FOOTBALLERS AT CRICKET
August 8, 1955. The Liverpool Echo
Everton Tackle Bootle In The Annual Pre-Season “Outing”
For some years now the last main “social” engagement of Everton players before taking the stage for their first public practice match has been the annual cricket fixture with Bootle at Wadham Road. At one time this engagement was a joint effort by Everton and Liverpool. When Liverpool dropped out some time ago Everton tackled the job on their own, with quite good results. It is something to which they look forward with keen anticipation. The match takes place at Bootle’s ground tomorrow and Wednesday, starting at 6.15 each evening, when Everton’s team will be;- E. Wainwright, J.W. Parker, E. Moore, D. Hickson, W. Fielding, C. Lello, H. Potts, J. Grant, H. Leyland, M. Woods, L. Melville, G. Lewis.
Stan Bentham who used to be one of the stalwarts of the Goodison side is missing this time, as also is Albert Dunlop, but there is still plenty of cricketing talent in the footballers team and with nothing vital at stake this game is always productive of entertaining and light-hearted cricket, keenly relished by the big crowd which usually supports the fixture. Another sound player whom Everton will miss is Tony McNamara who is a non-starter due to his recent cartilage operation. McNamara for some seasons played for Highfield in the Merseyside Competition and more lately with Wavertree, Wainwright was also a useful player when he lived at Southport and played in the local League there. Fielding s one of the Goodison club’s star bowlers, Hickson as one would expect is a lusty hitter, Dave is the type who likes to get the maximum physical activity out of anything in which he takes part.
Everton have been engaged in trials, weeding out process of recommended youngsters during the past few weeks. between 70 and 80 lads have been seen in action by Manager Britton and his staff and seven or eight of the most promising have been signed. No amateur player who has any pretensions to talent need go beyond Everton or Liverpool for a chance to prove his worth.
August 12, 1955 The Liverpool Echo
The only absentees of note of Everton’s game are Donovan who is being tested in view of his groin strain in the hope that he will be fit for the start of the season and McNamara, only recently out of hospital following a cartilage operation. Everton will also make changes in the following teams at the interval. Blues; Leyland; Moore, Tansey; Farrell, Jones, Lello; Wainwright, Fielding, Hickson, Parker, Eglington. Whites;- O’Neill; Sutherland, Rankin; Grant, Woods, Melville; Harris (B), Thomas, Harris (J), Lewis, E. Canavan.
Eddie Cavanan, aged 19 is still an amateur. He shaped well in some Central league outing last season, Rankin is now only a part-timer.
BERT FREEMAN DEAD
August 12, 1955. The Liverpool Echo
The death has taken place at Birmingham of Bert Freeman the former Everton and England international centre forward and the man who scored the goal for Burnley when they defeated Liverpool in the Cup Final of 1914 at Crystal Palace. Before the first war, Bert Freeman was one if the finest centre forwards in the country with his twinkling feet and rather curious gait he was a terror to opposing defenders and was frequently leading marksmam for his club. His 38 goals for Everton in 1908-09 was a record at the time and stood until equaled by Joe Smith of Bolton and now Blackpool’s manager in 1920-21. Freemam started his football career in junior circles in Birmingham, later spending a short time with Aston Villa and Arsenal before joining the Goodison club. It was a big surprise in 1909 when Everton allowed him to go to Burnley. He remained with Burnley for eleven seasons and then joined the old Wigan Borough side in 1920’for a short spell. While with Burnley he played in over 300 games, including war-time football, scoring 174 goals. He played for England on five occasions prior to 1914, two of them while with Everton. Bert who would have been 70 next year leaves a widow, son, and daughter. He had been in failing health for some time.
DEFENCES KEPT ACTIVE IN EVERTON’S VERY FRIENDLY TRIAL
August 13, 1955. The Liverpool Echo
Blues;- Leyland, goal; Moore and Tansey, backs; Farrell (captain), Jones and Lello, half-backs; Wainwright, Fielding, Hickson, Parker, and Eglington, forwards. Whites; O’Neill, goal; Sutherland and Rankin, backs; Grant (captain), Woods, and Melville, half-backs; Harris (B), Thomas, Harris (j), Lewis, and E. Canavan, forwards. Referee; Mr. C.E. Hale (Liverpool). Everton reserve strength gave the probable first teamer’s plenty to think about in the opening stages of this public practice match at Goodison Park. The Whites took the ball on the ground, combined well and at times showed a speed which maintained the senior defence at full stretch. Whites almost took the lead in 10 minutes when Leyland was forced to dive full length to save a Lewis shot. It was Lewis a little later who pulled the ball back and almost made a goal for Harris (J). Hickson was the live wire of the Blues, but apart from one long shot O’Neill, the Reserves goalkeeper had nothing to do for the first quarter of an hour. Wainwright was nicely positioned to receive a long during centre from Eglington but headed the ball away from goal.
Parker did much better with a header off Hickson’s centre which was bound for the back of the net until O’Neill threw himself across goal and made a marvellous catch while in a horizontal position. Feature of the Blues play was the quick interchanging of their forwards. There were times when not a single man of the front line was occupying his normal position. Harris (B) put the Whites shield with a header after two defenders had let the ball float over from the left on the assumption that there was no danger. The unmarked Harris was not slow to cash in. A brilliant lying save by O’Neill off Hickson prevented the equalizer. Both teams seemed to be trying out new attacking ideas occasionally. At any rate there was nothing stereotyped in their tactics and Jimmy Harris was at times more of a deep forger than a header, while the first team also continued to interchange position with Hickson spending almost as much time on the wings as in the centre. The Blues equalized at the 37th minute when Jones scored from a penalty after Woods had instinctively punched away a header by Fielding which would have entered the net. Both goalkeepers distinguished themselves particularly O’Neill with some splendid saves.
Half-time; Blues 1, Whites 1
The only changes for the second half were in the White’s team where the forward line now read; Harris (B), Farrell, Saunders, Potts an Mayers, Birch took the place of Grant at right half. The Blues were well on top for the first 30 minutes of the second half but although it took the Whites’ defence all their time to hold out they managed to do so, with O’Neill again pulling off some excellent saves. Two of these were from point-blank range against Eglington. The Blues penned the White on their own half for long stretches and won a succession of corners. Leyland was unemployed almost all this time apart from collecting occasional back passes in the rare instances when the White got near goal. Three attempted shots by the Whites were blocked away and during a spell of pressure by the Reserves Tansey made a couple of smart interceptions. Wainwright scored for the Blues -89 minutes. Final; Blues 2, Whites 1.
SENIORS LEFT IT LATE
August 15, 1955. The Liverpool Daily Post
Blues 2, Whites 1
Everton’s senior side left it late before they confirmed their superiority over the Whites represented except possibly in goal, by the probable Central League side. Not until less than twenty seconds from the end did Wainwright gave the Blues a narrow victory. There was not even time to restart the game. The Whites started well, kept their more experience colleagues on the defensive for quite a while, and took the lead through a headed goal by Harris (B.) at the twenty second minute. The Blues got on level terms when Jones scored from the penalty spot at fifty seven minute after Woods had fisted out a header by Fielding which would have been a certain goal. for the first half hour of the second half the Blues were well on top but could not translate their superiority into goals until the very last gasp. It was quite an entertaining exhibition despite periods in the second half when the heat of the day told on the players and the exchanges tended to be rather desultory.
Both goalkeepers played well, and if the presence of Leyland in the first team had any special significance O’Neill certainly made a brave attempt to prove that he is entitled to at least equal consideration. Some of his saves were almost miraculous. The Whites team was changed in five places for the second half –four of them in the forward line –and the alterations did not make for greater fluency in attack. Both Saunders and Harris (J.) who led the line for forty-five minutes each, shaped soundly while Mayers coming in at outside left at the interval, had some powerful shots just off the mark. Sutherland, Melville and Harris (B) did well while Birch though inclined to occasional positional lapses worked tremendously hard. The trial disclosed nothing that was not previously known about the first time players some of whom took the game a little easily at times. There was not as much first-time shooting among the forwards as one would have liked but the defence apart from a momentary which led to the first goal was sound enough.
August 15, 1955. The Liverpool Echo
If there was any special significance about O’Neill’s inclusion in the Whites instead of the Blues team for the Goodison Park practice match, he certainly took the right steps to make it still more difficult for Manager Cliff Britton to make up his mind about the goalkeeping position for the opening match against Preston. Well as Leyland played, it was O’Neill who took the eye most with some brilliant acrobatic saves, one or two of them of the seemingly impossible variety. Despite the heat, the game provided quite a bit of good football, though it was no more illuminating in some respects than the usual run of such matches. The Whites started off well, took the lead at 22 minutes through Harris (B.) lost it when Jones converted a penalty after Woods had instinctively fisted out a Fielding header bound for the net at the 57th minute and then lost the game with a goal to Wainwright in the last few seconds after the Blues had been well on top for most of the second half. While nobody attempt to draw firm conclusion on this display, for which reason I don’t intend to discuss too many players individually, it struck me that there was more fluidity about the first team forward line than was sometimes evident last season. They switched positions so often that sometimes the whole five were in the wrong berth according to their numbers.
Just How It Ran
The Whites in the first half also appeared to be trying out something less conventional than usual judging by the times centre forward Jimmy Harris seemed to take on a Revie role and the two inside men became dull leaders. I gathered from Mr. Britton later, however that these were not preconceived plans. It just worked out that way. Taken by and lag ethos trial was as satisfactory as most of its kind. It would have been further encouraging had the marksmanship been more accurate and goals more plentiful. The real acid test will come on Saturday against Preston – and on subsequent match days. That is when we shall need to look with a more critical eye and when mistakes cannot be dismissed so charitably.
