Local derbies including Blackburn, Burnley, Liverpool and Manchester United.

Forty Years Ago — 1973-74: Match 12

High flying Burnley who had in 1972-73 won promotion back to the First Division, as Champions, arrived at Goodison Park for a game which had all the necessary ingredients to produce a classic. Everton remained unbeaten at home and were on a run of three consecutive victories, whilst the Burnley team were an inventive and attractive side to watch.

After eleven top flight matches the Clarets had lost only once and they remained unbeaten at Turf Moor, they sat in second place in the league with seventeen points, just two points behind unbeaten Leeds United (19) and three ahead of fourth placed Everton (14).

Among the quality players that Burnley had in their squad were future Everton players, Martin Dobson and Geoff Nulty, while former Blue, Keith Newton had moved to Burnley on a free transfer the previous season, where he had played in every game for the Clarets in their promotion push.

As well as those players with Everton connections Burnley had Peter Noble, Frank Casper, Colin Waldron, Ray Hankin, Paul Fletcher, Leighton James and goalkeeper Alan Stevenson in their squad, all of them were good performers and a couple of those players could step up to the plate and be match-winner on any given day.

At Turf Moor Burnley had won three games against Chelsea (1-0), Manchester City (3-0) and QPR (2-1) and had drawn with Coventry City (2-2), Tottenham Hotspur (2-2) and Derby County (1-1). On the road their only defeat had come at Portman Road where they had lost to Ipswich Town (2-3) but they had won all of their other fixtures at Sheffield United (2-0), Spurs (3-2), Wolves (2-0) and against West Ham (1-0). Burnley were the only First Division team to have scored in every one of their league fixtures so far in 1973-74.

The fantastic run of form from the team in Claret and Blue had their fans dreaming of a return to former glories and they had hoped that this Burnley team could emulate the side of 1959-60 by being crowned Champions of England.

Certainly Doug Collins, not a household name, even in his own dwelling, but an integral member of Burnley’s midfield, felt that they had a chance as was revealed in his interview with Peter Higgs of the Lancashire Evening Post he said “There is only one place for us to go – and that is to the top. I think we can win something at Burnley this season and it might as well be the League Championship as anything else.”

They had already picked up silverware when they had defeated Man City (1-0), thanks to a goal from Colin Waldron, at Maine Road in the Charity Shield match, a quirky fixture as it had been traditional that Sunderland as the FA Cup Holders and Liverpool who were the reigning Champions to partake in this fixture, but both must have declined the invitation to appear, although the last occasion that this fixture had been played by the Champions versus the FA Cup Winners had been in 1970 when Everton had beaten Chelsea (2-1) at Stamford Bridge where Howard Kendall and Alan Whittle had been the goal-scorers.

That week’s Club Talk was written by Everton Chairman Alan Waterworth, who reflected upon his first couple of months in the hot-seat, since he had replaced former Chairman John Moores (CBE). The Chairman said that his “personal objective is to see Everton in top class European competition within three years” but he said that the way things were going on the playing side, Everton FC might see that target become a reality sooner than anybody at the club had envisioned.

Mr Waterworth praised Youth Development Officer, Ray Minshull’s efforts in finding and developing young players and said that Ray was fully committed to the project of continuing to find and develop young players for the club, as they represented the future of Everton FC. To close his article the Chairman said “In football no one can guarantee success. Success goes to those that deserve it. I am sure Mr Bingham will bring success to Goodison.”

Another of those things that you didn’t know, you didn’t know, until you read it somewhere. On the back page of the magazine there was a brief career résumé of today’s match official, who is someone, all Evertonians will recognise, a man by the name of Clive Thomas. The article said that he was a sports shop proprietor and general secretary of the Boys Club of Wales, but how many people realised that he had been a former Norwich City player? I certainly didn’t, But would that have explained his behaviour and decision making towards Brian Hamilton the diminutive Irishman in two FA Cup Semi-Finals in which both men were involved? Firstly with Ipswich Town (1975) and then with Everton (1977), it probably doesn’t but it does make you think!!!

