Welcome to Part Four of ‘Son of my Father’ – Steve Zocek

George Wood was signed for Everton in August 1977 by manager Gordon Lee.  George soon became a “darling” of the Evertonians, making 126 appearances for the Toffees before joining Arsenal in August 1980. George also represented Scotland, and once told me he was the one who launched Diego Maradona’s career as the Argentinian scored his first international goal against him. Maradona scored his first international goal in the fixture after beating George Wood courtesy of SNS Group This feature is a little different to the previous ones as it features George’s son, James, who followed in his father’s footsteps wearing the green jersey between the posts, but on this occasion not with Everton. Confused? Read on and enjoy. I asked James if it was his father who encouraged him to take on the role of a goalkeeper. It was weird when I was younger, because I was multi-talented at sport. Living in South Wales, I played a lot more rugby than I did...
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GERRY MULLAN-WHEN IRISH EYES ARE SMILING – Steve Zocek

GERRY MULLAN-WHEN IRISH EYES ARE SMILING – Steve Zocek

Gerry Mullan signed for Everton from Ballymena United in October 1980. To date he was the most expensive Irish league player at £30,000. Gerry failed to make a first team appearance for the Toffees but gained 4 caps for his country-Norther Ireland. Gerry is quite a private man, but was very helpful in assisting me with an insight to his time at Everton.  Gerry Middle row 2nd from the left SIGNING FOR EVERTON "After 4 reasonably good seasons at Ballymena, I trained really hard in my fifth season, trying to push myself to the limit. As well as Everton, a few clubs watching me, such as Celtic, Sunderland and Brighton. Ballymena played at Seaview against Crusaders and I managed to score two goals whilst Harry Cooke (Chief Scout at Everton) was watching. I think that game sealed the deal as I signed for Everton soon after." KNOWLEDGE OF EVERTON/FIRST IMPRESSIONS "Obviously with Everton being a very big club I was delighted to sign for them....
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RICHARD DUCKENFIELD – GET OFF THE PITCH – Steve Zocek

RICHARD DUCKENFIELD – GET OFF THE PITCH – Steve Zocek

 October 28th 1978 is a date etched in many an Evertonians mind.  John Motson commentating that day for the evening football show ‘Match of the Day’ cries out, “The ball falls to Andy King, oh yes he’s got it, Andy King has scored” When the final whistle sounded at 4.45 Richard Duckenfield a BBC reporter waits on the pitch side to grab a few words with the hero of the afternoon.  Before the conversation could commence, a Police Superintendent rudely pushes Duckenfield and King away from the pitch with an order “Get off the pitch”  42 years on I caught up with Richard to find out about the moment which has been shown many a time on the hilarious “It’ll be Alright on the Night”, which shows clips of funny and embarrassing television moments.  Richard takes up the story; I was working for ‘Grandstand’, the BBC Saturday afternoon sports programme and covered the North West teams. They used to get us to go to various games and I reported on both Manchester and Liverpool clubs, Bolton Wanderers and other local clubs. We were allocated 90 seconds for a match report. If there was an outside broadcast team there, we...
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BARRY REES A Blue from Rhyl – Steve Zocek

BARRY REES A Blue from Rhyl – Steve Zocek

Barry Rees was a bright young lad who originated from Rhyl in North Wales. An excellent footballer from an early age, he caught the eye of an Everton scout. Having represented his county of Flintshire, he eventually made the grade as a professional footballer.  Barry impressed his manager sufficiently to feature in four first team games, netting twice, before being sold to Brighton and Hove Albion. Barry died in tragic circumstances at the age of 21 and I am indebted to Barry’s brother Geraint for sharing Barry’s all too short career with me.  Barry was a bit of a home boy and he was forever coming back to Rhyl and staying at home, which manager Harry Catterick didn’t like, preferring his players to stay local around the Liverpool area. That may be what brought things to a head between Barry and Mr. Catterick. I don’t think they really saw eye to eye.  Barry was discovered by Everton’s North Wales region scout, Fred Bennett, in Flint. Barry played representative schoolfootball and went on to play for Wales schoolboys. He was playing for Rhyl in the Cheshire League, before joining Everton at the age of 17 and serving an apprenticeship as a plumber, as many did...
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