Treasured Memories of a Bygone Age – Part 2

John McFarlane [Senior]   23/04/2019 18comments  |  Jump to last
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To continue my memories of players I have seen play at Goodison Park since 1948, and who have left a lasting impression on me.

Right-winger: Tom Finney

[Preston North End & England]

Arguably the greatest winger of all time, Tom Finney played in the shadow of the also great Stanley Matthews but was still able to exercise his brilliance to loud acclaim.

Joining Preston in 1937, he turned professional in 1940 after becoming an apprentice plumber, and was thereafter known as the 'Preston Plumber'.

In a long career, the only honours won with his home-town club were runners-up medals in Football League and FA Cup. He made up for that by playing 76 times for England, scoring 30 goals.

Preston experimented by using Tom at centre-forward in 1957-58... and he responded by scoring 26 goals. He will be remembered for his all-round performances, being two-footed and a scintillating dribbler.

Tom was Player of the Year in 1954 and 1958. My stand-out memory of Tom Finney is of a goal he scored in a friendly against Portugal at Goodison Park in 1951 — the Festival of Britain year.

Inside-right: Horatio 'Raich' Carter

[Sunderland, Derby County, Hull City & England]

Silver-haired Raich Carter was a Sunderland product, winning schoolboy international honours. Amazingly, he played for England an 'unlucky' 13 games... but captained his beloved Sunderland when they won the FA Cup in 1937.

The war came when Raich was only 26 years old and in his prime but, afterwards, he again distinguished himself at the highest level, getting another FA Cup medal, this time with Derby County in 1946.

He became player/manager of Hull City in 1948, steering the Tigers to promotion from the Third Division North in 1949. Raich also excelled in other sports, playing cricket for Derbyshire and Durham. I remember Raich from his Hull City days.

Centre-forward: Tommy Lawton

[Burnley, Everton, Chelsea, Notts County, Brentford, Arsenal & England]

Signed by Burnley as a professional on his 17th birthday, Lawton scored a hat-trick on his debut a few days later, against Tottenham Hotspur. Tommy had the ideal build for a centre-forward, great in the air and with a powerful shot, he was one of the most prolific goalscorers of all time.

He quickly replaced the immortal Dixie Dean at Everton in a transfer valued at £6,000. He moved to Chelsea in 1945, playing in that memorable friendly against Moscow Dynamos.

He became the first £20,000 transfer when Notts County bought him in November 1947. He was still a threat to the best of defences, continuing to play for England. By 1952, he had passed his peak, which resulted in Brentford bringing him back to the Capital.

At the end of his footballing days, Arsenal took Tommy from Brentford to help bring their younger players on; he then moved on to Kettering.

In the best tradition of centre-forwards, he won 23 England caps. My most vivid memory of Tommy Lawton was the part he played for Notts County in their 5-1 victory at Goodison Park in October 1951, inside-forward Jimmy Jackson scoring four of the goals.

Inside-left: Peter Doherty

[Blackpool, Manchester City, Derby County, Huddersfield Town, Doncaster Rovers & Northern Ireland]

A native of Magherafelt, coming over to Blackpool from Glentoran in 1930, Doherty later joined Manchester City, winning a League Championship medal and playing for his country on many occasions.

He was probably the finest inside-forward produced by Northern Ireland. With his flame hair, Peter Doherty combined tireless energy with tactical awareness, to disrupt the most disciplined of defences.

He won an FA Cup medal with Derby County in 1946 when partnering Raich Carter at inside-forward. In 1949, at the age of 36, he became player/manager of Doncaster Rovers, driving the team on to win promotion from the Third Division North. Once again, I remember Peter Doherty from Everton's time in the Second Division.

Left-Winger: Vic Metcalfe

[Huddersfield Town, Hull City & England]

Vic Metcalfe was a direct old fashioned outside left who always looked dangerous. especially when cutting inside the full back. He could make a fine left-wing cross, with Jimmy Glazzard benefiting tremendously, and scoring regularly in Huddersfield's promotion drive from Division Two in 1952-53.

The son of a Yorkshire rugby star, he joined Huddersfield during the war, making his debut immediately on the resumption of the League programme in 1946. Surprisingly, he was capped on only two occasions, but one has to remember the surfeit of class wingers operating at that time.

Finally, at the age of 36, he moved on to Hull City, playing 6 League games and scoring 2 goals.


Reader Comments (18)

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Dave Abrahams
1 Posted 23/04/2019 at 21:29:56
You’ve picked some excellent players there John even if you were spoiled for choice.

