Forty Years Ago — 1973-74: Match 11
Ron Greenwood and his West Ham United team had arrived at Goodison on the back of an alarming loss of form. In 1972-73 West Ham had finished in sixth place in Division One, which had matched their previous best finishes in the top division of 1958-59 and 1926-27, and many people in the game had tipped them for a tilt at the top prizes for the 1973-74 campaign. But West Ham in their 1973-74 campaign remained winless and had taken only four points from their first ten league matches. At Upton Park where they had played six league fixtures and they had lost to Newcastle United (1-2), Tottenham Hotspur (0-1), QPR (2-3), and Burnley (0-1) and they had drawn their games with Ipswich Town (3-3) and Leicester City (1-1).
On their travels they had gained points from their games with Norwich City (2-2) at Carrow Road and at QPR (0-0), but they had lost at Old Trafford to Manchester United (1-3) and to Stoke City (0-2) at the Victoria Ground. They had also failed to win a cup game and had been knocked out of the League Cup in the second round by Liverpool (0-1) in a replay at Anfield, following a draw at Upton Park (2-2).
Everton had remained unbeaten in the league at Goodison Park, under Billy Bingham, and they would have hoped that they could have exploited the low confidence levels that were bound to be within the West Ham United camp and add to the Hammer’s woes by beating them in this game. However, with players of the calibre of Trevor Brooking, Bobby Moore, Bryan ‘pop’ Robson, Frank Lampard Senior, Billy Bonds, Clyde Best and Ted MacDougall in their squad it would have been foolish for anyone to have thought that it would be an easy game.
Club Talk had been concerned with the falling attendances in the top division at Goodison Park and elsewhere. David Exall said that the fall in attendances at Goodison Park had been disturbing, as from a peak in 1969-70 of average gates of 49,000 to circa 34,000 for 1973-74 represented a decrease of a third and that no other club during that period had suffered such a steep decline. He said that even the top clubs had lost their inherent right to expect large attendances for every fixture played, although it was of great concern that Everton’s gates were now at their lowest First Division level since the Second World War.
In what David Exall called ‘Black Saturday’ a reference to the poor attendances at Division One grounds the previous week, when Everton visited Coventry City, only four First Division clubs had attracted over 30,000 and Arsenal in their game with Birmingham City had attracted only 24,000 whilst their opening day fixture with Manchester United had attracted in excess of 50,000 although that particularly low crowd at home to Birmingham City may have been in response to the Gunner’s shock exit from the League Cup where they had been beaten by Tranmere Rovers (0-1) at Highbury.
David Exall hadn’t believed that it was just a case of boring soccer, hooligans or television coverage that had reduced attendances around the country. Rather he felt that the game itself had lost favour among the general population and that the casual supporter was becoming more discerning as to which games they chose to attend. Whilst David Exall didn’t think there was a quick fix or a hard and fast reason for the decline in attendances, he did feel that Everton FC were very much aware of the situation and that they were working hard to attract more people to the club on match-days, which of course was easier when the Everton team were winning and playing the type of football that the clubs fans had been brought up on.
Obviously Mr Exall hadn’t fully examined the advertisement placed by British Rail in the programme where they had offered a mini-weekend break in London for only £7 and half-price for children aged between three and under 14 years of age... Every weekend from the 20 October 1973 to the 15 December 1973 had been available for bookings. What happened if your missus insisted that you go on a weekend when Everton were playing at home or they were not scheduled for a game in the capital? Could you really risk a divorce in order to help stop the decline in attendances at Goodison Park?
In the match, Joe Harper had scored the winner for the Toffees when he had intercepted a bad back-pass and then beat a stranded Mervyn Day whilst a despairing Frank Lampard attempted to retrieve the ball. Joe’s goal meant that Everton had won three consecutive league games for the first time that season and for the first time since September 1972.
