A VOYAGE OF DISCOVERY –BY EVERTON
August 2, 1956. The Liverpool Daily Post
By Leslie Edwards
There are signs at Goodison Park that things have changed. One of the young Everton Reserve team players –Ken Rea a wing half-back –produces the classic story of the man who was good enough given his chance. Rea a Lambert Road schoolboy played for the city boys team, and “for Lancashire boys and joined the Everton ground staff straight from school. Ultimately he was signed as a full professional. Army service at Shrewsbury did not precluded Everton from giving him a few games but scarcely ever did they request his services. The result was that Rea lost some of his interest in football.
Everton’s first list of players chosen for the tour of the United State had to the amended the regime had changed meanwhile Rea and Birch, another young half back were included in place of two on the original list. The Everton plan on tour was to give everyone a game, if possible. Rea got his sooner than expected and played so brilliantly Everton players and officials hardly knew how to rate the performance. He played again and again. Only then did the experts, including first team players began to appreciate just how good a player the tour had unearthed. In every respect this 5f 9ins tall, twenty-one-years-old did his job superbly till Directors Ernest Green, Jack Sharp almost ran out of superlatives. This in the space of a few weeks Rea has established himself as an Everton player of standing. He’s no longer frustrated and anticipated the start of the season with as much enthusiasm as those who helped to established him as a half-back of the future. Another young Evertonian who may make his first team place is Albert Dunlop, a goalkeeper who keeps his eye and hands, in during the close season as batsman and close fielder with Liverpool C.C. Dunlop was showered with praise after the Central League Derby match last season. At one stage a few weeks ago he told a colleague that this might be his last season in soccer if… No need to finish the sentence, Dunlop like Rea has evidently felt more than a little frustrated that he should never get his chance with the first team. He’s likely to get it now. Meanwhile fitness coach Ian Buchan from Loughborough has added spice to Everton training by methods he learned and taught at the Leicestershire head-quarters of physical training. His main theme so far is body fitness. Given that he argues a player is able to get full value for his football ability. Trainer Harry Cooke, equipment chief stays on. His experience in the treatment of football injury is invaluable they say. Besides, there’s only one Harry Cooke.
August 8, 1956. The Liverpool Echo
Everton’s line up of Blues and Whites includes one or two moves which are being tried as a possible guide to the future. Mayers for instances, is having a run in the senior eleven at inside right. The club knows what he can do at outside right, and in any case has plenty of candidates for that berth. Meagan is another up-and-coming youngster in the side at inside left. Donovan tried at inside forward last season, returns to the right back position, and Moore, an ever-present there last winter, is in the Whites eleven, for which McNamara appears at centre forward, another of the club’s experimental moves. The names read;- Blues; O’Neill; Donovan, Tansey; Farrell, Jones, Lello; Harris (b), Mayers, Harris (J), Meagan, Eglington. Whites;- Dunlop; Moore, Leaders; Birch, Woods, Rea; Payne, Farrell, McNamara, Fielding, Williams (J). Several changes will be made for the second half of the game though these will not be decided until later, following private practice matches this week. It is doubtful whether Willie Haughey, and the young Scottish signing of whom so much is expected will appear. He did not report for training until the middle of last week, and has not had the same amount of tuning up as his colleagues. The teams for the Youth match which produces the senior trail will be announced later. Here also the decision is deferred pending further practice games this week.
CURTAIN RAISER FOR COMING SOCCER CAMPAIGN
August 10, 1956. The Liverpool Echo
English enthusiasts have tomorrow’s public matches to give them something to talk about. From what I hear Everton supporters have been engaged in some controversy since the Goodison trial teams were announced. Much of it has resolved around the constitution of the “Blue” eleven. In past years this has usually been regarded as the likely first team for the opening matches of the forth coming campaign. Whether that can be assumed to be so on this occasion is a matter upon which no official statement is forthcoming. We must wait and see. But it is intriguing to see Mayers and Meagan in the inside forward positions. These are two of the younger Everton professionals who are expected to be well in the running for regular senior preferment this winter. With the departure during the close season of Parker, Wainwright, Potts and Lewis all inside forwards it was obvious that there would be a reconstituted attack for the new campaign. Mayers is no newcomer to the first team of course. He first appeared over three years ago against Bury at Goodison Park. It was one of those story-book debuts too, for he scored a couple of goals, one of them among the best of the season. He was them at our side right which hitherto has been regarded as his nature position. He has been doing well recently in private trials at inside right, however, if he comes up to expectations he has a splendid opportunity to make the berth his own. A native of Liverpool, Mayers was originally recommended to Everton by their reserve goalkeeper, Albert Dunlop, and signed his first professional form over five years ago. Last season, he made seven senior appearances all at outside right except one on the opposite flank, and scored two goals.
Native of Dublin
“Chick” Meagan or Michael Kevin if you want his formal names, is another of the young players, whose big chance is now looming on the horizon. Meagan a native of Dublin aged 22 played for Irish junior clubs Rathfarnham and Johnville before signing for Everton as an amateur in June 1952 and turning professional 18 months later. He is a former Eire Youth international and two years ago, having served his apprenticeship with the Everton junior sides, he was promoted to the Central League team. Altogether he has figured in 14 matches in that competition, filling three berths –both of the inside forward positions and outside left. another angle of the Blues’ line-up which has caused some comment relates to the return of Donovan at right back in place of Moore. The experiment with Donovan last season at inside right did not come up to the club’s hopes, although he had some success as an attacker on the American tour. Most folk will be glad to see him back in the defence though at the same time wondering how that may affect Moore, who was automatic selection all last season, and played consistently throughout. Like other problems that is something which time will sort out. The more competition there is for first team places the better so long as those who may temporarily have to take a back seat view the matter in the right spirit and determine to make an effort to fight their way back.
With the departure of Leyland, Dunlop now appears to be second choice to O’Neill for goal. He may make the Eire international pull out his best to keep it that way. Other interesting angles of the Whites team include the introduction of Rea who did so well on the American tour, the selection of Fred Leeder who was signed from Seaton Delaval, the South-Eastern side last March and the experiment with McNamara as a centre forward. Leeder should not be confused with Loader the wing half or inside forward who came from Barry Town on the recommendation of former Evertonian Laurice Lindley, now Crewe Alex’s manager. McNamara has the height for a leader. What remains to be proved is whether he also has the attributes of shooting power and determination. All things considered tomorrow’s Goodison practice match is more intriguing than some of past years. Blues; O’Neill; Donovan, Tansey; Farrell, Jones, Lello; Harris (b), Mayers, Harris (J), Meagan, Eglington. Whites;- Dunlop; Moore, Leaders; Birch, Woods, Rea; Payne, Farrell, McNamara, Fielding, Williams (J).
August 11, 1956. Liverpool Daily Post
Everton’s added attraction is a trial of junior before the senior match. The youth’s kick-off is timed for 2 0’clock. I do not doubt keen Evertonians –will be in their places to see both matches. The public like to check up and coming players from such matches. But judgment on Senior trials must be withheld. There are so many good reasons why the good players look ordinary and the promising young players seems the answer to all problems. History shows that trial games form is rarely conclusive. Blues; O’Neill; Donovan, Tansey; Farrell, Jones, Lello; Harris (b), Mayers, Harris (J), Meagan, Eglington. Whites;- Dunlop; Moore, Leaders; Birch, Woods, Rea; Payne, Farrell, McNamara, Fielding, Williams (J)
NO BIDS FOR GAULD GLITTER
August 11, 1956 Liverpool Echo
A report that Everton are likely to bid for Jimmy Gauld, Charlton’s inside forward who has been out on the transfer list at his own request is denied by the Goodison Park club. Mr. T.C. Nuttall, chairman of the directorial sub-committee told me that their present playing staff would be sufficient for all requirements, that Gauld’s name had not been considered by the board and that it was extremely unlikely Everton would make any bid. Liverpool’s name has also been linked with Gauld, but there was no support for this rumour when inquiries were made today.
THE “OLD-FIRM” AT GOODISON
August 11, 1956. The Liverpool Echo
Still Shining –But New Boy Impresses
Blues;- O’Neill, goal; Donovan and Tansey, backs; Farrell (captain), Jones and Lello, half-backs; Harris (B), Maters, Harris (J), Meagan, and Eglington, forwards. Whites;- Dunlop, goal; Moore and Leeder, backs; Birch, Woods, and Rea, half-backs; Payne, Farrell, McNamara, Fielding and Williams (JD), forwards. Referee; Mr. J. Mitchell (Whiston). After the terrific morning downpour which at one time threatened today’s Goodison Park practice match with cancellation the sun came out, the surplus water drained away quickly and the pitch although soft looked in splendid condition, with a rather ticker covering of grass than usual. There was a good sized crowd for the junior match-which preceded the senior game –which the Blues won 4-1. The youngsters provided some excellent football.
This started off, with the Whites in full cry, and Fielding almost snatched a goal in the first minute. Only another 60 seconds had gone when Eglington ore through at top speed and delivered a splendid shot which Dunlop did well to turn round the corner. The game was fought out at a very fast pace from the early stages and there seemed; no doubt about it that the players were tuned up to the highest peak. It was however the older player who shone most, with Fielding, the oldest man on the field, the brains of the Whites’ attack, and Eglington. Harris (J) and Jones outstanding for the Blues. One notable feature was Eglington’s keen desire to shoot whenever possible and he was the Blues’ star marksman going close on three occasions, Harris (J) also tried two good headed efforts and one shot but Brian Harris should have given his side the lead very early on after a brilliant combined movement in which five of the Blues players took part.
Wood v. Harris
The Busies man on the Whites side was Dunlop who made several excellent saves. Rea from whom most people expected something abnormal after the way he has been written up recently in some quarters did not shine to any outstanding extent in the first half hour, but Woods despite having to make Jimmy Harris whose speed off the mark seemed even better than ever was the main bulwark of the second string defence. The standard of play was considerably better than the average practice match, and the established players were pulling out all they’d got and taking nothing for granted. Dunlops made another splendid save this time from his colleagues Rea whose attempted clearance during a goal-area scrimmage went the wrong way. The experiment of playing McNamara at centre-forward had brought nothing to write home about so far but he was up against a tough proposition in Jones. Half-time; Blues nil, Whites nil.
In the second half both sides were changed considerably but more particularly, the Whites, for whom McNamara, Rea and Woods were the only three remaining. In the Blues, Moore, Payne and Fielding took over from Donovan, Harris (B), and Mayers, while the Whites line up was Harris (A); Sanders, Sutherland; Loader, Woods, Rea; Harris (B), H Barr, McNamara, Haugley, Williams (G).
The name of Barr had the crowd puzzled for nobody had heard of him. He is a former Cliftonville amateur from Northern Ireland and an Irish amateur international. Barr was recommended to Everton by their coach Ian Buchan who had him under his charge at Lougborough College. Barr is a sportmaster at a Belfast school. The name of Haugley brought forth a small cheer when announced over the loud speaker. This is a Scottish boy whom Everton signed during the summer from Larkhill Thistle.
Excitement at Last
Haughley soon had the crowd buzzling with excitement when following a corner, he hooked in a splendid shot in the first minute of the second half which was a goal all over until Tansey fisted it out, while standing near the goal post. The ball went straight to Haughley again who this time hooked it into the centre of the net. The whistle had already gone for a penalty, however, and from the spot Woods beat O’Neill to put the Whites in front. Haughey showed wisdom in his distribution of the ball and also the position of a lovely body swerve.
The Blues forward line carved out more openings though without giving Harris any real difficult work, Farrell who had played well throughout showed a surprising turn of speed in one sprint in which he outpaced the tall McNamara to save what might have been an awkward situation.
Barr joins Everton
Belfast News-Letter - Monday 13 August 1956
H. Barr, the Irish amateur international Inside forward, who played for Cliftonville last year, has signed for Everton and played in a trial game in Liverpool on Saturday.
HAUGHEY TOOK THE EYE
August 13, 1956. The Liverpool Daily Post
Blues 0, Whites 1
The evidence of this game like so many of previous years, may prove misleading. Indeed one hopes for Everton’s sake that will be so, for few of the younger players fully lived up to expectations, although the game produced some interesting football mostly from the established players. Neither Mayers, Meagan, nor Farrell hit their best form, and it was Haughey a Scot from Larkhill Thistle who took the eye most among the junior aspirants despite the fact that he is clearly not as forward in his training as some of his colleagues. He was short of speed at times, but made up for this by clever positional play and anticipation. He got the ball into the net twice which was more than any other forward could do once, but neither effort counted. The only score of the day was a penalty by Woods after one of Haughey’s shots had been fisted out by Tansey, but if Blues forwards had faced a less capable goalkeeper than Dunlop they might have been three up at half-time. On the showing Dunlop is going to be a strong rival to O’Neill for first time preference while Harris (A), who took over in the second half also shaped confidently.
