How Catterick avoided the dreaded taxi ride!

Everton’s unexpected 1966 Cup triumph

Paul McParlan 22/02/2018 31comments  |  Jump to last

Everton’s unexpected 1966 Cup triumph

“I get knocked down but I get up again” Chumbawumba 1999

15 January 1966 – the Blackpool Rumble

The League table made grim reading for Everton fans. The side, convincing Champions just three years earlier, had endured an awful campaign. The team had mustered a meagre four wins from their last sixteen matches and were now becalmed in a midtable morass, lying in eleventh position. Fans had already started to vote with their feet as their last home game in January against West Ham United had produced yet another crowd of below 30,000 following on from below-average attendances of 25,000 against Sunderland and 20,000 against Fulham the previous month. Everton had no hope of challenging for the title this season and another trophy-less campaign loomed large. To make matters worse, near neighbours Liverpool – after winning the League in 1963-64 and then the Cup in 1964-65 – were looking certain to win the Title again this season. It was too much for most Evertonians to bear. Shankly was dominating the back pages and the silence from Goodison was worrying.

Harry Catterick knew the pressure was mounting, and his job was under serious threat. Everton Chairman John Moores had famously sacked the previous incumbent, Johnny Carey, in a taxi and already some chants of “Taxi for Catterick” were starting to emanate from the terraces. He needed to provoke a response from his underperforming stars and, before the away fixture at Blackpool, he made the boldest decision of his managerial career. The Everton contingent on the bitterly cold terraces nearly spat out their Bovril as the team was announced. Fans’ idol – Alex Young, the Golden Vision, had sensationally been dropped for a young 16-year-old rookie. His name: Joe Royle! Joe’s time would come... but not yet.

Everton slumped to a two–nil defeat, with Geoff Barnett in goal making two bad mistakes as Everton failed to deal with the threat of Alan Ball who excelled for the home side. The Blue contingent were furious. Yet, looked at logically, it was the correct decision to drop Alex Young as he had scored a mere two goals in his last fifteen appearances and Catterick wanted to send a message to his players that nobody was indispensable.

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At the end of the game, a group of about 30 or 40 irate Everton fans waited for the team bus, demanding to know why their favourite player had been left out of the side. As Catterick left the stadium, he was confronted by the supporters who were allegedly chanting “Catterick out!”. As he walked towards the coach he was jostled and berated by some in the group and knocked to the ground. Some reports say he was kicked, others that he stumbled. Catterick was most certainly shaken up by the incident, although he understood the fans' loyalty to Young, and spent the weekend recuperating with his family. If John Moores, the Everton Chairman, was wondering what the fans thought of the manager, it could not have been clearer. The taxi ride was now looming large!

22 January 1966 – The Golden Vision returns

The FA Cup offered the solitary hope of salvation for both Everton and their fans but most of all for Harry Catterick. A whole generation of Blues who were not alive the last time Everton won the Cup in 1933 were now approaching their mid-thirties and had never experienced a trip to Wembley; they were desperate for a Cup run, having endured their Kopite friends endlessly boasting about their Wembley success the previous year.

The Third-Round draw provided Everton with a home tie against Sunderland. The teams had met two years earlier at the Fifth Round and Everton had succumbed to a three-one reverse at Roker Park. However, the sides had encountered each other at the start of December and Everton ran out two–nil victors with goals from Hurst and Pickering. Catterick recalled Alex Young to the starting line-up in place of Joe Royle. But, perhaps more significant was the decision to replace the rookie custodian, Geoff Barnett, with the capable hands of Gordon West, the first choice keeper who had been missing since October after breaking a collar bone against FC Nuremberg in the Inter Cities Fairs Cup. The return of West was to have a massive impact on the defensive solidity of the side.

Given the events at Blackpool, which had received extensive national media coverage, the official matchday programme took the opportunity to defend the manager’s selection policy on the Evertonia page. It stated that “three players who have never cost the club a farthing, have made their debuts… John Hurst, Geoff Barnett and Joe Royle… all this is laying foundations for the Everton of the future”. Sadly for most Blues, the present was the overriding concern; the future seemed a long way off. The mood of many present was conveyed by a pre-match pitch invader who displayed a banner proclaiming “Sack Catterick. Keep Young.”

Fortunately, in front of an attendance of 47,893 Everton eased past Sunderland with a three-nil victory with goals from Pickering, Temple and Young. It looked like being dropped had shaken Young out of his complacency which was the reaction Catterick was expecting. Both Everton and Liverpool played at home that day and the afternoon just got better and better for Everton fans as they encountered their despondent Liverpool counterparts winding their way home after blowing their first defence of the Cup by losing at home two–one to Chelsea. Only one half of Merseyside would now be tuning in to their transistor radios to listen to the draw on Monday lunchtime.

