Forty Years Ago — 1973-74: Match 13

Everton were looking for their second away victory of the season, having returned from Coventry City (2-1) in their previous away fixture with maximum points. The trip to Birmingham offered the Toffees an opportunity to put pressure on those teams around them and attempt to get nearer to an unstoppable force – which was what Leeds United were threatening to become in the 1973-74 season.

Everton were also looking to win their fifth league game on the bounce, a feat that the club had last achieved in 1970 during their title run-in until a draw at Sunderland (0-0) in the final game, had brought an eight-match victory roll to a halt, although by that time the Championship had been well and truly clinched and celebrated. Birmingham City had some high profile players in their ranks, including future Everton hero Bob Latchford, they also had Gordon Taylor (now chief executive of the PFA), Trevor Francis, Bob Hatton, Kenny Burns and Gary Sprake.

Birmingham City had finished season 1972-73 in a respectable 10th position in what had been their first season back in the top division after an absence of seven years, although the campaign had not been without its troubles. At the end of January 1973, with 15 games left to play, Birmingham City were propping up the table with 19 points, but in the final 15 games they took 23 points from a possible 30 and ended up in mid-table.

Freddie Goodwin, the Birmingham manager, had been in charge since 1970 and he had given youth its chance at St Andrews, Trevor Francis and Bob Latchford had both been teenagers when he had blooded them in the first team and they had responded well, scoring goals aplenty for the club.

Despite the undoubted quality of their strikers, Birmingham had only managed to gain their first win at St Andrews in their previous home encounter with Wolverhampton Wanderers (2-1) as they had drawn with Liverpool (1-1) and Derby County (0-0) but they had lost at home to Tottenham Hotspur (1-2), Chelsea (2-4) and Ipswich Town (0-3). All their away games had ended in defeat, apart from the fixture at Loftus Road where they had drawn with QPR (2-2).

Birmingham City had however, retained an interest in the League Cup where, following a draw at Bloomfield Road against Blackpool (1-1), they beat the Seasiders (4-2) in the replay at St Andrews. Kenny Burns had equalised for Birmingham City in both games after Micky Burns had given the Seasiders the lead in both games — and I thought that Burns Night was only celebrated in January. Bob Hatton had got a hat-trick in the replay which meant that Birmingham City had been set to play Newcastle Utd in the third round at St. Andrews.

In his column, Freddie Goodwin reflected on the reasons for the England national team's failure to qualify for the 1974 World Cup, where he had thought that, if England had've had their fair share of luck, they would have won the game with Poland comfortably, but in his opinion it would have been folly to only think upon the failure as being down to bad luck alone. Freddie thought that all aspects of the professional game should share some responsibility, whether it was with the coaches for their failure to develop players' skills and restricting their natural ability with the necessity to stop opponents from scoring rather than teaching players how to score and beat the opposition. Referees and the governing bodies also had to share some of the responsibility but Freddie believed that the power of the press was enormous in England and that they should not have praised teams who regularly won games by purely defensive strategies. He bemoaned the lack of talent coming through from schoolboy football and he ended by saying “Only by encouraging skill and technique, will we produce the players who can take us back to the top again. Defending will always be part of the game of football, but let’s not make it the ‘biggest’ part.

As has been mentioned, Birmingham City had a plethora of strikers to choose from, but in this particular season they had a real problem with the goalkeeping position. The ‘News on One’ section, asked if Birmingham City had created a record by using six different players to keep goal for them in the opening part of the season. The players who had kept goal were Dave Latchford, Paul Cooper, Mike Kelly, Richard Blackmore, Gary Sprake and centre-forward Bob Latchford who had played in goal for 50 minutes in an emergency session against Wolves. The injured Gary Sprake had been replaced by Scottish centre-half John Roger Shankly Hynd (commonly known as Roger Hynd), but it was Bob Latchford, who had had to go in goal.

