Today, 3 November, sees the 76th birthday of one of the unsung heroes of the Championship-winning team of 1970. When one of the Holy Trinity was not available, the go-to stand-in was Tommy Jackson! Tommy was signed from Glentoran of Northern Ireland, for whom he played in 35 internationals.

He signed for the Blues in February 1968 and over two seasons made some 32 league appearances including 18 in the title-winning season. He was not the quickest or most creative player I have ever seen but he was the perfect stand-in for any of Kendall, Ball or Harvey.

He was energetic, hard working, and had good defensive skills. In the first half of that season, he stood in admirably and only lost his stand-in role when Alan Ball was unjustly banned for six games by the FA. This also coincided with the revelation of Alan Whittle who scored many important goals in the run-in to the title.

His performances as understudy to the likes of Alan Ball and Howard Kendall attracted the attention of other clubs and, after just 32 league appearances for Everton, Jackson was signed by Nottingham Forest in October 1970. He then went on to Manchester United before returning to Ireland as player-manager of Waterford Town.

He eventually arrived back as manager at Glentoran, where he spent nearly seven very successful seasons. Somehow, he was never called upon to manage Northern Ireland and was unfortunate to be in the shadow of Billy Bingham's long reign in the post.

So, I am going to raise a toast to Tommy Jackson who never let us down on the road to the 1970 title!

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Peter Mills
1 Posted 03/11/2022 at 14:35:04
Good post Trevor.

I remember Tommy stepping into the team for the 1968 FA Cup semi-final against Leeds at Old Trafford, not a match for the faint-hearted. He performed very well, as he did whenever called upon over the following couple of seasons.

Best wishes to him.

Dave Abrahams
2 Posted 03/11/2022 at 17:18:03
Peter (1), that was the first match I thought of when I read the O/P.

Like you say, Tommy was always a very capable stand-in for the Blues. In fact, looking back there wasn't a lot of difference, performance-wise between him and Henry Newton who came to Everton for £150,000 from Notts Forest with Tommy going on a free to Forest.

Going back to that cup game with Leeds, didn't John Hurst drop out as well with Roger Kenyon slotting in his place?

Tony Hill
3 Posted 03/11/2022 at 17:29:42
Happy birthday to Tommy. Very much part of that era.
Don Alexander
4 Posted 03/11/2022 at 17:44:20
I underestimated Tommy Jackson at the time but he was an excellent squad player for us in much the same way Kevin Richardson was later on.

All the best, Tommy – to stand in for geniuses takes some cojones!

Peter Mills
5 Posted 03/11/2022 at 18:04:12
I agree, Dave, Henry Newton never quite fitted in. We should have kept Tommy!

Roger Kenyon stepped in for Colin Harvey at Leicester in the 3-1 quarter-final win then, as you say, for John Hurst in the semi. He was also, of course, sub for the final.

Danny O’Neill
6 Posted 03/11/2022 at 18:30:03
I'd add Alan Harper to your Kevin Richardson, Don. I think he could play in just about any position on the pitch.

I don't recall a more versatile player, which in some ways was why he was probably a manager's dream. In another sense, maybe that was an issue for him in being able to nail down a regular position. What was his best position?

I don't know that answer, by the way.

As well as the challenge of trying to get into the best team in the land at the time!

Nice post, Trevor.

Joe McMahon
7 Posted 03/11/2022 at 18:42:45
Good shout on Alan Harper, Danny, and Howard took him at City also, a very versatile underrated player.
Derek Thomas
8 Posted 04/11/2022 at 06:27:19
The last decent signing Catterick ever did, made a vital difference - pity 'Holy Quaternity' doesn't easily roll off the tongue.
Eddie Smith
9 Posted 05/11/2022 at 02:14:04
Happy Birthday, Tommy, you did a great job and never let us down.

I have one question to ask the ToffeeWebbers: During that great season when Tommy stood in for the Holy Trinity, I seem to remember it was Frank Darce who was mostly named on the bench and not Tommy... why?

Alan McGuffog
10 Posted 05/11/2022 at 08:03:30
A couple of questions that I'm sure some will be able to answer. (Forgive me, I may have been enlightened previously.)

One... how many times did the Holy Trinity actually play together that season? (Reminds me of Brian Labone's tongue-in-cheek comment that it was the first time three men won the league.)

Two... my recollection is that, in those days, players (Alan Ball) were banned for weeks, not games? And so it depended on how the fixtures fell as to how many games were missed.

I have banged on ad nauseum about how the best football I've witnessed being in 1968-69. The Trinity was inspired.