August 18, 1955, The Liverpool Echo
Team To Meet Preston
As Donovan and Parker were declared fit after a test at the Bellefield training ground this morning Everton will field their strongest side for the opening match of the season against Preston North End at Goodison Park on Saturday. Donovan troubled on and off since training began with an occasionally recurring groin injury, legacy of an injury received many months ago, has improved so much recently that he players in a private practice match yesterday and seemed to come through all right. Sometimes however this type of injury is subjected to a sort of delayed reaction, and Manager Cliff Britton will give a later check up on Donovan before coming to a definite decision. Fortunately Donovan reported himself fit. Parker, who has been having a spot of bother with a sore heel, did likewise so with these two doubts satisfactorily dispelled the team for the Preston encounter is the same as that which played in the first five matches of last season, until Wainwright was injured. Everton; O’Neill; Moore, Donovan; Farrell, Jones, Lello; Wainwright, Fielding, Hickson, Parker, Eglington.
The Central League side, away to Preston will be;-
Leyland; Sutherland, Rankin; Birch, Woods, Melville; Harris (B), Potts, Harris (J), Lewis, Mayers.
When I had a chat yesterday with Frank Hill, Preston’s manager, about the team, we discussed the question of Tom Finney’s fitness about which certain doubts have been expressed. It has been suggested that possibly this might be Finney’s last season in football; even that he might have difficulty in carrying on for another eight months due to the trouble he has had with fibrosis and a slipped disc. Mr. Ellis answer was almost in the nature of a “threat” “Just you watch him carefully on Saturday and then you’ll see” he said, in a tone of voice which seemed to indicate that we can look for a rejuvenated and more dangerous Finney than last season and that Everton’s defence will need to keep it eyes wide open. The two months he spent in South Africa have apparently done the Preston man a power of good, and manager Hill is very optimistic about him for the future. He told me also that the absence of Cunningham from the Goodison Park line-up denotes nothing serious and not cartilage trouble as was once suspected. He has been having brother with the ligaments at the back of the knee and rather than take any risks by bringing him in too soon, Preston are giving him a run out in the Central League side on Saturday, so that he will be able to coast along a little easier. It is wise precaution. Many a player has been out for weeks through being in a few days too soon.
JOE MERCER APPAONTED MANAGER
August 19, 1955. The Liverpool Daily Post
Sheffield United Surprise
By Leslie Edwards
Joe Mercer, former Everton, Arsenal and England wing half-back –and one of the greatest personalities of post-war football was last night appointed manager of Sheffield United in succession to Wallasey born Reg Freeman who died early this month. Mercer takes over his duties immediately. He will accompany the Sheffield United team to Newcastle tomorrow. Strange that Newcastle United too, are managed by a former Everton player Duggie Livingstone and stranger that Livingstone should have been associated with Sheffield United as trainer in Manager Teddy Davison’s days. Mercer, Hoylake business man in association with his father-in-law, would still be playing football but for the broken leg he sustained in a match against Liverpool at Highbury in April 1954. Only his limp prevented him from returning (at an age when most great players have hung up their boots for good), to the game he adorned since he joined Everton as a strippling from Ellesmere Port. Football is in the Mercer blood. His father a onetime Notts Forest player finished his playing career with Tranmere Rovers and died a comparatively young man as the result of wounds from the first World War.
Can’t leave It
Though he is a rich man – a long and successful career and several business in the Wirral have ensured this – Mercer is the sort of man who is completely lost on Saturday afternoon unless he is playing in or attending a match. Now playing is out of the question he takes the managerial reins to out into practice the tenets he has learned on the field. And there are dozens of them. As a manager of men he should succeed, as a tutor of youngsters he should be invaluable. He knows the game as no other contemporary, he has been through the mill and emerged an Arsenal captain without peer. Arsenal have had tens of thousands of pounds more service from him then the £6,000 plus contingency sum figure they paid for him from Everton in November 1946. Manager George Allison came to Liverpool for the negotiations. He chatted with Mercer and told him he would like him to become an Arsenal man. Mercer’s only comment was. “Where are the papers? I’ll sight them.” But even now his best love is his first love – Everton. Announcement of Mercer’s recruitment to the managerial ranks might have been made weeks ago –he was on a short list for the Leicester City job.
Began As Forward
Mercer began his football career with Everton as an inside forward. But it was as a half-back that he took the eye of the England selectors. He gained five caps during the 1938-39 season and appeared in twenty-two war time matches for his country. Arsenal made him captain and in 1947-48 he led that team to a league championship success. In 1950 when he was elected “footballer of the year” he helped the side to carry off the F.A Cup by beating Liverpool 2-0 at Wembley. He was back at Wembley Stadium two years later in the final against Newcastle. This time he gained only a runners up medal. Then in the twilight of his career he captained Arsenal to another championship win in 1953.
August 19, 1955. The Liverpool Echo
Preston North End visitors to Goodison Park provided Everton with a gate of 76,839 and a 1-0 victory when they were here a year ago. Whether Everton and their followers can repeat this tomorrow is something we shall soon know. The gate may not be as big for last year was Everton’s first season in the top sphere after three years ostracism. The Blues, too may find this winter a more testing time than last. The “regulars” are a year order and the cream of the young talent so carefully nurtured in recent years is in the Forces. Preston for better things this season. The acquisition of Thompson set the Deepdale club back something like £25,000. If he maintained the scoring rate which made him Villa’s leading marksman in the past two campaigns he should improve the North End attack. Since the departure of Charlie Wayman to Middlesbrough, Preston have had a centre forward problem. Five players were given opportunities there last winter, and now the club’s resources have been further depleted by the recent transfer of Peter Higham to Nottingham Forest, leaving Dennis Hatsell only centre forward with any senior experience worth mentioning. Another notable departure from Deepdale has been centre half Joe Marston, who has returned to Australia after being the mainstay of the defence for some years. Martinson, who takes his place, has plenty of experience, having been a regular occupant of the pivotal berth before breaking a leg in 1950. The Preston attack scored 83 goals last term 17 of them in the first four matches of the campaign. This was higher than all but three other sides in the First Division. The defence too was more reliable than most in their half of the table conceding only 64 goals. Only Leicester City 4-2 winners at Deepdale scored more than three goals against them, ten matches were lost by the odd goal and home at all were registered in nine engagements. Away providing that the Blues defence can keep a tight stein on Finney and company as they did last term and that the home forwards can carve out openings and finish there off properly which will be no easy task against Preston’s well-knit rearguard, Everton should start off with a victory. Everton; O’Neill; Moore, Donovan; Farrell, Jones, Lello; Wainwright, Fielding, Hickson, Parker, Eglington. Preston;- Thompson (G.); Wilson, Watson; Docherty, Mattinson, Forbes; Finney, Thompson (t), Hatsell, Foster, Morrison.
OFF WE GO AGAIN AND EVERTON WILL BE IN THE THICK OF THE BATTLE
August 20, 1955. The Liverpool Echo
Goodison Strong Point Is Team Spirit and The Will To Succeed
What of Everton’s prospects for the coming campaign? I feel that this is going to be a far more testing time for them than last year, for several reasons. They started 12 months ago in splendid fashion and with more than half their fixtures polished off were only two points behind Sunderland, who were the leaders at that time. Then came a very lean period, during which the Blues took only 14 points from their last 16 engagements. Had an average like that been spread over the whole of the season it would have put them right in the relegation zone. They lost nearly all their earlier splendid attacking verve from February onwards. They started to struggle where once they had been confident and commanding and there were occasional rather ominous signs that the defence previously so sound was beginning to loose its grip. The problem now is whether with no newcomers in the side and some of the older players still one milestone closer to the veteran stage they can recapture the encouragement form of the first half of last season. In other words can the falling-away of last spring be arrested? Another reason why I fancy that this is going to be a very testing period for the Blues is that no fewer than 14 of their best young professionals are in the Forces. To take such a large slice of prospective first teamers from any club even one with so big a professional staff as Everton is a tremendous handicap. If the team can weather this coming winter reasonably satisfactorily however I feel that they will be in for a spell of comparative immunity from anxiety afterwards. Manager Cliff Britton, one of the most studious and far thinking of managers has been sticking to a plan for some years now, He still believes that time will prove he has been on the right lines. So do his directors. One thing is often lost sight of by those who are critical of Everton is that they have done so well in the past two of three seasons without any really outstanding personalities in the side. There must be a reason for that. Other clubs have a big sprinkling of English internationals in their line-up. Look at Manchester United, for instance with “capped” players such as Ray Wood, Billy Foulkes, Duncan Edwards, John Berry, Roger Byrne, Tommy Taylor, Jackie Blanchflower, and intermediate “cap” Jeff Whitefoot. Wolves, Chelsea, and others have a good sprinkling of outstanding stars. But Everton’s only players to receive honours for many years are their Eire contingent.
Team Spirit Did It
There must be a reason for Everton’s ability to win promotion and hold their own in the top sphere without England internationals in their lineup. I put it down to their wonderful team spirit and the system of intensive training. A team of genuine triers can sometimes overcome all handicaps. Everton have done that in the past I hope they will continue to do so this season. If they can get off to a good start, as in the past two winters it will be a tremendous help. Nothing gives a team greater confidence and faith in itself than a few solid victories at the start of the campaign. The longer those continue the less likely they are to be “on the collar” in the closing months.
There’s The Rub
Assuming Everton can achieve this, once more they should be able to maintain a reasonable safe position, I certainly don’t expect them to be running for the championship at any period and at the best cannot see them finishing any higher than last season. What about the worst? Ah, there’s the rub. A bad beginning might easily put them in a position from which it would be extremely difficult to extricate themselves. It might even force the board to temporarily revise their attitude to spending in the transfer market. We shall soon have some idea of what the future holds. I hope it will not be fraught with undue anxiety at any time.
By Cliff Britton (Manager)
There are so many things –injuries, loss of form and run of the ball –in football over which one has no control that forecasting football prospects is, a venturesome pastime, thought it is part of the ritual which is expected from managers at the start of every season. At Goodison Park we have the same playing staff as that which has done so well for the club during the past few seasons. They have now another season of experience behind them. During the preparation period all the players have made every effort to become match fit for the off. I am sure that spirit will be carried on and thrust these efforts will make it a happy season for our supporters.
