Continuing the theme of my favourite players, my selection for inside left is Roy Vernon.
Thomas Royston Vernon was born in Ffynnongroen North Wales on 14 April 1937.
From a schoolboy of ten years old, until going into the army at the age of 18, my favourite inside forward was Wally Fielding. However, Wally was transferred to Southport in 1958 while I was serving in Cyprus.
On my demob from the army in August 1959, I had to find another player to pin my hopes on, fortunately Bobby Collins had been recruited to fill the void left by Wally's transfer.
For most of my first season, 1959-60, back on 'Civvy Street', Bobby operated at inside left, with Eddie Thomas taking the inside right berth, this was soon to change however, with the arrival of Roy Vernon, in February 1960.
Although Vernon signed in February, he had been to Goodison Park a little earlier to discuss a move to Everton, but nothing materialised and he returned to his club, [Blackburn Rovers.]
I knew a lad who was on Blackburn's books at the time, and he told me that Vernon had a training ground row with Dally Duncan the Blackburn manager, and said, "I wish I'd signed for Everton, when I had the chance" to which Duncan replied, "We'll soon sort that out" he then contacted Johnny Carey and arranged the transfer that brought Vernon to Goodison, with Eddie Thomas going in the other direction. I'm not claiming that this is what happened, I'm merely relating what I was told.
I was at Goodison to witness Roy Vernon's debut against Wolverhampton Wanderers, a 2-0 defeat, and I wondered what we had bought, he had a poor game, and to tell the truth I felt that he looked far removed from a footballer, but my opinion of him was to change quickly, as he scored his first league goal the following week, in a 2-1 loss to Arsenal at Highbury, and added another six by the end of the season.
The next season 1960-61, in an away game against Nottingham Forest, he was sent off, and that was a game I attended on my own; my mates preferred a Saturday night in the pub – they lacked the passion I had for the club.
Throughout the game Bobby Collins and fellow Scot John Quigley, had fought a running battle, and although I was some distance from the incident that led to Vernon's dismissal, I believe that the referee had mistakenly thought Vernon was Bobby Collins, and had sent the wrong man off.
Vernon finished the season scoring 22 goals in 44 appearances in all competitions, helping Everton to finish in Fifth position.
In the 1961-62 campaign Vernon scored 26 league goals in 37 games, (28 goals in 40 league and cup games) Harry Catterick had secured the services of goalkeeper Gordon West from Blackpool, and Dennis Stevens from Bolton Wanderers.
Everton finishing in 4th position in the Football League, and qualifying for European football, for the first time.
In the 1962-63 season Harry Catterick added Johnny Morrissey to the team, he made his debut in a 4-1 home win against Sheffield Wednesday. The European adventure was short-lived, as Dunfermline Athletic triumphed 2-1 on aggregate.
The league programme was interrupted by severe winter weather, and Everton didn't play a league game between December 22 and February 12. Harry Catterick took advantage of the break to sign Alex Scott and Tony Kay.
Despite a drop in form when the league programme resumed, the last twelve games brought eight wins and four draws, and Everton had amassed their biggest points haul of 61, and were unbeaten at home for the first and only time.
In the 1963-64 season Roy Vernon scored 21 goals in 39 appearances in all competitions, which saw the biggest disappointment to date, the elimination from the European Cup at the hands of Inter Milan.
This season also saw the arrival of Fred Pickering from Blackburn Rovers, for a fee of £85,000. Pickering scored a hat-trick on his debut against Nottingham Forest at Goodison Park.
Victory over Blackburn Rovers the following week, saw Everton go top of the league, but a stumble four games from the end of the season, resulted in a third place finish, to add salt to the wound, Liverpool won the title.
The 1964-65 season was to be the last one as an Everton player for Vernon, and a difficult one for the club, Ray Wilson newly signed from Huddersfield Town, was injured two games into his Everton career, and he joined Gordon West, Alex Parker, and Dennis Stevens in the treatment room.
The injuries forced Harry Catterick into blooding youngsters Tommy Wright and Colin Harvey, who had both established themselves in the team. Indeed Tommy Wright did so well that Alex Parker who had started the season as captain, was allowed to leave for Southport, Roy Vernon regaining the captaincy.
A bright spot that season was the 4-0 win over Liverpool at Anfield, I can recall a Liverpool supporter planting a stave topped by a 'purple heart' in the centre circle prior to the kick off, (in reference to the allegations that Albert Dunlop had made). Everton finished in 4th place, and had the satisfaction of doing the double over Liverpool, in the return game at Goodison Park, winning 2-1 with goals from Johnny Morrissey and Derek Temple.
