John Murray – Everton’s First Boy Mascot

Becky Tallentire   28/04/2021 59comments  |  Jump to last

Every once in a while, I post photos on Twitter from my painstakingly-curated Everton archive. As one of life’s observers, I particularly love black-and-white pictures; they’re intriguing and I examine them closely.

Online and suitably hash-tagged, these monochrome mementos awaken memories from similarly nostalgic/thwarted Evertonians. They join the thread with their recollections of that match, their heroes and their recurring disappointments.

There’s Roy Vernon in the tunnel at West Ham, wearing the white away kit, focussed and holding the match ball. Gordon West stands behind his right shoulder: we’ve heard so many stories about these old war horses, we feel as if we know them.

Vernon, the Everton captain was built like a whippet, the legendary taker of penalties (never, not even in training) and smoker of cigarettes (always, even in the shower) stands alongside a young lad with a beaming smile. I wonder what became of those youngsters, so fortunate to have been captured on film. How old would he be now? How did his life pan out? What does he remember about the day he got to walk onto the pitch alongside his heroes?

Some of the boys look overwhelmed and some are painfully shy but this one looked like it was the job he was born to do.

This is the story of Everton’s first ‘boy mascot’, John Murray.

Now based in Bristol, the only thing that’s changed is the colour of his hair.

He still has a smile as wide as the Mersey and follows the Blues with as much passion as he did in 1963.

From a Royal Blue dynasty, 10-year-old John was in the Boys’ Pen most home games. Occasionally, he would clamber over the top and crowd surf down the Gwladys Street End to join his Dad and uncles and watch the game from there. Some weeks there would be 65 000 people shoe-horned into Goodison Park.

Roy Vernon hoists John Murray in the air

After the Big Freeze of 1963 when all matches were postponed due to unplayable pitches, Liverpool FC returned with their ‘boy mascot’. There was a Toffee Lady at Everton, but no boy in a replica kit. The Murray Brothers decided they would change that and hatched their plan.

A trip from their Norris Green home to Jack Sharp’s amazing football emporium in town was scheduled and the following home game, John was resplendent in his full kit complete with Roy Vernon’s number 10, hand-sewn onto the back.

Ten minutes before kick-off, he was passed down above the heads of the crowd and deposited over the hoardings and onto the pitch.

Roy Vernon hoists John Murray

“My Dad had told me to make my way to the tunnel, which I did. I didn’t feel shy or nervous, I just did what I was told. When I got there, the policeman asked if I was the mascot, I said yes and he told me to go downstairs to the dressing room and wait for the team. I was so excited, I was going to see my heroes close up. When Roy Vernon came out and saw me, he said, ‘Alright Lad,’ and off we went.

“I ran out first on to the pitch and stood there as the referee tossed the coin. I collected all of those pennies and saved them in an envelope.

“We went to every game, home and away. It was a way of life. My Dad, his brothers and their mates went on the ale at the away games and the kids just sat around listening to them talking. If it was a London game we would leave really early on the Sunshine Coach from the East Lancs Road and if it was midweek, I’d miss a day at school because I was present and correct at all of the matches, proudly wearing my kit with number 10 on the back.

“Boy mascots were a brand new concept and not all the clubs had caught on, so I’d often be the only one on the pitch. It felt amazing to be part of it, especially as Everton were superb and on their way to winning the league.

Harry Catterick had a masterplan to take the title and he was busy piecing together his team. Backed by the financial might of John Moores, he headed back to Hillsborough where he enticed his blue-eyed boy, Tony Kay and lured Alex Scott from Rangers to join the Mersey Millionaires. They both arrived at Christmas time only to learn that the frozen pitches meant there would be a backlog of matches for months.

When the season resumed, Everton went the remainder of it, unbeaten and were within striking distance of winning the League; it was all down to a home game against Fulham.

“The result that afternoon would decide whether we won the League. The buzz around the ground was incredible. It was mid-May and a lovely day; bright and sunny. Roy Vernon told me that if they won, I was to make my way to the bottom of the steps and wait for him, he would come and get me and take me up to where the medals were handed out. He scored a hat trick that day.

