in that period were Parnell, Jones, Green, Bentley, Bingham, Fell, Kavanagh, Meagan, Sharples, Temple, Tyrer, Webber, Wingnall, and Young. While that group of players didn't deliver any silverware, it made this 23 year old very happy, I wonder if any older ToffeeWebbers share my memories.
Kunal Desai
26 Posted 09/10/2017 at 20:22:10
Joe Royle played for Everton, the last man to win silverware at Everton, over 20 years ago, and before him Howard Kendall. Both donned the royal blue jersey.

I personally don't think many people do get it. Maybe an Unsworth or Rooney may oversee us win silverware one day.

John McFarlane
27 Posted 09/10/2017 at 20:22:11
Of course I meant Wignall, I've no idea who Wingnall was, I think it's an age thing.
Lenny Kingman
28 Posted 10/10/2017 at 08:58:13
The idea of Rooney as manager is somewhat amusing. Risible in fact. But he is a true blue – of that there is no doubt.

Eric Myles
29 Posted 10/10/2017 at 09:09:29
Kunal (#26), I think there'll be a Ferguson in the managerial queue before a Rooney.

I can't see Duncan being as timid as his namesake and only using a hairdryer on his players though.

Dave Abrahams
30 Posted 10/10/2017 at 09:28:47
John (#25) I share those memories with you, Boundary Park a great 4-0 win, promotion and Liverpool going down the same season, how very happy that made me. I was there at Anfield when they beat Southampton 2-0 to come back up.

Incidentally not many Liverpool fans remember who scored the two goals for them that day, and he was their record signing for quite a few years before they signed St John and Yeats, I'll bet you get him, John.

As you say, John, happy days.

John McFarlane
31 Posted 10/10/2017 at 13:55:13
Happy days indeed, Dave, both the goals were scored by Kevin Lewis, and if Ian St John hadn't been suspended (following an altercation with Tony Singleton of Preston North End) it's unlikely that Kevin Lewis would have played.

I remember St John running to the Kop to celebrate with the fans, and photos of the players celebrating by drinking champagne (presumably) from what I would describe as British Rail cups. A year later when we clinched the Championship against Fulham, we showed them how to do it with a bit of style, and for me that has always been the difference between the two clubs.

I always read the ToffeeWeb topics, but the negative comments from some contributors leave me feeling a little depressed, I understand (and share) their frustration, but their hatred and foul language leave me disappointed. It's nice to find someone of a similar age group who is willing to reminisce and look back, but not in anger. Best wishes to you and your family.

Dave Abrahams
32 Posted 10/10/2017 at 14:13:56
Thanks John (#31), I knew you'd get Kevin Lewis, born in Ellesmere Port, Liverpool signed him from Sheffield Utd for £16,000, he scored one of the goals in the first league Derby for 11 years between Us and Them in a 2-2 draw, St. John missed that game as well through injury.

Alan Tyrer is an interesting player on your earlier list, he didn't play many games for the Blues, left Everton for a lower league team then was on Arsenal's books for a couple of years, don't know if he played for the first team though.

Frank Wignall, came from non league Horwich then went to Nottm Forest and was picked for England while he was there.

Nice to share these posts with you, John, best regards to you and your family.

John McFarlane
33 Posted 10/10/2017 at 19:36:20
Hi again, Dave,

I've looked up Kevin Lewis's league stats which are as follows:

Sheffield United 62 appearances 23 goals,
Liverpool 72 appearances 39 goals,
Huddersfield Town 47 appearances 13 goals
Grand Total 178 appearances 75 goals not bad for a winger. I don't have his FA Cup record.

With regard to Alan Tyrer he played 9 League games for Everton and one FA Cup game, scoring 2 League goals. his first goal was the winner in a 1-0 home win against Leeds United, his second in 4-2 win against Birmingham City at St Andrews I must confess that although I would undoubtedly have been at Goodison for the Leeds game I have no recollection of it.

I know for a fact that I was at the game at St Andrews, because I travelled to that game alone as my mates we're not as enthusiastic as me. I actually went to a lot of away games on my own. Their Saturday nights meant more to them obviously, whereas my life revolved around Everton Football Club.

My abiding memory of Alan Tyrer brings back unpleasant thoughts. It was when Billy Bingham was switched to outside left to accommodate Tyrer in the third round of the FA Cup in 1961 Sheffield United beating us 1-0. Tyrer left Everton to join Mansfield Town.

You will no doubt remember that Les Shannon the former Liverpool and Burnley player had a coaching role with the youngsters at Goodison, he took up a similar position at Arsenal, Shannon must have seen something in Tyrer hence the link up at the Gunners. Unfortunately things didn't work out for him, as he didn't make the first team. He remained in the game however giving service to Bury and Workington. Sadly Alan passed away in January 2008 at the age of 65.

Lenny Kingman
34 Posted 10/10/2017 at 20:08:37
Tyrer's first goal against Leeds was significant and truly memorable on two counts.

Firstly it was my first ever game watching the Blues; and secondly, he scored that goal from the centre circle in his own half! I had a great view from the Park End stand, my Dads treat for my first game, as it zoomed into the Street goal at speed past a bamboozled Leeds keeper.

Oh what memories lurk just below the surface in the minds of us old blue boys. Great life.

Dave Abrahams
35 Posted 10/10/2017 at 20:19:43
John (33), thanks for Alan Tyrer's career stats. I was thinking about his goal at Goodison earlier today, knew it was in a 1-0 win, wasn't sure who it was against. It was a good shot from about 15-20 yards low down in the Gwladys Street End.

At he time Everton were well down in the league, near the end of the season so that goal and the two points eased Everton's situation. I wasn't at the Birmingham game.

I was a bit like you in the sense that Everton meant nearly everything to me, I even stopped playing football in favour of watching the Blues, not that I was a great loss to football but I certainly enjoyed playing.

Keep the memories flowing John and I'll do my best to keep up with you; at least it helps the brain to focus, even if it bores quite a few!!!

John McFarlane
36 Posted 10/10/2017 at 00:24:31
Lenny (#33),

I envy you in a way because I cant remember my first game, I was taken to the match when I was 7 or 8, and was allowed to go on my own when I was 10. (1948)

I won't pretend that I attended every home game but players who made a big impression on me in those days were Ted Sagar, Peter Farrell, Tommy Eglington, and Wally Fielding. I'm aware that TG Jones was in the team in those far off days but I'd be lying if I said I could remember him, I wish I could.

One other player who I can distinctly remember was Peter Corr, I think that's partly because the Boys Pen was situated in what is now the Lower Bullens stand and because he played on the right wing, I must have had a good view of him.

I've checked my records and discovered that he signed for Everton in August 1948 and left for Dundalk in November 1949. I suppose his name will be unfamiliar to many Evertonians but he made a big impression on this 10-year-old. I tease some of our "illegitimate cousins," by saying "We have something in common" and then the killer blow "I can't remember my first game,,and you can't remember your last"

My clearer memories are from the seasons leading up to the relegation season, when we fielded such players as George Saunders, Gordon Dugdale George Rankin, Jimmy McIntosh, Oscar Hold, Jack Hedley, Billy Higgins, Harry Catterick, and Jackie Grant – hardly household names but they wore the "Royal Blue jersey" and they were my heroes.

If I was asked to pick 6 players for special mention from the hundreds I have had the pleasure of watching over the years, I would start with Peter Farrell – in my opinion the most inspirational captain we've had. I'll never forget that evening in Boundary Park when, with tears in his eyes he addressed us and said "I led the team when we were relegated, and now I'm proud to lead us back to Division one"

Another player who gave everything for the cause was Bobby Collins, I remember travelling to Valley Parade, Bradford, to witness a humiliating 3-0 FA Cup defeat to Bradford City. Bobby slated the team saying "Too many players couldn't wait to get back to the night out at the Royal Tiger."

I don't need to extol the virtues of Alex young, I will just say those of us who were able to see him play were privileged.

Also in the Alex Young era, was another fine Scotsman, Alex Parker. I was lucky enough to be in his company at one of the "Hall of Fame" nights and when I raised the subject of his trademark sliding tackle, he smiled and said "To tell you the truth, I was faster on my arse than I was on my feet." What a quote.

Returning to my younger days when I attended the Central League games, I used to collect autographs, one player who persistently refused to sign was Wally Fielding. (I found only relatively recently, that it was not ill manners on his part, he just felt really shy.) Anyway after one reserve game, along with ten or twelve other kids I badgered him for his signature and he repeatedly refused us, but then to my delight he whispered "Come around the corner son" and he signed my book at the side of the Winslow.

In the same period (before he broke into the first team), I approached Dave Hickson for his autograph. In those days, ballpoint pens were conspicuous by their absence, and I had my pencil and book at the ready, as Dave was about to sign he said, "Ah I've broken your pencil, come with me." And he took me to the little newsagents on the corner opposite Wally's café and got the lady to sharpen the pencil, and duly signed his name.

A few years ago, a friend of mine bought me an Everton book and on a tour of Goodison, he related the tale to Dave and asked him if he'd sign it. ^This Dave did, writing

"To Johnny Mac, I have written this with my own pen. Best wishes, D Hickson."

What price today's stars behaving in like manner?

Apologies for the length of this post, I don't often get the opportunity to live my life again.

Dave Abrahams
37 Posted 11/10/2017 at 12:56:18
John (#36), well two of your favourite players Peter Farrell and Peter Corr played at Goodison when Eire beat England 2-0 with Farrell scoring one of the goals, a great captain as you say.

I saw TG Jones and remember him well an outstanding footballer, centre-half who seldom went to ground but read the game superbly, he was wasted for a couple of seasons before he eventually left.

Dave Hickson, my all time favourite Everton player, not one of the best but gave his all for Everton in every game he played for us, all action and drive on the pitch a very nice man off it, in fact a gentleman.

I've got to disagree with you, John, over Wally Fielding, a very good scheming inside forward on the pitch, a little nark, in my experience off it, after the Leeds Utd game at Elland Road, the year we came up, I was on the coach talking away to Dave Hickson, having a laugh. Fielding got on the coach with Cyril Lello. Lello was okay but Nobby told me and a couple of other young lads to get off the effing coach, which we did.

