Twenty-three clubs have won the League Cup, but never Everton. We have been knocked out 46 times under 10 different managers.

Yet we became English league champions at just the third time of asking, took only ten attempts to win a European trophy and won the FA Cup in the 19th season we entered. Why do we have such a dismal record in the League Cup which, for around 40 seasons, has offered a glory day at Wembley and a place in Europe?

Some might say: "It’s only the League Cup." But winning a trophy is becoming more and more important as we have not won one for almost 20 years. This is a big problem when you are in a two-club city and your rivals have in that time won seven, resulting in a situation where a bigger and bigger proportion of youngsters (the next generation of support) attach themselves to the more trophy-laden of the two.

I was that disgruntled after our exit at Leeds last September that I began to look back over the years. Below, I offer a summary of our League Cup efforts on a manager-by-manager basis.

Johnny Carey

When Everton first competed in the League Cup on 12 October 1960, The Beatles were unknowns, playing in Hamburg. Harold MacMillan was Prime Minister. Six of Liverpool’s nine MPs were Tories. It was that long ago.

Our first opponents were Accrington. We beat them 3-1 at Goodison Park. It was the only time we have appeared in the 1st Round.

Rounds 2 and 3 saw the same 3-1 scoreline at Goodison when we put out Walsall and Bury before a 4-0 win at Tranmere that put us into the quarter-finals. We were drawn to play at Shrewsbury. On the same night, the Beatles played Aintree Institute AND Hambleton Hall, Huyton. They did well. We didn’t; we lost 2-1. It followed five successive league defeats.

Later, in the two-legged final of the first League Cup, Rotherham lost to an Aston Villa team managed by Evertonian great Joe Mercer who included in his defence a young Gordon Lee. At the end of the 1960-61 season, Carey was sacked by John Moores, impatient to see Everton’s first post-war trophy.

Johnny Carey: One entry as Everton manager in the League Cup.

Played 5, Won 4, Drawn 0, Lost 1. Goals For 14, Against 5.

Win percentage 80%. Furthest: Quarter-finals.

Harry Catterick

Everton manager for 12 seasons but in only six of those did Everton enter the League Cup due to our sniffy attitude to it. We were not the only ones. Apparently, it was not until 1969-70 that the competition featured all 92 League clubs in the same season. The final of the League Cup was a two-legged affair until 1967 when it was held at Wembley and a 3rd Division QPR featuring Rodney Marsh beat top-flight West Brom 3-2.

It was in 1967-68 that we first entered the competition under Catterick. The Kinks had released that wonderful song, Waterloo Sunset. Apparently it was originally conceived as Goodison Sunset after their singer-songwriter Ray Davies had watched a game from the Paddock with the sun dipping over the Park End. Later, in London, he was told it wouldn’t sell if associated with football and so (hopefully you know the tune) he changed the lyrics to:

People so busy, makes me feel dizzy Taxi light shines so bright, But I don’t need no friends As long as I gaze on Waterloo Sunset I am in paradise

But it was not as good as his original:

The Golden Vision, makes me feel giddy, His light shines so bright And I don’t need brown over bitter As long as I gaze on Goodison Sunset I am in paradise

Davies might well have got away with that. The problem was the opening lines, which ended up:

Dirty old river, must you keep rolling Flowing into the night

In fact, what Davies originally wrote was:

Dirty old Leeds, always fouling They’re just a load of shite

An interesting tale... if it were true. Anyway, entering in Round 2, we beat Bristol City 5-0. In the next round we lost 3-2 at home to Sunderland.

The following season, we went one round further, knocking out Tranmere and Luton before losing to Derby in a replay. In the Championship winning season of 1969-70, we beat Darlington, then Arsenal in a replay before going to Maine Road on 14 October 1969. The Radha Krishna Temple were in the charts with the Hare Krishna Mantra... true, which soon led to a terrace cover version, Harry Catterick. But this spot of Bhuddism did us no good in the League Cup. We lost to Manchester City who went on to win the final.

The last time we did not enter was 1970-71, presumably due to wanting to do everything possible to maximise our chance of winning the European Cup. Our attempt at trophy rotation led to us ending up potless. So, come September 1971; we were entering the League Cup again, rather than planning to play South American champions Penarol in the Intercontinental Cup. We travelled to the Dell and went out at the first hurdle to Southampton.

August 1972 saw the release of Roxy Music’s debut single, Virginia Plain, a crackin’ song, which included the line Throw Me A Line, I’m Sinking Fast... Sadly, we were. The 1972-73 season saw us go out of the League Cup at our first hurdle admittedly a tough one Arsenal at Highbury. We languished in the bottom half of the table and Catterick was eased out of the hotseat in April 1973. A summer hit that year was Al Martino’s Spanish Eyes and born into this world was a boy called Roberto who was to become the first Everton manager to win the League Cup. Even then, he spoke well...

Harry Catterick: Five entries:

P 12: W 5, D 2, L 5; F 19, A 8.

Win percentage 42.5%. Furthest: Round 4

Billy Bingham

Only Everton manager to lose his job while still in the League Cup. He got us to the semi-finals in 1976-77 but was sacked in the New Year, shortly before we were due to face Bolton in the semis. I think it was one of the several times we tried to recruit Bobby Robson, but on this occasion we ended up hiring Newcastle manager Gordon Lee.

The dismissal ended Bingham’s fourth attempt to win the League Cup for the Blues. His first was in 1973-74. As often happened, we were out before Christmas. We beat 4th division Reading 1-0 then lost at home to Norwich, which was our 15th game in two months September and October that included not only 11 league games but also a two-legged encounter against Hearts in the short-lived Texaco Cup. A 1-0 win for Hearts at Goodison was followed by a goalless draw in Edinburgh.

In Bingham’s second campaign, we went out at the first hurdle, losing a replay at Goodison to Aston Villa who went on to win the competition. The 1975-76 season saw wins over Arsenal and Carlisle before losing a replay to 2nd Division Notts County.

Then Bingham took us to the semi’s in 76-77, not conceding a goal as we knocked out Cambridge, Stockport, Coventry and Manchester United. He had his critics among the Goodison faithful but it was a huge shock when he was dismissed.

Billy Bingham: 4 entries:

P 13; W 7, D 3, L 3; F 19, A 9

Win percentage 53%, Furthest: Semi-final*

(* Some might say he should be credited with Everton’s 1977 appearance in the Sinal)

Steve Burtenshaw

Caretaker manager for four games that included the first leg of our first ever League Cup semi-final. More than 54,000 were at Goodison to see us draw 1-1; our scorer being Duncan McKenzie.