Big Bob had done better than Gary Sprake in the game as he had managed a clean sheet and Alan Boyes of the News of the World said of Bob’s performance, “Handling, confidently and showing little sign of nerves, the striker gave a display that his goalkeeping brothers, Peter and Dave would have been proud of.” Bob although pleased about keeping a clean sheet said he hadn’t fancied doing it again, although he had enjoyed the experience and added “But it did strike me what a helluva job regular goalkeeping must be.”

Everton stretched their unbeaten league run to eight matches and their winning streak to five as they overcame Birmingham City at St Andrews and had kept their first clean sheet on the road since the game with Stoke City in early September. Birmingham’s problems with goalkeeping continued as the unfortunate Gary Sprake scored an own goal – although some records credit John Connolly with the goal – and some say Sprake had also been at fault when he had been beaten by Joe Harper, which helped the Toffees climb to joint second-place in the table, level with Burnley who had drawn at home to Manchester United (0-0) and Derby County who had also featured in a goalless draw with West Ham. Leeds United remained unbeaten as they despatched Manchester City (1-0) at Maine Road.

1973-74 — First Division: Saturday, 27 October 1973
Birmingham City @ St Andrews, Score: 2-0 (Harper, Sprake (og)); Attendance: 31,181
Everton: Lawson; Darracott, McLaughlin, Clements, Kenyon; Hurst, Bernard, Buckley; Lyons, Harper, Connolly.


Thirty Years Ago — 1983-84: Match 13

Everton, fresh from their last gasp win over Coventry City in the League Cup, were back to the bread and butter of the league where their last performance at Anfield had raised serious concerns by many supporters about the direction that the club was taking. But Howard Kendall had set about bringing in the striker that he believed would help Everton as an injury to Graeme Sharp during the Coventry City match had left him short of options.

Howard Kendall had tried everything within his power to get Andy Gray signed in time to play in this game with Nottingham Forest. Howard Kendall explained in a future programme how he had been desperate for Andy to sign for Everton, by close of business on the Thursday prior to the Nottingham Forest fixture, but there had been one or two issues that had needed ironing out, so both Wolves and Everton had agreed to a loan-deal, in order for Andy to make his debut against Forest. But the deal must be one of the shortest loan deals in the history of Everton FC, as Andy had signed on full terms for a fee in the region of £250k on Friday 11 November, 24 hours prior to the Nottingham Forest match.

Nottingham Forest’s recent past had not been as successful as it had been just over three years previous, but they were still a very difficult team to play against and, under the watchful eye of Brian Clough, they had always presented the opposition with problems to solve. In the last few years they had finished 6th, 12th and 5th – no mean achievement for an unfancied club from the East Midlands who had not been as cash-rich as some of their ‘big city’ rivals. But no more would Nottingham Forest be able to break the British transfer record, as a more prudent and pragmatic approach had been called for, since the halcyon days of purchasing players such as Trevor Francis, Ian Wallace and Justin Fashanu. Mr Clough said that “we can’t afford the depth of talent that some First Division clubs can afford”.

So far in 1983-84, it had been a mixed bag for Forest as they had lost their opening match to Southampton (0-2) at the City Ground but had then travelled to Old Trafford and beaten Manchester United (2-1). They had since beaten QPR (3-2), Luton Town (1-0), Notts County (3-1) and Wolverhampton Wanderers (5-0) at the City Ground. Away from home, as well as that victory at Old Trafford, they had recorded another win at Norwich City (3-2).

Since that triumph at Carrow Road, they had lost to both North London clubs Tottenham Hotspur (1-2) and Arsenal (1-4). The only league draw of the campaign so far had come in their home game with Aston Villa (2-2). The League Cup, a trophy that Brian Clough and Nottingham Forest had experienced the winning of in both 1978 and 1979, would not be adorning the City Ground’s trophy cabinet in 1984 as, alas for Forest and its fans, Wimbledon (1-3) had beaten Forest on aggregate in the second round of the competition.

Europe, however, still offered Brian Clough and Forest the chance of emulating their illustrious former teams, albeit in the shape of the Uefa Cup, rather than Europe’s biggest prize. Forest had beaten Vorwaerts Frankfurt (3-0) on aggregate and rather more impressively PSV Eindhoven (3-1) on aggregate; not only had Forest beaten these sides on aggregate, they had won every leg of each tie that they had played.

