Forty Years Ago – 1973-74
Manchester City and Everton were the only two sides in the top half of the table who had lost ten games during the league campaign and Everton were in sixth place three points ahead of eleventh placed City when the two sides lined-up at Maine Road.
[As there was little in the match-programme for this game I have decided to foreshorten the usual aspects for this game but I hope readers will nevertheless enjoy the rest of this weeks offering]
The Match: Dennis Tueart scored for City and Mike Lyons was on target for Everton as the two old rivals had to settle for a point, the draw had done little for either side as their season’s petered out although Everton could perhaps still achieve a European berth if they could rouse themselves and win a few of their six remaining fixtures.
1973-74 — First Division; Tuesday, 2 April 1974
Manchester City @ Maine Road, Score: 1-1 (Lyons) Attendance: 22,918
Everton: Lawson; Bernard, Seargeant, Hurst, Kenyon; Clements, Harvey, Buckley; Latchford (Jones), Lyons, Connolly
Thirty Years Ago – 1983-84
After the euphoria and excitement enjoyed at Highbury in the previous Saturday’s memorable occasion, Everton had come back down to earth with a bump during their midweek defeat by Southampton (3-1) at the Dell – a good enough reason for the Everton manager Howard Kendall to impress upon his mainly young team the need to perform in the remaining league games and forget all about Wembley and its trappings.
Sunderland had parted company with their former manager Alan Durban and they now had Len Ashurst at the helm. Following their win the previous weekend, against West Ham (0-1) at Upton Park, their first at that venue in some nineteen years, Sunderland would be trying their best to beat Everton in order to remove any lingering threat of relegation that had overshadowed much of their season.
Roker Park was yet another of those grounds that Everton had a somewhat patchy record, as their last victory had come in October 1976 although to be fair Sunderland had spent a large part of the last decade outside of the First Division. As a Second Division outfit, they had beaten Everton in an FA Cup third round tie at Roker Park in January 1979 – a match that Everton manager Gordon Lee felt shouldn’t have been played due to the icy condition of the Roker Park pitch.
Ronnie Goodlass it was who had scored the winning goal in the encounter played at Roker Park on October 02 1976 – and what a goal it was – Ronnie sending the ball high into the Sunderland goal direct from a corner. Well that’s how I remember it from my £2 seat in the Upper Enclosure at Roker Park.
In the final throes of that 1976/77 campaign Everton had had a long season and Sunderland visited Goodison Park hoping they could beat the Blues in order to preserve their First Division status. On the same night Coventry City were playing Bristol City at Highfield Road and if either team had won the losing side would have been relegated.
As Wikipedia explains: “Coventry and Bristol City played out a controversial draw (2-2) with play virtually stopping when it was heard that Sunderland had lost to Everton (2-0), both Coventry and Bristol City retained their place in the top-flight while Sunderland was relegated”. What it doesn’t mention is that I believe there was a considerable delay in the kick-off time at Highfield Road and therefore it was a clear breach of sporting etiquette by Coventry City and their long-time supporter, director and ex Match of the Day host Jimmy Hill when they flashed the result from Goodison via their electronic scoreboard thereby informing both sets of players that a draw was good enough for both sides to retain their First Division status.
It was especially galling to Sunderland’s manager Jimmy Adamson who had taken over from Bob Stokoe at the end of 1976 and he had transformed Sunderland as evidenced by their last 11 games at Roker Park where they had won 8 and drawn 3 unfortunately their last home defeat prior to that impressive run had been to Coventry City which ultimately proved one of the most costly defeats of the campaign. Ironically Sunderland’s only away victory under the old regime’ had been away at Coventry City.
A Sunderland fan wrote on 606 “I see your club [Fulham] have been honouring the efforts of Hill. Well here's the other side of the coin. This is a report from The Sunderland Echo from some time back.
"Sunderland supporters drew satisfaction on Saturday from extracting a modicum of revenge on the man who condemned the club to one of the darkest days in its history. Jimmy Hill was at Craven Cottage on Saturday to pay tribute to former Fulham team-mate Johnny Haynes.
But he found that Sunderland fans also have long memories and have far from forgiven him for his part in the Wearsiders' 1977 relegation. Best-known these days as a veteran TV pundit, Hill was chairman of Coventry City in 1976-77 when three teams went into the last day of the campaign facing relegation – Sunderland, Bristol City and Coventry.
Hill had the kick-off at the Coventry-Bristol City game delayed for 15 minutes because of "crowd congestion" and when news came through that Sunderland had lost to Everton, he had the result announced over the tannoy. That sent the message to both teams that – provided neither scored – they would stay up at Sunderland's expense and what followed was a farcical passage of play in which neither side attempted to win.
