Brentford 1 - 3 Everton

Early start as always with the usual morning routine, but I could take my time as it is the shortest trip I will make to a Premier League stadium to watch Everton. As I've said elsewhere, I felt for those travelling from Merseyside and other parts of the country with the 5:30 pm kick-off. Total respect. I do it the other way around for home games. Long and late journey home for you, but I'm sure it was worth it.

I headed in, making the short 12-mile trip. We met Rob, Rob and Rob(!) and others at the Bell and Crown. Bumped into Neil at the end.

Really nice afternoon in the West London sun, sat outside on the banks of the Thames. Everyone in good spirits. Considering the start we have had and what is going on around the club, the thousands were there and up for it. Setting aside everything else, it was about the match. Blind hope or belief? I'll go for the latter. We believed. You could sense it.

A nice, if somewhat an unusual ground that I've been to before under more difficult circumstances with Mr Benitez at the helm. Really good access even if they overdo the security as you enter. It was almost like entering an airport and I got quizzed by the stewards as to whether I had taken drugs and if they could search my pockets. Strange and unnecessary. At Goodison, we just let people make their way in!

Apparently they have rarely lost at home of late and some didn't give us a chance in the build-up last week, our own supporters included. Well there was no sense of defeatism yesterday. Just passion and belief. We needed a response after the flat performance of last week. And we got it.

On the team and performance.

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Mykolenko put in a solid defensive performance. Defensively he's fine. Tarkowski is immense; he is the de-facto captain and a commanding presence. He bullied their defender for that second goal.

Garner is an absolute gem, still young and will get better. He won the ball back before laying it on a plate for Calvert-Lewin. Onana had one of his better games. If he can find consistency and stay involved, we have a player there.

McNeil looks like he's getting back to his best and went close. Beto is a real presence who gives opposition centre-backs something to think about. He holds the ball up well and looks for the early knock-on for runners

Ashley Young put in a shift. I liked his experience and anticipation, stepping in to cut out danger early. Also, his presence.

I also have to mention Calvert-Lewin. I don't know the ins and outs, but clearly with injury frustrations and maybe things going on in his personal life. But don't underestimate his passion. You could see that when he came over to us when he scored. As in many walks of life, we can be quick to criticise, but there is often a bigger picture.

Branthwaite is another gem. A blue sapphire I would say. His composure, anticipation and reading of the game is beyond his years. He didn't put a foot or head wrong yesterday from my stand point. He won everything and can play. He is comfortable on the ball. A footballing centre-back. But he's very young for a centre-back. Be patient with him and let's hope the hawks don't start circling.

When Doucouré gets forward, he get's goals. Keep him higher up the pitch. He almost made it 2-0 but hit the bar and then they go and score minutes later. I didn't see it at the time but, having watched the highlights, Pickford's hand takes it away from a likely Tarkowski block. That's football I guess and a game of small margins. Then at 1-1, Tarkowski saves it.  I recall a penalty-box scramble. I had one of my stop breathing moments, but we had bodies on the line and Tarkowski was simply not going to let them score.

We get the second and then the ball from Garner to after winning the ball and turning possession in midfield. Bedlam. I've seen debate on Michael's match report thread about the ins and outs as to whether he was lucky or meant it. We didn't care. I didn't care. He done the basics that strikers are coached to do. Take it early and get it on target.

It went in and the away section literally exploded. As a random thought, Doucouré is going to injure himself if he keeps falling over the top of players in the celebrations. He did it a the Palace match when he nearly fell into the Enclosure.

6 minutes additional time goes up. 6 minutes? I didn't stop talking about it for 6 minutes!! I was still boring my son about it after the match on the way home.

Great to see the players in a group at the end. It was  refreshing after last week, when they looked disjointed and disconnected. They re-connected with the supporters. I kept saying the win would come. Get a win and then some momentum. We've got the win that many didn't predict. And believe me, it was convincing. Now build on it Everton.

Forget the result. All we expect is a performance, fight and commitment. We got that and they got our respect. The players justifiably took the plaudits at the end, bonding with the travelling support and passing on shirts.

On the supporters. Unbelievable. They didn't stop. We never will. You show us that kind of spirit and we are with you. If you don't, you get both barrels. Well done, Everton, well done Blues, some of you who wouldn't have got home until the early hours. I'm glad you will have had a happy journey back for your dedication. Enjoy your Sunday

Singing throughout. Spirit, Forever Everton, Banks of the Royal Blue Mersey, our version of Here we Go. It was just simply fantastic and they were all rolled out. 1878, the Originals. No imitation.

Give us that and we are right behind you to the hilt. We always will be because we care deeply. Just give it back. We only want you to compete and you did yesterday.

At the end, the players were justifiably taking the plaudits, and  It took us a while to get out as I don't think many wanted to leave.

Don't underestimate how passionate that support was yesterday. It would have been so easy for us to be passive or even negative given the start to the season. No chance. We were relentless and 2,000 of us took over Brentford's smart new stadium. I mostly stood and watched them with pride.

What was my favourite moment yesterday? Aside from the performance, the goals and the result, it watching a young kid, probably about 8 years old dancing on the steps in front of where I was when the 3rd went in. Your day will come young man. Keep believing.

We headed off eventually. The police stopped us going into what I know was the closest tube station so we had to walk to Chiswick. Not a big issue as it was only a 10-minute hike. Off for food and to watch the Burnley v Manchester Utd match with a huge grin on my face still running off adrenalin.

So on to Villa Park and maybe we get into the next round of that elusive League Cup. Beat Luton and then the despair of the past few weeks won't look so bad. A football season is a marathon, not a sprint. Bournemouth to follow. October could cut a different landscape. Then off to Lucifer's Den. They're not escorting me anywhere in my home city if I am fortunate enough to attend.

If I was to be pushed on a Man of the Match, it has to go to Branthwaite. But really the accolade of people of the match goes to that amazing travelling blue army. I could use many superlatives, but they were just magnificent from start to finish and didn't want it to end. Simply the best. Never stopped believing.

Watch Match of the Day and look at the reaction of those supporters when the 3rd went in. That's how it felt. As I keep saying, wait until we win something. Forget the self-proclaimed best fans in the world Geordies who have Sky fawning over them. When we win something, the reaction is going to be on a nuclear scale.

Onward Evertonians. We shall not be moved.

Reader Comments (86)

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Dave Abrahams
1 Posted 25/09/2023 at 10:36:20
Great report, Danny, the team made the supporters happy, we don't ask for more than that and celebrate, as you described, when they perform.

