Forty Years Ago — FA Cup: Round 3

Everton had opened 1974 at Goodison Park with a Third Round FA Cup tie against Third Division Blackburn Rovers. Blackburn Rovers were founder members of the Football League and had won the FA Cup on six occasions, but they had lost their previous Wembley encounter with Wolverhampton Wanderers (0-3) in 1960, a match which is largely remembered for the Wigan Athletic owner and former Blackburn Rovers player, Dave Whelan’s unfortunate leg-break. Mr Whelan had received an insurance pay-out for this incident and that had given him the money with which to start his businesses which have culminated in him owning his hometown club.

The last occasion that Blackburn Rovers had won the FA Cup in 1928, by beating Huddersfield Town (3-1), Everton had as Champions played them at Old Trafford in the Charity Shield game where WR Dean had scored twice in front of a crowd of just 4,000. The game had taken place on Wednesday, 24 October 1928, which may explain the low attendance; this had been the first occasion that Everton had taken part in that particular showpiece game.

Blackburn Rovers had been relegated from the top-flight at the end of the 1965-66 campaign, so while Evertonians and England supporters had celebrated victories in the FA Cup and the World Cup respectively, Rovers fans had been left licking their wounds and fretting about when they would once again witness top-class football at Ewood Park. Things had gotten worse for Blackburn Rovers as they had been relegated into Division Three at the end of the 1971 season. Johnny Carey had been appointed the manager in November 1970 in an attempt to arrest the slide down the Second Division, but it had been to no avail and Rovers suffered the ignominy of playing third-tier football for the first time in their illustrious history, a fate that had befallen fellow founder members Aston Villa and Preston North End in the couple of years prior to it happening to the Ewood Park outfit.

David Exall apologised for the sparseness of the matchday programme, but a combination of the three-day week and the disruption in power supplies meant that the normal features could not be accommodated as the printers had less time to produce the magazine and the deadlines were foreshortened. Mr Exall had major concerns about losing supporters due to the disruption and worried that, once people had lost the habit of regularly attending football matches, it would be very difficult to persuade them to return. As well as the disruption caused by the three-day week, Mr Exall claimed that people’s habits had already begun to change and cited the various distractions such as the goals packages shown on TV, with the likes of ITV’s World of Sport and BBC’s Grandstand, modernised Public Houses and the lure of shopping which had started to make inroads into the time and spending habits of former regular match-goers.

In 1971, Blackburn Rovers had played in a third round tie at Goodison as Everton (2-0) had beaten them – courtesy of two first half goals from Jimmy Husband - on their way to an ill-fated Semi-Final loss to Liverpool at Old Trafford. Previous meetings between the two sides in the FA Cup included a victory for Everton (1-0) in 1957, in a Third Round tie, thanks to a converted penalty scored by Jimmy Harris in front of a crowd of 56,293.

The following year, 1958, Everton had suffered a defeat at the hands of Blackburn Rovers (1-2), where Jimmy Harris had once again netted. The game had been a Fourth Round tie played on Wednesday, 29 January, and an incredible 75,818 had attended the match. Both games had been played at Goodison Park – although the programme I have in my collection states that this game had originally been scheduled for Saturday, 25 January 1958. Perhaps someone knows why the game hadn’t taken place on the Saturday? Perhaps it had been due to bad weather or a frozen pitch? Two former Everton players, Harry Leyland and Matt Woods, had taken part in both games and Johnny Carey had been the manager of the visitors on both occasions.

Everton had first faced Rovers in the FA Cup in 1895 and a draw (1-1) at Goodison Park had been followed with an Everton victory (3-2) in the Ewood Park replay. The two sides had also met each other in consecutive seasons at Goodison in 1897 when Everton had won (2-0), but had eventually lost to Aston Villa (2-3) in the Cup Final at Crystal Palace, and in 1898 when the Blues had triumphed (1-0), but had then failed to reach the final as Derby County (2-3) had triumphed in the Semi-Final played at Molineux. In 1930, Blackburn Rovers had beaten Everton (4-1) at Ewood Park, on the only occasion that Everton had been drawn away to the side from East Lancashire.

The Match: Billy Bingham, in his first FA Cup match as manager of Everton, had seen his side progress to the next round in a routine enough victory over lower league Blackburn Rovers. Joe Harper (22’) had opened the scoring and John Hurst (36’) had given the Blues a two-goal lead at the interval and that’s the way it remained, until Dave Clements (86’) added a third goal in the closing stages.

