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James Joseph
1 Posted 15/12/2014 at 08:22:04
Thank you for another great article Patrick.

That QPR team of 1975-76 that beat us 2-0 at Goodison was a really terrific team that should have won the league that season, only for our lovable neighbours to steal the title away from them 10 days after QPR had played there last game.

Rangers dropped crucial points when they lost their third last game 3-2 at Norwich, whose goals included one that appeared to be offside, but won their last two to keep their hopes alive. However, because Toshack and the thuggish Joey Jones had to play for Wales against Yugoslavia, Liverpool were allowed to postpone their final game, away at Wolves, for 10 days. This meant, of course, that they knew exactly what they needed to do in order to pip Rangers to the title - a low scoring draw would be enough. However, with just 14 minutes to go Wolves were hanging on to a 1-0 lead but then Keegan equalised and two more late goals saw the title go to Anfield, a crucial success as they'd won nothing the season before but this gave Paisley his first trophy and we all know what happened after that.

The Rangers team included Phil parkes in goal, an England international who would have won more caps in another era; full backs Dave Clement (once linked with Everton) and ian Gillard also won England honours; central defence was vastly experienced with Frank McLintock and Dave Webb, while John Hollins added the same quality to a midfield where the outstanding player was England captain Gerry Francis. Along side him was the wily Don Masson, a Scottish international, and on the wing was Dave Thomas, who was soon to become well known to Evertonians. In attack they had Stan Bowles, who also played for England but had little chance of more appearances under Don Revie, a player similar in style to Duncan McKenzie but, in my opinion, more effective, and underrated Irish international Don Givens, quick and with a deadly left foot. The squad was completed by utility men like Mick Leach and John Beck.

Sadly for Rangers their time at the top was short lived as the older players declined and manager Dave Sexton was tempted away to Man Utd.

Dave Abrahams
2 Posted 15/12/2014 at 12:24:47
Keep saying thanks, Patrick, but you deserve it, not only for the contents but for the work you put in.

I remember the 1952 game when George Cummins made his debut. You'll notice there were five Irish internationals in the team, nothing unusual then but what a difference to today's teams.

Cummings was part of the deal that brought Billy Bingham to Everton from Luton Town.

Mike Childs
3 Posted 15/12/2014 at 13:25:26
Thanks Patrick, I may not always finish them but they are great to read love the words of the reporters. I really appreciate the effort.
Patrick Murphy
4 Posted 15/12/2014 at 15:55:39
Thanks for the kind words guys - glad that you are enjoying them. James - I went to that game at Molineux and there were many Blues at the ground - it was a sweltering hot day and it was also the nearest thing to a tragedy that I have ever been involved in as the staff refused to open the turnstiles as the crowd built up well before kick-off, inevitably in a bid to ease the growing pressure a couple of gates were knocked in and hundreds if not thousands were pushed through to the open terraces without paying. Not a great memory as regards the game, but as a young and naive lad I thought Wolves were going to prevent the inevitable.
Dave Abrahams
5 Posted 15/12/2014 at 16:34:31
I was at that game Patrick like you, hoping they would lose. There wasn't a policeman in sight, gate got smashed in, toilet windows were completely smashed in, Thousands got in that way, it could have indeed been another tragic night.

Me and my mate, a red persuaded a bizzie to let get onto the pitch to get to the other end, half way round we jumped into the stands and watched the game from there.

Glad to to get out of the ground, a bit like the second replay against Aston Villa at Hills borough, another frightening night.

James Joseph
6 Posted 16/12/2014 at 11:07:44
Yes Patrick and Dave, I remember hearing about the huge crowd at Molineux. I'll forgive you your youthful indiscretion about going to watch the Dark Side play, even if cheering on the opposition. Personally, I never even watch them on television unless I hear that they are losing, although all too often that backfires as they contrive to eke out another spawny win, the most harrowing occasion being the European win when I was away on holiday, happily ignoring the game, only to be lured into the local pub by the sight of crestfallen red-shirted oafs lamenting the 0-3 score line. Needless to say, I'd exited unnoticed long before the penalty shootout and it's inevitable result.

For that game at Molyneux I have a distinct memory of listening on the radio, bizarrely sitting on the stairs as that's where I was when Wolves scored, but turning off when Keegan equalised - even at that age I knew what was coming next.

Ray Atherton
7 Posted 17/12/2014 at 17:55:10
Dave (5)

Regarding Billy Bingham's deal to sign for the Blues: I thought we exchanged John Bramwell and Alec Ashworth to Luton town.

I agree with Dave about Patrick s column.

Dave Abrahams
8 Posted 17/12/2014 at 20:19:28
Ray(7), you have got me thinking there, you are most probably right, old age catching up with me.

Who did George Cummins leave Everton for?.

I know he settled back in Liverpool playing for one of the local amateur clubs Canada or maybe Waterloo Dock.

Dave Abrahams
9 Posted 17/12/2014 at 20:45:34
I'll answer my own question, George Cummins left Everton for Luton Town in 1953 and Billy Bingham didn't join Everton until 1960.

Moral of the story, to myself, always check the facts before you jump in with both feet.

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