Everton Independent Research Data

 

YOUNG EVERTON OVERWHLMED
February 2, 1956. The Liverpool Daily Post
Bolton 4, Everton 0
F.A Youth Cup
A goal in four minutes from Brian Birch have Bolton Youth team a good start in their F.A. Youth Cup match with Everton at Burnden Park yesterday and they subsequently overwhelmed the visitors on a pitch as hard as concrete. After having one shot hooked off the goalline, Deankin the Bolton inside right missed from a penalty after right back Finlay had handled the ball. It was one-way traffic to the interval and in spite of many escapes the Everton goal fell twice more, goals being scored by Riley and centre forward Hart. Hart scored again after the interval when play rarely left the Everton half. Johnson, in the Everton goal made two great saves to keep the Bolton score down but twice was lucky when the ball came back off the post. In the Bolton goal, Dean the 16-years-old youth who is selected for Bolton’s first team on Saturday did not have a shot to handle. Apart from Johnson only centre half O’Shauchnessy caught the eye on the losers’ team with excellent head work. Official attendance was 536.

POMPEY’S LONG RUN
February 3, 1956. The Liverpool Echo
Thirteen Try May Be Unlucky
Ranger’s Notes
Though people with superstitious leanings regard thirteen as an unlucky number, it might prove the reserve for Everton when they entertain Portsmouth at Goodison Park tomorrow. This game will be the thirteenth between the two clubs since Everton last had the pleasure of defeating their southern rivals. All the subsequent twelve engagements have been won by Portsmouth, some of them by very substantial margins. It is time Everton discovered the turn in the lane of these consecutive reverses. The Goodison club’s only post-war success over Portsmouth was when they won 1-0 at Goodison in 1946-47. Since then Pompey have won here five times, scoring 17 goals to Everton’s four, while at Fratton Park they have six consecutive wins to their name, in which they have totted up 28 goals to four. Earlier this season the Blues were unfortunate not to get a point at Portsmouth. They lost by the only goal of a day’s a very scrappy and scrambled one which was toe-ended in by 17-year-old Pat Neil the English amateur international, from a couple of yards range during a goalmouth melee. While Portsmouth at that time were playing better than they have been recently, Everton have shown improvement in the interim, and if they produce anything like their average form they should put an end to the visiting team’s long run of victories. There is not a great deal to choose between the League records of both sides. Portsmouth are a point behind Everton, with a game in hand, but have the advantage in the goals for “column.” They have scored 55, as against Everton’s 43. This, however is more than balanced by goals against Pompey having conceded 61 to Everton’s 44.
Pompey Changes
Portsmouth have won five away games this season against Chelsea, Arsenal, Sheffield United, Blackpool and Aston Villa, but have lost the last two, at Bolton and Maine Road as well as their fourth round cup-tie last Saturday against West Bromwich at the Hawthorns. They are one of only two First Division sides – Sheffield United sharing the distinction with them –who have not yet drawn an away game. There have been a few changes in their composition since Everton visited Portsmouth on the last Saturday of September. Neil is no longer in the first team. His place at outside left has been taken by Gordon Dale, who has had such a run of bad luck and injuries since Portsmouth paid Chesterfield around £20,000 for him close on five years ago. Veteran Duggie Reid who gave a splendid show at centre half in the Fratton Park game has not been in the senior side for the past two months. Phil Gunters has been first choice recently and Reid is giving the reserve team the benefit of his experience.
Harris The Danger
Gordon has also supplanted Pickett’s at inside right in recent games, while Mike Barnard the Hampshire cricketer, has been first choice at inside left. The claim of leading marksman still rests with outside right Peter Harris. He tops the list with 19 League goals Henderson being next with nine. Dale got his first goal this term, after thirteen outings in the game at Fratton against Arsenal a fortnight ago. Everton will have to work hard for any success they hope to achieve but on paper they appear to have a good chance of victory, always providing they play on the Portsmouth defenders and don’t think too long before making their shooting efforts. The Blues have a good home record to preserve. They have not been beaten at Goodison Park since Luton won there on September 3, though their visitors on four subsequent occasions have managed to take away a point.
Difficult Conditions
The main trouble with football under conditions such as are likely to operate in many matches tomorrow is that as much may depend on luck as on skilful play. On frozen or snow-covered pitches the players cannot always produce the moves they do no more suitable surfaces defenders cannot turn as speedily and then odds are always on the man who is going forward. The ball is much more difficult to control, passes are to be less accurate and altogether the result tends to be much more of a toss up than it might otherwise be. Obviously it is the game for both sides and victory may go to the one which adapts itself best and pursues tactics more suited to the conditions. Even so, luck may be the deciding factor, and particular in the region of goal, where defenders through no fault of their own may make slips, literally as well as descriptive of error which prove costly. Portsmouth –Uprichard; McGhee, Marshall; Pickett, Gunter, Dickenson; forwards from Harris, Gordon, Raffarty, Henderson, Barnard, Dale.

GOOD APPROACH
February 4, 1956. The Liverpool Echo
By Leslie Edwards
Fortunate for us that the Everton game to-day has such promise and that Harry Leyland whose cup-tie knock at Port Vale held him up in training during the weeks, now reports fit to deputise again for Jimmy O’Neill. Portsmouth’s record against Everton in post war years is formidable. We have many an old score – many of them big ones –to rub off. The present Everton are far ahead of the side Portsmouth hammered unmercifully in the seasons, immediately prior to Everton’s last relegation. I wonder whether the referee today will choose to ask the sides to honour a gentleman’s agreement not to charge if the ground is dangerously hard. It would be a good opening approach. Everton; Leyland; Moore, Tansey; Farrell, Jones, Lello; Harris (B), Wainwright, Harris (J), Fielding, and Eglington. Portsmouth; Uprichard; McGhee, Marsell; Pickett, Gunter, Dickinson; forwards from Harris, Gordon, Rafferty, Henderon, Barnard, Dale.

POMPEY PUNCH MAKES IT UNLUCKY THIRTEEN
February 4, 1956. The Liverpool Echo
Early Goal Put Paid to Home Hopes
Everton 0, Portsmouth 2
By Stork
Everton; Leyland, goal; Moore and Tansey, backs; Farrell (captain), Jones and Lello, half-backs; Harris (B.), Wainwright, Harris (J), Fielding and Eglington, forwards. Portsmouth; Uprichard, goal; McGhee, and Mansel, backs; Pickett, Gunter and Dickinson, half-backs; Harris (P), Rafferty, Henderson, Bernard, and Dale, forwards. Referee; Mr. R. E. Smith (Newport). Everton were out to lay a bogey at Goodison Park today, for Portsmouth have won their last twelve matches against the Blues. Pompey made one change, bringing Raffetty in for Gordon. Eglington and Jimmy Harris opened the way for Wainwright but the inside right could not check himself and the only thing he could do was to slip the ball out to Brian Harris who was well covered by two Portsmouth defenders. Portsmouth had twice been dangerous though a Rafferty header without sting did not trouble Leyland as it should have done and there were other openings which came Pompey’s way and were not accepted. In three minutes Dale put over a centre which left Rafferty almost unchallenged for the ball passed over the head of Jones and the inside right put it out of the reach of the surprised Leyland. This was a blow to the Blues but it is not the first time that they have been a goal down in the early minutes, Portsmouth might have gone further ahead a little later had another Rafferty header been on the mark.
Moore Moves Up
The crowd gave Everton all the vocal help they could as Moore confidently moved up among the forwards. He best two men well inside the penalty area before being subdued. Urged on by their supporters Everton came back and Uprichard had to thump away a centre from Harris (B). Portsmouth were neither hurried nor flurried and Barnard almost sneaked one inside the post, Leyland going across and dropping on the ball. Even at this early stage the visibility was not at all good, with a mist that made matters difficult when play was on the far side of the field. Portsmouth were a distinct danger when they moved towards the Everton goal, and it was not great surprise when they increased their lead. Rafferty lifted the ball over to Barnard and the inside left shot from near the penalty line, right away from where Leyland was stationed. Everton were now right up against it, and had not Leyland finger-tipped a shot from Henderson over the bar. Pompey’s rally would have been three. Portsmouth were finding their men much better than Everton, who were mostly fastened down to defence.
Just In Time
There was another tussle in front of Leyland and it was touch and go whether another goal would appear on the score card. Everton broke loose and advanced on the left but they were speedily sent back and Tansey only just got up to a Dale centre in the nick of time. Dale was one of the thorns in Everton’s side in spite of the conditions has control was excellent. He had a shot cannoned away, and so did Mansell. In an Everton raid Wainwright crashed a shot against the side netting. Harris (J) tried his luck with an overhead kick but Uprichard was not to be deceived by such a method and he made his catch with confidence.
Waiting For It.
Everton were doing a little better, although they had a habit of waiting for the all instead of going to it. A slip by Pickett set Everton going until Eglington’s centre was collected by a Pompey man, and then Fielding put a long lob into Uprichard’s hands. A corner in the Southerners was quickly cleared, and Everton came back with a raid that almost produced a goal. Uprichard must be given full credit for even getting his hands to Jimmy Harris’s shot from a few yards out. Uprichard parried the ball which was rolling over the line when Pickett hooked it away. The corner taken by Brian Harris with his left foot, saw Wainwright head over, Everton were doing better at this point than at any other time, and Wainwright put all he had behind a shot, but it was not good enough to beat Uprichard. It was good to see Everton hitting back and Pompey had to yield another corner, taken by Eglington. Fielding made a brave effort to head a goal but the ball passed wide. A free kick by Gunter was the starting point of what looked like a very good Portsmouth move on the left flank. Before it could materialize, however, the whistle blew for half time.
Half-time; Everton nil, Portsmouth 2.
Everton went straight into the attack on the resumption, without making any calls on Uprichard. Dale who had a grand first half, was soon given further opportunities but on this occasion he tried to beat one many too many. A back heel by Henderson who was wearing a bandage on his right knee, was full of possibilities until Barnard allowed the ball to go out of play.
Right Was Wrong
A link up between Harris (J) and Eglington almost prized open the Portsmouth defence. All were beaten with the exception of Uprichard who was right in the line of five when Eglington shot with his right foot. If only it had been his left! Leyland made a daring save when he came out and dived on a pass that Dale had slipped forward for Peter Harris to take. Harris stepped over Leyland as the latter made his save. McGhee got his head to a Brian Harris centre to deflect the ball away from Eglington, who had taken up a good position for his collegue’s cross. Henderson trying to dribble through the Everton defence fell to the power of numbers. He would have been served better had he slipped the ball out to Peter Harris. Everton had been penned in their own quarters for some minutes when Lello, with an astute pass sent them on a raiding mission. They did not get far, although Farrell tried a long shot which brought Uprichard to his knees. A throw-in by Eglington enabled Fielding to move up and try a shot which was blocked and unless Everton can produce another “Charlton” I fear they are going to suffer the same fate as in so many previous games with Pompey. Had it not been for the covering of Jones Peter Harris might easily have chalked up his side’s third goal from the centre-forward position.
Quite Content
Portsmouth seemed quite satisfied to hold on to their lead. They were not unduly stretching themselves at this point nor were Everton shaping as if they would pull back two goals. The game had gone very quiet with much of the play in midfield. Some of Pompey’s combination on this “Ice-Ring” was really first class. Fortunately it did not proceed close enough to the Everton goal to spell danger. A quick raid on the Everton left ended when Harris (J) hit a fiery drive when Uprichard pushed out, and when Eglington tried to improve on matters his shot struck a defender and went over a fruitless corner. Henderson forced Leyland to a good save when he drove the ball just underneath the crossbar. Dale held the ball at his toes for nearly 30 seconds without anyone going near him to challenge before pushing it on to an oncoming forward. Eglington was injured and resumed limping slightly, Leyland coming out to a lob by McGhee nearly lost possession, but recovered quickly to complete the save.
Leyland Saves
It was very difficult to see what was going on the far side of the field as the darkness and mist were encroaching. When Henderson started a run down the right there was work for Leyland who dived successfully to smother the ball as Rafferty stepped in. Final; Everton nil, Portsmouth 2. Official attendance -36,873.

EVERTON “B” v SOUTH LIVERPOOL RES
February 4, 1956. The Liverpool Echo
On a hard and slippery pitch, Everton “B” enjoyed early play, Booth and Smith testing Beck, who tipped over. South Liverpool replied in earnest and King, on the right opened the score after 20 minutes. Viggers added a second. Booth reduced he lead with a good drive and Quayle equalized. Half-time; Everton “B” 2, South Liverpool Res 2.
• Blackburn Rovers “A” Everton “A” –Postponed
• Liverpool “C” 3, Everton “C” 3

LEYLAND ROSE TO EVERTON’S BIG OCCASION
February 4, 1956. The Liverpool Echo
By Peter Farrell
Before last Saturday’s Cup-tie against Port Vale, many people were of the opinion that the Blues would have a somewhat easy passage into round five I did not share that opinion and anticipated a very hard game, especially in view of the great record of the Port Vale side, and particularly their defensive set up. as far as I can remember, the Burslem Park team excepting one occasion this season when Barnsley scored twice, have not conceded more than one goal in any league game on their own ground. This record speaks for itself, as we all know only too well, Everton are now in the fifth round only after a terrific struggle. In the first half the Blues had the advantage over the Vale and in my opinion were well worthy of our two goal interval lead. The second half however, saw the home side come out fighting every inch of the way, and getting the inspiration of an early goal certainly had us on the collar for quite a while. When Eddie Wainwright gave up a 3-1 lead near the end with the best goal of the game, I thought it was all over but Freddie Steele’s boys soon made it 3-2 and believe me we were all very glad to bear the final whistle and know we could look forward with interest to Monday’s fifth round draw.
Well Done, Leyland
I am sure all Evertonians would like to join in my tribute to Harry Leyland for his part to last week’s great victory. Harry’s last appearance for the first team was a long time ago, and to be called on, due to Jimmy O’Neill’s unfitness was a tremendous responsibility for Leyland particularly in such an important game.” To say that Harry rose to the occasion would be an understatement. His handling of the ball in the early stages gave the entire side the confidence needed by any side in the opening minutes of a Cup-tie. Well done Harry! You proved by your display last week that you have the temperament to rise to a big occasion when needed. The Port Vale club certainly deserve great credit for their progressive ideas in looking ahead to the comfort of their spectators and player alike. It was my first visit to this ground, and I was amazed at the size of the playing pitch. It is one of the widest on which I have played. Unfortunately, the centre of the ground on this occasional resembled a quagmire, as was the ease with most grounds last week. Nevertheless I should imagine it is an excellent playing surface under normal conditions. I am told that the club have plans in hand for extending the accommodation for their fans, a fact that all those loyal Port Vale fans appreciate. The visiting players dressing rooms and bathrooms are also on a par with the best in the country, big and spacious with every modern convenience added.
Eddie Salve “Goal”
There seemed to be a lot of publicity given to Port Vale disallowed goal in the closing minutes which was punched into the net by a two-handed afford of Eddie Baily. Seemingly come critic thought it was a bit doubtful. Why I cannot imagine as when the ball came across Baily had no possible chance of heading it in fact he only barely reached it with outstretched hands and the referees who was on the spot immediately whistled for a free kick. When Eddie rose to his feat planning a goal I remarked to him. Surely you are not looking for a score for that afford? And the inside left’s immediate reply was “You can’t blame me for trying Peter, and anyway I couldn’t have reached it with my head.”
In Good Voice
Finally, a word to the Everton supporters who travelled to the Potteries last Saturday. This column has in the past paid tribute to the great vocal support assorted the side by their supposesers. It-is-my pleasant duty once again to thank the Evertonians for their vocal efforts which meant so much to use. It was hard to believe that the visiting supporters were outnumbered four to one by the home fans. By the sound of the cheers from the Blues fans, it seemed as if there were more Evertonians present than Port Vale fans!

LIVERPOOL RES V EVERTON RES
February 4, 1956. The Liverpool Echo
Liverpool Res;- Rudham, goal; Perry and Bryne, backs; Wilkinson, South, and Campbell, half-backs; Jackson, Melia, Rowley, Anderson, and Dickson, forwards. Everton; Dunlop, goal; Donovan, and Rankin, backs; Grant, Woods and Melville, half-backs; McNamara, Thomas, Lewis, Parker, and Vizard, forwards. Referee; Mr. F.S. Jackson (Preston). The slow thaw had left a rather treacherous ground at Anfield, where South elected to defend the Kop goal in a murky atmosphere. Everton were the first to attack, but smart play by Parker and Vizard was foiled by Perry. Everton were well on top, and McNamara shot wide on two occasions. With Rudham out of his goal Lewis slipped at the vital moment. A minute later, the Everton centre-forward missed a good chance from an easy position. Rudham had to punch away with Lewis in close attendance. After 35 minutes Everton went ahead when Rudham slipped in coming out of goal and left Lewis with a gilt-edged chance. This reverse put new life into Liverpool, but their approach work was very haphazard, Rowley, however, fastened a Jackson pass and shot from an acute angle only to see Dunlop stick out a foot to prevent a goal. Everton tried again, but Vizard spoiled a good move by getting offside. Half-time; Liverpool Res nil, Everton Res 1.
Liverpool’s early attacks were repulsed without troubling Dunlop and Everton looked the more dangerous. There was a general appeal for a penalty which Dickson was uprooted by Dunlop. Liverpool were now enjoying more of the play and 5 minutes after he saved from Dickson at the expense of a corner, Dunlop was well beaten by Melia’s diving header, which gave Liverpool the equalizer in the 65thy minute. Liverpool forced three successive corners, from two of which Dunlop made one-handed saves.

