Buried treasure

by   |   03/09/2021  30 Comments  [Jump to last]

A bit of a diversion for the international break.

Last week, on a holiday in the Cotswolds, the owner of the property was recently having a clear-out of his loft. He discovered a near 50-year-old football programme under a big box of tat. Learning of my footy persuasion, it was kindly passed on to me.

Everton vs Derby County, 29 August 1972, Kick-off 7:30 pm. Competitively priced at 8p.

Everton team: Lawson, Newton, Wright, Kendall, Sargeant, Lyons, Husband, Bernard, Royle, Harvey, Connolly.

Derby are the newly crowned Football League Champions, managed by the young Brian Clough.

Some interesting snippets from the programme.

‘Club Talk’ by our PR manager David Exall... “As far as ground behaviour is concerned, I firmly believe that within the next decade we will be forced to have seating accommodation only.” The article describes there being a lot of trouble and violent behaviour recently.

It talks of Derby’s winning season. Derby had finished on 58 points but, because of the FA Cup Final, Liverpool’s and Leeds's final games was delayed. Either could have beaten Derby to the title with a win; Wolves beat Leeds and Arsenal drew 1-1 with Liverpool to scupper their chances. (Well done, Arsenal!)

The Derby players were in Majorca celebrating. Clough was in the Scillies.

The History section: “Away back in the 1890s, Everton never made a penny from gate money. They procured a new ground on Priory Road and spend all the money on facilities for players and fans. The takings for the first year: £45.

“After six years, they moved to Anfield Road and took £200. Four years later, the gate money amounted to £5,188.”

Up to October 1881, Everton appeared in blue and white stripes. When another team joined up with Everton, the players played in the jersey of their former club. To end this sorry state of affairs and to save money, all the existing jerseys were dyed black and the players also wore a scarlet sash about two inches wide to add a splash of colour.

“Thus the team for a while we’re known as ‘the Black Watch’.” Before the present blue and white was adopted, Everton turned out in salmon jerseys with blue knickers and ruby shirts with blue trimmings and dark blue pants.

“Everyone knows the wages that players earn today!” But one of the greatest wingers Everton have ever signed was on £3 a week. Alec Latta who came from Dumbarton in 1889.

The centre-fold is a resplendent Mick Buckley (taking the knee!)

Advert for Higsons Double Top Brown Ale.

Everton had started the season well (two wins and a draw): 1-1 Norwich away; a 1-0 win over Man City away; and a recent 2-0 home win against Man Utd.

The result?

Everton 1 Derby 0 (Joe Royle)

Attendance: 39,780

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Reader Comments (30)

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Dave Abrahams
1 Posted 04/09/2021 at 20:50:54
Nearly fifty years ago!! I think it was around this time that Joe Royle first started having problems with his back which curtailed Joe's career to a great extent, he would have won many more England caps with his natural ability, a great two-footed footballer with tremendous heading ability, no malice in his game and Everton FC were the biggest losers when his back went.

Interesting about David Exall saying we would be playing in all-seater stadiums in the future, I'd already started watching from The Gwladys Street Stand, didn't see the sense in getting knocked from pillar to post from standing positions when I could sit and watch in comfort from the stands.

Don Alexander
2 Posted 04/09/2021 at 21:29:02
They were very different days. I went to the away match at the Baseball Ground in December '71. It was a quagmire of wet mud, no grass at all, very different to Goodison. We got beat 2-0, a bullet of a shot by their left-winger Alan Hinton, and he scored the other. He regularly lashed them in, as did Peter Lorimer (Leeds), Tony Brown (WBA), Bruce Rioch (Derby again, hardly ever for us!).

The players with a hammer of a shot were well known back then, but I can't ever recall Everton having one as consistent as those I've named, ever.

Anyone put me in the know? My memory ain't perfect, as the woman I've lived with for forty years ago tells me, whatever she's called.

Chris Williams
3 Posted 04/09/2021 at 21:43:12

Sandy Brown was measured as the second most powerful shot to Lorimer in the late 60s. Not really the same thing. Plus he was more dangerous with his head. At both ends!

Brian Murray
4 Posted 04/09/2021 at 21:55:33
Like many on here as a young lad. Didn’t know it was the start of 14 years of absolute cack and heartache. Leave it where it is. Horrible era.
Andy Crooks
5 Posted 04/09/2021 at 22:10:42
I enjoyed that post, Tony. That is why comparing our favourite players from different eras is so difficult. Derby's pitch epitomizes the seventies, in so many ways, actually.

I reckon Dixie Dean would be a superstar in any era, as would Ronaldo. However, and this is an old hobby horse, can you imagine George Best on today's pitches, with the protection of referees? Or Pele? I know Mike Gaynes will disapprove, but I believe Best was, in my view, the most naturally gifted footballer who ever lived.

Don Alexander
6 Posted 04/09/2021 at 23:07:46
Thanks Chris, as a lad I never knew about Sandy's hammer!

And Andy, I fully agree. The pitches and clogging that then went on were as nothing to George Best. With the ball at HIS feet you were watching another dimension of skill and imagination. He was mesmeric.