I'm sticking with you away supporters, the one constant this club has got, following the team everywhere, with little joy, filling the away end every time, taking 4,000 to Villa on Wednesday, all tickets bought as soon as they went on sale long before Saturday's fine result.

If the players, more so the guardians of the club, performed half as good as you fans, we'd never have to worry about the results. Carry on, Danny and Co, you deserved Saturday's performance a hundred times over.

John Raftery
2 Posted 25/09/2023 at 11:26:44
The Blue Sapphire. I like that Danny. We read it here first!
Christopher Timmins
3 Posted 25/09/2023 at 12:16:05
A great report, Danny, glad you gave a shout-out to Mykolenko, he is young and he loves the art of defending. Hopefully, we will have many years of The Blue Sapphire and Mykolenko keeping the back door locked as we improve our lot in the top flight.

Let's take it one game at a time, another good performance on Wednesday and let the result take care of itself.

Michael Kenrick
4 Posted 25/09/2023 at 12:19:15
Lovely thoughts, as always, Danny.

This one caught my eye:

You show us that kind of spirit and we are with you. If you don't, you get both barrels.

Thinking back to last week – which is perhaps best forgotten but sadly never can be now that is part of our imperious record book – I wonder about the practicality of 'giving them both barrels' as fans at the game?

I mean, last Sunday, the crowd were firing silent blanks from both barrels and consequently getting nothing whatsoever from the players. Actually, it was the other way around: they were getting nothing from the players and could do nothing to inspire them. Either way, it's an impossible dynamic to change, don't you think?

Yes, if the players show some spirit and effort, then the fans have something to get behind and shout about. But when the opposite happens and… well, they give you nothing on the field, it is surely impossible to either rouse the crowd in their support – or to give them 'both barrels' by way of cajolement.

Tony Abrahams
5 Posted 25/09/2023 at 12:32:28
A very happy joyful report, Danny, showing how much easier life can become when Everton play well and win.

I only caught the last 35 minutes which doesn't feel right when I have spent most of my life being an obsessive Evertonian but I'm just glad that the real Evertonian die-hards got a genuine performance to go alongside that badly needed victory.

I love your description of that little kid, Danny, because as you say, the passion that those little scouse kids show towards Everton is genuinely heartwarming, and is always befitting of “our song”.

“We Shall Not Be Moved” – with a special mention for Ashley Young because I'm sure the linesman had originally flagged for a goal kick but it looked like Young didn't want to accept this appalling decision and a man who I have never had time for, Michael Oliver, seemed to overrule the linesman before a well-worked corner was gleefully headed home by Tarkowski!

Christy Ring
6 Posted 25/09/2023 at 13:33:01
Great report, Danny,

I watched the game on Saturday and all the fans were superb. When the team puts in a shift, like they did against Brentford, the fans will always be onside, long may it continue.

Rob Halligan
7 Posted 25/09/2023 at 13:57:06
Good account of the match Danny, and what you have said, I also said in my post on Michaels's match report yesterday.

Regarding the subject of added on time, 6 minutes seemed about right. A couple of goals, numerous substitutions, the usual time added for the ball going out of play etc, so 6 minutes was about right, considering what we have seen so far this season.

I think there was about 8 or 9 minutes added on in the North London derby, and about the same at Sheffield Utd. Yet last week against Arsenal, despite numerous “Fake head injuries" by one or two Arsenal players, and getting the game stopped as a result, plus the time-wasting for throw-ins and goal-kicks by them, we got a measly 4 minutes added on.

You can bet your bottom dollar had we been winning 1-0 there would have been at least 10 minutes added on. Referees favouring the so-called Big 6 teams even with the amount of time added on.

Barry Rathbone
8 Posted 25/09/2023 at 14:27:12
If this is a turning point, I think it's down to playing to a new found strength with the long ball to Bertie Beto's noggin.

Purists get iffy about the long ball but it's great – defence becomes attack in an instant and athletic players bereft of natural ability become effective by running onto a ball without thinking of how to control and pass.

Doucouré was very effective a la Fellaini due to the amount of long balls chucked up to him and the whole team went up a few notches resultant of not fannying about.

Fair play to Dyche for sussing where our strength lies.

Danny O’Neill
9 Posted 25/09/2023 at 15:11:37
It is an interesting dynamic, Michael.

There is definitely a different dynamic with supporters at home and away in my opinion. And that isn't just restricted to Everton.

Goodison can rock like no other place on its day. But when it is flat, like last week, the energy is sapped if the performance isn't there.

When you are away, the atmosphere is rocking, even when we go behind and, on Saturday, when Brentford, equalised, it didn't stop.

But it all comes down to the performance and effort. The season before last, I was stood in the same away end and there was a very toxic atmosphere and many waved the players away as they attempted to come over.

Yesterday, the players responded to the supporters and the supporters responded to the players.

Peter Moore
10 Posted 25/09/2023 at 16:38:08
Loved reading that! Thanks Danny!

Massive thanks also to every blue there, you must have been a massive help to the team. I watched on tele and the support was immense all game. The lads did not let you down.

So many players seemed to find form in this match and claim a starting berth, in Garner's case.

May this be the start of a new birth where we are looking upwards again.


Neil Copeland
11 Posted 25/09/2023 at 16:55:04
Danny, a good summary of the game and the support, enjoyed reading it, thanks.

The away support is always vociferous and I often enjoy away games more than home. Our players stepped up and the support and team were well motivated by each other throughout the game. There was a real air of defiance throughout and only one outcome as a result.

Replicate that performance on and off the pitch and we will do okAY. Consistency is the key now and we really need to build on it against Luton and then onto the next game.

The cup game at Villa is less important of course but I agree with you that it would be very nice to lift that trophy sometime soon. I see that the Villa fans are objecting to the ticket pricing and have around 18,000 unsold. Seems like a great opportunity beckons to me with an estimated 6,500 passionate blues roaring the team on.

Anyway back to the game at Brentford, it was good to see you there as always. I haven't come down yet and looking forward to Villa and then Luton and meet up with Mike G plus the usual crowd.


Rob Halligan
12 Posted 25/09/2023 at 17:00:02
Neil, it does seem a bit odd that Villa have increased the ticket pricing for this game. I guess, like me and Danny, your ticket was £32.50, whereas the league game was £30. A blooper by Villa if they have thousands of unsold tickets due to the prices.
Joe McMahon
13 Posted 25/09/2023 at 17:15:45
Danny, I've love your enthusiasm. I'm looking forward to your posts come the day we make Champions League group stages or even win something. Let's hope we are all still alive!