By Mr. Ernest Green (Chairman)
Although two years ago some considered our team was not good enough to get out of the Second Division, it won promotion. Last season there were some who said we were unlikely to make much of a show in the higher sphere, yet up to the last few months we were in the running for the championship. Now some supporters profess to be pessimistic about the coming season’s prospects. Will they be confounded for the third year running? I think they will, for I feel that when the final reckoning is made we shall be in a comfortable position in the table. I am not putting it any higher than that, though personally I consider that if things run our way we have that good fortune which every club needs now and again we shall prove more than capable of holding our own with the best. In Mr. Britton we have one of the finest managers in football, a man whose every waking moment is concerned with the welfare and success of the Everton club. We have experienced coaches, and a professional playing staff of tremendous potentiality nicely balanced with experienced players and younger ones of outstanding promise. It is a dangerous thing to prophecy at the start of the season for so many things over which the club has no control can upset calculations, but all other things being equal, I approach the new season with confidence in our manager and players and the feeling that next April our supporters will be able to look back with pleasure on the entertainment set before them, whatever our ultimate position in the League table.
By Peter Farrell
Two seasons ago I achieved one of my main football ambitions when Everton got back to the First Division. After we were relegated our lads vowed to spare no effort to win promotion and eventually we managed to pull it off. Before I finish my career I would like to win either a First Division Championship or Cup Final Medal. I won’t be greedy and ask for both, though it is a nice thought, I shall be satisfied with one. If it arrives this season, so much the better. I have spent nine very happy years at Goodison. Nobody could wish for a better club or a finer body of colleagues. If genuine effort and honesty of purpose counts for anything we should do well this coming winter for everybody is firmly determined to exert full endeavour in the effort to bring further honours to the club. To win the Cup, you require luck as well as ability. The League Championship is different. That is the really big test, demanding sustained endeavour throughout a long and grueling season, plus freedom from too many injuries. Neither I nor my team mates expect to be in the full running for both honours. That is something which happens but seldom. All the same we shall make the strongest possible fight in both competitions and hope to give our followers plenty to cheer about in the months ahead.
Position Date Sign Pro Height Weight Birthplace Previous Club
*Caldwell B.A 4 Sept 1953 5-10 ½ 11 .0 Liverpool Amateur
*Dunlop A. 23 Aug 1949 5-8 ½ 11.0 Liverpool Amateur
+Harris A.E 19 Jan 1955 5-10 ½ 11-10 Bootle Amateur
Leyland H.K. 1 Aug 1950 5-10 ½ 13-9 Liverpool Amateur
O’Neill J. 9 May 1949 5-10 ¼ 11-5 Dublin Amateur
Donovan. D 21 May 1949 5-9 ¾ 10-13 Cork Amateur
*Heyes. K. 24, Feb 1953 5-6 10-4 Haydock Amateur
+Hillsdon I.A 13 May 1954 5-7 ½ 10-2 Liverpool Amateur
Lindsay J.S 15 March 1951 5-7 10-4 Glasgow Rangers
Leeder. F. 26 March 1955 5-8 10-10 Seaton Del Amateur
Moore. E. 15 Feb 1949 5-8 11-11 St. Helens Amateur
Molyneux B. 21 Dec 1951 5-9 ¾ 9-10 Prescot Amateur
+Rankin G. 23 Aug 1948 5-7 ¾ 10-8 Liverpool Amateur
Sutherland J.F. 12 May 1950 5 -7 ¾ 11-5 Cork Amateur
Tansey J 3 May 1948 5-8 11-5 Liverpool Amateur
+Billington S. 8 June 1955 5-11 11-12 Wallasey Amateur
Birch K.J. 22 Aug 1951 5-8 11-2 Birkenhead Amateur
*Capper B.R. 27 July 1953 5-6 11-5 Winsford Amateur
Clayton J.M. 22 June 1954 5-6 10-12 St.Asaph Amateur
Farrell P.D. 11 July 1946 5-7 ¾ 12-1 Dublin Shamrock
*Fitzsimmons, C. 11 July 1953 5-10 ½ 10-10 Liverpool Amateur
Grant J.A 5-Dec 1942 5-4 ½ 10-4 High Spen Amateur
Jones T.E. 17 Jan 1948 5-10 12-1 Liverpool Amateur
Lello C.F. 19 Sept 1947 5-8 12-1 Ludlow Shrewsbury
Melville L. 8 April 1950 5-11 11-10 Ormskirk Amateur
Rea K.W. 16 June 1952 5-8 10-4 Liverpool Amateur
Woods, M. 15Nov 1949 6-0 ½ 12-11 Skelmsdale Amateur
Eglington T.J 11 July 1946 5-6 ½ 10-3 Dublin Shamrock
*Farrell A 10 March 1953 5-7 10-10 West Kirby Amateur
Fielding A.W 7 Sept 1945 5-6 ¾ 10-6 London Amateur
+Harris B. 16 Jan 1954 5-8 10-10 Bebington Amateur
Harris J. 28-Sept 1951 5-10 11-8 Birkenhead Amateur
Hickson D 13 May 1948 5-10 13-0 Salford Amateur
Jones R 24 Jan 1955 5-6 9-10 Flint Amateur
*Keeley. J.J. 11 May 1954 5-6 11-11 Liverpool Amateur
*Kirby G 14 June 1952 6-0 11-10 Liverpool Amateur
Lewis C 3 May 1948 5-7 10-4 Bangor Amateur
*Mayers D 26 Aug 1952 5-7 9-12 Liverpool Amateur
Meagan M.K. 6 Sep 1952 5-7 10-1 Dublin Amateur
McNamara A. 8-May 1950 6-0 11-13 Liverpool Amateur
Parker J,W 9 dec 1948 5-10 11-2 Birkenhead Amateur
Potts H 16 Oct 1950 5-8 ½ 11-5 H’tin-Le-M Burnley
Saunders R 5 Feb 1951 5-8 ½ 12-2 Birkenhead Amateur
*Thomas E. 29-Sept 1951 5-7 9-6 Newton-Le-W Amateur
+Tomlinson J 10 June 1952 5-8 10-10 Birkenhead Amateur
+Vizard C.J 27-9-1951 5-6 10-1 Newton-Le-W Amateur
*Williams R.A.K 2 march 1954 5-8 10-8 Southport Amateur
Wainwright E.F 23 March 1944 5-9 ½ 10-6 Bromboro Amateur
*=H.M. Forces; += Part-Timer players
A HOMELY STORY FROM INSIDE EVERTON’S OWN FARRELL FAMILY
August 20, 1953. The Liverpool Echo
Farrell Family soccer Stars At Home
A couple of months ago Mrs. Mabel Farrell, the charming 26-years-old wife of Everton’s skipper had one of the most pleasant surprises of her life. It thrilled her tremendous. While her husband was touring the Continent with Everton and Eire Mrs. Farrell took the two children –three year’s old Betty and 13 months old Pauline –to her home in Dublin. Arrangements had been made that while she was away the living room should be redecorated and naturally Mabel with two lively youngsters to look after, was not eagerly looking forward to the inevitable “straighten-up” which follows the wake of decorators. Imagine her joy them, when she found the house as clean as a new pin on her return. Her neighbours on either side had got together and not only cleaned up everywhere but had washed the curtains, put them back and prepared a meal for her and the children. One kind-hearted Samarian had even had a large Indian carpet dry cleaned and re-laid. But that is only half the story. The men folk not to be out-done by the women, had kept the grass and hedges cut and knowing that Peter was away for nearly a month had put bedding plants in the borders. No wonder the Farrell’s think that Liverpool folk are wonderful friends. “I mean that really and truly added Mabel, I don’t doubt it. The Farrell’s live in Thirlmere Drive, Litherland, a quiet little backwater less than a hundred yards from the busy main road from Seaforth to Preston and Southport. “Peter is a fairly handy man about the house said Mrs Farrell and helps a lot with the childrens as well as household chores. “He is also reasonably tidy as men go apart from one thing. He will flick spent matches into the hearth, I ‘tell him he smokes more matches than tobacco. Where have I heard that before? It rings a faimilar note. From my own wife of course. Notice also Mrs. Farrell’s rather grudging praise of Peter’s tidiness. Any praise I get is equally grudging. The Farrell home had a nice little garden at the back for the children to play in their honorary “nursemaid” is nine-years-old Pat Laverty daughter of a neighbor. I watched Pat looking after them like a little mother. When Mrs. Farrell first came to Liverpool after her marriage four years ago, and was a little lonely for a while, Pat played with her toys in the Farrell’s large living-room to keep her company. Now she is almost one of the family.
Peter’s Main Hobby
Apart from football hopes, Farrell’s one ambition is to get his golf handicap down to single figures. It is 14 now. Golf is his main hobby –“though I do a bit in the garden to keep it tidy,” he said – and you can just see the first tee of the Bootle course of which he is a member, from his bathroom window. “I shouldn’t have agreed to take the house if it had been any farther away from the course,” said Peter, jokingly. Cooking for an athletic may sometimes be a bit of a problem. I know some with peculiar fads and fancies. But not so with Peter. “He will eat anything except stew,” said his wife. Even Irish stew is out. The Farrell’s romance first started on the tennis court’s at their native Dalkey, where Peter was club champion and Mabel the ladies captain. She was also a good hockey player. Both hockey and tennis are now things of the pass, however. There are not many soccer souvenirs in the Farrell home. Most are still with his mother in Ireland. All he has at the moment are the four Eire caps he has won since his marriage. Eire gives only one per season, not one per match and a silver statuette presented to him by his former amateur club to celebrate Everton’s return to the First Division.” The only other souvenier he has of the latter event is a little blue flag which he “bagged” from the table at the club’s celebration dinner. In Irish football, Farrell won five medals as a school-boy-and ten with Shamrock Rovers. The only medal he has “won” in nice years of football here was presented to him when he refereed the Echo Schools Cup Final two seasons ago. Before he finishes with the game he hopes to add at least one English medal of some sort to keep it company. At treasured possession is the handsome canteen of cutlery he got for playing in Derek Dooley’s benefit match last winter. “I never expected anything for that,” he said. “It was as little as anybody could do to help a player so tragically cut off on his prime. But we all got one, and the thought was greatly appreciated by everybody.”
