Favourites aren't always the best, Part 4

John McFarlane Snr 16/12/2017 92comments  |  Jump to last

My selection for the right-half position in my "Favourite Team" is Peter Farrell. Peter Desmond Farrell was born on 16 August 1922 in Dublin, and was playing football for Castineely Schoolboys when spotted by a Shamrock Rovers scout; he subsequently joined Rovers on his 17th birthday. Tommy Eglington was among his early team-mates.

Peter helped Rovers to reach three successive Irish FA Cup Finals; they won the competition in 1944 and 1945, and finished as runners-up in 1946.

When Peter began his International career in 1946, there were in effect two Ireland teams, chosen by two rival associations: Irish Football Association (IFA) for Northern Ireland and the Football Association of Ireland (FAI), who claimed jurisdiction over the whole of Ireland, and selected players from the whole of the troubled isle. As a result, several notable Irish players from this era played for both teams.


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While playing for Shamrock Rovers, Peter captained Ireland on his International debut on 16 June 1946, against Portugal. On 21 September 1949 – together with Johnny Carey of Manchester United, Con Martin of Aston Villa, and Peter Corr of Everton – he was a member of the Ireland team that beat England 2-0 at Goodison Park, becoming the first non-UK team to beat England at home. After Con Martin had put Ireland ahead with a penalty in the 33rd minute, Peter made victory certain in the 85th minute.

He scored his second goal for Ireland on 9 October 1949 in a 1-1 draw with Finland in a qualifier for the 1950 World Cup. His third goal came on 30 May 1951, as he scored the opening goal in a 3-2 win against Norway.

Peter made 7 appearances for Northern Ireland between 1946 and 1949. On 27 November 1946, he made his debut in a 0-0 draw against Scotland. Together with Tommy Eglington (Shamrock Rovers), Alex Stevenson (Everton), Davy Walsh (Linfield), Johnny Carey (Manchester United), Con Martin (Glentoran) and Bill Gorman (Brentford), Peter was one of seven players born in the South to play for Ireland that day.

The draw helped the team to finish as runners up in the 1947 Home Championship, Peter also helped Ireland gain some other respectable results, including a 2-0 win against Scotland on 4 October 1947, and a 2-2 draw with England at Goodison Park on 5 November 1947.

Peter, together with Tommy Eglington, joined Everton in 1946; in eleven seasons with the club he played 452 League and Cup games and scored 18 goals. Peter was appointed team captain in 1948; after three years under his captaincy, the club was relegated to the Second Division for only the second time in its history.

I was lucky enough to be at Boundary Park, Oldham, the night that Everton won promotion back to the First Division in 1954, and after the game (a 4-0 win for the Blues) an emotional Peter Farrell addressed the supporters, who had invaded the pitch, by saying "I was captain when we were relegated, and now I'm proud to be captain on the night we've regained our place back in the First Division!"

From making his debut on 3 November 1946, in a 2-1 win against Stoke City at the Victoria Ground, until the last game of the 1956-57 season, a 1-1 draw against Bolton Wanderers at Burnden Park, Peter had missed only 26 League games and 2 FA Cup matches.

Peter left Everton in October 1957 and followed Tommy Eglington to Tranmere Rovers where he became Player-Manager; he played 114 games for Tranmere Rovers, scoring 1 goal, before leaving in December 1960.

After a spell as Manager of Sligo Rovers, Peter became Manager of Holyhead Town; helped by a number of former Everton and Tranmere Rovers players, he guided them to the Welsh League (North) title in 1964.

In 1967, Peter signed a one-year contract to manage St Patricks FC. He managed the 'Pats' in their Inter-Cities Fairs Cup tie against FC Girondins De Bordeaux, but resigned in 1968.

I chose Peter to occupy a place in my 'Favourite Team' because in my opinion, he was the finest captain that the club has had in my time of watching – and it should come as no surprise to learn that I have made him captain again.

I have no standout memory of Peter other than that momentous night in Oldham. What I can remember is, an inspirational captain who always gave 100% for the cause.

There is a tribute to Peter in the book "Everton, A Complete Record 1878-1985", which reads as follows:

"Peter Farrell helped make history when he scored one of the goals for Republic of Ireland team that defeated the star-studded and seemingly invincible England side in 1949. Fittingly, the venue for an Irish triumph which sent shockwaves spinning around the football world was Goodison Park, a ground which Farrell graced for more than a decade.

Strangely, the man who built an enviable reputation as a sturdy wing-half, was forced to play out of position that day, figuring at inside right.

He joined Everton from Shamrock Rovers in 1946 along with his long-time friend Tommy Eglington, the package deal cost the Goodison board just £10,000, making it arguably the best double signing the club ever made.

A resilient player who never shirked a tackle, Farrell was popular on the field and something of a hero off it, mixing freely with supporters in his down-to-earth manner.

He captained the side for many years before, in October 1957 at the age of 33, he agreed to join Tranmere Rovers for a fee of £2,500. He was later to become Manager until leaving in December 1960. The following season he took over as player-boss of Welsh League club Holyhead Town but eventually returned to Ireland to continue in management"

Sadly I'm unable to give the exact date that Peter passed away, one source gives the date as 16 March 1999, another claims he died in 2001.

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Reader Comments (92)

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Michael Kenrick
Editorial Team
1 Posted 17/12/2017 at 01:36:20
Sounds like a pretty good choice, John Snr. He was before my time but I know the name well. Pity you don't have clearer memories and a few tasty anecdotes of exactly what he did while playing for Everton (rather than all the Irish stuff), but beggars can't be too picky, eh!?!

I could have sworn Rob Sawyer had done one of his brilliant historical pieces on Peter Farrell but all my searches of TW are coming up with nothing.

However, I am certain of the first date you give for his death. I remember writing it in the Season Diary for March 1999 that I kept on here before we had our full-blown news tracking service.

