When Everton made the trip to Molineux, home of Wolverhampton Wanderers, in September 1973, they had hoped to capitalise on the home side's run of poor results. Between 1961-62 and 1969-70, Everton had recorded six wins and two draws – one of which was in the FA Cup – at Molineux without a loss. But, since the 1970 Championship season, Everton had lost two out of three matches there with the last one in this period being a 4-2 reverse in which John Richards scored a hat-trick in April 1973.

Wolves had qualified for the 1973-74 Uefa Cup competition courtesy of their fifth place finish in 1972-73, and they would have hoped to go one better in this competition than they had in 1971-72 when they had lost on aggregate, in the all English two-legged final, to Tottenham Hotspur (2-3).

Indeed, cup competitions had not been kind to Wolves, especially in 1972-73 where they had reached the semi-finals of both domestic competitions. They had lost to Leeds United (0-1) in the FA Cup semi-final, where Billy Bremner had scored the winning goal at Maine Road, whilst their conquerors, in the Uefa Cup Final of 1971-72, Tottenham Hotspur, had beaten Wolves (3-4) on aggregate in the semi-final of the League Cup. The Wolves fans had hoped that their luck would change and that they would see their team finally make a return to Wembley for the first time since the FA Cup winning season of 1959-60.

The 1973-74 campaign had started well for Wolves with back to back wins over Norwich City (3-1) and Sheffield United (2-0) at Molineux, but a run of five straight defeats had seen them slip into the relegation places having gained only four points from the fourteen available to them. They had failed to score in their previous three matches, two of which were at home, prior to facing Everton.

Phil Parkes, the Wolves goalkeeper, had clocked up 169 consecutive appearances in all competitions for the West Midlands club, before being dropped for the game at Newcastle United, and thus prevented Everton from facing a goalkeeper with the same name in consecutive league matches. The referee who had been scheduled to take charge of the match was a Mr J E Bent — although there is no evidence that he influenced the result in any way.

Dave Clements had made his Everton debut in this game, following his arrival from Coventry City for £60k. A goal from Joe Royle helped the Blues to a share of the points with Wolverhampton Wanderers, as Derek ‘The Doog’ Dougan equalised for Wolves; both goals had arrived in the opening eight minutes of the second period.

1973-74 — First Division, Saturday 22 September 1973
Wolverhampton Wanderers @ Molineux; Score 1-1 (Royle), Attendance: 21,484
Lawson; Darracott, Seargent, Clements, Kenyon; Hurst, Buckley; Lyons, Royle, Harper, Connolly

Thirty Years Ago — 1983-84: Match 8

Notts County had welcomed Everton to their Meadow Lane ground for the 1983-84 encounter, a game in which they had hoped to improve their league record, as they had lost their previous five matches. Notts County had beaten Everton (1-0) in the previous meeting at Meadow Lane in September 1982, which could have given them hope of a positive result in this game.

Jimmy Sirrel, the Notts County manager, said he had felt despondent about his teams form, but he had pointed to the opening two games of the 1983-84 campaign which had seen the Magpies gain maximum points from their trip to Leicester City (4-0) and their home match with Birmingham City (2-1). Mr Sirrel said he felt these could be seen as a beacon of hope and the kind of results that his team were capable of achieving.

Mr Sirrel also acknowledged that when a club is on a bad run of form it affects everybody at the club and it makes their job harder but he said that “We are all in this together...” and he believed that ‘things can only get better...’ – I wonder if Jimmy ever thought of becoming a PR Guru for a political party? – But he also said that he hoped that the club would be celebrating a victory following the match with Everton.

Notts County’s recent signing, Martin O’Neill, was featured in the ‘Man of the Moment’ section, whilst Martin had been pleased with Northern Ireland’s victory over Austria (3-1) in Belfast, he realised that his country had some difficult tasks ahead in their quest to gain a place in the 1984 European Championship in France. Martin felt that the trip to Turkey; was to be a very important game and that it would be a cauldron of noise in the stadium, where the crowd would be right behind what he felt were an ever improving international outfit. The ‘Magpie roundup’ mentioned how West Ham United’s Ray Stewart’s penalty in the last minute of the match, had been his fourth successful spot kick against County at Upton Park in the five seasons since 1980-81.