Moore looked better than Donovan for the right back berth, and Woods confirmed the form that he showed when coming into the senior side for a brief spell last winter. McNamara hardly seems likely to fill the bill at centre forward and Rea, though showing neat touches and strong tackling on occasion needs more experience. Sanders and Loader, two newcomers who were included in Whites team in the second half shaped promisingly at right-back and right half and the two unrelated Williams on the left wing had their moments one figuring in each half. The pace of the match was speedy at the start was well maintained for an hour or so, and then slackened off, with the Whites –whose formation was changed in eight places for the second half, compared with only three alterations in the Blues –having slightly the better of matter’s in the closing stages. The best players among the full ninety minutes performers were nearly all the old and trusted ones, such as Eglington, Harris (J), Farrell, Tansey and Jones.
EVERTON SIGN IRISH AMATEUR
August 13, 1956. The Liverpool Daily Post
After the trial match at Goodison Park on Saturday Everton signed Hubert Barr on amateur forms. Aged 21 he is a games master in Northern Ireland and an Irish amateur international and former Clintonville player Barr played at inside-right in Whites’ team for the second half. He was formerly a pupil under Ian Buchan the Everton coach who has a high regard for his possibilities.
TRAIL GAMES PROPOUND PUZZLING PRE-SEASON PROBLEMS
August 13, 1956. The Liverpool Echo
Here is a Soccer problem on the eve of the new season is it better for a public trial to disclose that one club side it considerably superior to the second string, as was the case at Anfield or does it auger more hope for the future when the two seem reasonably evenly matched, as at Goodison? You can choose either way, possibly according to your loyalty to one club or the other. Or you can say, which may be nearer the mark that trial match-form was always a snare and delusion and the less reliance we place on it the better. For the peace of mind of supporters of both clubs one hopes that the latter is the right answer. At Everton, whose game was the one I watched the only men to sparkle to any extent were those who are already firmly established and about whom we are aware of all there is to know. None of them seem to need worry much that they will be ousted from the first team very quickly, Eglington was the star forward in the first half, well ahead of anybody else, with Jimmy Harris, Fielding (in the second string) and Brian Harris coming next in order. Defensively, the honours went to Jones, Farrell, Woods and Dunlop. The latter gave a splendid display. He alone saved the Whites from being well behind at the interval. In the second half the Whites eleven was changed in eight places and newcomers like Sanders. Loader, Haughey, and an amateur debutant from the Belfast area, Hubert Barr, got a chance to show what they could do. Some shaped reasonably promising but none of the younger professionals really stood out throughout the game in a matter which made one sit up and think that here was somebody who was rapidly and sensationally going to write his name in the annuals of the club. There was a reasonable standard of competency, but no more. It would be decidedly unfair, however, to be too critical or expectant on the basis of one game –and in some cases only half a game.
The Main Need
Just as many a player in the pass has shown up well in a practice game and subsequently failed to live on to his one day of glory, other do not always do themselves full justice. Allowing for all that, however, I confess to some disappointment that we saw so little that was impressive from either Mayers, Farrell or Meagan in the inside forward positions. Mayers, normally a winger, did not seem to relish the berth and Meagan and Farrell though using the ball nicely at times were hardly coloured on the map in a shooting sense, and that is what Everton need. Despite the Blues having much the better of the first half they never got the ball in the net and that as I have said so often, is what counts. Some of their approach work was excellent and they kept the ball well on the ground, but never a goal came. True, Dunlop foiled them several times, notably Eglington and the two Harrieses and saved shots that were worthy of a goal, but that is what goalkeepers are there to do. Others besides Dunlop will certainly perform similarly in the months ahead. Haughey, with nothing like so many scoring openings did get the ball into the net twice. Neither counted for the first “score” came from the rebound after tansy had fisted out his earlier effort, and the second from an offside position, though by a matter of inches only. Matt Woods converted the penalty which followed in the wake of Tansey’s salvation act, and that was the only legitimate goal of the match.
Woods Did Well
Haughey obviously needs speeding up quite a bit, but equally clearly he has football ability positional sense, a neat body swerve. He looked one of the most promising of the new lads. Loader and Sanders are both extremely well built and reasonably competent looking, and with the massive Woods and the sturdy Sutherland alongside them the Whites rearguard in the second half had plenty of physical attributes. Woods played well throughout against Jimmy Harris. But that fact told us nothing we did not already know. His first team appearances, last season confirmed that he is a pivot not far behind the consistent Jones in ability and strength. While the experiment with McNamara at centre forward produced nothing of real note I should be the last to say it should be scrapped on that account. One putting is not enough to prove anything either way. After being hailed in some quarters as something of a sensational discovery most spectators watched Rea keenly. They saw an earnest lad a hard worker and one who, despite being anything but strongly built came out of several tackles against more sturdy opponents with the ball at his feet. But hardly one who, on this showing at any rate is going to set the Mersey afire immediately. He has undoubted ability and promise but he will be all the better for being allowed to come along at a steady pace.
Full Back Puzzle
The Board may have a job deciding between Moore and Donovan for the right back berth, though to my mind, the former was slightly the better of the two, despite Eglington’s brilliant first half. Both the Williams boys- Graham and J.D Williams –shaped quite nicely. I like the perky confidence of the former Bradford City lad. At least he knows what he wants to do and is not afraid to take a chance. But he has a long way to go yet. The pace of the game at the start was faster than must practice outings. It was maintained well for about an hour, but the final 30 minutes progressively deteriorated, and the closing stages were rather lusterless, and ordinary. Collectively there was some quite entertaining football most of it initiated and sustained more by older players than the younger ones. Towards the finish, after both Blues and Whites forward had passed and re-passed in the penalty area on many occasions, the crowd raised the old plaintive cry that we have heard so often at Goodison before; “Have a go.”
Following the match Everton signed inside forward Hubert Barr, a 21-years-old Cliftonville and Irish amateur international on amateur forms. A school master and games teacher in Northern Ireland, Barr recently took a course at Loughborough Training College where Ian Buchan the Everton coach was impressed by his ability. It was on his recommendation that Barr was invited to play. Though he did not do himself full justice on Saturday –he has not been in proper training –Everton believe that he will be an acquisition in due course.
Billy Cook, the former Everton and Irish international full back has been appointed manager of Wigan Athletic in succession to Ronnie Suart who is now manager of Scunthorpe United. He begins his duties at Springfield Park immediately.
NO, NO –GIVE IAN BUCHAN A FAIR CRACK!
August 15, 1956. The Liverpool Daily Post
By Leslie Edwards
Before the first ball is kicked at Goodison Park , captious critics are kicking the club and their fitness coach Ian Buchan, who learned and taught his physical fitness methods at Loughborough College. A correspondent who saw Ian on television has already come to the conclusion that we need not bother about Everton this season and that Buchan should be coaching marathon runners, not soccer stars. Well, if our evidence of the fitness of marathon runners at Anfield last Saturday is any criterion any training which produces men who can run twenty-six miles in about two and a half hours might not be such a bad thing. My correspondent suggests that weight-lifting and running seen to be Ian’s pet methods. He cites the cases of Dixie Dean, Billy Wright, Sam Chedgzoy and others…men whose football was learned with a football not with barbell exercises. In his opinion, he says Everton will be fighting to maintain their place in Division 1. We shall see!
Certainly I think it wrong to be critical of Buchan before the effect of his methods have been given a fair chance. From visual evidence of more than one Everton player I can testify to the fat-reducing effect of the training they have been having under Buchan’s supervision, during the past few weeks. All who know Buchan rate him as one of the nicest most expert of physical coaches. He knows his football too. I would say that if he can get the loyalty and enthusiasm of Everton players, for his new training schedules his work should be fruitful. But there is always the possibility that fresh fitness methods cannot be made to seem fresh if worked week after week, month after month.
NO REAL SURPRISES IN EVERTON SIDES
August 15, 1956. The Liverpool Echo
Everton away to Leeds United have three changes compared with the eleven which did duty in the concluding matches of last season. O’Neill returns to goal in place of Harris (A), who has been away on holiday and is not fully forward with his training, Lello, missing from the last four games in April takes the place of Birch and Mayers comes on for Fielding who will be twelfth man. The experiment is continued of playing Donovan at inside right where he had six outings last spring and scored one goal. the team reads; Everton; O’Neill; Moore, Tansey; Farrell, Jones, Lello; Harris (B), Donovan, Harris (J), Mayers, Eglington.
There are three debutants in the Central league side, which is home to Burnley (3.15). One of them is Sanders a right back formerly with Manchester City who gave him a free transfer. Possessed of strong physical attributes Sanders shaped promisingly in the practice match on Saturday. The other debutants are Haughey the former Larkhill Thistle inside forward who also made a good show in the trial and J.D Williams his extreme wing partner. Williams was signed some months ago on his release from the R.A.F for whom he played in several representative matches. He comes from the Market Drayton area and was strongly recommended to Everton by one of their scouts. Payne was not considered for either team this week as he has a heavy cold, and was not really fit to play on Saturday. The Central League side reads; Dunlop; Sanders, Sutherland; Birch, Woods, Rea; Tomlinson, Farrell, McNamara, Haughey, Williams (WD). Everton “A”;- (v. Preston North End “A” at Bellefield); Harris (A); Parkes, Heyes; Leoder, Billington; Smith, Vizard, H. Barr, Kirby, Thomas, Williams (G).
BLACKBURN R. SEEK LEYFIELD BID FOR FORMER EVERTONIAN
August 15, 1956. The Liverpool Echo
Blackburn Rovers, still searching for a goalkeeper to replace Elvy, transferred to Northampton, have turned their attention to Harry Leyland, the former Everton player, who recently signed for Tonbridge Wells a Kent League side, but still remains on Everton’s open-to-transfer list. Leyland is being intervened by Blackburn Rovers officials who, if they come to terms with him, will have to deal with both Everton and Tombridge Wells. Should Leyland sign for Blackburn, Everton will get a fee, but not if he decides to remain with Tonbridge, who are outside the scope of Football League regulations it will also be necessary for Tonbridge to agree to his release, assuming Leyland wishes to join Blackburn. If he does so he will be the second Everton goalkeeper since the war to sign for a non League club but not play for them. A few years ago, Everton put Burnett on the transfer list and he signed for South Liverpool. But a couple of days later Sagar was injured and Everton persuaded South Liverpool to let them have Burnett back. At the moment Patterson who is getting on, is the only experienced goalkeeper on Blackburn’s books. Leyland is a capable custodian, and just the man to come to their rescue.
MAYERS AND FIELDING
August 16, 1956. The Liverpool Daily Post
By Leslie Edwards
Nothing like football for starting tongues a wagging. People last night were already discussing the preference of Derek Mayers for Wally Fielding in the Everton side at Leeds on Saturday. The Everton Board plainly knows its own know best and in any event they are the men who are prepared to be judged by their stewardship. We must wait to see. Meanwhile the clubs chairman Mr. R.E. Searle is unable to see the start of the season. He underwent in London last Saturday a facial operation. His wife is staying in London while he remains in hospital. In his absence Mr. Tom Nuttall vice-chairman is taking the chair. Long service Evertonian Harry Leyland attached to the club since he was 14 –he is now 25 –makes ready to sign today for Blackburn Rovers, Everton placed him on the list last May. Tonbridge the Kent club he later joined have agreed to release him to Blackburn. During Everton’s cup run last season Leyland went far towards making his place secure in the Everton goal. Everton (at Leeds); O’Neill; Moore, Tansey; Farrell, Jones, Lello; Harris (B), Donovan, Harris (J), Mayers, Eglington.
EVERTON AT LEEDS
August 17, 1956 Liverpool Echo
One of the main angles of interior attacking to Everton’s game against newly promoted Leeds United at Elland Road will centre in the performances of the Blues front line, in which Donovan again appears with Mayers at inside left. I trust that the absence of ball-playing Fielding has no detriment effect on the line and that Mayers shapes well in his unaccusitioned role. If the Blues can get a half-share they should be well satisfied. Leeds were defeated only once on their own ground last winter. As manager Carter is fielding the established and proven players of last season it is a not unreasonable assumption that Leeds even though in a higher sphere, will serve up displays of approximately the same caliber. This means that there may again be goal-scoring shyness from the wingers-only when goals came from there last season –and that John Charles will be the main danger man. Gentleman John is a great player, no matter where the appears and Everton must have a plan to keep him in subjection as much as possible. The Leeds defence had fewer goals against than any Second Division side last season. That tells its own tale of all-round solidity from Wallesey born goalkeeper Royden Wood to left half Eric Kerfoot. The six defenders played together almost unchanged after Charles switched over to the forward line and established a wonderful understanding. Everton did nothing in the public practice match to encourage on optimistic hopes of any great increase in their scoring rate. Only 53 goals in 42 League matches last season was not impressive. This is where there is room for considerable improvement. If it is not in evidence, the defence may again have to shoulder heavy responsibility. Everton; O’Neill; Moore, Tansey; Farrell, Jones, Lello; Harris (B), Donovan, Harris (J), Mayers, Eglington.
