Forty Years Ago — 1973-74: Match 15
An unchanged Everton side had travelled to Stamford Bridge, with high hopes of continuing their impressive league form and of gaining another victory on the road to add to their excellent home form. But Dave Sexton’s Chelsea with their team full of household names were not an easy scalp to take and that most dangerous of strikers, Peter Osgood, was in search of his 100th Division one goal, so Everton would have to be at their very best to take anything from one of the most challenging venues in the First Division.
In fact Everton would also have had to break what was somewhat of a hoodoo at Stamford Bridge as they had failed to win maximum points at the ground since Chelsea had been on their way to being champions in 1955, although Everton had beaten Chelsea at the ground, more recently, in the Charity Shield match played in 1970.
Chelsea’s away form had been their Achilles heel in 1973-74, as they had lost five of their eight fixtures away from Stamford Bridge, but they had recorded a win at Birmingham City (4-2) earlier in the season. They had also picked up points from their fixtures at QPR (1-1) and at Old Trafford in their most recent fixture with Manchester United (2-2).
At Stamford Bridge Chelsea had lost their opening fixture to Sheffield United (1-2) and had also lost their fixture with Ipswich Town (2-3). But three wins from games with Birmingham City (3-1), Coventry City (1-0) and Norwich (3-0) plus a draw with Wolverhampton Wanderers (2-2) showed that their best chance of gaining points had come from their home matches.
In the programme Chelsea bemoaned their lost opportunity of leaving Old Trafford with all the points as they had led by two goals entering the last couple of minutes, but due to injuries, Chelsea had only ten men on the pitch when Manchester United had scored twice to salvage a point. Chelsea’s interest in the League Cup had been ended by Stoke City (0-1) at the Victoria Ground earlier the previous month.
On the back page of the programme there was a picture of ‘The Brothers’ Graham and Ray Wilkins, both had played together for Chelsea in a recent game against Norwich City. They were the first brothers to play for the club, since Ron and Allan Harris and before that Peter and John Silletts. Have Everton FC had any brothers who have played together in Everton’s first-team?
The previous meeting between the sides at Stamford Bridge was mentioned as Everton had shared the points with Chelsea (1-1) in a game played on 23rd December 1972. The article reported that “Both goals were scored in the last minute, Harper giving Everton the lead and Hutchinson equalising with a header from Garland’s centre” a crowd of 23,385 were witness to the exciting end to the game.
But in the latest encounter at Stamford Bridge, Everton had crashed to their first defeat in the First Division since they had lost at Derby County whilst down to ten men in September. Chelsea’s Tommy Baldwin (10’) had scored early in the first-half and Peter Osgood (43’) unsurprisingly scored his 100th First Division goal shortly before the break. Although Roger Kenyon (60’) had given the Blues’ hope of rescuing a point, another goal for Peter Osgood (83’) late in the game had sealed the points for Chelsea.
This defeat for Everton meant that they had failed to capitalise on Leeds United and Burnley sharing the spoils in a goalless draw at Turf Moor as both extended their lead over the Blues. Newcastle United also lost ground as they had been beaten at Leicester City (0-1) whilst Liverpool leap-frogged Everton into fourth place as they had beaten Wolves (1-0) at Anfield and Ipswich Town had beaten Derby County (3-0). At the top of the table Leeds United (26) were out in front with Burnley (20) in second spot and a group of four teams, Newcastle, Liverpool, Everton and Ipswich Town were all on 19 points.
1973-74 — First Division: Saturday, 10 November 1973
Chelsea @ Stamford Bridge, Score; 1-3 (Kenyon), Attendance: 26,398
Everton: Lawson; Darracott, Mclaughlin, Clements, Kenyon; Hurst, Bernard, Buckley; Lyons, Harper, Connolly.
Thirty Years Ago — 1983-84: Match 15
Norwich City visited Goodison Park on the back of an unbeaten run of five league games, they also had a good record at the home of Everton, as in the last few seasons they had enjoyed many fine victories there and had not lost at Goodison Park since September 1977, when Everton had won by three goals to one thanks to goals from Duncan McKenzie, Martin Dobson and Bruce Rioch. Everton had hoped to enjoy back to back league wins at home for the first time since the back end of 1982-83 and the crowd looked forward to seeing Andy Gray perform for Everton at Goodison Park for the second time.
