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Season 2011-12
The Mail Bag

The Golden Vision

 27 Comments: First  |  Last

A friend came in to where I work today and said he'd got a brilliant belated Christmas prezzie for me: a copy of BBC TV docudrama "The Golden Vision".

I watched it when it was first broadcast and, at 10 years of age, was gobsmacked. He told me that he had watched it and found it didn't live up to his memory of it. I'll watch it later... maybe with a bottle of wine.

However, the point of my post is:

? Do many of us look back with rose tinted spectacles?
? Was the Catterick era the best ever?
? Would Kanchelskis have got into his team?
? How do the Moyes years compare?
? Was the world better in black and white?

Most importantly, is anything achieved before the advent of the Premier League somehow tainted and devalued?

Andy Crooks, Belfast     Posted 30/12/2011 at 19:20:51

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Dave Wilson
1   Posted 30/12/2011 at 19:47:38

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1) sometimes.

2) Yes

3) definitely - every time Jimmy Husband or Moggsy were injured

4) They dont - We where kings

5) Na, we were still moaning about anything and everything back then . .if only we knew
Dermot O'Brien
2   Posted 30/12/2011 at 19:51:53

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Andy I'd like to get my hands on that documentary, is it on sale?

To answer your last question, nothing was achieved by anyone, least of all us, before the Premier League started. Just ask any of the media, there was nothing before the Premier League.
John Keating
3   Posted 30/12/2011 at 19:57:39

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1) Yes

2) Loved the early 60's team but Kendalls was better as he put it together on a bit of a shoestring whereas Catterick had CASH.

3) No chance. Alex Scott, Derek Temple, Jimmy Husband and Morrissey were better for the team.

4) Shouldn't be mentioned in the same breath !!

5) The world is still the same. It only exists in Blue and White !!
Gavin Ramejkis
4   Posted 30/12/2011 at 20:23:21

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1. Yes

2. Yes but admit slightly before my time - on film evidence of our gameplay and results

3. Yes, one of the best wingers I've seen, if for nothing more than his demolition of the RS

4. Like comparing apples and oranges, different time, different plans altogether; winners vs survivors

5. It wasn't as bent or crooked as it has been since Sky claim to have reinvented the game
Eugene Ruane
5   Posted 30/12/2011 at 20:17:08

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1) Do many of us look back with rose tinted spectacles?

Yes, that's what rose-tinted spectacles are for.

2) Was the Catterick era the best ever?

I don't really remember the 63 side but the 70 side was a great team to watch. However I believe Kendall's 85 side was/is better. They were a great footballing side that battered sides with a combination of strength, pace and skill. I think they were and still are underrated (remember, they didn't just win the league, they absolutely pissed it)

3) Would Kanchelskis have got into his team?

Possibly...if he applied himself.

4) How do the Moyes years compare?

For me I can't even make a comparison - like saying how does The Empire State Building compare with the late Betty Driver.

5) Was the world better in black and white?

Better? No absolutely not...but being an Evertonian DEFINITELY was.
Paddy James
6   Posted 30/12/2011 at 20:47:21

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Dermot, the complete version of "The Golden Vision", in eight parts, is on YouTube. Just put the title plus "Everton" in the search bar on Youtube.

It is an absolute masterpiece, enjoy.
Derek Turnbull
7   Posted 30/12/2011 at 21:33:17

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What was that song about him?

There was a forward a Scottish Forward
He came drom far awa to see the Everton play
....He scored a hat-trick for Harry Catterick?

Then mentions St John. All to Scottish Soldier
Tony McNulty
8   Posted 30/12/2011 at 21:48:26

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During the Catterick era you always felt you were going to win at home, and at the very least draw away ... not exactly like now.

Does anyone else remember the saga of Alex Young's feet? He would always run into trouble when the pitches got heavy and his feet got sore.
Jay Harris
9   Posted 30/12/2011 at 21:49:31

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The docudrama is only a pale shadow of what it was like in the 60's.

crowds of 65000 for a derby jammed like sardines and the likes of Alex Young and Roy Vernon gliding around the pitch like ballerinas that nobody could get near.

