1980-1989

Patricia Pearson

Patricia Pearson

Kick Off - The First Lady of Football on Television     In the north west of England, there was a Friday night football programme through out the seventies called 'Kick Off', featuring all of the north west clubs in the four divisions of the Football League. The emphasis would be on the big games that were being played that weekend featuring the region’s clubs. Interviews with players, managers, including action of the region’s teams from the week before, would feature in the thirty-minute show.  The presenter was Gerald Sinstadt who joined Granada in 1969/70 until 1980-81. Two days later, a regular…
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Stuart Storer – speaking to Steve Zocek

Stuart Storer – speaking to Steve Zocek

Everton manager Howard Kendall, pictured with his two new signings from Birmingham City - Wayne Clark and Stuart Storer (Photo by Barry Farrell/Daily Mail). Stuart Storer was part of a £300,000 double swoop that brought him to Goodison Park with Wayne Clarke in March 1987. Unfortunately, Stuart failed to make a first team debut, but I took delight from talking with him about his time at Everton. Stuart continued his career with Bolton Wanderers, Exeter City and Brighton & Hove Albion, where he is fondly remembered for scoring the last ever goal at the Goldstone Ground, in the 67th minute…
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Adrian and Harrison Heath – Son of My Father (Part 10)

Adrian and Harrison Heath – Son of My Father (Part 10)

                           Adrian Heath arrived at Everton in January 1982 for a club record fee of £700,000. As a striker/attacking midfielder from the Potteries, he was signed by manager Howard Kendall who knew Adrian well from their days at the Victoria Ground, Stoke. ‘Inchy’ as he became known, made his Blues debut at home to Southampton in a 1-1 draw.  Finding it difficult to settle at first, he eventually came into his own, playing a very big part in Everton’s success. Many Evertonians class his interception from Kevin Brock at the Manor Ground, Oxford, in a January 1984 knife edge cup…
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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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Easy’ – The Mick Heaton Story

Easy’ – The Mick Heaton Story

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…
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Once a Blue – Steve Bateman

Once a Blue – Steve Bateman

In the matchday programme during the 1983/84 season, there was a Q & A featuring the players. I came across the one with Mark Higgins, who was asked to recommend a player for the future. ‘Steve Bateman’ was his reply. Steve was the captain of the Everton FA Youth Cup side that lost the final to Norwich City in the 1982/83 season, 6-5 on aggregate. Whatever happened to Steve? As always, I dug deep to satisfy my fascination, intrigued to find out what happened to hhim after Everton. Enjoy. Steve originated from down south at Berkhamsted. At the age of…
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‘When Skies are Gray’ – Everton at Leicester in 1985

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

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…
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Gerry Mullan – When Irish Eyes are Smiling

Gerry Mullan – When Irish Eyes are Smiling

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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Pat Jennings: The Boys of ‘86

Pat Jennings: The Boys of ‘86

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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Michael Knighton an Interview

Michael Knighton an Interview

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…
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