When 'Legends' were Thin on the Ground – Part 3.

John McFarlane Snr   13/06/2018 80comments  |  Jump to last
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Continuing the theme of listing players who featured for Everton from the 1946-47 season, when League football resumed following World War Two, until the 1950-51 season, when Everton were relegated to the old Second Division.

Alfred Walter Fielding

Born 26 November 1919; Died 18 January 2008

Wally 'Nobby' Fielding was the little Londoner who travelled North to find sporting fame with Everton. He was at the centre of a row when he signed professional forms at Goodison Park in 1945. Before joining the Army, he was on the books as an amateur for Charlton Athletic.

He went to the Middle East where his form as an inside forward was good enough to get him into Army representative sides. When Fielding returned to England, he was immediately offered terms by Charlton Athletic, who naturally assumed that they had first refusal... but, despite the attentions of numerous other clubs, he opted for Everton and started a furious debate that lasted many months.

He was a brilliant ball player and strategist, who ran the Everton 'engine room' with cool authority, although he proved to be lethal when within striking distance of goal, he was regarded as a supplier rather than a striker.

Despite his all-round ability, he made only one appearance in the white shirt of England, in the 'Bolton Disaster Fund' match against Scotland in 1946 – a game that did not warrant a full cap.

Wally Fielding's Everton career record was 410 appearances 54 goals.

Harold Alexander Finnis

Born 21 November 1920; Died 1991

Reserve full-back Harold Finnis made his only League appearance against Leeds United at Elland Road on 21 November 1946, having played in two matches in the 1940-41 wartime season.

Finnis signed professional forms with Everton in August 1940, and retired through injury in May 1947. Another player who didn't feature in the Saturday night 'Football Forum' in my Grandma's house...

Harold Finnis's Everton career record was 1 appearance.

Thomas Gardner

Born 17 March 1923; Died 7 November 2016

Tom Gardner was another who never made it to the Saturday night 'Football Forum' although, up to the time of his death in 2016, he was Everton's oldest surviving ex-player.

Tom signed for Liverpool, from South Liverpool in October 1946, but failed to make the first team, and played only once for Everton who he joined in 1947, partnering Eddie Wainwright in the home League game against Wolverhampton Wanderers, a 1-1 draw in front of 46,000 fans; his Everton career lasted from June 1947 until May 1948.

Tom Gardner's Everton career was 1 appearance.

David James Gibson

Born 18 March 1931

A reserve at Goodison, Dave Gibson made his debut in a 1-0 win over Derby County at the Baseball Ground in April 1951, his two other appearances came in the 1951-52 season. He was transferred to Swindon Town in November 1954, for whom he made 70 appearances, scoring 6 goals.

Dave Gibson's Everton career was 3 appearances.

John Albert Grant

Born 8 September 1924; Died August 1999

Jackie Grant was signed in December 1942; when Joe Mercer left for the Army, Grant took his place in the Everton side for the wartime football.

Jackie was the star man in the clubs 3-2 FA Cup 4th round replay win over Wolverhampton Wanderers in 1947-48.

Although he couldn't command a regular place in the side, he was however an ever-present in the relegation season of 1950-51. Failing to hold a regular place, he became an integral part of the Everton Central League side, captaining them to numerous successes.

He severed his ties with Everton in June 1956 when he was signed by the then Rochdale Manager, Harry Catterick. He made over 100 appearances for Rochdale before ending his League career with Southport.

Jackie Grant's Everton career record was 133 appearances and 11 goals.

Norman Greenhalgh

Born 10 August 1914; Died 1995

Norman Greenhalgh, an ever-present in Everton's League Championship winning season of 1938-39, was one of the few defenders feared by Stanley Matthews. A rugged defender, strong and confident, he could also play up front, and even in goal in an emergency.

After failing at Bolton Wanderers, he broke into League football with New Brighton, before forming a redoubtable partnership with Billy Cook at Everton, for whom he made his senior debut against his former club Bolton Wanderers in January 1938; his last outing came in a 6-0 defeat at Chelsea in September 1948.

Greenhalgh missed out on full international honours, but did represent England in a wartime game against Scotland in December 1939, and once played for the Football League.

Norman Greenhalgh's Everton career was 115 appearances 1 goal.

Alan Hampson

Born 31 December 1927; Died August 1999

Enforced National Service took two years out of Alan Hampson's seven years at Goodison Park where, in the main, he was a reserve forward. I'm afraid that he wasn't eligible for the Saturday night 'Football Forum' but I did see him play in the reserve side.

His only League appearance for Everton was at inside left, in the 1-1 home draw against Bolton Wanderers in October 1950.

He joined Halifax Town in November where he scored 32 goals in 121 League games.

Alan Hampson's Everton career record was 1 appearance.

Joseph Anthony Harris

Born 20 December 1926

Although he served Everton for six years, winger Joe Harris was mainly a reserve to Ted Buckle and Tony McNamara. He made his debut in Everton's relegation season 1950-51 against Sheffield Wednesday in a 0-0 draw at Goodison Park; he then featured in 13 consecutive games in the 1952-53 season scoring 4 goals. He left Everton in 1952, joining Bangor City.

Joe Harris's Everton career record was 14 appearances and 4 goals.

John Robert Hedley

Born 11 December 1923; Died 1985

Jack Hedley was a solid, tough-tackling defender who had his best season in 1948-49, when he appeared in 25 top-flight matches, mainly as partner to George Saunders.

Hedley made his debut for the Blues against Tranmere Rovers in May 1945, but had to wait for more than two years before making his League debut on 17 September 1947 against Aston Villa at Goodison Park in a 3-0 win for Everton.

In May 1950, along with his Everton team-mate Billy Higgins, Hedley flew to Colombia hoping to sign for the Marios club, but he declined their offer. On his return, he was transferred to Sunderland, where he appeared in 269 games for the Wearsiders.

Jack Hedley's Everton career record was 61 appearances.

