18/01/2024 97comments  |  Jump to last

Everton's former championship-winning centre-half, John Hurst, has died aged 76 after a long illness.

A graduate of the Blues' youth system in the mid-1960s and an FA Youth Cup winner, "Gentleman Jack" was originally a forward but was converted to a defender by Harry Catterick and he partnered the legendary Brian Labone.

He had the discinction of being Everton's first ever substitute when he replaced Fred Pickering at Stoke in August 1965, played in the 1968 FA Cup Final and was ever-present during the 1969-70 title-winning season.

In all he played 404 times for the club, putting him 18th on the all-time apperance leaders list, just ahead of another of his team-mates, Gordon West. 

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When it was time to call time on a decade with the Toffees, Hurst left for Oldham Athletic but returned to his boyhood club as a coach under Joe Royle in the mid-1990s.

The pair, who played together in that 1970 championship side, remained close friends and would meet every Thursday for coffee.

In Everton Player by Player, Ivan Ponting wrote of Hurst: "The tall, leggy, centre-back possessed one of the coolest heads in football, and when pressure mounted on the Everton goal, he would be found at the centre of the storm, defusing the danger efficiently and unfussily before seeking a chance to set up the Blues’ next attack."


Reader Comments (97)

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Danny O’Neill
1 Posted 18/01/2024 at 19:33:00
God bless.

I hope the club give a fine servant a fitting memorial at the next match at Goodison.

In not hope. It should be a given. I'm sure they will.

Peter Mills
2 Posted 18/01/2024 at 19:38:13
What sad news. John was an excellent player, the first of a pair of centre-backs (with Brian Labone) to play for us, as far as I'm aware.

He was quick and strong, a great tackler and header of the ball. He scored the winning goal, with a tremendous penalty, in the 2nd leg of the FA Youth Cup final at Goodison in front of 30,000.

He also scored the first 2 goals in our Championship winning season in 1969-70, helping us to 2 wins in our first 2 games, away at Highbury and Old Trafford, a useful start to a season.

I was in his company at a function, you could not meet a more modest man.

Sincere condolences to John's family and friends.

Brent Stephens
3 Posted 18/01/2024 at 19:42:45
A really solid defender. I can't remember any showy side to him. That's a compliment.

Condolences to the family.

Michael Murphy
4 Posted 18/01/2024 at 19:43:03
Sad to hear his passing.

I was lucky to see John play many times alongside Labone, always solid and dependable, no-nonsense type that couldn't be intimidated.

Condolences to all his family & friends.

Paul Birmingham
5 Posted 18/01/2024 at 19:48:58
RIP, John Hurst, this is very sad news.

Top bloke off the pitch and a class player, and solid on the pitch.

Deepest condolences and sympathies to the Family at this terrible time.

Alan McGuffog
6 Posted 18/01/2024 at 19:55:35
A great great player. And so under valued by the clowns who picked the England teams. The partnership with Brian Labone was superb.

Comparing '67 to '71 with the shenanigans now. You could weep. I think I shall…

Mike Lawson
7 Posted 18/01/2024 at 20:01:39
So sad. John was an unsung hero of that great team that won the League in 1970. Never showy but always had a good game.

He was a player that nobody really noticed because he just did his job in such an efficient way. One of my favourite players in that team.

RIP, John.

Mark Murphy
8 Posted 18/01/2024 at 20:01:58
Really sad to hear this. My memory is a bit hazy but I'm sure I remember seeing him playing up front with the Number 10 on his back?

God's getting a decent team of Blues together up there but I wish he'd give them some more time with us first.

Paul Washington
9 Posted 18/01/2024 at 20:23:41
Condolences to his family and friends.

When me dad first started taking me to Goodison Park when I was very young, he was one of the stalwarts of the team, a real unsung hero.

God bless, John.

Gerry Quinn
10 Posted 18/01/2024 at 2024/01/18 : 20:23:58
RIP, John Hurst – fabulous player for us in the '60s and '70s.

Stephen Vincent
11 Posted 18/01/2024 at 20:25:13
Always remember him as Garth, a truly wonderful player who deserved far more praise than he received. I always thought that Labby would not have been half the player he was without John.

Rest in peace, big man; you have some great company.