12 February 1966 – The invasion of Bedford

Most Everton fans wanted a home draw but were instead awarded an away tie. However, this was at the Queens Park ground, home of Bedford Town from the Southern League. Catterick worked tirelessly to remove any vestiges of complacency from his players. Bedford had garnered a deserved reputation as a slayer of Football League giants and two years previously had gone to St James’ Park and pulled off a sensational two–one victory against Newcastle, who were top of the Second Division. Already in this campaign, they had knocked out two League sides in Exeter City and Brighton & Hove Albion, and they fancied their chances of another upset. A record attendance of 18,407 crammed into the arena, with possibly about 90% of the assembled throng speaking with Scouse accents. Catterick had watched Bedford three times and his meticulous preparation paid off as Everton negotiated this tricky hurdle with a three-nil victory courtesy of two goals from Derek Temple and one from Fred Pickering. Once again, Chelsea did the other contenders a favour by knocking out the previous season’s beaten finalists – Leeds United.

5 March 1966 – The Sky Blue Express is derailed

Once again, the draw was favourable to Everton, another home tie... and this time against Second Division Coventry City. Under the innovative management of Jimmy Hill, they were making a strong challenge for promotion and would eventually miss out by just one point. The Coventry contingent were conveyed to Goodison on specially chartered trains known as “The Sky Blue Express”. Everton fans were just starting to sense this might be their season after all; they were now just three games away from Wembley.

The biggest crowd of the season, 60,290 packed into Goodison and were rewarded with a comfortable three-nil victory with goals from Temple, Pickering and Young. Three games played, no goals conceded and three consecutive three nil victories with both Pickering and Temple having scored in every round so far. It was also encouraging that another fancied team, Tottenham Hotspur were knocked out at this stage.

On Monday morning, the draw paired Everton with a tough but winnable fixture away to Manchester City, riding high at the top of the Second Division.

26 March 1966 – The longest tie

Encouragingly for Everton’s fanbase, the league form had shown a dramatic improvement since the start of the Cup challenge, with seven League games producing five wins and two draws. Manchester City, with home advantage, would be a tough adversary. They were top of the Second Division and the newly appointed management team of Joe Mercer (ex-Everton captain) and Malcolm Allison were starting to create the outfit that would win the League in two years. That side already featured such top players as Mike Summerbee and Colin Bell and a defence marshalled by ex-Everton defender, George Heslop.

Everton went into the game boosted by a nil-nil home draw against Liverpool the previous Saturday which helped the team regain some respect after Liverpool had thrashed them five-nil at Anfield in September. Unfortunately, Fred Pickering sustained an injury which ruled him out of the game and powerhouse midfielder, Jimmy Gabriel, suffered the same fate but, in front of a baying crowd of 63,034, Everton defended resiliently to earn a goalless draw and a replay at Goodison Park, three days later. Advantage Everton.

Manchester City had already knocked two First Division sides out of the cup that season, Blackpool and Leicester City, so the prospect of a trip to Goodison Park did not worry them unduly. Fred Pickering had recovered from his injury and Everton fans were optimistic but before a crowd of 60,349, Manchester City held firm, with George Heslop outstanding in defence; Everton were unable to find a way through and, after a period of extra time, neither side had made the decisive breakthrough.

The subsequent replay was to be held at a neutral venue on Tuesday 5 April. Although the game was scheduled to be played at Ewood Park, home of Blackburn Rovers, due to concerns about predicted adverse weather conditions, it was switched to Molineux, Wolverhampton Wanderers’ ground, hardly the most convenient location for a midweek fixture for travelling supporters, and this was reflected in the crowd of 27,948 – over 50% down on the previous two games.

Manchester City dominated the early phases of play but Everton were boosted by the return of Jimmy Gabriel to the midfield (incidentally, Jimmy was the favourite player of George Galloway’s father) and his energetic style enabled Everton to regain the momentum. Derek Temple put Everton ahead after 37 minutes; Fred Pickering made it two just before half-time and Everton were on their way to the semi-finals. Undoubtedly this had been Everton’s most difficult encounter so far. Nevertheless, Everton had now not conceded a goal in 600 minutes of Cup football

16 April 1966 – Who cares? We’ll just pay the fine

Everton were joined in the semi-finals by Chelsea, Manchester United and Sheffield Wednesday. As reigning League Champions, Man Utd were the team to avoid so it was only natural that they were drawn out of the hat with Everton. Catterick knew that his team would need their best performance of the season to overcome a team containing George Best, Bobby Charlton and Denis Law. He also knew this was a game he could not afford to lose.