Tom Finney is my favourite British player, better than Stanley Mathews, IMO, more versatile, could play on both wings as well as centre forward as you stated, a loyal one club man, so very talented but befitting the age he lived in a humble man as well.

Tommy Lawton, pity I never saw him at his peak, I saw that Notts County game when they battered us 5-1, did Jackie Sewell play in that game. Everton also played Notts County in a friendly game around that time but not sure if Tommy played in that game.

Vic Metcalfe was a very strong outside left, surprised he only got two caps for England, did he play in the game at Goodison with Peter Doherty in the late forties when Everton won 2-0 or 3-0?

Raich Carter, again I missed the best of him, I think he was player manager when Hull beat us at Hull 2-0 in an FA cup game, not sure if he played, Liverpool were knocked out by Norwich City on the same day.

Great days them John, for me and you, watching great players playing the game mostly in the right spirit and playing for relative buttons but happy to do so, and us happy to pay the princely sum of 9p to gain entrance to the boy’s pen to see them.

Andy Crooks
2 Posted 23/04/2019 at 22:14:16
I am pleased you put Peter Doherty in, John. Not because he is Irish but because he often goes unacclaimed. He was a very fine player. Also, it demonstrates how comprehensive your research is in these articles. I doubt there us anyone else on here, myself included, who would have picked him.
Do you remember Jimmy Nicholson? Much later than Peter Doherty but a hugely underrated player, for Northern Ireland and, I think, for Huddersfield.
John McFarlane Snr
3 Posted 23/04/2019 at 22:53:42
Hi Dave, I agree 100% regarding Tom Finney and Stanley Matthews, I have checked their league records, and while Tom was scoring 187 League goals in 433 appearances, Mathews scored 71 League goals in 649 appearances.

Like yourself Dave, I regret not seeing Tommy Lawton play for Everton, he left in 1945, a bit before our time. My Grandad and uncles likened him to 'Dixie' so there can be no greater praise than that.

I have also checked Jackie Sewell's record, he joined Sheffield Wednesday in March 1951, and the 5-1 defeat to Notts County was on October 20th 1951. I believe Jimmy Jackson who scored 4 goals, later emigrated to Canada.

Both Raich Carter and Peter Doherty were player/managers at the time we watched them, again I learned a lot about them by listening to my Grandad and uncles, when they came home from the Pub on Saturday nights.

I'm not too sure about Vic Metcalfe in the 40s, but Huddersfield were promoted the season before us, and you're right they were indeed great days. I feel privileged to have seen so many great players, although I do accept that we are prone to look back through rose tinted glasses.

Bill Watson
4 Posted 24/04/2019 at 02:18:09
The only one of those I saw, John, was Tom Finney and that was post 1958 when he was, obviously, well past his prime.

Unlike many, Finney, didn't go down the divisions, probably because he had a business to fall back on. I recall that in the late '50s/early'60s Oldham Athletic seemed to specialise in signing waning stars!

Gerard McKean
5 Posted 24/04/2019 at 13:29:43
A bit before my time these lads, John, but good choices based upon the conversations I listened to between my Dad and his Dad. My Dad always believed that, had WWII not intervened, Tommy would have been spoken of as an equal of the great William Ralph himself, something that my Grandad absolutely refuted.

My Dad and I went to Tommy's testimonial at Goodison sometime in the early 70s I think, but anyway long after his playing days were over. As I recall he had fallen on hard times and there was a good turnout for a decent bloke whose time as a footballer was blighted sadly by yet another European war.

John McFarlane Snr
6 Posted 24/04/2019 at 13:40:39
Hi Andy [2] I do remember Jimmy Nicholson, I've looked up his career record and it reads, Manchester United 58 appearances 5 goals, Huddersfield Town 280 [plus one appearance as substitute] 25 goals. Bury 79 appearances plus one appearance as a substitute. They are League figures only, I don't have FA Cup details. He played 41 times for Northern Ireland.

Hi Bill, Tom Finney was in the Preston North End team that was relegated in 1948-49, and was in the 1950-51 team that alongside Manchester City, replaced Everton and Sheffield Wednesday. I read somewhere years ago that Tom Finney, after making his League debut in 1946, never appeared in Preston's reserve team.

Ken Kneale
7 Posted 24/04/2019 at 19:36:13
Gerard. Like you sadly before my time but equally my dad talked about Tommy Lawton as the finest centre forward of all time with, as John says the physique and skill set perfect for the role. My dad was always of the view that Lawton would have been a supreme player even in the modern era.