Don Alexander
2 Posted 17/12/2017 at 02:16:47
John, I was five in 1960 so the first right half I remember well is Howie, the best ever to me, but tell me please if Bobby Collins was in contention for you as a right half?

My Glaswegian Dad met my old dear in Liverpool in '54 and became a big Everton fan. He used to wax lyrical to me about Tommy Eglington, Peter Farrell, Dave Hickson, Tommy Ring et al so it's great to read the deeper history you recount. When Collins signed he was ecstatic.

Please keep 'em coming! Thanks.

Terry White
3 Posted 17/12/2017 at 04:11:08
Don (#2), Collins was an inside right, not a wing half. Different positions in those days. Farrell scored our second goal, a twice taken free kick a la Kevin Sheedy, in the 4-3 semi-final loss to Bolton in 1953. A stirring comeback after we were 4-0 down at half time and Tommy Clinton had just missed a penalty.

My own choice at #4 would be Jimmy Gabriel. The young Gabriel in the early 1960s was a stirring sight, like a galleon moving up the middle of the field with the ball, his fair hair flying. A hard man was Jimmy.

John Keating
4 Posted 17/12/2017 at 04:24:34
Don, I always think of a right half as today's centre-back so for me although we've had some smashers over the years, Harris, John Hurst, I'd go with Kevin Ratcliffe.

Captain of Everton and Wales, had he been English the papers would have raved about him and he'd been a permanent fixture.

He was such a pacey player and one of the reasons Kendall could play such a high line with his defence, his speed of recovery and on the turn was second to none.

Kevin led by example and I doubt we'll ever again see a more successful Captain, unfortunately.

Terry White
5 Posted 17/12/2017 at 04:41:13
John (#4),

I may be wrong but I think John Sr stated in his initial posting that he would be naming two wing-halves and a centre-half, the old line-up Numbers 4, 5 and 6. This would rather place Kevin Radcliffe as a candidate for the #5 slot – albeit he was playing in a time of different formations.

I don't believe that a right half from the "old" days could ever be construed as today's centre-back. The wing half was usually a box-to-box player in today's vernacular.

John Keating
6 Posted 17/12/2017 at 05:44:08
Hi Terry. I didn't see the initial posting so the reason for my post.

I think this could become a thread in itself! I always think of the Number 5 as the true centre-half so, in our case, TG Jones, Brian Labone, later Mountfield and Watson. I would never have put Ratcliffe down as an out-and-out centre-half. I seem to remember he first got in the team at right-back?

You mentioned Gabriel. Admittedly he wore the Number 4 shirt but if you remember the 62-63 team, I think the nearest to a box-to-box player we had was Dennis Stevens, who came in more or less to replace Collins. Dennis sometimes usually wore 8 if I remember correctly.

I seem to remember Harris playing alongside Labone wearing the Number 6 shirt, Hurst wearing Number 10... so even then it was a bit confusing.

Later, we had Kendall in 4 and Ball in, well he had a few! Saw him play in 6, 7 and 8!

Yes, I think now we've got the easy bit done, goalie and full backs, the fun will start!!

Rick Tarleton
7 Posted 17/12/2017 at 05:44:24
I suspected Peter would be your choice, John. He was captain when I started watching Everton in the mid fifties and was one of the four regular Irishman in the team (O'Neill, Donovan and Eglington were the others).

My own favourite would probably have been Jimmy Gabriel, but I'm loving your nostalgic dive into the Everton of my youth.

Ron Marr
8 Posted 17/12/2017 at 06:38:00
I liked Gabriel too but my fave would be Howard Kendall.
Michael Kenrick
9 Posted 17/12/2017 at 07:40:45
John Keating (#6).

I always thought Ball played in Number 8, but you were right about him wearing the Number 7 shirt a few times in his first two seasons with Everton.

However, I can't find any indication that Ball wore the Number 6 shirt for Everton (Arsenal? Southampton??)

Peter Mills
10 Posted 17/12/2017 at 09:27:20
John Snr, I only know of Peter Farrell from people who saw him play, they all held him in high regard.

And if he was good enough to rate higher in your affections than Jimmy Gabriel and Howard Kendall (both of whom I saw many times, Howard being my favourite) then he must have been a very good player and character.

Thanks as usual John.

Jeff Armstrong
11 Posted 17/12/2017 at 09:27:37
John (#6), Ratcliffe first got into the team as a left back where he had a bit of a difficult time, I remember a quarter final versus Man City where he lost it and head butted one of theirs, think it was Tommy Hutchison.

They went on to win the cup that season, 1981 I think. Ratcliffe went on to be one of our finest centre-backs and captains ever, so maybe there's hope for Cuco Martina... ha, ha.

Stan Schofield
12 Posted 17/12/2017 at 10:02:32
It has to be Howard Kendall for me. Kendall was exceptional at winning the ball from a tackle then rapidly turning it into a fluid attacking move.

On numbering of positions, left wing half was usually No 6 (Colin Harvey for example), whilst No 8 was inside right (Alan Ball's usual number).

Steve Ferns
13 Posted 17/12/2017 at 11:22:51
Excellent again, John. You're teaching a load of new stuff to big Evertonians like myself.

On the formation, he's gone with the old 2-3-5

11 10 9 8 7
6 5 4
3 2

So 2 and 3 are defenders, rather than the modern fullbacks. The centre-half (5) is a defensive midfielder, and the wing halves (4 and 6) operate as central midfielders who pull wide onto the wings to defend against the wingers.

Read the excellent "Inverting the Pyramid" for the story of how we go from the 2-3-5 (pyramid) to the 4-4-2 to the modern 4-2-3-1.

John McFarlane
14 Posted 17/12/2017 at 12:41:44
Hi Michael (#1), Peter Farrell, like many of his peers, was not a flamboyant character; in those days, footballers were in the main, low-key members of the community.

