By Peter Kenny Jones; Reviewed by Rob Sawyer

A gentle 15-minute amble will take you across Stanley Park, between the Anfield and Goodison Park stadia. Although Everton and Liverpool FC share common DNA, dating back to the 1890s, less than 40 male footballers have crossed the great divide, either directly  - or with a spell elsewhere sandwiched in the middle. The phenomenon has become rarer in the past two decades, a reflection of the relative positions of the two clubs, and the increased toxicity in this social media age (in contrast, moves between the Everton and Liverpool women’s squads were commonplace in the 1990s and 2000s).

Peter Kenny Jones has produced a welcome study of the players and two managers to represent the Blues and Reds (in men’s football) in Crossing The Park, The Men Who Dared To Play For Both Liverpool and Everton (Pitch Publishing, 2023). Jones, a Liverpool supporter from Crosby, got into football writing when studying Liverpool Hope University and wrote an MA dissertation comparing and contrasting Everton and Liverpool in the Harry Catterick/Bill Shankly era. More recently he has written the biography of Billy Liddell and been employed by Empire of the Kop.

His latest book profiles the Everton/Liverpool players in chronological order of their switch (note that only players who represented the first teams at both clubs in peacetime are featured - hence no chapters on Jack Balmer and Alan Harper, for example). Andrew Hannah, Edgar Chadwick and Fred Geary were three notable Victorian Evertonians who spent a later part of their careers across the park - others featured, like Duncan McLean and John Whitehead will be less familiar to many.

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The author recounts that winger Harold Uren would be the first player to move from Everton to their junior (in age) rivals - with Tom Gracie and Bll Lacey moving in the opposite direction in the same transaction, evidence of a thaw in relations after the great schism of 1892. Dick Forshaw was one of the more striking movers - a member of the famous Liverpool Invincibles side in the mid-1920s, the Lancastrian was transferred to Goodison Park in 1927, becoming a league champion alongside Dixie Dean in the following season. This prefaced his descent into a life of petty crime after hanging up his boots. Tommy ‘Tosh’ Johnson, meanwhile, surprised Blues by moving to Liverpool in search of regular football, having been an early 1930s league and cup winner with the Toffees.

Jones covers avowed Evertonians of the 1950s who spent later stages of their playing days at Anfield in Tony McNamara and Dave Hickson. In contrast, Johnny Morrissey, who had grown up idolising Billy Liddell, was taken to Goodison by Harry Catterick in 1962, under the nose of Bill Shankly - causing consternation for the Scot. The tough winger would enjoy a highly successful decade as a Blue (having a son briefly following in his footsteps at Goodison). The author is able to draw on a rare interview given by Morrissey, which gives the background to the surprise change in club affiliation. 

The recently departed David Johnson, who had a spell at Ipswich on leaving Everton (yes - he of the part-exchange deal with Rod Belfitt), before gaining England honours with the club he supported at a boy (followed by a less happy coda back at Goodison). Kevin Sheedy, Steve McMahon, Peter Beardsley and Gary Ablett follow in the book (the latter two carrying off the rare feat of being admired by both sets of supporters). 

The final player to feature is Conor Coady who, at the time of Jones writing the book, was on loan at Everton from Wolves, having come up through the ranks at Mellwood. On the administrative side, W.E. Barclay, who decided to remain at Anfield when Everton decamped to Goodison Park, and Rafa Benitez, are profiled.

The author does seek to address why some players have made the move - direct or indirect - with the little fuss (e.g. Xavier and Beardsley) while others have become reviled, in particular by Evertonians (Steve McMahon and Nick Barmby being two cases in point). Jones also puts forward his thoughts on why there is seemingly more toxicity between the fanbases in recent decades - making further direct moves a very remote possibility.