William Charles Higgins

Born 28 February 1924 Died 1981

After four successful seasons at Goodison Park, Billy Higgins, along with his Everton colleague, Jack Hedley, together with Neil Franklin, George Mountford (both of Stoke City), and Charlie Mitten (Manchester United) flew out to Colombia to play football outside of FIFA jurisdiction.

Higgins signed for the Marios club with coaching a sideline, but he never played in England again.

Billy Higgins's Everton career was 49 appearances 9 goals.


Reader Comments (80)

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John McFarlane Snr
1 Posted 13/06/2018 at 21:04:19
Hi all, in my account of Billy Higgins, it should read, 'Billy Higgins along with his Everton colleague Jack Hedley', and not colleagues. I also omitted details of his career with Everton, I will rectify that in my next submission.
Ian Burns
2 Posted 14/06/2018 at 09:35:26
Hi John, another fascinating read and once again my thanks for the time you have spent on putting these articles together.

Fielding; Greenhalgh and Grant I have heard of "en passant" in years gone by but none of the others, however it is still a very interesting read.

What happened to Higgins? Did he remain in Columbia?

David Ellis
3 Posted 14/06/2018 at 12:15:17
Fielding was obviously a bit of a legend...I'd never heard of him but he scored a lot of goals for someone who is not an out and out striker.
John McFarlane Snr
4 Posted 14/06/2018 at 15:39:20
Hi Ian [2] if you Google "Billy Higgins Everton" and then click "Billy Higgins EFC Statto" you'll get a comprehensive account of the players who went to Bogota, Colombia.

Here is a short extract from that account, "Billy Higgins had his contract terminated by Millionarios, much to his relief (the term 'Marios' must have been how they were referred to), and he returned to England 5 months after joining Millionarios.

Upon his return he was banned from playing for any League club, and he was virtually penniless and homeless.The FA and Football League lifted his ban, and following talks with Sheffield Wednesday and Luton Town, Everton eventually agreed a deal with Welsh club Bangor City, for Billy Higgins. Very little is known about him afterwards"

It is a very long article, and I'll have visit the link again when I get the chance.

Hi David [3] the memory often plays tricks, but in my opinion Wally was an exceptional player, but 54 goals in 410 games, if my maths is up to the task is roughly a goal every seven and half games. This would equate to less than an average of six goals, in what was a 42-game season.

I would like to thank you and Ian for responding to my article, because as you may well have gathered, I much prefer to discuss players who have worn the 'Royal Blue' shirt, rather than speculate on who will wear it in the future.

I suppose I can be described as a bit of a dinosaur, and I have occasionally been called 'Johnny McFossil'.

Dave Abrahams
5 Posted 14/06/2018 at 16:12:24
John (#4),

I never saw or heard of Finnis and Gardner. Wally Fielding was a very good footballer and a good link-up with Tommy Eglington as inside and outside left. David Gibson was a tall outside right with very blond hair.

I saw that game when Alan Hampson played his only game for the Blues, saw him many times for the reserves but for the life of me I can't remember who played outside left with him for the reserves. He lived off Clubmoor and went to St Mathews if I'm not mistaken (the lad whose name I can't remember).

Billy Higgins, like the rest of the players who went Bogota, were kidded by the promises made to them of huge wages which never materialised. I saw him against the fabulous Frank Swift in an FA Cup match which Everton won 1-0, I think Billy scored the goal with a header – it might have been the game when Billy was "kidnapped" by Liverpool students and held to ransom on the morning of the match.

Jack Hedley must have been some player, going by the way he played nearly some 300 games for Sunderland after his adventure in South America. I can't recall seeing Norman Greenhaulgh but I remember a cartoon by George Green in the Echo in which he was depicted stopping the great Stanley Mathews.

I remember Joe Harris in that first dreadful season in the Second Division, he was very dark skinned but only played a few games in that season before leaving the Blues.

John McFarlane Snr
6 Posted 14/06/2018 at 18:57:17
Hi Dave [5] the outside left could have been Easthope, I always remember him as Don, but I was talking to Derek Temple once and he referred to him as Joe. I think the Echo or Evening Express named him as Don, but I'll accept that Derek Temple was right, because his full name was Joseph Donald Easthope.

The FA Cup game you recall, was indeed against Manchester City on 8 January 1949, a 1-0 win as you said, and you have been awarded a bonus point for naming the scorer. I don't think that I was at that game, because at that time my Mother was very ill, and I didn't get to as many games as I would have liked, and to be truthful, the games I did attend, are locked in some dark recess of my mind.

Joe Harris actually played 14 times for Everton scoring 4 goals, in fact, he was outside right the day Tommy Eglington grabbed his 5 goals against Doncaster Rovers.

I hope you can make the get together Dave, you may be able to release some of my locked away memories.

Dave Abrahams
7 Posted 14/06/2018 at 19:25:28
John (#6), thanks. Don Easthope, yes that's the lad, a good old-fashioned dribbler, did he ever get a game for the first team? It doesn't look like he did as you naming you're present list of players in alphabetical order and he hasn't turned up yet.
Derek Taylor
8 Posted 14/06/2018 at 19:55:18
John, in your excellent notes on Billy Higgins, I think you forgot to mention that one of the leaders of the pack who went to Columbia was Roy Paul, later to captain Manchester City to FA Cup success against Birmingham City in 1955 having beaten Everton in the 6th Round along the way. (Paul's mammoth battles with Peter Farrel and Cyril Lello have stayed with me to this day!)

Incidentally, I believe Everton's centre-forward, Jock Dodds, was the main procurer of players for Columbia's Millionairos !

John McFarlane Snr
9 Posted 14/06/2018 at 20:05:01
Hi Dave [7] yes, Don Easthope as I, and apparently you know him, played twice for Everton in March 1953, against Notts County in a 2-2 draw at Meadow Lane, and against Fulham in a 3-3 draw at Goodison.

