Forty Years Ago – 1973-74
White Hart Lane was the destination for Everton as Bob Latchford returned to the side following his absence from the game at home to Chelsea.
Everton’s victories at White Hart Lane had been few and far between but generally when the Blues’ had managed to beat Spurs on their own patch, in the last decade or so it had usually been decisive as to which of the two sides stayed in the race for the title.
During the 69/70 campaign the first match between the sides was held at White Hart Lane, Everton had returned to Goodison with both points as Alan Whittle (16’) had scored the winning goal early in the opening period.
In the return game at Goodison Park, Alan Whittle (30’) had once again opened the scoring but Alan Gilzean (33’) had equalised just three minutes later, shortly before half-time Alan Ball (40’) had successfully converted a penalty as Everton regained the lead but once more Spurs had equalised when Dennis Bond (72’) had also successfully converted his penalty before Joe Royle had settled the match and Everton had gained another two valuable points in their ultimately successful bid for the title.
Everton travelled to White Hart Lane as reigning Champions in March 1964 having beaten the Lilywhites to the title the previous season. The games against Spurs in the 62/63 campaign had helped to propel the Toffees to the title as Everton had won at Goodison (1-0) and drawn at White Hart Lane (0-0).
Prior to this match played on 07 March 1964 Tottenham were leading the way at the top of the division and Everton were a little off the pace in fourth place so once again the encounter between the two sides would have a bearing on the title-race. Terry Dyson (17') put the league leaders ahead midway through the first half, but Everton re-grouped and a two goal burst in two minutes saw the Blues take the lead before half-time. Alex Young (32') scored the equaliser and Derek Temple (34') put the Toffees ahead a lead they retained going into the break. On the hour mark Les Allen (60') struck back for Tottenham and his goal restored parity. But that state of affairs didn't last long as Roy Vernon (62') restored Everton's advantage just two minutes later. Eight minutes from time Roy Vernon converted a penalty to score his second goal of the match and Everton's fourth and the Blues held on to secure an impressive victory and put themselves two points closer to the table-toppers. Evertonia gave their version of events in the subsequent home programme:-
This score underlines our intentions of retaining the League trophy at the end of this season. The fact that Tottenham scored the first goal did not deter Everton - or their many supporters. Spurs hung on to their lead for some time, but justice was done when Alex Young and Derek Temple shot us into an interval lead with two beautiful goals. After half-time the story was repeated. Spurs levelled the scores before Everton really showed their supremacy over Spurs in all eleven departments. Roy Vernon crowned an excellent display with two goals - one a great shot from twenty-five yards out, the other his fourteenth consecutive successful penalty. Everton: West: Brown, Meagan: Gabriel, Labone, Kay, Scott; Stevens, Young, Vernon, Temple.
Everton’s first triumph at White Hart Lane since WWII had been in December 1954, the Toffees first season back in the big time following a three season hiatus. Curiously Spurs had celebrated the 50/51 campaign as League Champions and Everton had suffered an ignominious fall from grace and were duly relegated. But on their return to the top-flight the Toffees were determined to show that they could not only retain their place in the First Division but could do so with room to spare. The Spurs line-up included two players who would go on to have illustrious managerial careers, Sir Alf Ramsey and Bill Nicholson.
But despite having those sharp football minds in their team Spurs couldn’t match Everton as John Willie Parker scored twice and an own goal by Spurs’ Mel Hopkins earned both points for the Blues. The Spurs consolation goal was scored by Eddie Bailey. Everton: O'Neill; Moore, Donovan; Farrell, Jones TE, Lello; Wainwright, Fielding, Hickson, Parker, Eglington.
Sir Alf Ramsey had famously led England to World Cup glory in 1966 but he earned his ‘spurs’ at Ipswich Town as this extract from Wikipedia explains.
He retired from playing in 1955 to become manager of Ipswich Town. He guided the Suffolk-based side to third place in the Third Division South in his debut season, the side scoring 106 goals in the 46 league fixtures. Ramsey's second season in charge led to the division title, Ipswich's second at that level, and promotion to the Second Division.
The Suffolk-based side established themselves at the Second Division level for the following three seasons with mid-table finishes. Ramsey also managed his side to moderate success in the FA Cup, reaching the Fifth Round in the 1958–59 season. After three seasons of mid-table finishes, the fourth brought further success to Portman Road as Ramsey guided the Blues to the Second Division title and into the top flight for the first time in the club's history.