A quibble is that the book would, in my opinion, have benefited from a further copy edit. For example, the David Burrows interview could have been trimmed down, while one or two errors have slipped through the net (e.g. Johnny Holt was a centre-half, not a forward). Nonetheless, Jones’s book is an informative read. It should appeal to supporters of the clubs on either side of Stanley Park, bringing as it does, some of the less heralded players to wear both red and blue into the spotlight, alongside the more celebrated Morrissey, Beardsley, Sheedy et al. 

Crossing The Park, The Men Who Dared To Play For Both Liverpool and Everton is published by Pitch Publishing and is available through the unusual outlets.

Reader Comments (60)

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Christy Ring
1 Posted 07/08/2023 at 22:12:46
I remember reading Gary Ablett's book, very sad, his wife finished it for him, but the praise for Everton and Roy Keane, who signed him as a coach.

They couldn't do enough for him and Liverpool were an absolute embarrassment, asking him to sponsor a golf fourball and the man so sick. You can't buy class.

Mark Andersson
2 Posted 08/08/2023 at 02:25:40
Someone should write a book about the players Everton could have and should have signed: Ian Rush, Ruud Gullit, to name but two.
Jim Bennings
3 Posted 08/08/2023 at 07:05:03
I don't think it will ever happen again now, such is the unnecessary outrage on social media.

When we signed Beardsley it was akin to buying say a Roberto Firmino from them about 5 years ago, it would never happen now, yet years ago it hardly caused a ripple.

Danny O’Neill
4 Posted 08/08/2023 at 07:12:47
Let me go down the years in my life.

David Johnson.

Steve McMahon. My best friends Grandad from Halewood used to take him to the match on the bus every home match. I seem to remember he was about to make the direct switch, but such was the hostility, blue paint was thrown over a car outside his house. I don't know if that is true or an urban myth. But either way, he went to Villa first before eventually ending up in Lucifer's Den.

I once had the "privilege" of trying to get served next to him in a busy pub in Woolton. He tried to jump the queue. When I challenged him, he asked me "Do you know who I am". I politely told him yes and that I also know where he came from and quoted my mate's Grandad's name.

Peter Beardsley. In the modern era, a player that commanded the utmost respect of both sets of supporters.

Gary Ablett. Not everyone's favourite but a fine servant to both clubs. Although I did think at the time he had sent us down with that Wimbledon moment. RIP. The boy from Aigburth played more games for Everton than Liverpool.

Nick Barmby. Broke my son's heart to the point I helped him build a model with a Barmby face on it and helped it throw it on a November 5th fire. Not my proudest or most adult moment.

Xavier. Irrelevant.

Not necessarily having played for both, but a point that grates. I understand it is a profession, but I simply cannot comprehend how lifelong Evertonians (Fowler, McMannaman, Spit the Dog etc) can change colours and celebrate beating Everton. Be professional by all means, it's your job, but how can you forget your roots? Be respectful.

I've no doubt missed a few, but save the best to last. Not many games for the cousins, but the finest player I've watched in an Everton shirt. I don't need to mention the name.

Rob Halligan
5 Posted 08/08/2023 at 07:50:55
Danny, the article above says there is no chapter in the book for the likes of Alan Harper because he didn't make a first team appearance for Liverpool, but wasn't it the same for Kevin Sheedy? I could easily Google it and find out, I suppose, but even if he did, it can't have been many appearances in their first team.

Great fella, Alan Harper by the way. My missus went to Gateacre Comp, and was in the same year as him, and I know him fairly well, albeit haven't seen him for a couple of years now. He would always be there on a Sunday morning watching our Sunday league games.

Alan McGuffog
6 Posted 08/08/2023 at 08:07:53
Rob. not something I shout from the rooftops but I saw Sheedy play for them, at Anfield. Brother-in-law followed them and had a spare ticket. I think it was against Villa and I'm sure he hit the bar with a thunderous free-kick.

When we eventually landed him (in 82?) I was over the proverbial.

