The sad passing of Eusebio this week has stirred some great memories for me and many of my generation

The once-in-a-lifetime World Cup Group games staged at Goodison Park in July 1966 are something I will never forget

It might surprise some younger supporters but Goodison was regarded as one of the best grounds outside Wembley at the time, and it was a real coup getting such high profile games.

My Dad somehow managed to get both of us mini-season tickets for these games. Portugal, Brazil, Hungary and Bulgaria were the Home teams in this group to be played at Goodison

Fresh from seeing Everton win the FA Cup in May, the thought of seeing such World class stars as Pele, Garrincha, Eusebio, Simoes, Beckenbauer and Jairzinho was a dream come true for a fifteen year old like me

Brazil were the ones everyone wanted to see though and their game against Portugal drew 62,000, it will live in my memory for a long time, not only because Eusebio scored two or because Portugal won 3-1, but because it was the first and only time I can remember my Dad hitting me, anyone who was there cant help but remember the whole of the Upper Bullens Road Stand being taken over by Brazilian supporters, the swaying hoards of bronzed, toned, female beauties in their bright yellow Brazilian shirts had me hypnotised, and it took a smack at the back of my head from my Dad to bring me to my senses and concentrate on the football, Portugal weren’t a one man team though, they had the tricky Simoes on the wing, I think it was Augustus in midfield and a gangly centre forward called Torres, Eusebio was different class though, he had a thunderous left foot, right foot and was good in the air,

Later on in the tournament Eusebio scored four goals against North Korea in a 5-3 win after Portugal being 3-0 down after twenty minutes, the North Koreans being complete underdogs had the Goodison crowd behind them at the start of that day but in the end it was Eusebio who was applauded off the pitch after a masterclass in finishing, including two perfect penalties, unluckily for North Korea, Eusebio also wore the number thirteen shirt that day

Not many people remember, but Goodison Park should have staged the Portugal - England semi final, but instead the FA managed to get the game switched to Wembley and instead Goodison was allocated the Russia- Germany game, the only thing I remember about this game was the Russian goalie Lev Yashin, nicknamed "the man in Black" well before Johnny Cash by the way, being brilliant, and Franz Beckenbaur scoring a screamer

Great memories of a great well organised group of games that Goodison Park staged, and not one attendance below 52,000 it had it all, Eusebio, Pele, Beckenbaur, and in Albert and Bene from Hungary, two of the cleverest and finest footballers I have ever seen, and of course who could forget those swaying hoards of bronzed, toned Brazilian ladies in the Upper Bullens Road Stand.

Funny isn’t it, but I went everywhere with my Dad supporting Everton when he was alive, Cup Finals, Cup Semi Finals, all over the Country, but Goodison Park is special, and one of my special memories will stay with me forever, and every-time I look up at at the Upper Bullens I smile, and almost expect a smack on the back of my head.

Share this article

Reader Comments (24)

Note: the following content is not moderated or vetted by the site owners at the time of submission. Comments are the responsibility of the poster. Disclaimer

Patrick Murphy
1 Posted 07/01/2014 at 20:31:19
Nice story well told Fran - Be careful in the summer watching all those world cup matches from Brazil - get ready to duck when they go to the various beaches for their interviews.

I wish I had been slightly older so that I could have witnessed that array of talent at Goodison Park.

Peter Carpenter
3 Posted 07/01/2014 at 22:09:04
Nice article Fran.
Tom Bowers
6 Posted 07/01/2014 at 23:41:17
Was old enough and fortunate enough to see those games at Goodison and some world class players. Fortunate also to see players who didn't play up to the cameras with all manner of antics as they do today.
Chris Em
7 Posted 08/01/2014 at 02:51:58
Thanks for sharing this Fran. I am too young to have experienced this but I have read and watched clips from these games several times. Growing up, my dad would tell me about how Eusebio turned around the game against the North Koreans and the World Cup is a great part of the Goodison legacy. It really is easy to forget what a great stadium the Grand Old Lady was in her prime.
Rick Tarleton
8 Posted 08/01/2014 at 12:26:45
The only World Cup game I saw live at Goodison was the Portugal Brazil game, remember above all the brutal way the Portuguese sorted Pele out so that Brazil played with ten men( no subs then). I wandered up there no ticket and watched from my normal spec in the Paddock.

I remember at The time I was working in the Stile House pub, next to St Nicholas Church, and we were given permission to stay open till eleven during the World Cup, after the first match there were no extra customers and Mr. Brown, the landlord, closed at the normal time for all subsequent matches. The influx of Portuguese, Brazilian and Portuguese supporters never happened for obvious reasons.

