Forty Years Ago — 1973-74

Boxing Day matches at Goodison Park and elsewhere have a special atmosphere usually because the attendances are generally higher than average and, if it is a match between two local rivals, it has that added edge to it. This was certainly the case in 1973 as a star-studded Manchester City side arrived at Goodison Park. Everton would have hoped that they could rediscover their home form as they hadn’t tasted victory on home soil since late October of that year when Burnley had visited Goodison — in fact, Everton’s players hadn’t earned a win bonus since beating Norwich City at Carrow Road in what turned out to be the final game for Ron Saunders in charge of the Canaries.

Ron Saunders had taken over at Manchester City on 22 November 1973, and he would have had mixed feelings about facing Everton. He would be optimistic that his new club could repeat what his old charges at Norwich had done and leave Goodison with a victory; however, he would be fully aware that Everton would be tough to beat, as he had witnessed first-hand in his final match as the manager of the Canaries.

Manchester City – despite having the likes of Rodney Marsh, Willie Donachie, Colin Bell, Mike Summerbee, Francis Lee, Denis Law and Tony Towers in their squad – had not had the best of it so far in their league campaign. They lay in 14th position with 20 points from 20 league games... but, although this had been a disappointing return for the men from Maine Road, a win at Goodison would put them just a point behind the Toffees with a game in hand. The previous season, Manchester City had a disappointing time and City fans had become disillusioned with Malcolm Allison and this had partly led to his departure, as City ended the campaign in 11th position in the league.

Malcom Allison, had left Manchester City in March 1973, to join Crystal Palace – who were relegated to the Second Division under his stewardship. City had appointed Johnny Hart to replace Allison and he had remained their manager until illness had caused him to stand down from his position in October 1973, which thus allowed Ron Saunders to become the City manager.

Manchester City had won their first four league games at Maine Road against Birmingham City (3-1), Coventry City (1-0), Norwich City (2-1) and Chelsea (3-2), and had drawn with Southampton (1-1), but defeats to Leeds United (0-1) and Arsenal (1-2) had brought them down to earth with a bump. Their most recent home games had resulted in victories over QPR (1-0) and Burnley (2-0) which had steadied the ship. But it was away from home that City’s frailties had been exposed as they had won only twice on the road in the First Division: at Sheffield United (2-1) and in their most recent away game at Tottenham Hotspur (2-0).

City had also retained an interest in the League Cup as they had made their way to the Quarter-Finals by beating Walsall, Carlisle and York City on the way. The game against Coventry City had ended all-square (2-2) and the replay at Maine Road would take place in January 1974.

The last three visits to Goodison Park by Manchester City had resulted in victories for the Manchester club, and when they had left Goodison with all the points in April 1972, following a victory over Everton (1-2), they had been odds on to win the Division One title but somehow they had contrived to finish 4th, despite having beaten their neighbours Manchester United (3-1) at Old Trafford and they had also defeated the eventual Champions Derby County (2-0) at Maine Road in their final home game. City finished the campaign level on points with Leeds United and Liverpool and a point adrift of Derby County.

Everton’s last home victory over Man City had come in December 1969, when a goal from Alan Whittle, in front of over 51,000 fans, had been enough to secure the points... although even in that season City had beaten the Toffees (0-2) in the League Cup at Goodison. The only other victory over Manchester City since losing the FA Cup Semi-Final in 1969 had come at Maine Road in August 1972 when John Connolly had scored the winning goal.

The Match: Everton got back on track in style by beating Manchester City (2-0). Mick Buckley opened the scoring in the first-half and John Hurst then powered a header past recently purchased City Goalkeeper Keith MacRae, to double the lead and that sent the Goodison faithful home in good spirits with the added bonus that some of their rivals near the top failed to obtain maximum points.

Leeds United had remained unbeaten as they had defeated Newcastle United (1-0) at St. James’ Park, Burnley had kept up their challenge at the top by defeating Liverpool (2-1) at Turf Moor, ever improving, Ipswich Town had won at their local rivals and relegation threatened, Norwich City (2-1) whilst Derby County had drawn away at Stoke City (0-0), at the other end of the table Manchester United had lost at home to Sheffield United (1-2), while fellow strugglers West Ham United had won at Stamford Bridge against Chelsea (4-2).

Leeds United (38 pts) found themselves 9 points clear of 2nd-placed Liverpool (29 pts), whilst 3rd-placed Burnley (28 pts) were three points ahead of three clubs, Ipswich Town (25 pts), Derby County (25 pts) and Everton (25 pts). Occupying the three relegation places were Norwich City (12 pts), West Ham United (13 pt.) and Manchester United (14 pts) who had found themselves in trouble and were the third from bottom side in the league.

