A traditional pub quiz question was Which league football team is located closest to the River Mersey? The answer, which catches most respondents out, was Stockport County. My parents relocated from Merseyside to NE Cheshire shortly before my birth in 1970. My Dad ensured I followed in the Mersey Blue tradition established by my great-grandfather but I have always kept a watchful eye on developments at Stockport County as my nearest team.

Sadly for The Hatters, they can no longer claim to be a league team having endured a dramatic dip in fortunes that has seen them sink from the second to sixth tier (The Skrill North) of English football within 12 years.

It is not only the Mersey which links these two Clubs at opposite ends of the football spectrum. Over the past century they have shared a number of players and managers. The likes of Ted Critchley, Harry Hardy, Harry Catterick (Wartime football), Charlie Gee, Nick Chadwick and Alex Young have turned out for both teams. On a downbeat note, Brett Angel, who had a successful career at County, is widely credited with being Everton’s least adept top-flight player ever. Managerial-wise Dave Jones, Gary Megson, Gary Ablett and Harry Catterick’s father have all held the Hatters managerial position.

This Saturday, 26 April, Phil Jevons will make his final professional appearance at Edgeley Park as Stockport County entertain Harrogate Town. Jevons was once a promising striker at Everton who made nine senior appearances in the Walter Smith era before embarking on a successful lower league career. This season, he has combined captaining County with coaching at Everton’s Academy; the demands of his coaching role mean that he has been obliged to hang up his boots. He has recently been joined in the County line-up by Jamie Milligan, a left-sided midfielder who failed to make the expected impact at Goodison in the late 1990s and now finds himself on a short-term deal at Edgeley Park. Milligan also owns a football coaching company with fellow ex-Toffee Gavin McCann.

Having already written about Ted Critchley, with his daughter Doris, for ToffeeWeb, I hope to add further articles about people linking the two clubs in the coming months starting with Charlie Gee. If anyone has any information that may help with the project, please feel free to get in touch via the ToffeeWeb editors.

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Reader Comments (4)

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Chris Jenkinson
1 Posted 25/04/2014 at 06:33:53
I remember going to watch Alex Young in his home debut for Stockport in 1968. I think it was a record crowd that night with lots of other blue noses in attendance!
Chris Matheson
2 Posted 25/04/2014 at 08:16:47
My mate Gaz used to live near Stockport and he and I would sometimes go to watch County, for me the contrast there with watching top flight footie in a big stadium was brilliant. I remember around the same time as Brett Angell was playing for them, they had a lad called Kevin Francis who was even taller at something like 7 foot, and the two formed a devastating goal machine partnership with every ball lobbed high into the box. It was hilarious. Sadly, Brett Angell was indeed the worst player I have ever seen play for Everton, by quite a distance.

Being a Cestrian I regularly go to watch Chester FC play when Everton are not playing and there are loads of Everton connections there too: regularly you see lads playing whose names I recognise from the ressies or the youth teams who didn't quite make it in the top flight; there is a lad from Croxteth getting regular games whose brother used to play for Everton, and a certain suave-shoed Spanish manager who was a crowd favourite at Chester when we was a player.

Sean Randles
3 Posted 25/04/2014 at 12:51:00
I shared this with a Stockport County season ticket holder- Tony Rannells and this was his response about Phil Jevons - Sean,

Great stuff. Feel free, on my behalf, to extend my thanks to Phil for his contribution this season to our wonderful club. He has scored no fewer than 19 goals, a major reason we've been able to stay in this division. He has conducted himself at all times this season in exemplary fashion and has been a perfect role model for everyone connected with the club. On occasion I have had the good fortune to bump into him pre-match. He's the nicest lad you could possibly imagine and will always take time out for a chat.

Thanks Phil.

Rob Sawyer
4 Posted 25/04/2014 at 22:14:43
A Stockport fan has pointed out an omission in my article. Stuart Barlow - our fleet-footed front-man who was known for being wayward in front of goal - turned out for County for a couple of seasons in the mid-nougthies.

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