I was working, it was my student summer job and I needed the money and only got off for the one game, still it gave me the chance to boast in later life that I had seen Pele and Eusebio live.

Dick Fearon
9 Posted 08/01/2014 at 12:48:10
I also experienced Frans thrill of those games but to introduce a sour note was the dirty way that Portugals captain Coluna deliberately kicked Pele out of the game.
Coluna (spelling ?) made no bones about it that Pele was a doomed man. I cannot forgive the English referee for allowing without penalty the sheer bloody brutality that saw Pele carried off on a stretcher.
Keith Glazzard
10 Posted 08/01/2014 at 17:37:15
The Portugal - North Korea game was a fantastic experience, well described here. You don't hear much of Pak Do Ik these days, but with hindsight he was the Asian Alan Ball. But we were certainly in awe of Eusebio who put his head down and decided to change the course of the match. A fabulous footballer.

Ross Kerry
11 Posted 08/01/2014 at 20:23:24
Too young to have seen him but Dick Fearon tells it as my dad saw it.

Florian Albert was my dad's favourite at Goodison in 1966.

Peter Hall
12 Posted 08/01/2014 at 21:57:42
Thanks for that Fran, takes me back with some details I'd forgotten like the mini season-ticket for 4 games. Almost the same happened to me, apart from the smack on the back of the head.

And I don't remember the Brazilian girls how did I miss that? I do remember Pele being hacked into the centre flag in front of the main stand and limping out of the World Cup. I bet lots of you have never even seen a centre flag.

I was 16 and my Dad got me tickets for all the games well, see last paragraph. I remember the warm June Saturday afternoon when the Koreans went 3 up before Eusebio did his men against boys act.

My greatest memory was the goal Albert scored for Hungary at the Gwladys Street end (okay, someone may tell me I'm wrong). I think the Hungarian right winger was Bene, and he was sent on a break up the wing and swung a high cross over and Florian Albert had sprinted up the centre and met the cross on the volley just outside the penalty area and put it in the corner of the net.

In those days, you very rarely saw volleyed goals (the ball was much heavier) and this was the best piece of football I'd ever seen. Even better than Roy Vernon, which is saying an awful lot. The best goal I'd ever seen into the best net...

I saw maybe a hundred games from the Boys Pen, when I could afford the ticket, the bus from New Brighton to Seacombe, the Ferry, the 44A from the Pierhead to the ground.

When the semi-final came up the FA cheated and switched venues (imagine that now!), England should have played Portugal at Goodison; it was a night game and instead we got West Germany against Russia. My Mum suddenly discovered an interest in football so my Dad took her and I didn't get to see the World Cup semi-final at Goodison Park...

But one thing I disagree with in Fran's account I saw this on TV that night Yashin totally misjudged Beckenbauer's shot and let it go in at his right post at the Park End without trying to save it: 2-1 to West Germany and the famous final was set up. It was nothing like the shot Robles let in against Southampton, just a fair strike from 25 yards out that Yashin must have thought was going wide. I think the Russian linesmen were better than the Russian goalkeeper that year....

Kevin Byrne
13 Posted 09/01/2014 at 08:58:14
Fran, everything you say, I remember well. My abiding memory of Goodison Park (although I only watched the World Cup on TV) were the two semi circles behind each goal.

I remember Yashin's nickname as The Octopus, or was this only in Ireland? Or am I mixing him up with someone else? Oh what the years do your mind. Enjoyed the article.

Keith Glazzard
14 Posted 09/01/2014 at 11:17:36
Peter - as memory serves, I think it was Farkas who scored that volley, the fabulous goal you describe. Albert, I think, supplied the cross. What a hell of a night that was.

And I remember the Brazilian girls being stunning, dancing to their samba band outside the Park End after the Bulgaria game (2-0, Pele and Garrincha round the wall free kicks).

Pat Byrom
16 Posted 09/01/2014 at 18:08:40
We paid 5 for the Group games and the Quarter final game.That season a ground season ticket was 4.25
Peter Lloyd
17 Posted 09/01/2014 at 21:16:25
I was fortunate enough to go to all of these games with my girl friend now wife (still). I also bought the mini season ticket books for my brother and his wife, they were for the lower Gladys St as is now called but then it was just the Gwladys St standing area. In the corner by the church, were I now have my season ticket with my granddaughter.

The first match under the lights in pouring rain Hungary v Brazil was just a wonderful match, I think 3 - 1 to Hungary, Florian Albert scoring the winner in the Street end, the first time Brazil had been beaten in about 8 years.