“Thomas drew the ire of Ipswich fans when, during a 1975 FA Cup semi-final against West Ham, he disallowed a goal from Bryan Hamilton which seemed legitimate by giving offside despite a better-placed linesman not flagging for it and again Thomas drew the ire of Everton fans when, during a 1977 FA Cup semi-final against city rivals Liverpool, he disallowed a late goal, also from Bryan Hamilton, which seemed legitimate and had gone largely uncontested by even the Liverpool supporters, and would have taken Everton to the cup final as 3-2 winners.”(Source: Wikipedia)

Although it wasn’t mentioned in the magazine, England’s interest in the World Cup had ended on Wednesday 17th October at Wembley mainly due to the heroics of Poland’s Goalkeeper Tomaszewski, England had thrown everything towards his goal but time and time again he had managed to get in the way of goal-bound shots and headers, and when he hadn’t managed to get in the way, another of his colleagues had always been on hand to prevent England getting the result that on many other occasions would have resulted from such a dominant team performance. So it was Poland thanks to the draw at Wembley with England (1-1), who would travel to Germany in the summer whilst the England players would probably have cursed their ill fortune at not qualifying for the World Cup finals for the first time since 1958.

Another piece of news which had not been mentioned in the magazine had been the shock resignation of Brian Clough and Peter Taylor from Derby County.

This article from Wikipedia gives a flavour of the event: “Both Clough and Taylor resigned on 15 October 1973, to widespread uproar from Rams fans, who demanded the board’s resignation along with Clough and Taylor’s reinstatement at the following home game against Leicester City five days later. That evening, Clough appeared on the Michael Parkinson show and attacked football directors for their apparent lack of knowledge of football. Earlier that week Clough, as a television pundit, memorably called Poland goalkeeper Jan Tomaszewski a clown after the crucial World Cup qualifier with England at Wembley. “

A penalty awarded to Everton by Referee, Clive Thomas in the 28th minute, following a handball by Keith Newton – who vehemently disputed the decision – ultimately decided the result of this game as Dave Clements had taken full advantage of the award and scored his first goal for Everton and sent Goodison Park’s biggest crowd of the season, wild, as Everton’s run of form continued and extended their unbeaten league run to seven matches which had helped them to move up to fourth place in the league table. The gap between the top and Everton had remained at five points as the league leaders Leeds United had beaten Liverpool (1-0) at Elland Road, and thus remained unbeaten.

1973-74 — First Division: Saturday, 20 October 1973
Burnley @ Goodison Park, 1-0 (Clements Pen), Attendance: 41,018
Everton: Lawson; Darracott, McLaughlin, Clements, Kenyon; Hurst, Bernard; Buckley, Lyons (Irving), Harper, Connolly.

Thirty Years Ago — 1983-84: Match 12

When you have just lost to the bottom club and have only scored seven league goals in your opening eleven fixtures the last thing you need is a trip to the home of the Champions and your local rivals. But that was the task that had faced Everton when they travelled the short distance to Anfield on Bonfire weekend 1983.

Liverpool as was usual at this time were chasing yet another title and had sat in second place two points adrift of Manchester United and were three clear of QPR in third place. In their previous league fixture at Anfield they had thrashed an improving Luton Town (6-0) and that scourge of Everton, Ian Rush had been on target five times. Exactly twelve months prior the latest fixture, the Welshman had destroyed Everton as he had hit four and Mark Lawrenson had then rubbed salt into the wound on a day that still haunts me and I’m sure every Evertonian who was at Goodison for that totally demoralising of occasions.

Today’s match as far as I can tell was the first Merseyside league derby to be broadcast live, on TV, which had given Granada TV, the perfect setting in which to promote their latest show, about the day to day life of Alan Bleasdale’s comic character creation Scully. The magazine said that the actor Andrew Schofield would run out onto the Anfield turf in that most loathed of things - by some if not all Evertonians - the emblematic red number seven shirt as worn by Kenny Dalglish. It had been bad enough in the 70s listening to the radio when Scully was rabbiting on about his favourite club, but now that Granada had commissioned a TV series in which Kenny Dalglish appeared in every episode, thus joining his club-mates Graeme Souness and Sammy Lee – who had small parts in ‘Boys From The Black stuff’ – to become a potential TV star. League derbies broadcast live on TV! Cameo appearances by footballers in comedy dramas! Millions of pounds earned in sponsorship! Just what had the football world come to during the early 1980s?