Future Can Wait
When I touched upon his future after his active playing days are over Farrell shrugged his shoulders “I haven’t given it really serious thought” he said. “I hope to go on playing for quite a while yet. When it has idly crossed my mind I have wondered whether I might have enough ability to become a manager I know it’s a tremendously difficult job. Maybe some people will think I am aiming too high, but I should hate to go out of football altogether I’ll think more about it nearer the time. there you have an insight into Farrell’s character, Maybe it’s the philosophical Irish temperament coming out but it contrasts refreshingly with those players who started to talk about “security for the future” almost as soon as their careers begin.
Lucky To Miss It
Mrs. Farrell used to see all Everton’s home games in the early part of her married life. Since the babies came she goes only occasionally. Though she doesn’t like missing a cup tie, she was made to see the Blues against Liverpool last season. She intended going, but when ten relatives turned up from Eire for breakfast, lunch, and tea on the day of the match she had to wash it out. Did somebody say she was lucky? At least she was spared 90 minutes suffering! A short and typist in an architect’s office before her marriage. Mabel helps Peter a lot with his “homework” when the children have been safely tucked in bed. In addition to his weekly article for the Echo, Peter also contributes a column to an Irish paper. Mrs. Farrell types the articles frequently from direct dictation and speaking from experience I know, makes a jolly good job of it. She also helps with letters from admirably and countless requests for autographs. These take quite a long time. When she has any spare time she reads fairly “heavy” books but also likes good detective fiction. Agatha Christie is her favourite in this respect. She has also read all the Conan Doyle Sherlock Holmes editions several times. Very handy with a needle and a sewing machine, she makes most of the children’s clothes. At one time also made many of her own, but has had to cut out the latter through lack of time. one of the most prized wedding presenting of the Farrell’s is a modest little hall ornament from the choirboys of Dalkney, who subscribed pennies and two pennces to present it to their football hero as a mark of appreciation of the many times he has addressed them on his experience in English football.
PRESTON RAMPANT AFTER TWO-MINUTE GOAL
August 20, 1955. The Liverpool Football Echo
Finney Marks Up His 100th League Score
Everton 0, Preston 4
This was a tremendous shock to Everton supporters. Their defences was given the runabout by Preston’s speedy and talented forward and their attack never looked like mastering the jugged Preston rearguard. When the Blues did have reasonable scoring chances they shot hastily and inaccurately. Everton twice got the ball into the net only to have it disallowed for what must have been very slice offside decisions. Everton; O’Neill, goal; Moore and Donovan, backs; Farrell (captain), Jones and Lello, half-backs; Wainwright, Fielding, Hickson, Parker, and Eglington, forwards. Preston; Thompson, goal; Wilson and Walton, backs; Docherty, Mattinson, and Forbes, half-backs; Finney, Thompson, Hatsell, Foster, and Morrison, forwards. Referee; Mr. G. Black. The crowd at Goodison looked well over 50,000 at the start and the pitch was a beautiful green. The spectators got a laugh when the teams turned out before the teams turned out when there was a loudspeaker appeal for any registered referee or linesman in the attendance to report to the office immediately. Two men quickly climbed over the barricades and started to cross the pitch but before they could get down the subway there was another message cancelling the previous one. The missing official had turned up. The spectators got some they did not appreciate anything like so much before the match was two minutes old, for Tommy Thompson had put Preston’s a goal up and stunned the home supporters into momentary silence. There seemed no particular danger when Thompson fastened on to a loose ball just inside the Everton half, but the former Villa man quickly got it under control and threaded his way through the defence, beating three men in turn and rammed home a great shot which O’Neill could not even get his fingers to.
“Fast and Furious”
Everton spurred on by a terrific roar hammered back but rarely got to grips with goalkeeper Thompson. On one occasion Wainwright appealed for a penalty when an attempted centre caught Walton on the arm, but it was very obviously a case of ball to hand. The football as fast and furious and the crowd were certainty relishing it after the long summer lay-off. Twice Mattison who had stepped into the shoes of Marston, now back home in Australia, pulled up Hickson, and then an Eglington shot veered off the mark. At the 12th minute there was another shock for the home followers when Finney put Preston further ahead. Morrison crossed the ball from the left over the heads of the home defenders and Finney rushing in, quickly nodded the ball downwards into the net. Preston are reputed to have paid £25,000 for Thompson and this early it was evident that he may be just the man they have been looking for to put more punch into their attack. He was certainly showing many of his tricks and using the ball to good advantage. Wainwright had hard luck when he stuck the woodwork after Parker had done the donkey work to carve out a great opening. Wainwright was well off with his next opportunity being nearer to the corner flag, than the goal after Eglington and Hickson had paired off nicely. At last Everton’s persistence enabled then to get the ball into the net by means of a Parker header off Fielding’s centre but referee Black nullified the “goal” on the score of offside. It must have been a pretty close thing, however, for Parker had run into position very speedily and there were some who fell that, when the pass was made he was in a legimate position.
Finney again came into the picture with a tricky run and pulled back centre. Fortunately for Everton there was nobody up to add the finishing touches. A clever bit of anticipation by Forbes brought to nothing a spot of combination between Wainwright, Fielding, and Eglington and then away went Finney again. A year ago Donovan had Finney “in his pocket” most of the time and by playing a waiting game destroyed much of the Preston winger’s effectiveness. Today the boot was on the other leg, Donovan was having a very tough time. Hatsell almost took O’Neill by surprise when he switched round quickly and let fly from 20 yards. O’Neill threw himself across the goal and arrested the ball’s progress at the second attempt.
On the balance of play Preston could count themselves fortunate to be two goals up. The point was, however that they had taken their chances aided by Thompson’s brilliant solo goal-whereas Everton showed their old failing of just trying to work the ball that little bit extra which so often causes a good move to breakdown. On one occasion there were six Everton players within a few paces of one another on the edge of the Preston penalty area. They passed and repassed until finally Eglington shot hurriedly and inaccurately and the chance was gone. At the half-hour after two previous stoppages for minor knocks, Parker caused the game to be held up when he required attention to his left leg. This at first looked more serious than the other stoppages, but actually Parker was soon in action, again and apparently none the worse. The Preston goal had a narrow escape after Hickson had mastered Mattinson and sent Eglington away, Thompson was lucky to get his elbow in the way of Eglington’s centre. Had it passed him Fielding or Wainwright would have had an open goal. Docherty was lending splendid assistance to his brilliant right winger colleagues and it was a pass of his which paved the way for a third goal to Preston at the 36th minute. The ball went over to Thompson who quickly got it under control and beat Jones in a simultaneous moment then pushed it out to Morrison for the latter to gave O’Neill practically no chance. Three down before half-time was something that not even the most pessimistic Everton followers had anticipated. Preston were proving themselves the most precise and far better balanced combination and Everton were now beginning to look very ragged and worried. Moore and Donovan switched places, presumably in the hope that Moore would be better able to cope with the wiles and Finney and Thompson. Hickson, and Mattison had several stern tussles and a few minutes before half-time the referee called the pair of them together for a word of admonition. And almost immediately Preston got a fourth goal. Finney was the scorer but he had to thank Morrison for some of the spadework. This was Finney’s 100th goal for Preston in Football League matches in 281 appearances. Right on half-time a brilliant save from Hatsell prevented Hickson making it a nap hand. The Everton goalkeeper O’Neill full length to save a powerful shot. Preston had played some wonderful football. The understanding between the half-backs and forwards was excellent. They hardly wasted a ball and they made maximum ground with the minimum of effort. Half-time; Everton nil, Preston nil.
The first incident after the resumption was an injury to Mattinson when he and Forbes went for the ball and Matinson got a nasty blow on the hip. After Parker had gone near a pass back by Jones almost beat O’Neill who had to drive full length and then the Everton goalkeeper tipped a lob by Foster over the bar. Referee Black wagged his finger at Docherty after a tackle had left Eglington needing the trainer attention and then we had another example of Preston’s triangular combination though this time between Finney, Thompson and Hatsell. Preston always seemed to have a man in the open space waiting for a pass and when this happened in the case of Forbes his shot was only just saved by O’Neill at the foot of the post.
Cleared Off Line
Hickson, Wainwright and Fielding dovetailed together to produce an eventual shot from Fielding which Thompson tipped round the post for a corner. From the flag kick Parker’s header was bound for the net when Walton cleared off the line. Preston this half seemed to be taking things a little less easier than they had done earlier. Considering their lead they could afford to relax and in any case the heat of the day was such that it must have sapped the energy of both sides. Actually, there were not ideal conditions for football and possibility some disappointed Everton followers feel that the season has started too soon. Hickson was not getting much support partly due to the fact that his inside men were often back helping the defence, and the Everton leader and his wingers were always in a minority numerically. Hickson was temporarily laid out when he went for a high ball as Thompson punched away. He recovered without the trainer’s attention. Preston had another spell when they produced some delightful on the ground football in which the ball was passed unerringly from man to man. That was one of the secrets of Preston superiority. They were a team in the best sense of the word, whereas the most that one could say for Everton was that they were a collection of hard and genuine triers who just lacked that little bit of class which Preston possessed. For the second time in the match Everton got the ball into the net without it counting. This time it was Fielding who rounded keeper Thompson and slotted the ball home, but the linesman’s flag was up and after consulting him referee Black gave a free kick to Preston for offside. The game had now taken on a very desultory hue. Preston had cased off again and Everton though trying desperately never looked like pulling back any of the deficit. Hickson got away on his own but at the last minute Docherty hooked the ball right off his toe. Mattison was again spoken to following a foul on Hickson and the free kick which followed was ofted just over the Preston’s bar by Donovan.
