My Favourite Game: Everton v Bayern Munich 1985

Thursday, 26 March, 2020 25comments  |  Jump to last
Jamie Fahey recalls the game that made the biggest impression on him – as a 13-year-old ballboy on an iconic night at Goodison Park.

» Read the full article at The Guardian


Reader Comments (25)

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Michael Kenrick
Editorial Team
1 Posted 26/03/2020 at 09:12:13
Many thanks to Fraser Linkleter for alerting us to this one.
Phil Parker
2 Posted 26/03/2020 at 12:16:02
Our last European home game for ten years Steau Bucharest beat Vejle of Denmark (who?) Budapest Honved, Kuusyi of Finland (who?) and Anderlecht to get to what would have been our first final year in 86...only 4 ties in those years.

English clubs had won 7 of the previous 9 European cups. The final was the worst football match in living memory, 0-0 after 2 hours, then pens, Barcelona missed ALL theirs pens, Steau scored 2.

The following year, the winners Porto played Rabat Ajax of Malta (who), Vitkovice (who), Brondby and Dynamo Kiev. Beat Bayern in the final. Some say we would not have won it back then. I beg to differ. I am certain we would have.

Keith Dempsey
3 Posted 26/03/2020 at 15:15:38
I've suffered the injustice heaped on us in those years, but your post Phil has really twisted the knife a few more turns.
Derek Knox
4 Posted 26/03/2020 at 15:31:23
I can proudly say I attended that match, and indeed it is probably the best atmosphere I have ever experienced at the Old Lady. The match was thrown into a anxious half time, as Bayern were leading by the one goal.

I always remember one player for them as being one dirty player, Norbert Nachweiller I think was his name, he was tackling and bringing all of our players down he came in contact with. At least they all got up and carried on, as the crowd got more and more behind them.

What a night and as the goals went in, a realisation that we were on one of the top stages and competing and winning.

Phil Lewis
5 Posted 27/03/2020 at 09:41:02
I was with my son, Philip, who was 14 at the time, for that wonderful match. We were in our usual 'speck' in Gladys Street, behind the second barrier from the front, halfway between the church and the goalposts.

I'd been taking him since he was about 7 years old. In those days, you could slip the turnstile operators the 'price of a pint' and they would let you lift little kids over the top without paying 'full whack' for them. So my little boy spent his formative years perched on top of a barrier every other Saturday, watching dismal displays from Gordon Lee's charges, interspersed with occasional flashes of brilliant showmanship from 'dazzling' Duncan Mckenzie.

Kendall arrived as player manager. I had regaled my boy with tales of the 'Holy Trinity' and hailed the return of Kendall as the coming of The Messiah! Alas, his early buys, bought with a flourish, turned out to be duds, with the exception of a certain Neville Southall. My lad was unimpressed. What was the fuss I was making of this Kendall fella all about?

And then, as if by magic, it all came together. Culminating in that never-to-be-forgotten night against Bayern. The sheer ecstasy of it!! My beautiful little boy, by then a young teenager, stood alongside me, hugged and kissed me, tears streaming down his face at the final whistle. "You were right all along, dad. I knew you wouldn't let me down!"

I didn't make Rotterdam, but my son did. I'm eternally grateful for that, as sadly, he died suddenly a few years later at the age of 19. At least he got to see his beloved blues at their very best.

Steve Guy
6 Posted 27/03/2020 at 13:27:45
I was there! It's a proud boast for 40,000 of us who were privileged to see one of the (if not the) greatest game I've seen in 50 years following Everton. It had everything. I was in the Upper Bullens and, when the goals went in, I thought the stand was going to collapse! Grown men crying tears of joy at the end.

I then got to Rotterdam too. What a team we were then. No contest. I'm still convinced that with a week's rest we'd have won the treble. Two days to recover from that game before we played the Cup Final?! Wouldn't happen today.