Ramsey's Ipswich achieved unprecedented success the following season as he led his side to the Championship in their debut season at the top level. The side had been tipped by virtually all contemporary football pundits and journalists for relegation at the start of the season, making the achievement arguably one of the most remarkable in the history of the League.
Bill Nicholson had gone on to manage Tottenham and he had been in charge when Spurs had defeated Everton (10-4) and one of his quotes - ‘It is better to fail aiming high than to succeed aiming low. And we of Spurs have set our sights very high, so high in fact that even failure will have in it an echo of glory’ - made it to number four in the Daily Mail’s list of Top 50 managerial quotes.
The Match: Tottenham manager Bill Nicholson could not prevent Everton from beating his beloved club, as Bob Latchford (16’) continued his fine goalscoring form by giving Everton the lead at White Hart Lane, John Connolly (33’) put the Blues two goals ahead and the Toffees had gained a valuable two points on the road. This victory had been only the tenth occasion that Everton had beaten Tottenham on their home patch.
1973-74 — First Division; Saturday, 30 March 1974
Tottenham Hotspur @ White Hart Lane, Score: 0-2 (Latchford, Connolly) Att: 19,839
Everton: Lawson; Bernard, Seargeant, Hurst, Kenyon; Clements, Harvey, Buckley; Latchford (Jones), Lyons, Connolly
Thirty Years Ago 1983-84 Match 35
As Everton travelled to Southampton on Tuesday 17 April 1984, the players and the fans were still giddy after beating the South-Coast team only three days earlier at Highbury and thereby clinching their place in the showpiece final at Wembley in a little over a month’s time. Whilst the three points were important to both sides, the Everton players and supporters could be forgiven if they were a little blasé about this particular trip to the Dell.
Saturday 14 April 1984 was a warm and sunny if slightly breezy afternoon in North London, as nearly 47,000 supporters assembled inside Highbury Stadium and every one of them was convinced that their team would be triumphant.
Southampton due to the fact that they had been consistently good all season, were the favourites and they had Lawrie McMenemy as their manager who had guided the Saints to FA Cup glory in 1976. But Everton having also battled their way to the League Cup final allied to an upturn in league form were also dangerous opponents.
All the household names it seemed belonged to the Saints; Peter Shilton, Steve Moran, Mick Mills, Frank Worthington and David Armstrong could all be match-winners on any given day but several of them were coming to the twilight of their careers and there was a feeling among the Evertonians that the younger legs in the Toffees team could overcome the Saint’s experience.
Certainly speaking for myself and those I attended the game with, we didn’t have the same concerns that we had had in previous games at this stage of the competition. For example in 1980 we knew we were probably not a good enough side and that the Everton team of that period lacked consistency, we also had the knowledge that West Ham United were a very good Second-Division team and due to the relative status of the clubs, Everton in many ways were the favourites and that added a pressure all of its own.
But on this particular occasion we were more confident and less fearful although of course the FA Cup had been a cruel mistress in the not too recent past as exemplified by the previous season’s events at Old Trafford when Frank Stapleton had broken Evertonians hearts late in the day in the quarter-final tie. So the mood was of hope rather than trepidation, but Evertonians were canny enough not to fool themselves into believing that it would be straightforward or easy in any way shape or form.
Despite being fairly upbeat there were very many Evertonians of my vintage who hadn’t witnessed an FA Cup semi-final victory as it had been sixteen years since Everton had beaten Leeds United (1-0) at Old Trafford in 1968 courtesy of a Johnny Morrissey (42’) penalty.
Since that triumph at Old Trafford the Toffees had appeared in four FA Cup semi-finals and had failed to get to Wembley on every occasion as Manchester City (1969), Liverpool (1971)(1977) and West Ham United (1980) had all overcome the Toffees at the penultimate stage of the prestigious cup competition
Don Evans reported the match from Highbury and he wrote:-
Everton pursued by thousands of their rooting fans, made the North-bound motorways a ribbon of rejoicing last night. Wembley really was coming up the second time. Two minutes from time [extra time] it looked all set for a Birmingham Replay [?] then Adrian Heath made the vital strike and Everton were through.