As I described in my article, he was a hard-working inspirational member of the team. I have no doubt that some older supporters (for instance, Dave and Rick) will be able to jog my memory, I believe that it's a two-way thing, and that my article will trigger long dormant memories for others.

Hi Terry (#4), Although I didn't attend the Maine Road semi-final I do recall the twice-taken free-kick, I have mentioned (once or twice) that I am from an Evertonian family and my uncles filled me in with their version of events.

Hi Don (#2), As Terry has pointed out, Bobby Collins was an inside forward, so I was unable to consider him in the wing half position.

Hi John (#4), the Number 4 and 6 were the right and left half-backs; their prime function was to mark the opposing inside forwards. The Number 5 was the centre-half, and his responsibility was to take care of the threat posed by the centre-forward. The full-backs, Numbers 2 and 3, marked the opposition wingers.

The Number 5 (until the 1920s) was what we now call a midfielder, and was often referred to as 'the pivot'. Herbert Chapman at Arsenal employed Herbie "Policeman" Roberts, as the first stopper centre-half .

Hi Steve (#13), You will see from my reply to John, that we didn't quite see it as you describe it. We as supporters saw the half-backs and inside-forwards sharing both attacking and defensive duties, depending on which side of the pitch the play was on.

John Keating
15 Posted 17/12/2017 at 12:45:57

I wouldn't say that set-up is what actually happened years ago.

Full backs (2 and 3) played alongside the centre-half (5). Three out-and-out defenders in the main. Numbers 4 and 6 would maybe the modern defensive midfielder and another midfielder or defender. Numbers 7 and 11 wide men; 9 obviously main striker; 8 and 10 the other striker and a midfielder.

As is the case today, even then it was a bit "flexible" – John Hurst, for example, played alongside Brian Labone and would sometimes wear Number 10.

Alex Young wore 9, but sometimes 7 or 8 when Royle came in. A bit depended on who was fit to play and that.

At least we got 1-11 – not this crap numbering system we have now!!

Gerard McKean
16 Posted 17/12/2017 at 13:15:35
John, I'm enjoying your selections and reasons for them so much.

I'm awaiting with great interest your choice at 6, or left-half, as my own two all-time Everton favourites played there with great distinction: Colin Harvey and, all too briefly, Tony Kay.

I would never be able to leave either of them out but then again nor could I omit Peter Farrell, Jimmy Gabriel or Howard Kendall, and that's without even starting on the inside forwards!! I'd be a Koeman and pick a team of midfielders!

Dave Abrahams
17 Posted 17/12/2017 at 14:34:16
I loved Jimmy Gabriel and could talk about Howard Kendall the footballer all day long but I am delighted John has chosen Peter Farrell for the Number 4 spot – a pure gentleman off the field, inspirational captain on it. Peter was also underrated as a player, never ever giving less than his best for the team.

I was at Oldham the night we came up... unforgettable, especially as Liverpool went down the same season – heaven! Or as near as I will get to it on earth. And they stayed down for eight years – a bit more of Heaven.

I remember Peter playing inside left at Anfield and scoring in the first minute; unfortunately we lost 3-1. Peter used to write a column in the Liverpool Echo and after we lost 3-1 to Sheffield Wednesday in a cup game, he congratulated the Everton fans for the support we gave the team during and after the game. He said the Wednesday captain, another Irish international, had told we were unbelievable even in defeat. He asked Peter, ''What are they like when you win?"

I am not sure but I think Peter and Eggo (Eglington) played at Anfield in the final of the Liverpool Senior Cup versus Everton when we won 8-5.

Loved those days of long ago... money was secondary to most players and they seemed to be more genuine and definitely more approachable than a lot of today's players. Certainly people like Peter Farrell will never be forgotten by fans like me and John and anyone who saw them.

Steve Ferns
18 Posted 17/12/2017 at 20:49:33
Aren't you describing the WM formation? As I understand it, the WM was a variation on the old 235?
Steve Ferns
19 Posted 17/12/2017 at 20:59:08
Just to be clear, the 2-3-5 as I described it, I believe was how we played in the 20s and 30s, and the WM variation was the 40s and 50s? Or have I remembered it incorrectly? I'll gladly bow to your superior knowledge here, John!
John Keating
20 Posted 17/12/2017 at 21:25:52
Steve, John McFarlane may know the 40's and 50's set ups.

My favourite time was the 62-63 team. It was a far more flexible system then, if you could actually call it a system.

The last game of that season was against Fulham, great game, fantastic atmosphere and bloody noisy.

That game if I remember we lined up with the 2 full backs either side of Labone. Young and Vernon up top.
Temple and Scott were out wide, wingers.
The other 3 "midfielders were extremely flexible. If Stevens and Kay were up attacking Gabriel would stay back. If Gabriel found himself with the ball going forward Kay or Stevens would hang back.

I suppose looking back it could finish up as multiple systems in the one game though I doubt at the time it was planned as such. 3-5-2, 4-4-2 sometimes 3-3-4

I think maybe those days although the coach and manager set the team up in a certain way possibly the players and supporters didn't count to much on it finishing that way ! Certainly more entertaining !

Rob Sawyer
21 Posted 17/12/2017 at 22:26:49
Hi Michael (1),

I have not done a piece on Peter Farrell for TW thus far – maybe one for the future though.

Lovely item, John, by the way – I am enjoying this series.

Michael Kenrick
22 Posted 18/12/2017 at 06:22:19
Thanks, Rob. My mistake.
Dick Fearon
23 Posted 18/12/2017 at 08:16:23
Distance and time is said to make the heart grow fonder. That also seems the case with the old WM formation.

The reality is that WM ended in the 50s when England was ripped apart by Hungary. I was 14 years old when our football mad teacher smuggled into class a radio for us to hear commentary of the game.