We bumped into Cliff Britton, the manager, who asked us if we had had anything to eat, pulling a pound note out of his pocket. We told him we had, so the pound went back into his pocket.

The good and bad of Everton people that day, I'm glad you had better luck with Nobby, John. Keep the old tales coming, John.

John McFarlane
38 Posted 11/10/2017 at 16:22:10
Good afternoon, Dave, some people may accuse us of forming a mutual appreciation society, but all I could say in our defence is that their experiences today will eventually become tomorrows memories.

Regarding the Peters (Farrell and Corr), you are spot-on in stating that they were in the Eire team (as they were known then). I was introduced to Dr David France a couple of years ago in the Winslow, and I pointed out to him (as diplomatically as I could]) his error in one of his publications, where it was stated that Peter Farrell and Tommy Eglington had played against England at Goodison Park; in fairness to him, he took it in good grace. He apparently bore no ill will toward me because he phoned me some time later to query my reaction to the transfer of Alan Ball to Arsenal. He subsequently included my thoughts in a book, the title of which escapes me.

As I have stated in a previous post, I am a stickler for accuracy and I can appreciate that it can often be considered as arrogance. It is highly likely that I made some effort to witness part of history in the making when Eire beat England 2-0 with goals from Con Martin and Peter Farrell.

I attended All Saints Roman Catholic school, which is a couple of minutes away from Liverpool's ground, and whenever there were mid-week fixtures, games could kick off any time from 2:00pm. While we could reach Anfield for the last few minutes, getting to Goodison was beyond us, but that didn't stop us trying. The nearest we came to seeing some action was the FA Cup semi-final replay in 1948 (Blackpool vs Birmingham City). Just as we reached the gates of the Goodison Road stand, the crowds came pouring out.

On another occasion, an FA Cup Third Round Replay, Everton vs Leyton Orient (1-3) in 1952, we were within 100 yards of the ground and asked a man what the result was, and when he told us that Everton had been beaten 3-1, we didn't believe him.

The man in question was Bill Jones, the Liverpool player. For the benefit of younger ToffeeWebbers, there were no floodlights in those days, and at the beginning and end of the season, Everton games kicked off at 3:15pm but, as the daylight hours grew shorter, the times were adjusted to 3:00pm, 2:45pm, 2:30pm, 2:15pm and if my memory serves me right 2:00pm. Any programme collector can set the record straight.

I hope my contributions trigger memories for the older Webbers and, for the younger readers, provide an insight into football as we knew it.

Dave Abrahams
39 Posted 11/10/2017 at 19:47:21
Good evening to you John.

As you say Peter Farrell and Tommy Eglington didn't play together in that International game, but they were the subjects in a football quiz question: Which two players played together in the 1st Div. 2nd Div, 3rd Div and two International teams. It was of course Peter and Tommy (Eggo) with Everton in the 1st and 2nd divisions, Tranmere Rovers in the 3rd div and Ireland when they had an all Ireland team and Eire after they split up.

Regarding the afternoon kick off times, you are spot on they did indeed have various times at the different seasons of the year, I ran to Anfield to try and see the end of the replay between Liverpool and Man.City, got just after Billy Liddells famous disallowed goal, his shot was hurtling towards the City net when the referee, Mervyn Griffiths, blew up for full time, so I was stood along thousands of Red fans waiting for extra time before it became apparent that the match was over. I managed to suppress my joy then danced my way home.

I was talking to Dave Sexton one time and he told me he always had a soft spot for Everton as he had made his debut for Leyton Orient versus Everton, don't know if it in the game you are referring to in your post, never saw that game but like you when I was told the score I couldn't believe it, they where in the 3rd Division South at the time.

Nice talking to you, John, see you tomorrow, don't know what time!!!!!

John McFarlane
40 Posted 11/10/2017 at 22:51:00
Hi once again Dave, I was also at the Liverpool vs City replay, I was working at the British Enka rayon factory in Aintree at the time, and as luck would have it I was on the 6-2 shift, fortunately the Ribble bus stops were immediately outside the factory gate, and at the bottom of Royal Street. The strange thing about that game for me, is that for years I convinced myself that the disallowed goal was at the Anfield Road end, it was only when I saw a photo in the Echo that I realised that it was at the Kop end. I was actually on the Kop that afternoon, and if that incident had been the subject of a thousand pounds quiz, I would have failed miserably. Billy Liddell was dealt a double blow in that round, as he had a goal disallowed in the first game, he scored from an onside position but a teammate, I believe it was Alan A'Court was standing in an offside position. I was also at Maine Road for the next round when City beat Everton 2-1 I was in the Platt Lane end with my uncle Jimmy, no confusion about the goal this time, it was definitely at the far end of the ground, and to tell the truth it looked like he intended it as a cross. I've read somewhere that Bert Trautmann considered this to be one of the best games he had played in, apart from the result it was a great game to watch. With regard to Dave Sexton I'm afraid there can be no way that he made his debut against Everton, I have one or two books I have gathered over the years, and one [ Football Players Records 1946-1984,] shows that he joined Leyton Orient from West Ham United in June 1956, Leyton Orient had been promoted from Division 3 South to Division 2 at the end of the previous season. Everton at this time were of course in the 1st Division. What I find interesting about Dave Sexton, and something that surprises me, is that he had a relatively short League career. He joined Luton Town from Chelmsford in June 1951 playing [9] games and scoring [1] goal, he then moved to West Ham United in June 1952, playing [73] games and scoring [27] goals,then came his spell with Leyton Orient from June 1956 where played [24] games and scored [4] goals, in October 1957 he moved to Brighton and Hove Albion playing [47] games and scoring [26] goals, his final move saw him join Crystal Palace in May 1959 were he played [27] games and scored [11]goals. His overall record was appearances [180], goals [69] These figures relate only to League games and I may have to consult google for F.A.Cup details. You may be able to help me out here Dave, in my time of watching Everton, Goodison was always painted in the City colours of green and cream. That was certainly the case when I joined the Army in August 1956, and I'm pretty sure that prevailed when I was demobbed in August 1959. Some modern day supporters may believe that the ground has always been painted blue, can you shed some light on the matter? it's not terribly important but it's been bugging me for years.
Darren Hind
41 Posted 12/10/2017 at 04:02:44
Johnny Mac and Dave A – fantastic stuff.

I have trouble remembering recent games and here's you two talking about games which took place nearly seventy years ago.

One of the best exchanges I've read on this site. Listening to you talking about your "love affair" with Everton makes me feel like I've only just started dating.

Lenny @34

Regarding your last paragraph; Don't be shy, Lets hear them. I'm always up for a little education

Jay Harris
42 Posted 12/10/2017 at 04:22:12
Dave and John, you two founts of knowledge may be able to help me.

I was taken to my first game at Goodison in the late 50s aged around 6 or 7.

It was a floodlit game and I am sure against an Army 11 or something like that. I have never managed to find out what game it was and wonder if either of you might remember it.

John McFarlane
43 Posted 12/10/2017 at 10:53:46
Darren (41),

I'm so pleased that you enjoy the exchanges between myself and Dave. I have always been passionate about football in general, and Everton in particular, and although I don't know Dave personally I think he has a similar attitude.

I was afraid that people would regard my posts as the works of someone showing off; far from it, as I have always been of the opinion that we can all learn something from the experiences of others. As I have been at pains to point out, I'm a stickler for accuracy because I've seen many a pint (and on occasion a fair bit of currency) change hands because of false information. I think that Dave and I bounce off each other, and I'm waiting for his next contribution, so let's see where that leads us.

Jay (#42), Everton vs the Army was an annual fixture played at Goodison and Aldershot alternately as I remember. You may well have witnessed one of these encounters, but if it was under floodlights it must have taken place after October 1957 (when the Goodison lights were switched on for the first time) and before 1959. When I returned to "Civvy Street" I saw a few of these games but they were all staged in natural light, and ether pre-season or early on in the season. The Army teams contained quite a lot of professional footballers who were doing their 2 years National service.

The last one I can recall attending would have been in 1959 or 1960 and the only professionals I can remember representing the visitors were Peter Baker (Tottenham Hotspur) and Chris Crowe (Blackburn Rovers). There may have been others, but as you may appreciate I didn't pay as much attention to friendlies. Now don't put your money on this, but I'm pretty sure that Rowdy Yeats, and Tubby Ogston of Liverpool together with Alex Young also represented the Army football team.

Another annual fixture was a cricket match against Bootle CC at Wadham Road. Not being a cricket fan, I gave this a miss... apparently Albert Dunlop, the Everton goalkeeper, was a fine cricketer.

I hope I've been of assistance to you.

Lawrence Green
44 Posted 12/10/2017 at 11:21:34
Jay (42) According to this list of Friendlies, Everton entertained the Army at Goodison Park, on November 6th 1957 and lost the game 2-3, with McNamara and Thomas scoring for the Blues.

ARMY MOUNT THE GREATER FIRE-POWER

November 7, 1957.
The Liverpool Daily Post
By Ian Hargreaves

Everton 2, Army 3
Attendance 5,485

An assorted Everton XI containing only two regular first teamers though several others with first team experience were forced to admit defeat to the Army under the Goodison floodlights last night if not always displaying typical military precision, the Army carried out their assaults with commendable spirit and determination and in the end their superior fire power prevailed. In Charlton a young man steeped in the Old Trafford tradition they had the most dangerous marksman on the field and it was his two goals, both smashed home with venomous velocity, that turned the battle in their favour. With such skilful skirmishers as Cliff Jones and Brian Harris to probe the weaknesses in the Everton defence it was not surprising that Charlton and his fellow storm trooper, Curry were able to drive home their attacks where they would do most damage. Harris of course, knows all about Everton's habit of advancing in the face of a free kick, and his information produced a simple goal within five minutes of the start. Harris' free kick found Charlton onside and unmarked –and then Charlton did the rest. Then, after Everton had equalized and taken the lead with two sudden goals immediately before the interval Jones found another unguarded spot in mid-field and slid the ball into it for Charlton to shoot home.