Queuing up right around the ground for 24 + hours to get tickets for Europe (same MO with early exits though) and cup semifinals/finals.

Unfortunately the world and football were IMO much better then although Catterick was not as good a manager as Kendal 1 who but for his illness and Heysell would have built us into the Man Utd of today.

Kanchelski was very similar to Alex (Chico) Scott except that Chico would place the ball perfectly on someones head whereas Kanchelski would head for the net in a Seamus Coleman style.

I dont remember the Moyes years. When was that exactly?

the 1966 cup final (we beat Sheff Wed 3-2 from 0-2 down) was in black and white but the 1968 final (we lost 1-0 in the last few minutes v west Brom) was in colour so obviously things were better in Black and White!!
Colin Smith
10   Posted 30/12/2011 at 21:36:39

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Looking back through blue-tinted spectacles perhaps but for those of us who had supported Everton through thin and thin since the war the 1963 Championship side was the best ever. Don?t forget we had experienced relegation.

Much credit was also due to Johnny Carey and the legacy of stylish football which Catterick inherited.

Young and Vernon in their prime were brilliant and Gabriel, Labone and Harris were an impressive midfield even before Tony Kay arrived.

Alex Young?s header to win the game against Spurs and effectively clinch the Championship is an indelible memory. He seemed to hover in the Gwladys Street air and choose his spot.

Why doesn?t the club negotiate the rights and market copies of ?The Golden Vision?? A marvellous mixture of comedy drama and documentary
James Flynn
11   Posted 31/12/2011 at 01:12:46

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The direction being forward, Come om Landon. Push this version of EFC forward.
Derek Thomas
12   Posted 31/12/2011 at 01:48:54

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1) Yes

2) Yes, ( with due defference to #1 above )Catterick was the 60's and the 60's were it as far as post war decades go. In fact as a decade of the Century, the only possible rival was the Edwardian Era.

62-63, 69-70, 84-85, Photo finish; 86-87 4th.

I started watching on a regular basis just before the Carey Taxi arrived, so the best football I ever saw was in the 1st half of the 69-70 title years.

62-63 and 84-85 we wound up a momentum over the season, but in 69 we were I think 9 ( NINE!! ) pts clear Oct-Nov, with only 2 pts for a win as well.

So the result of my Rose tinted photo finish is... 3rd 62-63 and a dead heat for 69-70, 84-85.

69-70 played the ' better ' football. But if they matched up over say best of 19 frames like snooker then I feel 84-85 might edge it 10 -9 as they seemed to have a certain hardness in their attitude.

3) Not very often.

4) Chalk and Cheese.

5) Yes, again as viewed through #1
Mick Davies
13   Posted 31/12/2011 at 04:31:40

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Andy, you and I are of a similar age, and although I witnessed the 69/70 season through the mesh of the boys pen, I believe the 62/63 side won the title against the most adverse weather conditions for 100 years and the loss of arguably our most important player through no fault of Everton FC. This was two different sides, mostly built by Catterick and the later title winners playing the most stylish football ever witnessed at Goodison, if not the country. Kendall turned around our fortunes and with an abundance of pace, stormed through domestic and European competition like that bathroom cleaner advert. Sadly, we will never know how good he was as he only had four good years and his later versions were a sad indictment on how love alone can never be enough to succeed in football. As for Moyes, he wouldn't be good enough to carry the kitbag for those great legends and when he goes, will anyone look back on his era with the same warmth and pride of his predecessors? I doubt it. By the way, Ken Jones, plays a great part as a fanatical Evertonian but although Bill Dean (named after St Dixie) was a true blue, does anybody know if 'Ives of Slade' really was too?
Paul McGinty
14   Posted 31/12/2011 at 04:40:34

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I was just nine but was at the title clincher in 1963, when Vernon got a hat-trick in the final home game against Fulham. At the time Tottenham and United were great teams and that Everton squad was pretty damn good. Without a season ticket I had to get to the ground at 1pm to get in the crowds were so big. And the expectation was a home win.

For the 69-70 season I travelled home and away... got a job selling programmes at Goodison so got in free which was great considering how good the team was. Bally the standout but Alan Whittle's goals made the difference in the run in.

