SON OF MY FATHER – (Part One) -John Armfield by Steve Zocek

Jimmy Armfield playing for Blackpool during the 1967-68 season. Photograph: Colorsport/Rex/Shutterstock Anything Everton related always fascinates me. My next two article is about a famous footballers whose sonat spells/trials at Everton. This first one is of John Armfield the son of Blackpool legend Jimmy; Jimmy Armfield with sons Duncan and John at Bloomfield Road John tells his story how he teamed up with Everton. I got involved with Everton season 1987/88 because of John King who at the time was manager of Runcorn FC, a mad Evertonian and friendly with some of the coaching staff at Everton, in particular Mick Lyons. I had been playing in the Conference for Runcorn as a goalkeeper and unfortunately in December, I got a hematoma in my leg which kept me side-lined for 3 months. There was no reserve football for me and I started to play on a Saturday morning at Everton for the A team filling in to improve my fitness really. I ended up playing about...
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FRED BARBER – A CUT ABOVE – Steve Zocek

FRED BARBER – A CUT ABOVE – Steve Zocek

Fred Barber was signed by Everton as back up cover for Neville Southall in April 1986 for £50,000 from Darlington. During a brief stay, he was never required to play a first team game and was sold to Walsall, with Howard Kendall doubling his money.  Fred tells me how the move to Everton happened and quite a story it is. It was a Wednesday night, 26 March 1986, and I was watching the highlights on TV, of Republic of Ireland vs Wales from Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Neville Southall the Everton and Wales ‘keeper had torn his ankle ligaments,which would keep him side-lined for a period of time.  Everton of course had Bobby Mimms as their number two, but needed another keeper just in case Bobby got injured orsuspended.  At the time I was at Darlington, and our game the previous night against Mansfield Town had been postponed due to the bad weather and re-scheduled for the following night. Thatmorning the manager, Cyril Knowles phoned and I was expecting him to say the game was off again. However, I was told that Everton had come in for me and asked to get down there ASAP for talks. My girlfriend at...
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TOMMY WHEELDON-THE THIRD NEW BOY - Steve Zocek

TOMMY WHEELDON-THE THIRD NEW BOY - Steve Zocek

On Tuesday 7th December 1976,Everton manager Billy Bingham made a triple swoop by signing Duncan McKenzie from Anderlecht, Bruce Rioch from Derby County and Tommy Wheeldon.  Tommy who? You know, Tommy Wheeldon from St Helens Town?  Never heard of him? You have now. Liverpool schoolboys in cologne I was intrigued to find the truth about Tommy, an Evertonian from birth, who was expected to reach better things in football. Tommy takes up this wonderful story.  I played for England Under 18’s and attracted interest from both Everton and West Ham United and a few more clubs. John Lyall the manager of West Ham made contact with me, and I also received a letter from Ron Greenwood the former manager of West Ham, inviting me to play for the Hammers first team against Morecambe. I thought I’d misheard when he said first team, but confirmation proved that I wasn’t imagining things. West Ham were staying in the north-west for the game and I joined them for the week in Morecambe in April 1976 and played in midfield with Trevor Brooking, Graham Paddon andBilly Bonds. We won 9-1 with me stepping in for Pat Holland.  Trial...
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ONE GOAL AT A TIME BOB LATCHFORD – Steve Zocek

ONE GOAL AT A TIME BOB LATCHFORD – Steve Zocek

Recollections of Bobs 30 Goal record by his Colleagues       On 29 April 1978, Everton recorded a memorable 6-0 victory over Chelsea in front of 39,500 people. Watching from the Main Stand that afternoon was the great Dixie Dean. Bob Latchford was adored by his fans, who were convinced that he walked on water and anxiously wanted the two goals required to achieve thirty goals for the season. The Daily Express had offered a generous prize of £10,000 for this milestone.I recently made contact with most of the players that played for Everton that day, to ask for their story of that great afternoon. Sadly, two of the team, Mick Buckley and Andy King have passed away. I also spoke with Gordon Lee and the club physio Jim McGregor.  Martin Dobson I didn’t know this at the time, but Bob was confident that he was going to score the two goals required to reach the tally of 30 for that season. He got to 28 with three games remaining. We drew away at Middlesbrough 0-0 and lost 3-1 at the Hawthorns (West Brom) in...
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