1973-74 — First Division; Wednesday, 26 December 1973 Manchester City @ Goodison Park, Score: 2-0 (Buckley, Hurst), Attendance: 36,007
Everton: Lawson; Darracott, Styles, Clements, Kenyon; Hurst, Bernard; Buckley, Lyons, Royle, Telfer

Thirty Years Ago — 1983-84

A trip to Birmingham would normally have been viewed as a good fixture to start the New Year, as St Andrew’s had provided plenty of fond memories for Evertonians, aside from a couple of defeats in the previous 20 years, it had been one of the fixtures where Everton had triumphed more often than their hosts. But the lack of goals that had been a constant theme during this campaign may have meant Everton and their supporters approached this game with less confidence than had been the case on previous visits.

Birmingham City, since they had drawn with Everton (1-1) in September, had only picked up 4 points on their travels: they had won at WBA (2-1) and had drawn with Arsenal (1-1). At St Andrews they had won only a single match beating Leicester City (2-1) and had lost their subsequent four Division One home games leading up to the match with Everton. The upshot of those results was that Birmingham City were locked in a relegation battle for much of the campaign and, at the end of 1983, found themselves just a single point clear of fellow strugglers Notts County (18 pts) and 3 pts clear of Stoke City (16 pts), while bottom club Wolves (14 pts) appeared doomed to the drop. Everton (24 pts) couldn’t afford to be complacent and Birmingham City would have been desperate for a win in front of their long-suffering supporters.

The League Cup had provided Birmingham City with a long and arduous campaign as they beat Derby County (7-0) on aggregate in the Second Round. Notts County proved to be stubborn opponents until Birmingham City (3-1) eventually progressed with a fine victory at Meadow Lane in the second replay, following draws at St Andrews (2-2) and at Meadow Lane (0-0) in the first replay. But Birmingham City’s hopes of reaching the last eight were thwarted by Liverpool (0-1) at Anfield following a draw (2-2) at St Andrews. Birmingham City hoped they would have a little more luck in the FA Cup where a trip to face Sheffield United at Bramall Lane awaited them in the Third Round.

Since losing to Birmingham City (1-2) in April 1960, Everton had visited St Andrews sixteen times and had come away victorious on eight occasions and had only lost twice in that period. The first defeat had come in September 1972 when Everton had lost (1-2), Henry Newton had scored the consolation goal for the Toffees, and in 1982-83 when a goal from Robert Hopkins had beaten Everton (0-1). The highest scoring game at St Andrews between the two sides during that period had ended with an Everton (5-3) victory; Fred Pickering (2), Alex Scott (2) and Johnny Morrissey had scored the goals on that occasion.

The Match: Everton’s good results at St Andrews continued as Gary Stevens and Andy King each scored to help beat Birmingham City (2-0) and take maximum points back to Merseyside in a match played in poor conditions. The result would be the perfect tonic for the New Year and an important morale booster for the Everton players and supporters for Everton’s upcoming cup-ties.

Everton occupied 15th place in the league and looked a safer bet to avoid a relegation battle, but the possibility of finishing in a European spot looked just as remote. Liverpool (45 pts) and Manchester United (42 pts) occupied the top two spots in the league as the two sides played out a draw (1-1) at Anfield.

Birmingham’s defeat hadn’t been too costly as their fellow strugglers had also failed to gain maximum points from their fixtures, Wolves had lost at QPR (1-2), Notts County had drawn with West Ham (2-2) and Stoke City had lost at home to Leicester (0-1). Leicester City’s victory had been an important one as it had put a six-point gap between them and the bottom four teams.

1983-84 — First Division; Monday; 2 January 1984 Birmingham City @ St. Andrews, Score: 2-0 (King, Stevens) Attendance: 10,004
Everton: Southall; Stevens, Bailey, Ratcliffe, Mountfield; Reid, Irvine; Heath, Gray, King, Sheedy. Unused Sub: Richardson.

Twenty Years Ago — 1993-94

The Sky cameras arrived at Goodison Park for the live broadcast of the Premier League encounter between Everton and the previous season’s FA Cup and League Cup runners-up Sheffield Wednesday, in what was the broadcaster’s first visit of the campaign. Everton FC and their supporters would have hoped that the presence of the TV cameras would inspire the team in what had been a turbulent period for the club. They would also hope that their beloved team could once again trouble the visiting goalkeeper as the most recent goal had been scored in Howard Kendall’s final match against Southampton at the start of December; since that game, they had failed to score in three consecutive games which meant that caretaker boss Jimmy Gabriel had yet to celebrate a victory in charge of the club.

Sheffield Wednesday had an extremely slow start to the 1993-94 campaign, more likely due to injuries to key players and possibly due to the anguish of missing out on a trophy in the previous campaign, a season that had promised so much for the club, but had delivered little and, to add insult to injury, the Owls hadn’t even enjoyed the consolation of qualifying for Europe, despite a 7th-place finish and their progression to two Wembley finals.