Everton were due to face Leeds United at Elland Road the week before the semi- final and there was no doubting the fierce animosity that existed between the two clubs. When they had met at Goodison Park the previous season, the tackling was so bad that the referee took both teams off the pitch. Catterick had every reason to fear that one of his players could easily fall victim to an excessively robust challenge by the likes of Bremner, Collins or Giles and was not prepared to take the risk. He had already seen leading scorer Fred Pickering suffer another injury the previous Saturday, so he made the unprecedented decision to field an entire reserve eleven to fulfil the fixture. Everton, not surprisingly lost the game four-one, but the Everton goal scorer was a certain Mike Trebilcock who had arrived earlier in the season for a fee of £20,000 from Plymouth Argyle. The Football League fined Everton £2,000 for fielding “a weakened team” but for Catterick it was worth every penny.

23 April 1966 Burnden Park – Hail Harvey

Burnden Park, the home of Bolton Wanderers, was a strange choice to host the semi-final. It had not held a fixture of such importance since 1907 and the tragedy that occurred there in 1947, when 33 supporters died at the venue, loomed large in the minds of many fans. The official attendance was strangely issued as exactly 60,000; however, most present would doubt the veracity of that claim. There were many instances of supporters gaining access without passing through the turnstiles and at half-time the fencing gave way in one corner of the ground which meant that a large contingent watched the second half from the cinder track embracing the pitch. Once again, the Football Association had chosen an unsuitable venue for a match of such importance, a habit they would continue until the Hillsborough disaster of 1989.

Manchester United were the bookmakers' strong favourites to win the tie but Everton hopes were raised by the absence of a certain George Best... yet were dampened by the news that top scorer Fred Pickering would miss the match through injury. However Man Utd had been eliminated from the European Cup semi-final by Partizan Belgrade three days earlier and Catterick was convinced that this setback would adversely affect their performance. Bill Shankly is often lauded as a shrewd and canny operator by many in the football world and he certainly merited that reputation but history has tended to judge Harry Catterick unfairly by comparison. Yet, by fielding a reserve team against Leeds United, Catterick had ensured that his first team had not played a competitive game for almost two weeks, whereas United had been involved in two legs of a European Cup semi-final and a league match during this time. Catterick hoped that fatigue would prove to be a decisive factor.

The game itself was a tense, dour affair with neither side willing to take a risk and little to separate the two teams. Nonetheless, as the second half wore on, Everton’s superior fitness began to reap dividends and, 12 minutes from the end of the tie, Derek Temple broke down the wing and switched the ball to the unmarked Colin Harvey who unleashed a shot that appeared to bobble several times before going past the despairing Harry Gregg into the net. Everton’s defence held firm for the remainder of the game ensuring that they became the first team in 66 years to reach the final without conceding a goal. Everton were going to Wembley!

As fans were exiting the decrepit stadium, even better news filtered through from Villa Park. In the other semi–final, the bookmakers’ second favourites, Chelsea, had surprisingly been defeated two-nil by Sheffield Wednesday – the Cup was now Everton’s to lose.

24 April to 12 May 1966 – Any chance of a ticket?

Everton and Sheffield Wednesday were both allocated a paltry 15,000 tickets each for the final, which was nowhere near enough to satisfy demand. Everton decided to allocate the majority of their tickets to supporters whose season ticket holders ended in certain digits. Eventually the “lucky numbers” were revealed by the club via the local mouthpiece The Liverpool Echo – cue scenes of delirium and despondency across the city. Nevertheless, the club also decided to distribute some tickets to those who had a full set of Cup Final vouchers from their home match programmes. Suddenly, a thriving black market sprung up overnight as the value of these elusive items soared. Some voucher numbers, such as one and seven, were relatively easy to forge even with the limitations of a John Bull printing kit and undoubtedly a percentage of tickets were obtained via this method.

Other fans had to resort to even more drastic measures such as swapping their car for a ticket but many decided to just take their chance and head to Wembley in the hope of cutting a deal with Stan Flashman, the king of the ticket touts.

Everton’s League form dipped after reaching the final. Bizarrely enough, Everton played Manchester United again at Goodison two days after the semi-final and drew nil-nil but then lost their two remaining fixtures to finish in 11th position, their lowest ever under Catterick. Even worse, a resurgent Liverpool under the aegis of Bill Shankly had won the Title for the second time in three seasons. Catterick knew that the prospect of a taxi ride was still looming large if Everton failed to deliver.

Friday 13 May 1966 – Unlucky for some?