Keep em coming regardless.

Neil Copeland
14 Posted 25/09/2023 at 17:33:40
Rob, the ticket pricing took me by surprise too. I expected them to be more like £20-25 given the competition. As you say, looking like a major cock up by Villa.
Danny O’Neill
15 Posted 25/09/2023 at 19:27:17
Strange move by Villa. If they don't want them, I think we could take a few thousand off their hands.
Peter Moore
16 Posted 25/09/2023 at 19:28:21
A mistake by Villa by sounds of it. Hopefully we can shove it right up em on Wednesday. Would be great to avenge the virtual no show by our lads in the league game embarrassment. UTFT!
Jim Lloyd
17 Posted 25/09/2023 at 19:34:44
A great report, Danny, and it was great listening to you lot out-singing Brentford all through the match.

I thought there were only two Men of the Match. That was the team, and the supporters. Absolutely a joy to watch and to listen to.

I think it's a two-way firing up. When the team give the supporters and the supporters give to the opposition have got us all to try and outdo.

Michael, it wasn't us supporters were firing blanks. I think Arsenal last Sunday took every opportunity to quieten and frustrate us, the supporters. And it worked.

How long it took them to take their throw, collapse, as though they'd been poleaxed. or roll around as though in agony, then after a couple of minutes, limp away for two or three steps, then run as though nothing had happened. What do they call it? Professionalism; I call it cheating.

Michael Kenrick
18 Posted 25/09/2023 at 22:19:39
Thanks for your reply, Danny.

I know the away fans are up for it and are desperate to see a good performance. But let's face it, be honest… how often does that occur?

And those poor performances are then happening in spite of the supporters' efforts. So many games show that they are in fact powerless to change the way the team plays.

Jim says the Arsenal tactics silenced the Everton home fans. I think the way Everton played gave the home fans nothing to get behind. And sadly I think, when that happens, the game is lost and there is nothing the fans can do to change it.

I realise these hard truths go against the fondly held myth of the so-called 12th Man… so maybe it's better left unsaid?

Rob Hooton
19 Posted 25/09/2023 at 23:28:30
Danny, a great report – you summed up the evening beautifully.

It was great to see you before the game, and to meet your son and big Rob H, who didn't disappoint – what a guy! A great spot for a couple of pre-match pints on a balmy Saturday September afternoon.

My dad and I were a couple of blocks to the left of the blues support, you certainly rocked the stadium and were immense. A thoroughly deserved win, there was great unity between the players and fans. Onwards and upwards, UTFT!!

John Pendleton
20 Posted 25/09/2023 at 00:34:11
Michael, the 12th Man thing, if it worked more of the time, we'd be consistently top half.

Our 12th Man is more of an emergency service – magnificently getting us out of the shit against Palace and Bournemouth – but refusing to attend the calls of non-life-threatening results such as Fulham, Wolves.

Neil Tyrrell
21 Posted 26/09/2023 at 00:40:30
I thought the "both barrels" comment referred to the team getting booed off if perceived they didn't give their all. And rightfully so.

Great report as usual, Danny, couldn't be happier for our traveling support enjoying a day like that. Agree with the player ratings you pointed out, especially Mykolenko who catches some shit on here but defensively has been excellent. Given a run of games he and McNeil might even form a good partnership going forward down the left, let's see what happens.

Christine Foster
22 Posted 25/09/2023 at 01:35:40

I think you're right in that the performance of the team sets the tone of response of the crowd at Goodison and frankly that is where the teams tactics come into play.

I have mentioned "front-foot football" a few times over recent months and it does have an important part to play in every game. Oppositions often (used?) to comment on how difficult it was coming to the bear pit at Goodison, because of the intimidating crowd: in short, it puts them on the back foot, they make the mistakes.

Chicken and egg situation..

Mike Gaynes
23 Posted 26/09/2023 at 01:35:56
Danny, on that goal-line scramble it actually wasn't Tarkowski who cleared off the line... it was Dom! And then he saved Doucoure's life by preventing him from falling on his head in the goal celebration. Top D by DCL.

Great report, and it sounds like you didn't get Robbed of a good time!

Danny O’Neill
24 Posted 26/09/2023 at 06:25:21
It may well have been Mike. Tarkowski was like the Sergeant Major rallying the troops. He also made a vital block and almost smashed into the post (he may have done) and even got a goal kick from it.

I see what you've done there!

Safe travels.

Mark Murphy
25 Posted 26/09/2023 at 06:47:12
I think the “both barrels” is referring back to the same fixture under Benitez when the players started to come over at the end but we, as one, told them to fuck off, even Seamus.

On that occasion, we blamed the players but it was different a short time later at Norwich when it was Benitez who received the full force of our wrath.

Tony Abrahams
26 Posted 26/09/2023 at 08:04:54
I disagree with both Jim and Michael to a degree about the Arsenal performance not helping our crowd, but maybe I just look into things differently sometimes.

I remember when Allardyce was our manager and playing his boring negative football with our only forward not really benefiting from the lack of creativity in midfield. I used to scratch my head and think – surely you have played against and managed enough teams in this stadium to know how important the crowd are to Everton? Get another up front and start playing the ball forward, surely you must know that this will get the crowd involved?

Arteta was full of beans after the game saying how much his team's performance quietened the crowd, and this made me think that, although he played for Everton for a few years, he doesn't quite understand what is happening to Everton, and how this can affect the fabric of the crowd.

The streets around Goodison seemed flat before the game and, although the defensive performance didn't help, the crowd was flat from the outset, with everyone seemingly having a major downer on the news that 777 Partners were about to take over our club.

The Evertonians have definitely helped keep their club up twice, (blue smoke seen as far away as Wales against Palace, the noise that greeted Doucouré's winner against Bournemouth, was actually heard on the other side of the River Mersey) but they seemed demoralized by this news about 777 Partners and this definitely affected the crowd.

I wrote about this after the game, thinking that if Everton struggle again, then I'm not sure the fans have the stomach for another fight, because that's how it felt at the Arsenal game, but hopefully Dyche realizes how absolutely massive an Everton victory would be tomorrow, because Goodison will be a fantastic place to be on Saturday afternoon…

Michael Kenrick
27 Posted 26/09/2023 at 08:41:26
Some good points there, Tony.

I must confess I was talking more generally and hadn't considered the impact of so much doom-laden nonsense on the tender psyche of yer average Evertonian in the form of the hugely negative speculation about 777 Partners.

