Forty Years Ago — 1973-74: Match 30

Joe Mercer’s Coventry City arrived at Goodison Park sat in a mid-table position but only four points behind Everton (31 pts) who were sat in joint 5th position. Bob Latchford was set to make his home debut and the Goodison Park faithful would have hoped to see the recently acquired centre-forward score his first goal for the club.

Bob Latchford made his Everton debut at West Ham following his arrival from Birmingham City. The record-breaking deal had seen Everton legend Howard Kendall and defender Archie Styles move to St Andrews as part of the deal that brought Latchford to Goodison in what was then a British transfer record of circa £350k and the matchday magazine acknowledged the outgoing players' contribution and fine service to Everton FC.

Bob Latchford had scored 18 times for Birmingham in the 1973-74 campaign prior to joining Everton and he had netted against Manchester City on 19 January, his 23rd birthday. Bob’s league record for Birmingham had seen the striker notch 68 goals in 158 appearances. Bob Latchford had made a goal-scoring debut for the England Under-23 team in November 1973.

George Telfer, who had scored twice in the defeat at West Ham the previous week, was the featured player in the magazine and he revealed how he very nearly joined Arsenal as an Apprentice Professional, Liverpool FC had also shown an interest in George and although Arsenal had invited George and his family to Highbury shortly after he left school. Once Everton showed an interest in his talents, George felt that staying in the area and playing for the club that he supported far outweighed the prospect of moving to London. Ironically George made his Everton debut against Arsenal at Highbury on 22nd December 1973.

On the international front, George could choose between England and Scotland as his father had been born in Scotland and it was his dad’s job as a gamekeeper which meant that George spent seven years living in Scotland. George’s parents were both employed by Mr John Moores at his Glentrool residence until they returned to Huyton when George was 11 years of age.

Promotions Manager, David Exall, had begun to have doubts about the decision to introduce the three-up three-down system which had come into force in the 1973-74 campaign. Despite Everton FC fully supporting the move and voting in favour of it, David felt that the system may have unintended consequences attached to it, namely that clubs such as Birmingham City and Manchester United who could command large attendances and generate lots of money for other First Division clubs, may be replaced in the top-flight by clubs with smaller fan-bases and therefore less income for the rest of the division.

As well as a potential loss of income, the fear which had accompanied the new rule, led to more defensive football as more clubs in the top-flight felt it necessary to employ negative spoiling tactics in order to pick up points to help preserve their top-flight status.

According to Mr Exall, some managers had suggested that promotion and relegation should be scrapped altogether, which Mr Exall felt had been an extreme suggestion but that it did have some merit attached to it. Finance had never been more important than in the current season according to Mr Exall and he thought that part-time professionals seemed to be a near-certainty for lower league clubs and perhaps even Second Division teams – David thought that, if this was to occur, the introduction of a super league would be inevitable and perhaps even that oft-mentioned European League could be on the horizon.

Everton had first encountered Coventry City in a league game in November 1951, when Cliff Britton had been the manager of the Toffees and Everton were trying to regain their top-flight status. Within a minute of the start of the Second Division match, Dave Hickson (1’) had given the Blues the lead and further goals were added by John Willie Parker (15’), Dave Hickson (42’) with his second strike and Tony McNamara (65’) which completed the scoring for Everton to register an emphatic victory for the Toffees (4-1). Coventry’s Chisholm grabbed the consolation goal for the Sky Blues.
Everton: Leyland; Clinton, Lindsay; Donovan, Jones TE., Farrell; McNamara, Fielding, Hickson, Parker, Eglington.

Coventry City first visited Goodison Park for a top-flight fixture just a mere six years earlier. That match had taken place on 2 March 1968 and Everton took only two minutes to open their account against the Sky Blues when Alan Ball (2’) put the ball into the City net. Although Hannigan (8’) equalised for Coventry City to register their first top flight goal at Goodison Park, Joe Royle (18’) scored to regain the lead for the Toffees and then Joe Royle (31’) practically ended the contest when he scored his second and Everton’s third before half-time, there being no additional goals Coventry returned to the Midlands empty-handed.
Everton: West; Wright, Brown; Kendall, Labone,Harvey (Hunt); Husband, Ball, Royle, Hurst, Morrissey.

