Favourites aren't always the best, Part 7

John McFarlane Snr 16/01/2018 58comments  |  Jump to last

Continuing the theme of my favourite players, my selection for the outside right position is Alex Scott.

Alexander Silcock Scott was born in Falkirk, Scotland, on 22 November 1936, and started his career at Glasgow Rangers, whom he joined aged 16 in 1954 from Bo'ness United. (One source claims that he joined Rangers from Camelon Thistle.) He scored a hat-trick on his debut against his home-town club Falkirk at Ibrox while just 19 years old.

In his nine years with the club, he scored 108 goals in 331 games, and won four League titles, one Scottish cup, and two League Cups. He was also part of the Rangers side defeated by Fiorentina in the 1961 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup Final, scoring the 'Gers' only goal. When Rangers signed Willie Henderson, Alex moved to Everton in February 1963 for £39,000.

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Already established as a Scotland regular while with Rangers, he was pursued by a number of English clubs when it became known that he was keen to move south of the border. Everton and Tottenham Hotspur led the way with a long series of bids, offers and pledges. Ultimately it was the invitation from Harry Catterick that won the day, and the flamboyant outside-right was on his way to Merseyside. By the end of the season, he had picked up a Championship medal and was an integral part of the set- up. In 1966, he won an FA Cup winners medal to add to his Scottish collection of medals.

Never a man to shirk responsibility, Alex, (or 'Chico' as he was affectionately known to the fans) enjoyed a thoroughly successful career with Everton, before being transferred to Hibernian for £13,000 in September 1967. Alex finished his playing career with his home-town club Falkirk, where he appeared for a short spell alongside his brother, Jim Scott.

Alex made his Everton debut in a 3-1 defeat to Leicester City, at Filbert Street, on 12 February 1963, and played 17 league games scoring 4 goals as Everton secured the Division One title. Alex was gifted with lightning pace which tormented opposition defences throughout the First Division, and provided a constant supply of goalscoring chances for Alex Young, Roy Vernon and Derek Temple. The international was not blessed with supreme skill but he didn't need it, his pace ensured that he was a potent weapon for the 'Blues'

In his first full season, 1963-64, Alex played in 40 league games, scoring 7 goals; 5 FA Cup games scoring 2 goals; 2 European games, and a Charity Shield game (in all 48 games and 9 goals).

In 1964-65, his record was played 36 league games, 6 goals, 4 FA Cup games, and 4 European games, 1 goal, for a total of 44 games and 7 goals.

In 1965-66, Alex played in 35 league games,scoring 5 goals, 8 FA Cup games, and 2 European games. Totals: 45 games, 5 goals.

In 1966-67 his record was 21 league games, 1 goal, 2 European games and the Charity Shield game, for 24 games & 1 goal. Alex's overall figures for Everton are 176 appearances and 26 goals.

Alex played his final game for Everton at outside left on 29 April 1967, a 1-1 draw with Manchester City at Goodison Park.

Sadly, Alex passed away on 13 September 2001, aged 64. As Colin Harvey recalled, "Alex was a nice man, I played with him for about two or three seasons and he was a very good player, he had a fantastic season the year we won the FA Cup in 1966. As a person he was affable and easy to get on with, he was a quiet man and a true gentleman."

I stumbled on the following tribute to Alex Scott some time ago, penned by Graham Clark in The Guardian:

Alex Scott, one of the greatest wingers in Scottish football history, Scott found fame on both sides of the border, for while he made his name originally in Glasgow, he later moved to Goodison Park where he added to his collection of medals by winning the League Championship in 1962-63 and the FA Cup in 1966.

His was a glittering career from the moment he was called up by Rangers from Camelon Thistle, in March 1955. He was immediately promoted to the first team, and in a stunning debut he scored a hat-trick against his home town club Falkirk, and followed that up with two goals against Arsenal in the Scottish clubs traditional friendly fixture.

These goals made him an instant popular figure with the Ibrox fans, and since he was following another hugely famous player in the shape of Willie Waddell, he could scarcely have asked for a better start. yet that was only the beginning, and Scott went on to win four League titles, two League Cups, and the Scottish Cup with Rangers.

During that time he also shone on the fledgling European stage, and indeed he reserved some of his finest moments for games against continental opposition. A winger who had pace, strength, and bravery was always going to be a problem to defenders, and European stoppers, not used to encountering those qualities in the same player, had great difficulty in coping.

