Reader Comments (63)

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John McFarlane Snr
1 Posted 30/01/2021 at 17:15:16
Hi all, apologies for my misprint in the 1954/55 write up, instead of Seamus Coleman it should read, Seamus O'Connell, simply a lack of concentration.
Rick Tarleton
2 Posted 30/01/2021 at 20:51:49
Like you, John, I remember nearly all the events and personalities listed. Floodlights were such a huge change in the game. I remember early kick-offs at 2:15 PM, from mid-November to mid-January, no substitutes at all, limping players damaging themselves on the wing for 60 minutes to provide nuisance value.

But if someone in 1960 (when I was 13 14) would have talked about games before the Great War, I'd have thought they were mad. My dad was a red but he knew W R Dean and he took me to meet him and at first (I was 18 at the time) I was only vaguely interested, though by the end of the afternoon I spent in the great man's company, I had huge respect and now regard it as a highlight of my Everton life.

I'm afraid our interest is for many defined by their own time. However, I loved this trip down memory lane and hope you keep doing these pieces, but I'm not sure how much the under sixties will respond or know about.

Dave Abrahams
4 Posted 30/01/2021 at 21:22:24
John, I think that first televised league game between Blackpool and Bolton in the 1960-61 season finished 1-0 to Bolton. I can't get the player's name who scored, can picture him, an inside forward, went to sign for Liverpool later but failed the medical.
John McFarlane Snr
5 Posted 30/01/2021 at 21:45:40
Hi Dave [3] as I remember it, the TV showed only the second half and it ended 0-0, we're going back a bit but I believe I watched it after an Everton home game, I may do a bit of research. I forgot to give acknowledgment to Chris Nawrat and Steve Hutchings who wrote the Illustrated History Of Football.
Andy Crooks
6 Posted 30/01/2021 at 22:05:49
John, good to see you back with a fine article. This is the sort of stuff that brightens up dark times. My dad thought that Tom Finney was as fine a player as he had ever seen.

Slightly off subject, but do you recall a Sammy Crooks who, I believe played for Derby County?

Also, John, any memories of Wilbur Cush? He was a friend of my Dad's and my gran described Wilbur as a wee chest stuck out proud bantam.

I think I met him and thought he was unassuming to an incredible degree.(That is my adult definition of "Dad, that man was a footballer???")

John McFarlane Snr
7 Posted 30/01/2021 at 22:09:06
Hi again Dave [3] you were right, it was 1-0 to Bolton and the goal scorer was Freddie Hill, and I was right in saying that I watched it following an Everton home game, a 3-1 win against Wolves (Roy Vernon 2 and Jimmy Harris); attendance 53,728.

The televised match was a 6:50 pm kick-off, to give those who had been to games in the afternoon a chance to see it. Apparently the last few minutes of the first half were shown, and the experiment was regarded as a failure.

Danny O’Neill
8 Posted 30/01/2021 at 22:12:40
John, this is great stuff. I can't wait for the next instalment. As you have reached 1962, you are just about to go into the years my father educated me on. Everton of the 60s. That was as I was growing up as a young 70s kid hearing of these great Everton teams as Liverpool were dominating. Fortunately I got to experience the 80s side.

Brilliant. Keep it coming!
John McFarlane Snr
9 Posted 30/01/2021 at 23:11:17
Hi Rick [2] you may remember that I told you that my uncle Phil was a friend of Nel's when they lived in the Low Hill area, I believe it was Phythian Street, and that my Auntie Nora claims to have taught Nel to dance, at Pepper's dance hall on the corner of Aubrey Street and Everton Road. I don't know if we'll ever get to talk over those times because of the Covid situation. Regarding the kick -off times Everton always began the season with 3-15pm starts, and as you rightly say the autumn and winter matches started gradually earlier, if memory serves me right I think the earliest start was 2-pm perhaps some programme collector could prove or disprove this.

Hi Andy [6] your Dad was a good judge of a footballers ability, unlike the fans of today we would see the likes of Tom Finney once a season, or if we were lucky we could draw their club at home in the FA Cup. When I was in my 20s I always split what I termed the past and the present into the Tom Finney and George Best eras.

Sammy Crooks was a little before my time but I do know of his reputation because of the the footballing education I got from my Grandad and uncle's. Regarding Wilbur Cush there is a good chance that I did see him play but only on one occasion, that's because I believe he joined he joined Leeds in 1957 when I was serving in Cyprus, I was demobbed from the army in August 1959 and Leeds played at Goodison in April 1960.