With that deserved winner, the team’s most expensive signing had paid back his transfer fee when he rose to the occasion and a badly bouncing deflected ball from a Peter Reid free kick.
Southampton’s unhappy Reuben Agboola had handled the ball just outside the area near the dead ball line. Reid took the kick. It floated into the goalmouth, was touched on and down past the far post for Heath to guide it in and Everton up Wembley Way. Everton deserved their late victory even though manager Howard Kendall admitted that with the exception of the magnificent Neville Southall, the Merseyside men never touched their Milk Cup Final form.
Southall did, twice in the first half saving Everton. In the 15th minute he punched away a dynamite drive from Steve Moran which he had no right to see and almost on half-time the speedy Danny Wallace saw Southall produce another save before John Bailey cleared off the line.
It had been a half in which Southampton looked slightly the better of two sides over-inclined to give the ball too much air in a tricky wind. The midfield men were overlooked and overpassed and up front Southampton looked the more deadly.
But the longer the game went the greater became Everton’s superiority. And in the 78th minute after Kevin Richardson had put by, and Heath and Derek Mountfield over the bar, we saw Southampton saved temporarily when Mick Mills diverted a slow rolling ball from Heath off the goal-line.
The best Southampton could offer was a Wallace shot which struck the crossbar. Against this Andy Gray insisted he might have had a goal in the 19th minute of extra-time when he dived for the ball before hooking a weak shot into Peter Shilton’s arms. But in the end all that mattered was Everton were through in their 19th Semi-Final of the Cup, a record.
If goalkeeper Southall rose to such heights for Everton there were others who did as well. His goal apart, Heath was operating better and with greater confidence all the time while in midfield. Peter Reid was again the little general. It was fitting that it was his fee kick that brought the winner.
A final word of praise for John Bailey up against not only the speed of Danny Wallace for much of the match he also had to suffer constant booing from the Southampton fans, but still turned in a mature performance in a back four line surely as good as anything in the league today.
Everton: Southall; Stevens, Bailey, Ratcliffe, Mountfield; Reid, Curran, Heath; Gray, Steven (Sharp), Richardson.
Southampton: Shilton; Mills, Dennis, Williams, Agboola, Wright; Holmes, Moran; Worthington, Armstrong, Wallace.
Howard Kendall revealed after the game that Andy Gray had almost missed the match at Highbury after straining a muscle in the game with Arsenal at Goodison prior to the Semi-Final, Howard said “…Andy was pronounced fit yesterday only hours before kick-off, you can call it one of the game’s better kept secrets.” Kendall went on to say that “Heath has scored many a vital goal for us, and is particularly pleasing after the start he had with us – when he was trying to justify that big fee and not producing the form I knew he was capable of. “I felt our win was deserved, but naturally when you are making chances and not taking them you start to think you are never going to score. “In the second-half, we got a grip of the midfield. I thought we looked a bit stronger at 90 minutes. We had the ball more in the second-half and when that happens you don’t get so tired.
Andy Gray said “I’ve waited nine years in English football for this moment. Two League Cup finals, Scotland v England, but I don’t think anything will ever match this. Peter Reid said “I’ve had my share of troubles in my career, but this makes up for everything. I just can’t believe it.” Adrian Heath said “It was the most pleasing goal I have ever scored. Getting back to Wembley means so much to everyone. I didn’t think I was going to get to the ball because it bounced awkwardly, but I managed to bend my neck to it.”
After all that excitement and nerve-wracking tension the forthcoming game at the Dell seemed to pale into insignificance as Evertonians had a whole month to plan and prepare for their grand day out at Wembley on May 19th where Graham Taylor’s Watford team awaited them after beating Plymouth Argyle at Villa Park.
The Southampton Match-Day magazine editorial congratulated Everton FC on their achievement of reaching the 1984 FA Cup Final, but it also urged Southampton to avenge that defeat and take as many points as possible in the clubs remaining fixtures in order to attain Uefa Cup qualification. Everton did not have a good record at the Dell in the previous decade and hadn’t won there since 71/72 when Jimmy Gabriel (18’) had missed a penalty for the Saint’s and Everton’s Mike Buckley (29') had scored the only goal of the game to earn the points for the Toffees. Indeed Southampton had won the last six league meetings and all without Everton scoring until last season’s defeat (3-2).