Steve Burtenshaw: 1 entry:

P 1; W 0, D 1, L 0; F 1, A 1.

Win percentage: N/A; Furthest: Semi-Final.

Gordon Lee

His fourth game in charge was the League Cup semi-final 2nd leg at Bolton where 50,000 packed into Burnden Park to see Bob Latchford score the only goal. We were off to Wembley! If using just one word to describe our first League Cup Final against Aston Villa, I would use the word ’forgettable’, although I do retain two memories: One is shock at the state of the famous Wembley; what a dump. The second is of a Duncan McKenzie chip from the edge of the box hitting the bar. It remains the only League Cup final to have gone to two replays. If you don’t know the outcome, look it up. Suffice to say 1977 was the year Bonnie Tyler made the charts with our League Cup song, It’s A Heartache.

Lee had another four attempts at the League Cup as Goodison boss. The next, in 1977-78, saw wins over the two Sheffield clubs and Middlesbrough before a 4-1 defeat by Leeds. The 78-79 effort involved a 8-0 win over 4th Division Wimbledon and a 1-0 over Darlington before a 3-2 exit to Nottm Forest.

The following season saw the start of two-legged ties for the second round. We were pitted against Cardiff and after a 2-0 win at Goodison we lost 1-0 at Ninian Park to go through 2-1 on aggregate. The reward was a tie at Villa Park where we drew 0-0 before winning the replay 4-1. Having overcome that hurdle, we then went and lost 2-1 to Grimsby. Lee’s last season saw a 2-1 exit to West Brom

Gordon Lee: 5* entries

P 21; W 9, D 7, L 5; F 41, A 24

Win percentage 47%. Furthest: Final*/Rd5

(* well, 4 if you only count full seasons and campaigns)

At this point, I shall explain the sources of my information: various websites, such as and that excellent reference book Everton: A Complete Record 1878-1985, by Ian Ross and Gordon Smailes. I have not double-checked everything, but I cannot spend any more time on it, so I would be surprised if there are not at least one or two errors in here (hopefully no howlers) for which I apologise. I would be pleased if any mistakes are pointed out, because I don’t want the movie to be factually flawed.

Howard Kendall, Mk 1

In three spells as manager, Kendall was to manage us in 51 league cup ties, the first and last both being against Coventry.

His first season, 1981-82, saw the renaming of the competition after its sponsor, with it being known as the Milk Cup for five seasons. Everton were drawn against Coventry, drawing 1-1 before winning 1-0. Then came a 1-0 over Oxford before going out 3-2 to Ipswich. The Milk Cup was won by Liverpool. I stopped drinking it.

The following season saw us beat Newport over two legs before drawing 1-1 with Arsenal then losing the replay. There was solace in the release of Story of the Blues, a great song by Wah!, a Liverpool band led by Pete Wylie. He’s a red, but every genius is flawed. I’d have played Story of the Blues a song full of passion in the dressing room just minutes before the team went out for the 2012 FA Cup semi-final at Wembley. At half-time I’d have played it again followed by Story of the Blues Part II, which is a sort of rap, brimming with attitude and defiance. Instead, we rolled out the red carpet...

Back in the time machine: The 1983-84 season saw us play 11 games in the League Cup. After the two-legged affair, this time against Chesterfield, we beat Coventry 2-1 before taking replays to beat West Ham and Oxford to put us into a two-legged semi-final against Aston Villa that we won by one goal. We were in our second League Cup final at Wembley. What were the odds of another goalless draw? It would not have been but for Alan Handsen. I could see his goalline handball from the other end of the ground. I can still see it now. Some nights I see it when he’s on Match of the Day. I put out my hand just like he did, but pick up the remote and turn off.

Next was the season that Everton took the League Championship by the scruff of the neck, playing superb football. It was enthralling, exciting, an absolute joy. In the League Cup, we went out to 2nd Division Grimsby.

The hangover season of 1985-86, when we were denied entry to the European Cup, brought no consolation in the Milk Cup as, following wins over Bournemouth and Shrewsbury, we went out in a replay to Chelsea.

The 1986-87 season saw new sponsors for the League Cup Littlewoods! With the John Moores link, and us having been almost run by that company for decades, I thought this must be an omen, if not a conspiracy finally the season in which we would win the League Cup. We comfortably beat Newport 4-0 and 5-1, Sheffield Wednesday 4-0 and Norwich 4-1 to take us past Christmas before a 1-0 quarter-final defeat at the hands of the neighbours.

Howard Kendall, Mk I: 6 entries

P 33; W 17, D 9, L 7; F 63, A 33

Win percentage: 52%. Furthest: Final.

Colin Harvey

Harvey’s first season saw a 1-0 victory over Liverpool in the 3rd round, followed by wins over Oldham and Man City that put us into our third League Cup semi-final. The opponents were Arsenal. We lost both legs, 1-0 and 3-1. I’m sure I would have gone to one of these games, if not both, but cannot remember anything about them. Perhaps I drank to forget.

The 1988-89 campaign saw wins over Bury and Oldham, following a replay before a 3-1 defeat by 2nd Division Bradford City. The next season saw us scrape past Orient and Luton before losing 1-0 to the eventual winners, Nottingham Forest. In September 1990 we put 11 past Wrexham over two legs before losing 2-1 to Sheffield United. The next day, Harvey was dismissed.

Colin Harvey: 4 entries,

P 19; W 10, D 4, L 5; F 25, A 17

Win percentage 52%. Furthest: Semi.

Howard Kendall, Mk 2

His second reign lasted three seasons. In every one, we went out at our third hurdle. The 1991-92 season saw a 3-1 aggregate defeat of Watford, a 4-1 win over Wolves before a 4-1 drubbing by Leeds.

In 1992-93, we saw off Rotherham over two legs. The reward was a home tie against Wimbledon. I can remember this game for the eeriness of Goodison Park that evening. Just 9,541 turned up. You could almost see the tumbleweed blowing through the stands. Our majority shareholder, Sir John Moores, was 96. It was a goalless draw. We won the replay 1-0. But in the next round we lost a replay to Chelsea.

The autumn of 1993 saw us knock out Lincoln, then Palace after a replay before losing 2-0 to Man Utd on November 30. A few days later, Kendall’s second reign came to an end. It was said to be a row over being stopped from signing Dion Dublin. I have no reason to doubt that, but what if we had beaten Man Utd?

Howard Kendall, Mk 2: 3 entries,

P 15; W 9, D 3, L 3; F 29, A 19

Win percentage: 60%. Furthest: Round 4.

