Eddie Wainwright – A Bright Light in Dark Days

Rob Sawyer   28/09/2020 36comments  |  Jump to last

‘When I hitched my chariot to the Goodison Park star, I did myself the best service ever. No club could treat its players better.’
Eddie Wainwright (Liverpool Echo, 1955)

The immediate post-war era for Everton was one of austerity, much in keeping with that felt by a battered Britain. The Toffees’ squad had been ravaged by age and star-player exits since the club was crowned Football League Champions, a few short months before Nazi forces marched into Poland and forced war to be declared. Tommy Eglington, Peter Farrell and Wally Fielding proved to astute signings but the team was weak. This made it hard for local youngsters coming through the ranks to develop to near their full potential. Eddie Wainwright was, perhaps the sole exception. Although seemingly frail, the noted sport journalist Stork described the nimble inside-forward as having the heart of a lion. He had scored at a rate of better than a goal every three matches to get to the brink of full international recognition. His career then came to abrupt and prolonged halt through a terrible leg injury sustained in late 1950.

Eddie was a Southport lad, born on 22 June 1924 to his namesake father, Edward Francis, and Agnes. He was raised at 192 Wellington Road in the seaside resort. Always slight of build, he played for his school, team and went on to represent Southport Schoolboys. He also represented local side Hesketh Fleetwood in the Southport and District League. He signed amateur forms with Everton in 1939 but within months, war broke out and his registration was effectively annulled. Away from football he served his apprenticeship as a motor mechanic.

Eddie Wainwright with a Southport youth side

Eddie Wainwright (back row, far left) with a youth team in Southport in the 1930s

Too young to enlist with the armed forces at the outbreak of war, he subsequently joined the British Army as a Physical Training Instructor. Based in Teesside, he made 12 appearances for Middlesbrough in the 1944/45 and 1945/46 seasons. He’d also make a number of outings for Army representative teams in matches staged to boost morale, notably against Scotland at White Hart Lane in December 1945, in which he lined up with Joe Mercer. Another teammate in the Army forward line was Wally Fielding – with whom Eddie would subsequently be reunited at Everton. Eddie would credit the training skills of Spurs’ Arthur Rowe, who oversaw the Army team, for aiding his development.

In August 1943, with encouragement from his father, Eddie had written to Everton’s Secretary, Theo Kelly, asking about the possibility of being re-engaged by the club. He was duly re-signed as an amateur. He made an instant impression. A report of the Blues 8-0 defeat of Napier, on 8th September in the Liverpool Combination, noted:

Makin and Wainwright scintillated in the Everton attack, Makin getting three goals and Wainwright one. Both these boys should do well. Wainwright, who comes from Southport, is finely built and forceful. Makin lacks nothing in confidence and is deadly in front of the goal.

In contrast to Eddie, George Makin would not make the breakthrough at Everton in peacetime football, but he would later star for Pwllheli FC under the stewardship of T.G. Jones. Just three days after the rout of Napier, Theo Kelly broke the news to Eddie that he’d be lining up for the first team, away to Manchester United. Professional forms were hurriedly signed and the 19 year-old took to the pitch alongside T.G. Jones, Joe Mercer and Tommy Lawton. The debutant was praised his clever movement but the Blues fell to a 4-1 defeat. Eddie would soon become a regular in the Everton first eleven - clocking up 66 appearances (36 goals) in wartime league and cup football. Of Lawton, Eddie would state: ‘He was the best centre-forward I have seen. His shots with either foot were like bullets and he seemed to get the same power with his head.’

When the Football League programme resumed in August 1946, Eddie was selected at inside-right forward for the visit of Brentford. After a period out of the team, in the wake of the 2-0 defeat, he established himself in the number eight shirt with Wally Fielding at inside-left. Jock Dodds led the attack; Eddie later would comment on the 31 year-old bulky Scot: ‘He was past his best but I was amazed at the agility in such a big man, because he must have weighed over 14 stones’. Dodds would return the compliment by hailing Eddie as one of the finest inside-forwards in the immediate post-war era. Eddie ended the 1946/47 season with a very creditable 16 goals in 29 league and cup appearances (just one behind Dodd’s tally) but Everton had an underwhelming mid-table finish.