The Match: The only change from the Semi-final line-up had seen Alan Harper come into the Everton team to replace John Bailey, perhaps as a response to the barracking that John had taken during the game at Highbury by the Southampton fans. I must admit I can’t remember exactly what John had done to upset the Saints’ fans but I think he may have put in a bad tackle on one of their favourites in an earlier meeting between Everton and Southampton or perhaps it had something to do with a game involving John Bailey whilst he was a Blackburn player.
Unsurprisingly Everton did not offer much resistance to Southampton’s urgent need to avenge their semi-final disappointment and as early as the eighth minute Southampton had been awarded a penalty which Steve Moran had the misfortune to miss when he hit the post with his effort. That missed penalty meant that Everton went into the break all-square.
David Armstrong (49’) gave the Saints the lead early in the second period but Kevin Richardson (58’) equalised for the Blues shortly before the hour mark. David Armstrong (79’) scored his second goal of the game in the latter stages of the match to regain the lead for the Saints and Steve Moran (81’) made up for his penalty miss by scoring the goal that sealed the points for Southampton as Everton returned to Merseyside empty-handed. Howard Kendall was not impressed with what he described as Southampton’s physical approach and he wrote “Our players took a hammering and in that type of match, you are hoping for protection from the referee.” Howard was also disappointed that his team had conceded two goals from set-pieces.
1983-84 — First Division; Tuesday, 17 April 1984
Southampton @ the Dell, Score: 3-1 (Richardson), Attendance: 16,978
Everton: Southall; Stevens, Harper, Ratcliffe, Mountfield; Reid, Curran, Heath; Gray, Steven, Richardson
Twenty Years Ago 1993-94 Matches 35
Villa Park was the next port of call for Everton as they looked for points to maintain their top-flight status. Villa were a useful side with experienced individual players and a charismatic manager and they had recently beaten Manchester United (3-1) in the League Cup Final, as former Everton player Kevin Richardson lifted the trophy as captain of the Midlanders, but Villa were beatable and Everton would hope to get at least a point from this encounter.
Everton were sat in third place with a little over a quarter of their fixtures remaining when they visited Villa Park on April Fool’s day 1963, hoping to get maximum points to put pressure on the leading sides in the division. Aston Villa sat comfortably in mid-table and would be the type of side that Everton would have to overcome if they wanted to win the title for the first time since the war. A fair sized crowd (31,377) turned up to see if the Toffees were to be considered true challengers and as Evertonia reported the Blues didn’t disappoint their followers.
Everton had a very encouraging win at Villa Park. Second half goals by Alec Young and Jimmy Gabriel gave us the points. Moreover, the manner in which victory was achieved gave pleasure. Alec Young had a wonderful game and made the evening a nightmare for the Villa pivot, Sleeuwenhoek, and Roy Vernon was his old powerful self again. Everton: West: Parker, Thomson: Gabriel, Labone, Kay, Scott; Stevens, Young, Vernon, Morrissey
Everton’s visit to Villa Park on 7 October 1963 to face Joe Mercer’s Villa side was recalled by Evertonia:
At Villa Park last Monday we again had the picture of a moderate first half followed by a marked improvement after the interval. We had our chances to take the lead before the interval but failed to take full advantage of them. Villa also could have easily gone ahead - and they did, in fact, get the ball past Gordon West on one occasion but Brian Harris kicked it off the goal-line.
The weather made conditions unsuited to good play. Rain came down incessantly throughout the game and the slight mist was made more apparent by the floodlights. Apart from the game being played at night the conditions were almost as poor as they had been at St Andrew's two days previous.
Everton eventually went ahead after the changeover. A long pass by Alex Young found Dennis Stevens on the right-wing and the centre which the inside-right put over enabled Roy Vernon (56’) to score one of the finest headers of his career. There was no further scoring and this goal was worth two most welcome points. Everton: West: Parker, Harris B: Gabriel, Labone, Kay, Scott; Stevens, Young, Vernon, Temple
That victory put Everton into the top six in the First Division but they would need many more results like this one if they were going to retain their First Division crown.