“I never doubted him for a minute. When the game was finished, Roy ran over to me and lifted me high into the air. I still have the picture in a frame.

John Murray and lap of honour

There’s another famous photo of the lap of honour; over-coated policemen line the perimeter of the pitch, poised to wrestle any would-be pitch invaders to the ground. Roy Vernon and an incredibly-youthful Derek Temple are in front of the St End goal. Albert Dunlop is catching up with Alex Young who’s applauding the crowd. Top prize for ‘pure euphoria’ goes to Alex Parker: socks rolled down and a hand on his chest as he laughs out loud in sheer jubilation, while Brian Labone, Alex Scott and Tony Kay bask in the love from the crowd. Look again and in front of Brian Labone, you’ll see young John Murray leading the Champions of England around Goodison Park.

You’ll easily recognise him because he has a smile as wide as the Mersey.

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Reader Comments (59)

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Gerry Quinn
1 Posted 28/04/2021 at 07:56:35
Fabulous story-telling Becky - I can remember those days watching from the Bullen's Road and being so envious of those mascots. This is the first time I have been aware of their background - well done, lovely times, lovely story, and well told.
Brian Murray
2 Posted 28/04/2021 at 08:52:01
Tears welling here ! That’s my older bro John. I was always envious but just missed out ever seeing the golden vision as 1969 70 my first match going year. Scarf tied to the stanchion in the gap in the st end like many a kid so not to get crushed.Bit hazy my memory of that year. 3 things, the smell of tobacco pipe, whittles blond hair and destroying Chelsea at Easter with Bally all over them from start to finish. Back to my bro I have 4 brothers one sister but John arguably the biggest blue out of All of us. We are all a very close second though
Danny O’Neill
3 Posted 28/04/2021 at 09:36:26
Great piece. Just about everything to like about every aspect of that story, but my favourite? The "I just did what I was told" line! No questioning, just do what your Dad says. And look at the outcome. Fantastic tale.

Generation after generation of younger brothers and sons were tied by a scarf to the ledge Brian. The ritual of entering the ground very early to get my speck, but only after tying my brother up to then take my place just behind. Visiting him at half time with a sausage roll and drink, then picking him up at the end. My paper round money seemed to go a long way back then!

I do hope our long suffering fans get to watch us win a title again. Cups are great and I savour those memories, but winning the title and witnessing first hand really is the pinnacle, as obvious a statement as that sounds.
Danny O’Neill
4 Posted 28/04/2021 at 09:38:34
Sorry Brian, just seen your other post and you've rivalled the "I just did what I was told" line with the "I'm getting all Kenwright" one! Classic!!
Ian Burns
5 Posted 28/04/2021 at 15:17:05
You always come up with the goods Becky - yet another great read, I love these articles.

My face is in that crowd somewhere! What a day that was. I only hope some of our younger fans get to experience that wonderful winning feeling before too many more seasons pass. Next season would be nice Mr Carlo!

Chris Williams
8 Posted 28/04/2021 at 17:14:45
Great idea for an article Becky, and as always wonderfully delivered.

Great surprise for Brian M too.

I was there that red letter day, with my mate Steve, in the Street End, and those photos bring back the memories. I’m glad they confirm how beautiful the weather was that day. It always was in my mind’s eye, but it was bound to be, just like most great memories! As for Royston!

I reckon that’s what every supporter really wants. Great memories. Let’s all hope for a few more in the near future, to take with us to our new ground, and to help cement the Goodison legend firmly in the minds of new generations.
Andrew Haizelden
9 Posted 28/04/2021 at 18:08:50
So many memories of the matches.
Dad and his brothers, me in the Pen.
When they opened the gates I’d run round to the different sections of the ground-to try them out.
Meeting up with Dad and the Uncles under the clock at the jewellers shop-I think it was.
Then walking up to Brewster St to watch final score at Grans house.
Away games in the Sixties and them all arguing the best route to the game,
Absolutely brilliant, thank you Becky.
Patrick Clancy
10 Posted 28/04/2021 at 18:57:18
This is such a fantastic story, and a really enjoyable article Becky!