Catterick still had one major selection dilemma to resolve: Fred Pickering appeared to have recovered from his injury and had played in his last three League games but without scoring. Catterick was having to weigh up whether to risk his striker on the notorious Wembley pitch where a number of finals had been negatively influenced by injuries to players. Strangely, substitutes had been allowed for the first time in the Football League that season but not in the FA Cup. Could he afford to run the risk of Pickering breaking down on the pitch?

Catterick’s options were limited. In the past, he had played midfielder Jimmy Gabriel as an emergency centre-forward with some success or he could gamble with the little-known, unheralded Mike Trebilcock who had deputised for Pickering in the semi- final. Trebilcock sensed an opportunity, recalling later “Fred wasn’t training that well leading up to the final… and I was training my arse off.” The day before the game, Catterick called Pickering and Trebilcock into his office and delivered his verdict “Fred, I’m leaving you out and putting Mike in”. Little could the manager have realised the impact that decision would have...

Saturday 14 May 1966 – Holding out for a Hero

Just like Everton, Sheffield Wednesday had not reached an FA Cup final for three decades, their last appearance having been their 4-2 victory over West Bromwich Albion in 1935. They had endured a far more challenging route to the final, having been drawn away in every tie but winning each one without the need of a replay. Only five points had separated the teams in the final League table, which meant that The Owls finished in 17th position. An extra edge was added to the fixture as Catterick had been the Wednesday manager until he resigned towards the end of the 1960-61 season. Several players that he had introduced to that side, such as Don Megson, Ron Springett and Johnny Fantham, were now first-team regulars and, under the current coach, Allan Brown, they were extremely fit and well organized as demonstrated by their emphatic victory over Chelsea. He was a manager who was assiduous in his pre-match preparation and had planned to surprise Everton with his team formation.

It was not the “glamour” final that many in the London-dominated press had wanted. Their preferred choice was for a meeting between Chelsea and Manchester United and a number of scribes dismissed this forthcoming encounter between two mid-table Northern sides as a dismal climax to the season. How wrong they were...

Many sources, including Wikipedia, have suggested that both John Lennon and Paul McCartney were present at the final as well. McCartney came from a family of Evertonians and he has since confirmed this allegiance subsequently in several interviews. Therefore, if any Beatle was actually in attendance, it is more than likely to have been Macca. He could not have chosen a better game to watch.

The teams lined up as follows:

Everton – West, Wright, Wilson, Gabriel, Labone, Harris, Scott, Young, Trebilcock, Harvey, Temple.

Sheffield Wednesday – Springett, Smith, Megson, Eustace, Ellis, Young, Pugh, Fantham, McCalliog, Ford, Quinn.

Everton were slight favourites and, although the omission of Pickering was substantial, Sheffield Wednesday were also missing their colossus of a defender, Vic Mobley, who was replaced by 19-year-old Sam Ellis.

Everton were looking to become the first side since Sheffield United in 1902 to win the Cup without conceding a goal; however, after just 4 minutes, Wednesday scored through Jim McCalliog to ensure that the Blades’ record remained intact. Allan Brown had gone for a 4-3-3 formation which surprised Everton and enabled them to dominate the midfield. Both Colin Harvey and Jimmy Gabriel appeared to be chasing shadows as they were totally overwhelmed by this tactical masterstroke.

Everton were beginning to feel the fates conspiring against them as Alex Young had an arguably valid goal disallowed for offside and an even stronger penalty claim denied as Ron Springett dived and swept his feet away from him as he was lining up to score. As the Boys Book of Soccer reported “referees don’t like giving penalties in FA Cup finals”. At the interval, The Owls had unquestionably been the better side and deserved their lead.

Catterick was deeply troubled by the shell-shocked faces that greeted him. As he recalled later “the players were slumped on the benches… They couldn’t believe what had happened to them”. The manager reminded them what was at stake and urged them to show more determination. For some, this would be their last ever chance of a medal. For Catterick, a defeat would end in a taxi journey.

Nevertheless, despite Catterick’s cajoling, Everton started the second half with little signs of improvement. Then, on 57 minutes, the Cup appeared to be destined for Yorkshire as West failed to hold a shot from Johnny Fantham and David Ford converted the rebound. No team had ever recovered from being 2-0 down in a Wembley Cup final before and, with just over 30 minutes remaining, there seemed no way back for Everton.

Some Evertonians, including Colin Harvey’s granddad, had seen enough and headed towards the exit gates. Catterick himself turned to Fred Pickering on the bench and said, “I wish I’d played you now.” The gamble of playing Trebilcock appeared to have backfired disastrously, he had hardly touched the ball in the first 60 minutes. Even match commentator, Kenneth Wolstenholme, told the watching viewers that the Cup was on its way to Sheffield.