Scott always maintained that he reserved his best goal for the European arena, When he beat four defenders, before scoring against Borussia Monchengladbach in 1960-61. In fact he was Rangers joint top scorer in Europe with Jimmy Millar for many years, until Ally McCoist arrived on the scene, but he did not content himself with simply supplying endless crosses for the likes of Millar and Ralph Brand. In 331 appearances at home and abroad for the Ibrox club he scored 108 goals.

Scott who won 16 international caps, also had the fairly unusual distinction of playing in the Scotland team that recorded its first home victory over England for 25 years when he was a reserve player at Ibrox. By the time that game came around, Rangers had unearthed another right winger in the shape of Willie Henderson, who had displaced Scott in the team, but found his rival was one of the stars of that triumph over the Auld Enemy.

Theirs was a less than friendly rivalry, and the situation was hardly helped when Scott, basking in the glory of that win over England, was a week later left out of the Rangers team that beat St Mirren in the Scottish Cup Final. The problem came to a head during a tour of Russia when Scott was substituted against Locomotiv Moscow, and later had an argument with the Manager Scot Symon, which effectively spelled the end of his Ibrox career.

The player then moved to Everton for a fee of £39,000, and played his part in the Merseyside team's title success that season, and also their 3-2 triumph over Sheffield Wednesday three years later. he returned to Scotland the following year and played for Hibernian and Falkirk, before going into business with his younger brother Jim Scott.

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Reader Comments (58)

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Rick Tarleton
1 Posted 17/01/2018 at 06:43:52
Thanks, John, for yet another great post. I remember going to Ewood Park in the mid-sixties and Everton won, I think 2-1, and Scott scored a marvellous goal from the edge of the area. Most of all I remember "Chico's" idiosyncratic running style as he pushed the ball down the right touchline to beat the fullback for speed.

This is yet another occasion where you've revived memories of an old favourite.

Ron Marr
2 Posted 17/01/2018 at 06:59:51
Great stuff, John. Did he replace Billy Bingham?
Jason Davenport
3 Posted 17/01/2018 at 07:35:28
If my memory serves me right, he scored direct from a corner at his first game at Goodison. Great player.
Dave Abrahams
4 Posted 17/01/2018 at 11:05:33
I was made up when we snatched him from Spurs grasp and signed him from Rangers.

Alex never really lived up to his reputation with Everton, that is for me, he put the effort in, scored some good goals but overall he was more disappointing and average than a good player.

Maybe I expected too much from him. As you say so often, John, we all see players in a different way.

Brian Harrison
5 Posted 17/01/2018 at 11:21:35
Alex Scott certainly had blistering pace which always troubled full backs who were not as mobile as the full backs are today. I always felt he always looked like he had more in his locker than we actually saw.

My one criticism of Alex was that he didn't get his head up enough and see what was around him, I think the only time he looked up was when he was within a couple of feet from the goal line. But he certainly played his part in the title-winning team.

I think our generation were very lucky as at that time Everton could buy anyone they wanted, a bit like Man City and Man Utd are today. How I long for those days, and one of Catterick's qualities was that they signed players and nobody knew until the club announced it to the press. No agents to spill the beans to the press – oh happy days.

Martin Nicholls
6 Posted 17/01/2018 at 11:40:00
Chico scored his first goal for Everton in what was my first 1st team match (v Forest 9 March 63), the great Alex Young getting the other in a 2-0 win. A good player as I recall but my favourite right-sided midfielder/right-winger, was Tricky Trevor – a fantastic player lost to us as a result of the Heysel Stadium riot.
John McFarlane
7 Posted 17/01/2018 at 13:06:27
Hi Rick [1], you're spot on about Alex Scott's running style, apparently Rangers fans used to call him "The waiter" because he held his left arm stiffly, and it resembled a waiter carrying a tray.

I was also at the Blackburn Rovers game you refer to, however I remember nothing of the game, that game took place on Grand National day (21 March 1964) and my abiding memory is of the journalist Nancy Spain losing her life in a light aircraft crash at Aintree. I have checked and the scorers in a 2-1 win were Alex Scott and Derek Temple.

Hi Jason [3], I'm afraid that your memory has let you down, Alex Scott's first two goals were away from home against Sheffield United and Blackpool respectively. His next two goals came in home games against Birmingham City in a 2-2 draw, and Fulham in the 4-1 victory that clinched the title.

Hi Dave [4], My original choice was Mickey Lill, but I ruled him out because he only played 34 games, although he managed to score 12 goals. I had to do the same thing for the outside left spot with Tommy Ring, 27 games and 6 goals.

