1960-1969

Ray Veall – honoured at last

Ray Veall – honoured at last

'I played with great players... I just wish it had lasted longer' By Rob Sawyer Skegness-born Ray Veall, now 71, was a slightly-built outside-left who made an impact at Doncaster Rovers and placed himself on the radar of the two Harrys – Everton’s chief scout Cooke and boss Catterick. A £10,145 outlay was sufficient to persuade the Division Two outfit to part with their left-wing prodigy in the autumn of 1961. Veall recalled: “The coach called me in and said, ‘Harry Catterick wants to see you at the Earl of Doncaster Hotel.’ I caught the bus there by myself –…
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Dixie’s Sunset, Bally’s Sunrise

Dixie’s Sunset, Bally’s Sunrise

Ashton's Everton Connection Ashton-Under-Lyne, six miles to the east of Manchester, is dominated by a huge Ikea store and known by football trivia fanatics as the birthplace of Sir Geoff Hurst.   Yet it is another Hurst that connects this Tameside town with Everton Football Club. Hurst FC was founded in 1878 (a familiar ring to it for Evertonians), playing its first reported fixture the following year.  Within two years the club had relocated to the Hurst Cross ground and remains there to this day – one of the longest residences in football. The team has muddled along in regional leagues…
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George Sharples Remembered by Rob Sawyer

George Sharples Remembered by Rob Sawyer

George Sharples, who passed away on 14 December 2020, aged 77, had been one of nine surviving players to have played a part in Everton’s title-winning season of 1962-63 (the others being Jimmy Gabriel, Mick Meagan, John Morrissey, Derek Temple, Tony Kay, Billy Bingham, Ray Veall and Frank Wignall). George Sharples c.1961 A son of Ellesmere Port, he was born on 20 September 1943, to parents James and Florence, who ran a large and successful newsagent business in Overpool. A student at Wirral Grammar School – a rugby-playing establishment – George always had soccer as his first sporting love. He…
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Barry Rees: A Blue from Rhyl

Barry Rees: A Blue from Rhyl

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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Dennis Stevens: The Players’ Player

Dennis Stevens: The Players’ Player

Two members of the same family left Dudley for Lancashire to pursue careers in the top echelon of English football.  Duncan Edwards joined Manchester United as an amateur in 1952, making his debut at 16, the following year. He won 18 England caps and two League titles as a star of the Busby Babes but lost his life as a result of the Munich Air Disaster in February 1958 at the tender age of 20. It is one of football’s great ‘what ifs’ – could he have inspired the England team to World Cup glory before 1966?  Less heralded is…
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The ‘real’ story behind Everton’s enduring anthem Z-Cars

The ‘real’ story behind Everton’s enduring anthem Z-Cars

"When did Everton first run out to Z-Cars at Goodison?" We’re closer than we’ve ever been to a definitive answer     Goodison Park, home of Everton FC   It's a question which has been asked almost as many times as it has been played: When did Everton first run out to Z-Cars at Goodison? And today, thanks to some splendid research from the Everton Heritage Society, we’re closer than we’ve ever been to a definitive answer. That’s closer. But still not spot on. Because a mystery which has lasted half-a-century deserves to retain some allure.  And a theme as evocative,…
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Harry Catterick’s Centenary

Harry Catterick’s Centenary

Last Friday, the Everton FC Heritage Society organised and hosted the ‘Catterick 100’ event to celebrate the life and achievements of Harry Catterick - who would have turned 100 on 26th November. He is remembered and celebrated on the Blue half of Merseyside for his stellar managerial achievements in the 1960s. His trophy haul for the Toffees has been eclipsed only by Howard Kendall. Attendees at the celebration event, held in the People’s Club Lounge at Goodison Park, included members of the Catterick family, Heritage Society members, club officials and supporters. Master of ceremonies, Ken Rogers, led the attendees through…
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‘Money Can’t Buy Us Love: Everton in the 1960s’ – By Gavin Buckland

‘Money Can’t Buy Us Love: Everton in the 1960s’ – By Gavin Buckland

Two strong-willed, complicated, men form the axis of a new book by Gavin Buckland which explores, in greater detail than ever before, Everton during the trophy-laden 1960s Rob Sawyer For those who have only been following Everton since the 1990s, you’ll have known the Blues as the plucky underdogs – the Dogs of War, even. It’s been the People’s Club, punching above its weight against opponents with much greater financial clout. For these younger supporters - even in this more financially stable and ambitious Moshiri-led era - it must be hard to envisage a time when the Toffees were the…
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Davie Wilson, the First £100,000 Everton Player…Almost

Davie Wilson played for Glasgow Rangers from 1956 until 1967. During that time, he made 373 appearances for the Ibrox club. Davie was an outside left who could play anywhere and he wasn’t shy in front of goal either, finding the net 157 times. This included six goals in one game against Falkirk in 1962 which is still a post-war record. Unbeknown to me previously, he caught the eye of Everton when in 1962 he was approached by the Merseyside outfit. Jimmy Greaves at the time was the British record transfer with a fee of £99,999 from AC Milan to…
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FA Cup Games at Goodison park ( without the Blues)

  The victorious Notts County team pose with the FA Cup. Photo: PA FA Cup Finals On 31st March 1894 Two years after construction, Goodison Park was chosen by the Football Association to host to hold an FA Cup Final, Notts County beat Bolton Wanderers, watched by crowd of 37,000. County running out 4 goals to 1 winner The Magpies were a Second Division club at this point, but Logan did not let this deter him, scoring 21 goals in 21 games and guiding the club to their first FA Cup Final. To get there, Notts eliminated three clubs from…
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