Ray Roche
12 Posted 18/01/2024 at 20:25:13
Great, classy, player and a modest man. Left behind many great memories.
Condolences to his family and friends.🙏
Clive Rogers
13 Posted 18/01/2024 at 20:30:21
A top player and, as Alan says, vastly under-rated. Strong, fast and a great reader of the game.

He also chipped in with important goals, 5 in the Championship season. Should have had a lot of England caps.

Joe McMahon
14 Posted 18/01/2024 at 20:31:52
Guys that remember him, it sounds like for some reason he was underated, why was that?

He was a handsome chap too.

John McFarlane Snr
15 Posted 18/01/2024 at 20:33:11
Hi all, my first view of John Hurst was at Goodison in a schoolboy game, Everton vs Blackpool, he was at that time a forward and he kept Gerry Glover out of the England team. A few weeks later he signed for Everton.

I worked with a lad in the 70s, and he told me that he was a neighbour of John in Maghull, and that John's nickname at Goodision was "The Quiet Man".

RIP, John, and thanks for the memories.

Clive Rogers
16 Posted 18/01/2024 at 20:38:40
Joe, 14, he was a big lad and had an unusual running style. He didn't seem to move his arms much and it made look a little slow, which he certainly wasn't.

That was my thoughts at the time, don't know if others agree.

Len Hawkins
17 Posted 18/01/2024 at 20:39:12
John Hurst was as cool as a cucumber he was one of my favourite players, I think Beckenbauer modelled himself on John and the way he glided up the pitch. He had a good hard shot on him and scored a few goals from well outside the box.

A mate of mine and his wife lived in Rainford and he asked me and my wife to go with them to a BBQ at a farm near their house. Everyone got a steak and I went over to BBQ mine and my wife's and John Hurst came over and plopped his steak on the top but he'd had a few sherberts and he kept dropping it on to the coals.

Discretion was the better part of valour and I didn't laugh or say anything as he might have taken umbrage.

RIP, John,

Dave Williams
18 Posted 18/01/2024 at 20:41:36
I think he was underrated because the path to the England team was blocked by Bobby Moore and no one else stood a chance. He was unassuming, did his job without fuss or histrionics and like the rest of the team he was overshadowed by the Holy Trinity — as Labone famously said, it was the first three man team ever to win the league.

He had a surprisingly delicate touch for a big man and was a very important part of that great team.

RIP and condolences to his family. A great player, great Evertonian and great man.

Brian Denton
19 Posted 18/01/2024 at 20:43:05
One of my memories as a kid is seeing him score from what seemed like a mile out, against Chelsea in a midweek match. 1967 I think.
Joe McMahon
20 Posted 18/01/2024 at 20:43:21
Thanks, Clive and Dave.
Phil (Kelsall) Roberts
21 Posted 18/01/2024 at 20:43:50
He played in the #10 shirt:

West, Wright, Newton, Kendall, Labone, Harvey, Husband, Ball, Royle, Hurst and Morrisey.

He was also the original Rhino with marauding runs from inside his own half.

A quiet hero.

Brent Stephens
22 Posted 18/01/2024 at 20:46:16
Labone lived in Maghull as well as Hurst.

Labone's family had a central heating business just before the Weld Blundell pub (the business replaced by housing since then).

Barry Rathbone
23 Posted 18/01/2024 at 20:51:48
Joe @14,

Back then, all pros could control and pass a ball unlike modern equivalents, it was just a given.

Exceptional players were those who could beat a man and, while fans acknowledged good defenders, they weren't appreciated as much as creators and goal-scorers.

At the risk of upsetting the defenders union, you picked ball players first in schoolyard games with defenders being a last resort back in the day.

Hurst would be worth a fortune these days…

Howard Don
24 Posted 18/01/2024 at 20:54:28
Sad news, I saw John play many times, a real class act. Condolences to his family.
David Vaughan
25 Posted 18/01/2024 at 20:55:24
Very sad day. My first boyhood Everton playing hero. Always had his number on my footie shirts. RIP JH.
Alan McGuffog
26 Posted 18/01/2024 at 20:55:53
I remember us all worried sick in 1968 cos he'd contracted hepatitis (?) and we were sweating on him making the FA Cup Final against West Bromwich Albion.

But he was okay and everything went well… Didn't it? Nurs!!!

Svein-Roger Jensen
27 Posted 18/01/2024 at 20:58:56
Colin Glassar
28 Posted 18/01/2024 at 21:10:19
One of our very own Golden Generation. I had the pleasure to see him play a few times.

