Happy Birthday, Mr Bingham

by   |   05/08/2021  94 Comments  [Jump to last]

Former Everton manager Billy Bingham is celebrating his 90th birthday. So happy birthday Billy.

Billy took over the reins from a physically and mentally depleted Harry Catterick despite the fans’ wish for Don Revie, Bobby Robson or Brian Clough to be the next Everton manager.

He promptly turned the majority of us fans against him by selling Howard Kendall, Joe Royle and Colin Harvey and bringing in sub-standard replacements like Jim Pearson (although Bob Latchford was a brilliant signing) and Joe Harper.

The football was dire. His favourites like Bryan Hamilton and Dai Davies were even worse. We used to leave Goodison Park with sore elbows after throwing so many cushions onto the pitch, amongst other things. It got to the point where announcements had to be made about “refraining from throwing objects”.

Billy blew the league by failing to beat teams like Carlisle United and Luton Town. He will go down (in my view) as one of the worst Everton managers of all time. His only saving grace was buying Duncan Mckenzie (our very own Pele) but, apart from that, the majority of time at Goodison was completely forgettable.

Happy birthday all the same, Mr Bingham.

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Dennis Stevens
1 Posted 05/08/2021 at 08:57:20
D'you think Bingham bought Joe Harper because he was a Van Morrison fan?
Colin Glassar
2 Posted 05/08/2021 at 09:12:49
Dai Davies, David Lawson, Joe Harper, John McLaughlin (worst defender of all time), Mike Bernard, David Smallman etc… My god, we had an awful squad back then.
Andrew Ellams
3 Posted 05/08/2021 at 09:19:44
This is before my time, but a man who almost won the league – one of the worst managers of all time???
Danny O’Neill
4 Posted 05/08/2021 at 09:20:30
I just about remember Bingham as the first Everton manager in my life, but can't recall or comment with authority. Gordon Lee was the first manager I remember where I can offer comment.

Duncan McKenzie was probably my first hero, who I remember watching from the enclosure around 77-78. "We all agree, that Duncan McKenzie is magic"!!

Again, I can't recall a lot, as I didn't analyse the game too much in those days, but a shining light in relatively dark times (context of the time). Similar with Latchford? The modern generation probably done it with Duncan Ferguson.

I remember it more as a period of listening to my Dad scorning and complaining a lot. He wasn't happy until Howard Kendall was appointed. Even during those difficult first couple of years, it was his Everton again; his Blue Boys. He didn't like Bingham or Lee as Everton manager. I just liked Everton so didn't understand a lot of his obsessive rants but, in hindsight, I think they educated me!!

Anyway, happy birthday, Mr Bingham. In contrast to my Dad, my Grandad was always sympathetic to Billy, but I guess that was down to his own Belfast roots!

Danny O’Neill
5 Posted 05/08/2021 at 09:23:25
To my point about my Dad, Andrew. In the context of time, he had expectation.

I have this debate with my younger brother all of the time. A poor, now young man who grew up with Moyes and has had the expectation knocked out of him, like many.

My Dad expected Everton to win the league. Not nearly win it.

Never lower your expectation.

Andrew Ellams
6 Posted 05/08/2021 at 09:39:04
Danny, expectation of course but I remember from Lee onwards and only one man has exceeded Bingham's achievement in the league but quite a few others have been a long, long way off it.
Colin Glassar
7 Posted 05/08/2021 at 09:39:20
He was a ‘nearly man’, Andrew. A certain Clive Thomas didn’t help him but the football, in general, was awful.

If you think this current crop of wasters struggle to pass the ball to each other then you should’ve seen that shower! It improved a bit after Dobson and Rioch joined but it was too late by then.

Ian Burns
8 Posted 05/08/2021 at 09:47:26
Bloody hell, Colin, I am not telling you when my birthday is!!

Happy birthday, Mr Bingham – I recall fondly the cracker of an equaliser you scored against Blackburn in a 2-2 draw at Goodson!

Brendan McLaughlin
9 Posted 05/08/2021 at 09:50:04
Happy birthday, Billy.

Remember him being apppointed and thinking "Billy who?" Doubly surprising given that he had played for Everton and also hailed from Northern Ireland, just like me.

I could be mistaken but I think he was managing in the Greek League at the time... Everton and strange managerial appointments, eh? Thank God things have changed!

Danny O’Neill
10 Posted 05/08/2021 at 09:50:31
Can't argue with that, Andrew.

But I'll never lower my expectation for Everton despite what Kenwright & Moyes have done to a generation's expectation. They are a beaten bunch if I listen to my brother. Not me.

It's why I still raise my eyebrow when people say last season is the worst football they've seen at Goodison.