The sandgrounder continued to deliver an impressive goal return in the following seasons. After missing a chunk of the 1948/49 season with appendicitis, he returned to enjoy a career highlight on a snowbound pitch in March 1949. He’d acclaim the work of the Goodison ground staff who worked tirelessly to get the game on against the odds. Alan Storey, who was on the staff, later recalled: ‘No sooner had you finished one stretch of touchline than you hard to start again, so hard was the snow falling.’ The Tangerines, defending the Gwladys Street end with snow-flakes coming over the Bullens Road stand roof and into their faces, were four down by half-time with Eddie completing a hat-trick within the first 32 minutes. He rounded of the scoring with his fourth, and Everton’s fifth, in the second half. Dubbed The Wizard of the Blizzard by the papers the next day, he later reflected for an Everton programme article: ‘Frankly, the game should never have been completed. At times the ball was covered in snow and the Blackpool players kept asking the referee to call a halt. If we hadn’t quickly run up a three-goal lead I think he would. But as Everton needed the points it was important for us and he let us carry on.’

Eddie, although quiet, was well-liked and struck up friendships with several teammates, including Peter Farrell and Tommy Eglington. Eddie had little appetite for food in the build-up to matches so the Irish duo would set either side of him at lunch and whisper in his ear, ‘Eddie, order the steak'. They’d then polish it off for him. Eddie would also play golf every Monday with his steak-devouring pals plus Don Donovan. Eglington would reminisce after Eddie’s passing: ‘Eddie was always a great teammate. He was a very helpful man in every way possible and, of course, he was also a very good footballer.’

Eddie Wainwright in action at Goodison Park

Eddie Wainwright in action at Goodison Park

On 12 December 1949 Eddie tied the knot with Mabel Pritchard – the sister of one of his childhood best friends. They’d go on to have two sons (Michael and Steve) and a daughter (Sandra). Six years later, an Echo article featured the couple in their marital home at Blenheim Avenue, Litherland (where they had moved to from Southport in 1952). As well as tales of how they met and how Mabel and Michael were his fiercest footballing critics, Eddie revealed his off-pitch passion for horticulture – in particular the nurturing of chrysanthemums. He was an active member of the Southport Chrysanthemum Society and had successfully exhibited at the town’s famous annual flower show. The article also highlighted that, unusually for the era, Eddie had a flair and passion for cooking. He’d prepare breakfast for the family every morning and, when his football commitments permitted, laid on lunch, too.

The forward’s finest campaign was undoubtedly 1949/50. With 13 goals, Eddie was leading goalscorer and one of only two players to reach double-figures in a goal-starved team (Harry Catterick being the other). A contemporary pen picture of the forward by Stork described him thus: ‘He is the quicksilver type, with excellent ball control, a strong shot in either foot and a sharp football brain, which enables him to size things up a move ahead of the other fellow.’

Eddie Wainwright challenges the Liverpool keeper in the 1950 FA Cup semi-final

Eddie challenges the Liverpool keeper in the 1950 FA Cup semi-final

In the fifth round of the FA Cup, he held his nerve to convert from the spot to defeat the famous ‘push-and-run’ Spurs side. He also netted in the sixth round victory over Derby County – setting up an all-Merseyside derby at Maine Road in the semi-final. Terrace chants were more inventive back then and Eddie had a ditty penned in his honour (tune unknown):

All the fans fall for Eddie Wainwright
And their thousands shout encore
For there’s magic in Eddie Wainwright that makes you want to roar
He’s fast and clever, he bangs that leather
He’s the Toffees’ pride and joy
He fights with might and main
We might be on that Wembley train
Hip hooray, Eddie Boy!

Having spent three days relaxing at a Buxton spa hotel, the team stopped for a lunch of eggs on toast en route to south Manchester. They arrived at the stadium to be met with a throng of supporters proudly displaying their red and blue colours. During the match Eddie was shackled by the tenacious Bob Paisley. He’d rue the role he had in the Reds’ second goal, ten minutes from full-time. Close to his corner flag and under pressure from Jimmy Payne, he committed the cardinal sin of clearing across his own area. The pass, intended for Tommy Eglington, was intercepted by Billy Liddell. Moments later the Liverpool forward had blasted the ball into the net. ‘I felt awful,’ said Eddie. ‘If there had been a hole in the pitch I would have probably gone down it…After that [match] I went home straight away. My wife was waiting in the car so I didn’t go home with the lads. I went home to Southport and, as far as I recall, I didn’t go out that night.’ As they drove home the couple would see supporters – some cheering, some dejected - on the long drive back along the East Lancs Road.