‘Two Clubs with Proud Records’ was an article that related to the various accomplishments that Everton and Liverpool had each enjoyed over the years and it also picked out some of the players who had played for both sides. Three of those players were in the 1983-84 Everton squad – Alan Harper, David Johnson and Kevin Sheedy – but some of those less well known players – to me at least – were also featured including Billy Lacey and Tommy Gracie who had been used by Everton in a swap deal involving Liverpool’s Harold Urhen in 1912.

Among other pre WWII moves between the two clubs had been Dick Forshaw who had won two league titles with Liverpool and then had joined Everton where he won another medal as part of the Everton team who had won the league in Dixie Dean’s landmark season of 1927-28. Tosh Johnson who had won the FA Cup with Everton in 1933 had then joined Liverpool the following season. As many of you will know the late Dave Hickson, Jimmy Payne, Tony McNamara and Johnny Morrissey had also played for both clubs prior to 1983.

The result of the ‘first’ live broadcast of the Merseyside league derby was not what the doctor had ordered for Everton FC, as Liverpool. thanks to goals from Ian Rush (16’), Michael Robinson (60’) and Steve Nichol (85’) had ran out winners by three goals to nil, keeping the reds hopes of a third consecutive league title on track whilst the Blues slumped to sixteenth place, but with an eight point gap between them and the relegation places.

Howard Kendall hadn’t agreed that Everton had gone into the game with a defensive mind-set as he argued that his team had an attacking plan but that his players were unable to carry out the plan due to a lack of confidence and the superior ability of the Liverpool team - who Howard argued were the best team in England.

It was the lack of goals in his team that Howard felt was eating away at the players’ confidence and he believed that once he found a solution to that problem his team would start playing to the level that he thought they were capable of. Kendall also said that ‘one of the things wrong with football is that people are too critical at times.’ No doubt Howard’s words were wise ones but the Evertonians had begun to get restless and a derby defeat was and is never the easiest back-drop for a team that is short on confidence and goals.

1983-84 — First Division: Sunday, 6 November 1983
Liverpool @ Anfield, Score: 0-3, Attendance: 40,875.
Everton: Southall; Harper, Bailey, Ratcliffe, Higgins; Steven, Irvine, Heath; Sharp, King, Sheedy.
Unused Sub: Reid.

Twenty Years Ago — 1993-94: Match 12

Everton, were still smarting at having only taken one point from their previous two away games, when it had seemed in the latter stages of both matches that they would have taken maximum points, entertained Champions Manchester United at Goodison Park, with hopes that they could return to winning ways in the league.

However, the Red Devils looked as if they would run away with the title this term as they had already created a lead of seven points over their nearest challengers Arsenal and Norwich City, so it would have demanded a performance similar to the one shown in the recent Merseyside derby if Everton were to emerge triumphant from this fixture.

At Old Trafford, Manchester United had only failed to win one game so far in 1993-94, and that had come when they had drawn against Newcastle United (1-1) in August whilst on the road United had lost just one league game at Chelsea (0-1) but had won at Norwich (2-0), Aston Villa (2-1), Southampton (3-1) and Sheffield Wednesday (3-2). They had also lost at Stoke City (1-2) in the League Cup but had managed to overturn the deficit to win 3-2 on aggregate and had progressed to the next round.

Howard Kendall reported that Mo Johnston was to be released from his contract with the club. This had come about following a lack of interest shown by other clubs, in the player either for a fee or as an on-loan player. Ian Snodin had handed in a written transfer request which Howard said he had reluctantly accepted and that he would, recommend to the board, that the player be made available for transfer.

England’s defeat by Holland (0-2) in their World Cup qualifier came under scrutiny in the comment section of the magazine, especially focusing on the speculation by the media that Graham Taylor was not seen as the right man for the job. Although England had lost in the Netherlands they still had an outside chance of qualification for the USA if they could manage to score enough goals against San Marino and then only if Holland had lost their final game against Poland.

During the International break, Newsdesk reported that Everton had travelled to Spain on Saturday 9 October 1993, where they had played Howard’s former club Athletic Bilbao. The attendance of over 10,000 had pleased the Bilbao officials, but the result probably less so, as Everton had beaten their hosts, Bilbao (2-0) where Tony Cottee and Stuart Barlow had hit the target for the toffees. Everton: Kearton; Holmes, Watson, Ablett, Unsworth; Stuart, Ward (Barlow), Ebbrell; Beagrie, Cottee, Preki: Unused Subs: Priest, Moore.