The Match: A welcome clean-sheet for the Blues’ at Villa Park but once again they had failed to hit the target and had to settle for a point from a goalless encounter. Everton’s point had inched the Blues towards safety and Southampton’s defeat by Oldham (1-3) at the Dell had put the Toffees (37pts) four points clear of third from bottom Saints (33pts) but Southampton had played a game fewer than the Blues.
1993-94 — Premier League; Wednesday, 30 March 1994
Aston Villa @ Villa Park, Score: 0-0 Attendance: 36,044
Everton: Southall; Jackson, Snodin, Watson, Hinchcliffe; Stuart, Horne, Ebbrell, Unsworth; Limpar Angell.
Unused Sub: Kearton, Cottee, Rowett.
Ten Years Ago – 2003-04
A win for either Everton or Blackburn Rovers at Goodison Park would take either of the teams to the magic forty points, which had been and probably remains the benchmark for preserving Premier League status. Of course getting to that target may or may not be enough come the season’s end but there was no harm in trying to surpass it. Everton actually only needed a point to reach the artificial total as they had thirty-nine points in the bag and were two points ahead of Rovers’.
Evertonia reflected on the Everton versus Blackburn fixture during the latter part of the 62/63 campaign as Everton chased their sixth League title. The match was played at Goodison Park on 6 April 1963 and Evertonia reported the following:-
Our title hopes took another knock last Saturday week when we were held at home to a score-les draw by Blackburn Rovers. This was probably the poorest game seen at Goodison Park this season. Although the skies were clear and bright there was a strong wind blowing into the Stanley Park end of the ground. This made control of the ball very difficult.
Unfortunately, the elements were not the only factors of the disappointment. The teams simply did not play well. The Rovers' defence being of greater stature than the Everton front-line had no difficulty dealing with balls in the air. On the ground, apart from the double centre-half format blocking the middle of the field, the home team often fell for the Blackburn offside trap. It took Alex Parker to make the first real break, through this menace.
Moreover, the crowd did not take too kindly to the referee's refusal to allow two 'goals' by Roy Vernon to stand. Prior infringements were responsible in each case, but as the first one was given in Everton's favour many thought the advantage rule would have held good. These decisions were a disappointment to Roy Vernon personally as the Blackburn game was his 250th League appearance and, of course, it was against his former club.
The Rovers' goal had some close escapes as Everton tried to turn their superiority to goals. Else, the visiting goalie made some good saves, but too frequently the gathering of the ball was an easy task for him. Gordon West had very little to do in the home goal. Yet again this was just a game to forget.
Everton: West: Parker, Thomson: Gabriel, Labone, Kay, Scott; Stevens, Young, Vernon, Morrissey
The last meeting between the two sides had occurred on Saturday, 14 December, 2002, as the BBC reported:-
The Wayne Rooney show resumed at Goodison Park as the youngster's goal helped Everton come from behind to beat Blackburn - and halt a run of three consecutive defeats. The win also means that Everton are now above Liverpool in the Premiership table.
Blackburn took an early lead through Andy Cole, but Lee Carsley soon equalised before Rooney notched his third Premiership goal. The 17-year-old, making his first Premiership start since 22 September, delighted a capacity Goodison Park with his well-taken strike.
And the BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year - who had been brought into the team for Tomasz Radzinski - also caught the eye with a vision and maturity that belied his age.
But after surviving an early Kevin Campbell chance, it was Rovers who took control of the match, with two David Thompson free-kicks creating chances for Garry Flitcroft and Dwight Yorke. And Cole put Rovers ahead after connecting with yet another Thompson free-kick. Cole met Thompson's in-swinging ball and headed home past a stranded Richard Wright for his 150th Premiership goal. An error from Tony Hibbert almost led to a second goal for the visitors but Yorke failed to hit the target and Everton equalised soon afterwards.
Campbell crossed to Rooney, whose shot rebounded off the post for Carsley to stroke the ball home from three yards. Yorke had another chance to score for Rovers but headed Duff's cross over the crossbar - and again Everton punished the striker's profligacy with a goal. Rooney created a shooting chance with a deft header that took the ball away from Craig Short and slipped the ball past Brad Friedel - another demonstration of his dazzling skills.
The influential Thompson was unlucky not to be awarded a penalty when he appeared to be fouled by Joseph Yobo. And with half-time looming Cole shrugged off Yobo's challenge and hit the post with Yorke narrowly failing to smash home the rebound.