Or was it?

Just two minutes, later the Sheffield Wednesday back four failed to pick up the unmarked Mike Trebilcock at the edge of the area and he was the first to react to a header from Derek Temple and fired the ball past Ron Springett. Suddenly the Everton team appeared rejuvenated and sensed the comeback might be on.

Incredibly, just 5 minutes, later Everton were level. Alex Scott floated a free-kick into the box which Alex Young headed back to Trebilcock. He hit the ball first time on the volley to send it swerving inside the goalkeeper’s right-hand post. Within just 7 minutes Everton had recovered from being two goals behind – and both strikes had come from the most unlikely of Everton sources, the young Cornishman, Mike Trebilcock. It was a fairy-tale scenario for the surprise inclusion in the side. Two touches, two shots, two goals in a Cup Final at Wembley. In an ironic twist, his name had not even been printed in the match programme line-ups.

Cue mass delirium from the Everton masses as they roared their team on to an incredible and totally unforeseen comeback. The emotion was too much for some. Life- long Evertonian, Eddie Cavanagh, ran onto the pitch sporting his suit and braces to congratulate the players. Demonstrating some fleet-footed agility, he skillfully evaded the clutches of several pursuing policemen and, just as one of them was about to grab his suit jacket, he slipped it off, leaving his pursuer on the turf grasping an empty jacket. As he was eventually caught, the television viewers were able to glimpse Brian Harris trying on the crestfallen copper’s hat for size. The Everton players pleaded with the constabulary not to eject Eddie from the stadium but to no avail. Nevertheless, he still made it back inside the ground before the final whistle. This may have also been the last time when it was de rigeur for fans to wear a suit to the match.

Only one team was going to win now. All the fight seemed to have seeped out of Sheffield Wednesday, their previously decisive defence was looking increasingly jittery and their precision passing had collapsed. They were hanging on desperately.

The decisive moment of the game arrived in the 79th minute. The normally reliable Owls defender Gerry Young appeared to have ample time to collect a loose ball in midfield but he somehow lost control of it and it rolled away off his boot. Derek Temple was the first to react and set off with the ball towards the opposition goal. He steered the ball towards the penalty area, veered slightly to his right and then crashed his shot low and hard past the advancing Springett and into the net. It was one of the best finishes ever seen at Wembley.

The Owls rallied during the last 10 minutes but never posed a serious threat. When the referee, Jack Taylor, blew his whistle, Everton had won the Cup in the most dramatic of circumstances, with the most unlikely of heroes, sparking wild celebrations in Wembley and on Merseyside. Brian Labone went up to receive the trophy from Princess Margaret and after the team completed a lap of honour, Harry was chaired off the pitch by his players. Also, in a break with established tradition and in due recognition of their contribution to a thrilling final, Sheffield Wednesday became the first ever losing side to undertake a lap of honour as well.

Catterick later recalled that the Cup victory had been his best moment in football and acknowledging that he did not quite have the same relationship with the fans as his rival Shankly, he stated “Many people have criticised my lack of rapport with ordinary supporters…… but no-one is a bigger Evertonian than me.”

Catterick had delivered the trophy he desperately needed and, despite the gloom of the hugely disappointing League campaign, John Moores would not be inviting his manager for a taxi ride after all. From the depths of despair on a cold afternoon in Blackpool, Catterick had fashioned an unexpected grand finale to the season.

That Blackpool visit in January did leave an indelible mark on Catterick however. He had noticed how a certain young player called Alan Ball had dominated proceedings that day for Blackpool and, three months later, he made him his first signing of the next season. The new-look Everton outfit that would clinch the League Championship in 1970 was starting to take shape.

Paul's article was originally published on the By Far The Greatest Team football blog and is reproduced here with his permission.

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Reader Comments (31)

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Dave Abrahams
1 Posted 22/02/2018 at 17:06:41
Never read that article before, a really great story of Everton's FA Cup run and eventual victory in 1966. I saw every game in that cup run but there are loads of little pieces I have never heard before. Very good.

Has Paul written anything else, over the years, about Everton?

Ian Burns
2 Posted 22/02/2018 at 17:30:59
Excellent read, Paul. Like Dave (#1), I also saw every game during that cup run and I remember vividly the Blackpool incident. It was a dark moment but the cup run was a fantastic antidote.

I have a fantastic (also well-known) photograph of Alex Young trying to go round Springett in that game and it might well have been the penalty incident.

Thanks Paul, really enjoyed that memory.

