Alex The Great

In order to share the 60-minute film with other Blues, Dr David France has made ‘Alex the Great’ available on YouTube. It is required viewing for football fans of all persuasions and all ages.

Lyndon Lloyd 27/06/2019 62comments  |  Jump to last
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No doubt you’ve read this before, but it’s well worth repeating…. For as long as Everton Football Club survives, men will talk in awe of the sublime skills of Alex Young who could do things in a match that no other player would even attempt in training. But because of the dearth of television coverage at that time, the centre-forward never received the national fame his talents warranted. One exception was ‘The Golden Vision’, written by Neville Smith and directed by Ken Loach, which was the first docu-drama of its kind back in 1968.

Fast forward to ‘Alex the Great’, the follow-up film which chronicles Alex’s career through exclusive interviews with his opponents as well as his team-mates. Initially filmed in 2012, its commercial release was shelved because, in Dr France’s opinion, despite the exquisite fusion of dramatic music with stirring narrative it struggled to capture the majesty of the subject. Ironically, the film-makers were handicapped by his manager’s distrust of TV cameras and the dearth of video evidence to reinforce the consensus of team-mates and opponents interviewed who, notwithstanding his hearing-loss and super-sized blisters, rated Alex’s sublime skills alongside those of Bergkamp and Messi.

After learning of Alex’s dementia and failing health, the Everton icon and his family were invited to preview the uncompleted film. At that time, Dr France noted:

Alex Young

‘Football fans have become a nostalgic and sentimental bunch who pay their respects to a fallen hero and a good cause every matchday. That said, I thought Alex deserved to hear those tributes for himself at Goodison. More than anything, I wanted him to preview the uncompleted film in the suite that bears his name and to bid farewell to his fellow Evertonians and vice versa. I’m glad I did because a few months later, my dear friend passed away quietly.’

In the interim, Dr France has battled a series of medical issues and, rather than finish the one-hour film, has elected to post the uncompleted documentary on YouTube.

Critically acclaimed by audiences in Liverpool and London, it features interviews with Colin Harvey, Tommy E Jones, Bill Kenwright, Bob Latchford, Ken Loach, Dave Mackay, Duncan McKenzie, Pat Nevin, Joe Royle, Graeme Sharp, Neville Smith, Ian St John, Derek Temple, Ron Yeats and, of course, Alex Young and his children. Again, like its Ken Loach predecessor, it should be mandatory viewing for football fans of all persuasions and all ages.

Dr France commented: ‘For those of us privileged to have marvelled at Alex in action, he was the most gifted British player we had ever seen and proof that the football gods wanted us to be happy: Alex didn’t run, he glided across the turf. He didn’t turn, he pirouetted. He didn’t jump, he floated. He didn’t kick the ball, he caressed it. In fact, his first-touch was like a mother’s tender kiss. The combination of his balletic balance, delicate feints and elegant body swerves left defenders rooted to the spot as he glided past them with astonishing economy of effort. Never ostentatious, his feet stroked the ball with the uncommon motion usually reserved for the foreheads of their newborn infants.

Alex Young with David France at Goodison Park

He added: ‘Probably because he had toiled in the coal-mines and served in the Army before winning every prize in Scotland and England, Alex remained an unassuming gentleman who never displayed a hint of pretentiousness. His disinterest in self-promotion is as fascinating as his natural abilities. I suppose those who didn’t see him play will never entirely understand why those of us who did remain convinced that Alex was more cultured than anyone else who has graced Goodison. If you don’t believe me then please digest the words of his admirers and take a look at the film. While it doesn’t do credit to Alex’s majesty, I think it’s worth 60 minutes of every true Evertonian’s time.’

