PETER FARRELL GETS ANOTHER MEDAL
July 3, 1954. The Liverpool Echo
Three Irish Cup Finals Running But No Hat-Trick For Shamrock
During my career with Shamrock Rovers I won a second Irish Cup medal, to keep alongside the one of which I wrote last week. I also managed to bag a runners-up Irish League award. In England, however, I have yet to win my first medal. Before my playing days are over I would like to become an established fact, and trust that I shall not be thought too ambitious in entertaining such a hope. I have of course, several Eire and Ireland “caps” among my mementos but so far the only medal added to my collection since I left home is the one which the “Echo” kindly gave me –I can hardly say I “won” it –for refereeing the final of the Echo Schools Cup just over a year ago. It is a very handsome one, and holds a proud place in my collection of Soccer souvenirs. As I have mentioned before the first medal ever given to me was the one, worth half a crown, which I got when playing with Dalkey Rangers after we had won the Dalkey Schools League championship. Though this seemed to pale into insignificance when I laid alongside it my first Irish Cup medal, a very heavy and beautifully embossed gold one, I was still proud of my Dalkey Rangers award, and feel the same about it today. I had certainly by now gone a long way from those early days when I kicked a ball about on the waste ground near my home and joined up with Christy Devlin’s team at Cabinteely.
In Final Again
I was now becoming a well seasoned campaigner in Irish professional football and although we never occupied more than a respectable position in the league table, Shamrock Rovers were a great cup-fighting side. So much so indeed, that we reached the final for the second successive season in 1945. Once again I experienced all the pre-match excitement and thrills that seem reserved only for Cup Finals and believe me, I was looking forward to the great day just as eagerly as the previous season. This time, fortunately there was no sore throat to worry me. Our opponents were Bohemians, another Dublin side, so for the second successive year we had the usual “derby” atmosphere that exists when two Dublin teams meet in the last stage of the Irish Cup. We were victorious by the only goal scored and with the same celebrations as the previous year we bore the coveted trophy back to rest in its place of honour in the Rovers broadroom for yet another twelve months. The part luck plays in deciding a cup-tie –as Everton know from their experience at Sheffield last season – was again in evidence in this final and our winning goal was a real fluke. Our centre forward, Paddy Gregg in attempting to volley a cross ball from outside right Delaney sliced it badly with the outside of his foot and it trickled slowly into the far corner of the net. Talking about cup finals reminds me of a true story told me by Jackie Carey which happened on Manchester United’s successful visit to Wembley in 1948. As United’s coach pulled up outside Wembley’s massive stadium the team was given a cheer y a gaily bedecked supporter sitting on one of the grass verges that surrounds the stadium.
Carey recognized the familiar countenance which along with a broad grin, was also wearing a scarf and hat in the colours of Manchester United as that of a regular follower who had seen practically every away game that season. Typical of Jackie, he walked over to have a word with him, and noticed he was carrying a portable wireless. You can imagine Carey’s surprise when he learned the supporter had been unable to secure a ticket for the final, yet had come all the way to Wembley to listen to the commentary from outside the ground. “All the best, Jackie” remarked the supporter. I’ll be waiting here to see you come out with the Cup when it’s all over.” And sure enough he was. Readers who have followed my weekly articles during the winter already know my views about some of the people who get Cup Final tickets, I am sure there were many watching United that day who didn’t know one player from another and yet this poor unlucky supporter had to be content with listening in on the threshold of Wembley to a match which his loyalty alone had surely qualified him for a ticket. Things were moving very smoothly for me mow and apart from the improved financial aspect of my affairs I was really enjoying my life as a builder’s clerk and professional footballer. But further moves were in the offing, though when I reported for training at the start of season 1945-46 I little realized that it was the commencement of my last season in Irish football. Once again Shamrock Rovers were in the running for major honours and though narrowly pipped for the League title we reached he Cup Final for the third successive season.
Now, although my brother Jim and sister Shelia had watched me play in many games my mother had never yet seen me, so I was determined to use all my persuasive powers to get her to make up her mind to watch this year’s final against Drumcondra. Her lifelong friend, Mr. Kelly, and incidentally the mother of my best friend Jack Kelly, who is a buyer in a Dublin drapery store, promised to accompany her if she would go. After a lot of persuasion, and mostly I think to please me she decided to go when a neigbour promised to drive her and Mrs. Kelly the ten miles to the game. My mother wasn’t a very lucky mascot, however, for we were beaten 2-1 and so ended our hopes of a hat-trick of Cup successes. When I returned home after the game and asked my mother how she had enjoyed it, she said “You had very hard luck, Peter but it could have stayed there all day listening to the band.” This is the only occasion my mother has ever seen me play though I am hoping that before my career finishes, she will come over and see me in action some day at Goodison Park. During this season my last in a green-and-white hooped jersey of the Rovers a mishap happened in the dressing room which could very easily have proved rather serious for me.