Hill was reprimanded by the Football Association, but Sunderland's relegation still stood. Today, in the glare of the Premier League, it would simply never have happened or, had it happened, Hill would have faced being drummed out of football and a legal inquest held.
Sunderland fans have never fully forgotten or forgiven that stain on the game – it goes miners' strike deep in some parts of Wearside – and looks as though it has been passed down from one generation to the next.
The old saying reckons revenge is a dish best served cold, but the reception Sunderland fans gave Jimmy Hill was anything but chilly. Towards the end of the first half of Saturday's game against Fulham, thousands of Black Cats supporters spotted him standing yards away and reacted angrily with boos and abuse. When Hill waved and blew kisses, their anger escalated and he had to be led away by police for his own safety. Sunderland fans made sure that Fulham supporters knew it was nothing personal against their club or their greatest player, Johnny Haynes – a statue of whom was unveiled on the day. Every one of Haynes' old team-mates was cheered by the visiting support at half-time; but Hill they jeered to the rafters. Haynes represented all that was good in football, but, in the minds of many Sunderland fans, Hill epitomises the opposite. And at least the travelling supporters ensured that, more than three decades on, Hill hasn't entirely got away with it.”
Comment from a non-Sunderland fan: "To those Sunderland fans who gave Hill the bird I can only say a big "well done". I'm sure he'd forgotten all about it. Nice that he was reminded of his shame. Football fans don't get much of a chance to comment on such events but I'm sure Hill got the message loud and clear. To think he is the guy that used to sit there on MOTD giving moral judgement on others is enough to turn ones stomach."
It might not have been a dramatic or memorable night for Evertonians but it will certainly be remembered on Wearside for as long as Evertonians remember Clive Thomas and his strange decision to disallow Hamilton’s ‘goal’ at Maine Road just a month earlier.
For the record Bob Latchford (11’) opened the scoring early in the first half and Bruce Rioch (89’) sealed the points for Everton in the dying seconds, and the Sunderland team and their many fans in the crowd (36,075), listened to their transistors and waited anxiously for the full-time result to arrive from Highfield Road, they would be sorely disappointed with the draw (2-2) but would be hopping mad when they later found out what had transpired between the two sides in the closing stages of that game.
Everton: Davies; Robinson, Pejic, Lyons, McNaught; Rioch, Buckley, Dobson; Latchford, McKenzie, Goodlass.
Sunderland: Siddall; Docherty, Bolton, Arnott, Waldron; Ashurst, Kerr, Elliot, Holden; Lee, Rowell,
The Match: Sunderland inflicted Everton’s second league defeat of the week when Bryan ‘pop’ Robson and Colin West scored for the hosts and Adrian Heath got a consolation goal for the Blues’ it was the first time in 1984 that Everton had suffered back to back defeats. Howard Kendall felt that the games with Southampton had taken a lot out of his players and though he couldn’t fault their attitude he was concerned that four or five players had given below par performances and he said that no team could afford to have that many players having an off day at the same time and expect to get a result.
1983-84 — First Division; Saturday, 21April 1984
Sunderland @ Roker Park, Score: 2-1 (Heath), Attendance: 15,876
Everton: Southall; Stevens, Bailey, Ratcliffe, Mountfield; Reid (Harper), Curran, Heath; Sharp, Steven, Richardson
Twenty Years Ago – 1993-94
A trip to Hillsborough, to face Sheffield Wednesday had become somewhat of a match to fear in recent years as Everton had not had the best of results at the venue. In fact they hadn’t left Hillsborough with maximum points since the 1985-86 campaign, when they had triumphed by five goals to one. For an Everton side that were in desperate need of points, perhaps Sheffield Wednesday would not be the opposition of choice for the Blues but the Evertonians would be praying that their team could at least garner a point from this encounter.
Perhaps one of the most remarkable encounters between the two sides had taken place some ninety years earlier. Everton were hoping to finish the season as champions and certainly their form in the early part of the 1904-05 campaign had, for the most part, justified their lofty ambitions. Sheffield Wednesday who were looking to become Champions for the third year in a row, were a point ahead of Everton as the two teams’ occupied second and third places respectively when they faced each other on November 12 1904.
The Toffees ambitions were matched by the scoreline at Sheffield when Everton took a five goals- to-one lead and seemed set fair to bring the points back to Goodison. However, Sheffield Wednesday had other ideas and they managed to fight back to claim a draw (5-5) which meant that Everton only took the single point rather than the two they seemed set to win.
