Forty Years Ago — 1973-74: Match 3

A short journey down the M6 to Stoke saw Everton arrive in the Potteries for their second away game of the season. Stoke City v Everton was usually a tight affair with few goals and although they had some decent players at the time they had only managed to finish above Everton by a point in the previous campaign.

Stoke had already faced Liverpool and Manchester United away and had played Manchester City in their first home fixture but they only had a single point to show for their efforts, after suffering two narrow 1-0 defeats on their travels. A picture of Ray Clemence in the Everton programme showed him at full stretch managing to fingertip the ball onto the post from a Mike Pejic ‘special’ and Stoke went on to lose the game. Also pictured from the game at Old Trafford was Stoke legend George Eastham who received the first booking of his 18 -ear career for taking a free-kick before the Referee John Hunting was in position.

The draw for the second round of the League Cup had taken place and Everton would face Reading or Watford at Goodison Park in the first week of October. Stoke City had drawn Chelsea at home and for their supporters it rekindled memories of the Wembley game just 18 months before when the two sides met in the Final and Stoke triumphed 2-1.

In the spotlight on the visitor’s section, a trip down memory lane feature the corresponding game from April 1964. Stoke had gone in at half-time two goals to the good, which was fortunate for them as they still had relegation concerns, but Stoke lost their composure and after Fred Pickering had missed a ‘sitter’, their defence was breached by Fred as he took advantage of a mix-up between Kinnell and Leslie. [I wonder if that Kinnell guy was my Uncle’s favourite player? I certainly heard him shout his name more than once at the match even when Everton were not facing Stoke.]

A penalty was awarded to Stoke and they spurned the chance to restore their two-goal advantage as Dennis Viollet failed to convert the spot-kick. Jimmy Gabriel then burst through the Stoke rearguard and with 10 minutes remaining the game was level at 2-2. As the topsy-turvy game headed for an entertaining draw Stoke launched another assault on Everton’s goal and to our disappointment and their delight up popped Keith Bebbington to force the ball home with only seconds remaining. So... did you ‘Remember Keith’s last-gasp winner?’ which was the headline to this feature.

Dennis Smith, Stoke City’s centre-half, was featured in the Potters file for 73-74 and it mentions that Dennis was a versatile player who even played in goal as he replaced the injured John Farmer at Goodison Park in a First Division game, it didn’t mention which year, although it must have been after September 1968 as that is when he made his debut for Stoke against Arsenal.

If you had fancied a Saturday night out in the Potteries, you could have visited the Heavy Steam Machine located in Hanley which was open from 8pm until 2am and depending on which Saturday that you chose, you could have danced away to the sounds of Major Lance or Harley Quinn [of whom I’ve never heard] or perhaps White Plains or Christie [which to my eternal shame I have heard of] but, as it was already the 5th of September, you would have missed the dulcet tones of The Troggs.

After all the excitement of the game in 1964, the 1973-74 game ended in a 0-0 draw, hardly what the two teams would have wanted. It couldn’t have been much of an affair as there is no mention of it in the next few programmes apart from the attendance figure and the score.

1973-74 — First Division: Wednesday, 5 September 1973
Stoke City (Victoria Ground), Score 0-0; Attendance: 22,432

Lawson; Darracott, Newton, Kendall, Kenyon; Hurst, Harvey, Bernard; Lyons, Harper, Connolly.

Thirty Years Ago — 1983-84: Match 3

Following two home games, Everton’s first away fixture for 1983-84 was a trip to Highfield Road to face Coventry City. Coventry City, had endured a close season of upheaval, following a season where they had escaped relegation by a single point. According to the programme, they had lost seven first team players (Les Sealey, Danny Thomas, Gary Gillespie, Steve Whitton, Gerry Francis, Paul Dyson and Jim Melrose) and witnessed the arrival of eleven (Trevor Peake, Sam Allardyce [yes, that one], Micky Adams, David Bennett, David Bamber, Michael Gynn and Ashley Grimes.)

Unbeknown to those fretting Sky Blues fans, three of those arrivals would play a part in the greatest day in their history, but they would have to wait a few seasons yet...

So the new manager at Coventry certainly had his work cut out and Bobby Gould admitted as much in his programme notes when he declared that ‘I offer you no false promises. No false hopes. I have only one thing to give – hard work.’ He also added that ‘we enjoy the good times and stay united through the bad’.

1983-84 began an era of commercial sponsorship for the Football League and Canon proudly announced in a full page advert in the programme that they would be injecting some Ł1m into the league to be distributed among all 92 clubs, but rather than just dividing the funds equally, each club will get a basic sum and a prize fund will be distributed to those clubs winning divisional honours.

As for Everton, they had missed out on Europe in the previous campaign by finishing 7th and had gained victories away at Brighton, Ipswich, Luton, Norwich and Swansea. But the biggest disappointment of the previous season had been the 1-0 reverse to Man Utd in the FA Cup Quarter-Final where even the fanatical support of thousands of Blues crammed into the Scoreboard end at Old Trafford, couldn’t help them to at least get a deserved replay at Goodison when Frank Stapleton scored the winning goal.