Look at his little face, and that photo at the end...class.
Bill Watson
11 Posted 28/04/2021 at 20:15:26
Thanks for a great trip down memory lane, Becky. I was at that game and remember it well.

I was just 16 and in my final weeks of school. A few weeks earlier my friend Kenny, and I, had sagged off school to go to an afternoon game at Birmingham. For some reason, probably something to do with the huge car plants, Birmingham City always played the day after a Bank Holiday.

It was four games from the end of the season and we won 0-1. I remember Tony Kay taking the ball to the corner and sitting on it to waste time.

Walking back to the coach an open top Bentley pulled alongside and the guy asked if we wanted a lift home.

Kenny replied that we were OK thanks as we were on the Crown (coach). It was, of course, John Moores and so went a golden opportunity of tapping him up for a job when I left school!

NB. We also had to face the music, in school, the next day. A teacher had passed us, as he thought on the way to school, and waited at the school gate to get us into the late book. We never turned up. lol
Chris Williams
12 Posted 28/04/2021 at 21:38:25
Actually, I’m trying to work out the shirt colour Royston is wearing at the top of the article, alongside young John.

Is it yellow with black shorts?

I remember the all white kit fine, but that early on I’m not sure about yellow.

Anybody remember?
Tony Abrahams
13 Posted 28/04/2021 at 22:09:55
What a brilliant story that was Becky, absolutely brilliant that!

Made up for you to read that Brian, and if John, is the best blue by a very short head, which one hates Liverpool the most mate?

I only know Tony, but I’d be very surprised if his fringe doesn’t get him over the line first, haha!
Brian Murray
14 Posted 29/04/2021 at 07:05:02
Our John reliably informs me that was the Inter Milan first leg at Goodison Park, European Cup and we wore white because of a colour clash. 1963.
Chris Williams
15 Posted 29/04/2021 at 08:47:52
Thanks Brian,

I was there at that game too, and we did wear white. I didn’t recall the black shorts, or collar though.

Early introduction to Italian defensive mastery that night.
Chris Williams
16 Posted 29/04/2021 at 09:27:18
Incidentally Brian, you can still see the little lad in the grown man!

What a smile.
Ian Burns
17 Posted 29/04/2021 at 11:37:56
I was also at the Inter Milan game 0-0. I think if memory serves me correctly, Colin Harvey made his debut that night.
Chris Williams
18 Posted 29/04/2021 at 11:41:37
Ian,

He made his debut in the away game I think. Quite a baptism for an 18 year old. I think he may even have been MOTM
Brian Murray
19 Posted 29/04/2021 at 11:55:37
Tony post 13. Stewards enquiry who hates them shiesters the most, I can tell you a run in I had with Gerard in formby or maybe that’s for another day ( over a pint ? ) Unless you want the gory details on here ha ha, Even Kendall sort of got involved in that little fracas. Basically the 80 percent kopites a bit well to do are not used to a north Liverpool lad and you can imagine how much they scab to that Huyton idiot. I’d say John is a bit more easy going or diplomatic compared to Tony or me. I really can’t be in their company more than the time it takes to sink a pint. Different species I’ve always said.
Ian Burns
20 Posted 29/04/2021 at 12:18:37
Chris - 18 - thanks - I stand corrected. I was at the game, can remember very little about it but I knew Colin Harvey was connected somehow. I only hope our young supporters can experience such nights before too long.

Tricia Wood
21 Posted 29/04/2021 at 12:24:00
Terrific article about my big brother Johnny Rush so thanks Becky. I was in the boys pen with my brothers that day, one of a handful of girls. Like most Everton families our fanaticism for the blues was passed down over generations, from our dad, The Major and his dad before him, Big Ciggy a merchant seaman. Not a chance any of us would be a poolie.
Dave Abrahams
22 Posted 29/04/2021 at 12:49:10
Chris (15)Just to make it clear Chris, Everton played in all white that night,versus Inter Milan, jerseys, shorts and socks.
Chris Williams
23 Posted 29/04/2021 at 14:50:01
That was my recollection too Dave.
Chris Williams
24 Posted 29/04/2021 at 18:55:04
Dave,

That kit Royston is wearing in that first photo. Do you recall that? It looks like an away match, but I don’t remember anything like that. White shirt, V neck dark trim and Black shorts.