Rest in Peace, John.

John Raftery
29 Posted 18/01/2024 at 21:17:31
Very sad news. A great player for us in the late sixties and especially in the 69-70 season. As others have noted he had a cracking shot.

I remember his goal against Chelsea in April 1967 on the night Joe Royle scored two on his home debut. He crashed it home from the edge of the box into the Street End net.

In August 1969, we went to Old Trafford in the midweek having won the first game of the season with a goal from John a few minutes from the end at Highbury. We totally outplayed Man Utd and just needed to get the opening goal.

John had some skill on the ball and 10 minutes before halftime, he ventured up the field easing past a couple of defenders before rifling a low shot into the bottom corner.

At that moment, less than halfway through the second match, I thought we really could win the league that season.

On Easter Saturday 1970 we played Chelsea, winning 5-2. John suffered a head injury but, like Mykolenko last Sunday, played on with his head wrapped in a bandage.

John Hurst was far more than a very good centre-half. He could play.

Len Hawkins
30 Posted 18/01/2024 at 21:17:55
Alan #26

Jeff Astle never read the script.

Laurie Hartley
31 Posted 18/01/2024 at 21:20:22
Yes John Hurst was a terrific player. God rest his soul and comfort his family.
Neil Tyrrell
32 Posted 18/01/2024 at 21:31:18
His playing days were before my time but RIP, John. 💙

The world needs more Blues, not less, and we just lost another one.

Brian Harrison
33 Posted 18/01/2024 at 21:36:54
John was very much the quiet and calm player who went about his business, a very classy player and much underrated in a team full of stars, but not underrated by Evertonians.

RIP John.

Derek Thomas
34 Posted 18/01/2024 at 21:38:13
Great player, sadly missed.
Andrew Clare
35 Posted 18/01/2024 at 21:58:50
One of the mainstays of Harry Catterick's great Everton team.

RIP, John Hurst. Thank you for being a key part of my best days watching a fabulous Everton side.

Jerome Shields
36 Posted 18/01/2024 at 22:02:14
RIP John Hurst.

Condolences to his family.

John Keating
37 Posted 18/01/2024 at 22:06:39
What a solid stalwart he was. Very much like Labone. I don't think I ever saw him panic, a 9 out of 10 every game.

He never took any shit by anyone and could dish it out when needed but a very composed player. A bit of a masterstroke moving him back to centre-half.

Another loss to my favourite '60s teams.


Peter Mills
38 Posted 18/01/2024 at 22:13:50
Such memories. Apologies to the younger readers and posters but:-

Alan #26. Harry Catterick valued John Hurst so much that he played him in the 1968 FA Cup final despite, presumably, concerns about John's fitness. I have always thought those concerns led to Roger Kenyon being chosen as substitute rather than Alex Young. Who knows what would have happened that day had Alex been on the bench?

I try not to dwell on things, these are just the incessant musings of a 12-year-old who was at Wembley that day. Equally, how would the match have gone had all the players not gone out wearing brand new Puma boots on a greasy surface? I must let these thoughts go.

John #29, moving forward a couple of years, my brother Charlie went to Highbury for the first game of the 69-70 Championship winning season. At 13, I wasn't allowed to go.

But a couple of days later, I was at Old Trafford with Charlie, standing in the open Scoreboard End, watching John Hurst crack a shot into the Stratford End goal. As you say, those two wins made everyone believe something was happening.

Neil Tyrrell
39 Posted 18/01/2024 at 22:41:56
Peter, I think I speak for all "younger" readers (I'm 56) when I say no apologies necessary. These memories are pure gold, and one of the best things about this site is reading about the experiences of all Evertonians. Particularly the ones that pre-date my own memory.

EDIT: Case in point, Neil Lawson's post below

Neil Lawson
40 Posted 18/01/2024 at 22:47:11
My Dad had a season ticket M12 Upper Bullens. Great seat on the centre line. Fortunately I got to use it more than him.

I have a clear recollection of a dreadful game played on a rock hard, frozen pitch where the players could barely stand. My memory is of John Hurst picking up the ball about 30 yards out, taking a few strides, before hitting a beauty into the top corner. Pretty much the only shot on target all night.

A great memory of a much underrated true blue. It would to good to know if others on TW remember that goal and game as I do, and who the opposition were.