Top to bottom the 84-85 team was probably the best of the three. Great balance across the midfield, pick any two out of Sharpe, Heath and Gray up top, two attacking full backs, a goalscoring centre half in Mountfield and lightning fast Ratcliffe, fronting Neville Southall. That was one good team.

So for me 84-85, then 69-70 then 62-63. I have a soft spot for the Dobson, Latchford, Thomas team of the 70s, particularly Big Bobs 30 goal season.

Strange to look back at a time when Liverpool were only recently out of the Second Division and, at my school anyway, we of the blue persuasion were the dominant force.
Derek Thomas
15   Posted 31/12/2011 at 05:16:47

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Mick Davies #13; I'll give you the bad weather, but if you are refering to the loss of Tony Kay, the betting scandal story and the subsequent ban didn't break until 6 or 8 weeks into the start of the next season after the title was won.

Albert Perkins
16   Posted 31/12/2011 at 06:52:47

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Through the sixties and seventies I went to every home match at Goodison and Anfield with my best friend who was a Liverpool supporter. I stood behind the goal in the Kop and was vocal enough to have a few chants aimed at me. "We'll hang that white haired basted from the Kop, by his balls!' Great moments.
We enjoyed watching both teams have wonderful successes. I know we all look back through those rose-tinted glasses, but the game was different then, and I believe better.
There were more characters and it wasn't all about athleticism. 63 was the first year I went to the match and fell in love with Everton. Seen through the eyes of a 13 year old, the 63 team will always be the best team ever for me. Barca don't have the character or the characters.
I saw Vernon take a drag from a supporter when warming up and watched Young slow down to dribble round the full back before he scored because his feet were hurting and he couldn't run. I saw Bally pick up the ball and give it to a defender who had been kicking him up the arse all afternoon, saying , "If you want it that badly, here, take it."
It was better for me and I'm grateful for those memories. Thanks to the players and the fans who made it all possible.
Norman Merrill
17   Posted 31/12/2011 at 09:11:30

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Tony post 8.
Alex suffered from blisters, and not down to soft grounds.
Today's pitches would have suited him, as they are watered, not relying on rainfall.
Guy Hastings
18   Posted 31/12/2011 at 14:30:39

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The two parts, docu and drama, are strong enough to stand on their own. Together they constitute a masterpiece. The trip to Highbury is a hoot (2-2, I was there) with the great TV Scouse repertory company of Ken Jones, Bill Dean and Neville Smith, and the pre-match wedding is brilliant. Then throw in Wilf Dixon taking training, Gordon West confessing to hating every minute of the 90 and Catterick's revolutionary tactics table. All guided by the matchless eye, ear and hand of Ken Loach. The Wednesday Play - about as much chance of it being commissioned today as Hibbo notching a hat trick tomorrow.
Brian Keoghan
19   Posted 31/12/2011 at 15:40:44

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"The Golden Vision" ? Ahhh, happy days! Times of Bovril and pies with pink meat. The smell of Craven A mingling with damp drizzle drifting in from Stanley Park and Walton Road. Fifty thousand, standing shoulder to shoulder, swaying gently with the ebb and flow; Everton in classic Blue, Young and Vernon, Kendall and Ball, Labone, Harvey (sigh!).

To quote A E Houseman: "That is the land of lost content, I see it shining plain, the happy highways where I went and cannot go again."

The First Division WAS the Premier League, we did not need Sky who have ripped the soul out the game we grew up with by creating an elite cartel. Sadly, our beloved Blues (and others!) have been reduced to fodder and the "Golden Vision" 45 years on will remain a distant dream.
Richard Tarleton
20   Posted 31/12/2011 at 17:31:40

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1. Yes.
2. Yes, Catterick managed two completely different and magnificent Champion teams in 62-63 and 69-70.
3. He was very similar to Alex Scott, you could make out a case for his inclusion.
4. Is this a serious question? The Moyes years don' t even compare with the Gordon Lee years.
5. Definitely no.