Hi Danny [8] I felt compelled to submit the article because I was fed up listening to the so-called pundits referring to "All time Premier League records" ignoring the records that were established as far back as the 1890s. I'm glad that you gain some pleasure from my contributions.
Dave Abrahams
10 Posted 31/01/2021 at 12:16:19
John (various), thanks for the name Freddie Hill, if the game was played on a Saturday night, I would have been wrong I thought it was on a Friday night, I never saw it, Friday or Saturday night I would have been out anyway!!

Regarding Jeff Hall, very sad, the papers used to give news of his health every day, in headlines as well, my mate made me laugh one day when he told in the headlines it said “Jeff Hall no chance” what it actually said was “ Jeff Hall no change” !!

Some great players mentioned in your most welcome post John, and bringing back many great memories of the skill they provided, Stanley Mathews, Tom Finney, my favourite British player, just ahead of George Best, probably because he played a lot longer than George and had a much better and more humbler temperament than George. Jimmy Greaves great goalscorer for every team he played for including England. Len Shackleton a brilliant footballer, entertainer and a maverick who cocked his nose up at his supposedly superiors, career ended by injury as was Brian Clough's another great goalscorer, manager and maverick who should have been appointed as England's manager but scared the pants off those who appointed England's manager.

Keep this series going John, you will get more response as you come more forward with the years, look at the Ted Sagar thread, not a lot of response, not because he wasn't well remembered but those who saw him have mostly, sadly, passed away.
Dave Abrahams
11 Posted 31/01/2021 at 12:16:45
John (various), thanks for the name Freddie Hill, if the game was played on a Saturday night, I would have been wrong I thought it was on a Friday night, I never saw it, Friday or Saturday night I would have been out anyway!!

Regarding Jeff Hall, very sad, the papers used to give news of his health every day, in headlines as well, my mate made me laugh one day when he told in the headlines it said “Jeff Hall no chance” what it actually said was “ Jeff Hall no change” !!

Some great players mentioned in your most welcome post John, and bringing back many great memories of the skill they provided, Stanley Mathews, Tom Finney, my favourite British player, just ahead of George Best, probably because he played a lot longer than George and had a much better and more humbler temperament than George. Jimmy Greaves great goalscorer for every team he played for including England. Len Shackleton a brilliant footballer, entertainer and a maverick who cocked his nose up at his supposedly superiors, career ended by injury as was Brian Clough's another great goalscorer, manager and maverick who should have been appointed as England's manager but scared the pants off those who appointed England's manager.

Keep this series going John, you will get more response as you come more forward with the years, look at the Ted Sagar thread, not a lot of response, not because he wasn't well remembered but those who saw him have mostly, sadly, passed away.
Derek Thomas
12 Posted 31/01/2021 at 12:48:36
I remember that 10-4 game like it was yesterday John...and you know what a terrible day yesterday was.

I'll get me coat.
Phil Parker
13 Posted 31/01/2021 at 15:43:24
David Pearl
14 Posted 31/01/2021 at 19:27:06
Thanks for sharing your memories and highlights John, really nice to read. I have to remind myself to scroll down on ToffeeWeb so l can find articles like this, and to forget what we just witnessed.
Jason Wilkinson
16 Posted 31/01/2021 at 19:53:43
Good post John.
I remember chatting with Jack Gibson (worked the ticket office door in the 80's) in the Winslow. We chatted about football post war and some of the greats Jack had witnessed at GP. I asked him "who was the best he'd seen?" Without hesitation he said Duncan Edwards. The most complete footballer he had the fortune to watch. In Jack's opinion England would have dominated world football with him in the team. Its impossible to compare eras but it would be interesting to see the modern footballer try to play with a wet casey on a 1950's pitch.
Thomas Richards
17 Posted 31/01/2021 at 19:59:40
I never saw Duncan Edwards play, Jason. My dad reckoned the same about him. Said he was a man before he was a kid. I would love to hear the older TW posters' views on him.

Reverse your point. Imagine some of the stars of yesteryear playing on the carpets of today's pitches, along with the protection the players get in the modern game.