The last occasion that Everton had entertained the Sky Blues at Goodison Park had occurred on 7 April 1973 as 25,474 supporters watched as Joe Harper (2) scored twice without reply to seal the points for Everton.
Everton: Lawson; Wright, Styles, Hurst, Kenyon; Bernard, Darracott, Kendall; Jones, Harper, Connolly.

The Match: Bob Latchford had made his eagerly awaited Goodison bow and, although the striker failed to get on the scoresheet, he played a part in the winning goal which was scored by John Hurst (18’) that earned all the points for Everton in this narrow single goal victory. The crowd would have been happy with the Everton victory but a little disappointed that their new star had not managed to register his first goal for the Toffees on home soil.

1973-74 — First Division; Saturday, 23 February 1974
Coventry City @ Goodison Park, Score: 1-0 (Hurst) Attendance: 34,762
Everton: Lawson; Darracott, McLaughlin, Bernard, Kenyon; Hurst, Buckley (Lyons); Harvey, Latchford, Jones, Telfer.

Thirty Years Ago — 1983-84: Match 30

Everton would be seeking revenge on Ipswich Town as the East Anglian club had inflicted one of the worst defeats on the Merseyside club at the beginning of the campaign, beating Everton 3-0 at Portman Road in September 1983. Since that victory, Ipswich Town had seen their fortunes rapidly plummet and, prior to their visit to Goodison Park, the team had lost five league games on the spin, which had put the club perilously close to the relegation zone.

The ‘Comment’ section of the matchday magazine examined the FA’s proposals to modernise Wembley in order to retain its position as the national stadium, the facelift of the old stadium was to cost in the region of £4m and included the repairing of the twin towers, improved toilet facilities and the refurbishment of the Grandstand Restaurant. The FA would contribute £1.8m of the total cost. Comment also believed that “Britain has lagged behind the rest of the world in providing facilities to match the space age in which we live.”

But there were signs of a move towards the 21st century. Luton Town and Birmingham City Council had plans to move into indoor stadiums. Birmingham’s plans were to build Europe’s biggest covered sports and leisure arena. The Quadrena – would have a four-arched roof covering 14.8 acres and was designed to seat between 66,000 and 75,000 depending on the event being staged. It had been planned to build the facility close to the National Exhibition Centre. If the Quadrena gained the necessary planning permission, it would likely be opened in 1989. The drawback to both the Luton project, which was to be built in Milton Keynes, and the Birmingham proposal was the use of artificial surfaces which had received mixed responses from the footballing fraternity.

Ipswich Town’s previous visit to Goodison Park on 14 May 1983 for the final fixture of the season had resulted in a draw (1-1). A crowd of 17,420 watched on as Paul Mariner scored for the visitors and a John Wark own goal had given Everton a share of the spoils. Paul Cooper, the Ipswich Town keeper, saved a Graeme Sharp penalty 15 minutes from time, which had denied the Toffees all three points. This draw meant that Everton had finished the season in 7th position in Division One for the 1982-83 campaign.
Everton: Southall; Stevens, Bailey, Ratcliffe, Higgins; Richardson (Irvine), Ainscow, Johnson; Sharp, Heath, Sheedy.

The reserves and youth section played catch-up as the Everton reserves began to make inroads into their backlog of matches. On 8 February 1984, Everton Reserves beat Sheffield United (3-7) and Graham Smith criticised his defence for ‘sloppy defending’ when the score was level (2-2) at half-time and he said “We shouldn’t have gave them a look-in” but he had words of praise for the senior players in the team for their hard work and said that he couldn’t have asked for more from them. The players who scored for Everton on the night are in brackets, the other goal was an own goal by an unnamed Sheffield United player.
Everton Reserves: Arnold; Hughes, Marshall (1), Bateman, Macowat; Morrissey, Steven (1), King (2), Higginbottom (1); Wakenshaw (Bishop), Sharp (1).

On Tuesday 21 February, Everton Reserves entertained Leeds United and won a point in a goalless draw.
Everton Reserves: Arnold; Oldroyd, Higgins, Bateman, Macowat; Morrissey, Bishop, Higginbottom (Marshall), Hughes; Wakenshaw, Rimmer S.

