Was there football pre-1992 – Part 5

Continuing with the theme that football was indeed alive and kicking before the TV companies hijacked 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 1977-78

Pat Jennings left Tottenham Hotspur after 13 years and signed for Arsenal on 11 August.

Don Revie threatened to sue the Daily Mirror for libel after the paper printed a series of claims alleging that Leeds United had tried to fix matches when he was in charge.

Sir Alf Ramsey returned to football as caretaker manager of Birmingham City, but he resigned in a dispute with the Board over whether Trevor Francis should be placed on the transfer list.

Joe Jordan's £350,000 move from Leeds United to Manchester United on 6 January was the biggest transfer between two English clubs. Four days later, Liverpool raised the record to £352,000 when they bought Graeme Souness from Middesbrough, but even that record did not last long as Manchester United bought Gordon McQueen for £495,000 in February.

Bob Hatton was presented with a silver salver before Blackpool's match to mark the fact that he had already scored three hat-tricks this season. After the presentation, he then scored another hat-trick against Blackburn Rovers.

At the end of the season, Everton's Bob Latchford collected a £10,000 offered by the Daily Express for scoring 30 goals in the League.

Peter Bonetti and Ron Harris played their 700th first team matches for Chelsea on the same day.

Wigan Athletic were elected to the Football League in place of Southport on 2 June; the two clubs had received the same number of votes in the first round but Wigan won 29-20 in the second round.

Season 1978-79

Gordon Taylor took over as Chairman of the PFA in November.

Viv Anderson became the first black player to appear for England in a full international, in the match against Czechoslovakia on 29 November.

Goal difference was introduced in the Home International Championship to produce an outright winner, rather than the title being shared.

A Scottish referee and two linesmen were suspended for 3 years when they admitted accepting lavish gifts from AC Milan before officiating in the Italian clubs Uefa Cup tie against Levski Spartak.

Tommy Docherty was suspended for a week by Derby County after he admitted lying on oath during a libel case he brought against Willie Morgan and Granada TV; Docherty was forced to abandon the case and pay £30,000 costs.

The FA banned Don Revie for 10 years for signing a secret deal with the United Arab Emirates while still the England manager, and trying to persuade England to pay him £50.000 compensation if he resigned. Revie decided to sue the FA because the sentence was 'Savage and out of proportion'.

Alan Ball's match for Southampton on 21 April made him the first player to make 100 appearances for four different clubs, the other three were Blackpool, Everton, and Arsenal.

Season 1979-80

The 92,000 attendance at the Charity Shield game where Liverpool beat Arsenal 3-1 was a record for the event.

Seven players were booked at the same time in the match between Doncaster Rovers and Hereford United on 11 April, when the Hereford wall refused to retreat 10 yards at a free-kick.

Two people were killed when a gate collapsed after the match between Middlesbrough and Manchester United on 12 January.

Dixie Dean, the former Everton forward, died at Goodison Park on 1 March, aged 72.

First class criketer Ian Botham appeared as a substitute for Scunthorpe United against Bournemouth on 25 March.

Paul Cooper saved two penalties against Derby County on 29 March, that brought his total to 8 saves from the last 10 penalties he had faced.

Season 1980-81

ATV cancelled plans to show highlights of the First Division match between Aston Villa and Brighton on 22 October when Brighton refused to wear shirts that did not carry their sponsor's name. Newcastle United and Bolton Wanderers were both fined £1,000 by the FA for wearing advertising in FA Cup games in January. The following month Nottingham Forest were fined £7,000 by Uefa for a similar offence. The FA also vetoed Coventry City changing their name to Coventry Talbot in the wake of a £250,000 deal with the car manufacturers.

Despite protests from referees, the FA ended the showing of yellow and red cards from 19 January.

Queens Park Rangers said that they intended to use an artificial pitch at Loftus Road at the end of the season. Both the FA and Football League expressed reservations, although they did not make any formal objection.

The Football League decided in February that clubs could not buy a player until they had paid all their previous transfer fees. Club Chairmen also reached an official agreement not to poach each other's managers during the season.

Vince Hillaire of Crystal Palace was found guilty of bringing the game into disrepute after he pushed a referee over.

All four clubs seeking re-election: Halifax Town, Hereford United, Tranmere Rovers, and York City, comfortably retained their Football League status. Altrincham, who had only missed out by one vote the previous season, were less successful this time, finishing 24 votes adrift of Halifax.