Tony Abrahams
18 Posted 31/01/2021 at 20:08:18
The pitches might be too fast for them, Thomas? I watch Gomes, he's got very good technique, but I'm sure he'd have done better in the olden days because some of his constantly over-hit passes might not have been so bad on a muddy pitch.
Jason Wilkinson
19 Posted 31/01/2021 at 20:13:09
Thomas,

My thoughts too. Stan Matthews would be playing until his 80s with sport science etc.

I can't remember what the programme was called. There was a documentary about Tommy Lawton. He was asked about his prolific heading ability. He put it down to training in the gym. They used to line up and leap to head a medicine ball suspended around 7-8 feet. Ouch! One go each would see half our current squad in intensive care. "What if you didn't/wouldn't do it?" he was asked.

"The trainer would hit you across the back of your legs with a big stick," was his reply. Amnesty international would be knocking on the door these days.

Dave Abrahams
20 Posted 31/01/2021 at 20:25:54
Jason (16),

Duncan Edwards... Ah, what a tragedy the Munich disaster was, especially for Manchester United and their fans. It was also a tragedy for English football and the England team. Edwards, Roger Byrne, Eddie Coleman, Tommy Taylor all died in that air crash.

Duncan, what a powerful footballer he was with bags of skill, energy, passing and tackling and the will to win with a great temperament to go with it. Marvellous to watch, even for neutral fans.

I saw him for Man Utd Youth team when the FA Youth Cup first started; they won it a few times in that time, but Duncan stood out as the outstanding player, as he did when he started in United first team.

I was getting ready to go to work when it was announced on the wireless that he had passed away, nearly three weeks after the crash, with the massive injuries he had suffered. I shed a few tears that morning, chokes me now writing about it.

Bobby Moore might still have got in the 1966 England World Cup winning team but it wouldn't have been at left-half, not with Duncan Edwards being there. A wonderful, wonderful player.

Andy Crooks
21 Posted 31/01/2021 at 20:37:51
Dave, Duncan Edwards has been in the background since I started reading Football Monthly and all the football stuff back in the sixties. I have never been able to get a true idea of what he was like.

Who would you, or John, compare him to? Someone in a later era, to give me an idea. At the moment, I see him as a Bryan Robson type. Hope I am wrong... even though I liked Bryan.

Dave Abrahams
22 Posted 31/01/2021 at 20:56:53
Andy (21),

You've got good vision. They had a lot in common: both tough but fair players, great team players. Bryan was a great captain, which I'm sure Duncan would have been. Both scored goals and good ones. For me, Duncan was physically bigger and stronger than Bryan and was outstanding in any comparisons with other players.

He'd have to be to be better than Bryan Robson, which he was IMO. But yes, Bryan Robson was of the same mould as Duncan Edwards and a favourite of mine. Good personality as well, great player and modest with it. Much the same as Tom Finney, who was very modest considering how great a player he was, and that all counts in my eyes.

John McFarlane Snr
23 Posted 31/01/2021 at 21:26:58
Hi Dave [10 & 20] I know I might be clutching at straws, but it may be that Freddie Hill's goal was scored in the first half, whichever way I looked at it the event was immediately forgettable. You may recall that I've posted previously with regards to Duncan Edwards, that I was in Cyprus when he broke into Manchester United's first team, and when the Munich crash took place. The Force's Radio broadcast stated that there were no survivors.

Hi Derek [12] you will gather from my response to Dave that I was serving in Cyprus from 1957 to 1959, our unit was 160 strong and everyone knew that I was 'Everton mad' we were housed in tents that held twenty men. The chap reading the football scores said "Tottenham Hotspur 10 Everton 4, I will repeat that Tottenham Hotspur 10 Everton 4". We were two hours ahead of 'Greenwich Meantime'. I was in bed at 8-o'clock and I swear that everyone in that camp walked through the tent shouting 10-4. [October 11th 1958 is indelibly stamped in my brain.]

Hi David [14] they say that there's no future in nostalgia, I say, that's the 'Beauty of It'

Hi Jason [16 & Thomas 19] you will see from my answer to Dave that I never had the pleasure of seeing Duncan Edwards in the flesh, my memories of him were what I saw when I came out of the army.

Hi Tony [18] I know that it's impossible to compare footballers from different eras but my theory is that if they were playing in the modern game they would possess the fitness levels and familiarity of the playing surfaces.

