Strange... scary even, when concepts you have always held to have been set in stone, are challenged.

Let me set the scene. I shall achieve the age of 67 years in a month or so, the Great Spirit allowing. Age is, I think, important here...

An evening or two ago, drinking with a couple of chaps, one a kopite, in their 50s, I pointed out that the expression, now in common use: "A taxi for...", derived from the day that Everton Manager Johnny Carey got his P45 from Everton Chairman John Moores in the back of a taxi. I have always held this to be a universal truth, a bit like Kopites are Gobshites.

Imagine my incredulity when my fellow drinkers had no idea what I was on about.
Please reassure me that I haven't been rolling them too thick over the decades. I would value the views of the esteemed readership of these pages.

Reader Comments (10)

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Rob Halligan
1 Posted 07/03/2020 at 20:52:07
I thought it was common knowledge among older Everton fans about Carry being sacked in the back of a taxi. This is a little extract taken from his Wikipedia page:

He then became manager at Everton but, despite leading them to fifth place in the 1960–61 season, their highest post-war position, he was sacked in the back of a taxi by director John Moores. As a result, the jibe, 'Taxi for... !' has become a staple insult offered to any manager facing the threat of the sack.

John McFarlane Snr
2 Posted 07/03/2020 at 21:19:35
Hi Alan, Johnny Carey was indeed told his services were no longer required by John Moores in a taxi, they had been attending a Football League meeting in London.

I've read somewhere that the decision wasn't as cold-blooded as it is often recorded, the version I've got vague memories of is that Carey, when he suspected his fate, insisted that he be told immediately.

Alan McGuffog
3 Posted 07/03/2020 at 21:25:58
Thanks, Rob; thanks, John. You've confirmed what I've always known to be the case.

I was astounded that many people didn't seem to know this. Then again, it was 60 years ago.

Rob Dolby
4 Posted 07/03/2020 at 21:34:35
Alan, I am 50, know the phrase, and have unfortunately used it a lot.

Don't forget, if it didn't involve our lovable neighbours, it didn't happen, Hence Gobshites.

Dave Abrahams
5 Posted 07/03/2020 at 21:37:07
I go along with John Macs version, Johnnie Carey would have been told he was getting the bullet when they got back to the hotel, he had got wind of this and insisted being told there and then in the taxi, so John Moores told him.

To rub salt into the wound, Moores left Johnnie to pay for the cab!!!

[No, I made that part up.]

John Keating
6 Posted 07/03/2020 at 21:43:30
Yes, he was... but I can't recall any sort of prior notice or idea he was on the way out – apart from a few poor results and the usual moans.

Mind you, there were only the papers that gave us the low down then. I seem to remember lots of surprise when Harry Catterick was announced that next week.

Johnny Carey's sacking was well planned by Moores though I suspect not the way – nor in the place – it actually happened.

John McFarlane Snr
7 Posted 07/03/2020 at 21:49:51
Hi Dave [5],

It happened on a Friday, and Everton beat Cardiff City 5-1 the following day. I knew a lad whose wife worked at Goodison, and he told me that Harry Catterick was being made manager – before the appointment was made public – so it appears that 'skulduggery' isn't just a part of the modern game.

Peter Mills
8 Posted 08/03/2020 at 09:00:02
Alan. Strange... scary even. You were drinking with a kopite?
Dave Abrahams
9 Posted 08/03/2020 at 09:07:29
John (7), it has since come out that Harry Catterick resigned his post at Sheffield Wednesday a couple of weeks before Carey got his briefs. I didn't know that at the time, it would have been obvious where Catterick was going; he was being noticed by several clubs around that time.

John Moores was no fool; if you didn't come up to his high standards, you went. Johnnie didn't... so he was sacked.

Alan McGuffog
10 Posted 08/03/2020 at 09:26:09
Peter... my Probation Officer says it's called Community Payback or summat?

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