Programmed for Success

In the second of a series of EFC Heritage Society articles focusing on the World-famous Everton Collection, Ken Rogers takes a look at programmes from encounters with Wolves in May 1982 and April 1984. He reflects how the team listings on the back pages reflect how an era of change accelerated towards the most successful in our history.

It is accepted across the Premier League that our matchday programmes are amongst the best in the country. It’s therefore not surprising that thousands of our most evocative publications form a key strand within the football memorabilia treasure that is the Everton Collection. These include landmark editions like the one produced for our first ever Football League game on September 8th, 1888 against Accrington, a different club to the present Accrington Stanley. Over 10,000 programmes, at the last count, are held for the Collection by the Liverpool Records Office including, many featuring today’s visitors Wolves. We focus here on two from the eventful 1980s. The back page team sheets demonstrate how, in two eventful years, we went from a club searching for a way forward to one on the brink of true greatness.

8 May 1982
23rd April 1984

Above: These Everton v Wolves programme team sheets from 8 May 1982  and 23rd April 1984 highlight how a change and challenge era accelerated towards the most successful in our history.

On 8 May 1982, exactly one year to the day after becoming Everton manager, Howard Kendall provided the following team list for the last home programme of the 1981/82 season against Wolves:

Neville Southall, Gary Stevens, Mike Walsh, Mark Higgins, Billy Wright, Steve McMahon, Alan Irvine, Adrian Heath Graeme Sharp, Stuart Rimmer, Trevor Ross.

On the day Brian Borrows replaced Stevens and Peter Eastoe replaced Rimmer in the starting line up. Eastoe scored in a 1-1 draw, Everton ultimately finished 8th in the table. Wolves, who finished 21st and were relegated, had Andy Gray and Wayne Clarke in the published team list. It was a day, perhaps, when Howard spotted things that would guide future thoughts?

Fast forward 23 months and Wolves were again at Goodison for a late season League game on 23rd April 1984. Although most thoughts were already on the forthcoming FA Cup Final, Howard declared the following expected team against Wanderers, captured on the programme’s back page.

Neville Southall, Gary Stevens, John Bailey, Kevin Ratcliffe, Derek Mountfield, Peter Reid, Terry Curran, Adrian Heath, Andy Gray, Trevor Steven, Kevin Richardson.

The Blues won at a canter, 2-0 (goals by Gray and Steven). Of course, the subsequent 2-0 FA Cup final triumph over Watford would herald the most successful era in our history. Trevor Steven wore the 7 at Wembley with Kevin Richardson still deputising for the injured Kevin Sheedy at 11. Gray and Graeme Sharp were our goal heroes.

Howard had his new winning formula, progress perfectly captured by comparing those two home game programmes against Wolves. Gray would score 22 goals in 68 full appearances (61 starts) for Everton, winning FA Cup, League Championship and European Cup Winners Cup honours. Wayne Clarke – who joined in a double-deal with Stuart Storer – had the same goal tally from 76 appearances (54 starts), including five crucial strikes in 10 games at the end of the 1987 Championship campaign.

Specific items held by the Collection at the Liverpool Record Office can be viewed by appointment at Central Library. The Museum of Liverpool also has a display and the whole Collection can be seen online at:

By Ken Rogers

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