Everton v Rangers 1963

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Wondering why the British Championship home match against Glasgow Rangers was on 3 December when the match programme says 2 December 1963?

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Michael Kenrick
Editorial Team
1 Posted 16/05/2020 at 10:04:42
Hi Stephen,

I wonder where you're seeing the 3 December date? — Hopefully not here on ToffeeWeb!

All the information sources I have checked show the game was played on 2 December 1963 — including this first-hand report from Stewart Oakes that we carried a couple of years back about The Day I've Been Dreading, which sadly marked the death of the Golden Vision himself, Alex Young, who scored Everton's goal to win the British Championship that night.

Derek Thomas
2 Posted 16/05/2020 at 10:43:58
I was there but I can't remember the exact day. I believe we were still the undefeated champions. Back in the day, we played midweek games... unless it was under special circumstances... on Tuesdays. It must be a misprint on the programme as 3 December 1963 was a Tuesday... a look-up by those flush enough to have access to newspaper archive, will settle it.

Whatever night it was, a proper rabble it was that turned up as well. I believe they had a 50-piece pipe band in the little pub on the corner. Blood and snot everywhere... and that was just the women. Stevie Me-La has found his second spiritual home.

Dave Abrahams
3 Posted 16/05/2020 at 11:01:05
Derek (2), the fighting started early in the afternoon in town and carried on ‘til the trains started leaving for Glasgow.

One of the Rangers fans had a silver shield, with some slogan about his team on it. Anyway, he was using the shield to direct the light from the floodlights into the eyes of Everton players taking corners. He was easily recognised, he was the only sober Rangers fan in the ground, but a twat like the rest of them.

Michael Kenrick
4 Posted 16/05/2020 at 11:37:07
Derek @2,

I don't think it's a misprint. The game0 was played on Monday, 2 December. Just like it says on't programme.

Check out Everton's Record in 1963-64, from Steve Johnson's definitive Everton Results site.

Ray Roche
5 Posted 16/05/2020 at 11:45:23
Dave, I was at that game, my over riding memory is of drunken Glaswegians, bottles being thrown, and me and me Dad exiting after the match as fast as we could. Sub-human doesn't do them justice.
John McFarlane Snr
6 Posted 16/05/2020 at 12:30:08
Hi Dave [3] and Ray [5],

I too was at that match though I remember nothing of the game. I worked at that time for Pelling, Stanley & Green, (John West) in Stanley Street, opposite the Tobacco Warehouse on Great Howard Street.

On boarding the 27 bus at the top of Hopwood Street, I was met by a gang of Rangers fans running up and down the stairs shouting "Where do the Beatles live?" This was at least 2½ hours before the game, time enough for me to arrive home and have my tea before going to the match.

I have vivid memories of fans fighting in the old Park End stand, and I'll never understand how no-one fell on to we spectators below. For years I've had it in my mind that Ralph Brand scored for Rangers, but it appears from a report of the game that Sandy Brown conceded an own goal. Perhaps Brand scored the Rangers goal in the 3-1 Everton victory at Ibrox.

Ray Robinson
7 Posted 16/05/2020 at 13:35:31
According to my book "Everton - A Complete Record 1878 - 1985", the match was held on 2 Dec 1963 with Alex Young scoring the goal in a 1-1 draw. Everton won the first leg in Glasgow 3-1 on 27 November with Scott, Temple and Young scoring.

Strangely enough, I remember seeing highlights of the away match at the cinema on the interval program that used to feature a round-up of news and sport – was it called Pathé news or something like that? It featured a cock crowing at the start, I seem to remember!

Dave Abrahams
8 Posted 16/05/2020 at 14:07:14
Ray (7), I think Andy Rankin saved a penalty in the first leg at Glasgow.
George McKane
9 Posted 16/05/2020 at 14:17:07
It was Monday, I remember it. The absolute craziness and drunkenness of The Rangers fans – bottles and fighting – for a "friendly". Wowww.
Ray Robinson
10 Posted 16/05/2020 at 15:11:39
Dave #8, apparently not. West started both games and there were no substitutes back then.
Ray Atherton
11 Posted 16/05/2020 at 16:31:52
I was coming back from a London game and a few mates. We got the train at Euston and the Everton players were on board.