At half-time during a league game with Bohemians I went to rinse my mouth from what I thought was a small bottle of water. You can imagine my feelings, when as the fluid reached my tongue; I discovered it was ammonia, which was luckily well diluted. There was consternation in the dressing room and a doctor was quickly called. Fortunately for me only a very small drop had got beyond my palate, though it burned horribly. After a quarter of an hour of the second half, I resumed and finished the game but I didn’t feel too good after the match, and was taken to hospital where I was detained for two nights for observation. I can still recall how some of the patients in the ward looked at me, obviously wondering if I was “all there” when I told them what had happened, I can assure you that incident has made me more careful about what I drink at half time ever since.
Next week Peter Farrell will tell of how Everton first sought the signature of himself and Tommy Eglington and the inside story of their transfer to the Goodison Park club. Actually the Everton representatives had gone to look at another player, and knew nothing about Farrell or Eglington until first seeing them in action.
PETER FARRELL CAPTAINS HIS COUNTRY ABROAD AND SIGNS FOR EVERTON
July 10, 1954. The Liverpool Echo
With the disappointment of Shamrock Rovers’ unsuccessful bid to bring the Cup to Milltown for the third successive season still on our minds, we had a chance to make amends by capturing the last remaining trophy to be completed for in season 1945-6, namely the inter-city Cup. This competition comprised the six leading clubs in Southern Ireland, and a corresponding number in the North of the Emerald Isle. It was played on the knock-out system similar to most cup competitions except that it was run on a home and away basis goal aggregate eventually deciding who went forward to the next round. Shamrock Rovers met the Northern team Glentoran in the semi-final and following a hard tussle we qualified to meet Belfast Celtic in the final. Following our game in Belfast with Glentorian a very important event took place, which although I didn’t realize it at the time, was eventually to lead me to Goodison Park, along with Tommy Eglington. Having had a hurried bath after the game, the team rushed to the station to catch the train to convey us to Bangor a seaside town outside Belfast, which was to be our headquarters till the following morning.
You can imagine my surprise when two gentlemen, who introduced themselves as Messrs Theo Kelly and Ernest Green, secretary manager and director of Everton respectively confronted both Tommy Eglington and myself on the platform as we awaited the arrival of the train and asked us how they should get in touch with the Shamrock Rovers directors with a view to securing our signatures for Everton. As the train pulled in, I gave Mr. Kelly the address of our chairman, Mr. Joe Cunningham and bade our two new acquaintances a hasty farewell. I suppose I should have been really excited at the thought of Everton being interested in me, but previously there had been rumours about both Arsenal and Huddersfield having eye on me, but that was all I ever heard about the matter, and I assumed this was another of those happenings about which nothing is ever heard again. Besides we had qualified for the final of the inter-city Cup, and since this meant another trip to Belfast the following week, my mind was fully occupied wondering how my employers would receive the news that I wanted another day off from my builder’s office. This latter obstacle was satisfactorily surmounted and I was among the usual party of players who set out for first leg game against Belfast Celtic at Belfast the following Saturday. We rather surprisingly won this game 3-1. Thus our return game in Dublin the following Wednesday we started very confidently with a two-goals lead. This match was a real thriller despite the fact that there were no goals till ten minutes from time when Liam O’Neill gave Celtic the lead. Rovers however, managed to hold out to the end and finally emerged victorious on goal aggregate by three to two.
Shamrock Rovers thereby more than compensated for their defeat in the Cup Final at the hands of Drumcandra by becoming unofficial all-Ireland champions. As I stood shoulder to shoulder with my Shamrock team mates in the stand after the game to receive my medal and watch our captain Paddy Coad, receive the Inter-City trophy, I little realized that this was my last appearance as a signed player of the Milltown club which I had joined as a schoolboy six years previously. A week later, I received the honour every schoolboy dreams of namely that of being selected to represented my country. I was picked to play left half in the game against Portugal in Lisbon from whence we were to travel to Madrid to play Spain a week later. This meant not only my first cap and plane flight but also my first trip to the Continent.