Farrell Fires Wide
We had seen nothing outstanding in an attacking sense from Everton’s wing halves for a long time. They had their hands full in other directions but now both Lello and Farrell came into the picture by backing up a raid when eventually resulted in Farrell firing just outside. Parker was again “robbed” of a goal in almost identical circumstances in the first half. This time it was Wilson who kicked his header off the line following a corner by Eglington. Five minutes from the end Thompson saved a point blank range from Hickson. Final; Everton nil, Preston 4. Official attendance 54,457.
PRESTON RES V EVERTON RES
August 20, 1955. The Liverpool Football Echo
Preston N.E. Reserves;- Else, goal; Cunningham and Bibby, backs; Waterhouse, Dunn and Evans, half-backs; Taylor, Kerry, Kelly, Baxter and Lambert, forwards. Everton Reserves;- Leyland, goal; Sutherland and Rankin, backs; Birch, Woods, and Melville, half-backs; Harris (B), Potts, Harris (j), Lewis, Mayers, forwards. Referee; Mr. R.A. Voice, Warrington. Everton took the lead at Deepdale after 10 minutes when Harris (B) centred and Lewis headed a great goal. The visitors were particularly sound in defence where Leyland was a safe goalkeeper and dealt confidently with several difficult centres. Harris (B) continued to be the Everton danger man, with Potts the schemer behind many attacks. Taylor grazed the Everton bar with a strong shot, but generally Leyland was in no difficulties. Lewis and Harris both went near for Everton. Half-time; Preston North End Res nil, Everton Res 1.
After 55 minutes Preston drew level when Lambert scored from a pass by the new Preston centre forward, Kelly. B. Harris had a great chance to score when he broke through on his own but failed to beat the advancing Else. Everton showed good class football and the exchanges were very even.
NO EXPLANATION EXCEPT…
August 22, 1955. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton 0, Preston N.E 4
I don’t know what explanation there is except that Preston were much the better side. They had more method, were superior as a team and linked up as all successful sides should, Everton started on the wrong foot. Whether it was that Thompson goal in two minutes which unsettled their confidence e none can say, but they never gave me the impression that they would give North End a test of any sport. The goal was scored so early (two minutes) there was time to put things right, but Everton could not do it. The difference between the teams was wide. Preston moved smoothly and with style. Everton were hurried and without co-ordination, North End were on top from the start. Small satisfaction to know that Everton had the ball in the net on two occasions and that twice a defender kicked off the goal-line. Whether the offside decisions were justified I am not prepared to say, although I though Parker moved so quickly to the ball that he seemed onside when it was last played. Preston were two goals up in twelve minutes and a team in that position can indulge in things which the side in arrears cannot attempt in case they make a mistake. On this form Everton are in for a rough time. They lacked the rhythm they possessed this time last year, and were too individualistic.
Their wing half backs did not come into the game until the second half, but by then the damage was done and although they showed fight they could not penetrate Preston’s dour defence. I liked the way the Preston defence covered up, I liked the link-up of the forwards in which Tommy Thompson, signed from Aston Villa, fitted in admirably. His goal was a gem in the making and the way he wriggled his way through the Everton defence before cracking in a beauty, made one wonder what the Everton defence was doing to allow him to pass them by so easily. Within ten minutes Preston were two up, Finney heading Morrison’s centre downwards into the net. I would not have minded that had Everton given any encouragement that they would hit back. They never did. It was an inglorious exhibition in a half which yielded two further goals to Preston per Morrison and Finney. Thus, Finney marked up his 100th League goal for Preston. At this stage of the season results are often misleading but Everton must do far better than this. The attendance was 54,457.
August 22, 1955, The Liverpool Daily Post
Preston Res 1, Everton Res 1
Everton fully deserved their point (1-1) from their game with Preston at Deepdale but there should have been more goals by both sides. Leyland in the Everton goal gave an outstanding display. Prominent in attack were B. Harris and Potts who made a grand right wing. Lewis scored for Everton and Lambert for Preston.
August 22, 1955. The Liverpool Echo
Saturday’s defeat makes it no more a certainty that Everton have a relegation fight on their hands as one follower has already put it to me than Liverpool’s encouraging win means the Reds are the likely Second Division champions. There are 41 more matches to play. Having said that, however, is at the same time abundantly clear that there must e a big improvement if Everton are to keep out trouble. A good start is half the battle. It was only their excellent beginning last season which kept them out of danger later when they took a miserable four points from the last ten matches. Last year the order of “barting” was a good start and a bad ending. A director remarked to me on Saturday that this season it was going to be the other way round –a bad start and good ending, I hope he is right but without more evidence than we saw on Saturday the argument strikes me as being founded more on wishful thinking than sound fact. The unpalatable aspect about the opening game was that Everton started again where they left off last season –with no punch in attack and ominous creaking in defence.
It Cuts No Ice
I’m not forgetting the Blues had the ball in the net twice that on two occasions Parker’s headers from corners were cleared off the line with the Preston goalkeeper well whacked or that in the closing 15 minutes Everton played better than at any previous period. It cuts no ice to dwell consolingly on offside “goals.” They don’t matter a floot. Secondly defenders are expected to save their goalkeepers whenever possible and particularly with corner kicks. Thirdly Everton’s big improvement in the closing stages was probably due as much to Preston’s easing off and trying the “exhibition” as anything else. The truth of the matter is that Preston were infinitely the better side. They were a team in the best and most comprehensive sense of the word, with all round understanding a marvelous link between the wing halves and forwards, a solid and co-ordinated defence and at right wing triangle in Finney, Thompson and Docherty to the countering of which Everton never had a clue. Preston certainly had a bit of luck in getting their two minute lead via Thompson’s brilliant solo goal, one of the finest of its kind we have seen for a long time. It gave them confidence and robbed Everton of it. The second goal had an even greater effect in the same two directions so that Preston could them play a natural game whereas Everton were on the collar.
The Vital Question
At this early stage I am not going to be critical of individuals. Time enough for that later. One bad match proves nothing. The problem now is whether it will remain at one. Some time ago I wrote that this was likely to be Everton’s most testing time for some seasons, and that the vital question was whether the ominous falling away of last spring could be arrested. If it is not, there may be rocks ahead for many of the best youngsters on whom manager Britton had been building for the future, are on the Forces. Further few of these, and also few of the existing available Central League players, have had the “blooding” and experience in the senior side to which I frequently referred last season. Suppose we leave it there for the time being keeping out fingers crossed and our hopes alight. The Goodison club’s new boardroom though not yet finished is obviously going to be the finest in the country, I hope that the team’s performances will not make it look too ostentatious for incongruous. Saturday’s display did not match up with the posh official quarters by a long chalk.
Donovan and Parker are both very doubtful starters for Everton against West Bromwich Albion at the Hawthorns on Wednesday, due to injuries received against Preston.
For the Central league match against Newcastle United at Goodison Park tonight (6-30) Everton have chosen the following. Leyland; Sutherland, Rankin; Birch, Woods, Melville; Harris (B), Thomas, Harris (J), Farrell, Mayers.
MAYERS WAS STAR FORWARD
August 23, 1955. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton Res 3, Newcastle United Res 2
Everton who gave a very impressive display in this Central League game at Goodison Park last night, were unfortunate not to have won by a greater margin. Mitchell the United goalkeeper kept a fine goal, making many noteworthy saves from Mayers and Brian Harris. Everton’s star forward was Mayers, who received good support from Farrell. Woods proved a clever pivot and broke up many of Newcastle’s dangerous attacks. Everton’s scorers were Mayers (2) and Harris (J). Keery and Tait obtained Newcastle’s goals.
EVERTON VISIT WEST BROMWICH
August 23, 1955. The Liverpool Echo
Everton make two changes for their visit to West Bromwich Albion at the Hawthorns, Donovan and Parker are unfit and their places will be taken by Tansey and Lewis each of whom has had previous senior experience. Everton look to have a tough job on their hands, I recall the Albion coming to Anfield a few years ago and giving one of the finest exhibitions seen on the ground for a long time. They have had their ups and downs since then including a Cup final victory and runners up position in the League two seasons ago. Everton’s visit to West Bromwich last winter saw there return with a point from a 3-3 draw. A repeat performance tomorrow would be quite satisfactory, particularly after Saturday’s disappointing display. Football is so unpredictable that it would be in keeping with the opening day’s shocks if Everton surprised everybody. Though there was no evident against Preston that this is likely we can at least hope. The Midlanders started last season well, but fell away badly afterwards and recorded only three victories in their next 20 fixtures.
One of the main reasons for their disappointing form was lack of defensive solidity. Several heavy defeats were suffered notable a 6-1 reverse at Portsmouth and a 5-0 defeat at Shefifeld Wednesday in the last match. In all 93 goals was scored against them the highest number conceded by any First Division side except Sheffield Wednesday. Centre forward Allen was the only member of the attack to show his best form consistently. His total of 27 League goals was thirteen more –than those obtained by outside left Lee, next on the list. Unfortunately for the Midlanders Allen was injured against Wolves on Saturday and is now in hospital, unlikely to play again for some weeks at the earliest. At the moment of writing the injury which is to his back has not been satisfactorily diagnosed. Stuart Williams son of a Wrexham director, is also a doubtful starter, through an ankle injury. Two notable departures from the Albion’s ranks during the summer have been England right back Stan Rickaby, who has joined King’s Lynn and Reg Ryan now with Derby County. Inside left Nicholls who played a large part in the Albion success in 1953-54, was unable to command a regular senior place last term despite scoring 12 times in 17 outings. He was, however, restored for Albion’s opening game against Wolves at the Hawthorns on Saturday and got the goal which enabled them to draw with Wolves.
August 24, 1955. The Liverpool Daily Post
By Leslie Edwards
Tansey’s appearance in the Everton defence is offset by the fact that Albion’s are forced to play at right back a nineteen-year-old, Wolverhampton youth, Hoe, in place of Williams. Ronnie Allen is also a non-starter. His place in the attack will be taken by Derek Kevan, who joined the club from Bradford in 1953. Albion are nippy and good indeed Everton could scarcely have chosen two hotter opening fixtures than those against Preston and West Bromwich. If Everton survive they will have gone far towards removing the pessimism that has clouded them since Finney and company came, saw. And conquered. Everton want points quickly if they cannot be obtained there are prospects that manager Cliff Britton and his board will decide to spend some of their money Everton fans have poured into the club’s account in the past few seasons. West Bromwich;- Sanders; Howe, Millard; Dudley, Kennedy, Barlow; Griffin, Carter, Kevan, Nicholls, Lee. Everton; O’Neill; Moore, Tansey; Farrell, Jones, Lello; Wainwright, Fielding, Hickson, Lewis, Eglington.