If you don’t remember, Dave, we’re all buggered!

Terry White
25 Posted 29/04/2021 at 19:20:46
Looks like a gold shirt, not white, to me, Chris (#24). Perhaps West Ham away in the early 60s?
Chris Williams
26 Posted 29/04/2021 at 19:35:56
That was my first thought Terry, but Brian says his brother John, the subject of the article, reckons it was the Inter match. And it was 1963.

I’m sure I didn’t see it at Goodison, but I couldn’t swear. Maybe we were talking about different photos
Terry White
27 Posted 29/04/2021 at 19:43:52
The Inter game was at the beginning of the '63-'64 season, Chris (#26). As Dave A. has previously pointed out correctly, we played in all white against Inter at home, playing in blue in the away leg. This photo is also a day game while the Inter game was at night.

Can't help further than that but the style of the kit, with the old "V" neck, suggests early '60s rather than '63 onwards when we had a round neck shirt at all games.

Perhaps John is a little confused?
Chris Williams
28 Posted 29/04/2021 at 20:00:41
I don’t know mate, but I know they played in all white, that night and that shirt looks more like 1960/61 ish.

The problem is that Everton’s first mascot was 62/63 and that was John. So a conundrum.

God, Vernon was a great and my all time all time Everton great.

Cue Dave A coming on about Bobby Collins now. Another great, but not Roy Vernon!

Tony Abrahams
29 Posted 29/04/2021 at 20:10:54
Brilliant Brian, save the story for the ale house mate, even if I’ve already got the picture, now that you’ve told me you’re as bad as your kid!
Brian Murray
30 Posted 29/04/2021 at 20:47:29
Terry, Chris, I bow to your seniority in that kit and occasion. Could of sworn John said inter in euro cup but maybe got him wrong. Il try and clarify ! Enjoy your night lads here’s to a future bev in the Winslow or wherever.
Chris Williams
31 Posted 29/04/2021 at 20:49:45
Amen to all of that Brian.

I’d love to hear his views though.
Peter Mills
32 Posted 30/04/2021 at 07:45:47
My first away game in the early 60s, possibly in the Championship season when I was 6/7, was at Blackburn Rovers, when we played in a gold shirt with a black V collar, black shorts, and gold socks with black tops. This was our “third” kit, used because either blue or white shirts would have clashed with Blackburn’s blue and white halves.

Could the photo have been taken at Ewood Park?
Peter Mills
33 Posted 30/04/2021 at 08:06:39
I’ve just checked the excellent Everton Results website. We played Blackburn away in November 1962, I think that will be the match I attended when we played in gold.

We travelled on a double-decker bus. My over-riding memory is of a disgruntled lad singing “Blackburn Rovers are under the arm, hallelujah” most of the way home on the top deck. His disillusionment may confirm the match in question, as we were 2-1 up with 10 minutes to go only for Fred Pickering to equalise for Rovers before they won with a last minute penalty by Bryan Douglas.

Great article and comments.
Chris Williams
34 Posted 30/04/2021 at 08:27:20
Great detective work, Peter!

Have you tried teh Blue Correspondent website? It's an archive for Everton articles, from the Echo, Post and Evening Express amongst others. It's arranged by season, by month. So you may find a comment there about the kit.

Brilliant resource for Evertonians, but not very user friendly

Dave Abrahams
35 Posted 30/04/2021 at 09:12:20
Chris (28), very true Chris, but you said it for me!!LOL, I loved Vernon as well though Chris.
Chris Williams
36 Posted 30/04/2021 at 09:26:27
I loved Collins Dave. He was my first sight of a better class of player at Everton, in 1958 and he did everything, didn’t he. I was 10 then and had been watching for 4 years.

