Billy Bingham passes away

Friday, 10 June, 2022 51comments  |  Jump to last

The Everton community is mourning the death of ex-player and manager Billy Bingham MBE who has died at the age of 90.

He played for the Blues in the early 1960s before leaving for Port Vale after making almost 100 appearances for the club.

He would return a decade later to manage Everton in between spells in Greece, however, when he succeeded Harry Catterick, coming close to winning the League Championship in the 1974-75 season.

Billy, who was awarded an MBE for his services to football in 1981, passed away peacefully today.

 

Reader Comments (51)

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Brian Wilkinson
1 Posted 10/06/2022 at 13:31:02
RIP, Billy Bingham, passed away a short while ago.
Matthew Williams
2 Posted 10/06/2022 at 13:39:26
Just heard the sad news about the passing of another Everton great... RIP Billy Bingham.
Pete Hughes
3 Posted 10/06/2022 at 14:02:44
Rest in Peace, Billy,

I had the pleasure of seeing you play, what a player!

Bill Fairfield
4 Posted 10/06/2022 at 14:14:19
RIP Billy a gentleman and great Evertonian.
Edward McBride
6 Posted 10/06/2022 at 14:16:00
RIP Billy – thanks for the memories and Duncan McKenzie.
John McFarlane Snr
7 Posted 10/06/2022 at 14:28:16
Billy Bingham may have played in a fixture against Everton in the 1959-60 season, my first season after my Demob from the Army, but my recollection of him was in a 1961-62 Second Division 2-2 draw against Liverpool at Anfield, and the only thing I can recall is the scorcher he scored at the Anfield Road end, from some distance. Although time may have made it more of a scorcher than it actually was. RIP, Billy.
Alan McGuffog
9 Posted 10/06/2022 at 14:31:51
Carlisle United!
Brian Wilkinson
10 Posted 10/06/2022 at 14:42:11
RIP, Billy.

First game I went Bingham was manager… that's both Bingham and Lee now gone, in the space of 3 months.

Who knows what we would have achieved, had you stuck to your statement and signed Peter Shilton? So near… yet so far from glory.

Paul Washington
11 Posted 10/06/2022 at 14:58:36
Billy Bingham took over in 1973, It coincided with me being allowed to go the games with me mates, I was 11!!

That team never quite made it in that season Derby County won league, which has been covered loads of times on here. Typical Everton

God bless Billy, a true gent.

Andy Meighan
12 Posted 10/06/2022 at 14:58:38
Sad news. But never forgive him for Carlisle home and away. RIP
Joe McMahon
13 Posted 10/06/2022 at 15:13:24
Brain,

Agreed – Shilton and Trevor Francis (didn't Lee try to sign him) would have made a difference.

Dave Abrahams
14 Posted 10/06/2022 at 16:00:08
Edward (4), It was strange that Billy bought McKenzie and Bruce Rioch and they made their debuts at Coventry in a 4-2 defeat and in no time Billy was given his comics after getting us to the semi-final of the League Cup.
John Raftery
15 Posted 10/06/2022 at 16:04:48
In the first game I went to, Billy Bingham was our outside right. Later that season, 1962-63, he was replaced by Alex Scott who added pace and energy in the run-in to the title.

As a manager Billy focused first and foremost on solid defence at a club still coming to terms with the demise of the 1970 Championship-winning team, especially the loss of Alan Ball. Given the average talents available to him there was arguably no realistic alternative. His two big-money buys, Latchford and Dobson, added some quality but the team gained a reputation, not wholly undeserved, for a negative approach. The truth was we did not possess enough top-class players.

That era is described very comprehensively in the first half of Gavin Buckland's excellent book ‘Boys from the Blue Stuff'.

Dave Abrahams
16 Posted 10/06/2022 at 16:17:29
Billy was a good busy player on the wing scoring and creating goals, we signed him from Luton Town for a small fee and giving them George Cummings and John Bramwell.

As John (12) states we were lacked style and charisma and set out not to lose but we we were only a good goalkeeper away from winning silverware and I think that applied to Gordon Lee when he took over from Billy.