Everton Erratic

Scarcely had Everton kicked off than they were removing the ball from their net again, Harris and Curry launched a feint on the right and Newman delivered the fatal thrust from the left. The battle had been won and lost. Everton's performance was erratic to say the least. They produced several delightful movements – generally inspired by Rea and Thomas only to ruin them with passing so wild it was almost indicious Birch's propensity for hitting the ball fifty and sixty yards at a time did not help to keep attacks flowing with their accustomed smoothness and poor Kirby at centre forward received not a single pass on the ground throughout. McNamara brilliant in patches still fended to hold the ball a second too long, but it was good to see him entrusted with a penalty after Nelson had fouled Kirby – and even better to see him score from it. Everton's other goal, two minutes later was a real beauty, Rea found Thomas with a lovely through pass and Thomas beating Appleton in one stride flicked the ball past Duff in the next. The highlight of the match this but unfortunately not repeated. In view of Jones, injury which makes him an unlikely starter on Saturday, the form of Leeder and Sanders at full occasioned a good deal of interest. Both did quite well, but a special word of praise is due to Sanders, who kept the quick-silver Jones as much under control as could be expected. Neither, however, could outshine Whelan whose polished play was a feature of the Army's victory.

John McFarlane
45 Posted 12/10/2017 at 11:48:12
Jay (41), your search is over, I've just struck gold! The game you were taken to see, was indeed against an Army side, 6 November 1957, a 3-2 defeat; the Everton goal scorers were Tony McNamara and Eddie Thomas. I was otherwise engaged serving Queen and Country in Cyprus at the time.

The game I referred to was staged on 28 March 1960. (So much for my early season theory, and strengthens my case for accuracy!) The game ended in a 4-2 win for Everton, the goals coming from, Jimmy Harris, Mickey Lill, Tommy Ring, and Roy Vernon. It's sad to record that the only survivor of that quartet is Jimmy Harris (and he was 84 on 18 August).

Once again, I'm glad to have been of assistance.

John McFarlane
46 Posted 12/10/2017 at 12:13:26
Congratulations, Lawrence (#44) – you beat me to it, and the match report that you have unearthed will be of greater value to Jay, than the basics I managed to find. It proves what can be achieved when people who share a common passion rally to the cause.

A case of Evertonians living up to the club motto, and proving that "Nothing but the best is good enough" – Well done, once again.

Jay Harris
47 Posted 12/10/2017 at 15:06:11
John and Lawrence, thank you for that feedback.

It brings back memories as my granddad, dad and uncle who were regulars took me for the first time to indoctrinate me.

They used to take me in the Bullens and pass me over the turnstile gate (a common practice for kids or so I was told) and sit me on the bar of the lean to supports.

After that they took me regularly until I became a boys pen addict where I Watched us win the league in 1963 and joined the thousands who climbed over the gates and ran onto the pitch to celebrate. I think we beat Fulham 3-1 or 4-1. If only the kids of today could have some of what we've enjoyed over the years.

Suffice it to say.. Born, not Manufactured.

Tony Abrahams
48 Posted 12/10/2017 at 15:24:10
That's what I pray for every year, Jay, just to win a cup, for our kids. They travel anywhere, they travel everywhere, often to watch us perform terribly, and without any real passion for the shirt.

I'd actually go as far as to say the team is the polar opposite of the fans right now, especially the younger generation who I'm sure would do almost anything, to witness the joy that winning brings.

I've enjoyed this thread, it's taken us back to the days when football really was life and death, whereas now it just seems to be all about the money.

Dave Abrahams
49 Posted 12/10/2017 at 15:39:03
Jay (#47), sorry, but that might not have been the game you saw, this has been on ToffeeWeb before. The game you could have seen was Everton versus Red Star Belgrade, this was a team picked with the best players from The Yugoslavia Army, this game finished 2-3 to Red Star.

Why I query it was the British Army is that those games were usually on an afternoon, Wednesday or Saturday, also the attendance given, just over 5000, I would say, was very small for a floodlight game, floodlight games were in their infancy then and were very well attended, the Everton / Red Star game took place around the same time as you state, I'd say the attendance would have been at least 35,000, I know you were very young Jay but can you visualise the crowd that day/ night?

If I am wrong, I apologise... just might be a doubt. By the way, in the Red Star game, a young lad played left half, Terry Gannon, the only senior game he ever played for the Blues, his younger brother, Michael, also played for Everton.

Dave Abrahams
50 Posted 12/10/2017 at 16:03:15
John (40), good afternoon.

Regards that Everton v Man City cup tie, it really was a magnificent performance by our team. Bert Trautman got out of a sick bed, he'd had the flu all week and he alone saved City from a mauling. Wave after wave of Everton attacks ended with Trautman producing save after brilliant save until Jimmy Harris put one in and then City, roared on by a huge crowd, got two goals back in the second half to go through; I think they won the cup that year.

The following Wednesday, Everton went to Maine Road again in a league game and lost 3-0. I think it was around this time that Cliff Britton left the club, which then produced tirades of letters to the Echo against some directors of the club for allowing this to happen.

I know you keep good records, John, so I accept Dave Sexton was wrong, or I misunderstood him, regarding him making his debut versus Everton.

Jimmy Harris was still going to the game up to eighteen months ago, he sat near me in the Upper Bullens. I moved my seat at the start of last season so he might still be going. He used to go with his grandson, same as yourself, John, I think he might be the oldest living former Everton player.

Sorry for going on, we can't half gab, John, can't we!!!

Dave Abrahams
51 Posted 12/10/2017 at 16:17:49
John, just a quick one.

I can't help you regarding the colours Goodison Park was painted in, I've always presumed they were Blue/ White but couldn't say for certain. Maybe another oldie, like us, can help.

ps: The cricket matches -- I went to some of them, mostly because my idol Dave Hickson played in them.

Tony Abrahams
52 Posted 12/10/2017 at 16:22:02
Just goes to show how much you must have loved Davie, Dave!
John McFarlane
53 Posted 12/10/2017 at 17:37:17
Hi again Dave, you mentioned in an earlier post that Dave Hickson was your all time favourite player, it led me to drift back in my mind, to the FA Cup game in 1953 when despite going 1-0 behind to Manchester United, goals from Tommy Eglington and a blood stained Dave Hickson gave us victory. I take it that you like me, were one of the 77,920 present.

Although it was almost 65 years ago, I have this abiding memory of a Man Utd fan, dressed to kill carrying a banner displaying The Three Cs, (Carey, Chilton, and Cockburn).

The heroics from Dave Hickson that day led me to think of other individual performances, including the 5 goals Tommy Eglington scored against Doncaster Rovers in a 7-1 victory on 27 September 1952, a cousin of mine was married that day and I was the only one who didn't go to the wedding (I had a more important engagement that day), and when they asked me what the game was like, I refused to tell them, saying "You should have gone yourselves"

Another performance that springs to mind is that of Don Donavan, who normally operated as a full-back, and was drafted in as an emergency centre-half, when the legendary John Charles brought Leeds United to Goodison, on 28 November 1953. Donavan dominated the Welsh international for most of the game, which Everton won 2-1 in front of a crowd of 55,970 (and yes, John Charles was the Leeds scorer).

I have no trouble recalling the occasions, individuals, scores and scorers; however, I have to go to my book to ascertain the dates and attendances.

The general content of this post is to remind you of things you already know, and to inform any younger Webbers of our experiences. By the way, did you have any joy as to when Everton switched from the Corporation green and cream, to the Royal Blue?

All the best.

John McFarlane
54 Posted 12/10/2017 at 17:44:03
You have answered my enquiry regarding the paintwork, Dave; I was slow getting my post away.
Dave Abrahams
55 Posted 12/10/2017 at 18:36:46
John (#53), yes, I saw all those games with Davie's goal and performance versus Man Utd never to be forgotten.

Also, Eggo's five-hander along with two from John Willie Parker to devastate Doncaster, Don Donavon got the MotM award and all the accolades when we beat Leeds and the sporting legend John Charles... all stay in the memory of days gone by.

John, I know you went to a lot of Central League games, did you see two in particular both concerning Dave Hickson...?

Dave Abrahams
56 Posted 12/10/2017 at 18:41:33
Carrying on... Dave Hickson, versus Man Utd when he scored a hat-trick playing against Mark Jones who lost his life in the Munich disaster. The other game when he scored five v Sheffield Wednesday, or Huddersfield.

I loved going to the Central League games, mostly to see the football but also to listen to the lovely and very lively characters who went to these games.

John McFarlane
57 Posted 12/10/2017 at 20:28:25
Hi, Dave, I did go to quite a lot of Central League games, but I would be telling lies if I said I remember the games you refer to. To be truthful, I recall the players rather than the games.

In the early days, the likes of George Burnett, Jimmy O'Neill, Stan Bentham, Ted Falder, Maurice Lindley, and a little bit later on, Dave Gibson, Les Melville, John Willie Parker, Ted Buckle, and Eddie Wainwright. A mixture of up-and-coming youngsters, and fading stars.

A subject that I wanted to raise, to show the younger Evertonians how much the game has changed since our youth, is that of the practise match the week before the season started. For Everton it was the Blues (Probables) versus the Whites (Possibles) and for the crowd across the park, it was the Reds (Probables) versus the Whites (Possibles). No pre season tours in those days.

Can you remember the Liverpool marathon that was held on the same day as the practise games? If memory serves me right, it started on St Georges plateau, meandered around the City, crossing Queens Drive umpteen times, and in the final stages came up Walton Lane, turned left at the cemetery gates and along Priory Road until it reached the crossroads of Priory Road, Utting Avenue, and Arkles Lane. There it turned right, up to Liverpool's football ground, and the runners had to enter the stadium (I use the word 'stadium', you and I know it was a dump) and complete a lap of the pitch to finish the race.

As I lived with my Grandma in Argyle Road, the runners had to pass me at some stage and they were always given a tremendous reception. The irony is that I never got to see the finish. These were serious athletes, no fun runs or sponsored runs in those days.