The possibility of England hosting the 1990 World Cup Finals was discussed in the comment section, with the hope that Goodison Park would once again be chosen to host matches, if the English bid was successful. The article admitted that the chances of England being awarded the right to host the tournament were slim and that they saw Italy as the more likely hosts, mainly due to the fact that the competition had not been staged in that country since 1934.

The previous season’s fixture at Goodison against today’s opponents was mentioned when Everton had overcame Forest (3-1). Graeme Sharp had scored twice, one of which had been a penalty and Steve McMahon had scored the other, Nottingham Forest’s Steve Hodge had got the consolation goal for his club.

Everton Reserves had been doing what the first team would so love to have done, ie, winning games on a regular basis. In fact the reserves since the season had started, had recently recorded their eighth successive victory when they had beaten Newcastle United (2-0) away in the Central League. The team for that match was as follows: Arnold; Stevens, Hughes, Bateman, Mountfield; Bishop, Irvine, Reid; Johnson (Wakenshaw), Rimmer, Higginbottom.

In a game that had seen Jim Arnold save a penalty, as had his Newcastle counterpart at the other end, Ian Bishop had given the Blues the lead in the first half and Stuart Rimmer had scored the winner in injury time. Coach Colin Harvey said that he couldn’t remember such a perfect sequence in his career as a player or a coach. The nearest comparison, he suggested, was in the League Championship side of 1969-70. Colin was of course correct in his assumption as that Everton side had indeed recorded eight successive league victories during the title run-in.

Adrian Heath had scored the goal that had beaten Nottingham Forest at Goodison Park, but it had been the man who had made his Everton debut, Andy Gray, who had got most of the plaudits. The Liverpool Echo Headline read “Gray In Debut Day Sparkler” and his manager, Howard Kendall, concurred when he said of Gray: “Right from the off in that game [Forest at home], he proved what a good player he is by unsettling Forest. Everyone knows about his ability in the air, but he’s also very useful downstairs and he has an appreciation of people round him. There’s no such thing as a lost cause with him and that makes it very difficult for defenders to handle. The part that he played in the winning goal was superb. Kevin Sheedy picked him out, and instead of trying for a hopeful header at goal, he chested the ball down for Adrian Heath to score. It was a great piece of skill.”

The Evertonians had good reason to celebrate that evening as their team had won three crucial points and they had a new hero in the making, their new centre-forward, Andy Gray. The three points had lifted Everton 10 points clear of the relegation places and they were only five points behind 6th-placed Luton Town.

1983-84 — First Division: Saturday, 12 November 1983
Nottingham Forest @ Goodison Park, Score: 1-0 (Heath), Attendance: 17,546
Everton: Southall, Harper, Bailey, Ratcliffe, Higgins, Reid, Irvine, Heath, Gray, King, Sheedy.
Unused Sub: Gary Stevens


Twenty Years Ago — 1993-94: Match 13

John Lyall’s Ipswich Town team were sat in 12th position in the Premier League table, a place behind but equal on points (16) with Everton, but with a very slightly inferior goal difference. Southampton occupied the last of the relegation zone positions and they were eight points adrift of Everton and Ipswich Town. A win for either side at Goodison, could see them climb up as high as 8th place, depending on the other results going their way.

Ipswich Town had struggled and ultimately failed to emulate the previous successes that Bobby Robson had brought to Portman Road during the 1970s and, after he had left in 1982 to become England Manager, Ipswich’s star had faded: relegated in 1986, they had returned to the top division in 1992, which meant that they, along with 21 other clubs, became a part of the inaugural Premier League campaign. In a fiercely competitive division, Ipswich Town had done well to avoid the dreaded relegation places, considering it had been so long since they had sat at the top table, although at the final reckoning, only three points had separated them from relegated Oldham Athletic.