I received another pleasant surprise when, about half an hour after the plane left Dublin en route to Lisbon, Mr. Joe Wickham secretary of the Irish Football Association informed me that I was to captain the side in this first post-war international. I was so thrilled at this thought that my mind could think of nothing else for the remainder of the journey, not even the fact that we were several thousand feet up in the sky. I went to bed in a Lisbon hotel that night still hardly able to believe the fact that I was to be captain was true. We were beaten 3-1 by Portugal but went on to beat Spain 1-nil our goal being scored by Paddy Sloan who at the time had just been transferred from Tranmere Rovers to Arsenal. I will relate in a later article some of the amusing incidents which took place on this trip. The memory of my first international reached a great climax when we returned to Dublin and were presented at a dinner on arrival at the Gresham Hotel with our international caps. I felt as nervous as a kitten when as captain I had to make on first ever public speech and I can assure you it was very brief indeed. Seemingly while I was away on the Continent, Everton had contacted Mr. Cunningham and negotiations had already begun between the clubs with a view to both Tommy Eglington and myself joining Everton. When we landed at Dublin Airport on the return journey from Spain, Mr. Cunningham told Tommy and me that he would like both of us to visit his home the following night to discuss our future. I was so excited and anxious to get home to show my family my international cap, presents and souvenirs that I didn’t give our chairman’s remarks much thought except for the fact that I remembered to arrive at his home the following night at the appointed time. during my talk with Mr. Cunningham it became obvious that Everton wanted me and that Shamrock Rovers, by whom no player of any club could have been treated better than I were anxious for their own sake as well as mine to see me better myself in football. Mr. Cunningham told me that both clubs had agreed to the transfer fee but it was entirely up to me whether or not I wanted to leave. He very kindly told me I could think about it for a week and come to see him again then. You can imagine the thoughts that went through my mind during the next week, as I pondered over the momentous decision, which I would shortly have to make.
Here was I a lad of almost 22 years of age, who had never been away from home except for a holiday with a good steady job as a builder’s clerk plus my earnings as a professional footballer, and extremely happy in my present environment, having to decide whether to remain as I was or take a chance as a professional footballer in England with Everton, the team I had followed since I was a young lad. The thought of having to return home and face my friends and workmates if I was a failure with Everton also went through my mind. Having considered the position carefully, with some helpful advice from my mother and family. I decided to leave my home and friends in Dalkey and chance my luck as a professional footballer in England with Everton. The forms were duly signed in the Gresham Hotel in Dublin on July 11, 1946 in the presence of Mr. Cunningham of Shamrock Rovers and Mr. Theo Kelly of Everton.
Next week Peter Farrell will tell you of his early weeks at Goodison, leading up to his debut in the first team.
PETER FARRELL EARNS GOOD WORD FROM STANLEY MATTHEWS
July 17, 154. The Liverpool Echo
The fact that I was now a signed player of the famous Everton Football Club was rapidly beginning to dawn on me as Tommy Eglington and myself began to prepare for that eventual day some three weeks hence when we would leave Ireland for a new life as full time professional footballers in England. The days quickly passed, but about a week before our departure I received a slight set-back in the form of an injury to my left ankle. It had been agreed between Everton and Shamrock Rovers that I trained at Milltown with my former team mates in order to be in perfect condition when I arrived at Goodison Park. It was during one of these seasons that I received a very badly sprained ankle. My doctor, Eamonn Kenny, who incidentally was an old school friend of mine, ordered me complete rest. I informed Mr. Kelly of Everton about the accident and adhering to the doctor’s instructions hoped the it would be 100 per cent, before I set sail. Unfortunately this was not the case, and although my ankle had improved somewhat it was still not nearly fit that August night when both Tommy Eglington and myself sailed out of Dublin Bay for Liverpool. On arrival in Lverpool the following morning we were met by Mr. Theo Kelly and the club captain, Norman Greenhalgh. After breakfast in a café near Goodson Park, we were taken to have a quick look at the famous home ground of the “Toffee.”