In the last of three fixtures, the Reserves came away with a victory over Sunderland (0-2) at Roker Park where Alan Irvine and Robert Wakenshaw were the goal-scorers for the Toffees.
Everton Reserves: Arnold; Harper, Higgins, Bateman, Hughes, Irvine (Bishop), King, Steven, Morrissey, Wakenshaw, Rimmer S.

The Match: Derek Mountfield (4’) gave Everton the perfect start with an early goal, but Everton failed to add to their tally and indeed the team were a tad fortunate to hold on to their lead in the second-half when Ipswich Town’s Mark Brennan hit the woodwork for the visitors. The three points were welcome but manager Howard Kendall was disappointed with Everton’s second-half performance although he felt that the absence of John Bailey (suspended) and Kevin Sheedy (Injured) meant that the team had been unbalanced due to not having a naturally left-sided player in the side.

The victory for Everton took them on to the ‘magic’ 40 points mark and the Toffees moved up to 14th position, but the defeat for Ipswich Town was exacerbated by Stoke City’s victory over Birmingham City (2-1)that had left them in the final relegation place three points adrift of safety. At the top of the table Manchester United had hit the top following their victory against Arsenal (4-0) and they found themselves a point clear of Liverpool who had lost at Southampton (2-0).

1983-84 — First Division; Saturday, 17 March 1984
Ipswich Town @ Goodison Park, Score: 1-0 (Mountfield), Attendance: 18,013
Everton: Southall; Stevens, Harper, Ratcliffe, Mountfield; Reid, Irvine, Heath; Sharp (Steven), Gray, Richardson.

Twenty Years Ago — 1993-94: Match 30

Everton welcomed Arsenal to Goodison Park for the fixture that had been re-scheduled due to both clubs exit from the FA Cup at the hands of Bolton Wanderers.

Everton’s recent home record against the Gunners had been a mixed bag since they had beaten Arsenal (6-1), in November 1985, the Blues lost four consecutive fixtures, including the semi-final of the League Cup. That losing streak ended in October 1989 when Everton beat Arsenal (3-0). The only meeting so far in the Premier League era had ended goalless.

That game played in November 1985 saw the defending Champions, Everton, record their highest victory over Arsenal at Goodison Park since they had beaten the Gunners (5-0) in the FA Cup in 1910. Neil Pointon had made his debut and Gary Lineker (19’) had opened the scoring for the Blues. Gary Lineker (38’) added another goal to give the Blues a two-goal cushion at the break. Charlie Nicolas (46’) pulled a goal back for Arsenal, but Adrian Heath (50’) restored Everton’s two-goal advantage.

Trevor Steven (62’) put the game beyond the Gunners from the penalty spot while Adrian Heath (80’) and Graeme Sharp (84’) added lustre to the scoreline as a rampant Everton ran out worthy winners as the Blues climbed above Arsenal to 6th place in the table. The attendance that day was above average for the early part of that season but it was still a miserable turn-out for a Saturday game as only 28,620 had passed through the turnstiles.
Everton: Southall; Harper, Pointon, Ratcliffe, Stevens; Heath, Steven, Bracewell; Lineker, Sharp, Sheedy.

Matches of the Past notes that each time Arsenal had visited Goodison as reigning champions in the past 25 years or so, Everton had beaten them and Mark Ward had been invited to recall the last occasion that had happened. Mark Ward made his debut in the game with Arsenal on 20 August 1991, and he said “It was certainly a big game for me…I had always dreamt about playing for Everton at Goodison Park”.

Mark had been released by the Toffees at the age of 18 and had been forced to ply his trade elsewhere before returning to Goodison during the summer of 1991. Mark said he recalled vividly how, shortly before half-time, he had cut inside from the left and had then hit the ball and hoped for the best and Mark had been both delighted and surprised that his shot had beaten what he assumed had been an unsighted David Seaman as the ball found the corner of the net to give Everton the lead. On the hour mark, Peter Beardsley collected the ball and played it to Tony Cottee (60’) to put the Toffees two goals up. Mark said that ten minutes later “We got a free-kick just outside the penalty area, the ball came to me and my shot took a deflection off the wall and finished in the net.” Nigel Winterburn (87’) pulled a goal back for the defending champions but Everton took all three points in front of a crowd of 31,200. The Daily Post said of the victory over Arsenal “a night of Everton glory as Howard Kendall’s re-shaped team trounced the Champions.”
Everton: Southall; Harper, Ebbrell, Ratcliffe, Watson, Keown; Warzycha, Sheedy, Beardsley; Cottee, Ward (Nevin).
Unused Subs: Newell.