August 18, 1956. The Liverpool Daily Post
By Leslie Edwards
Everton, at Leeds, will know all about the Charles menace they know too, the menace of the Swansea member of the brotherhood. It was against Everton, at Aldershot where at 17, he played at left half that Charles meandered through the game, with fairly footsteps and to the dismay of some Everton defenders. Now he’s filled out to Dean proportions and is about a fine a centre head and foot, as we have had since Dean. Tom Jones among others, faces the job of dethroning, temporarily King Charles. He will need all his coolness and plenty of spring-in his boots to keep pace with the genial giant who can win a match within a few minutes if his marker relaxes. Everton are grambling on two forwards –Donovan at inside right and Mayers at inside left. Donovan’s propensity for being a striker in attack is well known, Mayers, always looked upon as a winger has impressed in the inside position trial football and gets his chance for that reason. Leeds lost only one home League game last season; their defence is excellent. But if Everton were to recapture such form as they showed at Spurs and again at Highbury last season they could win anywhere. Everton; O’Neill; Moore, Tansey; Farrell, Jones, Lello; Harris (B), Donovan, Harris (J), Mayers, Eglington. Leeds United; Wood; Dunn, Hair; Gibson, Charlton, Kerfoot; Meek, Charles, Brook, Nightingale, Overfield.
IT RAINED GOALS ON EVERTON AT LEEDS
August 18, 1956. The Liverpool Echo
No Answer to Live Attack
Leeds 5, Everton 1
Leeds framed a first half blitz against Everton and had the game in safekeeping in 17 minutes. Everton were outplayed and outmanoceourved by the fast United attack and poor marking did not help. They had only ten men for the better part of the game, but so had Leeds. Leeds United;- Wood, goal; Dunn and Hair, backs; Gibson, Charlton and Kerfoot, half-backs; Meek, Charles, Brook, Nightingale, and Overfield, forwards. Everton; O’Neill, goal; Moore and Tansey, backs; Farrell (captain), Jones and Lello, half-backs; Harris (B), Donovan, Harris (J), Mayers and Eglington, forwards. Referee; Mr. K.A Collinge (Sale, Cheshire). Leeds United played almost the same side which gained them promotion, Gibson was the exception. Everton made an experiment of playing Derek Mayers at inside left. The Leeds club anticipated a big gate for the opening game in the new division but the weather had its effect for it was not as big as anticipated. Big gate for the opening game in the new division, but the weather had its effect for it was not as big as anticipated. The ground looked well for it has a good covering of grass. The new stand was anything but full. There was a last minute line-up in the Everton team, Mayers taking over the centre-forward position, and Jim Harris at inside left. Everton went straight into the attack and were soon clustered round the Leeds goal, but Moore’s intended job into the goalmouth passed outside. Right from the clearance the United right wing slipped along and when Meek gave the ball to Charles the Welshman weaved his way through and passed to Brook who in turn passed it over to Overfield who scored with a left foot angled shot. Tansy and Charles had to receive attention immediately the goal was scored. This was at two and a quarter minutes and put the Leeds folk on good terms with themselves and for a few minutes Leeds were on top without causing any further damage. It was then Everton’s turn and from a quick raid Donovan tried a long shot which passed high over the bar. It was not long before the United were down in the Everton goalmouth but a corner brought them nothing. Leeds were playing fast and forceful football and which Mayers went off following a tackle Leeds hit again and Charles perfectly placed for Brook’s lob headed beyond O’Neill to score goal number two at ten minutes, Mayers returned and went to outside right. At the 12th minute Leeds had made it three. Brook picked up a loose ball and ran in to score the third United goal, putting the ball wide of O’Neill. The Everton defence could not cope with the quick movements of the quick-moving Leeds attack and at 17 minutes Brooks unchallenged pluked his shot to head in Meek’s centre, shortly after this Mayers left the field.
Wood had his first handling case when he caught a deflected shot from Donovan. As Nightingale went to the touchline for attention Mayers returned but was limping badly. Overfield tried a shot which was deflected and O’Neill had to make a good save. Everton were a little more settled but their attacks were rather easily held. Brook was offside when he made a shot and Donovan also fell to the offside trap at the other end. Mayers went off again and Nightingale also had gone to the dressing-room. The spectators had certainly had value for money with four goals in 17 minutes and two players off injured. There was a prospect of another goal to Leeds when Charles ran through and O’Neill was the only Everton men facing him. Charles tried to hook the ball beyond the Everton goalkeeper but O’Neill managed to get his hand to the ball and turn it away for a corner. Four goals were not enough, so far as Leeds were concerned, for they continued to press hard and when Overfield scooped up the ball Brooks calmly headed it into the Everton net at the 35th minute, the ball passing just inside the angle of the woodwork. Everton’s task was mammoth and the way Leeds were playing more goals seemed to be their position.
What struck the most forcibly was that there had been no sound marking. Much of Leeds success was due to the inspiring play of Charles. His distribution was excellent. By comparison there had not been one attack by Everton worth the name O’Neill pounced on a Brook’s shot to keep the score down, and caught a centre from Brook which was sailing straight to Charles head. I hear that Nightingale has a knee injury –suspected cartilage trouble. Just on the interval Brian Harris had a good shot saved by Wood. O’Neill made further saves as the half ended. Half-time-Leeds United 5, Everton nil.
Mayers did not resume with his colleagues on the resumption, I learn his injury may be serious but that will not be known until he has an X-ray. Leeds started off as they left off, attacking strongly and O’Neill was soon in action. Nothing would go right for Everton.
As an example , when Eglington headed in the ball struck the upright rolled along the line, and was cleared, the ball rolling back to Wood, O’Neill was kept busy, for the Everton defence could just not hold this rampant Leeds attack. He stopped an awkward one from Kerfoot and then made a brilliant save from Overfield. Everton’s display was lifeless, Leeds got on with the job while Everton tried to tip-tap their way through. This had no hope against solid United defence. Jim Harris by the way, was wearing the “9” jersey, Leeds were uncommonly quiet compared t what they were in the first half but with a five-goal lead they could afford to take things easy, particularly as Everton were rarely a threat.
More Action Call
The game had deteriorated so much that the supporters were calling for more action, Everton won a corner but it was speedily dealt with. It was obvious to all that Leeds were taking things easy although O’Neill had to make a good one-handed save from Brook. He made another from the same player. After Wood had saved from Brian Harris Everton got a goal through Farrell who shot from 40 yards. It was not a clean shot but It sufficed to beat Wood in the 82nd minute. Near the end Brian Harris was carried off the field injured. Final; :Leeds 5, Everton 1. Attendance 32,000.
THE GREAT DAY
August 18, 1956. The Liverpool Echo
Everton’s New Training Scheme Under Survey
By Peter Farrell
At last the great day is here and once more begins the long arduous League programme for English clubs. The players, after their short rest, followed by their preseason training spell, are only too, delighted to get started while the fans, fresh from their other close-season activities are also raring to go with their support of their favourities and their arguments and criticisms, constructive and otherwise, of the standard of play. It is generally acknowledged that despite decreasing gates and what some consider a decline in the general standard of play in recent years, the competition in the four English leagues is still the greatest in the football world. At the start of each season hopes are high in every club that the coming season will be a really good one, with an abundance of thrills and enjoyment for the fans. These hopes are either brightened or dummed by eventual results in the early large crop of fixtures before the clubs return to the normal routine of one game per week. We at Everton are looking forward to the coming season with a certain degree of confidence. If we can resume were we left off by producing the same brand of football as the Blues displayed in Canada and America, in their four meetings with Aberdeen who, by the way, finished second in the Scottish League last season then we should have good reason for viewing the season ahead of us with a certain degree of optimism. During the past four weeks under our new coach Ian Buchan all the boys at Goodison have undergone a very stremous yet interesting schedule of training. In our new gymnasium under the Gwladys Street Stand we have shed quite a lot of perspiration in our circuit training and weight-lifting.
We have also devoted much time endeavoring to speed up our movement in this respect with the aid of the stop watch. Mr. Buchan and his staff discovered that we have quite a few speed merchants in our ranks, and one morning Jimmy Harris the fastest man on the books, clocked 10 seconds for 100 yards which I am sure you will agree is a fantastically fast time for one who does no training as a sprinter. We have also devoted considerable time the ball, skills and the different phrases of our time. It will be interesting to see how this new form of training will benefit us both individually and collectively. Time will tell and I am sure all the hard work of the past month will have the boys right on their toes for the task ahead of us in giving 100 per cent effort in the cause of Everton. During our tour of America, I met a very famous former Everton player in the person of Sam Chedgzoy, Sam flow 500 miles to New York to see Everton play Aberdeen, only to learn that the game had been postponed owing to incessant rain. Despite his disappointment in not seeing the Blues in action Sam assured me that the journey had been well worthwhile and he had a lot of reminiscing to do with directors Mr. Green and Mr. Sharp about the old days, and he had many questions as to the whereabouts and welfare of some of his former colleagues. Before leaving, the former Everton winger asked me through this column to give a message of good wishes to all Evertonians who gave him such great encouragement from the terraces some years ago. Mention of our American tour reminds me that I met many exiled Evertonians and Liverpoolian folk. Most of them have settled down in the country of their adoption and seem to like it very much, but one thing which they assured me they miss more than anything else is their Saturday afternoon Soccer games at either Goodison or Anfield. No American sport they say can provide the same entertainment for them.
Congratulations t my pal Tommy Eglington on winning the North West Regional Golf Competition by the big margin of nine strokes from his nearest rival Don Revie. Tommy previously finished second in the competition proper. Perhaps this year he will ho one better at Bristol in October.
EVERTON RES V BURNLEY RES
August 18, 1956. The Liverpool Echo
Everton Res; Dunlop, goal; Sanders and Sutherland, backs; Birch, Woods and Rea, half-backs; Tomlinson, Farrell, McNamara, Haughey, and Williams, forwards. Burnley Res; Wilkinson, goal; Rudman, and Smith, backs; Bennion, Miller, and Wilson, half-backs; Shackleton, Stephenson, Dodd, Burke and Corgill, forwards. Referee; Mr. F.S. Jackson, Preston. In squelchy conditions Burnley were the first to press but Woods averted the danger and sent Birch away. Birch and Tomlinson then combined well before the former tested Wilkinson with a high spot. The visitors second attack yielded them three quick corners before Stephenson relieved the pressure by shooting high and wide. Tomlinson followed up a MCNamara shot to flash the ball across, the Burnley goalmouth whilst hard work by Williams enabled Birch to hit the side netting. After fifteen minutes play Everton went ahead when Birch had a shot fumbled and McNamara ran the ball home. The Everton goal had narrow escape when Burke got against Woods while Dunlop made a brilliant save from Dodd. Burnley were now the more effective side and after 34 minutes Stephenson equalized. Shackleton shot wide when he had a glorious opportunity of putting Burnley ahead. Half-time; Everton Res 1, Burnley res 1. Birch again set his forwards an example by bringing Wilkinson to his knees with a strong shot. Everton however, could not subdue the speedy Burnley forwards and Dunlop had to make four rap saves before Shackleton deservedly but Burnley ahead after 65 minutes play. A fine individual run by Stepheson was responsible for putting Burnley further ahead a minute later.
A SAD STORY OF EVERTON, BUT GOOD NEWS OF MAYERS
August 20, 1956. The Liverpool Daily Post
Leeds United 5, Everton 1
It is a sad story I have to tell, and it is not because of the margin of Everton’s defeat at Leeds but the manner of Leeds United’s victory. It was as convincing as any could be. I can offer no excuses for Everton’s poor display other than that they touched rock-bottom, performing more like a back-end than one which is starting out a new campaign. The club are banking a great deal on physical fitness and since the players reported for duty they have been put through a course of rigid training to get them in peak condition and ready to withstand the rigour of football. Well it was Leeds who looked and played like the fitter combination, truth to tell Everton were without spirit or determination. They were slow and lifeless as compared with Leeds, who were like greyhounds. They soon caught their hare and brought off the kill in just over fifteen minutes. To be hit so hard and so suddenly naturally impaired Everton’s confidence. They were confident when they tripped on to the field, but within minutes their poise had gone and there was no bite in their play. They had been shaken to the roots by this rampant Leeds side who went for goal without undue finesse and so undermined their opponent’s that Everton were never a threat. It was, to say the least a disturbing sight to see Everton riddled and as clay in the hands of the potter. Four goals in seventeen minutes –enough to knock any side out of its stride –but no fighting recovery came.
Time For Remedy
Perhaps it is as well the shock came so early for the problems (and there are several) can be tackled now. Where was the marking; the positional play and the spirit of Everton? Any side which is going to yield so readily has a hard time ahead. Not in one single position can it be truly said there was satisfaction. The defence had too many gaps; the challenging of the man in possession was not there; in fact it was a most dismal show. We cannot use the absence of Mayers from just before the second goal as an excuse, for not long afterwards Nightingale was taken off with suspected cartilage. No I can give only one reason for Everton’s heavy defeat. They were beaten by an infinitely better team. They were much to blame themselves for they failed to mark their men. Two goals were scored with no one within yards of the scorer. That will never do. You cannot give such men as Charles and Brook a free hand without asking for trouble. Overfield who notched the first goal, was given yards of room in which to move; in fact the whole Everton side was out of joint. The scoring efforts of the forwards could be counted on the fingers of one hand. O’Neill was not blameless- he might have got to two headers-but he made up with some brilliant saves in the second half. But the damage had been done. It was only a case of keeping the score down. Everton got a consolation goal near the end, when a shot by Farrell skidded off the water logged turf and beat Wood.
