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 – Steve Zocek

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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From Leicester Fosse to Leicester City…

The Premier League champions are at Goodison Park this afternoon but did you know that the club played for 25 years after its formation before becoming Leicester City? Today’s visitors were formed in 1884 by a group of young men from a local evangelical chapel who decided to form a football team that they chose to call Leicester Fosse. This suffix was selected because the old Roman Road, known as the Fosseway, had once passed through the area. The group then all agreed to pay nine old pence membership fee and another nine pence was collected to purchase a football. They then played at several different locations before, according to local folklore, a certain Miss Westland suggested they construct an enclosure at a site on Walnut Street which, in turn, became Filbert Street. Leicester Fosse first played in the Midland League before being elected to the Football League Division Two in 1893. In 1908 they gained promotion to the top flight and faced...
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Leicester’s Favourite Blue by Ken Rogers

Any visit of Leicester City stirs up personal memories of those heady days when, as the Liverpool Echo’s chief football writer, I found myself recording the most successful phase in Everton FC’s history between 1983 and 1987. international players and the English media were at an all time low. However, Gary agreed to a special interview for Evertonians. “We just missed out on the league and the FA Cup, but it went well for me personally,” he said. “I went to Mexico full of confidence, but I didn’t think for one minute that I In the middle of this glorious spell, the Blues signed Gary Lineker, a major blow for Leicester fans. Not only did they lose the top flight’s leading goalscorer in the summer of 1985, but also one of their own. I was at Bellefield on Gary’s first day. As I left, my car was stopped at the gate by a crowd of young supporters, all shouting: “Gary, can we have your autograph?”...
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Clocking On… by Steve Johnson

Today’s 2.05pm kick- off inevitably gets supporters talking about the ‘ good old days’ when we remember all football matches being played on a Saturday afternoon at 3pm… but just how common was that 3pm time slot? Well, it depends on how far back you look! Prior to the Premier League era, most of Everton’s home matches, aside from those played in midweek, did indeed commence at the ‘traditional’ time of 3pm – but that had only been the case from the early 1960s onwards. From 1957 to late 1961 Everton’s Saturday kick-offs had alternated mostly between 3pm and 3.15pm, and before that we varied primarily amongst 2.15, 2.30, 2.45, 3.00 and 3.15pm starts! Up until World War 1 the picture was even more unsettled, with all sorts of different afternoon kick-off times in vogue – although 3.30 and 4.00pm were much more prevalent. So why the moveable start times before 1957? ‘Light’ is the answer! Everton installed floodlights in 1957 (as did Chelsea), using...
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When Parker Tamed Tigers by David Prentice

    Run through the list of Everton’s record scorers against almost every club we’ve ever faced and one name predictably dominates. William Ralph Dean. Everton’s top scorer against Arsenal? Dixie with 12 goals. Liverpool? Dixie with 19. Chelsea? Dixie again with 10. But not today’s visitors Hull City. The man who tormented the Tigers even more than the celebrated Dixie throughout his career was another Everton striker, a man who doesn’t feature as frequently whenever lists of Everton’s great forwards are mentioned but whose goals return was impressive. John Willie Parker was described as a “stylish inside- forward” who played much of his football for Everton during the brief spell we spent outside the top flight between 1951 and 1954. He scored 89 goals in his 176 Everton appearances, many of them in that spell – and in the promotion campaign of 1953/54 top-scored with 31 goals in 38 starts. He scored once against Hull that season, but it was in Everton’s first campaign of Second Division football...
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Phew, 9-1 win is a scorcher by David Prentice

                  Cartoon “Referees and the Heat Wave. Suggested Outfit”; headline from the Liverpool Daily Post & Mercury –   “Football Hot O! Players Collapse”; a cartoon from the Football Echo of Saturday 8 September, reflecting on the heatwave. Caption reads: ‘Overheard last Saturday: “Tommy, come and stand in the shade; it’s cooler.” The start of September 1906 saw England sweltering in a heatwave – the most intense temperatures recorded in the 20th century. It was weather for sunbathing, not sport, as the temperatures topped 32 degrees for four successive days throughout most of the country. No surprise, then, that the Liverpool Daily Post & Mercury’s headline for Monday 3 September read: Football Hot O! A Warm Kick- Off And Enormous Crowds. Players Collapse. While the editorial began: “The Glorious First, which duly celebrates the commencement of two distinct classes of sport – football and partridge shooting – will long be remembered for its overpowering heat.” Maybe the heat helped explain the events at Goodison Park on  the  Monday evening of 3...
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Spreading the Everton name…by John Shearon

At the final whistle of this evening’s game both sets of players will be looking forward to a well-earned  rest over the coming months.   In late April 1909, this was not the case as Everton closed the season with a 4-2 win over Leicester Fosse to finish runners-up to champions Newcastle United. The Toffees, along with Spurs, who likewise had finished runners-up but in the Second Division, had been invited to play a number of friendly matches in Argentina and Uruguay where the sport was still in its infancy. This was not the first such tour. Southampton in 1904 and Nottingham Forest in 1905 had made earlier visits, but it would result in the first match between two professional teams in the Americas (until professionalism was first introduced to Argentina in 1931), and would leave a lasting impression in South America. Everton left Lime Street on 13 May 1909, boarding the Argentine-bound R.M.S. Aruguaya in Southampton the following day. Spurs literally missed the...
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The Influence Of Tom… by James Corbett

The Influence Of Tom...by James Corbett 16 March 1925, after months of scouting, negotiation and gentle persuasion, Everton’s secretary- manager Tom M c Int osh concluded the most important transfer deal in the Club’s history. For £3,000, William Ralph (‘Dixie’) Dean arrived from Tranmere Rovers. Three years later, Dean’s record 60-goal tally propelled Everton back to the summit of English football. Today, Dean resides amongst the football immortals, yet McIntosh, who served as Everton’s secretary-manager for 15 years, is little remembered. That is a shame, for as well as being a key figure in the signing of Dean, he helped the Club move from a state of post-War transition into a golden era. Like several of the men who followed him into the Everton manager’s office – Harry Catterick, Gordon Lee and Howard  Kendall – McIntosh was a North-Easterner, born in Sedgefield in 1879. A teenage player with Darlington in the 1890s, he reverted to the role of club secretary in 1902. Nine years later...
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EVERTON LEAGUE CHAMPIONS 1986/87

Everton started off the new campaign licking their wounds after conceding the league and FA cup "double" to their rivals Liverpool the previous season. In came new signings Dave Watson who became Everton's record signing for £1m, also Paul Power, Kevin Langley and Neil Adams. Out went Gary Lineker as he left to join his new manager Terry Venables at Barcelona. Everton started their campaign where they had become accustomed by playing at their "second home" Wembley in the charity shield against Liverpool. Like so many times the name of Ian Rush cursed Everton as he cancelled out Adrian Heath's 80th minute goal with an 88th minute equaliser as both clubs shared the shield. The league campaign began with a home game against Nottingham Forest with Kevin Sheedy netting a brace in front of 35,198 supporters. Everton remained unbeaten for the rest of the month of August with two away draws against Sheffield Wednesday and Coventry City respectively. September's month opened with a convincing 3-1...
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