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Everton Myths

Over the years, some old Everton stories have become twisted...
Here we endeavour to straighten them out... for the record.


Fans turn on Catterick The day Everton fans beat up Harry
Johnson Made a Killing on Share Sale 20M from selling his Everton shares?

 Fans Turn on Harry Catterick
The day Everton fans beat up Harry Catterick

It was January 1966, Everton were not doing all that well in the Football League Division One, where manager Harry Catterick was still rebuilding the team after winning the league in 1963, arguably with the side Johnny Carey had assembled before John Moores famously sacked him in the back of a taxi.

Alex YoungAlex Young, the Golden Vision, was still fondly regarded... no, make that idolized by the Goodison faithful, but it was apparent that the Scottish genius had never been fully appreciated by his manager... after all, it was Carey who had bought him to Everton from Hearts in 1962.  On this beak winter's day on the coast, Young was dropped in a surprise move that saw a young giant by the name of Joe Royle introduced for his full debut as a 16-year-old, the youngest Everton player (a record that would stand an incredible 40 years until ......)

Everton went on to lose the game... and Royle made only one more appearance that season, which Catterick went on to win the FA Cup in.  But it's what happened after the match that has become one of the biggest myths in Everton history.  The newspapers gleefully reported that Everton Manager Harry Catterick had been been jostled, knocked to ground and kicked by Everton fans angry at the replacement  of their hero Young with some useless unknown rookie from the reserves.  Shocking... shameful... disgraceful!

So... what really happened?

One of the fans who was there that day, Alan Hartley, recalls, "it was more a jostle and never a kick at our former manager. But we were really mad at the time Alex was everything to us. Sure he would have a bad game but when he was good he was great, like a ghost. Hed pass players with the deft touch of a ballerina, leaving some players embarrassed with the ease of the great mans skills. And boy could he jump, Ian. Like a salmon!"

Dick Fearon adds, "After just watching a hopeless Everton surrender without a fight to Blackpool,  a small group of fans were gathered outside Bloomfield Rd players entrance.  After such a absolutely horrible display, it was natural that we were not a happy bunch, especially as Alex Young had been dropped for that game.

"It was a bitterly cold wet grey and windy day.  The players hurried to the warmth of the team bus.  We voiced our frustration at Harry Catterick and some jeered when he slipped on the wet pavement. A few of the fans helped him regain his feet and that was the sum total of it all...  yet the myth was born and lingers to this day."

 Johnson Made a Killing on Share Sale
Peter Johnson made a quick 20M from selling his Everton shares

In 1994, at the end of the John Moores era, when there were just 2,500 shares outstanding in Everton Footbal Club Co Ltd, lifelong Liverpool fan Peter Johnson bought 50% of them for around 10M to take control of the Club.  For a long time, it was also maintained that Johnson then bought a further 875 shares from John Moores Jr, giving him an unassailable 85% controlling interest.

In 1996, Peter Johnson orchestrated a substantial rights issue of 25,000 500-shares in September,  increasing the number of shares to 30,000 in total most of which Johnson underwrote for an additional investment of around 15M in the club.  A further 5,000 shares were issued at the peak of the Premiership moneyfest, with shares supposedly changing hands for as much as 4,000, which would have valued the club at close 100M.  At the peak, Johnson sold 17% of his holding, netting perhaps as much as 20M and reducing his stake to 68%.

So... what really happened?

Peter Johnson did make money on the ultimate sale of Everton shares when he sold out to Bill Kenwright and his True Blue Holding consortium in December of 1999.  However, Peter Johnson did not sell the additional  batch of shares as described above, back in 1996.  In fact, he never owned as much as 85% of the club. 

The fact is, there never was an additional 5,000 shares; the 1996 rights issue was for 30,000 shares, made available on a six-for-one basis, that was underwitten by Peter Johnson. 



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