The magazine reminded us that the last occasion that Manchester United had arrived at Goodison Park as reigning champions had been in August 1967 and that two future Everton managers had been in the Everton team, but with the benefit of hindsight, we now know, that there were three, Howard Kendall, Joe Royle and Colin Harvey had all played their part in the defeat of the champions, as Alan Ball (2) and Alex Young had put United (3-1) to the sword, neither club had finished as champions of England that season, but both clubs had managed a Wembley appearance, with United being crowned European Champions after beating Benfica (4-1), whilst Everton had lost to West Bromwich Albion (0-1), in the FA Cup Final, thanks to a goal scored by Jeff Astle.

Another feature informed the readers that league hat-tricks against Manchester United by Everton players included Alex Latta who had scored 4 goals away from home, in October 1892, Bobby Parker at Goodison in December 1913, Stan Davies at Goodison in August 1921 and last but definitely not least, WR Dean who had scored five goals at Goodison in October 1927, which had certainly helped with his personal tally as he chased that record goal target. What would a present day supporter give to witness a hat-trick from an Everton player against Manchester United?

Everton since the 1989-90 season had failed to beat United in a league game at Goodison Park when goals from Mike Newell, Pat Nevin and Graeme Sharp had helped to overcome Manchester United (3-2) whose goals had been scored by Brian McClair and Russell Beardsmore. The most recent league meeting between the two sides at Goodison Park had taken place in September 1992 and had seen Manchester United beat Everton (0-2) with their goals being scored by Brian McClair and Steve Bruce (penalty) which had helped the Red Devils to gain revenge for their defeat in August 1992 at the hands of Everton (3-0), where Peter Beardsley, Robert Warzycha and Mo Johnston had been on target for the Blues in what had been the first Premier League game played at Old Trafford.

There was to be no hat-trick or indeed any sort of goal for Everton to celebrate as Manchester United won the game by single goal and had left Goodison with all three points to maintain their fine form and strengthen their grip on the Premier League as they extended their lead to nine points at the top of the table, following goal-less draws for Norwich City and Arsenal.

Howard Kendall said that Everton had dominated the game but as was usual when you failed to take your chances against the really top sides you tended to pay the price. He also said that “…..we really deserved something after working so hard, to lose was an injustice.” But he had found time to applaud the goal scored by Lee Sharpe (53’) and had given the Manchester United player credit for having had a go, Howard said that on another day the ball could have ended up in the stands, but unfortunately for Howard and Everton it had found its way into the Everton net.

1993-94 — Premier League: Saturday, 23 October, 1993
Manchester United @ Goodison Park, Score: 0-1 Attendance: 35,430
Everton: Southall; Holmes, Watson, Ablett, Hinchcliffe; Ebbrell, Ward (Jackson), Horne, Barlow (Preki); Beagrie, Cottee.
Unused Sub: Kearton.

Ten Years Ago — 2003-04: Match 12

Everton had arrived at Ewood Park with the spectre of relegation hanging over them following their own failure to score enough goals or to win matches on a regular basis. Having not scored in their previous three Premier League matches away from Goodison, confidence was very much in short supply. Everton had faced a Blackburn Rovers team who had also been short on confidence and victories and the club found themselves in 19th place in the table, one below Wolverhampton Wanderers and two places below Everton at kick-off. A victory for either side in this match would have helped to restore confidence to the team that won, but for the loser it would raise greater concerns about their plight, and their fans would begin to understandably fret about their top flight status.

Blackburn Rovers had fallen from grace somewhat since the heady days of being crowned Premier League champions in 1995, but they had lifted the League Cup in 2002 when they had defeated Tottenham Hotspur (2-1). They had started their home campaign with a thumping victory over Wolverhampton Wanderers (5-1), but had lost four consecutive Premier League fixtures at Ewood Park since the opening day, including defeats to Manchester City (2-3), Liverpool (1-3), Fulham (0-2) and Charlton Athletic (0-1) whilst away from Ewood Park they had registered three points just once at Fratton Park, where they had beaten Portsmouth (2-1), whilst they had gained points from draws with Bolton Wanderers (2-2) and Chelsea (2-2) in the early part of the season. In their most recent competitive fixture Blackburn Rovers had lost at home to Liverpool (3-4) in a league cup tie.