I'm afraid that he wasn't eligible for the current article, because he missed the 1950-51 cut-off point by two years, and you know how ruthless I can be, as witness the 100 game rule, in the 'Favourites aren't always the best' theme.

Incidentally, one of the scorers in the Notts County fixture, was someone you and I know so well, but some may struggle to recognise: Gwynfor Lewis.

John McFarlane Snr
10 Posted 14/06/2018 at 20:28:04
Hi Derek [#8] you are absolutely correct in stating that Roy Paul was involved in the Bogota incident, but I don't know to what extent. It was only after I had submitted my post, that I came across his name as one of the players to try their luck in Bogota. Jock Dodds played a prominent role, recruiting players to try their luck outside of FIFA's control.

I was doing Army service in Cyprus, when Liverpool lost to Worcester City in the FA Cup in 1959, apparently Roy Paul was captain of Worcester City that day, and some years later he was writing for one of the Sunday newspapers and boasted that he was so drunk, he saw two Billy Liddells. When a Liverpool supporter wrote in to say that Liddell didn't play in that game, Roy Paul's reply was, "It just shows how drunk I was" – a shady character no doubt.

Derek Taylor
11 Posted 14/06/2018 at 21:17:17
I met Roy Paul at a Welsh FA event around 1975. He told me he was then working as a coalman in his home town of Ton Pentre.

I asked him about the Worcester City vs Liverpool game and he assured me he had had to play as hard as he had ever done to bring about City's victory. He said he had hardly read the Sunday People piece, he was more interested in getting the cheque for it. A rum begger, indeed, I think!

Dave Abrahams
12 Posted 14/06/2018 at 21:42:07
Derek (#8), Man. City also beat Liverpool the season they won the cup, 2-1 at Anfield, the game Billy Liddell scored, but the referee, Mervyn Griffiths, blew for full time as the ball was on its way into the net. Ah, very sad that!!! Roy Paul definitely saw Billy Liddell that day and most probably shook hands with him at the end of the game with a. big smile on his face.

John, I thought he had played for the first team, Don Easthope and I saw that 3-3 draw with Fulham on a Wednesday afternoon, gave school a swerve, Matt Woods was centre half that day, may have been his debut, he played against Bedford Jezzard who scored two for Fulham; I can't say I remember Easthope from that game. I think the attendance was the lowest ever, at the time, for a league game at Goodison Park, just over 11,000, if I'm right.

Gwyn Lewis, usually played inside left, a goal poacher, I think he scored in the game vs Lincoln City over the Easter period the year we came up from the Second Division, Everton won 3-1, Lincoln scored in the last six minutes in the return game at Lincoln to earn a 1-1 draw, on Easter Monday.

Alan McGuffog
13 Posted 14/06/2018 at 21:59:12
Dave, I always thought that with a name like Bedford Jezzard he should have been pro footballer and part-time eccentric sleuth. You know, the type called in when Scotland Yard are stumped and breaking off from the case to score important goals.
Dave Abrahams
14 Posted 14/06/2018 at 22:18:07
Alan (#13), yes his name has a certain ring to it and a private detective would suit that name. He was a very good player and a handsome bastard to boot. I don't know if he moved to a bigger club than Fulham or if he got capped by England, but that's where our own private detective comes in, Johnny Mac and his private library of former footballers...

Over to you John.

Andy Crooks
15 Posted 14/06/2018 at 22:48:05
Some great stuff on this thread. Thanks to John and all of the contributors. I doff my cap to your knowledge and how lightly and modestly you carry it..

When I see a new article from you, John, I pore myself a glass of wine, unwrap a Twix (What do you mean, uncouth?) and sit back and enjoy your work. I then leave it for a while and check it out later to see what has been added. Sorry, I have nothing of note to contribute.

Also, John, I know of your disdain for conjecture and such stuff. I started something like that recently on one of your threads but won't again, it is just out of place. Great stuff, keep them coming.

Ian Burns
16 Posted 14/06/2018 at 22:58:06
Andy (#15) – a Twix with a glass of wine? The mind boggles... a gin with a packet of crisps is the way to read John's articles!

Can somebody help me here please? I seem to recall as a young kid reading what in those days was known as the "Stop Press" in the Echo. For those of you youngsters who eat Twix with wine (sorry Andy) that was the latest news which missed the main paper but ran down the side of the front page.

My question is that I saw the Worcester 2-1 Liverpool result (boy I enjoyed writing that!) in the Stop Press, which I have grown up thinking it was a mid-week game. Have I got that wrong?

John McFarlane Snr
17 Posted 14/06/2018 at 00:25:20
Hi Dave [#11, & #14], you have put my research department under considerable stress, I'll try to go through your points in double quick time before there's a request for 'Double Time'.

Matt Woods did make his debut in the Fulham game, the attendance was 10,829, Gwynfor Lewis did score in the Lincoln City game, the other goals coming from Peter Farrell and Wally Fielding.

Bedford Jezzard was a one club man, making 292 League appearances and scoring 154 goals for Fulham, I don't have his FA Cup figures. Jezzard actually played twice for England in 1954 in the Hungary game which England lost 7-1, and against Northern Ireland in 1955 which England won 3-0. It's turned midnight so it looks like double time.

Hi Andy [#15], Dave has let the 'Cat out of the bag' — I'm not really knowledgeable, it's just that I have one or two football books, and you're right about me being anti-conjecture, I prefer to discuss things that have occurred rather than things that may never happen, thank you for your kind words, I'm pleased to learn that you enjoy my efforts.

Hi Ian [#16] you may have read in one of my earlier posts, that I was in Cyprus doing my Army service when Worcester City beat Liverpool in the FA Cup, but I believe you are right in thinking that it was a mid-week game, because somewhere in the back of my mind, I think the game was either postponed or abandoned. I'll do my best to find out for you, 'Watch this space...'