GOAL WHICH UPSET A NEW EVERTON
August 25, 1955. The Liverpool Daily Post
West Bromwich Albion 2, Everton 0
For 52 minutes Everton ran rings round Albion at the Hawthorns last night. You would not have recognized this Everton as that which crashed against Preston. Whereas they had been without method and ideas they were now a team in the true sense of the word. A year ago these teams produced one of the finest games seen on the ground. Last night’s first half was almost as good. There was only one thing lacking –a goal to set Everton afire. But for a magnificent save by Sanders in the first minute, Everton would have had one.
Hickson, from close range shot hard and true, but Sanders made a save out of this world. That did not shake Everton. They continued to play superlative football. They made openings which should have been accepted. Lewis was at fault more than once. A goal at that stage would no doubt have put Everton on the victory road, but it was the old, old story of missed chances. Ifs and buts, however, count for nought. At fifty two minutes Albion took the lead through kevan and that shook Everton to such extent they lost their rhythm. From then almost until the end Albion took hold of the game, whereas Everton fell from grace. Even so there were occasions when Everton should have scored. Lewis was again at fault, and there were other misses. With two minutes to go Kevan made his debut complete by scoring again with a fine, left-footed drive.
Their Blank Spell
The heat was torrid, yet had to be admitted that this was a game of many attractions. Everton’s fine football was one of them and the Albion’s fight back, after they had looked like being beaten was another. Everton have now played 180 minutes and have yet to find the net. Their football was perfection up to Kevan’s first goal but one goal should not undermine any team.
FARRELL –CARTILAGE FEAR AGAIN
August 25, 1955. The Liverpool Daily Post
By Leslie Edwards
Unluckiest young footballer of all time is Alec Farrell the Everton inside forward. Though he is not yet 21-he is still doing his National Service –he faces the grim prospect of having a third cartilage removed within the short period since he joined Everton from Hoylake. The latest damage was done in the Central League match against Newcastle United. Farrell visit a specialist today.
BLUES FAIL AGAIN
August 25, 1955. The Liverpool Echo
Good football without goals is like strawberries without cream and until Everton realize that games are only won by goals they won’t advance very far. It was agreed all round at the Hawthorns last night that their football in the first half was as good as anything seen on the ground for some considerable time but it all fell apart because they failed to land the ball in the net. The annoying part of it was that they had the opportunities of doing so but it was the old, old story of forwards who could make a scoring position and then fail to take full advantage of it. Watching this Everton team for the first 45 minutes it was hard to realize that this was the same Everton we saw, fall so badly against Preston at Goodison Park last Saturday. It was almost unbelievable for whereas against the North End they were a dismal failure, last night they put up a display of exhilarating football moving like a perfectly oiled machine. It needed only the spark of a goal to set them alight. They almost had it in the first minute when Hickson fired a short range shot, Sanders saved in mircularious fashion. No one believed it was possible to keep the ball out of the net but the Albion goakkeeper managed it in some way.
That save could have broken the hearts of many an attacking line. It did not trouble Everton a great deal for they persisted with their methodical football which made the midlanders look only a moderate side which in reality they were. Every man in the Everton team linked up like a cog in a revolving wheel and one begin to wonder how long the goals would be in coming. Unfortunately they did not come at all which was rather amazing in view of the fact that Everton had been continually on the attack practically throughout the whole first 45 minutes. Certainly it was nice to watch but goals are the salt of the game and if you fall to take them having made them then you have only yourself to blame. The Albion had no real answer to Everton’s scintiating football but I am afraid my story of praise has got to end there. Shortly after the interval the Albion scored through their debutant Derek Kevan and from that moment much of the lustre departed from Everton. Their rhythm was gone, their link-up was not at all secure, in fact they were badly shaken just as they were shaken by Thompson’s two-minute goal on Saturday. They never really got back to anything like their first half display and West Bromwich without showing the arts and crafts which Everton had produced got their teeth into the game, and eventually ran out winners by 2-0, Kevan again being the scorer two minutes from the end.
There was a distinct improvement in the Everton side but I cannot get it out of my mind that they have now played 180 minutes without marking up a goal on their score card, that is the one fault which must be remedied. Some of the chances they missed were so simple that there should have been no doubts whatever about the ball hitting the back of the net. Lewis was perhaps the greatest sinner of all but there were others who missed their way badly. Even admitting that the Albion have a strong and rugged defence one had to acknowledge that Everton’s methods were fully capable of praising this open and making a way for goals. The big improvement was the wing half-backs. They linked up with their forward line to turn it into a striking force, if there had been anyone there to put the trigger. I have got to fault more than one in the Everton attack for missing what most of us considered open goals. The Albion on the other hand, with far fewer chances, accepted two offerings. That was the great difference between the sides. There were many near misses and some tight goalmouth tussles with both O’Neill and Sanders making excellent saves, but they should not have been allowed to do so considering that the openings were almost gift-edged. It is not a very happy position for Everton to have played two games and still be without a point. this leeway will take a lot of making up, but if they make up their minds to shoot and not make a pass when the openings is obvious, I think they can correct this situation.
August 26, 1955. The Liverpool Echo
Everton visit Burnley at Turf Moor, which has been a fairly lucky ground for them lately for they have won twice, and drawn once, in five post-war appearances there. Burnley started off with a 1-0 victory at White Hart Lane against Tottenham last week, but the joy of this was washed out two days later when Blackpool, whom many felt would be faced with another anti-relegation struggle this season won 2-0 at Burnley on Monday evening. The East Lancashire club has been notable in most post-war seasons for the solidarity of its defence. The rear half of the team has saved them on several occasions from a much lower position in the table when their forward line has been disappointing. Last season 51 goals was all that Burnley was able to muster which was well below the average but once again the defence came to the rescue conceding only 58 goals. Burnley’s negative tactics have often been criticized and while one must admit that they tend to take some of the colour and thrills out of the game, they have also kept Burnley in a safe position.
Doubtless from their view point this is satisfactory enough. But from the angle of the paying public negative football and higher prices are not going to help balance the decline the gales. Already this season aggregate attendance are down on last year, although it is too early yet to say whether this will be the trend throughout. There are many who feel that heat-wave conditions are not the best for the game, and I know some supporters who took their pleasure elsewhere last Saturday and Wednesday rather than sweller in the crowd. Burnley make two forward changes compared with the side which lost to Blackpool. Holden and Walton are out, and McKay and Cheesebrough are expected to take their places though the inclusion of McKay will depend on a fitness test later as he has a slight leg injury. Burnley; McDonald; Rudman, Winton; Adamson, Cummings, Shannon; forwards from, Gray, Mcllroy, Stephenson, McKay, Cheeseborough, Pilkington.
August 27, 1955. The Liverpool Daily Post
By Leslie Edwards
Everton have committed the heinous crime of going two matches without victory and without goals, the Everton outcry is amusing because this cannot be the first time by dozens, the club have lost two matches consecutively without scoring. I suppose that the two results being opening ones, makes everyone captious. The more valid reason for apprehension is the coupling of the latest defeats with the many, at home, at the back end of last season. The more prolonged period of failure is the more disturbing. Circumstances, including Parker’s and Donovan’s unfitness have forced Everton to inject youth into the team which goes to Burnley today. Tansy remains at full back, the Birkenhead Harrises – Brian at outside right and Jimmy at centre forward –get their chances to confirm Everton claims that the long-term development of young players is better than spot “buys.” Harry Potts, one of the old faithful, comes in at inside right against his old Turf Moor team. Jimmy Harris debut for Everton opened with flashes of brilliance unhappily they were not maintained. Though Burnley have Mcllroy in place of the injured McKay at centre forward, the much changed Everton will do well to escape defeat but in such weather the lowering of their average age must count towards the possibility of revival.
And if Everton lose…? The club have thousands ready to use in transfer fees in baseless. The great bank squeeze” polies equally to football as to other business. Everton; O’Neill; Moore, Tansey; Farrell, Jones, Lello; Harris (B), Potts, Harris (J), Fielding, Eglington. Burnley; McDonald; Rudman; Winton, Adamson, Cummings, Shannon; Gray, Stephenson, Mcllroy, Cheeseborough, Pilkingston.
Farrell Fears Confirmed
Fears that Alec Farrell, the young Everton forward might have to undergo a third cartilage operation were well founded. Thus in the space of the past two seasons when he turned professional, Farrell has been an almost continuous casualty. Yet manager Britton still has high hopes of his career.
IT WAS ONLY A PENALTY GOAL BUT JONES’S DRIVE WAS JOY TO EVERTON
August 27, 1955. The Liverpool Football Echo
Burnley nil, Everton 1
Everton scored their first goal of the season and along with it two got two points. It may not have been a convincing win but it was a joyous one. Burnley were more enthustic than scientific. They attacked practically throughout the second half without, however beating the Everton defence. The two new Everton boys did one or two nice things but they have not solved Mr. Britton’s problems. O’Neill made many fine saves in fact the whole defence stood solidity in face of much heavy work. Burnley; McDonald, goal; Rudham and Winton, backs; Adamson, Cummings and Shannon, half-backs; Gray, Stephenson, Mcllroy, Chesseborough, and Pilkington, forwards. Everton;- O’Neill, goal; Moore and Tansey, backs; Farrell (captain), Jones and Lello, half-backs; Harris (B), Potts, Harris (J), Fielding and Eglington, forwards. Referee; Mr. J.W. Hunt. Much interest was centred in the reorganized and changed Everton forward line. Goals had been the necessity for although the team has not been playing quite so well one of their main faults has been the lack of shooters. With this in mind Mr. Cliff Britton has brought in two new lads who were making their debut in senior football. They were J. Harris at centre forward and B. Harris at outside right. Potts knows this ground inside out for he had a long service with Burnley before he came to Everton. Fielding moved over to inside left, Burnley also had their changes. Holden was out and Mcllroy led the attack with Cheeseborough on his left. It was a brilliant afternoon and many preferred the cricket pitch which is next door to the soccer ground. There was still a nice crowd without the ground being anything like full. There were two incidents in the very first minute and both of then concerned the Burnley goal which had two close shaves, one concerning Potts who was unlucky not to score. He streaked through and took a pass from Fielding but glided the ball narrowly outside. Burnley were engaged in a tussle with the Everton defence which came out the better but at the fourth minute Everton took the lead through a penalty goal scored by Jones.