THE ALISTAIR SIM OF SOCCER
February 6, 1956. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton 0, Portsmouth 2
By Leslie Edwards
My double talk of Everton may sound singular, this morning, but I am unrepentant –I still think they have a wonderful chance of Cup or League and no bogey, bogey performance by the splendid Portsmouth team we saw at Goodison Park on Saturday causes me to change that opinion. This was a superb Portsmouth but this was also a freakish pitch –grease on top and iron hard below –which made Everton’s more volatile methods difficult. Portsmouth strolled to the slow strangulation of their opponents in silence such as we rarely hear at Goodison Park. They seemed to have time and space to spare in every department. Their glorious football on such a hazardous surface suggested that their League placement is hopelessly wrong. Outstanding forward in a Portsmouth attack which might well have scored twice as often as it did was the big leggy Gordon Dale at outside left. His bald pate –with masses of fluffy hair sticking out above the ears –makes him the Alastair Sim of soccer. He greatest as many laughs as his acting counter-part in that he makes the game seen laughably easy. There were times when the ball spun on the turf like a roulette wheel. Dale, formerly of Chesterfield and nearer 25 than the 35 years he looks lamed it immediately ankied it gently this was and that feinted like a Nel Tarleton of old and so foxed the defence they must have thought a Matthews had slipped into the Portsmouth line.
Even Stronger and Dale could be a Matthews –except that he even stronger on the ball and so possessive that moving him off it must be like trying to move the rock Gib. A more captivating left-wing display we have not seen for seasons. In the end Dr. Dale completed his diary for the day by showing us football at a standstill –no wonder the defence became exasperated. But nary a one would dare to go to him and make the tackle for which he was waiting. It was Dale who put over the centre from which Rafferty headed the first goal a few minutes after the start. Not long afterwards Leyland was beaten by a shot from Barnard. The ball did not move fast but it found the far recess of Leyland’s goal, just under the angle. From that moment Portsmouth never looked like losing and Everton never like retrieving themselves. The great rally this time was not there. Portsmouth survived two early moments of crisis. The first when Uprichard half saved from Harris (J) and the ball flew out to Harris (B) on the wing who was faced with task of sliding the ball into a goal minus its minder. In the conditions he was wise try to elect to get direction with the side of his foot, but the ball travelled so slowly there were two defenders ready to kick away from the line. The other near miss came when McGhee a fine right-back cleared from the line when his goalkeeper was not at home. The Everton crowd were unanimous that the ball had crossed the line before McGhee’s boot connected, but I think the referee was right. He waved play on. These, and a miss, when clean through, by Eglington were Everton’s best chances. The side did well enough in midfield but McGhee the towering Gunter and Dickinson and Pickett stepped in, time and again when attacks reached the crucial stage.
Too Orthodox
Everton I thought were inclined to try football too orthodox on such a freakish pitch. They might have done better to move the ball quickly and more often. This latest performance was far below that at Spurs where they had suggested that they were almost unbeatable. Given normal surfaces I still maintain that they will go far in Cup and League. Portsmouth whose record against Everton here and in Portsmouth is almost worth a goal start played with the greatest aplomb. Thousands left the ground before the end convinced that Everton could not win. This time they were right. Thousands must have stayed on the off chance of their side pulling the game round as they have in previous home matches this season. Though there might have been moments when the game could have developed roughly Portsmouth stunning form, plus the fact that they played as gentlemen should ensured that all went well. Eglington suffered from one tackle from behind late in the game, but had he remained fully fit I don’t think the score would have been altered. It is arguable whether Leyland should have reached the Barnard shot which beat him. It is easy to talk of moving here and there in fractions of seconds not so easy to do it on a treacherous pitch which led to many slips. Over at Anfield the Everton third-string, Dunlop was proving that if his club had played him –if O’Neill and Leyland had both remained unfit –they would have been justified. In the Central League “Derby” he made many heart-breaking saves. I absolve Everton of criticism in this latest match Portsmouth were so good and the ground so difficult one could hardly assess the match for current form. That Portsmouth should beat the conditions was remarkable. We should heard and see more of Dale. He would not disgrace an England attack. A pity injury has cut into his career so frequently in the past.

HONOURS EVEN
February 6, 1956. The Liverpool Echo
Liverpool Res 1, Everton Res 1
A draw was it fair result of this Central League derby game at Anfield on Saturday. In the first half Everton were infinitely superior and deserved their interval lead even if it was by a “gift” goal to Lewis Everton’s forwards however, squandered several of their chances. Suddenly Liverpool blended together for a late rally in which only Dunlop‘s agility and uncanny anticipation restricted the home side to Melia’s equalizer. Woods and Lewis also shone for Everton, while Liverpool were best served by South, Dickson and Anderson.

NO EXCUSES FOR EVERTON
February 6, 1956. The Liverpool Echo
By Stork
Portsmouth Well Worth Their Usual Win
What to you make of it? There is no reason why one team should be able to consistently beat another, but it does happen and never so much as in the case of Everton and Portsmouth. Only once in the post-war years have Everton triumphed over “Pompey.” They were expected to lay the bogey on Saturday but the Southerners denied them that pleasure and I have no excuse to offer, other than that Portsmouth were definitely the better side. To lose 13 games in succession to any side is hardly believable but the record book shows that to be the case. Everton’s recent form suggested that the sequence would be broken but the “hoodoo” still remains. Everton were disappointing and those who expected them to pull out another “Charlton” must have realized that it was only wishful thinking. Portsmouth mastered the conditions which were hardly conductive to accurate football, for the turf was slippery and uncertain, far better than Everton and that is one of the main reasons why they retained their sequence of wins. Furthermore Everton were not nearly so quick to the ball nor was their tackling so successful in fact I cannot put any Everton man alongside his Portsmouth vis-à-vis. I wonder what would have happened had Brain Harris hit his shot hard and not tried to place it in the first few minutes or what would have been the result had Wainwright been able to keep his feet when he ran on to a ball which he would have had in the net alone times out of ten? No one can possibly say. Of course the same conditions prevailed for “Pompey” so that is hardly an excuse.
The Whole Truth
The whole truth about the matter is that Portsmouth moved better on the treacherous playing pitch and toddling along at a pace, which sometimes resembled a crawl, cut through the Everton defence in a manner which surprised us all. At times they beat a man by standing still, particularity Dale, a clever and elusive left winger, who cuddled and coaxed the ball as though he was performing on a billiard table surface. By comparison Everton were always struggling and when Eglington was injured well on in the second half their chances of staging a revival were reduced to a minimum. To be quite candid I never at any time anticipated a rally likely to bring about the downfall of a defence which was confident and efficient. It never got flustered; not even when Everton were making their big effort just before the interval and it had reason to be for at the point the Blues were attacking persistently and threateningly. When Jimmy Harris shot from well inside the penalty area a goal looked a certainly, but Uprichard got his hands to the ball and turned it aside. Even so that ball would have trickled over the line had not McGhee hooked it out. Was it over the line? Who can be dogmatic when the light was poor. Sitting some distance from the incident I, personally, thought it had not gone over. Everton’s chance had gone, for never again were they able to make such a fine scoring opportunity. Portsmouth had laid the foundation of their success in three minutes, when Rafferty, playing his second First Division game this season. Calmly headed home Dale’s centre. Not undaunted Everton get about retrieving themselves but it was not their day.
Awaited Revival
One naturally waited for a Blues revival. They have, so often come from behind to win this season that no one looked upon Portsmouth’s lead as final, but when Barnard made it two I realized the magnitude of Everton task and judged on the way they were playing could not possible see how they could muster three goals which were required to win. I have watched Stan Matthews and his control of the ball and the simplicity of his beating his man. Dale was in his category, on Saturday. He was the complete artiste and it was from him that most of Portsmouth’s attack had their origin. There was one occasion when he must have stood almost 30 seconds with the ball at his feet and it was still there after the tackle had been made. it was a joy to watch although it usually meant trouble for the Everton defence, Everton had no such man; in fact it is a long time since I saw Lello put so many passes astray. Admitting the difficulty of the ground, and that inaccuracies could be forgiven, it was annoying to see Pompey striding along as though it was luscious Wembley turf. Some say Everton did not play so badly but were up against a great team on the day’s showing. That may be so up to a measure but my reading of it was that Everton had an off day. They could not shake themselves loose from the hold the Portsmouth defence had on them. Not even when they were putting in their great effort just before half time. They did not move in unison; sometimes they promised much but fulfilled little. Such day’s come along to all sides in due course. Next Saturday may show Everton in an entirely different light, but it’s a good thing they have not to play Portsmouth every week for they certainly have the “jinks” on Everton. It was an entertaining game, particularly the first half, when Portsmouth were so brilliant. They slackened off somewhat later but could never be allowed any latitude. Let us give credit where credit is due. Portsmouth were good winners and a fine side all round.
Everton are to have a week of special training starting today. They left for Buxton this morning where they will stay at the Palmse Hotel, the hotel they stayed at when they won the Cup last time, and will take with them the team which played on Saturday with the addition of O’Neill, Parker and McNamara.

FLOODLIGHTING MOVES
February 9, 1956, The Liverpool Echo
Ranger’s Notes
Today’s topics range from the questions of flood lighting at both our city senior grounds, special consideration in relation to the admission of disabled persons by special turnstile to avoid long waits in a queue, and a plea for reduced charges for old-age pensioners. As for floodlighting, it looks like being a close race between Everton and Liverpool for the distinction of being first to follow the growing modern trend, which has been brought more into focus by the changing attitude of the Football League and the Football Association to the staging of competitive games under lights. As I reported some time ago, both our senior clubs have been going into the mater afresh in the light of recent developments. Everton appointed a special sub-committee charged with the task of exploring the whole situation, and certain members of this committee attended the Under -23 International match at Hillsborough last night, in order to see for themselves the Sheffield Wednesday system, which is reputed to be the best in the country and get first-hand information regarding cost, etc. So far as Liverpool are concerned, the matter is still under consideration by the Ground Committee, who will report their views to the full board as soon as possible. Much of the preliminary exploration work has already been done. It is too early yet for anything more definite than that but I have a feeling that one or other club, maybe both will have floodlighting in the not very distant future. Everything depends on the cost and the prospects of recovering the initial outlay by a series of star matches together with the possibility of staging cup replays and rearranged league matches under lights.
Can Something Be Done?
No matter what system of admission is adopted for cup-ties there are always some hard cases and disappointed would be spectators. Under the former all-ticket ideas which sometimes applied at Goodison and Anfield people from a distance regularly complained that they were ruled out. Now that the system is pay-at-the-gate –apart from shareholders and season tickets holders –the plight of folk who cannot stand in a queue for any length of time is brought forward by a Birkenhead reader Mr. J. Thompson. He does not explain how he got tickets previously when the queuing took even longer for all-ticket distribution on Sundays but says this about the forthcoming Everton game on Saturday week.
Up To The Club
“I walk with the aid of a stick, and can only stand for about half an hour. Will that enable me to get in the stands to see the match? I doubt think so. “I would gladly pay to see the match, but what point is there in that when you don’t have a chance of getting in? This idea of pay-at-the-gate is a great one and if I was able I would join the queues like the rest. But it isn’t possible for me. All I can do is go and size up the situation and come home if there is no hope. Can you possibly do anything for fellows like me?”
Jimmy Harris England U21
Jimmy Harris, Everton’s centre-forward who was a late choice for the England Under-23 team in the floodlight match against Scotland at Hillsbrough last night, due to Groves being unfit. Harris only heard of the inclusion early yesterday afternoon after he had play 18 holes of gold on a hilly course in the morning, which was hardly the ideal preparation for a representative game.

BLUES FACE CUPHOLDERS
February 10, 1956. The Liverpool Echo
They Might Meet Again Later
Ranger’s Notes
The visit of Newcastle United to Goodison Park tomorrow is one of more than usual interest, for the Geordies came as Cup favourities and it may be if both they and Everton make the progress anticipated in the national competition that the pair will meet again later in a match of even greater importance than this, en route for Wembley. For that reason the visitors will be closely scrutinized, individually and collectively and comparisons made in case they are eventually paired in the Cup. But any conclusions drawn there from may be a trifle misleading, for Newcastle when bent on Cup honours can be a vastly different side from the one concerned in League matters. The visitors may not pull out all the stops tomorrow. They are eighth in the League table, with only a very remote chance of overhauling Manchester United, the present leaders and are more likely to concentrate on their ambition of reaching the Cup Final for the fourth time in six seasons, which would be a feat without parallel in the modern history of football. Even so, Everton cannot afford to treat tomorrow’s task lightly. Newcastle are never beaten until the final whistle has sounded as they amply demonstrated at Fulham in the fourth round. At one stage they were trailing 4-3 but two quick goals towards the end saw them safely through. The biggest problem which has faced the Geordies this winter has been to find a reliable right back to take the place of Bob Cowell, whose career was prematurely ended following an injury received on tour last summer. Five different players have been tried in the position, with Batty returning to duty last week, as partner to Irish international McMicheal.
Paterson Pays Off
Every other position has had at least two occupants, and in all 24 players have been called upon. There have been a large number of positional switches as well. The latest storm centre at S. James’s Park has revolved around right-half Jimmy Scoular, who led Newcastle to their Wembley success last winter Scoular lost his place through injury at Christmas and Stokoe has laterally filled the breach instead of the centre-half position. The latter berth is now being held down by Bill Paterson. After a long spell of indifferent form which meant his relegation to the reserves Paterson is now producing the displays which induced Newcastle to pay Doncaster Rovers. A substantial sum for his services in October 1954. In the first half of the season Newcastle’s attack was not particularly outstanding. Their 3-0 home win over Preston on Christmas Eve, however, gave them the encouragement they needed, and since then seven League engagements have yielded seventeen goals to bring their total to 67 in 29 outings against 48 conceded. So far most of the onus of scoring has fallen on two members of the attack, Milburn and Keeble. The former, now filling the outside right berth, has occupied ever position in the front line this winter and has scored 16 League goals.
Keeble Leads The Way
Keeble had a spell at inside left earlier in the season but since reverting to his normal position in the middle has averaged more than than a goal a game. He has scored 23 times including three in cup-ties. Next best is inside-right Davies with eight though only one of these has come from his last ten outings, while left winger Mitchell, though still a most dangerous player on his day, has been handicapped by injuries and has scored only five times. His partner since Christmas has been Curry who is normally an outside left. He has been performing well in the inside position since taking over from Hannah. Victory for Everton would give them their second “double” of the campaign for they won at St. James Park in October when United lacked the services of Milburn and Keeble. The latter is again absent tomorrow and White will lead the attack. The defeat was the first of the four Newcastle have suffered on their own ground. In fourteen away matches they have recorded four wins and a draw. Two of these victories at Huddersfield and Sunderland saw them in brilliant form and in both six goals were scored, while the others at Manchester City and Charlton, were well-earned but not so emphatic. Everton will be anxious to redeem themselves after their disappointing display against Portsmouth last week. Victory however, is never easy against Newcastle and will be even harder than usual if Everton have not got over the tendency to allow the opposition to take an early lead, which has happened with such remarkable frequency this season. Newcastle; Simpson; Batty, McMicheal; Stokoe, Paterson, Casey; Milburn, Davies, White, Curry, Mitchell.

DOUBLY WELCOME
February 11, 1956. The Liverpool Echo
By Leslie Edwards
Home game today is one of those specials which we try not to miss. Newcastle United’s Cup exploits these past few seasons make them attractive; their old Cup tradition and the flickering memory of a famous 5-5 match at Anfield make them doubly welcome. Besides there is just a chance that Everton and their rivals of today may meet again soon…maybe at Wembley. A pity the hardness of the ground seems likely to make the game less exciting and fluctuating that would be the case if everyone could let themselves go. Apart from the Portsmouth defeat Everton’s home record since September is excellent. My forecast is that they will win despite the absence of Eglington whose place will be filled by the switching of Harris (B) from the right. Newcastle when Cup-tied, do not often play impressively in League matches and Everton with McNamara on the right wing, should progress. If this match has a crucial question it is likely to be “How will Moore come out of the battle of wits against Mitchell.” This tall Scot is a prince of dribbers. Moore does rather better against fast-moving wingers than against men with craft. For another view of players such as Simpson, McMicheal and Milburn and Mitchell, the match has great appeal. And with Everton tied Cup and League the attendance should be one of the day’s best. Everton; Leyland; Moore, Tansey; Farrell, Jones, Lello; McNamara, Wainwright, Harris (J), Fielding and Harris (B). Newcastle United; Simpson; Batty, McMicheal; Stokoe, Paterson, Casey; Milburn, Davies, White, Curry and Mitchell.

EVERTON SEEK DOUBLE AGAINST F.A.CUP FAVOURITIES
February 11, 1956. The Liverpool Echo
By Ranger
Newcastle United, visitors to Goodison Park today, are not only favourities to win the F.A Cup, but have a great opportunity this season to set up a record without parallel in modern football by lifting the trophy for the fourth time in six seasons. Other clubs have their own ideas and doubts about Newcastle ability to do it, however, and none more than Everton, who reckon they have as good a chance as anybody of winning the Cup this season. For that reason Newcastle’s visit today, is of more than usual interest. Spectators will be able to compare the likely Wembley prospects of both teams. An Everton victory will give them their second “double” of the season, for they won 2-1 at St. James’s Park last October. The best Cup Final record of this century is already in Newcastle’s possession, for they have been winners on three occasions in five years. Next come Bolton Wanderers, who lifted the trophy the same number of times in seven seasons. For the only better performances than these we have to go back to the very early days of football. It is very doubtful whether the feats of the old stagers really could be called better, however, for the opposition in those times was nothing like so keen as it has been since the first war. For comparison’s sake it is worthy of mention that the Wanderers won the trophy five times in seven years between 1872 to 1878 and Blackburn Rovers bagged it on five occasions between 1884 and 1891. But in those far-off days there were far fewer class teams only a handful of entrains, and victory was much easier than it has been since the establishment of football on a more competitive and commercial basis. Incidentally don’t confuse the Wanderers with Bolton. There was no connection. The Wanderers whose lineal descendants are now known as Middlesex Wanderers –the latter side is now got together only for touring purposes –were one of the earliest of football clubs. The team was composed of the best players from the public schools and universities and was the fore-runners of the famous Corinthians who in turn yielded pride of place to Pegasus.
Nothing Upsets Them
Newcastle’s three Wembley successes since the war must give them tremendous confidence in their ability to succeeded again, and in view of the home engagement with a Second Division club, Stoke City, in the fifth round next Saturday their establishment as favourites for yet another Wembley triumph is not surprising. Cup favourties have a reputation for coming unstuck but this will not worry the Geordies. Indeed, nothing appears to upset them. In spite of many team changes, off-the-field wrangles between players, directors, and managers, and much criticism they continue to record results which delight their followers. They scored twice in the last five minutes to win at Sheffield Wednesday and after losing a three goal lead at Fulham in the next stage and finding themselves 4-3 down in the second half, they rallied to earn victory by the odd goal. In the First Division chart Newcastle are in eighth position two places higher than Everton. Both have 30 points from 29 games but United’s goal average is considerably better. They have scored 67 times, more than any other team in the Division and have conceded 48 goals. Everton’s figures being 43 for and 46 against.
Keeble tops The List
The leading United marksman is centre forward Vic Keeble, who has scored 23 times in the same number of league and cup appearances. To average a goal per game is extremely good going, and the former, Colchester man’s tally would have been even greater but for injuries keeping him out of several games, plus the fact that he appeared seven times at inside-left, where opportunities for finding the net are a little less frequent. He scored four against Huddersfield and has obtained two on five occasions. Keeble is absent today owing to a cold. Jackie Milburn is still going strong, with 18 goals to his credit. Before the season was four months of Milburn had appeared in all five forward positions, but in recent weeks has settled down at outside right in partnership with Reg Davies who is third highest marksman with eight goals. Left-winger Bobby Mitchell has missed numerous games through injury with consequent effect on the efficiency of the front line. He has scored five goals as has right winger or centre forward Len White, the former Rotherham player who leads the attack today. George Hannah, once on Everton’s books as an amateur before going over to Ireland to make his name with Linfield first lost his place to Keeble regained it, and has lost it again to a young local product. Curry, who has done very well since establishing a permanent berth in the front line just before Christmas.
No Ever-Present
The Magpies have utlised 24 players in their senior side so far, and none of these can claim an ever-present certificate. Right-back has been the position which has caused most bother, for Bobby Cowell has unfortunately had to retire following an injury received on the close season four of Germany and five men have since been tried in his place, with varying degrees of success. Jimmy Scoular the former Portsmouth right-half, who led United to their Final victory over Manchester City last year has been out of action for several weeks following a leg injury. United solved the problem of his absence by switching the versatile Stokoe to fill the gap and bringing in Bill Paterson the former Doncaster man, at centre half. Paterson a costly capture last season could not find anything like his true form in his early days at St James Park. He came back strongly before Christmas however and has held his place since with displays on the lines of those which attracted so many scouts to Yorkshire in his Doncaster days. Another who has been standing out lately with consistent form is left half Casey, who returned to the exclusion of Crowe, but right winger Alex Tait, who scored United’s goal against Everton on Tyneside last October, has not figured in the seniors for several months .
Finding It Hard
Tait, who is studying physical training at Loughborough College is a former Youth’ international and were he with another club he would probably be in the limelight more often. Newcastle, however, have such a galaxy of talent that he is finding it hard to win regular recognition. Milburn, Mitchell, and Cowell played in Newcastle’s three post-war Wembley finals. Of the present staff Simpson and Brenman have played in two, and nine other men have appeared in one. In all, United have contested ten Cup Finals, which is more than any other team in the history of the competition. Their success last May was their sixth, which brought them level with Blackburn Rovers and Aston Villa. They have also topped the First Division on four occasions and throughout their history have had on their books a succession of outstanding players. These include Billy McCracken, the offside king,” Peter McWilliams, Colin Veitch, Harold Hudspeth, Stan Seymour –their present director and honoury manager –Hughie Gallacher, Sam Weaver, the first recognized exponent of the long throw from touch, and dozens of others of rare skill and repute. Since the last war United’s pay-roll has included such well-known performers as Len Shackleton. Albert Stubbins, Charlie Wayman, Joe Harvey – twice the receiver of the Cup, and now the manager, of Barrow –the Robledo’ brothers. Ivor Broadis, and many more in the top flight. Everton; Leyland; Moore, Tansey; Farrell, Jones, Lello; McNamara, Wainwright, Harris (J), Fielding and Harris (B). Newcastle United; Simpson; Batty, McMicheal; Stokoe, Paterson, Casey; Milburn, Davies, White, Curry and Mitchell.