On the same day, Liverpool had been held at home by Doncaster Rovers (2-2), Leeds United had drawn with Wolves (1-1) at Molineux, and Hendon had held Newcastle United (1-1), although all three sides had gone on to win the replays and had gained safe passage to the FA Cup Fourth Round.

1973-74 — FA Cup Round 3; Saturday, 5 January 1974
Blackburn Rovers @ Goodison Park, Score: 3-0 (Harper, Hurst, Clements), Attendance: 31,940
Everton: Lawson; Darracott, Styles, Clements, Kenyon; Hurst, Bernard (Jones); Buckley Royle, Lyons, Harper.

Thirty Years Ago — 1983-84 FA Cup, Round 3

Everton began their second Wembley assault of the 1983-84 campaign with a tricky tie at the home of struggling First Division rivals Stoke City. Howard Kendall had played for Stoke City in the twilight of his playing career and Adrian Heath became Everton’s record signing when he had decided to leave The Potteries, two years earlier.

Twenty years earlier, in January 1964, the programme recalled how Stoke City had beaten Portsmouth (4-1) where Dennis Violett and John Ritchie had both scored two goals apiece one of Dennis Viollett’s goals had been set-up by Stanley Mathews who at the time was close to celebrating his 49th birthday. On the same day, Everton were struggling against Third Division Hull City and they trailed for 50 minutes to a Bill Wilkinson goal, but Alex Scott had rescued the Blues with his equaliser and in another tight game at Goodison the following Tuesday, firstly Alex Scott and then Brian Harris had struck for the Toffees to beat Hull (2-1) and progressed into the fourth round. The major shock of the round had seen Newcastle United beaten at St James’s Park, by Bedford Town (1-2).

Everton had last faced Stoke City in the FA Cup in 1977, and during that season, similar to 1984, they had designs of gracing Wembley in the Final of both domestic cup competitions. Goals scored by Mike Lyons and Duncan McKenzie’s converted penalty, had ensured that Everton (2-0) progressed to the Fourth Round in front of nearly 33,000, mostly happy supporters.

Possibly the least important FA Cup encounter that Everton have ever been involved in had taken place on Friday, 7 May 1971, at Selhurst Park when Everton had faced Stoke City in a Third-Place Playoff match. The game had been won by Stoke City (2-3) in front of a crowd of just 5,031; Alan Whittle and Alan Ball had been on target for the Toffees and Alan Ball had also failed to convert a penalty, Stoke City’s goals had been scored by Mike Bernard and John Ritchie (2). The Everton line-up was: Rankin, Wright, Newton H, Kendall, Labone, Harvey, Whittle, Ball, Johnson, Lyons, Morrisey.

This ill-fated ‘showpiece’ game had been introduced in 1970, when Manchester United had beaten Watford (2-0) at Highbury with around 15,000 in attendance. The silly idea of Third-Place Playoff was thankfully consigned to the dustbin of history when in 1974, Burnley (1-0) had defeated Leicester City at Filbert Street and, despite being played at the home ground of one of the participants, it still attracted less than 7,000 people.

The Match: Goals scored by Andy Gray (67’) and Alan Irvine (84’), had kept Everton’s dreams of ‘Going to Wembley twice’ alive as, backed by at least half of those who were in attendance, they had overcome Stoke City and could look forward to another cup-tie in the FA Cup to go along with the upcoming game with Oxford United at the Manor Ground the following mid-week.

My abiding memory of the day is that, everywhere you looked in and around the various locations, outside of the ground, prior to kick-off, all you could see and hear was a sea of Evertonians adorned in blue-and-white hats and scarves, all singing with gusto.

Suddenly, it was as if the supporters’ desire for Everton to rid themselves of the relatively recently acquired ‘bridesmaids’ tag, had decided to do as much as they could to spur on their heroes; once more the fans believed in their team. Somehow the notion that Everton could become winners again had gripped the imagination of everyone who followed the club – or perhaps everyone just sensed that it was an all-or-nothing period for the club.

That mood of positive defiance could have disappeared as quickly as it had arrived but there had been a real sense that something was in the air and it had had an intoxicating effect on the team and its support. A fantastic day to be an Evertonian and it is days like those that make being a fan of the Blues feel so worthwhile; in recent times, the FA Cup replay at Sunderland in 2012 is the closest I have felt to replicating that day at Stoke City – outside of Semi-Finals and Finals of course! Let us all hope that there are many more of these type of games to enjoy in the coming years.