Alex Young and Bill Dean sketch

Alex was fantastic in the air and simply sublime with the ball at his feet. Shanks warned me that if you give him space, he’ll take you to the cleaners. The wee man was the finest centre-forward I’ve ever seen and way ahead of his time.
Ron Yeats

There are no doubts that Dixie is our most celebrated footballer. But just behind him is a forward of matchless grace who displayed Nureyev-like balance. While you can never say never, I predict no-one will match Dixie’s 60 League goals in one season and, with great regret, that we’ll never see the likes of ‘The Golden Vision’ again.
Bill Kenwright

I watched him make his debut from the Paddock. We all stood with our mouths wide open like goldfish. The merest shimmy of his hips made people fall over. A quite unique talent.
Joe Royle

Alex had an immaculate touch which allowed him to master the ball like few others. He oozed so much God-given ability that it’s impossible to draw comparisons with todays’ stars. No-one plays football like he did. Very few have ever had the flair or skills to do so.
Alan Ball

Alex possessed grace and balance. With today’s manicured surfaces, fancy boots, lighter balls and endless television coverage, he would have been one of the biggest stars in Europe.
Tom Finney


Watch Alex The Great:

Perhaps because of the way in which the Golden Vision is so revered by the Good Doctor Everton's and because my favourite players have always been skilful attacking midfielders, Alex Young is perhaps the one player I wish I had been alive to see grace Goodison Park, perhaps even more so than Bill Dean.

What would his value be in today's market, I wonder? Would we even be able to attract someone of his quality in the first place or would the club, as they did back in the day, have astutely plucked him from the relative obscurity of Scotland and made him a Goodison idol forever to be under-appreciated by the football world at large?


Reader Comments (62)

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Bill Watson
1 Posted 27/06/2019 at 23:02:17
Tom Finney was absolutely correct. Alex played on mud heaps at a time when skilful players received no protection from referees.

Today, Alex would be, quite simply, sensational.

Andy Crooks
2 Posted 27/06/2019 at 23:12:46
Spot on, Bill. With the old match ball and waterlogged pitches a player could take a shot from the 6-yard box that wouldn't reach the goal line. Can you imagine Alex, Best, Charlie Cook, Charlie George, Tony Currie, Alan Hudson and many others with the protection flair players get today?

I wish I had seen him at his best.

Derek Thomas
3 Posted 28/06/2019 at 01:31:41
What else can I add that hasn't been said a lot more eloquently than I could ever manage.

I count myself lucky to have seen him in his pomp, even at the end of his career that 1967 game at the start of the season Vs Untd. shows a genius at work...and work he did, he wasn't a fancy dan goalhanger, watch it and see him covering both fullbacks.

Its not just people being nice when class acts like Finney and Blanchflower, who could probably walk into any European select 11 of the day, say how good he was.

He had bad days, he wasn't perfect and was the first to admit it. I'd rank him as a sort of Orson Wellian figure in football, there were the average days, but then he'd do something with such ease, impudence, elan and panache, that it was all you could do to just stand amazed that he'd even attempt it and marvel at the pure genius of it all after he'd completed it.

Darren Hind
4 Posted 28/06/2019 at 05:33:17
Those players you mention all had one thing in common. No matter what height, how awkward, or how bobbly the ball came to them, they would all be thinking about what they were going to do WHEN they had taken it under their spell. Alex's first touch was up there with anybody who ever played the game.

I'm always interested in the arguments comparing sportsman from different eras. I know its foolish, but they are huge fun.

Young sometimes struggled for consistency, but how could such a sublimely talented individual not be a world superstar today?

Tony Hill
5 Posted 28/06/2019 at 06:04:44
Brilliantly put, Derek Thomas @3, sums him up.
Michael Kenrick
6 Posted 28/06/2019 at 06:13:14
I know Dr France is a perfectionist and wanted to create the perfect video memorial of Alex the Great. I think this comes very close, especially given the huge limitation of having so little action to work with.

There is full footage of the 1966 FA Cup Final available but they used very little of that, and none featuring him playing. I know it wasn't his greatest game, but you would have thought that digital video processing could have taken that footage and done something magical with it to bring out some of his skills.

The bit from the BBC play, The Golden Vision, with his daughter Jane, age 5, is absolutely precious, and (spoiler alert!) to see her commenting on it at the end 40+ years later, along with her brothers, was a nice way to end it.

A great memorial to a great player.

Rick Tarleton
7 Posted 28/06/2019 at 08:29:51
Simply the most charismatic player I've ever seen. Everton have had better players, his co-striker Vernon for a start, Wilson, Bobby Collins, but no-one approaches him for sheer charismatic genius. When I'm asked by my son and grandson, "Who's been your favourite Everton player?" There's only one answer: Alex Young.