Such happy days of combative and competitive footie played by talented and committed true professionals. On a freezing night, not a pair of gloves, leggings or neck snood in sight.

Always so sad to lose one of our own.

Paul Ferry
41 Posted 18/01/2024 at 22:54:08
Such sad news and I hope John's nearest and dearest take some comfort in him, his life, and the end of his pain and suffering.

I was a little too young, but my first memory of John Hurst was my joy when either walking to or from Ursuline Primary his face popped out on the footy cards I'd just bought with the chewy inside it at the kiosk in Blundellsands and Crosby station.

I did get to watch him: stylish, calm, collected, dependable, cracking shot. Forgive me, but my early memories of JH are in the middle but I guess his number confused the wee me.

Pete, I was just watching highlights of that Arsenal game (hope you're doing well). Those not old enough might enjoy the goal!


Another favourite of mine is, I think it was the first game of the season in 1967/68 (can anyone over 70 help me out here!) when we beat Man-Utd, who I think were reigning champs. John Hurst is playing and just look at the team HC put out! Dear God, what joy it must have been to watch that lot week-in-and-out!


RIP John Hurst

Neil Lawson
42 Posted 18/01/2024 at 22:57:20
Everton v Southampton 14 Dec 1968. The power of memory and Google. I am sure that the goal was even better than I remember.
John Raftery
43 Posted 18/01/2024 at 23:14:25
Neil (42) That's correct.

The pitch was frozen solid during the interregnum between undersoil heating systems. I was in the Gwladys Street terrace in the days when we were packed so tightly we never felt the cold.

The shot flew into the net at the Park End from some distance – 30 yards was probably right but, by the time we were on the bus on the way home, the shot was said to be from 40 yards. It would undoubtedly have been a goal of the season contender had there been such a thing in those days.

Paul Ferry
44 Posted 18/01/2024 at 23:22:58
This is one for Brent S – but not only for Brent. I had no idea that we played Southport in the third round on the way to the final in 1968. (Oops, gave the result away!)

Were any of you lot there that day?


Don Alexander
45 Posted 18/01/2024 at 23:29:11
John Hurst, like the stalwart Roger Kenyon, was born and developed in Blackpool. By Christ, I wish we had such a scouting team now as we did then (we signed "Wee" Georgie Wood from them just a few years later).

We also signed at the same time Bally and Westy from The Sea-siders, and present-day Seamus developed there on loan for one mere season to become another of our legends.

RIP, John, a top man and player.

John Raftery
46 Posted 18/01/2024 at 23:29:57
Peter (38),

I also missed the Highbury game but stood in the Scoreboard End at Old Trafford. Wasn't it a fantastic night?

I remember it raining at one point. You may recall our second goal was at our end and notable for a role reversal in that Joe Royle crossed for Alan Ball to head in.

Many of the Manchester United supporters applauded our play towards the end of the game. That was something I had not previously witnessed during the course of a match. We were on the march to glory. I loved that season.

Phil Austin
47 Posted 18/01/2024 at 23:31:33
My brother John and I were at the Stoke game when he came on as Everton's first ever substitute.

A very good but underrated player.

Peter Mills
48 Posted 18/01/2024 at 23:40:50
Paul #41and 44. All well here, I hope the same applies to you.

I suspect if you asked Evertonians of a certain age to name a top 11 from the 2nd half of the 1960s, then the team that hammered Man Utd at the start of the 67-68 season:- West, Wright, Wilson, Kendall, Labone, Harvey, Young, Ball, Royle, Hurst, Morrisey would be it. What a joy that day was.

I was at Haig Avenue for that 3rd round tie against Southport in 1968. Somewhat randomly, I was also there for the previous tie when Southport played Runcorn, the day I reached into my pocket for some sweets during the 2nd half only to discover the hand of the man standing behind me was already there!

Phil Lewis
49 Posted 18/01/2024 at 23:43:08
A tremendous player. John wore the Number 10 shirt, which in those days signified an inside left in the old W formation. However Catterick deployed him as a dual centre-half alongside 'Labby'. It was quite a revolutionary tactical move for those times and set a precedent which other teams followed.

He was a quick-thinking, skilled, strong defender who read the game extremely well. He became an integral part of the 1970 Championship-winning side. His quiet unassuming demeanour was similar to Paul Bracewell's, another unsung hero of the all-conquering mid-80s team.