Peter Mills
24 Posted 31/01/2021 at 22:16:44
Still just a bit before my time John Mc, but enjoyable reading. Very best wishes.
Darren Hind
25 Posted 01/02/2021 at 05:10:43
Rick Tarleton

"I'm not sure how much the under-60s will respond or know about"

I think you could raise the bar even higher there, Rick. Many under-70s will read some of the stuff you guys write and not be able to comment.

I hardly ever comment on these threads, for me they are more - shut up, listen and learn

I remember when I first started going to away games. The trains were cramped and unreliable. They were pricey too (for those who actually paid). The roads were atrocious, if you went south of Birmingham or north of Leeds, you would need to be preparing on Friday knowing you wouldn't get back until Sunday.

Me and my mates genuinely thought we were pioneers. The first to travel to away games. I guess like all generations of blues, we were like the teenagers who thought they had invented sex.

A couple of weeks ago, I read a post from Dave Abrahams telling us about him and a whole coach-load of Evertonians getting lost on their way back from a cup game at Charlton 10 years earlier! I was shocked at first, but then it dawned on me... Well of course they would have gone to Charlton... What else would they have done?

I know you guys will take the Dave Hickson line of "I'm just an Evertonian, that's all"... But you would be wrong. You are a special generation with much knowledge to pass on.

Johnny Mac

Keep them coming. These articles may not draw the usual debates or bun fights, but they offer an education and an experience you couldn't buy elsewhere. They entice the most interesting people to come out and post too.

John Hughes
26 Posted 01/02/2021 at 07:05:22
I have a recollection of an Everton fixture taking place at Goodison in the early seventies that took place on a Sunday, I imagine due to the Miners Strikes and subsequent power cuts.

For some reason, I thought it was the home defeat to Fulham the year they won the cup but now realise this can't be the case as the record clearly shows that this fixture was played on Saturday 15 February 1975 and, in any case, I think power had been fully restored by then! Perhaps it was all a dream on my part but I wondered if any of my fellow senior blues can provide some clarity?

Thanks in advance.

Chris Williams
27 Posted 01/02/2021 at 07:38:07
John,

I think it was West Brom in the Cup, 1974, Big crowd too. They were Division 2 at the time.

We drew 0-0 and they beat us in the replay at the Hawthorns 1-0.

I think it might have been our first Sunday fixture, Lords Day Observance Act and all, and probably because of the Miners Strike as you say.

John McFarlane Snr
28 Posted 01/02/2021 at 12:08:10
Hi Peter, [24] I once asked you for the word that signified one's pleasure at another's misfortune and you kindly provided me with a Germanic type word. I wrote it down on a piece of paper which I must have thrown away, I would be grateful if you could let me know what it is again, I'm hoping to use it once again in the near future. I'm pleased to learn that you consider my article enjoyable.

Hi Darren [25] Thank you for your kind words, I always felt that behind that masquerade there beat the heart of a 'True Blue' and I hope that my article can remove you from the 'Battlefield' for a Brief Respite'. I never travelled to away games until I was in my teens, I won't bore you with the details but losing my Mother at the age of 39 and approaching my 12th birthday, [together with my brother and two sisters], I left our home in Everton Road and went to live with my Grandma in Anfield. I was lucky to get my money for home games.

Hi John [26] The information that Chris has given you is correct it was a fourth round FA Cup game played on Sunday 27th of January a 0-0 draw.

Hi Chris [27] I remember that day well, I was waiting for a bus in Skelmersdale panicking a little because it was a two hour service on a Sunday, when a lad who played in the team I ran, stopped and offered me a lift to Goodison. I normally stood behind the goal at the Park End, but I felt I owed to him to sit with him in the Upper Gwladys Street Stand. I think that Ally Brown scored the goal in the replay.

Chris Williams
29 Posted 01/02/2021 at 12:30:41
Cheers John,

Over 53000 there that day. Apparently the Board was so impressed they'd decided to play the next round on a Sunday too, if possible.

Alas, not to be!

Ally Brown was a good player. A couple of sendings off too, in the replay from memory.

Tony Abrahams
30 Posted 01/02/2021 at 12:33:04
John @23, I agree mate, it was stupid of me to post about Gomes, because after starting at the beginning and reading all the thread, I realise that this is more about great footballers from the past, and can't wait for the eras I know about, so I can try and add something sensible instead.
Paul Ward
31 Posted 01/02/2021 at 12:48:33
Some wonderful memories of great players like Duncan Edwards, Tom Finney, Jimmy Greaves and George Best.