The way he hung in the air, the famous Tottenham goal is an example, the way he would drift in from the left side and with a shimmy was in the penalty area, two defenders in his wake. The ball driven towards him hard by Gabriel or Stevens and he'd play it first time off the inside or outside of the foot so it arced into Vernon's run.

Simply the most graceful player I've ever seen. He'd be worth £200 million in today's transfer market.

Dave Abrahams
8 Posted 28/06/2019 at 09:11:09
Derek (3), great post almost a perfect summing up of an almost perfect player, you just left “humble” off Alex's credentials.
Graham Coldron
9 Posted 28/06/2019 at 09:51:58
I never saw him play but, to give you an idea of how much he is revered, my son and I were talking to a couple of fellas about him before one of the home games last season. These two fellas were in their early seventies and one in particular was moved to tears when describing just how great he was.
Brent Stephens
11 Posted 28/06/2019 at 11:20:09
My all-time favourite Everton player. So graceful as a player. And a lovely, humble guy to talk to.
Seb Niemand
12 Posted 28/06/2019 at 11:36:48
Dr France is such a wonderful man. They absolutely MUST name something of significance in his honour at the new stadium.
Joe Bibb
13 Posted 28/06/2019 at 12:28:24
Alex Young was the most skillful player to play for Everton since the Second World War, there is no need to say anymore.
Bill Watson
14 Posted 28/06/2019 at 13:01:34
Andy #2

I was at Goodison the night he, and George Thompson, were signed from Hearts. It was a midweek League Cup match against Accrington Stanley (??). They were in the old Goodison Road stand and a tannoy announcement must have been made as we all knew they were there.

As others have said, he could have his off days and sometimes struggled away from home but, on his day, he was unplayable. He had this uncanny knack of seemingly being able to hang in the air and scored some great headed goals. Catterick often used him at the near post to flick on corners.

Very difficult to compare eras but Alex Young was the most skilful Everton player in my time and certainly up there as one of the most skilful in football.

Dick Fearon
18 Posted 28/06/2019 at 13:13:09
To say Alex was brilliant would place him among a huge number of talented players I have seen. Yet he was so different to what had gone before or came later, he deserves a special place among the immortals of our game.



Stan Schofield
19 Posted 28/06/2019 at 13:47:11
My dad took me to Goodison in 1961 at the age of 7. Until then, I wasn't that bothered about football. That all changed that day, both the atmosphere of Goodison and a particular player making a massive impression on me.

At that age, I had heroes in films, like Errol Flynn and John Wayne. Suddenly, I also had a hero in football. Up to that point, I just wanted to play war games or Cowboys and Indians with my mates. But, after that, I just wanted to play football and be Alex Young.

Paul McMonnies
20 Posted 28/06/2019 at 13:54:48
Perfect timing for this – my son Alex is 17 years old today and was of course named after the Golden Vision (no matter what his mum might claim!! "Alexander The Great"?? Mr Young covers that as well!)

I look forward to showing this film to my dad very soon... :)

Brian Harrison
21 Posted 28/06/2019 at 14:15:31
I completely agree with Rick Tarleton. Alex was the most charismatic player to watch. Like others, I watched him make his debut and he just left you thinking "I have never seen anyone do that before!" There were only two players who glided over the pitch rather than run Alex and John White at Spurs.

Obviously Dixie will always be remembered by Evertonians long after our generation has gone, I don't believe anyone will ever get near 60 goals a season. But Alex will always be talked about, even though only us of a certain age got to watch him.

I used to see Alex and Jimmy Gabriel and Alex Parker in the Royal Tiger most Saturday nights. They were often joined by St John, Yeats and Willie Stevenson.

David Cooper
22 Posted 28/06/2019 at 15:47:36
Trying to find Alex the Great on YouTube, I came across a Match of the Day black and white programme of Wolves v Everton in the FA Cup in 1967 at Molyneux. I was there aged 14 with my dad! It's a pretty good recording given that is 42 years ago. It's funny what you remember and don't remember!

1) We sat almost at ground level in the main stand at the same end as Gordon West was in goal in the first half.
2) I remember West pulling off 2 amazing tip-overs as if was yesterday!
3) I remember the huge banks of spectators. I think it was a full house of 67,000!
4) I remember getting crushed at the end of the match as we exited the ground.
5) I kind of remember the Golden Vision skipping over the mud.
6) Wolves players Hunt and Bailey running the game.