Graeme Souness the Blackburn Rovers manager said that the spirit in the dressing room had been upbeat, despite the recent run of poor results that his team had endured. He also said “….I have never experienced a run of results like this either as a player or manager, in my entire career.” Other members of staff at various points in the programme had made a clarion call for unity and togetherness in order to help Rovers end their abysmal home record.

Former Everton player Craig Short was the subject of the ‘in focus’ section and the player, who had been out injured for some time, was now close to returning to first team duty, said “To play against Everton would be a dream come true for me….” He also said that despite it being a tough decision to leave Everton “Being at Rovers has been the most enjoyable time of my football career.”

Everton had been the first visitors in the Premier League era, to pick up maximum points against Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park, when they had beaten Rovers (3-2) in September 1992, Tony Cottee with two goals and John Ebbrell with one helped the Blues to victory, whilst Alan Shearer had scored twice for Rovers one of his goals being scored from the spot. The Toffees had also won the previous league encounter between the two sides at Ewood Park, the previous November, when a goal from Kevin Campbell (19’) had been enough to help Everton gain maximum points.

In past programmes the game between Blackburn Rovers and Everton which had taken place on the 21 March 1959 was reviewed. In that match Johnny Carey, Everton’s manager returned to Ewood Park, for the first time since his move to Everton from Blackburn Rovers some six months earlier. Rovers occupied ninth place in the table with Everton four points behind them in 14th position. The majority of the Blackburn squad had been assembled by Johnny Carey, where a future Everton star, Roy Vernon, had been an important member. Everton had lost the match to Rovers (1-2), where Peter Dobing scored twice one of them a penalty, it was not the result that Johnny Carey and his Everton side would have wanted. Johnny Carey’s Goodison debut came on the 1st November 1958, in the draw with Blackburn Rovers (2-2) where goals from Jimmy Harris and Dave Hickson were countered by Brian Douglas and Roy Vernon and but for a penalty miss by TE Jones, Johnny Carey may have started life at Goodison with a win. Johnny Carey’s first outing as Everton manager had come a week earlier on the 25th October 1958, in a draw at Blackpool (1-1) a game where O’Hara had scored for Everton and Perry had scored for the Tangerines.

But in 2003-04, a lacklustre first-half performance had put paid to Everton’s chances of returning from Ewood Park with maximum points, Blackburn Rovers had taken full advantage of Everton’s dopey mood and had gone into the break ahead, thanks to early goals from Markus Babbel (06’) and Dwight Yorke (13’). Everton had rallied in the second-half and their fans had witnessed a long awaited goal when Tomasz Radzinski (49’) took advantage of a good run and cross from substitute James McFadden, which Blackburn Rovers keeper Brad Friedel could only parry towards the oncoming forward and Radzinski instinctively headed the ball into the goal. Everton’s hopes of gaining something from a game they had sacrificed in the opening quarter were not to be, for despite a number of half-chances and a better attitude an equaliser had not been forthcoming and Everton had replaced Blackburn Rovers in the relegation places.

2003-04 Premier League Monday, 10 November 2003
Blackburn Rovers @ Ewood Park, Score- 1-2 (Radzinski), Attendance: 22,179.
Everton: Martyn; Hibbert, Clarke, Naysmith (Jeffers), Yobo; Gravesen, Nyarko (Unsworth), Linderoth, Kilbane (McFadden); Radzinski, Campbell.
Unused Subs: Simonsen, Chadwick.

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Karl Masters
1 Posted 23/11/2013 at 00:48:46
A very interesting theory on Clive Thomas there, Patrick! Wouldn't surprise me.

Also interesting to note the similarity in results over the first ten league games of messrs Bingham and Martinez!

Bingham started well didn't he? Results wise his first two seasons were successful compared to the three seasons that preceded him, something a lot of people forget. Would we accept 7th and 4th in Roberto's first 2 seasons? I guess we would! Yet 40 years later we look on Bingham's time as a failure. Harsh perhaps as he inherited a squad that had come 14th, 15th and 17th in previous 3 seasons.

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