At this point in 1993-94, Ipswich Town’s six home fixtures had produced nine points although they had only been beaten once at Portman Road when Aston Villa (1-2) had been the visitors. Ipswich Town had only taken maximum points twice, against Southampton (1-0) and Chelsea (1-0), and those games had been played in the early part of the season. Three draws against Newcastle United (1-1), Tottenham Hotspur (2-2) and in their previous home match against Leeds United (0-0), meant that it was a home record that the Ipswich Town team would be keen to improve upon in the remaining fixtures.

Away from Portman Road, Ipswich Town had beaten Oldham Athletic (3-0) on the opening day of the season and Wimbledon (2-0) in their most recent Premier League fixture. All the other away fixtures had resulted in defeat for Ipswich Town apart from when they had visited Sheffield United (1-1) and had come away with a point. In the League Cup they had beaten Cambridge United (4-1) on aggregate but had lost at Anfield to Liverpool (2-3), a game played just two days after Ipswich Town had won at Wimbledon on the previous Monday night.

A feature in the Ipswich Town programme, entitled “Evertonians” pointed out that three current Ipswich Town squad members had all at one time in their careers been on Everton’s books: Ian Marshall, Eddie Youds and Paul Mason. Eddie Youds had left Goodison for Portman Road around two years previous but – unfortunately for the player and his new club – he had spent more time on the treatment table than he had on the pitch, with only 11 first-team appearances to show for his time at Ipswich. Ian Marshall and Paul Mason had joined for the start of the 1993-94 campaign, Ian of course had played for the first team at Goodison but Paul had been released while he had been a youth-team player at Everton.

Everton benefitted from Ipswich Town’s recent heavy schedule and left Portman Road with all three precious points thanks to goals scored by Stuart Barlow (13’) and Peter Beagrie (61’). Some records stated that Peter Beagrie hadn’t scored his goal and it had in fact been scored by Ipswich Town’s Phil Whelan and was therefore an own goal. But the travelling Blues fans wouldn’t have cared about how the ball had entered the net as they celebrated an Everton victory during the long return journey home. Howard Kendall was pleased with what he described as a good team performance and singled out Stuart Barlow, who he said had shown good composure with the way he took his chance when he had opened the scoring.

1993-94 — Premier League: Saturday, 30 October 1993
Ipswich Town @ Portman Road, Score: 2-0 (Barlow, Beagrie), Attendance: 15,078.
Everton: Southall; Holmes, Watson, Ablett, Hinchcliffe; Ebbrell, Ward, Horne; Barlow, Beagrie (Snodin), Cottee.
Unused Subs: Kearton, Preki.


Ten Years Ago — 2003-04: Match 13

With almost a third of the season completed, Everton found themselves in the bottom three, level on points with Wolverhampton Wanderers who had an inferior goal difference and were situated in 19th position. Both clubs had 10 points on the board and were only two points ahead of the bottom club, Leeds United, but only a point behind Aston Villa, Blackburn Rovers and Leicester City. The relative proximity of the those six sides in the table meant that, even at this early stage in the season, this match took on the look of a must win ‘six-pointer’.

Despite some decent performances and in truth some shockers, David Moyes’s side would have to rediscover their goal-scoring prowess as missed chances could prove costly if that habit, continued in this game and beyond. David Jones, the likeable, former Everton full-back, had achieved what so many previous Wolverhampton Wanderers managers had failed to do and that was to get this famous old club back into the top-tier after an absence of some 20 years. The Wolves supporters had had to endure the lottery of the play-offs, but they were prepared to accept whatever it took to see their club return to the big stage, having at one point during the late 1980s seen their club compete in the bottom tier of English Football.

The club’s first season in the Premier League had been difficult though and they were among the favourites to be relegated which, for their manager and its supporters, would be difficult to accept, having waited so long, to get into the top division.

Wolves had started very poorly, with heavy defeats in their first couple of fixtures. In the first game away at Ewood Park they had lost to Blackburn Rovers (1-5) then in the opening game at Molineux they had been beaten by Charlton Athletic (0-4).