Ian Davidson, in his match report – from which Sunday Paper I do not know – wrote “Everton finally ground Stoke into the mud – and may the Lord have Mersey upon us!" He continued “There was a fascinating battle between Stoke-born Heath, who left the Victoria ground for Goodison two years ago, and Chamberlain, who would like to leave. Both were stars… The first goal came midway through the second half when Sheedy’s cross was met by Gray and his looping header somehow beat Fox. Then Irvine added a superb second, cutting inside Hampton before firing high into the net. It was enough to convince the loyal Everton fans – and more than 7,000 made the trip – that this, at last, is their Wembley year.”

Manchester’s interest in the FA Cup had ended at seaside towns; as Bournemouth (2-0) had beaten United and Blackpool had overcome City (2-1), other notable fallers in the Third Round had been Aston Villa, Leeds United, Arsenal and Chelsea, although Liverpool had beaten Newcastle United and the other North London club Tottenham had booked their place in the Fourth Round.

1983-84 — FA Cup Third Round; Saturday, 7 January 1984
Stoke City @ Victoria Ground 2-0 (Gray & Irvine) Attendance: 16,462
Everton: Southall; Stevens, Bailey, Ratcliffe, Mountfield; Reid, Irvine, Heath; Gray, Sharp, Sheedy. Unused sub: King.

Twenty Years Ago — 1993-94: FA Cup Round 3

When Sky Sports had flashed up the news that Howard Kendall had left Everton, Bolton Wanderers were in the process of beating Lincoln City (3-1) in the Second Round of the FA Cup in front of the live Sky cameras, and their reward for having beaten Lincoln City, was the visit of Everton to Burnden Park. Bolton had very nearly exited the competition in the First Round as they had trailed to lowly Gretna, but Owen Coyle had scored two very late goals and they had managed to win the game (3-2).

Mike Walker had recently been appointed Everton manager and former Everton player Bruce Rioch had been in charge of Bolton Wanderers. A traditional venue for a traditional cup-tie was bound to have some drama and although Bolton had not been a top-flight club for many years, they had proved their pedigree when they had dumped the FA Cup holders, Liverpool out of the FA Cup in 1992-93.
Everton had only encountered Bolton Wanderers twice in domestic cup competitions since the war, once in the FA Cup and once in the League Cup, both games had come at the Semi-final stage and each side had progressed to the final, only to miss out on the trophy.

The meeting in the FA Cup had happened in 1953 at Maine Road, Manchester in front of 75,213 people. First Division Bolton Wanderers had steam-rolled the Second Division Toffees and at one point they had led by four goals to nil. Doug Holden had given Bolton the lead after only 10 minutes and Willy Muir (18’) had doubled their lead a short while later, Nat Lofthouse (30’, 41’) had added a couple more before Everton had staged a brave fight-back and had scored three times, John Willie Parker (46’ , 82’) had netted twice and Peter Farrell (77’) had grabbed the other, but a missed penalty by Tommy Clinton (44’) in the first-half had proven even more costly than it had seemed at the time. The Everton line-up that day was: O’Neill, Clinton, Lindsay, Farrell, Jones TE, Lello, Buckle, Cummins, Hickson, Parker JW, Eglington

Bolton Wanderers went on to face Blackpool in the Final at Wembley in another high-scoring game but this time Blackpool (4-3) had triumphed and the famous ‘Mathews’ Final lives on in the annals of FA Cup history. Incidentally Nat Lofthouse had been awarded an OBE in the 1994 New Year’s Honours list.

In 1977, the roles of the clubs had been reversed as Bolton Wanderers had been the lower league team and Everton the top flight club, they had met in a two-legged Semi-Final of the League Cup and on this occasion it had been Everton (2-1) that had prevailed and had progressed to the final on aggregate, where eventually, they had lost a three-match marathon tie with Aston Villa (2-3) at Old Trafford.

A feature entitled Past Times observed that this would be the eleventh meeting of Everton and Bolton Wanderers in the FA Cup. Prior to the 1994 encounter, Bolton had beaten Everton three times in the FA Cup and Everton had also triumphed on three occasions with the other four games having ended in draws.

The first meeting had occurred in 1887-88 at Bolton’s Pike Lane, Bob Roberts had scored to give Bolton the victory, but due to Bolton player Bob Struthers being ineligible for the competition, the FA ordered the match to be replayed. The first ‘replay’ had ended all square (2-2) Farmer and Watson having scored for the Blues and the next game had also ended in a draw (1-1) with Farmer once again the scorer for Everton, in the fourth and final encounter Everton had triumphed by beating Bolton (2-1), the goals having been scored by Goudie and Watson, but in the next round, Preston North End (0-6) had dumped the Toffees out of the competition.