I know I've strayed a little from the football theme, but it was part of the practise match ritual, just one of the many changes in the City's sporting calendar. I suppose it was appropriate that I should ramble a little, considering the subject... apologies extended.

Dave Abrahams
58 Posted 12/10/2017 at 20:46:05
Welcome back, John. Yes, I remember the practice matches, usually a week before the season started. Also the Liverpool Marathon which finished at Anfield.

One practice match, which was on a Friday night, I think, featured a very young but good Brian Labone facing the fierce Davie Hickson. Brian didn't do too bad at all.

Of the reserve players you mention, I always liked Les Melville, played left half; I don't know if he got any games for the first team. Wally Boyes also, an outside left who played in a pre-war FA Cup final, was it for WBA?

Dave Gibson, a tall winger with very blonde hair, or was it white even? He played a few games for the Blues before he was sold to Swindon Town.

John, we must have seen quite a lot of Everton games, at all levels between us... we are millionaires in memories!!!

Jay Harris
59 Posted 12/10/2017 at 20:55:42
Dave and John, I could read about your respective reminiscences all day long. Keep em coming.

I think when you tell the kids it is not like the good old days they mock you but it really was.

Ollers to play 22 a side on, concrete walls to jump to and from. Keepy ups against the wall to see who could get the record and told to "go out and play" if you stayed indoors too long.

Now the kids are "imprisoned in their bedrooms" with iPads and cellphones tweeting and twittering to their poor little minds' content. They don't know what they're missing.

Dave Abrahams
60 Posted 12/10/2017 at 21:13:20
Amen to that, Jay, we'd play football – morning, noon and night – and still be sorry when we had to finish, you'd see street football all over the place, 'Ollers, streets, tenaments, school playgrounds – anywhere you could kick a ball. Now, you seldom see kids out in the streets, never mind playing football matches.

Come to think of it, I might start a street league for the over-sventies... are you game, John, and anyone else who fancies it, five minutes each way!!!

John McFarlane
61 Posted 12/10/2017 at 22:51:55
Jay (#59) and Dave (#60), I'm up for it, but I'll have to go in goal. Moses only paid one visit to the mountain, and came down with 10 tablets to last for eternity. I'm never away from the doctors and I'm on 19 tablets a day, plus a monthly injection.

You're right about today's kids, but they play as much football as we did, the difference is that they play on an electronic pitch, and where we tried to develop a good left foot, their aim is to strengthen their left thumb.

I grew up in Everton, (75 Everton Road to be precise), and half-way down Fitzclarence Street there was a huge 'oller' where a church had been bombed, and that's where we learned our skills. You were guaranteed badly grazed knees, but (excuse the pun) we took it in our stride.

There was also a gravel playground on the Aubrey Street reservoir, where you could get a better graze. I would love to hear from some younger contributors, to see what they think of the ramblings of a few old codgers, and I'll take my doctors advice and "keep taking the tablets".

Don Alexander
62 Posted 12/10/2017 at 23:22:48
John, I'm 62, but the childhood you and Dave had was identical to mine albeit we had no bomb-sites to play on!

Don't blush, either of you, but apart from really interesting minutiae about our beloved club, you have together given us a really interesting social history of the city we all adhere too, by heart at least. I for one want to pay tribute to you, and thanks.

Dave Abrahams
63 Posted 13/10/2017 at 09:19:36
John (#61), All those years ago, we only lived about five minutes away from each other, looking at your address and mine, 26 Everton Brow, no wonder we love Everton.

My football pitches were on the bottom of Everton Brow, an 'oller by the Friary Infants and Girls School, Soho Street, another 'Oller, one in Fox Street, tenaments in the Four Squares around Soho Street, plenty of cuts and grazes, but mostly fun and lasting friendships.

John I've had a rethink about that Over-70s street league. I don't think my discipline is that good any more... I mean six or seven pints on a Monday night and I'm anybodies.

How about Tiddlywinks!!!

John McFarlane
64 Posted 13/10/2017 at 13:14:10
Hi Don (#61),

One quick question: do you have any relatives who used to live in Cathedral Road, Anfield? I have to be careful how I phrase this, let's say there must be a lot of Alexanders in Liverpool – that seems a nicer way than saying it's a common name.

The family I used to know were George, who was about 5 years older than me (that would make him 84 now), Molly who I guess is about 81, and Gerry who is nearer my age (79). I will accept your compliments (and I'm sure that Dave will echo this) with humility. We are only lads who fell in love with football in general, and Everton Football Club in particular.

My old school teacher at All Saints RC Anfield, Mr Murray, said "If you studied your school books as much as you study your football books, you'd go to university." He may have been right, but I wouldn't have had as much fun.

I still adhere to the City of my birth, but I'm afraid that the adhesive has worn a little thin, I and my family, moved to Skelmersdale in 1967 on the weekend that Foinavon won the Grand National, and Everton were beaten 3-2 by Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup. The move to Skem was something I felt I had to do, because the waiting list for housing in Liverpool was horrendous, and I obtained employment with a guaranteed house the reward.

Once again, Don, thank you for your kind words.

John McFarlane
65 Posted 13/10/2017 at 13:52:31
Hi again, Dave (#63),

I'm afraid that I demoted Don from #62 to #61 let's hope that's the only relegation he suffers this season, sorry Don it's an age thing. Well Dave it certainly is a small world, I imagine you used to go to the Everton Palace, Rupert Lane park, and played Cowboys and Indians by Ruperts Tower, as I and my mates did.

I can hear the screams from "Webbers" who have logged on in anticipation of joining a debate on whether to sack Ronald Koeman or nominate him for a Knighthood, only to find themselves caught up in a mixture of a history and geography session. Apologies all round but when I get on one I take some stopping.

I moved to live with my Grandma in Anfield, in 1950 when my Mam died. You will presumably have read my post to Don so you'll know that I've now lived in Skelmersdale longer than I lived in Liverpool. Regarding your suggestion of Tiddlywinks, and because I've never played chess, and wasn't much cop at draughts, that sounds like a good idea.

On a serious note Dave, if you still attend games I would love to meet up with you. Okay, "Webbers" the site's all yours.

Don Alexander
66 Posted 13/10/2017 at 13:59:36
Without looking it up, an Ian Storey-Moore hat-trick did for us that day, John. I was gutted, obviously, but he was some player. The weird thing is I can't remember who scored for us!

I don't usually cough this but I was born and raised in the one-eyed city and me owd feller was a Glaswegian, a Celtic fan, worshipped Bobby Collins and took me to Goodison on that basis. The rest is history as we say. He had no relatives in Liverpool. Never realised we were so numerous!

Jay Harris
67 Posted 13/10/2017 at 14:45:55
Dave,

You weren't far from me.

We used to play on an 'oller in Bidder Street and one off Langsdale Street going down towards the Friary. John Bailey used to play there with us too and a lad called Antony Evans who went on to play for Birmingham.

Playing on all that broken glass and stones didn't do us any harm. I would love to see the current pampered pets in a 22-a-side on those surfaces.

Dave Abrahams
68 Posted 13/10/2017 at 14:50:04
Don (#66), Echoing John, thanks for compliments in a previous post, Jimmy Husband (2) is the answer to your query on that sad day in Nottingham. Your dad's idol was also worshipped by many Evertonians and rightly so. I was one of them, took us from near the bottom if not the bottom of the league to touching greatness before Harry Catterick made one of his rare mistakes and sold him to Leeds, thankfully both Bobby and Everton did well afterwards.

John, yes, I'm a season ticket holder in the Upper Bullens, very seldom miss a game at Goodison so I would welcome a meeting with you and your grandson in the near future.

The Everton Palace was on my list of the many picture houses I almost lived in. Rupert Park was were we were taken to for our football games by the Friary school (Official name: Netherfield Road RC). playing on the concrete there, and played around Prince Rupert Tower on many occasions.

See you soon John. Back to the serious business everyone else.

Brian Murray
69 Posted 13/10/2017 at 14:59:08
We are desperate for a board with the know-how, vision and queens head of Man City but, on the bright side, it could be a lot worse if Chelsea etc weren't serious players. We would have the shiesters ripping up trees every year.
Dave Abrahams
70 Posted 13/10/2017 at 15:05:40
Jay (#67), yes Bidder Street, never played there but knew it well, right facing it across Islington was an ice cream parlour, Alec Fisselles (doubt if I have spelt that right) where me and me mates spent many an happy hour there in the fifties.

The site off Langsdale Street, was it the one that later tarmacked over and had proper goalposts, I used to play there on a Sunday morning 10am 'til 12 on the dot and straight into The Goblin for a good days drinking.

You are right, John Bailey (from the four squares) used to play there and sometimes you'd see him practicing there on his own before he joined Blackburn Rovers, he also did a bit of boxing for Transport House, off Islington. Nice fella John as were his brothers and sisters, still see him now and again, always very sociable, as John said earlier it's a very small world.

Jay Harris
71 Posted 13/10/2017 at 15:13:52
Well remembered, Dave.

The ice cream parlour was Alex Perzelli from memory. They were a big family who also owned the garage next door and a chippy in Soho Street.

Did you ever go to Trevor's sweet shop in Langsdale Street to get sarsaparilla and sherbert? (That was a popular thing those days, or so I thought.)

Remember the Saturday morning matinees at the Hippodrome, The Everton and I think it was called the Lytton... and then playing cowboys and indians coming out.

Apologies to those who thought this was a football thread.

John McFarlane
72 Posted 13/10/2017 at 15:21:00
Hi again Don (#66),

That was a short period of demotion, I'm delighted to see you in your rightful position.

Although I didn't attend the game, for reasons I explained in my last post to you, I had it from a reliable source that Everton were in full control until Joe Baker was forced off through injury, leading to the switching of Ian Storey-Moore to the centre forward position and (as you rightly say, scoring a hat-trick).

Andy Rankin in goal that day, came in for an enormous amount of stick, in fact any time his name is mentioned the Forest game is the first thing that springs to mind. People tend to forget his heroics in the penalty shoot out against Munchen Gladbach in the Cup Winners Cup.