Season 1981-82

The Football League introduced 3 points for a win, a decision that was criticised by Alan Durban, the Sunderland manager, on the opening day of the season, after his side had drawn 3-3 at Ipswich. He said, "It's outrageous that clubs should lose two points each for drawing after giving a superb exhibition like that."

The Football League ordered referees to send players off for committing 'professional fouls' next season.

Bobby Robson, who had worked wonders at unfashionable Ipswich Town, was appointed England Manager on 7 July.

Wolverhampton Wanderers finally cancelled the contract of Peter Knowles on 5 June, he had walked out of the club in 1969 to become a Jehovah's Witness.

Season 1982-83

On 22 February, Brian Clough suggested that no football should be shown on television for 3 years.

Pat Jennings became the first player in England to appear in 1,000 senior matches when he kept a clean sheet against West Bromwich Albion on 26 February.

The Football Leagues proposal to allow two substitutes was rejected by the clubs on 27 March, the clubs claimed it would be too expensive.

The International Board changed the rules on 9 July: goalkeepers were required to release the ball after taking four steps.

Police in South Yorkshire were told to arrest players whose behaviour on the pitch was likely to incite crowd trouble.

The rule requiring players to be sent off for committing a professional foul meant that 120 players were dismissed by 28 November. However, the attempt to eliminate cheating was weakened when the FA referees committee rescinded the rule in July.

George Graham was appointed manager of Millwall on 6 December; 3 months later, he was imposing his authority, ordering six players to report for extra training because he thought that anybody who had lost their first-team place should work twice as hard to get it back.

Season 1983-84

Injury-hit Watford advertised in The Times for professional footballers, "Men or women, preference given to applicants with two arms and legs in working order."

Alan Smith lost three teeth during Leicester City's 2-2 draw with Stoke City on 24 September, they were retrieved from the pitch and replaced in hospital.

The second round of the League Cup saw the competing clubs seeded for the first time.

Tottenham Hotspur beat Nottingham Forest 2-1 in the first of 10 live matches due to be shown on television.

Jason Dozzell, aged 16 years and 57 days, became the youngest goalscorer in First Division history when he came on as a substitute for Ipswich Town and scored on 4 February.

Crystal Palace sacked Alan Mullery on 24 May; they appointed Dave Bassett but he returned to Wimbledon after 4 days, saying he had made a mistake.

Chris Withe of Bradford City and Willie Naughton of Preston North End both scored direct from corners in their clubs' match in January.

Tommy Docherty became a manager for the 17th time when he took charge of Wolverhampton Wanderers in June.

Season 1984-85

Fulham made a remarkable comeback in their Second Division match at Portsmouth on New Year's Day: 4-0 down at half-time, they recovered to draw 4-4.

Sheffield United's game against Oldham Athletic on 9 February was postponed when a war-time bomb was found near Bramall Lane.

Stoke City set a First Division record by scoring only 24 goals in 42 matches as they finished bottom of the table.

Norwich City, making their third visit to Wembley, won their first trophy there, when they beat Sunderland 1-0 in the League Cup Final on 24 March, but disappointment followed the celebrations when they were relegated from the First Division.

Manchester United finally won a tug-of-war with Cologne for Gordon Strachan. Cologne appealed to Uefa, claiming that Aberdeen had previously agreed to sell Strachan to them. When Strachan joined United for £500,000 on 8 August, Aberdeen were ordered to pay Cologne £100,000 compensation.

Terry Venables, in his first season in charge of Barcelona, won the Spanish League title with four games to spare. It was Barcelona's first title in 11 years.

Harry Catterick, the former Everton Manager, died on 9 March while watching a match at Goodison Park.

Tottenham Hotspur broke a long-standing jinx when Garth Crooks scored the only goal to beat Liverpool on 18 March, it was their first victory at Anfield since 1912.

Wolverhampton Wanderers, who once again barely avoided going out of business, returned to the Third Division for the first time in 61 years. They went 19 matches without a win between November and April. Tommy Docherty, who said, "Relegation was the outcome of 15 years of neglect," was fired as manager on 4 July.

Acknowledgement Chris Nawrat & Steve Hutchings. Illustrated History Of Football.

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Reader Comments (41)

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Barry Williams
1 Posted 01/05/2021 at 00:53:58
Amazed no one has commented yet!

Brilliant article John.

This particularly hit home with me.