Lawrence Green
18 Posted 15/06/2018 at 00:42:40
Worcester City were scheduled to play Liverpool on 10 January 1959 but presumably due to the weather actually played the game on Thursday 15 January. In the following round, Worcester City lost to Sheffield United 0-2.
John McFarlane Snr
19 Posted 15/06/2018 at 01:05:12
Hi Lawrence [#18] I can go to sleep now, I felt that it was a postponed or an abandoned fixture, but as I said I was a couple of thousand miles away at the time.
Terry White
21 Posted 15/06/2018 at 01:14:13
Sorry, my fingers got way ahead of my mind there!

Dave, (#54), I met Tom Gardner on the occasion of James Corbett's book release of Dave Hickson, "The Cannonball Kid". He was sitting with Jimmy Harris and Derek Temple and I had no idea who he was. He took great pains to tell me proudly that he was the oldest living former player at that time, and that he had indeed played only one game for the first team!

And, since you mention St Matthew's in Clubmoor, I was baptized there at the tender age of 2 weeks. It was also my first school and I used to walk there on my own from our council house in Crosgrove Road. Don't think I could do that safely now!

Dennis Stevens
22 Posted 15/06/2018 at 01:38:29
Worcester City are my home town team, or they would be if I still lived there & they still played there! The Cup tie with Liverpool was delayed due to an icy pitch, which wasn't uncommon at the old St George's Lane ground – now sadly a housing estate, meanwhile City remain homeless & dependant on local ground sharing arrangements.
Stephen Davies
23 Posted 15/06/2018 at 02:24:09
John #4
Re the players who went to Milonarios.
Did they play with the 'Blond Arrow'?
Stefano Di Stefano?
John McFarlane Snr
24 Posted 15/06/2018 at 06:33:29
Hi Stephen [22] they may well have done so, as Alfredo Di Stefano was at Millionarios from 1949 to 1953.
Rick Tarleton
25 Posted 15/06/2018 at 07:03:09
Wally Fielding, with his sleeves covering his hands, stood in the centre circle and sprayed passes to the wings for Eglington et alia and through the middle for Hickson and Parker. Every team had one a "schemer" or as they now call them a play-maker. Spurs had Harmer, Arsenal had Logie, Wolves had Broadbent, Fulham had Haynes and Everton had Wally Fielding.
Thanks for the memory, Joe.
David Greenwood
26 Posted 15/06/2018 at 07:16:12
These are great threads John.

Absolutely brilliant to read.

Do you by any chance know who the current oldest living former Everton player is?

Derek Taylor
27 Posted 15/06/2018 at 09:01:26
Dennis, As a Blue, Worcester City's defeat of our near neighbours was one of the highlights of my early years.

Just to annoy my Red college mates, I memorised the names of the non-league players who turned out on that memorable that day and rattled them off at every opportunity viz:-

Kirkwood; Wilcox, Potts; Bryceland, Melville, Paul; Brown, Follan, Knowles, Gosling, Skuse.

(Not bad that after nearly sixty years, eh?)

So sorry to hear of the club's demise.

Dave Abrahams
28 Posted 15/06/2018 at 09:19:58
David (26), not sure but Jimmy Harris must be in the running to be Everton's oldest living player.

Derek (27), just for old times sake, who scored the two goals for Worcester, it's too late now but I would have loved to buy them a drink.

Brian Harrison
29 Posted 15/06/2018 at 09:37:01
Dave

I think you could be right about Jimmy Harris being the oldest living Everton player. I remember getting on the 14 bus and went upstairs and there was Jimmy Harris. I think at the time he was courting a girl from Croxteth and I think her name was Roberta Brown, she was Miss Great Britain at the time.

Could you imagine any kid getting on a bus these days and seeing one of their idols sitting there? How times have changed, I think that's why fans are more critical of players now than when we were growing up, they always seemed so more accessible. Also there wasn't the nastiness among the different fans as there is today.

Like you, Dave, when I started going the match, there was no segregation, and the same when you travelled away with your team. Off course there wasn't mass TV coverage as there is today, only an England game on TV certainly no league games were shown till MOTD came along with their Saturday night highlights started in 1962.

Derek Taylor
30 Posted 15/06/2018 at 09:37:50
Dave at 28. You are taxing my memory with that one but I think City's 18-year-old winger Tommy Skuse got the first and the second was a Liverpool own goal. I know (because Reds always tell me) that Twentyman was their scorer but, shame of shames,it wasn't enough.

Another thought occurs. Liverpool sacked manager Phil Taylor shortly afterwards to replace him with Bill Shankley. Perhaps Worcester didn't do us Blues a favour after all!

John McFarlane Snr
31 Posted 15/06/2018 at 09:47:11
Hi Dave it would appear to be Billy Bingham [5 August 1931], Jimmy Harris [18 August1933]. Ron Saunders is listed as [6 November 1932] but I'm not sure he's still with us, as Ray Wilson is still listed as a survivor, [17 December 1934].

You owe me a 'Diet Coke' for making me burn the midnight oil last night.

John McFarlane Snr
32 Posted 15/06/2018 at 10:04:04
Hi again Dave [28] it seems that Ron Saunders is indeed still with us, so it's Billy Bingham [Gold], Ron Saunders [Silver], and Jimmy Harris [Bronze].
Derek Taylor
33 Posted 15/06/2018 at 10:18:42
I always thought Coventry City's captain and centre-half, George Curtis, was one of the toughest players I ever saw in action and, some years ago, I had the opportunity to tell him so at a golf event.

George glared at me for a moment then said,'Didn't you ever see Ron Saunders play? ' He was the only centre-forward I learned to beware of, now he WAS a tough bastard !'

He only played a handful of games for Everton, but to Ron goes that particular glory!