Regarding Alex Scott, I too felt that, as good as he was, he wasn't quite the player I had seen, on what little televised football there was in those days. On reflection I suppose he found a place in my heart, because of the fact that he was part of the team that gave you and I our first real taste of success, given that we had also experienced the joy of promotion.

Hi Brian [5], You're correct in your appraisal of Alex Scott, we probably didn't see the best of him, I think that the Rangers fans had that pleasure. A friend of mine used to call him "Lino" because he reckoned that he spent too much time on the floor. I thought that was a bit cruel of him, although I myself quite often said that if someone opened the gates he'd finish up Everton Valley.

Yes Brian, I agree that the days of "cloak and dagger" were preferable to what goes on today, I appreciate that everyone has to earn a living but I think we could all live without agents.

Hi Martin [6], You are 75% correct in your post, Everton did play Nottingham Forest on 9 March 1963, the score was 2-0 to the 'Blues,' and Alex Young did get one of the goals, I'm afraid however that Alex Scott wasn't on the scoresheet, the other goal was scored by Alex Parker. I hope I'm not coming across as some sort of Smart Alec, it's just that I have one or two books that I use for reference.

Don Alexander
8 Posted 17/01/2018 at 13:44:30
Blistering pace, didn't get his head up often enough, scored but maybe should have scored and achieved more? Is Alex related to Theo perhaps? :)

Thanks again, John, on reviving memories of one of the first players I remember seeing. As you say, the first winners we really associate with remain strongest in our minds so I fondly remember Alex's successor, Jimmy Husband.

Alan J Thompson
9 Posted 17/01/2018 at 15:07:20
You don't see so much of it these days but both Alex Scott and Johnny Morrissey could cross a ball at full pelt and when necessary hold off the full back at the same time, proper wingers.
Ian Burns
10 Posted 17/01/2018 at 15:25:59
Thanks John, I have been eagerly awaiting your next post and Alex Scott is indeed a very interesting choice. A craggy style but boy was he quick. He was fortunate in that he had Young and Vernon up top with him and it is true that he didn't have many tricks up his sleeve but his pace was electric.

Not too sure he would be my personal favourite but he is yours and that's all that counts, John!

Don Alexander makes a good point, Walcott is a latter day version - possibly.

Bill Griffiths
11 Posted 17/01/2018 at 15:27:03
Alan (9), agree with your comments regarding their crossing at pace.
The best exponent of this that I have seen was Dave Thomas who crossed at pace almost on the goal line and played a huge part in Latchford scoring his 30 goals in the 77-78 season.
Martin Nicholls
12 Posted 17/01/2018 at 15:37:50
John (#7) – my mistake and I don't know how I made it as (if memory serves!), I posted on Part 2 about Alex Parker scoring in that game!

To be honest, other than the scoreline, I can remember little about the game itself. The date (9th March) did however take on further significance for me 16 years later when my first child, Becky (another Blue, like my other two and my grandchildren!) was born! A memorable double for me on 9th March!

Keep up the good work John!

Terry White
13 Posted 17/01/2018 at 15:44:34
I have been eagerly looking forward to this selection, John. A position where there are a few reasonable choices.

Jimmy Husband, Tricky Trevor Steven and Andrei Kanchelskis (not least for his 2 goals at Anfield) come to mind but like you, #4, I would choose Micky Lill, a name largely unknown to many of our younger contributors.

Lill was signed from Wolves and scored 11 goals from only 31 league appearances. He played in both wing positions. Injury limited his playing time and he was replaced, Ron #2, very quickly by Billy Bingham on the right and Jimmy Fell on the left.

I was 13-14 when Mickey signed for us. Perhaps it was his confidence as a brash Londoner that caught my eye? But he was a lively player with an eye for goal following a number of nondescript wingers and that is probably why I liked him.

A goal he scored in our 4-1 win over West Ham (Lill, Ring, Vernon 2) can be found on YouTube, an inch-perfect through ball (naturally) from Bobby Collins and a thumping finish into the Park End net.

John McFarlane
14 Posted 17/01/2018 at 16:15:38
Hi Terry [13] I think I set the benchmark too high, I considered a minimum of 100 appearances to be the ideal bench mark.

Unfortunately that ruled out Mickey Lill with 34 league and cup appearances and 12 goals, it also put paid to Tommy Ring's inclusion at outside left, his 27 appearances and 6 goals, not meeting the criteria.