Another Everton favourite of his was in a different position, Warney Cresswell. Perhaps John could enlighten us on Warney if he has any research or personal knowledge

John. As ever lovely articles to read on supreme players who seemed to also have humility and were accessible to the fans

Steve Ferns
8 Posted 24/04/2019 at 20:03:02
On the subject of Lawton, does anyone remember that BBC programme, called something like This is football. It had Tommy Lawton as a talking head, not long before his death. It was just after Duncan had made his debut for Everton and was recognised as unstoppable in the air. The great man said that if you crossed the ball in for a corner, Big Dunc would be out-jumped by the much smaller Bill Dean. He explained how Dixie had the greatest leap of anyone he had ever seen and how he had taught him to hang in the air. It’s a shame it’s not on YouTube. It was a brilliant series.
Steve Ferns
9 Posted 24/04/2019 at 20:15:27
It’s called Kicking and Screaming. Episode 2 covers Dean. Episodes 1 & 3 are on YouTube, not episode 2 sadly.
David Baxter
10 Posted 25/04/2019 at 01:59:50
Bill Shankly said that Tom Finney was the best player he had ever seen. He said "I would play Tom Finney in his overcoat!"
Laurie Hartley
11 Posted 25/04/2019 at 09:58:44
Thanks John, all these players were before my time but I remember my dad, God rest his soul, telling me about all of them except Vic Metcalfe.

He really rated Tommy Lawton. Another player I remember him rating as a wonderful young footballer was Duncan Edwards of Man United. What is your opinion on him?

John McFarlane Snr
12 Posted 25/04/2019 at 12:32:06
Hi Ken [7] I'm afraid that Warney Cresswell was before my time, but my grandad and uncles spoke highly of him, it appears from a reference book that I have, that he had 'a superb sense of both position, and timing'.

Hi Laurie [13] I didn't get to see Duncan Edwards, because his arrival coincided with my army service. I know exactly where I was when news of the Munich disaster broke, sitting in a tent in Cyprus. The first bulletin reported 'no survivors'.

Rick Tarleton
13 Posted 25/04/2019 at 19:22:11
I only saw Finney of this group and I reckon he was marvellous. I remember him scoring two in a 4-0 drubbing of Everton at Goodison in the mid fifties. I may actually have seen Metcalfe, but can't recall anything special about him if I did.
John McFarlane Snr
14 Posted 25/04/2019 at 20:36:59
Hi Rick [13] Vic Metcalfe was a useful winger, on Easter Monday 1953 Everton beat Huddersfield Town 2-1 at Goodison, the following day Huddersfield won 8-2 at Leeds Road, Jimmy Glazzard scoring 4 goals. I've read somewhere that each goal was a header from a cross by Vic Metcalfe. I never got to see Jimmy Glazzard in action for Everton due to my being in the army at the time.
Dave Abrahams
15 Posted 25/04/2019 at 21:05:20
John (14), Jimmy Glazzard was signed for £5,000 on a Friday and made his debut against Wolves the next day in a 2-1 defeat, I wasn’t at the game, Jimmy was signed long after his best days were over, doubt if he played many games for the Blues, think he went to Mansfield Town.

He had the distinction of scoring the winning goal for Huddersfield in an FA cup game versus Preston and saving a penalty from TomFinney in the same game.

Those four goals he scored against us were most probably the reason we signed him, looks like people in the boardroom then were as clueless as those of two years ago, most likely Kenwright’s grandad!!!!

Don Alexander
16 Posted 25/04/2019 at 22:06:02
When Nat Lofthouse (Bolton & England centre-forward) was asked what the difference was between Matthews and Finney he said "Well both of them cross the ball so well it's easy to score with the header but Tom's crosses were delivered in a way that meant the lace was always on the opposite side of your head!"
Len Hawkins
17 Posted 25/04/2019 at 22:40:59
My Dad supported North End and he wouldn't have Matthews mentioned in comparison to Tom Finney. Going back a few years ago I used to have a pint with a retired Police Sergeant he was as hard as nails I am not soft but he gripped my arm with one hand and I couldn't do anything or he gripped harder. He was in the same Regiment as Tom Finney during WW2 they fought alongside each other in North Africa and through Italy they were photographed together at a reunion of the survivors in Preston, he used to say how unassuming Tom Finney was, a working man and a soldier who could play football.
Paul Ward
18 Posted 30/04/2019 at 10:37:28
Like Rick, I only saw Tom Finney live out of this group. My father was in the army with Tom and he rated him as the best winger he had seen, as well as being a great centre-forward.
One Wednesday afternoon I bunked off school to see Everton play Preston North End and Finney absolutely destroyed our centre-half Tommy Jones in a 4-1 defeat.

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