Laurie Hartley
7 Posted 04/09/2021 at 23:47:00
I remember Sandy taking a shot at the Gwladys Street goal that hit the left-hand post fair and square and bounced away to safety.

I used to stand on the Goodison Road Terrace at the Church end. That shot really did rattle the woodwork.

Jim Lloyd
8 Posted 05/09/2021 at 08:14:54
* I remember some of Sandy's free kicks. He had a hell of a shot on him. I was about 20 yards up from the goal in the Gwladys Street terrace when he lashed the ball at the goal. We all ducked!

I seem to remember there being some competition run by a paper for who had the hardest shot. I think it was Peter Lorimer who registered the highest speed but I don't think Sandy was far behind on that score.

I certainly wouldn't have liked to be in any wall when either of them were going to take a free-kick!
Andy (5),

My pick would be Alex Young. I couldn't say the best whoever lived, but Alex was the most artistic player I've ever had the luck to see.

Peter Mills
9 Posted 06/09/2021 at 07:30:25
I may have related this tale on here previously, but it's worth repeating.

Around this time, my Dad and his pal Wilf Heslop (two devoted Evertonians and religious men) attended a spiritual retreat at Loyola Hall. As part of their exercises they were put amongst a group of others, including priests and nuns, to consider a particular matter of philosophical importance.

After deep contemplation, the group discussed their opinions for some time, apart from Wilf, who remained deeply buried in his thoughts. As chair of the group, my Dad gently asked, “Wilf, you look a little troubled, what are you thinking?”

Wilf looked up and said, “Charlie, do you think Joe Royle's back will ever get better?”

Robert Tressell
10 Posted 07/09/2021 at 19:48:44
It is a story worth repeating, Peter, I enjoyed that.
Andy Crooks
11 Posted 07/09/2021 at 19:52:03
Cracker, Pete. Incidentally hope we can have a beer on 25th.
Jeff Armstrong
12 Posted 07/09/2021 at 20:05:34
I think we gave up on Royle far too early. I remember when Latchford signed and the writing was on the wall for Big Joe as his back had been playing up for a year or so. I have a vague memory of both being on the pitch together for us in what was most likely ‘74.

Anyhow Joe was sold but he had a good many decent years ahead of him at Man City, Norwich and Bristol City; he came back to haunt us once or twice too.

Danny O’Neill
13 Posted 07/09/2021 at 20:12:02
Nice piece, Tony. I still have some programmes from my days of the 80s glory years. One day maybe they'll rekindle memories for future generations.

How interesting someone foresaw the need to reinvest in stadia. It was needed, and not just for the behaviour or hooliganism. We were treated like cattle back then and caged.

Nice historical reference to our current change strip.

The 14 years. I will never ever forget as a 12-year-old in 1984 being on one of the London Underground lines (I can't remember which one). We had just won the FA Cup and my Dad who had attempted a pitch invasion was still with me – I can still point him out trying to scale the Wembley fences when I see the footage, but fortunately he failed so I made it home.

But I remember a grown man, a stranger, in tears, telling me and everyone else on the train as well as hugging me with his repeated telling of 14 years without a trophy. I truly believe had that man died that day, his life was complete!!

Jay Harris
14 Posted 07/09/2021 at 20:12:18

Great post.

I agree, George Best was an outstanding player who could dribble, shoot, make long or short passes, score goals and defend.

I put him in the same category as Big Nev: greatest in the world but did not get that recognition because their respective international sides were not amongst the elite.

Martin Mason
15 Posted 07/09/2021 at 20:19:48
Andy @5,

I agree about Best but how about our white Pele? As good as Best apart from finishing?

Danny O’Neill
16 Posted 07/09/2021 at 20:20:24
Great shouts, Andy Crooks and Jay Harris.

Better than Cruyff?? Imagine him on these pitches.

Brian Murray
17 Posted 07/09/2021 at 21:04:00
The individual skill we had in the 69-70 season has faded a bit from my memory. I remember us beating Man Utd 1-0 in 73-74, the year they went down. Best, although well past his prime, beat about four players and clipped the bar.

As a Blue, I was starved of skill like that and have never seen a better more skilful player since – although north of the border jinky Johnson might've rivalled him in that sense.

David Currie
18 Posted 07/09/2021 at 21:13:12
Danny @13,

Great story about the stranger in 1984. I was there that day and it was the first time I had seen us win silverware.

Andy @5,

I agree with you on Best. I watched a great highlight video of him on YouTube a few weeks ago. You may enjoy it. I think it was titled 'George Best was better than we thought'. What balance he had and was a tough player too. No diving and rolling around when he got fouled.

Peter Mills
19 Posted 09/09/2021 at 20:53:56
Andy #11, I hope so.
Stan Schofield
21 Posted 11/09/2021 at 10:30:07
Andy@5: Agreed. George Best was the best ‘ball-playing’ footballer I’ve ever seen, astonishing natural talent (genius).

Although many pitches became muddy very quickly, Goodison’s pitch was always very good. I think we had the first under-pitch heating in Britain. The quality of our pitch suited the quality of our football in the 60s and early 70s.

