Forty Years Ago – 1973-74

Less than a week after facing Stoke City at the Victoria Ground, Everton welcomed the same opponents to Goodison Park for the return fixture. It was imperative that the Blues improved upon the single point that they had gained from the away fixture if they were to climb the table and make a challenge for the European positions. Whilst Everton lost their away fixture with Derby, Stoke had claimed a useful point in a draw from their game with QPR (3-3) at Loftus Road.

Stoke were the current holders of the Watney Cup (a short-lived pre-season tournament) which their captain, Jimmy Greenhoff, admitted he was proud to hold aloft. Stoke came to Goodison Park with a younger squad than was usual for them, due to the loss of such stalwarts as Peter Dobing – the captain of Stoke City in their League Cup triumph over Chelsea – who was forced to retire due to a back injury, whilst Gordon Banks was also forced into retirement due to his horrific eye injury, sustained in the terrible car-crash that he had been involved in.

Other players moved on including Willie Stevenson, the former Liverpool and Tranmere Rovers player, and Harry Burro who moved to Plymouth Argyle. Tony Waddington, the long-serving Stoke Manager, had planned for the changing of the old guard as he revealed in an interview with Peter Hewitt of the Stoke Sentinel: “There is no point in keeping players just for reserve games. Either they have a future at first-team level or it is best that they are allowed to move on. We are giving every chance to the youngsters, hoping that they will make the grade in the First Division.”

Stoke City’s fans were expecting a good season as the emergence of their youngsters and more experienced players had begun to gel towards the back end of last season where they had taken 13 points out of a possible 16, despite flirting with relegation, With players of the calibre of Jimmy Robertson, Jimmy Greenhoff, Mike Pejic, Sean Haslegrave, John Ritchie and their vastly experienced assistant manager, George Eastham, who had been described as the best player on view in their recent trip to Old Trafford, Stoke City could on their day be a match for most teams in the league.

Club Secretary Chris Hassell in ‘Club Talk’ warned that, despite the wonderful history Everton enjoys, it is the present and the future that should concern all connected with the club. He went on to say “The Everton tradition is wonderful but it will not keep us in the First Division or win us any matches. We hope that it will inspire our players and our supporters to greater achievements.” Chris then pointed out that there were many good young players coming through the ranks and some had had opportunities in the matches played thus far during the season.

Among the players he talked about were Mick Buckley (19), Mick Lyons (21) and reserve players Ron Goodlass (20), Dave Irving (21) Gary Jones (22), Bill Kenny (21), Peter Scott (20) and Steve Seargeant (20). He mentioned that Everton were participating in a youth tournament in Italy, where the youngsters had recorded two 1-1 draws in games against Torino and Florentina. Under trying circumstances the young players had kept their discipline and the Italians had been impressed by the fitness and behaviour of the Everton players. Some of the players taking part in the tournament were named and they included Colin D’Arcy (19), Ken McNaught (18) – whose father was an International with Raith Rovers – and George Telfer (18) who had scored both the goals in the tournament at that poiont. I don’t think Chris would have been able to describe Cliff Marshall in these terms today: “Our coloured striker has been performing well of late” but I’m sure that it was not intended to offend anyone.

The birth of The E vertonian was featured in the programme, not the glossy magazine that we are used to today but a newspaper which was used predominantly to give the results for various promotional raffles run by the club. It would also help to ‘promote the activities of our various clubs and associations’ said Promotions Manager, David Exall.

Joe Royle was interviewed and he said that there is far more to the modern-day centre-forward than scoring goals; he went on to say that sometimes you had to be a decoy and make dummy runs in order to allow your fellow forwards and midfielders the opportunity to get space in the box and put the ball in the net. John Connolly, according to Joe, was one of the best at picking up the bits and pieces in and around the box and he was known as ‘The Magnet’ in the dressing room, because of this ability. Joe also commented on the injury problems that had beset him over the previous 12 months and how it had affected and possibly threatened his position both in the Everton team and the England set-up. But, more than anything, Joe wanted to lose the tag ‘back from injury’ Joe Royle — and return to the ‘25 goals a season’ Joe Royle — who hopefully would go on torepresent England in the 1974 World Cup.