Alex ‘Sandy Young (2’) had put the Toffees into the lead early in the game but Harry Davis (10’) quickly equalised for the Owls. Jimmy Settle with a brace and a Harold Hardman goal gave Everton (1-4) a three goal advantage before Walter Abbot (44’) scored just on half-time to give Everton (1-5) a more than healthy lead at the break.
Sheffield Wednesday’s James Stewart (63’) penalty was initially saved by Billy Scott but Stewart put the ball into the net from the rebound, five minutes later, George Simpson (68’) cut Everton’s reduced Everton’s lead to two goals, and then Everton goalkeeper Billy Scott, was forced to retire from the game due to an injury in the sixty-ninth minute.
Walter Abbot who had scored Everton’s fifth goal stood in for the injured keeper and he managed to keep Wednesday at bay until six minutes from time when V Simpson (84’) reduced Everton’s advantage to a single goal. Wednesday were reduced to ten-men when Harry Davis was dismissed, but the Toffee’s were hanging on for their lives, but in the final minute Robert Ferrier (91’) struck for the Owls and Wednesday (5-5) had salvaged an unlikely point from an enthralling and incident packed, if rather bizarre match. The following home game against table-topping Sunderland also saw the Blues drop valuable points as they lost the game by a single goal as Sunderland extended their lead at the top of the table and Everton found themselves down in sixth position four points off the pacesetters.
Everton gained revenge on Sheffield Wednesday (5-2) when they beat them at Goodison Park on March 11 1905, in what proved to be another eventful encounter. Walter Abbot had his penalty attempt saved but Jack Sharp put in the rebound , Alex ‘Sandy’ Young scored twice, Harry Makepeace scored one penalty but hit the post with another, while Jack Taylor also got his name on the scoresheet. Sheffield Wednesday’s goal-scorers were Thomas Brittleton and Harry Davis. Everton: Scott; Balmer, Crelley; Ashworth, Taylor, Abbott; Sharp, McDermott, Young, Settle, Hardman.
That victory over Wednesday came during a run of nine wins and two draws at Goodison Park, an outstanding run of form by Everton, since their home defeat by Sunderland (0-1) in November as the Toffees pulled out all the stops to try and win the title. Everton also gained revenge over Sunderland when they travelled to Wearside on 18 March 1905 and beat Sunderland (2-3) at Roker Park; Jack Sharp with two goals and Tommy McDermott with one goal, were the goalscoring heroes that day.
Everton had been leading First Division newcomers, Woolwich Arsenal at the Manor Ground (1-3) but bad weather had forced the abandonment of the fixture and it was rescheduled for 22 April 1905.
On the 21 April 1905, Everton had been beaten by FA Cup holders, Manchester City (2-0) at Hyde Road, needless to say Everton lost the re-arranged fixture to Woolwich Arsenal (1-0) the following day and by the completion of their final fixture on 24 April 1905, away at Nottingham Forest (0-2), Everton had managed to end their campaign at the top of the pile three points clear of third placed Newcastle and a point ahead of Manchester City.
Unfortunately for Everton, Manchester City and Newcastle United still had outstanding fixtures to fulfil.
Indeed Manchester City still had hopes of winning the title but they lost their final match at Aston Villa (3-2) on 29 April 1905, but it was Newcastle United who posed the real threat to Everton winning the title. If the Magpies won both of their games they would end the season as English Champions. One of the Magpies two games was ironically away at defending champions, Sheffield Wednesday on April 26 1905 scene of that dramatic draw (5-5) with Everton, but Newcastle United (1-3) had what seemed a straightforward match and left Hillsborough with maximum points which meant they were only one point behind the Toffees with one fixture to play.
Newcastle’s final match on April 29 1905 was away to Middlesbrough who were safely berthed in mid-table. Boro were swept aside by Newcastle United (0-3) and the Magpies had indeed managed to pip Everton and Manchester City to the Title and became the 1905 English Champions.
Everton had beaten every team they had met, at least once, during the 1905 season, except for third placed Manchester City who had held them to a goalless draw at Goodison Park and had beaten the Blues (2-0) at Hyde Road. Everton had eventually come up short in a season that had promised so much but had ultimately ended in failure as they had also lost to Aston Villa (1-2) in the FA Cup semi-final replay at Trent Bridge. Newcastle United had beaten Sheffield Wednesday (1-0) at Hyde Road, in the other semi-final but had lost in the final to Everton’s conquerors Aston Villa (2-0) at Crystal Palace, thus missing out on the League and FA Cup double.