I had heard a lot about Goodison Park, but this was my first-ever visit, and you can imagine the impression it left on me as I gazed out from the Director’s Box on this impressively looking stadium encased by its massive double decked stands. We were then taken by Mr. Kelly and Norman Greenhalgh to the home of Mr. and Mrs Egan, Harris Drive, Bootle. As soon as we entered the house and net the Egan family, I knew this was going to be a home from home. So it proved during our five years residence at this abode before I married. No woman could have done more for anyone than Mrs. Egan did for us, and I can assure you that I and I know I am also speaking for Tommy, shall be forever grateful to the Egans for making us feel so welcome in such a happy environment. I should like also to thank Norman Greenhalgh who inconvenienced himself, considerably during those early days to ensure our contentment in our new surroundings. Later that morning my ankle was declared unfit and whereas Tommy travelled to Sheffield to play his first game for the reserves, I watched Everton play the opening game of season 1946-47 against Brentford. My impressions as a spectator at my first ever English League game was the tremendous pace at which it was played and I feared that when I was eventually fit I should never make the first team.
A Month’s Wait
My injured ankle proved more serious than I first anticipated and following an X-ray, Professor McMurray one of the finest bone specialists in England at the time decided that it would be unwise for me to train for four weeks following which I was to return for another X-ray. This was a better-set-back to me, as you can imagine how keen I was to get started. However, the intervening four weeks were not entirely wasted as it gave me an opportunity of studying the style of play of such great wing half backs as Joe Mercer, Gordon Watson and Stan Bentham. When the month had elapsed, I again visited Professor McMurray and was delighted when he told me I could start training and could probably play in about two weeks. I must admit I found the training very hard at first although I thoroughly enjoyed it. At last, the great day arrived when I found my name on the Reserve team sheet to play West Bromwich, and although I hadn’t a great game by any means, I felt well satisfied that my ankle had stood up to the fest very well indeed a few days later, when a passer-by remarked “You will want to do a lot better than on Saturday if you ever wish to get on the first team.” Although this disheartened me a little, it didn’t discourage me. In fact, it inspired me to try all the harder. I played three more games in the Reserves, against Newcastle, Birmingham and Stoke City, and my confidence seemed to increase with each game, and furthermore I was feeling no ill effects from my recent injury. I was also settling down nicely not only with my team-mates but in my digs. Of course I was lucky to have Tommy Eglington living with me, as both of us were non-drinkers and neither of us smoked. Furthermore we had a lot of common interests. We both joined St. Robert Bellarmine’s C.Y.M.S and needless to relate, the members here went out of their way to make us feel at home. Everything was going grand, but I had one big ambition in mind at the moment, namely to make Everton’s first team.
This ambition was realized sooner, than I anticipated. I had my best game to date against Stoke City Reserves but little did I imagine as the coach pulled away from Victoria ground that November evening in 1946 that I should be back the following week to make my League debut for Everton against the Potters. It was Mr. Theo Kelly who gave me the good news when he called me to his office and with a “good luck” pat on the back, he said “You are playing left half against Stoke on Saturday.” I was really thrilled at the thought and even more so when I saw the Stoke team and realized that the one and only Stanley Matthews was to be on the right wing for the opposition. As the referee’s bell rang for us to take the field, I shall always remember the encouragement and handshakes each member of the Everton team gave me as they wished me luck. I regret to say my debut was not marked by a victory for Everton, as we were beaten 2-1 after a hard struggle. It was feeling a little disappointed as we trooped off the field when one of the nicest things imaginable happened.
“Well Played, Boy”
I felt someone place his hand on my shoulder and on glancing sideways I found it to be none other than the great Stanley Matthews. “Well played boy” he said, and then in his own quiet unassuming way asked me how I liked it at Goodison Park. A simple gesture in itself but one that I shall never forget. Stanley had his usual outstanding game against us that day, and the locals gave him a tremendous reception as he walked off. Yet he had followed a natural impulse and came over with words of encouragement to me, an unknown newcomer. However, I suppose it is little acts like that allied to his amazing ability, which have made Stan one of, if not the greatest of all time.
PETER FARRELL HEARS AND FEELS HAMPDEN ROAR FOR FIRST TIME
July 24, 1954. Liverpool Echo
Following my debut for Everton against Stoke, I was retained the following week, and managed to retain my place almost regularly to the end of the season. At first I found full time training a bit strenuous each day as back home in Ireland nearly all players are part-timers and generally only train twice weekly, at night time. But as I became more accustomed to the daily routine I began more and more to enjoy the training which is easily understandable at Goodison Park, in view of the excellent facilities provided for the players, which must be second to none in the country. I had played only a few games in the Blues first team when I was selected in my first international for Ireland against Scotland at Hampden Park along with fellow team-mate Alex Stevenson and Tommy Eglington. I had heard quite a lot about the famous ground and its even more famous “Hampden roar” but both exceeded all my expectations. There were 100,000 spectators at Hampden Park on this Wednesday afternoon in 1946. I find it very hard to describe the volcanic roar that greeted the Scots as they took the field. This roar was repeated each time they threatened danger to the Irish goal and was rather a new experience for me, although the Goodison and Kop fans, in recent years, would hold their own with it.