''Stoke City set a First Division record by scoring only 24 goals in 42 matches as they finished bottom of the table.''

I was a fourteen year old on holiday in the Algarve and met a Stoke fan and I took the mickey out of him... he was a nice good humoured chap. I think, without checking, that they won 3 games that season and one was against Man Utd!

I might be wrong.

That was the football I grew up on. I am hanging onto the modern game by a thread, especially since my main sport for about 30 years has been boxing.

Kieran Kinsella
3 Posted 01/05/2021 at 01:13:58
John,

I knew he'd been around for a while but I didn't realize Gordon Taylor had been running the PFA for my entire life.

Few other things that caught my attention, Jason Dozell never quite lived up to expectations, Viv Anderson great player and a brave pioneer facing down racists, and Wolves almost going under before the Steve Bull era. Great article!

Darren Hind
5 Posted 01/05/2021 at 06:33:24
Thank you, John.

In an age where we have somehow allowed the lines to be blurred between Stats, Rumour and what Garry Neville said, it's an absolute delight to read simple facts.

I already knew a lot of the stuff you include, but little details kinda remind and clarify. For instance, I knew we had lost both Dixie and Catterick in the most fitting way (at Goodison Park), but I hadn't realised both died in March almost 5 years to the day.

And Pat Jennings a thousand matches? We all (the arl fellas) knew this, but sometimes we need a gentle reminder of things we already know. I don't think many people would leave Pat out of their list of all-time top five keepers.

It must also be said that there is an awful lot of stuff in there that I was hearing about for the first time too and there is a talking point in just about every one of them.

I've blamed Sky for everything, but reading that Man Utd paid close to £1M for two players all the way back in 1977-78 makes me realise the game had already started to go bananas.

A lot of time, effort and research goes into these articles. Not only are they informative, they bring back many memories.

Take a bow, John.


Paul Birmingham
6 Posted 01/05/2021 at 07:38:00
Those were the days, John, and a reality check on football and how it's changed.

The last couple of weeks has also shown that the spirit and camaraderie of the Football League from those days was at its turning point, never to be the same.

I'm still hoping there is just punishment for the septic six clubs.

Great read and some great footballers.

I was at the derby when Dixie passed, Nulty got finished, too, it seems like yesterday, and the FA Cup game when Catterick passed, when Physcho Pat done that flick and we got the draw, and beat Ipswich in the replay.

I always remember the England - Scotland game in 1975, and Stuart Kennedy in goal that day for Scotland and being at Wembley a week after the Scotland 2-1, and there still being lumps of turf around the coach parks.p>How life and football has changed, mainly for the better but some not so good.

Danny O’Neill
7 Posted 01/05/2021 at 08:57:18
Another great trip down memory lane John Senior. Only now I'm starting to recollect the memories!

Pat Jennings, I know he played for Tottenham, but I only really remember him as an Arsenal player. In that era of fine British goalkeepers, (Jennings, Shilton, Clemence and later Southall), I rate him as the underrated best of the bunch.

I too have berated Sky for the commercialisation of the game and getting us to point where we are now, but as your research shows, it's always been on the cards and not necessarily a new thing. Coventry's pre-Sky move to change their name in the 80s no different to the MK Dons, Hull Tigers and Cardiff playing in red moves??

That Ipswich team. How they entertained. An earlier version of the current Leicester challenging and disrupting the pack.

And that FA Cup tie when Harry Catterick passed away. That was the Sheedy 2 x free kick match. I happened to (unusually) be in the Main Stand with my dad for that one. We saw something going on beneath us but didn't know what it was until we saw it on the TV in a pub on County Road. If you're going to choose a way to go, I can't think of one more apt. Interested to know fans of that era's thoughts. My dad was a 60s generation fan. He idolised and brought me up tales of Alex Young, Jimmy Gabriel, Roy Vernon, Kendall, Ball, Harvey & Joe Royle. But he never really like Catterick.

Looking forward to the next instalment!
Dave Abrahams
8 Posted 01/05/2021 at 10:23:35
You’ve put some work in getting all those facts John,the Tommy Docherty case was one he couldn’t win, he abandoned the case when he realised some famous Man.Unt. players were lined up as witnesses against him. and relishing their chance to have a go at Tommy.

