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The Sunday Times

Caught in time: Everton win the 1985 Cup Winners' Cup
By Rob Maul

December 04, 2005


To this day, more than 20 years on, memories of the Everton team created by Howard Kendall are soured by a sense of injustice.  They seemed destined for great things until fate robbed them of the chance to emulate their local rivals Liverpool by winning the European Cup.

In 1985 Everton, who were FA Cup-holders, secured the clubs first League championship for 15 years before winning the Cup Winners Cup, beating Rapid Vienna 3-1 in Rotterdam, thanks to second-half goals from Andy Gray, Trevor Steven and Kevin Sheedy.  It was Evertons first, and only, European trophy.  This victory was meant to be the start of an era of dominance at home and abroad.  Three days later they lost the FA Cup final, 1-0 to Manchester United.  The consolation was knowing that they would be taking part in Europes premier club competition the next season until circumstances beyond their control intervened.

On May 29, before the European Cup final in Brussels, 39 supporters died after rioting between Liverpool and Juventus fans.  Uefa banned English clubs for five years.  Everton, who went on to win the League again two years later, were thus denied their place in Europe. 

Although Liverpool fans were subsequently blamed by Everton, former Toffees defender Derek Mountfield believes it is time to forgive.  Because our confidence and belief was so strong, Everton would have won the European Cup the following year, but well never know, he says.  Heysel was a tragedy and the final should never have happened at that stadium.

We must stop blaming Liverpool people for that night.  Yes, Everton suffered but so did the whole of English football.  In that period Everton moved from being a mediocre side to one of the best in Europe.  It is important that now we get them back to that same level.

1 Derek Mountfield
Mountfield, 43, who regularly went to Goodison Park as a child, joined the club in 1982 from Tranmere Rovers.  During six seasons the centre-half played 106 League matches, scoring 14 goals in 1984-85.  He later played for Aston Villa, Wolves, Carlisle, Northampton and Walsall before managing Cork City.  He works for the Everton Former Players Foundation, a charity that raises money to provide ex-players with medical care.

2 Andy Gray
Gray, a striker with incredible courage and ability in the air, formed a lethal partnership with Graeme Sharp.  However, two months after the FA Cup final, after Gary Lineker joined Everton from Leicester, Gray returned to Aston Villa, where he stayed for two years.  He has established himself as a commentator for Sky television and celebrated his 50th birthday last Wednesday.

3 Trevor Steven
He had a habit of scoring at crucial times, but Steven was also a regular supplier of goals from the right wing.  Signed from Burnley at the age of 19 for 300,000, he made 299 appearances for Everton and, in a career that included spells at Rangers and Marseille, won 36 England caps.  On retiring in 1997, he became a football agent.  Now aged 42.

4 Graeme Sharp
Sharp was the clubs top scorer in 1985, with 21 League goals in 36 games.  He won 12 caps for Scotland.  After falling out with Kendall, he moved to Oldham, where he later became player-manager.  At 45, he works at Everton as fans liaison officer.

5 Kevin Sheedy
The former left-winger began his career at Hereford United.  After a brief spell with Liverpool, he joined Everton in 1982 and played 274 times in the league, scoring 67 goals.  Despite being born in Wales, Sheedy won 45 caps for the Republic of Ireland and scored nine goals, including one against England at the 1990 World Cup finals.  He later played for Newcastle and Blackpool and was assistant manager at Tranmere and Hartlepool United.  At 46 he owns a shop in Southport that sells state-of-the-art technology for homes

6 Pat van den Hauwe
Having unwittingly signed away his Belgian birthright by opting out of national service, the left-back chose to play for Wales, making 13 appearances for his adopted country.  After Everton, Van den Hauwe, now 44, played for Spurs, where he won the FA Cup, and Millwall.  In 1993 he married model Mandy Smith, but their relationship lasted only two years.  Last heard of working as a gardener in Cape Town.

7 Gary Stevens
Started as an apprentice at Everton and made more than 200 League appearances before joining Rangers in 1988 for 1M.  At Ibrox he won 11 trophies in six years, then signed for Tranmere.  The right-back, 42, who appeared 46 times for England and played in two World Cup finals, retired in 1998 through injury and then became a qualified physiotherapist, working on the Wirral.

8 Neville Southall
Everton owed much to their keeper, who played 751 games for the club, including a record 578 League matches.  He won a record 92 caps for Wales but never played in a major tournament.  Southall, 47, played for several clubs, including Bury, Bradford City, Stoke, Rhyl, York City, Shrewsbury Town, Huddersfield and Torquay United, before retiring three years ago.  He was manager of Ryman League side Hastings United but left last week.

9 Kevin Ratcliffe
In 1984, at the age of 23, Ratcliffe became the youngest captain since West Hams Bobby Moore to lift the FA Cup.  Considered by many to be the quickest defender in the top flight, his ability to do the simple things effectively made him a key player in 461 games for Everton and 59 for Wales.  He concluded his playing career with spells at Dundee, Cardiff and Derby before going on to manage Chester City and Shrewsbury Town.  At 45, he is a football commentator for BBC Wales.

10 Paul Bracewell
Was on the losing side in four FA Cup finals in 1985, 1986 and 1989 with Everton and in 1992 when Sunderland lost 2-0 to Liverpool.  Bracewell also played for Newcastle, Sunderland, Stoke City, where he began his career, and Fulham, whom he managed for less than a year after Kevin Keegan took over as England manager.  In October 2000 he took over at Halifax Town, saving the club from relegation from the Football League.  Last year the 43-year-old left the FA after two years working as a national coach.

11 Peter Reid
One of Kendalls best signings when he joined from Bolton in 1982 for 60,000, Reid became an influential member of the team though for England he won a disappointing 13 caps.  Voted PFA Players Player of the Year in 1985, the midfielder left Everton in 1989 after 159 league appearances, moving on a free transfer to QPR.  As a manager, Reid had successful spells in charge of Manchester City and Sunderland, and forgettable times at Leeds and Coventry.  After leaving the Sky Blues in January this year, he has continued to work in the media.


[The above is unedited and provided within ToffeeWeb for archival purposes.]


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