Some compensation for the cup defeat was selection for a Football League select side to play an Irish League XI in Belfast in April. To cap it all, he was invited to be a member of the Football Association’s ‘goodwill’ touring party to North America at the season’s end. Included in the party were the likes of Stanley Matthews (who would cut short his participation in order to link up with the first team squad in Brazil for the World Cup) and Nat Lofthouse. Having sailed the Atlantic the party were launched head-long into an intensive programme of matches and travelling between territories, much of it by rail.

Against a series of regional Canadian teams Eddie scored eight goals in six appearances – including two hat-tricks. Matches were also played against touring sides of Manchester United and Jorkopping (Sweden). The tour rounded off with a 1-0 defeat of a USA All-Stars side in New York (containing ten players who’d subsequently take on and defeat England in Brazil). Eddie came back to Merseyside with a two gallon Stetson hat, given to him on Calgary, and priceless memories of seeing the Rockies from a train, visiting the Niagara Falls and counting 180 icebergs on the voyage home on the Empress of Canada. Eddie was optimistic of being invited on the FA tour to Australia planned for the following summer.

Eddie on the voyage back to England in 1950

On the voyage back to England in 1950 (Eddie far right sporting his two-gallon hat

Football fortunes can fluctuate wildly and without warning. For Everton the warning signs of the previous season would be borne out by relegation in the spring of 1951. By this point, Eddie was a helpless bystander – indeed he was struggling to stand at all. His season had started with a personal goal drought but, after a period out of the team due to a nasty knee injury, he got off the mark in a home defeat to Derby at Goodison Park on 9 December. With the Blues trailing 2-1 in misty conditions, Eddie bore down on goal, seeking a late equaliser. Don Kendall (Pilot) reported on what happened: ‘Wainwright, just inside the penalty area, called for and received the square pass from [Oscar] Hold and, as he explained afterwards, he thought he was clear. Eddie tried a diagonal shot and put all his strength behind it. At the same time Chick Musson came over to cover and Wainwright kicked Musson instead of the ball and both the tibia and fibula were broken.’

Eddie, who was stretchered off, would absolve the Derby player from any shred of blame. As soon as Eddie headed to hospital in an ambulance, manager Cliff Britton drove to Southport to break the bad news to Mabel. He then took to see her husband in the Liverpool Royal Infirmary. After surgery he was taken to a Lourdes Nursing Home to recuperate - Cliff Britton and skipper Peter Farrell went to see him there the following day. Eddie was allowed to go home after two weeks, with his leg in plaster.

He’d benefit from the new treatment room in the Goodison Park main stand, which included such mod cons as a new electrical ‘heat bath’. Nonetheless the recovery was slow as the broken bones refused to knit properly. In June 1951, inaccurate speculation was rife that Eddie would have to announce his retirement from the game. At this point he was still on crutches and having daily physiotherapy sessions at Southport Emergency Hospital. Finally, in July, he ditched the crutches for a walking stick and by November was able to get back out on the golf course. The football pitch was another matter, however, and it would be the tail end of the 1951/52 season before he got some game time with the Everton Colts.

Eddie Wainwright with Ted Sagar; on the treatment table at Goodison Park

Left: Eddie Wainwright catches up with Ted Sagar in the 1950s; Right: On the treatment table at Goodison Park

He was left with a pronounced limp – possibly a result of one leg having been shortened by the injury - but he was not to be deterred. The supporters raised a hearty cheer when Eddie was seen at Goodison in the pre-season Blues v. Whites trial match in August 1952, but it would be December before he was deemed ready to return to the Football League fray. He came in at right-wing for the injured Tony McNamara on 13 December - the day could not have gone better for club or player. Eddie scored in a 5-0 rout of Bury and Stork in the Echo was full of praise for the returning hero: The introduction of Wainwright at outside-right proved to be a good move. Not only did Wainwright score a goal, but he played extremely well and showed no signs of fear - not even in the most hearty tackle, and he had to face up to any number of these. Eddie could easily make the outside right position his own, for he adopted himself to the position as though he had been playing there all his life.’