Not So Serious Mayers’ injury looked serious. There was a possibility of a break so he was sent to Leeds hospital and had an X-ray. Fortunately the plate showed only a badly bruised bone just below the knee. Brian Harris journey home with air an ankle injury and both must be considered doubtful for Wednesday’s game with Blackpool. Leeds were elated at their success as newcomers to the Division 1. If they can keep up this form, they will be a credit to Division 1. They were up and doing, making the ball do the work, unlike Everton who wanted to cuddle it. Such tactics could never succeed against a tight-bound United defence. I want to forget this game. It put Everton in a distinctly bad light. From stem to stern Leeds were much superior. Brook with three goals to his credit was the hero of the day, but Charles, without being outstanding, played a great part in the side’s success. Overfield and Charles scored the other two goals. O’Neill had an unenviable job for he was often left facing the entire Leeds forward line.
BRIAN HARRIS UNFIT FOR A MONTH
August 20, 1956. The Liverpool Daily Post
Brian Harris, the Everton winger, will be out of the game for a month, following a secure ankle strain at Leeds. Tony McNamara is now the club’s only wholly fit winger. Blackpool and (Everyone hopes) Stanley Matthews will be at Goodison Park on Wednesday. Everton are alive to their needs and will make their move in due course.
Everton Reserves (v. Sheff United this evening); Dunlop; Sanders, Leoder; Birch, Billingham, Rea; Tominson, Barr, Llewellyn, Meagan and JD Williams.
EVERTON RES 1, BURNLEY RES 3
August 20, 1956. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton failed to hold on to an early lead, and Burnley lasted the pace better, while Everton persisted in close passing Burnley soon realized that open football was more likely to succeed in the appalling conditions. Birch gave the Burnley goalkeeper most trouble, and eventually Wilkinson fumbled a pile-driver for McNamara to race in and score. Woods and Dunlop also started in the home defence, Burnley scorers were Stephenson (2) and Shackleton.
EVERTON LEFT TOO MANY GAPS IN THEIR DEFENCE
August 20, 1956. The Liverpool Echo
I have not got over these 17 hectic minutes at Elland Road yet. They were tremendous, so much so that the game was won and lost in these dynamic minutes. Furthermore Leeds had stripped Everton to the bone and made them look a skeleton of a team. The ancient at Goodison Park this season is physical fitness; new training methods have been brought in with the idea of making a team of athletics as well as footballers. They certainly did not shape up like a team of athletes at Elland Road, just the reverse for they played more like a back-end side than anything else. I know it is hard to get over an early body blow-and Everton suffered four of them in 17 minutes –but one at least expects a fight back, but Everton seemed to yield to the inevitable and things were made easy for the newly-promoted members of the League. It was not a pretty sight to see the Blues so nonplussed by the speedy United side. they did not seem to know which way to turn to check the onrush of goals –four in 17 minutes –and their covering tactics were so much at fault that there were great gaps in the defence through which the Leeds forwards slipped with the greatest of ease.
Could it have been the presence of big John Charles that caused such an upheaval in Everton defence or was it that early goal by Overhead. I could have been either, but whatever it was, Everton defence was just about as bad as ever it was on will be again. You cannot leave an “one road” in modern football but that is what Everton did at Leeds and the United speed down it without challenge. Two of the goals came from players who had been left unmarked. They could almost have had a cup of tea in the time at their disposal before they picked their spot to nod the ball into the net. It was disturbing to say the least. Up front the story was almost the same. There was not a forward there to give goalkeeper Wood the slightest trouble, so you can see the Leeds had no fear from that quartet, in fact they were soon to know that victory was to be theirs against this limped Everton. Everton were reduced to 10 men after 10 minutes and that invariably provides a reasonable excuse but one could not tag on to that for shortly afterwards, Nightingale was taken off, so the balance as evened out. What about the ground? Well that was soaked, and stodgy, Leeds mastered it by playing a more open game to counteract Everton’s more gentile football. Everton during the last season or so, had been famed for their fight-back. Time and again they retrieved themselves by rolling up their sleeves and hitting back hard and strong.
There was no such thing at Leeds and had it not been for several smart saves by O’Neill in the second half the United would have made it an even more unhappy day, yet I thought the Everton goalkeeper might have saved two of the goals, while at the same time realizing that he had very little cover, and was often left to battle on his own. Admitting that everything went right for Leeds they are entitled to credit for making the best use of anything that came their way. The nearest thing to an Everton goal-Farrell’s long shot which skiddled off the wet turf and eluded Wood part –was when Eglington headed in and Woods was saved y the woodwork. This was certainly not Everton’s day. Mayers injury was caused through a knock just below the knee. At first it was though there might be a broken bone so as a precautionary measure he was taken to the Leeds Hospital where he had an X-ray. Happily the “picture” showed no break, but a bad bruised bone.
The Old Trouble
The programme showed Jimmy Harris wearing a number nine jersey but when the team came out, he was No 10 and Mayers “9”. What the idea was I cannot say, but it did not fool the Leeds defenders in the second half when Mayers was an absentee Harris resumed with the “No 9” jersey. It may have been conflicting to the spectators, but not the Leeds team. Leeds were delighted with their successful return to first division football again after a lapse of nine years and if they can keep up this form they should do well, but they will not find many foemen so kind to them as Everton. Brook was the man of the moment with three goals –a “hat-trick” –to his credit, but he had fine support from his colleagues. I have seen John Charles play better, but he played his part well and is without doubt a great footballer. Nightingale injury is a suspect cartilage. Leeds seemed to ease off in the second half when Everton came more into the game but there was still the old trouble –no punch near goal.
• Ex-Evertonians-Eddie Wainwright, Gwynfer Lewis, and Jackie Grant played in the Rochdale side which defeated Barrow.
EVERTON RES 1, SHEFFIELD UNITED RES 2
August 21, 1956. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton Reserves Go Down Again
Everton Res suffered their second consecutive home defeat of the season at Goodison Park last night in a Central League match when they were beaten by a Sheffield United team who moved far more quickly and used the ball to better effect. Such was the paucity of shooting from the home attack that they rarely looked like scoring and their only goal, a quarter of an hour from the end when Richardson, right back turned the ball past his own goalkeeper in attempting a back pass. Humphries and Wilkinson scored the visitors goals.
LLEWELLYN’S DEBUT IN MUCH CHANGED SIDE
August 21 1956. The Liverpool Echo
Everton open their home programme tomorrow evening with a visit from Blackpool, runners-up to Manchester United last season. After the Blues’ most disappointing display against Leeds United on Saturday, Goodison Park supporters will be more than a trifle anxious regarding the outcome of the test against the Seasiders. The Goodison club will introduce a newcomer to League football in Bert Llewellyn a 17-years-old who only signed professional forms in May. Altogether Everton make five changes, one of them positional that being the switching of Jones to right back in place of Moore, Matt Woods coming in at centre half for Jones. The other alteration are the inclusion of McNamara and Fielding in the forward line in place of the injured Brian Harris and Mayers, Llewellyn replacing Donovan. Formerly with Shallcross Juniors Llewellyn is a Gofborne miner. He played six times with the England Youth X1 against some Lang Continental sides, and signed amateur forms two years ago. Like Everton, Blackpool failed to get off to a very good start, losing 1-4 to Bolton, so that Everton may have a better chance than some of their sterner critics are prepared to grant. The Goodison club also made a bad start last season losing four of their first six matches, but they got into their stride. Now there is a new regime at Everton which must gave a fair opportunity to get things licked into shape, and in view of the changes for tomorrow much hard thinking has obviously been done. I was not enamored of the decision to play Donovan and Mayers at inside forward at Leeds. To fill two key positions with a former full back and an extreme winger – the latter actually changed places with Jimmy Harris –looked a big risk, but I withheld criticism in order that they should be given a chance to justify themselves. Unfortunately the injury to Mayers upset the line, and meant the experiment could not be properly judged in relation to himself for Jimmy Harris, or even to Donovan for that matter. It is more unfortunate still that Everton should now be handicapped by injuries to Brian Harris and Payne. It further complicates the problem. Blackpool were one of the surprises of the First Division last season. Whether they can carry on in the same vein remains to be seen. A year ago they did not suffer defeat until the ninth match of the campaign and despite injuries and loss of form by some of the key men of the side, they filled the breach with young players who soon distinguished themselves. Amongst these were inside left Durie, a fairly prolific scorer; right back Jim Armfield, who took over from Eddie Shimwell; and centre half Roy Gratrix who filled the pivotal position with outstanding success. Blackpool were beset by preseason problems when Ernie Taylor, and Allan Brown declined to re-sign but these matters sorted themselves out in course of time, and Manager Joe Smith was a happier man as a result. Apart from the desire of Evertonians to see their own side and get first hand evidence on their likely prospects, there will be opportunity of getting another view of Matthews. He got as light knack on the knee on Saturday but came through a test satisfactorily this morning and takes his place in what will be an unchanged side. For some years now people have been saying that Matthews could not possibly continue much longer. But he is still going strong after getting to an age when most players are well past their best. There seems no reason to anticipate that he should not go on for quite a while yet. Meredith was playing even when much older, and although football in those days was not the tear-away top-speed game that it is today, Matthews is the type who makes craft subtely and outstanding ability more than counter-balance the speed of opponents. Everton; O’Neill; Jones, Tansey; Farrell, Woods, Lello; McNamara, Llewellyn, Harris (j), Fielding, Eglington. Blackpool; Farm; Armstrong, Garrett; Kelly (J), Gratrix, Kelly (H), Matthews, Taylor, Mudie, Durie, Perry.
I went to Goodison Park last night in the hope of seeing some of Everton’s younger professionals display form which would encourage the belief that they might soon be knocking at the door of promotion to the to the senior side. Regretful though I am to say it, I was disappointed. Apart from Dunlop who confirmed the good opinion formed of him after the public practice match, I saw nobody I would care to recommend for first team duty. Some did sufficient to warrant the view that when they have had more experience they might possibly make the grade. But none, looked good enough, Dunlop apart to come to the rescue immediately –assuming that a rescue act is needed in the weeks ahead. Sanders who shaped well in the practice match a fortnight ago, again gave evidence of promise, as also did Leeder, but Birch rather nullified his energetic work by erratic distribution and Rea the other wing half, did not live up to expectations. Meagan had football ability and generally use the ball well but needs speeding up a good but before one, could feel any confidence that he could make a decent show in the higher sphere. Llewellyn, though a lively and hard working centre forward, has also a long way to go. While there was plenty of hard and honest endeavour from all the Everton lads, that was about the best one could say. Nobody stood out as a ready-made substitute for any of the existing first-teamers. Sheffield United who ran out winner’s 2-1 would have done so more convincingly if they had taken full toll of their scoring opportunities. They shot oftener than Everton, but with no greater accuracy. Humphreys gave them the lead with a header from a corner kick by Laverty at the 21st minute, Richardson harassed by amateur Barr put through his own goal to level matters 15 minutes from the end, but just before the finish Wilkinson toe-ended the ball into the net for the winning goal after the home defence had got itself in a tangle.
FIELDING –THE MAN WHO ALWAYS COMES BACK
August 22, 1956. The Liverpool Daily Post
By Leslie Edwards
Yes, Matthews will be there. That ensures an Everton attendance this evening of something in the neighborhood of 60,000. Add an Everton team which has talking points at every turn and you have an Everton home match not to be missed. Matthews is the man whose feet are tied to the ball and whose name is tied to newspaper superlatives. I have asked you before to note the qualities which makes his genius. No need to repeat them. Just go to Goodison Park and enjoy him –certainly none who has the onerous lob of marking him (or attempting to) can find such enjoyment in that task. The beauty of Matthews is the case with which he does his work. He makes time for any finesse he happens to have in mind. He steals unobserved into vacant positions in his own half or in the opposition’s. For Matthews alone, this match will be worth the money. Yet which world-famous sporting maracter is more unassuming? More level headed? If Hutton’s a Knight, Matthews is a peer –in his own right. Thousands who follow Liverpool will go t Everton for Matthews. No one save Matthews, knows just when Matthews will retire. So take him now and when you can- like the 48’s which were occasionally available to Servicemen.
Works In The Pit
With Vice-Chairman Tom Nuttall on the Everton Selection Committee and Liverpool containing many Welshmen, or men of Welsh extraction. It is not surprising to find an increasing number of Welsh names on the Everton playing staff. Bert Llewellyn from the Golborne which produced Peter Kane for the boxing ring is plainly linked with Wales. He is also linked with the pits where he works at the face, Llewellyn comes into the attack at 17 for Don Donovan. A debut at tender years, but that is not to say this fiery young man will not succeed. McNamara is on the right wing in place of the damaged Brian Harris. This Blackpool game is one of several extremely tough Everton opening fixtures. Everton have gambled with Tom Jones at right back –a position he used to have when he was a youth; they have brought into Jones place, at centre half, Matt Woods, the guardsman type who had such a good first-team spell last season and then disappeared into the limbo of Central League football. A strong man, our Matthew when twelfth man I have seen him lift single-handed (but with both arms of course) the Everton skip –the hugh square basket in which all the clobber –including boots, medical supplies –are taken to away games. If he were not a soccer man, and maybe a big soccer man of the future, Woods could earn a weight lifting living.