Burnley Hit back
The penalty came about through Cummings bringing down Potts who was striding towards goal and looked a certain scorer when he was tripped near the penalty spot. Burnley hit back and the Everton defence had to stand solid against rather an imposing advance. I survived but only just. In fact Burnley should have had a goal when Pilkington hooked across a centre which Mcllroy failed to get to much to the joy of the Everton defence. Everton were naturally “bucked” that they had broken their duck even though it was a half-back who had scored their first goal of the season. As a matter of fact, the Everton attack had produced more shots in the first 10 minutes than they have done in their two previous games. At the same time one must not forget the work of the defence, for Burnley had pestered it a number of times, and on one occasion it was only the slickness of O’Neill which prevented an equalizer.
New Boy’s Prominent
Stephenson cut in from the wing and pulled the ball back from Mcllroy who shot from close range, but the Everton keeper dropped on the ball like a hawk and although surrounded he was able to come out with the ball in his possession. Jimmy Harris saw McDonald pull a nice drive from under his bar –in fact these two new boys were not doing at all badly. Again the Burnley right wing created trouble for Everton and Jones headed away from Stephenson and so ended a dangerous looking movement by the Burnley forwards.
A Narrow Miss
After Potts had glided the ball outside Stephenson was badly at fault when he made a poor shot from a scorable position. Eglington and Potts indulged themselves in a round of passing which took them close in to the Burnley goal where Potts neatly slipped the ball through for Eglington and a second goal seemed likely. The Everton winger was only a matter of 10 yards out, but he did get a true hit at the ball and McDonald was able to save. The Everton defence had their shade of luck and none more so than when Gray veered over to the left wing and hit a tremendous left-footed shot which simply shook the crossbar and rebounded back into play. Gray tried another one, this time from the right wing, but he was off target the ball passing high into the crowd. O’Neill had been quite busy for some time for Everton were kept strictly on the defensive. Gray came along again and was clear of all opposition and the danger to Everton was obvious.
Claim For Penalty
Tansy, however went hotfoot after the little Burnley winger, and was able to kick the ball off Gray’s toes, O’Neill came up to complete the save. Gray appealed for a penalty claiming that he had been tripped from the rear, but this was not quite right for Tansey had successfully played the ball. The game was held up while Gray received attention, and although Burnley pressure hard their could not break down the strong, Everton defence in which Jones and O’Neill stood out boldly. If anything the Burnley forward were inclined to be a bit finickily when they got in front of the Everton goal, preferring a pass when a shot was the best thing. Everton came into the game again as an attacking force and J. Harris headed over the bar from an Eglington centre, following a free kick for Everton which was safely disposed of by Burnley, J. Harris made a good attempt when hooking a ball from the left wing into goal and McDonald had to act swiftly to keep it out. Everton’s approach work had been a better quality than that of Burnley whose strain theme was lifelessness and enthusiasm. As the interval approached Everton were sounding the Burnley defence but half-time the score still was Burnley nil, Everton 1.
Half-time; Burnley nil, Everton 1
Everton resumed the second half with a powerful attack and Potts whipped across a centre which the Burnley defence was lucky to get away but by the same token Everton were fortunate when Mcllroy missed from close in. Now this was really a bad miss and no one knew it, better than Mcllroy who shook his head in disgust.
Pilkington with his trickery, was a constant menace to Everton. He once wriggled his way through and tried an angular shot which had little chance of getting through and an inward pass might have been better. Cheeseborough made the next Burnley shot which O’Neill watched pass over his crossbar. Mcllroy won a corner from Tansey and Gray slipped the ball into the middle, but there was no colleague there to take it up. You will see that Burnley had been on the attack for most of the second half thus far, and Mcllroy and Gray go together in an endeavour to probe the Everton’s defence without success. Nevertheless I did not like the way that the Turf Moorites dominated the game and kept Everton strictly to defence.
O’Neill In Action
Burnley gained a free kick for a foul on Stephenson by Lello. This was taken by Gray whose shot was ably dealt with by O’Neill. Burnley were still busy in the Everton goalmouth area and Gray was responsible for a hard drive which passed over the top. McDonald’s only work this half had been a back pass by Cummings, but Brian Harris nearly put the cat amongst the pigeons when he nipped round Winton and put the ball over to the Everton left wing for Eglington to shoot a foot wide of the far upright.
Harris (B.) Tries Header
A free kick against Burnley was taken by Eglington and again B. Harris surprised the Burnley defenders by running in and heading the ball downwards for McDonald to save. Burnley were still at it and Fielding was injured in helping the defence and had to leave the field for a spell. During his absence O’Neill turned aside a ferocious drive by Stephenson but Gray was able to pick up the clearance and put the ball back into the goalmouth.
Fielding On Wing
Fielding was soon back, and Everton for once in a way relinquished their role of defenders and Brian Harris put a long centre across field but Fielding was unable to collect the ball. Fielding by the way, went on the wing, with Eglington at inside left. Although Burnley had attacked for such a long spell they did not impress as a goal-scoring side. Everton were no hitting back and a centre by Fielding was cleared by Cummings. In the last five minutes Everton tried hard to increase their lead but they like Burnley, were not very good marksmen. Nevertheless two points away from home was very welcome. With almost the last kick of the match O’Neill brought off a wonderful save from Pilkington and so saved Everton’s bacon. Final; Burnley nil, Everton 1.
EVERTON RES V BURNLEY RES
August 27, 1955. The Liverpool Football Echo
Everton res; Leyland, goal; Sutherland and Rankin, backs; Birch, Woods and Melville, half-backs; Tomlinson, Thomas, Saunders, Vizard, and Mayers, forwards. Burnley Res; Furnell, goal; Smith and Scolar, backs; Seith, Appleby, and Bennion, half-backs; Newlands, J. Robson, L. Lawton, Walton and Scott, forwards. Referee; Mr. F.S. Jackson (Preston). After Burnley had opened promisingly Everton gradually gained the upper hand and Mayers set an example with three first class shots which narrowly missed the target. Furnell saved a certain goal when he dived at the feet of Thomas. Half-time; Everton Res nil, Burnley Res nil. Everton continued to press and Applyby conceded a corner by heading over a fierce shot from Saunders. When Burnley broke away, however Rankin had to save on the goal line from Lawson, while Leyland was fully extended by both Burnley wingers Newlands and Scott. Both teams were now showing more thrust in attack and were playing more open football.
Manchester City “A” v Everton “A”
Two goals inside a minute set the game alight after a scappy beginning. City scored first when a lob from Davidson found Bowman’s head and he converted from ten yards. From the kick-off Everton attacked, getting the City defence in a tangle. A shot from Jones was on its way to goal but hefty boot from Taylor (City full back) made sure of Everton’s equalizer. Everton made it two after 40 minutes. Half-time; Man City “A” 1, Everton “A” 2. Full Time; Man City “A” 3, Everton “A” 2
• Everton “B” 7, Fleetwood Hesketh 1
O’NEILL SAVES WERE WORTH ALL THE BONUSES
August 29, 1955. The Liverpool Daily Post
Burnley 0, Everton 1
The toast in the Everton dressing room at Turf Moor, on Saturday night must surely have been Jimmy O’Neill. He was the man who made victory possible. His was a masterly display –an Elisha Scott effort at its best. Better goalkeeping has never been seen. He never made a mistake, even when he was under tremendous pressure. O’Neill was the complete boss of any action which took place in his penalty area and I am sure he must have broken the hearts of the Burnley forwards. No matter whether the ball was in the air or on the ground. O’Neill was the master ad although the Everton party were fearful of losing their slender lead when Burnley laid siege up the Everton goal practically throughout the second half, O’Neill continued to deny them with tremendous saves. It was a performance which overshadowed everything else in the match and such goalkeeping deserved the bonus for Everton’s first win of the season and their first goal. Now you will want to know whether the introduction of the two youngsters –Brian Harris and Jim Harris, and the recall of Potts, was justified. I think it was, although the Harris pair were obviously affected by their first venture in senior football. But they did not let the side down. Theirs was a big test, but they met it and although they tried late on in the game they brought more power into the forward line. I won’t say that Everton’s problems are at an end but I think the Harrises are worthy of an extended trial. Harris (J) made two worthy efforts at scoring and his namesake twice hoodwinked the Burnley defence and nearly caught it napping.
I saw more shots from Everton during the first fifteen minutes than in their previous 180 minutes play and although the winning goal came from the penalty spot, Everton could easily have been three up in the first quarter of an hour. The penalty came when Potts was brought down in the penalty area. He was surely en route to a goal when he was tripped by Cummings; Jones took the kick and the ball was in the net without a movement from McDonald. To the interval Everton were the better side although their goal had some escapes, particularly when Gray hit the cross-bar with a ferocious shot the ball shooting straight down. Some claimed it had crossed the line. I did not think so. Could Everton bold their goal for another forty-five minutes? They did but it was a bitter fight while O’Neill was the outstanding defender his colleagues gave him good support but I will wager the final whistle was sweet music to them.