Ken Brown, the Norwich City manager and former West Ham United player was a popular man and a well-respected manager, he had taken over from John Bond in 1980 and this season he had decided to blend experience and youth in his current Norwich City as he looked to improve on last season’s performance, where they had finished in a respectable mid-table position. He had to suffer the ignominy of relegation in 1981 but he had successfully managed to bring the Norfolk club back into the First Division fold at the first time of asking.
Norwich City had won five, drawn five and lost five of the fifteen league games that they had played so far this season. At Carrow Road they had won three of their last four games beating Leicester City (3-1), Southampton (1-0) and West Bromwich Albion (2-0), but had lost heavily to QPR (0-3).
On the road they were unbeaten in three matches having won at Watford (3-1) and drawn with West Ham United (0-0) and Notts County (1-1). Norwich City sat in thirteenth place in the division, and had two points more than Everton; therefore if Everton could manage to win, they would go above the Canaries.
The Milk Cup, remained a target for Norwich City as they had beaten Cardiff City (3-0) on aggregate in round 2, but then had faced a replay at Roker Park, because they had only managed a draw with Sunderland (0-0) at Carrow Road
The return of some 4,000 fans to the Goodison Park fold for Andy Gray’s debut was noted in the Comment section and they hoped that if results improved then many more absent friends would return to Goodison on a regular basis. The article also reflected upon the disappointment that the English football fraternity had felt as the realisation that Bobby Robson’s England team would not be taking part in next years’ European Championship to be held in France.
Andy Gray speaking about his home debut in the game with Nottingham Forest said “I’ve been looking at the records and I have noticed that Everton haven’t won a trophy since 1970. It would be nice to help them win one as soon as soon as possible.” Unfortunately for Andy and Everton, he was cup-tied in the Milk Cup and so he would only be able to watch as his team-mates attempted to progress in that competition, when they travelled to Upton Park on Wednesday. Andy went on to say with a smile on his face that “It was nice to savour three points after 14 games without a win at Wolves.”
Because of the constant rumours surrounding Everton FC and the possibility of them signing Brazilian footballer Joao Nunes, Howard Kendall in an effort to clarify the club’s position, had told ‘Newsdesk’ that “From my side of the fence, it seems to have been built up out of all proportion, probably because he’s a Brazilian and there hasn’t been a Brazilian in the First Division.“ he added “…we must now await the outcome of our application for a work permit for him to play in this country. When that hurdle has been cleared, and if we are still able to have him over for a trial period with little cash involved, then we will have a look at him.”
Meanwhile, Everton reserves’ now managed by Graham Smith following Colin Harvey’s promotion as an assistant coach to Howard Kendall with the first team, extended their winning streak in the Central League to nine games with a victory over Bolton (2-1) at Goodison Park and proudly sat at the top of the league, with their nearest rivals West Bromwich Albion four points adrift, but who had played two games more than the Blues. There was a slight blemish on the record though as the Bolton Wanderers goal was the first time the Reserves defence had been breached all season. Trevor Steven had notched both goals for the home side.
For those fans who wanted to travel to Manchester United to watch Everton the following Saturday, tickets were available at £2 for Ground and £4.10p for seats. If they had wanted to purchase tickets for the forthcoming Milk Cup tie with West Ham United at Upton Park they would cost £2.30 pay at the gate to enter the Ground section or seats were available priced at £5.50p, £6 and £6.50p, in the event of a replay prices for the game at Goodison ranged from the cheapest priced at £2 for pay on the gate for entrance to the Ground and the most expensive seats were priced at £4.20
Howard Kendall said that he fully expected Norwich City - who in his opinion were a good side - to cause Everton problems, and that their wide players had been particularly dangerous. He also felt that it had been understandable that the fans vented their frustration at another failure by his team at Goodison to collect the three points. The first goal had been scored by Norwich youngster Louie Donawa but the second goal an own goal by John Bailey, was in Howard’s opinion due to Neville Southall charging off his line too quickly. Two players in the Norwich City line-up who would play a part for Everton in future years were Dave Watson and Chris Woods.