Evertonians of that vintage could rightfully say that lady luck had well and truly abandoned their favourites during the 1905 campaign. That remarkable game at Hillsborough, the unfortunate abandonment of the Arsenal match when the Toffees had been leading by a couple of goals and then lost the re-arranged fixture, were key moments where fate had appeared to conspire against the Toffees. Undoubtedly the Easter programme was a step too far and it does beg the question as to why Everton FC agreed to play three away games in four days, which seems to be an overly demanding schedule, especially when you take into account the amount of travelling involved.
The Match: A chastening defeat for Everton as they crashed to a five goals to one defeat by the Owls at Hillsborough. Ryan jones (11’) opened the scoring early in the first-half and from then on the defensive formation that Mike Walker had employed for this match seemed an unsuitable method for Everton to chase the game. Everton managed to keep the Owls from adding to their tally until a few minutes prior to half-time when Chris Bart-Williams scored to put the Owls two goals in front. Nigel Worthington (75’) made it three in the final quarter of the game but Tony Cottee (76’) pulled one back a minute later. But two goals from Mark Bright (81’, 87’) ensured that Everton left Hillsborough with their tails firmly between their legs and a psychologically damaging result would do nothing for the team or their followers entering the final few games of the season.
1993-94 — Premier League; Saturday, 2 April 1994
Sheffield Wednesday @ Hillsborough, Score: 5-1(Cottee) Attendance: 24,080
Everton: Southall; Jackson, Snodin, Watson, Moore (Cottee), Unsworth; Stuart, Horne, Ebbrell, Limpar; Angell (Rowett).
Unused Sub: Kearton.
Ten Years Ago – 2003-04
Everton made the trip to Molineux for the first time in over eleven years and they hoped to fare better than they had in December 1983, when they had been beaten by Wolves (3-0). Wolves had endured a torrid 03/04 campaign and seemed doomed to relegation from the Premier League, surely Everton despite their short-comings could return to Goodison with at least a point from this game.
Wolves’ manager David Jones in an interview with Lorraine Hennessy recalled his early days at Everton and how he saw himself as an Everton supporter throughout his life, but would not be cheering his beloved club on during the 90 minutes of football to be played out during this afternoon.
Dave said “Being an Evertonian – growing up watching them with my dad – I dreamt of playing at Goodison. But when I was in my early teens it was Liverpool who invited me to play for them.” Dave was later picked up by an Everton scout and he made the switch to the Goodison Park outfit. Everton FC’s staff were still unsure if Dave would make the grade and he was put into the ‘B’ team. It looked as if Dave’s chance of fulfilling his football dreams would not become a reality as he contemplated a career outside of football and he had been offered an apprenticeship with a local garage.
However, an opportunity arose to play for Everton reserves at Old Trafford when another player had pulled out of the squad. Dave had been playing for the ‘B’ team when he was taken off and told to report for duty with the reserves. Dave revealed that he had been told to wear a shirt and tie on the coach to Manchester and that his dad had had to rush home and get his school tie for him.
Dave lined up for Everton reserves at Old Trafford and the United side included George Best. Dave was signed as a Semi-Professional by Everton earning £7 per week and if he managed to impress he could earn £28 per week on a full-time contract. Dave said that Everton FC “was and still is a family club – despite its size.” Everton FC not only gave me my first job in football but gave me a helping hand in starting adult life. They cared about their players and I’ll never forget that.”
Dave made two substitute appearances for the Blues at Goodison against Norwich City and Leicester City in 1975, but his full league debut had come against Leicester City at Filbert Street in 1976. Dave wasn’t sure he would play in that match nevertheless he had a large group of family members in the stands awaiting his Everton debut, but he was only told two hours prior to kick-off that he would be playing at Left-back and he was tasked with marking Keith Weller – a player who was notorious for wearing white tights and one time winner of ‘goal of the season’. Dave said that his manager Billy Bingham told him “If those tights weren’t laddered to shreds by the end of the game then I hadn’t done my job right. So I did the best I could!” Dave Jones was one of my personal favourites as he never gave less than a 100% in every match he played and he was similar to Mike Lyons in his attitude; it was a pity that he didn’t get his hands on silverware as an Everton player.
In a feature entitled ‘They wore both Shirts’ Leigh Edwards reminded us of the players who had appeared for both Everton and Wolverhampton Wanderers – he started with Andy Gray who is probably the best known due to the impact he had at Everton and the League Cup Final he had played and scored the winning goal in for Wolves. Andy Gray scored 38 goals in 133 games for Wolves and as well as helping Everton to lift the FA Cup, League Title and European Cup Winners-Cup Andy scored 14 times in 49 League appearances for the Toffees.