One of my lasting recalls was a game against Man Utd a couple of months before the ill-fated Munich disaster. The Busby Babes were current Champions and had beaten us 3-0 the previous week at Old Trafford.

Over 70,000 turned up at Goodison Park that night to see United give us a first-half football lesson. HT score 3-1 to Man Utd.

Everton looked a different team second half and showed no respect for the Champions. Jimmy Harris got one back and a young Derek Temple got the equalizer.

The thing I remember most about that night was the fight and conviction of our team and the deafening crowd.

I saw these Man Utd stars in complete panic with Everton's second-half assault. I seen the great Duncan Edwards falling, lunging at shadows and giving away a needless corner. Captain cool Roger Byrne kicking the ball anywhere to save his team.

I suppose it is strange remembering a game we only drew but, to see the lack of fight our present team has, one needs to remember.

Dave Abrahams
32 Posted 01/02/2021 at 13:25:02
Paul ( 31), remember that game well, that Goodison Roar frightened the life out of most teams, it certainly panicked United into many mistakes, if I'm not mistaken Derek Temple playing upfront as a striker scored two of the goals, night game but before floodlights?
John Raftery
33 Posted 01/02/2021 at 13:30:13
Good stuff, John. At the age of seven in 1960, I was indoctrinated by my grandmother in all matters Everton, especially Dixie Dean and Tommy Lawton. In the school playground however Jimmy Greaves was everybody's hero until Alex Young and Roy Vernon arrived. In those days for kids of my age Everton was ‘the' team to support with the RS very much a minority interest.

Greaves was a brilliant goal scorer. He scored a hat trick in the 9-3 game v Scotland. I remember listening to the radio commentary in amazement at the number of England goals scored in the latter stages, five in the last fifteen minutes. It had only been 3-0 at half-time. It was as though our playground matches had moved to Wembley for the afternoon.

Peter Mills
34 Posted 01/02/2021 at 13:36:19
John#28, the word is “schadenfreude”, something we have enjoyed very little in the past 50 years.
John McFarlane Snr
35 Posted 01/02/2021 at 14:10:12
HI Chris [29] I think that Ally Brown was the scorer of the only goal, but I would advise you that when you get to a certain you can't be too sure. The advice I give to younger people is that no matter whether you grow old in a graceful or disgraceful manner, don't worry about it. The secret is to grow old slowly, but unfortunately nobody's cracked it yet.

Hi Tony [30] I think you're being hard on yourself, I believe that everyone's entitled to a blip now and then, I think that over the years I've exhausted my allocation and I'm using someone else's.

Hi Paul [31] I lost the best part of three seasons due to my army service, apart from the Wembley victory in 1995, my favourite Manchester United memory is that of the FA Cup game in 1953 when we were in the Second Division, and we beat them 2-1. Dave Abrahams will bring tears to your eyes when he describes how his 'hero' Dave Hickson scored the winner with a blood soaked bandage around his head.

Chris Williams
36 Posted 01/02/2021 at 14:21:22
Hi John,

Tell me about it!

I've just checked it and the goal was scored by Brown, but it was Tony Brown, an even better footballer.

So close, but no cigar!

But I didn't even remember Brown.

Frank D'Arcy sent off along with that lunatic Scottish winger of theirs.

John McFarlane Snr
37 Posted 01/02/2021 at 15:14:04
Hi Dave [32] don't get giddy you've just been mentioned in dispatches.

Hi John [33] you picked a good time to reach the age of ten [1963] I was two months short of twenty five when I saw my first League Championship and two months short of twenty five when I first went to Wembley and witnessed my first FA Cup win, your teenage years must have bee magical, Your mention of the 9-3 for England brings back memories for me, my best pal in the army and best man at my wedding [a Glasgow lad] went to the same school as Frank Haffey the Scotland goalkeeper, he told me that Haffey was tormented by the Scottish fans for years. Jimmy Greaves was the greatest goal scorer I've ever seen, and if the game had received the television exposure then, that it gets now he could easily have been a multi millionaire.

Hi Chris [36] imagine what you've got to look forward to, at least I managed to get the surname right, I take it that the 'mad Scottish winger' you're referring to is Willie Johnston, I can let you into a secret, he's going to be featured in a later episode.