1983-84 — First Division: Saturday, 26 November 1983
Norwich City @ Goodison Park, Score: 0-2, Attendance: 14,106
Everton: Southall; Harper, Bailey, Ratcliffe, Mountfield; Reid, Irvine, Heath (Stevens); Gray, King, Sheedy.
Twenty Years Ago — 1993-94: Match 15
QPR had arrived at Goodison on the back of six wins out of their previous seven competitive fixtures, losing only to runaway league leaders Manchester United at Old Trafford. Everton would be looking to bounce back from their disappointing defeat at Coventry City. QPR had not lost to Everton since November 1990, when goals from Pat Nevin, Mike Newell and Neil McDonald without reply had earned Everton all three points
The Blues’ fans would have hoped that Les Ferdinand had left his shooting boots at home as his personal record against Everton had been outstanding, and in his side’s victory at Goodison (3-5) the previous season he had scored a hat-trick. Andy Sinton had also scored a hat-trick at Loftus Road (2-4) in the reverse fixture. Only Bob Latchford had scored three or more goals for Everton against QPR in the top flight and that had been way back in October 1977 when Bob had got four of the goals in a victory at Loftus Road (5-1), the other scorer for Everton that day had been Duncan McKenzie
Last season’s performance in the Premier League had been the best for QPR since 1988, when they had also finished fifth in the table, but the ambition of the club had been to match their best ever top flight finish when they had finished runners-up in 1976. Gerry Francis the QPR manager had been the Captain of that 1976 side and he had been in charge at Loftus Road since taking over from Don Howe in May 1991. Injuries had played a part in QPR’s slow start to this season which had seen them lose four of their first seven Premier League fixtures. Since their defeat at Maine Road against Manchester City (0-3) they had beaten Ipswich Town (3-0), Coventry City (5-1) and Blackburn Rovers (1-0) at Loftus Road, whilst they had a fine victory at St. James Park against Newcastle United (2-1). In the League Cup, Barnet (6-1) on aggregate and Millwall (3-0) had been despatched and Rangers hoped their good run of form would lead to them winning the trophy for the first time since 1967.
A feature on Dave Hickson celebrating his recent award of the Dixie Dean Memorial trophy for 1993, which was run by the Liverpool Echo and Dave was the fourteenth recipient of the award, following in the footsteps of previous winners, including, Colin Harvey, Ian Callaghan and Ray Mathias. Dave was delighted to receive such an honour and he said that he still even at the age of 64 plays football, with the Over The Hill Mob, who Dave described “It’s a collection of past Everton players that includes George Telfer, John Bailey, Ronnie Goodlass and occasionally Andy King. I turn out about once a fortnight and sometimes manage a couple of goals.” Former Liverpool skipper Tommy Smith recalled Dave when he played for Liverpool after his time with Everton and said “He always spoke quietly for someone who would go out on the pitch and assassinate defenders. I love the bones of the fella. He was one of the old breed, a battling striker who was NEVER intimidated by defenders. They broke the centre forward mould the day Dave retired.”
Last season QPR had done the double over Everton winning at Goodison (5-3) and at Loftus Road (4-2). Everton had finished the game at Loftus Road with nine men following the red cards issued to Neville Southall and Paul Rideout by referee Gerald Ashby. Substitute Stuart Barlow had scored a brace for Everton when they were trailing to the three goals scored by Andy Sinton (2) and Gary Penrice, but Everton ultimately couldn’t rescue what would have been a remarkable point as Sinton completed his hat-trick in the final minutes of the game.