I wonder how many supporters were willing to pay £19.99 to buy a pair of football boots that the Notts County team had been sporting? In a full-page advertisement, Hi-Tec Milan Boots were showing off the main features of their product which included ‘Supple black leather uppers with white flash’ and ‘Diagonal stitching reinforces heel panel’ also available were Hi-Tec Roma and Hi-Tec Real. Another advertisement, for sales and after services for Micro Computers and Word Processors, informed us that the computer age had begun in earnest.

If you had wanted to make a weekend of it in Nottingham you could have treated yourself to Sunday lunch at ‘Blotts’ Restaurant and Country Club’ a four course meal would have cost you just under a fiver with a kid's meal priced at £2.60p. If you had have wanted to pick up something to read on the way home or a local paper to check the results of the day, then you could have made a visit to “The Paper Shop”, a newsagents that was situated on Nottingham Road – as you might expect no fancy names for those down-to-earth Nottingham folk in those days.

A fine strike from Peter Reid earned Everton all three points from a poor game at Meadow Lane. Howard Kendall had admitted that his side were a touch fortunate to come away from Meadow Lane with maximum points. Howard said that he couldn’t remember the last time his Everton side had given the opposition so many chances and their opponents had failed to take them; he added that it made a pleasant change as it was usually the other way round, with his Everton side creating the chances and failing to take them, but he felt that there was no such thing as a bad win – just that some wins are better than others. Maybe the Notts County players would have considered a change of footwear for their next fixture...

1983-84 — First Division, Saturday 1 October 1983
Notts County @ Meadow Lane: Score 1-0 (Reid), Attendance: 7,949
Southall; Harper, Bailey, Ratcliffe, Higgins; Reid, Steven; Heath, Sharp, Irvine, Sheedy. Unused Sub: Richardson.

Twenty Years Ago — 1993-94: Match 8

After the morale-boosting win at Oldham in their previous game at Boundary Park, Everton would go into the Merseyside derby game with Liverpool in a better frame of mind than perhaps many had thought just a week prior to this fixture — incidentally, this was the 75th league meeting at Goodison Park between the two old rivals.

In 1992-93, the Reds had finished in 6th place, failing to meet the required European qualification standard for the first time in 30 years. Indeed they had been as low as 15th place in the Premier League in February 1993, but a late rally saw them climb the table.

Graeme Souness had seen fit to enter the transfer market and during the summer of 1993 bought Nigel Clough from Nottingham Forest for £4.5m and paid £2.5m for Neill Ruddock from Tottenham Hotspur. Everton and Liverpool were both on 12 points going into the Goodison derby, but Liverpool due to a better goal difference were three places ahead of the Blues in 5th spot.

The Anfield faithful in 1993-94 had witnessed two home wins against Sheffield Wednesday (2-0) and Leeds United (2-0) but had also seen the Reds lose to Tottenham Hotspur (1-2) and Blackburn Rovers (0-1). In their away fixtures, Liverpool had won at QPR (3-0) and Swindon Town (5-0) but their trip to Highfield Road had seen them lose at Coventry City (0-1) courtesy of a goal from Coventry’s Phil Babb. So Liverpool arrived at Goodison, on the back of consecutive league defeats.

Howard Kendall gave his view about the Merseyside derby game and said that it was a special occasion that never lost its appeal. Howard also revealed that his search for a striker had resulted in Brett Angell joining the club on a month’s loan from Southend. Mr Kendall felt that this was a suitable compromise because the constant press speculation had been having a detrimental effect on the player. Barry Fry the Southend manager obviously agreed because it had been his suggestion to arrange a loan as a solution to the situation. Howard Kendall also reported that Dave Watson and Ian Snodin remained unavailable for first team duty but he had been hopeful that Dave Watson would become available for selection sooner rather than later.

Four previous derby games were featured in the Looking Back section, but I will focus on just two of them. The first was the debut of Ian St John who had been signed for Liverpool from Motherwell for £35,000 in 1961. He said that he had known more Everton players than Liverpool players mainly because he had come across them on international duty while playing for Scotland. He also said he had known little about the soccer scene in the City at that time, apart from the fact that Liverpool were in the Second Division.