Vernon scored 4 goals in 20 games in all competitions, and his last game was on March 13, a 3-1 home win over Aston Villa when he scored two of the goals, Johnny Morrissey netting the other, shortly after that game Roy Vernon was transferred to Stoke City.
Sadly, Roy Vernon passed away on 4 December 1993, aged 56.
Roy's career figures are
Blackburn Rovers: 131 games, 49 goals
Everton: 176 games, 101 goals
Stoke City: 84/3 games 22 goals
Halifax Town : 4 games
I came across this tribute to Roy Vernon:
To those who saw him in his pomp, Roy Vernon was a goal scoring inside forward, who was the equal of his contemporaries, Denis Law, and Jimmy Greaves.
The Goodison Park legend was Everton's leading marksman in four of the five seasons he spent on Merseyside, after joining the club from Blackburn Rovers, where he began his professional career.
Roy Vernon was something of a rebel, his individualism leading to clashes with both Ewood Park boss Dally Duncan, and Everton's Harry Catterick on a fairly regular basis.
A former school friend who played with him for Mostyn YMCA recalled that at an early age, Vernon would often practise his ball skills even though the rest of the team were waiting for the kick off.
But his talent shone through and although invited to Everton for trials, he signed for Blackburn Rovers boss Johnny Carey in 1955, and within two years had earned his first Wales cap, playing alongside such established stars as Ivor Allchurch, Cliff Jones, and Jack Kelsey.
At the time, he was doing his National Service with the Royal Welch Fusiliers, based in Wrexham. An impressive debut against Northern Ireland in Belfast, was followed by the only goal in a vital World Cup qualifier against Czechoslovakia, that helped take Wales to the following year's final stages in Sweden. It was the first of his eight international goals in 32 games for his country, the last of which was against England in 1968.
Although interrupted by National Service, his record at Blackburn was impressive and his 49 goals in 131 league outings was a major factor in the club's promotion to the top flight of English football.
Carey who by that time had taken charge of Everton, returned to his former club in 1960, to capture Vernon's signature for a second time in a deal worth the then , not inconsiderable sum, of £35,000.
After a less than conspicuous debut against Wolverhampton Wanderers, which Everton lost 2-0, the Welshman then scored seven goals in four games, and he was to go on to form a lethal partnership with Alex Young "The Golden Vision".
The pair and the new manager Harry Catterick, transformed Everton into title winners, Young scored 22 goals during that season, but was outshone by Vernon, who finished with 24, eight of which came in the last seven matches of the season, including a hat-trick against Fulham on the final day of the campaign.
It was an incredible achievement, but Vernon gave credit to the manager's ability to weld a team, into a team, in the true sense of the word.
In an era when physical contact was still allowed, even encouraged, Vernon looked small in comparison with some of the legendary defenders he came up against.
Former Everton captain Brian Labone, described him thus, "Taffy Vernon was about ten stone wet through, and looked as athletic as Pinocchio" and Vernon was hardly the model of fitness.
A heavy smoker, his team-mates reported seeing him stubbing out cigarettes as he was making his way down the tunnel to the pitch, and lighting up afterwards in the showers.
A Goodison Park Historian wrote of Vernon, "Built like a 'Biro' but as tough as 'Rawhide'. he was in his element in the penalty area, lurking like some dark assassin to deliver the deadly stiletto thrusts that were his trademark.
But his rebellious streak was never far from the surface, and in the first of many bust ups with the Everton boss, Vernon was sent home from an American tour, and taken off penalty taking duties, but in an FA Cup tie against Leeds United at Elland Road, after Alex Scott's effort had been saved by the keeper, the referee ordered a retake, it was Vernon who grabbed the ball and dispatched the second spot kick with minimum fuss.
What Catterick said afterwards was never recorded, but a parting of the ways seemed inevitable, and in December 1964 three weeks after being fined for turning up late for training, and carpeted for giving a press interview, he was dropped for a trip to Tottenham Hotspur.
A transfer request followed on New Year's Eve, and soon after, Vernon joined Stoke City, where Tony Waddington was assembling a side to challenge for promotion to the First Division.
Vernon's reaction to his departure from Goodison Park was typical, "I suppose everyone knew we were going to part company, at Everton success is not anticipated it's demanded, players are expected to toe the line rigidly, almost like schoolchildren, and I don't like too much discipline."
Reader Comments (81)
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1 Posted 09/02/2018 at 10:03:46
2 Posted 09/02/2018 at 11:08:15
Catterick did many great things as a manager, but he got rid of players who spoke their minds far too soon and Collins, Vernon, Ball and perhaps Jimmy Gabriel as well, proved this point.
