Diamond Jubilee

It is 60 years to the day since I became an Evertonian. I know this precisely because I can point to the moment it happened.

Jim Robinson 02/03/2022 32comments  |  Jump to last

It is 60 years to the day since I became an Evertonian. I know this precisely because I can point to the moment it happened.

It was my first visit to Goodison Park. I’d been invited along by a school friend and his parents. Born and bred in South Cheshire, Nantwich in case any of you have heard of it, I was brought up on a diet of Crewe Alexandra. My Dad, my hero, died suddenly when I was seven. Since he was the only one in the family who could drive at the time, getting to football matches was pretty difficult. So this was an opportunity to attend only my second First Division match ever. I was extremely pleased to learn Everton would be playing Wolves because I had been a sort of closet Wolves fan for a couple of years.

Saturday morning, we took the bus to Crewe and a train to Liverpool Lime Street, then a bus to the ground. On the way there, I was given a quick education on the history of Everton with tales of Dixie Dean, Tommy Lawton et al along with impressions of the current players such as Alex Young, Roy Vernon, Bobby Collins and probably the rest of the squad. I learnt about the School of Science and Harry Catterick, who had previously managed Crewe Alexandra.

When we arrived at the ground, I can still remember the sense of awe looking up at those massive stands. Since Neil and I would both fit nicely in Snow White's gang, we got there early so we could be right at the front. We stood on the Bullens Road side near the half-way line towards the Gwladys Street end.

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Then the game kicked off. Everton were 2 up inside 15 minutes thanks to Roy Vernon and Frank Wignall added a third about half-way through that first half. This was football like I had never imagined. Frank scored again just before the final whistle and that was me done. True blue through and through.

Down the years, my pride in the club has grown due to the way they go about their business. There’s much to admire in the works of EitC. Right now, we have offered to pay for Boreham Wood's change strip and taken a stand against Russia even though it may cause us some financial hardship. It’s the right thing to do and that is what Everton FC is all about.

Sure, I’d like us to have won a few more trophies but, if I expect to win something every year, I’d support Man Utd or Chelsea. And if I expect to win everything every year, I’d support that lot across the park.

Anyway if you’ve managed to get this far, I thank you and here’s the reason for my story. I am an avid reader of this site although I don’t post very often. Research tells me there were 40,548 of us there that day so I wonder if any of the names I’m familiar with were there on that day 60 years ago?

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Reader Comments (32)

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Christine Foster
1 Posted 03/03/2022 at 04:35:32
Congratulations, Jim.

Yes I was there, I know because I attended all the matches that season. Trouble is, I was a wee nipper and cannot remember a thing! I do remember being in the Park end, sitting on my uncle's shoulders, so I must have been little. (God help anyone trying that with me now!)

For me, it was the sheer thrill of the crowd, the roar that never left me, the sense of belonging to something, just brilliant. Alex Young, Roy Vernon, Bobby Collins.. just class but once Everton have touched you...

Here's to the next 60, Jim!

Jim Robinson
2 Posted 03/03/2022 at 05:11:54
I've just realised that I didn't mention the date. It was actually Saturday 3 March 1962. I live in Australia (Brisbane) these days so I'm 10 hours ahead of the UK at the moment.

Thanks, Christine. Your's is a name I recognise and your comments and opinions always make a great deal of sense so please keep writing.

Cheers and definitely here's to the next 60.

George McKane
3 Posted 03/03/2022 at 07:01:56
Definitely there – never missed games then. I was about 13 then and loved the excitement of the walk up to Goodson from Smith Street, along Westminster Road, then seeing the ground. I still do the same journey and will do it this evening.

Best wishes Jim. Up The Blues.

Laurie Hartley
4 Posted 03/03/2022 at 07:47:43
I am pretty sure I was there also Jim because I know I saw Frank Wignall playing for us. My second season as a match going Evertonian.

I used to love getting to the game early so I could get down by the wall on the Goodison Road terraces – Gwladys Street end. I was probably opposite you!

Stan Schofield
5 Posted 03/03/2022 at 09:57:18
Congratulations Jim. My own Diamond Jubilee is also this year, on 13th October. Aston Villa at Goodison, 1-1 draw. I wasn't too fussed about football until then, and can't recall much about the game, except that Alex Young seemed to stand out.

From that time, my heros changed from film stars like John Wayne to footballers in Royal Blue jerseys, who soon became god-like.

Dave Abrahams
6 Posted 03/03/2022 at 10:17:10
Good story, Jim.