Mike Walker

We went out at the first hurdle in a 2nd Round two-legged tie against 1st Division Portsmouth. I vaguely remember sitting in the new Park End stand as it all went horribly wrong and we lost the first leg 3-2. We could only draw in the second leg. A month later, Walker was dismissed.

Mike Walker: 1 entry

P 2; W 0, D 1, L 1; F 3, A 4

Win percentage 0%. Furthest: Round 2

Joe Royle

He guided us brilliantly to FA Cup success in 1995, but his touch deserted him a few months later in the League Cup when we went out over two legs to 1st Division Millwall. September 1996 was worse as we went out to 2nd Division York City over two legs.

Joe Royle: 2 entries

P 4; W 0, D 2, L 2; F 5, A 8

Win percentage: 0%. Furthest: Round 2

Howard Kendall, Mk 3

The solitary season of Howard’s third managerial stint saw a six-goal slaughter of Scunthorpe in Round 2 before a 4-1 exit at Coventry.

Howard Kendall Mk 3: 1 entry

P 3; W 2, D 0, L 1; F 7, A 4

Win percentage: 66%. Furthest: Round 3

Howard Kendall, Total: 10 entries

P 51; W 28, D 12, L 11; F 99, A 56

Win percentage 56%. Furthest: Final

Walter Smith

Smith brought consistency. In four League Cup campaigns, we went out every time to lower league opposition. In 1998-99, after scraping past Huddersfield over two legs, we had a 3-2 win over Middlesbrough. Hopes were raised of going all the way but the crowd that turned up at Goodison to see us play Sunderland in Round 4 saw a 1-1 draw that ended with us losing 5-4 on penalties.

The next three seasons saw us going out at the very first hurdle to lower league opposition. In September 1999, it was Oxford on a 1-2 aggregate. If anyone was hoping the 20th century would bring a change of fortune, that optimism was soon dashed by two 1-1 draws with Bristol Rovers who beat us on penalties.

For the next League Cup campaign the two-legged encounters in Round 2 were replaced by one-off games. We drew 1-1 against Crystal Palace before losing on penalties. Again. We’d have been better off if the ref had put his two hands out and asked us to guess which one had a coin in.

Walter Smith: 4 entries

P 9; W 2, D 6, L 1; F 11, A 10

Win percentage: 23%. Furthest: Rd4

David Moyes

Had more goes at winning the League Cup than any other Everton manager, 11, just pipping Kendall with 10.

Moyes’s best effort was 2007-08 when we were still in the competition at Christmas, facing a two-legged semi-final against Chelsea. We were seeing out a 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge when Wright-Phillips headed a late winner for Chelsea. The second leg at Goodison saw Joe Cole score the only goal of the game.

Some clubs specialised in knocking us out of the League Cup during Moyes’s reign. Chelsea also knocked us out in his first full season and in his penultimate campaign. (Chelsea is the club that has knocked us out the most times since 1960, five, followed by Arsenal, four.)

The autumns of 2003 and 2005 saw us exit to Middlesbrough. In autumn 2004 and 2006 we went out at Arsenal. The autumns of 2008, 2009 and 2010 saw exits at the hands of Blackburn, Spurs and Brentford. You know about Leeds, when we treated Elland Road as a training pitch.

David Moyes: 11 entries

P 27; W 13, D 4, L 10; F 46, A 30

Win percentage: 48%. Furthest: Semi-Final


So, what can we say about those 46 exits? Well, around one in three have been to lower division opposition. By my reckoning, that has happened on 16 occasions. A few too many, don’t you think? In fact, we went out to teams from lower divisions in seven out of eight seasons from 1994 to 2001, to Portsmouth, Millwall, York, Sunderland, Oxford, Bristol Rovers and Crystal Palace.

I wonder: Does this smack of a club repeatedly not taking the competition seriously enough? As I said, we were a bit sniffy about it in the Sixties. But, if memory serves me, so were Liverpool, who did not win it until 1981 but have gone on to lift the trophy eight times, including four successive years in the early Eighties. I wonder if some of us have denigrated this cup because of Liverpool’s success in it. I think I did in the 80s in an attempt to quieten red mates.

But, irrespective of that, it is now 30 seasons since we even made the final, which is far too long for a club of our stature and support.

Now we have embarked on our 47th attempt to win the League Cup. Roberto Martinez is the 11th manager we have had when entering the League Cup (He is the 12th person to manage an Everton team in the League Cup, once you include 1977 caretaker Steve Burtenshaw, who was in charge for one game.)

I am a big supporter of Martinez and confident he will do well in charge of Everton, although I am only expecting mid-table in the league this season. We are well capable though of winning a cup. But I winced at the number of changes we made for the Stevenage game. Yes, they were all good players that started the game, but not used to playing together as a team.

There is a dilemma here, or is it a Catch-22? Do you use the League Cup as a platform to give fringe players an opportunity to show what they can do? If so, the potential problem is, irrespective of their individual qualities, the 11 on the pitch do not know each other’s game sufficiently to function well enough as a team to progress in the competition.

All these factors make me wonder if club and fans have been complicit over the years in an institutionalised indifference to the League Cup and whether successive managers have been comfortable with this because it has allowed them to rotate the squad to concentrate on the league, as managers are largely judged on final league position. Just a thought...

I want to see Everton play their strongest team in the League Cup. If we’re three up with half-an-hour to go in a game, yes, make two substitutions if you want to give fringe players a run-out, and a third substitution with ten minutes to go. Alternatively, just make one or two changes to the starting line-up, not six or seven, which leaves us at sixes and sevens. Because we need to win a trophy before we reach a point 10 or 20 years down the road where the blue half of Merseyside becomes the blue quarter.

And Finally...

Since we first entered the League Cup in 1960, there have been ten Prime Ministers in Downing Street and six Popes in the Vatican. One constant has been Queen Elizabeth II. Brought up by her mother on tales of derring-do by Dixie Dean (the future Queen Mother presented the FA Cup to Dean in 1933), Elizabeth has always had rather a soft spot for Everton. She is 87 now. Having been on the throne since 1953, she has in recent years often been asked by family and courtiers if she is thinking of standing down and taking things a little easier. It’s a delicate subject within the family. My mate’s a footman there; often takes the corgis for a walk. And only last week her eldest son, who has now served a 40-year apprenticeship, raised the issue again. My mate heard her voice rising in irritation: Charles, if I’ve told you once, I’ve told you 1,000 times: I’m not abdicating until Everton win the League Cup.