We were talking to the players Roy Vernon, Alex Young etc. Three of the lads told the players that they were going up to Ibrox. Alex Scott, who played for Glasgow Rangers, told the lads "Don't go up there," and that they were mental.

A Rangers fan hit a man over his head in City Road, they were mental.

John McFarlane Snr
12 Posted 16/05/2020 at 17:14:23
Hi Dave [8],

I've just checked and Andy Rankin played in both games, and as you state, he saved a Ralph Brand penalty in the first encounter. I can remember one of the Everton directors saying that Rankin was 'outstanding' that evening, I think it was Holland Hughes.

As I said in my previous post, I remember nothing of the match at Goodison, but I certainly recall the occasion.

Terry White
13 Posted 16/05/2020 at 17:41:21
Ray (#10), West played in goal in both games the previous season (1962) in the Fairs Cup loss to Dunfermline Athletic. Same country, different teams. Easily confused.
Ray Robinson
14 Posted 16/05/2020 at 18:06:11
Dave, John, Terry, I should never have doubted your phenomenal memories! I remember all the games mentioned results wise but am never very good at remembering line-ups. Only going on what my previously infallible book stated! Clearly you have all discovered a factual error.
Terry White
15 Posted 16/05/2020 at 18:26:36
Ray, as Michael has suggested (#4), I highly recommend looking at Steve Johnson's excellent results site for all the information you can possibly need to know and remember. While I was in attendance at most of the games in the '60s, any memories I have of these games are supported by Steve's work. I try to give credit where credit is due.
John McFarlane Snr
16 Posted 16/05/2020 at 18:39:57
Hi Ray [14],

Some quite obscure things last a lifetime, while other more important things are difficult or nigh-on impossible to recall readily. As I approach my 82nd birthday, I find myself having to use the safety-net of my books to refresh my memories on a more regular basis.

There is one thing that has bugged me for many years and that is, I recall going into the army in 1956 when the Football Echo (which my late sister posted to me every week) was a white broadsheet. I even have somewhere in the house, a copy of the 'Echo' celebrating the 1966 World Cup victory, and that is a white broadsheet.

I would be eternally grateful if someone could put my mind at rest by confirming that the pink Echo has not been published before the early 60s. I have read somewhere reference to the 'Football Pink', but I suspect that was a general description of all football publications.

Ray Robinson
17 Posted 16/05/2020 at 18:42:10
Terry, the book I was referring to was written by Ian Ross and Gordon Smailes. I also have the excellent "Everton - The Official Complete Guide" by Steve Johnson but, curiously, I can find no reference to the above matches in it.

John, I am a mere youngster compared with you, being a full 15 years your junior, so can't help there I'm afraid! Are you sure the World Cup Special wasn't a special commemorative issue? I only remember the Pink Echo being pink, dating back to the '70s.

John McFarlane Snr
18 Posted 16/05/2020 at 19:35:28
Hi Ray [17],

Regarding the Ian Ross & Gordon Smailes book 'Everton – A Complete Record 1878-1985', there is mention of both British Championship games (page 234) but they have Gordon West in goal on each occasion – an obvious error. Andy Rankin took over from West on 16 November 1963, until 18 January 1964, West returning in goal the following week 25 January 1964. As the Rangers games were 27 November and 2 December 1963, this shows a distinct error.

With regards to the 'Football Echo', it may have been a World Cup Special but that doesn't change my belief that, certainly in the late 50s, it was a white broadsheet.

Ray Robinson
19 Posted 16/05/2020 at 19:47:05
Hi John, it's in the other book by Steve Johnson that I can find no reference to the Rangers games.
Dave Abrahams
20 Posted 16/05/2020 at 21:03:56
Ray (14)memories can play strange tricks with your mind.

Answering Ray’s query which I looked up re Everton winning 4-2 at Villa park, I noticed that three months later Villa battered us 4-1 in a cup game in 1959, now I was at the game and I would have bet a few pound that Gerry Hitchens, the Villa centre forward later transferred to an Italian team, scored a hat trick, convinced of it, but he didn’t, it was a player I don’t remember who did, not sure if Hitchens scored the other goal.

Michael Kenrick
21 Posted 16/05/2020 at 22:35:02
John (#18),

In a later edition of the book, 'updated and amended from the first two editions', they corrected the error; Rankin is in goal for both games (page 401).