That though wasn’t the end of the saga, as due to an FA decision to eliminate Everton and re-instate Bolton, they declared that Everton’s encounter with PNE was void, due to Everton having used an ineligible player in their triumphant encounter with Bolton. Preston North End therefore had to play Bolton and, despite the inconvenience of having to do so, had run out comfortable winners having beating Bolton (9-1). There can’t have been many such convoluted cup ties in the entire history of the game. For the record, Preston went on to reach the Cup Final via a Semi-Final victory over Crewe (5-0), staged in Liverpool, presumably at Everton’s home ground, but had then lost the Final to West Bromwich Albion (1-2) at the Kennington Oval. Folklore has it that Proud Preston had been so sure of their abilities, that prior to the game they had asked the photographer to take a picture of the PNE team holding the FA Cup, whereupon the photographer had asked them “Hadn’t you better win it first?”

The Match: In a full-blooded encounter, Paul Rideout (44’) had given Everton the lead shortly before half-time but, early in the second-half, Mark Patterson (47’) had equalised and thus earned Bolton a replay at Goodison Park. Barry Horne had seen red in the 56th minute and Mike Walker, the recently appointed Everton manager, had been pleased with his team’s performance – especially so as they had been down to ten men in the final half-hour or so. Mr Walker had also been very happy with the reception he had received from the large following of Blues who had visited Burnden Park for the cup-tie.

1993-94 — FA Cup 3rd Round:  Saturday, 8 January 1994
Bolton Wanderers @ Burden Park Score 1-1 (Rideout) Attendance: 21,702
Everton: Southall; Holmes, Jackson, Snodin, Ablett; Ward, Horne; Beagrie, Cottee, Rideout (Barlow), Stuart.  Unused Subs: Kearton, Hinchcliffe.

The Replay: Stuart Barlow started for Everton in the replay against Bolton at Goodison and he rewarded his new manager with two goals: his opening goal came in the first half (28’) and, less than a minute into the second period (46’), he had struck again to give Everton a two-goal lead and what had looked like a place in the next round and a home tie with Arsenal, but Bolton Wanderers, not for the first time that season, had other ideas. McGinlay (52’) had pulled a goal back just six minutes after Barlow had given the Blues a two-goal lead and Alan Stubbs (84’) equalised for The Trotters late in the game. Barlow had been forced to leave the pitch following a collision with Bolton keeper Aidan Davidson and Bolton settled the tie when Owen Coyle (100’) scored what proved to be the winner in the first period of extra-time.
A golden opportunity missed for Everton and their new manager and a result that would cast a shadow over the club for a few weeks.

The Bolton Evening News reported, “Just when the Everton faithful in the third biggest Goodison crowd of the season were ready to celebrate a replay romp, they proved the doubters wrong once again. Mike Walker laid into his players for allowing the tie to slip from their grasp. No Premier League team, he argued, should throw away a two-goal lead. But Everton were powerless against the spirit of Bolton Wanderers. Two goals down, 30 seconds into the second half and the manager’s half-time words blowing in the wind, lesser teams would have wilted. But John McGinlay’s sweet strike, Alan Stubbs’s opportunism to capitalise on a Neville Southall fumble and Owen Coyle’s killer finish in the first period of extra time said more about the character of this Bolton side than the 2-0 trouncing of Liverpool. "It was better because we did it the hard way!" was McGinlay’s assessment. "At 2-0 down, nobody would have fancied us!" Even Rioch was honest enough to admit: "At 2-0, I thought it might not be our day!" The article concluded with Robert Warzycha, who had re-placed the dazzling but dazed Barlow, shot into the side netting while Phillips and Stubbs managed to make dramatic clearances under nail-biting conditions. But the sight of Everton players losing their cool and the sound of the Goodison fans venting their frustrations told Wanderers they had this one in the bag.

I cannot recall an FA Cup tie where Everton have been two goals to the good and ended up losing the game other than this one, but perhaps one of our readers can enlighten me. The referee for both cup-ties had been Mr Robbie Hart, who would play a part later in the season, in perhaps, Everton’s most important match of modern times if not ever, but more of him in a future amble down Memory Lane...

