When 'Legends' were Thin on the Ground – Part 4

John McFarlane [Senior]   23/06/2018 27comments  |  Jump to last
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Continuing the theme of players who represented Everton from season 1946-47 when the Football League resumed following World War Two, until season 1950-51 when Everton were relegated to the old Second Division.

But first, I will rewrite the Billy Higgins piece, as promised.

William Charles Higgins

Born 28 February 1924; Died 1981

After four useful seasons at Goodison Park, Billy Higgins, along with His Everton colleague Jack Hedley, and the Stoke City duo Neil Franklin and George Mountford, plus Charlie Mitten of Manchester United, flew out to Colombia to play football outside Fifa jurisdiction. Higgins signed for the Marios club, with coaching a sideline, and never played in England again.

Billy Higgins made his Everton debut on Christmas Day 1947 in a 2-0 home defeat to Sunderland. His first goal came in a 3-1 victory over Grimsby Town. A few weeks later, he scored both goals in a 3-2 home loss to Chelsea.

In his first season, 1947-48, he scored 3 goals in 13 appearances, In 1948-49, he appeared in 14 League games without scoring, but managed 1 goal in the FA Cup. In 1949-50, he made 14 appearances and scored 4 goals. His last goal was scored in a 2-1 defeat against Bolton Wanderers at Burnden Park.

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

Oscar Hold

Born 19 October 1918; Died 11 October 2005

Oscar Hold was a much-travelled travelled footballer. During the Second World War, his clubs were Denaby United, Barnsley, Bradford City, Burnley, and Chelsea. In peacetime, he played League football for Aldershot, Norwich City, Notts County, Everton, and Queens Park Rangers. Before joining Everton from Notts County, he is listed as playing for Chelmsford City.

On leaving Queens Park Rangers, he joined Wisbech Town as Player/Manager, then March Town (Player/Manager), Cambridge City (Player/Manager), Gainsborough Trinity (Player/Manager), Wisbech Town Player/Manager, Doncaster Rovers (Manager), Fernebahçe (Coach), Ankara (Coach)... he later coached in Nigeria.

His first appeaeance for Everton was at centre-forward in place of Harry Catterick at Stoke City in a 1-0 defeat on 18 March 1950.

Oscar Hold's Everton career record was 22 appearances 5 goals.

John Vaughan Humphreys

Born 28 October 1920; Died September 1954

The son of a Schoolmaster, Jack Humphreys, when a youngster, scored 12 goals in one match at centre-forward but, as he grew in size, he switched to centre-half. He attended Loughborough University and almost became a teacher, qualifying in Physical Education, Athletics, and Games, but he chose football instead and played for Wales against Northern Ireland in 1947.

A powerful defender, Humphreys was unfortunate to be a contemporary of TG Jones at Goodison, managing over 100 appearances (50 during the war). He made his League debut against Bolton Wanderers in October 1946, having played in two FA Cup games against Preston North End 9 months earlier. In 1950, he turned down a move to the Marios club in Colombia, along with his team-mate, Jack Hedley, although another of his Everton team-mates, Billy Higgins, did move to Bogota. Jack Humphreys was also a useful cricketer.

Jack Humphreys's Everton career record was 61 appearances.

George Jackson

Born 11 January 1911 Date of death unknown

George 'Stonewall' Jackson was a full-back who served Everton well in the inter-wars years. Born within a stone's throw of Goodison Park, he began his football apprenticeship at Arnot Street school, which turned out many notable players. He was spotted by Everton while playing for Walton Parish Church; while working through the ranks, he was loaned to Marine. He played with the 'Mariners' through their memorable FA Amateur Cup bid, when they met Dulwich Hamlet in the 1932 Final at Upton Park.

Tough in the tackle and with a fine turn of speed, he made his senior debut against Wolverhampton Wanderers in February 1935. In seven seasons, he totalled 75 League appearances, before transferring to Caernarvon Town in 1949.

George became part of Merseyside folklore on 8 February 1941, when Liverpool were short of a goalkeeper; he featured in this position, and thus became an Everton player who played against his 'parent club'.