Eddie had a further six outings on the right wing before returning to reserve team duties. His goal touch had not deserted him but the injury had shorn him of some of the electrifying pace he’d once had. Returning to the side for the second half of the 1952/53 season, he made a significant contribution (scoring eight goals) as Everton finally secured promotion back to the First Division in 1953/54. The season culminated in the joyous scenes at Boundary Park as Everton’s 4-0 victory saw them secure a crucial second-place finish.

Eddie (in white) goes for a header

Around this time a young Derek Temple had joined the club. He told me: ‘I went on the ground staff in 1954 – just as Everton had come up from the Second Division- and Eddie in training. He never was the same after the broken leg and had a very bad limp - but he was still a key player. I’d see him at lunchtime as I went over to the Main Stand; he seemed to be a serious sort of man compared to the other lads, who seemed more relaxed. Maybe that was because of coming back from the bad leg break.’

During Eddie’s two-year injury-enforced absence, Dave Hickson had established himself as the team’s centre-forward. The swashbuckling number nine had warm words when recalling their time together at the club: ‘He was a smashing player – he was very direct, an out-and-out winger. He would work the flanks, up and down the pitch, and send over some lovely crosses for the forwards….there was no shortage of supply from wide positions! He was also a lovely man and got on well with everybody. The camaraderie was great in our team at that time.’

Everton team circa 1955

Everton team around 1955 (with Eddie back row, second from the left

Back in the top flight, Eddie continued to be called upon by Cliff Britton on the right side of attack - as an inside-forward or, more frequently, a winger. However the resignation of Britton in March 1956 helped to hasten Eddie’s departure from Goodison. His final selection for the first team was for a heavy home defeat to Sheffield United on 30 March. He would travel on the post-season club tour of Canada and the USA – his second experience across the pond - but on his return he was offered for transfer. He ended his Everton career with statistics of 78 goals in 228 appearances – all the more impressive when considering that he played in an often-struggling team and spent the latter part of his career on the wing. Along with Gwyn Lewis and Jackie Grant, he’d answer the call of Harry Catterick, who was then managing Rochdale of the Third Division North (the familiarity and friendship with Catterick meant that he resisted overtures from Tranmere Rovers). The combined fee was £2,500. Eddie spent three years at Spotland, making century of appearances and later saying: ‘It was a good way to bring my career to a close.’ However, he also confessed, ‘I got kicked to death at that level.’

Upon retirement from playing, Eddie followed in the footsteps of Ted Sagar and Norman Greenhalgh to become a publican for Threlfalls. After receiving training at the Old Roan pub in Aintree, his first posting was to the Medlock – close to Goodison Park and popular with match-goers. At the first sign of any trouble in the pub, the locals would say, “Eddie, stay where you are – we’ll sort this out” and they’d throw the guilty parties out. After the Medlock came the Ship Hotel in New Brighton, followed by the Saughall Hotel (Moreton) and then, finally, the Acorn in Bebington. Eddie’s son Steve recalls John Willie Parker sometimes assisting at the Saughall Hotel as a relief barman: ‘I was nine or ten at the time. The pub shut at 3pm so me and John Willie would kick the ball in the car park for a couple of hours - then he’d open the pub up again.’

The pub work restricted opportunities to take in football games – Eddie was loathe to leave the pub, fearing things could go wrong in his absence. Steve recalls his father taking him to two midweek night matches – including a cup tie against Spurs. A man of few words, but capable of delivering a pithy interjection, Eddie did not talk a lot about his football career to his children. Steve had to tease information out of him - or get it from his mother.

Eddie Wainwright in action for Rochdale; in retirement

Left: Eddie Wainwright in action for Rochdale at Spotland; Right: In retirement in 1990

In 1984 Eddie suffered an aneurism close to the aorta. Surgery was performed at Broadgreen Hospital and the procedure ‘bought’ him another 20 years. However this was the catalyst to take retirement from the pub trade – he was about ready to step down anyhow. The couple moved to a bungalow in Bebington and lived out their days together there. Although not a regular attendee of matches (he’d go to Prenton Park on occasion) he did stay in touch with some of his former Everton teammates.

Eddie grandson Danny Harrison was on the books of Everton until being released at 12. Danny told me: ‘I remember when I was school I did a lot of projects on my granddad. I remember having conversations with him about football – he loved his playing career. One story he told me was that for London games they’d get the train down and it was very strict. The club would take them to the theatre but then they’d then lock them into their rooms for the night - but some still managed to get out.’