Wolverhampton Wanderers’ home form had started to improve of late and they had gone three games unbeaten at Molineux with wins against Manchester City (1-0) and Leicester City (4-3) and a draw with Birmingham City (1-1). On the road, Wolves had fared less well, scoring just two goals on their travels and they had picked up only two points in total, from their trips to Bolton (1-1) and Fulham (0-0)

Following the poor performance and the damaging result at Blackburn Rovers in the previous match, David Moyes in his column accepted that it had not been good enough, and he said “For the first time in the 19 months I’ve been here, the Everton supporters had every right to question both the players and myself for our performance at Ewood Park.” He added “Here at Everton, the history of the club is well-known and it is continuously written about and discussed and if we’re not careful we could well make the wrong type of history.”

David Moyes also warned that, just because the club had enjoyed a good season last season, it didn’t mean to say that a return to the glories of the past was imminent; he said “After being at the relegation end of the table for so long, before last season, it will need big decisions if we are to bring Everton into a new era. And if it’s big decisions that are needed, you can rest assured that I will not shirk from making them.”

The front cover of a match programme had been reproduced in the 125th anniversary section and this week it had been for the game with Chelsea in 1959, when the late great Dave Hickson had made his final first-team appearance in an Everton shirt.

Unfortunately for the Cannonball Kid and Everton, the game had ended in a defeat by Chelsea (0-1) at Stamford Bridge on 24 October 1959. But Dave had the consolation that he had contributed 111 goals in 243 appearances for his beloved Everton.

Paul Gascoigne was mentioned in 'Bits N Bobs' due to his goal-scoring ‘exploits’ in matches involving Everton. When he had scored against the Blues in the game played on New Year’s Day 1986, very few people would have thought that he would have had to wait 15 years and 10 months before he would find the net in a fixture involving Everton, but his goal at Bolton Wanderers for Everton in November 2001, made it the longest gap between goals for any player involved in an Everton fixture.

On the international scene, Wayne Rooney had added to his growing reputation by putting in another excellent performance for England and he had crowned it with his third goal in an England jersey against Denmark (2-3) in a friendly match at Old Trafford. James McFadden was the scorer of a vastly more important goal for Scotland in their match with Holland (1-0) at Hampden Park in the first-leg of the European Championship Play-Off. Unfortunately for James McFadden and Scotland, the second leg in the Netherlands had resulted in a six-nil defeat for Scotland and it would be Holland and not the ‘Tartan Army’ who would be competing in the 2004 Euro Championship in Portugal.

In the quiz section the ‘Pub Question’, asked the readers to name the players who have left Everton since 1970, who had then went on to win the League with the club that they had joined, at that time there were five names; I think there are probably, in the present day, seven... but I’ll let all you experts out there post the correct answers.

A full-house and an all-action first 20 minutes where firstly Tomasz Radzinski (16’) and then Kevin Kilbane (19’) had put Everton two goals up in this crucial encounter had been enough to banish the dark clouds of despair that had engulfed Goodison for the weeks leading up to this victory.

When Tomasz Radzinski had drilled his shot into the bottom corner of the Park End goal, Everton were set fair to win a league game at Goodison (or anywhere else) for the first time since Leeds United had been the visitors in late September. To cement the electric start that Everton had made to the game, Wayne Rooney had then sent a hanging cross towards the far-post and Kevin Kilbane managed to get his head to the tempting cross and looped his header over the despairing figure of the Wolves’ goalkeeper Michael Oakes and Kevin celebrated the first goal of his Everton career.

This Everton victory, combined with the defeats of relegation threatened, Leeds United at home to Bolton Wanderers (0-2), Blackburn Rovers away to Manchester United (1-2) and Aston Villa away to Tottenham Hotspur (1-2), while Leicester City had drawn at home to Charlton Athletic (1-1) had made this round of matches a very good one for the club and its supporters, as Everton had finished the weekend in 15th place and two points clear of third-from-bottom club, Aston Villa.