What I don't remember:

1) The score: 1-1
2) Alan Ball scoring the penalty to draw the game with 12 minutes to go.
3) Everton had been unbeaten in the FA Cup as they won it in 1966 (remember that!)
4) Everton winning the replay!

Quite often the camera focussed on that corner of the ground where we were sitting but no chance of spotting us! How different football was then and how much has it changed!

I must have seen Alex play a handful of games but sadly have no real recollections of him. The Blues were a great team but all I remember is Westy!
Was anyone else there on that day?

Lenny Kingman
23 Posted 28/06/2019 at 18:03:25
Excellent watch.

Just for posterity I must differ with the great man on his assertion around 39 minutes or so in. It was regards to the homecoming after the epic FA Cup win in 66.

He said there were many Liverpool fans at the homecoming. OK,some maybe. But he further went on to say that the Liverpool supporters wanted us to win that day!

Not sure about that Alex, but you were and for thousands of Everton fans truly, the Golden Vision.

Martin Mason
24 Posted 28/06/2019 at 19:43:02
I had the honour to see 3 of the really wonderful things in the history of the club.

One was to see Alex Young regularly at his best; one was to be at Goodison Park with a gate over 77,000; and one was to see Alan Ball between 1966 and 1970.

What do I treasure most? The mercurial white-booted feet and shock red hair of Bally. He was absolutely superb.

Gerry Ring
25 Posted 28/06/2019 at 19:48:02
Having watched Alex the Great, I really envy those supporters who were lucky enough to see Everton in the 60s. What a team and what great supporters.

I try to get over as often as I can and feel humbled when I hear stories about my cousin, Tommy Ring, who only played 1 season with Everton but obviously left an indelible mark. I can only imagine what the likes of Young, Ball & Ring etc would be like playing on carpet-like pitches with modern boots and a modern ball.

It would be an interesting experiment to see how the modern-day footballers would cope with square toe boots, a ball that weighs twice as heavy (and four times if it rains), and a pitch with hardly any grass. One can only speculate!!

Terry White
26 Posted 28/06/2019 at 19:57:25
Peter Mills was at the Cup game at Wolves, David (#22). He still describes the save Gordon made towards the end of the game to keep the score at 1-1 (not adequately shown on the video you describe) as "one of the best I have ever seen".
Martin Mason
27 Posted 28/06/2019 at 20:00:49
Gerry,

I was born in 1951 and, despite having moved away from Liverpool, was lucky in that my Grandad got me into good habits taking me to home games in the period 1958 onward. I remember Tommy Ring and thought that he was amazing. I believe that a badly broken leg finished what could have been a great career with us in that amazing team of the 60s.

Terry White
28 Posted 28/06/2019 at 20:13:05
I believe you are correct about the Accrington League Cup game in October 1960, Bill (#14). I think I was also there but cannot remember anything about it.

I see from researching on Steve Johnson's excellent site, "Everton Results", that we put out a full first team to play against a team from the old 3rd or 4th division, so different from today. We won 3-1 with Frank Wignall netting 2 and Jimmy Harris the other.

George Thomson (no "P", Bill) in my mind was a greatly underrated full-back, not just a makeweight in the Young transfer. George played 19 games in the Championship season, plagued by injury that finished his career with us, and played in 32 games the season before. He did go on to have a lengthy career with Brentford.

I believe George fell on hard times later in life and I did read that he had committed suicide although I cannot find that confirmed. A great shame.


Gerry Ring
29 Posted 28/06/2019 at 20:47:09
Martin #25,

Yes, it was against Chelsea & I think Tommy scored in that game. It's likely that Catterick would have shipped him out as well, given that he wasn't overly fond of the Scottish boys, according to Alex Young himself.

It was a time when money wasn't the main driver in football and loyalty to your club was paramount.

🎼“Those were the days, my friend...”🎼

Tony Hill
30 Posted 28/06/2019 at 21:11:53
You're right about your cousin, Gerry @25, he was another great presence and remains one of my very favourite players 60 years on, even though I was only 12 or so when he was with us. Perhaps childhood memories or impressions are the strongest. I can't remember many results from those days, like some on here, but the feel of the club then is a deep part of me as an Evertonian.