Players leaving Everton in the summer of 1983 included Billy Wright (Birmingham), Trevor Ross (AEK Athens), Mike Walsh (Fort Lauderdale) and Alan Ainscow (Hong Kong). All those players left Goodison on free-transfers. But the major transfer out of the summer saw Steve McMahon who left to join Aston Villa, but that loss would be softened somewhat, with the arrival of Trevor Steven (Burnley), Alan Harper (Liverpool) and an 18-year-old Andy Higgingbottom (Chesterfield) who Howard Kendall – at the start of his third full season in charge at Goodison Park – saw as a back-up for Kevin Sheedy.

The game at Highfield Road ended in a 1-1 draw with Kevin Sheedy scoring the equaliser for the Toffees. Howard Kendall was disappointed with the result as he thought that Everton had created enough chances following Sheedy’s goal to take all three points.

1983-84 — First Division: Saturday, 3 September 1983; Coventry City (Highfield Road), Score 1-1 (Sheedy); Attendance: 12,532

Arnold;Harper, Bailey, Ratcliffe, Higgins; Richardson, Steven, Heath (Johnson); Sharp, King, Sheedy.

Twenty Years Ago — 1993-94: Match 3

Everton welcomed Sheffield United to Goodison with the possibility of a third straight Premier League victory. Sheffield United had survived the dreaded drop from the recently formed Premier League with a late rally which saw them take maximum points from their last three fixtures of the previous season. Included in that haul was a 2-0 win at Goodison in Everton’s final home game the previous May, and a four-goal haul against Chelsea in front of a happy and relieved Bramall Lane crowd. As a result of the Blades’ late rally, Brian Clough’s Nottingham Forest, following a 2-0 win for Sheffield United at the City Ground, suffered the fate that Sheffield United had managed to avoid.

Sheffield United were indeed a tough nut for Everton to crack as the Blades had remained unbeaten in the previous six league matches between the sides, the last Everton victory by three goals to nil coming in August 1975, the scorers that day were Latchford, Lyons and Smallman. As well as avoiding the drop, Dave Bassett’s Sheffield United also reached the FA Cup Semi-Final where they lost to city rivals Sheffield Wednesday. The start of that season had seen Sheffield United beat newly promoted Swindon Town at Bramhall Lane and lose heavily at Old Trafford, home of the reigning champions Manchester United.

Howard Kendall’s column reported that the transfer of Chelsea’s out-of-contract Graham Stuart was progressing, with personal terms agreed. But as the clubs couldn’t come to an agreement as to the size of fee, it would need a conditional Tribunal to adjudicate; if the fee proved to be more than Everton were willing to pay, then the club could withdraw their interest in the player. Howard also reported that the club was willing to listen to offers for striker Maurice Johnson.

Everton’s Douglas Rose and his assistant Sid McGuinness, the winners of the Premier League’s Groundsman of the Year award, were featured and the article reported that they were the subject of a two-page spread in the popular weekly football magazine ‘Match’. Dougie recalled an incident from the past when Gordon Lee had requested some weedkiller for his garden, but by mistake was given totalkiller which burned up Mr Lee’s lawn. It seems that Gordon had always suffered at the hands of groundsmen as many an away pitch was criticised by the ex-Everton manager during his time at Goodison Park.

‘Matches of the past’ recalled Everton’s clash with Sheffield United on 21 August 1954, a significant match in the history of the club as it saw the return of top flight football for the Goodison Park outfit. In front of 30,000 supporters at Bramall Lane, a 5-2 victory was secured with goals coming from John Willie-Parker who scored twice, Tommy Eglington and Eddie Wainwright who also scored a brace. The Daily Post reported at the time that ‘the score in no way flattered Everton. They were always far ahead of their opponents in skill and pace’ and added ‘it was as a complete team that Everton gained this handsome success. It was one-for-all and all-for-one.’

The second match between the two clubs to feature was a game from the Championship winning season 62-63, when Everton ran out winners in a three-nil victory over the Blades at Goodison Park. 42,038 fans saw Roy Vernon score twice and Dennis Stevens bag one, this result helped the Toffees to go top of the First Division on 24 November 1962.

‘Newsdesk’ reported that Jason Kearton, the Australian goalkeeper, was finding it difficult to get the other lads in the team to talk about cricket due to Australia’s domination of the Ashes series against England. He found it almost as difficult as getting his long awaited debut for the Blues as Neville Southall continued to perform admirably in the Everton goal, but the 24-year-old keeper was happy at the club and would continue to work hard in order to gain his place in the first team. The club reminded supporters to retain their ticket stubs from the day’s game as they would be needed in order to purchase a ticket for the forthcoming Merseyside Derby at Goodison the following month.

As Howard Kendall had intimated in his programme notes, Graham Stuart duly signed for Everton, although a fee had still to be agreed and a tribunal would in all likelihood be needed to settle the amount that Everton would pay to Chelsea. Stuart made his debut for the Toffees in the game against Sheffield United, where a Tony Cottee hat-trick and a goal from John Ebbrell helped Everton to record their third straight Premier League win and go to the top of the Premier League. But it wasn’t all plain sailing as Sheffield United took the lead in the first minute and although Everton went into the latter stages of the match 3-1 in front, Sheffield United substitute Alan Cork made it 3-2 and a nervous ending looked likely, but directly from the re-start Tony Cottee got his hat-trick goal and Everton had the points.