Peter Mills
7 Posted 27/03/2020 at 19:34:06
We were pretty dirty ourselves that night.
It was great.
Dave Abrahams
8 Posted 27/03/2020 at 19:42:29
Peter (7), two lines there, Peter, and two massive understatements!!!
John Steadman
9 Posted 27/03/2020 at 19:43:05
That was some night, the atmosphere was electric. Never seen Goodison rock like it did that night, still get a tingle now thinking about it.

We had some team in those days, we could and did out-football teams, but we could also dig in and be nasty when required. 35 years later and still the vast majority of that team would walk into any team we have had since.

Hopefully we are now moving in the right direction and just might get some more great nights down by the river.

John Hughes
10 Posted 27/03/2020 at 20:08:24
Blimey, Phil. Just as present events demonstrate, football really does pale into insignificance at times. So sorry for your loss but so pleased that your lad witnessed arguably the best Everton side in history. Keep safe mate.
Allan Board
11 Posted 27/03/2020 at 20:27:19
An amazing game played at 100mph. I somehow don't think today's luvvies would be out there for more than 5 mins! Because of the ban, the true greatness of that group was never realised. Just take a look at how big, quick and powerful the full-backs were – not seen the likes of them again at Everton. Yes, player's are more technical now, but if you get after them they look pretty ordinary really.
Peter Mills
12 Posted 27/03/2020 at 20:41:13
Phil #5. Lovely post.
Ian Smitham
13 Posted 28/03/2020 at 01:19:26
Phil#5. Respect, thanks for sharing.
Shaun Robinson
14 Posted 28/03/2020 at 07:31:42
A mate of mine came to the Bayern game (pay at the turnstile then) who has been all over watching his team, Bolton, as well as England in a few World Cups and to this day he says that was the best atmosphere he's ever experienced. Will anything ever match it?
Tony Abrahams
15 Posted 28/03/2020 at 08:16:49
I'm sure it will, Shaun, we have just got to keep believing, otherwise what exactly is the point?

I was watching games from the past the other day and the Man City game came on against QPR when Scourge Aguero won them the league in the 94th minute, with Man Utd players waiting on the pitch to celebrate, and suddenly the Stadium of Light went pitch black on them!

Man City were losing until the 91st minute, and my thoughts instantly went to Usmanov, and my imagination started perking right up. All the hurt they've ever suffered, all the stick they've ever taken, must have evaporated in an instant for those delirious Man City fans.

I hope I'm there when the same thing happens to us Evertonians, fans who have stood the test of time as good as any others.

Munich was incredible, probably the greatest night Glorious Goodison has ever seen, they say the crowd was heard by Picton Clock (6.5 miles away as the crow flies).

I remember reading Alex Ferguson's programme notes one time when he said he was very lucky to be present, taken by the late and great Jock Stein, and it gave him an introduction into how special European nights can be.

Bigger things on our minds right now, but thanks for the reminder T/W, especially because I'm convinced “The Old Lady” has got to see a bit more glory before she finally closes the door!

Gerard McKean
16 Posted 28/03/2020 at 14:23:59
Phil #5, it took courage to share that story with all of us, thank you. Borrowing from a famous inscription, you were a good footballer, you remain a gentleman and an Evertonian!

Peter #7, perfectly put!

Dave Abrahams
17 Posted 28/03/2020 at 14:41:40
Phil (5), what a great night that was for all of us who were there, and I watch the highlights now and again and relive that wonderful never to be forgotten night. I bet you do to and experience the joy mixed with sadness of that night and memories of your son.

That last paragraph was so very sad to read and I, fortunately, can only imagine the pain you went through losing your your lovely boy.

Kieran Kinsella
18 Posted 28/03/2020 at 14:45:12
Allan 11,

I didn't see it live as I was about a year away from learning about football but I watched it recently on YouTube.

It was amazing to see the speed and ferocity. It was much more like like a boxing match or a gladiator fight than modern football. Not literally (e.g. punching) but with respect to the physicality, the 100% commitment, the eb and flow of the crowd sounds taking hits, getting up, it was truly epic.