Danny O’Neill
7 Posted 08/08/2023 at 08:18:31
Without looking, I think Sheedy made about 2 appearances and was mostly a Reserve team player before we signed him.

Alan Harper was a manager's dream. Could and would play in just about every position on the pitch.

Although on their books, I don't think he ever played for their first team?

Duncan McDine
8 Posted 08/08/2023 at 09:33:36
I remember being sick to the stomach when Barmby was sold to them, but apart from that one, it has been a rare thing in my lifetime.

I wonder if any of the older generation could give an opinion on which club has faired better as the receiving club?

Iain Johnston
9 Posted 08/08/2023 at 12:33:07
Sheedy has a Liverpool League Cup medal from 1982, just before we signed him... we must all bow to the excellence of his golden left foot!

However, standing in the Park End corner of the Enclosure back then, I got to see more of Trevor Steven but, like many of us, the Ipswich free kick will be a glorious memory I'll take to the grave... Oh and the scissor kick against Tony Coton.

I'm satisfied that as a club we've witnessed arguably two of the best Republic of Ireland players to grace world football.

Mike Newell played for the Liverpool youth teams.

Mark #2 the reason we didn't buy Ian Rush was because Gordon Lee didn't have £300,000 to spend so he bought Graeme Sharp for £120,000 instead.

Iain Johnston
10 Posted 08/08/2023 at 12:38:29
This one is for Danny O'Neil.

Sheedy once scored an away goal for Everton at Goodison Park.

Can you remember the year, opponent and the reason why?

Dave Abrahams
11 Posted 08/08/2023 at 12:44:58
Danny (4),

Steve McMahon got a load of stick off Everton fans because he had decided to join Liverpool, changed his mind, as you say, and joined Villa instead, just for one season. I think before he eventually joined Liverpool.

I grew up with Stevie's dad, Tucker, and he told me why he wanted to get away from Everton, and Kendall to be honest. Steve went and had a word with Howard about a wage increase after learning that Adrian Heath and David Johnson were on £900 a week, Stevie was on £400, Howard said he would see what he could do; he came back with a £50 increase, Stevie told him what to do with that and wanted a move.

I think Howard wanted some money to buy Trevor Steven from Burnley and McMahon would fetch a good price, that's what happened so each was happy with the outcome, although I think Stevie kept what happened in his head and never had time for Kendall after that or even before.

Regarding Steve McManaman, he was a genuine Everton fan as were all his family. Everton offered him an apprenticeship, Liverpool offered him a guaranteed 3-year deal from the off. He didn't waste much time signing for Liverpool. I'm not sure if Robbie Fowler was a dedicated Bluenose to be honest but Carragher and his dad were rabid Everton fans so it was strange how he joined Liverpool.

Although, from my son Tony's experience with Everton and Liverpool, I have to say he was always treated better with Liverpool's scouts and recruiting reps than Everton's, maybe because Jim Aspinall, the Liverpool scout was an Evertonian as well as a thorough gentleman!

Tony Abrahams
12 Posted 08/08/2023 at 12:45:12
I'd take players off Liverpool every season if we could. We might hate them, but you have got to respect their absolute professionalism.

They nearly lost it (during the white suits at Wembley era?) but the Frenchman who once worked in a school near Goodison, gave them it back, and although I might only be speaking for myself, I'd love Everton to be as hard-nosed and as completely professional as our horrible fucking neighbours!

Iain Johnston
13 Posted 08/08/2023 at 13:17:59
Dave#11 Robbie Ryder (Fowler) was a big Everton fan, I used to play on the 5 a side pitches with him at Toxteth Sports Centre. He was gutted that Everton didn't want him so in his last year at school he signed for the other lot.

You're right about McManaman, SFX/Campion high school was a good breeding ground for Everton youngsters. Back in late '83 as 15 year olds Everton looked at me & a lad called James Bannon, they signed James... clearly they didn't want a superfast midfielder who would have obviously turned into another Gareth Barry!! (not) don't know what ever happened to him though.