I applaud your choice, John. My abiding memory of Vernon was a trick he used frequently of pointing with his left hand outstretched towards the left corner flag and then accelerating away to the right. That fraction of a second he gained was all he needed.
A truly brilliant player and a unique character whose combination with Alex Young formed the best and most skilful strike pair we've had in my time.
3 Posted 09/02/2018 at 11:44:43
Hi Rick  I'm pleased that you agree with my choice of Roy Vernon for the inside left position, but I can only give you the same response that I gave to Derek, 'one mans meat etc.'
With regard to the players Catterick let go, it was disappointing, but in fairness I think we must give a little leeway, in as much as, we don't know what went on at Bellefield.
My abiding memory of Roy Vernon was of a penalty he scored at Old Trafford, I was at the Score Board end of the ground, and the penalty kick was being taken at the Stretford end. The keeper, I believe it was Dave Gaskell, approached Vernon prior to the kick being taken, and said something to him.
Vernon promptly dispatched the ball to the keepers left, the keeper, had dived to his right, and Vernon stood there pointing to the ball nestling in the net.
I would hazard a guess that it was a bit of gamesmanship that didn't pay off.
4 Posted 09/02/2018 at 13:12:24
I first watched Everton in the 1962-63 season when I was 8. my first game was a 5-0 demolition of Blackpool. Roy Vernon was a huge favourite of mine along with Alex Young.
However, I lived in Maghull and in 1964 it seemed that most of the Everton and Liverpool players lived there as well, in club-owned semis. My auntie lived next door to Gordon West. A few friends and I had autograph books and on Sundays we would traipse round Maghull and Lydiate to get the players autographs. We would knock on the door and invariably the players would sign our books and have a chat with us. Imagine that these days?
One Sunday we'd had a bumper haul of autographs, Tony Kay, Alex Scott, Ian St John, Brian Harris. Our last call was at Roy Vernon's house in Lydiate. We knocked a few times before the door was answered. There stood our hero. 'Er, any chance we could have your autograph please' I asked. "Fuck Off" he shouted loudly and chased us down the path.
Now thinking about it, he might have been having a kip, his Sunday lunch or we might have been the umpteenth schoolboy callers at his door that day. But he was certainly in a foul temper. We scarpered home as fast as we could.
When I got home I was showing my dad our latest autographs and told him about Roy Vernon. He nodded slowly. "He's Welsh, son" was his considered response.
Sometimes it isn't great to meet your heroes.
5 Posted 09/02/2018 at 13:16:21
I was on the Goodison Road terrace just underneath where Roy was handed the prestigious old Division 1 trophy, festooned in blue ribbons, and watched history unfolding in front of my eyes.
6 Posted 09/02/2018 at 13:35:44
In case you missed it, this is how it was covered in the tribute:
Young scored 22 goals during that season, but was outshone by Vernon who finished on 24, eight of which came in the last seven matches of the season, including a hat-trick against Fulham on the final day of the season.
It was an incredible achievement, but Vernon gave the credit to the manager's ability to weld the team into a team, in the true sense of the word.
I watched the game from behind the goal at the Park End, and was one of the thousands who invaded the pitch at the end of the game.
7 Posted 09/02/2018 at 14:06:14
I didn't make it onto the pitch that afternoon from the vast sprawling terrace under the Goodison Road stand but I did from the Gwladys Street end on the misty night we beat West Brom to take out the title once more in 69-70.
Excellent series and I get the feeling you are enjoying writing it, as much as we T/Webbers are reading it.
8 Posted 09/02/2018 at 14:29:41
I suspect your selection is not going to receive too much argument. My own “not necessarily the best, but favourite” would be Tim Cahill.
9 Posted 09/02/2018 at 15:55:39
A great player in a great team.
Still can't believe I watched us getting beat by Dunfermline!!
10 Posted 09/02/2018 at 16:10:59
Bobby Collins, Jimmy Harris, Mickey Lill, Tommy Ring (until his broken leg), and Roy, were all regularly on the score sheet as we frequently would be scoring 3 or 4.
11 Posted 09/02/2018 at 16:19:43
Your best choice IMO.
Roy Vernon is my all-time favourite Everton player.
My memory of him is that he could dribble around the opposition and then the goalkeeper, even from a kickoff, and what a penalty taker.
I was in the Boys Pen when we won the title but was one of those who climbed over the railings and went onto the pitch with thousands of others.