In fact, the hangover from the previous campaign had threatened to undermine the current one as Wednesday had had to wait until their visit to Chelsea (1-1) in the fifth league game of the season before being able to celebrate a league goal.

Sheffield Wednesday had taken only two points from their first seven fixtures and their fans must have feared that a relegation battle was on the cards, but their concerns were premature as the Owls had rediscovered their form and had suffered just two defeats in their previous eighteen matches. The matches they had lost had not been of the embarrassing kind as they had come against the runaway leaders, Manchester United (2-3) who had won at Hillsborough, and Arsenal (0-1) who had gained a narrow victory at Highbury thanks to a late winner scored by Ian Wright.

At the start of the match at Goodison, Sheffield Wednesday (27 pts) were in 13th position, three places above Everton (25 pts) and two points better off.Wednesday also had designs on returning to Wembley in the League Cup and their progress to the last eight of the competition had been achieved by beating Bolton (2-1) on aggregate, Middlesbrough (2-1) in a replay at Hillsborough following a draw (1-1) and QPR (2-1) away from home as Wimbledon awaited them in the next round.

Sheffield Wednesday had been Everton’s first opponents at Goodison Park, in the first season of the Premier League, a game that had ended in a draw (1-1) where Barry Horne had scored for Everton, and Sheffield Wednesday’s goal had been scored by Nigel Pearson. Everton’s last home victory against the Owls had come in 1989-90 when Kevin Sheedy had scored both goals in a two-nil win.

Match of the Past recalled happier days for Everton on the occasion of the Toffee’s trip to Hillsborough on 3 September 1985. Kevin Ratcliffe believed that this game had been the one where Gary Lineker’s Everton career had really taken off, despite the fact that Lineker had scored a hat-trick at Goodison in the meeting with Birmingham City (4-1) in Everton’s previous game. Sheffield Wednesday had taken the lead as Brian Marwood had converted a penalty mid-way through the first-half and this setback, according to Kevin, had spurred the Champions and European Cup Winners Cup holders into action. Derek Mountfield (36’) had scored the equaliser after Trevor Steven had knocked the ball back to him from a Kevin Sheedy corner which had meant the two teams had gone in level at half-time.

After almost an hour of the match, Everton had taken the lead as Trevor Steven (57’) hammered the ball into the Wednesday net following a perfect pass from Graeme Sharp. Five minutes later, the Blues had increased their lead when Trevor Steven found Gary Lineker’s head and he left Martin Hodge with no chance of saving it as the ball nestled in the net. Everton then ran riot as another headed goal from Gary Lineker (72’) and the fifth Everton goal arrived late in the game as Adrian Heath (83’) scored from close range, which sealed an impressive victory, especially when it is considered that only Tottenham Hotspur joined Everton in taking all the points from Hillsborough that season.

The Match: Unfortunately for Jimmy Gabriel and his Everton side, the live coverage on satellite TV had not inspired his team, as they once again failed to register a goal never mind a victory as Mark Bright (34’) and Carlton Palmer (44’) scored the first-half goals that consigned Everton to another home defeat and a terrible start to the busy holiday programme.

This defeat for Everton (25pts) meant that they remained in 16th position in the table but the morale of the team and its supporters had been at such a low level that few observers could remember it being as bad in modern times. As the search for a new manager remained unresolved, a fevered and unreal atmosphere surrounded the club and this had also led to some Everton fans to contemplate the possibility of not securing Premier League survival — an idea that would have been unthinkable only a month earlier.

As Sheffield Wednesday had moved into the top ten of the Premier League, third from bottom of the table, Southampton (17 pts) had gained a vital victory (3-1) over fellow strugglers Chelsea (15 pts) at the Dell, whilst bottom club Swindon Town (14 pts) had been hammered by Arsenal (0-4) at the County Ground.

1993-94 — Premier League; Monday, 27 December 1993
Sheffield Wednesday @ Goodison Park, Score: 0-2, Attendance: 16.471
Everton: Southall; Jackson, Snodin, Watson (Preki (Warzycha)), Snodin; Ablett, Ward, Horne, Ebbrell; Stuart, Barlow. Unused Sub: Kearton.

Ten Years Ago — 2003-04

Alan Curbishley’s Charlton Athletic had arrived at Goodison Park for this Premier League encounter on a high as they had been sat in the last of the Champions League qualifying places after some good performances and results during the campaign, Everton would have hoped to bounce back from the defeat at Fulham by beating the Addicks.

David Moyes had been happy with his sides’ displays in the two recent Premier League fixtures against Arsenal and Fulham but he had also been dismayed that his team had only added a point to their tally from the two matches. He saw the Charlton Athletic game as an opportunity to once again test his team against one of the in-form sides in the Premier League.

