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The Queens of 1964

By Greg Murphy :  28/03/2008 :  Comments (15) :

With apologies to Neil Sedaka!

And they have the cheek to call us bitter!

Here?s a little tale of LFC lies, spin and deception which should have you right in the mood for an Anfield derby, especially as it's been falsely trumpeted again in today's Daily Post.

It all relates to the actual presentation of the 1964 ?Old Silver Lady? championship trophy which, sadly, was claimed by our nearest and undearest.

For those of you who don?t know here?s the nutshell version (and even this is meaty) of a thoroughly ludicrous yarn which only the kopites could peddle and perpetuate:

Right, we won the league in 1962-63. Ourselves, Man United and Liverpool then went toe-to-toe all season long in pursuit of the 1963-64 title and until roughly this stage of the season Everton were well on course to claim back-to-back championships, that was until we blew-up on the home strait in the all too familiar and spectacular Royal Blue fashion we?re well used to. And Liverpool made hay.

Cue Saturday 18th April 1964 and it?s Liverpool?s fourth to last league game and they?re at home to Arsenal. All?s they need is a win and the title is theirs, with three games to spare, all of which were away from home.

As it was, they romped home and beat the Gunners 5-0. All over. It?s their title. Problem was, though, it was their last home game. Which meant that they?d have to be presented with the championship trophy away at Birmingham City the following Wednesday (a game which they lost, incidentally; and indeed they only managed to draw their next game away at WBA before losing again at Stoke City in the final match...so you can see how vital it was that they did actually beat Arsenal at Anfield).

If they didn?t wish to receive the trophy at St Andrews, then, exactly like Everton had done the previous season, and indeed as was the custom for most teams at the time, Liverpool would have to receive the OSL in a private ?all done in suits? boardroom ceremony.

They didn?t want either of those options, though. Oh nooooo. What they actually wanted was for Everton to hand the title over physically ? that is, sending the trophy itself in a taxi, across Stanley Park, whilst we still had a mathematical chance of holding on to it (ahead of their game against Arsenal), just in case they actually did do the biz and then it could be handily presented to Ron Yeats at the final whistle. Kid you not!

Well, nice try, like, but as Everton said at the time: it just doesn?t work like that. It wasn?t within Everton?s gift to just hand the trophy, which was Football League property, to another third party. The trophy had to be returned to the League.

For good measure, though, and it?s on record that this was the case, such were the cordial cross-park relations at the time, Everton actually did enquire of the League whether they could cut a corner and courier the trophy over to Anfield at 4.45pm ? and not before ? should they actually beat Arsenal.

However the League issued a flat ?no chance?. Not just on the grounds that it was their property and they would present it themselves to Liverpool according to Football League protocol, ?thank you very much?.

But chiefly because the Football League couldn?t be seen to be jumping the gun ahead of the Liverpool v Arsenal fixture particularly because, at the start of play that day, there were three teams that were still in with a shout of winning it. Now, no doubt that Liverpool were overwhelming favourites and that Everton?s ?shout? had been reduced to a mumble, in truth.

However, Man United were still very much in the mix and, as has been shown by the remainder of Liverpool's results after that Arsenal game, United were more than poised should they choke against the Gunners.

How would it have looked had Liverpool fallen at the final hurdle and United, or indeed Everton, had capitalised and gone on to clinch the title, but it then emerged that the trophy had been on standby at Anfield ?just in case??

In fact, what would have happened if Everton had acceded to their request and sent the trophy over but then Arsenal claimed a victory? Would they have then sent what was still, officially, our trophy back in a taxi across the park on a ?thanks but we don?t need it just yet, but we might need it again on Wednesday, or next Saturday, or the Wednesday after that? basis?

Farcical.

But that?s exactly what they were proposing. And not only was it an insult to Everton and Man United but it was also hugely dismissive of their opponents, Arsenal, that day. Coz effectively it translated as ?we?ve asked for the trophy to be here on standby because, let?s face it, we?re gonna stuff you anyway? (which, rather annoyingly, they did!). Disgraceful.

The whole premise of their request was based on the fact that there was only Stanley Park separating the two clubs and, given that geography, the precedent set in previous seasons, most notably just 12 months earlier, wasn?t applicable.

To put that in perspective, Everton had clinched the title at home to Fulham a year earlier but, unfortunately the trophy was then locked away in Suffolk within the trophy cabinet of Ipswich Town the previous year?s champs.

But did we put a request into Portman Road ahead of our game with Fulham, for the trophy to be on standby at Goodison, you know, ?just in case?? Did we hell! Far too dignified for that.

So we beat Fulham, clinched the league and made do with a lap of honour and celebrations around Goodison as the team ? with a champagne-swigging and cigar smoking Tony Kay (more of him later) ? took the applause from the old Directors? Box.