He was a character too. I heard a story that he got stuck in his car on the beach at Formby after one too many one time and missed the team bus and had to drive to the game himself.
No doubt that was Catterick's problem with him.
12 Posted 09/02/2018 at 16:36:10
What a day that was. Just brilliant.
I remember before kick off and the place was chocker. 2 lads with a tennis ball got onto the pitch and played about. They never got thrown off as I remember just got fed up after scoring about 20 times in the Park End goal!
13 Posted 09/02/2018 at 16:53:54
I know you were a little too young to see Roy in his prime for us. I can assure you that Tim Cahill, for all his many attributes, was no Roy Vernon. Although I do know that Tim could head a ball better than Roy. Can anyone on here ever recall Roy scoring with his head? Not that he ever needed to, his feet were more than adequate. What a finisher!
14 Posted 09/02/2018 at 18:22:47
Vernon was a somewhat testy individual. In many ways he was a rebel and he always left fans in suspense as to what he might do. However this was all part of what was so good about him. In a strange way, as much as I can recognise him as a great player, I don't consider him as a great Evertonian.
Sad that he died at such a relatively young age.
15 Posted 09/02/2018 at 18:26:12
16 Posted 09/02/2018 at 18:51:00
Hi John [9 & 12] did you really watch the game at Dunfermline, I was offered the chance to up there, a friend who sadly died at a young age, asked me if I fancied going up there, and when I asked him how we would travel, he replied "On my scooter" I think you're old enough to know that a scooter is what is known as a moped today, I'm afraid I declined the offer.
Regarding the Fulham game I was in my usual spec behind the Park end goal, and someone had hung a shirt on the netting, not a football shirt, an everyday item of clothing. I took it to mean "Come on boys I've put my shirt on you" implying that he may have had a wager on the result.
Hi Terry [10 & 13] the players you refer to played in 1960, and gave our generation the first glimpse of what football was really like. I can reel the team out now, Dunlop, Parker, T E Jones, Gabriel, Labone, Harris B, Lill, Collins, Harris J, Vernon, Ring... there were one or two changes due to injury etc.
I saw your post on another thread, and it restored my faith in the human race, welcome to a profanity-free forum.
17 Posted 09/02/2018 at 19:01:15
Yeah, how did we lose to Dunfermline.
I have a photo somewhere of an Everton team in the early 50s with three future managers on the team. Harry Catterick, Harry Potts and Ken Furphy. I was wondering if inside forward Harry Potts was ever considered for the Everton manager position. He won the league with Burnley and I think made the quarter finals of the European Cup. Boy we could do with someone like Harry Potts today
18 Posted 09/02/2018 at 19:15:45
yes we went up to Dunfermline in a "charra".
Seem to remember by the time we passed Blackpool all the old uns were well oiled. Think we left Everton about 8am ? We were definitely in Dunfermline for them all to continue visiting the local hostelries early afternoon.
As for the actual match I just remember that we were absolutely dire ! In fact I reckon we were as bad that night as any game this season, that's how bad I remember it ! Alex Young and Roy Vernon might as well not have been on the pitch, in fact half of them might not have !
We should really have sewn that tie up at Goodison to be honest.
I seem to remember we never set off back home until the pubs closed at half ten. Long trip !!
If I'm not mistaken Jock Stein was the manager of Dunfermline at that time
19 Posted 09/02/2018 at 19:33:23
Yes, it does seem that Roy could be a difficult person to deal with, but as you rightly say his penalty taking technique was superb, 19 successful attempts from 20 is not bad.
I think I've mentioned on one thread or another that some lad [at the time] told me that the referee changed the ball shortly after he missed the one at White Hart Lane, I'm not saying that the condition of the ball had anything to do with his miss.
Hi John M  I'm with you, when it comes to a favourite individual, Alex Young was a once-in-a-lifetime player, every football follower's dream. However, you will appreciate that the theme of these articles is positional favourites.
You say we could do with having either or both of Roy Vernon and Alex Young, how would you fancy having Bobby Collins, and one who just missed out in my selection, Jimmy Gabriel?
I will be in my seat with my 13-year-old grandson tomorrow, and I wonder how many of the team we watch, will be etched in his mind.
20 Posted 09/02/2018 at 20:41:56
If Roy was more disciplined and looked after his fitness better, he would have had a much longer career. But Roy was Roy, a maverick and always looked forward to and enjoyed the superb football ability he provided. Another good choice, John.
21 Posted 09/02/2018 at 21:20:30
I find it impossible to put my finger on the time that things started to go against us, although I do feel that it could have been when Peter Johnson was spending money that the club didn't have.