Alan Bodell
3 Posted 22/02/2018 at 17:44:16
Fabulous article, saw the game on a black-and-white TV and this has just rekindled my memory of that great day.
Bill Watson
4 Posted 22/02/2018 at 19:59:50
I saw all those games, too. I was gutted to be ineligible for a Final ticket but eventually managed to buy one outside the ground. It cost me £8 which doesn't sound much but was a week's wages for me at that time. Little did I know I could have bunked in with a fiver to the gateman.

Like many others, I'd advertised my Goodison World Cup tickets, in exchange for a Cup Final ticket, in the Classified column of the Echo but there were no takers. As we didn't have a home phone I'd used my work number.

Doug Harris
5 Posted 22/02/2018 at 20:44:53
Great read, Paul, so many memories of every game on that cup run, cherished. I attended everyone of them.

What a way for a young Evertonian to be brought up with our success that year, crowned off in August with the signing of Alan Ball...

Never to be forgotten.

Ken Kneale
6 Posted 22/02/2018 at 21:16:57
Great read - this was the time I became hooked as a blue and four years of glorious football followed.
Peter Cummings
7 Posted 22/02/2018 at 22:06:48
At age 80 now, I vividly recall that '66 cup run as if it was yesterday and still regard it as my best ever memory of being an Evertonian from age six.

I also saw every tie but couldn't get a ticket for Wembley so I flogged my expensive camera to a tout and paid eight quid for a ten-bob ticket in the Wednesday end where all of our goals went in.

I can't even describe the moment when Young miscontrolled, Jimmy Gabriel's through-ball and Derek Temple pouncing on it seemed to take a lifetime to cover the 30 yards before blasting it past Ron Springett to seal the greatest comeback in FA Cup history,

The following week, I think, I sat entranced watching the whole game again in Kirkby Labour Club, this time for a shilling... memories are made of this. COYB.

John Keating
8 Posted 22/02/2018 at 22:16:38
I remember both teams having home games in the Third Round.

Not sure I can remember if we both kicked off at the same time? I do remember taking the piss out of my mates after the games, though!

Tom Bowers
9 Posted 22/02/2018 at 22:59:56
Peter, good memory indeed. I saw every game too but that Man City replay at Goodison was the toughest as City played really well in a 0-0 score. Luckily we beat them in the fog at Molyneux.

Despite that awful referee, Jack Taylor, we won the cup – and should have won it again 2 years later against West Brom.

Jay Harris
10 Posted 23/02/2018 at 03:31:38
Great bit of nostalgia, Paul.

I went to every game except the final (i couldn't get a ticket) but watched it at home on black-and-white TV. Mam had the house decked out in blue and white rosettes and flags draped on the windows to piss off the red neighbours off.

I was in tears at 2-0 down but dancing round the parlour when the winner went in.

Brian Porter
11 Posted 23/02/2018 at 06:26:44
We were living in darkest Yorkshire at the time so I didn't see any of the earlier games but somehow my dad, probably using his military connections, surprised me one day by telling me we were going to Wembley!

What a day to watch my first live cup final! I was in tears when we went two down but, when Mike Trebilcock's second went in, I remember screaming at my dad, "We're going to win it Dad." My voice hadn't broken yet so I must have sounded like a hysterical girl but nobody cares and a chap behind us said to my dad, "Yer lad's right. Just watch us go now mate."

There were tears of a different kind as I watched my heroes dancing around Wembley with the cup, my abiding memory being Mike Trebilcock wearing the lid like a hat. I can still recite the team line up from that day and have a DVD of the whole match which I play every so often just to remind me of the days when it was great to be an Evertonian.

For the next few months, in games of street football with my mates, I was Mike Trebilcock. Who else? Happy days indeed.

John Keating
12 Posted 23/02/2018 at 07:57:33
It wasn't just the games that were memorable.

What about the homecoming!

Martin Nicholls
13 Posted 23/02/2018 at 09:11:52
Great article. Got my ticket via the program vouchers route – the Fulham one was like gold dust! I've still got ticket stub and the Daily Express song sheet!
Dave Abrahams
14 Posted 23/02/2018 at 09:32:37
I went to the News Theatre in town the week after the final, they were showing highlights of the match. About 20 minutes of the game, it was quiet until we made our comeback; then, little by little, the cheers and roars started, then singing by the crowd in that small cinema.

One fella was eventually thrown out for being too loud, singing Everton songs as he was escorted up the aisle and thrown into Church Street. I knew his face, worked in the ship repair game, Nicky, can't recall his second name. I will always remember the look of pure joy on his face as he was led out – happy happy days.