An Atom Intact
Apart from this the most cherished memory I have of my first game for Ireland, which incidentally was a draw, 0-0 is the great display given by Alex Stevenson at inside left. A Scottish journalist had this to say about the “mighty Atom” “Thirteen years ago here in Glasgow in an international between Scotland and Ireland, the outstanding player on the field was Stevenson. Today, after all these years, once again the greatest of the 22 was Stevenson.” What a great and lucky year 1946 had been for me, and before I bade farewell to this memorable year, another very pleasant incident took place after our three Christmas games.
All Not There
A friendly game had been arranged between my former team, Shamrock Rovers and Everton, at Goodison. Naturally I was looking forward to playing against all my old pals in my new colours, but I received a very pleasant surprise when I discovered I was to be captain for the day. I felt very excited as, complete with ball in hand, I led the Blues down the tunnel and on to the field at Goodison. When I got on the field for the pre-match kick-about I discovered there were only seven of us, the remainder of the side not having been quite ready. They duly arrived, but at half-time and after the game there were many leg-pulls and wisecracks from the lads at my direction. “It’s terrible Peter” remarked Jock Dodds, “to think that some of the lads wouldn’t go out with you as captain.”
However, it taught me a lesson and since becoming captain of Everton, I now always glance over my shoulder just before going on the field to make sure that all are present and correct. The weeks of my first season seemed to fly with each week the renewed thrill of taking the field among such exaited company and the experience and honour of being in opposition to star inside forwards such as Mannion, Carter and Doherty. During the summer season of 1947 when I returned on holiday to my native Dalkey many were the questions fired at me from the locals regarding English teams, and I also had to answer quite a few questions concerning the facilities of all the First Division grounds.
Before leaving this season, I should like to recall a couple of amusing incidents which happened during my tour with the Irish team in Spain and Portugal. As I led the Irish team on to the field for our game against Spain at Madrid a terrific cheer arose from the 70,000 spectators. This ovation continued for quite a while as we made our way to the far end of the stadium for our pre-match kick about. They were still cheering their heads of about two minutes later, whereupon I remarked to Jackie Carey. “We must be a popular side here, Jackie judging from the reception. Carey looked at me with a wry smile, and replied; “Don’t be imagining things Peter that reception is not for us but for General Franco,” whose appearance coincided with ours on the field. Again when I went to the centre of the field for toss-up I was greeted by both the referee and the Spanish captain with words in their own languages of which I didn’t understand a syllable and I felt very humble as I bowed, and said; “How do you do.” Then the fun really started. The referee signaled to me to call for choice of ends but when the coin was in mid-air I began to realize I didn’t know what to call and even if I did they wouldn’t understand me.
By The Grunt
I picked the coin up and indicated my choice by pointing and grunting. The Spanish captain did likewise and the referee signaled his approval with a smile and a grunt. The coin was tossed again and it came down in my favour (at least I think it did) and without hesitating I pointed towards the way I wished to play in the first half, and the Spaniard and referee grunted once again to show they understood me. This was only occasion in my experience that a toss-up was decided by grunts and gesticulation from the three concerned. The fun didn’t end there as I was next presented with a bouquet of flowers. There were a few leg pulls from the lads before I managed to dispose of them to the Irish trainer Charlie Harris. I was thankful that it was not in the centre of Goodison Park that I was left with the flowers before a League game. During the early years at Goodison Park, I was beginning to learn one of the reasons why the name of Everton is respected everywhere namely, the homely spirit that prevails, and always has prevailed. I should like to mention one of the men mainly responsible for this, the evergreen Harry Cooke. Nothing has ever been too difficult to Harry in his help and assistance to players. Furthermore Harry has made himself loved not only be the players, but by all visitors who have dropped in to have a look at Goodison Park. Despite his many duties he has always found time to show these people around and explain everything in detail to them. It would make old Harry blush to hear the compliments paid him by some of these people. Long may he continue at Goodison, as it is hard to imagine Everton with Harry Cooke.