The previous occasion that Arsenal had arrived as Champions to Goodison Park, had been on 21 October 1989, Pat Nevin (39’, 82’) had been the man of the moment as he grabbed two goals and Neil McDonald (78’) scored the other in a three goals to nil victory for the Blues, to send the majority of the 32,917 people in the ground home happy with their team’s performance. Everton: Southall; Ebbrell, McDonald, Keown, Watson; Whiteside, Nevin, McCall; Newell, Cottee, Sheedy. Unused Subs: Sharp, Atteveld.

On 18 September 1971, Arsenal had arrived at Goodison as League Champions and FA Cup holders and Everton who Arsenal had taken the title off the previous season, triumphed thanks to goals from Joe Royle (30’) and David Johnson (13’), Arsenal’s consolation goal was courtesy of a Ray Kennedy shot which had hit John Hurst on the way into the net, but Everton held on to earn the two points in front of nearly 40,000 fans. The Daily Post reported “What a spectacle….a superb exhibition of soccer more flowing than frenzied. And what a welcome change it was to find Goodison roaring in appreciation of a 22-carat finish.”
Everton: West; Scott, Newton K; Newton H, Kenyon, Darracott; Royle, Kenny, Johnson, Hurst, Whittle.
Unused Sub: Lyons.

Remarkably only two Everton players had scored hat-tricks against the Gunners; the first player to do so had inevitably been William Ralph Dean in his record-breaking game of May 1928 and the other player to do it was Roy Vernon in the match played in April 1961 at Goodison Park. Roy scored twice in the first-half and Alex Young added another, while David Herd pulled a goal back for Arsenal. In the dying embers of the game Everton were awarded a penalty and Roy Vernon (89’) converted his opportunity to complete his hat-trick and join the immortal Dixie Dean in Everton’s record books.
Everton: Dunlop; Parker, Thomson, Gabriel, Labone; Meagan, Temple, Collins; Young, Vernon, Fell.

The Match: Kevin Campbell and Martin Keown had both appeared in the Arsenal team as Paul Merson (56’) opened the scoring for the Gunners and Tony Cottee (80’) scored a late equaliser for Everton as the Toffees claimed another point on the slow path to safety. The result had put Everton 8 points clear of relegation threatened Manchester City but the Manchester side had games in hand on the Toffees as did most of the clubs in and around Everton, so while the point had been useful, the Blues were not out of the relegation woods just yet.

1993-94 — Premier League; Saturday, 19 February 1994
Arsenal @ Goodison Park, Score: 1-1 (Cottee) Attendance: 19,891
Everton: Southall; Jackson, Watson, Moore, Hinchcliffe; Radosavljevic (Horne), Stuart, Snodin, Beagrie: Angell, Rideout (Cottee).
Unused Sub: Kearton.

Ten Years Ago — 2003-04: Match 30

Steve McLaren’s Middlesbrough team had knocked Everton out of the League Cup earlier in the season and they had gone on to lift the trophy at Wembley by beating Bolton (2-1), Boro’s first major trophy following some near misses in recent years.

Everton’s previous Premier League meeting with Middlesbrough at Goodison Park played on 14 September 2002 had resulted in a victory for the Toffees as Kevin Campbell (32’) equalised Szilard Nemeth’s (10’) early strike and despite Middlesbrough dominating possession and hitting the woodwork on two occasions, Kevin Campbell (77’) struck again in the second-half to ensure that Everton won all three points.
Everton: Gerrard; Hibbert, Stubbs, Weir, Unsworth; Alexandersson (Rooney), Gravesen, Tie, Pembridge; Campbell, Radzinski (Carsley).
Subs Not Used: Simonsen, Weifeng, Linderoth.

Gavin Buckland in his Bits ‘n’ Bobs segment reported that Mike Lyons had become the first Everton player to score against the same club in both the FA Cup and League Cup competitions in the same season, when he had netted against Middlesbrough in the 1977-78 campaign. Andy King had matched Mike’s feat when he scored in the ties with Newport County in the 1982-83 campaign.