Or The Thinker
Which brings me to this question who is going to lift the weight from Everton of that 5-1 Leeds United load? Many followers of the club think they have the answer? Fielding. Fielding is back. Thus the man they often leave out, but always bring back, returns again to help his club solve problems which do not arise when he’s in the line making chances if not always taking them. There should be a statuette of Fielding in the Everton hall-way. It would show him in mufti chin cupped in his hands. The title for this piece? The Man Who Always Came Back. Or The Thinker! Everton; O’Neill; Jones, Tansey; Farrell, Woods, Lello; McNamara, Llewellyn, Harris (j), Fielding, Eglington. Blackpool; Farm; Armstrong, Garrett; Kelly (J), Gratrix, Kelly (H), Matthews, Taylor, Mudie, Durie, Perry.
AS YOU SEE IT
August 22, 1956. The Liverpool Daily Post
For Answer See Today’s Team Sheet
Sir-with the end of the Britton regime one would have thought it would have been the end of the Drop Fielding nonsense, but not on your life. What do we have now from the new rulers of Everton? The preference of a defender who cannot make the first team grade in his correct position and a winger. Result a 5-1 reverse and not one of them had a clue! Even at his age Fielding, were he on the transfer list, would be a far better buy than many both our clubs have made during the post-war years. Fielding has been, and is evidently still to be the most mis-used player ever and why he hasn’t gone elsewhere long ago surprises me. Still we thank goodness he is still with us. How many times this season may I ask are the bulk of Everton followers to be deprived of the joy of watching his obvious talents?
R.J. Higgins, 3 Kaigh Avenue, Great Crosby.
Sir-Win or lose at Leeds, I think the Everton X1 selected is one of the worst they have turned out. We have heard so much about the new stars and what do we see but Farrell, Lello and Eglington again; Donovan and Mayers both playing out of position; Jimmy Payne has the cold he so often had at anfield and Jimmy Harris looks as if he is going to be wasted again. Of the old stagers Fielding must surely be the first to play, he has been the mainstay of the attack since the war. We can’t blame Mr. Buchan, but it looks as if the forward line was selected from the five fastest runners. Time will show how much Everton will miss Dave Hickson, John Parker. –Bennison, Queen’s Road, Hoylake.
EVERTON SIGN DEREK TEMPLE
August 22, 1956. The Liverpool Echo
Everton have today signed Derek Temple the former Liverpool and England international schoolboy centre forward on full time professional forms. Temple, who will be 18 in November, has been on the Goodison Park ground staff since leaving school.
REFEREE’S BEST DECISION WAS TO BREAK THE RULE!
August 23, 1956. The Liverpool Echo
This Was The Black In Blackpool
Everton 2, Blackpool 3
By Leslie Edwards
Only one thing worse than being under a cloud –being under two clouds. Everton found themselves in that position three quarters of the way through this strange game at Goodison Park last night. They were under the cloud of 5-1 defeat at Leeds and, worse, under the immense black cloud which turned evening into mid-night before our very eyes as Askey says. We spectators were under the cloud too, in that although the game went on uninterrupted through this freak curtain of darkness, none save those on the touchline could see the ball or which man was in possession. But that football was practicable there was no doubt; otherwise the game could not have gone on. The score when the curtain came down prematurely was 1-1. The crowd shouted for the white ball to be brought on; they handicapped in unison to reinforce their appeal. Few of them knew that the rule says that the game must be completed with the type of ball in use at the start. Eventually good sense prevailed, Harry Cooke doyen, Everton trainer, was on the touch-line inviting Referee F. Collinge, of Rochdale, to call for it, and let the game continue, where otherwise it must have been abandoned. Given a ball we could see –but only just –we were happier; though as at Anfield on Saturday, rain fell heavily and thousands left the ground out of the boredom of not being able to see what was going on and other thousands because they didn’t want two complete soaking in the space of five days.
Trial By Durie
I don’t blame them. It was a merciful release for them. Because tip-toeing through darkness as black as any at the bottom of the illusionists velvet bag. Blackpool chose the game’s darkest moments to impose them superiority on the game and on Everton. Durie, who had taken an equalizing goal eight minutes after the game had re-started popped in two more for a splendid hat-trick and it was left to Farrell when the atmosphere lightened, to make the score 3-2 and out his side in with a chance as glim as the light. Young Llewellyn, Everton’s seventeen-years-old debutant from Golborne had the ball in the net for what seemed likely to stand as an equalizer but Blackpool’s protest was so quick and so fierce Mr. Collinge discounted it immediately for off-side. If he was wrong in this case, it is equally likely that he was wrong in two other important decisions. 1 when not allowing Blackpool a first half penalty when Farrell palpably brought down Durie and in not involving Everton in a penalty when Matthews was push yards by Tansey, in a second half penalty area incident which everyone saw clearly. Mr. Collinge consulted a linesman on both occasions. In the case of Tansey’s offence on Matthews one suspected the referee might at worst gave an indirect free kick in the penalty area. He pointed instead to the corner flag!
The Better Side
Allowing for penalty kicks their deserved but did not get, Blackpool were the better team collectively and individually, but not until the game was well in to the second half did they really look a great deal better than Everton. They made chances and took them badly, the attack did not move well as a line, even Matthews except for one characteristically close, clever touch line foray, was below par, and in admitting this one must not forget that Tansey who played Matthews cleanly and most effectively had a splendid first half and was as much responsible for Matthews’ quietude as the rest of the Blackpool line, who made the mistake of putting the ball at Matthews feet when he was badly placed to use it. Force of numbers too put a stop to some Matthews gallons, but what a different story in the second half. It was then Matthews touched his real game, he had a hand in two of his side’s three goals; he centred more than one ball which ached for a converting foot or head. Not offen will Perry miss such clean-made invitations. The story of the goals began in the period when Everton were brief, bright and bursting with enthusiasm and giving their following cause for confidence. Forty minutes had gone when Eglington drove the ball in down an angle, and Farm, embarrassed by Gratrix, failed to hold the ball. It was half-cleared and bounced high as Llewelly –a great boy for being there for the half-chance –came in at top speed and breasted it over the line.
Blackpool protested that the ball had been handled, I am sure they were wrong, Llewellyn more than once from chances made cleverly by McNamara (why won’t the crowd let him play the game his own way) might well have scored again and again, but he is plainly lacking in experience of when to shoot and, maybe, how. At 43 minutes when the sky first started to become overcast, Matthews with a cross-field pass which found Perry started Blackpool’s rally. Perry centred high, and fairly fast and with O’Neill stretching his arms to receive the ball Durie let out a reef in his telescopic gangling, left leg and turned it out of the goalkeeper’s reach. Then the weather clerk varied his tactics and gave us our darkest quarter hour since Liverpool and Manchester United were forced to put off, for ten minutes or so, the start of their mid-week night game at Anfield about three seasons ago. There was the odd flash of lightning, but no rain and certainly scarcely a sight of the ball for those high in the stands. The only evidence of a match was the sight of white shorts fitting about in almost complete darkness. The crowd wanted their money’s worth and were determined to get it. They criticized Everton for kicking off as late as 6.45 forgetting that if the kick off had been at 6.30 the blackness would still have come within playing limits.
It was just possible at 72 minutes to discern little Taylor at inside left weaving through and planting a perfect through pass for Durie to race on and hit into the Everton net for 2-1. Three minutes later Matthews for the moment at inside right slid out to Durie an equally acceptable pass and again Durie hit the ball in impudently, confidently. Everton’s hopes and the light improved when Farrell two minutes afterwards hit a cross-shot to bring the margin to a goal again. Everton might well have won if they had taken their chances but too often they did not. Harris J. hit the shot straight at Farm, who had a busier night than O’Neill from a pass by Farrell, McNamara whom the crowd think should slash the ball about haphazard, not only made good chances but delivered the game’s best shot. Too bad it crackle, like a thunderbolt against an upright. But with two defeats to nurse, Everton may be arriving by process of experiment, at a better, more settled team. We had one of the biggest centre-halves in the game. Woods in opposition to one of the smallest centre forwards, Mudie and Mudie was never a factor in the air. Woods used the ball well, too, and kicked well, especially on the turn. Jones, the man he displaced was left far behind in the opening minutes against the flying Perry, who might have won the match then with good marksmanship. Later, Jones did not drift far upfield and in any event his tackling was first-class. Add a most promising debut by Llewellyn, who was fearless, fast and penetrative and Everton came out of defeat with a number of credits, not least Tansey’s.
No So Happy
The 55,000 who saw the game may not have been so happy about the inability of Harris (J) to “kill” the ball or about his lack of shots. Fielding, picked up all the clearances, O’Neill could throw, was not at his best either. He opened the second half with a pass so bad the crowd jeered, good, humouredly, to show he was human too. Matthews made one even worse. The crowd did not let it pass either! There was much to like about Blackpool. Their solid defence, with the half-backs so coordinated; the striking power of Durie, the football doodling of Mudie and Taylor, the brilliance late on, of Matthews. Referee Colling broke the rule to ring on the white ball. So did the referee at an inter League match in this city not long ago. This decision by the referee was the best he made. The two penalty misses were his worst. Everton, pepped up by Buchan training methods looked good, but never got together like Blackpool. The memory of the Leeds defeat has been wiped out, but Everton’s programme just now is tough. They must shoot oftener, and better if they are to give the city its first League victory of the season.
EVERTON LOSE AGAIN BUT GIVE BETTER SHOW THIS TIME
August 23, 1956. The Liverpool Echo
Though Everton suffered another defeat last night this time by a single goal margin, there was much more that was encouraging about their display against Blackpool than in the game at Leeds. If they had taken their chances rightly they would have drawn, and while there can be no real excuse for any side which fails on that account, it was something to see them carving out openings and showing more fighting spirit. This was a game full of taking points and incidents. There was the splendid debut of 17-years-old Bert Llewellyn, the solidity of Matt Woods at centre half, the shooting of Farrell, who tried to show his forwards the way and got one of Everton’s goals; the planked of darkness which made all impossible to follow play for nearly half the second half the commonsense of the referee ignoring the rules and calling instead for a white ball the question of two offences which seemed perilously near meriting a penalty kick to Blackpool and a host of other angles which provided all who saw the game with enough topics to keep then arguing until something still more juicy comes along. To say that a side has been beaten but not disgraced may be tribe and hackneyed, but for truth and brevity it sums up in four words what I think most Everton followers felt as they trudged home in the pelting rain and premature darkness. In the first half Everton had been the better side and deserved more than their single goal interval lead through Llewellyn who after missing a good chance very early on, chested the ball through five minutes before half-time.
On The Ground
Everton combined well, kept the ball on the turf-not, for a long time have I seen it so little in the air, as it was in the first 45 minutes –and though they did not always make ground with the same fluency and speed as Blackpool they looked a far better side than most people expected after the Leeds debacle. They shot oftener than Blackpool during this period, and if some of their efforts were well wilder of the mark, at least it was an improvement to see them ready to have a go whenever possible. If only Harris had taken a gilt-edged chance when he had the goal at his mercy, for Lewellyn had not found the ball bounce beyond his reach after he had dispossessed Farm by sheer persistence in chasing the half-chance. Everton would have been two or three up at the break. In the first fifteen minutes of the second half Blackpool reversed matters completely and Everton were struggling. They could not hold the visiting forwards who progressed by means of quick and accurate passing and began to make Everton look far less impressive than they had done earlier. Durie leveled the scores and then, twenty-five minutes from the end, the dark lowering clouds blotted out most of the play. A clap of thunder was ominous. The rain followed in its wake and like the visibility, Everton’s outlook became decidedly gloomy.
The Right Decision
The crowd indulged in the slow handclap as a hint to the referee to ring on the white ball. He struck to the rules until play became farcical. From the Pressbox it was impossible to see the ball at all, and the movements of the players became completely meaningless. Finally Referee Collinge decided commonsense should take precedence and changed the ball, and though it was still extremely difficult to follow play, at least it was some improvement. It was during the darkest of the gloom that Durie got two further goals to complete his hat-trick. The first of his three came when he took the ball off the line of Tansey’s toe as the latter waited for it to come to him from a centre by Perry. Nobody except Durie could have got it for he stretched his abnormally long leg to stab it home almost at chest height. The second, as far as I could judge in the gloaming went in off the foot of the post and the third was put on a plate for him by Matthews.
Farrell reduced the arrears from a fine Eglington centre which meant the last three goals came inside five minutes. Llewellyn put the ball into the net a few minutes from the end, only to be ruled offside after the referee had consulted a linesman. It seemed to me that if Llewellyn was offside it could have been by a matter of inches only. Against that one must remember that Everton were twice rather fortunate to escape penalty awards –once when Farrell brought down Durie in the first half, and later when Tansey pushed Matthews only a couple of yards from goal. In the closing stages Everton again got on top, they rained in a succession of shots on Farm’s charge. Some were from too far out to have much hope even in such bad light but others were worthy efforts and brought forth good saves. Blackpool also had their bright moments and three times in fairly quick succession the ball was squared across the home goal, needing only a tap to send it in.