The classroom listened in stunned silence as mighty England was handed the mother of all hidings by Puskas and his magical Magyars.
At the start big tough Harry Johnson our centre half wearing No 5 rolled up his sleeves and prepared for battle. Then he was surprised to see his traditional main opponent wearing Hungary's No 9 shirt deep in his own half and getting plenty of ball touches.

A confused Harry figured that if the bugger wouldn't come near him perhaps he ought to go to him. Our key defender deserted his defensive role for chasing shadows in the opposing half of the field. Therein lay the seeds not only of destruction in that game but also of traditional tactics for ever.

Ian Burns
24 Posted 18/12/2017 at 08:34:13
John – I am intrigued by your selection. Surprise at Number 3 now a second surprise at Number 4. This one gave me a bit of a start because my late father used to wax lyrical about Peter Farrell and it brought back memories of he and my grandfather talking about the players of their day.

Thanks John, keep them coming, fascinating series.

Rick Tarleton
25 Posted 18/12/2017 at 08:58:37
In 62-3 Morrissey was our main left winger , followed by Ray Veall. temple only played four or fivegames.
Derek Thomas
26 Posted 18/12/2017 at 10:58:26
Dick @ 23; spot on. By 62-63 we had a back 3 of Parker, Labone and Meegan. At Wembley 66 we had gone to a back 4; Wright, Labone, Harris and Wilson. The times they were a changing.
Martin Nicholls
27 Posted 18/12/2017 at 11:50:34
John and Michael K – just to add to the confusion surrounding Peter Farrell's date of death, a Peter Farrell, born around 1923 is recorded as having died in Sept 2000 and being buried in Ballypousta Catholic Churchyard (Section- B Plot 88). Perhaps we have a ToffeeWebber living in the area (Ardee, Co Louth, Ireland) who could visit and enlighten us with further information from the headstone?

That said, there is also an uncorroborated record on the Ancestry website with a photo giving his year of death as being 1999!

John McFarlane
28 Posted 18/12/2017 at 12:41:56
Hi Martin [27] I can add a bit more confusion, according to Wikipedia Peter was born on August 16th1922 and died on March 16th 1999.

Who's who of Everton ' have his date of birth as August 16th 1922, and his death simply 2001.

'Everton a complete record 1878-1985', from which I took some information, had Peter moving to Tranmere Rovers in October 1957 at the age of 33.
1922 to 1957 is 35 years in any language. I failed to spot this when I wrote the article, and I'm surprised that no one picked up on it.

The only thing we can be certain of, is that Peter is no longer with us.

Dave Abrahams
29 Posted 18/12/2017 at 12:53:28
Rick (25), correct, Ray Veall started the season as our outside left before we stole Johnny Morrissey from Liverpool who continued until the last four or five games of the season when Derek Temple came in, presumely because Morrissey was injured.

I would also state that Billy Bingham started the season as outside right before Harry Catterick almost snatched the pen out of Alex Scott's hand as he was about to sign for Spurs and bring him to Goodison Park.

John McFarlane
30 Posted 18/12/2017 at 14:03:21
Hi Martin [27] another twist to the Peter Farrell story, I've stumbled on to a ToffeeWeb obituary page that lists Peters death as 16 March 1999.

Hi Dave [29,] you are right on both counts, I was at Turf Moor when Ray Veall made his debut in a 3-1 win for the Blues. Alex Scott was on his way to Spurs when Harry Catterick moved in to seal the deal.

Returning to the day Ray Veall made his bow, it was the day Blackpool beat Liverpool at Anfield, I worked at that time for Pelling Stanley Green, "John West Salmon" in Walter Street, just off the dock road.

A couple of days before the Liverpool game, a Liverpool supporter was reading his newspaper and he said to me, "Look at what this kid's saying, the Kop won't frighten me".

The kid was Alan Ball, and it didn't frighten him then, nor did it when he visited with Everton and Arsenal.

Dave Abrahams
31 Posted 18/12/2017 at 14:11:28
Hello John,(30), didn't Blackpool beat Liverpool 2-1 when Alan Ball played in that game: I think Johnjoe Kenny said the same thing as Bally last week at Anfield.
Alex Bonnar
32 Posted 18/12/2017 at 14:31:17
John, I'm not surprised that you have picked Peter Farrell as captain (and we have seen a few good ones in our time) – I would as well. This may be a surprise to our younger supporters but not for those who watched how inspirational he was, particularly the year we were promoted back to the (old) 1st division.

My main memories are not specific but of how he would regularly turn a match, just when needed, collecting the ball in our half and with determination and skill carry forward at pace towards the opposition box releasing a shot or pass that inspired the crowd and team mates by his example and changed the game into our favor. Great captain – they did not get paid much then either.

Terry White
34 Posted 18/12/2017 at 15:49:35
Dave (#29) and John (#30), I too was at Turf Moor for the first game of the championship season. Ray Veall played the first two games of that season and 11 in total. Morrissey was indeed the primary left winger, Temple being injured for much of the season but playing in the last 4 games.

A memory from that snowy season. For some reason my Dad drove us across the Pennines on a frigid Tuesday night to attend the 3rd round delayed cup tie at Barnsley! I don't know why I went, I was 17 so should have been at school! Just as well we won!

Alex Scott was signed during the frigid spell in '63 when few games were being played. Billy Bingham played the first half of the season at #7.

John McFarlane
35 Posted 18/12/2017 at 16:46:08
Hi Terry [34] I've just tried twice without success, to access the 'Famous Evertonian' thread and see you are based in Florida, a long way from home eh'.

You're correct in saying Alex Scott was signed during the 'big freeze,' if memory serves me right he should have made his debut against Liverpool at Anfield on February 9th, but the match was postponed. The reason I can be specific regarding the date, is because my sister in law was married on that day.

Terry White
36 Posted 18/12/2017 at 18:11:09
I cannot see the "Famous Evertonians" thread anymore, John (#35). I don't think I am one. The thread suddenly reappeared today and seems to have disappeared as quickly as it surfaced.