EVERTON SUPERIORITY NOT TURNED TO ACCOUNT
February 11, 1956. The Liverpool Echo
Wainwright, Brian Harris Out of Luck
Everton 0, Newcastle 0
By Stork
Everton; Leyland, goal; Moore and Tansey, backs; Farrell (captain), Jones and Lello, half-backs; McNamara, Wainwright, Harris (J), Fielding, and Harris (B), forwards. Newcastle;- Simpson, goal; Batty and McMicheal, backs; Stokoe, Paterson, and Casey, half-backs; Milburn, Davies, White, Curry, and Mitchell, forwards. Referee; Mr. A. Bond (London). Although it was quite cold it was not enough to keep the crowd away from Goodison Park, where the Cup holders were attempting to prevent Everton from completing a double against them this season. Everton returned from Buxton this morning and the players all looked exceptionally well-McNamara came into the Everton team, and Brian Harris crossed to the left to deputise for the injured Eglington. The ground was not as hard as I expected it to be, and the players left footmarks as they came out. The treacherous nature of the ground probably prevented Wainwright from opening the score after three minutes. He was right through on his own and it was odds on his beating the advancing goalkeeper when he lost his foothold, and the ball trickled away for a goal kick. Everton were testing the United defence very strongly and Wainwright was only a fraction from connecting with Fielding’s cross. Had he got his head to the ball I am sure it would have brought him a goal.
Leyland’s Save
Immediately after this Leyland had his first task –a very safe catch from Mitchell. He was surrounded by Newcastle men, but made his save will all the confidence in the world. The United defence did not look too sound under pressure, once leaving Jimmy Harris wide open. He had only to get true direction to his header to open the scoring yet could not do it. Newcastle did not look neatly as good as the Blues who were not only clever with their passing considering the conditions but much more progressive. Milburn made a long run and his centre appeared to have possibilities but Moore and Farrell were masters of the situation. Then came a misunderstanding between Jones and Leyland, though Everton’s recovery was so quick that danger was not really imminent. Another Brian Harris centre caused the Newcastle defence to concede a corner and straight from this United made an advance which had a goal look about it, but it was not fulfilled. There was much more danger at the other end where Jimmy Harris centred and as Simpson picked the ball up he was charged over the line for a corner by Fielding. When Moore checked a Newcastle attack he brought the ball well inside the United’s half only for Wainwright to be successfully challenged. The referee had cause to speak to Davies, (and from the free kick there was a scramble near the penalty spot with Mitchell getting the ball away.
Good Football
One round of passing by Everton brought great applause and some disappointment when Jimmy Harris was pulled up for offside. Everton were still playing consistency good football, and when the United did make an advance the defence could usually be called upon to close the avenue to goal. Milburn once beat Tansey, however, and centred close in to the Everton goal where Leyland was able to get his hand to the ball and steer it over to Moore who cleared at the expense of a corner. Fielding put one over the bar and Jimmy Harris seemed to be through until he came up against Simpson who saved the day. Farrell and Lello were giving their forwards great service, and had the conditions been more normal I am sure Everton would have been well in the lead. The tonic air of Buxton must have done them a power of good. Lello missed narrowly and Brian Harris was the next one to provide a centre which the United defence dealt with ably. Stokoe was spoken to by the referee, and the free kick, on the corner of the penalty area saw Simpson save from Farrell at the second attempt.
Half-time; Everton nil, Newcastle United nil.
The talk during the interval was mainly about Brian Harris and his fine displays. Fielding also played his part with some glorious passes to send him on his way. Milburn scooped the ball behind in the first few minutes of the second half and McNamara had a shot blocked away.
Moore Doing Well
Brain Harris with a right foot in swinger put the ball too close to Simpson, who was glad of the opportunity to cut out such a dangerous ball. Micthell had no scope from Moore, who was reading the play exceptionally well, and being first to the ball most of the time. he once whipped a pass out to Brian Harris who, in turn offered it to the other Harris but the United defence got together to nip this ideal in the bud. When Jones came over to the left flank he did not make his clearance as his feet sent from under him, Milburn took advantage but his shot was well wide of the mark. A free kick to Newcastle saw Leyland tip the ball over the bar and once more the corner was disposed of without trouble. At this point United were doing better though Everton were soon back and a centre by McNamara was headed away by Paterson. Fielding and Brian Harris linked up to get Jimmy Harris away and the result was another fruitless corner. Curry tried to burst his way through the middle but Farrelll showed so amazing burst of speed t get in the ball just before the Newcastle man and push it back to Leyland. A free kick by Moore caused a spot of trouble in front of Simpson and two shots were blocked. Everton were always looking the more likely to score although Leyland had to make a very daring save when he rushed out to another the ball as White was bursting down towards him. Jones conceded a corner to Mitchell but Leyland had positioned himself admirably for the winger’s flag kick. United were now showing much more thrust and Milburn after beating his man went on to centre so accurately that Jones preferred to give away a corner rather then taken any risks. He headed the ball wide of his goal and Leyland looked after the corner kick. Final; Everton nil, Newcastle United nil.
• George Mahon Cup- Everton “B” 1, Marines Res 4
• Everton “D” 1, L.B’s control 2

BUXTON TRIP ATONES FOR PORTSMOUTH BOGY
February 11, 1956. The Liverpool Echo
By Peter Farrell
This week the Everton players have been enjoying a break from the general routine by sending the week at Buxton. Some people regard a week such as this for footballers away from home as special training but I take the view that it is largely the change from the daily training schedule rather than any special extra work for the players that causes the benefit in the long-run. We train equally as hard while away as we do at home. On top of our normal laps, sprints and ball work we have the added attraction of the golf course, while in the hotel we keep active by playing table tennis, squash, badminton and snooker. At Buxton this week the Leicester City team have also been domiciled in the same hotel prior to travelling today for their important game against Stoke City, Everton and Leicester players have paid frequent visits to the famous Thermal baths at Buxton where we hope the refreshing water will have their effect on the lads in the grueling months ahead. A week away certainly does a lot of good but I am afraid if it happened too often our wives would be waiting to pack the children away with us as well.
Portsmouth Again!
Last week’s home defeat by Portsmouth was a big disappointment to fans and players alike. The lads from Fratton Park have inflicted some crushing defeats on the Blues since the war, and if there is such a thing as “hoodoo” then it must certainly apply to our efforts to beat Portsmouth. In some of our encounters with them I have seen the Blues play really well and yet be beaten. We have no excuses to offer this time. Portsmouth adapted themselves to the conditions far better than we did, and also took their scoring chances in fine style. The playing surfaces was coated with mud and was very hard just underneath the surface, with the result that it was very hard to maintain balance when turning sharply. The main difference between the two sides was that Portsmouth slowed their style of play down to suit the conditions whereas we seemed too hurried in comparison. Perhaps the lads were a little too anxious to wipe out the memory of that long list of defeats suffered by us at their hands in recent years. Although Pompey were the better side on the day, I thought we had as many scoring chances. Still, as long as we can learn from our mistakes on such a pitch, perhaps the defeat will not be as bad as it seemed last Saturday. To rub salt in the wound, Jimmy Dickinson smilingly remarked to me at the end of the game “You fellows must love playing against us, Peter.” Never mind-perhaps one day may be on a victorious Everton side against Portsmouth.
The Cup Tie
Next week we face another difficult cup obstacle. At the moment we do not know our opponents, but whether it is Chelsea or Burnley we are certain to have a very hard struggle. Both have drawn at Goodison this season so only one of our best performances will suffice if we are to make progress. One advantage we have over the opposition is the “Goodison Roar,” which seems to will the lads to give more than their best, so let it go next Saturday at full blast. If we get those lucky breaks so essential in Cup-ties, I think we will do our part to ensure that the Blues will be in the hat for the sixth round draw.

ALBION RES V EVERTON RES
February 11, 1956. The Liverpool Echo
West Bromwich Res; Brown, goal; Guy and Pickles, backs; Horne, Hughes, and Brookes, half-backs; Perkins, Whitehouse, Kevin, Carter, and Crowshaw, forwards. Everton Res; O’Neill, goal; Donovan and Rankin, backs; Grant, Woods, and Melville, half-backs; Tomlinson, Farrell, Saunders, Parker, and Vizard, forwards. Referee; Mr. R. Capey (Newcastle Staffs). Albion were lucky when a header from Farrell beat the goalkeeper, but Perkins headed off the line. Although losing Hughes through injury after 23 minutes, Albion gained the initiative and went ahead after 39 minutes when a back pass from Donovan beat the goalkeeper and Whitehouse put the ball in the empty net. Half-time; West Bromwich A Res 1, Everton Res nil.

NO, BETTER FOOTBALL IS THE ANSWER
February 13, 1956. The Liverpool Daily Post
By Leslie Edwards
The Football League’s plan for the future – four National divisions, fewer floodlit friendly games and installations of floodlights at all League grounds –will provide a topic for discussion everywhere, one of its most telling features being that clubs are also going to be asked to pledge their loyalty to the League or withdraw from that organization. In this proposal one senses that the League are going to be more insistent, in future on having their way. The sharp differences there have been between the League and the Football Association are thus brought into the open and the League’s challenge to the authority of the senior body is clearly evident. The League are right to insist that League football is the bread-and-butter (some time well covered with jam) of senior clubs in England. They are right too, to insist that restriction is placed on the playing of so many midweek flood-lit matches which mean nothing….yet to suggest that the formation of four divisions would help to bring back to the terraces people who have tried of football is almost ludicrous. What is wanted is a better standard of football (and that includes a better standard of sportsmanship) and better accommodation for spectators.
No Guarantee
To have four divisions would guarantee none of these things. Moreover, having an extra division would inevitably lead to minor clubs (who do not possess a Football league vote) having to travel even further afield than they do now. Flood-Lighting has been a mixed blessing. People, who have money to spend on one football match per week have sometimes preferred top pay to see a flood-lit friendly and watch Television on Saturday. We have far too much football and far too much football of exhibition and semi-exhibition type. We have far too many so-called internationals too.

EVERTON 0 NEWCASTLE 0
February 13, 1956. The Liverpool Daily Post
By Leslie Edwards
Two freakish grounds –last Saturday’s and the one of the week before –may have cost Everton their main chance of the League championship. In other circumstances the club might now have been sharing third place instead their main hope now is the Cup. No one hopes more devoutly than I that the ground at Goodison Park next Saturday will be a normal one offering Everton and Chelsea or Burnley every chance of showing how good they can be. On a hard, treacherous pitch such as that on which Everton and Newcastle United went goal-less it was marvelous that football of any character was playable. Unhappily over the water at the Birkenhead ground the experiment of using a road burner on the turf of the car park who proved wholly ineffective. The ground was softened but the turf charred.
The might-have-been
Looking back at their 0-0 score line Everton can be forgiven for indulging themselves in the might-have-been of the Newcastle match. Five times in the first 20 minutes they came within inches of scoring; five times Newcastle escaped, once after Wainwright’s header had struck the underside of the bar near the angle and rebounded perilously near the line. Wainwright was characteristically unlucky in this bright opening in which Brian Harris, now in Eglington’s position on the left did conspicuously well and paired splendidly with Fielding, the one man who had the bound of the ball taped to perfection. Newcastle gave the impression that they were more Cup than League-minded in the opening half and Mitchell was particularly quiet and lethargic but there was a moment twenty minutes from the from end of the game when one sensed that Newcastle realized that there were points for the taking. Then they were a different team and Everton’s defence was in danger. It is hard to recall any game in which two goalkeepers had less to do –though Leyland made two fine saves high-and-low –or one in which Tony McNamara after a single successful run was so completely off balance in the circumstances one could not be very critical. Even Mr. Bond a one armed referee, slipped up but only in the physical sense.
Out Of The Blue
Milburn, at outside-right was as rarely in the picture as Mitchell but there were occasions when he showed his brilliance and never more than that when he produced a centre “out of the blue” and Moore wisely elected to nod the ball for a corner. Paterson the Newcastle centre-half, is now price-tagged at nearer £30,000 than the few thousands which would have brought home six weeks ago when Newcastle were prepared to let him go. Here he faced a Jimmy Harris whose very speed off the mark was a disadvantage on such a ground, Paterson played well, but rather cumbersomely I thought. Brian Harris wing play, his in swinging right footed centres and Fielding’s ability to “kill” the ball as though the surface were the easiest and not the most difficult were features. For the cup-tie. It is certain that a fit Eglington will resume on the left, with Harris (B) in the customary role. I liked White at centre-forward in the Newcastle side and on a normal pitch I think Milburn and Mitchell would pose great threat to the finest of defences. Everton played well enough in the first half without having the luck to wish properly. I suppose a draw was equitable, but nothing can wipe out the memory of these first 20 minutes and the chances Everton allowed to pass.

EVERTON MISS CHANCES
February 13, 1956. The Liverpool Echo
Great Display In First Half
By Stork
Everton failed to bring of the double against Newcastle Utd, whom they defeated at St. James’s Park earlier in the season but I think you can blame the ground conditions for that, for on football ability they were far superior to the cup holders despite the treacherous conditions. Missed chances were bound to be the outcome of such circumstances and I am convinced that had they been normal Everton would have held a lead sufficient to bring them full points. Half a loaf is better than no bread, but a team with championship aspirations cannot afford to drop even a single home point. Newcastle impressed me as having their eye on the Cup, which they have farmed during the last few years; at least they did not exert themselves as I know they can, and I say this even allowing for Everton’s dominance in the first “45.” United look to have a “Wembley complex” They can still be a challenge in the League, but the Cup is undoubtedly their objective. Everton returned from their week in the bracing air of Buxton full of the joy of spring and for the first “45” they played like a team just starting a season. They were full of energy and sound football. Newcastle never reaches such a standard and even when they came into the game in the second half, it was mainly by darting raids rather than by good combined football.
Forgive and Forget
They looked very ordinary longside Everton who worked the ball with an accuracy which was almost unbelievable for it was difficult to keep upright let alone control the ball at the same time. They sort great gaps in the Newcastle defence and made chances which would under different conditions never produced goals. They should at least have had two safety tucked in their belt by the interval but errors can be forgiven on such a surface. I have often heard it said “What will Everton do if Eglington get injured?” I felt that way myself but after seeing Brain Harris operate on the left wing, I have no qualms now “Brian was a revelation and supplied enough centres in the opening stanza to have produced several goals. A week previously Wainwright missed a grand opening because he could not keep his feet. He had a similar experience on Saturday for he was right through but at the crucial moment his legs slipped from under him and the chance was gone. All manner of shots whipped either over or outside the woodwork and Simpson had not nearly the work to do he would have done had the ground been more playable. Some of the rounds of passing provided by Everton were really a joy to watch but not a pleasing thing for the Newcastle defence, which was none too convincing in the early stages Simpson did save one or two-but I do not forget a Jim Harris header, which swung away from goal, when by all the laws it should have landed in the net.
Why The Chance?
So much superior to Newcastle were Everton that Leyland did not have a single save to make until the second half. Everton had played so well that it looked more than likely that they would be among the goals in the second session, why then were they not so good? My answer to that is that Farrell and Lello were more on the defensive so that the forwards were not getting the supply of passes that made a really menacing side. United started to go for the ball; something they had not done previously and consequently Everton were not moving so sweetly. Newcastle were not masters by any means but their darting raids were always threatening and there were one or two forwards in their line capable of matching a goal from one of these hursis. They never had the chances which Everton made for themselves but they forced the “Blues” on to defence and Jones and company had to keep a watchful eye particularly on Millburn who once or twice ran through dangerously. Chances were still being missed by both sides particularly Everton. Some say that Jimmy Harris should have scored in thye late minutes but there were two much blocking his path to goal and his shot struck one of them in transit.
Spare A Throught
Fielding played a big part in his partner’s goal showing for he gave him some choice passes which enabled him to slip away and then deliver the centre, I am beginning to think that Jim Harris goes to the wing too often. There were occasions when the ball came to the middle and there was no one to take it. Captain Farrell must have covered more ground than anyone else and the more I see of Moore the more I think he is worthy of a “cap.” He gave Mitchell little or no chance simply because he “read” the play so well and positioned himself so that Mitchell often had the ball taken from under his very nose. There was little or nothing wrong with Everton with the exception of finishing and I pass that over knowing the difficulties of the ground. Of course it was the same for Newcastle who never at any time equalized the Blues in football artistry. They can be dangerous but I never saw them produce a movement of the same quality as that of Everton. The ground undoubtedly spoiled what could have been a football classic.
While Everton hope that Eglington will be fit for Saturday’s cup-tie everything depends on how he progresses in the next few days. O’Neill came through his trial with the Reserves from without ill effect and is now all right again.