On a lighter note, I ruled Tommy Ring out of my possible candidates for the outside left berth, I think I may have been a little hasty, because it has caused me an immense problem. I've managed to narrow it down to four candidates, I've only got myself to blame – I may have been too demanding when I set the bar at a hundred appearances.
I keep checking the availability of the church, but as yet no joy I'm afraid.
22 Posted 09/02/2018 at 21:50:37
23 Posted 09/02/2018 at 22:04:22
It's the lasting impression my dad gave of Roy, in that he could do anything. Great nostalgia and how now we'd be take 10%, of what those players had..That's the reality of how bad this 1st team is as it's deffo not a proper football team by any account.
It's brought a great sense of reality to what's been another garbage week and for me the worst season..Made me smile..
Keep up these writes lads, superb and your Legends in your own right. My first time on the pitch at Goodison Park was after Eamon O'Keefe's late late winner in the 1980 FA Cup quarterfinal.. vs Southampton.
Goodison seemed massive when on the pitch. Those were the Days!
Hopefully 3 points tomorrow by hook or crook.
24 Posted 09/02/2018 at 22:23:45
I can give you some names that I very much doubt would be your favourites, Graham Williams ("Tom Thumb"), Bobby Laverick (although he did score 6 goals in only 22 games), Eddie O'Hara ("son of Tom Thumb"), Peter Kavanagh ("The voice of them all"), all of whom wore the blue number 11 shirt during the later part of the 1950s.
I'm struggling to come up with as many as 4 that might be your favourites!
25 Posted 10/02/2018 at 02:44:59
I am assuming your formation is 1-2-3-5 with 1 being the goal keeper. How things have changed since I started watching the blues at the beginning of the sixties. Now it is 5-3-2-1.
26 Posted 10/02/2018 at 07:17:41
27 Posted 10/02/2018 at 09:00:15
The team so far is:
Gordon West, Alex Parker, Jock LIndsay, Peter Farrell, Brian Labone, Brian Harris, Alex Scott, Bobby Collins, Alex Young, Roy Vernon, ???
28 Posted 10/02/2018 at 09:52:07
I know who mine would be but that would be letting the cat out of the bag.
29 Posted 10/02/2018 at 12:14:13
A strange memory of Roy Vernon was on the Sunday morning after we had beaten Sheff Wed, I think 4-2, I seem to recall Roy scoring from the spot. The Sunday paper (I can't remember which one, my father used to buy it), rated players out of 10. Roy was rated 10 out of 10 after that game, the first time I had ever seen such a rating and it has stayed with me all of those years!
Brilliant article to go with a brilliant choice. Well done John.
30 Posted 10/02/2018 at 14:04:25
And finally John, if you don't pick him next time we have our cup of tea together I'll sulk, even though Tommy Ring was the best left winger I ever saw. So no pressure John.
31 Posted 10/02/2018 at 17:38:08
Beyond that, I did not want to spoil John's deserved thunder by making any suggestions before he had a chance to reveal his selection (Dave #30).
33 Posted 10/02/2018 at 19:41:40
Peter Kavanagh 6 league
Bobby Laverick 22 league 1 FA cup
Eddie O'Hara 29 league 2 FA cup
Graham Williams 31 league 2 FA cup
Hi Ian , I've just consulted my research department, and I think the game you refer to was played on 3 December 1960, Everton 4 Sheffield Wednesday 2. Roy Vernon 2 (1 pen) Jimmy Harris, and P Johnson (own goal) attendance 50,702.
Hi Rick , I did not mention John Connolly, it's hard work keeping track of them. It may have been easier for me if I hadn't been a man of principal, and chosen Tommy Ring.
Hi Dave, I wouldn't have you sulk, but I had better bring a hankie with me just in case, I think you'll agree a bit more spirit shown today. Although Josh and I sit in the Park End, we had no idea why the penalty was awarded. Josh's Dad told us, when he picked us up from Ormskirk station, that Ashley Willams had handled the ball.
Don't you think that Theo Walcott is a breath of fresh air, in a season that reeks? .
34 Posted 10/02/2018 at 20:51:01
Agree with you entirely John over the form of Theo Walcott, John Daley pays him a great tribute on another thread which is well deserved.
John, did Don Easthope have a few games in the number eleven shirt in the late forties or early fifties? Probably the latter if he did.
35 Posted 10/02/2018 at 21:58:48
Dave,I'm glad you called him Don, because that's how I knew him, however I was talking to Derek Temple a number of years ago, and he called him Joe Easthope, the reference books also call him Joseph Donald Eastohope.