2003-04 — Premier League: Saturday, 22 November 2003
Wolverhampton Wanderers@ Goodison Park, Score: 2-0 (Radzinski, Kilbane), Att: 40,190.
Everton: Martyn; Hibbert, Stubbs, Yobo, Unsworth; Gravesen, McFadden (Osman), Linderoth, Kilbane; Rooney (Jeffers), Radzinski.
Unused Subs: Simonsen, Nyarko, Clarke.

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David Ellis
800 Posted 29/11/2013 at 06:43:45
Also the stuff from 30 years ago will now be fun reading for a couple of years!!
Steve Carter
806 Posted 29/11/2013 at 08:04:46
I just love this article every week, Patrick. Thanks so much, it's amazing. I love the 40 years ago bit in particular: my heyday. Can't believe Ritchie Blackmore also played in goal for Birmingham!
Michael Kenrick
Editorial Team
851 Posted 29/11/2013 at 14:59:48
Sorry about the formatting issues, which are now fixed.

I can only get the last two in the quiz... Rooney & Lescott, with Keown one of the five?

I notice in our match report on the Wolves game that Duncan Ferguson was Unavailable (in disgrace)? I had to delve into the ToffeeWeb Archives to find references to a bust-up with the manager, that had him missing training, then training on his own as Everton went through a pretty bad spell.

Gary Mortimer
853 Posted 29/11/2013 at 15:27:29
Kevin Richardson (Arsenal) and Steve McMahon (RS)?
Patrick Murphy
872 Posted 29/11/2013 at 16:20:03
Sorry Gary - You are correct in the sense that they both won league title medals but not with the club they had joined directly from Everton. Kevin went to Watford first and Steve went to Villa before joining the dark side.

As well as the players who MK mentions there are another two from the Premier League era, one from the 70s and one from the 80s.

Steve I checked Richard Blackmore just in case he was a band member but I can't find anything to say it was/wasn't the same guy.

Karl Masters
970 Posted 29/11/2013 at 23:33:26
Henry Newton for Derby? Ken McNaught for Villa? Mike Newell for Blackburn? Wayne Rooney for Manure?

That is the question isn't it - winning the title at the Club they joined directly from Everton?

Goes to show what good sellers we have tended to be that there's so few. The grass is rarely any greener away from Goodison is it?

Karl Masters
971 Posted 29/11/2013 at 23:57:15
Sorry, Rooney was already spotted by Michael - well it is nearly midnight! How about Franny Jeffers at Arsenal?
Patrick Murphy
040 Posted 30/11/2013 at 10:57:54
Karl, you and MK have all the players I had in my list between you. Francis Jeffers is the one I struggled with.
Karl Masters
378 Posted 01/12/2013 at 07:12:06
It's hard to believe isn't it? Jeffers winning a Title medal and nowadays just how dominant Arsenal were for a couple of years.

They might just win it this season though, and to think Moyes tried desperately hard to sign Aaron Ramsey for us too! A couple of wins this week would be nice!!!

Would you rather win at Old Trafford or at The Emirates?

Patrick Murphy
414 Posted 01/12/2013 at 11:14:31
Karl being greedy Both! Seriously if we can win at one of them, I'll be happy,
David Ellis
015 Posted 03/12/2013 at 08:36:13
Richardson to Arsenal; Keown to Arsenal???
Patrick Murphy
025 Posted 03/12/2013 at 09:28:17
David - Richardson left Everton and signed for Watford before joining Arsenal. Keown signed for Arsenal direct from Everton in 1993.
David Ellis
028 Posted 03/12/2013 at 09:57:38
Patrick - really? I have a long cherished memory of Kevin Richardson being a player that was not good enough for us (or at least suplus to first team requirements) but good enough to go straight into the Arsenal first team. I don't remember him going to Watford at all.
Patrick Murphy
045 Posted 03/12/2013 at 11:43:16
That's the information I have gleaned on Kevin Richardson, David.

1980–1986 Everton 109 (16)
1986–1987 Watford 39 (2)
1987–1990 Arsenal 96 (5)
1990–1991 Real Sociedad 37 (0)

From Wikipedia

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