Hit With Everything
Burnley hit them with everything they had. Gray and Pilkington were the biggest threat. O’Neill saved wonderful shots from this pair, particularly the former a nippy little box of tricks who gave Moore a hectic time. The Turf Moor forwards are a shade too small as a line. When the ball was in the air they were easily beaten. Furthermore they would persist in playing too closely and this played into the hands of the defence. Everton have broken their “duck” and have moved away from the bottom. This win was badly needed. The effect of it should have beneficial effect. Everton did not come through the ordeal unscathed for Fielding is nursing a badly bruised nose and O’Neill limps as a result of a kick on the ankle. Fortunately it is only a bad bruise not a sprain.
EVERTON RES 0, BURNLEY RES 0
August 29, 1955. The Liverpool Daily Post
A draw was a fair result. Defences were always on top. Best chance of the day fell to Vizard, Everton’s inside left who missed from ten yards with the goalkeeper out of position. Everton’s best forwards were Thomas and Mayers, Saunders worked hard but was well held by Appleby, outstanding in the Burnley defence. Leyland was good in the Everton goal, Birch stood out in the half-back line for solid defence and intelligent constructive work.
O’NEILL WAS GREAT
August 29, 1955. The Liverpool Echo
If ever a goalkeeper won a match for his side then that man O’Neill certainly enabled Everton to win their first game of the season. His colleagues had scored a goal in four minutes but the task of holding on to that slender lead was a testing one, it could not have been done without O’Neill who was in inspired form. “I have never seen him better and we all know that when he is on form he can be brilliant. At Turf Moor he showed more daring and his handling of every sort of shot was perfect. The slightest slip on his part when Burnley were hammering at his goal and they did that almost throughout the second half- would have meant disaster to his side. Not once could he be faulted. He was “boss” in his penalty area and he made several breath-taking saves. Burnley’s mode of progression was nothing compared with that of Everton but they were tireless and enthusiastic, and such methods took them into the target area. Then we saw the greatness of Eire’s goalkeeper. He stood defiant against tremendous odds. Of course Everton had some lucky escapes their biggest when Gray hit a tremendous shot against the crossbar. They will be asking in Burnley even now whether that ball rebounded over the line.
I don’t think it did nor did the referee but by gingo it put the wind up those from Merseyside. Not even the O’Neill of the day could have kept that ball out had it been a trifle lower. But let me tell you of the goal, the first Everton goal this term. It was the result of a penalty shot taken by Jones, and McDonald was simply a spectator at the ball went into the net. He did not move an inch to try and save. He protested about something afterwards but the referee turned a deaf ear to his complaint whatever it was. There could have been other goals for Everton, for Potts, Eglington and Jim Harris went close. The two young boys were playing quite well at that time and Potts was always thrusting for goal but not another shot found its way into the net. The lead was only slender and before long we all began to wonder if it was sufficient to carry the day. It did not look like it the way Burnley were attacking. Practically the whole of the second half was a battle between Burnley forwards and the Everton defence and I readily admit I feared the worst, Everton, however, intended to hold what they had but it was a grueling business on such a warm afternoon. Every shoulder went to the wheel to stem the rising tide of the Burnley attack and never was there the slightest suggestion of a crack. True, Burnley suffered some narrow misses but a miss is as good as a mile and when the shots were goalbound there was the Bank of England Jimmy O’Neill bringing off miracles.
What a lovely sound the final whistle must have been to one and all particularly to Everton who have never fought a more bitter rear-guard action. They were heroes all, for it had to be admitted on all sides that they had taken a lacing in the second 45 minutes. Pilkington and Gray were a thorn in their side from start to finish and I am sure this pair will went to forget the name O’Neill the man who played such a big part in Burnley’s defeat. The Harris boys were naturally pleased to be on the winning side. Jim made two fine efforts at beating McDonald and Brian late on almost squeaked his way through by keen anticipation. Yes I think they are worthy of further trail. Potts on his old ground was always driving forward and was unlucky not to score, but the honours must go to the Everton defence particularly O’Neill. We had two “patients” coming home for Fielding was nursing a badly swollen nose as a result of a collision and O’Neill was limping through a kick on the ankle. I won’t be surprised if Fielding turns out on Wednesday with two black eyes they were shaping that way when he let us at Ormskirk.
WILL THROSTLES BE ON SONG AGAIN
August 30, 1955. The Liverpool Echo
Tomorrow evening’s fixtures are the returns of those played last week, so that Everton have the chance to compensate their followers for the reverse suffered last Wednesday. Everton’s victory on Saturday at Burnley, although not all together convincing was very welcome and should put the players in better heart for the visit of West Bromwich Albion who won 2-0 at the Hawthorns seven days ago. Albion lost 3-1 to Matt Busby’s babes at Manchester on Saturday, their goal being scored y Derek Kevan, the former Bradford centre forward, who netted both against Everton on his debut last week. Everton’s chief falling so far has been their inability to do what Kevan has done –get the ball into the opposing net. The sooner the attack finds real punch and scoring ability, the less work will be thrown on to the defence, and the more encouraging will the outlook become. This falling is nothing new at Goodison Park, marksmanship was one of the contributing factors to their descent into the Second Division. The advent of dynamic Hickson and “poacher” Parker then brought about an improvement helped to get the team back into the First Division and let them off to a good start in the first half of last winter’s campaign. Even early last season, however, the finishing sometimes left much to be desired of em after gilt-edged openings had been carved out by some tip-top approach work. I said on several occasions then that sooner or later if they kept up their well-balanced and cohesive midfield work, the goals must surely arrive. Unfortunately it worked out the opposite way. The front line began to deteriorate in its approach mastery, the goals still did not come and a bigger strain was thrown on the defence.
The Main Needs
Everton’s attack is still without a goal in three outing. All their supporters will be holding that state of affairs is checked without further delay and in a reasonably convincing manner. I did not see last week’s game at the Hawthorns but from all accounts Everton played some grand football until they were a goal down. Then they started to crack up. what will be needed tomorrow is prompt and accurate shooting from the forwards and not the slavish adherence to tip-tapping and the extra pass in the vicinity of the penalty area which so often frutters away promising openings. The old saying that it is better to have shot and missed than never to have shot at all may be true n some respects, but no completely. What we would like to see is shooing that achieves its object. As I have said so often and am tired of reiterating all the good approach work in the world doesn’t count for anything against the absence of goals. As we saw last season it does not inevitably mean that goals will eventually come.
As You Were
The slight doubt concerning O’Neill and Fielding having been cleared up, Everton will field an unchanged team. Everton; O’Neill; Moore, Tansey; Farrell, Jones, Lello; Harris (B), Potts, Harris (J), Fielding, Eglington.
Everton Reserves; (v. Newcastle, away);- Leyland; Sutherland, Rankin; Birch, Woods, Melville; Saunders, Lewis, Hickson, Meagan, E. Cavanan.
ANOTHER TEST FOR YOUNG AND OLD EVERTON
August 31, 1955. The Liverpool Daily Post
By Leslie Edwards
Everton tackle West Bromwich Albion, we hope for a reverse. A week ago Albion beat Everton at West Bromwich. I gather Everton’s decision not to make changes for tonight’s game surprised those of their following who took advantage of the opportunity to see them play at Burnley. True, they argue Everton won, but except for O’Neill and one or two others without showing First Division class, or class always expected from an Everton team. It must be difficult to find the courage to change a winning side merely because they did not play convincingly and hard hit as they are by injury, none can quarrel with the Britton decision to let the same team take its second chance.
Everton’s performance tonight will be under the critical gaze of a home audience. They want to see up-and-coming players succeed, but if it is evident they are not ready they want Everton to go outside their own nursery to improve their playing hand. It is a reflection on Everton’s youngsters that Harry Potts, one of the club’s veterans should command his place, in the attack but no manager, I suppose can gamble on introducing too many new boys at a time. Albion also unchanged bring with them Kevan, the young centre forward whose goals beat Everton a week ago, Barlow, one of the biggest and best wing half backs in the game and that customary Albion zip in all departments. Everton; O’Neill; Moore, Tansey; Farrell, Jones, Lello; Harris (B), Potts, Harris (J), Fielding and Eglington. West Bromwich Albion; Sanders; Howe, Millard; Dudley, Kennedy, Barlow, Griffin, Carter, Kevan, Nicholls, and Lee.
HICKSON TO LEAVE EVERTON?
August 31, 1955. The Liverpool Echo
Request For Transfer
Although no official confirmation is forthcoming from Everton, I understand on good authority that Dave Hickson has asked the club to put him on the open-to transfer list and that the board is willing to consider offers for him. When I asked Manager Cliff Britton about the matter this morning he said he could neither confirm nor deny it. “Anything I say for publication relating to players must have been said first to the man concerned,” he added. “That has always been the policy of the club. “When I pointed out that the absence of a denial might be construed as confirmation of the story, Mr. Britton declined to add anything. “That is all I have to say at the moment” was his final word. Hickson left Liverpool by train this morning with the Everton Central League side who play Newcastle United Reserves at Newcastle tonight. The Everton chairman Mr. Ernest Green travelled with them. Mr. Britton did not see the party before they left.
Hickson who has been Everton’s first choice centre forward for the past two seasons was dropped from the side which met Burnley last. Saturday Jimmy Harris being preferred. In all he has made 151 first team appearances in League and Cup in the last four years and scored 69 goals. Throughout his career at Goodison Park he has been something of a “stormy petrel, but his determination and earnestness in Everton’s cause have never been questioned. On the contrary they have often led him into indiscretions and even his warmest admirers sometimes deplored his occasional over-vigorous tactics. Last winter, however he was much more subdued and although often having to suffer harsh treatment from opponents he kept his temper in check and very rarely transferred.
Last December Sheffield Wednesday, the bottom of the First Division and waging an anti-relegation fight offered Everton £20,000 for him. The Goodison club turned down that approach. Mr. Eric Taylor Sheffield Wednesday’s manager told me today that his club would still be interested if Everton were prepared to talk business. Mr. Taylor knows what a big part Hickson played in Everton’s successful promotion campaign two seasons ago, and still considers that he would be a useful acquisition in Sheffield Wednesday’s bid to regain senior standing.