Yes, I now live on the Florida Panhandle after living for many years near San Francisco. So, I am closer now to "the "Holy of Holies" than I was before, a much better time difference for me to watch the games. Born in Broadgreen Hospital and lived for my formative years in Crosby. My family and the Mills family (Peter Mills, contributor extraordinaire to this site) were very good friends.

Is it too late for me to point out to Derek (#26) the correct spelling of Mick MeAgan's name?

Dave Abrahams
37 Posted 18/12/2017 at 23:30:09
Terry (34), yes remember that game versus Barnsley in that very bitter winter of 1962-63, I never went or to the game at Swindon Town in the next round, were they two big scores or just one? I'm thinking one of them was 5-1 and not sure about the other score.

But I'll never forget that long freezing winter, don't think we will ever get another one as cold as that.

Terry White
38 Posted 19/12/2017 at 04:14:35
Barnsley was 3-0 (3 late goals) and Swindon 5-1, Dave (#37). My Dad went to the Swindon game, I did not.
Michael Kenrick
39 Posted 19/12/2017 at 05:53:54
John and Martin, there is no confusion surrounding Peter Farrell's date of death. He did not die in 2000 or 2001. It was 16 March 1999 – See my post #1.

For additional corroboration, I checked out the next matchday programme, Everton v Sheffield Wednesday on 5 April 1999, and the tribute begins:

Peter Farrell, who died in his native Dublin recently aged 76, achieved much during his marvellous playing career. He was a member of the famous Republic of Ireland team which became the first from outside the British Isles to defeat England on home soil.

The full piece covers a lot of the same ground but includes some fine memories from Dave Hickson.
Martin Nicholls
40 Posted 19/12/2017 at 07:11:07
Michael – there certainly was some confusion as different sources record different dates! Your post however seems to have definitively cleared it up – thanks.
Frank Wade
41 Posted 19/12/2017 at 13:06:04
Nice to see a fellow Dubliner make your favourites team John. Peter was before my time, but a regular quiz question answer for his goal for Ireland v England at Goodison in 1949.

He played for Cabinteely Boys or 'The Blues from Cabinteely' as they were known until 1950:


Frank Wade
42 Posted 19/12/2017 at 14:37:43
Martin #27, Peter Farrell is buried in Deansgrange cemetery in South Dublin.
Dave Abrahams
43 Posted 19/12/2017 at 17:39:59
Terry (38) thanks for those two results from long ago.
Jay Harris
44 Posted 19/12/2017 at 18:39:16

My dad used to say how good a player Peter Farrell was but being before my time I would have to go with Howard Kendall who for me was on of the most complete "right halves" I've ever seen. He could win a sliding tackle, come away with the ball, pass accurately (please note big Sam) long or short,and score goals.

Terry, I remember that snowy winter. I seem to remember we played Burnley or Blackburn in the cup, we got the train up there and it was bloody freezing and thick snow. The game would have been called off today but they were different times.

Dick Fearon
45 Posted 19/12/2017 at 19:08:42
Farrell consistently displayed more captainship than any other in that role. Maybe it was based upon strength of character yet Peter was the kind of onfield leader we have sadly lacked since those days.
Ray Atherton
46 Posted 19/12/2017 at 21:46:45
Terry (38) Dave (43)

I went to the Barnsley Game. The snow was nearly up to your knees. They got the pitch playable, wouldn"t have been played now.

I remember Brian Harris played left half. We had just signed Tony Kay, he was watching the game.

I went to Swindon for the next round, another Winter Wonderland. Tony Kay, I think he made his debut. I have the programme if any one is a collector.

Dave Abrahams
47 Posted 20/12/2017 at 00:52:43
Ray (#46) – nice to see you still contributing to ToffeeWeb, hope you are well and still watching the Blues.

What a loss Tony Kay was to the Blues, and we were completely innocent, cost us a lot of money and one or two England players benefited from Tony being banned from the game. He would have been in the England 1966 World Cup Winning team without a doubt and a fixture in the Everton team for a very long time.

Wishing you Ray, good luck and good health in the years to come.

Terry White
48 Posted 20/12/2017 at 04:24:20
Jay (#44), we actually got knocked out of the cup the next round at West Ham, 1-0.

But we did play at Blackburn on a cold and maybe snowy game that season, losing 3-2 to a last minute goal scored by one Fred Pickering. I was standing behind the goal, dismayed as it went in.

Laurie Hartley
49 Posted 20/12/2017 at 06:29:30
Terry I was at the West Ham game standing on the terraces behind our goal about 5 yards away from where the ref reckoned (was it Denis Stevens?) fouled Johnny Byrne and awarded the penalty that sunk us and knocked us out of the cup. Talk about a soft penalty! It was along trek home with my dad that night.

I loved my dad very much – he was a good man and a mad Evertonian of the same vintage as Dave and Ray. I think he is the reason that I am sold out for Everton – he indoctrinated me from when I was old enough to understand. I suspect Tony Abrahams falls into the same category.

Dave – if I was doing my all time favourites, Tony Kay would be the first name on the team sheet. It is going to be interesting to see who John Snr picks for number 5 but we could go into meltdown when number 6 comes round.

Up the Blues!!

Gerry Ring
50 Posted 20/12/2017 at 08:09:39
Its super to read about the Everton legends of the past.

My cousin Tommy Ring made a big impression even though his Everton career was short. Pity he didn't join the Toffees a few years earlier and/or let Reg Matthews have the ball when playing Chelsea when he broke his leg and with it finished his career at Everton.

The extended Ring family are life long Everton supporters & regularly travel from Ireland to Goodison Park. All Tommy's family on his father's side came from Abbeyleix, Laois, in the South of Ireland.

