World Cup 1966 at Goodison Park – Steve Zocek

In 1966, England was the host nation for the world’s most glamourous football event. Seven cities were chosen to stage games, with Liverpool being one. London,Manchester, Sunderland, Middlesbrough, Birmingham and Sheffield completed the set. Goodison Park in those days was a top stadium with great facilities and a capacity over 60,000. The stadium was admired and envied by many clubs in England, but this was to be shown to a worldwide audience. World champions Brazil played Bulgaria in Group 3 at Goodison Park on 12th July in front of 47,308 fans. There were no surprises as Brazil led at the break through a goal from the young Pele. The lead was doubled 27 mins from time as Garrincha secured the victory. The locals around L4 were certainly getting to grips with World Cup fever, as parentsorganised street parties for their children, draping bunting from house to house, commemorating the world’s greatest competition.   Seventy two hours later, the Brazilians returned to Goodison to face Hungary before...
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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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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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