Anyway... McManaman, it was his dad who turned his nose up at the 1 year contract we offered him. Carragher didn't but after the year crossed the great divide, that's according to his cousin Jim Cinno' who's a massive RS fan.

Don't care what anyone says, Gerrard was never an Everton fan.

Ian Jones
14 Posted 08/08/2023 at 13:20:37
I appreciate that we're mainly talking about players that went directly between the clubs and played first team football but I'm going to give an honourable mention to Dave Watson, who played for Liverpool reserves before joining us via Norwich...

Decent player on his day.

Dave Abrahams
15 Posted 08/08/2023 at 13:28:09
Ian (14), Ian, after a poor start with the Blues I’d say Dave Watson was much better than a decent player as well as being a great captain for the Toffees not forgetting his part as player/manager after Joe Royle departed as manager.
Ian Jones
16 Posted 08/08/2023 at 13:31:28
Dave, I was being slightly mischievous with my decent. I had added, 'although probably better suited to a division below' but thought better of it!

He was an excellent player and would probably have got in the Liverpool team if it wasn't for players like Hansen and Lawrenson.

Danny O’Neill
17 Posted 08/08/2023 at 13:31:40
That's great insight as always Dave.

My experiences of the unholy side apart from family debate were when my wife and sister worked for Liverpool (my Everton supporting sister still does).

Picking up my wife outside the Kop on matchday with with my son wearing an Everton kit. Deliberae tactic by me, I admit. Him being introduced to Robbie Fowler and calling him fish face. To his face.

On another occasion, me blanking Roy Evans and telling my son not to speak to him. Not to look at him. I know, childish behaviour.

Neil Razor Ruddock speeding down the entrance to their main stand in his open top porsche as I waited for my wife with my son. Proceeded to have an argument with his plastic footballing wife WAG.

I gave him both barrels. Prick.

I think I have issues!! Maybe it is just them that bring it out in me.

But on a lighter note, the day we won the FA Cup in 1995, I went to join my wife at the Liverpool FC staff end of season bash in Liverpool City Centre.

They played Altogether Now.

Steve McManaman was the only player representative there. He was absolutely made up and celebrating Everton winning the cup. True story.

Shit pundit mind, but I guess it's his job.

Richard Pike
18 Posted 08/08/2023 at 13:58:20
@Iain Johnston, 10:

I'm not Danny O’Neill, but I'll have a go. Was this an FA Cup game against a non-league team that got switched from their ground to GP, back in the day when you were allowed to do that (don't think they can any more)?

I have a suspicion it was Woking after they won at WBA, which would make it about 1991.

Tony Abrahams
19 Posted 08/08/2023 at 14:09:17
Mcmanaman used to drink on county rd with a lot of his bluenose mates Danny (although most little groups usually have supporters of both teams) until I believe Souness, got hold of him, or he simply just got a bit wiser.

He’s got to be the worst pundit on the television though and would get his head punched in, in most boozers in kirkdale, for the absolute pony he talks.

What a footballer he was though, not many scouse kids have played for Real Madrid, that’s how good he was.

Danny O’Neill
20 Posted 08/08/2023 at 14:19:29
Now you've all started me as I get ready for the season ahead.

Kevin Sheedy's best goal?

Probably when about 10,000 of us travelled to Villa Park in 1987. No exaggeration, you should have seen the M6 with black cabs and coaches with Everton flags flying.

We only won won 1-0 that day, but knew we had won the league courtesy of the left footed magician.

Villa went down finishing bottom. We were champions. A great trip home, but not as good as the one from Norwich when we confirmed it.

Tony Abrahams
21 Posted 08/08/2023 at 14:39:01
I think my favourite Sheedy moment (besides him putting two fingers up to the kop) was his calmness when bringing the game to slow motion levels, in the cauldron against Bayern Munich, that you often mention Danny.