Danny’s incessant practicing with a ball sometimes caused concern for the horticulturalist in Eddie: ‘He had some of his prizewinning crysanths in pots in my mum’s garden. He’d watch me and my brother there running around playing football - but as soon as we started knocking the flowerpots over it was the end of the world! For a spell I trained at Bellefield and Eddie managed to come over a couple of times with me – it was nice for him to watch me play for Everton. We thought that it might carry on but it wasn’t to be. He managed to watch me play professionally at Tranmere before he passed. That was massive for him and the family - seeing me follow in his footsteps. As he came out of Prenton Park he got stopped by an elderly gentleman and was asked for his autograph. There was me thinking I’d cracked it and there’s my granddad getting stopped as well! It was a surreal moment.’

Eddie passed away on 30th September 2005. He went quietly – typical of the man - and didn’t suffer. At the funeral at Landican Cemetery, Z-Cars was played and Everton FC was well represented.

Sources/Acknowledgements:

The Wainwright family
Derek Temple
Blue Correspondent website (Billy Smith)
The Liverpool Echo
Everton: The Official Complete Record (Steve Johnson)
Everton match day programmes

Follow @robsawyer70
Share article:

Reader Comments (36)

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


Teddy Draper
1 Posted 28/09/2020 at 08:37:30
I saw Eddie play many a time when I was a boy, remember him with great affection. Maybe your memories fade in the mist of time but I remember his ability probably would have gotten him into today's Premier League?

Great days for going to the match, sadly in my eighties now and cannot afford to go. Still remain a True Blue until the inevitable (Lol). God bless you all.

Bob McEvoy
2 Posted 28/09/2020 at 10:16:48
Lovely stuff, Rob... Eddie was just before my time: first match, 28 February 1959. Apart from Collins and Parker, we weren't much good.

Then, early 1960, Moores started investing.

It must have been a slog for the type of player Eddie was to play in that team.

Dave Abrahams
3 Posted 28/09/2020 at 10:22:42
A great favourite of mine, Eddie Wainwight, a much better than average footballer, injuries stopped Eddie getting to full international honours,

I remember that Blackpool match well, the snow was thick on the pitch, an auld fella near me said “ Mathews won’t play in this “ he didn’t, his understudy Hobson did, Eddie scored four as stated by Rob, Jimmy McIntosh, signed by Everton from Blackpool the day before this match, got the other.

I remember that Derby County game when Eddie got that injury which kept him out of football for a long time, looking back now I would say if Eddie hadn’t have got that injury then we wouldn’t have been relegated, he was that good.

I was there the night we won promotion with Eddie in the team, a wonderful joyous occasion, 1954 Rob, not 1953, by the way.

Eddie was Everton’s penalty taker and I was there when he took that penalty v Spurs,a second division team but an outstanding team at the time, before the game a blue balloon made its way into the Gwladys Street penalty area and it was cheered in the corner of the net by the crowd, the same corner of the net that Eddie placed his penalty very early in the game.

A quiet man off the field but easy to talk to coming back from away games following The Blues, he’d listen rather than talk but always friendly, a lovely man in lovely times.

David Peate
4 Posted 28/09/2020 at 10:50:07
Eddie Wainwright was a true sportsman on the field. He was a good and clean player. It was a real shame that he broke his leg in action. It is true that he was not the same when he returned to the team after recovery. The Everton faithful truly admired him. I have fond memories of seeing Eddie playing for Everton.
Pete Jones
5 Posted 28/09/2020 at 12:52:58
A warm tribute on a chill autumn day. Good work Mr Sawyer
John McFarlane Snr
6 Posted 28/09/2020 at 13:30:34
Fond memories of Eddie and his team-mates of that era, working class players entertaining working class supporters. Well done once again, Rob.
John Hall
7 Posted 28/09/2020 at 15:02:41
Teddy @ 1.

Obviously a loyal Everton Fan for decades and still has the love of the club at heart. Great that you still post Teddy and that you can keep following the news on ToffeeWeb. You must have lots of great memories stretching back many many years.

I currently live in Philippines and have lived in Asia for the past twenty years, being fortunate enough to be able to travel back and forth to watch the Blues on many occasions during that time.