Today’s fixture invoked memories for Graeme Sharp of the day that Everton had clinched the title at Goodison Park following a victory over QPR (2-0) in May 1985. A crowd of just over 50,000 had turned up at Goodison with the hope that the Toffee’s would clinch their first Title since 1970. Derek Mountfield (24’) eased the team’s nerves when he lashed in his 12th goal of the season. QPR were still battling to save their place in the top division and Graeme says:
“In fact they put up quite a fight in the second-half and Gary Bannister fired a header against the post. Then with about eight minutes left I scored the goal that virtually made the game and the title safe.” Graeme said that game had been one of the highlights of his career and claims that that Everton side “was possibly one of the best the club has ever had.” Graeme and his team-mates helped Everton to win the European Cup Winners Cup nine days after the QPR match but had lost to Manchester United the following Saturday in the FA Cup final at Wembley and Graeme said “If the FA Cup had come a week later, I think we could have won that as well.” Yet for Graeme, whilst pleased that they had won two major honours in that never to be forgotten season, the greatest disappointment was that he and the club had been prevented from entering the European Cup the following season and he said “That was a big blow because we had a sneaking suspicion we might have won it.”
Everton: Southall, Stevens, Van Den Hauwe, Ratcliffe, Mountfield, Reid, Steven, Sharp, Gray, Bracewell and Sheedy. Substitute: Richardson
QPR: Hucker, Chivers, Dawes, Waddock, Wicks, Fenwick, Robinson, Fillery, Bannister, James and Gregory. Substitute: McDonald.
Goodison Park had not been chosen to host games for the 1996 European Championships to be held in England, the honour of being nominated had fallen to Liverpool FC and its Anfield stadium. Everton Chairman Dr David Marsh said he was naturally disappointed with the Football Association’s decision, and “The decision will not in any way affect any of our future plans for development of Goodison Park. The new Park End Stand will go ahead as planned and completed prior to the start of next season, and we will also continue to make other improvements, as we have done over many years, for the benefit of our own supporters.”
Everton had prevented Les Ferdinand from adding to his personal tally against them but his strike partner Bradley Allen had grabbed a hat-trick for QPR as once again the Hoops left Goodison Park with all the spoils. Allen had scored in the 26th, 50th and 83rd minutes. Howard Kendall said of his side’s performance that “It was probably the worst display since I came back to the club three years ago and I could fully understand why the supporters poured out their feelings. Too many players didn’t perform on the day, and we were punished by a very good passing team.” Everton’s hopes of attaining a European berth were beginning to look out of reach as they were now planted firmly in mid-table, seven points adrift of the top seven teams, but they were a healthy eight points clear of Southampton who occupied the final relegation position.
1993-94 — Premier League: Saturday, 20 November 1993
Queems Park Rangers @ Goodison Park, Score: 0-3, Attendance: 17,089
Everton: Southall; Holmes, Watson, Ablett, Jackson; Ebbrell, Ward; Barlow, Preki (Horne), Beagrie (Stuart), Cottee.
Unused Sub: Kearton.
Ten Years Ago — 2003-04: Match 15
Kevin Keegan’s Manchester City had topped the Premier League earlier in the 2003-04 campaign, but a run of three straight defeats had dented their aspirations of a top four finish. If Everton could produce a performance and more importantly a result to match their last home game, they would find themselves just two points away from Manchester City, who were in ninth place in the table. Although the Blues’ had gone out of the Carling Cup in their midweek fixture at the Riverside on penalties there had been signs that the team were improving, but that continued failure to create and convert chances still haunted them.
Manchester City fans could be forgiven for thinking that they were at last reaping some richly deserved reward for their loyalty, with a brand new stadium and witnessing their team play in Europe for the first time in twenty-five years, albeit having qualified via the fair play route, although briefly having seen their team top the table in the early stages of the season.
City had started the 2003-04 season well, away from their new Eastlands venue with wins at Charlton Athletic (3-0), Blackburn Rovers (3-2) and at Southampton (2-0), but they had suffered defeats at Wolves (0-1), Chelsea (0-1) and Newcastle United (0-3) which had raised concerns about their consistency.
In their new home they had beaten Aston Villa (4-1) and Bolton Wanderers (6-2) handsomely, but had lost to Arsenal (1-2), Leicester City (0-3) and in their most recent home fixture, prior to their visit to Goodison, to a rejuvenated Middlesbrough (0-1).
In the Carling Cup they had beaten QPR (3-0) at Loftus Road but had gone out of the competition as they had lost at White Hart Lane to Tottenham Hotspur (1-3). Their European hopes were also over after losing to Polish side Groclin on the away goals rule. But after the dark days when they were in England’s third tier the prospects for Manchester’s other club were looking bright.