I thought it was just stupid click-bait nonsense and really pathetic tabloid journalism at its best but the possibility that it – through its effect on so many in the crowd (and maybe even the players coaches and manager despite Dyche's attempts to keep things 'normal') – may have been a root cause of our poor showing and ultimate loss to Arsenal is really sobering.

Danny O’Neill
28 Posted 26/09/2023 at 09:38:25
Mark, I thought that Benitez Brentford match was bad, but at Norwich it was venomous. That was the final nail

Michael, Tony,

I'd agree. It's been an emotional couple of years. We could say decades, but these past few seasons have tested us to the limit. Even the most optimistic of us can sometimes feel sapped. But come matchday, I always pick myself up.

It was flat around Goodison before the Arsenal match. You could feel the apprehension.

But Brentford was totally different. When the supporters and players connect like that, there is only one outcome.

I often hear a chant, mostly at the away matches, about the Tories.

Delete Tories and insert Geordies.

They have nothing on us.

Rob Halligan
29 Posted 26/09/2023 at 10:20:57
Is right, Danny. Sky sports fawning all over them this morning. The last major trophy they was won a whopping 53 years ago. Another to come under the “Big club my arse” umbrella!
Mark Murphy
30 Posted 26/09/2023 at 12:37:48
Rob, do you mean the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup???
Tony Abrahams
31 Posted 26/09/2023 at 14:27:13
Everton - Liverpool- City & United, Arsenal-Spurs - Newcastle- Sunderland-Villa & Leeds are all big clubs imo, and I would probably add Chelsea to that list, with the Hammers on the fringes, but everyone will have their own opinion, with quite a few saying that I am talking shite!
Mike Doyle
32 Posted 26/09/2023 at 15:41:15
Tony #31,

I suspect age comes into it when compiling such a list. I tend to agree with yours (though West Ham might be pushing it a bit).

A couple of my colleagues, in their mid-30s (Ipswich & Palace fans), reckon the big clubs are.

Man Utd, Man City, Arsenal, Liverpool & Chelsea.

Essentially it boils down to clubs anyone of a certain age can remember winning things. We don't make their list, Spurs don't – Newcastle, Sunderland, Villa and Leeds – not a chance!

Stephen Vincent
33 Posted 26/09/2023 at 17:02:07
Rob, # 29,

I lived just outside Newcastle for a little while and used to get the piss taken out of me unmercifully about the size of the Old Lady. I always pointed out that Newcastle was a larger city than Liverpool population wise and that if Liverpool was a one club city (God forbid), we would need a stadium larger than Wembley to accommodate everyone.

They wouldn't have it though. They absolutely hate us and I can never get to the bottom of why.

Dennis Stevens
34 Posted 26/09/2023 at 17:11:20
The irony, Stephen, is that they only exceeded the capacity of Goodison back in '98. Prior to that expansion the capacity at St James was less than 37,000, I think.
Barry Hesketh
35 Posted 26/09/2023 at 17:13:25
I think there's been a difference made between what we might call a 'big' club and a for want of a better word a 'super' club, since the inception of the Premier League. Chelsea, both Manchester clubs, Arsenal, possibly Spurs and the bores are incredibly powerful, both in terms of finance and influence.

The other traditional big-hitters, such as Everton, Aston Villa, Newcastle, Sunderland et al remain big clubs but not on the scale of the others I mentioned above.

Everton, Newcastle and Aston Villa could become super clubs but it will take a very long time, and huge investment, for any of them to join that 'super' club bracket.

Ray Roche
36 Posted 26/09/2023 at 17:36:59
Rob, Dennis, Stephen etc.

If any Skunks fans start getting gobby, ask them how many ‘Toon Army' (ha!) fans remember them being Champions? Answer. None. They'll all be dead.

Sure, there may be fossils still alive who were alive then, too, but any with any proper memory? No chance! Christ, George V was king!

Stephen Vincent
37 Posted 26/09/2023 at 17:58:03
Dennis #35, I had not realised that, just looked it up and the capacity was 36,610 until 1998.

I knew that they had unsuccessfully applied to build a new ground on the park next door but that local residents had defeated the plan as it is Common Land owned by the Freemen of Newcastle.

I will file that for future discussions.

Dennis Stevens
38 Posted 26/09/2023 at 18:10:23
Aye, Rob. The Skunks League success makes Spurs look like recent Champions, as they did the double a mere 62 years ago - at least it was post-War!
Rob Halligan
39 Posted 26/09/2023 at 18:13:12
Mark #30…

You're right, that was the last trophy of note that they won. The last domestic trophy they won was the FA Cup in 1955 (I think), 68 years ago, and as Ray # 37 points out, the last time they won the league was 1927, a massive 96 years ago, so there won't be a person alive on this planet who will remember that.

Most deluded fans on this planet… Second load of gobshites after the RS gobshites.

Danny O’Neill
40 Posted 26/09/2023 at 18:14:48
Stephen, I never correct your wisdom, especially when we meet, but Liverpool's population is roughly twice the size of Newcastle.

I remember going to St James Park in the late 80s and being stood on crumbling terracing underneath one of those temporary scaffold like stands that you sometimes see at golf courses.

Open terracing to my right and an open terrace at the Galllowgate end. Since revisiting, the only recognisable stand was the only one they had which was to my left and is when we are up with the gods when we visit now after walking up those countless steps.

I'll be at Villa Park tomorrow night, one of my favourite grounds. What they have done is impressive. The renovation of the Trinity Road Stand the now Doug Ellis Stand that once resembled something akin to Leicester's Filbert Street. And the impressive Hotle End that used to be an uncovered terrace.

On to Bramley-Moore Dock.

Fair credit. Goodison still looks like the Goodison of my youth apart from the seats and the Park End.

Jay Harris
41 Posted 26/09/2023 at 18:21:55
I seem to remember Goodison holding over 78,000 for a league game and over 81,000 for a non league game in the 60s, which is why a lot of us can't understand BMD only having a capacity of 52,000.

I can't understand the love-in with Spurs who have won next to nothing since the '60s and were consistently below us when Moyes was in charge.

The only clubs that could arguably be called big clubs are Man City, Man Utd, Arsenal and them with us and Villa trailing behind.

Even Chelsea are recent newcomers to the elite and cannot yet be called a big club imo.