I'm a bit of a cracked record on this theme, so apologies, but I think Silva is going to restore us to that indefinable grace and style; indefinable, but it's bred in us and we all know it and crave it, young or old.

Paul Birmingham
31 Posted 28/06/2019 at 21:50:34
I’m a tadge too young to have seen him play but I met Alex on many occasions when he attended functions on Merseyside, in latter years and a good pal, a Hearts fan, from work hailed from Penicuik so, always handy to pay respects when Ive worked around the Edinburgh Area.

My dad said aside to Ball, and Best, he was the most gifted skillfull player to have played and great to watch. Poetry and vision, grace, on the football pitch.

I am in awe of the Evertonians from the great 60s period. Life was different and we change but I regularly watch the Golden Vision now as a I’ve done through my life.

I’d like to think soon we could get close to that period or the mid 80s again.

Eric Myles
32 Posted 29/06/2019 at 01:16:11
Gerry #25 "It would be an interesting experiment to see how the modern-day footballers would cope with. a ball that weighs twice as heavy (and four times if it rains)"

You'll be surprised to learn that the regulation weight of a football has not changed since 1937.

Although I do agree that the leather casey would feel much heavier when wet, on dry days it would be the same weight as a ball today, the things having changed being the materials and stiching.

Jay Harris
33 Posted 29/06/2019 at 03:51:08
Young and Vernon were years ahead of the game. Both small, skillful and, in the Golden Vision's case, an unbelievable ability to hang in the air and glide across the muddy pitches as if he was walking on air.

My Favourite moment was a game against Sheffield Wednesday I think we won 4-1 or 5-1. We were in the Bullens Road stand, just behind the players entrance, and Alex shimmied, sent about 4 Sheffield players on their backsides and some of the crowd going the wrong way and then hit an unbelievable shot past Ron Springett (one of the best goalies around at the time) with a shot from the halfway line.

I feel bad for the young kids of today who haven't seen such talents and football, but I remain hopeful it will return to the faithful.

John G Davies
34 Posted 29/06/2019 at 08:17:44
I was gone with the lad around 10 minutes in who tried to give his thoughts on Alex but broke down, overcome with emotions.

I was only a kid when he came but recall being mesmerised by him. What a player.

Stan Schofield
35 Posted 29/06/2019 at 08:52:11
Gerry @25: I don't think laced-up balls that got heavy in wet weather, or the old boots, were much used in top football by the early 60s. Even amateurs were starting to use case balls that were water repellant, and boots that weren't much different from today's.

My first boots were the old style, where you couldn't feel the ball much, but I got modern ones by the mid-60s. By the time of the 1966 World Cup, modern case balls were the norm.

Dave Abrahams
36 Posted 29/06/2019 at 09:16:24
Gerry (29), yes, the accident happened in a collision with the Chelsea goalkeeper Reg Mathews (later transferred to Man.Unt for a record fee) Tommy did score in a 3-3 draw.

Paul Ward
37 Posted 29/06/2019 at 14:22:07
I can add little to the many accolades bestowed on "Alex the Great" in this thread. The man was a legend, but ironically very little of his film footage was recorded for posterity. So we that were fortunate enough to see his great Everton career must hold on to our personal memories until they fade into almost mythical proportions.

Some of the excellent posts have also reminded me of this era being the steady build-up from a poor promoted team to the best in England.

Other great team mates have been mentioned but one I must comment on was Tommy Ring. A tricky Scottish winger from Clyde who many thought was past his best at 30. As Alex was unique in his style of play, so was Tommy Ring. In my honest opinion, he is the cleverest dribbler I have seen in a blue shirt.

You must be very proud of your cousin, Gerry Ring!

William Gall
38 Posted 29/06/2019 at 15:15:36
I started to watch Everton after playing on Goodison Park in 1952. There have been lots of good players at Everton since then and, in the 60s, some stand out as great players, including Bobby Collins, Alan Ball and Alex Young. The difference in the three was Collins and Ball had such drive and energy including outstanding talent, you knew what to expect from them.

Alex Young, on the other hand, was different: he was at times it seemed in a world of his own, just moving around unnoticed until the ball came to him and then his natural gifts took over. And what gifts he had, his initial control no matter how the ball came to him was superb and he seemed fully aware of his teammates' positions. As soon as he got the ball, the opposition realized the danger they were in but trying to tackle him was a waste of energy. His other gift, and how the opposition's tall players must have got frustrated trying to mark him, was his ability to get above them, and hang up in the air and beat them to the ball.