In the match, Joe Royle didn’t manage to score himself but his strike partner Joe Harper was to be both hero and villain as he gave Everton the lead on 39 minutes and following an equalisier by Jimmy Greenhoff (65’), Joe Harper had the opportunity to win the game for the Toffees but Harper’s penalty was saved by Stoke City’s goalkeeper Brian Farmer in the dying embers of the game. So, once again, Everton failed to take maximum points from a fixture even when presented with a golden opportunity of doing so. Everton remained in 12th place in the league and Stoke climbed a few places up to 16th.

1973-74 — First Division: Tuesday, 11 September 1973
Stoke City @ Goodison Park: Score 1-1 (Harper), Attendance: 30,242
Lawson; Darracott, McLaughlin, Bernard, Kenyon; Hurst, Newton; Lyons, Royle, Harper, Connolly


Thirty Years Ago — 1983-84

Everton and Tottenham were both in the lower reaches of the First Division when they faced each other at White Hart Lane in September 1983. Everton were two points and two places away from the relegation slots and Tottenham were on the same number of points as Everton but three places higher due to a better goal difference. Tottenham’s most recent home game had resulted in a 3-0 victory over bottom club Leicester City.

Peter Shreeves, the Tottenham Manager, gave his views on the importance of players having the correct mental approach in the ‘tips from the top’ section of teh Mathday Programme. Mr Shreeves said ‘You can have all the skill and technique in the world but if you don’t go out in the right frame of mind then you are wasting your time.” Peter then said that he believed many of the younger players lacked that spark of spirit required at Tottenham and said that things came too easy for youngsters in those days. Players such as Ossie Ardiles, Ray Clemence and Bryan Robson are cited by Mr Shreeves as self-motivated professionals who always work hard and are proven winners.

In extracts from a programme issued for the match between Tottenham and Everton played on Monday March 16th 1931and with a kick-off time of 3:30pm, the article mentions that this was the only occasion that White Hart Lane had witnessed a league game between the two sides outside of the First Division. Everton went into the game following a narrow defeat, just two days earlier on Saturday March 14th to West Bromwich Albion (0-1) in an FA Cup Semi-Final played at Old Trafford. That was the first time since 13th December 1930 that this Everton side had tasted defeat when they had lost to Burnley (2-5) at Turf Moor.

To complete a totally miserable weekend for the Blues’ fans they also lost this game at White Hart Lane by a single goal scored by Tottenham Centre-Forward Ted Harper. But celebration was forthcoming at the end of the season as Everton won the Second Division and returned to the Top Flight, unfortunately for Tottenham they remained in the lower division as West Bromwich Albion were promoted in second place just three points ahead of their North London rivals. West Bromwich Albion also went on to win the FA Cup defeating their midlands rivals Birmingham City, in the Final, where Bradford [a player not the club] scored for Birmingham City but two goals from Richardson sent the FA Cup to the Hawthorns.

Roy Bradley of the Sunday Express predicts that the First Division title will be won by one of three sides, Liverpool, Tottenham or Manchester United and mentions Stoke City as dark horses, due to the shrewdness of Richie Barker their manager. For no apparent reason there is a two-page interview with Manchester United’s manager Ron Atkinson where he says that last season’s victory over Brighton in the FA Cup Final could be the springboard for further success and “Our ambition is to eventually take over the role of Liverpool as the premier team in the country, I believe we already are the premier club but we need success at Wembley and subsequently in Europe and then we can fly to moon.”

Everton fans travelled back from White Hart Lane in buoyant mood as they celebrated a victory by which saw their team win by two goals to one, with the goals being scored by Kevin Sheedy and Peter Reid – his first goal for Everton - in the first half. Howard Kendall put Everton’s victory at White Hart Lane down to his players coming back into form and having a more relaxed approach. Kendall felt that his players had become uptight due to perhaps trying too hard and he says that it was his intention to try and relax the players prior to Saturday’s fixture. In order to achieve that, they had visited the theatre on the Friday night where they saw Eric Sykes and Terry Scott perform in an unnamed comedy show. [Perhaps, Mr Kendall threatened to take the players back to see Terry Scott in the future, if they failed to beat Spurs]

1983-84 — First Division: Saturday, 17 September 1983
Tottenham Hotspur @ White Hart Lane; Score: 2-1 (Reid & Sheedy), Attendance: 29,125
Arnold, Harper, Bailey, Ratcliffe, Higgins. Reid (Richardson), Steven, Heath, Sharp, Johnson, Sheedy