From the victory over Plymouth Argyle (9-1) to the victory over Southport (9-1) which spanned 13 games Everton scored 62 goals which helped to push the Toffees towards the Second Division Championship and an FA Cup semi-final. Plymouth may have had an excuse for their defeat as according to Gavin they had travelled overnight by train and had only arrived in Liverpool at 7:00am on the day of the match.

Alec Farrall, an Everton player who played for the club in the 1950s stayed at Goodison from 1952-53 to 1956-57 but only made five appearances for the club, one in each season, his debut had been against Lincoln City in April 1953 and his final game was played against Cardiff City on 22 April 1957 as Alec only made two appearances at Goodison Park.

Bob Latchford holds the post-war record for scoring in seven consecutive league games when from 29 November 1975 Bob scored against Leeds United at Elland Road to 27 December 1975 when Bob scored against Middlesbrough at Ayresome Park. Unfortunately for Everton and Bob Latchford his next goal didn’t arrive until April 19 at Goodison Park against Middlesbrough his final goal of that campaign.

According to Gavin, Gary Megson was the first ever player to appear for the club whilst on loan, as technically Gary had been a loan player prior to his being purchased from Plymouth Argyle in February 1980. The first on-loan player to score an FA Cup goal for Everton had been Francis Jeffers when he had netted in both games against Fulham earlier this year. Terry Curran was the first ever Everton player to score for Everton when he had been on loan in December 1982. His goal had come against Luton Town (5-0) at Goodison Park.

The Match: For the fourth Premier League match on the bounce, Everton had managed to score in the last 15 minutes and this time it had been Tomasz Radzinski’s (78’) goal that put the Toffees in the lead but, as late as the goal had come, it wasn’t enough to secure the three points for Everton as Middlesbrough’s Joseph-Desire Job (83’) found the net following a disputed corner awarded by referee Steve Bennett. As had been the story in recent matches, Everton had won a point in a fixture that they could and probably should have won all three.

2003-04 – Premier League; Saturday 27 March, 2004
Middlesbrough @ Goodison Park, Score: 1-1 (Radzinski), Attendance: 38,210
Everton: Martyn; Pistone, Yobo, Stubbs (Unsworth), Naysmith; Watson (Jeffers), Linderoth, Gravesen, Kilbane, Rooney, Radzinski.
Unused Subs: Wright, Nyarko, McFadden.

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Peter Mills
749 Posted 24/03/2014 at 09:07:44
As an angry 18-year-old, I vowed not to cross the Goodison threshold again when my hero Howard Kendall was transferred as part of the Bob Latchford deal. That lasted all of 3 days as I took my place in Gwladys Street for the Coventry match......
Karl Masters
897 Posted 25/03/2014 at 09:25:48
I really enjoyed that one, Patrick.

I remember the Arsenal 6-1 match. There was no TV coverage that season until January due to a dispute between the Football League and the TV companies so I remember making the long trip North for this looking forward to seeing a live game.

We annihilated them in the second half with England players Rix and Sansom torn apart down Arsenal's left-hand side. The crowd wasn't so bad for those days, Heysel, unemployment and hooliganism had meant we only averaged 32,000 when winning the League.

You're a bit unfair on big Bob pointing out that he didn't score for nearly 4 months in early 1976 as he was out injured for almost all of it. A shame as you highlight what a great run of form he was on at the time. I think he actually scored in his first game back!

I loved the bit about George Telfer's dad working for John Moores on his Scottish country estate! Never knew that. Can you imagine it today, although it's not a well known fact that Gareth Barry's dad is a Minder for Philip Green so I guess some things never change.

Patrick Murphy
929 Posted 25/03/2014 at 13:21:46
Karl perhaps I was being a little unfair on Big Burly Bob but he remained in the team up until the end of January 1976 where he featured in 4 games and was then out injured until 3rd April 1976 when he played against Liverpool at Anfield, and featured in 3 games before his goal against Middlesbrough. So Bob’s drought only lasted a total of 7 matches - sorry Bob.
Chris Stubbs
136 Posted 26/03/2014 at 02:20:43
I remember the West Ham game when Bob Latchford made his debut. I recall it was a case of Everton snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. We were so much on top up to half time. The other thing I remember on that day was having my Everton scarf taken by some West Ham fans on the way to the train station after the match. I have never liked West Ham fans since then. I think it was Colin Harvey who scored our other goal that day. But I may be wrong.

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