TWO ACHIEVEMENTS FARRELL AND LELLO MILESTONE
February 14, 1956. The Liverpool Echo
Ranger’s Notes
Assuming that nothing happens between now and Saturday to keep Farrell and Lello out of Everton’s team in the fifth round of the F.A. Cup, the game will mark a notable milestone in the careers of these two loyal and valuable servants of the Goodison Park club. In the case of Farrell it will be his 400th appearance for Everton in Football League and F.A Cup matches. In the case of Lello it will be his 150th consecutive game in the same two competitions. No other player in Everton’s post-war history has achieved 150 appearances without a break, and none of course, can equal Farrell’s total, though Eglington is not far behind. Let me take Farrell’s record first, and before going any further it is interesting to note that he has beaten Billy Liddell to the 400 mark only by the skin of his teeth. Liddell has played in 398 League and F.A Cup matches for Liverpool to date. Had he not been rested for the Christmas game with stoke City the pair would have been on the same mark today, both completing 400 not out in Saturday’s cup-tie which would have been a remarkable double for this city. Farrell’s full record since joining Everton is as follows;-

Season League Games League Goals Cup Games Cup Goals
1946-47 27 0 2 0
1947-48 37 2 3 1
1948-49 38 0 2 0
1949-50 40 2 5 0
1950-51 42 3 1 0
1951-52 40 0 2 0
1952-53 38 1 5 1
1953-54 39 1 2 0
1954-55 41 0 2 0
1955-56` 30 0 2 0
Total’s 372 9 27 2

Farrell accomplished one of his ambitions when he led Everton back to the First Division nearly two years ago. His big aim now is to annex a Cup-winner’s medal, and if possible a championship one. The latter seems a very forlorn hope this season, but the former may be within closer reach than some people think. Here’s hoping anyway.
Lello’s Record
Lello’s last absence from the Everton senior side was on December 6, 1952, when the Blues were away to Birmingham City in the Second Division. Up to then he had made only three first team appearances that winter, and altogether had been in less than 100 senior matches yet he was granted a full benefit of £750. This generous gesture has been well repaid by his performances since. Returning to the team on December 13, 1952 when Everton won 5-0 at Bury, Lello has been automatic choice ever since, which is a fine tribute to his consistency and ability. Though not a man who gets his name in the headlines very often, for he is unspectacular and undemonstrative, few players have given such loyal service to their clubs as Lello has done to Everton particularly over the last three years. But for being unlucky with I injuries in the early stages of his career his full total of 241 first team appearances would have been considerably higher. At one period he was out of the game entirely for nearly eighteen months, due to a bad knee injury and for a time there were grave doubts whether he would ever make his senior “come-back.” Lello originally joined the club from Shrewsbury as an inside forward but after only a few games in the attack he was tried out in private practice games at wing half. Though he did not greatly favour the change when it was first mooted he soon settled down – how successfully is very apparent from what appears above. Farrell and Lello deserve a special welcome when they turn out for Saturday’s cup-tie I think we can count on Everton’s followers to see that they get it. I trust also, that both will be able to continue for some time yet take their record to a still higher pinnacle.
It Help’s Everton
The failure of Chelsea and Burnley to settle their fourth round argument yesterday after three previous attempts all helps Everton who can proceed quietly and unruffled with their preparations for Saturday’s match while their opponents are expending energy on yet another meeting.
Idea For Disabled
Further to the letter here last week from a disabled man who advocated a special turnstile for people unable to stand in queues. Mr. E.J. Gawley, of Lydaite as it is simple to distinguish between genuinely disabled people and anybody trying to wrangle himself in by feigning disability. He states that disabled persons who are registered as such at the Ministry of Labour have a special identity card, which could be presented at the turnstile. While this would not cover everybody as there are people who do not register, I understand that such cards can be easily obtained if evidence of disability is given. This removes one of the difficulties which were raised when I put the suggestion to Everton. Whether the club will put the idea into action is for the board to decide. I know they will be sympathetic but there may be other reasons why they cannot agree. But at least I have done my best to air the matter and hope that something helpful will result.
Not Satisfied
Everton Wembley Hopeful” writes the follows;-
“It is time you exposed the limitations of Everton’s forward line. It is clear even to the boys pen that unless changes are made in the three inside forwards position Everton will say good bye to the Cup on Saturday. Jimmy Harris has gone back a mile and needs too much room to work the ball. Fielding has no idea where to run in the open spaces and Wainwright scores every Preston Guild, who to get to round off the fine approach work. I don’t know but the forward line could be no worse and might even score a goal;- B. Harris, Lewis, McNamara, Parker, Eglington??

NO CROCODILE TEARS
February 16, 1956. The Liverpool Echo
Everton Glad Of Cup-Tie Luck
Ranger’s Notes
At long last Everton know who they meet in the fifth round of the F.A. Cup at Goodison Park on Saturday the last chapter in the Burnley and Chelsea serial having been written yesterday, with Chelsea emerging victors from this marathon tussle at the fifth time of asking. Everton must now be favourites to win the Saturday game for the mental and physical strain which their opponents have undergone will tell to some extent, whereas the Goodison Park players have been free of any such handicap and have been able to pursue a normal course all week. Providing a player has received no hurtful knocks or bruises the fact that he has played two hard cup-ties in one week, and has another three days later is not in every cast a very severe disadvantage from the physical point of view. There are players who seem to thrive on plenty of hard work, and can take a succession of strenuous matches in their stride. Much depends on the temperament and stamina of the individual. In some cases it is the mental strain which is more harmful than the physical effort, especially where the player is rather highly strung and inclined to some degree of apprehension before a important match. This latter tendency will not have been lessened, in the case of those to whom it applies by the inevitable tension surrounding the last two replays. While Chelsea’s experience has not been an enviable one. Manager Ted Drake was either decidedly naïve of speaking with his tongue in his cheek when he said –if he was reported correctly –that Everton would not be happy to beat one of the two fine but fired sides which played at Highbury on Monday and at White Hart Lane yesterday and that there could be little satisfaction for them if they win on Saturday.
Not a Hope
While Everton would naturally be more pleased to defeat a fit and virile Chelsea team suffering no disadvantages, I cannot visualize anybody at Goodison Park being greatly upset because Chelsea have had such a struggle to get through. Had the boot been on the other leg I doubt whether Mr. Drake would have lost much sleep over Everton’s worries. Maybe he was trying to prepare the ground for his hint to the F.A that they should consider postponing Saturday’s game. Chelsea and Burnley should have thought about the possibilities of a prolonged struggle earlier and played again last Wednesday. The Pensioners cannot say that they were taken by surprise considering how often they have been involved in recurring replays over recent years. No club is going to look a gift horse in the mouth when it comes to cup-ties and Everton are not a lone in accepting thankfully any luck that comes their way. Chelsea’s training staff will be busily engaged for the next 24 hours getting back to fitness the players who are nursing knocks, bruises and aching muscles as the result of their recent games. Manager Drake will wait until the last possible moment before finally naming his team for the Goodison match.
At the moment the ground is O’K. Was Mr. Britton’s reply when I asked him about the conditions of the Goodison Park club today following last night’s snowfall. There is about an inch of snow on the ground.

EVERTON HOPEFUL
February 17, 1956. The Liverpool Echo
Ranger’s Notes
Everton have an excellent chance of being in the last eight, and thought Liverpool’s task at Manchester City’s ground is formidable the fact that the Anfielder’s often produce their most convincing displays under such circumstances is keeping the hopes of their supporters at an optimistic level.
Chelsea draw 3-3 at Goodison Park earlier this season, after taking a first half lead of two goals. A draw would not be very acceptable to Everton’s followers tomorrow. They are looking forward to a win at the first attempt which should be achieved if Everton go the right way about it. Even if Chelsea had not had their two mid-week games with Burnley ground advantage should still have turned the scales in Everton’s favour. As it is, the visitors will be feeling the effects of their hard replay matches and Everton’s prospects of victory should be correspondingly brighter. I would be able to afford to take myself off for a month’s holiday on the Riviera if I had a pound note for every time over recent seasons that this column has referred to the disparately between Everton’s approach work and their total in the “goals for” column. The latter would be one of the biggest in the country if the forwards had cashed n on only a reasonable proportion of the chances they have made for themselves.
Finishing Hoodoo
Many a team has scored far more goals with far fewer chances. There seems to be a hoodoo on Everton when it comes to putting the finishing touch on what to others, is the harder task of the two. Only five First Division clubs have scored less goals than the Goodison lads, whose 43 in 30 League games is disappointing when we remember the many occasions such as last week’s game with Newcastle when they have been all over the opposition. Last season only Burnley in the First Division failed to score as many or more goals than Everton. This is a problem I have often discussed with Mr. Cliff Britton who confesses that if he knew the answer he would have had it in operation long ago. He has done all he possible can. The players have shooting practice every day and rarely make mistakes. But there are not 10,000 pairs of critical eyes watching them on those occasions.
The Human Element
It all boils down to the human element and the question of temperament. To some extent the cause is over-eagerness and impetuosity. Meantime however the result is that more decent on the defence than should be the case with a team which so often enjoys territorial superiority. I am still hoping that sooner or late the side is going to click really well in an attacking sense, and when it does despite the absence of individual stars Everton could become one of the greatest teams in the country instead of having to rely so much on their fighting spirit and team work. Despite the handicaps under which Chelsea may be suffering Everton will have to put their best foot forward to ensure victory. They have it within their power, providing they can remedy their besetting weakness of disappointing finishing to go still further in the Cup competition. I think they will pull it off tomorrow.

TWO-WAY CUP TREK ON MERSEYSIDE
February 18, 1956. The Liverpool Echo
Shuttle Service of Buses to Goodison
55,000 Expected for Game with the Other Blues
300 Travel from Eire
Pitch Hard, Ground Staff Spread 12 Tons of Sand
As football fans poured into Liverpool in their thousands today from all parts of Merseyside, Lancashire and Cheshire, for Everton’s fifth-round F.A cup-tie with Chelsea. It was one of the biggest two-way Cup trek on Merseyside for years to cope with the big crowd expected to be 55,000 at least at Goodison Park, extra buses and police reinforcements were laid on. The Liverpool passengers transport Department brought in 125 buses to run a shuttle service between the ground and various points in the City. A party of 300 came over from the Dublin branch of the Everton Supporters Federation to see the Cup-tie. They will be entertained by the Federation after the game and will return to Ireland on the 10 o’clock boat this evening. Throughout the morning Everton ground staff –and two Chelsea supporters –spread 12 tons of sand over the pitch which was hard and partly ice-covered. The sun was welcomed by the workers.
Family Parties on The Blue Train
Extra police were detailed for duty controlling the crowds and round traffic at Goodison, Police wireless squad were used to keep headquarters in touch with the position. Only one special train was used to carry 600 Chelsea supporters from London. This the Chelsea Supporters called the Blue Train because of the number of blue rosettes seen on the platform at Euston. The train left at 6 a.m. Among the enthusiasts were children and family parties. Among those who volunteered to spray sand on the Everton pitch were Reg Parris of Sutton Dwellings, Chelsea and Charlie Vase of Holborn Place, Chelsea. They travelled from London and arrived at the ground at about 6.30 a.m. “We were in a café later when we heard that the ground would have to be sanded. So we offered to give a hand, said Reg as he wheeled a barrow load of sand onto the pitch.” “We didn’t want to come all the way from London after losing a night’s sleep and then find the game postponed. Mr. E. Story head grounds man inspected the ground shortly after 7.30 a.m. when the temperature was nearly three degrees below freezing. Soon afterwards the sand-spraying began, a plan decided upon yesterday should the ice conditions continue.
Mr. R.H. Mann of Worcester the referee arrived at Goodison Park shortly before noon, and after inspecting the pitch pronounced it fit for play.
Chelsea’s Team
Mr. Ted Drake Chelsea’s manager went to Goodison this morning to ascertain the stake of the pitch. Before doing so he said that the slight doubts about one or two of the players who took part in Wednesday’s replay with Burnley had been cleared up, and that there would be only one change in the team which defeated the Turf Moor club. This was the return of Stan Wicks to centre half in place of Livingstone who deputizing on Wednesday. Wicks who has had a pulled muscle reported himself thoroughly fit this morning. The Chelsea team therefore reads;- Thomson; Sillett, Willesm; Nicholas, Wicks, Saunders; Lewis, McNichol, Bentley, Tindall, Blunstone.
First women to start queueing for the Everton game was Mrs. Esther Howard of Harris Drive, Bootle. She arrived at Gwlady’s Street five hours before the game in her handbag she carried a crushed rosette which had been brought at wembley when Everton last won the Cup, in 1933. I have got it with me today just for luck said Mrs Howard. In earlier rounds, she saw the club play Bristol City and travelled to Port Vale. Wrapped in a fur coat and blue and white head scarf Mrs. Howard said that she did not mind the long wait. Her husband would follow her to the ground when he finished work at midday.
First in the queue were three Huyton boys, Brian Hanley aged 13 of Penrose Avenue West; William McKeown aged 12, of Penrose Avenue West and Kenneth Taylor, aged 11 of Greystone Road. They brought their own football and played in the street leaving their rattles and bells on the pavement. They also had parcels of sandwiches and tea flasks tucked in their pockets.

AND EVERTON RE-ECHO A CRY; “VIVA LELLO, VIVA LELLO!”
February 20, 1956. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton 1, Chelsea 0
By Leslie Edwards a tight squeeze but Everton are still there. The goal which took them into the last eight (and to the successfully of reaching the semi-finals for the third time since the war) came at fifteen minutes. On a pitch so sanded that this might almost termed the battle of seaforth sands, Brain Harris, in brightest mood, jinked and lived towards the centre of the pitch were Wainwright seem waiting like Mr. Micawford for something to turn up. Something did turn up –a short internal pass by Harris, Wainwright had only time to pivot on a grain of sand. Then with admirable quick-thinking he tapped the ball a few feet for on-running Farrell. Farrell hit his shot low and true. Some Chelsea foot stretch out to the ball, but only deflected it. It scarcely altered course as it zipped over the line to the consternation of a Chelsea who had fought five times against Burnley and now found themselves on the collar again. That goal was never rubbed out. In a good match – remembering how treacherous the over sanded portions of the pitch were –it stood good to an end as bitter for Chelsea as it was a triumphant for Everton. But the final ten minutes in which Farrell issued the order “All hands to defence,” were carried and Chelsea piling on all the labored pressure they could had the Everton defence at full stretch and sometimes dithering. Many left the ground long before the end – possibly because the suspense was more than they could bear.
To See and Hear
The bulk of the great crowd stayed to hear Liverpool final which cheered many and to witness an after-the-match scene which looked and sounded ugly. The trouble arose when hundreds of excited youngsters dashed on to the pitch, whooping with joy and ready to mob Everton in general and Farrell in particular. Usually police disperse these dancing dervishes with no trouble, now one enthusiast wanted to escape a lawful arm and the manner of his checking was such that tens of thousands became incensed. Abuse was not the only missile to fall about the heads of constables who stood facing terraces and irate men who would not go home until they said their say (with many a wagging fore-finger) and had heard news from Manchester. The trouble is that anyone is allowed on the pitch. Farrell barely survived his mobbing and must have been glad to reach the dressing room and the well done handsake from his chief Manager Cliff Britton whose comment was “We won deservedly. But we should have made more of our well-made openings.” Mr. Britton confirmed my view when he said he had never seen Cyril Lello play better. It may have been that all Everton were shod in rubbers (Chelsea’s foot-wear was a mixture of rubber and leather) but I have never seen Lello bound so high, nor cover so much ground so usefully. The is saying a great deal when one recalls what a fine club man he is.
Other Preoccupations
When he played football in the Forces in Italy, Lello was a goal-getting forward. It was after one of his scoring sprees that the Italians chanted in unison “Viva Lello; Vivia Lello.” The Everton crowd might have done similarly –if they’d known the phrase and if they had no had pre-occupations with the other men in blue. Lello was magnificent. With Farrell directing the plugging of defensive holes when Chelsea tired, but still game, made their final all-out effort and Jones getting up to the ball as facilely as Lello and doing a fine job against the cunning Bentley the Everton half-back line, once again, was the thing which counted. And I do not forget that tansy, cool and unyielding, had a great match against the amateur, Lewis or that Moore with his inspiring up goings, did a lot to wipe out the fact that when Master Blunstone gained possession there seemed none to stop his twinkle toed wanderings. The only Everton department which was not impressive was the attack. Here Harris (J) was quietened by the hugh Wicks and Wainwright was inconspicuous for long periods. There was the genus of Fielding and a splendid first half by Brain Harris whose over-head shot an acrobatic worth a goal. Wicks bodied away from the line when Thomson was in no place to think of saving –but a lack of finish which meant that half-backs came nearer to goals then the men whose business it was to get them. Lello’s opening drive flipped the bar and Everton might have won more comfortably if Farrell and Lello had elected to strike rather than try to tempt the men ahead in that mission.
Debating Points
Though the match had but one goal it had half-a-dozen points worth debating. The referee was wrong not to prevent an Farrell free kick was being taken from the wrong spot. The sequel was that Brian Harris and the lusty Wilemse came to grips for no sensible reasons. Harris picked himself up gingerly ass well he might after such a jarring experience Referee Mann, of Worcester, was wrong too, when missing the palpable handing of Wicks near a touch-line. But equally the referee was right when he disallowed the goal Chelsea claimed when Bentley headed in following the dual charge of Lewis and full back Willemse (then playing at outside left) on goalkeeper Leyland. For Leyland (who had previously erred grievously when going a yard outside the penalty box and here electing a reverse pass) a header by Tindall could not come to hand soon enough. As he made the catch standing in front of his line the two Chelsea players were on him, Leyland gathered his considerable weight to receive the onslaught. If he had not he would have finished far at the back of the net. Lewis and Willemse moved the mountain, but not before Leyland had thrown the ball clear as he staggered back. Bentley’s nod of the head returned the ball into an empty goal. The point could be disallowed on two counts (1) that a charge by two men on a goalkeeper is unlawful and (2) that Willesme and Lewis must have been offside the moment Bentley’s touched the ball.
Penalty Claim
Everton claimed a penalty when right-back Sillett contrived somehow to stop a Wainwright shot on the line after it had been half-saved by Thomson. I would not say that Sillett handled but from where I sat, it looked like it. Chelsea’s poorness in attack – due mainly to Everton’s fine defence –was remarkable if one excepts the few occasions on which Blunstone strode on and on as though the pitch were perfect and not a rink on which the sandless corners were trickler than the sanded going in the centre, Leyland had scarcely a shot to handle. Chelsea, lethargic and tired, especially in defence where Sillett was not commanding and where Willemse even before he damaged his elbow late in the first half had not impressed, must take credit for hanging on well, but one could not help thinking that if Everton had forsaken the wings and had concentrated attacks down the centre (where the ball was more controllable) they would not have finished the game hard pressed and glad to hear the final whistle. Harris (J) is not suited to hard, slippery grounds. His quick volatile play rarely allowed him to maintain control. Like his namesake on the wing he sometimes forgets that team-mates are at hand to help him escape from trouble.
Gravelly Wastes
Harris (J) with a head-long slither across the gravelly wastes of one of the goal-lines came to grief, head-first against the concrete surround of the ground. Tansey took a knock as poor reward for the game’s best tackle when Everton opened up momentarily, and there was Bentley all alone with the ball ten yards from goal. Farrell had a special mission in quelling Tindall. Where Tindall went Farrell was never far behind, I gather that my forecast that Saunders of Liverpool would cover Revie similarly was proved at Manchester –even to the extent of Saunders not taking throws. And now….? Everton go to Highbury tomorrow to see the new Arsenal and test them as a League force Given punch noticeably absent from their attack in the Chelsea game Everton could reach the semi-final easily –and maybe in they did the F.A. could find some less luckless neutral ground than Manchester City’s. But were Liverpool to survive and het tangled with their neighbours in a semi-final tie what other venue?