Rooney created a shooting chance for Carsley early in the second half but the midfielder shot wide and Gravesen narrowly missed the target after Everton hit Blackburn on the break after 52 minutes. But it was Blackburn who dominated possession and caused huge problems with their set pieces. Martin Taylor met yet another Thompson corner and Richard Wright did well to prevent Rovers restoring parity.
Midway through the second half Lucas Neill was dismissed after receiving his second yellow card but Blackburn continued to press forward. Former Everton player Short - who had endured a torrid time from Rooney all afternoon - almost equalised with a bullet header but Wright made a sensational save to deny him. And Wright was again on hand to deny both Damien Duff and Nils-Eric Johansson in the closing stages.
Everton: Wright, Hibbert (Pistone 90), Yobo, Stubbs, Unsworth, Carsley, Tie Li (Weir 64), Gravesen, Naysmith, Campbell, Rooney (Radzinski 90).
Subs Not Used: Simonsen, Gemmill. Referee: G Barber (Hertfordshire).
The Match: Another disappointing day for the Everton team and its supporters alike as Blackburn increased their chances of survival thanks to an unexpected victory over the Toffees at Goodison Park. The following is how the match unfolded according to the BBC website:-
A Jon Stead header punished Everton to give Blackburn a priceless win in their fight against relegation. Goalkeepers Nigel Martyn and Brad Friedel both turned in outstanding displays but on 81 minutes Stead glanced a header past Martyn. In the first-half Friedel produced superb saves to stop Steve Watson and Tomasz Radzinski, while Martyn kept out efforts from Craig Short and Stead. Everton dominated possession after the restart but paid for their profligacy.
Martyn hurled himself to his right to palm away former Everton defender Short's header after Tugay's corner. Within a minute Freidel produced an even better save to touch over a powerful Watson header. Radzinski launched the next Everton attack, sending over a cross that Wayne Rooney scooped over the bar. On 22 minutes Alex Nyarko replaced Thomas Gravesen, who had injured himself after slipped while sending over a cross.
Rooney's movement caused Lucas Neill all sorts of problems and the Australian needed plenty of help from Lorenzo Amoruso to try and contain the England international. Nyarko then cut inside Garry Flitcroft to blast a rising drive from outside the box that Friedel held onto.
Blackburn retaliated with two efforts in a minute as first Jon Stead sent in a fine header from Michael Gray's cross only for Martyn to produce another excellent save. From the corner, Amoruso powered in a header which Tobias Linderoth hacked off the line with Martyn beaten this time. Play switched to the other end and Friedel got down well to his right to claw away a Radzinski shot.
After the interval Everton upped the attacking ante and Kevin Kilbane, with an overhead effort, and Nyarko, from 25 yards, demonstrated Everton's increased desire to turn their greater possession into goals. Alessandro Pistone put Radzinski away on the right and, when the cross arrived in the box, Rooney spun to crack a drive that crashed into Amoruso's arm at close range, though referee Phil Dowd waved away the penalty appeals.
Soon after Nyarko flashed a 20-yard shot wide of the left hand post, as Everton pressed for the opening goal. Pistone went on another run down the wing and after his cross was blocked and he lashed the rebound inches over the angle.
Even so Blackburn continued to threaten on the counterattack and when Martin Andresen fed Andy Cole in the box, his fierce shot was superbly beaten away by Martyn at full stretch. Cole then turned creator sending over a cross, which Stead headed past the hapless Martyn. Referee: P Dowd.
2003-04 Premier League Saturday 24 April, 2004
Blackburn Rovers @ Goodison Park 0-1 Attendance: 38,884
EVERTON: Martyn; Pistone, Yobo, Weir, Naysmith (Unsworth); Watson, Gravesen (Nyarko), Linderoth, Kilbane, Rooney, Radzinski (McFadden)
Unused Subs: Wright, Jeffers
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524 Posted 20/04/2014 at 00:16:56
One of my three best days as an Evertonian, remember driving back up the M1 with Watford fans coming down the other way from Villa Park – Plymouth, right, Plymouth???!!!!!!!
The scenes after the match were beyond joy and later on replaying I forget how the Radio Merseyside commentary the fella says after Inchy bags it 'Oh Everton don't lose your heads now', and we didn't!
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