I suppose I could have bent the rules, but isn't there a saying "To thine self be true?"

Terry White
16 Posted 17/01/2018 at 16:29:46
Careful, John (#14) or you could be in danger of exceeding the "rules" concerning maximum number of posts per thread on this subject. Who was it who said "rules are there to be broken"? I'd keep Tommy Ring in the picture!

100 appearances equates to over 2 seasons of playing in every one of the 42 league games plus some others in the "old" days. That is an awful lot. My "favourites" become that at the time probably when I am most impressionable and stay that way even with the benefit of hindsight and other competitors that come along. So, I can like other players in a position but they do not often replace the original. Jimmy Husband would push Mickey Lill close though.

Ray Atherton
18 Posted 17/01/2018 at 17:48:46
Dave (4),

I am in agreement all along of your post. The array of
stars we had in our Championship side, but I wasn't a fan.
I remember an F A cup game at Elland Road about 1965. We were losing 1-0, then we got a penalty. Chico took it and was saved (must have been Gary Sprake).

The Referee pointed to the spot to take it again. Roy Vernon with confidence, scored to equalise.

John I think we thought Spurs had signed him. The stop press in the Echo stated that Everton had snapped him up for 㿛, 000. Catterick was very shrewd in the transfer market.

All the posters on this thread have fine Number 7s Trevor Steven, Jimmy Husband, Andrei Kanchelskis etc...

I am going for Jimmy Harris he certainly is not the best. When I started at Goodison, in the Boys Pen (no I didn't
see him), Jimmy racing up the wing, he was one of my idols.

Terry White
19 Posted 17/01/2018 at 18:32:08
Ray (#18), interesting suggestion, Jimmy Harris. I mostly think of him as a #9 but you are correct in that he did play a number of games on the wing with the arrival of supposedly "better" players. Peter Harburn, Jimmy Glazzard, Alan Shackleton anyone? And, of course, Dave Hickson.

Jimmy Harris was an ever-present in the late '50s teams and our top scorer on more than one occasion before he was transferred to Birmingham City where has played in a Inter Cities' Fairs Cup final, I believe.

I met Jimmy a couple of years ago at a book signing along with Derek Temple. Jimmy is a nice man and was more than happy to talk of the times when he played for us. He was a little sad that he missed out on the success of the teams that came after him in the early '60s.

Ray Atherton
20 Posted 17/01/2018 at 19:07:26
Terry

I think he scored an hatrick at White Hart Lane, when we got thrashed. I hate saying the score, but it was a long time ago. (10-4)

Peter Mills
21 Posted 17/01/2018 at 19:24:06
Alex was one of my first heroes, probably due to his role in the FA Cup winning team in my first full season. I liked the way he would stand with the ball at his feet, then drop his right shoulder and take off.

However, for me, the number 7 shirt would always have to go to Tricky Trevor, what a player and what a medal haul he got in his career in England, Scotland and France. A champion wherever he went.

John McFarlane
22 Posted 17/01/2018 at 19:40:53
Hi Ray [18] I was behind the goal at Elland Road, and it happened as you describe it, however I was also present at Turf Moor a fortnight before that game when Alex Scott scored from the spot in a 3-2 win over Burnley, he was also successful from the spot the following week in a 1-1 home draw against Ipswich Town, and although I can't recall that one, I certainly remember the two other games.

Roy Vernon was missing for the Burnley and Ipswich games, and I suppose that because Alex Scott had been successful with his two attempts, it would have been agreed that he would be entrusted with any penalty kicks that may be awarded, But thankfully Roy Vernon wasn't going to give him the opportunity to miss again.

I must confess that while I was at the Burnley and Leeds games, I didn't realise that the Ipswich game (which I would certainly have attended) was sandwiched between them, your post prompted me to go to what I call my research department, where I uncovered the following information,

11 January 1964 – Burnley 2 Everton 3, Jimmy Gabriel, Johnny Morrissey. Alex Scott [pen]

18 January 1964 – Everton 1 Ipswich Town 1 Alex Scott [pen]

25 January 1964 – Leeds United 1 Everton 1 Roy Vernon [pen]

A hat-trick of penalties, we're lucky if we get three a season now.

Dave Abrahams
23 Posted 17/01/2018 at 19:41:12
John (#7)

It's your game so you can set the rules but I think I am right in stating Duncan McKenzie is in one of Everton's "Hall of Fame" lists and Tommy Ring isn't and there wasn't many games total between them, I had an argument with Dr David France about this, wasn't a verbal debate, we did it by post. He won, mind you he was on the panel that picked the Hall of Fame.

