THE EVERTON MATCH DAY TOFFEE LADY EXPERIENCE – Steve Zocek

Those of us who have attended Goodison Park on a matchday have always been familiar with the figure of a lady dressed in a blue and white dress, an apron, quaint bonnet and carrying a basket of Everton mints. She tosses handfuls of the black and white humbugs into the sections of the stadium, as she walks the perimeter of the pitch, with eagerly awaiting fans clutching whatever they can catch. The fans take for granted this ritual, which goes back to a date we can’t be precise on, but the duty was certainly performed in the 1950’s and possibly earlier. I recently made contact with someone who was a Toffee lady and only lived a stone’s throw away from Goodison Park. Gillian Francis made her “debut” as a Toffee lady in August 1977 on the opening day of a new season as newly promoted Nottingham Forest, managed by Brian Clough, came to experience life in the top flight. The criteria which...
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Bob Latchford’s 30 goal season

Bob Latchford’s 30 goal season

"Bobby Latchford walks on water", echoed the cry from the Goodison terraces as they idolised their Everton number nine. Everton were renowned for their famous number nines and Bob was no different. The Daily Express newspaper decided to offer a prize of £10,000 for a player to hit the back of the net thirty times in the 1977/78 season. The last time this feat had been achieved was back in 1972 when Francis Lee hit thirty three goals for Manchester City. Manager Billy Bingham signed Bob in 1974, for what was then a massive record signing fee of £350,000, with two players going the other way to Birmingham City. Bob was described as a sprinter who could outmuscle his way through opponents, and was deadly in the six yard box. Big Bob registered his first league goal that season at Leicester City’s Filbert Street on September 10th as Everton were in rampant mood hitting The Foxes for five. With Everton's first attack of...
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Britton’s Blues

In September 1948, Cliff Britton completed the short journey from Turf Moor to Goodison Park to become Everton manager. In so doing, he became the first former player to hold the position and his appointment offered hope for the future. At Burnley he was considered one of the most promising managers in England, leading the Clarets To promotion from the Second Division, an FA Cup final and third place in the top flight in successive years. Britton was a favourite son of Goodison, having enjoyed a distinguished playing career as half-back. He was, recorded a 1936 profile, ‘One of the most gentlemanly and unassuming players in the game. An artiste in ball control and delightful to watch. Revels in linking up with the forwards, whilst his accurate lobbed centres are ever a menace.’ Britton had clear ideas of how he should manage Everton. In agreeing to take charge he laid down precise terms of employment to which the board agreed. These included: ‘Full power over...
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Everton’s First League Cup Semi-Final

In January 1977 Everton were only two matches away from their first Wembley final in the 17-year existence of the League Cup. Bolton Wanderers of the Second Division side stood between them and the Twin Towers. Everton had parted company with manager Billy Bingham just ten days before the first leg. With the search underway for Bingham’s successor – Bobby Robson being the original preferred choice - Steve Burtenshaw took charge in a caretaker capacity. Everton’s path to the semi-final commenced on August Bank Holiday Monday with a comfortable 3-0 defeat of Cambridge United. A solitary Bob Latchford goal was enough to ease past Stockport County at Edgeley Park in the next round, after which a home defeat of Coventry City set up a quarter final tie with Manchester United. Everton silenced the 57,738 Old Trafford crowd, crushing the hosts 3-0. The Blues hosted the Trotters in the first semi-final leg with 54,032 fans inside echoing, “Tell me ma, me ma; I don’t want no tea,...
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