Everton moved up to 5th place in the First Division table, five points behind unbeaten league leaders Leeds United and, as an added bonus for Evertonians, their side had moved ahead of their neighbours in the table due to Southampton having beaten Liverpool (1-0) at the Dell thanks to a Mick Channon penalty.
1973-74 — First Division; Saturday, 13 October 1973
West Ham United @ Goodison Park, Score: 1-0 (Harper), Attendance: 34,708
Everton: Lawson; Darracott, Mclaughlin, Clements, Kenyon; Hurst, Bernard, Buckley; Lyons (Irving), Harper and Connolly
Thirty Years Ago — 1983-84: Match 11
Newly promoted Leicester City had found life in the First Division much tougher than they had envisaged as they found themselves propping up the table when Everton arrived at Filbert Street.
With only a single point to show from their home fixtures due to a draw with Stoke City (2-2) and defeats by Notts County (0-4), Luton Town (0-3) and Tottenham Hotspur (0-3).The Foxes fortunes on the road were little better as they had lost their first five outings until they had stemmed the tide in their recent fixture at Ipswich Town (0-0) where they had gained a hard-won point.
The previous match at Filbert Street against Southampton had had to be abandoned due to a freak rain storm which had made the pitch unplayable, it was usual for refunds not to be given in that situation, but Leicester City had decided to allow all fans who had retained their ticket, to gain free admission when the game had been re-scheduled.
Although Leicester City had beaten Chelsea (2-0) at Stamford Bridge, they had been eliminated from the Milk Cup, in a Penalty Shoot-Out having drawn the tie 2-2 on aggregate. Everton for their part would surely have looked forward to playing a team who hadn’t won a home game all season, especially as they had gained a morale boosting win the last time out against Watford at Goodison.
Leicester City manager Gordon Milne welcomed Howard Kendall and Everton to Filbert Street and reminded the readers that as a former Liverpool player he knew how passionate the city was about its football teams and what a difficult job that Howard had got in trying to restore the former glories to Goodison Park, but he hoped, as Howard was a friend of his that Everton would manage to do so.
Gordon went on to say that his father had managed the Preston North End side in the FA Cup final of 1964, when Howard Kendall who at that time was the youngest player to have appeared in the showpiece game at Wembley. Mr Milne was also pleased that his side had kept two clean sheets in their last couple of outings and he felt that if they continued to do that, they would be able to recover and start winning games in the future and he hoped that they did so starting with the Everton game.
Gary Winston Lineker was the featured player in ‘Profile’ and he said that the highlight of his career so far was scoring 26 goals for his home town club in last season’s promotion team. His most memorable match was the 81-82 FA Cup Sixth Round tie with Shrewsbury Town which Leicester City had won 5-2 at Filbert Street. Gary had joined Leicester City as an apprentice in 1976 and had made his debut for the Foxes on New Year’s Day 1979 at home to Oldham Athletic. In what must have been a moment of madness he said that the person he most admired in the game was a certain Kenny Dalglish who he described as a superb all-round forward. The article said that Gary’s goals could play a key part in Leicester City’s progress as he had already scored four times in the First Division and there were many experts who believed that Gary could go on to full international honours.
Commercial Extra reported that First Division clubs had generated well over £3M in direct sponsorship a figure that Football League Secretary Graham Kelly said was probably closer to £6m he also stated that ‘the fact that this money is invested in League football, not by philanthropists but by hard-headed businessmen, shows that our national game retains its traditional attraction.’ Alan Bennett Leicester City’s General Secretary informed the Foxes’ fans that the new fences would be installed in front of the Main Stand Enclosure, for the visit of Manchester United in the next scheduled home game. The club had originally planned to have them installed for the Everton match, but had decided to delay due to reconsidering what type of mesh was allowed and they had decided upon a more open mesh, which would be less of an eyesore for the spectators.
