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Season 2011-12
The Mail Bag

Blast from the past

 17 Comments: First  |  Last

It was more wonky mishit than a blast yet for me it set in train a most wonderful series of events. I have just read that 79-year-old ex-United keeper Harry Gregg will get a testimonial.

In 1966 I was behind the goal at Bolton when Colin Harvey swiped at the ball, it appeared to strike his ankle before slowly bobbling into the net (it seemed to take ages).

The mishit sent Harry the wrong way and, though he made a desperate attempt to recover his ground, that goal sent us to Wembley and a marvelous 3-2 victory over the Owls. I have marvelous though slightly blurred memories of that weekend in London with mates.

Soon after that, England won the World Cup and I was fortunate to see in the flesh some of the best players ever to have graced the world stage.

Then a few short weeks later, on a lovely warm Saturday I saw the opening game of the 1966-67 season. It was the Charity Shield at Goodison between FA Cup winners Everton and League winners Liverpool.

How proud we were when both sets of players came out of the tunnel holding aloft The World Cup, The FA Cup, the Championship Shield and the Charity Shield. Around their necks the players wore the medals they had won. Those who were part of the England squad also wore World Cup medals.

With the sun glinting on all that gold and silver it made for a wonderful emotional scene that will always be remembered by those who were there.

Midst the excitement it would have been easy to forget that cold drizzly day in Bolton when Harvey?s wobbly old kick proved to be the genesis, for me, of our finest hour.

Bless you Colin and bless you Harry; I hope your testimonial is a success.

Dick  Fearon, West Australia     Posted 30/01/2012 at 11:01:20

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Ray Roche
961   Posted 30/01/2012 at 14:38:55

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Dick, I well remember the Charity Shield, we lost 0-1 to the RS and went straight out and bought Alan Ball, if my memory serves correctly. A couple of weeks later we beat the RS 3-1 in the League with Ball scoring twice. It was great to see the World Cup paraded by Wilson and Hunt at Goodison. Did you go to the World Cup matches at Goodison? I had a season ticket and so I got tickets for all the games there.

I remember Gregg being very critical of Utd in the way that they discarded their old players without a thank you, especially after his heroic efforts at the scene of the Minich disaster..
Ray Robinson
983   Posted 30/01/2012 at 16:26:00

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Dick I was in the Park End stand with my dad when Ball scored those 2 goals against Liverpool. My dad was a fanatical Red but I'd already made my mind up 5 years earlier that I was a blue.

Does that happen these days?
Derek Williams
987   Posted 30/01/2012 at 16:48:20

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I can't hear or read 'Alan Ball' without going all mist eyed. Certainly the greatest Everton footballer of my lifetime. Though I do remember him taking a penalty at the Park End which hit the post then sticking away the rebound. He said afterwards that he did know the laws and knew that it would be disallowed but he just couldn't resist it! I also remember the day he sat on the ball, taking the p**s out of some lumbering oaf who had been trying to kick him all afternoon. Will we ever see his like again in a blue shirt? I'm going for a lie down now.
Brian Keoghan
008   Posted 30/01/2012 at 17:40:02

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Colin Harvey always denied his semi-final winner was mis-hit;he said it was a 25 yard "daisy-cutter"placed with great precision past Gregg's despairing drive to nestle snugly in the bottom corner of the net ! The Alan Ball's "upright" penalty game was against Ipswich which also included a "Maradonna,hand of god"goal by Ray Crawford,completly missed by referee Maurice Fussey.
Paul Wharton
009   Posted 30/01/2012 at 18:02:42

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Good on Utd for thinking about an old keeper, come on Everton FC give Mr Gordon West his testimonial...
Paul Wharton
Robert Patterson
030   Posted 30/01/2012 at 18:46:56

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Dick,fond memories,I was at the far end in the semi that the goal was scored,and at the opposite end for Temples goal in the Final.I've got the programme from Wembly plus Charity Shield(worth 40£) and a LP called Mersey Boot with the Final on one side and the other lot on the revese.R.I.P. lads .BALLY,LABBY ,ALEX SCOTT.
John Shearon
039   Posted 30/01/2012 at 19:18:21

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"And if, you know yer history". I certainly know mine. I know that one of our keepers played 400+ games for Everton, 3 for England, won 2 League Championships, 1 FA Cup and has been linked with the Club in one capacity or another for almost 50 years. Don't you think it about time that Gordon West was given his testimonial? I do.
Peter Fearon
049   Posted 30/01/2012 at 19:13:52

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Dick, I can still see Alex Young hitting that post against Man Utd at Bolton! I was at all of the matches you mention - behind the goal at Burnden Park for Colin Harvey's goal, at Wembley watching Derek Temple get smaller and smaller as he bore down on the Wednesday goal as we watched from the far end - and in Goodison Road watching Ray Wilson and Roger Hunt with the World Cup and both teams with the FA Cup and First Division trophy. What a year that was! And yet Harry Catterick never seemed to get the credit he deserved from fans for the glory he brought to the club.
Derek Williams
054   Posted 30/01/2012 at 19:16:53

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Paul (009) didn't Alex Young have a testimonial at Goodison about ten years ago? Crowd was about 25000 if memory serves (as many as we got for last week's 4th round cup tie bizzarely)
Brian Denton
065   Posted 30/01/2012 at 19:55:03

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Gordon had a testimonial Derek, but it was a lot more than 10 years ago. It was in the very early eighties if I recall correctly. I think (don't quote me on this) it was against Blackpool, his former club.
Brian Denton
066   Posted 30/01/2012 at 19:57:25

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Sorry Derek, meant to reply to Paul Wharton.
Frank Duffy
075   Posted 30/01/2012 at 20:20:28

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As a16 year old I saw everry round in 1966 including the away tie at Bedford. Queued up with my dad for tickets against against both City & United - think it was12 hours each time. Was at the opposite end when Harvey scord - took an age for it to hit the net.
Think Gordan West had a blindy. Best, Law & Charlton and we beat them.
Think the TV and pundits had predicted a United & Spurs final. But what a game.
Memories Hey.
Paul Wharton
084   Posted 30/01/2012 at 20:39:51

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Gordon told me he hasn't had a testimonial and Derek you are correct Alex did have a testimonial.
On the Golden Vision we all wish him a fantastic 75TH birthday on the 3RD February 2012, enjoy your day Alex.
Paul Wharton
Brian Denton
096   Posted 30/01/2012 at 20:54:22

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Paul, in which case I freely own up to my mistake and wish Gordon good luck. I have met him at a couple of Former Players Foundation evenings, including one in Wirral where he was charging up his pipe in the foyer and chatted to me for a few minutes. A true gentleman, and it is such a shame that great players like him finished their careers before the gravy boat came in.
Dick Fearon
099   Posted 30/01/2012 at 20:55:55

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It is good to see I am not alone clinging desperately to the branch hoping with everything I have left to see us win another trophy.
Time is not on our side so Moyes and co will have to pull their fingers out.

As for Colin's 'daisy cutter' at Bolton. He would know more than anyone yet it fooled Gregg and just about everyone else in the ground.
Paul Wharton
112   Posted 30/01/2012 at 22:13:34

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Anyone who has met Gordon will say the same as you.
Paul Wharton
Brian Denton
240   Posted 31/01/2012 at 13:44:43

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Paul, I've done a bit of research on the testimonials, and I think the one I had in mind was actually Mick Lyons, Current Everton v Former Everton:

IIRC Gordon was brought on on a stretcher as a bit of jollity. Hence my senior moment above. Can anyone confirm that bit of theatre?

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