This report is from the Liverpool Echo:

"Still one more wartime meeting of Everton and Liverpool went in Everton's favour, their 3-1 success at Anfield was deserved, and Liverpool's only consolation was that they were forced to play a full-back in goal, and therefore at best, could only have had, scant defeat.

George Jackson, an Everton player, took over this vital job. Could any Everton player in a Liverpool team have a more unenviable task than to pick the ball out of the net, overlooked by 'Spion Kop'? I doubt it. This was Jackson's task after half-an-hour of play. The irony of an Everton goal at that time was two-fold, since Liverpool had things pretty well their own way, and seemed more likely to take the lead. Jackson's fumbling of a Catterick header was excusable – but not when playing against Everton – was the greatest impression of the Kop.

Actually this full-back turned goalkeeper had many grand saves to his credit; he made them as if to the manner born, too. There was more at fault with the Liverpool attack, than with him."

George Jackson's Everton career record was 79 League and Cup appearances.

Albert Johnson

Born 15 July 1929 Died June 2011

Albert Johnson was an outside right for Everton, making his debut for the 'Toffees' on Christmas Day 1946 in a 4-1 win over Derby County at the Baseball Ground. He would make two further appearances that season, as Everton finished in 10th position in the First Division. The following season, he made another 6 starts. Albert also played for Chesterfield and Witton Albion.

Albrert passed away a month short of his 91st birthday.

Thomas George Jones

Born October 1947 Died 3rd January 2004

TG Jones was always regarded as one of the football 'Scientists' of his day. He was never the battering-ram stopper of centre-forwards, but a thoughtful neat player who read his opponent's intentions superbly before stepping in with great nonchalance, to sweep the ball away and use it to advantage.

He signed for Everton from Wrexham in March 1936 for £3,000 and picked up the first of his 17 Welsh caps two years later. He was appointed club captain in August 1949, succeeding Peter Farrell.

In 1948, he might have become a trailblazer to Europe, when Italian giants, Roma, made desperate and prolonged attempts to sign him. Everton initially accepted a considerable fee, but the deal fell through after a row over the contract transaction.

Towards the end of his career, he upset the Everton Board by publicly expressing his concern at the way the club was being run.He eventually moved to Pwllheli where he was appointed Player/Manager.

Dixie Dean once said of TG Jones "He was the best all-round player I've ever seen, he had everything, no coach could coach, or teach him anything. He was neater than John Charles for instance, and could get himself out of trouble just by running towards the ball and letting it run between his legs, knowing a team-mate would be in a position to take it."

TG Jones's Everton career record was 175 appearances, 5 goals.


Reader Comments (27)

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Ian Burns
1 Posted 24/06/2018 at 09:37:33
Hi John, great to see Part 4 come out. I like many others, have been waiting for the next piece of Everton history.

Do you have the dates for John Vaughan Humphreys correct, which if he died in 1954 meant he was only 34.

Mention of us beating Derby 4-1, I think I am right in saying Derby won the cup 4-1 that same season.

The great TG Jones, I always thought he played more than 175 times for Everton – maybe because he was so well known I thought he had been around forever!

Thanks again John, as always a great read.

John McFarlane Snr
2 Posted 24/06/2018 at 11:06:43
Hi Ian, [1] you had me worried for a minute, the entry is correct, Born October 28th 1920, Died September 1954.

Derby County did win the Cup in 1946, beating Charlton 4-1. The FA Cup competition started a few months before the League.

Alan McGuffog
3 Posted 24/06/2018 at 11:45:31
John,

One for posters of a younger vintage...

What was unique about the 1946 FA Cup?

John McFarlane Snr
4 Posted 24/06/2018 at 12:30:05
Hi Alan [3], I'm hoping you're referring to the games staged in the 3rd round, which were played on a home-and-away basis, Everton losing 4-3 on aggregate to Preston North End. The scores were 2-1 to Preston at Deepdale, and 2-2 at Goodison Park

I did at first think that may have meant that the fact that the ball burst in the Final, but that's not unique, because it happened again the following season when Charlton Athletic beat Burnley 1-0.

However I read your post again, and you asked what was unique about the FA Cup, and not the FA Cup Final.