Bad? Yes. But have we forgotten some of the dross served up in the '90s? Or some of the performances under Moyes when we were sat there not being able to look, fingers crossed, hoping for the final whistle? But we won 1-0.

I have to believe and hope (know) that our time is coming again. We were a game off European football last season and have a new stadium being built as we speak.

I'm going to see us win our tenth title and travel Europe watching Everton. My ideal scenario is Schalke v Everton. If all that happens, the good lord can take me whenever he wants!!

But until it does, he can do one. I'm going nowhere.

Des Farren
11 Posted 05/08/2021 at 09:54:17
"A shining light in the context of the times."

I've heard Bingham called names but 'a shining light' was not one of them.

Danny O’Neill
12 Posted 05/08/2021 at 09:57:55
Sorry, Des, I was referring to the likes of Duncan McKenzie, Bob Latchford and Duncan Ferguson.

It probably got lost in the text.

Andrew Ellams
13 Posted 05/08/2021 at 09:58:25
Let's not forget: he did win the league as an Everton player too.
John Pickles
14 Posted 05/08/2021 at 09:59:23
I wouldn't mind betting (not that I expect to be around to collect that bet), that in around 40 years time, a similar article will be written about the last few years. Just transpose some names, Koeman for Bingham, Lukaku for Latchford, James for McKenzie, Iwobi for Harper.

One difference I suppose is that in those days, you COULD expect a team like Everton to win the league. Maybe we could transpose 'winning the league' with 'qualifying for the Euro cup'.

Also, I'm still not sure about beating teams like Carlisle or Luton at the moment, especially at home.

Colin Glassar
15 Posted 05/08/2021 at 10:03:56
I did say, “one of the worst”. I think the man from Norwich gets the WOAT title.
Andrew Ellams
16 Posted 05/08/2021 at 10:06:00
John, for Carlisle and Luton read Sheffield United and Newcastle for this season. Won one of those two home games and we would be playing European football this season.
Brian Harrison
17 Posted 05/08/2021 at 10:14:18
Bingham was a decent player in his day, but he shouldn't ever have been offered the manager's job. John Moores bottled it and, instead of giving the job to Brian Clough, he chose someone who wasn't good enough. Clough would have made this club great again.

For me, when they appointed Billy, it was the slippery slide to Everton being mediocre and something that took forever to put right. Moores did some great things for Everton but a lot of his appointments after Catterick and up to Kendall were as bad as Moshiri's appointments.

Chris Williams
18 Posted 05/08/2021 at 10:17:03
Very good article in the Echo about this today, for those who are interested. Pretty long and detailed for a change and quoting extensively from the articles of the time, written by contemporary proper journalists.

Some interesting contextual stuff too, for example, it cites his appointment as manager instead of Revie, as being down to Heaths government passing a law banning recruiting anybody from getting paid more than their predecessor. This ruled out Moores's very large offer to Revie.

His quotes after the AC Milan fiasco wouldn't get printed today

Another manager permanently ‘disappointed’, whom Joe Harper called Billy Liar.

Decent player and scorer of good goals from impossible angles.

Danny O’Neill
19 Posted 05/08/2021 at 10:19:37
Have to admit to having to look up WOAT Colin, but now I get it, I have to agree.

We didn't win a league game until November. And that was 1 - 0 followed by a goalless draw.

If ever there was an example of not jumping on the bandwagon of appointing managers on the back of a good season at a lower club, that was it.

Yet we still went for Martinez and Silva. The latter having demonstrated nothing other than getting relegated; at least Martinez had won a trophy.

Some would have had the Sheffield United manager because he had a good season. This summer, many were calling for the Brighton manager. Because he narrowly escaped getting Brighton relegated?

We are Everton. Think big and believe.

Apologies. I'm looking at travelling up next week and getting all emotional!!

Andy Crooks
20 Posted 05/08/2021 at 10:22:08
Colin, I hope someone points out this "tribute" to Billy. He'll be made up.

What I remember about him is his accent which is posh Northern Irish and really strange. Also, did he sign Duncan McKenzie and Bruce Rioch in the same week?

Danny O’Neill
21 Posted 05/08/2021 at 10:25:18
Brian @17. Early onset of the belief that you can only appoint ex-Everton players?

I know some like it, but the old boys club at work even back in the 1970s?

Different times but hopefully we've broken that insular mindset.

Colin Glassar
22 Posted 05/08/2021 at 10:49:10
He did, Andy. I remember hearing the news of Duncan's signing (from Anderlecht) in my bedroom and literally jumping for joy. Rioch had been brilliant for Derby but was a bit hit and miss for us. Great left foot though.

Andy King may have been Billy's best signing (after McKenzie) but Bingham was forming a decent team which Lurch Lee inherited, improved, and then – à la Catterick – decided to inexplicably break up.