EVERTON AT HIGHBURY
February 20, 1956. The Liverpool Echo
It is Not Lucky Ground For Blues
Ranger’s Notes
Apart from the minor knocks and bruises inseparable from games played on cast-iron pitches. Everton’s victory over Chelsea and Arsenal’s success at Charlton leaves the way clear for Everton to play their postponed League match with Arsenal at Highbury tomorrow afternoon. Although Arsenal are eight places lower in the League table than Everton only four points divide them with Arsenal having played one game less. The Gunners have been showing improved form lately compared with the early months of the season, thanks in some degree to changes in their side. At right back they have brought in Stan Charlton the former Leyton Orient defender and England amateur international, while Bill dodging has taken over at centre half from Fotheringham.
Gunners Newcomers
After being absent through injury for most of the season Bowen has recently resumed in the intermediate line in which Goring, formerly a centre forward has been performing well all winter at right half. A newcomer to the Arsenal attack since the Gunners drew 1-1 at Goodison Park last October is Vic Groves, ex-Leyton Orient whose injury on the eve of the under-23 match against Scotland at Sheffield a fortnight ago paved the way for Jimmy Harris to make his first representative appearance. Since the middle of December Arsenal have taken eleven points from ten League games, which though not starting is better they were doing so the early part of the campaign which brought them only five points from the first nine fixtures. Though they have no chance of making a bid for the championship Everton might squeeze into the first four and thus quality for talent money, so that full points should be their aim tomorrow. While Arsenal seem to have enough in hand not to worry about the possibility of relegation they would welcome a little greater margin to be on the safe side. Highbury has not been one of Everton’s best hunting grounds in post-war football. In six visits they have suffered five defeats and drawn once, so it would not be out of turn if they reversed the usual procedure tomorrow.

A TIGHT SQUEEZE
February 20, 1956. The Liverpool Echo
Ranger’s Notes
It took Everton all their time to emerge victorious against Chelsea who showed no signs of their long endurance test with Burnley for they were going stranger in the last twenty minutes than the home team. Though I thought Everton deserved to win there was precious little in it at the finish Chelsea stuck the pace amazingly well, and in the closing stages hammered away unceasingly in an effort to get the equalizing which many considered their second half territorial superiority had earned. Yet Everton could blame nobody but themselves that they were condemned to such desperate resistance and forced to hang on by the skin of their teeth. They should have been three goals up inside half an hour and would have been had they had marksmen in the side capable of delivering first time shots from reasonable scoring range. Their approach work frequently caught the Chelsea defence on the wrong foot yet there was nobody in the attack who would dart through on his own and have a go. Everton’s combination was most entertaining to watch and of a very high standard considering the extremely difficult conditions but it was tantalizing to see them too often continue their lateral passing to such an extent that sooner or later the more broke down without a shot.
Smart Combination
It was a good job that Peter Farrell was on the spot at the fifteenth minute to celebrate his 400th League and Cup game in the most acceptable fashion. The lead up to the goal was a splendid bout of combination between Harris (B), Fielding and Wainwright. There were many other similar offering of good combined play in the first half, yet Thomson was rarely called upon. The two best efforts apart from Farrell’s goal were one by Lello –a half-back again you’ll notice –which skimmed the bar and an overhead hook by Brian Harris which Wicks headed off the line. Both these came before the Farrell goal. Afterwards the Everton forwards went into their shells in a shooting sense. They seemed content so long as they were moving goal wards whether by the shortest route or not, without being seriously concerned to make Thomson show his prowess. Apart from a second half incident when Everton claimed that a Wainwright shot had crossed the line before Sillett elbowed it out but concerning which the referee declined to consult his linesman, they looked less likely to add to their score than Chelsea who were also shot-shy and inclined to over-elaboration. It was the home goal which had the narrowest escapes. There was one before the interval, when Leyland misjudged a centre by Blunstone which both Bentley and Lewis failed to reach by inches with an open goal staring them in the face. Another escape which made the home supporters gasp was when Leyland ran outside the penalty area, didn’t know what to do when unable to pick up the ball and passed it back towards his untenanted goal, where Moore only foiled Bentley in the nick of time. Chelsea did get the ball into the net five minutes from the end after Leyland harassed by two opponents had thrown it out to the feet of Bentley. Fortunately for Everton the referee awarded a free kick for a foul on the goalkeeper.
Fielding’s Effort
Everton’s best scoring effort in the second half was one by Fielding which skimmed the bar. That apart when Everton did get away from Chelsea’s increasing stranglehold they rarely looked dangerous, as finishers, despite the polished manner, considering the tricky conditions, in which they moved the ball. Once more it was the intermediate line aided by good full back play, which won the day. Farrell and Lello have performed so well for so long that we have come to accept their consistency as a matter of course. Both were brilliant throughout. They gave the attack wonderful support when Everton were on top in the first half, and defended splendidly when the boot was on the other leg. Tansy and Jones were equally sound and though Moore found Blunstone posing many problems the Everton man broke even on the day’s play. Blunstone was Chelsea’s most dangerous forward, yet even he missed a good chance late on by delaying that fraction of a second, with only Leyland to beat which enabled Eglington to come across and take the ball right off his toe.
The Right Ideas
Fielding and Wainwright also gave solid assistance to the defence when needed, and both used the ball well during Everton’s spells of ascendancy, Jimmy Harris young Wicks an almost insuperable barrier down the middle and rarely got the better of his opponents but Brian Harris showed the right ideas by veering quickly into the middle, whenever opportunity offered. If he had been a little smarter with his shooting he might have joined Farrell on the scoring list. Though naturally disappointed at the result. Manager Ted Drake was pleased at the splendid fighting display, which Chelsea had put up. He had every reason to be apart from the lack of shooting. There was no sign of their long struggle with Burnley in the visitors display particularly in the last twenty minutes, when they seemed to stay the pace even better than Everton. Full marks go to Everton’s defence for the manner in which they stuck to a grueling task, and also to Eglington and others who gave them valuable assistance. As I have said before, Everton’s effectiveness and polish in approach work is not being turned into as many goals as it should be. There is still need for more snap-shooting and for an inside forward who will go through on his own. The line at a whole has not varied itself of the desire to walk the ball into the net. This tendency meant as it has for so long that the defence often has to be bear the brunt of the battle. The still living in hopes or seeing Everton really cash in on their superior midfield work if and when that day comes they are going to blossom forth in a manner which will please their followers. As it is while nobody is grumbling unduly about even narrow victories. It is disappointing that such superiority is not being turned to greater account. The defence cannot continue indefinitely to shoulder a disproportionate amount of work without ultimately feeling the strain.

EVERTON IN FINE FORM
February 21, 1956. The Liverpool Echo
Lucky Goal For Arsenal
Stern Defence
By Contact
Everton visited Arsenal for a re-arranged First Division match today, and were level 1-1 at half-time. Arsenal;- Sullivan, goal; Charlton and Evans, backs; Goring, Dodgin and Bowen, half-backs; Clayton, Tapscott, Groves, Bloomfield and Tiddy, forwards. Everton;- Leyland, goal; Moore and Tansey, backs; Farrell (captain), Jones and Lello, half-backs; Harris (B), Wainwright, Harris (J), Fielding, and Eglington, forwards. Referee; Mr. R.J. Leafe (Nottingham). Both teams played in black arm bands in respect for Mr. Will Harrop whose death removes from the football scene a splendid character and legislator. Everton played their cup team while Arsenal had Sullivan in goal for Kelsey. The attendance must have been a record low for an Arsenal first team match – scarcely more than 12,000 at the start. The pitch was covered by an inch of snow and the early moments suggested that Everton would be better suited to the softer going than on the recent iron hard pitches. It was uneventful football for the first few minutes although Arsenal were unlucky not to go into the lead, when Tapscott flicked a long pass through to Groves for him to close in from the right and hit a tremendous shot inches wide of the far post. Groves headed wide after he had gone from outside-left to nearly outside-right to make the chance, then Leyfield went down gallantly to pick up from the feet of the rampaging Tapscott. Everton went ahead after 13 minutes with a goal by Eglington which was splendidly worked. Brian Harris’s centre was headed away strongly by Charlton but Farrell standing just outside the penalty area half-volleyed a glorious pass to Eglington who witnessed a challenge and drove a fine cross shot into the net. In Everton’s next move, one in which the ball was passed accurately up and down the forward line. Wainwright shot wide. If this was the new Arsenal, Everton were making them look very ordinary. The left wing triangle was particularly good and Everton’s play in general was better than in any match since Tottenham. If possession is nine points of the football law, Everton were clearly the better side. Dodgin had to leave the field for a minute or so for attention for a blow to the face. Jimmy Harris might have put his side two up at this stage if he had shot with greater accuracy.
Complete Masters
Everton were the complete masters playing glorious football in difficult conditions and only Arsenal’s fight defence kept the Everton lead at one goal. Everton seemed is no danger of conceding a goal when Arsenal equaled in 28 minutes. Wainwright and Fielding trying to finesse 35 yards from goal blundered and let in Tapscott who scored with a toe-ender which almost caused him to hide his head in shame. The shot a low one, found the tender spot in Leyland’s armour and passed over the line just inside the post. Harris (J) nodded Eglington’s corner kick over the bar and by this time he in particular and Everton in general had done enough to convince Londoners that here were live cup-hopes in the final ten minutes of the half, however Arsenal began to assert themselves for the first time and it took some stern defence by Moore, Tansey and Jones to keep them at a safe distance from Leyland. Dodgin all but through his own goal when dealing with a B. Harris header; from a Lello centre. Half-time; Arsenal 1, Everton 1.

EVERTON SCHEMES FAIL NEAR GOAL
February 22, 1956. The Liverpool Daily Post
By Leslie Edwards
Arsenal 3, Everton 2
Rarely will Everton play so well for such slight reward. Their first half alone was worth two points, but I fear that their lack of thrust cost them everything – an aggravating though when one considers the brilliance of their combined operations on a pitch an inch deep in snow and against opposition who have done little wrong recently. Looking back on Everton’s mid-field play it seems incredible that Arsenal were able to survive and not only survive but worry their way to victory by 3-2. Were the game played again today I should still maintain Everton to be the better side in every respect, except that where Arsenal had penetration when a goal was “on” Everton could not or would not strike with any power. In view of the fact that both teams are still interested in the Cup that the day was cold and that there were only 16,000 people present it was a remarkably fine game. Fortunately one without serious damage to players on either side. Apart from Everton’s refusal to take good chances the game was lost to them partly through two blunders the first by Fielding and Wainwright who inadvertently provided Tapscott with a scoring opening, and the second by goalkeeper Leyland who allowed the ball to pass through his legs when Tapscott gave Arsenal the lead 16 minutes after the interval.
Uneventful Start
The game began uneventfully and was lacking in character until Everton began to indulge themselves in glorious rounds of passing with the Arsenal defence beaten at every turn. The game seemed completely in Everton’s grip at this stage, and when Farrell with a sweep of the foot turned a Tiddy clearance to Eglington for that player to score with a splendid cross shot the only prospect was that Everton would improve their position and win comfortably. Despite the fact that Tapscott equalized after 28 minutes –this was a toe-ended shot which just found the inside of the post –Everton were still completely on top. Tapscott hit this goal after Wainwright and Fielding blundered when the odds were on them taking up the running 25 yards from their own goal. For the first time Arsenal came into the picture during the ten minutes prior to the interval though Harris J, with a header from an Eglington corner came desperately close but if Everton had led 3-1 at the interval that would have been no injustice to Arsenal. Except for the final 15 minutes Everton did not move with first half facility in the second half. Their confidence was sapped when the lively Tiddy centred and Tapscott made a shot which travelled between Leyland’s legs. Wainwright not for the only time was desperately unlucky with a header a moment later from a B. Harris corner. With goalkeeper Sullivan out of goal Charlton headed away from the line.
Opportunist Goal
Throughout, Arsenal’s most dangerous forward had been Groves. This deceptively fast centre forward was always worrying the Everton defence and now at 75 minutes he got a splendid opportunity goal with a hard hit left foot shot almost from the standing position. Everton now 3-1 down refused to go quietly and Harris J coming in fast from the left rammed the ball in cleverly from Brian Harris centre after the winger had shown greater speed on the right to carry on the earlier approaches of Fielding and Lello. Each goal had a desperately lucky escape in turn before the end Everton’s being due to Tansey and Jones filling the gap created when Leyland left his post and Groves fired in one of his hottest drives. It was almost criminal that Everton should play so well and not win. Their all round work throughout the first half was so impressive the Arsenal crowd must rate them a better Cup proposition than Arsenal. Again Farrell was tireless in attack and defence with first rate support from Jones and Lello, Fielding and Eglington in the first half were completely on top of their job and Harris J. showed a welcome return to the kind of form which has eluded him during the past three weeks. Arsenal are hardly comparable with the great Arsenal sides of the past but Groves is surely a match winner and there is no lack of Arsenal guts when that is required. Players of both teams wore blackbands as a mark of respect to the memory of Mr. W. Harrop (vice-president of the Football League) who died at his home in Liverpool during Monday night.

EVERTON EARN COMPLIMENTS
February 22, 1956. The Liverpool Echo
By Contact
Two important compliments were paid to the Everton team which last 3-2 to Arsenal at Highbury yesterday. The first was from manager, Mr. Cliff Britton who said; “The team’s first-half work was the best I have ever known from an Everton eleven,” Arsenal manager Mr. Tom Whittaker went one better. He said “Everton’s play in the first half was the best I have ever seen.” My own view, is that although their work yesterday was wonderful it, was not quite as brilliant as their football at Tottenham on a gluey pitch about a month ago. But these varying shades of opinion mean nothing. The fact was that Everton impressed everyone tremendously as Cup prospects and did sufficient to have won comfortably a game which offered sustained entertainment and excitement on a pitch an inch deep in snow. That Everton should lose after playing so well was tragic. The only department in which they were slightly below standard was in the attack when glorious rounds of passing took the ball to within shooting range. At that point they were sometimes, luckless and sometimes not penetrating. Yet had Arsenal matched Everton’s control of the ball on a difficult surface this would have been a game in ten thousand. If possession is nine-tenths of the law in football Everton were the most self-possessed team I have ever seen. The pity was that they got no reward except the satisfaction of having played outstandingly well in midfield and having proved to experts their right to be considered as the livest contenders for the Cup.
Looked Ordinary
They made Arsenal look an ordinary side and in view of Arsenal’s Charlton win and some other impressive results in recent weeks, form suggests that Arsenal are far above ordinary. For a long while it looked as though Everton must win comfortably and when Farrell with a peach of a half-volleyed pass swung the ball out to Eglington from a headed clearance and Eglington went on to score with a cross shot. Arsenal’s chances seemed negligible. For 20 minutes or so after this Eglington goal at 13 minutes Everton were completely on top and were moving upfield time and again in beautifully organized and executed close-linked movements. They held the ball they held command and there was nothing Arsenal could do to break their dominance. Then out of the blue came a goal to Tapscott it was such a freakish one he almost held his head in shame. Not often a first class player seizing on a midfield blunder is able to score with a toe-ender of the kind one sees all too often in football in the parks. But there was the ball in the net and there were Arsenal level after a period of Everton supremacy which might have cost them three or four goals.
Ten Minutes Hint
The only hint of Arsenal revival came in the last 10 minutes of the first half and even in this period it was Everton who seemed the more likely to score. The second half had been in progress only 16 minutes when Tapscott put Arsenal ahead with a shot which Leyland appeared to allow to pass between his legs. Everton could have been level again a few minutes later when Wainwright made a very deliberate header towards the line with Sullivan out of goals. But not for nothing have Arsenal devoted time and study to a cover alan for their absent goalkeeper. This time it was Charlton who saved the day by heading away from the line. The one Arsenal forward who always looked dangerous was Groves. He kept up a nagging pressure on an excellent Everton defence and at 75 minutes from the standing position slammed the ball in with a lovely left foot shot to put Arsenal 3-1 up when that score had seemed completely unlikely on earlier play. Everton continued to play well and to flight and the making of Jimmy Harris’s gal by Brian Harris was as excellent as the taking of it.
Impressive Winger
Young Brian Harris, with one beautifully judged passes was once again impressive and his centre forward namesake was far more in the picture this time than in Everton’s previous two matches. Farrell’s captaincy and the linking of the Everton half-back line with the attack made for great solidity and but for blunders which cost goals Everton must still have survived in spite of their ill-luck with many worthy shots and headers. Arsenal looked dangerous only when they found fighting spirit which characterizes all Arsenal elevens good and bad, Groves is not the complete footballer but he is obviously a great man for taking chances and with the too-acrobatic Tapscott and score earnestness from the test of the line it seems as though he will not lack chances. When Everton develop greater confidence in front of goal and accept chances they are now inclined to miss by over eagerness the side may well be one of the most outstanding the club has had for years. Their play in this match left no-one in doubt as to their artistry and competence and were it not so aggravating the fact that they were not able to get goals from such lovely approach play would be laughable.
• February 22, 1956, in the Echo, a great write up on Trauntmann the Manchester City Germany POW story. It mentioned that Bert was captured for Manchester City right under Liverpool’s nose, by Jock Thomson, captain of Everton in their 1938-39 championship season and Manager of Manchester City for a couple of seasons also mentioned why he didn’t choose to go to Everton. – in case Evertonians quote that as evidence of my Anfield leanings, let me say right away that I advised Liverpool because I knew George Kay was then seeking a goalkeeper, and at that time Ted Sagar was holding the fort so well for Everton with George Burnett and Jimmy O’Neill in reserve, that they were less likely to be interested.

BOLTON AT GOODISON
February 24, 1956. The Liverpool Echo
Ranger’s Notes
Everton’s main ambition now is the Cup, and for that reason though they will be keen to win tomorrow if possible, I fancy we may see them taking things just a little more easily than would otherwise be the case, especially if the ground is still on the hard side. Although defeated at Highbury on Tuesday, Everton did at least break the run of three matches in which their attack had failed to score. Now the forwards have found their shooting boots may be the defence will have less work to do. The visit of Bolton Wanderers provides the Blues with a chance to record their first League victory since they defeated Charlton at Goodison Park on January 14, thanks to that tremendous rally in the closing stages. The Burden Park side has not been cutting much ice in away matches of late, having taken only one point from their last six engagements on opponents grounds. For all that they must not be under-estimated. They have an extremely strong defence, which has only once conceded more than three goals in any match when losing 4-2 at Molineux a fortnight ago. On eleven occasions they have been kept the opposition from scoring at all which gives some indication of the task confronting the Blues front line. As with Everton, Bolton’s main strength lies in the intermediate line, with Wheeler and Edwards flanking a dour and uncompromising centre-half in Barrass. Edwards and left-back Banks have both appeared in every game to date the only defensive position causing any worry to Manager Billy Ridding being the goalkeeping berth.
Lofthouse the Danger
Up to the end of the Christmas period this was held by Lancashire cricketer Ken Grieves who was then replaced for three games by evergreen Stan Hanson, Grieves however, was back again early last month and has subsequently missed only the others game through illness a fortnight ago. On that occasion Bolton took the opportunity of giving 16 years old Joe Dean his First Division baptism. Dean the youngest goalkeeper over to appeal in the highest sphere was unfortunate to meet the Wolves attack on one of its best days. The main danger to Everton’s defence will be Nat Lofthouse whose 29 League and Cup goals make him the First Division’s leading marksman. The rest of the front line has done nothing starting the best support coming from inside-right Dennis Stevens who has netted eight times. Stevens was switched from inside-left to inside right shortly after the start of the season in place of former skipper Willie Moir, who has since left Burnden Park for Stockport County. Another well-known player who will be seen no more in the Bolton line-up is England international inside forward Harold Hassell, whose knee injury, sustained on New Years Day 1955 has unfortunately brought his career to a premature close. Since Stevens was switched Ray Parry has been operating at inside left with Raplh Cubbins on the wing. Last week however Manager Ridding gave a fourth first team game to 17 year old Southport born Brian Birch but as Birch is indisposed 18-years-old Neville Bannister makes his senior debut. Bolton have drawn their last three games at Goodison and unless Everton shoot when the opportunity presents itself instead of “passing the buck” they may make do the same again. Bolton; Grieves; Hartle, Banks; Wheeler, Barrass, Edwards; Holden, Stevens, Lofthouse, Parry, Bannister.