Rest in Peace, John Hurst, you deserve to take your seat in the history of EFC as one of the greats.

Pete Jeffries
50 Posted 18/01/2024 at 23:49:17
Very sad about big John Hurst. He was every nice compliment mentioned above by us old boys who had the privilege of seeing him.

I always remember the 1965 FA Youth Cup winning run with John in the team and Tony McLoughlin from Garston, Jimmy Husband and Aiden Maher scoring the goals.

I think Jarrad Branthwaite has a bit of John in him the way he plays cool in defence.

RIP, John, you did us proud.

Ian Pilkington
51 Posted 18/01/2024 at 00:02:09
At the match last night, I was recalling playing Palace in the 3rd round in January 1972. I went by train with three pals, my only visit to Selhurst Park, a 2-2 draw. For some reason, my only memory of the replay was John coming on off the subs bench to score the winner (3-2). I've just looked up the date: 18 January… 52 years ago to the day!

Paul @44,

I went to the match at Southport, Billy Bingham was their manager. It was a tight game, Joe Royle scoring the winner with (I think) a header.

Again I've checked and can confirm that John played in that one. The gate was 18,795, possibly a record for Haig Avenue. I do remember it was very uncomfortable.

John was a true Everton great, the 69-70 team was for me our finest ever.

Alan J Thompson
52 Posted 19/01/2024 at 02:59:21
I'm trying to remember but didn't John Hurst hold the record for both appearances and as Captain of England U-23's?


Laurie Hartley
53 Posted 19/01/2024 at 03:02:01
Paul # 44 – I was there.

My strongest memory, however ,was coming through the tunnel that led out of the ground after the game. One of only two occasions I have been truly frightened at a football match.

Too many men trying to get through too small a gap. I was caught up in the press and remember fighting to stay on my feet because I knew, if I went down, I would at best have been seriously trampled. I wonder if anyone else remembers this?

Laurie Hartley
54 Posted 19/01/2024 at 04:26:52
Apologies – gone off topic there @ 53.
Paul Ferry
55 Posted 19/01/2024 at 05:19:42
No you didn't, Laurie, great post. I'm genuinely curious, how many Everton were there, did you all hop on Merseyrail or whatever it was called then?

It sounds like there was some trouble at the game (I used to go to those pre-season Tranmere friendlies, one reason that I have no time for Tranmere!).

Jack Convery
56 Posted 19/01/2024 at 06:44:18
John Hurst was a class act on and off the pitch. Unlucky not to have been an England International. What a player.

He is and forever will be, an Everton Legend and a member of a Blues Championship Winning Side. RIP. Condolences to his family and friends.

Paul Ferry
57 Posted 19/01/2024 at 07:39:12
Dear God, Pete Mills and everyone, that goal by Alex Young in the 3-1 v Man-Utd. Dear God, It's wonderful how something so sad as John leaving us transports us back to those lovely days.

A great tribute. This goal by Alex, if scored by the PSG, Barca, and City fellas, would be serenaded to the highest heavens. I hope it was back then. I can't stop watching it.

RIP John Hurst

Dave Cashen
58 Posted 19/01/2024 at 07:39:23
Hurst played in an age when we looked down on that lot across the park.

I remember the news coming through on the radio that he had scored at Highbury. We were dancing around our block. It was only the first game of the season, but we were well fancied that year and everyone knew we were on our way.

He wasn't an extrovert, that's for sure, but all the girls in our street used to fancy him. As a player, you won't find much footage of him, but, for me, the best (modern) comparison for anybody too young to have seen him play, would be young Branthwaite.

Fast (deceptively so). Good in the air. Strong tackler and very very cool under pressure. If young Jarrad can be as good as John Hurst, we won't go far wrong.


Tony Heron
59 Posted 19/01/2024 at 08:01:47
So sad to hear of the passing of John Hurst. A quiet decent man and a wonderful defensive player. What a comparison with some of the spoilt self-entitled modern-day players.

Plane trips from Machester to Finch Farm? John would've walked it to play for the blues.

RIP John, thanks for the memories.

Andrew Ellams
60 Posted 19/01/2024 at 08:54:46
One of the great things about supporting this club is that. even though John was before my time, I feel like I knew him and all of his cohort as though I'd seen them play from hearing family stories and reading websites like this one.

RIP, John

Fred Charters
61 Posted 19/01/2024 at 09:29:19
One of greats! Known affectionately to many as “Thy shall not pass John,” relating to the oppos!