Poor managerial appointments have really screwed us up over the last 50-odd years.

Danny O’Neill
23 Posted 05/08/2021 at 11:53:42
Which talks to giving a manager time, Colin, not knee-jerking on the back of every poor result. 1983 was not a good place to be as an Evertonian. If it had been left to the supporter jury at the time, Kendall would have been gone. Leaflets and "must go" campaign etc.

Fortunately, as I understood, Phillip Carter was either stubborn or believed in his strategy and plan and stood by his man despite the pressure. The easy thing would have been to sack him.

Howard gave us 6 years. The first 2 or 3 were spent rebuilding the averageness that went before. Once we got through some turbulence, we then went on to enjoy some of the best football and players Evertonians have witnessed with several trophies thrown in as an inevitable bonus.

Had it not been for the obvious, he'd have stayed and built a dynasty. That may be the nostalgic 80s Evertonian in me, but I'm convinced. Best team in the land and best team in Europe that never got to prove it and earn their place in history.

Tom Bowers
24 Posted 05/08/2021 at 12:08:09
Billy was just another of the many managers who didn't accomplish anything at Everton but we have to understand that the vast majority of managers accomplish nothing at many other clubs too.

It must have been very hard for Bingham to follow in the successful footsteps of Catterick just as it was for managers who came after Kendall.

Because of the intense rivalry from RS and trying to keep pace with Shankley, Paisley and the likes, we Evertonians expected to keep pace with them and are highly critical and of course disappointed when it doesn't happen.

The same thing has happened over the last few years since Klopp took over RS. No Everton manager can get an even break not even some of the players but that's just human nature.

We all want success but want it now and RS doing well makes it all the harder to bear.

We can only hope that this next season gives us a lot more than we have been getting in recent seasons.

Eric Myles
25 Posted 05/08/2021 at 12:41:24
Des #11, were you thinking of lining shight?
Des Farren
26 Posted 05/08/2021 at 12:46:45
Close Eric but Danny's comments @ 12 explain..
Barry Hesketh
27 Posted 05/08/2021 at 12:53:34
Dennis @1,

Billy Bingham didn't purchase Joe Harper, he was signed in December 1972. Billy's first season was 1973-74, he started with a 3-1 reverse at Elland Road.

Dave Clements was his first signing, followed by Bob Latchford.

Jim Pearson, Martin Dobson, and David Smallman arrived in the following season. In 1975-76, he signed Andy King and Bryan Hamilton. Finally, he signed Duncan McKenzie and Bruce Rioch, plus a guy I'd never heard of, Tommy Wheeldon from St Helens Town who was purchased for a reported 4-figure fee.

Everton Transfers 1976-77

Jim Wilson
28 Posted 05/08/2021 at 12:59:55
Just to say it was Catterick who bought Joe Harper.

And Latchford, unlike Joe Royle, never scored against Liverpool for us and missed the biggest sitter I have ever seen at Anfield: when clean through, he lobbed the ball back to Clemence who couldn't believe his luck.

Alan McGuffog
29 Posted 05/08/2021 at 13:00:29

I wasn't in Liverpool in the early and mid-seventies and played on a Saturday so was spared much of the misery.

I agree with you on those players, although didn't Smallman look promising... did he pick up a bad injury?

Colin Glassar
30 Posted 05/08/2021 at 13:01:46
He might not have signed him, Barry, but he probably ruined him. 😉 Poor Joey looked like a rabbit caught in headlights. He was completely out of his depth in English football and he appeared to have a weight problem.

I met Joe a few years ago for his book signing. He was a really nice guy, very shy.

We got Smallman from Wrexham. He only played a few times. He was not very good. Injury-prone to boot.

Chris Williams
31 Posted 05/08/2021 at 13:07:50

He tried to get him pumping iron in the gym, and Joe reckoned it was harming his overall performance. Called him Billy Liar, as I said.

Joe did okay once he left, from memory.

Bill Watson
32 Posted 05/08/2021 at 13:21:18
Andrew, #3 & #13,

Bingham didn't 'nearly' win the League – he comprehensively lost it.

The away game to bottom-of-the-table Carlisle Utd was like a home game as I reckon we had more fans in the ground than they did. Bottom of the League against top (I think we were about 5 points clear) and we blew it 3-0. We never recovered and finished 4th. Carlisle had also beaten us 2-3 at Goodison.

Yes, he did win the League with us as a player but was replaced by Scott in December and only played one more League game after that. He played around half the games so, yes, he well earned his medal.

He was a strange signing because he was way past his best when we got him.

Colin Glassar
33 Posted 05/08/2021 at 13:36:41
I just remember the early to mid-70s as being a horrible, horrible, horrible period for us. Gordon Lee gave us some hope then broke up a great team and, apart from a few golden years under Howard Kendall, we've been crap ever since.

