Continuing the theme that football was certainly alive and kicking before the TV companies highjacked it, I have endeavoured to capture some of the highlights since I first visited Goodison Park in 1948 as a 10-year-old schoolboy.

Season 1962-63:

Johnny Haynes, the Fulham and England inside-forward, missed nearly all of the season when he was badly injured in a car crash in August.

John Charles returned to England when Don Revie signed him from Juventus for £53,000 at the start of the season. Charles could not settle and after playing 11 games for Leeds United; he returned to Italy, sold to Roma for £65,000.

Ipswich Town, playing in Europe for the first time, made a remarkable start beating Fiorina 14-1 on aggregate in the first round of the European Cup. Ipswich won 4-1 in Malta and then scored 10 at Portman Road, with Ray Crawford scoring 5 goals.

Gravesend, of the Southern League, reached the 4th Round of the FA Cup by beating Exeter City, Wycombe Wanderers, and Carlisle United. They held Sunderland to a 1-1 draw before losing the replay 5-2.

Billy Wright, the former England international, was appointed as manager of Arsenal.

Bristol City scored 100 goals but only finished 14th in the table because their defence conceded 92 goals.

Season 1963-64:

Tottenham Hotspur had a record seven players appearing in internationals in one day, 12 October. Three of their team represented England, one played for Wales when the two countries met in the Home International Championship. Three more Spurs players played for Scotland against Northern Ireland.

England's 8-3 defeat of Northern Ireland in November was the first International to be played entirely under floodlights.

Denis Law was voted the European Footballer of the Year.

Oxford United's 3-1 defeat of Blackburn Rovers made them the first Fourth Division team to reach the quarter-finals of the FA Cup.

Jim Fryatt scored the fastest goal in first-class football in April, the referee's stopwatch timed his strike for Bradford Park Avenue vs Tranmere Rovers, at 4seconds.

Season 1964-65:

When Jim Standen, the West Ham goalkeeper, reported for duty at the start of the season, he had topped the first-class bowling averages; he took 64 wickets for Worcestershire, who won the County Championship for the first time.

Derek Forster, the Sunderland goalkeeper, was the youngest person to play in the First Division, he faced Leicester City in August at the age of 15 years and 185 days.

Arthur Rowley, the Shrewsbury United player-manager, retired having scored a record 434 goals in the League.

The Football League decided that, starting next season, they would allow one substitute to be used to replace an injured player.

Stan Lynn, the Birmingham City full-back, was his club's leading scorer with 20 goals (8 of them were penalties). It was only the second time that a full-back had scored most goals for his team.

Season 1965-66:

Keith Peacock became the first substitute to be used in the Football League when he came on for Charlton Athletic during their Second Division match against Bolton Wanderers. At the end of the season, the League ruled that it was impossible for the referee to decide when a player was genuinely injured and a substitution should be allowed, so the rules were changed to allow substitutions to be made for any reason.

The 3rd Round of the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup match between Leeds United and Valencia at Elland Road became so ill-tempered that a policeman had to intervene to stop Jack Charlton attacking a Valencia player. The referee stopped the match for 10 minutes while tempers cooled, and sent Charlton off along with two Spaniards.

Both Chester full-backs were carried off with broken legs during a Fourth Division match against Aldershot on New Year's Day. Despite the setback, Chester still won 3-2.

Arsenal parted company with their manager, Billy Wright, at the end of the season.

Bradford Park Avenue were the second-highest scorers in the League, with 102 goals, but they only finished 11th in the Fourth Division because they lost 20 games, and allowed their opponents to score 92 times.

Malcolm Allison teamed up with Joe Mercer at Manchester City and they guided the club back to the First Division.

Northampton Town, newly promoted to the First Division went straight back down to the Second Division.

Season 1966-67:
Everton bought Alan Ball from Blackpool in August in the first six-figure transfer between English clubs.

Workington increased their Board of Directors to 13 in December, more than their full time playing staff. Not surprisingly, they were relegated to the Fourth Division.

Alf Ramsey was knighted in the New Year's honours list.

Blackpool sold Emlyn Hughes to Liverpool in March and finished bottom of the First Division by 8 points, only winning one League match at home all season.