He played central midfield for a period during our second title winning season, and I remember his chip against Leicester, as being like poetry in motion. I remember talking to a Leicester player who played in that game, telling me he didn’t mind playing against Peter Reid, (my favourite) because he could kick him, but he said he had no such luck against Sheedy,because he simply couldn’t get near him.

Steven - Reid - Bracewell - Sheedy, to just a few years later players like Milligan, Wilson, Claus fucking Thompson, and Gareth Faralley.

Sorry Bill, I take everything back, but what the fuck happened to us after that glorious period of the mid-eighties?

Kevin Molloy
22 Posted 08/08/2023 at 14:56:25
Sheedy was always my favourite player. I was always put off Trevor Steven by, I hesitate to say, my Mum. She didn't like these players that went dribbling around and then nothing happened, and I think she put me off the more artistic players (this is very unfair, obv, on Trevor, who also had the final ball. A fact never so obvious as when he was replaced by Pat Nevin, who when he got to the byline having tricked his way down the line, wouldn't cross the ball, he would just kick it, but I digress).
But Sheedy, nothing went to waste. When he got the ball, something happened. There was always something to admire. And my god, can you imagine the opposing manager before the game'don't let this lad have any space at all once he's near the goal or he'll kill us'.
I remember Mourinho saying about Eto'o that he was a killer. That was Kevin also.
Joe McMahon
23 Posted 08/08/2023 at 15:00:59
I've got Covid (not gonna read all comments) so apologies if he already been mentioned, but Peter Beardsley was a class player. Then we sold him.
John McFarlane Snr
24 Posted 08/08/2023 at 15:39:40
Hi Rob, another great article, but it appears that Jimmy Payne has been overlooked, he joined Everton from Liverpool in April 1956. If I recollect correctly, he signed on the Thursday and played on the Saturday, against Blackpool, in the last game of the season.
By the time he played his last five games in February 1957, scoring two goals, I was awaiting my posting to Cyprus. He had to retire through injury so I can't say that I saw much of him, other than his debut.
Danny O’Neill
25 Posted 08/08/2023 at 15:45:16
Kevin made space. Good players make time and space.

Joe, Peter Beardsley joined an Everton side that he was one step ahead of. Players couldn't read the game he saw.

Tony. I adored Sheedy. He did slow the game down. Because he could. Because he was that good.

Another, less spoke of goal that I have spoken about was when he stood almost still in front of the Norwich defence, saw Adrian Heath's run and done an unconventional lobbed pass over the the defence for a volley finish right in front of my eyes.

As you say, look at that midfield, where games are won and lost. And despite being remembered for being a left sided midfielder, he was probably better playing in what we would now call a central number 10.

Paul Bracewell. Graceful and classy.

Peter Reid. I'd loved to seen him play again Stevie G.

Only one winner there. Guaranteed.

I can't wait for Saturday. I hope you feel the same Everton. I have

I will try and hold off on watching Howard's Way before Friday night. Then it's the early train from Euston.

In total probably about 14 hours of my day. Possibly more. But worth every minute.

Kevin Molloy
26 Posted 08/08/2023 at 16:02:38
I think Danny the highest compliment that can be paid to Kevin is that he won the league with Paul Power to his left, Trevor Steven alongside and Neil Adams on the other wing.
I still can't work out how the hell we pulled that off.
Iain Johnston
27 Posted 08/08/2023 at 16:14:52
Richard#18 spot on mate. We beat Woking 1-0 at Goodison in what was technically an away fixture. The Woking fans had the whole of the top balcony and the matchday programmes were produces as Woking as the home side.
Barry Rathbone
28 Posted 08/08/2023 at 18:00:11
I was invited for trials at Anfield in Shankly's last season but wouldn't go knowing Everton would be in for me. But of course our great scouting system did the usual and let another through the net.

Infuriated me knowing yard dogs were getting a go at Bellefield whilst a pure footballing genius like me was finding "other" interests.