I have seen Bert Llewellyn play twice this week. In Monday’s Central League match he looked just another young player with a fair amount of promise but needing much more experience. Last night he appeared to be one of the best inside forwards of his type that Everton have shown us for a long time. He is one of the quick-raiding energetic, determined class, but allied to that he has a good shot an excellent positional sense, plenty of confidence and an even bigger ration of courage. He is small, barely 5ft 6in, but on this showing he is well worthy of an extended trial, if he can maintain last night’s form we are going to hear and read quite a lot of this former Stubshaw Cross lad, who is still only a part-timer and works in the mines.
Still An Enigma
Fielding had a good first half, though he was not so prominent later, Jimmy Harris was rather disappointing. He missed two good chances, one a sitter and still has not mastered the knack of killing the ball quickly. When he does he will do much better. Eglington is as speedy as ever, and even Farrell surprised by the manner in which he sometimes overlook opponents who had a couple of yards start of him. McNamara remains something of an enigma. He does some clever things at times, but exasperates one on other occasions by his delaying tactics and the manner in which he sometimes turns back in his tracks and finds himself running into opponents instead of away from them. He is far more effective when he goes right ahead without finesses of fiddling. He was unlucky with one fine shot that hit the post. Considering that he has not played at full back for so many years Jones did extremely well. He took a while to settle down and occasionally gave Perry too much ground in which to work –always a danger with so speedy and direct a winger –but once he had weighted up the task it was rare that Perry got the better of him. Woods, in the solid phlegmatic way of his was a tower of strength. When the ball was in the air little Mudie had no hope and not much more when it was on the ground. Woods showed some delightful touches and a real mark of class. He was no mere stopper. The wing halves were sound, and though many of Farrell’s first half shots were well wide- of the mark he had the right idea from the start. Blackpool on this showing are a strong and useful side, Matthews was not the dominant player that he can be at his best. This was partly because for some obscure reason, Blackpool neglected him for long stretches. But it was the “old man” who did most, Durie apart to ensure Blackpool’s victory. If his colleagues had been livelier in positioning themselves for his passes, the visitors might have got more than three goals. Farm was the busiest goalkeeper of the two, but defensively Blackpool were solid and reliable even though they were often caught on the wrong foot by the speed and persistence of Llewellyn. Durie with his long frame and matchstalk legs was the most effective visiting forward though Perry was often dangerous and would have been more so had his finishing been better.
August 23, 1956. The Liverpool Echo
Everton’s directorial sub-committee has decided that the team which did duty last night should also play against Bolton Wanderers at Goodison Park on Saturday, it reads; O’Neill; Jones, Tansey; Farrell, Woods, Lello; McNamara, Llewellyn, Harris (J), Fielding, Eglington.
The reserve team away to Leeds, will be; Dunlop; Moore, Sutherland; Birch, Donovan, Rea; Tomlinson, Thomas, Kirby, Haughey, Williams (G).
GOODISON PARK IS NOT BOLTON’S MOST LUCKY GROUND
August 24, 1956. The Liverpool Echo
After Everton’s much improved showing on Wednesday evening against Blackpool, Goodison Park supporters will be more hopeful of the Blues prospects of registering their first win of the season against Bolton Wanderers tomorrow. There will be another big crowd to see whether young Llewellyn can shape as well again in the Everton attack, and also if the reorganized defence can keep Bolton off the goal standard. Those who go by figures and logic may argue that as Bolton defeated Blackpool 4-1 at Burnden last Saturday and the Seasiders won at Goodison, Everton’s chances are not so bright. Fortunately, football never goes according to mathematical calculations and though Bolton are likely to prove difficult to overcome, if Everton can reproduce their form of Wednesday, plus better direction and a bit more luck with their shooting, they should have a good chance of providing a result which will please their supporters. Just as I never make a harsh judgment regarding a player’s shortcoming on his first appearance in senior football, I am equally chary of giving too fulsome praise to a youngster who makes his debut the occasion of an outstanding performance. It doesn’t do him any good. Nevertheless I thought Llewellyn did extremely well on Wednesday, despite missing a couple of fairly easy chances which is something older and much more experienced players suffer. It now remains to be see whether he can reproduce this lively and encouraging form consistency. He is a great trier, an enthusiastic chaser of every chance or half-chance and he certainly put some life and vigour into a forward line which was bereft of those qualities at Leeds. The return of Fielding pleased most Everton followers though I am not in agreement with those who were unduly critical of his omission in the opening match. Fielding is in the stage when in the normal course his powers may begin to wane. Everton are looking ahead to the problem of filling his place when the time comes. Apart from two positions, the Bolton side in the two opening matches showed no change from that which fulfilled the majority of fixtures last season when they finished eighth in the table. Nat Lotfhouse, England’s centre forward, got off the mark well with a hat-trick last week, and again looks like being their star forward, especially as he has now decided to give up his job as a traveler and concentrate entirely on football. At the moment of writing Bolton are waiting for tests on a couple of players before making a final decision regarding their team. Everton; O’Neill; Jones, Tansey; Farrell, Woods, Lello; McNamara, Llewellyn, Harris (J), Fielding, Eglington.
LET’S SEE MORE OF THAT SHOT, JIMMY HARRIS!
August 25, 1956. The Liverpool Daily Post
By Leslie Edwards
Everton fans will want a clearer look at the newly constructed Everton defence. They scarcely saw anything of it against Blackpool for the storm and the immense black cloud which cast its spell over us-and them Bolton will test Tom Jones at right back and Matt Woods at centre-half, Nat Lofthouse always a favourite here, is a fine mover (as they say of Test fielders) and Woods will do well to make him subject. What we want from Everton is better and more frequent shooting. Harris (J) has a drive too, good to hide, so often in his locker. With the young and forceful Llewellyn alongside and Fielding lying back making openings. Everton should do better than against Farm. I think the club have been wise to give their beaten team another chance. You cannot go on making changes week after week and such changes as were made for the mid-week game turned out well up to a point. Llewellyn’s fire and spirit was particularly good and might well take him to a lot of goals. Everton; O’Neill; Jones, Tansey; Farrell, Woods, Lello; McNamara, Llewellyn, Harris (J), Fielding, Eglington. Bolton Wanderers; Hopkinson; Hartle, Banks; Hennin, Higgins, Edwards; Holden, Stevens, Lofthouse, Parry, Gubbins.
BLUES’ NEW BOY SHINES AT HOME
August 25, 1956. The Liverpool Echo
Bolton Saved by Nat (King) Lofthouse
Everton 2, Bolton 2
In a hard but not particularly distinguished match, Everton twice lost the lead. Though on top for long stretches, their finishing was often disappointing. Llewellyn, while not as prominent as on his debut got another goal. Lofthouse scored twice for Bolton and had the edge on Woods for speed. Everton; O’Neill; Jones and Tansey, backs; Farrell (captain), Woods, and Lello, half-backs; McNamara, Llewellyn, Harris (J), Fielding and Eglington, forwards. Bolton Wanderers; Hopkinson, goal; Harte, and Banks, backs; Hennin, Higgins and Edwards, half-backs; Holden, Stevens, Lofthouse (captain), Parry and Gubbins, forwards. Referee; Mr. H.L. Broadhurst. In the absence of the injured Barrass, Lofthouse captained Bolton but lost the toss, and Everton defended the Gwladys Street end. The attendance was well below that of Wednesday night and looked to be no more than 40,000 at the start. Llewellyn with a backward pass to Fielding, started off an Everton movement which looked decidedly promising until Banks took safetly first measures by putting the ball behind for a corner. The flag kick produced nothing of note but the next Everton raid saw the Blues take the lead through McNamara at the 4th minute. Eglington was the man who initiated the move when he put the ball up on the extreme left flank to Harris who tore through at top speed and then pulled back a pass behind the Bolton defenders for McNamara to run on to it and ram home a left foot drive from 12 yards which gave Hopkinson practically no chance. Everton did not enjoy their lead very long, for at the eighth minute Lofthouse equalized for Bolton, after a shot by Holden had struck Woods on the leg and rebounded right to the feet of the Bolton centre forward, who drove home a grand shot without a second’s hesitation. The rain, which had been fairly heavy at the start now came down even harder, and the players were bringing up some big divots. Bolton almost snatched a second goal when Hopkinson cleared the ball out of hand two thirds the length of the field and Lofthouse and Woods had a race for possession, Lofthouse just got there first, but by then O’Neill had advanced from goal, narrowed the angle and was able to make a clean catch when Lofthouse tried to steer the ball out of his reach. Llewellyn came into the picture when his speed enabled him to save the ball going behind, and from a corner which followed Harris went close with a header. Another Bolton breakaway saw Holden clean through, but once more the advancing O’Neill saved the situation when the Bolton winger had nobody else to beat.
O’Neill Tips Over
Parry hooked the ball in from a waist-high centre by Gubbins in brilliant fashion only for O’Neill to fling himself upwards and across to tip the ball over the bar. The rain had now ceased – temporarily at least –and a promising move by Everton deserved a better fate when McNamara unleashed another fierce left-foot drive which skimmed the crossbar as it went behind. The same player was only a couple of yards off the mark with another strong effort –this time a right foot one. Hennin, the former Liverpool County young player, earned top marks for the way in which he got the ball away despite the close attention of Farrell, Lello and Fielding. After initiating the attack which sprang from his success, Hennin followed it up and tried a shot which was a yard or so too high to trouble O’Neill.
A long pass cross-field by Lofthouse to Holden saw the latter test O’Neill who turned the ball behind for a corner. We had seen little in the first half-hour of Llewellyn, who did so well on Wednesday night and Jones was occasionally giving Gubbins the freedom of the left wing by allowing him plenty of room in which to work. The Bolton goal had a narrow escape following a corner when Jones delivered a curling shot which Hopkinson trying to tip over the bar put against the face of the woodwork and was lucky to see it bounce over the heads of two advancing Everton players as they vainly tried to make contact. Llewellyn made a courageous effort to meet a centre from Eglington with his head, bundling Hopkinson over in the process but Bolton scrambled the ball away. Both sides were putting a lot of passes to the wrong man though considering the conditions and the difficulty in controlling a greasy ball this was not altogether surprising.
Everton were inclined at times to keep the ball a little too close, whereas Bolton swung it about more freely. A bad throw by O’Neill opened up the way for Holden to take a lob in the hope of getting the ball in the net before O’Neill could get back. He almost succeeded, too, but the Everton keeper jumped high and plucked it out of the air just in time. Everton had a narrow escape right on half-time when left full-back Banks ran through on his own, picked up a pass from Gubbins and but in a shot which beat O’Neill all the way only to hit the far post and along the goal line for several yards into the hands of O’Neill not far from the oppose post. A couple of Bolton players appeared to the referee on the grounds that the ball crossed the line after striking the post but from so far a distance as the Press Box and with an angled view I hesitate to pass a dogmatic opinion. Half-time; Everton 1, Bolton Wanderers 1.
The second half opened with Everton getting the ball in the net but having the point disallowed for offside, it was a pity this was the decision for the “goal” scored by Fielding was the culmination of a brilliant move which started when Harris picked up a throw-in, slipped the ball out to McNamara after a long run, and Fielding was there to net when the right winger stabbed the ball back into the middle.
A Near Thing
In the next minute Harris again carved out an opening on the left flank and Eglington by inches only, failed to make contact with his head for what would have been a certain goal. A beautiful pass by McNamara carved out a shooting chance for Fielding but Edwards came across to clear though it looked to me use preciously like a handling offence when he took the ball partly with his arm. Another Fielding effort cannoned off Hartle for a corner. Unlike the majority of corners, however, this one produced a goal. Although it was on the right it was taken by Eglington whose in-swinger was returned into the middle by Fielding standing by the far post, and scrambled over the line by Llewellyn with Harris in close attention. Llewellyn thus scored for the second successive match and though he had not been as much in evidence as on Wednesday, he was showing the right ideal.
Everton might have gone further ahead a couple of minutes later had not Eglington standing near the penalty spot, completely missed the ball when Harris put it along the ground to him.
The match had produced one or two surprising refereeing decisions, but none more so than when Fielding pushed an opponent and Everton were allowed to take a free kick as “reward” with not a Bolton man within yards, defenders having gone upfield convinced that the kick was in their favour, as it certainly should have been. O’Neill was almost beaten by Hennin after a grand bit of Bolton combination but he managed to lean backwards and palm the ball away when it seemed almost certain to go in after O’Neill had advanced a little too far from goal. After Everton had exhesperated the crowd by excessive tip-tapping instead of cheating Lello came up to show the way with a real pile-driver which Hopkinson did well to fist away at full stretch.
Woods In Grim Mood
Bolton had now been on top for some minutes and none had done better than Hennin in their fight to get back on level terms. He was always right up on the heels of his forwards and ever ready to try a shot. Although Lofthouse had a slight advantage in speed over Woods, the home centre-half stuck to him grimly and Lofthouse was not the threat that some people had anticipated. Everton were still inclined at times to be too close and over elaborate in their work and to keep on with lateral passing instead of shooing. They had, however, taken the initiative again though with ten minutes to go Bolton were not without hope of snatching the equalizer. Six minutes from the finish Lofthouse swept the ball into the net while on the turn after Parry had centred and before Woods could do anything about it, it was one of these bow at a venture shots but it came off. Everton 2, Bolton 2. Attendance 40,816.