I had the same problem with Ted Falder, the reference books refer to him as David Edward James, but I called him Ted, and will continue to do so. I have a book that contains a copy of players autographs, and he signed his name, Ted Falder and that's good enough for me.
I agree with you regarding today's game, but I believe performances at this time, are secondary to results.
36 Posted 11/02/2018 at 02:48:15
37 Posted 11/02/2018 at 05:17:48
38 Posted 11/02/2018 at 09:55:38
39 Posted 11/02/2018 at 16:14:40
Back to the Fulham game if it was on the day I said then Bedford Jezzard scored two for Fulham and gave Matt Woods a he'll of an afternoon, it was also the lowest ever league gate at Goodison Park, just over 11,000 attended the game.
Regarding Ted Falder, although I never went to the game not many Everton fans remember he was centre half when we lost 2-0 to Liverpool in the 1950 semi-final at Maine Road.
40 Posted 11/02/2018 at 16:20:26
41 Posted 11/02/2018 at 16:52:36
You were right on both counts regarding Ted Falder and the semi-final, [ "Not many Everton fans will remember Ted Falder playing in that semi-final"] as there are unlikely to be many of us left to think, or talk, about it.
I've just been reading another thread, and I'm afraid I found it depressing, Evertonian's engaged in 'Cyber warfare,' and many may wonder, why some of us immerse ourselves in nostalgia.
42 Posted 11/02/2018 at 17:00:13
43 Posted 11/02/2018 at 18:27:39
Regarding Graham Williams, my mate and I were on our way back from Huddersfield, following a 1-0 defeat, and the coach pulled into a roadside café, [pre motorway days], there were some Bradford City supporters on their way home from a game at Prenton Park.
The discussion we had with them centred on Graham Williams, they were saying that they were glad to see the back of him, but I think that was just sour grapes on their part.
However, I didn't see a great deal of him either, a few games in his first season, and the same in his last, due to my army service. The overriding memory I have of him, is the fact that he and Bobby Collins were probably the smallest left wing partners, in the First Division.
44 Posted 11/02/2018 at 19:38:35
50"s and 60"s.
I read a brilliant thread about the Footballers wifes
about Roy Vernon, Becky Vallentine.
I had the pleasure of Roy knowing on the journeys
from the London matches early 60"s.
Talking to him at the Hotel before the match, West Ham
1963 we won 2-0, league champions.
Roy had a column in the Daily Post, the RS were playing Leicester at HIllsborough at the Semi Final
in the FA cup. He said we want to see the RS win.
I said what"s that is all about. He said "That"s all
paper talk, Hope the Bastards get beat.
I am sorry about your encounter with Roy,but
you havIIe seen a Mr Hyde Moment.
Every time I spoke to Royston he was Dr. Jeckyl
even when we had a few pints in Maghull with
At Ninian Park Wales v Scotland, Jimmy Gabriel my two heroes) pllayed against each other 4 against 10.
Roy was the winner.
Roy was my number 10 also my hero to have to
having such wonderful memories.
45 Posted 11/02/2018 at 00:17:27
46 Posted 12/02/2018 at 10:58:14
47 Posted 12/02/2018 at 12:43:18
That Huddersfield game we lost, bet it was the game Davie Hickson scored the winner for Huddersfield in the first minute. I'd jumped on the pitch during the kick-about before the game and asked him when he was coming back to play for the Blues.
"Two minutes after they ask me," he replied. I think he re-signed for the Toffees during that close season.
One left winger who neither of us saw was a player who played war time football for the Blues but I think he was already on the books, his name always brings a smile to my lips: Cuthbert Tatters, sounds like a name from a comic, but he was real.
48 Posted 12/02/2018 at 13:10:22
Being of a certain age I have been lucky to see all the players you have named in your side. I don't think many would disagree with your number 10, when you think of how defenders could tackle from behind in those days. You would have thought with his frame Vernon wouldn't have been able to stand the physical side of the game, but I don't remember his missing many games through injury.
Obviously this team is your choice but how you haven't found room for Alan Ball I find amazing. I would have put Bobby Collins in the position you have Brian Harris and have Alan Ball in Bobby's position. And for the life of me how Alex Scott makes your final side is beyond me. He had pace and that was it, I can think of 4 or 5 I would have in front of him. I see you rule out Kanchelskis as he hadn't played enough to qualify I didn't realize you had set a minimum set of appearances. But if you wanted to keep Brian Harris in your side then you could have picked Ball as the right winger. Also I think both Mickey Lill and Billy Bingham were better wingers than Scott.