Alan Smith and Paul Ramsey were the Leicester City heroes as Everton succumbed to that unwritten football law which says if you are on a poor run and you need a win then a fixture against the Toffees is more than likely to help you achieve it. One former Everton player (Peter Eastoe) and one future Everton player (Ian Wilson) featured in this match, Gary Lineker didn’t make the squad but his fellow football pundit Alan Smith did and as mentioned it was he who got one of the goals. As there are no reports of this game in future programmes, we can only assume that it wasn’t a great performance from the Blues; nevertheless, it is to be thought that losing to the bottom club and giving them their first league win will not have gone down well with anybody connected with Everton.
1983-84 — First Division; Saturday, 29 October 1983
Leicester City @ Filbert Street Score: 0-2 Attendance: 13,953
Everton: Southall; Harper, Bailey, Ratcliffe, Higgins; Richardson, Steven, Heath; Sharp, King, Sheedy (Irvine)
Twenty Years Ago —1993-94: Match 11
Swindon Town had spent most of their history in the lower reaches of the league pyramid until they escaped from Division 3 in 1987, since that year they had been on an upward trajectory – although there had been scandal around the time that Lou Macari was their manager - until finally hitting the big time when they had won promotion via the play-off’s by beating Leicester City (4-3) in 1992-93 with Glenn Hoddle at the helm.
Hoddle had taken over from Osvaldo Ardiles in March 1991, the Argentinian having left to manage Newcastle United. Unfortunately for Swindon Town, long established and glamorous Chelsea liked what Hoddle had done at The County Ground and decided to take a chance on the relatively untried manager, and Glenn Hoddle couldn’t resist the opportunity of managing the London giant.
John Gorman, who had been Glenn Hoddle’s assistant in the promotion season, had been in charge of the club, since Hoddle’s departure to Chelsea and he was responsible for the biggest task that the Wiltshire club had encountered since their formation in the early 1880s, to try and keep the club in the top flight.
Swindon Town after their first ten games in the Premier League found themselves propping up the table with only 3 points to show for their efforts. They had gained draws away at Norwich City (0-0) and at West Ham United (0-0) and had taken a point off Newcastle United (2-2) in their home encounter. The other seven matches had ended in defeat the heaviest being a home defeat to Liverpool (0-5) and away at Sheffield Wednesday (1-5). The only win so far for John Gorman’s team had come in the League Cup where they had beaten Wolverhampton Wanderers (3-2) on aggregate, although they had to endure some anxious moments in the second leg at Molineux when leading through a goal by Nicky Summerbee which made the score one nil to Swindon on the night and three nil on aggregate, Wolves made a fight of it and denied Swindon a win on the night by scoring two, but the main thing was that Swindon still had another round of the cup to look forward to.
Matches between Swindon Town and Everton are almost as rare as winning a five figure prize on the lottery, indeed this was the first time that the teams had met outside of the FA Cup. The last occasion that the two sides had met was when they were drawn together in 1977, where Everton relied on a late David Jones goal in the replay at Goodison to progress to the Fifth Round following a draw with Third Division Swindon Town (2-2) at the County Ground, where Kenny Stroud had scored a howitzer to force the replay in a pulsating game.
The first time the clubs had met, was in 1912 when Swindon Town had beaten Everton (1-2) on their own patch and they progressed to the Semi Finals, where they had lost out on a place in the final to the eventual Cup Winners Barnsley, who had beaten Swindon (1-0) in a replay, played at the home of Notts County following a goalless draw at Stamford Bridge.
Two years earlier in 1910 both Everton and Swindon Town had reached the Semi-Finals of the FA Cup, but both had failed to reach the final. Newcastle United had beaten Swindon Town (2-0) at White Hart Lane and Everton had been beaten by Barnsley (3-0) in a replay at Old Trafford, following a goalless draw between the teams at Elland Road. Newcastle United eventually won the trophy in a Cup Final replay held at Goodison Park, where they had beaten Barnsley (2-0) following a draw (1-1) at Crystal Palace in the first encounter.
Everton and Swindon Town had met again in 1963 when Everton, the Division One Champions elect, triumphed in another fixture played at the County Ground, over the soon to be promoted, Swindon Town (5-1) of the Third Division and the Blues progressed to the fifth round of the FA Cup.