Mike Owen
17 Posted 10/06/2022 at 16:31:43
Thanks for your efforts, Billy.

Like many others of a certain age, I suspect, mention his name and thoughts turn to spring 1975.

The story goes that he wanted to sign Shilton and the board wouldn't give him the money.

Whatever, we were so close to the title that season, and who knows what that might have led to for Everton FC.

But he had a heck of a career in football. RIP.

Peter Mills
18 Posted 10/06/2022 at 16:36:51
A very unfortunate Evertonian in many ways, helping us to win the League in 62-63 but displaced from the team in the latter part of the season.

Should have won the League as manager in 74-75, foiled by horrendous results against teams we should have beaten.

Sacked during the 76-77 season when we had just had a great win at Old Trafford in the League Cup quarter final.

He used to live in Sunnyside Avenue in Crosby, it was quite a thrill to be introduced to him when I was aged 6, he was very patient and friendly.

Condolences to the Bingham family.

Tony Everan
19 Posted 10/06/2022 at 16:45:49
RIP Billy, best wishes to his family. Peter I didn’t know he lived round the corner from me too in the 70s. I’d have been round there on my bike aged 8 asking for an autograph.

I thought he was the manager the first time I went to Goodison but just checked it was Gordon Lee in 1978, we beat Ipswich 1-0, Bob Latchford scored a pen and it was Duncan MacKenzie’s last game for us. Bobby Robson was the manager of Ipswich.

Gerry Quinn
20 Posted 10/06/2022 at 17:33:26
As a kid, I knocked on the door of his house in Sunnyside Road, Crosby and he was so nice to me despite me interrupting whatever it was he would have been doing. I got his autograph and as I walked off he called me back to give me a couple of - yes, Everton mints...

A true gent, a true footballer and always a true Evertonian... RIP Billy

John McFarlane Snr
21 Posted 10/06/2022 at 17:48:11
Hi all, I forgot to mention that the goal and game I referred to was when he played for Luton Town.

Hi Dave, old age is apparently catching up with you as well as me, George Cummins joined Luton Town in August 1953, he never scored a goal for Everton but scored for Luton in his return, thankfully Everton won 2-1.

The two players involved in the Bingham deal were John Bramwell and Alec Ashworth in 1960, if memory serves me right Ashworth scored in both the abandoned game in which Dennis Law scored six goals, and the replayed game which Luton 3-1.

Howard Don
23 Posted 10/06/2022 at 17:55:00
Had my first season ticket in 1962-63 season when we finished as Champions. Billy was still playing then but we signed Alex Scott and Billy's opportunities became limited as I recall.

As a manager, Billy came across as a decent bloke and it was a shame a lot of good work was undone in 74-75 dropping silly points against Carlisle etc.

I remember an Echo journalist writing, when Billy arrived as manager, that the team should prepare themselves for a tortuous pre-season as Billy was known for very intense training sessions. RIP Billy.

Tom Bowers
25 Posted 10/06/2022 at 18:20:04
A blast from the past that only a few of us will remember from the glory days of the early sixties. Very few left now except Temple and Morrissey if I am not mistaken.

Steve Stallwood
26 Posted 10/06/2022 at 18:25:22
RIP, Billy, and condolences to your family. Thanks for everything, another one from my youth moves on.
Philip Bunting
27 Posted 10/06/2022 at 18:38:27
Total Northern Ireland legend as well as a Blue. Taking them to the World Cup in 1982 and 1986 was no mean feat and beating Spain in their backyard.

RIP Billy, gone but never forgotten.

Dave Abrahams
28 Posted 10/06/2022 at 18:53:29
John @21,

Yes, you are correct: Alec Ashworth was the player who went with John Bramwell to Luton when we signed Billy Bingham.

I remember Alec scoring two very early goals for the Blues in the last home game of the season versus Man City but we lost 5-2, he later suffered with his mental health and I think he then finished with football.