Ray (#18) remember that penalty incident, don't know why Vernon didn't take first.

Terry (#19), I remember meeting Jimmy Harris and Derek Temple at St Luke's church a couple of years ago along with Tony McNamara who was with his son. Tony was suffering from some sort of dementia, he died not long after that meeting.

Keep this series coming John, it is very interesting, especially for us old-timers. By the way, John, you are allowed to use seven substitutes!!!!

John McFarlane
24 Posted 17/01/2018 at 20:02:46
Hi again Terry [19]. Jimmy Harris switched to outside right to accommodate the return of Dave Hickson.

Hi again, Ray [20]. Jimmy Harris did indeed score a hat-trick against Spurs in that 10-4 demolition, I was serving in the army in Cyprus at the time, and the date – 11 October 1958 – is written indelibly on my mind.

Hi again, Dave [23]. I hope the explanation I gave to Ray, clears up the reason why Roy Vernon didn't take the original penalty kick.

I'm going to watch the Chelsea - Norwich game now.

Gerry Ring
25 Posted 17/01/2018 at 00:01:17
Great reading the informed comments from Evertonians who are passionate about our great club. As a cousin of Tommy Ring, it just seemed natural to support Everton & I have enjoyed visits from Ireland to Goodison for the last 30 years. I believe Tommy would have been a serious contender if he had joined Everton earlier in his career. Looking forward to the next article.
John Hughes
26 Posted 18/01/2018 at 03:03:48
I remember being at Blackburn in 1964. Team Spirit won the Grand National and I'm not sure if Rovers were winning 1-0, and us Evertonians started Chanting "Team Spirit, Team Spirit" and we won 2-1. I'm sure "Chico" and Derek Temple scored. Hope John Mac can confirm right or wrong.
John McFarlane
27 Posted 18/01/2018 at 11:08:40
Hi Gerry [25], there is no doubt in my mind that Tommy would have been in my team of favourites if he had enjoyed a longer spell at Goodison.

Tommy was the first of four signings, in a five or six weeks investment that signalled a resurgence of Everton as a footballing force. He joined us in January 1960. and was quickly followed into the club by Roy Vernon, Mickey Lill, and Jimmy Gabriel.

Tommy's first game for Everton was a 6-1 win against Nottingham Forest, I had been brought up watching the speed of Tommy Eglington, and to see the skills of Tommy Ring added a new dimension to wing play as we knew it.

I envy the supporters of Clyde, because they enjoyed Tommy's magic far longer than the 27 games we were privileged to witness. I also envy yourself, because if Tommy Ring was my cousin I would be the proudest Evertonian alive.

Hi John [26], you are correct in every aspect of your post, it was 2-1 for Everton and the scorers were Alex Scott and Derek Temple. I have no knowledge of the scoring sequence, but something at the back of my mind, suggests that the Blackburn goal was the result of a penalty or an own goal, perhaps someone who was at the game may be able to shed some light on the matter.

I had to Google the Grand National details as I'm not a racing fan, Team Spirit was indeed the winner; however, as I stated in a reply to Rick [1], my main memory of that day was hearing of the death of journalist Nancy Spain in a light aircraft accident on Aintree racecourse.

Clive Rogers
28 Posted 18/01/2018 at 11:17:13
John (#26), I was at that game. Wasn't Tony Kay playing, and after half time came out dancing on the pitch. It was later in the Football Echo that he had backed the first three in the national. What a player he was!
John McFarlane
29 Posted 18/01/2018 at 11:42:39
Hi Clive [28], the team that day was:

Rankin, Brown, B Harris, Gabriel, Labone, Kay, Scott, Stevens, Pickering, Harvey, Temple.

You can't beat a good book when your memory's failing.

Paul Thompson
30 Posted 18/01/2018 at 12:11:47
We had some good wingers in the early to mid sixties and I certainly liked Chico, who had great pace from a standing start and could really cross a ball. I have to side, however, with those for whom Trevor Steven stands out – he had it all.
Clive Rogers
31 Posted 18/01/2018 at 14:09:05
John (#29), no real left-back then either?
John McFarlane
32 Posted 18/01/2018 at 15:00:25
Hi Clive [31], the left back position was shared mainly between Mick Meagan (31 games in all competitions) and Sandy Brown (35 games in all competitions). Sandy also stood in for Alex Parker, who played in the first 20 fixtures only.