The sainted kopites couldn?t deal with that, though. They wanted the trophy. So when they learned that football protocol wasn?t about to be rewritten especially for them they threw a childish wobbler (sound familiar?).

So some beaut behind the scenes at Anfield said ?right, we?ll make our own trophy?. And he did! From papier mache! Which was painted red and white with photos of the players stuck on with Gloy Gum! It was rank!!!

Tell yer, you wouldn?t even give it to your kids after a game of three-and-in! But in a show of total petulance, the whoppers (ever thus) duly paraded this minging pot which was only one step up from a bed pan around the pit. Mindblowing.

And, of course, the subtext was, ?this is how bitter Everton are, this is what they?ve forced us to do, but we?re not proud?. Yer ain?t kiddin.

Because of this show of immaturity, the press, naturally, leapt on the story and this then forced Everton to reveal the full details of what had happened the previous week.

And it was made clear that no blame could be attached to Everton ? in fact, there should never have been any blame to answer to for anyone ? and we were completely exonerated.

Slowly but surely, then, this tawdry little episode in cross-park relations faded into the background (as well it should) and for nigh on forty years nothing was ever hard of it again.

That was until an infamously Rancid Red with a brand new kopie website to fill suddenly resurrected this putrid little story and related it again in a lame series called ?Britain?s Bitterest?. Yawn.

And of course the emphasis wasn?t on how arrogant, cheeky, classless, undignified, sanctimonious and petulant the kopites had been but, laughably, how bitter we had been! You couldn?t make it up... except they did!

And slowly but surely over the past five years, this risible fable has been whispered down to younger generations of kopites in order to fuel their bile against ?the bitters?.

Of course, the great hope was that the more that this staggeringly childish nursery story was churned out, the more it would be accepted as unchallengeable gospel.

I tried to head this one off in a lengthy ?be warned? piece in WSAG two seasons ago. But I feared I was swimming against a tide of red propaganda. Which is exactly how it?s panned out, because I?ve had the misfortune twice today (Friday 28 March 2008) to read about the perpetuation of this pathetic ?boo-hoo? red myth.

The first was in this morning?s Daily Post which repeated the non-story. Never mind that the reporters qualified it by saying Everton ?reputedly? refused to hand the trophy over. The damage is done by merely repeating the story (and I accept that I?ve, ironically, given it even more oxygen by writing this).

Then an hour later I was stood in Waterstones on Bold Street dodging the rain and I happen to notice that Tommy Smith has got a new book out and indeed he?ll be conducting a signing ceremony before this weekend?s derby.

So like I do with all such books, I immediately go to the index and find the letter E and read every spew-filled reference to Everton.

In general, it has to be said that the self-appointed Iron Man (gawd!) was quite fair to the Blues especially regarding the Clive Thomas affair in 1977 and his account of Bryan Hamilton?s disallowed goal (which they tell us to ?move on from and get over it coz it?s been 30 years?) is one of the most honest accounts I?ve ever read.

But, despite it being 44 years ago, Smith couldn?t resist churning out and repeating the guff about the 1964 title trophy. He says that the only thing that soured the day they beat Arsenal 5-0 to clinch the 1964 league was ?Everton?s attitude? (verbatim) in refusing to hand the trophy over. And he added that they made the papier mache pretend effort to show that they wouldn?t be beaten! God, give us strength!

So, my fellow Blues, be aware of this head-shaking, mind-numbing kopite-fuelled nonsense and arm yourselves with the facts because if this crock of crap hasn?t been fired at you in an alehouse/ office/ house setting yet, then it soon will be; and they rely on the hope that we won?t know what the hell they?re on about. And then it?s gospel. And many Blues don?t know of this story because, frankly, there shouldn?t be any story to know about!

As a coda to all that, though, three things have emerged in later years which have put the whole 1964 caper into a different perspective.

Firstly, it?s since been revealed that in the very week LFC were pestering us to send the pot over the park, Everton were in extremely delicate discussions with the Football League about the future of Tony Kay, for it had only been revealed a week or two earlier about his gambling antics at Sheff Weds. So there we were trying to see if there was any way we could keep our finest talent from a spell in stir, or at least safeguard his future career and we were having to be on our very best ?yes sir, no sir? form at League HQ. And all the time LFC are wailing down the phone like a kid who can?t wait for Christmas for us to help them have a party that Saturday.

Secondly, the legendary TV producer, Brian Apted, has long since revealed that Liverpool were actually itching for the pot to be on show at the pit that day because that was the famous day that Panorama famously rode into town to investigate the ?phenomenon? of the Kop and that indeed was the day the whole puke-making sanctimony was enshrined and publicly endorsed forever (complete with an unknown, caught-on-camera Stan Boardman in a swaying Kop givin it the full singa-longa-Cilla whopping behaviour).