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Reader Comments (83)

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John Crook
1 Posted 06/09/2013 at 20:32:30
Very detailed but you are right! Its shocking how a club of Everton's size has never won what is the easiest tournament to win. I still can't forgive Moyes for playing a full strength team at home last season... have the game wrapped up by half time and bring on some youngsters for a 45-minute run out only to then go away to Leeds midweek live on TV and play a reserve side. It's seriously about time we won this. Fulham away will be one tough game though.
Steve Alderson
2 Posted 06/09/2013 at 21:08:32
An enjoyable if disturbingly familiar reminder of Evertons ability to find failure when success was often nearer.
Ged Alexander
3 Posted 06/09/2013 at 21:18:15
Good work that man. League Cup trivia. Coach Matinez does like to use squad players for early have been warned!
Danny Broderick
4 Posted 06/09/2013 at 22:26:08
All I know is that the semi final 1st leg away to Chelsea a few years ago was a massive missed opportunity. They were down to 10 men, yet Moyes was playing for a draw and kept up a 4-5-1 formation. We ended up losing 2-1 consequently, so we had no chance in the return leg.
If we could have beaten them in that 1st leg, when they were down to 10 men, we could have won it that year. But I guess Moyes lacked that big game mentality and we blew our chance. They had 11 men in the 2nd leg, so the chance had gone...
Tony Draper
5 Posted 06/09/2013 at 22:55:05
I LOVE a good rant !

And as rants go, THIS Mike is a fuckin belter !

Derek Knox
6 Posted 06/09/2013 at 22:53:21
Yeah! It's very strange Mike that we have never, for one reason or another had, any success in this Cup.

Interesting reading the statistics of ten different managers also.

This could be our year this time, after all, our manager has an unbeaten record so far!

Ste Traverse
7 Posted 06/09/2013 at 23:21:58
Some people regard the League Cup as a fucking 3 handled, tinpot,mickey mouse effort.

Not me though.

I give anything to go to Wembley next February and see Jags lift the trophy.

I despair when I've seen posts on various blues sites saying 'who cares,its only the League Cup' after we've yet again made an early exit from the competition.

Do these fans not realise it's nearly two decades since our last silverware and the competition is one of our chances to break this duck?

That said, the League Cup seems to be a jinx to this club. I've resigned myself to never see us win it.

Stewart Oakes
8 Posted 06/09/2013 at 23:46:22
"Some nights I see it when he's on Match of the Day. I put out my hand just like he did, but pick up the remote and turn off."

Mike, that's Quality.

Barry Rathbone
9 Posted 06/09/2013 at 23:45:15
Given this decade has seen us realistically have only 2 opportunities to win something (this and the FA cup) and the monied crew play their second teams it is a monstrous record.

Previous when we used to compete it was seen as a booby prize - not anymore - time to win something.

Karl Masters
10 Posted 07/09/2013 at 00:01:15
Great article Mike. Only error, since you ask, is that we went out at Home to Arsenal (McFadden sent off for calling the Ref a cheat) not away to them in 2006-07.

Some Clubs seem to do well or badly in some competitions no matter who is in charge and regardless of form. We always do badly in this competition, but come alive in the FA Cup. Aston Villa are the complete reverse with a very good League Cup record and a very poor FA Cup record in comparison. It seems that tradition seems to prevail in supporters' attitudes to these competitions.

So, I think there is some substance in what you allude to as the reason for our no show in this competition so many times. We don't take it seriously enough.

Time for that to change and no more using it as a run out for the Reserves. Winger may get away with it at Arsenal, but even he has had cold water poured over him as they are now desperate to win something.

Karl Masters
11 Posted 07/09/2013 at 00:34:34
I meant Wenger. Or was it Whinger?! :)
Derek Thomas
12 Posted 07/09/2013 at 01:22:34
Re The Queen, the last time she went to the FA Cup final was in 65 to watch Leeds, She got so pissed off at the rs singing God save our TEAM, She made her Sister go instead in 66 and thus missed out on an Epic.

I don't think She's been to many since. Some go on about her dedication to Duty but her Dad ( Good King George, God Bless him ) never missed one even when he was dying of Lung Cancer even if he hated going... it was part of the Job.

League Cup; maybe a good day out ( if you win ) but a bit of a CBA Comp to which we seem to give CBA performances

Dennis Stevens
13 Posted 07/09/2013 at 07:45:35
Karl Masters # 418 - "Aston Villa are the complete reverse with a very good League Cup record and a very poor FA Cup record in comparison." This would be the Aston Villa whose 7 FA Cup wins was, for some time, a record, if memory serves. However, the last of those 7 victories was in 1957 & the first of their 5 League Cup wins was in 1961 - so your comment is correct if viewed only over the same period of time.

Mike OP - Very interesting piece. I recall 'that' match at Oxford United & Kevin Brock's underhit backpass. If I remember correctly, the away leg to Portsmouth in 1994 witnessed, for a few of us, the debut of a couple of Scottish players on loan - one didn't stop long but the other lad spent most of his career with us.

Nice to somebody get it right in abbreviating Nottingham Forest to Nottm Forest rather than Notts Forest - I often wonder whether people get confused between Nottingham Forest & Notts. County, or perhaps they just don't know the difference between a City & a County.

Danny Broderick
14 Posted 07/09/2013 at 08:08:42
Will do MK. No problem.
Colin Glassar
15 Posted 07/09/2013 at 08:16:36
An extremely well written article but, slightly misleading (haven't read it all tbh). The League Cup, until very recently, has never been taken seriously by the top teams. In fact, for a top team to win it in the not to distant past was almost an embarrassment. Teams used to play teams of kids, washed out has beens and ball boys. I think even in the early days stewards were allowed to play! It wasn't known as the Micky Mouse cup for nothing as no self respecting team would take it seriously.
It wasn't until the nineties and noughties that the cutthroat competition between the likes of Arsenal, man u and Chelsea got to such an extreme that even they started to take this competition seriously.

P.S. I still have nightmares over that final against Aston Villa. I was there on the Stratford end at OT when they scored maybe the flukiest goal of all time. What a sickener that was.

Kev Johnson
16 Posted 07/09/2013 at 08:16:18
Well played, Mike Owen. An informative and entertaining piece - exactly the kind of thing I log on to TW for.

Perhaps it's worth adding that as well as being called the Milk Cup, the League Cup has changed sponsors a fair few times and laboured under the following dreadful titles...
Littlewoods Challenge Cup, 86-90
Rumbelows Cup, 90-92
Coca-Cola Cup, 92-98
Worthington Cup, 98-03
Carling Cup, 03-12
Capital One Cup, 2012-16

Maybe when the current sponsorship runs out and it becomes the Chang Cup, we'll win the damn thing! (I wonder if there are any rules on this?)

