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Everton Books - Still Talking Blue

Becky Tallentire produces a sequel to her very successful collation 
of candid and humourous interviews with Everton Stars

Read these Excerpts from the book

Becky Tallentire, 2001.  
Mainstream Publishing  (221 pages)  ISBN: 1840185155 / 184018664X

Do you still curse yourself over the day you met your hero but, instead of asking him the one question that's been nagging you for years, you, in fact, couldn't utter a word because you were suddenly (and very uncharacteristically) struck dumb?  Well, curse no more.  Still Talking Blue is a unique collection of interviews that will answer everything you wanted to know about your Everton heroes and with none of the unnecessary waffle because it only asks real questions, as submitted by the fans.

Brought together via the miracle of the World Wide Web, the online mailing lists and 'virtual' message boards; disenfranchised Evertonians scattered across the globe proudly display their astounding recall of bygone events and absurd trivia.  From Iceland to South Africa, Australia to Israel, the long-suffering Bluenoses are finally given the opportunity to ask questions of their heroes and they deserve that chance, because they were there with them.

Fifteen in-depth interviews spanning the decades from the Fifties, when shorts were long and Dave Hickson's quiff was the envy of Hollywood, right through to his final say as an Everton player with Dave Watson.  No challenge shirked, no holds barred and no punches pulled Still Talking Blue shoots from the hip and leaves no question unasked.  Join us as we endeavour to track down John Baileys 'big hat' and Gordon West's handbag, and move seamlessly on to more pressing topics such as Kevin Ratcliffe's biggest regret, Mick Lyons' worst injury and Alan Harpers favourite goal.

So, if you lie awake at night wondering just what went wrong in the '68 Cup Final, whether Jimmy Gabriel still has his white trench coat, if Barry Horne really does like The Cocteau Twins, how Dave Hickson has managed to hang on to his hair, or whether Bob Latch ever sampled the delights of Hafnia pork luncheon meat, then unfurrow your brow because the answers all lie within these pages.

No Evertonian should be expected to survive without this book.  Try out some special excerpts below!  And get the original Talking Blue, also by Becky Tallentire.

Price (Hardback): 14.99   Published: November 2001  Paperback: 7.99  September 2002
Order your signed copy now direct from the author: Postage & packing is 2 in UK; 3 for Europe; 5 for USA; 6 for Australia

 Dave Watson
How did it feel like to have Steve Bruce call you "the hardest man in football"? 
Jeremy Wyke, Wigan, England

Its nice when people say things like that, but at the same time it winds people up.  All of a sudden everybody youre playing against wants to have a go at the 'hardest man in football.

Does he have Z-Cars on his mobile phone? 
San Presland, New Brighton, Merseyside

I havent, but my son has.

 John Bailey

What was Gordon Lee like?  
Rob Hamilton, Melbourne, Australia

I hold Gordon Lee in very high esteem.  I knew him from when he was manager at Blackburn and I was a young apprentice.  He was a very strange fella, but I appreciate him and I owe him everything for bringing me to this great club.

Gordon only knew about football.  You could ask him about anything that was going on in the world, wars, politics, deaths, hurricanes, and he wouldn't know a thing, but he could name you every player in the entire four divisions of the league and give you their characteristics, he was a football fanatic.  Andy King used to roast him, he called him Dracula and he used to take the mickey out of him so badly it was mortifying, but I loved him and he loved Everton, he gave it 100% and it was a shame it ended the way it did.

Does he remember his 50-yd "screamer" against Luton, when we won 5-0 and did he really say: "Not even Pele could do that" after it went in the net? 
Kenny Fogarty, Amsterdam, Holland

I did say that later on and I still say it now, but only because it was the joke afterwards. I remember it to this day, Jake Findlay was in goal, David Johnson made the forward run and I tried to put him in over the top but I over-hit it completely. I turned away in disgust and I cant repeat what I said to myself then all of a sudden I heard the crowd roar and the ball was nestling in the net. I didnt actually see it until I watched Match of the Day later on that night. From that day on, the crack in the dressing?room was always: "Even Pele tried that from the halfway line and he couldnt manage it". We had some good laughs over that one.

 Jimmy Gabriel

Was the 1966 FA Cup win his greatest moment playing for the Blues?  The Everton support was tremendous, especially when we were 2-0 down.  What impact did the crowd have on the players and the result?  Mike Coville, New York, USA

If the crowd goes quiet on you, you tend to go quiet as a team, especially when youre used to big crowds.  It must have been gut-wrenching for them when we went 2-0 down, they must have thought wed lost with half an hour to go.  When we scored that really good first goal, it lifted their spirits and they knew we would do it again.  We got the second goal shortly after, and the third which was an absolute cracker from Derek Temple.  Colin hit a long ball forward and there was a mistake by the defender, who mis-controlled it, so Derek had a long run and a lot of time to think about what he was going to do.  He smashed it, and nobody has ever hit a ball cleaner.  The goalkeeper just missed it with his fingertips and it went inside the post and into the corner of the net.  It was a fantastic goal to win with.