Still a source of great mirth and bemusement around the Xmas table at the family get together.

Steve Brown
29 Posted 08/08/2023 at 18:06:13
Barry, what other interests did you take up?

Mike Doyle
30 Posted 08/08/2023 at 18:26:25
Barry @28,

In the mid-70s, I used to play for Mike Lyons' Sunday League team. Following an end-of-season game at Barnfield Drive, Mick asked if we fancied coming over to Bellefield to take on a Scotland team who were on tour and scheduled to play England.

However, the England team were delayed in transit so we were asked to fill in. Before taking the field, some bloke who turned up to give us a grubby old kit to play in reminded us that we were going out to represent our Country!

Since then, my once appearance for England in an international match has featured prominently on my CV. It provokes similar mirth from my family members – and suggestions of “over-claiming” and deception from children.

Personally, I think they are all jealous having never scaled such heights themselves.

Peter Mills
31 Posted 08/08/2023 at 20:08:55
Morrisey, Sheedy, Harper (I know, but I'm including him), Watson, Beardsley, Ablett, even Coady – in my lifetime, I reckon we have had far the better of the deals.

I was never too upset about those who went the other way, either directly or via other clubs.

However, the appointment of Benitez will forever be a stain upon our history.

Barry Rathbone
32 Posted 08/08/2023 at 20:29:40
Steve 29


Mike 30, Great story. I can imagine the looks at the bar when you casually throw in "Yeh, I played for England once", marvellous!

Andy Crooks
33 Posted 08/08/2023 at 21:07:19
Mark @ 2, I think the name Rathbone should be added to that list.

Barry, Shankly's loss is ToffeeWeb's gain. Had you had the career which you deserved and the European glory, who knows, you might just have got a little above yourself and too big for this site!

Eric Myles
34 Posted 09/08/2023 at 04:20:19
Johnny Morrissey anyone?

He's the only one I know and was around in the '60s and '70s.

Laurie Hartley
35 Posted 09/08/2023 at 06:36:28
Eric # 34 - Johnny Morrisey - in my top ten of favourite Everton players. A terrific, hard as nails, skilful footballer.
Bob Parrington
36 Posted 09/08/2023 at 06:45:26
Laurie - couldn't agree more, mate! Loved to watch him play.

I go along with Kevin Sheedy, too!

Those were the days, my friend! etc etc

Roy Johnstone
37 Posted 09/08/2023 at 08:57:43
Sheedy would make time slow down. The period around Christmas 1986 when it was him and Trevor Steven in central midfield was the best football I have ever witnessed from the blues. 4th goal against Norwich. Sheedy strolls through their half, chips it up for Inchy to volley home. Gasps aplenty. Scoring while concussed in the 5-0 v Man U in 84. The Ipswich double free kick in the cup. The list could go on and on. My all time favourite player.
Dave Abrahams
38 Posted 09/08/2023 at 10:07:29
John (24), yes I remember Jimmy Payne playing for Everton v Charlton, we won 5-0 and Jimmy had a good game scoring one of the goals if I’m not mistaken and the next week he played in the cup away toMan.Unt,when Duncan Edwards scored the only goal of the game, Jimmy played like he had nails in his boots, but his brief appearances for Everton doesn’t do him justice, he was a very good player for Liverpool with his dribbling ability having compared to the great Stanley Mathews.

David Burrows was another failed signing by the Blues although he never came direct from Liverpool, he came from WHU who had signed him from Liverpool, he never played many games for us, wasn’t very good and seemed to get booked in half of them!

Dave Abrahams
39 Posted 09/08/2023 at 10:12:30
Forgot to add Tony McNamara who went from Everton to Liverpool a couple of years after we had signed Jimmy Payne also played for Tranmere Rovers and another club Crewe Alexandra ( ?) I think he was the first player to play in the four divisions of the Football League.
Eric Myles
40 Posted 09/08/2023 at 10:17:57
Laurie, agree totally, the 60's was a good time to be singing the blues.