Much like the response that Sandy Browns name evokes, the own goal against Liverpool instantly recalled, some tend to forget the number of positions he filled during his time at Goodison, including the time he had to don the keeper's jersey, when Gordon West was sent off against Newcastle United. By the way, the goal scorer against Forest was Jimmy Husband (2).

Dave Abrahams
74 Posted 13/10/2017 at 15:41:47
Jay (#71), told you I had spelt the name wrong, wasn't much difference was there, only every other letter!!!!

Jay, yes, I often went to Trevs, the shop that never closed, it was open all hours, as well as a sweet shop he also sold papers and magazines, used to order some weekly magazines through him including the Boxing news.

Yes, I remember The Everton Palace matinee well, one of the doorman used to come round during the singing 'Run Rabbit Run' and give you a smack if you wasn't singing, used to get my own back on him, Pull tongues at him as soon as he turned his back. I was no mug me!!!

Darren Hind
75 Posted 13/10/2017 at 16:18:01
I knew from the moment I first noticed Dave A's posts that he had the memory of an elephant, but he has found the perfect partner here in John.

Every time I log on, I go straight for this thread. Such a pleasure to read.

John McFarlane
76 Posted 13/10/2017 at 17:39:19
Hi Darren (#75),

I have followed the ToffeeWeb postings for quite a few years now, even making one or two contributions myself, but it seemed in the main, a site that was dominated by disgruntled Evertonians, who were experts in architecture, stadium design, and man management.

Some who were probably struggling to pay the gas bills, were telling all and sundry how they would spend millions on players X, Y, and Z. Accusing people in charge of dishonesty and deception and, to tell you the truth, I found it all a bit depressing.

I believe I love Everton Football Club as much as anyone, and while I also believe that we all have the right to express our opinions, it hurts me to hear and read such negative comments.

I appreciate that I have experienced periods of success, but I have also experienced the pain of relegation. I suspect that the majority of the posters I've been referring to, have no idea what that does to a boy not yet 13 years of age.

Now in my 80th year, I feel I have more to look back on, than I have to look forward to. I bless the day I stumbled on to this thread, I feel Dave (although he may well be a regular contributor) feels that way too. Your obvious enjoyment of our shared memories has put a spring in my step, and if the Webmaster allows it, I'm sure Dave and I have more in the locker, providing Oumar Niasse hasn't emptied it. Thanks again for your appreciation.

Tony Abrahams
77 Posted 13/10/2017 at 21:06:52
I've always thought there is nothing to get old for, except maybe for some knowledge, and a little bit of wisdom.

John, that line then about people spending millions, even though they probably couldn't pay the gas bill, will do for me. Those 18 tablets a day are deffo working, mate!

Andy Meighan
78 Posted 13/10/2017 at 21:31:23
John (#76), Brilliant post! And like Tony said, great line about the gas bill. Love the old blues... been there, seen it.

It's the younger ones my heart breaks for. Keep believing, boys... it might come back!!!

Don Alexander
79 Posted 13/10/2017 at 21:47:26
John, quite a number of us have appreciated the series of reminiscences from the wives of just a few past players courtesy of Becky Tallentire, and the histories by Rob Sawyer and others, and Dr French's work too. Please don't feel apprehensive about describing the history you remember, you too Dave Abraham, because it's fascinating regardless of the Evertonia in it and that's fascinating in itself.

Anyone bored by you will just sweep right by your input after all but there are few sages like you amongst us (and I don't include myself by the way!) whose contributions define the intelligence and insight that marks out an Everton fan from the rest.

As an aside, some of the stuff on TW is of interest to me Ma, now in her 90's, still sharp as a blade, and as a result she's told me of her young years living just off Bankhall in the 30s when fleets of buses took fans to and from both grounds from the railways either end of the street. She's made up about the Bramley-Moore plans but says she would really love to see the "Dockers' Umbrella" make a return!

Will Mabon
80 Posted 13/10/2017 at 22:53:39
"Some who were probably struggling to pay the gas bills, were telling all and sundry how they would spend millions on players X, Y, and Z."

How dare they.

John McFarlane
81 Posted 13/10/2017 at 23:00:57
Tony Abrahams (#77),

You appear to have misread the lines, "Some people who were probably struggling to pay their gas bills, were telling all and sundry how they would spend millions on player X. Y. and Z.

You have rephrased them to read, "People spending millions, even though they probably couldn't pay their gas bill" I think on reflection you will agree that the big difference between the two versions is that in my version, there is a suggestion of "How they would spend millions", while in your version, they are actually spending millions.

As you stated, the tablets are working deffo, but I'm afraid you made a miscalculation, the dosage is actually 19 tablets a day, and when you say "That will do for me", I suspect that wasn't meant as a compliment.

Brent Stephens
82 Posted 13/10/2017 at 23:36:33
Don – "she would really love to see the "Dockers' Umbrella" make a return!"

Don, I would drool over that. What history. What an attraction. And what a scene for car chase movies!

John McFarlane
83 Posted 13/10/2017 at 00:17:09
Will Mabon (#80), I seem to have disturbed a hornets nest, and and on reflection I could have been a bit more diplomatic.

The point I wished to make was that over the years, long before Mr Moshiri's involvement with the club, there were demands on Bill Kenwright to put his hand in his pocket in order to purchase players. Now Bill Kenwright is a rich man by anybody's standards, but it's apparent that he doesn't possess that kind of wealth, and after all it's his money and how he spends it, is up to him.

I'm not a Bill Kenwright apologist, but I feel that he was unfairly vilified by a lot of ToffeeWeb contributors. I didn't submit the post to be controversial, and I hope that this will be accepted by all who may have been offended. I would rather discuss things relating to the playing side of the club.

Will Mabon
84 Posted 14/10/2017 at 00:32:29
No offence taken, John. There's every type of post you could imagine on here and anyone can post, whether they're an "Expert" or not, rich poor or whatever else.

Short of a forensic analysis of all club business for recent decades, no-one knows the facts of how the club's been run financially, so nothing can be said for sure.

I think what some people don't like is the feeling of being bullshitted, and certain events over the years have kind of indicated that at times. Without evidence it's hearsay, but events will always generate opinion!

Derek Thomas
85 Posted 14/10/2017 at 01:13:55
John, Dave, Tony and anybody else like us who were born in the reign of Good King George. Since we're already well off the reservation topic-wise, can I run this past you: Does anybody remember an Arcade of shops that ran under Bold St and was accessed via Central Station?
Dave Abrahams
86 Posted 14/10/2017 at 09:13:28
Derek (#85), no, I can't recall anything like that. When I'm in town on Monday, I'll ask a few older fella's than me to see if they can recall that area of Liverpool.
Laurie Hartley
87 Posted 14/10/2017 at 11:03:10
John (#81) – Tony is a smashing fella, just like his dad, Dave. He has got a mischievous sense of humour so I am tipping his "tablets" comment as definitely a compliment.
John McFarlane
88 Posted 14/10/2017 at 11:14:15
Hi Will (#84), your response to my earlier post was 100% in content and presentation, I'm a bit of a dinosaur I'm afraid (with an "Old School" mentality).

We went to the pub had a pint or two, went to the match, returned to the pub to either celebrate or mope. It was our club and we accepted what was thrown at us; we knew nothing of the administration, nor did we wish to.

Our world was 120 yards long and 70 yards wide, and that was all we were interested in. The only people to criticise our club were our "Illegitimate Cousins" from across the park, and in that department we gave as good as we got. I hope that you can understand what prompted what may be described as bit of a rant.

John McFarlane
89 Posted 14/10/2017 at 11:29:46
Hi Laurie (#88), Thank you for posting, I think you will appreciate that it is difficult sometimes,to interpret the written word, and unfortunately I took this as a dig at me. Face to face, you can spot the twinkle in the eye.

I've been dragged into the 21st Century kicking and screaming, but I'm led to believe there's a contraption called Skype, that would make it easier for me. If your reading this, Tony, apologies for spitting my dummy out.

John McFarlane
90 Posted 14/10/2017 at 11:34:12
Hi again, Laurie (#87).

Sorry, "Should've gone to Specsavers."

Tony Abrahams
92 Posted 14/10/2017 at 14:45:57
Sorry John, I was actually thinking this might happen when I wrote about your tablets but, like Laurie said, it was definitely meant as a compliment, mate.

I wouldn't wish tablets on anyone, I remember having to take 8 every morning, for a few months in my twenties, and although they done the trick, it's not something anyone really wants to be doing.

Back to that sense of humour, Laurie, because I'm sure any of the younger Evertonians who are going to watch Anton Powers in Brighton tonight might disagree (about the tablets) but it's been a lovely thread and I'm really sorry I've took it away from all the reminiscing.

John G Davies
93 Posted 14/10/2017 at 15:03:05
Tony, we all knew it was not disrespectful. John, you will see that as you read more of Tony's posts. Brought up in the right manner by a gentleman.

As you say, Tony humour is important. There is not enough of it on TW.

With that in mind...


Bill Clinton in a charity do standing next to Tiger Woods at the urinal. Looks down...
"Gee, Tiger, how do you keep that girth and length?"

Tiger: "Aw, it's easy, Bill. Every night before I go to bed, I whop it three times on the bed post."

"Thanks Tiger, I will give it a go tonight."

Bill goes home a little drunk. Gets stripped and whacks his dick three times against the bed post.

Hillary: "Is that you, Tiger?"

John McFarlane
97 Posted 14/10/2017 at 15:32:41
Tony (#92), I thought I had touched a nerve with the post regarding some negative contributions. As I have explained to Will in my post #84, I am of the old school, who never talked badly of our Club, and never accepted abuse or negative comments from others.

There is a good chance that your Dad was the same, and you probably know that we may be meeting up in the near future. Once again, apologies for misinterpreting your posting.