Derek Dougan got a nasty shock when he scored a last-minute equaliser for Wolverhampton Wanderers against Millwall in their Second Division match in April, Dougan turned to celebrate with a fan who had run on to the pitch, only to discover it was a Millwall fan who promptly punched him in the face.

Bill Ferguson was the first Irish player to be sent off in an International match, and the first from any country to be sent off during the Home Internationals, when Northern Ireland lost 2-0 to England.

Season 1967-68:

Matt Busby was knighted.

Goalkeepers were limited to taking four steps with the ball by the International Football Association Board.

Arsenal had three players sent off in four days during two bad-tempered matches against Burnley: Bob McNab was dismissed in the League Cup quarter-final, Frank McLintock, the Arsenal captain, and Peter Storey were sent off in a League match.

Jimmy Scoular, the Cardiff City manager, got a nasty shock when his team's match against Millwall was abandoned after half-an-hour. A visiting fan demanded a refund of his admission money; when Scoular explained that it was not possible, he got a punch for his troubles.

Port Vale were expelled from the Fourth Division for making improper payments to players, then promptly re-elected. Peterborough United had 19 points deducted for a similar offence, and were relegated from the Third Division as a result.

Dave Mackay moved from Tottenham Hotspur to Derby County in July saying, "I could do nothing more for them, nor they for me."

Season 1968-69:

The main stand at Nottingham Forest caught fire during the match against Leeds United in August, the 34,000 spectators had to evacuated, and Forest played the rest of their home games at Notts County's ground a few hundred yards away.

Geoff Hurst scored 6 goals when West Ham United beat Sunderland 8-0 in October, and then admitted his first goal should have been disallowed because he scored it with his hand.

Jimmy Greaves scored his 200th goal for Tottenham Hotspur in November; on the way he scored 3 goals against Burnley, his first hat-trick in 4 years. The 7-0 defeat of Burnley equalled Tottenham's record winning margin in the League.

Northampton Town, who went from the Fourth Division to the First Division in 5 years, returned to the Fourth Division in 4 years.

Dave Mackay shared the award for Footballer of the Year with Tony Book, for his part in helping Derby County win promotion to the First Division by 7 points.

Leeds United raised the British transfer record to £165,000 when Alan Clarke moved from Leicester City in June.

Only 7,843 people watched Scotland play Northern Ireland at Hampden Park, the smallest ever crowd in the Home Internationals.

Season 1969-70:

Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United completed the first £200,000 transfer in Britain, when Martin Peters moved to Tottenham in March. Jimmy Greaves went to West Ham in part-exchange.

Leeds United were fined a record £5,000 for fielding a weakened team against Derby County in their First Division match on Easter Monday.

Sir Alf Ramsey started the World Cup rally from London to Mexico in April, the first car to leave broke down within 200 yards, Jimmy Greaves took part in the event in a Ford Escort and finished in 6th place.

Bobby Charlton captained England and scored a goal when he made his 100th International appearance, against Northern Ireland, in April.

England and Scotland drew 0-0 at Hamden Park in April, it was only the second time this result had occurred. The first was the inaugural match between the two countries in 1872.

The annual meeting of the Football League decided to fix the minimum admission charge at 6 shillings (30p).


Reader Comments (25)

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Dave Ganley
1 Posted 16/02/2021 at 16:12:40
I'm really enjoying your articles, John. My first game at Goodison wasn't until 1974 as a 9-year-old so it's really interesting reading about football in a broad sense in earlier years from someone who was there at the time, especially from the lower leagues as they are never really reported on from those days. Chester in particular. Always had a soft spot for them as mum came from there.

Carry on the good work, John, hope there are many more articles on the way.

John Raftery
2 Posted 16/02/2021 at 19:05:01
Thanks John, some great memories here. Everton v Aston Villa was my first game at Goodison in October 1962. Joe Mercer was the Villa manager, Gordon Lee played full back for Villa. A couple of years later Joe suffered a stroke. When he recovered he was promptly sacked by the Villa board. His subsequent huge success at Manchester City was a fairy tale for one of the most popular men in the game.

Apart of course from winning the league twice and the cup, the greatest moment of the decade for me was on the day in August 1966 when we signed Alan Ball. We had all assumed he was heading for Leeds. Hardly anything had been mentioned recently in the press of our interest.