Danny O’Neill
22 Posted 11/09/2021 at 10:36:52
I believe you're correct Stan on the under-soil heating. I always remember not having to endure the disappointment of winter games being called off like supporters of many other clubs did.

Like Goodison itself, back in the day, Everton were quite pioneering off the pitch then. Sadly, apart from the Gwladys Street plastic roof and a hardly revolutionary Park End stand, Goodison pretty much looks like it did in 1980.

I do remember commentators always referring to the standard of pitch at both Goodison and Anfield in the 1980s. Old Trafford was notoriously awful if I remember.

We did need that plastic roof though. I remember the odd game when the rain came down and the upper-lower Gwladys Street would be rammed sardine style with the front end basically empty!

Derek Thomas
23 Posted 11/09/2021 at 11:23:12
If Best had applied himself like Ronaldo does, he could have been just as good... but he had his own problems.

There was a stage when both he and Kendall were keeping their respective teams out of the relegation places.. .then he packed it in and Man Utd went down.

Martin Nicholls
24 Posted 11/09/2021 at 12:20:38
Derek - I'm with those who consider Best, the best they've ever seen. "Could have been as good as Ronaldo" - imo Ronaldo is a great player whose dedication and application has resulted in his longevity at the top of the game, however for pure skills, he's not in the same league as the vintage George Best.
Danny O’Neill
25 Posted 11/09/2021 at 12:38:31
Like Cruyff, I remember Best, but probably just missed his best years to fully determine. Cruyff does hold cult status for me though. He changed the game. As a player, as a coach and as a manager.

So Cruyff for me for his long term impact on the game. I guess playing wise for me, it has to be Maradona. Apart from Kevin Sheedy obviously!!

When you watch footage of all 3 of those masters of football, one thing is apparent. They were hunted and blatantly kicked / hacked at the first opportunity.

John McFarlane Snr
26 Posted 12/09/2021 at 20:44:29
Hi Stan [21] in my early years I considered Tom Finney as the best winger I had seen, and in what I termed the modern era, there was no doubt in my mind that George Best took over that mantle. In truth, due to television coverage, I saw a lot more of George Best, and later another excellent winger, Ryan Giggs.

You're correct in stating that Everton were the first club to install undersoil heating, but it was replaced in the 60s because it was causing drainage problems. At one stage there wasn't a blade of grass to be seen, and the reserve team were forced to play Central League fixtures at Bootle Stadium.

An uncle of mine told me that Everton had been refused permission to install such a feature before the Second World War, and he was a font of knowledge in all things Everton related, and my inspiration.

Barry Rathbone
27 Posted 12/09/2021 at 22:14:16
Remember seeing Best at full tilt searing through the Everton defence with blue shirts kicking fresh air or sitting on their backsides at Goodison.

Never witnessed anything like it before or since whether on tv or live. The fella was unplayable and if English would have won the world cup several times.

In terms of being able to beat a man (which used to be the measure of who was the best player) only Maradona comes close.

Paul Birmingham
28 Posted 12/09/2021 at 22:52:42
Jay@14, that’s what my Dad - RIP, 6 years yesterday, always said about Best. The Chelsea 3-1, vintage Hatrick by Naismith, was a fitting tribute.

Different era, but as a footballer playing on cow field, and mud flat pitches, and the weather, as natural as it gets, is what he was.

Like Maradona, Messi, etc they played in streets and alleys and often with a sponge or a can as a makeshift ball.

But skill, balance, and almost endless time on the ball, how many players in history, have those attributes?

Bill Gall
29 Posted 12/09/2021 at 23:00:10
Talking about wingers I am surprised that the magician or wizard of the dribble Sir Stanley Mathews name never came up. Mostly remembered in the1952/53 Cup Final with Blackpool down 3-1at half time against Bolton, he turned it around to give Blackpool the win. He was the inaugural winner the Ballon d' Or, European Footballer of the year in 1956.Played top flight football into his 50,s.
Bill Gall
30 Posted 13/09/2021 at 01:22:25
I wish people would stop writing these articles reminding me of how old I am.
Looking through some of my official programme's I found one of Tottenham v Everton, Wednesday 11th March 1970 that puts it at 51 yrs old.
Dont ask if I remember much about this game, sometimes I cant remember what I had for breakfast.
Stan Schofield
31 Posted 15/09/2021 at 08:12:40
Bill, Matthews was very famous when I was a kid in the 60s, in the same way that Stirling Moss was famous. A good dribbler was called ‘Stanley Matthews’, and someone who drove very fast was called ‘Stirling Moss’.

I was sometimes called Stanley Matthews, but only because of my first name, not because of any ability with a football. Having said that, I did improve my skills with a football considerably by trying to emulate Colin Harvey, through ball juggling and using my left foot more whilst being right-footed. So I could eventually dribble reasonably, at my ‘street level’. But the likes of Best was astonishing when it came to dribbling, and I thought Harvey the epitome of elegance and natural ability with a football, in a sense the ‘essence’ of the fabled School of Science.

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