The rebirth that started with Tommy Ring and continued with Roy and all the others, happened when I was 12 and I was totally captured by it. It had an aura, and I’ve always thought of it like that bit in the Wizard of Oz when it went from monochrome to colour.

So that’s part of it, but two great players who enhanced our lives.
Dave Abrahams
37 Posted 30/04/2021 at 09:32:14
Chris (36), yes Chris, we just got better and better after Bobby came, he literally dragged us up out of the ‘Also ran’s’ to get to mix and beat the best of teams, with thanks to Roy, Tommy and Jimmy Gabriel etc, brilliant and exciting days, as you say and great to be an Evertonian after years of being on the outside looking in.
Peter Mills
38 Posted 30/04/2021 at 11:27:09
Chris#34, I didn’t know of that site’s existence. I took a look, it’s a great resource. Nice to read again some of the old reports from the Echo’s Michael Charters.
Chris Williams
39 Posted 30/04/2021 at 11:46:22
I stumbled onto it looking for some historical Everton stuff, Peter. It also covers the reserve matches and match reviews from Monday, after the dust had settled.

Captain had a weekly column too, so all good stuff.

Horace Yates as well!
Brian Murray
40 Posted 30/04/2021 at 12:14:17
Peter mills post32 you maybe very warm with that as John was taken to most away games even in them days. So it could be Blackburn away. Gona bell my bro Tonight see if shed some light on it
Becky Tallentire
41 Posted 30/04/2021 at 12:30:15
I rarely write these days but when a story jumps up and pokes me in the eye, I just can’t resist. It was pure serendipity that John’s son came across the picture I tweeted and it was a delight to record his story.

When I get to read your comments, it really thrills me to bits, thanks 😊

About the V-neck shirt, I remember sitting with Alex Young while he signed about 500 copies of a photo of himself scoring his first goal for Everton at Blackburn wearing that same kit. dunno if that helps narrow it down.

Keep shining, fellas and thanks for your lovely feedback. It warms my heart.

Up the Toffees 💙🙌🏼
Chris Williams
42 Posted 30/04/2021 at 12:53:11
Becky,

It’s an absolute pleasure to read your articles, and to get a bit involved with other Blues of a certain age. It was made all the better by Brian’s personal family connection.

Many thanks.
Brian Murray
43 Posted 30/04/2021 at 12:56:38
Becky, sent you a email pic of Dave ( another older brother, him sagging school to see off the team at lime street on the Friday, 66 cup final. We maybe not in dr David France league but maybe a close second where the toffs concerned. Here’s to some blue dominance, coyb cmon Carlo make a name for yourself!
Brian Murray
44 Posted 30/04/2021 at 13:00:06
Chris, thanks for the comments. Hope we see us rise again somehow!
Dave Abrahams
45 Posted 30/04/2021 at 13:28:54
Chris (36), yes Chris, we just got better and better after Bobby came, he literally dragged us up out of the ‘Also ran’s’ to get to mix and beat the best of teams, with thanks to Roy, Tommy and Jimmy Gabriel etc, brilliant and exciting days, as you say and great to be an Evertonian after years of being on the outside looking in.
Chris Williams
46 Posted 30/04/2021 at 13:31:11
Brian

I’m sure we will. Something special is building here, and there are encouraging outbreaks of progress all over the Everton landscape.

Everton fans live in the past and the future. Living in the present and enjoying it would be a lovely change, too long delayed.
Dave Abrahams
47 Posted 30/04/2021 at 13:44:34
Peter(38) and Chris (39), I had some arguments with Michael Charters and Horace Yates sending and receiving letters, friendly correspondence.

Horace Yates, never met him but I bet he could more than hold his own in an argument, the year we came fourth and briefly got into Europe, Horace wrote an article in the Daily Post saying Everton would get into the top four, I wrote him a letter, basically saying you’re having a laugh with that and offering to bet him, giving him 100/1 odds on the bet, explaining I was out of work so it would have be a 5p. bet, he took me up on it.