In the Liverpool Senior Cup-tie between the two sides held at Goodison Park in May 1961, Ian signalled his arrival on Merseyside by grabbing a hat-trick but that hadn’t been enough to overcome Everton as goals from Roy Vernon, Bobby Collins from the penalty spot and two from Jimmy Fell saw the Toffees’ win the game 4-3 in front of 51,669 supporters. The line-ups on 9 May 1961 were:–

Everton: Dunlop; Parker, Thomson; Gabriel, Labone, B Harris; Temple, Collins, Young, Vernon, Fell.
Liverpool: Slater; Molyneux, Byrne; Wheeler, White, Milne; Callaghan, Hunt, St John, Melia, Morrissey.
Another game featured is the one played at Goodison Park in February 1968 when an 18-year-old Joe Royle made his derby debut. Joe said he barely remembered a thing about the match and added that it is possibly because derby games are like FA Cup Finals in that they can pass you by and are over before you realise that they have begun. A crowd of 65,482 turned up to witness Joe’s derby debut with a fair proportion going home happy having witnessed Howard Kendall scoring the winner at the Gwladys Street End as Everton took the game 1-0. The line-ups on 3 February 1968 were:–
Everton: West; Wright, Wilson; Kendall, Labone, Harvey; Hurst, Ball, Royle, Hunt, Husband.
Liverpool: Lawrence; Lawler, Hughes; Smith, Yeats, Strong; Callaghan, Hunt, Hateley, St John, Thompson.
All of the focus on the previous games between the two clubs surrounded derby debutants, featuring some of Everton’s and Liverpool’s most famous players — and in the majority of those featured games, Everton had come out on top. That is precisely how it had turned out for Everton in the 1993-94 Premier League clash which saw Everton record back-to-back league wins for the first time since the opening matches of the campaign. Mark Ward (27’) had opened the scoring in the first half to put the Blues ahead and Tony Cottee (85’) then settled the issue five minutes from the end of the game, which sent the Goodison faithful into raptures and helped to move Everton three points clear of their local rivals.

Howard Kendall was extremely happy with the victory and by the manner in which it had been achieved. He had been slightly concerned that his team had failed to make the most of its chances and he had always felt insecure while only a single goal separated the two sides. Whilst Mr Kendall may have had his own concerns, the press lauded Everton’s victory and most of the written media commented on how much Everton had been on top especially during the first half. As a variety of extracts show: “Everton had dominated the first-half to an almost embarrassing degree” (Sunday Telegraph) or “Everton… record one of the most emphatic derby wins in recent years even if the score line doesn’t say so. (Daily Post) and “Everton were as proud as peacocks and there was no denying their right to strut around as if they owned Merseyside.”

1993-94 — Premier League, Saturday 18 September 1993.
Liverpool @ Goodison Park, Score: 2-0 (Ward, Cottee), Attendance: 38,157
Southall: Holmes, Ablett, Jackson, Hinchcliffe; Ward, Horne, Ebbrell; Beagrie (Preki), Rideout, Cottee. Unused Subs: Kearton, Angell.

Ten Years Ago — 2003-04: Match 8

Since the inception of the Premier League in 1992, White Hart Lane had not been one of Everton’s favourite away venues but it was there that they hoped that their home victory over Leeds United would give them the confidence to obtain their first ever Premier League win at the ground that would help to catapult them up the league table.

Tottenham Hotspur had – after just six matches of the 2003-04 season – seen fit to dispense with the services of Manager Glenn Hoddle and his assistant John Gorman. Daniel Levy, the Spurs Chairman, cited the poor start to the campaign, combined with the disappointing results from the second half of the 2002-03 campaign and the lack of any real signs of progress or team-building as the major factors in the decision to relieve Mr Hoddle of his duties. He had wished Glenn well and also said that Tottenham Hotspur had been lucky to have a man of David Pleat’s calibre available to step in and become Spurs Caretaker Manager.

Tottenham Hotspur had won only one Premier League game prior to the Everton match and the three successive defeats to Fulham (0-3), Chelsea (2-4) and Southampton (1-3) had put paid to Glenn Hoddle. But a creditable draw at Manchester City (0-0) and a fine victory over Coventry City (3-0) in the Carling Cup at Highfield Road had seen the ship steadied somewhat in the wake of Glenn Hoddle’s removal.

The previous season’s match between Spurs and Everton was recalled in the Previous Meeting article: the game took place in January, and Everton had lost by the odd goal in seven. The crowd of 36,070 must have enjoyed the feast of goals which were scored by Keane (50’, 68,’83’) and Poyet (14’) for Spurs and McBride (10’), Watson (58’) and Radzinski (74’) netting for Everton, obviously the Spurs fans would have enjoyed it far more than the frustrated Evertonians who saw Espen Baardsen concede four in his one and only Premier League appearance for the Blues.