About once a year, I look at my tape of this play and it's the ordinariness of Young, a true superstar, and his life with his semi-detached house and a mini that strikes you. Young and Vernon remain the greatest strikers I've ever seen as a partnership. And the rest of that 62-63 team: West, second only to Southall amongst Everton keepers; Parker, the prince of fullbacks. Gabriel, Labone, Harris and Kay, Scott, Stevens... totally underrated, but Brian Labone said he was the most valuable man in the team; and Morrissey, skilful and hard as iron; Temple and Veall were his occasional replacements.
Andy Crooks
21   Posted 31/12/2011 at 19:05:09

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Guy Hastings,I watched it again and you are absolutely right,it's a masterpiece. What seems to me to be overwhelming is the dignity of the players and supporters and the idea that football was a part of life that was central to a community.
Some great lines"the world cup has made Wilson stale"(what changes?) Wilf Dixon talking about Joe Royle pushing forward,and Harry Catterick seeming patrician like in his remoteness from the players.
I urge every Evertonian,particularily those who have never seen us win a trophy to watch this. Wonderful,wonderful moving stuff.
Brian Denton
22   Posted 31/12/2011 at 19:25:52

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I started going regularly in 1966, so I don't really remember the 1962-3 side. I'd find it hard to put a cigarette paper between the 69-70 and 84-85 sides; with both sides it was just such an incredible feeling knowing that in every game Everton were likely to win. Just imagine experiences like beating Man U home and away with a combined 5-0 in the space of a few days (69-70); or losing a game at home in the Christmas fixtures and getting worried, but then not losing again until after the Championship was won (84-85). Wonderful times.

"But what about the children? Doesn't anybody care about the children?" (c) The Simpsons.
Mick Davies
23   Posted 01/01/2012 at 17:10:25

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Derek Thomas @15, thanks for putting me right on that one. I thought Kay was jailed during the season, so pardon my ignorance there. Still think 'The Cat' was the most superior manager, due to his rebuilding and producing an even better title winning side than his first. We'll never know if Howie could have done it, but it's obvious he learned a lot from his former boss
Michael Coville
24   Posted 01/01/2012 at 23:41:55

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The "Golden Vision" still makes great viewing for me. I went to school and attended many matches with Neville Smith who both co-wrote the script and played Vince Coyne I believe in the play. To me the big difference between then and now is the attendance at the games. As a teenager I stood in crowds with attendances in the 60 and 70 thousand and the old lady rocked. No boys pen for us, we stood with the men and got pushed around but it was great fun. How sad those great players of yesteryear ended up with little money compared with the over-paid, under-performing players today.
Anto Byrne
25   Posted 02/01/2012 at 09:01:00

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My era was the seventies although had been watching as a kid from age 5, 1963, when first indoctrinated as a blue. Sat in the Gwladys on the barrier watching Alex Young miss an absolute sitter and Joe Royle bury a header a minute later.

Followed the blues home and away thru the seventies including the 3 games against Villa in the League Cup Final or was it the Milk Cup then? Maine Road for the derby semi-final when we was robbed. Saw Duncan Mckenzie in full flight. Andy King's 1978 cracker in the derby, our first win for seven years over the shite and of course, Bobby walking on water at the Baseball Ground and then getting his 30th goal on the last day v Chelsea.

Wonderful stuff compared to the fare on sale today. 7 defenders on against WBA and forwards asked to defend as well. A couple more wins and we will be above Newcastle... maybe David Moyes knows exactly what he is doing ? much to our frustrations.
Colin Smith
26   Posted 02/01/2012 at 14:45:13

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Bit off the subject but talking about Everton on screen, Neville Smith also appeared in 'Match of the Day', a television comedy about a wedding reception where he is more preoccupied with finding out the Everton score (and 'scoring' himself) than with his sister's nuptials.

He also scripted 'Gumshoe' for the big screen with Albert Finney as the private eye and would-be comedian. In the club scene, filmed at the Broadway in Norris Green, Joe Royle's dad plays piano in the jazz band ? The Saturated Seven.
Michael Williams
27   Posted 02/01/2012 at 19:15:58

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The Golden Vision on Fleabay

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