Have recently retired and can now play lots of golf and watch most of the Everton and EPL games on TV at my home but don't see myself travelling to watch the blues any time soon or in the near future.

As such I would like to extend to you and a friend or family member of your choice, the chance to watch a home game at Goodison once the crowds are allowed back into the stadiums and you can hopefully see and enjoy the Blues at least one more time until as you quite nicely put it "the inevitable". Expenses for seats and the day will be borne by me and hope that the crowds are allowed back in before Xmas so that you can see and enjoy the new "Grand Carlo" experience.

I shall send my contact details to the honorable Mr Michael Kendrick at ToffeeWeb (administrator) and hopefully he can liaise between us whenever the ground is re opened and you can have your day planned and organized for whatever fixture you choose.

COYB

John Boon
8 Posted 28/09/2020 at 16:01:43
I was also a big fan of Eddie Wainwright. At that time he was one of the better players in a struggling team. This is a well written great article which brings back different memories for older Evertonians. I remember the disappointment of the semi final 2-0 loss to them others.

Going a little off topic (reading such articles brings up memories) I think I am correct in stating that "Freebooter" won the Grand National that year. The reason I remember was that My Uncle "Eddie", same christian name, won a 50 pound sweepstakes. That was huge in those days. He gave me a ten pound note. Wow!!


The same Uncle, along with my Dad, was responsible for me becoming a fanatical Evertonian. Ironically he died at half time at Goodison Park on March 13 1954 when Everton beat Rotherham 3-0 during the promotion year. He was my mother's brother and had lived with us since the war. As sad as it was at the time nothing could have been more appropriate. He had never married, but Eddie Kehoe was always obsessed by Everton and probably would never have had time to marry. Without a doubt the greatest Evertonian I have ever known.

Thanks ROB for helping me to rekindle some great memories, a little sad at the time. Incidentally Everton scored all three goals in the second half of the Rotherham game, so my Uncle Eddie was not there physically. Parker scored a hatrick in front of 53,00 and Eddie Wainwright was inside forward. However I am sure my Uncle Eddie was screaming EVERTON from up above. Probably the best seat ever available.

Teddy Draper
9 Posted 28/09/2020 at 16:12:04
John @7 I am totally overwhelmed by your kind remarks and generosity, thank you so much.
Mike Gaynes
10 Posted 28/09/2020 at 18:56:50
John #7, that is a lovely gesture. Everton generosity embodied.

Rob and Dave, thank you for your stories.

Jack Convery
11 Posted 28/09/2020 at 21:12:36
Lovely article. thank you for enlightening me on Eddie Wainwright. RIP.
Paul Birmingham
12 Posted 28/09/2020 at 22:21:54
Great story Rob, and whilst before my time, my dad said he was an unsung hero and unlucky to be injured and in a difficult period for the club.

Great epitaph to the times and spirit of football as it was then and to players and people who appreciate the game then, and now.

Christine Foster
13 Posted 28/09/2020 at 00:14:35
Wonderful bio, Rob, although before my time, I remember my Uncle Jimmy who would later take me to my first Everton game, telling me what a great player Eddie was, heart of a lion who never gave up he said.

I am proud to be an Evertonian when I see John Hall, offering to pay for a supporter he does not know, yet he is family. Just shows you what being a blue means... Well done you!

Bob Butchard
14 Posted 29/09/2020 at 01:26:36
Thank you for this wonderful trip down memory lane. I watched my first games in 1950, in the Boys Pen! Eddie was one of my favourite players from the very beginning. I never realised what a colourful career he had and I have really enjoyed this article.
Phil Teece
15 Posted 29/09/2020 at 01:41:45
Thanks, Rob, for a wonderful tear-to-the-eye article.

My clearest memory of Eddie is of Everton's first home game after they returned to Division 1. It was 24 August 1954 against Arsenal – lucky Arsenal as my Dad always called them. Almost 70,000 were there and the atmosphere was something the 9-year-old boy that once was me never forgot.

Eddie stood out down the right and unless memory deceives me it was he who put over the early cross that Tommy Eglington, coming in from the left, headed home for the game's only goal. It was a great win to set the season off perfectly.

The other strong memory for the 9-year-old me was of renowned 'dirty bugger' Alec Forbes coming off last at half time to a torrent of abusive language I'd never heard before!