Patrick McFarlane
22 Posted 16/05/2020 at 22:56:34
Dave # 20

Ron Wylie the former West Brom manager was the scorer of a hat-trick in that FA Cup tie. Dave Hickson scored for Everton and I assume it was Peter McParland who got the other Villa goal, according to good old Wikipedia McParland holds a unique place in English football history as the first player in the game to score in and win both English major domestic knockout Finals.
Villa FA Cup

Tom Bowers
23 Posted 16/05/2020 at 22:57:43
Remember that game well. Rangers fans arrived in the City early and most were already pissed. Come the game they were totally out of it and just threw everything they could get their hands on (bottles included) at us who were standing in front of them on the old Goodison Rd. terrace.
Patrick McFarlane
24 Posted 16/05/2020 at 23:17:31
Whilst looking up the details of the Aston Villa cup-tie I came across this article, I hope others find it interesting.

February 17, 1959. The Liverpool Echo and Evening Express
With Leslie Edwards
The longer you live the more you appreciate that there is little new under the sun. The first floodlit soccer match at Goodison Park was not last season, but sixty years ago. Mr. Ralph Fry, uncle of the famous one-time England and Rugby player, Mr. Harry Fry, was at the match which was played under Wells lights –a tar fluid with a naked flame under pressure was fed from drums on the ground, the burners elevated on poles. Mr. Fry, then a small boy, had good cause to remember the game –he thinks it was against West Bromwich –because the supply pipe near him burst and he got some of the stinging fluid in his eyes. "There were personalities in the teams of yesteryear, just as famous as today" says Mr. Fry. "Daddy Holt, a diminutive centre half was able to out-head the tallest opponents by the simple expedient of putting his hands on the other fellow's shoulders. He usually got away with it and to the plaudits of the crowd! "There were plenty of fist fights on the terraces at 'Derby' games, public-houses being open from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. When Everton and later Liverpool, at first played at Anfield they dressed at John Houlding's pub the Sandon and after the match had to run the gauntlet of a back-slapping crowd of people, some too hearty slaps being hotly resented by defeated opponents. "It was good business for John Houlding, who really got Everton going. It was his ground opposite his house in Anfield Road, but when the Everton club began to prosper there was a spilt as Houndling wished to recoup himself; and the other directors, objecting, brought the piece of what was then waste land and formed Goodison Park.
Painless Extractions
"You recently replied that Spion Kop was opened in 1928. So far as the cover is concerned that is correct, but the Kop as a mound was in existence long before that, of course. Tom Watson, then the Liverpool Secretary gave it its name at the time, when during the Boar War, General Bulkler was trying to capture an eminence in South Africa known as Spion Kop. "The original ground was at Walton-on-the-Hill; the site of the Spion Kop at Everton. It was a place where we had our games of football with a tanner-meg ball. It was also the site of Hombwell's Circus with Seqush an Indian healer, there to extract teeth painlessly. The band which struck up as he began his dentistry made such a din no sound could be heard from the victim! "Tom Watson came from Sunderland at a salary of £000 per annum. He was secretary manager and general factotum, and certainly put Liverpool F.C., on the map. It makes you think."

John McFarlane Snr
25 Posted 16/05/2020 at 23:20:50
Hi John [aka Patrick], [22] I was in Cyprus when that match was played, and when we weren't bothered by something we used to say "It's bit of buck'' A Staff Sergeant [Staff Coombes] was a Villa fan who constantly gave me stick, he was on a troop ship heading home to Blighty looking forward to his demob, and he sent me a postcard from Malta which read, "Is it still a bit of buck''? You hadn't arrived on the scene at that time having made your debut in April.
Patrick McFarlane
26 Posted 16/05/2020 at 23:27:55
HI John yeah I arrived after the Wolves defeat at Goodison in April, did they win the title that day or were they already champions? Good to see you are relatively fine, might be a while before we attend a game though.
Terry White
27 Posted 16/05/2020 at 23:41:20
The away defeat at Dumfermline can be seen on YouTube along with a beaten Gordon West.