John Keating
51 Posted 20/12/2017 at 08:47:27
Dave (#47). Spot on about Tony Kay. A great miss to us and England.
Dave Abrahams
52 Posted 20/12/2017 at 11:20:16
Laurie (49), you are spot on about that penalty versus West Ham, as you say "Budgie " Byrne scored from the spot and as he was walking off, a mate of mine was on the pitch walking off with him, he told Byrne that was never a penalty.

"Budgie" agreed with him; right away my mate said to him, "Well what did you fuckin' score it for then?"

I don't suppose there was any answer to that.

John McFarlane
53 Posted 20/12/2017 at 11:22:56
Hi Laurie [49] – the day West Ham knocked us out of the FA Cup was 16 March 1963, the day my young lady and I tied the knot.

We had arranged an 11 o'clock service on the off-chance that Everton would have a home game, in which case I, and half of the wedding party, would have gone missing.

Newspaper reports stated that it was Alex Parker who conceded what they described as 'a highly debatable penalty'; I believe that it was Ray Stewart who converted it.

Hi Gerry [#50] – I echo your sentiments regarding Tommy Ring, and at the risk of dropping hints, I can tell you that Tommy is on my short list for selection. I would like to offer my apologies in advance, if Tommy however doesn't make the cut.

Hi John [#51] – I said at the time, and my opinion remains the same to this day, that Tony Kay would have captained both Everton and England.

His crime, if it can be called a crime, was to have a bet on his team losing a game in which he was made "Man of the Match" by The People – the newspaper that revealed the details of the affair. As you say, he was a great loss to Club and Country.

Ray Atherton
54 Posted 20/12/2017 at 16:24:21
Dave (#47)

Thanks Dave, I am fine,

I saw Peter Farrell in the 1956 season good motivator. My favourite right half got to be Jimmy Gabriel. Jimmy's debut was at Upton Park, 2-2, about 1960.

Gabby put one of his hard tackles in, the Ref< got his notebook out:

"What's your name, Number 4?"

"James Gabriel, Sir."

Put his note book away and said, "Well don't do that again, James Gabriel."

Dave Abrahams
55 Posted 20/12/2017 at 17:22:00
Ray (54), glad to hear that Ray, I think 1956 might have been the season we beat Blackburn Rovers at Goodison 1-0 and Peter Farrell scored the goal, not absolutely sure.

John Mac will put me right, I know Blackburn beat us 2-1 in another cup game, and deservedly so, at Goodison around the same time. Blackburn were in the 2nd. Division at the time but much better than the Blues.

Regarding Jimmy Gabriel, in one of his first games versus West Brom, I came out of Cammell Laird's, were I was working and got the Echo, which had the half-times scores in the Stop Press; Everton were winning 2-1, I was made up.

When I got home, the final score was 6-2 to West Brom! Derek Kevan, who Gabriel was marking, scored FIVE! Nevertheless, Jimmy turned out to be a great signing and was a real down-to-earth lad who kept his feet on the ground and loved Everton.

Terry White
56 Posted 20/12/2017 at 18:32:17
Dave (#55) we did indeed beat Blackburn 1-0 in the 3rd round in 1957 but Jimmy Harris scored the goal from the spot. Blackburn beat us the following year 2-1 as you recall in front of $75,000+ at Goodison, a midweek night game.

I can't recall the game when Peter Farrell may have scored against them but, as you say, I am sure John Sr. will get his research crew to work.

Derek Kevan was a big lad and probably ended Kenny Rae's career with us when Kevan ran all over him at Goodison. In the game at the Hawthorns that you remember in 1960, Jimmy had indeed signed for us comparatively recently and got a rude awakening with Big Derek!

John McFarlane
57 Posted 20/12/2017 at 18:32:33
Hi Ray,[54] you're spot on regarding Jimmy Gabriel, I remember a photo in the Echo of a young lady handing a sprig of heather to Jimmy, as a good luck token, as he was boarding a train at Lime Street station.

Hi Dave [55] I was in the army, stationed in Taunton, Somerset, when the Blackburn Cup tie took place. I have no knowledge of the game, so I've had to go to the 'research department' again, and it appears that Jimmy Harris scored the only goal of the game, from the penalty spot. The attendance was 55,293

Apparently Peter Farrell didn't play in that game; Ken Birch played at right-half, and Ken Rea played at left-half. However, Peter did play at right-half in the next round, and he and Jimmy Gauld scored a goal each, in a 2-1 win over West Ham United. The attendance was 55,245.

John McFarlane
58 Posted 20/12/2017 at 18:48:13
Hi Terry [56] – you are correct in stating that Blackburn Rovers beat Everton 2-1 in in 1957, (Wednesday 29 January), but I'm afraid I was in sunnier climes at that time, having been posted to Cyprus. Jimmy Harris was the Everton goal scorer once again, the attendance was 75,816.

I have one or two reference books as you'll no doubt have guessed, and my young lady quite often asks, "When are you going to get rid of all that junk"? She doesn't understand that it's at times like this, that my 'Junk' proves to be useful.

Terry White
59 Posted 20/12/2017 at 19:21:23
John (#58), I find it difficult to post sensible comments about current EFC events, and I have no wish to get involved in some of the diatribe that goes on, but start me off on the Carey team from 1958 through Catterick's Championship season of 1963 and I find it equally difficult to stop. They were my formative years supporting the Blues and I remember them with great fondness. The names of the "greats" and the "not-so-greats" just roll off the tongue.

So, this is why I truly enjoy your recollections, memories and writings about that era. Many thanks.

Tony Abrahams
60 Posted 20/12/2017 at 19:43:12
Laurie, no disrespect to my father, but I was waiting forever before he indoctrinated me into the Everton family mate!

He never took me until I was five, but I had been ready for at least a couple of years, and he couldn't kid me after that because I had already learned to read the back page of the Echo, such was my love for Everton!