DR. BAXTER ILL
July 30, 1954. The Liverpool Daily Post
Dr. Cecil Baxter, a former chairman of Everton F.C., and a director of the club for twenty-six years is seriously ill in hospital at Cobham, Surrey where he had gone on holiday. He is suffering from pneumonia. His condition last night was reported from Cobham Cottage Hospital as “slightly improved, but slightly improved but still very ill.” Dr. Baxter whose home is now at Warren Drive, Wallasey went on holiday with his sister and Mrs. Cerci Baxter a week last Monday. Within a few days of his arrival at Cobham he felt unwell. Pneumonia developed and he was removed to hospital. Dr. Baxter father Dr. Baxter was a pillar of the Everton club in the early days. Dr. Cecil who was educated at Stonyhurst was a keen football in his younger days before he was a member of the West Lancashire golf club.
GOALS ; SOME GAINED SOME MISSSED FOR EVERTON
July 31, 1954. The Liverpool Echo
And Peter Farrell Takes A Bride
During my early years with Everton, the club did little to gladden the hearts of their supporters from the point of view of winning trophies, but in 1948 it looked as if we had an outstanding chance of realizing every footballer’s ambition, namely, appearing at Wembley. Liverpool dismissed this dream from our minds but first I should like to recall our epic struggle against Derby County at Derby in the sixth round. Shortly after the start of the second half, an incident happened which I shall never forget. During a Derby County attack on the Everton goal, the ball was crossed from the left. Harrison and our centre half Ted Falder, rose in a heading duel close to our goal. Falder with his superior height seemed to have the position well in hand when Harrison , unable to meet the centre owing to his lack of inches, flicked it past Falder with his hand and into the net. I was standing about three yards away, and you can imagine my feelings when I saw the referee point, to the centre of the field indicating a goal.
Just The Spur
I eventually persuaded him to consult a linesman but he hadn’t seen the infringement either, and thus we were a goal down which I and the rest of my team-mates were convinced should never have been allowed. It was just the spur we needed and we went on to win 2-1, but what a tragedy it would have been had Derby managed to win by this goal. This win brought us in opposition to Liverpool in the semi-final. As you well know, for weeks before this game excitement was at fever pitch in the city of Liverpool. I shall never forget the scene at Maine Road that Saturday afternoon as we took the field glorious sunshine. Among the 75,000 spectators there must have been over 50,000 gaily bedecked in blue and white and red and white favours as they waved their rattles and gave both teams an ovation that must have astounded the neutrals present. We were beaten 2-0 in this memorable game which was a credit to Merseyside for the sporting manner in which it was played. As I came off the field and went into the Liverpool dressing room to offer my congratulations, and wish our victors well in the final on behalf of the lads, there were tremendous scenes of rejoicing.
Down We Go
I couldn’t help hoping that some day it would be our turn, and who knows maybe our dream will yet come true. Phil Taylor in turn visited our dressing room, and told us he knew how we felt, as they themselves had been on the losing side against Burnley in the semi-final not very long before. The following year was a disastrous one in the history of Everton as towards the close of the season we found ourselves involved in a terrific struggle to avoid relegation. Every one of those last few games was like a Cup tie to the lads, with the things that generally come easy in a game becoming harder and harder due to over eagerness and anxiety reaching its climax on that disastrous day at Hillsboro, which sent us crashing into the Second Division. I wish you could have seen the faces of the Everton lads in the dressing room after this game against Sheffield Wednesday. You would think each one of them had lost a very dear relative. Here I must pay tribute to our manager, Mr. Cliff Britton, who came in and did his best to cheer the lads up despite the fact that he was probably feeling the disappointment more than anyone. Sometime later when the many thousands of people had left the ground and were homeward bound, we came out to board our coach feeling as I have already mentioned a very dejected lot.
A Cheerful Band
Outside the ground, alongside our coach was a small band of Evertonians, who gave us a reception we never deserved. As the coach pulled away I shall never forget that loyal little following whom we had let down so badly, as waving their scarves and rattles, they shouted. “Don’t worry lads, we will be back again soon. They are all fairly well known to the lads and myself as we see them outside practically every away ground, yes some of them were even outside Upton Park last year when we played Fulham. They are the best supporters any club could wish to have and we are very proud of them. It was rather a strange experience the following season both entertaining new faces at Goodison Park and visiting for the first time in many cases, grounds belonging to the clubs in our new sphere of the Second Division
Blue To The Core
Peter Farrell pays a tribute today to the small band of loyal Evertonians who waited behind, after the Blues had lost their anti-relegation match at Hillsborough three years ago, to give the players a cheer when they left the ground nearly an hour later. That was real loyalty. The same little party follows Everton all over the country and never fails to be there when the coach leaves for the return journey, to wave the players off. Several of them are working young women.