1993-94 — Premier League: Saturday, 21 August 1993 Sheffield United (Goodison Park), Score 4-2 (Cottee 3, Ebbrell); Attendance: 24,177

Southall; Holmes, Hinchcliffe, Ebbrell, Jackson; Ablett, Ward; Stuart (Barlow), Cottee, Rideout, Beagrie (Preki). Sub not used: Kearton.

Ten Years Ago — 2003-04: Match 3

Everton were on duty for a Tuesday evening match at The Valley, the home of Charlton Athletic. Charlton Athletic, under their long-serving Manager Alan Curbishley, had finished in 12th place the previous season. Having lost heavily to Manchester City in their first home game, the ‘Addicks’ bounced back at Molineux to gain an impressive victory against Wolverhampton Wanderers (4-;0), this was Charlton’s biggest away victory in the Premier League and their biggest away victory for almost 50 years in what was the club’s 900th game in the top flight of English Football. So a tricky game was in prospect for the travelling Blues as both sides went into the match with 3 points on the board from the opening couple of fixtures.

In his programme notes written prior to the Wolves game, Alan Curbishley berated Mike Dean, the referee, for his performance in the previous home game, in which he awarded a penalty to Manchester City. Mr Curbishley fervently believed that Shaun Wright-Philips had fallen over and was aghast when Mr Dean pointed to the spot. The importance of the first goal according to Mr Curbishley could not be underestimated and he felt that Charlton were too often in the habit of conceding it. He wasn’t at all happy about the way in which his side had played in the first game and also thought Mr Dean should have awarded his team a penalty in the second-half for handball, but he had no complaints about the sending off of Mark Fish.

In the Addicks update section, Alan Curbishley had taken another referee to task and hoped that Mr Phil Dowd reviewed his decision to send Paul Parker off for ‘serious foul play’ when he fouled Wolves player Kevin Cooper. Mr Curbishley would have been happy if the straight red waas reduced to a yellow, so that Parker would miss one game instead of the statutory three-game ban for a red. The draw for the Carling Cup 2nd round paired Charlton with Luton Town, meanwhile Everton had a home game with Stockport County to navigate.

On-Loan signing from Chelsea, Carlton Cole was the subject of the ‘Player feature’ and he said he was happy to be at the Valley and looking forward to be playing alongside new recruit Paulo Di Canio. Some interesting connections between Charlton and Everton included Jesper Blomquist, Matt Jackson, Graham Stuart, Ron Saunders and Mike Walker. Another ex-Everton player, Stephen Hughes, was interviewed following his signing of a short-term contract with Charlton. Beleaguered by injury for the previous few years, he was extremely grateful to the staff at the club for allowing him to train with them and he said that anything that came in the future would be a bonus as at one point he thought his career was at an end. He also said that the support of Everton and Walter Smith was amazing.

In a book review in the ‘Fifth Column’ the author looked at the origins of Charlton and its quirky nickname the ‘Addicks’. The nickname apparently came from a local fishmonger, whose customers numbered many Charlton supporters, and this was picked up by a local paper’s cartoonist who represented the club with a drawing of a haddock. Thus the Haddocks eventually became the ‘Addicks’...

Wayne Rooney got the equalising goal that earned Everton a point from this fixture and Steve Watson scored the first equaliser following what manager David Moyes felt was less than his side had deserved; philosophically he added that at least it was a point more than Everton had got at the Valley in the previous season.

2003-04 — Premier League, Tuesday 26 August 2003
Charlton Athletic (Valley), Score 2-2 (Watson, Rooney); Attendance: 26,336

Wright; Pistone, Stubbs, Yobo, Watson; Unsworth, Pembridge, Naysmith, Gravesen; Radzinski, Rooney: Unused Subs: Simonsen, Weir, Li Tie, Hibbert, Chadwick.

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Reader Comments (3)

Note: the following content is not moderated or vetted by the site owners at the time of submission. Comments are the responsibility of the poster. Disclaimer

Karl Masters
1 Posted 30/08/2013 at 21:46:26
I really like these articles, Patrick. Keep em coming.
Derek Knox
2 Posted 30/08/2013 at 23:09:13
Thanks, Patrick another interesting and nostalgic read. It's hard to imagine so many years have past, when you think to yourself, I remember going to that game, or I couldn't make it, but remember it through Match of the Day.
Some of the names on the team sheets as well, hypothetical I know, but you think, if we still had him in the team now ! Obversely, there are some that evoke memories like, why did we ever sign him, what did he ever bring to the party?
I hate to single any one out, but feel I have to mention, the biggest sicknote, to ever be on the books (on a par with Slaven Bilic) the Italian Urinal--- Pistone. Thanks again, and keep up the good work mate.
Seb Niemand
3 Posted 31/08/2013 at 07:51:04
The Heavy Steam Machine is an awesome name for a disco.

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