I remember the date and the game very well, my Nin, grandmother, was buried on the Friday before the game and I think you will find that it was Gordon West's debut for Everton, having joined the club earlier that week, possibly on the day before the game.

Bill Griffiths
7 Posted 03/03/2022 at 10:23:19
Well done, Jim. I'm 71 now and can remember hearing of and following Everton from the age of 5 to 6 years old.

We lived in Mold, North Wales, and my father, though not a great follower of football, used to do the football pools coupon every week and would listen to and watch the football scores at 5pm every Saturday.

Though he wasn't from Liverpool (he was from Neston on the Wirral), he always looked for Everton's score first. This led to Everton more or less dominating my life until the present day.

I started regularly attending games during the 1967-68 season, as soon as I started work at Shotton Steelworks. I did attend a game at Goodison when I was about 14 or 15 years old, which was a great adventure.

My parents let me with a couple of other lads travel to Liverpool by bus and ferry to watch a midweek game against a Spurs team including Jimmy Greaves and Dave McKay. I can't remember a great deal about it now, think it ended 0-0.

I'll raise a glass to you in The Oak before tonight's game, Jim .

Barry Hesketh
8 Posted 03/03/2022 at 10:27:27
Slightly before my time, Jim, but congrats and, as Dave mentions, it was Gordon West's debut game.

Everton 4, Wolverhampton Wanderers 0
3 March 1962
League Division One
Goodison Park
Referee; RTE Langdale
Goals; Vernon (9) (11) (Assist both Young) Wignall (23) (87) (Assist Wignall and Vernon)


Everton (2-3-5): West (g)(Debut, sign from Blackpool); Parker, Green (Last app, signs for Birmingham); Gabriel, Labone, Harris; Bingham, Collins (c) (Last app; signed for Leeds), Wignall, Vernon, Young.
Manage: Harry Catterick

Wolverhampton Wanderers (2-3-5) Davies; Stuart, Thomson; Kirkham, Slater, Jones; Wharlton, Crowe, Murray, Durrandt, McParland.
Manager: Stanley Cullis.
Attendance: 40,548

Every now and again Everton turn on a brand of cultured precise, devastating football that makes us a little self-conscious about some of the cruel things we have had to say about them and their fallings, and Saturday was such a day, when the marauding Wolves perished on the snow fringed pitch, the victims of a withering attack, which at times looked so mercilessly efficient. In completing their first double, Everton produced a 7-0 aggregate, with which nobody would seek to quarrel, at least nobody on Merseyside and if this sort of thing could only have been the pattern of the season's programme, instead of just a couple of purple entries, how different would be the picture! Even now, with so many willing to concede that, "This is the best forward line Everton have fielded this season," caution dictates that until a similar spirit of enterprise and adventure is manifest on foreign soil, we should reserve final approval. Is this just a cause of the mixture as before? The players can hardly blame us for harbouring suspicious. Once Everton can unfold these delights as a habit, rather than a threat, excitement will be justified.

Horace Yates, Daily Post – courtesy of Everton Independent research site.

Brian Harrison
9 Posted 03/03/2022 at 10:32:18
I was at the game but my memory isn't as good as Dave Abrahams, he can remember results and goal scorers.

I wonder if Dave would know if Stan Cullis would still have been the manager at Wolves for this game?

Brian Harrison
10 Posted 03/03/2022 at 10:40:40
Barry 8,

Thanks you have answered the question of was Stan Cullis the Wolves manager. I remember a few of the Wolves players namely Slater, Crowe and McParland.

Interesting that you printed Horace Yates piece from the Daily Post. I remember Horace Yates always gave a true report of games.

Laurie Hartley
11 Posted 03/03/2022 at 10:55:22
Barry # 8 - interesting comment by Horace Yates about Everton on “alien soil”. We were very poor away from home in 61-62 but it all changed the following year. Perhaps it's an omen!
Christine Foster
12 Posted 03/03/2022 at 11:04:16

I lived in Brisbane for about 13 years before leaving at the end of 2014. We were out in Pullenvale just past Kenmore, although in 2011 got cut off by the floods and ended up on an emergency floor for 3 days!

Seems very much the same awful flooding you have now, Rocklea and Oxley look bad and have family stuck in St Lucia with no power! Hope you're safe!

Dave Abrahams
13 Posted 03/03/2022 at 11:47:40
Brian (9), I wouldn't have known if Stan Cullis was still managing Wolves and didn't know who scored all the four goals but remember the game and the score because of the funeral the day before and I knew West had signed during that week.