John Hall
16 Posted 29/09/2020 at 12:15:44
Teddy, have sent a mail to Michael with my details. Look forward to you being able to watch your beloved Blues when the crowds are allowed back in the stadiums.

I shall get in touch with him when the ground reopens.

Stay safe until you get your big day.

Dave Abrahams
17 Posted 29/09/2020 at 12:28:50
Phil (15)yes 69,000 plus v Arsenal on the Wednesday night and over 76,000 on the Saturday v PNE with another 1-0 victory, the goal scored by Cyril Lello if my memory is correct, exciting times for Blues fans.
John McFarlane Snr
18 Posted 29/09/2020 at 15:13:29
Hi Dave [17] your memory is spot on, I was in the Park end of the Goodison Road stand [the most impressive stand in the country,] I've never forgiven Everton for replacing it with what I regard as a characterless monstrosity, you will also recall that Cyril Lello scored his goal against Preston at the Park end. I know that like myself, you also attended the first game of the season at Bramall Lane, a 5-2 win over Sheffield United, followed by the Arsenal and Preston games.

Our first home defeat came at the hands of West Brom, I recall that there was a disputed goal in that game but I'm not sure if it was their winner or a possible equaliser for Everton, all I can remember is that the incident occurred at the Gwladys Street end. Like the present day we won our first three games and led the field. lets hope we build on our early successes.

Dave Abrahams
19 Posted 29/09/2020 at 16:43:48
John (18), yes I remember Lello’s shot from just outside the penalty area right along the floor.

I worked with Cyril on a shut down in Fords, he was a sparks mate like myself and he used to enjoy the dinner time break listening to all the stories us Scousers would come up with, not about football, but everyday life, always made him laugh.

As you said in an earlier post John, on this thread, it was a different life in Eddie and Cyril’s time, they were born too early,both would have been millionaires today, doubt very much they would have been happier than they were then.

Rick Tarleton
20 Posted 30/09/2020 at 10:46:34
I only saw Eddie post 1950, and when I saw him he was usually replacing Tony McNamara on the right wing.I was young and he wasn't the swashbuckling player that he had once been, but he was still skilful and was a loyal servant in the early seasons back in the first division. Like so many of that team he was ageing, Farrell, Lello, Fielding, Eglington, Moore were all players who lost their early career to the war and Wainwright was of their ilk.
Dave Abrahams
21 Posted 30/09/2020 at 17:31:16
Rick (20), you could add, John Willie Parker, Ted Buckle and Cyril Lello to that list of ageing players who played with Eddie.
Brian Williams
22 Posted 30/09/2020 at 17:46:44
John Willie Parker there's a name I haven't heard in a long time, he was a good mate of my dad's. :-)
Dave Abrahams
23 Posted 30/09/2020 at 22:14:19
Brian (22), your dad had a good mate, John Willie was well liked on and off the pitch, had two or three brothers who were good amateur footballers playing in the Birkenhead league.
John Davies
24 Posted 30/09/2020 at 22:46:33
Great story Rob.
Thank you for all the people involved in this article/story
Teddy Draper
25 Posted 01/10/2020 at 07:25:49
Ted Buckle wow now there’s a name to bring back memories. If memories serve me correct Ted had a tattoo on his arm, I think it was an anchor, hence the nickname Sailor Buckle. I can remember one spell when we were really bad and Ted said in an interview ( I think it was the Echo ) come up to Manchester and see us win, and we did, or maybe I’ve been dreaming? Possibly John Mcfarlane Snr can verify as he probably has the most factual knowledge about our era than most of us.God bless Teddy.
Dave Abrahams
26 Posted 01/10/2020 at 10:31:29
Teddy (25),

I can't verify that story but I remember going to Goodison Park on two consecutive Saturdays. Ted was outside left for Man Utd Reserves and the next Saturday he was outside left for Everton making his debut, possibly versus Man Utd, but I wouldn't bet on that. However, both games finished 0-0.

John McFarlane Snr
27 Posted 01/10/2020 at 16:10:54
Hi Teddy [25] I've just checked and Everton never beat Manchester United at Old Trafford while Ted Buckle played for us.1949/50 1-1 and 1950/51 0-3 that was the season we were relegated. He made one appearance in the First Division in 1954/55 a 5-0 defeat away to Portsmouth, [his last game] I guess it must have been a dream. Regarding the tattoo and the "Sailor Buckle" nickname I must confess that I've never heard of that.