Len Hawkins
34 Posted 15/06/2018 at 10:26:31
Billy Bingham still lives in Southport as far as I know, a bit long in the tooth for the upheaval of moving, I would imagine.
David Ellis
35 Posted 15/06/2018 at 11:03:56
Ron Saunders who used to manage Aston Villa in the late 70s early 80s??? Grumpy bugger if I re-call. Walked out in 81 after they won the league. I didn't realise he had played for us.
John McFarlane Snr
36 Posted 15/06/2018 at 11:23:44
Hi Derek [#33], Ron Saunders only played 3 times for Everton in 1955, making his debut against Cardiff City at Ninian Park, his two other games were against Tottenham Hotspur at Goodison Park, and Newcastle United at St James Park.

As a player he was described as bold and aggressive, and he was the cousin of George Saunders, who will be featured later in this thread.

Hi Len [#34], I believe Billy Bingham does still live in Southport, and can be seen quite often in the Prince of Wales Hotel obviously enjoying his retirement, and why not?

This particular thread seems to have created a bit more interest, but mainly from the older Evertonians, although one or two, have admitted to not being familiar, with the names of some of the players featured.

John McFarlane Snr
37 Posted 15/06/2018 at 11:57:46
Hi David [35] Ron Saunders as a Manager, has been described as:

"Blunt, unyielding, and a strict disciplinarian, consequently the teams that he managed often produced dull unimaginative football.

However, he collected a few prizes, and the best of the lot was winning the League Championship with Aston Villa in1981. He then set them on the way to the European Cup Final, before rocking the boat and leaving for near neighbours Birmingham City.

Earlier, he had tasted League Cup success in 1975 and 1977, and was a beaten finalist in the same competition in 1973 and 1974, while winning the Second Division title in 1972 and taking the runner's up spot in 1975. Later he guided Birmingham City into the top flight in 1985."

So for a bold, aggressive, blunt, unyielding disciplinarian, not to mention 'Grumpy Bugger' – he didn't do so bad did he?


Dave Abrahams
38 Posted 15/06/2018 at 12:43:49
I think Billy Bingham had an antique shop in Southport for many years after he retired from football.

John, I am surprised Ron Saunders only played three times for Everton; if the game at Cardiff was the 3-1defeat, I was at that game and Jimmy Harris played and scored Everton's goal. I would have bet money (not a lot) that Saunders played quite a few games for the Blues.

Dave Abrahams
39 Posted 15/06/2018 at 12:55:24
John (31), I'll get you a double Diet Coke on your birthday.

Terry (21) your old school and church are still in fine shape, I've been to three or four funerals there in the last two years, two of them for good Evertonians,at one of them Duncan McKenzie attende, not sure but did Tony McNamara, former Everton player, go to St. Mathews?

Andy Crooks
40 Posted 15/06/2018 at 13:33:41
Billy Bingham managed in the Irish League before going to Everton. My brother was involved in the game and said that Billy brought a level of professionalism and fitness that had never been reached before.

He has a very peculiar accent which is best described as posh Northern Irish. It was especially enjoyable when he accidentally slipped a Belfast phrase into his plummy vowels. One example is using the word 'till' instead of 'to' and preceding it with the word 'for' as in: "We did not come to the World Cup for till be anyone's whipping boys." A fine manager.

John McFarlane Snr
41 Posted 15/06/2018 at 14:05:59
Hi Dave [#39], Ron Saunders's debut game against Cardiff City resulted in a 4-3 defeat for Everton, John Willie Parker 2, and Cyril Lello scoring the goals. I've just nipped out for a half-time cuppa, a double Diet Coke might be a bit strong for me at my advanced age, it's alright for you young 'uns.
Dave Abrahams
42 Posted 15/06/2018 at 15:02:29
Thanks John, the Everton 3-1 defeat at Cardiff must have been in 1956 the year after Saunders made his debut for the Blues.
Terry White
43 Posted 15/06/2018 at 15:42:51
Dave (#39), thanks for the update on St Matthew's. Tony McNamara was playing for us when I was pre-teen and I do not know if he was a parishioner there. He played and scored in the famous 5-2 win at Old Trafford in 1956 (Dunlop's first game replacing Jimmy O'Neill?) that I attended with my Dad and Uncle when I was 9.

Thanks again to Steve Johnson's wonderful "Everton Results" website, we find that, in 1955, we lost 3-1 away to Cardiff with Jimmy Harris scoring for us but beat them 2-0 at Goodison later in the season with goals from Eddie Wainwright and that man, Tony Mac.

As John Mc, Snr has previously said (#36), the 3 appearances by Ron Saunders were in the 1954-55 season.

David Greenwood
44 Posted 15/06/2018 at 16:36:34
Thanks Dave @28
Dave Abrahams
45 Posted 15/06/2018 at 18:25:43
Terry (#43), yes I was at that game at Old Traffold when Tony McNamara scored with a great chip from outside the penalty area.

I reminded him of that goal in St Luke's church a couple of years ago, he was sitting with Derek Temple and Jimmy Harris, sadly he didn't remember the goal (dementia/ alhziemers) but came back with "a great goal eh" he was sitting with his son who was acting as his carer that day.

Thanks for putting me wise over the Cardiff result. It looks like I saw that match in the right year 1955 but it was the 1955-56 season.

Terry White
46 Posted 15/06/2018 at 18:49:38
Dave (#45), I seem to recall Don Donovan's hopeful cross from the right deceiving Ray Wood for the first and George Kirby, a beanpole, scoring twice. We were pretty poor that season and that result came totally out of the blue, Man Utd had a full Busby Babes pre-Munich line-up and went on to win the league.

Playing at Number 8 for us that day was Jimmy Gauld, remember him? I think it was his first game also. Scored 8 in 26 games during his one and only season with us. Then went on to be a major part of the betting and match-fixing scandal in the mid-60s that cost us Tony Kay.

Dave Abrahams
47 Posted 15/06/2018 at 19:17:41
Terry (46), yes Don Donavon scored from a distance but I thought it was a good strong shot, mind you I was at the other end of the ground, you are right about George Kirby scoring two headers, at least one of them was from a centre by Tony McNamara, Eggo got the other goal if I'm not mistaken.