At the end of the season I sent him £5 postal order to pay him his winnings, I never received an acknowledgement from him, he had the last laugh but I never knew if he received the postal order.
Chris Williams
48 Posted 30/04/2021 at 13:59:05
Dave,

That’s a bit churlish of him, not to acknowledge it. Maybe he didn’t get it.

I used to like most of the local writers back then, proper journalists I’ve spent some time reading again on that website we mentioned. The standards were much higher, and the local and inside knowledge much more trustworthy than the shabby nonsense that passes for journalism currently.

If you get a chance, have a read about when Tommy Ring was about to sign, and the reports on his debut..
Dave Abrahams
49 Posted 30/04/2021 at 14:39:43
Chris (48), yes I like to think he received his money, to be honest I think Horace he was doing his columns from home, maybe through ill health, before he retired, so he could have had more things on his mind.

I think you are correct about the older journalists and the standards they kept to, maybe they were allowed to work at a more leisurely pace, one of them, David Charters, mainly writing in The Daily Post, was an absolute gentleman, I had many a phone conversation with him and shared a couple of coffee mornings with him in Echo offices in Old Hall St, he had a great wit in his column of days gone by,mostly of Birkenhead and the characters he knew, he passed away last year. I said to him, onetime, “ Do you cop for free tickets to watch the Blues” he was a good Evertonian, he said’ No I’ve never asked to be honest” I said “ Well, David, ask Ken Rogers or Dave Prentice, they can only say no, they can’t hit you” He just laughed, as I said he was a thorough gentleman, would have been too embarrassed to ask, I think his son, Cameron works at The Echo now.
Chris Williams
50 Posted 30/04/2021 at 14:43:28
Dave,

You could get a few nice pints with a £5 note back then!
Terry White
51 Posted 30/04/2021 at 14:58:52
Jumping back on to the "kit" bandwagon, may I also thank you, Becky, for the opportunity to wallow in nostalgia. I encourage every Blue to purchase copies of your excellent books if they are still in print.

The Great Alex's first goal for us was at the end of March in 1961at Blackburn. I have the black and white signed print on my wall, perhaps one that he signed in your company, Becky? He is indeed wearing the gold and black with the "V" neck although the stockings look more like blue with a white top.

The game (#33) to which my mate, Peter Mills, alluded when we were 2-1 up with 10 minutes to go and lost 3-2 was in November 1963, a game I also attended. Was that the snow game?

Chris, (#34), like Pete, I am going to check out the "Blue Correspondent" website. Any mention of Bobby Collins, Tommy Ring, and all the signings from the late '50s into the early '60s culminating in the title win in '63 is sure to get my attention.
Chris Williams
52 Posted 30/04/2021 at 15:12:16
Terry,

It’s all in there, and goes back a very long way too. It’s the extras I especially enjoy. The reserves reports, the youth cup reports, the Monday reviews of previous weekends match. Comment pieces on topical matters, like crowd control after that Burnley game after Christmas 1960, refereeing, lousy pitches.

I wonder what they might have made of var?
Dave Abrahams
53 Posted 30/04/2021 at 17:14:37
Chris (48), I took your tip to find the period when Tommy Ring was about to, or not to, sign for Everton. What a depressing time that was to be a Bluenose, First Maurice Setters, of WBA, knocked us back after weeks of speculation he would sign,then Roy Vernon did the same, we got humiliated in the FA cup by Bradford City3-0. Then Tommy Ring travelled to Liverpool with his wife, saying nothing had been settled with Everton and the Glasgow press saying Celtic were about to come in for him, Eventually with the help of Alex Parker and Bobby Collins, Tommy finally signed and made his debut in a6-1 trouncing of Notts Forest, which could have been a bigger score only for many missed chances, and Tommy went off to the roars of the crowd and handshakes off his teammates and also Forest players, his display was that good. The start of something good about to begin to uplift all of us. The reports of those games by the reporters were excellent, nearly as good as Michaels on ToffeeWeb, but not as quickly put out as Michael, literally seconds after the game.
Chris Williams
54 Posted 30/04/2021 at 19:04:36
Interesting Dave, isn’t it?