Pat Jennings, over a 1000 games in the top league and not one of them for us, after he signed when Southall was injured playing for Wales, he was signed in case any Bobby Mimms was injured, leaving us without any experienced ‘keepers.
Andy Crooks
9 Posted 01/05/2021 at 11:24:09
Great stuff again, John. You started me on a hunt through some memorabilia. When Bob Latchford scored the thirty goals, the Daily Express had a feature with a photo of all of them. I kept it somewhere!
I agree with Darren about Pat Jennings, great goalkeeper and top man. Some of his very finest performances were in front of the kop. He was totally unflappable and always seemed like a man genuinely surprised at what all the fuss was about.
Maybe it's an age thing but I look back at those days with a mellow glow.
Hope to see you soon, John.
Steve Carse
10 Posted 01/05/2021 at 12:41:31
Andy (9), not sure Jennings's performances at AInfield, however brilliant, warrant any particular mention in a review of his career. Probably they just stick in your mind because then, as now, the RS were the media favourites and were given maximum coverage on MotD and the few live games shown at the time.
Andy Crooks
11 Posted 01/05/2021 at 12:56:11
Could well be, Steve.
Rick Tarleton
12 Posted 01/05/2021 at 14:05:55
Loved it, John. Thank you.
John McFarlane Snr
13 Posted 01/05/2021 at 15:57:06
Hi Barry [1] Stoke City did in fact win only three games that season, Arsenal 2-0, Manchester United 2-1, and Sheffield Wednesday 2-1. Manchester United finished in 4th place, Arsenal 7th, and Sheffield Wednesday 8th.

Hi Kieran [3] Jason Dozzell made 332 League appearances including 20 as a substitute for Ipswich Town and his goal tally was 52. He joined Spurs where he made 84 League appearances including 16 as a substitute and scored 13 goals. Returning to Portman Road as a non-contract player he played a further 8 games scoring 1 goal goal, moving on to Northampton Town where again as a non-contract player he featured in 21 League games scoring4 goals.

Hi Darren [5] my season ticket was for the Upper Bullens stand when Dixie died and I wasn't aware of his death until I got home, I was in the same stand when Harry Catterick died. I could see the activity in the main stand and I heard of his death on the way home from the match. Regarding Pat Jennings, I rate him as one of the best visiting keepers I have seen, on a par with Bert Trautmann, by the way I'm still looking forward to that bottle of Guinness.

Hi Paul [6] I think that best result of the actions of what you describe as the 'Septic Six' would have been for them to have left English football forever, and no matter what the level of our game became, the important thing is that it would be exactly that "Our Game"

Hi Danny [7] you will have seen what I thought of Pat Jennings in my reply to Darren's post @ [5]. Your Dad brought you up the right way educating you by telling you of the deeds of Alex Young, Roy Vernon, Jimmy Gabriel, and hopefully Bobby Collins.

Hi Dave [8] you're spot on regarding Pat Jennings signing for Everton we also signed Gerry Peyton, thus securing the services of keepers from both sides of the Irish border, neither of them actually playing for the club.

Hi Andy [9] you will have seen my response to Darren & 5, I couldn't fault Pat Jennings although like all of us, he must have been responsible for the occasional 'howler' I'm looking forward to seeing you at the next get-together whenever that may be.
Brian Murray
14 Posted 01/05/2021 at 16:35:07
Good goalie Jennings, I remember Spurs getting a draw at anfield and him saving two pens. ( smith and neal ). Also I was there at goodison when Kendall chipped him from 30 yards in a win for us. Probably very early 70s.
Brian Murray
15 Posted 01/05/2021 at 17:25:16
Danny, post 7. That twice taken Sheedy free kick in cup game. I went the replay and the league game there that season. Hell of a journey although Eddie cavanagh was a steward on the efc special trains so him and the results kept us entertained! Not so much the Norwich league game when big nev had a nightmare letting four in. Same glorious season.
John McFarlane Snr
16 Posted 01/05/2021 at 18:07:07
Hi Brian [14] I believe that the penalties Pat Jennings saved at Anfield were taken by Kevin Keegan and Tommy Smith.

Hi Rick [12] it's a labour of love, I prefer to discuss events that have taken place, rather than predict team selection, tactics or results.
Christy Ring
17 Posted 01/05/2021 at 18:23:24
Some superb facts and memories, John.

Didn't Howard Kendall sign the great Pat Jennings on a short term deal for the 1986 FA Cup final, with Big Nev injured?