The BBC mid evening news headlines on that famous Monday evening, read by Richard Baker, ran along the following lines: ‘Football; Alan Ball a member of England’s World Cup winning team has tonight signed for Everton...’. I jumped so high I nearly hit the ceiling. My mother told me off for shouting. The following morning I cycled to Maghull to buy every newspaper I could get hold of.

To have the best player from a World Cup Final playing for us was absolutely fantastic. From 1966-1970 the whole country basked in the glory of that World Cup win but we had the player whose sheer will to win had driven the national team to victory. ‘All we are saying is Alan’s our King’ was only one of many songs we sang in the middle of the Street End in honour of our greatest outfield player of the post war era.

Match of the Day became compulsory viewing for millions on a Saturday night even though only one game was featured until 1969 when they started to show brief, poor quality footage from a second match.

Peter Mills
3 Posted 16/02/2021 at 20:22:58
John, most unusually for you, I think you have taken a mis-step here. I suspect many of your readers will have started going to the match during this era, and to leap between 1962 and 1970 is huge. Each season deserves an article in itself.

For me, I went to a couple of games in the 62-63 season, but in all honesty cannot remember them. However, move forward to season 63-64, an 8 year old boy seeing his team beat Manchester Utd 4-0 in the Charity Shield at Goodison, a bright sunny day glinting off a trophy, that’s when I fell in love, that’s why Everton FC winning a trophy is important to me.

Dave Abrahams
4 Posted 16/02/2021 at 20:41:04
John (2), I think we did the same things at the same time, in different parts of Liverpool, the night Everton signed Alan Ball, my wife thought I’d gone completely, she already knew I wasn’t quite right when it came to Everton and football, it made my night and he hadn’t even kicked a ball for Everton, but we all knew didn’t we!!
John Raftery
5 Posted 16/02/2021 at 20:45:22
Dave (4) We most certainly did!
Danny O’Neill
6 Posted 16/02/2021 at 21:00:29
Thanks John Senior. That record of 7 internationals; interesting given now we see entire squads of them but also that it was 7 internationals only from the "home nations".

I wonder if that young Sunderland keeper is the youngest top flight player ever? In line with the subject of these articles, we only ever hear of the youngest ever Premier League player of late and whoever it is, I don't believe they were that young?

John McFarlane Snr
7 Posted 16/02/2021 at 22:29:32
Hi Dave [1], I suppose it was my gentle reminder that there were 92 clubs in the Football League.

Hi John [2], if your first game at Goodison was against Aston Villa, I think you've got the date wrong, you must be referring to the first home game in the 1962-63 season when Derek Dougan took to the field sporting what we call a 'Mohican haircut'. It was reported in one of the newspapers a few weeks later, that Joe said to him, "If you want to be different score a bloody goal"

Hi Peter [3], my aim was to cover every season from 1948-49 to 1991-92 to remind 'Oldie's' like myself and Dave Abrahams, [plus many others.] of the time when we could turn up and pay at the gate, and football being what it is I've no doubt that we saw our share of games that were less than impressive.

Hi Dave [4], I hope you don't mind being enrolled into the "Oldie's Brigade".

Hi Danny [6], I've had no success in tracing the youngest player prior to the Premier League, but I do know that Albert Geldard was 16 years and 156 days old when he made his debut for Bradford Park Avenue in 1929, making him 29 days younger than Forster.

Dave Abrahams
8 Posted 16/02/2021 at 22:31:47
Danny, I think Elliot of Liverpool is the youngest player to play in the Premier League for Fulham.

I know at one time Albert Geldard was the youngest player in the English league at 15 years and so many days, not sure if it was with Bradford, he later found fame with Everton, John Mac should put us straight with that.

Dave Abrahams
9 Posted 16/02/2021 at 22:39:48
John (7),

I just told this thread that you would put us straight regarding Albert Geldard, and while I writing that you were doing it... mind-reading skill as well eh, John.

My age would stop me from protesting about being in the “Old Brigade” unfortunately!!

Ron Marr
10 Posted 16/02/2021 at 23:26:26
My first 2 games were the last two home games of the 1962-63 season, against Bolton and then Fulham. Everton winning the league against Fulham with Roy Vernon scoring a hat trick. Me and a mate were 9 years old, and just the two of us got one of the green buses from Old Swan right to Goodison Park. Different times.