John Brennan
17 Posted 07/09/2013 at 09:34:22
Well done Mike, I haven't read it all yet, but a great wander down memory lane.
Loved the historical titbits, and the Waterloo Sunset bit--- one of my favourite ever songs.
We will win something under Roberto, of that I have no doubt.
Perhaps HS2 will have been built by then, Syria will be a functioning democracy, and Bill will have sold the club to a toffee maker billionaire.
Dreeeee eeee eeeeam, dream dream dream (Everly Brothers), somewhere around 1961??
COYB !!!
Ken Crowther
18 Posted 07/09/2013 at 09:41:11
A really good read.

I remember the very first tie against Accrington, does my memory fail me or was that the first time we played a competitive match under the floodlights? The inaugural floodlit game having been a 'friendly' against the RS - I think I've still got the special edition of the Echo somewhere.

Peter Mills
19 Posted 07/09/2013 at 10:08:41
Some great and some awful memories Mike. The first replay of the 77 Final at Hillsborough stands out for me, a real blood and guts match with a fantastic atmosphere.
I'd be very happy for us to win this trophy.
Kev Johnson
20 Posted 07/09/2013 at 10:33:43
Yeah, I was at that game, Peter. A last minute equaliser from Latchford!
Brian Denton
21 Posted 07/09/2013 at 10:27:22
Remember that game against Sunderland in 67-8. I was in the Boys Pen - I don't think Bill was there - and Alan Ball missed a late penalty to equalise. Ball never missed penalties ! [up to that point anyway]
Mark Taylor
22 Posted 07/09/2013 at 10:18:05
Like a few others, I remember that Villa final. Nicholl could try that shot 1000 times and never hit it that well. An absolute sickener.

Also remember that Oxford game and Brock's underhit pass to let Inchy in to equalise and create (at least, according to legend) one of the biggest turnarounds of all time.

Slightly off topic, but before that game, I also remember the team being booed off after a particularly turgid game at Goodison (against Coventry?). I think we were still missing a couple of pieces of the jigsaw- Gray and possibly Bracewell- but that side playing such awful football that day was pretty close to the one that became nigh on unbeatable- and matbe should have had a European Cup.

Kev Johnson
23 Posted 07/09/2013 at 10:44:02
Brian - I sampled the delight of the boys pen, too. I don't recall it with any real affection, unlike BS BK. I had "mesh vision" for hours afterwards!
Milos Milenkovic
24 Posted 07/09/2013 at 10:44:54
Great, great article! Thank you Mike.
Brian Denton
25 Posted 07/09/2013 at 12:26:35
Kev (487) as soon as my pocket money allowed me to pay the four bob in the Ground, I was off. Never to return !
Darren Warkcup
26 Posted 07/09/2013 at 12:31:48
Set sums up my thoughts exactly on this cup we just seemed to be jinxed. You would have thought we could have hd some luck after the three game final against villa in the seventies and Alan hanson's hand ball on the line in the eighties (never forgiven that red sweatie) for that and always fast forward him on MOTD. Maybe one day but for me it will be a pleasant surprise as I reigned to it just isn't meant to be
Alan Humphreys
27 Posted 07/09/2013 at 13:16:24
Fantastic article and a brilliant read, some really funny lines as others have mentioned but my favourite is.... "I would be pleased if any mistakes are pointed out, because I don't want the movie to be factually flawed". Matt Damon to take a lead role?

Fascinating look back on the League cup, I have a book on Everton in the FA Cup but funnily enough not one on the League cup. Nae bother as this is as good as any book. Well done Mike, to end on another quote "an interesting tale... If true".

David Pearl
28 Posted 07/09/2013 at 14:19:50
Brilliant piece. I agree with every word. You attacked this article with 14 hole Doc Martins.
Graham Reed
29 Posted 07/09/2013 at 16:02:38
The 69-70 League Cup games were an interesting insight into Catterick's mindset during the Championship season. He fielded full teams in the three games to beat Darlington and Arsenal after a replay but then a couple of weeks later against Man City, having made the effort to get that far, he left out several first-teamers against Man City and lost 2-0.

That team included Brindle, Bennett and Humphreys and was the first time I remember a top club not fielding a full team in a Cup competition. The big teams either did not enter the League Cup or tried to win every round. Of course Catterick had done something similar in the League in 1966 by fielding a reserve team against Leeds a week before the FA Cup semi-final.

Ray Atherton
30 Posted 07/09/2013 at 17:28:18

Brian 484

That Sunderland matchwe lost 3-2 we were 2-0 up playing great football and then collapsed

Graham 613

I was at the Man City game that you recalled in 69. You are quite correct about the Blues playing three youngsters. City had a very good team having been champions the previous season (Bell, Lee, Summerbee) I felt very cheated that night, I knew we were going to lose before the game.

Karl Masters
31 Posted 07/09/2013 at 22:58:45
Yes, Dennis, 445, Aston Villa have won the FA Cup 7 times, but one Final appearance in the last 57 seasons is evidence that they were all a VERY long time ago and since there have been two Cup competitions they have excelled in one and failed in the other. Just like us, but in reverse.

Ryan Sloan
32 Posted 08/09/2013 at 09:39:27
I'm sorry but I hope we don't win it:

(1) we have always give it to the reds Micky Mouse Cup and would make a complete mockery of our fans celebrating winning it;

(2) It is even more devalued now than it was then with the top teams fielding weakened sides, would knock some of the prestige off it beating Arsenal Reserves...

(3) You could put your heart and soul into it, la Birmingham City, and win and league form suffers badly, suspensions injury etc, although it is a route into the magnificent Europa League.

Go for the FA Cup, I say.

ps: I loved the humour at the end, I always thought Lizzy was a Toffee.

James Marshall
33 Posted 08/09/2013 at 10:04:15

You lost me after "it's only the League Cup"

Bloody long post, Mike.

Mark Boulle
34 Posted 08/09/2013 at 11:19:34
Excellent article Mike, it doesn't make sense to me that we don't go all our for this. Making changes against Stevenage almost backfired, just play the first choice team, it's not as though we are exactly over-burdened with fixtures!
Brian Denton
35 Posted 08/09/2013 at 11:52:14
Karl (672) I got myself barred from one of the Villa boards by pointing out that I had seen Everton win three Championships, and that my Villa equivalent supporter would be approx 115 years old....
Ste Traverse
36 Posted 08/09/2013 at 19:30:36
Ryan Sloan #701.

