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The Mail Bag

Memories from the 60s

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A visit to my mother's in Southport recently produced one of those boxes of old papers that seem to accumulate over the years. Browsing through the yellowing documents I came across an official programme for the match against West Bromwich Albion at Goodison on Saturday, 17th September, 1966, one of the first matches I attended. And what a match! The final score was 5-4 with Everton's goals coming from Ball (2), Morrissey, Temple and Young. My main memory of the match, hazy after all these years, is of Alex Young dazzling and taunting opponents with his skills.

The programme, which cost 6 old pence, is fascinating. Both teams played 2-3-5, with Everton's team being West, Wright, Wilson, Gabriel, Labone, Harvey, Scott, Ball, Young, Hurst and Temple ? glorious names from the past. At the time Everton were 14th in Division 1 with 6 points from 7 games. We had beaten Liverpool 3-1 but had lost twice to Manchester United and once to Stoke City (who we might be playing again next season of course). We finished in 6th place, 3 points behind Liverpool in 5th. Manchester United were champions.

The Evertonia notes in the programme are interesting for the emphasis on quality ? "against United here we won everything except the points ... a golden display of football" and against Stoke "a splendid display of creative football .. no team can have engineered more openings" (we lost 1-0). The lack of goals was put Wdown to Fred Pickering being injured ? a shortage of strikers obviously isn't new! The team had only scored 6 goals in those first 7 matches but then managed 5 against BA.

Another interesting comment is that "in the First Division particularly the skill of the teams seems more equally-balanced than usual" ? if only this were so today. Still the same as today was the rumour mill regarding transfers. "Mr Catterick was far from amused to read another of those scare stories, that Everton were poised to make a bid for Davies, the Bolton Wanderers centre-forward .... these stories which are pure speculation could upset our players and also those of Bolton".

This old programme is now highly prized and won't be disappearing again. It has reminded me of all those wonderful days on the terraces. I haven't been to Goodison in many years. This programme has reminded me I should go back soon.
Chris Townsend, Grantown-on-Spey     Posted 04/04/2008 at 16:59:01

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Paul English
1   Posted 04/04/2008 at 20:44:32

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The sixties were a special time my 1st match was v Aston Villa 61/62 season, i was in the boys pen,my memories of that game ,we won 2-0 the team was DUNLOP PARKER THOMSON GABRIEL LABONE HARRIS BINGHAM COLLINS YOUNG VERNON FELL. VERNON and BINGHAM scored my memories of that time was Derek Dougan had a mohican hair cut and Joe Mercer was the Villa Manager and Harry Catterick was building a championship winning team also a certain big club from across the park were playing in the second division,happy days.
Ron Wilmington
2   Posted 05/04/2008 at 02:28:25

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I was at the 5-4 game too. Fred Pickering played too and I think re-injured his knee in that game. I believe the scoring went like this:
Everton 1-0 West Brom
Everton 1-3 West Brom
Everton 4-3 West Brom
Everton 4-4 West Brom
Everton 5-4 West Brom

And I believe Alan Ball scored the winner from a penalty. Remember when we used to have them at Goodison? They’ve gone the way of the indirect free kick and the Dodo bird.

I seem to recall that Bobby Cram scored at least one for WBA
Keith Edmunds
3   Posted 05/04/2008 at 03:10:18

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Ron, I too was at the game, but my recollection is that at one point we were 4-1 up and they drew level before us winning with a penalty. Long time ago so I might be wrong!
Ron Wilmington
4   Posted 05/04/2008 at 06:02:53

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Keith, I’m starting to think I have it bass ackwards. I think it went:
Everton 0-1 West Brom
Everton 3-1 West Brom
Everton 3-4 West Brom
Everton 4-4 West Brom
Everton 5-4 West Brom

I think the lead changed hands several times.

I’d love to find out for sure.
Ron Wilmington
5   Posted 05/04/2008 at 06:58:10

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Maybe it was 4-1. Forty plus years ago now. My dad always talks about Everton winning 6-2 at West Brom in 1968 and then losing to them in the Cup Final aet a couple of months later.
Ray Roche
6   Posted 05/04/2008 at 09:28:58

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I was there too, and from behind the Gwladys St end, I remember Ball scoring the winner from the spot. However, I thought we were 4-0 up at one point before Albion drew level!! Am I getting old.... or are you ?
Chris Thornton
7   Posted 05/04/2008 at 10:31:30

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I was at that West Brom game and I remember we were 4-1 up, West Brom got back to 4-4, and Alan Ball go the winner from a penalty.
Jon Riley
8   Posted 05/04/2008 at 11:04:59

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I was at that match. It was a mid-week evening game and I recall that West Brom scored first then we went into a 4-1 lead only for West Brom levelled it to 4-4. Alan Ball won the match with a last minute penalty to make it 5-4.
Gerry Quinn
9   Posted 05/04/2008 at 12:07:01

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I watched that game from the Bullens Road stand, and I remember Everton being 4-1 up with Bally showboating by sitting on the ball. We then came out for the second-half and I experienced the lowest points of a supporters life (well, it ranks up there with a few!) as WBA came back to 4-4. The winner, I remember vividly, was such a relief - what a match, never want to see that score sequence again.....
Gerry Quinn
10   Posted 05/04/2008 at 12:12:44

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WBA bring back happy and oh so sad memories. 1968 where I watched us beat them at home 2-1 (easy), saw us pummel them 6-2 away (even easier) and then travel all the way to Wembley to cry my eyes out as they got a jammy win. Dreamt of what might have been had Bally not jumped to head the ball instead of leaving it for Jimmy Husband.

West Brom - ugh.....
Trudy Boston
11   Posted 05/04/2008 at 16:03:39

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Under Harry Catterick, Everton were one of the biggest names in domestic football during the decade that was the 1960’s.

To this day I still wonder how the team managed to lose to West Bromwich in that Cup Final, with Husband missing a great chance to win it late in normal time, before Jeff Astle took the Cup back to the Black Country.

Two years earlier Evertonians had the unique opportunity to witness one of the best FA Cup finals in the history of the tournament when a brace from Mike Trebilcock and one from Derek Temple turned around a two goal deficit against Sheffield Wednesday. We still have the honour of being the only club to do this in a Wembley FA Cup Final.

Add to that the sight of the supporter who broke from the crowd with the Police after him. That memory is almost as famous as Temple’s late winner. Almost.

Of course only one title brought back to Goodison in the decade, but by the summer of 1969 the Blues would be ready to embark on another title challenge that, by the end of the season would see Everton crowned English Champions for the seventh time.

Add to that the calibre of players such as Alex Young, Alan Ball, Joe Royle and Brian Labone playing in Blue. The 1970’s would see a bleak period in Everton fortunes, albeit for the first season, and a late spell under Gordon Lee, but the hazy days of the Kendall years first time around more than componsated for the disappointments of the previous ten to fifteen years.
Peter Fearon
12   Posted 06/04/2008 at 17:02:07

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I was also at that match. It was a rainy day and a muddy pitted pitch and at one point the ball actually rolled along the goal line without going in. I can still hear the high pitched screams...

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