It has to be presumed that Alex Parker was missing because of injury; thankfully, we had reliable and versatile, replacements at that time.

Denis Stevens (50), Derek Temple (49) and Alex Scott (48) made the most appearances. Denis Stevens was an ever-present in all of Everton's games that season. The figures relate to Charity Shield, League, European, and FA Cup fixtures.

Clive Rogers
33 Posted 18/01/2018 at 15:32:12
Thanks, John; brought back some memories there.

At home games, Mick Meagan, for some reason, always used to get a round of applause when he passed back to the goalkeeper. Always found that a bit strange!!

Jay Harris
34 Posted 18/01/2018 at 16:05:45
Thanks again, John, for this excellent series of nostalgia.

I remember Chico had a sort of hunchback style and blistering pace.

Although I think Kanchelskis and Trevor Steven were superior footballers, that team of the early sixties was my all-time favourite with so many real characters and a high level of skill and dribbling ability (something we don't see too much of now) so I won't argue with this choice.

Dave Abrahams
35 Posted 18/01/2018 at 17:41:54
John, with you mentioning Micky Lill was a favourite of yours, I was thinking back to a Central League match that was played at Earle FC between Everton and Wolves, it was played there because Goodison Park was getting the under soil heating put in.

Anyway Micky Lill played in this game; I went to the match but for the life of me can't remember which team he turned out for, the reserves also played a game at Anfield versus Huddersfield Town during this period.

I don't know if your books will have any reference to these game,s John, especially the Wolves one, to put me out of my misery. Thanks in advance.

John McFarlane
36 Posted 18/01/2018 at 18:31:48
Hi Dave [35], I have no recollection of this game myself, nor do I have evidence of it, but I knew someone who told me that the first game Mickey Lill played for Everton was against Earle FC.

Unfortunately, I think that chap is no longer with us, I'm sorry but that's as much as I can tell you.

Gerry Ring
37 Posted 18/01/2018 at 19:51:50
John #27.

Thanks for your lovely comments. We are hugely proud of Tommy & it's a pleasure to meet great Evertonian supporters like Eric Williams who compiled an incredible scrapbook about Tommy for me. I have a Scottish jersey & cap that he gave me.

I have a great story about Mick Meagan that he recounted at an open forum in Dublin many years ago. He told the story about looking for a wage increase and his meeting with Harry Catterick. He nervously entered the office to request an increase in his existing salary from 㾷 during the football season & ٧ in the off season to 㾺 & 㾸.

Catterick went berserk and replied, “That's what Stanley Matthews earns! Do you think you're as good as Stanley Matthews?"

“Well, I am in the off season,“ replied Mick.

Dave Abrahams
38 Posted 18/01/2018 at 20:04:22
John (36), that will do me. Everton Reserves definitely played Wolves Reserves at Earle FC and I doubt if they had played there before or since, so it's going into my head that Mickey played for Everton that day.
John Boon
39 Posted 18/01/2018 at 23:01:11
Hi, John, and all who posted. One of the things that I like best about this series is that it reminds us of the many players who brought joy and great memories to the fans.

I also felt that Scott took more time than expected to adjust. When he did settle in, he became a good player, although not top of my list. However, I am tending to forget the hundred game criteria. He did become a memorable Evertonian with true grit and spirit.

Every player mentioned in these posts were great to watch. Lill, Ring, Kanchelskis, Husband, Steven and of course Scott all brought excitement to the game.As regards loyalty and spirit, and going a little further back I would definitely include Tommy Eglington (Eggo). I watched him before we were relegated and after we were promoted. I think he scored five goals against Doncaster in Division 2.

.Sorry John. I forgot that we were focusing on right wingers and he was totally left. I sometimes get confused by today's positions. I may have jumped the gun but today's wingers are usually expected to be able to play both sides.

John McFarlane
40 Posted 18/01/2018 at 23:42:54
Hi John [39], you are obviously of the same era as me, and yes Tommy Eglington did score five goals against Doncaster Rovers, in a 7-1 win.

I was the only member of a strong Everton family who witnessed it. My cousin was married on that day, 27 September 1952] and all my uncles and cousins were at the wedding, unfortunately none of them are with us today.

Regarding the 100 game criteria that was self imposed, had I not decided on that course of action Mickey Lill and Tommy Ring would certainly have featured. I just felt that that figure was a realistic one.