Tony Abrahams
99 Posted 14/10/2017 at 19:37:21
You have nothing to apologise for John, I hope you and Dave, have a great time together, going over old times.
John McFarlane
100 Posted 15/10/2017 at 13:38:57
Thanks Tony (#99), after a couple of restless nights I can throw the sleeping pills away. I will be at the Lyon game, with my Grandson on Thursday night, perhaps something can be arranged for that fixture; if not then certainly in the near future.
Brian Denton
101 Posted 15/10/2017 at 17:01:37
Well, here's a cheering memory for you all (or those old enough, which is most of us on this thread):

Everton lost at home to Chelsea in December 1984, a 4-3 cracker. Like most Evertonians – be honest y'all – I thought the bubble had burst. Our next League defeat didn't take place till after the Title had been won and we were just playing out time.

Keeps you warm on a day like this...

Dave Abrahams
102 Posted 15/10/2017 at 17:07:08
John (#100), I will be going to the game on Thursday so I will meet you there, I will leave the time and place to you. I only live a five-minute bus ride from Goodison so wherever is best and convenient to you and your grandson, I will fit in with.

There is St Luke's church or the pub, which is usually packed and loud for conversation, plus the weather, so it is your choice. I will be happy with anywhere you choose.

John McFarlane
103 Posted 15/10/2017 at 19:19:44
Hi Dave (#100),

After listening to the game this afternoon, I too feel 100. Because alcohol and medication don't mix (and as Josh is only 13 years old), I would prefer the church hall. I am sure we could be there by 7:15 pm at the latest. I suggest that whoever arrives first waits at the doorway. If It's me, I will hold an A4 paper with my name on it.

I'm glad you posted this evening, because I wanted to know if you attended the England vs Portugal game, a Festival of Britain 1951 fixture? I was advised by my brother Tommy (who is 5 years older than me) to get to the ground early, and so we arrived about two hours before kick-off. My only memory of the game was a Tom Finney goal at the Park End which seemed to me (from the Boys Pen) to be fired in from 30 yards, when in reality he may have been much nearer to the goal.

Some years later, I discovered that Bill Nicholson (of Spurs) scored after 30 seconds on his international debut. Unfortunately for Bill, it was also his last game for England. Fancy forgetting a thing like that! The other scorers were Jackie Milburn (2) and Harold Hassall. The full line-up was,

Bert Williams [Wolves]
Alf Ramsey [Spurs]
Bill Eckersley [Blackburn Rovers]
Bill Nicholson [Spurs]
Jim Taylor [Fulham]
Henry Cockburn [Manchester United]
Tom Finney [Preston North End]
Stan Pearson [Manchester United]
Jackie Milburn [Newcastle United]
Harold Hassall [Huddersfield Town]
Vic Metcalfe [Huddersfield Town]

I have memories of all of those players, with the exception of Jim Taylor; I'm afraid he's slipped under the radar. I remembered the score: 5-2 to England, but I think you'll appreciate that I've had to research my books to determine the line-up, and scorers.

The game took place on 19 May 1951, two weeks after Everton's relegation, and incidentally Jim Taylor and Vic Metcalfe also bowed out of the international arena.

Looking forward to meeting you on Thursday, Dave.

Dave Abrahams
105 Posted 15/10/2017 at 19:43:47
John (#103), yes that will be fine. I didn't realise your grandson (Josh ) was that young, hope the weather will be okay on the night.

Yes I was at that game John, a young boy very excited at seeing England at my own ground. They do not excite me very much now, if at all, but then I was absolutely in love with football and stayed that way for a long time. Still in love with the Blues through these very trying times, I don't think that will ever end.

But back to that game versus Portugal, they had a player named David (surname) he scored one of the goals if my memory holds up. I also do not remember Taylor, looks like he was a centre half, going by your formation, don't remember him playing for Fulham either but do remember all the other players.

I loved Jackie Milburn and Tom Finney is my favourite British player, better than George Best for me because of his demeanour, played much longer than George and his skill was immense as well, but that is just my opinion, we all have our favourites. See you on Thursday, John.

Tony Abrahams
106 Posted 15/10/2017 at 20:03:06
Remember that game, Brian@101, when Chelsea's stand-in striker, Gordon Davies, scored three goals, I think?

I was sat in the main stand, near to the Chelsea fans, and the amount of little miniature Whiskey bottles that where thrown at the Park End made me think that someone had robbed a warehouse!

Great days, going to Goodison then, was an absolute pleasure, and even though it was in the era of the hooligan, our players had as much fight as any firm!

Dave Abrahams
107 Posted 15/10/2017 at 20:29:53
Brian (#101), what is remarkable in that great season, one of the best in our history, is the low attendance's at home throughout the season, only three games with over 40,000 attending, at home that is.
John McFarlane
108 Posted 15/10/2017 at 21:53:53
Hi Dave (#103), it's amazing that we have so much in common, Evertonians emotionally and geographically, but the similarities don't end there. The England team do nothing for me, the only time I have any sort of interest, is when any of our players are selected. My thoughts are "I hope they play well and avoid injury".

Tom Finney was also a favourite of mine; unfortunately, we didn't get to see him often enough. While today's fans can see the star players every week on the television, we had to settle for once a season, or if we were lucky and drew their team in the FA Cup.

My strongest memories of Tom Finney were ironically from two games at Anfield, the first on 5 September 1953 (I had to resort to a bit more research to establish the date), Preston North End beat Liverpool 5-1, and Finney missed a penalty at the Anfield Road End. The second occasion was after he retired, he played in Billy Liddell's benefit game where he ran Ronnie Moran ragged. I was standing behind the Anfield Road End where Moran was defending a corner, he turned to the crowd wiped his brow and said, "And he's effin' retired".

Not many know that Finney played in the European Cup, he was temped out of retirement by George Eastham Sr, and played for Distillery against Benfica.

Lookout for a loon carrying a big sheet of paper, on Thursday.

Brian Denton
109 Posted 15/10/2017 at 23:14:48
Abrahams Snr & Jnr – that season blessed every Evertonian who was lucky enough to see it. Imagine beating Man U 5-0 and doing the double on the Red Shite in the same season. On a day like today, it's hard to believe it ever happened.
John McFarlane
110 Posted 16/10/2017 at 07:29:34
Hi Again, Dave,

I know your number was 106, and that Tom Finney wasn't tempted out of retirement, although he could have been considered as a part-time retiree, because I think he only played in the home leg.

I can't keep playing the "age card"... "Hey up, I feel another tablet coming on."

Dave Abrahams
111 Posted 16/10/2017 at 09:16:07
John, yes I was at Billy Liddell's benefit game, was it 4-3 to Liverpool? They played a team of mostly Internationals all based with Lancashire teams.

As you say, Tom Finney had a terrific game, a fella by me and me mate, he'd had a few said 'Who's that winger he looks a good 'un' I said it's Tom Finney, he replied 'Finney? Who does he play for' I said it's the great Tom Finney, used to play for Preston' he just stared at me don't think he was any the wiser. Mind you I think he was a red fan, he had that blank look a lot of them have... in fact I don't think a lot of them are Earthlings.

I'll look out for you on Thursday, John.

John McFarlane
112 Posted 16/10/2017 at 14:46:33
Hi again Dave (111) Hallelujah, I got it right this time, I think the tablets are kicking in.

Did you go to Eddie Spicer's testimonial? I seem to recall that Bert Trautmann (Manchester City), Harry Johnston (Blackpool), and Willie Moir (Bolton Wanderers) all featured. I'm putting the club names in Dave, for the benefit of any younger "Webbers" who may be reading this post, because it's something that took place in 1953 (64 years ago) Stanley Matthews was supposed to play but he failed to turn up, something he was accused of doing on Merseyside, on a regular basis. Matthews replacement if I remember correctly was Roy Saunders (Father of Dean Saunders) I don't think that he had broken into Liverpool's first team at that time, because some Reds' by me, didn't recognise him.

Can you remember the two Canadians, who joined Everton in a bid to further their careers? their names were Gordon Stewart and I think the other one was Billy Blissett,or Blithell although I'm not 100% sure of that. I know that I saw Stewart in the reserves, he played at inside forward, Blissett or Blithell [if that was his name] was a goalkeeper and I suppose there's a chance I did see him, but if I did I can't recall it, and there's no point in pretending that I did.


Dave, you may be able to shed some light on something that's been bugging me for years, when I came out of the Army in 1959, I read an article in the Echo which stated that the west indies cricketer Gary Sobers, was having goalkeeping trials with Everton. I know that I definitely read it, and as I was on leave in July and demobbed in August, there's no chance it was an April Fool's joke. I actually wrote to the chap who used to answer sporting questions, and despite enclosing a stamped addressed envelope, there was zero acknowledgement.

Dave Abrahams
113 Posted 16/10/2017 at 15:24:19
John (112), yes, I was at that game. I think Eddie Spicer broke his leg against Man Utd. I think and his career was over.

John, I'm almost certain Stanley Mathews played the first half but never returned for the second half. In the second half you are correct Roy Saunders, normally a right half came on at outside right and produced a couple of mazy dribbles that had the crowd wondering who he was, I think the game finished 2-2.

Gordon Stewart as you say was an inside left and I think he was at Goodison for a couple of years without making it to the first team and went back to Canada for financial reasons. Patrick Murphy, who used to come ToffeeWeb quite a lot produced a detailed of Gordon's time at Goodison, he also corrected me when I was talking about Bob Bissett, the goalkeeper you mention. I said he played for the reserves against Stoke City; Patrick proved it was Sheffield Utd, they both played in red & white stripes, so I got a walkover with that mistake, Bob never got past that game and went back home.

By the way, Patrick, I hope you are okay, I miss your many facts and figures, plus your insight to all things Everton.

John, I remember reading that Gary Sobers played football as a goalkeeper and there is something in my head that he was connected to Everton but I couldn't swear to that.

John McFarlane
114 Posted 16/10/2017 at 18:57:18
Hi again, Dave.

You are correct in saying Eddie Spicer broke his leg against Manchester United (at Old Trafford) and I've no doubt that you are also right about the replacement being at half-time. I can see him my mind's eye, prancing about in front of the Kemlyn Road stand.

In my original post, I wrote Roy Saunders (the father of Dean Saunders) came on at some point, but because I had a niggling feeling about it, I scrapped it, and wrote the post I sent.

I have to be honest, I really thought that Stanley Matthews had failed to attend, but the more I think about it, the more convinced I am that you are right.

