You can try to find the updated link in the article archive.
Reader Comments (25)
Note: the following content is not moderated or vetted by the site owners at the time of submission. Comments are the responsibility of the poster. Disclaimer
1 Posted 24/07/2020 at 22:28:39
Its good to see Howard Kendalls name mentioned alongside George Best. George was a sublime player, but often one who was best on highlights. Howard was a magnificent footballer who knew how to control a game, at any time, at any level, and with a calm head, even in a struggling team. Never mind his medals, he kept us up, virtually single-handed.
With all due respect to the Belfast Boy, I know who I would prefer to have in my team.
2 Posted 25/07/2020 at 02:41:05
Even at a grand old age, for those few games he did play as Player Manager, Kendall was still the best player by a mile on the pitch – for either side.
But we all know Kendall the Manager and Player: the player that displaced crowd favourite Jimmy Gabriel, the player who – on his debut, mind – missed a certain open goal from 5 yards out in front of the Gwladys Street; that went down well.
As stated, in the early 70s both teams had dipped from recent heights due to poor replacements. Kendall and Best, who by then was playing as a central No 10, were carrying their respective teams more or less on their own.
Kendall stayed the course: Best left and Man Utd surprisingly, but unsurprisingly really, were relegated by the Denis Law back heel... though to be fair, the other 41 poor games helped a lot.
On Best the player: physically – and if he was 10 stone soaking wet I'll eat my hat – he was the best footballer I have ever seen; he could do it all, tough as nails – and then some.
He is, in my eyes, up there with the (medal winning) greats - mentally though is another story.
Best said in one Parkinson interview, slightly tongue-in-cheek(?) that he could've played until he was 50.
"Oh yes?" said Parky in his own unique questioning manner.
"Yes," said Best, "I'd have just kept dropping back and back and ended up playing as a sweeper." Many a true word spoken in jest.
More telling, he gave hints as to why he quit. Busby leaving, poor replacements, etc, etc. But the main reason was his own too-harsh perfectionism.
Players' bodies change as they get older, the electric pace at 22 begins to fade at 26 – not a lot, but it does. Many wingers and others compensate for this, and the ones with good engines and footballing brains and more importantly, the inclination, change and adapt their game, usually coming inside to play somewhere in midfield.
Charlton and Giles were but two. I'm convinced Catterick's failure to see, or take this into consideration, was one of... but maybe not the only reasons he sold Ball – we'll never know. (See also, SAF & Ronaldo!)
Anyway, Best more or less said that if he couldn't be the Best of 1967-68, he didn't want to be Best the footballer at all... simplified, I know, but that was never going to happen and that was a lot of his problem – couldn't live with it and couldn't live without it.
Kendall the pundit? rs TV bias... Kendall the England player... southern / media darling teams bias – nothing changes.
3 Posted 25/07/2020 at 04:55:41
Both provoke the agony and th ecstasy within their career paths, and what if, may have brought.
Products of bygone times and values, pound for pond both superb players.
Tragic that in later days both fought battles with the hooch, but sublime skills and memories.
Howard Kendall, was a true gent, always had time for supporters, and whom was also very generous and bought rounds when we went on preseason tours.
I last met Howard in person in 2010 at an Everton FC 25th anniversary do, at the Echo Arena, and he was in good spirit.
Both great players from a great era for British football.
4 Posted 25/07/2020 at 08:25:26
When Tom Hart signed him for Hibs, he'd go up there Thursday night for a session and might show up Friday afternoon to say hello to the players. Friday night session, play Saturday and back to London Saturday night, Sunday.
He was still the best player on the pitch. Paid his way putting thousands on the attendance.
As for Howard, player and manager, nothing to say except thanks.
5 Posted 25/07/2020 at 09:56:29
Georgie boy!! what a player, had it all. Dribbling, passing, the will to win, shooting, tackling and supreme confidence in his ability. But just for 7 years in the top flight. He was his own worst enemy with the lifestyle he chose, which stopped his ability to play for 90 minutes and put his football career mostly out of the limelight on the field, but those 7 years... Wow!!!
6 Posted 25/07/2020 at 09:59:20
7 Posted 25/07/2020 at 15:40:35
The name Peter Storey makes my hackles rise. He was a yard dog who played for Arsenal and he kept getting picked over Howard for England. That is the most tragic thing at the time the Holy Trinity never played together for England.
Two greats who I am glad to say I saw many times and I often wonder if the ball had an elastic band round Best's ankle.
8 Posted 25/07/2020 at 15:44:35
9 Posted 25/07/2020 at 17:43:10
It was an FA Cup match and we lost 2-1 and I think Ross scored a pen late on but we could not steal the draw. I still have the memory of Howard with the ball and Gary Stevens (how old was he?) starting to go on the overlap and stopping and Howard with the ball at his feet turning to him and telling him to go on the overlap before threading the ball through to him.