It's not easy being an Evertonian.

Chris Williams
34 Posted 05/08/2021 at 13:40:29

Yes it was straight from feast to famine, after the dessert, cheeseboard and vintage port in 1970.

Defeat from the jaws of victory in this case. If that hadn’t happened, this post and it’s responses would have looked different

John Raftery
35 Posted 05/08/2021 at 15:03:30
Billy Bingham played in the first Everton team I watched in October 1962. He was already at the veteran stage for a winger. Alex Scott replaced him before the Championship run-in.

As manager, he built half a decent team around the quality of Dobson and Latchford and the homegrown spirit of Lyons, Hurst, Kenyon, Seargeant, Darracott, Buckley, Gary Jones, David Jones, Goodlass and one or two others.

What we lacked was sufficient top class quality, most notably in goal but also at full-back, midfield and on the wing. Even Dobson and Latchford won only a handful of international caps. While it was not the worst squad ever assembled, it was nowhere near the level attained during the sixties.

In 1974-75, the league was there for the taking in a very mediocre season. Losing games after holding 2-0 leads against Carlisle and Sheffield United at Goodison pointed to mental fragility as well as defensive vulnerability.

It was a pity some of the players signed from 1977 onwards had not arrived a few years earlier. We might well have won the title with the likes of Pejic, Thomas, Kidd, Gidman and Todd in the team.

Ultimately under Bingham, the players were not good enough.

Alan McGuffog
36 Posted 05/08/2021 at 15:04:15
Trace it all back to that week in '71. Panathanaikos and then that lot at Old Trafford.

Shakespeare couldn't have written a better tragedy. 😔

Tom Richards
37 Posted 05/08/2021 at 15:09:10
Billy bang-bang was in the team as I started off watching the Blues. Fond memories of that.
Trevor Edwards
38 Posted 05/08/2021 at 15:23:09
I was quite young during the Bingham managerial years so perhaps see things differently. I was still excited just to be there and watching the Blues. And he gave us a few excellent signings in Latchford, Dobson, McKenzie, Rioch and Andy King.

And 'Bingham Boys' silk scarves. And he always signed autographs with a smile. But then there were the awful signings. And there was Carlisle. And Altrincham. QPR away. Newcastle away. And some dire football. And not a single derby win.

Was he about to turn the corner when he was sacked? Who knows... But they weren't the best of times for most. For me, well, I was just excited to watch Everton. Even with Dai Davies and David Lawson.

John Raftery
39 Posted 05/08/2021 at 15:25:20
Bingham played 23 league games in 1962-63 while Alex Scott played 17. I have not checked but I think Billy was the oldest member of that season's squad. He is one of only a small handful still alive. Others are Temple, Morrissey, Kay and Veal.
Barry Rathbone
40 Posted 05/08/2021 at 15:35:45
Remarkable fall from grace as Bingham took over a mere 3 seasons after a decade when we were Champions several times and won the FA Cup in the greatest comeback of all. Yet such success seemed eons ago to us teens witnessing the collapse.

We had some good players but never a good team. Sometimes people talk about a challenge for the title but it was never on; we just weren't good enough.

Not recovering from the sale of Alan Ball and the never-ending drive of the neighbours probably made it worse but it really was a shit era.

Ken Kneale
41 Posted 05/08/2021 at 15:49:53
I think Billy had run his course when replaced – as others have said, Latchford, Dobson, King and McKenzie did not compensate for deficiencies and mental fragility, especially when the neighbours won the league in Paisley's first season. It is lost on the RS and the media of today but, as I recall, the standard of football of Paisley's team that year was also deathly.

Gordon Lee added Thomas and Pejic to the team and initially seemed on the right track but, as Danny's Dad noted no doubt, lost the plot good style in subsequent seasons.

One omen repeated some 37 years later: Everton employed a Walsh to add lustre to the team and he ended up wrecking it. Mickey was the case in 1978, I think – how on earth did Gordon Lee see him as a replacement for McKenzie???

A poor period but I cannot honestly say I was any more upset by it than what has gone subsequently. Apart from the 6 years of Howard Kendall Mk 1, the high-water mark for Everton is long past.

Trevor Edwards
42 Posted 05/08/2021 at 16:09:57
Ken #41,

Yes, neither of the Mike Walsh signings were particularly great but the striker was taking the mickey. I think he must have only been signed on the basis of that great MotD Goal of the Season for Blackpool.

Gordon Lee kept trying to replace McKenzie, first with Pearson, then with Walsh, sold Duncan and then brought in Eastoe and Kidd who at least were an improvement on Walsh and Pearson.

But we never really got a striker to truly compliment Latchford (Duncan did briefly), and always lacked a goalkeeper and right-back until Southall and Stevens.