I'm pleased that my articles have given pleasure to supporters of our generation, and possibly given younger Evertonians an insight into why we look back with nostalgia. Let's hope that they have favourites that they can look back on with similar fondness.

Dave Abrahams
41 Posted 19/01/2018 at 18:21:53
John (39), thanks for bringing Eggo into the thread, he was a good player for the Blues and a gent and very approachable off the field.

Me and a mate of mine were coming back from a game in London on the same train as the Everton team, we were young kids, just in our teens, and my mate said to Tommy (Eggo),

"You are playing for Eire next week, any chance of getting us a programme from the game?"

"No bother," said Tommy.

A few weeks later, we met him coming back from another Everton game, and Tommy gave him the programme, telling him,

"You missed the last away game. I was up and down the train looking for you."

How many players would do that today?

My mate will be well known to most of you on here even though you have never met him: Mick Brownless, now in a nursing home suffering from dementia. He was the young Evertonian who climbed up the drainpipe at Wembley for the West Brom FA Cup Final at Wembley, featured on TV news that night and shown on the front of The Evertonian a few years ago.

John McFarlane
42 Posted 19/01/2018 at 19:58:37
Hi Dave [41],

I believe I saw your mate climbing the drainpipe, although it's possible that he wasn't the only one trying to gain entrance that way. I'm going to check the church out tomorrow; I'll let you know the outcome.

Your tale regarding Tommy Eglington only illustrates the distance between the players and the fans, today's footballers are yesterday's film stars.

No doubt there are some of the modern-day players who do care about the fans, Steven Naismith to name one, but I get the impression that many of them are living in bubbles in their mansions, having been mollycoddled from an early age.

I suppose it's people like you and I, who can recall the days when the players travelled on the tram or bus to the ground, who feel alienated.

To the younger supporters, it's just the way things are, but I get the impression that, to some of the players, supporters are just a nuisance who have to be tolerated. I'll keep you posted on the church situation.

Gerry Ring
43 Posted 19/01/2018 at 22:22:57
My God, I think you lads should meet up to personally share your incredible stories from an era when the game was pure magic & when loyalty not money mattered most. If ye do decide to meet, let me know where & when!
Andy Meighan
44 Posted 19/01/2018 at 22:35:15
John (#13), What season was that? I'll look that up. Just a little bit before my time...
Martin Nicholls
45 Posted 19/01/2018 at 22:36:56
Gerry #43 – I've suggested a few times in the past that a ToffeeWeb "night out" would be a good idea in the hope that Michael or Lyndon could set the ball rolling. If nothing else, it would allow us all to put faces to names!
Tony Hill
46 Posted 19/01/2018 at 22:51:10
This is indeed a great series, John. I agree with Dave (#4) about Scott; talent was there all right but not often or consistently enough. Never quite did it for me.

Jimmy Husband, he was the one, until he "filled out" a bit. Steven, most certainly, but I never really thought of him as a winger.

Tony Hill
47 Posted 19/01/2018 at 22:57:19
Gerry (#37), Tommy Ring was in my Best Ever Everton Players list – even though he only played with us for such a short time.

Dave Thomas could cross beautifully on the run but I have never seen anyone float the ball so wonderfully as your cousin. It was a unique thing, to accompany his all-round talent.

John McFarlane
48 Posted 19/01/2018 at 23:29:58
Hi Gerry [43] and Martin [45],

Dave and I have already met a couple of times, and you're right – it is good to share memories... If a meeting could be arranged, I would be glad to attend.

Hi Tony [46],

I'm glad that you are enjoying the articles; I'm with you regarding Tommy Ring. You will have read in an earlier post, that the only reason I left Tommy and Mickey Lill out of my favourite eleven, was because I had decided to set the bar at 100 appearances.

On reflection, I think it was the wrong decision but, because I'm in charge, there is a good chance that I can bring them off the subs' bench.

Tony Hill
49 Posted 19/01/2018 at 23:49:38
Ha ha, nice move there, John.
Michael Kenrick
50 Posted 20/01/2018 at 07:28:43
I had to look up Nancy Spain, John... quite a character and dead in her prime.

Strange that, as I type, a song should pop up on Pandora... Nancy Spain, sung by Christy Moore. Not about her, apparently. Barney Rushe just liked the name.

Tony Abrahams
51 Posted 20/01/2018 at 08:20:45
I'm glad the number seven shirt, is giving this thread the time it deserves John, but I've got a little tear in my eye now thinking about poor Mick Brownless, who is giving me my own trip down memory lane.

