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Terry White
1 Posted 23/10/2019 at 19:34:41
Rob, what a nice tribute to a forgotten player.
Dave Abrahams
2 Posted 23/10/2019 at 19:39:04
I always liked Eddie Thomas, well under rated, a quiet player with a very good football brain, used space well, ghosting into goalscoring positions.

I remember that game when he scored four, apart from those four goals it was memorable for an Everton fan running onto the pitch and giving Joe Marston ( I think) the PNE centre half a good smack in the mouth, he had been giving Davie Hickson a rough time, the supporter was running back into the crowd when he was rugby tackled by Tommy Docherty, the Preston wing half, and handed to the nearest policeman, Docherty got loads of stick for the rest of the game,

I was also at Anfield when Eddie scored that goal for Swansea that took them through to the semi final, Ronnie Moran missed a penalty for the Reds, lovely!!

On the photo of the Blackburn Rovers team, on the back row, are two other former Everton players in Matt Woods and goalkeeper Harry Leyland, they both played in the cup final against Wolves.

Eddie Thomas, I bet he was fondly remembered by quite a few Everton fans, very unassuming never made any fuss, just got on with playing his part for the team, and he did it very well.

Dave Abrahams
3 Posted 23/10/2019 at 19:43:19
I forgot to mention, on that Blackburn photo in the back row is Louis Bimpson, a former Liverpool player who also played in the cup final at outside right.
Mike Gaynes
4 Posted 23/10/2019 at 20:12:02
Love your articles, Rob.
John McFarlane Snr
5 Posted 23/10/2019 at 23:56:26
Hi Dave [3],

Harry Leyland and Matt Woods ex Everton players, are also featured in the photo, and they too played in that final.

Paul Turner
6 Posted 24/10/2019 at 07:30:56
Great article, thank you. Life for professional players was so different then... but some things never change - as "Ranger" in the Echo put it:

In the early stages none did better than Thomas, who showed good command of the ball and appreciation of the needs of his colleagues. (He) then suffered from the general fadeout among his colleagues. But he is worth giving a run of sufficient length to show beyond argument whether he is ripe for regular senior duty. One game is no basis for judgment.’

Sage words indeed.

Peter Mills
7 Posted 24/10/2019 at 10:09:27
Another fascinating article Rob, thank you.

Dave A, that sounds like a game to be at!

John McFarlane Snr
8 Posted 24/10/2019 at 15:12:21
Hi Dave [2] apologies, I was up long after my usual retiring time and failed to read your original post, having read it, you did say [and it's something I would have expected you to say] that Harry Leyland and Matt Woods were on the photo.
Bill Watson
9 Posted 24/10/2019 at 15:24:04
I always rated Eddie as an excellent player and, although really pleased we'd signed Vernon, was a bit disappointed he'd gone the other way.
In an era when we'd started signing class players I often wondered how Eddie would have fared playing with these better players.
Ray Atherton
10 Posted 24/10/2019 at 16:37:27
A lovely tribute to a forgotten Evertonian.
Going to the away games starting 1957 and
onward. Traveling at Lime Street station, I was
talking to a blue told me he was the father of
Eddie Thomas, just come from Newton-Le -Willows.

He was mostly at the away games, a gentleman.Also
another gent was in the station Brian Labone"s dad.

The Everton team travelled from Lime St. Station
when it was playing a Lancashire club, sometimes.

Vin McFarlane
11 Posted 24/10/2019 at 22:37:58
Another great article Rob.
Alan Holman
12 Posted 25/10/2019 at 11:50:50
My first have a game at Goodison was the game against Preston North end, in which Eddie Thomas scored all four goals, how proud I was because I also came from Newton – Le – willows.Incidentally Tom Finney missed a penalty in the game.
Mark Vizard
13 Posted 27/10/2019 at 14:56:13
Rob, very informative as usual. Thank you

The article provides special memories for me on a personal level as my late father was Colin Vizard, who you kindly mentioned at the start of the article

Eddie and my father were very good friends, both born and brought up in Newton- Le -Willows ( no more than a few hundred yards from each other ), dad was just 4 months older than Eddie.They remained in contact whilst Eddie lived in Derby

I can always remember dad saying that Eddie was so slight a strong gust of wind could blow him over, but his football intelligence, his ability to find space allied with a good eye for goal provided Eddie with a good football career

Eddie will be fondly remembered by Evertonians of a certain vintage

Many thanks


Dave Abrahams
14 Posted 28/10/2019 at 12:19:43
Mark (13). I remember your dad, not sure if I saw him, he played a lot with Everton A and scored dozens of goals for them, and Imean dozens, if he played for Everton reserves then I saw him, I have a vision of him not being all that big for a centre forward, which I think he was.

If I'm not mistaken your dad held the goalscoring record in the Old Bootle JOC with about 135 goals, yes 135 goals in one season and I'm trying to think who broke his record, but it won't come to me.

Did your dad stay in football? He seemed to be a natural goalscorer, other players mentioned with your dad playing in Everton A. Kenny Birch, played in Everton first team many times and also played for Bangor, under T G Jones in the European cup winners cup, John Sutherland a right back also played in the first team and was an Irish international playing for Eire. Gerry Tansey, brother of Everton left back Jimmy, never made it with the Blues but had a few games for Tranmere. I bet when your dad and Gerry played together they scored an awful lot of goals, Gerry was a prolific scorer for Liverpool Boys and played in the famous English Schoolboys Final versus Stockport Boys at Anfield before over 40,000 fans in a 3-3 draw.

Sorry for going on, but you took me back over a great number of years and brought back many happy memories.

Mark Vizard
15 Posted 28/10/2019 at 14:48:32
Dave (14). Your memory is a great credit to you. Yes, Dad played for both Everton A and the Reserves, but unlike Eddie didn't make it through to the first team. He was 5 feet 8 inches, and mainly played as an inside forward as they were in those days

Dad did score 125 goals in the Bootle JOC for Everton in season 1950-51, breaking the old record which had stood for over 20 years. I still wear the watch presented to him by Everton in recognition of this.

The record was broken 5 years later in 1956 by a Johnnie Roberts who scored 137 goals in a season playing for St Elizabeth's I believe, you no doubt will be more familiar with this team?

As an aside, Johnnie Roberts was the grandfather of Jonnie Peacock, who won gold at both the 2012 & 2016 summer Paralympics, and was later of Strictly Come Dancing fame.

Dave, Dad did stay in football for a short while, playing for Wigan and Rochdale, I believe; I recall Dad saying he played under Harry Catterick at Rochdale later in the '50s before the "Catt" moved on to bigger things...

Gerry Tansey is a name dad mentioned a lot too and again you are correct that I'm pretty sure they played together. I have an Everton squad photograph of season 53-54 and dad is next to Gerry on the front row, Eddie is on there too.

Oh to have Gerry and Dad banging the goals in now, eh?

Anyway, thank you, Dave, for sharing your memories of both Eddie and Dad, it is greatly appreciated.

Many thanks.

Dave Abrahams
16 Posted 28/10/2019 at 15:06:31
Mark (15), thanks to you too, your story took me back to relive a lot of good memories.

I don't know much about the Bootle JOC, to be honest, but remember your dad's name and holding the record, and now you mention Johnnie Roberts, I recall that too, don't know where I got the 135 goals from, mind you 125 is more than ample, maybe the other ten were cup goals!!

Regarding Harry Catterick at Rochdale, I think he sorted them out on the field, took a few ex-Everton players there, and also put them on a better financial footing.

Thanks for your reply and glad to know that your dad had some professional football under his belt.

Very best wishes to you Mark.

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