Bill Watson
43 Posted 05/08/2021 at 16:11:02

I think Mickey was signed on the strength of his 'goal of the season' for Blackpool but he really couldn't cut the mustard at the top level.

A bit like his brother, Steve, as Director of Football, or whatever his title was.

Don Alexander
44 Posted 05/08/2021 at 16:25:53
My memory of the Bingham years has all but disappeared amid what I thought was 14 years, surely never to be repeated, of mostly unattractive, unsuccessful, trophyless football with a never ending roundabout of mainly bog standard players coming and going, very few, if any, for more than we paid for them.

How wrong could I have been?

Barry Hesketh
45 Posted 05/08/2021 at 16:56:42
The problem with the Bingham years is that the game changed; it became a more defensive and pragmatic approach to most games by many sides, probably a result of the growing importance of European competition.

Everton in that 'should have been champions' season didn't' have quite enough about them and it was littered with a defensive approach, particularly away from home. The London media didn't like Everton's style, and opposition managers joined in the chorus of "Robots" etc to describe Everton's performances, which I found strange at the time because most of the other sides were playing safety-first football too.

I think this is the period of time when Everton (not in any way a favourite of the media) began to lose its star billing and it could be argued the club have failed to win it back ever since. Gordon Lee tried to bring a more expansive style but couldn't quite manage to bring the silverware home, until he too, succumbed to the more pragmatic style.

Kendall briefly reignited the true aims of the club but nobody since has been able to get close to creating a team that is both entertaining and effective. I don't suppose we'll see an Everton side do similar for quite some time… but we have to hope to see it one day.

Shane Corcoran
46 Posted 05/08/2021 at 17:16:31
Remembering how he roused the sectarian crowd in Windsor Park in 1993 is my only memory of him.

Before the late Alan McLoughlin quietened them of course.

Colin Glassar
47 Posted 05/08/2021 at 17:24:01
Bingham, like most managers, had his favourite, undroppable player and in his case it was Bryan Hamilton who I thought was absolute cack. He couldn’t pass, tackle, create or score. In fact, I’ve never disliked an Everton player so much until along came a certain Alex Iwobi.
Danny O’Neill
48 Posted 05/08/2021 at 17:52:11
Some great reflections on here. Almost too many to comment on.

John Raferty @35; players. It's about having better players regardless of the manager.

Ken @41. Similar to the above. Latchford, Lyons, Dobson, King and McKenzie may have been heroes for a generation – just as Cahill, Ferguson, Baines and Jagielka have been.

But were they Kendall, Ball, Harvey, Young and Royle? Where they Sheedy, Sharpe, Stevens, Reid or Southall?

Back on track, I can only go off my Dad at the time. He pined for the 60s, he was happy again in the 80s. The 70s was not a good period as far as he was concerned and I can remember.

Barry @45. Good summary. But you just know we're going to emerge and pull it out of the bag. 6th place, FA Cup Final and Europe next season. Come on, Everton.

Steve Hogan
49 Posted 05/08/2021 at 17:55:58
For the record, Colin, I was on a Sunniways coach to Carlisle when it broke down on the M6. I should have taken that as an omen.

I think it was Bingham who signed Dave Clements, an Irishman who hailed from Larne. Never seen a slower player in all my life.

However, Bingham wasn't the worst Everton manager I have witnessed, I'll save that accolade for "Mr Sunbed", Mike Walker, truly awful and also totally delusional.

Dave Abrahams
50 Posted 05/08/2021 at 18:26:13
Barry (45),

Yes, we were dull to watch, like many teams in the league were at that time, but we did lose too many winnable games.

I think the key to that season most of all was the lack of a top class goalkeeper; this has been highlighted many times over the years. With a Shilton or similar in goal, I feel we would have won the league that year.

Bill Watson
51 Posted 05/08/2021 at 18:26:14
Steve #49

Hamilton was slower than Clements!

John McFarlane Snr
52 Posted 05/08/2021 at 18:41:12
Hi Steve [49] ,

I was at the Burnden Park game when Carlisle Utd beat Everton 3-0. I can't recall the goalscorers but they had a Scottish lad named Joe Laidlaw and I suspect that he may have scored at least once.

I should have known it wasn't going to be our day because we were locked in a pub while an Everton contingent was marched to the ground, the worst part being that they didn't sell bottles of Guinness.

For the return fixture, I was a postman and had to work all day to cope with the Christmas overload. If memory serves me right, we were leading 2-0 and lost 3-2.

We were in with a shout, with four games to play and top of the League, but a 2-1 loss to Luton Town on Wednesday 9th April was the killer, and we finished in 4th place.

Des Farren
53 Posted 05/08/2021 at 18:48:03
50 posts on Bigot Bingham!