Other teams who had suffered shock exits in the third round in 1994, included Birmingham City who had lost to Kidderminster Harriers (1-2) at St Andrews, QPR who had lost at Stockport County (1-2), Southampton who had lost at Port Vale (0-1) and perhaps the biggest shock had come a week following the tie at Goodison when over at Anfield, Bristol City had managed to beat Liverpool (1-0) which, although welcomed by many Blues, was of no real consolation following Everton’s demise in the competition.

1993-94 — FA Cup 3rd Round Replay; Wednesday, 19 January 1994
Bolton Wanderers @ Goodison Park 2-3 (Barlow 2) Attendance: 34,642
Everton: Southall; Jackson, Snodin, Ablett, Hinchcliffe; Ward (Stuart), Horne, Ebbrell; Beagrie, Barlow (Warzycha), Cottee. Unused Subs: Kearton, Hinchcliffe.

Ten Years Ago — 2003-04:  FA Cup Round 3

The home draw for the 2003-04 FA Cup Third Round tie against Division One leaders Norwich City had given David Moyes an opportunity to make amends for his team’s failure to previously beat a team three divisions below them as, in 2002-03, Shrewsbury Town had beaten Everton (1-2) at Gay Meadow, in an FA Cup Third Round tie, one of the most embarrassing FA Cup defeats in the Club’s history.

Norwich City had a side that needed to be respected or Everton and its supporters may have once again witnessed a season which had started so full of hope, turn into a mere battle for Premier League points with no prospect of the club adding the FA Cup to its list of honours. On both previous occasions that Everton and Norwich City had met in the FA Cup, Everton had gone on to reach Wembley, in 1989 and 1995.

Norwich City, with a six-point lead over West Bromwich Albion in the First Division, looked at this point in the 2003-04 campaign, as if they would make a return to the Premier League after an absence of eight years. They had almost succeeded in returning to the top flight in 2002-03 but had lost out in the play-offs. The last time that Norwich City had been a Premier League club in 1995, they had travelled to Goodison Park for an FA Cup Fifth Round tie but were swept aside by an Everton (5-0) side who went on to lift the trophy at Wembley.

David Moyes had previously managed a team in the FA Cup at Goodison Park, but that had been whilst he had been the PNE manager and his team had lost to Everton (0-2); he would have wanted his Everton side to come out on top in this game in order to register his first FA Cup victory at Goodison Park. David Moyes, keen to eradicate the memory of Shrewsbury Town, said in his column “You can’t take anything for granted in football so we will be totally focused this afternoon as we try to progress into the next round.” He also said “The FA Cup represents an opportunity for clubs like ourselves to move forward and if we consider ourselves to be in the top six or eight in the country then we need to be aiming for the quarter-finals and beyond in this competition.”

Gavin Buckland’s Bit N Bobs feature informed his readers that the last occasion – prior to January 2004 – that an FA Cup Final had been contested where the players from both teams at kick off had no prior experience of playing in an FA Cup Final, had been when Everton and Watford had lined up for the Final at Wembley in 1984.

The last three teams not to have a single player with an FA Cup final appearance under their belts were Southampton (2003), Wimbledon (1988) and Liverpool (1986). Gavin also said that, prior to January 2004, only two penalties had been scored against Everton in 186 FA Cup matches at Goodison, the last of which had been scored by Bill Shankly for Preston North End in January 1946; this goal was also the only time that a ‘golden goal’ had been scored to beat Everton in a competitive match.

When Bill Shankly had stepped up to take the penalty, the aggregate score had been level at two goals apiece, in extra-time, but due to bad light the two teams had agreed before extra-time had begun that the next goal would be the winner, so Bill Shankly and his Preston North End side had knocked Everton out of the FA Cup in 1946.

Gavin also mentions that David Unsworth’s two successful penalty kicks against Birmingham City (2-0) in the FA Cup Fourth Round played in January 2000 had been the only occasion that any Everton player in any cup-tie had managed to score two penalties in the same game. Last but not least, Gavin reported that Peter Scott had the honour of being the fastest goalscorer in the FA Cup for Everton: he had achieved this feat in a Third Round tie with Crystal Palace at Goodison Park in January 1972, when he had scored after only 37 seconds of the game.

The Match: Kevin Kilbane (15’) had headed a perfect Gravesen cross into the net to put Everton into the lead early in the first-half as Everton had clearly come out intending on getting the job done as quickly as possible, but against the run of play. Jim Brennan (27’) then scored from the edge of the Everton box and got Norwich City back on level terms.