I am 79 this year and have had lots of pleasant memories and do not remember them all, but remembering seeing Alex Young at his best is something you never forget.

Paul, I think Tommy Ring had his first game at Goodison Park against Nottingham Forest, I think the score was 5--0 it had been raining and the Echo described the game at Muddison Park.

William Gall
40 Posted 29/06/2019 at 15:43:27
Stan #35.

Talking about the old leather footballs, I guess you never had the unfortunate pleasure of heading a volley off the goal line on the leather lace in the rain. Unfortunately, it happened to me twice and I think I have still got the headaches.

Someone may correct me but wasn't the laceless ball in the 60s made by a Scottish company called Thompson's?

Terry White
41 Posted 29/06/2019 at 16:13:16
Dave (#36), think you may want to review your comment that Reg. Matthews later played for Man Utd.

William (#40), Tommy Ring's first game for us was indeed against Nottm Forest, we won 6-1, no wonder we got excited about the team and our new signing. Eddie Thomas scored 3 that day, and another the following week, and then went to Blackburn as a part of the Vernon transfer. I believe Eddie played in the losing Blackburn team in the 1960 Cup final.

Jay (#33), I was at the game you mention, a wonderful evening game played early in the 1965-66 season. I remember the goal you mention although I think there is some poetic licence in saying that he scored from the halfway line! Alex got 3 that day, Fred Pickering 2.

Ron Sear
42 Posted 29/06/2019 at 16:15:04
Gerry @25

Think I remember the Charlton brothers' mum used to soak a leather ball in a bucket of water to give them realistic header practice before they joined Man Utd. Meanwhile, a little earlier, Everton players were having a quick fag and a pint, a half-hour before they went on to the pitch at Goodison. Times change.

Alan J Thompson
43 Posted 29/06/2019 at 17:14:15
A lot of Alex Young's skills have been listed above but he also had a hard streak about him.

Over Easter, there used to be return games against teams and one year we had Spurs and in the first game. One of their full-backs, either Kinnear or Knowles, put Alan Ball out with a bad tackle and, in the reverse game a few days later, Young took him on and shimmied one way then the other and the full back with legs apart received his comeuppance.

I remember also him sorting out one of the Solymosi (?) twins in the return game against Ujpest Doza at Goodison Park. Smooth as silk and as hard as nails.

Dave Abrahams
44 Posted 29/06/2019 at 17:28:07
Terry (43), yes well spotted, got him mixed up with Alex Stepney who did move from Chelsea to Man Utd a few years later for a record fee and played in the European Cup Final for United when they beat Benifica.

Thanks, Terry.

Clive Rogers
45 Posted 29/06/2019 at 17:49:11
David, #22, I was at that game. I was 17 at the time, and travelled with some older lads who took myself and my mate to the pub before kick off. We had three pints in quick succession.

Not having experienced much alcohol previously, I watched most of the first half with hazy double vision. Double golden vision when Alex had the ball. I do remember the penalty and the crush of the crowd but little else.

I went to the replay when I think their striker was Peter Knowles, brother of Cyril of Spurs. Peter gave up the game 3 years later to be a Jehovah's Witness.

Terry White
46 Posted 29/06/2019 at 18:07:22
You are welcome, Dave (#46).

Alex Stepney did indeed play for Chelsea (but only one game!) and then Man U. where he went on to have an excellent career. While a good goalie he was never "Alex the Great". Watch him pick the ball out of the net 3 times in the video of our 3-1 win in the first game of the 1967-68 season

Including, of course, The Golden Vision's wonderful third leaving Dunne and Stiles on their behinds before powering the ball into the goal. I can never watch that section of the video often enough. And look at some of the names playing that day for both sides. No wonder we are so nostalgic.