Everton’s Paul Rideout had begun his football league career at Swindon Town and he was at that time the youngest player to have appeared in the league for their first team aged 16 years and 107 days when he made his debut against Hull City in November 1980 and typical of the Bournemouth born player he had also managed to get himself on the scoresheet. Youth team Manager John Trollope had made the most appearances (770) for Swindon Town between 1960 and 1980.
Paul Rideout hadn’t enjoyed his return to his former club as despite setting up the goal for Peter Beagrie (27’) he had had to go off with an injury and his replacement Stuart Barlow had also had to be replaced by substitute Preki with ten minutes of the match remaining. Dave Watson had made a welcome return to first team duties but the Everton defence had once again been breached in the dying embers of the game as Shaun Taylor (89’) earned Swindon Town only their second home point of the campaign.
Howard Kendall had been annoyed and disappointed with only a share of the spoils, and the loss of Paul Rideout had in his opinion been a major factor as Everton had missed his ability as a target man, the news on Paul’s injury had not been good as it had been a recurrence of his groin strain which had caused him to leave the field. The failure to convert chances had again been the theme of this match, but it was still early days and Everton found themselves only four points behind 4th-placed Leeds United.
1993-94 — Premier League; Saturday, 16 October 1993
Swindon Town @ County Ground Score 1-1 (Beagrie) Attendance: 14,414
Everton: Southall; Jackson, Hinchcliffe, Watson, Ablett; Ward, Horne, Ebbrell; Rideout (Barlow (Preki)), Cottee, Beagrie. Unused Sub: Kearton.
Ten Years Ago — 2003-04: Match 11
According to the Sky Sports Football Yearbook of 2010 (p110) Chelsea may not have existed if Fulham FC had not rejected an offer to rent the Stamford Bridge ground. The owner was determined not to sell the land and instead he saw the financial benefits of developing a sports stadium, this he did and subsequently Chelsea FC were formed in 1905.
Any one of the Chelsea supporters who had attended Stamford Bridge, when Ken Bates took control of their club – which he purchased for a £1 – in 1982, could never have imagined what lay in store for their club a couple of decades later. During Ken Bates’ time in charge of the club, the ‘pensioners’ had seen average gates of below twenty-thousand and had played some of their football in the Second Division.
Following Chelsea’s qualification for the Champions League in 2002-03 courtesy of a last day win over Liverpool, Roman Abramovich had decided that they were the club that he would bankroll and thus Chelsea’s long wait to become Champions of England looked more likely than at any time since 1955 – their last successful assault on the top prize in England.
Not that Chelsea pre-Abramovich had been unsuccessful as from 1998 onwards Chelsea had finished in the top six teams of the top division and they had always been a good cup team and their FA Cup wins in 1970, 1997 and 2000, along with triumphs in the European Cup Winners Cup in 1971 and 1998 bore testament to that. Chelsea had come close to winning the Premier League in 1999, but Manchester United had proved imperious and Chelsea had finished that campaign in third-place.
The article focusing on the visitors in Everton’s match-day magazine ‘Blue’, gave a day-by-day account of Chelsea’s purchases between 15 July and 31 August 2003;, it stated that the amount spent within that time frame had worked out at £2.34M per day. The first of those signings according to the article had been Glenn Johnson and he had been joined by Geremi, Joe Cole, Juan Sebastian Veron, Adrian Mutu, Alexei Smertin, Hernan Crespo, Claude Makelele and Neil Sullivan with the total outlay by Chelsea being somewhere in the region of £110M.
Of course spending all that money wouldn’t guarantee that the team would automatically have won points in the Premier League however Chelsea’s start to the season had been a good one. They had won their opening day fixture at Anfield by beating Liverpool (2-1) and from their opening five away fixtures they had only dropped points in a draw at Birmingham City (0-0) and a defeat at Arsenal (1-2).