By comparison, these days even rugby seems pretty sterile. There are pros and cons to the change. As a neutral, I enjoy the aesthetics these days of watching immensely skilled players but, if I am watching my own team, especially at the ground live, I prefer the old swashbuckling games.

Gerard McKean
19 Posted 28/03/2020 at 15:15:57
I was lucky enough to have gone to the first leg of the semi-final in Munich in the company of my Bavarian father-in-law. Alan Harper and Kevin Richardson had come into the team and played their hearts out in securing the away draw.

Talking to the locals after the game, they couldn't believe it when I told them we'd put out a stronger team at Goodison and I think they knew and their team knew that they were on their way out of the competition. Two great nights to be an Evertonian!

Brian Williams
21 Posted 28/03/2020 at 15:32:52
I was lucky enough to be at both legs too. For the first, I was perched up in the Gods about a bloody mile away from the pitch and the players looked like ants, but the result was a good one.

The second leg at Goodison was just incredible. My mate, when I rung him about arrangements, said he was giving the game a miss because he didn't feel that well.

I felt sorry for him for years after, knowing he'd missed something he may never get the chance to experience the like of.

Phil Lewis
22 Posted 28/03/2020 at 19:37:29
Thanks lads for your kind words of support and understanding. It is very much appreciated.

Precious occasions such as the Bayern match are indelibly imprinted in my mind, for the reasons I described. I will cling to them forever. It was 35 or so years ago, but for me it seems like yesterday.

I love to mention my son to fellow Evertonians, as he was the truest of 'Blues'. He had the warmest heart and brightest of smiles. He loved life, and worshipped Everton.

Here's hoping that all families can get through these current dark days and look to a bright blue future. All the best, fellas.

John McFarlane Snr
23 Posted 28/03/2020 at 20:04:23
Hi Phil [5] thank you for your contribution, stories like yours put football in perspective. I lost a daughter who was with me on that memorable evening. She was attending games at Goodison from the age of 13 and visited many away grounds, she died 11 years ago aged 44 leaving two kiddies aged 6 and 3.

I have stated many times on this site "That if Everton losing a game of football is the worst thing that happens to anyone in any season, then they've had good a year," I know that you and I are not alone in our loss, [there are many, many more], and as I have said, it puts football in perspective, especially in the present uncertain situation.

Brian Wilkinson
24 Posted 28/03/2020 at 20:43:53
This has haunted me for years. I followed Everton home and away, I was lucky enough to have a friend who drove the home and away games and refused to take any petrol money, was a godsend in those dark days of Thatcher's Government.

Anyway I had to miss this game so cannot even blag I was there.

My first game was against Derby County around 1974, the game ended Nil-Nil, Derby went on to lift the title.

My next bad luck, again down to the Thatcher era and no job, came with a tough decision: either the Rapid Viena game or the FA Cup Final? Money made my mind up to chose the FA Cup Final v Man Utd.

So, although I had lots of memories of good and bad, Lady Luck was tough on me for those two decisions that were taken out of my hands.

Frank Sheppard
25 Posted 29/03/2020 at 12:54:13
I remember being there what a night.
My brother and I bought tickets for the GS end a few hours before kick off, bit different to now.
Peter Reid played for a long time with a blood red sock on one leg, due to a particularly nasty cut.
Goodison was rocking, we were up against it, and came through.
Paul Tran
26 Posted 29/03/2020 at 19:19:50
I travelled up from Portsmouth, had the usual 3 or 4 in The Cock in Great Portland Street with my mate Tony (our then footy local in London) and then we took the train up from Euston with ESCLA. We met me arl fella, went the match, best night ever at Goodison, and ended up in The Mons in Bootle, before getting the overnight train back to Euston with ESCLA, where the travel plans for the final were hatched. Then some of us had a couple of early morning liveners at Smithfields.

Two things I remember were the near non-stop din and the chilling silence when they scored the opener.

You had to be there. It was some night.

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