Hi Dave [26] you are correct in stating that Ted Buckle made his debut against Manchester United in a 0-0 draw, and knowing your track record you are more than likely to be correct in saying that he played against Everton reserves, [for Manchester United] the previous week. It's quite likely that I too attended both games, but I can't b sure.

Teddy Draper
28 Posted 01/10/2020 at 16:40:06
Hi John @27, thanks for the prompt I knew you would not let us down. Ted Buckle joined the Royal Navy at eighteen and participated in the latter end of the war maybe that’s where the nickname “Sailor” came from? But I do know he had an anchor tattoo on one of his arms. Can still see it now in my minds eye.
Robert Yates
29 Posted 02/10/2020 at 13:05:08
Good memories of Eddie Wainwight and if my memory is working I think that the tune to the Eddie Wainwight’s ditty was. “All the nice girls love a sailor”.
John McFarlane Snr
30 Posted 02/10/2020 at 14:23:49
Hi Robert [29], In the days of Ted Buckle there were no chants from fans, the only club supporters I can remember who sang at games [prior to the 1962 Chile World Cup], were Birmingham City, [Keep right on to the end of the road]. Coventry City [The Eton boat song]. and West Ham United [I'm forever blowing bubbles]. there may be one or two others that I can't recall, but until the 1962 finals chanting as we now know it was unheard, Following that tournament chants of Ev-ert-on or Liv-er-pool were heard and subsequently songs dedicated to individual players. If you heard a song dedicated to Ted Buckle it must have been sung by a small group of people.
Dave Abrahams
31 Posted 02/10/2020 at 18:50:52
John (30), Yes, I've got to agree I never heard any singing at grounds, apart from the ones you mention, before the sixties, although crowds were noted for there full-throated shouting and roaring their teams on, like the Kop at Anfield, helped by a full roof over their heads to keep the shouting in, the Roker roar at Sunderland and the crowd at Goodison Park with their deafening roars of encouragement, especially with the huge attendance we used to get.

Regarding Ted Buckle, I don't recall him being called “Sailor Buckle”, there was a player signed in 1958 I think called Peter “Sailor” Harburn from Brighton, a centre-forward, but the least said about this player the better... It was £10,000 threw down the grid, when £10,000 was not to be sniffed at.

Robert Yates
32 Posted 02/10/2020 at 21:44:22
In Rob Sawyer’s article about Eddie Wainwright he mentions a ditty that was sang about him(not Ted Buckle) but he didn’t know the tune it was sung to,hence my comment.
Christine Foster
33 Posted 03/10/2020 at 11:28:44
Off subject I know but the guardian has some great pics of Alan Ball and Fred Pickering from the 50 s and 60s, never seen them before.. different lifetimes ago..
https://www.theguardian.com/sport/gallery/2020/oct/03/graffiti-fishing-and-mr-whippy-unseen-photographs-from-footballs-yesteryear
Teddy Draper
34 Posted 03/10/2020 at 13:27:21
Christine @33 again off subject but if you want an amazing hour of entertainment, go on Vimeo or maybe You tube and get Alan Balls after dinner speech it is a true revelation of the type of human being Alan Ball was. Highly recommended.
Dick Fearon
35 Posted 04/10/2020 at 22:48:53
I have this strange memory of Eddie Wainwright and wonder if old age has something to do with it.
It was a tension filled home game game vs ???
Eddie had the ball at his feet in our own penalty area. Suddenly action seemed to freeze and the crowd went quiet. Thinking the Ref had whistled for a stoppage a puzzled Edddie picked up the ball with both hands and conceded a penalty. Does anyone else remember?
Peter Rigby
36 Posted 05/10/2020 at 17:11:00
I attended Arnot St Primary school until 11 and Eddies son, I think it was Michael was in our class for a while. Together we went to the match a few times in the Boys Pen (yes, I survived it) and afterwards went to his dad's pub. would be about '57 or '58-'59. Great times, football of a different era.

Watched Lamella of Spurs go down like he'd been hit with a sledge-hammer after Martial tickled his chin... these modern-day players wouldn't have lasted a minute back then.

Add Your Comments

In order to post a comment, you need to be logged in as a registered user of the site.

» Log in now

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.


About these ads


© ToffeeWeb