Chelsea had won four games at Stamford Bridge against Tottenham Hotspur (4-2), Leicester City (2-1), Aston Villa (1-0) and Manchester City (1-0) but they had dropped points in their draw with Blackburn Rovers (2-2). After ten matches played Chelsea found themselves in second place a point behind Arsenal and two ahead of Manchester United.
Club Secretary Michael Dunford in his regular column reported that for the year ending May 2003 the club had made a reasonable trading profit and that the board were mindful that the manager David Moyes required money for his team building plans, he went on to say that £7m had already been spent on players since the end of the financial year.
The club still had a £30m debt but Mr Dunford said that the club had it under control. He also warned that Premiership clubs should be wary of banking on the present deal with Sky as there may be changes to the central deal and that “it would be absolute folly for any Premiership club at this moment to enter into any long term financial commitments, whether it be players or new stadiums until such time as that’s resolved.”
In relation to the news that Everton FC had reported a negative balance sheet for the first time in its history, Mr Dunford explained that one of the main reasons for the recorded loss of £13m was due to “amortisation of player contracts” and “the fact that there is no value in the balance sheet for home-grown players.” He went on to say that “They all have a value but we don’t want to realise that value because that means selling your best players.” He added “our bankers, our auditors and indeed the board are content to know that we have other assets in the club and we have to adopt a sensible approach”.
Wayne Rooney a home-grown player in an exclusive interview with the match-day magazine said - in response to the rumour that Chelsea may have been willing to pay £35m for his services - “When the stories with Chelsea were in the media, I just started laughing because I knew it was all speculation.” Wayne added “I’m happy to be at Everton, I’ve only just signed my contract; so I’m not interested in anything that Chelsea have to say” as the article said - there you have it straight from the horse’s mouth.
Bits n Bobs reported that Howard Kendall’s 14 second strike against Chelsea (5-2) in 1970 had been the fastest goal scored by an Everton player in a first team game at Goodison, and that Dixie Dean’s five goals against Chelsea (7-2) also at Goodison, in November 1931 included a record for the fastest hat-trick of headers ever, the goals had come between the 5th and 15th minute. Around Goodison reported that Budweiser had been unveiled as the new ‘official beer’ of Everton Football Club and that you could purchase a pint for £2.40.
Despite having the promising young player Wayne Rooney in the side, Evertonians witnessed a fourth straight Premier League game in which their team had failed to score. Chelsea took the lead just after half-time when Mutu (49’) stooped to score what looked like a straightforward goal, but replays suggested that the ball had made contact with his hand and bounced up onto his head and into the Everton goal. Mind you, Everton should have, by that stage been at least a goal to the good, an outstanding chance was spurned by Radzinski in the first half, as a wonderful through-ball had seen him one-on-one with Cudicini but the Everton forward placed his shot agonisingly wide of the Park End goal.
Late in the second-half, Francis Jeffers had another fantastic opportunity but he had managed to scoop the ball wide of the Gwladys Street goal. Everton had more than matched their Nouveau riche opponents, but once again a penchant for spurning good chances had meant they had not only failed to win the three points but had failed to get anything at all, from a game in which they had performed so well.
2003-04 — Premier League: Saturday, 1 November 2003
Chelsea @ Goodison Park, Score: 0-1, Attendance: 40,189
Everton: Martyn; Hibbert, Naysmith, Yobo, Weir (Stubbs); Gravesen, Nyarko, Linderoth (McFadden); Radzinski (Jeffers), Kilbane, Rooney. Unused Subs: Simonsen, Li Tie.
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675 Posted 08/11/2013 at 02:11:43
696 Posted 08/11/2013 at 09:00:53
I don't know how long he lasted after that season and I'd be interested to know whether he moved on voluntarily or the club moved him on. I cannot believe though that a true Evertonian from any era would have opted for a weekend in London than cheering on their team at Goodison Park, threatened divorce or otherwise!