You hope we don't win the League Cup? What you don't want a trip to Wembley, a piece of overdue silverware and a place in Europe?

I take it you are reveling in our near 20 year trophy drought.

There's been many utterly stupid posts on this site...but your belter is king of them.

Paul Washington
37 Posted 08/09/2013 at 19:40:38
Great post,

Memories of 77 flooding back... I'm sure it was Emily Hughes who christened it the "Mickey Mouse" cup when we got there in 77 which was my first time at Wembley .

The two replays were fantastic events, especially the atmosphere at Hillsborough. I particularly remember getting legged back to Piccadilly Station after the Old Trafford game (we were in the Stretford End that night). For a 15-year-old, it was scary!!!

After the RS beat us in 84 (as a previous poster states, I've disliked Handball Hansen ever since), I watched a video of the Maine Rd. game and Brian Clough (co-commentator) is raving about the Everton support that night.

Sam Hoare
38 Posted 08/09/2013 at 19:55:06
We want a trophy. This is, like it or not, our best chance of getting one. Blood a few youngsters by all means but keep the nucleus of the team and give it our best shot. Its not like we are in Europe or anything and our squad is looking deeper than it has in a while.
James Martin
39 Posted 08/09/2013 at 20:37:41
Cup runs are boss even if they ultimately end in failure. People say there's no point unless you win them but its good being in the hat and getting to watch more games If we won this cup people would not remember the league position in the future.

It's not a patch on the FA cup but beggars can't be choosers.

Errol Stafford
40 Posted 08/09/2013 at 23:29:06
It's high time we won the League Cup, before the authorities scrap it. To think that Oxford, Swansea and Luton have won it and we haven't is ridiculous. When you consider the amount of lower league teams we have gone out to in this competition, and add in the clubs that have knocked us out of the FA Cup in recent times: Shrewsbury, Oldham, Tranmere, Bradford City, it's a sorry list of shame.
Hopefully under Martinez we will break our duck.
Peter Thistle
41 Posted 09/09/2013 at 10:54:19
I thought last year it was going to be ours. 'kin Moyes.
Tony J Williams
42 Posted 09/09/2013 at 12:25:06
My one abiding memory of the Chelsea semi-final was our six footer Lescott being out jumped by the midget version of Eddie Murphy at the far post and our useless lump of a goalie staying on his line instead of going through said six footer and Eddie Murphy to get the ball.

Should have ended up a draw but us usual the players and manager fucked it up.

Matt Traynor
43 Posted 09/09/2013 at 13:08:40
Tony #846, that goal you describe - are you sure that wasn't the winning goal in the FA Cup final? When Lescott was out-jumped by Florent bloody Malouda? I can't remember the goals from the League Cup game, but if what you say is true, it's a carbon copy. Off to youtube... (Hate doing that for defeats).
Ian Burns
44 Posted 09/09/2013 at 13:06:05
Ken - 475 - I had forgotten about that match against Accrington Stanley - I was there and we won 3-1. I can remember even to this day being shocked that we only won 3-1 - as a child I was expecting a bucket full of goals! - Yes it was the first competitive game under floodlights. I think we played a Brazilian team in a friendly before that and drew 2-2. Just can't quite bring it to mind.

This is the one trophy (apart from the Premiership) where our name is NOT written on the cup! It needs to change and quickly. A club of our status needs to put this one record straight before I go to GP in the sky.

Ste Traverse
45 Posted 09/09/2013 at 13:22:54
Slightly off topic, but why do some people like Ian above still insist on calling the top flight of English football the 'Premiership'?

I'm amazed at how many people on different forums still call the league that. It hasn't been called the 'Premiership' for over five years!

They'll be refering to the League Cup as the 'Milk Cup' next.

John Ford
46 Posted 09/09/2013 at 13:31:26
As I saw it Chelsea were excellent in the semi. They were a very strong and quick team and just too good for us. You could see our guys straining everything, particularly Arteta, but we didnt have enough football about us.

In was nowt to do with players or the manager fuckin' up. They had better players and a better team. That doesnt guarantee a win, but Chelsea were right up for it at Goodison and killed our game. Stopped us at every turn

Mike Rourke
47 Posted 09/09/2013 at 13:38:04
Great article.

I shall pick up a ticket for the Fulham game with greater enthusiasm, certain in the knowledge that this is definitely our year, or at least so that I can say in 50 years time that I was witness to our latest failure in West London.

Speaking of West London misery, in that Chelsea semi I seem to recall McFadden being on the receiving end of a trademark Carvalho two-footed special when he was just about to go through on goal and I'm sure the scores were level at the time. It should have been a red card but the fog of time - clouded further by rage and injustice - says we didn't even get a foul.

Ahhh League Cup memories...they're all ultimately shit.

Ian Burns
48 Posted 09/09/2013 at 14:29:20
Ste - I refer to it as the Premiership because I am an old bugger and can't remember to tie my shoe laces sometimes (never forget where the gin is though!).

What is it called "The Premier League" or do I have that wrong as well?

Whatever, we won the "Old First Division" but never the Premiership or The Premier League, as well as the League Cup (or whatever it is called this year).

I suppose my point was that at least we could put the League Cup (or whatever it is called) to rights but I can't see us getting close to the "Old First Division"; Premiership or The Premier League any time soon.

James Martin
49 Posted 09/09/2013 at 16:18:18
John, I too remember that semi final first leg against Chelsea. Didn't McFadden beat a few men then hit the inside of the post after beating the keeper when he could have squared it to Cahill for a tap in. We were all over them at that point. That's why it was so gut wrenching when Wright Philips outjumped Lescott at the end. Of course the bad bounce off the post and Lescott's individual error were all Moyes' fault. That Chelsea side were a beast anyway, we'd caught them a bit cold at their place but got unlucky, a bit like that FA cup tie against them when McFadden scored. in both of the return legs they wiped the floor with us like they did to a lot of sides back then.
Ken Crowther
50 Posted 09/09/2013 at 16:48:58
Ian #853, Well at least two of us were there.

The only Everton v 'a Brazilian team' friendly that I can remember was against Vasco da Gama; but I would have said that that was a few years earlier than the Accrington match (I seem to remember Cyril Lello scoring) - however I've been wrong before - I like to think that it's my age; but perhaps I was always thick!

Ian Burns
51 Posted 09/09/2013 at 17:06:48
Ken, Vasco de Gama - wow you have some memory and I believe you are absolutely right. I feel certain it was a 2-2 draw and in my mind I can still remember feeling surprised that we didn't beat them in the same way I was amazed we didn't put a bucketful past Accrington!