Lenny Kingman
15 Posted 23/02/2018 at 10:19:55
My favourite game of all time. I was in the stand opposite the Queen in the royal box, and, the boys in royal blue would be Kings at the end of this glorious afternoon basking in the Wembley sunshine. The day of a lifetime for a diminutive, unheralded Cornish man gave all Evertonians everywhere a day never to be forgotten.

Down by the corner flag where l was stood on my seat approaching full time, across came the angel Gabriel who took up position there and saw off any Wednesday player who had the temerity to think they could dispossess him. The ball was stuck to his skillful boot and was going nowhere. A few moments later the final whistle went and the din, the outpourings from all Evertonia had to be heard to be believed. It was spiritual!

I never had experienced anything like it before and never will again. From Eddie's mazy run across the lush green turf dumping constables as he went, to Derek Temple's direct line to glory, so many memories in my mind's eye that can never be removed.

Martin Nicholls
16 Posted 23/02/2018 at 10:38:21
I love articles like this if only because they enable me from the comments to work out which of you guys are the same vintage as me!

Sadly I've lost touch with the lads I used to go to the match with in those days although I went to this Final on my own as none of the others had tickets!

Geoff Lambert
17 Posted 23/02/2018 at 11:34:05
John ~12 Yes I was only 6 but remember my Dad hoisting me up on his shoulders to watch them go by with the cup.

Born a blue, but from that day Everton came in to my life and will never leave till the day I die.

Graham Reed
18 Posted 23/02/2018 at 12:35:45
Thanks for a great article Paul.

About the 'Sack Catterick, Keep Young' banner, I have always rembered it as having been displayed in March 1964 at a different game but in similar circumstances.

This is how I remember it but I may well be wrong so I wonder if anyone else agrees.

March 14 1964 - Fred Pickering makes his debut in place of Alex Young and scores a hat-trick so that any criticism of the change is muted.

March 21 - Roy Vernon is suspended but instead of making the obvious change and bringing back Young, Catterick hands a league debut to Colin Harvey. Everton win at Blackburn 2-1 to go to first in the table so again there is little room for criticism.

March 27 (Good Friday) - Harvey keeps his place but has an awful game in a 1-1 draw with West Brom (documented in Colin's book 'Everton Secrets').

March 28 (Easter Saturday) - The 'Sack Catterick' banner is displayed at Goodison before or possibly during the game. Harvey is dropped and Young is brought back in his place. Everton beat Blackpool 3-1 to keep alive the chance of retaining the League title.

It seems like that banner, which I think mispelt Catterick's name, could have appeared at either game - or possibly both. There were probably a couple of other times in Young's time at Goodison under Catterick where it could also have been on display.

Doug Harris
19 Posted 23/02/2018 at 12:55:40
You are correct about the banner, Graham.

Rick Tarleton
20 Posted 23/02/2018 at 15:26:30
The day of all days that I recall as my favourite day of being an Evertonian. I set off from Exeter, where I was at university, arriving in London and making my way to Euston, where I was meeting two uncles and they had my precious ticket. Into Wembley, G 64 was the section, behind the goal into which Everton kicked in the first half. Tommy Eglington was standing fairly close to us and exchanged greetings with almost everyone.

By half-time, the mood was dire, anyhow some bloke got on his knees and somehow we cleared enough space and he very loudly asked for divine intervention. It lightened the mood and at full-time I felt it proved both the existence of a divine being and which football team he supported.

My relatives set off back to Liverpool straight after the game, but I made my way to Trafalgar Square (I was 19 and stupid) and joined several hundred Everton fans in the fountain. Eventually, absolutely soaked and cold, I made my way back to Exeter arriving in my hall of residence about 2 am. There I promptly let off all the fire alarms and for my efforts I was fined the sum of £10 later on. (To give you some idea of how big a fine that was, my ticket for Wembley cost 7s/6d or 37½p).

It was worth every penny and it is alongside the victory over Fulham at the end of 1962-63, the day I most remember from my Everton supporting past.

Jay Harris
21 Posted 23/02/2018 at 17:13:31

Good point about the homecoming.

I was at St George's Hall along with what seemed like millions. The atmosphere was incredible.

I just hope the kids of today see some success and enjoy similar elation.

Doug Harris
22 Posted 23/02/2018 at 18:13:32
Peter Fearon
23 Posted 23/02/2018 at 21:55:34
I was there for all but the Bedford match. The reality of that season was that the team was in transition. Catterick was rightly trying new combinations and new younger faces from a very successful youth team.

When players like Jimmy Gabriel, Gordon West and Alex Young returned to the side for the FA Cup, there was a very confident and carnival atmosphere. I clearly remember banners saying “Everton Nap 66” such was the certainty it would be a successful cup campaign.