The Alan Ball signing was fantastic (and Howard Kendall too). Viewed thru my blue-tinted glasses Alan Ball was the greatest player to have kicked a football.

I hope all the fans who've suffered thru mostly shite since the late 80s get to see Everton win the league.

Dave Williams
11 Posted 17/02/2021 at 11:00:09
Great series – keep going please, John!!
John Raftery
12 Posted 17/02/2021 at 11:36:40
Hi John (7),

My first game was definitely on 13 October 1962, a 1-1 draw versus Aston Villa. The Villa game you are thinking of was actually on the first day of the previous season 1961-62. We won that one 2-0. I remember one of my uncles talking about Dougan's haircut which also got a mention in the papers.

John McFarlane Snr
13 Posted 17/02/2021 at 12:20:36
Hi Ron [10] you got on board just in time, I was two months short of my 25th birthday on seeing Everton win a trophy, and there will be some of my generation quite a bit older. You were part of a 52,047 crowd for the Bolton game and 60,578 for the Fulham fixture, surprisingly the attendance on the day we clinched the title, wasn't the highest of the season.

Hi Dave [11] there are three more episodes covering the seasons 1970-71 to 1991-92, when football was claimed to have been reborn.

Hi John [12] you are absolutely correct, please excuse the wanderings of an old man, the game you attended was indeed a 1-1 draw. Roy Vernon scoring from the penalty spot, and you were part of a 53,035 crowd. By the way I've never found the word sorry difficult to say.

Dave Abrahams
14 Posted 17/02/2021 at 14:02:17
Ron (10),

Yes, nearly everyone remembers the 4-1 Fulham game when we won the title that year, but the Bolton game was a very nervous one, if I'm correct. We won 1-0 but, because of the only-goal margin, most of us were on edge until the final whistle. I don't even remember who scored the goal, I'll have a guess with Roy Vernon.

John McFarlane Snr
15 Posted 17/02/2021 at 14:43:27
Hi Dave [14],

Like yourself I couldn't remember the scorer of the goal against Bolton, but you are correct in guessing that it was Roy Vernon. There are goals that stick in the mind, like the Alex Young effort against Spurs and the Dave Hickson goal at the Gwladys Street end against Birmingham. Had we dropped a point then, we would have been confined to the Second Division, and who knows for how long?

I can't remember some match details of recent seasons, and have to rely on Josh to refresh my memory. I now give advice to younger people, I say, "Whether you grow old gracefully or disgracefully don't worry, the secret is to grow old slowly" unfortunately nobody's cracked the formula.

Rob Hooton
16 Posted 21/02/2021 at 09:39:09
Thanks for this. John, my dad took me to my first match in 1984 so a lot of this is before my time – however, I had been regaled with tales of football from previous years (my dad was also a huge fan of Ball, Kendall and Harvey, who wasn't though?) and in 1990 I got the best present a 10-year-old footy fanatic could get: The Illustrated Encyclopedia of British Football.

This had every result in the history of the British game and I swear at one point I knew almost every Everton score and attendance! Love the way you add the personal touch to this and that it brings back memories for others.

I wonder if I still have that book somewhere, we moved house so often with my dad being in the army that lots of things had to be left behind.

More please!

Phil Parker
17 Posted 21/02/2021 at 16:30:55
Great stuff, John. The John Charles signed photo came from a lad named Jim Hossack, big fan of Hibs, and a big general footie fan, and a book writer himself. I know he had a stroke a few years ago, not sure how he is now.

I just want Everton to be the first club to win the title in 3 different centuries. Now that would be history.

Really only look at your articles now, think you know why, I am a head the ball free zone, so keep them coming. Stay safe and keep well, and I need an operation to take the smile off my face. Long, long, long overdue but hopefully many more good days to come.

John McFarlane Snr
18 Posted 21/02/2021 at 17:44:17
Hi Rob [16] Like yourself I too was brought up listening to the exploits of a much loved trio, Jerry Kelly, Hunter Hart, and Ted Virr, the half back line of the twenty's Championship Winning team. My uncle Tommy, who was a walking encyclopaedia on all things Everton, told me that Hunter Hart only had one eye, I tried for years to confirm this and it was only at one of the 'Hall of Fame, dinners, that it was in the books that were distributed where Gordon Watson confirmed it. We're on part 3 and there are three more to come, the final one 1991/92. I too have a book that lists all the FA Cup results from the first Cup games in 1871/72 to 2000, and the League results from 1888/89 to 2000, but the print is quite small and I'm afraid that I'm finding it difficult to read them now.