Pete Jeffries
29 Posted 10/06/2022 at 18:58:41
Great memories of Billy on the wing especially the glory days in 62-63 when I was a kid and the crowd on Goodison Road terraces used to shout "Billy get yer whip out!"

RIP, Billy, a true Evertonian at heart.

Paul Birmingham
30 Posted 10/06/2022 at 19:01:38
RIP, Billy Bingham, a true Evertonian!
Jack Convery
31 Posted 10/06/2022 at 19:04:56
RIP Billy Bingham. His team was the first team I actually went to Goodison to watch. He knew a player when he saw one.

I remember when we signed Latchford. Some were up in arms that we let Kendall and Styles go in the opposite direction. The deal was valued at £350,000 at the time. Latchford was the business in front of goal, so in that respect Billy was proved right, to do the deal. Dobson was a joy to watch. Such a classy left sided midfielder.

Then came McKenzie and Rioch. We loved Duncan. I remember on his debut, He had 4 players around him and with one sway of his hips they went right, whilst he went left and left them all for dead. Rioch was a brick outhouse in the midfield, who liked the opposition to know how hard he was from the off. That team should have won the title but those Carlisle results still haunt me to this day. I think they got relegated too. Oh for a decent keeper.

His management of Northern Ireland will always be remembered for the defeat of Spain, at their own World Cup Finals. One of the greatest upsets in a World Cup.

My condolences to Mr Binghams' Family.

John McFarlane Snr
32 Posted 10/06/2022 at 19:39:41
Hi Dave [28] you are correct regarding the Manchester City game, I was what we used to term as, "Serving Queen and Country" in Cyprus at that time, and counting the days to my Demob. [468].

Although I did manage to come home on leave and saw a couple of games, the Boxing Day game against Bolton Wanderers stands out in my memory, because my sister gave birth to her daughter, and we worked out that it was when Dave Hickson scored the only goal of the game.

I quite often remember incidents and events that occurred in games I've attended, and very little of the games themselves, maybe I can relate some at the next ToffeeWeb gathering.

Alan McGuffog
33 Posted 10/06/2022 at 19:47:54
Tom... is Tony Kay not still with us?

I would love to hear more of what became of Johnny Morrisey... what a player.

Ray Atherton
34 Posted 10/06/2022 at 19:59:20
Dave (28)

I went to Blackpool"s ground for a match, it was a night game. We won 1-0, Alec Ashworth scored the winner. It was about in 1958-59. I think he was a Southport lad.

Rest in peace, Billy Bingham.

Colin Glassar
35 Posted 10/06/2022 at 20:11:01
RIP, Billy. You were a nearly-man (football-wise) but a decent bloke and loyal Evertonian. Bryan Hamilton was your weak spot.
John McFarlane Snr
36 Posted 10/06/2022 at 21:12:06
Hi Tom [25] I've just done a quick check and the players who played a significant part in the 60s and are still alive, appear to be the following,

Colin Green, Colin Harvey, John Hurst, Jimmy Husband, Tommy Jackson, Tony Kay, Roger Kenyon, Johnny Morrisey, Mick Meagan, Andy Rankin, Joe Royle, Derek Temple, and Tommy Wright.

As I've said, it was a quick check and I may have missed one or two, I've tried to select a team from the surviving players, so here goes.

Andy Rankin, Tommy Wright, Mick Meagan, Colin Harvey, Roger Kenyon, Tony Kay, Jimmy Husband, John Hurst, Joe Royle, Derek Temple, and Johnny Morrisey. I felt it was okay to play John Hurst up front, because he was a forward for Blackpool and England schoolboys, and Derek Temple was someone who could operate in any forward position.

I hope you can allow an old man the pleasure of revelling in the joys of yester-year. 'Your day will come'.

Andy Crooks
37 Posted 10/06/2022 at 21:26:49
Billy Bingham was a remarkable man who achieved the very maximum with the ability he was given.

I was at the infamous Ireland match and it was a toxic event at a very dark time. Days to regret.