John McFarlane Snr
18 Posted 01/05/2021 at 18:38:59
Hi Christy [17] yes, Pat Jennings was signed as a standby keeper, and as I posted in [15] in response to Dave's post @ [5] they also signed Gerry Peyton as cover on another occasion, meaning we have had two Irish keepers from either side of the border, with neither of them donning the Everton jersey.
Tony Abrahams
19 Posted 01/05/2021 at 19:53:49
Funny John, you brought back bad memories of that Fulham comeback at Pompey, mate, because it stopped me getting my fixed-odds bet up. If it happened now I’d be paranoid that I’d been jinxed for the year, but I was younger then, and 1984/85, was the greatest time I ever had watching Everton, so rather than being jinxed, I was actually blessed!
John Boon
20 Posted 02/05/2021 at 01:47:14
Hi John as per usual a great and interesting look into the years before the Premier League. One particular happening and a reminder of just how quickly times shoots by was in regards to the 1977-78 season. It also shows just how fortunes can change so quickly.

You noted that Wigan were elected into the league at the expense of Southport. It really is more than amazing that less than Thirty years later they would grace the Premier league and remain in it for eight years. Not only that but they would win the FA Cup by beating Man City 1-0.

Your posts always revive different memories for those who read them. At the present time Wigan have not been having things so easy. Another reminder that football fortunes can change very quickly. Southport's fortune have gone in the opposite direction as they struggle in The Northern Premier League.

On a less exciting note, today I witnessed a really dreadful display against Villa. With many more like that we may also end up with Southport thirty years from now. At our age we will not be around to cheer or BOO.Covid may have made all of us aware that life is very precious and there are far more important things than Everton . just that despite my complaints and my venom that I am liable to direct toward inanimate objects such as the television I am still an EVERTON supporter, and my threats to never watch them again usually only lasts to the next game. On a personal note my wife who NEVER watches football thinks that I am just plain "DAFT" to watch something that annoys me so much.

I know you must be very busy sharing all your interesting stories and facts about football many years ago. All the best and keep on writing. Time for me to end my response. I think I will phone one of my Everton sons so I can continue to rant on about how bad Everton were today and how I will NOT watch them again . well perhaps if and so on and so on. BUT if Holgate is still playing or Delph is OH!! I think I need a drink. Are all Evertonians so confused ???
Rob Hooton
21 Posted 02/05/2021 at 08:41:27
Thanks again John, interesting as always!

My dad always had a soft spot for Ipswich as he was based in Colchester at that time and he used to go and watch them a fair bit. It was before I was born but he passed his interest on to me, he said they played some cracking football under Bobby.

Alan McGuffog
23 Posted 02/05/2021 at 09:01:25
Rob, they certainly did... from the mid-70s until early-80s they were a splendid side to watch. Dare I say it, they were probably most fans' "second" team.

Have a look at The Big Match Revisited on a Saturday morning when they are on.

Danny O’Neill
24 Posted 02/05/2021 at 09:38:20
1984-85 was indeed a great time to watch Everton Tony.

I think, with the benefit of hindsight, I actually enjoyed the end of the previous season more.

I give opinion as much as many but don't profess to have the footballing knowhow to predict. And, certainly back then as a youngster I was no expert. But, and call it instinct, despite the dire situation as we went into Christmas, you could just sense something was happening.

To go from "that" Coventry match in December and being 18th (I believe), to finishing 7th, winning a trophy and taking the then dominant force in European football to a replay in another has to go down as one of the best half seasons ever.
John McFarlane Snr
25 Posted 03/05/2021 at 13:24:09
Hi Tony [19] there's been a lot of water under the bridge since that day, Coventry City, Ipswich Town, Luton Town, Nottingham Forest, Queens Park Rangers, Sheffield Wednesday, Stoke City, and Sunderland were in the First Division [Stoke City, Sunderland, and Norwich City were relegated] their replacements being Oxford United, Birmingham City, and Manchester City.

Hi John [20] my occasional dig into the past keeps me occupied, and the intention is to remind those of our generation, of the good and bad times we've witnessed, and to give younger fans an insight into events of yesteryear. I view recent events with sadness rather than anger, and I'm looking forward to our chance to meet when you visit Liverpool again, best wishes. John.

Hi Rob [21] time dims the memory a little, but as I remember it Ipswich Town earned their title success in 1962 finishing five points above Burnley. Like your Dad, Larry Carberry a Liverpool lad from the Scotland Road area, was stationed in Colchester and was signed by Ipswich.