John McFarlane Snr
28 Posted 16/05/2020 at 23:51:12
Hi John [26] Wolves won the League by 6 points [61], ahead of Manchester United [55] in the era when it was 2 points for win, [three games] so the answer appears to be yes they were already champions. I think it definitely will be a while, until we can attend matches, and I have no intention of watching a game staged in an empty stadium.
Patrick McFarlane
29 Posted 16/05/2020 at 23:52:55
Cheers John, I agree watching a match without a crowd in attendance isn't for me either.
Dave Abrahams
30 Posted 17/05/2020 at 10:35:21
Patrick (22), yes Peter McFarland a good strong Irish international winger, a no-nonsense player who gave it out but could take it back. He was the player who shoulder charged the Man Utd goalkeeper, Wood or Woods, in the FA Cup Final (1957?). The ‘keeper had to play on the wing for the rest of the game, although he could hardly move, and Jackie Blanchflower, brother of Danny, went in goal. Under that handicap, Man Utd lost 2-1.
Derek Thomas
31 Posted 17/05/2020 at 11:12:42
I think watching via TV with no spectators will affect the actual match go-ers who are used to 'being there'. The more far-flung viewers don't get the vocal full immersion anyway as, in their wisdom, Sky place their microphones showing their usual unbiased fairness.

You get live forum comments on how the crowd seems 'subdued' and the only cheers you hear are from 150 Sky darlings away supporters via the strategically placed mics, only to be told how it was rocking.

There may even be an unintended consequence that Sky 6 'homer' Refs won't have a crowd to keep on the right side off.

Also, no more YAWN to awe the weak-minded. Play it if they must... and they will find a way. But all it is, is, a mawkish, tinny sounding, mono, 60s version of a 50s show tune sung by a singer who could barely carry a tune in a bucket... and it wasn't even the show stopper of the original musical.

John McFarlane Snr
32 Posted 17/05/2020 at 12:26:31
Hi John, [Patrick 24],

I'm not saying that the floodlight tale isn't true, but I've neither heard nor read of it. I do know, however, that Everton were known by the name of the 'Moonlight Dribblers' because they trained on Stanley Park in the evenings. They were also known as the Black Watch, this was because some players wore the shirts of previous clubs, and with the club unable to buy a new strip, dyed the shirts black and added a red sash. I'll try to find out more of the floodlight story.

Patrick McFarlane
33 Posted 17/05/2020 at 14:14:49
Hi John #32,

I dug this reference up from the Echo: Floodlit Games.

It appears there was an attempt to play games under the 'lights' in the very early days but obviously the recollections of those reporting in 1959, were suspect. Apparently Sheffield United were the first club to experiment with this new-fangled idea:

The first floodlit match.

Extract from the Echo's article:

Everton's early Victorian nickname was the Moonlight Dribblers, given for their habit of training in the evening on Stanley Park.

But when Everton were residents of Anfield they did briefly experiment with floodlit football.

That game, against Sheffield United, took place on January 9, 1890 and such was the interest in the experiment that 8,000 spectators turned up to see the 5-2 victory.

“16 Wells Patent Lights were erected 25 feet above the Anfield ground and the matchball was painted white so it could be more easily picked out in the ghostly glow.”

Two days later, another floodlit match against Lancashire Nomads attracted only 3,000 and the evening games on Merseyside went into cold storage for another 60 years.

The new pioneers of floodlit football in the 1950s were Swindon and South Liverpool, who used lights in September 1949 to highlight a match against a touring Nigerian XI at Holly Park, Garston in front of 13,007 people.

Everton followed suit eight years later, and the Daily Post report actually suggested why the grass looks greener at night matches.

“The beginning of the season is the best time to see floodlit soccer,” it reported. “When pitches become churned and muddy in winter the dull earth will absorb much of the light, instead of reflecting it as a good crop of grass will.”

Patrick McFarlane
34 Posted 17/05/2020 at 14:42:29
Meant to include this from the match report on the Everton v Sheffield United match:

The fact of the match being played under such remarkable circumstance of course attracted a great deal of attention, and when the match commenced the crowd could not have numbered less than 8,000 persons. The ball was painted white in order that it might more easily be discerned. The sight of the players sprinting about the field somewhat phantom like, and the sea of faces round the barriers, brought into strong relief by the lights, formed a most curious and weirdly picture when the start was made at the signal given by the referee with a foghorn instead of a whistle.

I've never heard of the game being started with anything other than a whistle before.

John McFarlane Snr
35 Posted 17/05/2020 at 16:08:19
Hi John [24],

I was aware of the Sheffield United game which took place in 1878, 10 years before the formation of the Football League. Like yourself, I have never heard of a game being started to the sound of a foghorn.