However, there were days to remember and cherish. Beating West Germany home and away, going to two World Cups, and creating a club atmosphere at international level. Something which England's two greatest managers did (Ramsey and Venables). Something that is rare and special.

If only he could have done that at Everton. He was remembered fondly today by Jimmy Nicholl and Gerry Armstrong who both spoke of the tough discipline he installed in his squads. It couldn't happen today which is unfortunate in many ways.

Also, I hope my memory isn't playing tricks, but did he sign Rioch and Mackenzie in the same week and give them their debuts that Saturday? An unlikely set of signings but astonishing if I didn't dream it.

There was also his amazing accent (posh Northern Ireland) epitomized by the notion that putting the word "for" before the word "till" was a sign of class.

More than any manager, Billy Bingham seemed to me like a proper grown-up boss, inspiring but intimidating. Brian Clough without the magic dust. For better or worse, there really was no-one like Billy Bingham. A complex man, RIP.

Iakovos Iasonidis
38 Posted 10/06/2022 at 21:32:19
He managed PAOK in the past, the team I support here in Greece. Old reporters say he was a gentleman.
Tony Hill
39 Posted 10/06/2022 at 21:40:43
A good player and fair manager. He coincided with the start of our decline but that was not his fault.

If you have 8 players who are prepared to play with, and for, each other then you have a side with a title- winning chance, he said. That was in the 60s; he understood the modern football mind and was something of a bridge between Old Great Everton and New Mediocre Everton (our 80s spasm notwithstanding).

May he rest in peace.

Jerome Shields
40 Posted 10/06/2022 at 22:11:33
RIP Billy. He was quite a good Manager at Everton, but he will be remembered for Northern Ireland punching above their weight. I didn't know much about him as a player.
Bill Watson
41 Posted 10/06/2022 at 22:14:45
I seem to remember that pre-season training included running up and down the Ainsdale sandhills!

RIP, Billy Bingham

Danny O’Neill
42 Posted 10/06/2022 at 00:39:05
I think I said it on the Gordon Lee post, Lee was the first Everton manager I remember in terms of watching and seeing the players in the flesh. I do remember my dad, having watched the 60s teams, not being a big fan at the time.

Bingham is the first name I remember as Everton manager. But I can't confess to remembering anything about the team at the time. I don't know if my first match was whilst Bingham was in charge. Home Farm at Goodison in a pre-season friendly. But then again, age is getting to me and I can't recall if it was that or another friendly against Braunschweig in Germany. Either way, I feel they might have been later.

Regardless, he served Everton as player and Manager. Rest in Peace.

Phil Teece
43 Posted 11/06/2022 at 05:04:24
Vale Billy, a hero of my teens. I remember well our excitement when he signed for Everton in 1960 (when I was 15). and I even recall that day's newspaper headline, in those long-ago days of 3-tier headers: 'Billy Bingham signs for Everton/plays at Fulham/outside right'.
Alan J Thompson
44 Posted 11/06/2022 at 11:59:02
If memory serves, Rioch and McKenzie debuted in a midweek game at Goodison which we won 4-3 on a freezing cold night.

Also trying to remember who brought Sheedy to Goodison as I remember him coming on as a sub under Billy Bangbang.

Dave Abrahams
45 Posted 11/06/2022 at 12:10:13
Ray (34),

Yes, Ashworth was born in Southport and finished his career in nearby Preston North End.

Nice to hear from you, Ray, I hope you are keeping okay.