Dennis Stevens
42 Posted 26/09/2023 at 18:37:19
That's a good point, Jay. I think the record attendance at Goodison Park is about 10k more than St James' Park.
Rob Halligan
43 Posted 26/09/2023 at 18:38:08
In a little over 12 months time, we will also have a bigger stadium capacity than Skunks Stadium. Their capacity is 52,305, so we will have over 500 more than them.
Dennis Stevens
44 Posted 26/09/2023 at 19:00:16
Aye, Rob. Thankfully, such petty matters are of no concern to us! ;-)
John McFarlane Snr
45 Posted 26/09/2023 at 19:04:30
Hi Jay [42],

The only time Goodison was attended by more than 78,000 (78,299) was in the 1948 League game against Liverpool; there have only been four other occasions when the attendance was higher than 70,000.

Barry Rathbone
46 Posted 26/09/2023 at 19:09:59
Jay 42

I think the attendance figures from another century are dead and gone.

The game of the masses is now, for want of a better phrase, a game for the middle classes. The cost of a day out at a footy match is eye-watering once you chuck in travel, food and drink. Add in virtually every game is televised and the group actually attending has shrunk.

Yes, the tourist trade has increased but you can't depend on those ghouls, week-in & week-out. In addition, an entire generation has turned its back on Everton, either opting for the other side or just binning footy in toto.

I can see why the club swerved building a truly huge stadium as it's very likely we wouldn't consistently fill it.

Bill Gall
47 Posted 26/09/2023 at 19:24:35
Hi John Snr,

Yes, John, and I was at one of them in December 1960 against Burnley who we had played 3 or 4 days before and I was crushed more at their ground than I was at the Gwladys Street end of Goodison Park. I think there was about 73 or 74,000 that day at Goodison. I believe it was around Christmas time.
Neil Copeland
48 Posted 26/09/2023 at 19:46:54
Talking of big clubs, if the number of league titles won is used as the definition then Sunderland are a bigger club than Newcastle. They have also won it more recently and have won the FA Cup more recently too.
George McKane
49 Posted 26/09/2023 at 19:47:45
Bill - - it was Boxing Day - - I think because I was in Gwladys Street using my Christmas Money (rather than the Pen) - - the tannoy announced that because of the crowd youngsters could sit around the edge of the pitch - - I got passed down - - if I recall we got beat 3 -1 - - in those days you would play a locals(ish) team at Christmas and Easter home and away - - humans planning the fixtures - - not like now.
Good luck everyone - - Cosmic Blue Grooves All the Way.
Les Callan
50 Posted 26/09/2023 at 19:54:19
I think we beat them at their place on Boxing Day. Next day, they stuffed us 3-0 at Goodison with 75,000 in the ground.
Rob Halligan
51 Posted 26/09/2023 at 20:00:59
Neil, does anyone actually remember Newcastle winning anything?
Dave Abrahams
52 Posted 26/09/2023 at 20:03:27
John (45), Are you referring to league games only when saying there are just four games after the record attendance have been over 70,000?
John McFarlane Snr
53 Posted 26/09/2023 at 20:10:23
Hi Bill [48],

Everton played Burnley at Turf Moor on Monday 26 December 1960 winning 3-1, and at Goodison on Tuesday 27 December, losing 3-0. I was present at both games, and I didn't know until after the Goodison game, that Jimmy McIlroy had left the field following a tackle by Billy Bingham, I was in the paddock some distance from the incident.

I have just discovered a mistake in one of my books, it appears that the Burnley game was watched by 74,867 my post should now read, ''There have only been five other occasions when the attendance was higher than 70,000''.

Dennis Stevens
54 Posted 26/09/2023 at 20:10:38
According to the excellent, there are 16 Everton matches with attendances over 70k at Goodison, 9 in Division 1 & 7 in the Cup.
Ray Roche
55 Posted 26/09/2023 at 20:18:53
I remember being in Goodison on several occasions when there were 70k+ in the ground. As George says, we'd play other Lancashire sides around Christmas, and Liverpool was in Lancashire in those days.

You'd get extraordinary results over the Christmas period. Win away, get truly battered at home the next day. Games against Blackburn, Bolton, Burnley, even Blackpool, Wolves and Spurs were all-ticket affairs.

Me Dad would send me Mam to the Liverpool Stadium to queue for tickets when there was a big cup game, Lancashire derby or game against the other lot. The Stadium was a ticket ‘outlet' as was Jack Sharps sports shop in Whitechapel. How things, and life, have changed.

John McFarlane Snr
56 Posted 26/09/2023 at 20:28:44
Hi Dave [52],

There is one FA Cup game, the victory over Manchester United in 1953, 77,920. I'm sure that you will have read my response to Bill [47].

If you're going to the Harlech on Saturday we'll no doubt have a memory or two to recall.

Don Alexander
57 Posted 26/09/2023 at 20:36:30
Rob (#51), the 1969 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup!
Stephen Vincent
59 Posted 26/09/2023 at 20:50:12
Danny #40, Don't want to be pedantic but a study by The Centre for Cities has Newcastle at no. 4 with a population of 853,000 and Liverpool at no. 9 with 640,000.

I suppose it depends on where the city boundaries are taken. Technically I don't live in Liverpool but if the house was on the other side of the road I would be in Liverpool.

Paul Ferry
60 Posted 26/09/2023 at 20:56:31
Stephen Vincent (37): “I will file that for future discussions”. Please don’t Stephen. With respect Dennis (34), your post/observation/argument sums up for me one of the reasons why we have sunk so far and cling to the past like a fridge magnet to our cost.

I have loathing bordering on disgust for Newcastle FC and deep loathing for Spurs. I love one team, us, and I am very proud to be an Evertonian and of our lustrous history that can reduce me to streams of tears.

The “irony” in Dennis’s post is that in today’s world it is a huge own goal. Why are we – using the parlance of the way this thread has turned – “bigger” than Newcastle? Erm, because it was only a quarter-of-a-century ago that the capacity of their ground topped ours. On that score, we will reverse the pain of the last twenty-five years because at this point our new ground will open its doors to 583 more supporters than St. James on the hill (although the plans are to expand the home of the skunks).

We are “bigger” than Newcastle on the headcount score/numbers game because it was only twenty-five years ago that their ground became bigger than ours.

History?! I’m actually a professional historian by training/profession and I live it most minutes of my waking life. But if we continually use history as a marker of what makes a club “big” in 2023 then we are, quite frankly, at best well-intentioned and passionate or at worse, deluded. Kenwright – who I might loathe more than Newcastle or Spurs – lives in the past. It is all he has. He calls it the “good times”. His “vision” of Everton in the present and future is the past.

