Steve Zocek

The Likely Lads; Mark and John Higgins – Son of my Father (Part Nine)

The Likely Lads; Mark and John Higgins – Son of my Father (Part Nine)

              Mark Higgins joined Everton as an apprentice. Having excelled in his performances for the reserves, he earned a first team start a month after his eighteenth birthday in a 2-2 draw against Manchester City under the lights at Goodison Park.  Mark, a tough no-nonsense centre half, gave nothing less than 100% in an Everton jersey, but his career was blighted by injuries, which sadly led to him missing out on the success of Howard Kendall's sides of the eighties.  After over 150 appearances for the Toffees, Mark made a decision to retire from the game due to the frustration…
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‘Hot Toddy’: Son of my Father (Part 8)

‘Hot Toddy’: Son of my Father (Part 8)

Colin and Andy Todd An Interview with Steve Zocek Signing on for Everton, Colin pictured with manager Gordon Lee Colin Todd made his Everton bow at the age of thirty. It’s only fair to say that his best days were behind him when he arrived at Goodison. Colin’s stay on Merseyside was a brief thirty-two games, scoring one goal in a 3-1 away victory, against what would be his next club, Birmingham City. Playing 661 career games in the Football League, and winning twenty seven England caps, tells its own story of Colin. Andy Todd was the son of Colin,…
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Son of my Father – Part 7

Son of my Father – Part 7

THE KINGDOM OF RIOCH by Steve Zocek Some of you may be wondering why I’ve given this article the title of ‘The  Kingdom of Rioch’? Well, Rioch means kingdom which comes from Irish origin. So, that’s the formalities out of the way. Bruce Rioch joined Everton in December 1976, making his Everton debut at Coventry City’s Highfield Road in a 4-2 defeat. Bruce appeared 30 times in an Everton shirt hitting the net 3 times. He had a thunderous shot, and was always favourite to take the direct free kicks when a goal seemed possible. Bruce played for a total…
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Son of My Father – Part  6

Son of My Father – Part 6

Carry on Seargeant by Steve Zocek This latest article is quite an intriguing one, featuring Steve Seargeant and his son Christian who both played for Everton. Steve made 80 first team appearances for the Royal Blues with one goal in his Everton career, which came in a late September afternoon in 1974 with a memorable strike from 35 yards, which squirmed under the body of Leeds United goalkeeper David Harvey to open the scoring that afternoon. Everton went on to win the game 3-2 after an enthralling 90minutes. For the younger readers who were not aware of his goal, it can be seen on the YouTube channel. https://youtu.be/_SseuJApkZ0 Christian tells me that he never really…
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Son of My Father – The Tale of Two Joes – Steve Zocek

Son of My Father – The Tale of Two Joes – Steve Zocek

Welcome to Part Five of Son of my Father. This time, I feature a football family from Glasgow: Joe McBride (Jnr) who played for Everton, and his father Joe McBride (Snr) who will be most remembered for his playing days at Celtic Park in the 1960’s. Joe senior actually had a great personal statistic by being top scorer at every club he played for. We start with Joe (Snr) who was born in 1938, a stone throws away from Rangers’ Ibrox Park. His football career began as a very young 15-year-old at Rugby Park, Kilmarnock. After 57 games and 24…
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‘Son of my Father’ Part IV: James Wood by Steve Zocek

‘Son of my Father’ Part IV: James Wood by 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…
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Gerry Mullan – When Irish Eyes are Smiling by Steve Zocek

Gerry Mullan – When Irish Eyes are Smiling by 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…
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Richard Dukenfield – ‘Get off the Pitch!’ – Steve Zocek

Richard Dukenfield – ‘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…
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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…
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Pat Jennings: The Boys of ‘86 – Steve Zocek

Pat Jennings: The Boys of ‘86 – Steve Zocek

There is a question that arises in many football trivia quizzes which is; ‘Name Everton’s most capped player’? Answers are being thrown back to the question master with all sorts of names which are all announced incorrect. Okay, I give in. The correct answer infuriates the most knowledgeable of contestants when Pat Jennings becomes the answer. Okay, I suppose it’s a bit of a trick question but the fact is, Pat was actually registered with Everton for the FA Cup semi-final and final of 1986. I don’t think I have ever seen any evidence of anything related to Pat’s association…
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