I remember Colin Green the Welsh international full-back, I wasn't fussy on him and, in one game versus Leicester City, I was giving him loads then he popped up and hit a cracker from 20 yards or so and the goalie never smelt it as it sped past him into the net. Cue for cheers all round and loads of finger pointing and laughter at me, it was the winning goal in a 3-2 victory.

Barry Rathbone
14 Posted 03/03/2022 at 11:52:00
I never know whether to congratulate or commiserate fans of our vintage – if we knew then what we know now, we might have saved ourselves a lifetime of grief.

It was very likely their old dad had got the indoctrination papers signed the season before.

Danny O’Neill
15 Posted 03/03/2022 at 12:47:01
I love these reflections Jim. Warms the heart.

I suppose I'm in my Golden Jubilee year by virtue of having turned 50 and assuming I supported Everton from day one because of my Dad! Never known anything different.

I still struggle to remember which was my first match. Both were mid-season friendlies, but the memory fades. It was either Home Farm (Dublin) at Goodison, which I don't even remember the score. Or a 6 - 0 thumping by Braunschweig in Germany. I think it was the latter around 1976 or 1977.

My son's was a draw at home against Villa in the late 90s on the first day of the season. I'll always remember that because we were on the front row of the Enclosure right in the corner by the Park End. Turned my head for 2 seconds and he'd made his way up the short flight of steps they have in the corner and onto the pitch.

Fortunately the stewards didn't treat him like a hooligan pitch invader and brought him back!! He was only 4 or 5 at the time, but obviously felt he could do a job.

My youngest brother's was Swindon in the 90s. Poor lad fell asleep half way through the 2nd half!! We won 6-2 and were in the lower Gwladys. Stuart Barlow had a decent game. Good result but a poor team.

Jim Robinson
16 Posted 03/03/2022 at 20:10:26
Christine – we are in Sunnybank Hills so a fair way from the flooding. My back garden was a lake for a few days but it drained quickly once the rain stopped.

Barry – Thanks for the match report, it makes interesting reading. The penny has only just dropped that Catterick must have played Alex Young on the right ( ? ) wing.

Many thanks to everyone for taking the time to reply. I recognise all your names and appreciate what a wonderful little community we have here on ToffeeWeb. We may not always agree with each other but the passion and quality of writing is unsurpassed in my opinion.

I'm up early today, 5:30 am. I couldn't sleep waiting for the cup tie. Come on, Frank, a trophy at your first attempt isn't too much to ask is it? UTFT.

Bob McEvoy
17 Posted 03/03/2022 at 22:53:48
I was there, Jim. I remember everyone was astonished at the distance Gordon West could throw the ball. Further and more accurately than Albert Dunlop could kick it
Don Alexander
18 Posted 03/03/2022 at 23:34:20
Westie hardly ever kicked the ball from his (massive) hands. He easily reached the halfway-line and beyond with Exocet throw-outs.

My first match was in '62'ish when I was 7. Some bloke called Stanley Matthews was playing for Stoke City. Can't remember the score either. From such modest earth did a life-long obsession develop though.

To our folk who've spent years in Brisbane, I just wonder whether or not you ever met up with my Scouse cousin John Molyneux who settled there on an assisted passage 60 years ago? He's still living in Noosa after retiring from the merchant navy.

Bob McEvoy
19 Posted 04/03/2022 at 01:27:23

It was 23 November 1963, the day after Kennedy was assassinated, and the day of the first showing of Dr Who.

We won 2-0. Matthews didn't get a kick.

Derek Thomas
20 Posted 04/03/2022 at 07:34:51
Jim @ 2;

I didn't make that one, my debut was 5 November 1960.

After a trip on the 500 from Speke, first seeing the tall floodlights, then the immense towering red brick stands, into the Gwladys Street, up the steps to see – the biggest enclosed space I'd ever seen, the massive green pitch, the blue and white Leitch criss-crosses...

I was hooked.

I live just up the road from you in Margate.

Danny O’Neill
21 Posted 04/03/2022 at 07:41:04
The 500 bus, Derek, now there's a memory!!

Me and my mates always used to get the train from Hunts Cross to Kirkdale though.

My alternative was the 81D getting off at the stop on the corner of Queen's Drive near to the Anfield Pub and the Taxi Club.

Dave Abrahams
22 Posted 04/03/2022 at 09:07:42
Bob (19),

Yes, the day after Kennedy was assassinated and a fan was arrested during the two minutes silence in tribute to Kennedy, he had shouted out “Long live Krsushev “.

You are correct, Mathews at 50 years of age didn't get a kick but Tony Kay, who took no prisoners, put him on his arse with one tackle.