864 Posted 09/11/2013 at 11:03:44
435 Posted 10/11/2013 at 21:53:10
Worst Everton team I remember is the one from 1997/8. Dire.
440 Posted 10/11/2013 at 22:12:27
441 Posted 10/11/2013 at 22:11:48
I think the crowd was less than you state, just under 11,000 by my memory, with about 2000 from Everton. Home crowds were terrible that season, think we averaged 19000 and that is the lowest since about 1910! Away games were often more fun than a two-thirds empty Goodison.
And indeed we had some fun at Leicester as post-match crowd disorder brought the ring road in the middle of the city to a standstill. Motorists sat in their cars and had to wait as our scally away day crew battled with Leicester fans who bizarrely all seemed to be Asian, wearing bleached jeans and Adidas navy and turquoise rain jackets! Those were the days!!!
442 Posted 10/11/2013 at 22:21:51
I seem to remember our home crowd did a lot of moaning and groaning in those days. So much so that Mick Lyons came out and said the players preferred playing away games.
450 Posted 10/11/2013 at 22:35:31
10,953 including your good self were there to watch that game at Filbert Street.
453 Posted 10/11/2013 at 22:33:42
ps: Do you agree that Lawton was one of the worst goalies we've ever had?
455 Posted 10/11/2013 at 22:44:37
Or Lawson, as in Dave Lawson? Ah.... you had me worried there for a moment, Colin!!!
458 Posted 10/11/2013 at 22:46:03
463 Posted 10/11/2013 at 23:14:40
467 Posted 10/11/2013 at 23:31:29
536 Posted 11/11/2013 at 10:19:32
592 Posted 11/11/2013 at 15:01:46
I thought he was ok, Dai Davies was very inconsistent, playing like the international he was one minute and dropping the the ball at the feet of a forward the next, as Neil says against Sheffield United in 1975. I saw that game for the first time ever on YouTube the other day. It was truly cringeworthy how we threw away a two goal lead at home and lost to a team that finished bottom the season after.
Of course, the one we nearly signed twice but didnt (a bit like nearly getting Bobby Robson in as manager twice in the seventies ) was Peter Shilton. In 1974 we had spent all our money on Latchford and Dobson, but Moores could have found it if he had wanted to, while Brian Clough nipped in when he was available in 1977. The seventies could have been a lot different if Bobby Robson and Peter Shilton had come our way and both wanted to - twice. John Moores messed up on Robson both times and didnt give the financial backing to the Managers over Shilton. Not quite the perfect Chairman he was portrayed to be by some in my opinion.
628 Posted 11/11/2013 at 17:52:25
632 Posted 11/11/2013 at 18:05:10
Good old Dave just lazily raised an arm in acknowledgement as though saying "thanks for that ... now fuck off!"
Wonder if Distin knows Dave?
669 Posted 11/11/2013 at 20:38:09
686 Posted 11/11/2013 at 21:22:20
Then as now, we drew too many matches, but also lost games from winning positions. Sheffield Utd werent the only team to win at Goodison after being two down that season. Carlisle bloody United did it as well and then beat us 3-0 at Easter in the return game even though they finished bottom and were relegation certainties from October!!!
Patrick: John Moores may have not been officially Chairman throughout the seventies, but a series if puppet Chairmen mainly from Littlewoods like a certain Phillip Carter, were only doing his job for him while he concentrated on Littlewoods. It's amazing to think he held power to some degree right up until his death in 1993 aged 97 by which time he was understandably not really up to the job. Since then its been Hamperman and Luvvie who have hardly taken us forward, but its a valid argument in my mind that the rot set in 40 years ago when a megalomaniac complacently thought we were to be his Mersey millionaire playthings forever.
After building the Main Stand he left Goodison alone because it was well ahead of everywhere else, but nothing is forever and everybody else caught up after Hillsbrough and many overtook us. I bet his eyes would have popped at the cash swilling around now, but now it all goes to the players. The Moores business model may as well be from 1873 as 1973.
741 Posted 17/11/2013 at 21:59:51
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