How could these teams come to GP, play against my heroes and not get hammered. I could never understand it!!

It's been a roller coaster of a ride ever since Ken!

Ken Crowther
52 Posted 09/09/2013 at 17:10:24
PS, Ian.

I knew what you meant when you said "the Premiership", if referring to it that way upsets pedants...........tough!

Ian Burns
53 Posted 09/09/2013 at 17:25:40
We all forget things Ken - even Ste has forgotten to put the "ven" or "phen" on the end of his name!
Mike Green
54 Posted 09/09/2013 at 17:23:08
Mike - what a cracking potted history of our exploits in the League Cup.

I heard Waterloo Sunset was originally entitled 'Mersey Sunset' but Davies was advised to change to 'Waterloo Sunset' for he reasons you state above.

I'd really like us to send our strongest team out for all Cup ties, and if it means we might lose three points in the next league game so be it. We're long overdue a trophy and we've now got a manager, and I believe a team, capable of winning one.

Ken Crowther
55 Posted 09/09/2013 at 17:39:21
Mike #888 I read that some years ago in a history of the Merseybeat scene; but was never quite convinced that it's true. My Mrs. (when we were courting) used to go to the Cavern at lunchtime to listen to the bands doing their sound-checks, and she saw the Kinks a couple of times. I just don't see a southerner like Ray Davies (one of my favourite song-writers) writing a song about the north.

Ian #886....hehe.

Tony Draper
56 Posted 09/09/2013 at 17:45:30
The League Cup

My recollection of the pre-Villa "multi-final" was that most top flight clubs viewed it as a lesser prize... but following the titanic struggle betwixt Everton & Villa (not least the huge income generated by the three-time contested tie) the "glittering prize" subsequently attracted far greater interest, not least of all from "the cheeky squatters" in our old ground.

"Mickey Mouse Cup"? see who's won it 8 times?

John Ford
57 Posted 09/09/2013 at 17:54:44
James, beast is right. They weren't easy on the eye but they were outstanding athletes and better technicians.

We were pleased with a draw at Stamford Bridge, but McFadden cost us a possible lead heading to Goodison. How different things could have been. In the end we never really got a sniff.

Mike Green
58 Posted 09/09/2013 at 19:07:35
Ken #890 - straight from the horses mouth, looks like I wasn't quite right but probably close enough, excerpt from the Echo May 2010:

Liverpool is my favourite city, and the song was originally called Liverpool Sunset, smiles its writer, Ray Davies. I was inspired by Merseybeat. I'd fallen in love with Liverpool by that point. On every tour, that was the best reception. We played The Cavern, all those old places, and I couldn't get enough of it.

I had a load of mates in bands up there, and that sound not The Beatles but Merseybeat that was unbelievable. It used to inspire me every time.

So I wrote Liverpool Sunset. Later it got changed to Waterloo Sunset, but there's still that play on words with Waterloo.

London was home, I'd grown up there, but I like to think I could be an adopted Scouser. My heart is definitely there.

Mike Green
59 Posted 09/09/2013 at 19:14:44
P.S. Ken - my old man saw them all in the Sixties and to this day Gene Vincent is his all time hero, with the Kinks apparently a close second. :)
Tony Draper
60 Posted 09/09/2013 at 19:37:27
Ray Davies & The Kinks are still fuckin awesome

Sheer Scouse loyalty makes many of us (and I'm guilty at times) reckon that "The Beatles" were better.......hmmm

McCartneys lyrics are bloody pedestrian compared to Ray Davies
(Sir Paul wrote "We All Stand Together".....nuff said)

Sir Paul won't put fuck all money into Everton the fuckin mingebag !
Bet Ray Davies would if he was a Blue !

Mike Green
61 Posted 09/09/2013 at 19:44:45
He's a Gooner apparently Tony. A mate of mine sat next to him in a Chinese restaurant last year, says he's got an unfeasibly large head. We could probably play him off against Joe Royle.....
Ian Burns
62 Posted 09/09/2013 at 19:58:06
Used to really love Ray Davies and the Kinks until there was a BBC programme about him a year or two ago. It covered his past but concentrated a lot on his present life. He seemed to have transported himself onto another planet and I couldn't understand what on earth he was on about (or was it what he was on!).

Ken - 890 - more memories, used to also sneak into the Cavern at lunchtime, hiding our school jackets on the way in!

A young lady living opposite me used to pester me to go and see the Beatles they were brilliant! So I finally gave up and thought nothing of it at the time but what memories they are now.

Ray Atherton
63 Posted 09/09/2013 at 19:47:05
Ken 878

Ian 879

I was at that Vasco De Gama match lads. If you can also remember another Brazilian team called Bangu in that era.

Ian Burns
64 Posted 09/09/2013 at 20:06:02
Mike Owen - extremely rude of me not to mention what a great article - many thanks, great detail and the jogging of memories, really appreciate the effort and the quality of the detail. Well done, terrific
Ian Burns
66 Posted 09/09/2013 at 20:07:23
Ray, 929 - Yes I do remember the Bangu name. Please - I don't want anybody in anyway to think I am being racist - far from it - but that Bangu game was, if I recall properly, the first time live that I saw a black man play football. I remember being fascinated.

Crikey, delving into some past memories here guys!

Brian Denton
68 Posted 10/09/2013 at 12:21:48
I was taken to the Everton-Bangu game as a very small child. It may well have been my first game, but I can remember absolutely nothing about it since I was only three!

I've still got the programme up in the loft. If I recall correctly it's got a 'Pen Picture' of a player called Alan Tyrer. I've never seen him mentioned on ToffeeWeb. One for the [even older] arl arses?

Ken Crowther
69 Posted 10/09/2013 at 14:55:10
Ian #879, I might have a good memory (for somebody born in 1940); but I'm buggered if I can remember Bangu.

By the way it's da Gama, not De Gama.

Tony #925, to be fair to McCartney, "We all stand together" was during a somewhat experimental period for him (remember "Liverpool Oratorio"), I think that he wrote some good stuff - and a lot of people agree with me, because most of them recorded "Yesterday" - possibly still the most recorded track of all time.

Mind you, as a former class-mate of JWL (Quarry Bank 1952/7), I know which of the Lennon & McCartney pairing I prefer.

Ray Atherton
70 Posted 10/09/2013 at 17:35:06
Brian 009

Well Brian I will put your mind at ease now about Alan Tyrer. He was a local lad I think, He scored a beauty in the Gladwys st end to beat Leeds Utd 1-0. That could have been his only game not really sure
This was about 1959 or 1960.