I think I'll be on safer ground here, you mentioned in an earlier post that Dave Hickson was your all-time favourite Everton player. I won't insult you by attempting to tell you something you already know; this information is aimed at "Webbers" who were born long after Davie hung up his boots. I'm sure there must be someone who would be interested in a little bit of his history.

Davie joined Aston Villa in September 1955, where he played 12 games and scored 1 goal. He was then transferred to Huddersfield Town in November 1955, playing 54 games and scoring 28 goals. Now comes the interesting part of his Huddersfield career, on 17 March 1956, Everton travelled to Huddersfield and, although Davie had scored away from home, he was still searching for his first home goal.

I travelled to the game with a friend of mine, he had just celebrated his 18th birthday. I was just 4 months short of mine... nevertheless, we managed to buy a drink. The pub was in the shadow of the Leeds Road ground but it was full of Rugby League photos.

Back to Davie and his search for his first home goal... Huddersfield had made him Captain for the day, common practise in those days when players were playing against their former clubs. Davie didn't have long to wait – somewhere in the region of the kick off, and the game ended 1-0 to Huddersfield.

Davie returned to Everton in August 1957, playing another 86 games and scoring 32 goals. He joined Liverpool in November 1957 where he scored 37 goals in 60 games.

Dave, can you remember when he and Alan Banks had a dispute with Liverpool and took off down to Cambridge, to work in factory? he must have signed for Cambridge City, because there was a 2-year gap from leaving Liverpool and joining Bury from Cambridge City in January 1962 where he played 8 games without scoring.

His final destination was Tranmere Rovers in August 1962 where he scored 21 goals in 45 games. Apologies for the length of the posting, I some times get carried away.

Just to finish on a point that is quite often aired although it’s incorrect – it’s often claimed that Davie was the first man to play for Everton, Liverpool, and Tranmere Rovers: that distinction belongs to Frank Mitchell a goalkeeper who served all three clubs from 1913 to 1924. Once again, apologies for the ramble.

John McFarlane
116 Posted 16/10/2017 at 21:14:36
Hi Dave, my laptop has been playing up a bit. Davie's first goal came about 30 seconds after the kick off, and the score remained 1-0 to Huddersfield.

I forgot to include Davie's statistics in his first spell at Goodison, he was signed in May 1948 and played 139 games and scored 63 goals. His career record of Football League (appearances 404, and 182 goals) is a decent one.

As I say, they are League figures. I only have his FA Cup figures for Everton, 18 appearances 16 goals, I don't have records for his other clubs.

Tony Abrahams
117 Posted 16/10/2017 at 21:30:11
John, Dave goes to town on a Monday night mate, so he's probably getting on someone's nerves by now!
John McFarlane
118 Posted 16/10/2017 at 21:39:53
Hi Tony, I don't know how old your dad is. I'm guessing he's somewhere near my age, and when you reach that stage in life you're allowed to get on peoples nerves. After all, you're only getting your own back.
Dave Abrahams
119 Posted 17/10/2017 at 00:39:45
Hello, John, just got in, so you might read this tomorrow. Yes, John, I idolised Davie and in his short spell at Villa, the only goal he scored was against Man Utd in a 4-4 draw at Villa Park.

In the game at Leeds Road, you are absolutely correct: Davie scored in the first minute and Huddersfield won 1-0, it was over 60 years ago and I doubt if you will remember but in the kick-about before the game started, a young boy 15 years of age ran onto the pitch at the Huddersfield end and ran right up to Davie – that boy was me, I asked him "When are you coming back to us?"

Davie said "One minute after they ask me" and then he scored the winner. I didn't want that same as when Everton beat Aston Villa at Goodison 2-1, Jimmy Harris scored the two for Everton; I wanted Everton to win both games 4-3 with Davie scoring a hat trick in each one... young boy's dreams.

I remember Alan Banks; he went to Liverpool after playing in the LBA leagues, very fast, didn't know he went to Cambridge with Davie. Davie also played for an Irish league team at one stage.

We will have that much to remember and talk about on Thursday, John, I think we will have to let Josh go and watch the game while me and you stay in St Luke's and talk the night away!!!

Jim Hardin
120 Posted 17/10/2017 at 02:30:23
Gentlemen,

Thanks to all of you for educating not necessarily a younger in age, but certainly in following Everton, fan on the old days. Reading these posts made me feel l was sitting at a bar sharing a beer or two and just listening to old friends reminiscing about names and players I know of but don't really know about. It takes me back to times sitting around our family kitchen table as a boy listening to my father and some of his friends telling stories about Korea and the 40s through 60s Cincinnati Reds.

Thank you for sharing the memories and allowing some of us a glimpse into a past to which I can now claim some connection as an Everton fan. Please feel free to further enlighten us any time with such stories as they are most welcome and very much appreciated.

John McFarlane
121 Posted 17/10/2017 at 11:04:30
Hi Dave (119), you would have loved to have been with me at Prenton Park when we beat Tranmere Rovers 4-0 in the League Cup. I found myself standing next to Bob Paisley and Dave Hickson, and either as a mark of respect or simply a lack of recognition no one bothered them.

I didn't engage in conversation with them other than to make the occasional comment on the incidents in the game. I can understand the lack of recognition because Bob Paisley was still on the training staff at Anfield, and Davie was yet to pull on the Tranmere shirt.

I have once again had to go to my research department to establish that the game took place on 21 December 1960 and the scorers were, Frank Wignall 3, and Billy Bingham.

Looking forward to our meeting on Thursday, and I think we can be at the St Luke's for 7:00pm. I'm tone deaf so I'll have to get Josh to sing to the train driver, "Get me to the church on time".

Dave Abrahams
122 Posted 17/10/2017 at 12:31:29
John, I didn't go to that game. Davie would have been made up to speak to a fellow Blue, but I understand you giving him his own space.

John, here is a quick one for your memory. Around 1955-56 Everton played a German team in a friendly game, near to the start of the season, in one of Jimmy Harris's early games for the first team.

I can't remember the name of the German team, think it began with 'S', they played in all green, shirts, jerseys and socks.

It was an unremarkable 0-0 draw but the thing that stood out was the German outside left only had the top half of his left arm, never seen anything like it before, don't know if he was a regular player or if he played in this game because it was a friendly match.

The only comparison was the famous referee, Alf Bond, who only had one arm; he refereed the Everton - Bolton semi-final at Maine Road in 1953.

John, I didn't realise you and Josh were using public transport to get to the game on Thursday, a pat on the back for that.

John McFarlane
123 Posted 17/10/2017 at 12:37:13
Hi Jim Hardin (#111),

Thanks for your kind remarks, and I'm sure Dave will echo the sentiment. Now in my 80th year, there are some things I recall In an instant and with clarity,others I make the occasional mistake, as with the post regarding the involvement of Stanley Matthews in the Eddie Spicer testimonial game. I'm not afraid to admit when I do make a mistake, and one thing I won't do is pretend to be at a game that I wasn't.

I have always believed, whatever the population of the world may be, you can lie to all but one person, that person being yourself.

Enough self praise let's get down to football matters.I have often put 2 and 2 together and come up with 5 and I might be making the same mistake again, but I get the impression from your reference to Korea and the Cincinnati Reds, there is a slight chance you may be an American citizen.

You and I share the experience of sitting and listening to our elders and hopefully learning. In my case I had Granddad and six uncles (all of them by the way Evertonians) and every Saturday night they would return from the pub and as a boy of 8 or 9 I would sit enthralled as they themselves reminisced about the games they had witnessed.

My Granddad was born in 1875, and would have been 13 years old when the Football League was formed, and though he never claimed it and I have no way of proving it I firmly believe he was there from the beginning. I myself have a 13-year-old Grandson who accompanies me to the games. I bought him his first season ticket when he was 7 years old, hopefully he will continue the family tradition.

Once more thank you for your kind words and, if the "Webmaster" allows, I'm sure that Dave and I (and one or two others) will continue to share memories. "Watch this space"

John McFarlane
124 Posted 17/10/2017 at 13:38:49
Hi Dave (122),

I remember Everton playing a friendly game against a German team, and although I didn't attend that game, I have a sneaking feeling that both Jimmy Harris and Brian Harris played. I thought that it was close to their debut game at Burnley, in August 1955 which I'll come to later.

I think I've managed to track your game down. They played SV Sodingen on 12 March 1955 (and as you say) in a 0-0 draw I'm pretty sure that's the game you mean.

Back to the Burnley game: I went to that game with a mate, the coach driver lost his way, and we arrived three or four minutes late, to be informed that Everton were winning 1-0 . Apparently Harry Potts had been fouled in the area, Tommy Jones duly scored the resultant penalty, so the only memory I have of that game is one of frustration.

Dave Abrahams
125 Posted 17/10/2017 at 15:21:11
John (#124), yes that would be the game, I got the time of the year wrong, but we are all allowed a bit of leeway, and with you mentioning Brian Harris that also rang a bell, he would have been playing as a winger then.

I went to the Burnley game, saw the whole game but cannot remember the goal or who scored it. I think Brian Pilkington was outside left for Burnley, he later played for England.

You mention T E Jones scoring the goal from a penalty, he was very good with penalties, Tommy.

Jim Hardin, thank you for your post, glad to hear that you enjoy this thread; maybe it should be re-titled to 'Over the garden wall'!!!

John McFarlane
126 Posted 17/10/2017 at 18:38:57
Hi once more, Dave (#125),

I think you may be right regarding Brian Pilkington playing that day, because the Burnley forward line was usually John Connelly, Jimmy McIlroy, Ray Pointer, Jimmy Robson, and Brian Pilkington. Burnley at the time were an attractive side to watch, and in 1960, won the League Championship. (This information is not aimed at you, Dave, it is for the benefit of our younger "Webbers" who may think that Burnley are a small club, who have recently hit the big time.)

Brian Pilkington as you rightly said, went on to play for England, winning his one and only cap, against Northern Ireland at Windsor Park on 2 October 1954, England winning 2-0 with goals from Johnny Haynes and Don Revie.