Hi Danny [22] you hit the bar there, you were right about Everton finishing in 7th position at the end of the season, but they were actually 16th at the time of the Coventry City fixture on the last day of December, in front of 13, 659. My spec in those days was in the Upper Bullens stand, what I would have given for an obstructed view.
Dave Abrahams
26 Posted 03/05/2021 at 13:45:39
John (25), yes Ipswich won the league that year, to the surprise of everyone, especially those at Goodison Park when we trounced them 5-2, but Alf Ramsay had a plan a squad who kept to that plan.

Larry Carberry was signed by Alf Ramsay and gave thanks to him for the career he had with them, he won championship medals for the 3rd. South, 2nd.Div, and of course the 1st. Div. I used to have a drink with Larry in Ned Kelly’s and a more modest man you couldn’t wish to meet, and as much as he liked Ramsay, Alf returned the compliment by saying “ There were only three or four people, from football, I would invite to my house and Larry Carberry would be one of them”.

That Coventry City game, if I’m not mistaken, talking about a league game, not the league cup game, was a dismal 0-0 draw with the players booed off the pitch and Howard shaking hands with everyone of them, in a show of defiance I think, one of them never played for Everton again, Billy Wright the centre back, that period of following Everton was as bad as following them as it is now, I hope Carlo can do a Kendall and revive our fortunes, who knows, wouldn’t have a bet on it though.
Danny O’Neill
27 Posted 03/05/2021 at 13:45:49
I have no issue being pulled up on my historical accuracy by you, John. I was a mere 12-year-old then, so hitting the bar is fine with me!

I remember that being a wonderful post-Christmas run-in, culminating in two trips to Wembley, which obviously at the time meant you had reached finals. I'll be honest, I don't recall the matches themselves, I just remember the occasions. The all-Merseyside final in which we came so close and then the fantastic day out with the Watford fans several weeks later.

Seeing Everton lift a trophy for the first time in my life was something I will always put up there with the birth of my son. Guess I should mention my wedding day too!!

That December; dark, dark days before the dawn rising. Keep the faith as they say.

Danny O’Neill
28 Posted 03/05/2021 at 14:50:29
You mention the Upper Bullens John. My Grandfather, a citizen of Belfast but adopted Liverpool as his home and Everton as his team used to have his season ticket there.

At Goodison, my favourite stand to sit in to watch the football.
John McFarlane Snr
29 Posted 03/05/2021 at 15:08:07
Hi Dave [26] they were dark days, the average attendance for that season (1983/84) was 19,343, the lowest post-war figure. The season we were relegated (1950/51) the figure was 42,924, the average attendances in the Second Division were, (1951/52) 37,391, (1952/53) 32,629, (1953/54) 44,493, but of course there were no betting shops and very few distractions in those days.
Robert Tressell
30 Posted 03/05/2021 at 15:17:58
I have pretty much zero recollection of the pre Premier League era. I have this possibly romantic view that the difference in finances wasn't so stark as it is now. Good sides could be assembled through shrewd acquisition and good man management. And almost all of the players were from the UK and Ireland. Hence Brian Clough could do what he did with Forest etc. Might be total nonsense. Certainly the money seems to have killed something nice about the game which you can still find at the Rugby League for example. But no idea whether it's always been a rich club cartel with a few anomalies.
Danny O’Neill
31 Posted 03/05/2021 at 15:24:45
You're not far off Robert.

Although even with my nostalgic glasses on, let's not forget that money has always played a part. Everton were successful in the 1960s because they were backed by the Moores family and earned the tag "Mersey Millionaires".

Trevor Francis scored the winning goal in the European Cup Final after becoming the very first £1M transfer.

Maybe not so stark, but money has always talked as long as football has been a professional game.
Dave Abrahams
32 Posted 03/05/2021 at 15:46:44
John (29), that tells you John, IMO, the reason for the leaflets being given out before the Coventry game, in the league cup, we had watched an awful lot of crap that season, and the gates reflected that, in fact many fans never returned to Goodison after watching Howard’s initial first couple of seasons as manager.
Danny O’Neill
33 Posted 03/05/2021 at 15:57:56
I've always referred to that Dave.

Different times. You could argue both ways on this.

Firstly, Carlo Ancelotti is a much more proven manager than Howard Kendall was at the time therefore shouldn't necessarily be afforded as much patience. I see that argument.