Thirdly, though ? and I?ve got it on good authority that Colin Harvey (who well remembered all their shrieking from 1964) has confirmed this ? back in 1985, prior to Everton playing QPR on the Bank Holiday Monday to clinch the league with 5 games left, we made a tongue-in-cheek request to Anfield to have the trophy transferred across the park ?on standby? for presentation at the end of that memorable game.

Guess what? Despite us being only 15pts clear of Liverpool in second place going into that game, they told us to do one. Instead they made us wait another 48-hours until we played West Ham on the Wednesday before we were able to lift it. How petty, how bitter is that?

Now, did I say ?nutshell? earlier? Trust me, that?s the nutshell version of this story of lunacy.

Safe to say, though, them?s the basic facts laid out on an ?If Yer Know Yer History? basis for my felllow Blues should any kopite tool spew their version your way in times to come.

Fired-up for the Anfield derby, then?

And they call us bitter?!

Reader Comments

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Barry Bragg
1   Posted 29/03/2008 at 02:01:26

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Gregg! great piece.

Saw that article in the Post today and noted the "reputedly". Thanks for putting the record straight and am waiting with bear trap baited for a couple of my gobshitwe associates to put thier feet in over the weekend.

COYB
Derek Thomas
2   Posted 29/03/2008 at 04:01:45

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REDSHITE

Sums them up, both descriptively and literally.

The red they play in and the SHITE they are and do.

Poor losers and even poorer winners.

Bitter? damn right I’m bitter.

But jealous?, No not jealous of their successes.

The longer it goes for them to win the title the harder it will be. Well you say, that must apply double to Us, no, au contraire, they in their arrogance expect as a right, in the own minds anyway, to do it and the pressure is greater.

Goes out on a limb here....

WE WILL WIN IT BEFORE THEM, then you’ll see bitter.

Labby had it right.... 1 - 20
Rob Jones
3   Posted 29/03/2008 at 07:35:33

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Good article Gregg, what was the Clive Thomas affair in 1977? I tried looking it up but nothing came up.
Arthur Jones
4   Posted 29/03/2008 at 09:00:34

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Rob.. one of the most contraversial refereeing decisions ever, 1977 FA Cup semi final, Everton drawing 2 2 with Liverpool with minutes to go and Brian Hamiton scores for the blues only for "ref" Clive Thomas to disallow the goal. His comment after the game was it was for an "infringement".

To this day, 31 years later, he has never explained what the ?infringement? was. Even in his subsequent book, which many thought his decision was to promote the sale of said book! On the day, most Liverpool players and fans thought they?d lost that game. A travesty.

John Kelly
5   Posted 29/03/2008 at 08:52:30

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Great article Greg,I was wondering about the "reputed" trophy story and now cant wait for one of my kopite family or friends to bring it up.
To say I’ll give them both barrels is an understatement.
As for Clive Thomas, the less said the better.
He was that era’s Clattenburg/Poll as far as blues go and for those of us that were there he still holds a very special place in our memories as a bent kopite favouring reffereeing gimp.
I also have a confession, about 15 years ago I was at Tranmere (invited as a guest) and a kopite mate of mine who with a huge smile on his face introduced me to "Clive.
Of course I did’nt recognise said Clive and we exchanged pleasentries and moved on.
My kopite mate was almost wetting himself laughing when he asked me "do you know who you’ve just shook hands with?"
He then went on to tell me it was none oher than the infamous Clive Thomas.
I couldnt believe what I’d done,I’d hated the very thought of this man for years.
I decided to put the record straight and approached Clive again telling him that although I’d shook hands with him I didnt realise who he was.
Also that as an Evertonian I thought that that he was a cheating prick and that I’d rather have shook his throat than his hand.
I felt much better and to be fair to him the smile never left his face but that only made me feel worse.
That disallowed goal still haunts me as does every injustice we suffer at the hands of bent refs but especially against the shite.
COYB
Arthur Jones
6   Posted 29/03/2008 at 09:10:40

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Incidentaly, a great article, Greg; something I had not heard before, and I pride myself on my Everton history knowledge. Just as a matter of interest, was this not around the same time as the ?Albert Dunlop? drug allegations? this together with your article and the Tony Kay story must have been a media field day for the RS .. so the sooner Hicks destroys them, the better!! And yes that is a bitter comment but I was a teenager in the 1970s and the stick I got still rankles!
Mike Hughes
7   Posted 29/03/2008 at 10:07:05