Some people hated Catterick and would continue to do so despite his success because they had so admired John Carey, his predecessor. But Catterick was a great Evertonian and a canny and forward-looking manager. He must be spinning in his grave to see a man of Allardyce's football philosophy and personal ethical standards running the club.

John Keating
24 Posted 23/02/2018 at 22:15:41

We thought we'd get to St George's Hall by getting there about 3 hours before the team were due there.

We got to the corner of London Road and that was it!

I think the furthest we actually got was somewhere by the Empire by the team arrived and heard all the way up London Road was solid.

I had relatives at various places along the route to town and it sounded incredible the amount of people that met them on the way in.

God knows how many turned out that day.

Ken Kneale
25 Posted 24/02/2018 at 17:14:08
Peter @23. I am with you on Catterick. His outward persona may not have been to all tastes but his love of Everton and his dedication to ensuring success with easy-on-the-eye football cannot be doubted.

The last 30 years have seen us completely lose our identity as a club whose ethos has stood proudly around teams playing in that fashion.

Stewart Oakes
26 Posted 25/02/2018 at 15:28:43
As a season ticket holder, I was one of the lucky ones who qualified for an FA Cup Final ticket; however, as a 10-year-old son of an Evertonian father who didn't qualify with his, well you can guess the rest.
Stewart Oakes
27 Posted 25/02/2018 at 15:36:12
I did however get to see the team with the cup up close, the train taking the team back to Liverpool made an unscheduled stop at Crewe station, and the Everton fans (about 50/60 of us) waiting on the platform gave them a rousing welcome.
Paul McParlan
28 Posted 26/02/2018 at 11:17:16
Thanks to everyone who read my post on the 1966 FA Cup win.Glad to have brought back so many happy memories!

Dave (#1) – I have written a few articles about Everton on the @ByFarBlog site; I'll send some to Lyndon for his consideration.

Graham (#18) – you may be right about the banner. Colin Harvey recalled it as being at the Sunderland game but footballers' memories can be unreliable as Brian Labone in Talking Blue claims the Blackpool game took place in the summer!

Peter (#23) – I agree that Catterick's achievements have never been given the recognition they deserve. Rob Sawyer's book on Harry is excellent, worth a read.

Loved the stories of how people got their tickets. My Dad had, like many others, advertised for a ticket in the Echo. On the Thursday before, he got a phone call and was told to be outside St Luke's that afternoon. A guy came up to him and started asking him questions about Everton, which my Dad answered.

He then gave my Dad a ticket for cost price as he couldn't go and wanted to make sure a genuine Blue got it!

I was 10 in 1966 and had to make do with a World Cup ticket instead.

Happy days which seem so far off now!

Dave Abrahams
29 Posted 26/02/2018 at 11:39:02
Paul (28), I hope Lyndon prints some more of your articles, especially if they are as good as the 1966 final one.

I got my ticket off Tom Finney, the PNE and England footballer. I met him at the semi-final versus Man Utd, made a fuss of him as he was one of my all-time great footballers. I wrote to him, apologised for making him blush with my (genuine) praise for him and asked him was there any chance of selling me a ticket.

A week later, me wife said there's a letter on the mantelpiece for you, and there it was: a cup final ticket off Tom Finney! He never asked for anything, just said he thought it was going to a genuine Everton supporter.

I sent him something for the ticket and, the first game of the next season, met by accident at Goodison – he was writing for the News of the World. I thanked him properly and got his autograph, a very humble person, but a lot of great people are like that, you don't realise how good they are.

Dick Fearon
30 Posted 28/02/2018 at 10:53:12
This is the last time I will correct the myth that Catterick was knocked to the ground outside the Bloomfield Rd players entrance. It was a freezing gloomy miserable day and while hurrying to the team bus, The Catt lost his footing on the wet pavement.

I was at Burnden Park for the semi-final and was behind the goal into which Harvey's mishit goal sent us through to the final. My reading of that goal was that Colin tried a swinger and caught the ball with his heel. The mishit deceived Harry Greg, the Man Utd keeper, who scrambled back across his line but failed to stop the ball from hitting the back of the net.

I also was at Wembley on that unforgettable day. Somewhere in rural southern England, me and my mates were still celebrating and sadly missed the teams grand homecoming.

David Booth
31 Posted 01/03/2018 at 14:54:34
This is the game that, as an 11-year-old, made me an Evertonian for life.

The FA Cup final was THE biggest game of the season and was a regular former of allegiance for my generation.

Some changed the next year and so on, but that was my moment and it gives me goosebumps even today.

Proud to be an Evertonian then and still as proud today (even if there is a lot that currently needs to be put right at this great club of ours).

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