Everton failed to score in this meeting though, as a three goal salvo from Tottenham either side of the half-time break had been enough to ensure that Everton’s dismal run at White Hart Lane continued. Frederic Kanoute (43’), Gus Poyet (46’) and Robbie Keane (49’) scored the decisive goals.

There’s not much in the following programmes relating to this game apart from the bare details, which due to the result is understandable. David Unsworth had said that apart from Kanoute’s opener which he thought had been an unstoppable strike, the other two goals had been gifted to Tottenham Hotspur by poor Everton defending and that had been hard to take, David added that the team would work harder in the future to try and prevent it from happening again.

A defeat by three goals to nil hadn’t been on the agenda when Everton took to the field, but that is what had happened and so the Evertonians had made yet another fruitless visit to White Hart Lane that had left the Everton fans and the players with much to contemplate during the International break.

2003-04 — Premier League, Saturday 4 October 2003
Tottenham Hotspur @ White Hart Lane; Score: 0-3. Attendance: 36,137
Martyn; Hibbert, Watson, Stubbs (Weir), Yobo; Unsworth, Carsley, Gravesen; Radzinski (Kilbane), Ferguson, McFadden (Rooney). Unused Subs: Turner, Campbell.

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Patrick Murphy
255 Posted 19/10/2013 at 19:20:44
There's a small picture in today's matchday programme of Howard celebrating his goal in the 1968 derby game at Goodison.
Dick Fearon
405 Posted 20/10/2013 at 13:31:08
My earliest memory of Molyneux and Wolves is not a pleasant one. On one of those wooden seat corridor-less football specials. a bone-numbing tramp from station to ground, all eateries and pubs around the ground closed. Bitterly cold, starving and thirsty, we hardly saw a ball kicked when a freezing damp fog descended and caused the game to be abandoned.

We retraced our sodden icy steps back to the train station where we had to wait for our scheduled train. That meant another two hours on a wind-swept platform and not even a cup of tea on sale. Late evening back in Liverpool and in my own bed and I was still shivering.

Our keeper that day was Albert Dunlop who's totally fictitious report of what happened gave the club a bad name. The People was doing a beat-up about drugs in sport and Albert, now retired, sold his soul for a few bob. He said he was drugged up to the eyeballs with club-issued purple hearts and was not aware the game had ended until Brian Labone helped him to stagger back to the changing rooms. Nowhere in his article to the paper did he mention the fog or that we fans behind his goal also did not know the ref had called it off. In fact, it was Albert who came to the edge of the pitch and informed us.

My blood boiled when I read that and recalled that trip from hell. Around that time some of you may remember the purple heart derby at Anfield. when two kopites dressed as doctors planted a huge purple heart on the centre spot. I reckon that was done with covert acknowledgement of the gobshites in charge of the dark side.

We had the last laugh when Johnny Morrissey scored our final goal in what was a 4-0 hammering we gave them.

Andy Meighan
461 Posted 20/10/2013 at 17:56:41
The Paper Shop in Nottingham — no fancy names for them down-to-earth Nottingham folk. Absolute classic
Dick Fearon
516 Posted 20/10/2013 at 22:09:07
Earlier, I described the old football specials on which I endured many hours on corridor-less rattling wooden seats. Other posters spoke of early Everton teams that minded me of Charley Buchan's Football Monthly. We passed many an hour on those old bone-shakers on the 'Monthly' quiz... Put your thinking caps on because here is a sample.

From the 60s/80s period, name five Everton forwards with a four-letter surname — and at least two of those letters were the letter L.

Cheers,

Dick Fearon
517 Posted 20/10/2013 at 22:29:57
P.S. I forgot to mention that in those days we did actuallly play with FIVE forwards.
Michael Kenrick
536 Posted 21/10/2013 at 00:33:08
Fell
Hill
Lill
Ball

Errr....
Nwll??

Dick Fearon
561 Posted 21/10/2013 at 09:39:06
Sorry Michael, close but no cigar.
I will post the 5th name tomorrow.
Meanwhile another from CBs monthly.
Name the English teams that traditionally had Rovers as part of their name and the same for Wanderers
Cheers.
Dick Fearon
082 Posted 22/10/2013 at 22:12:36
Sorry Michael, I am dammed if I can remember that fifth player. I am sure the answer did involve a fifth player. Something in my head says his name was Bell but I stand to be corrected.
Patrick Murphy
172 Posted 23/10/2013 at 10:27:40
Dick - Perhaps the answer is Hill, Fell, Lill, Ball - Alan & Ball - Michael?

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