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Thanks for a great article. I was born in 1966 and have enough episodes of my own to nurture my own bitterness towards the RS. (By the way, I deny being "bitter" preferring "very bitter"). Given that this article isn’t about football, it’s about the respective attitude / cultures of two clubs and fan bases, I want to ask a question that will be controversial. When will RS realise that murder / violence is NOT the way? I say this on the back of recent death threats to their American owners and could go on about Michael Shields’ violence, the stoning of Alan Smith’s ambulance about 5 years ago, theiving / anarchy in Athens, the violence /anarchy at Liverpool Airport (March 2008) and Heysel. Scummy club and scummy fans. Oh, sorry, I forgot - it’s never their fault. COYB.
Jip Foster
8   Posted 29/03/2008 at 10:20:51

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Any chance of the Daily Post printing a retraction on the story? Is anybody able to present any hard evidence on what actually happened?
Greg Murphy
9   Posted 29/03/2008 at 10:51:47

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As to hard evidence, you?d have to dig out the primary sources from that time Jip (press coverage etc). Most of the central behind-the-scenes characters are either well retired or long since dead, e.g. John Moores. However, if you want to gain a painful insight into the wider context of that day then by all means subject yourself to the following

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XNboU_PbZMY



This is "that Panorama" footage of the day, courtesy of the equally sanctimonious Reclaim the Kop funsters.

Right towards the end of the video you will see Ron Yeats running past the Kop with the home-made trophy in question.

The Panorama aspect of this nutcase of a story has helped to fuel the nonsense perpetuated by the RS down the years. Basically, the patronising and ultra-fascinated London-based toffs at the Beeb were beginning to take a curious anthropological interest in what was happening in a provinicial northern backwater and so it was arranged for them to swing into town and catch the Kop at its "gay" best (the narrator?s word, not mine). Hence the footage (linked above) which is about as condescending as it gets.

Desperate to have everything "just so" in order for the cameras to capture the whole RS festivity, they clamoured like a spoilt child for the championship trophy to be taxied over Stanley Park and thus make the party complete.

Everything else is as I stated.

I did make one error, the Panorama producer I referred to was Michael Apted, not Brian and I recall that he recalled the events of April 1964 in the immediate aftermath of Shankly?s death in 1981. Shankly was said to be livid at Everton?s perceived intransigence.

The reality was, though, that our hands were tied but he used the (non)story to devastating effect for years afterwards in order to nurture an injured, siege mentality across the Park.

Say what you like about Shankly but he was a master propagandist. Which is why I find it hugely amusing to witness kopites gnashing their teeth every time SAF (not to mention Mourinho) does what he does best. Shankly invented the whole managerial mind games caper.

Guy Hastings
10   Posted 29/03/2008 at 14:35:04

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I believe that Thomas once claimed that he gave handball because, although he didn?t see the offence, he couldn?t believe that Hamilton had the skill to control the ball and score without handling. ?Can?t see it, can?t give it? - unless the linesman flags otherwise, which he didn?t. Never mind. Stuff? ?em tomorrow, that?ll do.
Gavin Ramejkis
11   Posted 29/03/2008 at 15:37:56

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Don?t forget Clive RS Thomas?s daughter was a rabid RS supporter too, now there?s a non-surprise. I grew up despising that bastard, he was far more blatantly biased than even today?s useless bastards. It?s easy to know when a RS is lying ? their mouths are open.
Ste Kenny
12   Posted 29/03/2008 at 17:05:29

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I'm too young to remember all this but I hate the cunts anyway. Beat them tomorrow, get into the Champions League (which they won't win) and sit back and laugh as they do a Leeds.
Paul ONeill
13   Posted 29/03/2008 at 21:05:12

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’Puke-making sanctimony’. That’s sheer poetry mate. I laughed my arse off. Sums up the whole nauseating, teary eyed sentimental spectacle. Spot on!
Geoff Noonan
14   Posted 30/03/2008 at 11:11:22

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I remember the WSAG piece and have trotted the story out a few times without any protests (amazingly). I usually throw in the Shankly story as well. You know, the fact that it was Bellefield where he did his bit of training in his later years cos them bastards didn?t want to know him anymore.

Don?t ever let them forget that.
Peter Corcoran
15   Posted 30/03/2008 at 10:47:46

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I remember the Clive Thomas incident far too well. I particularly recall jumping for joy in the Man City Main Stand hugging some big bloke next to me screaming "we’ve done it, we’ve done it, we’ve beat the bastards" (It would have been the first time in ages that we beat them) only to realise that we’d been cheated, but now I’m used to being cheated by the RS and all refs.

I also recall CT ’s (two letters delibetately missed out here) next game at Goodison Park, against Villa I think, when CT got the biggest booing I’ve ever heard and the arrogant little bastard had the cheek to put his hands over his ears and turn around to go back down the tunnel with a big smile on his face. We all know where Graham Showboat Poll learned his trade!

BItter Blue - you bet!

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