Rick Tarleton
38 Posted 01/02/2021 at 15:42:49
Well I can remember seeing both Duncan Edwards (cousin of our own Dennis Stevens) and Wilbur Cush. I read somewhere that Bobby Charlton was asked whether Best or Law was the greatest foorballer he'd played with and that his answer was that Duncan was the greatest he'd played with.
Rick Tarleton
39 Posted 01/02/2021 at 15:55:23
Hi, John, Nel and the whole family before the war lived at 98, Gloucester Place, one street before and parallel to Phythian Street. Nel and Billy Dean ( I don't use the usual epithet, because my dad warned me before our afternoon in the Dublin Packet, that he didn't like being so-called) did a tap-dancing routine together and did it on the charity circuit around Merseyside.

John as always is right too about the various kick-off times throughout the season.

I remember Everton in the early sixties putting 45-minute clocks on the floodlights, so you could see how much time was left in each half. However, some jobsworth said it was illegal and they ended up being changed to normal clocks. In those days many matches finished at twenty to five as half time was only ten minutes.

Kieran Kinsella
40 Posted 01/02/2021 at 16:08:05
John McFarlane

Why was Len Shackleton named 'Clown Prince of Football'? Was he a sort of Paul Gascoigne of the era?

John McFarlane Snr
41 Posted 01/02/2021 at 16:39:10
Him Rick [39] It's a pity that there's no one to confirm that my Uncle Phil and Auntie Nora were friends with Nel although I absolutely believe them. Regarding the Littlewoods clocks I think that the advertising aspect might have played a part in having them removed, but I have a feeling that they were removed at the request/orders of the Football Association.

Hi Kieran [40] I suppose you could say that he was a maverick, who bucked authority. In his autobiography he displayed on an otherwise blank page, "What the director knows about football". I have seen these words attributed to other players, but believe me they were Len Shackleton's.

Rick Tarleton
42 Posted 01/02/2021 at 16:51:52
I'm sure it's true,John. Nel was a lively, friendly man who died at fifty(cancer). On a Sunday afternoon Nel and his youngest child,Lesley, my dad and I and various other of the ten Tarleton siblings would all gather at Gloucester Place. There could be two great boxers, Nel and Ernie Roderick, an ex Liverpool player Norman Low, who was married to my dad's sister Lily. It was a good afternoon.
Dave Abrahams
43 Posted 02/02/2021 at 10:13:16
John (35), Yes, Davie Hickson's goal v United in the cup, I described it on another thread, how Davie had burst the stitches in his head wound when he headed the winner, another poster, turned out to be Davie's best man when he got married, told me that Davie scored the winner with a right foot shot!! Still not sure, but I think he was right and he was older than me, so I'll accept he was right.
John McFarlane Snr
44 Posted 02/02/2021 at 12:22:19
Hi Dave [43] like yourself, I would have said he scored with a header, I think this can be placed in the "folk lore" category, I'm 100% certain that it was scored at the Gwladys Street end. I was on the Goodison Road terracing about ten or fifteen yards from the corner flag, if it turns out that it was scored at the Park End you can pull the lid down.
Dave Abrahams
45 Posted 02/02/2021 at 14:51:37
John (44), keep that lid open, hopefully for many more years, Davie scored in Gwladys Street, Eggo ( Tommy Eglington) scored the equaliser in the Park End after Jack Rowley? had opened the score for United, did you get on the pitch at the end John? Thousands did, and in a later round when Davie scored the only goal at Villa Park. Davie will never die while there are Bluenoses like me still going.
Andy Crooks
46 Posted 02/02/2021 at 15:03:36
Tony Brown of WBA scored the best goal I have ever seen. I don't remember who against but maybe Leeds. A heavy mid winter pitch. The ball dropped over his shoulder just inside the opposition half. He hit it on the half volley and the ball flew like a rocket, never rising more than a foot off the ground, into the bottom left corner.
Sometimes I wonder is my memory playing tricks because I have never met anyone who recalls it. It is so vivid, though, that I guess it doesn't really matter.
Brian Murray
47 Posted 02/02/2021 at 15:15:50
Andy I think it was on motd and at Maine road v city. It's on you tube. Will look again
John McFarlane Snr
48 Posted 02/02/2021 at 16:04:28
Hi Dave [45] no I didn't get on to the pitch, the only time I trespassed was at the final whistle of the Fulham game in 1963. I don't suppose there were many who didn't. The first time anyone of our generation had a championship to celebrate. I'm back in training but I'll have to enter from the Park End-- Bullens Road corner, I'll make my way down at half time.
Dave Abrahams
49 Posted 03/02/2021 at 10:47:33
Andy (46), I think it was Tony Brown who scored a very controversial goal versus Leeds Utd, running from the halfway line and scoring the winning goal. He had started his run from just inside his own half. It spoiled Leeds's chances of winning the league that year.
Phil Parker
50 Posted 04/02/2021 at 13:41:40
Always enjoy your columns John, great win yesterday, any away win has always been a cause for celebration. Nice to go on threads with sensible and knowledgeable Everton, and football, comments. I don't read most other ones, too many end of the bar head the balls. Take care stay safe.
John McFarlane Snr
51 Posted 04/02/2021 at 14:09:33
Hi Phil [50] thanks for your response, as you say any away [or any] win is cause for celebration, the signed photo you gave me of Alex Young takes pride of place in my bedroom, the John Charles one is stored away to give to my Grandson when the time comes. Thanks also for the advice regarding my taking care of myself, I'm afraid that's that's not my job, I leave that to my 'Young Lady'
Phil Parker
52 Posted 04/02/2021 at 15:40:26
Great John. I remember Bobby Charlton being interviewed by Brian Moore. He said he was in awe of Duncan Edwards. That's something coming from him. Our lad taken too early was Tony Kay, in different circumstances. I know many Blues who never bought the People again.
Jay Harris
53 Posted 04/02/2021 at 16:08:12
Hi Sir John, of ToffeeWeb royalty.