Everton had still largely dominated the play, but they had to wait until seven minutes before half-time to regain the lead. Alan Stubbs and Iwan Roberts had had an on-going battle throughout the game and when the two tangled in the penalty area, referee Matt Messias instantly pointed to the spot. Looking at the incident from a distance of ten years, it was in truth a soft award, as Alan Stubbs appeared more to have lost his footing rather than him having being pulled or fouled. Duncan Ferguson (38’) stepped up to stroke the ball left-footed into the net past Robert Green in the Norwich City goal and Everton were back in front.

The Canaries came out for the second-half with a more aggressive attitude and had made more of a game of it, but their efforts had been in vain as Iwan Roberts and Alan Stubbs had once again tangled in the box, with the same result as in the first-half; the referee pointed to the spot and Duncan Ferguson (70’) duly put the ball into the net and Everton were into the Fourth Round of the FA Cup. Duncan Ferguson had matched David Unsworth’s achievement of scoring two penalties in the same cup-tie.

A few of the bigger clubs had been taken to replays at this stage in 2004 but had managed to overcome lower league sides in the subsequent replays, Tranmere Rovers had caused possibly the major shock of the round by beating Bolton Wanderers (1-0) away, following a draw at Prenton Park (1-1).

2003-04 — FA Cup Round 3: Sunday, 3 January 2004
Norwich City @ Goodison Park, Score: 3-0 (Kilbane, Ferguson – 2 pens), Attendance: 29,955
Everton: Martyn; Hibbert, Stubbs, Unsworth, Naysmith; Carsley, Gravesen (Yobo), Kilbane; Rooney, Ferguson (Campbell), McFadden (Jeffers). Unused Subs: Simonsen, Radzinski.

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Reader Comments (6)

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Peter Mills
1 Posted 03/01/2014 at 08:27:53
Patrick, it's sobering to be reminded that the famous 3rd round game at Stoke was 30 years ago. You have captured the mood of the day well, we got into the stand behind the goal quite early and the atmosphere was very lively then. By the time the teams came out it was manic. Quite why everyone was in such a mood that day I don't know, but the support at that match is a genuine part of Everton history.

I have two abiding memories. My poor Dad seeing none of the second half as he refused to stand, having paid for a seat. And, had he stood, he would have seen the bizarre sight of a guy 9-10 rows in front who managed to inflate a condom over his own head and shoulders.

Michael Coffey
2 Posted 03/01/2014 at 10:23:45
Patrick, don't think because you don't get many comments on your epic trawls through history they aren't much appreciated. They bring back some great memories. I was at the Blackburn and Stoke games; I remember being astonished at how far the Rovers keeper (Jones, I think) could throw the ball. New years resolution - sort out my programme collection...
Andrew Ellams
3 Posted 03/01/2014 at 12:49:59
1984 must have been a wet year because I seem to remember the weather at Stoke and Notts Co in the 6th Round being abysmal.
Mark Murphy
4 Posted 03/01/2014 at 13:18:16
I was at the Blackburn game as well - as I recall they had good support at that game but I'm surprised to see the attendance was that low - I always thought we got 40 plus every game back then.
Crap line up though so I guess we'd become a little disillusioned by then.
Karl Masters
5 Posted 03/01/2014 at 22:36:22
Back in the ’80s, the magic of the FA Cup meant that you saw much bigger crowds for cup ties than league matches. The crowd at Stoke was over 16,000 for this Cup match with 7,000 plus from Everton; yet a week later the same teams only drew 7,900 for a League match.

League crowds were not good back then, but what a shame the Premier League and Sky have managed to lessen the appeal of the FA Cup whilst promoting the EPL to a global brand. 39,000 at Goodison Park last Sunday in the League, but despite massively reduced prices tomorrow against QPR (Ł5 for kids, for example) we’ll be lucky to get 30,000.

In 1983, we averaged 20,000 in the League, but 43,000 turned up for a 5th round FA Cup tie versus Spurs. We won 2-0 and exactly a week later only 17,000 turned out for a League game versus Swansea.

Tony Smith
6 Posted 04/01/2014 at 09:04:42
I was 18 at the time and agree with Peter 439 that for some reason the whole Everton contingent was overcome by this overwhelming feeling of being together and on the verge of something amazing, when actually we were quite crap at the time.

I have over the years been to all of the amazing games, Bayern etc. but no match ever made the hairs stand up on the back of my neck like that game when looking around and seeing a stadium full of blue and none stop singing "Tell me ma, me ma!".

I think Howard at the time in place of a pre match team talk just opened the changing room window and asked the players to listen to the fans.
The hairs on the back of my neck are standing up again as I remember this day 30 years ago.

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