Sorry for disagreeing as this is your team not mine. Keep up the good work John!!!.
49 Posted 12/02/2018 at 14:48:55
I can hear you singing it, Dave!
50 Posted 12/02/2018 at 15:05:38
He also has picked his favourites at positions they played in a 1-2-3-5 formation so Bobby Collins was always an inside forward, not a wing half. So,much as he may have admired Alan Ball, and he may have been "better" than Bobby Collins (tough call), he has chosen his favourite in the inside right position and would not consider putting Bally in as a #6. Colin Harvey maybe. Ditto for playing Ball out of his Everton position on the right wing! John is not trying to shoe horn the "best" players into the team. Hence the appropriate title, "Favourites aren't always the Best".
It has been an enjoyable nostalgic ride thanks to John and other contributors.
51 Posted 12/02/2018 at 15:06:46
52 Posted 12/02/2018 at 15:37:32
I didnt realize John had set a minimum number of games before a player could be considered. And I did congratulate John on introducing this brilliant addition to ToffeeWeb, there was no criticism intended.
53 Posted 12/02/2018 at 16:47:46
54 Posted 12/02/2018 at 17:22:53
This thread has shown there are much better ways to express ourselves in nostalgia than Allardyce-bashing. Many thanks, John.
55 Posted 12/02/2018 at 18:34:08
Regarding Cuthbert Tatters, I believe he was a promising youngster, but (and don't bet on this) I recall my uncle Tommy telling me, that he was injured in a war-time game against Liverpool, and that finished him.
Hi Peter , the best of luck with your proposed project, keep the sleeping pills handy.
Hi Steve  ,you may not realise it, but you have caused me many sleepless nights, and if you're claiming an "assist", I'm sure my solicitor will use that in evidence.
56 Posted 12/02/2018 at 21:16:35
Perhaps you are going to spring a real surprise with your final favourite...
57 Posted 12/02/2018 at 21:48:21
"I have been asked many times, to reveal who I regard as the best Everton players in their respective positions, I have always declined as I feel it's difficult to evaluate the merits of players of different eras. I actually believe it's difficult to distinguish between players of the same era, as witness the debate among some, as to who was the better centre forward, William Ralph "Dixie" Dean (Everton) or Tommy "Pongo" Waring (Aston Villa), there would be no argument at all if the question was who scored the most goals?
So I decided instead, to select my favourite players, who span the 1940s, 50s and 60s with one foot in the 70s. There may be one or two raised eyebrows before the end of this posting, but as stated "Favourites aren't always the best".
I'm struggling to pick my outside left, I've narrowed it down to two contestants, but I think it will go down to the toss of a coin.
58 Posted 13/02/2018 at 00:57:30
So John, please use your vast knowledge of not just Everton but football in general to decide your Number 11 don't use a coin to pick him out, make your decision a football one, not the spin of a coin.
By the way, John, do you remember Eggo's five goals versus Doncaster Rovers, every one a peach of a goal on that lovely sunny day in a 7-1 (or was it 7-2?) victory.
Not trying to influence your decision in way John!!!
59 Posted 13/02/2018 at 07:57:27
60 Posted 13/02/2018 at 08:27:06
61 Posted 13/02/2018 at 11:10:28
Before I close Dave, you're on a yellow card, for your innuendo  to Peter  I was about to boast that this thread was "Squeaky Clean," hopefully your remark went under the radar. Best wishes John.
Hi Laurie , I'm in the final stages of preparing the next episode, you will have read my reply to you regarding the time span, so you can expect anything from 1948 to 1975. Watch this space.
Hi Peter , I think I'd better spell it out to avoid confusion, what I meant was that you are likely to find that it's not quite as easy as it seems, selecting 11 players from several hundred, can be taxing. I found myself taking the problem to bed with me, hence the reference to the "Sleeping Pills"!
62 Posted 13/02/2018 at 14:24:17
When we next have our cup of tea together, I will tell you a true story about a Catholic bishop using that word in relation to a game of golf. John, you will have to send Josh on a message while I tell you the story.
63 Posted 13/02/2018 at 16:48:32
I've just put the finishing touches to Part 11, and
when it looks as though part 10 has run it's course, I'll submit it.
I've also decided that such talented players should have a manager, so I'll probably run something up.
64 Posted 13/02/2018 at 19:12:43
65 Posted 13/02/2018 at 22:24:51
66 Posted 14/02/2018 at 11:54:04
67 Posted 14/02/2018 at 12:06:41
I'm ready to submit part 11, but I'll give it until the end of today, to determine that part 10 as run its course.