Twenty Years Ago — 1993-94

Ron Atkinson's Aston Villa visited Goodison Park in confident mood as they had made a bright start to the new campaign and were determined to improve on last season's exploits where they had finished runners-up to Manchester United. Although the gap between the Champions and Aston Villa read ten points at season's end, the Villains were always in with a realistic chance of their first Title since 1981. Up until a cruel twist of football fate saw their chances recede when having drawn at home to Coventry City on Easter Saturday, their fans who were leaving Villa Park at the final whistle, were still hopeful of becoming Champions as they knew their rivals Manchester United were trailing 1-0 at Old Trafford against Sheffield Wednesday, but United as most of us have become used to, scored twice in the last five minutes to take all three points.Villa then lost away to Blackburn and at home to Oldham during the run-in and it was Manchester United that celebrated their first title in twenty-six years.

Aston Villa have strengthened their squad with the purchase of Andy Townsend a £2.1m signing from Chelsea and Guy Whittingham for £1.2m and it seems to have had an impact as they have made a solid start to this season. Villa have beaten Tottenham (1-0) and QPR (4-1) at Villa Park and returned home with valuable points from Wimbledon (2-2) and Sheffield Wednesday (0-0), the only reverse being the loss to the Champions Manchester United (1-2), which means that they have eight points from their first five fixtures and lie a point behind Everton in the table.

Graham Stuart was the focus of a two page spread as his arrival at Goodison had been too late to feature in the last home magazine. The Wimbledon born 22 year old had cost the club £850,000 after Chelsea Manager Glenn Hoddle and Howard Kendall came to an agreement which negated the need for a tribunal. Graham was looking forward to plying his trade at Goodison and he informed the programme that "Goodison is one of my favourite places."

Another forward thinking player is interviewed and Peter Beagrie talking about the current season and its prospects, says that Everton had success in the eighties and then had a bit of a lull but that "there is a feeling within the club that we are about to enjoy a resurgence" he reveals that the players intend to make use of their critics writing them off before a ball had been kicked in earnest, he adds "the purists will love watching Everton this season because we try to play the game the way it was meant to be played." The article also states that Peter's goal at the Dell was the fastest goal of the Premier League so far with the goal timed at 10mins and 38 seconds.

The late great Dave Hickson is the subject of the 'Match of the Past' feature as it recalls a game which took place on 22 October 1955. Only a month prior to the match, Dave Hickson had been sold to Aston Villa and over 55,000 people filed into Goodison to witness the return of their former player. The article says that Dave 'is arguably the most loudly cheered visiting captain in the 100 years top-class football has been played at our ground.' The report adds that this was the only time that David Hickson had played in a league fixture against Everton.

The man who replaced Dave in the Everton team and one of the reasons that Dave left to join Aston Villa was Jimmy Harris, who was responsible for spoiling Dave's return to his former stamping ground by scoring both goals in a 2-1 victory for the Blues. Dixon scored the Villa consolation. Dave Hickson only played twelve times for the Villa scoring just once before he joined Huddersfield Town and returned to Goodison two years later where he teamed up again with Jimmy Harris who found himself at outside-right and a supplier of crosses for the 'Cannonball Kid'.

The 'News Desk' reports that Tony Cottee's second goal in the recent Sheffield United game took him to 200 career goals and 150 of them were league goals. Looking forward to the upcoming World Cup qualifiers next month Robert Warzycha thinks that the pressure is all on England when they meet Poland and says "England must win to qualify for America. A draw or a defeat will almost certainly put them out" and he feels that because Poland have played two games less than England that even if they lose at Wembley they can make the points up due to those games in hand. Barry Horne and his Wales team are also hoping to be involved in the World Cup Finals in the USA and with three home games to fulfil their fixtures he is confident that they can gain enough points to see them achieve that aim.

Guy Whittingham’s goal after 32 minutes was enough to secure the points for Aston Villa as Everton struggled to match their Midlands rivals. Yet again a tale of missed chances was cited by Howard Kendall as he believed that Everton at least deserved a point from the game.