(I had to visit the research department for that info. For years my "Young Lady" has been saying, "When are you going to get rid of that junk"?. My answer has always been , "You never know when it will come in handy." I rest my case.)

I generally pay little attention to referees unless there is a special reason, and as you say, Alf Bond couldn't be ignored by reason of the fact that he had only one arm. You say that he refereed the Bolton Wanderers vs Everton FA Cup semi-final; he also took charge of the Manchester City vs Birmingham City FA Cup Final.

Then there was Chris Howey (I think that was his first name) who disallowed a perfectly good goal in the 1962 game against Liverpool.

I'll finish my little rant by criticising Ken Stokes who led the teams from the pitch in the infamous Leeds United game at Goodison Park. I was behind the Park End goal where the incident between Sandy Brown and Johnny Giles took place. He sent the wrong man off: Giles definitely fouled Sandy Brown. I've seen some nasty players over the years, and Giles figures near the top the list. Rant over.

John McFarlane
127 Posted 17/10/2017 at 18:44:42
Dave, I've just remembered – his name was Kevin Howley.
Len Hawkins
128 Posted 17/10/2017 at 19:06:38
John (#126),

I started coming to Goodison Park in 1965 when I was 15, a few of my elder brother's mates used to go to all home matches and the not-too-far away games.

Living in Southport, I used to get picked up by a lad from Penwortham who worked at Leyland Motors and occasionally he brought a mate of his from work who was Brian Pilkington's brother.

John McFarlane
129 Posted 18/10/2017 at 22:55:15
Hi Dave (#125),

Are we still on for tomorrow night? If so, I think we should be able to make it to St Luke's for 7:00pm.

In a previous post you were wondering whether Jimmy Harris was the oldest surviving ex Everton player, I think he may well be. I thought that Mick Meagan could have been a little older, but having checked it out I found that Jimmy was born on 18 August 1933, and Mick was born on 29 May 1934. It's hard to believe that we saw these players, (and some of their contemporaries) making their debuts for the Club.

I hope you can make it to St Luke's – I'm looking forward to meeting you. I'm sure that each of us can revive some long lost memories.

Dave Abrahams
130 Posted 19/10/2017 at 12:14:14
John (#129), yes John I will be there. I'm glad to hear that Mick Meagan is still going, a very underrated player and a gent as well.

See you tonight, John.

John McFarlane
132 Posted 19/10/2017 at 15:22:01
Hi Dave (#131),

I couldn't find any evidence of Mick Meagan's demise, so I googled and they're only showing a date of birth. I only resort to today's technology when I'm desperate, or can't find what I'm seeking through memory, or from the books that I have.

My daughter is running Josh and I to the station, and I'm anticipating arrival at St Luke's between 6:30 and 6:45 pm. I'll wait by the entrance with my identity paper on display. See you later, we could have done without this rain.

John McFarlane
133 Posted 20/10/2017 at 14:27:20
Hi Dave (#131),

Thank you for a nostalgic and pleasant hour, we must do it again sometime. I'm available most of the time, medical appointments permitting.

I always read Josh's matchday programme before I pass it over to him. The programme editor must have been logged on to ToffeeWeb because, to my surprise and delight, the Vasco Da Gama friendly, which we recently discussed, was featured. There was a mention for your memory of the Cyril Lello hat-trick, but my recollection of poor old Ken Birch's "Thunderbolt" never made it past the editor's desk.

Following our thoroughly enjoyable hour, when we discussed The Wolves games over the Christmas period, I have raided the archives once again and can establish that the away game at Molineux took place on Christmas Day 1954, Everton winning 3-1, with goals from Dave Hickson (2) and Eddie Wainwright.

The return game was staged two days later on Monday 27 December, Everton winning again, by 3- 2 this time, the scorers were Wally Fielding, Dave Hickson, and Harry Potts.

Your abiding memory of that game will be one of disappointment, owing to the closure of the gates, although with an official attendance of 75,322 this was 2,977 below capacity. I remember it for being the day Billy Wright was taken to Walton Hospital with concussion, suffered in trying to deal with the crosses that were aimed in the direction of Dave Hickson, and the day I almost joined him as a result of foolishly standing behind a crush barrier, instead of in front. A mistake I never made again.

Once more, Dave, it was nice to talk about Billy Higgins, Jack Hedley, Johnny McIlatton, etc without being asked "Who were they"? If there is to be a next time, it's my turn to buy the tea.


Dave Abrahams
134 Posted 20/10/2017 at 19:06:26
John (#133), I've been out most of the day, just seen your post.

I enjoyed the hour we spent together and your company, along with your grandson Josh, nice to meet a well mannered boy, hope he does well with his football.

The time flew over before we knew and it was time to walk up to the ground, it's a pity the result wasn't as happy as earlier in the evening, although the performance was better than of late, especially in the second half.

We can arrange to meet for the second game against the Italian team in a few weeks, I'm okay for the evening games, not so much the afternoon games.

See you soon John and tell Josh I said hello, it was a pleasure to meet him.

John McFarlane
135 Posted 20/10/2017 at 21:11:16
Hi Dave (#134),

Two things from our chat last night.

I said that we got Oscar Hold from Northampton Town, he actually signed from Notts County in February 1950 and left Everton in February 1952 joining QPR. His record at Goodison was played 23 league and cup games, scoring 6 goals. He had a chequered career after hanging his boots up, managing and coaching at home, and abroad.

I also said that Tommy Ring played 26 times for us; it was 27 and he scored 4 goals in that time.

I Googled a couple of Jimmy Harris's peers and couldn't find anything until I put goalkeeper Bert Harris's name in, his birth date came up as 21 November 1931, and no mention of a death, that would make him 21 months older than Jimmy.

As you have stated, Dave, Everton gave a spirited display in the second half, following the introduction Ademola Lookman, and a little later on Gylfi Sigurdsson. I must confess that I'm not a big fan of Kevin Mirallas but I thought he had a decent game. I still find it difficult to understand how a physically fit young man, can be considered too tired to play 90 minutes of football.

The introduction of Sandro in my opinion, was a gamble that didn't pay-off, and unfortunately for him, his poor touch led to the winning goal. There's no knowing what may have happened if Mirallas had stayed on the field, and I'm not castigating Sandro, because I always say to people who rip into players when mistakes are made, "They're not machines, you can't pour a drop of oil into them to prevent mistakes" and I believe that from our seats in the stand, we never miss a tackle or fail to score a goal.

I'm as disappointed as anyone but I'll be there come rain or shine, and I trust that Josh can adopt my philosophy faster than I did. It took me well into adulthood to realise that when you have a crowd of (shall we say) 40,000, someone is going home to what can only be described as bad news, and if losing a football match is the worst thing that's going to happen to you this year, then you haven't had a bad year.

I would be delighted to meet up with you again, Dave. As you suggest, the night we play Atalanta seems the ideal night. I should imagine that the café is likely to be less crowded.

"And there endeth the sermon."


Dave Abrahams
136 Posted 21/10/2017 at 10:42:04
John (135), that would make Albert Harris, Everton's oldest living player.

John we will make arrangements for the Atlanta game closer to the date,I just hope we are in a better position in the league when we play them and I mean the Premier League.

John McFarlane
137 Posted 21/10/2017 at 14:18:59
Hi Dave, [136] I hope you don't think that I'm trying to score "Brownie points" but yesterday I was talking to a female Liverpool supporter, and she brought up the subject of Billy Liddell's testimonial and her memories were the same as mine. This led me to try and put my mind to rest, and this is what I've come up with. Billy Liddell Testimonial. 21st September 1960. Liverpool 4 International X1 2. Liddell also played for opponents and scored 1 goal. Referee Arthur Ellis played much more than the 90 minutes in an effort to get Liddell to round the game off with another goal. Liverpool. Slater, Molyneux, Moran, Wheeler, White, Milne, A'Court, Hunt, Hickson, Harrower, Liddell. International X1. Trautmann [Manchester City] Armfield [Blackpool] Walton [Preston North End] Setters [Manchester United] Dugdale [Aston Villa] Revie [Leeds united] McIlroy [Burnley] Lofthouse [Bolton Wanderers] Quixall Manchester United] Finney [Preston North End.] Stanley Matthews was scheduled to play but did not participate, this was something Matthews did regularly, he would be billed to play in testimonials and benefit games so as to increase the crowd and revenue for the player concerned, as he was the major draw in English football and would put thousands on the gate of any game in which he appeared. If you know who took his place please let us know at webmasterlfchistory.net As I said at the beginning of this post Dave, I had believed for 57 years that Matthews did not appear in this game, but you made me doubt myself, and if it hadn't been for bumping into the [not so young] lady yesterday I would have accepted that my mind had played tricks on me. As you say, we can make arrangements to meet nearer the Atalanta game, I'm quite sure however, that meanwhile we will have one two conversations via this site.
John McFarlane
138 Posted 21/10/2017 at 15:13:28
Hi Dave, [136] I forgot to include the Liverpool scorers who were, Dave Hickson [2] Alan A'Court, and Jimmy Harrower.
John McFarlane
139 Posted 21/10/2017 at 22:18:11
Hi again Dave, [re your post of 131 ] a slap on the wrist for me and an apology to you, I got my testimonials mixed up, but at least you now have the details of Billy Liddell's testimonial, and I also forgot to give the attendance which was 38,798. Your reputation is intact. I know that things are looking bleak for Everton at the moment, but we have survived darker days, you'll remember that during our get together on Thursday evening, I said Everton had gone about 18 months without an away victory, well it was from the 15th of April 1958 to the 5th of September 1960 failing to win in 25 League games and 1 F.A. Cup Game. The present drought has lasted from January of this year to the present and consists of 8 games, and as you'll be aware the beginning of the 1958/59 season was a disaster played 6 drawn 0 lost 6, goals for 4 against 20, fortunately Bobby Collins came along and inspired Everton to the dizzy heights of 16th place. Although I was a couple of thousand miles away serving in Cyprus I felt the pain as much as anyone, once again apologies for getting the testimonial details wrong, it's just as well I didn't claim "Brownie Points" it would have been a red card and points deducted.

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