This was to be the third encounter of the season between Everton and Charlton Athletic and in both the previous games the sides had been evenly matched Everton had drawn (2-2) in the first league meeting at the Valley and in the League Cup Everton had beaten Charlton (1-0) at Goodison Park. Among the various players and members of staff to have played for both Everton and Charlton Athletic were Jesper Blomquist, Jimmy Gauld, Wally Fielding, Matt Jackson, Gary Rowett, Ron Saunders, Derek Walsh, Graham Stuart, Carl Tiler, Mike Walker, Francis Jeffers and Eddie Youds.

Jimmy Gauld signed for Everton from Charlton Athletic in October 1956, but only spent a year at Goodison Park, scoring seven goals in 23 league appearances, and left to join Plymouth Argyle. Jimmy made his Everton debut at Old Trafford on 20 October 1956, in a victory against Manchester United (5-2), as George Kirby (2) Don Donovan, Tommy Eglington and Tony McNamara had scored for the Toffees.

Wally Fielding also played in that victory over the Busby Babes, and when he signed for Everton in 1946, Charlton Athletic put in a complaint to the Football League as they believed that he remained registered with them, after a month’s suspension to determine the truth Wally had been permitted to join Everton and on his return to the side he scored as Everton had beaten Manchester United (3-0) on 13 October 1945 in the Football League North Division.

Derek Walsh had made his one and only league appearance for Everton – before he had left to join Charlton Athletic – against Luton Town (0-2) in the final match of the glorious 1984-85 campaign, the fixture had been played on Tuesday 28 May 1985 – the night prior to the tragic events of Heysel. The full line-up for Everton: Southall; Hughes, Bailey, Harper, Van den Hauwe; Richardson, Morrissey, Wakenshaw, Wilkinson (Rimmer N), Danskin, Walsh.

During Everton’s promotion campaign of 1930-31, Charlton Athletic had been the victims of the Toffee’s free-scoring forward line. Charlton’s first ever visit to Goodison Park on October 4th 1930, had ended in defeat as Everton had beaten Charlton Athletic (7-1), as Ted Critchley (2), WR Dean (2), Jimmy Dunn (2) and Tom Griffiths had scored for the Blues’ and in the return match at the Valley played on February 7th 1931, Everton had beaten Charlton Athletic (7-0), where Dixie Dean (3) had scored a hat-trick and Ted Critchley, Jimmy Dunn Tommy Johnson and Jimmy Stein had also been on the scoresheet.

Charlton Athletic’s first victory at Goodison occurred in Everton’s Championship-winning season of 1938-39, when the Addicks arrived at Goodison on 17 December 1938, Everton had a 100% home record and had been scoring goals for fun, but Charlton Athletic beat Everton (1-4) and inflicted the Toffee’s only home league defeat of the season; Charlton Athletic ended that campaign 9 pts behind the Blues in 3rd position.

The Match: Graham Stuart, the ex-Everton hero, scored the goal that consigned the Blues to another defeat on home turf as Charlton Athletic’s good form continued. Stuart (40’) struck shortly before half-time when the ball fell to him in the six-yard box at the Gwladys Street end and he despatched his shot into the goal; no wild celebrations from the former Evertonian though as he was mobbed by his team-mates. Everton had opportunities to equalise but, through poor finishing and heroic defending from the Charlton Athletic players ,they just couldn’t make the breakthrough.

Following the week-end’s results Charlton Athletic (37 pts) remained 4th while Everton (24 pts) were in 14th spot, 4pts clear of third from bottom, Leicester City (20 pts).

2003-04 — Premier League; Saturday, 17 January, 2004
Charlton Athletic @ Goodison Park, Score: 0-1, Attendance: 36,322
Everton: Martyn; Pistone, Stubbs, Unsworth, Naysmith; Carsley, (Campbell) Gravesen, Kilbane; Rooney, Ferguson, Jeffers (Radzinski). Unused Subs: Simonsen, Linderoth, Weir

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Derek Thomas
988 Posted 19/01/2014 at 00:18:35
I remember City blowing the Title. Allison trying to be too clever, they had a neat little playing system containing an unsung 'utility' player Connors (?)

Just before the then transfer deadline ( mid march? ) he bought Rodney Marsh as a straight one Vs one player rating between him and Connors it was a no contest, but it upset the whole dynamic of the team and the results suffered

The team also contained the English League's first serial diver in Francis Lee, I couldn't see then and I can't see now why a player of his class ( and he was ) had to do it...well we know it's because they can, and the reffs keep on buying it, but wtf

Mick Davies
003 Posted 19/01/2014 at 01:22:09
That Man City game was the last I attended with my late brother, who'd took me to my first game 6 years earlier. Great memories for me of the truest blue ever.

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