RIP John💙💙

Dave Williams
62 Posted 19/01/2024 at 09:49:19
Paul, where can I find a clip of that goal?
Alan McGuffog
63 Posted 19/01/2024 at 10:26:18
Without taking anything away from the Holy Trinity, the support of the likes of John Hurst, Tommy Wright, Jimmy Husband et al helped make them the midfield that they were.

Brian Labone made his famous comment about this.

Danny O’Neill
64 Posted 19/01/2024 at 10:33:29
I was brought up on tails of those players, Alan. The unsung ones as you mention.

Obviously as a generational thing; I talk incessantly about Sheedy, Reid, Steven, Bracewell and Southall.

In terms of unsung heroes. Alan Harper and Kevin Richardson.

My youngest brother about Jagielka and Baines.

We all have fond memories. But the future is more important.

Dave Abrahams
65 Posted 19/01/2024 at 10:39:18
It's great to read all these posts praising John, no praise is high enough to realise what a great player he was for the Blues.

Perfect temperament to match his displays nearly every game and as a few have mentioned a very humble and modest man.

I went over to him on Goodison Road after he had long retired and just shook his hand and thanked him for his time at Everton, he honestly looked amazed that he was remembered, which he certainly was, and gave me a quiet "Thank you" back.

Thanks again,John, it was my pleasure watching you.

Laurie Hartley
66 Posted 19/01/2024 at 10:49:01
Paul # 55 – there were loads of Evertonians there - there always were – “wherever we may have roamed”.
Nothing's changed.

Don't remember seeing any trouble and, to be honest, I don't remember how I got there. In those days, I could have been fired out of a rocket! 😉

Laurie Hartley
67 Posted 19/01/2024 at 11:05:34
Dave # 62 - feast your eyes on this:-
Dave Abrahams
68 Posted 19/01/2024 at 11:49:29
Laurie (67),

I know it wasn't for me but thanks for that link, brilliant to see how that team worked so hard and so well for each other, the different way the game was approached by both teams, the different rules and, to top it off, Alex Young's fabulous goal.

That link was followed by a link to the 2-0 derby win at Anfield in our Championship 1970 season with Joe Royle scoring a header and Ron Yeats claiming it as an own goal by himself in his Echo column the next week, Alan Whittle scored the second with 20 minutes to go and half of the red support went home!

Lovely to look back on those triumphant days but so sad to see where we are now.

Peter Mills
69 Posted 19/01/2024 at 13:04:25
Laurie #67:- Flippin' ‘eck, that brought on a bad bout of hay fever.
Ray Robinson
70 Posted 19/01/2024 at 13:27:23
A very understated but effective player with an eye for an occasional goal. One of the few players I saw that could tame George Best – albeit with some highly questionable tackles, for which he wouldn't have stayed on the pitch these days.

But he wasn't a dirty player. Wholehearted and versatile, not the star of the team by any means but a vital cog in the late sixties team which was as good as any I've seen in my time supporting the Blues.

RIP, John Hurst

Dave Rusk
71 Posted 19/01/2024 at 14:39:03
I was at that Southport FA Cup game in '68.

From memory, the crowd problem was caused by them not having proper terracing but rather a bank of ash and shale which made the crowd surges resemble a ski slope.

Another memory they had a yard dog centre forward called Eric Redrobe who roughed up some of our smaller players. Needless to say, Sandy Brown came off the subs bench and sorted him out, as you could in those days.

Raymond Fox
72 Posted 19/01/2024 at 15:05:22
RIP, John.

He could read a game well and was a totally reliable defender.

Jay Harris
73 Posted 19/01/2024 at 15:45:52
RIP John Hurst and condolences to all of his family.

A great man and a player from an era when players were proper people and not jumped up wannabe's.

Paul Ferry
74 Posted 19/01/2024 at 16:56:32
Sorry, Dave, not long up in the freezing midwest – I put a few links up in earlier posts and the Man-Utd game is here


Enjoy, what a goal, but look at that team, dear God, what a team

Eoin Cullen
75 Posted 19/01/2024 at 17:18:14
John Hurst was my hero. I was 22 in 1970 and watched more or less every home game. Hurst and Labone were a supreme pair of defenders – none better – in that fantastic team.

A great Evertonian. All tributes to him are so well deserved.

