Everton 1 - 1 Manchester City (4 November 1967)
My dad had taken me to reserve matches, at both Goodison and Anfield. He knew, however, that I wanted to go to a first team match. Perhaps the day that made up his mind was in September of that year, when, sat in the stand, at Anfield, watching Liverpool Reserves, I only had ears for the crowd, across Stanley Park, at Goodison Park. Everton raced into a 3-0 half time lead, against Wolves. The cheering, and singing, of the crowd could be heard, loud and long, at the home of the old enemy. Everton would go on to win 4-2, and I would go on to remind my dad of exactly how much I wanted to go to a first team match.
Perhaps there was another reason why he took me to my first “big” match. You see, as good as our family life was in Formby (having moved there, in 1965, from Liverpool), my mum and dad wanted more for their young brood (there were 5 kids, aged 3 to 12). Australia was underpopulated. There was a need for more people, especially with young families, to provide demand for domestically produced products, and labour for their growing manufacturing and service sectors.
We fitted the bill perfectly. Mum and dad knew that there may never be a better opportunity to secure the futures of the family. Moves were underway to turn us into £10 Poms. It looked like we were going to be emigrating to Australia. If dad was going to take me to a match, perhaps now was the time.
So, on a cold, grey afternoon, in early November, I left, with him, on a journey back into Liverpool. We drove through the streets of Kirkdale, past the bonfires, waiting to become the focal points of many Guy Fawkes celebrations, later that evening, and on to Westminster Road Police Station. There we parked up, at my dad's place of work. It was going to be huge match. Everton vs Manchester City. A great first fixture to go to.
We made our way to the ground, through the vast crowds. The sights, sounds and smells overwhelmed my senses. Once inside, I took up my position, on a box, against the perimeter wall, under the shadow of the main stand. 'Baby Now That I’ve Found You' boomed away, on the tannoy. The Foundations were high up in the charts. The music mix was intoxicating and, as kick-off approached, the atmosphere started to build. I had heard nothing like it before, and my body was not prepared for the battering that it was about to receive.
Yet, I never missed any of the action. I watched, in a trance-like state. My ears were 'ringing', thanks to the chanting, the clapping, the singing, oh, and the swearing! Manchester City were a good team. They would go on to win the league that season. The action was end to end, with defences often stretched, as they attempted to thwart their attacking opponents.
And then it happened. Manchester City took a first half lead. Dad checked that I was okay. I was. There was plenty of time to go. Then Everton received a lifeline. Penalty! Up stepped Alan Ball. He missed the target by some distance. For the first time, I was close to tears.
Dad allowed me to go to the toilet, without him, at half time. One thing that surprised me was the number of Manchester City fans, using the same toilets. They were sharing banter with the Everton supporters, and joking about how bad the penalty kick was. I found my way back to my dad, and my box, just in time for the second half. Everton were attacking the Park End, not their favoured direction in the second half of matches.
Ernie Hunt, my neighbour, from the very next street, scored the equalising goal. Was he offside? I don’t know. However, his goal gave Everton a 1-1 draw, in the last Everton match that I would go to, in a day less than six years. A very tired, and happy, ten year old returned to Formby, for his Bonfire Night celebrations.
Reader Comments (20)
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1 Posted 04/08/2016 at 18:03:56
2 Posted 04/08/2016 at 18:11:11
3 Posted 04/08/2016 at 19:02:44
4 Posted 04/08/2016 at 19:12:26
5 Posted 04/08/2016 at 19:32:15
7 Posted 04/08/2016 at 20:27:22
Remember Alex Scott (Chico) getting some Osman like 'stick' from the crowd though, some things never change. We used to walk back along Priory Rd, to Breck Rd to get the no 14 bus back to Croxteth.
Did your family ever make it to Australia at the time Kieron, I remember quite a few families from my childhood did get the boat, a six week journey I seem to recall?
9 Posted 05/08/2016 at 00:20:25
10 Posted 05/08/2016 at 19:57:05
11 Posted 06/08/2016 at 10:43:23
Funnily enough I can remember my next two games away at Burnley on Boxing Day 1960 and perhaps someone can confirm but I think we played them at Goodison the next day. Those two games were my Christmas present. I have the programme from the away game but not the home. My Dad said that there were 75,000 at the home game and they ran out of programmes. I do remember standing on a milk crate in the old Goodison Road to watch us go down 3-0.
12 Posted 06/08/2016 at 11:00:33
13 Posted 06/08/2016 at 12:47:49
How times have changed. Imagine the outcry if the current lot were asked to play two days in a row.
14 Posted 07/08/2016 at 14:45:01
Playing two days on the bounce, love it!
18 Posted 07/08/2016 at 18:09:39
My memory doesn't deceive me, it was on MotD that night, so a YouTube record remains.
19 Posted 07/08/2016 at 22:13:57
20 Posted 07/08/2016 at 22:26:01
21 Posted 07/08/2016 at 22:42:52
1-1 Dave Hickson. I remember nothing except the goal and the noise and smell and the smoking and some swearing but not by my dad.
I remember better the party in our house in Walton at the end of the season when we got promoted and the shite were relegated. I think I had a weak shandy but in my mind it was finest champagne.
Still going to Goodison and living in hope for a Renaissance. Maybe this time.
22 Posted 08/08/2016 at 11:24:49
Most recent match? Everton 2-3 Leicester on the 19th December 2015.
23 Posted 08/08/2016 at 20:16:21
My first game - for the record - was in the late 1950's - Everton vs Charlton Athletic in a FA Cup Replay which we won 4-1. It was thick with fog and the Daily Express the next day's headline was "The Greatest Game Never Seen".
I was in the Boy's Pen but I don't remember seeing you know who!
24 Posted 11/08/2016 at 09:54:56
Most of my childhood television has been wiped. You can find in-depth info at www.missing-episodes.com if anyone is interested.
I've been most annoyed by the fact that a close-up of 9-year-old me and my friend on the pitch at Blackpool in 1967 (won 1-0) was on ITV but erased.
25 Posted 15/08/2016 at 09:18:42
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