Hi Phil [17] thanks for your kind remarks, and as you rightly say, it would be nice to win the FA Cup in three different centuries, I'll have to do a bit of research to confirm that we'd be the first to do so, I'll let you know how I get on. [watch this space]

Chris Williams
19 Posted 21/02/2021 at 17:56:04
Dave and John,

I remember the goal against Bolton, Roy dribbling round Eddie Hopkinson in his inimitable style, in slow motion in my mind’s eye.

The nice people at Bluekipper sent me a copy of a photo of it, endorsed with Roy’s Everton record, goals, attendances, which I used as a wallpaper for years.

Possibly the goal that pretty much sealed the Championship, but it didn’t feel like that then!

John McFarlane Snr
20 Posted 21/02/2021 at 19:09:52
Hi Chris [19] there are goals that are etched in the mind for years, and there some that evade you forever. Although I have a seat in the Park End I have difficulty in remembering more recent goals and matches, I have to ask my grandson Josh, "How did we get on against such and such team"? Luckily he has the memory I possessed when I was his age, I think that it's a good job that I can't recall much of the last few years, [many instantly forgettable], but let's hope we're in for a change of fortune.
Phil Parker
21 Posted 21/02/2021 at 21:01:00
Ii was talking about the League title John. No worries, you may still be hungover from yesterday.

Can you confirm that 69-70 was the year Westie had to start wearing the same shorts as the rest of the team.

Dave Abrahams
22 Posted 21/02/2021 at 21:14:49
Chris (19), thanks for that, even though you’ve described it I still can’t recall it, not even which end the goal was scored in. I know I went to the game, missed my wife’s sister’s wedding to go to see the Blues, got a few glares off the bridegrooms family in the night time, but they were Blues as well so it ended okay.
John McFarlane Snr
23 Posted 21/02/2021 at 22:59:07
Hi Phil [21] sorry I misread your post, but I have checked this season's quarter-finalists, and it turns out that Everton would be the first to win the FA Cup in three different centuries. Also, my mistake wasn't due to a hangover, I'm afraid my drinking days are well and truly over.

Regarding the dark shorts that Gordon West and his predecessors wore, I have no idea when goalkeepers were forced to wear the same coloured shorts as outfield players, but I do have a photo in a book that shows him in white shorts, in a fixture against Sheffield United in August 1971. I think that now it's the norm for goalkeepers to wear shorts of a different colour than their team-mates.

Andy Crooks
24 Posted 24/02/2021 at 20:31:44
I enjoyed that, John, especially the home international stuff. My brother was at the match where Billy Ferguson was sent off.

I loved the Home International series. It was a brilliant end to the season and a chance for us to see players we only saw on TV. I was at the match where George Best was sent off for throwing mud at the ref. Also, one of his greatest performances, in a 1-0 win over Scotland where Dave Clements scored the winner.

I also seem to remember seeing Bob Latchford score in a 2-0 at Windsor Park, a match in which two of the Irish lads fought on the pitch (Terry Cochrane and Gerry Armstrong. Big Gerry buried his boot in Cochrane's arse) and I think Billy Bingham subbed them.

England eventually decided they were too good to bother with the series and it died with Northern Ireland as the last Champions. The late Noel Brotherston was the player of the series.

I think the decision by England is the main reason why I have had a slow burning resentment of the England international side. Having said that, I was always an admirer of Alf Ramsay despite him ignoring some of my favourite players and cheered England on when an Everton player was in the team.

I can recall Tommy Wright playing a blinder against Rumania, a match in which Alan Ball scored.

John McFarlane Snr
25 Posted 25/02/2021 at 13:13:05
Hi Andy [24] I thought that this thread had run it's course, but thanks for your post. I always found the Home Internationals a pleasant distraction, if only to watch via television, the performances of any Everton player's selected. The scoreline meant nothing to me, my concern was that the Everton players returned free of injury, the same applies today.

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