But then Everton were only just over a decade from their last league title, let alone 34 years. Undoing that requires more.

But either way, as you say Dave, it took a couple of seasons and to go to some dark places for Howard to fix that. We at least owe the current manager the same. In my opinion.
Darren Hind
34 Posted 03/05/2021 at 16:12:08
Dave A

Larry Carberry was indeed a humble man. He would often get in the two alehouses the top of Athol Street. The Corner house and the Clifton Arms (McKinleys).
Whenever word got around that he was having a drink, the kids used to congregate waiting for him to come out and ask him to have a kick about on the "Oller" Even when he'd had a bevy he always threw is jacket off and played for twenty minutes or so. Never touched the ball, except to help it on its way. just walked through the game talking to the kids.

Wonder how many Champions would do that today ?
Dave Abrahams
35 Posted 03/05/2021 at 16:20:14
Darren(34), Darren I can imagine Larry doing that, especially back on his old stomping ground, an old St. Anthony’s boy, when he drank in Ned Kelly’s, which would be packed out, I often wondered how many knew there was a champion footballer in the house. He didn’t need the fame, he was a real beaut of a man, always a pleasure to be in his company.
John McFarlane Snr
36 Posted 03/05/2021 at 17:11:10
Hi Dave [32] yes there were times that left us underwhelmed, his first five signings for instance, (Alan Biley, Jim Arnold, Alan Ainscow, Mick Ferguson, and Mickey Thomas). a puzzling period, although we still managed to finish 8th, 7th and 7th. in those seasons.
Danny O’Neill
37 Posted 03/05/2021 at 17:14:37
In hindsight, very bizarre signings John and he had to almost totally rethink.

Right now we debate the benefits of buying a proven striker in the twilight of his career carrying an injury ticket so we may not a full season out of him (Aguero).

Remember Andy Gray and the impact he had?
Terry White
38 Posted 03/05/2021 at 17:28:08
John (#36), Jim Arnold, although an "underwhelming" signing, was actually a very good goalkeeper until he was eventually replaced by an even better one. The others you mention are better left forgotten.
Dave Abrahams
39 Posted 03/05/2021 at 17:34:21
Terry (38), I’ve got to agree with that Terry. Jim Arnold was an excellent goalkeeper, remember that cup game ve Man Unt, what a brilliant game he played that day, unlucky to lose with a 95 th minute goal from Lou MacCarie?
Don Alexander
40 Posted 03/05/2021 at 17:58:20
Pat Jennings was my favourite non-Everton keeper throughout his career. He was magnificent and always unflustered. I stand to be corrected but I recall he had the ability to catch the ball in play with only one of his huge hands.
Dave Abrahams
41 Posted 03/05/2021 at 21:34:19
Terry (38),

I've got to agree with that. Jim Arnold was an excellent goalkeeper, remember that cup game vs Man Utd? What a brilliant game he played that day, unlucky to lose with a 95th-minute goal from Lou Macari?

Mike Corcoran
42 Posted 03/05/2021 at 22:10:02
I remember as a kid of 9 or so seeing Jennings catch a shot with one massive hand in a 2-0 win for us late 70s.
Andy Crooks
43 Posted 03/05/2021 at 23:39:48
Don,

Pat Jennings rarely punched the ball. I believe in those days not actually catching a cross was seen as a weakness. And you are right, I saw him on numerous occasions catch a cross with one hand. I'm not sure why, though it was not in any way showboating. Pat Jennings didn't do that. He also scored from his own penalty area on a couple of occasions.

I'm sure my regard for Pat is obvious so it says a lot when I consider Neville Southall to be the best I have ever seen.

Southall
Jennings
Yashin
Banks.

I wouldn't really argue what order they were in. Strangely, I can understand that fitness, sports science and equipment have raised the average standards but, in my view, goalkeepers were better then. I try not to look on players from the past with rose-tinted specs. Best was the finest I have ever seen until Ronaldo. But Ronaldo savours his talent. George was often cursed by his.

Don Alexander
44 Posted 04/05/2021 at 00:09:07
Andy, thanks for that. Besty was by far the most gifted footballer I ever saw in the flesh. His ball control on pitches like ploughed fields (compared to today) was supernatural to me, and then there were the cloggers in every team's defence, booting lumps out of him week-in week-out.

Who knows how his life might've turned out on the billiard table pitches of today, and the protection of the skilful by referees, and those knobs running VAR.

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