If I am not mistaken, the crowd were all supporting Hungary, the atmosphere under the lights as always seems to be the case even now at Goodison, was electric.....again it was the Street end that enjoyed Eusebio's fantastic 4 goals... Sadly Pele was brutally kicked out of the later match, terrible refereeing as described earlier.

All-in-all an incredible experience... especially those Brazilian drummers in the Upper Bullens and those lovely Brazilian girls, stunning to say the least.

And finally as regards the tickets, you just turned up to the ground, no queue at all. I even bought a ticket for my friend in Manchester for the Hungary v Brazil match; he too agrees it was the best ever match we had seen in our football lives apart from our great Everton games. We had been lucky enough to see them win the league 4 times, the FA Cup 3 times and the Cup Winners Cup in Rotterdam. (My wife and I even managed to get seats on the players' plane, awesome that journey home, drinking champagne out of the Cup with the players!)

Some wonderful memories of the World Cup at Goodison and seeing most of the world's best players then and they still are....

Gavin Ramejkis
18 Posted 09/01/2014 at 22:33:11
Heres the Youtube footage of the game the Black Pearl vs Pele at Goodison -
Rick Tarleton
19 Posted 10/01/2014 at 14:32:47
Those semi circles were the result of an Everton fan who threw a dart at the Spurs keeper (Brown) and the club were ordered to move the crowds back from the area behind the goals.
David Israel
20 Posted 10/01/2014 at 15:38:35
Dick Fearon # 57, the man who chopped down Pele was the right back Morais and not Coluna, the skipper, a cultured midfielder.

I watched both the Portugal v Brazil match and the West Germany v USSR semi-final at Goodison. Great memories!

David Israel
21 Posted 10/01/2014 at 17:18:31
Keith Glazzard # 155: Pak Do Ik, along with his team mates, may well have been shipped off to a concentration camp once they got back home, having incredibly surrendered a 3-0 lead! :-)
Howard Greene
22 Posted 10/01/2014 at 18:13:19
yes Fran, I remember those wonderful matches and of course 'the ladies' especially those wearing the leather short skirts!
Wasn't Lev Yashin known as The Black Panther and I agree, he never moved as Beckenbauers sped passed him into the net
Great times, still got the ticket stubbs and programmes
David Israel
23 Posted 10/01/2014 at 23:44:57
Fran, thanks for a beautiful piece.

The games in that group were played at Goodison and at Old Trafford. If memory serves me right, Portugal only played in the group stages at Goodison against Brazil, and played Hungary and Bulgaria at OT.

The FA did manage to change the semi-final between England and Portugal to Wembley, because of financial considerations. Wembley would probably have been only about two-thirds full for the West Germany v USSR match.

Gerry Quinn
24 Posted 10/01/2014 at 23:58:22

The England v Portugal match was actually switched for "safety reasons" crap excuse but usual for a World Cup homer!

Fran, excellent piece, well done. I still have fantastic memories having watched all 6 group matches and up to the semi. Eusebio remains to me the greatest player I've ever seen sheer class and a total gentleman who loved football. And Goodison: what more could you ask for? Pity he never played for us. RIP EUSEBIO

David Israel
26 Posted 11/01/2014 at 00:05:41

Of course they would never offer financial considerations as the reason for changing the venue. I don't remember the official explanation, but you are surely right.

RIP Eusebio

Gerry Quinn
27 Posted 11/01/2014 at 00:19:32
The FA have re-written history and the frickin excuse they write now is that Wembley had a larger capacity. At the time, and I remember this well, they told Portugal that it would be switched for "safety" reasons I felt for them as they were the BEST team in the world.

Instead of being able to spend the day training, they were shoveled down to Lahndahn at extremely short notice. Argentine, Mexico - you name the venue, there is a "homer" frickin bias. Ingerlund were one of the originators and every country has followed our lead since.

Corrupt as shit, the World Cup!

David Israel
28 Posted 11/01/2014 at 00:37:33
Yes, I tend to agree with you Gerry.

Just before the Portugal v Brazil game, outside the Bullens Road, my uncle Benjamin (who took me to the matches) and I met an old teacher of mine who told me: "We're here to support Portugal, David! Remember that they're our oldest allies [I suppose they still are]! Are kids still taught these gems at school? ;-)

Kevin Byrne
29 Posted 15/01/2014 at 15:55:55
I just Googled "Yashin" he had three nicknames" Black Panther, Spider and Octopus.

Add Your Comments

In order to post a comment, you need to be logged in as a registered user of the site.

» Log in now

Or Sign up as a ToffeeWeb Member — it's free, takes just a few minutes and will allow you to post your comments on articles and Talking Points submissions across the site.

About these ads

© ToffeeWeb