Yes, I remember Jimmy Gauld, he played against us earlier in the season at Charlton, we won 2-0, I always maintain that was the first time football was shown on a Saturday night (football highlights of First Division football) the Charlton - Everton game was one of two matches shown, but I can never find any concrete evidence of those games being the first; I definitely know they were shown.

Anyway, back to that game: Was Donavon the captain that day? If I am right about Eggo scoring, then it's possible Peter Farrell also played and Peter was usually the captain, unless he was injured. In my head, Donavon was captain that day.

Terry White
48 Posted 15/06/2018 at 20:18:08
I was actually at the top of the terrace where the first 3 goals went in and will stand by my contention that Donovan's goal was more of a cross than a shot. There again it was over 60 years ago! Funny how we remember these things but little about what I had to eat earlier today.

Peter Farrell did play that day and was presumably captain. According to "Everton Results", Ken Birch went off for about 15 minutes in the first half and so we were with 10 men when Donovan scored.

John McFarlane Snr
49 Posted 15/06/2018 at 22:17:47
Hi Terry [46], I've just watched a proper football match, no doubt you have too.

I was in the Army when the Manchester United game took place, You are correct when you say that Jimmy Gauld made his debut that day, He joined Everton in October 1956 from Charlton Athletic for a fee of £10,500 and was transferred to Plymouth Argyle in October 1957 for a fee of £5,000.

Hi Dave, [47], I've had to go to the research department for this information, the team that day was, Dunlop, Donovan, Tansey, Birch, Jones, Farrell, McNamara, Gauld, Kirby, Fielding, and Eglington. I should imagine that Peter Farrell would have been captain.

With regards to the televised football match, I have no recollection of that, my understanding is that the first televised Football League match, was the second half of a Blackpool versus Bolton Wanderers game in the early Sixties, a boring 0-0 draw. I am not saying that you are wrong, just that I can't recall it,

As soon as I've submitted this post I'll try 'Google' to see If we can shed some light on the matter.

John McFarlane Snr
50 Posted 15/06/2018 at 22:44:43
Hi again Dave, you were absolutely correct, the BBC started showing highlights of matches with a maximum of 5 minutes, in September 1955 until 1963. The first two games were Luton Town vs Newcastle United, and Charlton Athletic vs Everton.

An early attempt at showing 'Live Football' was made in the early sixties when ITV agreed a deal with the Football League worth £150,000 to screen 26 matches. The first live League match was Blackpool vs Bolton Wanderers on 10 September 1960, which Bolton Wanderers won 1-0 in a half-empty stadium.

Lenny Kingman
51 Posted 16/06/2018 at 04:15:55
#40

Billy Bingham was quite a character indeed.

I remember walking into the manager's office at Goodison around Christmas time 1976. There, sat in his chair with his feet on the table, a large glass of yuletide spirit, smoking a big cigar, was the effervescent, besuited, well-built Northern Irishman. Ruddy-faced and telling a tale of two.

The good times at Everton were about to come to an end for Billy, however, as he would be replaced soon into the New Year by the pale rider that was Gordon Lee.

Dave Abrahams
52 Posted 16/06/2018 at 09:37:00
Terry (48), fair enough Terry, I wouldn't argue too much about Don Donavons goal and as you were closer to it I'll accept your version of the goal. Thanks for clearing up who was captain on the day, don't know why I have got Donavon as captain in my head.

John, how did you get the evidence about Everton being one of the first teams to be shown on tv for recorded games, I've tried hard to convince many people about that, even got Dave Prentice of the Echo to try and find news of it through the Echo records to no avail, thanks for that John, that's another Diet Coke I owe you, you'll have to take some home and give them to Josh !!!!!!!!

John McFarlane Snr
53 Posted 16/06/2018 at 11:57:49
Hi Dave [52] it was just a matter of 'Googling,' I was confusing recorded and live televised football. I've got to check the Blackpool vs Bolton Wanderers result, I still think it was 0-0. It's nice to know that the research department is fit for purpose.
John McFarlane Snr
54 Posted 16/06/2018 at 15:08:58
Hi again Dave [52], History was made today, a penalty awarded via VAR [video assisted refereeing] and I've managed to prove via RDI [research department investigation] that Bolton Wanderers beat Blackpool 1-0 despite my insistence that it was a 0-0 draw, it doesn't alter the fact that it was boring game to watch.

Incidentally you and I would have been among the 53,728 who watched Everton beat Wolverhampton Wanderers 3-1 with goals from Roy Vernon [2] and Jimmy Harris.

Terry White
55 Posted 16/06/2018 at 16:36:46
John (#54), if I can join your conversation with Dave (#52), I too was at the game against Wolves and remember being in awe of Vernon's finishing. If I recall correctly one of his goals was from distance and ended up in the keeper's top left hand corner.

That game was played early in the 1960-61 season and was the game after we beat Blackpool 4-1 at Bloomfield Road. I was at that game with my Dad and remember Roy scoring with the ball sticking in the top corner stantion.

Those were, I think, my most special time to be watching the Blues. We scored goals for fun and my particular favourites from then, Mickey Lill and Tommy Ring, made watching highly enjoyable as we also began to add top players like Gabriel and Young.

Dave Abrahams
56 Posted 16/06/2018 at 17:19:39
John (#54), to be honest I never saw the game but I would have said it was on a Friday night, don't know why, but I remember it caused a bit of a stir even though nothing continued in terms of more games being shown. By the way, John, did you find the scorer of Bolton's goal? I think it was scored by Freddie Hill, who later failed a fitness test to join Liverpool.

Terry, I would have been at the Wolves game enjoying Roy Vernon's goals and all-round game but don't think I was at the Blackpool game. As you say, it was great to watch Everton in those days with Vernon, who I rated better than Alex Young, although they were both great players along with Tommy Ring, Gabriel, Kay, Wilson and others.