1993-94 — Premier League: Tuesday, 31 August 1993
Aston Villa @ Goodison Park, Score: 0-1, Attendance: 24,067
Southall; Horne, Hinchcliffe, Ebbrell, Jackson; Ablett, Ward; Stuart (Preki), Cottee, Rideout (Barlow), Beagrie. Unused Sub: Kearton


Ten Years Ago — 2003-04

Everton travelled up to the North-East to face Middlesbrough at the Riverside Stadium, hoping to arrest the current run of games without a win. A long and a difficult journey to make for the Evertonians, especially so, for a Sunday game broadcast live on TV. Middlesbrough had finished the previous campaign in eleventh place but only seven points ahead of relegated West Ham United, this term was not looking too good either as ‘Boro had lost four of their five opening Premier League games and had only one point to show from a goalless draw with Leicester City at Filbert Street.

Steve McClaren the Middlesbrough Manager was under pressure and he used his programme notes to declare that the buck stops with him. He went on to say that the season is a marathon and not a sprint and that he was confident that the club’s critics would be silenced starting with today’s game with Everton.

Inside the programme, there was a reproduction of a programme from 1893 for the match involving Middlesbrough Ironopolis FC and Everton FC. The game was supposedly played on Saturday 31 March 1893 but, after further investigation, it was more likely that it took place a year later. The ‘Nops’ (as they were affectionately called) disbanded following their last league game on 30 April 1894, so it might have been a benefit match to help them raise much needed funds to help them stay in existence. Middlesbrough Ironopolis FC were formed in 1889 and entered the Football League as Middlesbrough’s premier club in 1893. The original Club Middlesbrough FC were an amateur team, but the working class members of the original club had wanted a professional team in the town and so they set about establishing the ‘Nops’.

The information about the match is sketchy – in that it doesn’t say if it was a friendly, but it certainly wasn’t a League game or a Cup Tie as ‘The essential History of Everton’ has no mention of it. My summarising of the ‘story’ is based on the actual event reprinted in the programme. The game itself was played at Goodison Park and a healthy crowd assembled to see how Ironopolis would fare in this ‘Theatre of Dreams’ ‘a true jewel of the Empire’...

A young team of ‘Nops’ played well and and led their illustrious opponents by one goal to nil at the interval. A world class equaliser for Everton was scored and it was no surprise as it had been on the cards following changes to the personnel at the start of the second half, but the onslaught petered out in the latter stages of the game and ‘Nops’ fitter and superior physique started to tell and they duly took the lead with a beauty banged in by Mooney. All looked set fair for a deserved win for the visitors to Goodison until ‘some dreaded controversy and ill-begotten methods’ gave Everton a lifeline.

In the dying seconds of the game, Everton were awarded a controversial penalty. Obtained by a ‘mean, dirty and despicable trick’ by the Everton centre-forward, who fooled the referee with a ‘fall of such grace and femininity that befits the stage of the Royal National Ballet’. The story goes on to say that “This unsportsmanlike behaviour is the game of foreigners and should find no place in our great English pastime.” The offending striker picked up the match ball without remorse and slotted past the helpless ‘Nops’ keeper. Even the Everton supporters were a little sheepish in their celebrations which only emphasised the dubiousness of the penalty award. Nevertheless Ironopolis could be proud of their endeavours and were heralded by the fans in the stadium with a standing ovation. ‘Nops’ feeling aggrieved returned to Teesside feeling proud of their achievement and display against the ‘best team in Liverpool’.

I was hoping that this was an actual match-report if only for that description of Goodison Park as the ‘Theatre of Dreams’ — almost a century before our richer neighbours from down the East Lancashire Road had even thought of it. The game didn’t help ‘Nops’ as they alongside Bootle FC are the only clubs to have spent just a single season in the Football League.

Back to the match played some 110 years later. David Moyes felt that losing 1-0, due to an early strike from Joseph-Desire Job (06’), at the Riverside was yet another disappointment, due to the fact, that he believed Everton had deserved at least a point if not all three from the game. He also felt that there were a number of games so far that season in which Everton should have gained more points for their endeavours but he also admitted that there was a need to stop talking about it and turn the good performances into points.

2003-04 — Premier League: Sunday, 21 September 2003
Middlesbrough @ Riverside Stadium Score 0-1 Attendance: 28,113
Martyn; Hibbert, Yobo, Stubbs, Naysmith, Watson (Carsley); Gravesen, Linderoth (Ferguson), Kilbane (McFadden); Rooney, Radzinski.
Subs not Used: Turner, Pistone.