I had gone with my West Ham mate and stood in their end of the ground.
And sad to say that, like Paul #3, the last time I saw Howard was at the 2010 dinner and yes he was in good spirits, sadly.
He is sadly missed.
10 Posted 25/07/2020 at 19:59:46
11 Posted 25/07/2020 at 20:31:22
Without doubt, Kendall not getting an England cap was the crime of the century. Shame on all the England managers for preferring lesser players especially when he was at his peak. Of course if he had been playing for a London club, Man Utd or Liverpool, he would have had a bagful of caps.
For many of us older fans we have been privileged to have witnessed many great players over the years and once or twice great Everton teams. Kendall was part of the ''Holy Trinity" as they were referred to and then later created another one in the Eighties with Reid, Sheedy and Bracewell.
Unfortunately we are witnessing probably the demise of another great threesome of world-class entertainers who have been cracking in memorable goals and performances for the last 15 years or more, namely Rooney, Messi and Ronaldo.
I was watching today some terrific goals that Rooney scored for Man Utd but he was also a master craftsman in other areas.
Messi and Ronaldo are still around in the top echelon but for how long. Age catches up to all of us but thank God for TV that allows us to relive all the amazing goals they have scored.
12 Posted 25/07/2020 at 20:52:05
Everton lost to West Ham in the 3rd Round in 1982. I went to Upton Park in 1982; my memory box thought that Eastoe scored the consolation goal but I am probably wrong.
13 Posted 25/07/2020 at 22:45:06
14 Posted 25/07/2020 at 00:37:19
Howie, as a player, to me, was third behind Bally and Colin as an absolutely brilliant midfielder. To give younger readers an idea of how great Howie was though I'd compare him to Andy Holmes, the Gold-medal winning rower who partnered Steve Redgrave before Sir Matthew Pinsent took his place.
Holmes won a gold medal, but from the three of them he was basically a brilliant third.
Howie the manager mercifully never had the conspiracy that has been the Premier League this century to contend with. Like all pre Premiership managers he rightly had devout faith in a so-called pro footballers striving to better themselves and, as a by-product, the club that was paying their wages.
How naive! That's visibly long diminished from Goodison and that's why Moshiri needs to mega-back signings, plural, that Ancelotti wants, this summer!
15 Posted 26/07/2020 at 01:01:03
16 Posted 26/07/2020 at 01:47:48
17 Posted 26/07/2020 at 04:15:22
Fantastic article. It was before my time so Ill resist passing judgement. I had no idea about the Kendall/Bryan Ferry connection. Also alarming to see how the young Georgie Best was treated. Lovely piece.
18 Posted 26/07/2020 at 07:17:47
Both were brilliant footballers with a problem that seemed rife throughout the football world and should be subject of another thought provoking article, this not being the place to use names but we all would know more than a few.
It also brought a smile to my face reading, "a considerable oversight by selectors" and immediately brought to mind what seems a not inconsiderable number of Everton youngsters that many thought very promising only to fall by the wayside or have careers at lower levels of the Football League.
To both, many thanks, RIP.
19 Posted 26/07/2020 at 08:44:00
Bob Bishop was the scout who discovered George but it was Joe Armstrong who went over to Belfast to convince George and his family to sign for United.
Joe was a Scouser who had been on Uniteds books as a player but never made it. He became a scout for them and did everything properly, by the book, a gentleman who looked after his signings, or those he was interested in taking to United, with the very best of his ability, so Im sure Joe would have taken the utmost care with George and his friends travel arrangements, it must have been someone else who did the very poor way these two young had to make their own way.
20 Posted 26/07/2020 at 09:21:29
I found Howard a lovely man, ridiculously humble and affable. And re that FA Cup Final with Preston, my father told him he had looked terrified on the pitch before the game. "That's because I was", he replied.
21 Posted 27/07/2020 at 14:27:37
Everton stopped Best getting what would have been his only FA Cup final appearance in the semi at Bolton in 66. Thanks to Colin's deceiving shot and Sandy's goal-line clearance, the Blues prevailed.
22 Posted 27/07/2020 at 17:01:29
23 Posted 30/07/2020 at 12:12:25
Saw him again in the '80s in the Phene Arms in Chelsea. Very friendly and modest. I liked him as a person as well as a footballer.
24 Posted 30/07/2020 at 18:35:19
May both Howard and George rest in peace.
25 Posted 01/08/2020 at 07:55:02
Howard bought me a drink while I was singing in a restaurant in Formby.
He said, "I bought you this drink to make sure you don't sing You'll Never Walk Alone for the owner."
"As if – I'm a born blue like you, Howard."
Add Your Comments
In order to post a comment, you need to be logged in as a registered user of the site.
Or Sign up as a ToffeeWeb Member — it's free, takes just a few minutes and will allow you to post your comments on articles and Talking Points submissions across the site.