Alan McGuffog
5 Posted 24/06/2018 at 13:05:53
Cheers John and you've saved me some embarrassment... I thought all the rounds up to semi were two legged. I am a wiser man!
John McFarlane Snr
6 Posted 24/06/2018 at 13:58:50
Hi Alan [5], you're correct, all rounds up to the semi-finals were two-legged affairs, I was concentrating on Everton, who went out in Round 3.
Dave Abrahams
7 Posted 24/06/2018 at 15:32:39
I saw Oscar Hold in a few games, one of those many players whose careers were taken over by the Second World War, as you say, John, he did a lot of coaching after he retired and probably made more money out of coaching than he did out of playing. It's interesting his first name was Oscar because, born at the time he was, not many people were christened with that name after the trial of Oscar Wilde. In fact, no male child was named Oscar for 16 years after that trial.

T G Jones, saw him and was mesmerised by his skill and class, as were most people who saw this brilliant ball-playing centre-half, one of the very best players I ever saw playing for Everton and most certainly the best defender.

Jack Humphreys was also a Welsh international centre-half like TG and got most of his games because TG was in dispute with Everton and was kept out of the team because of it. Gerry Humphreys, who later played for Everton, was the stepson of Jack Humphreys.

Alan J Thompson
8 Posted 24/06/2018 at 16:03:17
Don't want to nitpick, John, but you've got Everton signing T G Jones 11 years before he was born. Certainly quicker off the mark than we've been in recent years.
John McFarlane Snr
9 Posted 24/06/2018 at 17:12:17
Hi Alan [8], you're not nit-picking, I'm always claiming that I'm a great believer in accuracy, that should actually read 1917. I check and recheck my work, but this is one that got away, probably not the first but hopefully the last. I trust that you enjoyed the article despite the error.
Derek Taylor
10 Posted 24/06/2018 at 17:13:37
There was another unique happening in that 1946 Cup Final between Derby County and Charlton. Any suggestions?
Phil (Kelsall) Roberts
11 Posted 24/06/2018 at 17:40:35
What is described as a younger ToffeeWebber? I was born 8 after the incident but it was in all my football books when I grew up.

Am I too old to give the answer? Is there a prize?

Dave Abrahams
12 Posted 24/06/2018 at 17:46:09
Phil (11), if you don't I will, but you were here first. I'm presuming we both have the same answer.
Derek Taylor
13 Posted 24/06/2018 at 17:50:20
My source is the FA Book for Boys 1947 which I got for my eighth birthday. Has anyone else still got it?
Peter Gorman
14 Posted 24/06/2018 at 17:50:42
First time they played with a round ball?
Derek Taylor
15 Posted 24/06/2018 at 17:52:02
Bloody hell, Peter, it's only seventy years ago!
Phil (Kelsall) Roberts
16 Posted 24/06/2018 at 21:17:20
Dave (#12), about the forward who had the wind taken out of him?
Dave Abrahams
17 Posted 24/06/2018 at 21:27:56
Phil (16), I'm thinking of a half back or midfielder as they were called then.
Dave Abrahams
18 Posted 24/06/2018 at 21:44:28
I've just re read the question and I'm cancelling my answer as it is not unique. I was thinking of Turner the Charlton right-half who scored an own goal but later scored for Charlton to become the first man to score for both teams in a cup final.

But, thinking about it, I remembered Tommy Hutchinson did the same for Man City in the game v Spurs when the Argentine player (I can't remember his name) scored that fabulous individual goal.

John McFarlane Snr
19 Posted 24/06/2018 at 22:25:09
Hi Dave [7], my recollection of Oscar Hold is of an early Brett Angell, I may be doing him a disservice, but that was the way I saw him as young lad, approaching my 12th birthday. Regarding the 1946 question, I can only come up with the same answer as yourself. Bert Turner scoring for both sides, and as stated it was the first time it had happened. The name you were searching for is Ricardo Villa, apologies if someone with a greater typing speed as beaten me to it.

I know anything can happen between now and the 15th of July, but I'm looking forward to meeting up again, when we can 'chew the fat' and put the football world to rights. Oh by the, way Josh received the Manager's 'Player of the season' award, one more to add to an impressive collection.