Bill Griffiths
76 Posted 19/01/2024 at 17:41:24
I love this thread as sad as it is. As much as I love Alan Ball, my favourite Everton player is Colin Harvey. Saying that, I love most players who have worn the Blue Shirt, even some of the bad ones...

Not sure how to express my thoughts properly but John belongs to quite a large group of players who I think don't get the recognition they deserved. Not sure exactly why this is but I would include the following in this group – although this does not include all I could name:

Jimmy Husband, Mick Buckley, Martin Dobson, Dave Clement, Joe Parkinson, Dave Thomas, Dave Watson and many others.

Paul Kossoff
77 Posted 19/01/2024 at 18:52:35
Seen him play in my first Everton games at Goodison when a little lad.

I drove my dear dad mental asking which one is George Best. Dad warned me if I ask again he would put me in a home in Manchester.

God bless John, one of the finest.

Jeff Spiers
78 Posted 19/01/2024 at 19:00:19
Paul, is he still in the hospital?
David Currie
79 Posted 19/01/2024 at 19:18:27
What a goal from Young, wished I could have seen that team play but it was before my time.

RIP, John.

Christine Foster
80 Posted 19/01/2024 at 19:43:28
Paul 74# what a team indeed.

I said on another post last week that teams of the era would not succeed today; I was wrong. That team would have without doubt.

It really warmed my heart watching that game, Paul, although I was in the Paddock with my Uncle Jimmy, I remembered why I love Everton. Indeed these days we scoff and laugh sarcastically at that line in the song that goes, "Everton's the team that plays beautiful football" but there it is... Ball, Harvey and Young... great, great side.

John Hurst, the quiet man, got on with the job, you only knew his value when he wasn't there. RIP, John, thank you from the little girl in the Paddock that day.

Andy Meighan
81 Posted 19/01/2024 at 20:24:40
Sad news indeed.

One of my first heroes, a no-nonsense defender who was equally adept in midfield.

Vastly underrated hard player and a vital cog in Catterick's 1969-70 title-winning team.

I had the pleasure of meeting him once outside the Old Lady and what a lovely humble man he was. He said to me, "You should be talking to Bally or Alex" – and burst out laughing.

I was genuinely shocked when I heard this earlier great man and great player was dead. Rest in peace, Jack.

Alan Corken
82 Posted 19/01/2024 at 21:14:48
Sad to hear another of that great 1969-70 team is gone.

RIP, John.

Paul Ferry
83 Posted 19/01/2024 at 21:32:19

I'm so glad that you enjoyed the 1967 Man Utd game and it's lovely to hear your comments about your feelings about that team and the game and us.

It's great thinking that you were there watching it in the Paddock!

Paul Birmingham
85 Posted 19/01/2024 at 22:30:22
Laurie, many thanks for the 1967 Man Utd game link. A great tonic to a tough week.

Great Everton players and what an era for Everton and British Football.

In a week of adversity which Everton and Evertonians will overcome and prevail, what a tribute to show the spirit of the game as it was and should be.

John Hurst would be very proud.

Now's the time for Everton's KC to show no mercy with the Premier League cronies.


Neil Lawson
86 Posted 20/01/2024 at 11:08:04
I have just clicked on the link and spent what will be the happiest 15 minutes of this weekend and many others to come. Just wonderful memories.

Alex Young's goal is a thing of beauty but I was out of my seat when his chip from just outside the box went just over the bar.

That was one of the days when my Dad was in Upper Bullens, M12, and I was having to play with a strange shaped ball at Hall Rd at the Merchant Taylors sports ground.

I have sent the link to my 2 sons who are in their thirties and have suffered so much with so little success to enjoy as true blues. To me, it is proper footie. Real footie as it should be played.

A whole different debate maybe, but those of us "seniors" have had the best of times and the modern game full of cheating and primadonnas bears no comparison.

And the crowds inside Goodison? Just wonderful. Superb memories.

Clive Rogers
87 Posted 20/01/2024 at 14:03:12
Neil, my sentiments entirely.

Also, the footballers from that era were well paid, but when they retired, most seemed to get jobs. Alex Young had a carpet business, Ray Wilson became an undertaker and so on.

The top players today will never need to work again in their lives unless they squander it all and people like Messi, Ronaldo, Haaland could become billionaires. The working man's game!!!

