1980-1989

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…
Read More
Easy’ – The Mick Heaton Story – Rob Sawyer

Easy’ – The Mick Heaton Story – Rob Sawyer

Mick Heaton was an ebullient and wholehearted full-back who captained Blackburn Rovers to promotion to the Second Division in 1975, later assisting player-manager Howard Kendall as the Ewood Park club came tantalizingly close to reaching the top flight in 1981. On Merseyside, he was a vital part of the managerial team which led Everton to an unprecedented period of glory. To a younger generation of football supporters, Mick’s name might not ring any bells, so, to coincide with the 25th anniversary of his untimely passing, this article celebrates his life and achievements.  A Yorkshire Terrier James Michael Heaton was a…
Read More
‘When Skies are Gray’ – Everton at Leicester in 1985 by Francis Hickey

‘When Skies are Gray’ – Everton at Leicester in 1985 by Francis Hickey

Supporters of a certain age will remember Steve Lynex’s well-taken goal at Filbert Street on 23rd February 1985, in a match featuring numerous future teammates and TV pundits. On a cold afternoon, it sent an icy blast through Evertonian hearts. It was also the day on which an Everton legend grabbed the iconic number nine shirt for the first time since September, to change his goal scoring fortunes and steer the Blues towards glory. Everton’s squad depth was being tested by a season-ending injury to top scorer Adrian Heath and the absence of striker Graeme Sharp, injured in the FA…
Read More
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…
Read More
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…
Read More
Michael Knighton an Interview – By Steve Zocek

Michael Knighton an Interview – By Steve Zocek

When the name Michael Knighton is spoken in football terms, he is always associated as the entrepreneur who almost bought Manchester United FC in August 1989 for £20m.  Michael entered the field of play before a game at the Theatre of Dreams, displaying his ostentatious football skills in front of the devoted Stretford Enders. Hang on a minute. What has this got to do with any Everton-related article I hear you say? Simple. Michael was at Everton in his youth and this is what he told me of his younger days with the School of Science. The chief scout that…
Read More
Son of My Father (Part II): Allen Hudson by Steve Zocek

Son of My Father (Part II): Allen Hudson by Steve Zocek

Allen Hudson coaching for Glasgow Rangers affiliate London Rangers Alan Hudson At Chelsea Anything Everton related always fascinates me. This second article of the Son of my Father series article is another famous footballer whose son at spells/trials at Everton. The second addition of this article is Allen Hudson. and those I guess that some of you now are familiar with the name, it’s the son of Alan Hudson former Chelsea. This is Allen’s story; I was at Fulham as a youngster. In the 4th year at school and I played for West London in the English school’s trophy in…
Read More

Son of My Father (Part I): 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…
Read More
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…
Read More
Le Coq Sportif: Spectacular in Action – Sensational in Style – Rob Sawyer

Le Coq Sportif: Spectacular in Action – Sensational in Style – Rob Sawyer

Everton have never worn an Adidas team kit...or have they? When that great 1980s side containing Steven, Southall, Sharp and Sheedy was swatting away all-comers, it did so sporting the rooster emblem of Le Coq Sportif. Not appreciated by many is that the Gallic marque, which burned brightly but briefly on these shores, was a branch of the German sporting behemoth.  Le Coq can trace its ancestry back to the Champagne region, where, in 1882, Émile Camuset started manufacturing sports journeys in his workshop. The iconic triangular symbol, containing the crowing cockerel, was adopted in early 1950s with company rising…
Read More