Performance-enhancing drugs in Football

by | 11/11/2015  6 Comments  [Jump to last]
In the Liverpool Echo, David Prentice uses a recent observation by Arsene Wenger on the presence of drugs in football as a trigger to rehash a story from the history books that implicated EFC when the Sunday People “exposed” Everton’s title-winning team of 1962-63 as being driven by amphetamine use.

At the time, back in 1964, it was Everton goalkeeper Albert Dunlop who spilled the beans to People journalist Michael Gibbert — and the revelations were shocking.

Dunlop, nearing the end of his playing career, said: “I cannot remember how they first came to be offered to us. But they were distributed in the dressing rooms. We didn’t have to take them but most of the players did.

"The tablets were mostly white but once or twice they were yellow. They were used through the 1961-62 season and the Championship season which followed it."

The club’s board members issued a statement that denied any complicity in the drug use but did admit some mild stimulant drugs had been used by the players ‘entirely as a latter of personal choice and medically, we are told, these pills, in the quantities taken, could not possibly have had any harmful effect on any player’ (The Times 12 September 1964).

» Read the full article at Liverpool Echo


Reader Comments (6)

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Patrick Murphy
1 Posted 11/11/2015 at 16:50:24
I wonder if David Prentice's recent promotion to covering both clubs is starting to affect his blue credentials?
Michael Kenrick
2 Posted 11/11/2015 at 17:07:57
Just (ancient) history, surely, Patrick? Or did you want to keep it all brushed under the carpet?

All that stuff about purple hearts was pretty potent back then, and I think the story (or derivatives thereof) became a part of folk culture.

Patrick Murphy
3 Posted 11/11/2015 at 17:16:23
MK - The story is factual, the presentation of it is 'tabloid' but it was the fact that the story made links to modern day former players too, which could to the innocent observer make them believe that Everton FC has always had a lax policy towards drug-taking or that the 1963 Championship team cheated its way to glory.
James Flynn
4 Posted 11/11/2015 at 17:28:57
An old story in the sports world over here.

They called them "greenies". Baseball players said there'd be a big jug of uppers sitting right on the table for them to take before a game. Routine stuff. Banned now, of course. But no big deal once upon a time.

Keith Harrison
5 Posted 13/11/2015 at 08:07:41
I wonder if Tim Howard is on performance-reducing tablets?
Eric Myles
6 Posted 15/11/2015 at 03:52:50
They would never have caught on in England, James... greenies are something completely different.

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