Brian Denton
71 Posted 10/09/2013 at 22:31:52
Much obliged, Ray. I remember later on seeing a player called Aiden Maher in about 1967. I think he only played once. A new series - Everton one-hit wonders!
Ray Atherton
72 Posted 10/09/2013 at 22:51:00
Brian I played football against him at primary school I was at SFX he played for St Swithins and later St Teresas. He stood out by a mile,all left foot.

In the Everton youth team he was, like Rooney, brilliant but, as you said, I think he only had one game. I am certain he went to Plymouth Argyle and also Tranmere.

Shame he didn t make it for the Blues he was a good left winger.

Ken Crowther
73 Posted 11/09/2013 at 08:47:54
I remember Aiden Maher playing in the Everton team that won the Youth Cup (God knows what year - he might even have been Captain) but I'm amazed to be told that he only played in one game - I thought that he was a fringe player for quite a while - no substitutes in those days, of course.
Alan McGuffog
74 Posted 11/09/2013 at 10:25:40
It was a sign of just how great a side we had in the late 1960s. I remember seeing Aiden Maher's only game... God knows who it was against. Another one-game kid was a guy called David Turner. I think he played full back against Chelsea in 67 or 68. Had a blinder and never played again to my knowledge. Mind you we did have Ramon Wilson and Tommy Wright as our regular pairing back then.
Ian Burns
75 Posted 11/09/2013 at 13:08:25
Ken-Ray-Brian - Aiden Maher actually scored 7 goals in one game for the Liverpool Schoolboys in the early sixties and also played for England Schoolboys at Wembley. In the same Liverpool Schoolboys team as Gerry Glover who also played one game for Everton against Sunderland if memory serves me correctly.
Chris Hockenhull
76 Posted 11/09/2013 at 13:33:47
Anyone remember Jimmy Hill...what stats do we have for him?? All I ever remember about him was receiving my TyPhoo Colour Team pic in the post about 1965 and there was this 'person' on it???
Tony Draper
77 Posted 11/09/2013 at 13:54:53
Chris (185)
Not "Chinny" Hill off the beeb ?
Ken Crowther
78 Posted 11/09/2013 at 16:58:57
Chris #185 - He was an Northern Irishman who we signed from Norwich (or maybe it was Ipswitch) in the early sixties, a slightly built international winger as I remember. Suffered a lot of injuries. Can't tell you much else.
Ray Atherton
80 Posted 11/09/2013 at 17:18:47
Ian Gerry Glover played footie for St Johns school with another blue Frank Darcy. In the 1965/6 season substitutes were first allowed. If memory serves me correct, Glover came on in the derby at anfield (very painful to mention it lost 5-0)

Ken you are spot on a northern Irish international came from Norwich. But only had a handful of games scored one goal in the gladwys st end I think that was it. From a gladwys st ender in the 60 s.

Tim Welsh
81 Posted 11/09/2013 at 19:55:50
I read this and it resonated with me. Excellent article that catalogues our great clubs' great failures.
It is strange how I remember League cup exits more vividly than I do FA cup defeats. Perhaps it is because every year I think ' we'll do it this year' and we never have.
Hope springs eternal.


Graham Reed
82 Posted 11/09/2013 at 19:55:52
Alan 162

Aiden Maher's one game was in 67-8 at home to Man City. There is a bit of footage of that game at the start of the 'Golden Vision' dvd of the BBC play and I am pretty sure there is a brief glimpse of him wearing the No. 11 shirt, although I havent gone back to check this. Also Turner's one game was at home to Chelsea in the same season as you say. All these lineups are available at

David Price
83 Posted 11/09/2013 at 20:16:00
Great article. I'm sure Bingham was sacked before the win at Man Utd in '77. Remember the Utd thugs outside asking people the time to try and find a scouse accent, dodged a bullet that night. Also the 89 semi v Arsenal, to jog the memory, I went to both games, Trevor Steven missed a penalty at Goodison to equalise late on then massive support at Highbury and a shite journey home.

Thanks Mike, great reading.

Steve Green
84 Posted 11/09/2013 at 20:47:49
David @ 233, yes I thought Bingham had been sacked and we were managerless for that Dec tie, however records show we were wrong and he went in the Jan. Travelled in dread of a beating but what a display and good goals to boot. Spot on about the asking time lark. I was one of those asked the time, by the old railway lines on the way back to the car after the game. Got a good smack and a few kicks for my courtesy but my mates dad faced them up and jumped on a Utd coach after them. None of the horrible twats wanted any at that point.
Peter Mills
85 Posted 11/09/2013 at 21:38:29
I'm pretty sure after that shortly after that game at Old Trafford Bingham bought Duncan McKenzie and Bruce Rioch and was then sacked. We spent the match sitting in the old main stand on the end of the row, next to the triangular bit of terracing between the main stand and the scoreboard end. A Manc spent the whole of the second half clinging on to the dividing wire fencing, 15 foot up, spitting at us.

Aiden Maher looked like he was going to be a cracking player when he played for the team that won the Youth Cup in 1965. I went to the second leg of the final at Goodison, I think John Hurst, Jimmy Husband and Geoff Barnett all played.

Frida Ericsson
86 Posted 14/09/2013 at 15:32:25
The league cup is a bit of a strange beast. On the one hand it adds pointless games to your season, for what ultimately would give a Europa slot. On the other hand, it does not have the same financial pedigree that the FA Cup has.

I do not take the view these league cup games are pointless, especially in a time when the premier league gulf is getting even bigger between the have's and have not's, this is a competition we should be aiming to win, particularly if it has a European spot available for winning it. I can hear it now, about how people hate the Europa league...but let's face facts, we need the seeding to prevent us from being drawn against the power houses of european football if and when we did qualify for the champions league. Therefor it has relevance. It shouldn't matter where we are in the league, this cup should be a top priority for getting into Europe.

This cup is never going to be easy to win, because there is a lot more incentive for the lower league teams to go out all guns blazing and looking for upsets. They stand to gain a lot more than we do, financially (purse for winning it and getting a Euro slot adding even more money).

I don't just want us to win it because we have never won it before, but I want us to win it because it gives us a fallback if we fail to qualify in the league, same as with the FA Cup.

If you send your second team out, thinking it will be just a formality, like so many teams do (including Everton) your going to be in for a really tough fight. Most of those lower league teams will fight tooth and nail for a result. Look at how Stevenage played against us, I thought they where superb.

I think if the top teams showed a little more respect toward the lower league sides, I don't think we'd have gone for so long without winning it.

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