John McFarlane
61 Posted 20/12/2017 at 20:06:30
Hi again Terry [59], we all have our favourites, and I think that it's only natural that the ones you most cherish, are the ones from your formative years. However it doesn't stop you wishing to learn of players, [and occasions] before your time.

I grew up on tales of Dixie Dean, Warney Cresswell, Cliff Britton etc. I'm pleased that you are enjoying the articles, and it's not false modesty, when I say I'm not a professional writer. I genuinely try my best, and obviously it gives me a degree of pleasure when people like yourself express appreciation.

Hi Tony [60], don't be too hard on your Dad, he was probably trying to protect you, and didn't want you to suffer the heartache and anguish that being an Evertonian brings.

I'm sure that you will enjoy the respite that this thread provides, and when you are sufficiently refreshed, you can return to the hurly-burly of more important subjects.

Tony Abrahams
62 Posted 20/12/2017 at 20:25:51
The older and wiser, you get John, the more you enjoy a trip down memory lane! I often think about the first time Dave, took me to Goodison, and when the old lady finally closes, I don’t think there will be too many genuine men, who won’t have a tear in their eye.

My early memories were Dobson, Latchford, Lyons, and Duncan McKenzie, and I used to love Gary Jones, the way he used to run in from the wing, beating players for fun, but my greatest love was the floodlights, because they just seemed to make everything seem extra special!

Laurie Hartley
63 Posted 20/12/2017 at 20:31:51
Look after and cherish your arl fella Tony. I bet you it was your mam who taught you to read though.

Dave, I see you worked in Cammell Laird's in 1956 – It is a long shot but I wonder if you knew my departed father-in-law, Mick McCarthy – another good man? He was a caulker.

John (#53) – thanks for the info on the penalty. The memories are getting a bit clouded these days. Glad to hear your young lady is still keeping you in check.

Tony Abrahams
64 Posted 20/12/2017 at 20:35:38
I was gonna say she taught me to play footy as well Laurie, but I might just be leaving myself wide open with this one!
Dave Abrahams
65 Posted 20/12/2017 at 20:45:41
Laurie (63), it was 1959 when I worked in Laird's on the Windsor Castle, a large liner getting built there. If your father-in-law worked there then and on that ship, then although I didn't know him, I wouldn't mind betting that I saw him working there.

I used to be fascinated by the work the caulkers did. I would watch them for hours on end. The work I did, with the joiners, was mainly bringing their material onto the ship so I had plenty of spare time.

If he was an Evertonian then I would have, more than likely, had a good gab with him about the Blues.

John G Davies
66 Posted 20/12/2017 at 20:52:36
Some great men and great Evertonians worked at Laird's. A hotbed of football full of character and laughs. A few of them still go to the game.
John McFarlane
67 Posted 20/12/2017 at 21:06:12
Hi again, Tony [62] I can appreciate what you say about the effect the floodlights have. I took my son to a night match when he was about 6 or 7 (he's 50 now) and when he reached the seats in the main stand he exclaimed, "It's just like a big coloured telly."

You were introduced to the game when we had some really good players, but I'm afraid that one of your favourite players (Gary Jones) used to frustrate me, I used to say, "We should have two footballs on the pitch, one for Gary Jones and the other for the rest of the team."

I may have been a little harsh in my estimation of him when I look back on that period, but as you rightly say age generally brings wisdom, I hope I fall into that category.

I'm currently listening to the Bristol City v Manchester United game, and it's just been an announced that Swansea City have sacked Paul Clement. Losing to Everton appears to be the kiss of death. David Moyes, and Brendan Rodgers spring to mind.

Peter Mills
68 Posted 20/12/2017 at 22:39:28
Enjoying the gab on here.

May I just tell my friend Terry White that I have, sadly but proudly, added the name of our great pal Bernie Fleming to the list of names to be shown on the big screen at Goodison at the Man Utd game of those we have lost in 2017. It is great of the Club to allow us this facility, thank you to them.

The Mills, White and Fleming families would all meet post match at the corner of Bullens Road and Gwladys Street. In the absence of TW the match analysis could be brief and brutal. Bernie’s dad, Jack, actually gave away his season ticket one January afternoon after a particularly woeful performance, and was very fortunate to subsequently obtain a ticket for the FA Cup Final in May 1966!

Terry White
69 Posted 20/12/2017 at 22:43:59
Now we know what you do late at night, Peter. TW-addiction?

Thanks for letting me know about that. I am confident you will take a photo at the appropriate time. Bernie, sometimes a larger-than-life character, will be sorely missed.

Laurie Hartley
70 Posted 21/12/2017 at 02:28:57
Dave (#65) – Mick did work on the Windsor Castle. So if you used to watch the caulkers I am pretty sure you would have seen Mick.

My wife tells me that her dad took her to the launch as the company used to allow the men to take their families to such events.

As John @ 66 said there were some great men at Laird's but I am going off topic. I will say this though I think I was a very lucky lad to have spent my teenage years rubbing shoulders with such men. They showed me what friendship and camaraderie was all about.

Dave Wilson
71 Posted 21/12/2017 at 10:55:35

This is a great series. Only by taking a step back and thinking about it do you realize what fantastic players we have had the privilege of watching down the years.

Keep it up.

Dave Abrahams
72 Posted 21/12/2017 at 11:25:41
Laurie (70), yes I was at the launch, I think Princess Margaret did the launching, we all got the rest of the day off after she had finished.

Happy days indeed, although I wasn't fussy on working at Laird's, great men and great company apart, the best part of working there was the great football matches every dinner hour – about 20-a-side with no quarter asked or given. I think there was over 11,000 men employed there when the Windsor Castle was being built.