Like Darren I am not quite old enough or qualified enough to make a meaningful contribution but your shared memories bring so much of what my dad used to tell me about as a kid. He used to rave about Tommy Lawton and said TG Jones was the best Everton player he ever saw.

The best non Everton player was Duncan Edwards in his opinion.

From my young days George Best was and remains the best player I have ever seen and if he had been a different nationality would be up there with Pele, Eusebio and Maradona.

Anyway just wanted to say thank you and keep posting these great articles.

John McFarlane Snr
54 Posted 04/02/2021 at 16:37:11
Hi Jay [53] you flatter me, my 'Young Lady' has a lower opinion of me, she often remarks " Good Lord, have you eaten all the bananas again"?. On a serious note the three best wingers I have seen were Tom Finney, George Best, and Ryan Giggs and I tend to agree that had any of them been of a different nationality they would have been compared with the best.
Don Alexander
55 Posted 04/02/2021 at 17:03:19
These pieces take me back to childhood memories, and that's great by me!

Among the many great players cited there's still some, like Duncan Edwards, whose impact was truly phenomenal but strangely overlooked IMHO.

John Charles is a case in point. On his debut aged 17 at centre-half his direct opponent, the then current Scottish centre-forward, described him as the best centre-half he'd ever played against. Moving to centre-forward to help out in an injury crisis he ended up scoring 150 goals in less than 300 games and that's when Juventus signed him for double the then record transfer fee.

For them, in the era of legendary Italian defences, he scored over 100 in 150 games, when he wasn't helping out at centre-half!

Just about all of his contemporary players described him as fabulously talented and a shoe-in for a place in a World X1, for years.

John McFarlane Snr
56 Posted 04/02/2021 at 22:21:28
Hi Don [53] a few years ago my 'Young Lady' and I struck up a friendship with a young lady [a Leeds United fan] and the following year I gave her a book, The History of Leeds United. I'm sure it showed that John Charles played half of his 297 games at centre-half which makes his 154 League goals in 208 League appearances in two spells with the club remarkable.

My standout memory of him is that, of the day that Don Donovan deputising for the injured Tommy Jones, despite playing Charles out of the game, couldn't prevent him from scoring in a 2-1 victory for Everton, in the 1953-54 promotion season.

At one of the 'Hall of Fame' nights, he said that he cursed that game because it gave the impression that he was a one game wonder. I feel sure that Dave Abrahams will back me up on my assessment of John Charles.

Dave Abrahams
57 Posted 05/02/2021 at 11:14:18
John (56), yes, doubt anyone could disagree with your assessment of John Charles, a fantastic footballer at centre half or centre forward, more importantly a gentleman and very modest about his football ability, and his brother, Mel, was a very good player as well.