We added steel in 1969-70 with admirable squad players like Jackson and Sandy Brown... plus beans on toast of course. We battled and scrapped for a lot of single-goal triumphs.

Just my two pennorth but I always thought the purchase of Henry Newton signified the beginning of the end for the great Catterick era. He was poor.

Aah well... time to introduce the Roman candle to St Catherine.

Brian Murray
11 Posted 05/11/2022 at 08:40:42

Didn't Henry Newton win a title with Derby County? Same with Rioch. True to form – as soon as they join us, they turn bang average.

I'll never forgive or forget Henry Newton at Anfield, when we was two-nil up, he kept giving the ball away before the usual collapse.

Ray Roche
12 Posted 05/11/2022 at 09:43:30
Alan, I'm fairly sure that I read that the Holy Trinity only played together 50% of the games that season. At least one of them was missing for half of the League games, which emphasises how important the likes of Jackson, Harper, Richardson and Brown were in days of one substitute.

Didn't Harvey miss quite a few games with an eye injury?

Michael Kenrick
13 Posted 05/11/2022 at 10:02:33
The record book says Ball, Kendall and Harvey played together in 24 out of 42 league games that season, so 57%.

As a sub, Frank Darcy was used 5 times; on 3 of those occasions, Tommy was already on the field. Jackson was the replacement when Kendall or Harvey were out; he racked up 14 appearances and only 1 more as the sub.

The book doesn't list who the sub was if unused, and as for Why Darcy? He only appeared as a sub (echoes of Sandy Brown? Maybe Catterick's Way???).

Ray Roche
14 Posted 05/11/2022 at 11:43:20
Thanks, Michael, I knew that they didn't play as a trio as often as we may think. 👍🏻
Alan McGuffog
15 Posted 05/11/2022 at 11:46:39

Dave Mackay did either Colin or Jimmy Husband. Who would have been the other villain?

Ray Roche
16 Posted 05/11/2022 at 11:54:08
MacKay definitely did Husband. Shocking assault. I won't dignify the incident by calling it a ‘tackle'.

Don't recall the Harvey incident. There were so many villains in those days, it would require a thread of its own!!

Alan McGuffog
17 Posted 05/11/2022 at 11:59:11 true.

By chance, I came across a YouTube video recently of Norman Hunter "tackling" Howard Kendall. Check it out if you can. I am amazed, truly, that Howard ever played again.

I think the big dirty Yorkshire gobshite received a ticking off.

Andy McGuffog
18 Posted 05/11/2022 at 12:01:26
I thought it was Mike England who did for Harvey. Elbow to the back of the neck.
Brian Murray
19 Posted 05/11/2022 at 12:29:59
Alan @17,

Yes seen it on Kendall. No wonder we could never win there. I'm sure Morrissey went looking for Hunter after that. Classy but fearsome winger.

Alan J Thompson
20 Posted 05/11/2022 at 17:19:15
Jack Charlton famously said he had three names in his black book that he wanted to meet again and while they were never disclosed it was said that one of them was an Evertonian.

And Dixie Dean was once asked if he ever held a grudge off the pitch to which he answered that he lost a testicle playing football and he ran into the player responsible outside a night club and gave him what for.

Tommy Jackson, has anybody ever been understudy to a better midfield and wasn't Alan Whittle in the same role when Tommy moved on?

Alan J Thompson
21 Posted 05/11/2022 at 17:19:31
Jack Charlton famously said he had three names in his black book that he wanted to meet again and, while they were never disclosed, it was said that one of them was an Evertonian.

And Dixie Dean was once asked if he ever held a grudge off the pitch to which he answered that he lost a testicle playing football and he ran into the player responsible outside a night club and gave him what for.

Tommy Jackson, has anybody ever been understudy to a better midfield and wasn't Alan Whittle in the same role when Tommy moved on?

Peter Mills
22 Posted 05/11/2022 at 22:46:44
Michael #13. Due to his versatility, Sandy Brown would often be the substitute. However, he played left back in the 69-70 season until Keith Newton was signed just before Christmas 1969, after which Sandy was back to No 12 unless picked to plug a gap elsewhere.

Keith Newton was injured at Tottenham in March 1970, and Sandy took over at left-back for the rest of the season. I can't recall how many times Frank Darcy was a sub after that, but I suspect often as he was a left back, so if a player was injured Sandy would take up that player's role and Frank would come on to fill in at No 3.

Frank was certainly the sub the night we clinched the title against West Brom.

Trevor Powell
23 Posted 09/11/2022 at 13:31:02
I was told that Colin Harvey's eye injury was the result of him playing away with boxer Johnny Cooke's wife!

Just saying what my Dad told me through his contacts with a former RS chairman in the sixties!

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