LEEDS UNITED RES V EVERTON RES
August 25, 1956. The Liverpool Echo
Everton Res; Dunlop, goal; Sutherland and Leeder, backs; Birch, Donovan, Rea, half-backs; Tomlinson, Thomas, Kirby, Haughey, and Williams (G), forwards. In the first minute Kirby made a spectacular effort and narrowly missed giving Everton an early lead. Though Everton enjoyed most of the play, Leeds defended in fine style. When Leeds fought back Dunlop proved equal to all occasions. Both Tomlinson and Kirby missed splendid opportunies when well placed for scoring. Dunlop proved safe when Leeds stormed the Everton goal in a desperate effort. Half-time; Leeds United nil, Everton nil. On restarting Kirby brought Mimmo to a full length save, Everton continued to press and the Leeds goal had two remarkable escapes on each occasion the framework coming to their rescue.
NOW FOR BLACKPOOL THE WOLVES AND BURNLEY
August 27, 1956. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton 2, Bolton 2
By Leslie Edwards
Everton’s offside goals are costing them dearly. There was one in the gloom last Wednesday; another against Bolton Wanderers on Saturday. And Everton need all the goals they can get, legitimately. With one point from the first three matches and their next three fixtures reading, Blackpool (away), Wolves (away) and Burnley (away), one cannot help feeling a bit apprehensive. They don’t give much away, except ozone, at Blackpool; Wolves at Molynuex are voracious (and critics of Manager Stan Cullis will add, vociferous) and Burnley, for visiting sides are about as bleak as the moors from which the wind whistling in. In winter, over exposed Turf Moor. I can imagine acting Chairman Tom Nuttall reading this opening and saying vexedly “Why, he’s trying to frighten our fellows already. Not so Mr. Nuttall, I merely emphasize how stiff is Everton’s task during the next ten days and how necessary it is that they should picked up something, however meagre from fixtures so tough one might almost suppose that the man who arranged them was no Evertonian. True, you have to play these matches only once. It is the conglomeration of stiff matches which makes the Everton horizon seem so bleak. The straw we must hold, meantime is that which supported Everton’s neighbours at Bury on Saturday. But I hope none suggests that because a make-shift Liverpool attack succeeded it will automatically go on succeeding. We have seen Liverpool forwards fall too often to swallow that.
For entertainment, for excitement, for patches of good football individually and collectively this latest Everton –Bolton match was first rate. Inevitably we had rain; inevitably one looked at those drenched spectators on the terraces –many of them wearing newspapers to keep their heads dry –and conjured with the thought that these loyalists like those at Anfield, deserve the highest football standards in the land. That one of our clubs is in Division 2 and the other not among the top few in Division 1 is almost absurd, judged by the splendid support they are given. Here Everton were twice in the lead and twice were pegged back. A draw I suppose was as equitable a result as any. Certainly a side competent as Bolton, so obviously together as a team, with individual brilliances, deserved more than defeat. The virtue of their performance was not so much in their play (which often had Evertonians murmuring appreciatively) but in the fact that they were forced to play deputies for Grieves the goalkeeper and Malcolm Barrass at centre half. The men temporarily in possession, Hopkinson and Higgins were very good imitations of the genuine articles. The side as a whole played as though they had been well coached in the footballing ideas of Mr. Bill (Nibbler) Riddling whose Managerial reign has unearthed so many good, sizeable First Division men from the soil of Lancashire and thereabouts. But for O’Neill, whose work on this occasion was as good as anything he even did in the past. Everton might not have escaped with a point. One save, from Parry’s volley, was alone worth the admission charge. When Banks formerly of South Liverpool left his full back base and went on and on to hit a left foot shot which struck the inside of the post a goal seemed inevitable. But the ball carried side and it must have been check side. O’Neill scrambled to it as it came along the line to the other post. A rare escape and one the crowd and O’Neill scarcely dared believe. McNamara with two shots- one which hit the back of the net and the other which massaged he cross-bar –started so well the crowd were almost prepared to allow him to play his own game. But five minutes after he had scored Bolton equalized and Everton’s following were not so in love with their club’s outside right. Lofthouse who got both Bolton goals took the first almost from a standing start after a shot from Holden had been blocked away. Such fortuitous openings arise rarely Lofthouse snatched the quick chance as only he can and Everton were struggling.
The game went to the 56th minute before Everton –playing better in the second half than they had earlier –went into the lead again. From an Eglington corner McNamara and Fielding contrived the easy opening from which young Llewellyn shot the ball home. This was Llewellyn’s most useful contribution. There was no lack of effort from him, no lack of fire but he has not yet the football brain to take him into good positions midfield, at the right time. Allowing that League football for any seventeen-year-old is an ordeal physical and mental, one cannot do other than suggest that Llewellyn, here, was Everton’s least distinguished forward. Lofthouse with the cute nod and there the darting run, had been a constant source of worry to Woods who is not built to make the sharp turns of a coursing greyhound it was not surprising when, with five minutes’ play remaining, Lofthouse brought the ball down at inside right and without a moment’s hesitation cracked it beyond O’Neill for a fine second equalizer. If Lofthouse has a fault it is that he sometimes ventures a shot when the angle is too fine. But in club football he remains the great menace to defences and his work always has class about it.
Like Woods, Jones does not turn with much facility, but maybe he will develop that with further experience at full back. Tansy, of the slightly-bowed legs, had another splendid match. There are few club backs who can make such a good job of trying up a winger Lello, with one shot and Farrell with two timely interventions at critical moments were hard put to it, first half against that smooth moving Bolton attack in which every member has ball control, speed and a shot. When Everton did best in the second half their half backs were much more dominant. Harris (J) wearing no 9 but playing in position and style more like an inside right, worked with commendable spirit and with great success. Late in the game McNamara, whose football brain is more active and intelligent than most people credit, was inclined to be too tentative when a clear field offered, but I am sure that if he is left to work out his own problems he will surprise the native – and the critics. For O’Neill, of course the match was a triumph. Hopkinson, too played well, and so did half-back Hennin, a great go-er and little Stevens, whose sturdiness and business always impress. Bolton should rise in the table when their two missing first teamers re-appear I don’t know of another side which appears to have such good prospects.
LEEDS UNITED RES 1 EVERTON RES 2
August 27, 1956. The Liverpool Daily Post
With a more experienced side Everton were full value for their win. The Leeds goal was often under pressure but after an hour’s play Everton found themselves in arrears through a goal by Forrest. Kirby was a dangerous raider in the Everton front line and it was fitting reward that he should obtain the equalizer. He had previously gone near with two strong shots, Haughey scored Everton’s match winner ten minutes from the finish.
NO LUCK AGAIN
August 27, 1956. The Liverpool Echo
For the second game running Everton on Saturday were “robbed” of a point through a disallowed goal. This time the disappointed marksman was Fielding and though it seemed that there was an element of doubt about the decision, one can never be sure with the angled view from the Goodison press box. Everton protested strongly but without avail. I thought the Blues were a trifle unfortunate not to win. They were the more precise and methods wide for most of the game, but again their excessive lateral passing and over elaboration proved their undoing. Although they had more shots than Bolton, they could have done better particularly during the frequent spells when they were on top and the Bolton defence looked anything but happy. It has become monotonous through frequent repetition to refer, as I have had to do constantly over the past few seasons, to Everton’s inability to translate good approach work into the all-important goals that count. Yet the matter cannot be dismissed without comment. It is something which simply has to be remedied before the team can start climbing from its present lowly position which may not be helped by the fact that their next two games after tonight are away to Wolverhampton and Burnley, strong home sides.
Will The Day Dawn?
I cannot say how much time the Everton forwards spend weekly on shooting practice. I know it is a good proportion of their training. But so far there has been little to show for it all. A couple of seasons ago I said more than once that they must surely succeed eventually in turning their frequent territorial advantage to good account. Now I am beginning to wonder whether that day will ever dawn. There has been a slight improvement compared with last season. Then the team got only one goal in the first three games against five this term. Yet the points is one less. I’m afraid the Blues may find Blackpool a stiffer obstacle tonight than Bolton were on Saturday. Apart from Lofthouse who has now scored five of Bolton’s six goals the visiting attack did not impress me, and their defence at times looked decidedly wobbly. Even so Bolton carved out quite a few chances by their speed and sweeping passes, the latter in direct contrast to so any of Everton’s closely-knit moves. This type of close play rarely gets opposing defences on the wrong foot and means that much combination brings little gain in ground.
O’Neill made some excellent saves. None was better than his tip over the bar of a wonderful hook shot by Parry off a waist-high ball. He also came to the rescue by twice narrowink the angle when first Lofthouse and then Holden were clean through with only the goalkeeper to beat. Tommy Jones has not yet thoroughly settled down at full back. Possibly he is playing to orders in giving his extreme wing opponent so much space in which to work. The theory may be that so long as the man is out on the wing and Jones is between him and goal the danger is not what it seems. But to my mind that is fraught with some risks especially against a speedy and strong shooting winger. Fortunately, Gubbins did not come into that category. Matt Woods could not quite match Lofthouse for speed, and through he could not be blamed for the first goal the Bolton leader forestalled him while on the turn to snatch the second equalizer six minutes from the end. Woods has many good points and at time shows clever touches. Yet he would do with an extra yard or so in a spurt to make him the complete barrier to men who can move a Lofthouse does. Both wing halves, though the oldest men on the side, were among the most consisted over the full ninety minutes, I over-look the fact that some of their passes went adrift. They were by no means the only offenders both sides being remiss at times.
McNamara started well getting an early goal, hitting two great shots soon after, and putting another against the crossbar. But in between his more impressive work he sandwiched spasms of indifferent play, and sometimes held up the line by the old tendency to hesitate or double back. Llewellyn was nothing like so outstanding as he had been against Blackpool partly because he did not get the through balls to chase. Yet he was on the spot to get Everton’s second goal and had no need to be ashamed of his contribution. I have seen Fielding and Eglington play much better, and Harris through a genuine trier had little luck with the few scoring efforts he tried. Manager Billy Ridding looks as though he will have some reorganization to do before he can be satisfied with the Bolton team, Lofthouse is to the Bolton attack what Liddell is to Liverpool’s. Without him it would be very ordinary. In the rear half of the visiting side I thought Derek Bennin, the former Liverpool County F.A. Youth captain, was the best. He kept up a stream of good passes, had a few shots and on this showing promises to make it difficult for Johnny Wheeler to get his place back. I am told that Wheeler is not too happy at Burnden at the moment and wants to come back to live on Merseyside, preferably in the Crosby area.
• Satisfied –Southport are well pleased with the early showing of George Rankin, their close season full back signing from Everton. Rankin though only a part-timer, looks like making his mark in the Northern Section
• Unhappy debut- Harry Leyland, recruited a fortnight ago by Blackburn Rovers from Tombridge Wells and Everton, had an unhappy home debut against Lincoln. But he was not solely to blame, Blackburn backs were very shake.
• Everton have been watching Alf Stokes, Tottenham’s reserve centre forward and former England Under-23 international, but I understand it is unlikely any bid will be made for him at this stage.
EVERTON UNCHANGED FOR TONIGHT’S GAME AT BLACKPOOL
August 27, 1956. The Liverpool Echo
Everton due to play their return mid-week game with Blackpool at Bloomfield Road this evening will field the same eleven as that which has appeared in the last two matches. Though the Goodison team got a point from Bolton on Saturday they will need to show more forcefulness to make sure to avoiding defeat this evening. Blackpool followed up their victory at Goodison on Wednesday night by beating Wolves 3-2 at Bloomfield Road on Saturday, despite being without Perry for whom 20-years-old Starkie deputized and made his senior debut. He is a former ex-Nottingham junior player. The Seasiders proved in the earlier game at Goodison that they have chances when they are there. Durie has now scored five goals in three matches and Mudie has got a couple. Everton must not allow the Blackpool forwards the same scope that they did in the second half of the Goodison game –or as they did with Bolton, otherwise O’Neill may be in for a busy evening. Everton; O’Neill; Jones, Tansey; Farrell, Woods, Lello; McNamara, Llewellyn, Harris (J), Fielding, Eglington.
Blackpool will not decide on the composition of their team until three players who are under treatment have had a fitness test later today. Garrett pulled a muscle on Saturday and is a very doubtful starter. Wright is expected to take his place. Taylor is another who is doubtful, while Perry who was unable to play on Saturday following a knock received at Goodison last Wednesday still has a query against his name at the moment of writing. Starkie will probably take his place again if necessary, but if Taylor cannot play choice may rest between Brown and Lythgoe.
For the second team game against Sheffield United Reserves at Bramell Lane this evening Everton will include a Central League debutant in Derek Temple who leads the attack. Temple is the former Liverpool, Lancashire, and England schoolboy player, who was signed on full-time professional forms last week, after being with the club as an amateur since leaving school. He will be 18 in November and is said to be a lad of considerable promise. The team reads;- Dunlop; Sutherland, Leeder; Birch, Donovan, Rea; Williams (G), Farrell, Temple, Haugley, Williams (JD).