David Moyes reported that Luke Chadwick had gone on loan to Millwall where Luke had scored for the London club shortly after his arrival at the Den. Mr Moyes said that Luke and Leon Osman had been pushing for first-team football and that it could only be good for the club as it increased competition for places in his first team.
Bits 'n Bobs pointed out that when Kevin Kilbane had scored his first goal for Everton at Goodison Park, against Wolves, he had joined an exclusive band of players who had scored consecutive goals firstly against the Blues and had then scored for Everton at Goodison Park. Kevin’s previous goal prior to his header against Wolves had come against Everton for Sunderland in January 2003 at Goodison.
Other players in this exclusive group included, Rod Belfitt who had scored for Ipswich Town against Everton and then had scored for Everton on his debut against Manchester City (2-3), in November 1972, whilst the last player prior to Kevin Kilbane to do likewise was Jesper Blomquist who had scored for Manchester United against Everton in October 1998 and then for Everton against Sunderland in January 2002, both of Jesper’s goals had been headers at the Park End.
It had been suspected before the game that both sides would cancel each other out, and that the fixture would be unlikely to have produced a thriller, although this game was as far from that description as you could imagine. The general consensus at Goodison after the match had been that Everton had wasted another opportunity to gain three points but that one point was better than none.
Tommy Gravesen had come closest in the second-half when following a sweeping move involving Campbell and Radzinski the latter played a good pass inside to Gravesen who unluckily hit the post with his shot. Former Everton player Richard Dunne and current Everton player Sylvain Distin had marshalled the City defence to good effect and City would have been the happier as they stopped their run of defeats and took the point. Heavy defeats for Aston Villa away to Manchester United (0-4) and Wolverhampton Wanders at Tottenham Hotspur (2-5) meant that Everton had climbed out of the bottom three courtesy of having a better goal difference than Aston Villa.
2003-04 — Premier League; Sunday, 7 December 2003
Manchester City @ Goodison Park, Score: 0-0, Attendance: 37,871
Everton: Martyn; Hibbert (Kilbane), Stubbs, Unsworth, Naysmith; Carsley, Gravesen, Li Tie; Rooney (McFadden), Radzinski, Jeffers (Campbell).
Unused Subs: Simonsen, Linderoth
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475 Posted 07/12/2013 at 21:17:58
518 Posted 08/12/2013 at 00:41:25
405 Posted 10/12/2013 at 16:21:26
As a matter of pure unrelated trivia, that last win at Stamford Bridge on November 26, 1994, was the first Saturday that the National Lottery ever took place!
407 Posted 10/12/2013 at 16:24:51
Keep them coming. Fascinating stuff and always good to remember how bad our crowds have been at times in the past. It’s a problem that has affected most clubs. Did you know that when Chelsea played at home to Southampton in a Premier League game 20 years ago in Feb 1993, the crowd, if you can call it that, was only just over SEVEN thousand???? And in Feb 1986, Aston Villa only had 8400 in for the visit of Southampton while a week later Spurs saw just 10800 turn up at White Hart Lane on a Saturday afternoon for the visit of WBA!
410 Posted 10/12/2013 at 16:34:46
411 Posted 10/12/2013 at 16:37:46
413 Posted 10/12/2013 at 16:36:16
415 Posted 10/12/2013 at 16:56:46
73/4 was the season, as a 7 year old, I began following Everton. Many a time on those years since it has felt like a curse, but it has also given me great feelings that I don’t think I could get elsewhere in life! Luckily, the good has far outweighed the bad :)
423 Posted 10/12/2013 at 17:43:36
Arsenal haven’t had a bad crowd in about 30 years, the last really low one was in November 1981 I think, when 13777 were present for a one nil win against Middlesbrough. They were really dull to watch at the time and getting bad press for only winning one nil all the time. Seeds of that ironic ’ one nil to the arsenal ’ they sing now maybe?
Everton played there later in the month, first time I ever went to Highbury, and we lost....1-0! Crowd of about 23000 I think. Fighting pre-match in the concourse under the clock end terrace as I recall. Police were on to it sharpish, but they sure were different times to now!
511 Posted 10/12/2013 at 22:13:49
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