THE CAPITAL WAY PLEASE, EVERTON !
February 25, 1956. The Liverpool Daily Post
By Leslie Edwards
To people who have already asked whether I think Everton can win next Saturday’s tie at Manchester the answer has been “Yes” if they will play as they did at Tottenham and again this week at Arsenal. That Everton scored only one point at Tottenham and none at Highbury does not disturb my confidence in Everton. Their play at both London grounds was a delight. There were contingencies which acted against them at both places. At Spurs they were unlucky at Highbury they contributed much to their own downfall by blunders. O’Neill returns to goal today for the match at Goodison Park against Bolton Wanderers. A pity the ground seems likely to be hard again. But Everton can, and will win if they put on another fine midfield show backed by better shooting. People are saying that Harris (J) is better suited to inside-forward rather than centre forward play. They are saying that he spends too much of his time taking the defence to the wings. If that is so there is opportunity for others to fill (and make use of) the open positions which occur in the centre, I have no criticism of Harris work. He has scored many goals and provided many. Given more experience he should be an even better goal getter. Bolton traditional enemies have the Lancashire cricketer Grieves in goal they have in Wheeler, Barrass, and Edwards a half back-line bigger if not better than the splendid line which welds Everton so successfully. With Lofthouse and Stevens (a great little player whose enthusiasm and skill I have always admired) in the attack Bolton will pose a very difficult test. Everton; O’Neill; Moore, Tansey; Farrell, Jones, Lello; Harris (B), Wainwright, Harrris (J), Fielding and Eglington. Bolton; Grieves; Hartle, Banks; Wheeler, Barrass, Edwards; Holden, Stevens, Lofthouse, Parry, Bannister.

EVERTON MANAGER WALKS OUT OF HIS £3,500 JOB
February 25. The Liverpool Daily Post
I Have Finished –For Ever
By Leslie Edwards
After what must have been one of the most astounding board meetings in the long, history of Everton football Club. Mr. Clifford Britton last night literally and figuratively walked out of his £3,500 a year plus job as the club’s general manager. Later he told me “I have finished with Everton –for ever!” Then he issued to the Daily Post this statement – one which will shock and surprise all football and all followers of the Everton club. “It will be very-surprising to all football followers of this town to see in print that someone has no desire to work for the Everton football club. “After over 21 years service to this great club these are my feelings at the moment. “This situation has been brought about by decisions which were made by a certain section of the board while I was away at Buxton on club business. “After so long a period in Liverpool I had no desire to uproot my family or leave the club. In my own interests as it is well known that I have been responsible for the management of the club since I returned seven and a half years ago, and in the interests of all the staff who have given loyal and faithful service to this club I consider it my duty that this matter should be brought into the open for the shareholders and all who have the interests of the club at heart to be made aware of the grave danger of the club losing its great name in the football world which has been built up over a great number of years by men of high standing and reputation. “I shall be very sorry to leave the team and staff who have given me the greatest loyalty and co-operation during my period of office. “I cannot speak too highly of them, and also those directors who supported me during our troubled periods. “But too many principles are involved to let this matter slide. “I wish the team every success in the next round of the Cup and sincerely hope they will eventually bring it once again to Liverpool.
A Bombshell
That there should be a rift at Everton in a managerial reign so successfully and apparently so free of trouble will astonish the thousands of followers of football in this city but those who have watched Everton trends at close quarters sensed that all was not well in recent months. Nevertheless they were not prepared for such a bombshell as Mr. Britton loosed last night. With the club well-placed in the Football league and holding a good chance of appearing in the F.A semi-final for the third time since the war after next week’s game at Manchester the last thing one expected was a cleavage between manager and board. For many months no Mr. Britton has worked in the closet association with Mrs. Ernest Green, the Everton chairman. When I saw Mr. Britton at his home last night he went to great pains to explain that his action might have been taken earlier but for the fact that the team had a cup-tie last Saturday and he felt that it would be in the best interests of all concerned to hold his hand. The decision might have been taken earlier than last night had Mr. Britton not been on duty with the team in London on Tuesday for the match against arsenal at Highbury.
No Comment
No member of the Everton board was prepared to make any comment last night on Mr. Britton’s action but doubtless statements will be forthcoming from them in the course of the next few days. Followers of the club many of whom will be thoroughly mystified will be able to understand better the moves which have led to Mr. Britton’s walk-out. Hard words were said at the critical meeting –the drama of which was lost on other guests at the hotel at which it was held –and may be the parting of Mr. Britton and the club is the sequel to matters which have been mounting during the past few months. It is understood that an important factor in the cleavage was that the board had taken steps to appoint from their existing staff an acting manager during the five or six weeks the Everton party are to tour the United States next close season. In the past the club have not seen fit to appoint anyone to act in the absence of their manager.
His Ideals
Mr. Britton a sticker in all things for what he considered to be his ideals may well have considered this to be an important principle worth fighting for. Most poignant sight today at Goodison Park where Everton are due to meet Bolton Wanderers in a Football League match, will be a vacant stand seat marked manager. Mr. Britton told me last night “I shall not be a vacant stand seat marked manager. Mr. Britton told me last night “I shall not be there. No manager ever took a keener interest in the well-being of his men or of his team. When his Everton reign began players talked of his severe training and discipline. He went down with Everton to the Second Division. He helped them regain their status and not only put them back into Division 1 but did so at little or no expense.
Only Big Signing
His only big signing was that of Harry Potts from Burnley the club he managed prior to coming back to the club for whom he played outstandingly as a half-back. Other signings which served the club well made at very low cost. I am thinking of such men as Jim McIntosh, and Oscar Hold. The Britton plan was to make players not buy them. His scouts poured the North West for young players to be taught their business in Everton junior sides. This was the Britton long term plan. The fruits of it are being seen but the full effect of spending much time and money in up and coming players is yet to come. A man who knows what he wants and goes all out to get it, Mr. Britton once described drink as the curse of sport. He aimed always to have on his staff boys of good character. He once told a Liverpool audience “There is nothing more pleasing for a football manager than to learn that a player he has signed is interested in the Christmas way of life.” Not all Mr. Britton’s seasons in his early managerial days at Everton were happy ones. In less successful seasons he had his critics but when they made their criticism at an annual meeting of the club he usually had the answer to satisfy them. More than one meeting which looked like being stormy was tamed by his persuasive approaches to questioners. When Mr. Britton first came to Goodison Park as manager, Mr. Theo Kelly took over the secretarial reins. Later Mr. Kelly left the club and Mr. Britton became secretary-manager. This was an enormous task and the club saw fit to appoint a new secretary Mr. Williams Dickinson leaving Mr. Britton to take charge of the players and matters affecting players.
Full Responsibility
Thus Mr. Britton became one of the few managers in football with almost complete authority to select teams and take full responsibility for the success or failure of the side. That he has elected to sever his association with Everton is all the more surprising since Everton are probably better placed now as to players and finance than for any season, post war. Their Second Division promotion year brought great monetary reward and the transfer of George Cummins to Luton and Dave Hickson to Aston Villa were fine strokes of business which must have produced in aggregate £35,000 to £40,000 to the club.
With ‘Dixie’ Dean
Britton’s playing career at Everton extended to the immediate pre-war seasons. He was a contemporary of the incomparable “Dixie” Dean and shared with Dean the triumphs of Cup and League and the fun of many a close season tour. During the war he was a physical training instructor with the famous 50th Tyne and Tees Infantry Division, and served with them from Normandy to Nijmegen. The disciplined Army like suited him well, and after the War, on one of Everton’s traditional visits to Aldershot Mr. Britton was presented with a plaque memento as recognition for his play for Army teams. During his long association with Everton –covering more than 20 years –Mr. Britton has not lost the West Country brogue he had when he joined the club from Bristol Rovers as a young professional. At Burnley as at Everton, he was very successful, his special tactic being a defensive plan on Arsenal lines. It did not make for the most attractive of football but in the stern business of getting points it paid dividends.
Scholarships Idea
When the Hungarians and others from the Continent shook Britain football supremacy at Wembley and club everywhere raised the cry “More and better training, “the Britton policy again unchanged. Long before he had been operating Goodison Park the training schedules many were now demanding. One of his remedies making British football what it used to be was a suggestion for football scholarships. He believed that any schoolboy with football possibilities should be attached to the League club in his area for a football apprenticeship. His view was that players officials and spectators alike should aim to improve British standards. He believed that nine-tenth of football was the ability to pass the ball accurately –to do the simple football tasks superlatively well. Dozens of times in recent seasons managers, famous and not so famous, have parted company with the clubs they have managed. Mostly because failure trusted on a new regime.
No One Knows
Here, with Everton at one of their peak periods the news that a man of such status as Mr. Britton has walked out of his job and the game –temporarily or not; no one knows –is the most sensational football news since the neat-riot of the first over-crowed Wembley. Until the club’s official reply to Mr. Britton has been received followers of the game on Merseyside will remain in a ferment of speculation. There are two sides to all question. But one hopes that somehow will be contrived a settlement amicable to both factions, so that Everton may continue a joint regime which has been so profitable from club and spectators point of view. But I confess that when I saw Mr. Britton last night the breach seemed beyond healing and we must not forget that directors appointed by shareholders have a directorial responsibity.
Severe Loss
Mr. Ernest Green, the club chairman last night told the Daily Post that he wished to say nothing about the cause for Mr. Britton leaving. “But I do want to say no club has ever had a better manager,” that the club is running more smoothly now – it is happier, better ordered and disciplined –than it has ever been before. “It is a great loss to the club, and a great pity that after seven years of devoted service just when all his work was coming to fruition, he has felt compelled to leave. “He has been a great manager and the club has suffered a very severe loss.”

STORY BEHIND THE EVERTON F.C. MANAGER’S WALK-OUT
February 25, 1956. The Liverpool Echo
Clash With Board Following an Appointment
Is There A Possibility of Healing Breach?
Chairman’s Tribute
One of the biggest sensations in the history of the Everton Football Club, which has experienced quite a few in its time, occurred at a meeting of the board in a Liverpool hotel last night, when Mr. Cliff Britton, the club’s £3,000 a year manager, walked out after telling the directors that he did not wish to work for them any longer. This bombshell was the culmination of trouble which has been brewing for some time. It was brought to a head by certain decisions taken by the majority of the board a fortnight ago, while Mr. Britton was absent with the team on special training at Buxton. “I am not fighting this battle for myself, because I have finished with Everton” said Mr. Britton today, “but because I want all managers to have freedom to do the job for which they were appointed, which is to manage their clubs.” It is likely that a section of shareholders may call a special extraordinary meeting at which Britton would be invited to state his case.
Trouble Brewing For Some Time
While Mr. Britton’s action has come as a tremendous shock to the club’s supporters to those with knowledge of what has been going on behind the scenes of recent months it will not be quite as great a surprise although I doubt whether anybody, even members of the board anticipated that matters would come to a head so quickly. I have known for some time that the manger has not seen eye to eye with certain director’s on what he regards as matters of Principe.
‘Like Office Boys’
Some directors also have not approved of the manner in which Mr. Britton is alleged to have overlooked their views, and there have been allegations that members of the board have “been treated like office boys.” Mr. Britton strenuously denies this, and says that the board were fully aware of the conditions under which he originally agreed to leave Burnley to take on the Everton job. He states that it is because of inference by directors that he has taken his present stand, and because he was promised that there would be nothing of the kind when he accepted the position. In short the calm waters in which Everton appeared to have been sailing for some time have recently become very disturbed but the speed with which the storm arrived has surprised even the most knowledgeable.
“Dignified Attitude” when I put the point to him Mr. Britton declined to enter into any discussion regarding the matters in dispute. He said that he wished to retain a dignified attitude and not go into details. I understand from another source, however that among one of several things to which Mr. Britton took exception was a decision of the board to appoint an acting manager to officiate in his absence while he was away on the forthcoming tour of America. This has not been done in previous tears when he has been away from Goodison Park for almost as long. This, however was only one issue upon which there was a bitter cleavage of opinion. There were other points on which he was at variance with certain members of the board and upon which, as a matter of principle; his view was that it was necessary to take a firm stand in the interests of the Everton club. These contentious problems were the subject of discussion at the board meeting held a week last Tuesday Mr. Britton then asked the club to fulfill its obligations to him under his contract –which has will two and a half years to run –as he considered that the terms of this had been broken. He also asked to be relieved of his duties forthwith. The Board declined to take either of these courses. In view of the fifth round cup-tie with Chelsea being due four days later, however, Mr. Britton after further consideration decided to continue until after that game had been played as so many other persons interest were involved particularly those of the players and the club’s supporters. Normally the next meeting of the board would have been on Tuesday but owing to the re-arranged game with Arsenal in London that day it was postponed until last evening. As soon as the directors were assembled last night I understand Mr. Britton made a statement regarding his position and culminating a number of matters to which he took exception. On concluding this he at once walked out of the meeting saying that he did not wish to remain with the club any longer.
His Statement
When I asked Mr. Britton whether he would care to discuss the various matters on which he disagreed with certain members of the board he declined to do so. He did, however make the following statement which he said was as far as he proposed to go for the present. The statement reads;- “It will be very-surprising to all football followers of this town to see in print that someone has no desire to work for the Everton football club. “After over 21 years service to this great club these are my feelings at the moment. “This situation has been brought about by decisions which were made by a certain section of the board while I was away at Buxton on club business. “After so long a period in Liverpool I had no desire to uproot my family or leave the club. In my own interests as it is well known that I have been responsible for the management of the club since I returned seven and a half years ago, and in the interests of all the staff who have given loyal and faithful service to this club I consider it my duty that this matter should be brought into the open for the shareholders and all who have the interests of the club at heart to be made aware of the grave danger of the club losing its great name in the football world which has been built up over a great number of years by men of high standing and reputation. “I shall be very sorry to leave the team and staff who have given me the greatest loyalty and co-operation during my period of office. “I cannot speak too highly of them, and also those directors who supported me during our troubled periods. “But too many principles are involved to let this matter slide. “I wish the team every success in the next round of the Cup and sincerely hope they will eventually bring it once again to Liverpool.
Severe Loss
Mr. Ernest Green, chairman of the club, who has worked closely with Mr. Britton throughout Mr. Britton’s period of office and particularly so since he Mr. Green took over the chairmanship some years ago for the second time, also declined to enter into any discussion as to the causes of Mr. Britton’s department. He did however make the following statement But I do want to say no club has ever had a better manager,” that the club is running more smoothly now – it is happier, better ordered and disciplined –than it has ever been before. “It is a great loss to the club, and a great pity that after seven years of devoted service just when all his work was coming to fruition, he has felt compelled to leave. “He has been a great manager and the club has suffered a very severe loss.”
Consultations
No decision has yet been taken by the majority section of the board as to whether or when they will publicity reply to Mr. Britton’s criticisms. Consultations have been taking place since Mr. Britton walked out last night and talks were proceeding again today. A statement may be issued later, or it may be felt until after the next weekly directors meeting, which under normal circumstances would be on Tuesday evening. Understand that the club’s solicitor was present throughout last night’s board meeting. Assuming that the breach between the board and the manager is not healed and from the tone of what Mr. Britton said to me that seems extremely unlikely the club will have to look around quickly for a new manager. Had the trouble come to a head before Mr. Joe Mercer took over at Sheffield United a few months ago the job might have been offered to him. That course may still be considered though it will depend on Mr. Mercer’s contract with Sheffield United, his own desire to consider a change, and also Sheffield’s willingness to release hint from his committeemen’s at Bramell Lane. The question now arises as to how the affairs of the club will be governed with no manager at the helm. Mr. Ernest Green may carry on in the meantime. As a retired schoolmaster, he has no business commitments and throughout his chairmanship he has made a dally visit to the club headquarters often spending considerable time there in consultation with Mr. Britton.
May leave Football
That is unfortunately a most vital period of the season for Everton with the sixth round of the F.A Cup against Manchester City only a week ahead. It is to be hoped that the domestic trouble through which the club is going will not have no undue effect upon the players. When I asked Mr. Britton what he proposed to do in the future he said he has not decided. I gathered however, that it is possible he might go out of football management altogether and try a new line. At 47 he is still a comparatively young man and one whose services in certain directions might well be sought.
Mr. Britton’s Career
Mr. Britton’s connection with Everton began in 1930, when he was signed at a big fee by the standards of that time, from Bristol Rovers. He was in the team that won the First Division championship and the F.A Cup in 1931-32 and 1932-33 seasons. He played many times for England, and after the war became manager of Burnley in 1945. He took the East Lancashire club up to the First Division in his first full season as manager and also to Wembley where they lost to Charlton Athletic after beating Liverpool in the semi-final. He was appointed manager of Everton seven years ago last October, later becoming general manager with Mr. William Dickinson as secretary in succession to Mr. Theo Kelly. Throughout his career he has been opposed to big transfers, except in case of dire need. He has preferred to build upon young players, whom he has coached and nurtured through the various junior sides of the club.
Signed Potts
His last buy of any consequence took place five years ago next month, when he signed Jock Lindsay from Glasgow Rangers at a fee of around £8,000 a very moderate figure for a player of his capabilities. Unfortunately Lindsay has been out of the game for a long time, following a broken leg. His only other purchase money was that o Harry Potts who cost about £20,000 when obtained from Burnley in October 1950. Since the Lindsay deal, Mr. Britton has not gone into the market and eight of the present first team did not cost the club a penny in transfer fees. Not all the players in the first or reserve teams were signed by Mr. Britton, but they have been under his guidance, the majority of them in their most formative years, and he has shown patience and perseverance in helping to bring them to the pitch of playing ability.