Mickey Lill also played his part but had a lot of injuries in his short time at Everton, came from Wolves but I don't remember where he went to from the Blues or if his injuries forced him out of the game.

Michael Kenrick
57 Posted 16/06/2018 at 18:47:07
Dave, Mickey Lill joined Second Division Plymouth Argyle in June 1962. After less than a season with the Pilgrims, he moved along the South coast to fellow second tier club Portsmouth in March 1963.

After a little over two seasons at Fratton Park, followed by one season in the Southern League with Guildford City, Lill left English football in May 1966 to join Germiston Callies in South Africa. He soon became manager/coach of the club after retiring from playing for the period 1968 to 1973.

He left Callies to manage Jewish Guild (based in Johannesburg). He eventually worked as a PE teacher at Sacred Heart College, Observatory, just outside central Johannesburg.

He died of cancer in October 2004, aged 68.

John McFarlane Snr
58 Posted 16/06/2018 at 19:05:54
Hi Terry [55] I was at Bloomfield Road when Everton beat Blackpool 4-1, it was their first away win in eighteen months. It was a Monday evening fixture., I've had to go to my reference book to establish the goal scorers, who were Bobby Collins, Jimmy Harris, Derek Temple, and Roy Vernon.

Yes Terry, that was a wonderful time to be an Evertonian, it was a wonderful time to be a football supporter, when both sides went all out for a win.

Hi Dave [56], the Blackpool vs Bolton Wanderers game was played on the Saturday with an evening kick-off, ITV hoped to gain viewers from the afternoon games. I'm going to say they only showed the second half, but don't put money on it, 'I was wrong with the score'.

After leaving Everton Mickey Lill had spells with Plymouth Argyle, Portsmouth, and Guilford. He moved to South Africa and played for a club called Germiston Callies, he played for a team in South Africa with Ian St John, but I'll have to verify which one.

I can't find out who scored the Bolton goal, but I'll keep trying, I quite liked Freddie Hill, I once saw a photo of him in a newspaper and thought I was looking at Brian Labone.

This VAR is not doing anything for me, other than irritate me, I would much rather watch football the 'Old-fashioned way'.

Dave Abrahams
59 Posted 16/06/2018 at 19:15:21
Michael (#57), thanks for that information.

I have a recollection of Mickey playing in a reserve game at Earle's ground between Everton and Wolves but can't remember if Mickey played for the Blues or Wolves, the game was played at Earle because Goodison Park was getting the underground wiring installed. They also played a reserve game at Anfield during this period against Huddersfield Town reserves, we won 3-1.

Derek Taylor
60 Posted 16/06/2018 at 19:44:01
With so much mention of the Reserves, I am surprised that no mention has been made of the post-war practice of the two main Merseyside clubs sharing a programme each Saturday.

I'm sure when my old man first took me to Goodison for ressie games, at least half the proggie was related to the FL game across the park. I have recently hunted in vain for copies of these publications but have come to accept they went on a divorce bongy in 1984!

Anyone out there who can comment?

Dave Abrahams
61 Posted 16/06/2018 at 19:51:57
John (#58), it's very interesting you mention Everton had not won an away game for 18 months prior to that Blackpool game, Johnnie Carey wasn't the manager during that period was he? Tells a tale if he was.
Terry White
62 Posted 16/06/2018 at 22:48:26
Dave (#61), to save John, Sr. some research, Carey was very much the Manager during the 1959-60 season when we failed to win an away game. Defeats included 5-2 at Burnley, 8-2 at Newcastle, 4-0 at Maine Road, 6-2 at WBA and 5-0 at Old Trafford. Plus the ignominious cup defeat at Bradford City!

We were dynamite at home!! Undefeated with 6-1 wins against Leicester, Nottm Forest and Chelsea.

Catterick was appointed in 1962.

John McFarlane Snr
63 Posted 16/06/2018 at 23:47:57
Hi Terry ['62], If ever a vacancy should arise in my research department, I will contact you. I'm afraid that there will be no remuneration, just the satisfaction of knowing that you're being of service to fellow Evertonians. There may be occasions when some people consider you a bit of a poser, but I'm afraid that's part and parcel, of the job.

The 8-2 defeat at Newcastle was on the day that Dave Hickson made his debut for Liverpool, scoring both goals in a 2-1 win over Aston Villa, whose goal was scored by Peter McParland, but I expect that you already know that.

I attended the Bradford City FA Cup game, and recall Bobby Collins accusing some of his team-mates of being too interested in getting back to Liverpool, and the 'Royal Tiger Club.'

Hi Dave [61], Terry has given you an accurate account of Everton's failings on the road and excellent home form, but as an avid Evertonian you'll be well aware, that the 6-1 victory was when Tommy Ring made his debut, against Nottingham Forest. So please accept that this information is for those who weren't aware of this.

ps: The run without an away win stretched from 27 December 1958 – Bolton Wanderers 3-0, to 5 September 1960 – Blackpool 4-1... 18 months (allowing for the close season).

Terry White
64 Posted 17/06/2018 at 03:33:47
You are too generous, John (#63) to even imply that I am worthy to step alongside you in your research department. As I often allude, my knowledge to support my failing memory of games that I have attended, comes largely from Steve Johnson's excellent site, "Everton Results", without which I would be well and truly lost.

To move on, I also attended the Bradford City cup tie. My Dad had a cousin who lived in Bradford so we went over the Pennines to visit and to go to the match. Tea afterwards was rather a sullen affair, if I recall, at least on my part. That game was truly the nadir of supporting the Blues. But brighter days were to come.

Tommy Ring did indeed make his debut 2 weeks later in the 6-1 win over Forest. Naturally, a 2-0 defeat at Fulham intervened. Eddie Thomas got a hat trick v Forest in what I presume was his last game for us as Royston was in the line up the following week, another away loss. But he then scored 6 goals in the next 4 league games. The stuff of which legends are born.