That Forest match is one of the seminal matches at Goodison for me. One of a few in the late 50s and 60s. The reports are excellent as you say.

I was toying with the idea of writing up some of those matches.
Becky Tallentire
55 Posted 30/04/2021 at 19:53:40
Terry - I have a photo of him signing those pictures. Contact me on Twitter or by email and I’ll send it to you if you want

Becky.tallentire@gmail.com

Dave Abrahams
56 Posted 30/04/2021 at 20:12:45
Chris (54), yes very interesting, I think I would spend too many hours on it though, but then again I’ll have to have a look at the Chelsea game, when it was 6-0 or 6-1 at half time and stayed that way at full time, possibly in the same season as the Forest game, but I won’t be looking tonight.!!
Chris Williams
57 Posted 30/04/2021 at 20:41:20
Sleep well Dave, when you’re ready
Dave Abrahams
58 Posted 30/04/2021 at 09:38:04
Chris (54), yes very interesting, I think I would spend too many hours on it though, but then again I’ll have to have a look at the Chelsea game, when it was 6-0 or 6-1 at half time and stayed that way at full time, possibly in the same season as the Forest game, but I won’t be looking tonight.!!
Chris Williams
59 Posted 01/05/2021 at 11:04:34
Peter,

Re Blue correspondent, I mentioned elsewhere about Billy Bingham writing an article about the need for professional referees. That article was prompted by the dreadful refereeing in the Blackburn game we’ve been discussing.

The fact that it was also a couple of weeks after the Dunfermline games in the Fairs Cup, also was a factor.

That first game, we won 1-0 and it was the filthiest game I ever saw, worse than the Leeds game a couple of years later! Talk about forget about the ball and get on with the game.

What really sticks in my mind about that match was it coincided that night, with the Cuban Missile Crisis and I’ve never seen a Goodison crowd so subdued.

You can get a grainy black and white video of the second leg on YouTube, quite a long one, when we got beaten 2-0, and were dreadful. Vernon was dropped by Catterick after his performance. His column is interesting that week. He singles out Gabriel as the star that night, and you can see that in the video.
Dave Abrahams
60 Posted 01/05/2021 at 12:31:30
Chris (57), I had that sleep Chris and got back on this morning to search for that Chelsea game, I was right it was 6-1 at half time and full time, with Vernon, J Harris, Collins, Lill and Ring(2) getting the goals, although some reports gave one of Ring’s goals as an og.

Leslie Edwards reporting on the game said the crowd were ecstatic in roaring the team off the field at half time, then later in the second half got on their backs for not scoring more, and Mr, Edwards agreed with the crowd, accusing Everton of complacency, furthermore,Roy Vernon in his mid week article said the crowd were right to have a go at the team for their second half performance, a big difference from those times to today.

Earlier there was reports of Everton signing Jimmy Gabriel and interest in Dennis Law and Joe Baker, with Horace Yates saying Everton were becoming the team to watch with their claims that they were saying to crowds “ Come and see the stars of tomorrow today,!”

And none of us could get there fast enough for every game home and away.
Chris Williams
61 Posted 01/05/2021 at 13:32:10
Yes Dave

I remember that game. Looking at the scorers it probably would have been the same season.

Another game that season was the Good Friday game against Blackpool and we won 4-0, with Vernon getting 2, one of which was one of the best I ever saw.

I had to plead with my Mum to let me go that day. Good Friday at 3pm is a bit significant in Catholic families

We were totally spoiled then Dave, and we must be sympathetic with the couple of generations who’ve seen very little for more than 30 years.

I remember the talk about Law and Baker too. Wasn’t joe a scouser by birth?

I saw a Night game against City which we won, and Law was brilliant that night, nearly scoring from half way when Dunlop for some reason came charging out and Law beat him to the ball. I think Dunlop needed resuscitation after that! Roy scored a screamer from about 30 yards that night and the ball lodged behind the stanchion in the top corner.

I think I said earlier that Evertonians live in the past and the future. It would be great if we could start enjoying the present now, like we enjoyed it then.


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