How about comparing the development of us and Newcastle since 1998 with historian Kenwright as the one common denominator in our decision-making circles for thirty-four years now?

Today, this minute, we are a long way behind Newcastle and it seems to be getting longer with each passing day. They have disappeared around the corner and left us behind from a position where we were without any shadow of a doubt more geared to success. What matters for “big” in the cold light of the Premier League day is not history. What matters for “big” today is a well-run and staffed boardroom, financial savvy administrators, deep deep pockets, well-costed and forward-looking strategies, top-drawer recruitment, proper reinvestment, size of support (yes but that’s not as important), commercial know-how, top-notch facilities, top-drawer marketing, cut-and-thrust economics, and so on and so on (I could go on).

We (historian Kenwright and company) have allowed ourselves to fall far behind Newcastle on most of these fronts. In a nutshell, Newcastle FC on 26 September 2023 are more geared and set up for success in the Premier League (and all the financial and commercial trappings that run hand-in-hand with that) than we are. So, by the way, are Chelsea, Spurs, them, Arsenal, both Manchester clubs, the faint shadows of a case are even slightly visible on the south coast at Brighton, and Villa look more likely than us right now to take a seat at the high table.

I fecking hate this with every bone and breath in my body. I know, instinctively that we are a greater club than any one of those shithouses because, well, I know and feel it, I’m lucky, I’m an Evertonian. But then the curtain starts to lift. That equal shithouse reality opens its fetid and mephitic gob and starts to speak and it seeps in like sewer water. We mock the Sky four, five, or six because we are not one of them.

History is not enough. Some Johnny-come-Lately mischievous iconoclast with pockets as cavernous as the challenger deep might even say that history does not matter one jot. I say this as someone who makes a living from doing history. History does not really matter for what it really means to be Premier League “big “today. I am a historian who does not deal only with the past, and that, respectfully, is one of the dangers on this thread.

I enjoy having a swipe at the laughing-stock that is Chelsea this week or the nervy balance sheets of some of the so-called “big” players. But we can’t have it both ways. History-loving Kenwright with his head in the past and/or the lightweight frivolous missing Monegasque are rightfully lambasted and lampooned and hung out to dry on here for running our club into the ground. We still have that astonishing support at Brentford but fuck me we are struggling, not quite drowning rather than waving, but struggling. We are in a state that some call “terminal” – not me – or in need of extensive surgery but we are still “big” today.

Let’s sit on both sides of the fence. That’s why, respectfully, I find Dennis’s 1998 point a tad embarrassing and why I find, respectfully, Jay mocking Chelsea for being “recent newcomers” also a tad embarrassing. Abramovich took over Chelsea more than two decades ago: that is 64.5% of the lifetime of the Premier League and 14.8% of the lifetime of the “first division”.

We have a great and “big” history. I love to bask in it. But we have not won anything since 1995: 20.7% of the lifetime of the “first division”. There can be no doubt, it’s obvious to anyone with a bluenose or open mind, we have greater histories than Newcastle, Spurs, Chelsea, and yes Manchester City (ish). I. laugh along with the best of them - and some of the best of them are on this thread – at the empty trophy cabinets and histories of some clubs who are, however, better placed than us on this particular day in time to succeed in the lofty sporting and commercial Valhallas of the Premier League today.

I’m sorry if I have offended anyone and for going on for so long (forgive me, I’m a pedantic so-called “academic”). Can we become “big”, “bigger”, and “biggest” in contemporary terms? Of course we fecking can if all the right cards fall into place. Are we “big” in historical terms? Of course we fecking are, why would you even ask!. It’s a given. Our tradition is second to none. But things historical and contemporary can be two quite different things. We are on the right side of history but on the wrong side of the here and now if by that we mean poised to succeed in becoming not a one-hit wonder like Leicester but a permanent principal Premier League force.

Personally, I don’t think that “big” is the right word because we are “big” in so many respects. Maybe we ought to use a mouthful of words like “established Premier League footy and commercial top-dogs”.

But I still believe deeply in what we can become and what we are and represent although we need to work on the “are” part of things a little. The most consistent thing in my life has been my life-long love for our wonderful inconsistent club.

And now I will stop tapping and fret about any responses that I might get to this post that comes from the right place.

Dave Abrahams
61 Posted 26/09/2023 at 21:00:36
John (56), I think there are a couple more cup games which had attendances over 70,000 John, Charlton in the fog, Blackburn when I think we lost 2-1 just off the top of my head.

Anyway I will trying to get to the Harlech on Saturday and we can air our views.

Dave Abrahams
62 Posted 26/09/2023 at 21:15:42
Ray (55) I think the big queue at the Liverpool Stadium was for the first Derby league game after eleven years without them in 1962 finished 2-2 draw, I was in the queue that day.

Paul ( 60) I wouldn’t fret too much about your post, I doubt if you will get many arguments about the the way you see the situation we are in now.

Dennis Stevens
63 Posted 26/09/2023 at 21:17:26
I think you may be taking it all a little bit too much to heart, Paul. My comments are intended to be a little tongue in cheek - banteresque, perhaps.

Any football club might be lucky & win a cup or two, or even have a remarkably good season & win the League - as Leicester City did fairly recently. However, I think we all know that any success won't be sustained if the club is badly run as a business.

Equally, I'm sure we all know that our Club has been badly run for a long, long time & it's no surprise that this should coincide with our longest trophy drought ever. Hence the jibes at the comparative length of time since other Clubs last won the League.

Newcastle United massively under-achieved for decades & were renowned for being somewhat of a basket case of a club. The irony won't be lost on Evertonians that our Club has been going in the opposite direction as a business.

The sad thing is that the opportunity to run the Club well has been squandered by the current owner, ably abetted by his Chairman, & we're now in a worse state than ever.

We have no idea what the future holds & we can do little more than watch from the sidelines with our fingers crossed.