The crowd at Goodison always kept us going, and because of them the team never quit.  How can you quit if somebodys shouting for you?  How could you give up when theyre roaring and singing and yelling for you?  We had crowds of 60,000 and they wouldnt let you give up, but we needed them to be there.

I went to the Southampton v Everton game after Jimmy's transfer.  When he came onto the pitch, a couple of Evertonians ran to him and put blue scarves around his neck.  I seem to remember him walking towards the Evertonians, behind the goal, with his hands in the air.  Was this true or is the romantic in me taking over again?  David Tickner, Bowring Park, Liverpool

Thats true.  The guys came and put the blue scarves on me and I walked towards the fans to thank them and let them know how much I missed them.  I thanked them for their appreciation.  It was a happy-sad moment for me.  I was happy that theyd recognised me and remembered me, and I was sad because I couldnt be with them anymore.  But I had to move on.  I remember that, it's one of my best memories.  I really appreciated it because I always loved the Everton fans.  The game went on and I scored for Southampton.  We beat Everton 3-2.  It was a poignant moment and that was something Ill always remember.

 Mark Higgins

I remember his introduction being heralded as the answer to our centre-half problems and he was touted as a future England player.  Was his injury a direct result of the pressure from the club and the press to continue playing and was he playing on through the injuries?  Dominic Mc Gough, Ellesmere Port, Wirral

Yes, I was.  It was hard because Im a true Blue and I wanted to play, but at the time I was made captain the club was under pressure.  Howard had nearly been sacked and he asked if I would play because he needed me.  Id been there for such a long time and I really wanted to be involved so I played, although I was being jabbed before each game.  Now I think its wrong and I wouldnt do it if I had my time again.  I honestly believe its the reason my career was cut short.

I saw a photograph of you and Adrian Heath in the dressing-room after the Cup Winners' Cup Final.  What was going through your mind at the time?  Bernie Flood, Ellesmere Port, Wirral

The lads were all on an almighty high, but Inchy and myself were really quite depressed.  I can still see that picture now: Inchy was wearing my sweatshirt and all the boots and the debris was scattered on the dressing-room floor.

 Dave Hickson

Did you feel betrayed when you were sold across the park?  Ray Finch, Havant, England

Liverpool is a great club, but I didnt want to go, really, so I did feel a teeny bit betrayed.  I started here so young and played my way all the way through, the D team, the C team, B and A.  I had to go in the army for a spell, but I signed for Everton and because Id played for four years as a junior they gave me a bit of a retainer, I think it was 4 a week, just to hold me.

As I never had the privilege of seeing Davie Hickson play in the flesh, which current-day player would he say most resembled him (of any team)?  Rob Hamilton, Melbourne, Australia

Maybe Dion Dublin when hes having a good day.

 Mick Lyons

Does he ever look back at some of the old videos and think: "What was I thinking about getting a haircut like that?"  You remember, the curly one!!  Andy Howarth, Long Beach, California, USA

To be honest, the worst part about that haircut was that it was Roger Kenyon s wife who did it. She was chatting away and having a drink with Trish, my wife, and forgot that it was on my hair, so thats why it went funny. Never mix perms and drinking, its a recipe for disaster.

Why did you selfishly score the fifth goal against Chelsea in 1978 instead of heading it back for Fat Latch to score his thirtieth of the season?  Ged Fox, Wickford, England

Everyone bollocked me for that!  Id gone up to head it, knocked it into the other corner and the whole crowd just went Hhhhhhhhuh.  But I went down against Mickey Droy for the penalty so Latch could get the last one but I think the ref was kind that day.  Of the 10,000 Bob won as a prize, we all got a share of 192 and then he got stung for the tax.

 Bob Latchford

Did the players hate Clive Thomas as much as the fans did?  Mike Wood, Zurich, Switzerland

We probably hated him even more than the fans.  He blatantly stole results from us on more than one occasion.

Does he still have dreams of Davey Thomas knocking balls over to him?  Tom Davis, Texas, USA

I do!  Dave was magnificent, he was like a hard-working version of David Ginola.  He had the talent of him but he wasnt lazy, he covered every blade of grass in every game.  Dave used to wear rubber-soled boots with no studs and he was the only player I ever saw who never lost his balance.  If he were playing today, clubs would be paying about 18M for his services.  If it hadnt have been for Dave Thomas I wouldnt have scored half the goals I did.  He was the best crosser of a ball Ive ever had the pleasure to play with.  There was no ball he couldnt cross, he was a phenomenon and so ahead of his time.

Did he know that Lee Latchford Evans of Steps is named after him?  Does he feel proud or revolted?  Andy Richardson, Hackney, North-East London

I didnt know this until about six months ago when Steve Hopcroft, our Academy Recruitment Officer at Birmingham, mentioned it to me.  I have heard of Steps, but dont know what they look or sound like Im sorry to say.  I believe it was his Dad who named him after me.  Its actually very flattering to hear it.


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