I missed the 80's through working in the sand pits so my good times were '66 to '72 when we sold LCAB.

Dave Abrahams
41 Posted 09/08/2023 at 10:26:53
Andy (33), There is already a Rathbone who worked for Everton, Mick Rathbone the former physio who Moyes brought from PNE to join his medical staff, not sure how good he was as a physio but he couldn’t half swear going by his autobiography !
Steve Brown
42 Posted 09/08/2023 at 10:32:40
Barry @ 32, I always suspected you had a Terry Thomas vibe about you.

Andy @ 33, I assume Liverpool discovered that they couldn't fit Shankly and Barry's ego in the boot room at the same time!

Stephen Vincent
43 Posted 09/08/2023 at 12:13:10
I remember queuing up to get into a semi final at Villa Park, McMahon appeared on the balcony, 'Where's your medals Steve McMahon' was the immediate chant.

If he hadn't gone to Villa when he did, would we have seen the rise of Peter Reid?

Dave Abrahams
44 Posted 09/08/2023 at 12:46:10
Stephen (43) Well he had no medals then… but plenty came later.

You are correct though Steve McMahon staying might have changed the whole future scene at Everton, Trevor Steven might not have come, Reid or Bracewell either, the way it stayed everyone was happy and had successful years with quite a few medals between them.

Peter Hodgson
45 Posted 09/08/2023 at 16:25:44
Thanks, Rob, for reminding me that Johnny (Alehouse) Morrissey came across The Park as long ago as 1962. He might have been getting to the fag end of his career but he was good value for the £10k that he cost us.

He was a little rotund by then but was hard and took no nonsense from anyone. The Everton fans, as far as I am concerned, loved him and whether his rotundness was from his visits to certain local pubs or natural causes, I don't know, but I do know he gave his all every time he played which is more than can be said for some these days. I wish there was more like him around today.

Alan J Thompson
46 Posted 09/08/2023 at 17:22:43
I think the first one I remember was Dave Hickson and Everton bought Bobby Laverick from Chelsea as his replacement.

I think it was him who was hit over the head by a banner-carrying fan in his first Goodison game.

John McFarlane Snr
47 Posted 09/08/2023 at 18:15:19
Hi Peter [45],

You say that "Johnny Morrissey might have been getting to the 'fag-end of his career', when he joined Everton.

He was actually 22 years old (born 18 April 1940) and he signed for Everton in August 1962. It must have been some 'fag-end', he signed for Oldham Athletic in May 1972, and retired injured in January 1973.

Peter Hodgson
48 Posted 09/08/2023 at 19:08:38
Hi John @47

Thanks for coming back on that one. Memory is a strange thing and the older you get, the stranger it becomes. At my age, it is now very strange indeed!

Certainly, even at the age you are mentioning, he had a bit of a paunch caused by whatever. Maybe he had spent too much time developing his nickname!

He was a decent winger and by the time he moved on from us I too had moved away so didn't see him then. Is my memory that he was appreciated by the fans correct, and did that remain the case until he moved on?

I hope so as I certainly appreciated what I saw of him while going to Goodison and every now and again at away games... My memory was of an honest footballer who enjoyed playing and giving his all for the team every time.

Peter Hodgson
49 Posted 09/08/2023 at 19:37:24
Alan @ 46

How times have changed. Players now all have flash cars that are much better at out sprinting the odd irate fan than in the days of the good old Ribble bus. Dave Hickson didn't have a car, as far as I know, and if he had, he certainly didn't drive to Goodison on match days.

He, the same as most folk, used the bus to get to work. He usually got on the same bus as me at Old Roan and joined the fans who were going to watch him, hoping he would stick a couple in the old onion bag for them to talk about on their way home. Those were the days.

Minimum wage and all that. We scored goals then!