Hard to fathom...

Chris Williams
54 Posted 05/08/2021 at 18:50:48
I feel our demise in the early 70s, from the heights of the 60s, starting with Harry and continuing through Billy Bingham, Gordon Lee, and so on, reflects what happened in the country at large, and for people of my generation.

The 60s for Everton kicked off with Moores taking over and, on the pitch, started with Tommy Ring, Vernon, Gabriel etc, and continued to its culmination in 1970.

I was 12 in 1960 and saw stuff on the pitch and off it that I've never forgotten, it seemed endless. This was reflected in the city as its profile and influence spread, through music, comedy, culture, football and Scouse folklore. The sun shone the whole time, of course. (Apart from that snow that started Boxing Day 1962 and shut us down for weeks!)

1970 was the end of an era in many ways. “They're selling hippie wigs in Woolworth's, man!”

It finished for all of us in 1970, and Billy Bingham personified all that: rotten timing, and it went on through the decade, until Kendall.

It never came back for the city.

John McFarlane Snr
55 Posted 05/08/2021 at 18:52:46
Hi again, Steve [49].

For 'Burnden Park', read 'Brunton Park', a slip of the memory, an 'age thing'.

Terry White
56 Posted 05/08/2021 at 18:53:24
When you have had time to reflect, John (#52), you will certainly recall that Carlisle Utd play at Brunton Park while Bolton Wanderers used to play at Burnden Park.
John McFarlane Snr
57 Posted 05/08/2021 at 18:57:03
Hi Terry [56] it's a good job I got in before you, and I'll don the 'Dunces Cap'
Terry White
58 Posted 05/08/2021 at 19:03:10
Acknowledged, John (57).
Colin Glassar
59 Posted 05/08/2021 at 19:10:47
Des 53, please explain.
Des Farren
60 Posted 05/08/2021 at 19:31:23
Nothing to explain about, Colin. He is a bigot.

Refer to Shane's comments and do some research.

Colin Glassar
61 Posted 05/08/2021 at 19:52:07
I will, Des. I didn't know that about him.
Des Farren
62 Posted 05/08/2021 at 20:23:24
No reason why you should know, Colin, as it was post-Everton and nothing to do with the club.
Jim Jennings
63 Posted 05/08/2021 at 20:43:40
What Shane and Des said.

A gobshite who did his best to stir things with “the Billy Boys” at that World Cup qualifier in 93 at what was a very politically sensitive time on the island of Ireland.

Andy Crooks
64 Posted 05/08/2021 at 21:47:33
Des, Shane, Colin. I was at that game. The 1993 game. If it was not out of place on an Everton site, I would write an article about it. There has never been anything like it in my life as a football supporter.

My own circumstances made it tense beyond anything I could describe. The build up, the walk to the game, the utter belief that something bad was going to happen. The breakdown in relationships with friends I have been estranged from since.

Frankly, it was nothing to do with football and I wish I had been wise enough to stay way.

Let there be no doubt, Billy pandered to the crowd and made comments which, in hindsight, might seem pretty innocuous, but weren't. I honestly think he made them to pump up an atmosphere to help him win a game that was, at the time, more important than winning the World Cup.

I thought I would put up a couple of comments about a 90-year-old who managed our club. But to Des and Shane, yeah, I get your point.

Danny O’Neill
65 Posted 05/08/2021 at 22:23:09
I didn't realise that about him. I feel passionately about Northern Ireland and Ireland in general. Because of my family roots and because of my military service in the Province, I have close affiliation and strong feelings. I have no toleration of sectarianism.

My Grandfather was a proud Ulsterman and proud of his Irish roots. Born in the Antrim Road area of Belfast, he later became an equally proud adopted Scouser and Evertonian, settling in Speke and eventually living on Arkles Lane with his second wife. He fought for the UK in Burma in World War 2 and hated the sectarianism of Ireland. It was the main reason he left and came to Liverpool.

Andy Crooks, I had a similar experience watching my one and only England game in Luxemburg around 1983. Awful atmosphere and dreadful scenes both in the stadium and the city afterwards.

Terry White
66 Posted 05/08/2021 at 22:29:01
Perhaps this article will provide more insight as to the events of that night. And the difficult times during which that game was played. There are always two sides to every story.

Worst sporting moment: White knuckle ride on a hate-filled night at Windsor

Andy Crooks
67 Posted 05/08/2021 at 22:35:13
Thought it might be okay to put it on this thread. Sorry to hear of the death of Terry Cooper. A full back a million miles ahead of his time. Scored, if I recall correctly, a super League Cup goal. Top full-back, good guys decent guy in a mean, mean team.

To the really astute tactical analysts on this site, and we have some really good guys on here, find some footage of Terry (I think you might see it in some old regional archives); have a look at this guy. Short pass and move in tight space that is jaw dropping.