William Gall
47 Posted 29/06/2019 at 18:55:48
Terry, thank you for the correct score, and for some reason I remembered the Echo write-up of the game with a headline of (I believe) "Everton run Rings over Nottingham at Muddison Park".
Pete Lloyd
48 Posted 29/06/2019 at 20:03:05
Saw him play a few times but the only one I can remember was a league cup tie against Sunderland in about 68. Shimmied through their defence to score twice in the first five minutes, 2-0 up game over so they thought. Can’t remember him doing anything else for the next 85 mins whilst they scored three to win. (Neil Martin hat trick, I think). Typical!
Ed Prytherch
49 Posted 29/06/2019 at 20:08:57
Gerry 25, Tommy played in the first game that I ever attended. It was against Blackpool in April 1960 and my dad took me and my brother Geoff to Goodison. My dad was a Man City fan but he wanted us two boys to see Stanley Matthews before he retired. Everton had recently signed two new wingers, Tommy and Mickey Lill from Wolves. Roy Vernon got two that day and Geoff and I have been Everton supporters ever since. It is a pity that Tommy's career ended so soon after that.
Steve Carse
50 Posted 29/06/2019 at 20:22:15
One of the most unfortunate instances of the lack of footage of the Great Man in action is that in the 'Golden Vision' a few phases of the game at Goodison Park against Sheffield Utd are shown – but not the winning (?) goal from a move started and finished by Young himself.
Stan Schofield
51 Posted 30/06/2019 at 15:11:25
William @42: I did suffer that. Just heading a damp ball was hard enough (in fact, kicking it wasn't easy either!), but as you say, heading it on the laces was a killer.
Michael Kenrick
52 Posted 30/06/2019 at 20:47:23
I watched that Man Utd game the other day, Terry @46, and had to rewind three times to try and figure out exactly what Alex the Great did to get the ball between those two lumbering Red Devils who had him in a pincer movement.

But it's just a blur...

Suddenly, he's 3 yards ahead, inside the area and wham — into the roof of the net.

Terry White
53 Posted 30/06/2019 at 20:51:18
Just an example of Alex the Great, Michael (#52). Body movement, weight shift, lean one way and go the other, just mesmerising. And no messing around with the finish. Unforgettable.
Michael Kenrick
54 Posted 30/06/2019 at 20:59:53
Yea, Terry, simply brilliant.

I'm searching YouTube for the footage Steve Carse (@50) mentions but I thought the clips in this one were against Arsenal, not Sheffield Utd. I can't find any coverage of Everton playing The Blades in the Young era.

Terry White
55 Posted 30/06/2019 at 21:27:58
I don't know about footage against Sheff Utd either, Michael (#54).

You can see his goal away to Wolves in the championship season courtesy of an inch-perfect through ball from Roy Vernon. Otherwise, "The Golden Vision" aside, I do not know of any match footage.

Interesting, I thought, in the Man Utd game, while Ball's two goals were scrambled in, Young's goal was a thing of beauty.

Robert Williams
56 Posted 30/06/2019 at 21:42:47
Not a lot that I can add to some of these comments apart from 'I was there'.

My undying recollection is of Alex rising up to head the ball for a goal. I was near the corner flag and, just as his head was about to make contact with the ball, the whole crowd surged downwards and I went flying – I never saw the goal – but I saw many more after that little episode. He was certainly MY Golden Vision I remember him well AND I was there and proud to have been.

Oh yes, another of my all-time greats of that era was Jimmy McIlroy of Burnley. He was some player too.

Brent Stephens
57 Posted 30/06/2019 at 23:22:54
Ah, the Golden Ghost. Just watched it again through beer goggles. Sublime skills.
Terry White
58 Posted 01/07/2019 at 00:38:17
I think the best word to describe Young's play is "Balance". He was never off-balance and this is what enabled him to make so many look foolish.
Gerry Ring
59 Posted 01/07/2019 at 08:40:51
Paul #37.

I'm very, proud of my cousin Tommy, whom Alex Young described as “a superstar from the north” who had the likes of Dave McKay kicking at fresh air. The only regret I have is not sitting down and recording his stories about Everton and his time at Goodison.

Tommy, like Alex Young, didn't really appreciate how good he was and didn't talk much about football. How Scotland left him out of the 1958 World Cup travelling squad is still a mystery but, had he been playing for Celtic or Rangers, I'm sure he'd have been there. He's still the only 2nd Division player ever to represent Scotland (I think!).

Anyway, it's great that he's appreciated at Everton, it means a lot.