Dennis Stevens
64 Posted 26/09/2023 at 21:19:52
Re 70k + attendances, fyi:

1948-49 Sep 18 1948 Div 1 Liverpool D 1-1 78,299
1952-53 Feb 14 1953 FAC 5 Man Utd W 2-1 77,920
1954-55 Aug 28 1954 Div 1 Preston W 1-0 76,839
1957-58 Jan 29 1958 FAC 4 Blackburn L 1-2 75,818
1954-55 Dec 27 1954 Div 1 Wolves W 3-2 75,322
1960-61 Dec 27 1960 Div 1 Burnley L 0-3 74,867
1958-59 Jan 28 1959 FAC 4R Charlton W 4-1 74,782
1949-50 Feb 11 1950 FAC 5 Tottenham W 1-0 72,921
1947-48 Jan 31 1948 FAC 4R Wolves W 3-2 72,569
1962-63 Sep 22 1962 Div 1 Liverpool D 2-2 72,488
1954-55 Jan 29 1955 FAC 4 Liverpool L 0-4 72,000
1957-58 Sep 4 1957 Div 1 Man Utd D 3-3 71,868
1947-48 Feb 14 1948 FAC 5R Fulham L 0-1 71,587
1950-51 Sep 16 1950 Div 1 Liverpool L 1-3 71,150
1949-50 Apr 7 1950 Div 1 Blackpool W 3-0 71,088
1949-50 Aug 27 1949 Div 1 Liverpool D 0-0 70,812

Stephen Vincent
65 Posted 26/09/2023 at 21:23:46
Paul, I'm taking my Grandson to his first game at Goodison on Saturday, he is 8. He doesn't think of Everton as a big club at all, they are just a team that the majority of his family talk about passionately and he is excited to be going. But the only way to get him excited is by telling him about our history.

I know we dwell on it far too much and our whole persona is based on history - Grand Old Team, Marching Down the Goodison Road, We hate Bill Shankly, Z Cars etc. I long to be able to take my Grandson to a game that is full of tension for positive reasons and not negative ones, games that will create a new history for a new generation.

Right now if we don't talk about the past we won't have a future.

John Snr. mentioned a Burnley game, my Christmas present that year were tickets for the 2 games, the one at Turf Moor was my first away game. 61 years ago this week I was at a Derby at Goodison in front of almost 73,000. A 2-2 draw and I can remember like it was yesterday the absolute despair when Roy Vernon had a goal disallowed after 30 seconds.

My Grandson doesn't think that 70,000 crowds are anything special because Man Utd have them every home game, he doesn't care who is first on match of the day because he has already watched all the highlights on his 'phone.

So I'm praying that the Old Lady doesn't let me down at the weekend and that the atmosphere is something he will never forget.

Ray Roche
66 Posted 26/09/2023 at 21:27:48
Wasn’t the Stadium used regularly for the sale of tickets? I’m sure me Mam went more than once. And not always with a happy heart.
I was also at the 2-2 game, I couldn’t sleep for a week beforehand because I was so nervous. Didn’t we lose at home to Blackburn 3-2 or 4-3,to end a long run of home games without defeat? And we bought big Fred Pickering shortly afterwards after he scored a hat trick against us? He was a converted full back who was thrown up front in an emergency and scored quite freely.
Stephen Vincent
67 Posted 26/09/2023 at 21:28:16
Am I right in remembering that there were several times in the late 60's early 70's when Everton and RS played FA Cup ties both at home on the same day at the same time and the total attendances were over 100,000?
Paul Ferry
68 Posted 26/09/2023 at 21:30:36
Have a wonderful day on Saturday Stephen. That will be a proud moment for all concerned. I think that we do have more than history on our side right now and also that there is nothing wrong at all in basking in our history and what it means.
Dave Abrahams
69 Posted 26/09/2023 at 21:34:36
I was at most of those games Dennis, missed the two cup games v Wolves and Fulham in 1948 and the league game vWolves in 1954 when BillybWright got carried off with concussion, I was locked out that day but stayed and listened to the roars of the crowd, I think Dave Hickson got one or two goals that day.

The 3-3 draw against Man.Unt. was a midweek night game, sadly the last time we would see the Busby Babes at Goodison, the Munich disaster happened later in that season. The 3-0 win v Blackpool was on a Good Friday and the 1-0 win over Preston was our first home game after promotion from Div. two followed by a win on the Wednesday night v Arsenal when the attendance was just short of 70,000, only 69,000 and a few hundred turned up for that game!!

John McFarlane Snr
70 Posted 26/09/2023 at 21:35:35
Hi Dave [61] you are correct in both instances, I was serving in Cyprus at that time, it just goes to show that you can't believe everything you read. I have no doubt that if I had been at home I would have been at the game, but a couple of thousand miles, and two years away from home has robbed me of some memories.
Paul Ferry
71 Posted 26/09/2023 at 21:38:22
Dave A, were there ever any serious injuries and/or God forbid fatalities at any of those matches? The Street and Park Ends seemed like seething and rolling and rocking masses of humanity in the 1970s with some genuinely dodgy moments for teenage me.
Dave Abrahams
72 Posted 26/09/2023 at 21:41:10
Ray (66), I’m not sure how often the Stadium was used to sell the football tickets but that’s the one I remember because of being there but there might have been other occasionsRay, but you are correct about Blackburn beating us and Pickering scored two or three goals in a 4-2 defeat (?) I think Fred scored three but I’m not absolutely sure of that.
Duncan McDine
73 Posted 26/09/2023 at 21:51:45
Stephen (65), Saturday's experience will hopefully be one to remember for the young lad.

I first took my 2 girls to Goodison when they were 5 and 6 and they haven't stopped nagging me to take them again! Just a shame that tickets are so hard to come by home or away.

They're a bit gutted that I'm not taking them with me to Villa Park tomorrow, but it'd be past their bedtime!!

Dave Abrahams
74 Posted 26/09/2023 at 22:02:59
Paul (71) No Paul I can’t recall any serious injuries at the games in those days but it is amazing looking back that there wasn’t any because there was little concern over safety at the grounds going in or coming out when there would be plenty of crushing going on during the games and coming out of them, serious crushes when at Hillsborough for the replayed League Cup Final, very scary and also at Molynuex when I went to see Liverpool ( get beat, but they never) in the final league of the season, that was really bad with one big gate forced open and a toilet window smashed in which allowed loads to gain entry into the ground, me and my Red nose mate got over the wall onto the pitch and blagged our way, when stopped by a bizzie, around to the side of the pitch and jumped into the stands and safety.
Chris Hockenhull
75 Posted 26/09/2023 at 22:15:40
Dave (72). You are correct. My late dad took me and it was my first ever game- 1963. We signed Pickering in the following spring All excited for the following day I had a solo kick about after I got home from school Friday night only to misdirect my shot not against the wall but through the huge picture window in the living room. Never was able to go the Notts Forest game the next day due to dad having to fork out for a very large piece of glass and spend all day fitting it. Gutted when Sports Report gave the news at 5pm we’d scored 6 and Fred had marked his debut with a hat trick!!!!
Ray Robinson
76 Posted 26/09/2023 at 22:33:56
Yes, Stephen #67, you are right but I think it was eventually opposed by the police who were under resourced. Of course, there was the famous FA Cup game in 1967 when 65,000 were at Goodison for the live game while 40,000 plus watched the game on the big screens at Anfield. There would have been more at Anfield but the capacity was limited due to the screens not visible being from all parts of the stadium.