Some of the other players mentioned were good players but perhaps not as widely known for plying their trade for both clubs. Whilst Andy Gray was in the all-conquering 1985 team, a former Gwladys Street hero Andy King had returned to England from Dutch side Cambuur to play for Wolves where he scored 10 times in 28 appearances for the club. Derek Mountfield another member of the 1985 Everton team joined Wolves from Aston Villa in November 1991 where he scored four goals in 83 league outings before joining Carlisle United in August 1994.
Ernie Hunt had joined Everton from Wolves for £80k in September 1967, scoring 3 times in 14 First Division outings before he joined Coventry City in March 1968 for £70k. Former Wolves Inside-Forward Wilf Chadwick topped Everton’s goalscoring charts in 1923-24, while former Everton midfielder Alan Ainscow was Wolves’ joint top scorer in 1984-85.
Wayne Clarke scored 18 times in 57 matches for Everton and had been a very important member of Everton’s 1987 Title winning team, scoring many vital goals in the run-in, including an audacious lob over Arsenal’s John Lukic midway through the first-half at Highbury (0-1) which won Everton three valuable points on the same day that Wimbledon were beating title rivals Liverpool (1-2) at Anfield. Wayne had joined Everton in March 1987 for £500k but he was sold to Leicester for the same amount in July 1989.
Billy Harthill was Wolves’ top scorer in six consecutive seasons before joining Everton in July 1935 for £5k Billy only played five times for Everton scoring just once before leaving to join Liverpool in January 1936 for £3k.
Frank Wignall was another Centre-Forward who played for both Everton and Wolves’. Frank joined Everton from Horwich RMI in May1958. Frank won a League Championship at Goodison in 1962-63 and scored 15 goals in 33 First Division appearances for the Toffees. Frank left Everton in June 1963 to join Nottingham Forest for £20k he was capped twice for England before joining Wolves’ in March 1968 where he scored 15 times in 32 league games before jointing Derby County in February 1969 for £20k.
Others who had played for both Everton and Wolves’ were Michael Branch, Dave Thomas, George Barker, George Brewster, George Eccles, Dick Forshaw, Micky Lill, Tom Mayson, Johnny Morrissey, Darren Oldroyd, Billy Owen, Vinny Samways, Sammy Thomson and Bob Young.
The Match: Leon Osman made his full Premiership debut and opened the scoring for the Toffee’s in the second-minute but it was not to be enough to help Everton to take the points at Molineux as the BBC reported:-
Wolves are almost certainly down despite a well-earned win over Everton. Everton took the lead inside two minutes when Leon Osman headed home on his full Premiership debut. Wolves pressed forward and Henri Camara put them on terms with a stunning 25-yard drive after 55 minutes to set up a frantic finale at Molineux. And Carl Cort at least delivered the victory Wolves deserved when he headed home Mark Kennedy's cross seven minutes from the end of a turbulent encounter. Wolves look doomed because their goal difference is so inferior to their relegation rivals.
Everton boss David Moyes opted to give Osman his first Premiership start after returning from a loan spell at Derby - and was rewarded almost immediately. James McFadden was the creator, escaping the Wolves defence before crossing for Osman to head home from six yards. Wolves were stunned and Everton pressed for a second as Wayne Rooney shot wide and Paul Jones saved well from Tomasz Radzinski.
The home side responded and Alessandro Pistone was forced to clear a shot from Camara that beat Nigel Martyn. Kennedy then flashed a 25-yard drive just over as hopes rose inside Molineux. Camara came close to equalising in the 29th minute when he was fed by Colin Cameron on the edge of the box and curled his shot inches wide of Martyn's right post.
Everton then came back and Paul Butler's mistake allowed McFadden to race clear, but Paul Ince recovered to make a fine saving tackle. Rooney wasted a glorious chance five minutes from half-time when he was set up by Radzinski, blazing across the face of goal. Camara then produced a strike out of the blue to put Wolves level after 55 minutes when he slammed home from 25 yards.
Martyn was then forced to produce a world-class save from Camara as Wolves pushed forward frantically in a bid to preserve their Premiership status. Wolves were camped in Everton territory and they were furious when referee Mike Riley waved away penalty appeals as Rooney appeared to handle. Carl Cort then crowned a period of fierce pressure with a header from Kennedy's cross that finally beat the magnificent Martyn.
2003-04 Premier League Saturday 1 May, 2004
Wolves @ Molineux 2-1 (Osman) Attendance: 29,395
EVERTON: Martyn; Hibbert, Yobo, Weir, Pistone; Osman, Carsley, Nyarko (Campbell), McFadden (Jeffers); Rooney, Radzinski.
Unused Subs: Wright, Stubbs, Linderoth.
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