In my view, the 1970 England World Cup team is the greatest England side ever. Terry Cooper was as good as any defender there.

By the way, he had class hair.

Bill Watson
68 Posted 05/08/2021 at 23:00:08
Andy #67.

Agreed on both counts. The 1970 England side was much better than the 1966 one and since then only the Venables side has come close. The current England side are light years behind both, although the media would have us believe otherwise.

Terry Cooper was a class act in a ruthless, cynical Leeds side.

Is it my imagination or have quite a few of that Revie side died in the last year or so?

Shane Corcoran
69 Posted 05/08/2021 at 23:04:52
Danny, 'tis only two-thirds of a province.
Peter Mills
70 Posted 05/08/2021 at 23:12:20
We really should have won the league under Bingham, but lost it due to some nonsensical defeats to Carlisle Utd and Sheffield Utd.

The timing of his sacking was very strange, following a magnificent 3-0 win at a shady night at Old Trafford in the League Cup, followed by the signings of Rioch and McKenzie.

Colin Glassar
71 Posted 05/08/2021 at 23:16:44
It was bad (for him) timing, Peter, but the board felt the club was going backwards. If only they knew what the future had in store for us.
Peter Gorman
72 Posted 05/08/2021 at 23:22:17
Still not sure what Bingham did on that night in 1993 to deserve the title of 'bigot' but perhaps that was erased from all reports of the match.
Jim Jennings
73 Posted 06/08/2021 at 00:28:05
Peter #72,

Allegedly geeing up the minority of Northern Ireland fans belting out “Billy Boys”. If not familiar with the song, the lyrics are easily found via a web browser search. The same song Craig Brown was filmed singing when Scotland manager and faced calls to resign as a result.

Paul Birmingham
74 Posted 06/08/2021 at 00:36:45
Colin a true summary of the last 51 years, and the history doesn't lie.

The great days of the '80s, cast in time, and the reality as it is now.

There's been some massive cruise liners in port this week, great news, for local business, and Everton FC, and Bramley-Moore Dock.

This season, I'm hoping for progress on the park, and no more.

Progress and forward progress. Everton - Babel... well, hope eternal.

Paul Birmingham
75 Posted 06/08/2021 at 00:42:30
True the worst opportunity lost of winning the old Div1League, and on reflection it shows the scale of the Everton failure at the time and the difference in stature now of the respective clubs, involved in winning Cups and Leagues.

Rafa please break the mould, find the right clay and mix, and may Everton see success this season.

Hope eternal.

Derek Thomas
76 Posted 06/08/2021 at 01:24:56
Alan MacGuffog @ 36; True. It was indeed - "The Day The Music Died"
*All together now*... And we were singing...
Jamie Sweet
77 Posted 06/08/2021 at 03:34:49
It's quite reassuring to read about mind-boggling managerial appointments which were before my time. It goes to show that Moshiri does get who we are as a club and is just trying to keep up with tradition!
Colin Glassar
78 Posted 06/08/2021 at 07:20:49
Sorry this has turned into such a depressing thread but, after Harry Catterick was replaced with this manager, we started on this slippery slope towards permanent mediocrity.

It's not just Bingham's fault, the board over the years has allowed this to happen while our rivals left us in the dust. As Jamie S said, Moshiri is just keeping the tradition alive...p>

Jerome Shields
79 Posted 06/08/2021 at 08:57:35
Billy got the job after a successful stint with Northern Ireland. , Which seemed to be the bases of his appointment. I think he was managing in some league at the time. Can't remember much of his tenure, only very irate Everton fans and Billy looked like he was expecting to get hit over the head with something.

He could identify good players, but wasn't a league type manager, more a backs-to-the-wall cup-type manager. One of his half-time talks consisted of, when Northern Ireland were one-nil up at half-time against the Dutch Masters in Amsterdam: "A gaint is going to come knocking at your door this half, you can fear him and lose or open the door and kick him in the balls!" Northern Ireland won the game.

Happy Birthday, Billy, and Best Wishes. Yes, he did have a posh Northern Ireland accent. . . and he nearly won the League.

Jerome Shields
80 Posted 06/08/2021 at 09:07:39
Hadn't realised Billy was a really good Everton player in the Sixties, for two seasons.
Terry White
81 Posted 06/08/2021 at 15:26:17
Not sure why you are surprised about the "depressing" tone of the comments, Colin (#78). After all, you started it all with your cynical and scathing post about a man who was an excellent player for the club for a couple of years in a championship winning side at the tail end of an illustrious career.

I find it very much in line with most of your posts in the style of Don Alexander, critical of all things EFC but especially, now, of management.