Jay Evans
88 Posted 20/01/2024 at 17:39:30
My Dad and my Uncle Mike regularly waxed lyrical about John Hurst. I would have loved to have seen him play, he sounded like an absolute stalwart of a defender.

His grandson cut my hair for years. I haven't got much hair left now, thanks to Everton.

RIP John Hurst and my condolences to you, Dave.

Brian Denton
89 Posted 20/01/2024 at 17:56:07
I was at that 1967 game with my dad. I've seen that MotD before, but only on TV (ESPN I think). The cameras were on the Goodison Road side in those days, and I was stood at the front by 'the cage'.

I'm going to watch it on YouTube and freeze the opening 30 seconds frame by frame on my laptop to see if I can see the 9-year-old me!

John Burns
90 Posted 20/01/2024 at 19:14:30
Just watched Laurie's link (67). Amazing.

How can we have gone from that to this? So many memories. It makes you want to weep.

Alan McGuffog
91 Posted 21/01/2024 at 08:58:39
I have watched that MotD video many times, and was there as a 14-year-old all those years ago.

A side issue for me is always the contrast with MotD now. Then we had an understated commentator, Mr Kenneth Wolstenholme (whom we all considered a Man Utd fan) and a full 45 minutes of a game so that we could watch it "warts and all".

Now, we have a glorified goals round up with half of the programme devoted to the ramblings of a bunch of has beens. They spend time with analytical bullshit "enhanced" by computer graphics to tell us what we already know.

Is it, God forbid, because Generation X, Y or frigging Omega doesn't have the attention span to just take in ALL aspects of the game. Or do people now only watch it to enjoy seeing a millionaire do a celebratory knee slide in front of gurning shirtless oafs gathered by the corner flag???

As you can gather, my Chalfonts are playing me up.

Ray Roche
92 Posted 21/01/2024 at 09:13:21
Alan, I heard a while back that Sky and other broadcasters were considering a scheme whereby people could pay a reduced tariff but it would only cover the last 15 minutes of a match.

This was because younger people and followers in the East (I don't mean Runcorn) were only interested in the result, not the match, the build up etc. Too short an attention span!

Mal van Schaick
93 Posted 21/01/2024 at 10:44:38
From what I can recall, he was a Norman Hunter with a Rolls-Royce engine. A tenacious tackler. A steadfast player and a true competitor.

So sad that to hear the news of his death.

Alan McGuffog
94 Posted 21/01/2024 at 11:51:37
Ray... whilst I am on this particular soapbox. The minute's silence at grounds has surrendered to minute's "applause". Simply because most people today can't imagine a whole sixty seconds without flapping their fat yaps.

God, I'm a ray of sunshine today!

Dave Abrahams
95 Posted 21/01/2024 at 12:59:20
Alan (94),

I think applause instead of silence is more appropriate in paying your respect to the departed. I know nowadays at some funerals the coffin is clapped out of the church and, listening to relatives of the person applauded, is very much appreciated by those closest to him or her.

As for your Chalfonts playing you up, stand up and move around a lot more, it might help. Luckily that's one complaint that hasn't reached me yet!

Dave Roberts
96 Posted 21/01/2024 at 13:23:13
His nickname for us was Cheyenne Body because of his resemblance to Clint Walker who played him in the popular western TV series at the time.

I'm pretty sure he scored the winner away to Burnley in the 69-70 season. Great player.

RIP, John, and thank you.

Dave Cashen
97 Posted 21/01/2024 at 13:45:42
I clicked on that link showing the Catterick's School of Science dismantling Matt Busby's European Champions. That took care of the morning.

Once you venture onto YouTube, you can't help clicking on to the next link inviting you down memory lane. Before long, I was watching a Sheedy-inspired Everton absolutely destroy Man Utd — he could play a little bit, couldn't he?

What I didn't remember was that we went to Old Trafford and dumped them out of the cup a few days later. I guess it was hard to keep track of the wins back then.

Man Utd fans must have left Old Trafford wondering how they were ever going to bridge the gap between themselves and the mighty Everton.

How the mighty have fallen…

Neil Lawson
98 Posted 21/01/2024 at 18:34:53
Alan 91. Spot on.

My son set me up with the Sky Go ap via his Sky service and you can watch all the games condensed to about 3 minutes. And with the sound off if it suits.

Means us oldies can have our Horlicks and go to bed early without having to suffer all the MotD bollocks.

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