Dave Abrahams
46 Posted 11/06/2022 at 12:32:57
Alan (44), I’m almost sure McKenzie and Rioch made their debut in an away game at Coventry in a 4-2 defeat but you brought back memories of Billy’s nickname while he was a player at the Blues, Billy Bangbang!!
Alan J Thompson
47 Posted 11/06/2022 at 16:09:43
Dave(#46); I won't go into the reasons for my memory of it being at Goodison but it was to do with a bank robbery in Macclesfield which also involved a teller being abducted, unless it was their home debut but that is not my recall.
Barry Shearer
48 Posted 11/06/2022 at 18:25:25
I want to share a true story.
In the early nineties, my girlfriend and I flew from Liverpool to Belfast in awful conditions. When we landed, all flights out of Belfast were delayed. Taxis were impossible to find. A man came over to us and offered to share his taxi that he had somehow ordered. This was none other than Billy Bingham. I was aghast and said to my girlfriend, this is Billy Bingham. My girlfriend said "who". I had some explaining to do. The taxi arrived and the three of us got in. I told him I knew he was. I introduced us and told him I was big Evertonian. He smiled. Billy looked at the taxi driver and said let's do a tour of Belfast. We drove up and down numerous Belfast streets pointing out different landmarks. We passed one street where he said he once lived. I'll never forget going by one particular locals pub. Billy said, "don't go in there, you'll leave with no teeth". On passing another, he said, "this is best Guinness in Belfast." It was amazing. Finally, he told the driver to pull over and he got out. My girlfriend and I got out as well. I thanked him and shook his hand. My girlfriend gave him a kiss on the cheek. We exchanged pleasantries and he told the driver to take care of us. He disappeared into the night. A true gent and will be missed.
Barry Shearer
49 Posted 11/06/2022 at 18:25:26
I want to share a true story.
In the early nineties, my girlfriend and I flew from Liverpool to Belfast in awful conditions. When we landed, all flights out of Belfast were delayed. Taxis were impossible to find. A man came over to us and offered to share his taxi that he had somehow ordered. This was none other than Billy Bingham. I was aghast and said to my girlfriend, this is Billy Bingham. My girlfriend said "who". I had some explaining to do. The taxi arrived and the three of us got in. I told him I knew he was. I introduced us and told him I was big Evertonian. He smiled. Billy looked at the taxi driver and said let's do a tour of Belfast. We drove up and down numerous Belfast streets pointing out different landmarks. We passed one street where he said he once lived. I'll never forget going by one particular locals pub. Billy said, "don't go in there, you'll leave with no teeth". On passing another, he said, "this is best Guinness in Belfast." It was amazing. Finally, he told the driver to pull over and he got out. My girlfriend and I got out as well. I thanked him and shook his hand. My girlfriend gave him a kiss on the cheek. We exchanged pleasantries and he told the driver to take care of us. He disappeared into the night. A true gent and will be missed.
John McFarlane Snr
50 Posted 11/06/2022 at 18:41:54
Hi Dave [46] you are correct regarding Bruce Rioch and Duncan McKenzie, their first game was at Coventry City in 4-2 defeat, Everton's goals were scored by Roger Kenyon and Andy King. I was at that game, a bitterly cold day, and the pitch could be seen freezing over as the game proceeded.
Brian Wilkinson
51 Posted 11/06/2022 at 18:48:45
Alan McGuffog @33,

Tony Kay helps out at the Marine Lake Cafe in Southport most weekdays and always welcomes Evertonians to pop in and have a chat.

Will Mabon
52 Posted 11/06/2022 at 18:54:29
Barry - sounds like Billy pulled the old scoot off and leave you with the fare trick. Works a treat :-)
Brendan McLaughlin
53 Posted 11/06/2022 at 19:33:37
Barry #49

And you weren't the least bit suspicious that Billy let you sit up front during the taxi tour of Belfast whilst he was happy enough to ride in the back with your girlfriend… 😊

Brian Murray
54 Posted 13/06/2022 at 10:00:17
Probably Latchford was my first vivid hero as I only remember Royle doing his back in and then was suddenly okay when he went to Man City. Kendall still had a lot of football left in him when he went in the Latchford deal but Bob was definitely a highlight in the Bingham era.

He wasn't my dad's favourite manager especially when he started taking elocution lessons and couldn't win a derby. We have had far worse, to be fair. RIP, Billy.

Paul Morrison
55 Posted 13/06/2022 at 11:14:35
John #50.

I was at that match also (sort of). Spent the whole day hitch-hiking down to Coventry. Got there for the last 5 minutes to see them score their fourth goal. Bunked on the floor of a coach on the way back and my Mum thought was I was still playing footie up the street.


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