It's nice to enjoy a stress-free period, I can't believe that we only have five home games left, which is just as well, because I don't think I can take much more.
68 Posted 14/02/2018 at 13:44:29
Brilliant articles, all. Well done!
69 Posted 14/02/2018 at 14:13:59
As I have said on occasion, I don't consider myself a prude, but foul language isn't necessary, and doesn't reinforce a viewpoint. It pleases me to say that the current series of favourites, hasn't prompted anyone to make offensive comments, or to be abusive to other contributors. Thank you for your kind remarks.
70 Posted 14/02/2018 at 14:48:43
71 Posted 14/02/2018 at 15:04:19
Having said that, I'm thinking 1-4-4-1-1 at present although, having had my second night of players' names bouncing around my head, that is subject to change.
My contribution will not be as detailed, nor as eloquent, as John Mc's, so for now I look forward to his left winger and, I hope, substitutes.
72 Posted 14/02/2018 at 16:02:23
What has prompted me to reply was in the last paragraph of the tribute to Roy.
I suppose everyone knew we were going to part company, at Everton success is not anticipated it's demanded.
That expectation/demand... what happened?
As fans, we still have it, but the board, well, who can say?
Anyway, a great post sir.
73 Posted 14/02/2018 at 16:18:02
As I suggested in my reply to Gerry , articles of this nature provide a respite from some of the repetitive and sometimes, unpleasant comments that I've observed on other threads.
I can reveal the names of the players I had to overlook for one reason or another,
Goalkeeper Jimmy O'Neill
Right back Tommy Wright
Left back Ray Wilson
Right half Jimmy Gabriel
Centre half Mick Lyons
Left half Colin Harvey
Outside Right Mickey Lill
Inside right Alan Ball
Centre Forward Dave Hickson
Inside left Wally Fielding
Outside left Tommy Ring
Not bad for a second string don't you think? I would have used any of those as substitutes, feel free to use any of them yourself. [For 10% of your royalties]. Good luck in your venture!
74 Posted 14/02/2018 at 17:41:19
Thank you for your kind words, it's possible that I may have lost a little of my passion approaching my 80th birthday, but I still attend as a season ticket holder, with my 13-year-old Grandson.
I suppose I've been trapped in a time warp, where all we supporters were interested in, was what happened on the pitch. We debated issues of the day in the pub.
In the pre-www era, the running of the club was of little concern to us but, as I say, the modern supporter, through the internet, is more interested in these things than we ever were.
75 Posted 14/02/2018 at 18:25:48
The inevitable and constant castigation of Kenwright and Moshiri would not have been as possible in a pre-www world... but, having said that, we would all have missed out on a brilliant series on past players, courtesy of yourself.
Although I only agree with about 4 of your 10 players (so far) it has been a very enjoyable, informative and thought-provoking series. (My number 11 is Morrisey and my 9 and 10 were Young and Vernon, priceless in today's market!)
76 Posted 14/02/2018 at 18:58:34
Growing up then, I (like John Mac) just loved football itself and, although I loved Everton, never expected them to win anything – at the same time wanting them to. Football was everything to me, I loved it. Wish I felt the same way now, but it is all about money, money and more money. That is why we should all cherish players like Seamus Coleman who brings a sanity and decency to a greedy mentality of too many in today's game.
77 Posted 14/02/2018 at 19:01:43
The fact that you can only agree with about 4 of my selections, is proof of 'One mans meat' etc. I can tell you that if Tommy Ring hadn't been available, Johnny Morrissey would have been on the list of possibles.
Yes, they were more enjoyable days, but I suppose in 20 years time, today's fans will be saying exactly the same, although I can't imagine them waxing lyrical over the present players. Thank you for your kind words.
79 Posted 14/02/2018 at 21:45:57
Like everyone else who has enjoyed what John has brought to this link, I shall be patient and wait for your goalkeeping "favourite", probably not Dai "The Drop" Davies. In the meantime, try and get some sleep. Perhaps an extended visit to The Bug would help?
80 Posted 16/02/2018 at 01:25:38
81 Posted 16/02/2018 at 02:52:01
82 Posted 21/02/2018 at 12:03:19
Nil satis nisi optimum.
83 Posted 21/02/2018 at 20:50:57
I am of the same era as your dad and, while things are tough at the present time, I still look for a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel. True Blues never give up.
When ill health comes around, football can be a comforting diversion. It also makes us realise that there are more important things such as family and friends.
A victory this weekend against Watford will surely be a tonic that will have a positive affect on his health. However I am also sure that the unquestioned support of a son is an even bigger tonic.
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