Ray Short
60 Posted 01/07/2019 at 09:08:52
I don't remember who we were playing or the final score but I will never forget standing in the Paddock and seeing Alex float up, and wait in the air until the corner arrived for him to gently head it into the goal. I was there! it did happen!
Chris Hockenhull
61 Posted 01/07/2019 at 11:44:55
I first went to Goodison Park in November 1963 so I 'saw' Alex quite a lot thereafter but... I'm ashamed to say my boyhood memories of actual games are a lot clearer from 66-67 and soon thereafter, Alex was gone as the boyhood blur confused what brilliance I obviously witnessed.

But here lies my point - that others have adhered to..the awful lack of footage of the fantastic stuff that we played through the 60's. There's shed fulls of RS stuff out there and yet tha fantastic performances from 68-70 are really on one hand and once again Everton - as a club - failed to cash in on the rise of TV coverage and the infamous banning/ restricting tv footage lagging behind most of the other clubs.

Go on YouTube and see the Liverpool, Man Utd, Man City and Leeds stuff that is on offer. All our stuff is not available for younger fans to see what us oldies bang on about so they are in the dark. It's just memories for the rest of us and I find it absolutely criminal that there is so so little of not just Alex but Kendall, Ball, Harvey, West, Labone, and Wilson in blue shirts to look back on and reaffirm that we didn't make those memories but they really happened.

What a bummer... but it confirms that Everton FC were behind the times way back when, so younger fans – nothing new there!!!

Alan J Thompson
62 Posted 01/07/2019 at 15:06:27
Chris(#61); I think most of that is due to Harry Catterick who was no fan as he thought being on TV gave away too much of the game plan and what the players could do.
Steve Carse
63 Posted 01/07/2019 at 16:42:24
Michael (54), Terry (55), I have to admit it's many years since I last took another look at the Golden Vision but, whilst Arsenal away was the focus of the second half of the film, I seem to recall that there are clips of a match at Goodison Park earlier in it. I've always believed that match to be against Sheffield Utd.
David France
64 Posted 01/07/2019 at 23:21:10
Steve (64), Ken Loach used footage from two home games in November 1967 - one against City, the other against Sheffield United. Unfortunately, the film crew had just run out of film before Alex scored his late winner against the Blades.

I hope you enjoyed the film - warts and all.

Phil Lewis
65 Posted 02/07/2019 at 02:13:28
Chris #61

LIke you, Chris, my memories of Alex Young are a little blurred. My Dad took me to Goodison from when I was about 7 years old. I remember us signing Young and Thompson together. But in truth my first vivid memories are as a 10 year old watching the Title-winning side of '63 from the Boys Pen, of which he played such a prominent part.

My brothers were much older than me and Alex Young was idolised in our home. As I got into my teens and old enough to truly appreciate him, he frustrated me so much, as he spent so much time out of action due to blistered feet and other injuries. I seem to remember a Western series on the telly at that time called 'Tenderfoot' and being teased by my Kopite schoolmates, because that's the nickname the Echo gave him. So truthfully, his undoubted magic was limited, due to injury in the latter part of that decade. But what a football artist. A genius on his day.

My personal football hero was and always will be Alan Ball. I am blessed to have seen them occasionally playing together for Everton, where they demonstrated a great understanding with each other. Even though Alex was in the twighlight of his Everton career, Ball was quick to heap praise on Young's talents. I have always thought it is such a pity that they didn't play for an extended period in the same side at the peak of their careers.

Dave Abrahams
66 Posted 02/07/2019 at 16:52:12
Not many people mention the fact that Alex was nearly lost to Everton before we eventually signed him.

Ironically it was the former Everton manager Cliff Britton who had clinched a deal to sign him for Preston North End. Alex had agreed terms with that club, then the PNE board haggled over the fee and Everton, through Johnny Carey with John Moores's money, got him for Everton.

When looking back, I doubt that, if Harry Catterick had been Everton's manager at that time, we would have signed him. What a loss that would have been.

Alan J Thompson
67 Posted 04/07/2019 at 09:49:51
Dave(#66); There was also a story that I cannot verify that Everton almost sold Young to Shankly and the deal was supposed to be finalized in the Prince of Wales pub in Southport but when Shankly turned up Alex was three parts to the wind and the whole thing was called off.

Anyone else ever hear this story?

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