One of the biggest crowds I have ever been in at Goodison was the midweek FA Cup replay versus Wolves when there were officially 62,000 plus in the stadium plus another several thousand who had entered the Gwladys Street end when the doors were broken down. Fans were cascading down the terraces and spilling over the arc cut out behind the goal.

Dave #72, Pickering scored a hat trick in the 4-2 win for Blackburn. I was at that one too.

In those days, I had moved to Ellesmere Port and used to buy my tickets from a shop /agency in Bromborough!

Don Alexander
77 Posted 26/09/2023 at 22:36:41
Mark (#58) CLEARLY……LEE……..LEE…….LEE!!!


Paul Ferry
78 Posted 26/09/2023 at 23:09:11
Thanks Dave, that's astonishing and something to be deeply grateful for.
Don Alexander
79 Posted 26/09/2023 at 23:53:41
Paul, when I were a lad the crash barriers at each end of many/all grounds were places where if you ended up leaning forward on one of them you risked a neck crush with potentially horrible consequences.

'Elf an' Safety was unknown – we all prayed for sufficient common-sense from the adults there.

Somehow I'm still alive!

Paul Ferry
80 Posted 27/09/2023 at 04:42:26
I remember that rush and crush Don and some narrow scrapes and achey ribs. The Street/Park End was chaos at times and those lads on the poles/posts/barriers did not do us any favours.
Danny O’Neill
81 Posted 27/09/2023 at 09:24:57
Stephen, I'll be pedantic back. That is the metropolitan area. If we measure Liverpool in that sense, it is just shy of 920,000!

See you at the next one mate and we can debate!! Hear is to the blues giving your Grandson a great day on his blue Christening.

As it entered the discussion, and I've mentioned this before, but the worst crush I witnessed was at Barnsley away in the FA Cup. Does anyone remember that one?

I think it was 1989. It was horrible. My middle brother and I were right up against the barrier and he was close to passing out. A few of us somehow made enough space and he was passed down over the crowd semi-conscious along with many others and lifted over the fencing.

Fortunately that day, the Police sensed the danger and opened the gates to relieve the pressure and I was able to get to him. There were supporters sat alongside the pitch having suffered a pretty horrific ordeal being treated by the Police and St Andrews. I'll always remember Neville Southall turning to look with concern.

Ironically, it was only a few weeks before Hillsborough and I don't exaggerate, but we came close that day. The parallels still make me reflect. We had the whole end but the majority congregated in the central pen, with it being more spread out to the left and right.

Another one was a Derby at Goodison in the mid 80s. In my usual spot just behind the ledge in the Gwladys Street behind the goal, there was no room to move or lift your hands. Packed in like Sardines.

Ray Roche
82 Posted 27/09/2023 at 09:41:58
The midweek Wolves match, wasn’t it a replay after a 1-1 draw at Molyneux? Played just 3/4 days after the first game. (How come the police didn’t need ten day’s notice in those days? Especially now with electronic ticketing etc. Just asking. )
It was dangerous that night though, Glwadys St was as full as I ever saw it. How people weren’t seriously injured Heaven knows.
Brian Harrison
83 Posted 27/09/2023 at 09:45:25
Like Dave I have been inside Goodison with over 70,000 in the ground but that wasn't the most amazing fact. Remember at that time it was pay at the gate and the turnstile attendant had to give you change if you didn't have the right money. I don't remember any bad crushes in Goodison and certainly no serious injury to anybody.
They were great days not only because Everton had some great teams in that period, but the talk was about the players, not the owner or cash flows or any of the things that today are part of the everyday discussion at clubs. No MOTD the only way you could watch the great players was at the stadium. You could walk round the ground in those days so you could watch the 1st half from the Park end and the 2nd half from Gwladys street, there were no lower stands in those days.
Although fans were just as passionate about their clubs as the fans are today, there wasn't that tribalism back then, that crept into our game in the 70s. Thankfully a lot of the hooliganism isn't there although there are still flare ups with certain sets of supporters so hasnt gone away completely.
Dave Abrahams
84 Posted 27/09/2023 at 09:48:17
Don (79),

Yes, I learned after a couple of experiences of leaning onto the crash barriers to always stand in front of them, they protected and saved me. Mind you, God help me if the crash barriers had given way, thankfully they never did.

Dave Abrahams
85 Posted 27/09/2023 at 10:01:28
Ray 82) ,

Yes, that replay came after the draw at Molyneux where Gordon West saved us in the last few minutes with an astonishing save. We signed Roger “Ernie” Hunt not long after those two matches.

Brian (83) explains the huge crowds those days when they were pay at the gate and that made you go early to get in and get a good speck. That good speck decreased as the crowds increased, not too bad on the ledge at Gwladys Street but always uncomfortable on The Kop. As I got older, I always preferred the relative comfort of the stands.

Mark Murphy
86 Posted 27/09/2023 at 14:59:22
Danny, I was at Barnsley – second worst I've ever experienced.

The worst was at Burnden Park after the league cup semi-final second leg in 1977. The crush to get out was horrific at the end and I was pinned against a floodlight pylon (no pun intended). I thought I was a goner but several older guys formed a ring around me and pushed back. I lost at least two pairs of specs in the Gwladys Street in the '70s – and a shoe!

I was also at Villa Park the same day as Hillsboro and there but for the grace of God, as they say. We also stayed in the pub until just before kick off and there was also a massive crush to get into the ground. The difference, luckily for us, was the absence of those horrible pens that were at Hillsboro.

Paul Ferry
87 Posted 27/09/2023 at 18:06:54
Yep that Barnsley game was a couple of months before Hillsborough and we saw a different reaction from the South Yorkshire force that evening that makes me even more angry at what happened in Sheffield. Very much the same issues inside the gound, as Danny says, though not outside if memory serves. It was a horrible night all round except for Sharpies goal. The worst violence I ever saw at Marine - except for Chorley and Formby - was Barnsley in the cup at Rossett Park in winter 1975. We won 3-1 but even today I can still remember that horrible greasy tyke with sideburns like ski-slopes, yellow teeth, and a bobble hat.

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