Dave Abrahams
50 Posted 09/08/2023 at 19:39:01
Alan (46),

Bobby Laverick was a left winger and I think the player Everton signed just before Dave Hickson went to Liverpool was Alan Shackleton who came from Burnley.

He was a striker who could play on the left wing. Neither of them lasted long at Everton.

Danny O’Neill
51 Posted 09/08/2023 at 19:47:08
My two favourite semi finals were at Villa Park.

I'm still convinced there was a foul on Peter Reid before Luton's goal. But Sheedy's less glamorous but precision free kick (watch it – intentional from the left-footed magician) followed by black-eyed Mountfield's winner sorted it out.

And then the Sheffield Wednesday game. Alan Harper's lob right in front of me. Graham Sharps's volley from Bracewell's cross. It was a "Take me now, Lord" moment and I was only a teenager.

I travelled home with the biggest smile on my face. I'm not actually sure I remember how I got home, but I did.

To think, we finished 2 points off winning the league that season and were beaten in the FA Cup Final. But came back to win the league the following season.

Great times. But I still think watching the Blues is great. When Saturday comes.

Peter Gorman
52 Posted 09/08/2023 at 20:56:35
It seems to be overlooked that Gary Ablett is probably the only man to cross the park twice!

He left his role as our academy coach in 2006 to become their reserves manager.

I have no personal anecdotes to share about him but can only say that he always came across as an absolutely decent man who had no favourites between us, so no wonder he was welcome everywhere.

Stephen Vincent
53 Posted 10/08/2023 at 10:32:20
Peter #45 John #47,

'Fag end' indeed wasn't the following written about Mogsey?

A footballer from Goodison way,
Is under suspicion as they say,
For being concerned with other blokes,
In shady dealings with some smokes.

Larry O'Hara
54 Posted 10/08/2023 at 11:04:09
Regarding Morrissey (this one for older readers) I always thought his best positions were number 10 and number 6…..
Dave Abrahams
55 Posted 10/08/2023 at 11:25:58
Stephen (53),

Yes, Johnny Morrissey was up in court, the crown court, for some charges along with some other fellas, one of whom was Laurie Hughes former Liverpool and England centre half.

Johnny was acquitted of all charges and left the court without a stain on his character, Laurie Hughes was sent down for 3 years.

Stephen Vincent
56 Posted 10/08/2023 at 11:36:38
Larry, I thought he was Regal and always played to his Full Strength.
Clive Rogers
57 Posted 10/08/2023 at 12:16:16
Peter, 48,

Johnny Morrissey was a top player who played 259 times for Everton scoring 43 goals and won the league championship twice. He was barrel-chested, short and stocky with legs like tree trunks and was hard as nails as Tommy Smith found out in a clash at Anfield I remember.

Smith was a close friend of Morrissey's. An Everton legend.

Ray Roche
58 Posted 10/08/2023 at 12:29:09
Peter @48,

Morrissey is hugely underrated (imo) when ‘Everton Greats' are mentioned. Fearless, quick and capable of putting in pin point crosses after dribbling round a full back, defenders were frightened to go near him, as Jack The Coward Charlton found out. Remember the story of Charlton's black book?

Morrissey is one of my favourite all-time Everton players.

Eric Myles
59 Posted 12/08/2023 at 14:25:48
Peter #49, some players back in the day certainly did have 'flash' cars.

I remember Johnny Morrissey rocking up at Bellefield in a Capri 3.0. and Colin Harvey in his E-type.

And Alan Ball in his Anglia!! And Howard Kendall in a 'sit up and beg' Rover with Gordon West as passenger.

Gavin Johnson
60 Posted 13/08/2023 at 17:38:21
Apparently Unai getting on the blower to Harrison swung it to Villa.

Can just imagine it, "Good ebening Jack, I am a big fan. Come and play for Villa and challenge for the top 4"

Not much of a contest really.

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