 

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Karl Masters
156 Posted 28/09/2013 at 23:01:19
I remember going to the match at White Hart Lane 30 years ago. It was around the time of the Kendall Out leaflets and 14,000 'crowds' at Goodison.

The atmosphere at Goodison Park was so flat most of the time with 40,000 empty spaces, we preferred the Away games to be honest. Even though there were only 10,900 when we played at Leicester a few weeks later (and, true to form, we lost to a team that had lost 9 out of 10 games!) the hardcore away fans made for a better atmosphere than a depressing Goodison full of moaning arl arses.

What with half of Liverpool looking like a bomb site, with derelict buildings everywhere, and unemployment casting a massive shadow, a trip to Everton was a grim experience much of the time.

Fortunately better times were just around the corner....

Patrick Murphy
332 Posted 29/09/2013 at 18:33:23
Thanks, Michael, it is daunting sometimes, but I try to stay ahead of the fixtures, time permitting and do a few at a time. On the subject of the 'Nops' I wasn't sure if it was a wind-up in the programme, but that team really did exist although I can't say for definite that they played at Goodison Park, but the guys responsible for the articles seem to be reliable and they did have a website address in 2003. There are also references to the club on Wikipedia.

I hope that people are enjoying the articles and that they are not too dry or too full of facts and figures. I will carry on as long as people want me to.

Andrew James
388 Posted 29/09/2013 at 20:23:36
Patrick - love a bit of history me and these are fantastic. Keep up the good work!
David Ellis
446 Posted 30/09/2013 at 03:37:24
Patrick - oh yes keep it up. Many of us are old enough to remember all 3 decades. Its fascinating how social values change.

I remember the "black" player Marshall. There was a power cut at a night match at Goodison (against Utd or City) for about 15 minutes and the announcer took it upon himself to entertain the crowd in total darkness. His first joke was "this is Everton against Manweb" (the then name of the Northwest Electicity board).

He then said something like "Perhaps Marshall can come on and give us a smile" [they have such white teeth don't you know!]

Amazingly inappropriate - but not at the time.

Jim Lloyd
466 Posted 30/09/2013 at 07:53:16
Great stuff Patrick. Except you keep on reminding me how much I've forgotten! Well written, fine articles.
Thank you mate and keep em coming.
Richard Lyons
548 Posted 30/09/2013 at 15:03:02
I love the description of the penalty appeal in the 1893 match vs the 'Nops'. "Mean, dirty and despicable trick ... fall of such grace and femininity that befits the stage of the Royal National Ballet’... 'the game of foreigners..." Did Cristiano Ronaldo's great-grandfather ever play for us?
Karl Masters
822 Posted 01/10/2013 at 10:39:16
I love these articles, Patrick, especially as 1973/4 was the season I first remember supporting Everton.

Times have changed indeed, although as Richard points out with the penalty dive, perhaps people haven't changed very much at all!

Kev Johnson
830 Posted 01/10/2013 at 11:14:41
I was probably most passionate about football between the ages of about 10 and 15, which was 1970-75. At that point, it was pretty much my whole life. I think that whatever was was going on at the time when you first fell in love with the game tends to stay with you.

And my point is? Well, that despite Stoke's grim performances under Pulis, I still basically think of them as skillful and plucky underdogs, as they were in and around the 1973-74 season Patrick describes. Conway, the Greenhoff brothers, Banks, Pejic - all good players. Then they had Alan Hudson, who was sublime at times. Mick Bernard wasn't, but we bought him of them anyway! Always thought he was basically a very good pub team player. I have a perfectly clear memory of eating a choc ice while watching the Sunday afternoon highlights of the Stoke v Chelsea League Cup final in 1972, though I suppose that is neither here nor there...

Robin Gomme
232 Posted 02/10/2013 at 23:10:10
The first one of these articles I've looked at - and what a good read. I appear to be exactly the same vintage as Kev Johnson, so seeing those names from the mid-seventies brings it all back. Growing up in Kent the only time I got to see the blues was if they featured on a 2 minute snippet on the Big Match, or when my dad took me to West Ham. (Wasnt Joe Harper a frightenly looking man). Looking forward to reports of February 74 and Bob Latchford's debut, when I can say "I was there.
Keep up the good work.

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