Re the Don Donavan game, he was made man of the match for his performance against the great Welshman, even though he usually played right back, where he was playing when he scored a great goal in the famous 5-2 win against Man.Unt at Old Trafford.

Terry White
58 Posted 06/02/2021 at 03:38:06
Dave (#57),

I was at the game in 1956 when Don Donovan scored our first goal but remember it more as a cross that Ray Wood missed rather than as a "great" goal. It was a long time ago.

Dave Abrahams
59 Posted 06/02/2021 at 13:35:38
Terry (58), Fair enough Terry, another good Evertonian, like yourself, made the same comment a couple of years ago when I described that goal as being a great goal, so I'll give into that and maybe I thought it was great because we had scored against Man. Unt on their own ground. I think that was Jimmy Gauld's debut for the Blues, the man who later fixed all the matches which ended Tony Kay's career, thinking about it Terry, winning 5-2 at United, he never fixed that game did he? Nah, too many Catholics in Everton's team!!
Terry White
60 Posted 06/02/2021 at 15:46:32
At that time, Dave (#59) any win was to be cherished but winning at Old Trafford was certainly special. Thanks to Steve Johnson's excellent site, "Everton Results", I see we were in 18th position, out of 22, before the game and still 18th after the win. They were in first place and went on to comfortably win the league while we finished 15th.

On the anniversary of Munich it is worth looking at some of the names in their fine, young side. Roger Byrne, Eddie Coleman, the great Duncan Edwards, Liam Whelan, Tommy Taylor, the young Bobby Charlton, Johnny Berry, David Pegg, some of whom sadly did not survive that day.

Jimmy Gauld did indeed make his debut in that game as also did Albert Dunlop. A right pair! I must confess to a remote connection to Jimmy Gauld, who actually scored both our goals in the 2-1 win against John Charles's Leeds that has been discussed previously. Gauld was distantly related to my mother's Scottish family so there was quite an excitement when we found he had signed for us. Little did we know what was to come. He actually scored 7 league goals in 23 games for us, not a bad return, information again courtesy of Steve Johnson.

Dave Abrahams
61 Posted 06/02/2021 at 18:25:00
Terry (60),

Yes, Man Utd had some marvellous players in that era, brilliant to watch. I think Matt Busby produced some great footballers, “The Busby Babes”.

Terry, I don't think Jimmy Gauls played in that Leeds game, that was a couple of years before he joined us.

Terry White
62 Posted 06/02/2021 at 19:06:33
You are correct, Dave (#61) in relation to the Leeds game. It was in 1953. Same scoreline, 2-1.

In looking back I found that we played at Spurs on Christmas Day in 1956 and lost 6-0! What a great Christmas that must have been! Of course we played them again the following day at Goodison and earned a 1-1 draw. How did they do that with the travel involved? We put out exactly the same side while they played 10 of the 11 the previous day. And Tommy Jones missed a penalty for us on Boxing Day. George Robb scored a last minute equalizer to ruin our holiday.

Dave Abrahams
63 Posted 06/02/2021 at 19:41:59
Terry (62), yes you used to get some crazy results over Christmas Day and Boxing Day return games, we were ecstatic beating Burnley 3-0 or 3-1 at Turf Moor one Christmas Day only to lose by the same score at Goodison the next day, similar with Birmingham City with us losing 6-2 and winning 5-1, with all the travelling and stamina sapping muddy pitches it was amazing, mind you Terry, men were men when we were growing up, some cheating wimps playing these days!!!
John McFarlane Snr
64 Posted 07/02/2021 at 17:58:33
Hi Dave [63] the Burnley games were on Boxing day [Monday] at Turf Moor and the following day at Goodison, I took my Young Lady to both games we were in the paddock for the second game, and I didn't know until after the match that Burnley had finished with ten men, Jimmy McIlroy leaving the pitch apparently after a scuffle with Billy Bingham. Although the crowd was recorded as 74,867 the doors were closed, my mate joked that there were so many locked out they needed a mounted policeman to control the queue at the chip shop, at least I think it was a joke. Darren has said that he would share a bottle of Guinness with me on one condition, and that is that you come along, don't let me down.
Dave Abrahams
65 Posted 08/02/2021 at 19:26:55
John (64), well it's much easier for me to get to The Excelsior than anyone, I think, so when the pubs are up and running I'll be there, if Andy can come from Belfast, and others from Wales I think it's my duty to be there.

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