John the players do live in a bubble, and even though I'm sure they are not to blame for everything, some things do make me feel ashamed of how distant they are from normal life, and normal people now.

I was on a train with the Everton players, coming back from West Ham, just before xmas a few years ago, and the train was buzzing because we had just won and we were in the top four. Loads of kids were on the train, which always makes me smile, because we are brought up from an early age to love and follow our football club.

I asked the steward, who was with the club, could he let a few of these kids in to see the players because it would obviously make there Christmas. Sorry he said, but I can't the players are resting. Are you serious mate, I said, the players won't even have to get out of their seats. He looked at me with discern this idiot, even when I told him that if he let a few kids meet the players, it would probably be better than the presents they were going to get a few days later on xmas day

Maybe it wasn't the players fault, but why can't a few of them be like Eggo sometimes!

Martin Nicholls
52 Posted 20/01/2018 at 08:32:54
Tony#46 - I too liked Jimmy Husband but my recollection is that Dave Mackay "did him" and that was the start of his demise at Everton.
Dave Abrahams
53 Posted 20/01/2018 at 09:26:40
Tony (47), with you on Tommy Ring, unforgettable, if God was picking a football eleven Tommy would be well in the running for the number eleven shirt.
John McFarlane
54 Posted 20/01/2018 at 09:28:36
Hi Martin, [52] I wasn't at the game, when Dave Mackay took Jimmy Husband out, but I was told that Mackay feigned injury himself to avoid being sent of.
Jim Lloyd
55 Posted 20/01/2018 at 10:38:03
Gerry Ring (43) My memory is a bit rubbish now (always was!) but the Gods have give us Blues soem wonderful footballers and in the sixties we were blessed with a good few Scottish players of great skill or tenacity...or both.

Alex Young was my favourite all time player and there's two Scots who come into the picture with him. They were Bobby Collins and Tommy. We were privileged to see those few short games with him in our side.

We don't forget them lads!

Dick Fearon
56 Posted 20/01/2018 at 12:14:10
I was at that Husband McKay game and will never forget how Dave's high tackle almost cut Jimmy in half. That ended Jimmy's budding great career.
Jim Lloyd
57 Posted 20/01/2018 at 12:17:06
As was I Dick, yet I can't remember what the ref did. He should have been sent off without any hesitation. Itwas a calculated hatchet job by a horrible man.
Dave Abrahams
59 Posted 23/01/2018 at 14:43:35
John Mac, do you remember Jimmy Payne's brief spell with Everton, another right winger, he was signed by Everton from Liverpool with Tony McNamara going the other way.

I think Jimmy's first game was against Charlton Athletic at Goodison, we won 5-0 and Jimmy got one of the goals, he looked a decent signing, the next week we played Man Utd in a cup game and Jimmy played like he had nails in his boots. He didn't last long, I think he finished up running a newsagent's shop in Bootle.

John McFarlane
60 Posted 23/01/2018 at 17:46:56
Hi Dave I certainly do remember him, if memory serves me right he signed on Thursday and played on Saturday. I'm afraid that you have got your facts mixed up, his first game was against Blackpool at Goodison on April 21st 1956, Peter Farrell scoring the only goal of the game. I actually attended that game, the last game of the season. it was the only time I saw him in an Everton jersey, because I went into the army in August of that year.

His first game the following season was an away fixture against Sunderland a 1-1 draw, on February 2nd 1957, you're right in saying that he played against Charlton Athletic a [5-0 victory] when he scored one of the goals, the others coming from Jimmy Harris 2, Wally Fielding, and jimmy Gauld.

Again, your correct in saying that he played against Manchester United in a 1-0 F A Cup defeat, he then played in a 2-0 loss to Arsenal at Highbury, followed by a 4-1 home defeat to Preston North End, he actually scored Everton's goal. His record For Everton is 6 appearances and 2 goals, before retiring through injury, he then, as you say, ran a newsagents, I believe it was in Aintree Road, Bootle.

You're allowed the occasional lapse of memory Dave, after all it was nearly 62 years ago, fortunately for me I have my research department to fall back on. I may repeat this post on the part 8 thread to make sure you receive it.

Dave Abrahams
61 Posted 23/01/2018 at 18:04:12
John (60), thanks John, looks like Jimmy signed for Everton and then was out of the game for nearly a year after making his debut before playing again. I must have forgot they signed him.

Anyway, John thanks for going to the trouble to sort his Everton career out for me.

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