Dave Abrahams
82 Posted 06/08/2021 at 15:52:55
Terry (66), thanks for the insight of that game and of the troubled times it was played in, as Andy ( Crooks) says earlier in the thread it was a game he was sorry he went to, it went far beyond what sport and football should be about.
Brendan McLaughlin
83 Posted 06/08/2021 at 16:15:44
On that 1993 World Cup qualifier, I remember I worked for a large public sector organisation at the time and there were two guys I shared an office with who were staunch loyalists (both played in flute bands) and big Northern Ireland fans. Naturally enough, both went to the game that night and had to come in to work the next day to face merciless taunting from me.

I'll always remember what one of the guys said to me which in a way illustrates perfectly the complexities of life in Northern Ireland: "Well, Brendan" he said, "It could have been worse... imagine it had been England we allowed to qualify."

Paul Tran
84 Posted 06/08/2021 at 18:50:08
Even as a 10-year-old, excited at the rare chance to go to the match with my Dad, I could see we were awful to watch under Bingham.

That 74-75 season, we lost twice to Carlisle and away to soon-relegated Sheffield Utd. All the top teams were dropping points, it was a league title there for the taking. We didn't take it.

Like his successor, he may well have succeeded with a decent keeper.

Matthew Williams
85 Posted 06/08/2021 at 18:58:57
I believe the Blues featured today on the Big Match Revisited away at West Ham back in 1977.

Sadly I didn't get to watch it as I am currently in Hospital... such is life, eh?!

Dave Abrahams
86 Posted 06/08/2021 at 20:29:54
Strangely enough that season 1974-75 Everton lost the least number of games than any team in the league, eight, but drew eighteen matches, nine at home and nine away. I think that shows that Billy was more afraid of losing than trying to win, a bit or a lot like dour Dave when he became manager nearly 20 years later.
Colin Glassar
87 Posted 07/08/2021 at 08:07:51
“Cynical and scathing”, Terry? I think the consensus on here is he was a decent(ish) player for Everton and a very poor manager.

And yes, I’m critical of Everton. Anyone who knows anything about Everton knows how we’ve been left behind the pack after years of mismanagement and incompetence throughout the club.

Brian Murray
88 Posted 07/08/2021 at 09:09:07
Very limited manager (Moyes level). He couldn't see what was needed. A proper goalie instead of alternating between them two dopes, Dai the Drop and 7-stone Lawson.
Ian Burns
89 Posted 07/08/2021 at 09:26:14
This thread has to be the most depressing birthday celebration I have ever read.

I hope Billy's birthday cards were a little more uplifting.

He wasn't the best of managers but neither was Lee, Walker, Ancelotti et al. But he was a decent winger when he played for us despite it being the towards the very end of his career.

Brian Murray
90 Posted 07/08/2021 at 09:34:47
Ian. It runs deep and shaped the person / fan I am today. Years of them on Queens Drive and as the youngest I had seen no glory except as a 6-year-old in 1969-70. I fuckin' hated that decade...
Alan McGuffog
91 Posted 07/08/2021 at 10:07:56
Matthew. I watched it. A game remarkable for the 40 yard lob from Goodlass over Mervyn Day.
We were atrocious, the Hammers facing the drop, played what little football there was to behold.
Jones, Lyons and Darracott would have graced Walton Hall Park. Hamilton looked as mobile as a Subutteo player. Telfer! Sweet Jesus remember him ?
Highlight was a decent goal from Pearson who came on for Telfer.
Even Dobson was clueless compared to a young Brooking.
Brian Moore slated us for having eleven men back.
Ironically Lawson had a decent game.
Sometimes we forget just how bloody awful we were. Maybe things aren't so bad now 🤔
Danny O’Neill
92 Posted 07/08/2021 at 10:14:34
Glad you said that Brian Murray @90. It fits with my ranting Dad's narrative about the 70s, but I had cousins who romanticised about it because of Latchford, McKenzie and Andy King's Derby goal.

I suppose we can liken it to my younger brother and the Moyes generation. It all comes down to expectation.

Jim Lloyd
93 Posted 09/08/2021 at 20:03:03
Spot on Brian (17) I think Mr Moores would know for certain that he couldn't bully Brian around.
A chance to make Everton great, under a great manager. Not taken,
David Israel
94 Posted 12/08/2021 at 18:46:53
Yes, Billy Bingham did sign Bob Latchford, and Duncan McKenzie later on. And Martin Dobson. Ah, and the keeper with no shoulders.

I was pretty confident we'd win the league in 1975, but we blew it in a rather stupid fashion.

Anyway, Billy Bingham had no managerial pedigree to take over at Goodison. He'd managed Southport and some Greek side, if memory serves me right.

All the best, Mr Bingham. It's great to know you're still around. Happy birthday!

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