Dave Abrahams
65 Posted 17/06/2018 at 09:08:46
Steve (#64), Tommy Ring's first game, one to savour, but it seemed to me that all Tommy's games for the Blues were performances to smack your lips over, one of the biggest robberies of all time the way we mugged Clyde FC.
Ian Burns
66 Posted 17/06/2018 at 09:49:26
Michael 57 - I never thought I would see two South African teams mentioned on TW - ie Germiston Callies and Jewish Guild! Completely off topic but in the late 60's and 70's players from the UK would spend six weeks or so on loan to top South African clubs.

Gordon Banks played for Germiston, breaking his arm if I recall. George Best turned out for Jewish Guild.

Peter Mills
67 Posted 17/06/2018 at 11:18:29
Terry (#64), as an exiled Crosby resident you may be mildly interested to know that as a player Billy Bingham lived in Sunnyside Road, a few yards away from The Bug and Bite where post-match refreshment has occasionally been taken.
Terry White
68 Posted 17/06/2018 at 14:47:11
Good Day, Peter (#67), didn't Gordon West also live near there at one time? Perhaps in the same house later on? He would also have been seen in the Bug, I'm sure.
Michael Kenrick
69 Posted 17/06/2018 at 18:12:00
I know nothing about South African footy... no, wait, they have the Vuvuzela!!!

Any rain yet in Cape Town?

Gareth Clark
70 Posted 17/06/2018 at 18:16:52
Michael (#69), It's raining cats & dogs here mate!
Terry White
71 Posted 17/06/2018 at 18:59:44
John, Sr., we have moved away from your subject. Sorry! It's what we Evertonians of an age do! Reminisce of our favourite players of days gone by.
John McFarlane Snr
72 Posted 18/06/2018 at 10:30:49
Hi Terry [71], it's quite alright, that's what happens in conversations, of any subject, one remark can trigger a discussion to take a completely new direction.

What I would object to, is the use of unnecessary strong language, and the vilification of fellow posters, just because their opinions do not meet with approval.

I am happy to say that thanks to the people who respond to my articles, I do not fear that threads are in danger of falling into either of those categories,

I suppose I may be looked upon by some as a bit of a prude but my feelings are that I wouldn't like anything that has my name associated, considered unsuitable to be read, by anyone, of any age.

Christy Ring
73 Posted 18/06/2018 at 17:18:34
Dave @65, Tommy Ring was a huge Celtic fan, and when Everton signed him for £12,000, he had his heart set on a move to Celtic, but was told they only offered £8,000. He found out years later that Celtic had offered £14,000!!
Andy Crooks
74 Posted 18/06/2018 at 20:23:25
John, I have been in some battles on this site over the years and have said things I have regretted. Also, have used language which I am quite sure you would hate. Rest assured, though, it will not happen on here.

Your threads are a seat in the shade of an oak tree on a summers day. To be quietly savoured.

John McFarlane Snr
75 Posted 18/06/2018 at 21:31:16
Hi Andy [74], I know most of the swear words, and I even know what some of them mean, but I believe that there is a time and place. However, I don't think that the internet, where one doesn't know who has access to these posts, is the ideal vehicle for such comments.

I'm pleased to learn that you will be on your best behaviour, whilst responding to any contribution I may make, and it seems to me that you are enjoying this latest one.

Alan J Thompson
76 Posted 19/06/2018 at 03:22:02
Alan Hampson, I seem to recall seeing him playing and managing South Liverpool in the days when waiting for a bus or train there was a lengthy ordeal. Mind you, it was said that Peter Braybrook should have been met at Allerton station and driven down Queens Drive rather than down Scottie Road from Lime Street.
Terry White
77 Posted 20/06/2018 at 19:01:21
John (#75) I hope you have been able to sort out your response matter with Lyndon?
Lev Vellene
78 Posted 20/06/2018 at 19:46:47
Free John McFarlane Snr!

I read that on a Bay City Rollers poster, to cite the now sadly deceased Mel Smith! So it's fresh and relevant!

John Snr is the mature, respectful voice on this fanatic's site, as I have noticed his posts.

So I hope there is no petty petulance involved on the TW side!

I still think there should be a wider allowance for an article author to reply directly to posts on his article, than for casual quarrelers (you know who you are!) to take up all the band-width with the same limit!

John McFarlane Snr
79 Posted 20/06/2018 at 22:34:06
Hi everyone, it looks as though I've been reprieved, but unfortunately I don't know how many posts I'm allowed. I have stated all along that I have never sought preferential treatment, but I do believe that people who submit material, that leads to a question and answer situation, should be given a bit of leeway.

I must stress that I'm quite happy to abide by any rules that might apply, I've no wish to take something that I'm not entitled to.

I would like to thank everyone who spoke on my behalf, I'm sure that their contribution played a large part in securing my reinstatement.

John McFarlane Snr
81 Posted 21/06/2018 at 10:03:33
Hi Michael [Kenrick] I seem to have spent the last couple of days apologising, I appreciate that you played no part in the decision that led to me being taken off line. I just felt you could have responded a little quicker, but it's water under the bridge now.

I can now concentrate on part 4 of my article, I did wonder if it was worth the bother, but I don't like to leave a job half done, that's why as soon as I was fit enough, after leaving hospital, I posted the final instalment of 'Favourites aren't always the best'

Let's hope that any further communication between us, takes place in more favourable circumstances.

Michael Kenrick
Editorial Team
82 Posted 21/06/2018 at 17:45:03
John,

Apologies accepted. I did get a little pissed off with your decidedly 'ungentlemanly' conduct where you clogged up other threads and insisted on immediate resolution that I simply could not provide — then you rejected my explanation! A chill pill was in order, as these young 'uns would say.

Please acknowledge that you will in future use the Contact and Feedback link at the bottom of the page if you have any issues or concerns about the operation of the website.

Thanks!

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