It's obviously true that the game took place, but it must have been a friendly because there's no mention of it in league records.

I know a number of clubs experimented with lights without success, but apparently they operated successfully in Scotland at Cathkin Park. I don't know if was a game featuring Third Lanark.

Andy McGuffog
36 Posted 17/05/2020 at 16:45:10
Not sure if it was the Rangers game, or when Celtic were down to play Liverpool, but it was reported that a group of merry Glaswegian were stopping traffic around Lime Street or William Brown Street. Amongst the traffic held up were a couple of bin wagons. A bunch of Liverpool waste technicians and refuse operatives threw a gang of pissed Scots into the back of their wagons and drove off to drop them on the city boundary.
John McFarlane Snr
37 Posted 17/05/2020 at 22:30:42
Hi John, I've traced the Everton vs Sheffield United game: Everton did win 5-2 with goals from James Weir (2), Dan Doyle, Dan Kirkwood, and Alf Milward.

As I stated in my earlier post, I have never heard of any Everton game being played under experimental floodlighting, It just reinforces the fact that you're 'never too old to learn'.

David Peate
38 Posted 19/05/2020 at 09:22:31
Not all the Rangers fans were inebriated. My usual watching place was just in front of the clock. Here, there were about a dozen Rangers supporters and they were well behaved. They were embarrassed with their fellow Glaswegians.

Liverpool suffered the same Scottish invasion when they played Celtic and the violence was evident both on and off the field.

In the 1940s and 1950s the Football Echo (as it was called) was a white broadsheet. I never took this paper after 1960 so I do not know about the Pink Echo.

Tony Hill
39 Posted 19/05/2020 at 12:50:34
Rangers fans were equally disgusting when they went to Manchester in 2008 for the Uefa Cup Final. Vile.
John McFarlane Snr
40 Posted 19/05/2020 at 13:22:47
Hi David [38], You've made my day. You will see from my post [16] on this thread, that I have stated that the Liverpool Echo football edition in the 1950s was a white broadsheet; you are the only one to confirm this.

I struggled for years to convince people that the stands at Goodison were painted green and cream in the same period. This was confirmed recently in an Everton match-day programme.

My next mission is to find someone who can remember the Echo stating that the West Indies cricketer, Gary Sobers, was having goalkeeping trials at Everton. I claim that this was printed in the summer of 1959, when I was demobbed from the Army.

Karl Masters
41 Posted 19/05/2020 at 21:45:03
Rangers caused a load of problems at Dave Watson's testimonial at Goodison in July 1997, I recall.

Back in the '70s, they were a popular choice for testimonials as they'd always bring loads to swell the coffers. Sadly, there were always problems. I remember a riot at Villa Park in 1976, and weren't there problems at Tommy Wright's Goodison testimonial in May 1975?

When the British Championship was revived during the post-Heysel European ban days, we met them in1987 as Champions of our respective countries. Initially it was due to be a one-off played at Maine Road, Manchester. Unsurprisingly the GMP Police didn't like the idea of pissed up Jocks and Scousers running riot in Manc-land so it was moved to Dubai! A 1-1 draw, think we lost on penalties?

The Watson testimonial was the last time we played them, I think, as the bother the Protestant bigots caused in England's most Catholic City meant to a Police force in their right mind, who would sanction them visiting again?

Karl Masters
42 Posted 19/05/2020 at 21:45:03
What is it with Jocks on tour?
Dave Abrahams
43 Posted 20/05/2020 at 09:29:36
Karl (42),

Drink, and plenty of it.

Without drink, Glaswegians and Scousers have plenty in common, especially their love of football.

David Hamilton
44 Posted 21/05/2020 at 10:30:50
Ray #5. I was there as a 10-year-old and my abiding memory is of the bottles being thrown. Horrendous.
Ken Rushton
45 Posted 21/05/2020 at 16:05:24
On Friday 15th May we lost a great Evertonian in Ian Callister. Cally for years was the Echo man for Chester and Cheshire. Our pre-match watering hole was the Springfield Hotel on County Road. Sadly we will be unable due to the present restrictions to give Cal the true blue farewell he deserved. Among so many tales he could relate was on that crazy night in 63 he was injured by a stray bottle hurled in Goodison Road.
R.I. P. Cal.

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