Paul Hughes
23 Posted 04/03/2022 at 10:03:35
Don (18), there is a small Everton outpost in Noosa - my sister lives there.
Stephen Vincent
24 Posted 04/03/2022 at 13:30:47
Jim, Congratulations,

I certainly was there although as a 6 year old I really don't remember anything about the game. I do remember my Dad going on about the amount of money that Catterick had shelled out for Gordon West as being ridiculous and what was wrong with Albert Dunlop anyway? (Wasn't Gordon the most expensive goalkeeper in the world at the time?) He did have huge hands and was I think quite a talented concert pianist.

I was in the huge standing space in Goodison Road. Dad had brought a milk crate for me to stand on. This was my defining season as a blue. My first FA Cup tie, Burnley away, I remember that because Turf Moor was rammed and I lost my Dad when Bobby Collins scored (we lost 3-1).

My Dad, Uncle and Grandad all had season tickets in the Upper Gwladys and I only got to go when something happened and one of them couldn't, or my Dad took pity on me and took me in the ground.

Strangely, my first away game had been the previous season also against Burnley. It was a Christmas present, we played them at Turf Moor 26 December and then at Goodison on 27 December which was the largest crowd I have ever been in at Goodison (nearly 75,000). We lost that 3-0 as well, although we had won 3-1 the previous day.

Standing in the Oak last night with Derek and Bill we were reminiscing about the music (not changed in 25 years) and I still remember being sat on the steps with a bottle of pop and a packet of crisps before games back then.

Happy days.

Andy McGuffog
25 Posted 04/03/2022 at 13:43:53
Regarding the Mathews game, my memory is that he was allowed quite a lot of time with the ball by Mick Megan, who, being a true gentleman, didn't want to be the one who finished Sir Stan's career by breaking his incredibly spindly legs by attempting to tackle him. I spent that game watching Mick just shepherding him out of dangerous areas.
Dave Abrahams
26 Posted 04/03/2022 at 13:51:29
Stephen (24),

It's nice to look back on those good days and have a good chat them. I remember that Burnley cup game and the thousands of supporters we took to the game.

Muhammad Ali had fought a world title fight just before that game and an Everton supporter took over Ali's rant to the unfortunate boxer who who he battered and tantalised throughout the fight with “ What's my name?” after every punch, this supporter was shouting out to the Everton crowd “What's our name?” and the massive response was "Everton!"

By the way, Stephen, it was Gordon West's wife who was the concert pianist and alas she got carried away by the sound of another man's music and left Gordon behind.

John Keating
27 Posted 04/03/2022 at 14:06:12
Weird how you remember certain things.

I remember how we always went into Goodison Road at the Park End for games but for whatever reason that game and a lot that season we took a walk at half time and went into Gwladys Street.

God knows why????

George Carroll
28 Posted 04/03/2022 at 14:29:06
Earlier than you, Jim, I started in the Boys Pen having been an Evertonian all my life. I am 88 now and still proud of the Blues, win or lose.

Out of 5 brothers, 2 of us were Blues and the others Reds. Never understood their reasoning as my Dad had played for Everton in their junior teams until he got an injury that finished his career

Seen some great players at Goodison especially when Sir John Moores and Harry Catterick were in charge, happy days.

Stephen Vincent
29 Posted 04/03/2022 at 14:42:12
I stand corrected Dave, on the Gordon West thing. Didn't he refuse to go to the 1970 World Cup to be with his wife? Peter Bonetti went instead and, who knows, if Gordon had gone, England may have done better.
John McFarlane Snr
30 Posted 04/03/2022 at 14:48:23
Hi John [27],

It was common practise for many to change ends at half-time, in order to be nearer the goal that Everton were attacking. The same thing happened at Anfield, and I imagine the same goes for all grounds. Sometimes it took the half-time break, which in those days was a five-minute period, to achieve the mission.

Jay Harris
31 Posted 04/03/2022 at 15:07:10
Jim, I was there but unlike Dave Abrahams who remembers everything I cant really remember much these days except how in awe I was of Roy Vernon.

My Dad, Uncle and Myself used to walk to every home game From Canterbury street along Shaw street, up Everton Valley and along to Goodison road which was our go to place. They used to pass me over the turnstyle and give the gateman a dropsy. Then They would sit me on the railings and stand behind them. There was never any crowd trouble or rushing and pushing in those days except for the derby games.

Great memories and thanks for bringing them back Jim.

Paul Newton
32 Posted 10/03/2022 at 17:15:08
I was there. For some reason, my main memory is of Billy Bingham playing a blinder (or so it seemed to me at the time – I was only nine) and of course the score.

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