EVERTON MERSEYSIDE’S CUP STANDARD-BEARERS
February 25, 1956. The Liverpool Echo
By Peter Farrell
There will be many regrets among the fans in the city of Liverpool at the hoped for Derby crash in the sixth round of the Cup will not now take place. Many people during the past couple of days have said to me “I bet you are glad you haven’t to play Liverpool in the next round.” Well trustfully I am sorry the Blues have to go to Maine Road instead of Anfield as I think the players of both clubs like nothing better than a Derby game, whether you win or lose or draw. At Anfield last Wednesday I felt a little sorry for that great club man, Billy Liddell. He must have been very disappointed that his brilliantly taken goal, seconds after the referee had blown his whistle for full time didn’t count. However, such is the luck of the Cup and now Everton go forward as the Cup standard-bearers of Merseyside. Our game with Chelsea will live long in my memory particularly in view of the fact that I was lucky enough to score the goal that later proved to be the winner. It was such a long time since I scored that I had nearly forgotten what I felt like. Still the long wait was worthwhile but most of the credit for the goal must go to Brian Harris, Wally Fielding and Eddie Wainwright for their part in the move leading up to my shot.
Hard Tackling
Despite the conditions, I thought the game was splendidly contested and that the Blues just about deserved to win, but full marks to Chelsea for the manner in which they fought right up to the final whistle, a sound I am sure all Everton fans, along with the players, were very glad to hear. Although there was some hard tackling in the game. I thought it was a very cleanly-contested Cup-tie an opinion obviously not shared by one national newspaper, which make quite a song and dance about a small and insignificant incident which took place at the end of the game when spectators invaded the field. Anyone not present and reading this would think that there had been something of a riot after a really dirty game. Why must some sports writers pick out a small incident like this and make it the main topic of their article on the game instead of giving the public the story of the match with its thrills disappointments near misses etc.” Or is this what the public want? Frankly I don’t think so.
Highbury Praise
Our mid-week defeat at Highbury was very disappointing to the lads. When a side plays badly it deserves to be beaten but when the lads play as they did last Wednesday particularly in the first half and get beaten one finds it hard to explain why. In the first half on this snow-covered Highbury the Blues played even better football than at White Hart Lane this season, and that’s saying something. Still, if we strive to maintain this standard of team play then I feel sure results will come. In conclusion, I should like to mention that among the many telegrams of good luck received by the team last Saturday was one from Dave Hickson. A nice gesture Dave and one very much appreciated by the lads.

THAW MAKES GOOD NEWS FOR EVERTON
February 27, 1956. The Liverpool Daily Post
By Leslie Edwards
Everton 1, Bolton Wanderers 0
The gloom of the sky, the coldness of the air and the ice-rink of the pitch matched the general atmosphere at Goodison Park on Saturday. It was an occasion with on air of unreally and one in which one sensed that the guiding managerial hand was absent; nevertheless Everton players fought hard and were rewarded by a victory which must do them good physiologically, in their Cup task at Manchester next Saturday. It was by a goal late in the day but when it raise it was decisive. It had reward for Wainwright (who took the ball to the goal line before screwing back a centre) and for Eglington who picked up a ball conveniently turned towards him by Banks and Harris (J) and hit a right foot shot over the line with no compunction. Looking back at a match which gives me the impression of being played twenty-four days ago rather than twenty four hours ago –so much of moment meantime has happened in the Everton crisis –one gives full marks to both sides for a game which might well have been disastrously slow and uneventful on a pitch twice as hard and difficult as any we have seen since the cold snap began Everton were not able to get remotely near their standards of Highbury, but Bolton especially in the first half moved accurately and as though the going held no terrors for them. Everton’s worrying persistence inspired by a forward in every sense display by Fielding who slipped more than once into the vacant centre forward position carried the day when the goal might just as easily have gone to the other.
Play To Match
For Everton nothing, at the start, would go right. O’Neill restored to goal in place of Leyland mis-hit his first minute goal kick and played on with his old injury troubling him; many Everton’s good attacks faded out through faulty passing or through the ability of such great stoppers at Matt Barrass and two full backs Hartle and Banks who are rugged and sturdily built and whose play is usually to match. That 47,000 should brave such bleak conditions to see the side they hope will reach the Cup semi-final next Saturday was a remarkable tribute to loyalty. The conditions ensured that the match could never be a great spectacle but in the circumstances I do not see what more the players could have done to make the game worthwhile and Lofthouse play scrupulously clean and sporting, deserved the goal that so narrowly eluded him three times in the second half. On one occasion he beat the defence including O’Neill so completely his square centre needed but a converting flick of the foot. The flick was there in front of an empty goal but it was Moore’s. Whatever else it did this game at least produced for our pleasure, a first sight of young Bannister an eighteen year-old loose-limbed, Blackpool boy who will one day resemble the late and affectionately remembered Harry Chambers. Bannister, playing his first game on the Bolton left wing, did everything a debutant should –except score, and there were moments when he all but did that. He has speed, surging speed, which can take a winger round a back, and ideas and Manager Bill Ridding once a Tranmere centre-forward in the line of succession to Dixie Dean and others, was delighted with his work, though a little disappointed that such a good looking Bolton eleven should miss the points. The ball bounded so high so often there were few opportunities for Harris (J) to show his heels to Barrass. Indeed the Bolton defence scarcely ever looked like being beaten until Everton in one of their characteristic rallies, snatched one of the few openings they enjoyed. Outstanding of all the performances was Fieldings, I thought. Where others were beaten by the pace or unexpected bound he was nearly always in control of his feet and the ball. He covered an enormous amount of ground and in the gloaming stole through to the centre-forward position to give the Lancashire cricketer goalkeeper Australian Ken Grieve, something to help keep his fingers warm.
Jones Part
Though Bolton had so much of the game they rarely looked like beating O’Neill in retrospect one remembers a great deal of work for Grieves and scarcely any for O’Neill. Everton tried hard to reproduce the football which had been so impressive at Highbury but none of their attempts to move the ball quickly and fluently in rounds of spectacular passing went to finality. Yet the half back line in which Jones played superbly had to very good indeed to shield O’Neill from such players as Lofthouse, Bannister and Parry and Stevens. The best news for Everton players over the week end was that the thaw is coming. Would that the thaw would unfreeze the club’s other and more lasting ice Given a normally soft ground at Manchester I think Everton will survive. Except at Highbury their attack has been particularly ineffective on hard grounds. The penetration of old should come with the better weather in any event the match seems likely to be one worth travelling far to watch. Meanwhile Everton players have gone to Buxton for special training with Mr. Charles Leyfield the trainer in charge.

EVERTON BOARDROOM DRAMA
February 27, 1956. The Liverpool Daily Post
Britton; My Real Reasons Not Yet Given
By Leslie Edwards
The Battle of Britton rages on –the latest guilded missile fired is from the Everton manager, Mr. Cliff Britton who walked out of last Friday’s meeting of directors vowing; “I have finished with Everton –for ever!” In his statement, Mr. Britton gives his version of events at the critical meeting and says that he has still to give his real reasons for leaving the club. Statements made by both factions may become almost insignificant compared with the repercussions which may follow. Football nationally may yet become as involved as are domestic factions at Goodison Park. Mr. Britton’s statement issued at mid-day yesterday said;-
“Since the issuing of a statement from the Everton club, following the one I made on Friday, there has been so much confusion in Press reports that I now feel the position should be clarified regarding what really happened at the last meeting of the club, I attended. “When I went in to that meeting I did not bother to remove my overcoat when I’ sat down. When one of the directors came in he remarked “Why don’t you take your coat off, Cliff?” I replied, I am not stopping. “I was ever-such a numerous remark made –inconspicuously –in such a tragic setting? “After the minutes of the previous meeting had been head and signed the chairman asked for my reply to the letter –which has since been issued to the Press –I had received from the board. It was prevented from giving a reply until the minute which had brought about the situation was rescinded. Then I asked the Board; “Does this mean that you now admit you were in the wrong?” The only answer I got was Well sort of.” “I then asked if I could now reply to this letter as they had asked for an answer. They still did not want me to reply. So I stated that it was more in their interests than mine that I should do so as I was quite prepared to leave the meeting then and give my statement to the Press, I was eventually allowed to speak. “I told them I was not interested in their letters and considered it an insult to my intelligence. I then read my prepared statement which I later gave to the press. “I then asked the Board if they wanted to hear my reasons for saying I considered the letter an insult to my intelligence. Permission was granted to speak. And I did. Next, I stated the term’s on which I would withdraw my action for breach of contract which the club had forced on me by not fulfilling their obligations. This was my effort to save the good name of the club. I left the document containing my terms to be signed by the chairman and secretary, if the Board agreed. “I then informed the Board that I would stay in the lounge of the hotel for half an hour while they considered the matter. If they did not come to me within that time I said I was going home. I had made arrangements to give the statement I had read to them to the Press at eight o’clock that night. This gave them a further three hours to consider the grave position they had brought about. After waiting for some time, the chairman came to inform me that if I left the club a certain section of the directors advocated that the club should sue me for breach of contract.
No Telephone Call
“I requested the chairman to inform the board that this would suit me better as it would save the unpleasantness of my having to take action against the club. Then I went home. “Having told the Board all this I responded “I must receive a telephone call in an effort to stop me, leaving the club.” But no call came. “Now I am in the position of not knowing whether I am to take legal action against the club or whether they are going to take action against me as they hinted in their Press statement on Saturday.
Statement Typed
“This position must also be clarified at their next meeting. As a precaution I had taken the trouble to have typed in advanced every word I read at the meeting I also have a copy of the document I left with the board. “Now unless I get a written withdrawal of the statement given in the boards name on Saturday and an apology signed by certain members of the board, I shall be forced to take further legal action. “Finally I have still to give my real reasons for leaving the club.”
Fans Bewildered
This, Mr. Britton says is his last word until the matter is settled. Thus the bulk of vast following of the Everton club who now have no means of knowing what lies at the door of football’s biggest cleavage for thirty years are still in the dark and waiting for evidence from both sides. The unprecedented stroke and counter stroke of the matter has left them bewildered and a little dismayed that a great club should be so shaken. Events moved swiftly once the news of Mr. Britton’s going was given fully in the columns of the Daily Post on Saturday. Everton players took the opportunity at their costmary meeting and meal before a home match to frame a resolution asking the club to restore Mr. Britton to management,” if possible.” Players balloted as to whether the proposal should be given to the board. On the eleven voting slips placed in the hat three were 11 crosses signifying unanimous acceptance of the proposal. “Everton have a great chance of reaching “Wembley” this season the players wrote “We feel our chances of further progress have been somewhat diminished by the news of Mr. Britton’s decision.” They added; “If at all possible, we feel that the team would fare better by the guidance of Mr. Britton who has been responsible for any success we have achieved so far.”
The Empty Seat
When the Everton game started on a treacherous icy pitch there was one conspicuously vacant seat in the front row of the directors box –Mr. Britton’s. Everton, playing hard with Fielding at his superb best beat Bolton by a solitary goal. The final whistle had scarcely sounded before the Everton board issue a statement in which they stated the facts of their meeting last Friday with Mr. Britton at which they rescinded the resolution passed previously appointing another member of the staff as acting manager during Mr. Britton proposed six weeks’ tour with the Everton team in the United States.
The Club statements read;-
At a meeting of the board on February 7, a resolution was passed that an acting manager be appointed during the absence of the general manager Mr. Britton, on the club’s forthcoming American tour. When it came to the notice of the board that Mr. Britton took except on this action the secretary by the direction of the board, wrote him a letter on February 23 in the following terms;-
“I am directed by the board of directors to inform you of the intention of the board at their next meeting to be held on Friday, February 24, to rescind a resolution of the board passed on February 7 appointing Mr. R.H. Pickering as acting manager during your absence on the club’s forthcoming American tour.
No Reflection
“The board have learned with regret that you have construed their action as a reflection upon yourself and I am therefore asked to assure you that the board had no such intention and that their proposal to rescind the resolution referred to above is prompted by their collective desire to remove any sense of grievance which you might entertain, however misconceived it may be. “I am asked to point out that the forthcoming American tour will involve you being out of the country for approximately six weeks and it must be manifested to you that during your absence someone will have to deputise for you and deal with matters which had you been here, would have been deal with by you in the normal course. “It was solely with this in mind that the resolution to which you have taken exception was passed and while the last thing the board desire to do is to cause you any ground for complaint they nevertheless deem it necessary to deal with a situation which will inevitably rise during your absence. “The board would therefore welcome from you any suggestion you would care to make so that I can be discussed at a meeting of the board next Friday (February 24), when it is intended to consider further what temporary arrangement’s ought to be made in the best interests of the club to deal with affairs during your absence in American.
Appointment Rescinded the statement continued “At a board meeting on Friday (February 24) the appointment of an acting manager was rescinded by the board in accordance with the terms of their letters to Mr. Britton. “However instead of Mr. Britton accepting the board’s invitation to make a suggestion as to temporary arrangements during his absence, he confronted the board with his resignation unless the board agreed within a time limit of half an hour to stipulated terms in order to retain his service, one of which was that he and his family should be secured in their present residence for a period of forty years. “Mr. Britton is under contract with the Everton club for a period of which two and a half years is unexpired and the board are considering the position in relation thereto in the light of Mr. Britton’s action and his subsequent statement to the Press.” Forty-seven thousand people who attended the Everton v. Bolton match discussed the Battle of Britton from every angle before during and after the game. It was discussed in pubs in clubs; at work, at home; in high and well as low football councils. Meanwhile the man who has been the central figure in the battle sat at home “not having had three consecutive hours sleep since the trouble began. But he said “I have never felt better.” Television authorities had hoped to have both Britton and Peter Farrell the Everton captain in their sports programme on Saturday evening Mr. Britton refused the invitation Mr. Farrell, I understand was warned that he would not become involved in any topics relevant to the Everton trouble. He did not appear. In a later televised programme a commentator read the following denial from Mr. Britton that the matter of leasing of his house had been one of the terms he had imposed on the club in order to retain his services.
Statement “Untrue.”
Mr. Britton’s statement was as follows;-
“As I have not received any communication from the club I am not in a position to make a full statement but from what I have been informed by the Press the statement made from the club regarding my alleged demands about the house is untrue. “I would like to make it quite clear that whatever the board may say, I had definitely made up my mind to leave the club and no inducement by the board would persuade me to stay, as was stated in my statement to the Press on Friday night.”

STILL NO REAL FINISH
February 27, 1956. The Liverpool Echo
Everton Must Do Better in Cup
Ranger’s Notes
You will read elsewhere in this issue the latest developments in the dispute between Mr. Cliff Britton and a certain section of the Everton directorate, a struggle which at the moment looks like going on to the bitter end, for neither side is inclined to yield. Here let us consider Everton’s latest performance, with all its implications so far as the important sixth round cup-tie is concerned. The vital thing that was evident in the Bolton game, as it has been in so many others for quite a time, is that Everton are still not producing anything like the ratio of shots one would expect from their splendid approach work. If they are to beat Manchester City next week, as all their followers devoutly hope, they will need to serve up much more punishing finishing than they did on Saturday. On a very trickery ice-tink of a pitch which made good football a difficult proposition. Everton still contrived to produce some really attractive and stylish play, though without, unfortunately, any improvement in the most vital part of their game. It is getting monotonous referring to this lack week after week, but so long as it is there one cannot avoid it. with greater steadiness at the crucial moment the Blues could have given their goal average which is not of the best a considerable lift, for the visitors had little to offer except dogged defence in which centre-half Barrass more than played his part though his task was eased to some degree by too many trials being punted hopefully up the middle so that most of his clearances were made with his head.
Fielding Brilliant
On the ground he was not clearly so impressive and had Jimmy Harris been able to master the ball better the Everton leader would almost certainly have figured with Eglington as a scorer. The Bolton defence also exploited the offside trap to good effect and on several occasions promising moves by the home attack came to grief in this way. The visitors had no one to compare with Fielding as a purveyor of the ball. In addition to keeping the line moving the inside left showed a welcome willingness to try his hand as a marksman though he like the rest of his colleagues usually failed to get the right direction behind his efforts. One fierce drive by him in the closing stages would have found its mark but for a great save by Grieves the only really difficult bit of work either goalkeeper had to accomplish throughout the game. For long periods O’Neill had little to contend with such was the excellent cover provided by Jones and his fellow defenders, Lofthouse the only real dangerman in the visiting attack, suffered from lack of support, though he made one valiant effort to score in the second half when Tansey elected to pass back to O’Neill. Lofthouse got up the ball before the Everton man, and turned it towards the empty net where Moore averted what could have been a dangerous situation by clearing in front of the line.
Easy For O’Neill
Farrell and Lello practically played Stevens and Parry out of the game, and also backed up their attack splendidly. The Everton full-backs too were never seriously extended, and Moore say to it that debutant Bannister had few chances to shine though the newcomer showed that he possesses a useful turn of speed, and with greater experience could become a useful player. Bolton though they had more of the game after the interval, provided very few goals threats most of their attacks petering out before they got within shooting distance of O’Neill. Wainwright most unfortunate of marksmen, would have been among the day’s a scorer midway through the first half but for a fortunate deflection by Grieves Wainwrights shot appeared to have beaten the visiting custodian but at the last moment Grieves stuck out a foot and the ball cannoned away for a defender to complete the clearance. What fouls there were usually due to the offending player being unable to master the conditions through Bolton were somewhat fortunate to escape a penalty when Eglington was brought down by Hartle. The referee Mr. Rhodes of York, whom I have not seen before and who controlled the game admirably, ruled to the visitors’ favour.
His Right Foot
It was not until the 70th minutes that Everton got the goal which gave them both points and ended the fears of those supporters who were beginning to resign themselves to not seeing an Everton forward figure among the marksmen for the fourth consecutive home game. The move emanated from Wainwright who chased what looked like a fornlorn hope to retrieve a ball which seemed retain to go dead. He just caught it and pushed a pass into the goalmouth which was too fast for Harris to make contact. Eglington however was perfectly placed to defeat Grieves with a close range shot taken with his right foot. Banks the Wanderers left back was the pick of their rearguard and unlike most of his colleagues was able to place his passes accurately. Hartle while frequently beaten by Eglington’s speed also gave a useful display. To me the biggest disappointments in the visiting side were the wing halves Wheeler and Edwards. For an England player Wheeler looked sadly out of touch his passes to the forwards usually consisting of hopefully booting the ball down the centre for Lofthouse to chase.
Everton players leave today for a week at Buxton prior to Saturday’s Cup-tie with Manchester City. They will be in charge of Mr. Charles Leyfield their trainer, O’Neill, whose knee caused him some trouble in the Bolton game hopes to be fit before the week-end.