Derek Taylor
20 Posted 24/06/2018 at 23:05:43
Dave and John both right. The Turner situation was the first time a player had scored for both sides in an FA Cup Final!
Phil (Kelsall) Roberts
21 Posted 24/06/2018 at 23:57:11
I was going for the ball burst on the way into the net and never made it over the line.

Just checked it on Wiki and it quotes:

When Stamps shot for goal in the closing minutes of normal time, the ball burst en route. Stamps went on to score twice with the new ball as Derby beat Charlton Athletic 4–1. A week earlier, when the same sides had met in the League, the match ball had also burst.

I think that is unique in a Cup Final. The other was not unique, just the first time.

Ray Atherton
22 Posted 24/06/2018 at 00:20:42
John Mc,

Sorry, John, I have just come back from Holiday so missed your part three. I just wanted to a bit of background on Don Easthope.

My Dad worked in a Barbers shop on the corner of Dinas Lane, Huyton. There was three shops all together in the building, Sweet shop, Barbers shop and a Betting shop. Betting shops were made legal from 1961, after the Bookies runners.

Don Easthope owned the Bookies and his father-in-law, Tommy Ford, owned the Barber shop.

My Mother told me in the 1950s that she and my Dad were invited to the reception for Don Easthope's wedding. She told me most of the Everton team attended at the Knotty Ash pub, supposed it was the rooms at the top.

My Dad introduced me to Derek Temple; he cut his hair. I was very proud of my Dad being in the Burma campaign for four years.

In the 1963 game at West Ham, I was speaking to Derek on the morning of the match outside the Hotel. I told him my Dad wishes all the best. He had just come into the team for Morrissey; we won in the league game.

A couple of weeks before that, we lost in the FA Cup, very sad, lost on a dubious penalty against us.

Sorry John to mix threads, I thought yourself, Dave Abrahams and the other lads wouldn't mind.

Steve Ferns
23 Posted 25/06/2018 at 00:28:42
Thanks for that, Ray. Being from Huyton myself, I enjoyed that, and I'll pass your story on to my father. We're from the other end though, the St John's.
Alan J Thompson
24 Posted 25/06/2018 at 04:36:47
Thanks for your response, John, and I do enjoy your articles although I sometimes worry that some of these blokes died at a younger age than I am now which is how I probably noticed the typo.

And the World is becoming a smaller place as one of my many sins was running that betting shop mentioned by Ray(#22) but by then it was part of one of the big conglomerates and without knowing it at the time, my Great Grandfather lived in the original Dinas Lane and worked on Lord Sefton's (was it?) estate.

Who said Evertonians aren't just one big family?

Dave Abrahams
25 Posted 25/06/2018 at 14:04:51
Ray (22), speaking for myself, join in anytime; you've got a fund of information and bags of memories so join the party.
John McFarlane Snr
26 Posted 25/06/2018 at 14:13:41
Hi Phil [16 & 21], the definition of a youngster is anyone under the age of 79, but in 20 days time [and counting] that will be redefined to apply to anyone under the age of 80.

Regarding Bert Turner scoring for both sides, as it was the first time it certainly was unique, equalled later by Tommy Hutchison in 1981 Tottenham Hotspur 1 Manchester City 1, Tottenham winning the replay 3-2. and Gary Mabbut in 1987 Coventry 3 Tottenham Hotspur 2.

Hi Dave [18], You can add Gary Mabbut to the list of players scoring for both sides in an FA Cup Final, he managed this in 1987 when Coventry City beat Tottenham Hotspur 3-2.

Hi Ray [22] I'm afraid Don Easthope wasn't eligible for this particular article, because he made his Everton debut against Notts County at Meadow Lane in March 1953. He only played twice for the 'Blues, and was transferred to Stock port County where scored 2 goals in 9 League appearances, his Football League career reading 11 appearances 2 goals.

I'm glad that you refer to him as Don, coincidentally, I too had a conversation with Derek Temple, where Easthope's name came up and Derek called him Joe, and as he's listed as Joseph Donald Easthope. I wonder if he was known as Joe at Goodison?

Terry White
27 Posted 25/06/2018 at 15:02:29
I am largely going to sit this one out, John, and just enjoy the contributions of others. I did not see any of this era play but my Dad, along with many others, only had the highest of praise for TG.

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