CURIOUS GOALS IN DEFEAT OF EVERTON
August 28, 1956. The Liverpool Daily Post
Blackpool 5, Everton 2
This was a curious sort of game at Blackpool last night and there was some curious goals to record, none more so than the first scored by Blackpool which turned the game inside out. No one for a moment though Mudie could possibly score after Farrell had ballooned the ball high up in front of the goal. There was every indication that the ball would go out of play but Mudie was one of the few who did not think so and he followed up and with a back header opened the Blackpool score in 35 minutes. Up to this time, Everton had played exceedingly well; in fact they gave us promise that they might reverse Blackpool’s win at Goodison Park last week, but two goals in a short time completely ruined any hopes we had of this happening. Two quick goals undoubtedly took the heart out of Everton just as it did at Leeds on the opening day of the season. They lost their football ability; they lost their shooting power, for it is only true to say that they had taken four shots which brought out the best in Farm. From then on it was Blackpool all the way. True, things did not always run right for Everton but having seen that open play had paid them such good dividends I do not know why they went back to their old custom of tip-tapping.
Blackpool undoubtedly looked the more dangerous side, but at the same time I think the score was rather flattering to Blackpool at the interval. The score at that point was 3-0 and Everton were definitely not three goals behind in the matter of football ability. However, it is goals that count and Brown went on to augment Mudie’s opening goal and then came the startling goal by Stanley Matthews. Matthews does not often figure on the score card but last night he was helped in his objective by the ball touching Tansey’s foot. Mudie made a great shot in the first minute of the second half and a few minutes later he improved on that with a left-footed shot at the 52nd minute when he took a pass from J. Kelly. One would have thought that this was sufficient but Blackpool had the goal lust and J. Kelly made a lob into the Everton goalmouth and the ball did strike Lello and drop out of O’Neill’s reach just underneath the upright. That made it 5-0 which in cold print does not look very gratifying. McNamara made things look a little better when he scored at the 65th minute with a really fast drive which had Farm and all others beaten to the world. Blackpool always looked as though they could score goals and it needed some extra special defensive work to prevent them from adding to their goal tally.
Hereabouts Jones was hurt and for a moment the team was reorganized, but only for a moment for Jones soon reverted back to his own position. O’Neill made some great saves during the late moments and Fielding should have reduced the lead when he had a vacant goal to shoot into but hooked the ball wide. McNamara, who had an excellent first half, made a shot at terrific pace and power, the ball hitting the underside of the crossbar, swirling round the net and coming back into play. At first it appeared the referee was not going to award a goal but under protest he went over to the linesman and after a talk with him the score stood. The attendance was 14,709.
WILLIAMS’ DOUBLE FOR EVERTON RES
August 28, 1956. The Liverpool Daily Post
Sheffield United Res 0, Everton Reserves 3
Three was no doubt about Everton Reserves victory in this Central League game at Bramell-Lane although Sheffield United contributed to the visitors success by weaking their defence in a late bid to add punch to the attack. G. Williams put Everton ahead after thirty five minutes following a brilliant save by Thompson from Haughey. The young winger added a second goal a quarter of an hour from the end and Temple a third with a beautifully judged drive. Everton’s defence covered splendidly at all times and by making more use of the open spaces their forwards over came the difficult conditions
CLOUDS GATHERING GOODISON WAY
August 28, 1956. The Liverpool Echo
The clouds are gathering out Goodison Park way. During the first half hour of the return game with Blackpool at Bloomfield Road last night, I thought they were lifting for Everton’s football and shooting was quite equal to that displayed by Blackpool but three goals in ten minutes pitch-forked us back into the gloom. I am ready to admit that one or two of the Blackpool goals were somewhat freakish, but that is football as we know it and such goals must be accepted for one day they may strike the other way. There was no bad light to blame at Blackpool, although McNamara’s last goal was scored in the “twilight,” but the real fact of the matter was that when Blackpool scored some of the spirit left one or two of the Everton players leaving the others to battle on against tremendous odds, for Blackpool had got their teeth well into the game and they never looked like surrendering their lead. Two quick goals at Leeds shuffled Everton right out. It was not quite so bad at Bloomfield Road; but there was a marked difference in their play after Mudie had scored what I considered a freak goal. Farrell is his anxiety to clear, ballooned a ball which had every appearance of going out, but Mudie chased it and with an impudent back-header sent the ball goalwards. O’Neill made a grab at the ball but it struck his arm and went into the net – time 35 minutes. From the moment Everton’s fate was sealed, for Blackpool got on top and within two minutes Brown had cracked in No 2, after Eglington had failed to gather an O’Neill throw-out. The good movements and the shots had gone from Everton- they had made four shots which Farm had to pull out his best to save, but there was no more Everton shooting until the final minutes when McNamara smashed home two rocket shots. The second one swirled round the back netting and came back into play and the referee was not certain it was a goal until he talked it over with his linesman. When Stanley Matthews score a goal it becomes news-he notched only three all last season –and although there was an element of luck about his shot it was an occasion for much joy in his supporters. Stan’s shot may have scored even though Tansey did not touch it but I doubt it for that little deflection conflicted O’Neill. Then there was J. Kelly’s goal the ball hit Lello but Mudie’s second goal was a peach. Everton’s goals against column started to look really bad -15 against in four matches and only five for. Fortunately McNamara’s two goals made things look a little better. People keep telling me that Everton’s record at this time last year, was worse. I am not concerned with last season – that is history. Fielding could have improved it more for he was left with an untenanted goal, but hooked the ball wide. No wonder he puts his hands to his head. Such chances cannot afford to be missed. I kept tally on Harris’s shooting efforts and my book showed “nil” Eglington had a couple and Llewellyn was always grafting but Blackpool once having taken the lead never looked back. They went from strength to strength and O’Neill kept their score down to five through some brilliant goalkeeping. It was when Matthews started to roam that Blackpool burst into flame, I can recall only one pass of his goals wrong. I don’t know how Everton are going to solve their problems. There is a long way to go, but to be perfectly honest I cannot hold out, too much hope for them in the weeks to come unless they can find a marksman. Fifteen goals against in four matches speaks for itself, to say nothing about the goals for. McNamara is top scorer with three while two of the seven were scored by half back Farrell. Need I say more.
EVERTON MAKE FIVE CHANGES
August 29th 1956 Liverpool Echo
Harris, Fielding and Woods Dropped
Compared with the side defeated by Blackpool on Monday, Everton make five changes in their team to face Wolverhampton Wanderers at Molineux on Saturday. Two of the alterations are positional ones, while two of the other changes being debutants to the first team, Harris, Woods and Fielding are dropped. The newcomers to the senior side are John Sutherland at right back and Ken Rea at left half. Sutherland aged 21 has been with the club for five years having been signed from Evergreen a side playing in the Cork area, after he had impressed the club as captain of the Eire Youth team which played Liverpool County Youth eleven. He has had considerable Central League experience over the past three seasons. Ken Rea aged 21, is a native of Liverpool and former Liverpool Schoolboy player. He has been with Everton since leaving school, signed professional forms just over four years ago, and earned considerable praise during the club’s running tour of America and Canada. Kirby who has ousted Jimmy Harris as centre-forward played in two previous senior games towards the end of last season one of them at inside left. He is still doing his National Service.
Lello In Attack
The other changes involved the return of Jones to centre half in place of Woods who is a trifle unfortunate to lose his place, and the inclusion of Lello at inside left in place of Fielding. How this works out remains to be seen, Lello is the possessor of a strong shot and has had inside forward experience though it was a long time ago. Whether he now has the speed and stamina for the job has yet to be proved. The team reads; Everton; O’Neill; Sutherland, Tansey; Farrell, Jones, Rea; McNamara, Llewellyn, Kirby, Lello, Eglington.
There will also be a debutant in the Everton reserve side to meet Bolton Wanderers Reserves at Goodison Park (3.15) making the fourth new comer to the Central League eleven in a fortnight. This time it is Peter Barnett a 17-years-old amateur left-half from the Newcastle area who is down for a trial period. He is said to have given a promising display in the “B” team last week. Everton Res; Dunlop; Sanders, Leeder; Birch, Donovan, P Barnett; Tomlinson, Farrell, Temple, Haugley, Williams (JD).
Everton “A” (v Blackpool “A” at Bellefied (3 p.m). Harris; Parkes, Heyes; King, Billington, Meagan; Mayers, H. Barr, Vizard, Thomas, Williams (G).
Mayers is having a trial run following his injury in the opening senior match of the season at Leeds. It was thought at first that he would be unable to play for a month but he has made a quick recovery.
Payne on The Mend
Jimmy Payne has now had the plaster removed from his injured ankle, and Everton hope he will be able to resume training next week.
MR. CLIFF BRITTON NEW APPOINTMENT
August 29, 1956. The Liverpool Echo
Manager of Preston
Mr. Cliff Britton who threw up his £3,000 a year job with Everton six months ago, has been appointed manager of Preston North End with whom he will take up his duties tomorrow. At one time Mr. Britton said he would never return to football in a managerial capacity. Since leaving Everton he has not applied for any post, but Preston themselves approached him and asked whether he would change his mind. After careful consideration he agreed to do so and accepted the Deepdale job, which is among one of the best paid in the game. The salary is about £2,500 a year. I understand that Mr. Britton will have the same wide powers at Preston that he had during most of his association with Everton and that this was one of the conditions on which he decided to accept their offer. He will accompany the Preston team to Old Trafford this evening where they are due to play Manchester United. Preston have been without a manager since Mr. Frank Hill resigned last May and have lost their three games this season. Mr. Britton is the third manager they have had since Mr. Billy Scott retired in 1953. Mr. Scot Symon left them after one season and Mr. Frank Hill was at Deepdale for two years.
Mr. Britton gave up his managerial post with Everton on February 24 last, when he walked out of a Board meeting after telling the directors that he did not wish to work for them any longer. His decision was the culmination of differences of opinion which had been brewing for some time, and particularly in relation to decisions made by the board, during his absence with the team on special training to which he took exception. Mr. T.C. Nuttall vice chairman of Everton on learning of the Preston appointment said he was pleased that Mr. Britton was not to be lost to football after all. “He will have the best wishes of everybody at Everton,” he added.
MR. BRITTON RETURNS TO FOOTBALL
August 30, 1956. The Liverpool Daily Post
By Leslie Edwards
Mr. Cliff Britton former manager of Everton F.C who six months ago, announced that he had finished with football for ever, was yesterday appointed manager of Preston North End. He will take over one of the higher paid posts in the game and starts his duties immediately. As one who has known and admired Cliff Britton from his playing days, the news of his return to soccer is the most pleasant ending to the chapter of his cleavage last spring with the Everton club. For months after the Everton episode he maintained he would never again link with soccer as a manager. Indeed he had already begun a new career writing tactical articles for newspapers, when Preston persuaded him to join them. I can well imagine he needed persuasion. He is a man with a will of his own.
Sorry he Went
More than once I have heard from authority at Everton that they were extremely sorry that Mr. Britton had to go, but once the difference between him and a section of the board came into the open and statement followed statement the ends was inevitable. Ironically Mr. Britton has now purchased from his old club the house lease of which figured in the final phase of the severance of manager and club. Cliff Britton will do Preston a world of good. I rate him now as an even better manager than he was when with Everton because he has had an experience which must leave its mark on him. Arsenal too could have taken Britton into team management but rarely these days does anyone save a former Arsenal player find authority at Highbury. I am sure thousands on Merseyside will wish Cliff Britton well in his new job. No manager in football can get better results available material.
EVERTON WIPE CLEAN THE TACTICAL SLATE
August 31, 1956. The Liverpool Daily Post
By Leslie Edwards
Most apt remark of the week?
Better news of the Everton chairman Mr. Dick Searle. He returns to Liverpool today much better after an operation in London a fortnight ago. Many happy returns would include the surprise result Everton hope for at Wolverhampton tomorrow.
Everton F.C are in process of reorganization. Gone is Cliff Britton, going, I understand, are the general tactics he laid down. From acting chairman Tom Nuttall I gather there can be no temporizing between old system and new. Every player, young and old, will have his chance. The slate must be wiped clean and due attention paid to players with go and goal about them. I believe the club are not happy with many of the too-lateral moves Everton are inclined to make; that young go-ahead men will have their first team chance as soon as they justify themselves. Everton’s introduction of Rea, Sutherland, Kirby and company proves that they mean what they say. Sutherland, by the way is the second fastest player on the books. A new regime’s new policy means that players of repute will not automatically find first team places. Just as the tide of youngsters comes in so will a tide of players of experience depart. So except a few notable outgoings. There are bound to be some in the course of the next month or two – perhaps earlier. The Britton plan was long-term. Everton I understand propose to terminate long term thinking. Coach Ian Buchan has been told of his club’s wishes. The team will now play according to the Buchan plan. It is plan to see that Everton have come to vital new decisions about tactics and policy. It is clear too that they will continue to blood forwards who show penetration. The aim is good. the difficulty is that time and a poor League position may preclude their giving full rein to plans to use youngsters as do Manchester United and Wolves.