STATEMENTS IN THE BRITTON DISPUTE
February 27, 1956. The Liverpool Echo
Below are give the two statements made by the Everton club and Mr. Cliff Britton regarding the dispute which has taken place between them
Mr. Britton’s Statement
“Since the issuing of a statement from the Everton club, following the one I made on Friday, there has been so much confusion in Press reports that I now feel the position should be clarified regarding what really happened at the last meeting of the club, I attended. “When I went in to that meeting I did not bother to remove my overcoat when I’ sat down. When one of the directors came in he remarked “Why don’t you take your coat off, Cliff?” I replied, I am not stopping. “I was ever-such a numerous remark made –inconspicuously –in such a tragic setting? “After the minutes of the previous meeting had been head and signed the chairman asked for my reply to the letter –which has since been issued to the Press –I had received from the board. It was prevented from giving a reply until the minute which had brought about the situation was rescinded. Then I asked the Board; “Does this mean that you now admit you were in the wrong?” The only answer I got was Well sort of.” “I then asked if I could now reply to this letter as they had asked for an answer. They still did not want me to reply. So I stated that it was more in their interests than mine that I should do so as I was quite prepared to leave the meeting then and give my statement to the Press, I was eventually allowed to speak. “I told them I was not interested in their letters and considered it an insult to my intelligence. I then read my prepared statement which I later gave to the press. “I then asked the Board if they wanted to hear my reasons for saying I considered the letter an insult to my intelligence. Permission was granted to speak. And I did. Next, I stated the term’s on which I would withdraw my action for breach of contract which the club had forced on me by not fulfilling their obligations. This was my effort to save the good name of the club. I left the document containing my terms to be signed by the chairman and secretary, if the Board agreed. “I then informed the Board that I would stay in the lounge of the hotel for half an hour while they considered the matter. If they did not come to me within that time I said I was going home. I had made arrangements to give the statement I had read to them to the Press at eight o’clock that night. This gave them a further three hours to consider the grave position they had brought about. After waiting for some time, the chairman came to inform me that if I left the club a certain section of the directors advocated that the club should sue me for breach of contract.
“I requested the chairman to inform the board that this would suit me better as it would save the unpleasantness of my having to take action against the club. Then I went home. “Having told the Board all this I responded “I must receive a telephone call in an effort to stop me, leaving the club.” But no call came. “Now I am in the position of not knowing whether I am to take legal action against the club or whether they are going to take action against me as they hinted in their Press statement on Saturday.
“This position must also be clarified at their next meeting. As a precaution I had taken the trouble to have typed in advanced every word I read at the meeting I also have a copy of the document I left with the board. “Now unless I get a written withdrawal of the statement given in the boards name on Saturday and an apology signed by certain members of the board, I shall be forced to take further legal action. “Finally I have still to give my real reasons for leaving the club.”
The Club’s Statement
The following is the statement issued by the club at the conclusion of Saturday’s match against Bolton, to which Mr. Britton’s reply is given above.
At a meeting of the board on February 7, a resolution was passed that an acting manager be appointed during the absence of the general manager Mr. Britton, on the club’s forthcoming American tour. When it came to the notice of the board that Mr. Britton took except on this action the secretary by the direction of the board, wrote him a letter on February 23 in the following terms;-
“I am directed by the board of directors to inform you of the intention of the board at their next meeting to be held on Friday, February 24, to rescind a resolution of the board passed on February 7 appointing Mr. R.H. Pickering as acting manager during your absence on the club’s forthcoming American tour.
“The board have learned with regret that you have construed their action as a reflection upon yourself and I am therefore asked to assure you that the board had no such intention and that their proposal to rescind the resolution referred to above is prompted by their collective desire to remove any sense of grievance which you might entertain, however misconceived it may be. “I am asked to point out that the forthcoming American tour will involve you being out of the country for approximately six weeks and it must be manifested to you that during your absence someone will have to deputise for you and deal with matters which had you been here, would have been deal with by you in the normal course. “It was solely with this in mind that the resolution to which you have taken exception was passed and while the last thing the board desire to do is to cause you any ground for complaint they nevertheless deem it necessary to deal with a situation which will inevitably rise during your absence. “The board would therefore welcome from you any suggestion you would care to make so that I can be discussed at a meeting of the board next Friday (February 24), when it is intended to consider further what temporary arrangement’s ought to be made in the best interests of the club to deal with affairs during your absence in American.
Appointment Rescinded the statement continued “At a board meeting on Friday (February 24) the appointment of an acting manager was rescinded by the board in accordance with the terms of their letters to Mr. Britton. “However instead of Mr. Britton accepting the board’s invitation to make a suggestion as to temporary arrangements during his absence, he confronted the board with his resignation unless the board agreed within a time limit of half an hour to stipulated terms in order to retain his service, one of which was that he and his family should be secured in their present residence for a period of forty years. “Mr. Britton is under contract with the Everton club for a period of which two and a half years is unexpired and the board are considering the position in relation thereto in the light of Mr. Britton’s action and his subsequent statement to the Press.”
(Note –in a statement made on Saturday evening Mr. Britton said that the Board’s assertion regarding his attempt demand about the house was not correct).

EVERTON BOARD’S LATEST SALVO IN BRITTON BATTLE
February 28, 1956. The Liverpool Daily Post
By Leslie Edwards
The Board of Directors of Everton F.C last night issued the following statement which was accompanied by a Photostat copy, below- Mr. Britton is reported in the Press and on television as denying the Everton Board’s statement that he confronted the board at their meeting last Friday the 24th February with a demand for forty years securely of tenure of the residence belonging to the Everton Football Club which he occupies in view of this and as a matter of principle the board feel constrained to hand to the Press this photograph of the actual document which Mr. Britton presented to the Board at the meeting. “This document was to be signed on behalf of the board over the stamps to the value of 6d already affixed thereto, and Mr. Britton gave the board half an hour which to accede to his demands. “The photograph speaks for itself, and confirms the Board’s earlier statement.
The Statements
Statements relative to the photo-document have been as follows;-
By the Board (at 5 p.m. Saturday). “At a Board meeting on Friday February 24) the appointment of an acting manager was rescinded by the board it accordance with the terms of their letter to Mr. Britton. “However, instead of Mr. Britton accepting the board’s invitation to make a suggestion of temporary arrangement during his absence he confronted the board with his resignation unless the board agree within a time limit of half an hour to stipulated terms in order to retain his service one of which was that he and his family should be secured in their present rest fence for a period of forty years. By Mr. Britton at 2.p.m. on Saturday. Said; I have not received any communication from the club I am not in a position to make statement but from what I have been informed by the Press the statement made from the club regarding my allerged demands about the house untrue. “I would like to make it known that whatever the board may say, I had definitely made it my mind to leave the club with no inducement by the board could persuade me to stay it was stated in my statement to the Press on Friday night. Mr. Britton at 2 p.m. Sunday. I left the document containing my terms to be signed by the chairman and secretary if the board agreed.
Britton Replies
And last night Mr. Britton replied yet again to the Everton Board. “I have never denied that I asked for my family to be permitted to stay in my present residence for the next forty years. But I do deny that I issued an ultimatum giving a time limit of half an hour to the board and that this was a condition on which I would stay at the club. “At all times I have stated quite definitely to the Everton board, and the Press that I would never work for the Everton club again. “I have a perfectly good explanation for the terms stated in my letter proposing a withdrawal of my action against the club but I do not intend to disclose it at this stage. These terms had nothing to do with the question of resignation.” Six Directors attended the meeting which issued last night’s statement and the photo-stat. Absent were the club chairman, Mr. Ernest Green, and Mr. Norman Coffey who is ill. The board will meet again during the week to settle the composition of their cup team to play Manchester City in Manchester on Saturday and to deal with any other developments in the crisis.
The Olive Branch
A director told me yesterday “We preferred the live branch to Mr. Britton –Mr. Briton reacted by figuratively stapping our faces. We have a duty to do and we mean to do it. We believe we are quite capable of shouldering our responsibities to the Everton club.” The same director said; “We have plans but to say that we shall be big spenders is nonsense. We have been in agreement with many polices pursued in the past but we believe that there should be judicious spending to ensure that the club has the first class men which any scheme of misturing football youth does not necessarily guarantee. “It has been said that we need a first class outside left. This again, is nonsense. We already have a first class outside left in Tom Eglington. What we want is a player for that position to act as understudy so that when Eglington career ends we shall be able to fill the vacancy adequately. Everton players spent yesterday at Buxton in special training for the tie at Maine Road. Trainer Charles Leyland is in charge of the party. It is likely that some Everton directors will travel to Buxton to join the team later this week.

EVERTON F.C. EXPECT TO HAVE NEW CHAIRMAN TONIGHT
February 28, 1956. The Liverpool Echo
Mr. Green Resigning But Will Stay on The Board
Next Moves In Britton Controversy
New Appointments?
Mr. R.E. Searle May head The Directors
By Rangers
Following the disclosure over the last three days in the bitter dispute between Mr. Cliff Britton and the majority section of the Everton F.C board, there will be a meeting this evening of directors which may well be one of the most momentous in the history of the club. At this Mr. Ernest Green, the 74-years-old retired school-master who has had 42 years’ service with the club, and is its present chairman, will resign that office but will remain on the board. Mr. Green feels that his present position has become untenable for he has been the strongest supporter of Mr. Britton throughout the latter’s association with the club and had much to do with bringing him to Everton. The question of appointing a successor to Mr. Green lies, of course, with the Board, but it can be taken as reasonably certain that their choice will fall on Mr. R.E. Searle, who join the directorate before any other of its present members except Mr. Green, but who has had one period of absence. Normally the Everton board does no have a vice-chairman and it is unlikely that the directors will depart from the usual procedure at any rate for the time being.
Temporary Post Likely
The next question which the board will have to decide is bow team affairs are to be handled in the absence of a manager. It is likely that a temperately appointment will be made to tide the club over the present crisis and that a sub-committee will be appointed to go into the whole question of what shall later be done.
Mr. Pickering?
Nobody will indicate who is likely to be appointed to the temporary position but the natural inference is that as the majority section of the board wanted Mr. Harold Pickering as acting-manager during Mr. Britton’s absence in American he obviously will be considered. Mr. Pickering has worked under Mr. Britton all the time the latter has been at Everton and did same under Mr. Theo Kelly though hitherto he has had nothing to do with either the first or second teams. His duties have been confirmed to the junior sides. For the time being while the team is in special training at Buxton Mr. Charlie Leyfield a former player of the club and present trainer is in charge there.
It is possible that the special sub-committee to be appointed tonight many decide itself to carry on the day-to-day working on the team managerial side for a week or so in consultation with Mr. Leyfield and the second team trainer, Gordon Watson. Later in the week two or three directors will join the team at their Buxton head-quarters.
Made Up His Mind
Meantimes, Mr. Britton tells me that he but now definitely made up his mind, to go out of football. This is final. He has not the slightest intention of returning to Everton no matter what may happen. At one time he was so affected by the “round robin” handed in by the players on Saturday that he wavered a little in his earlier determination, solely became of the interest of the players and club’s followers but happenings since then have strengthened him in his original decision. “I am now going into the journalistic profession,” he said. “I have had many offers and have decided that this shall be my livelihood in future.”
Still Waiting
Meantime in his statement last night Mr. Britton said he was still waiting to hear whether the club intended to sue him for breach of contract. From information I have gathered that is extremely mislikely. The majority section of the Board have no desire to take this course though they consider they have a good case. On the contrary I understand the board have no intention of taking a narrow were regarding the services which Mr. Britton has rendered the club in the past.
The Latest Statements
Last night the Everton F.C Board issued the following statement which was accompanied by a Photostat only shows better;-
“Mr. Britton is reported in the Press and on television decrying the Everton Board’s statement that he confronted the board at their meeting last Friday, the 24th February with a demand for forty years security of tenure of the residence belonging to the Everton Football Club which he occupies. In view of this and as a matter of principle the board feel constrained to hand to the Press this photograph of the actual document which Mr. Britton presented to the Board at the meeting. “This document was to be signed on behalf of the board over the stamps to the value of 6d already there to and Mr. Britton gave the board had an hour in which to accede to his demands. “The photograph speaks for itself and controlling the Board’s earlier statement.
Mr. Britton’s Reply
Last night Mr. Britton replied;- “I have never denied that I asked for my family to be permitted to stay in my present residence for the next forty years. But I do deny that I issued as ultimatum giving a time of half an hour, to the board and that this was a condition on which I would stay at the club. “At all times I have stayed quite definitely to the Everton board, and the Press, that I would never work for the Everton club again. “I have a perfectly good explanation for the terms stated in my letter proposing a withdrawal of my action against the club, but I do not missed to disclose it at this stage. These terms had nothing to do with the question of resignation. “I shall be pleased if they would make one simple decision. Are they going to fulfil their obligations under my contraction with the club are they going to take action for breach of contract or have I to continue with my action?” Six directors attended the meeting which issued last night’s statement and the Photostat copy. Absent were the club chairman, Mr. Ernest Green, and Mr. Norman Coffey, who is ill. The board will meet again during the week to settle the composition of their cup team to play Manchester City in Manchester on Saturday and to deal with any other development in the crisis.
City Wait
Clarke to Have Test Prior
To Everton Cup-Tie
Manchester City will not announce their team to meet Everton at Maine Road to the F.A Cup Sixth Round game until Friday. They are to give a fitness test to their Welsh international left winger. Roy Clarke, who missed last weeks game at Preston because of a pulled muscle. The City players are now able to train on the pitch for the first time for many years. Practically all the snow has gone from the ground, following slight rain and a rise in temperature during the night.

EVERTON PEACE MOVE?
February 29, 1956. The Liverpool Echo
By Leslie Edwards
The resignation of Mr. Ernest Green, seventy-four year old chairman; the appointment in his place of Mr. R.E. Searle the naming of a sub-committee of three (Messrs T.C. Nuttall, C.E. Baimforth and F. Micklesfield) to look after matters affecting the playing staff these were decisions taken at an Everton F.C. board meeting which lasted from 4 o’clock until 7-20 last evening. At Buxton where Everton players prepare for their cup-tie on Saturday against Manchester City at Manchester the party were still in the charge of trainer Charles Leyfield. Everton fans who have followed Battle of Britain and Battle of Board room step by step these past five days are wondering how and where the crisis can end. ..How the club can be restored to harmony and the team made to realize that the board are united behind them. New chairman, Mr. Searle has already asked for unity round the board and a good team spirit.
Gesture to Britton
But what is the next step? The selection of a new team manager (one who will obviously not enjoy the wide powers of his predecessor) may be delayed. Meantime there is inspired opinion that Everton may seek to close the Britton regime once and for all by a gesture such as they have often made to old servants, many of whom have good reason to be grateful for their post-service treatment by the club. Following their long meeting in a Liverpool hotel yesterday no director would take the club’s prepared statement on the chairman and sub-committee further but the fact that the board so long after the statement published and that they had their legal side at their side suggests that they may be considering a means of ending the quarrel between them and their former manager.

EVERTON F.C. COMMITTEE SOON GETS TO WORK
February 29, 1956. The Liverpool Echo
Talks to Training Staff At Goodison Last Night
Letter To Mr. Britton
By Ranger
Now that the exchanges between Mr. Cliff Britton and the Everton Board have temporarily subsided what supporters of the club are concerned about is the effect the recent managerial and board-room equable is likely to have upon the players particularly at this critical juncture of the F,A Cup Competition. So far as possible every step being taken to see that the players and training staff are not adversely affected either during the remainder of this week or at any later stage of the season. To this end that three members of the new sub-committee which is charged with the temporary direction of seen affairs went to Goodison Park last evenings, upon the conclusion of the Board meeting, for take with all the members of the training staff, right down to those looking after the most junior sides.
Ideal Welcomed
The directors explained to the members of the training staff who were portent and who had earlier been warned their presence would be required that it was the sole desire of the new sub-committee to establish amicable working in all departments of the club’s activities and particularly with regard to the playing staff. “We went mutual understanding and confidence right from the start, and hat everybody should pull together for the good of the Everton club. Was the prevailing motive of the discussions. The staff were assured that their past services were gratefully appreciated and that every opportunity would be given these to put forward any helpful ideals in the future. In addition to the training staff a similar assurance was given to all members of the office and ground staffs.
No Instructions”
At least the members of the Board will be going to Buxton tomorrow to convey the same ideas to the first team and reserve players who are training there for Saturday’s sixth round Cup-tie with Manchester City at Maine Road. “We are not going there to give them “instructions” or in interfere in any way with playing matters said one director today. “All we went to do is to make them feel happy and comfortable. It has been a rather trying period for them just as well as the Board and we fully realize their feelings. All we shall do will be to foster the existing team spirit and assure them of our belief in their ability to make further progress in the cup.
Purely Temporary
“Our last words will be ‘Go out and do your best, and we shall be more than satisfied, We know that if you get a fair share of luck you can take me to the semi-final again.” The Board has no desire to keep the present sun committee in operation any longer than to vitally necessary. It is purely a temporary measure to tide over the present emergency. When a new manager is eventually appointed the sub-committee will probably be disbanded but whatever appointment is made the occupant of the managerial chair will be expected to consult the Board on matters upon which they consider, it expedient they should have some say. If signings are considered necessary he will be asked for his recommendation. The existing Youth Plan will not be hampered in any way. Indeed consideration will be given to the possibility of increasing its activates and ensuring that the young players have greater opportunities of making their way to the Central league side, and eventually. If senior players are injured of having a chance to see what they can do in the highest company of all.
Letter sent
“I have no comment to make” said Mr. Britton when I spoke to him after the directors” meeting last night. No director will make any statement at this juncture as to what decisions were taken in the presence of their legal adviser at the meeting. They are waiting until Mr. Britton has received the letter which it was decided to send him. I understand that the decision to send this letter and the question of its contents was unanimously approved by all eight directors. This will be dispatched today by registered post after that the next move will rest with Mr. Britton. So far as the Board is concerned the prevailing view seems to be that the sooner the matter can by forgotten and a new start made the better. It may he, however that the last shots in the dispute will be fired in the law courts. That, however, would not be through any action by the Board. The majority section of directors deny that they have ever had any intention of proceeding against Mr. Britton for breach of contract. “We value his past services too highly for that despite the various difference of opinion which have arisen and not just never recent weeks, said one of them.

NEW SOCCER CHIEFS
February 29, 1956 Liverpool Echo
Appointments at Both Clubs
Ranger’s Notes
Both the Everton and Liverpool clubs steer their course under a new chairman as from today, Mr. R.E Searle having been appointed to the Everton position upon the resignation of Mr. Green and Mr. T.V. Williams taking over at Liverpool following the death of Mr. W.J. Harrop. Both appointments were made within a few minutes of each other, the Everton one at a meeting in a city hotel and the Liverpool one when the Anfield directors met at the club offices. After the Everton meeting has been in progress an hour and a half Mr. W. Dickinson the club secretary came out of the room and read an official statement to waiting reporters to the effect that Mr. Ernest Green, who has been chairman for the past three years had tendered his resignation “under the present difficult circumstances.” The statement went on “Expressions of appreciation for his past services were paid to Mr. Green by each member of the Board, and his resignation was accepted with regret. The board then unanimously elected Mr. R.E. Searle as chairman. A subcommittee of three directors (Messrs T.C. Nuttall C.E Balmforth and F. Micklesfield) was appointed to deal with all matters relating to the playing staff. Mr. Nuttall will be chairman of this. Having passed on this information Mr. Dickinson returned to the boardroom. The club solicitor was then called into the room –he had previously been waiting on able-room and remained in conference with the directors for well over an hour.
Would Not Be Right
When the meeting finally broke up after a three hours sitting no further statement was made. It was obvious from the presence of the club adviser; however that discussion had been taking place regarding the dispute with Cliff Britton. I gathered unofficially that the Board rest it would not be right to make any statement regarding the position in relation to the former manager until Mr. Britton had been advised in writing of what the board had decided. In a short address on taking the chair Mr. Searle said that he hoped the Board would pull together as a united team for the future well-being of Everton. One of the items on the evening agenda related to the forthcoming tour of America and it was decided that Mr. Green and Mr. Sharp –the latter has also been a supporter of Mr. Britton –should accompany the players on the trip. Mr. Searle first joined the Everton board in 1942, but lost his place in 1951 when he opposed the board and fought on his own. He came back two years later, however.

 

 

February 1956