Brent Stephens
73 Posted 21/12/2017 at 11:58:27
Dave, Princess M liked to push the boat out apparently.
Ray Roche
74 Posted 21/12/2017 at 12:14:47
Brent, is that a euphemism? "Push the boat out"?
Brent Stephens
75 Posted 21/12/2017 at 12:26:37
Yes, Ray. She liked a tipple, apparently.
Ray Roche
76 Posted 21/12/2017 at 13:17:19
I don't think that was all she was partial to Brent. Very attractive woman in her youth.
Peter Mills
77 Posted 21/12/2017 at 18:29:00
Hey, leave Madge alone. She presented us with the FA Cup.
Laurie Hartley
78 Posted 21/12/2017 at 20:06:17
Dave – to think that 11,000 men worked at Laird's! What a travesty that so many jobs should be wiped out. John Laird must have turned in his grave. But that is definitely another thread.
Dave Abrahams
79 Posted 21/12/2017 at 22:07:15
Peter (77), she did Peter but she had a red coat on !!!!

Laurie(78) those 11,000 men were just there while the Windsor Castle was getting built and they came from all over the place in England. Loads of us from Merseyside were just casual workers who were laid off as soon as the ship was built and to be honest the wages paid to us were buttons, you had to work plenty of overtime to make your money up to anything decent.

Peter Mills
80 Posted 22/12/2017 at 08:05:12
Dave (#79), she took a bit of stick for that, then everyone had to stand to attention for the national anthem for longer than expected as our lot carried on with an extra chorus of “God save our team”. He did, too!
Tony Abrahams
81 Posted 22/12/2017 at 09:28:08
I used to walk across London Road, to get the bus home from school, from Islington, and someone had painted (behind TJs) in big massive writing, EVERTON 3 SHEFFIELD WED 2 and considering this was in 1983-84, it had been there for a very long time.

It used to make me smile, but I was also fuckin envious, because I'd been going the match for nearly ten years, and seen us win nowt, whilst my red schoolmates had seen them win everything, even if very few of them actually went the game.

We had a 14-year wait, to win the cup (an absolute eternity) and now we have lads who have been going the match for over 20 years, and seen us win nothing. We need to do a toffee-web "ouija-board" make a deal with the devil, and get the kids smiling again, soon!!!

John G Davies
82 Posted 22/12/2017 at 09:39:08
Too late Tony. Them twats signed a 100-year contract with El Diabolo in the 60s.
Tony Abrahams
83 Posted 22/12/2017 at 10:33:32
I know John, but I believe even he, has been shocked by some of their antics, and he’s looking for someone with a bit more honour!

Let’s start it at the ground, which has been our curse, since the 18th century. We must gather together all the league champions medals, given to our players, with that dreaded Liverbird on them, and then we will be free!

Dave Abrahams
84 Posted 22/12/2017 at 11:13:55
John G (82), they signed that pact well before the sixties, he just made them wait and prove they were deserving of his friendship, they have more than proved they are and continue to do so.
John McFarlane
85 Posted 22/12/2017 at 12:30:14
Hi Tony [81], and John G [82], I was basking in the glory of this thread being a swear-free zone, but then I guess that old habits die hard. It's a big switch from Peter Farrell to Liverpool FC.
John G Davies
86 Posted 22/12/2017 at 14:20:51
Beg your pardon John. Apologies.

Des Farren
87 Posted 22/12/2017 at 15:40:59
Peter Farrell died in Clonskeagh Hospital. Dublin where, I understand he had been suffering from dementia.
John McFarlane
88 Posted 22/12/2017 at 17:27:53
Hi John G. [86] apology accepted. I don't want to come across as something of a Headmaster, [although I suppose I could be regarded as 'Old School'] but I'm mindful of the fact that the 'ToffeeWeb' threads are read by all age groups, both male and female.

To tell the truth, I don't think that swear words add to a point or argument, in fact I believe that they can quite often have the opposite effect, and can be offensive to some.

I really hoped that the nostalgic articles would provide some relief, from what I call 'Cyber Warfare' where it appears anything goes.

I trust that you can see my point of view, I enjoy reading the posts, even if I don't entirely agree with some of the opinions, or the way they are expressed.

'There endeth the sermon!'

John McFarlane
90 Posted 22/12/2017 at 17:31:42
Hi John G, [again] something of a laptop malfunction, and as you can imagine the air was turned 'blue'!
Alasdair Mackay
91 Posted 23/12/2017 at 14:29:53
I'm a bit confused by the system – it appears people are picking deep midfielders for the position, more than centre-halves??

In which case – I always like Olivier Dacourt during the dark days of the 1990s. If it's a ball-playing centre-back – Lescott (despite the way he left us) was different class for a while there – also Bilic was great.

Des Farren
92 Posted 23/12/2017 at 18:43:13
John Mc. I meant to thank you for your memories of Peter, who along with Eggo was one of my reasons for supporting Everton. They were probably the club to follow in the Dublin of my youth although I sadly never got to see Peter play for Everton.

It really is lovely to see people like yourself and Dave remember and speak so highly now about a player who was signing off when I was only starting to follow the Blues in 54-55. The manner of his passing was sad.

John McFarlane
93 Posted 23/12/2017 at 20:37:51
Hi Alasdair [91], I'm afraid that you are indeed a bit confused, the current article is about a right wing half back, which equates to the modern day mid-fielder, the next article will feature the centre-half position, and I am putting the finishing to it at the moment.
Dave Abrahams
94 Posted 24/12/2017 at 18:02:02
Des (92),

I think a lot of Irish fans came over to Liverpool in the fifties and sixties to see the Blues and in the Upper Bullens Road Stand at that time you would see dozens of priests watching Everton, I presume a good proportion of them would have been of Irish descent.

During those years we had Peter Corr, Alex Stevenson, Jimmy O'Neill, Don Donavon, George Cummins, Mick Meagan, Tommy Clinton, John Sutherland along with Peter Farrell and Tommy Eglington playing for the Blues. We were never world beaters during this period but I fell in love with them and Goodison Park.

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