PETER FARRELL CAPTAIN
August 1, 1957. The Liverpool Echo
Peter Farrell has been appointed captain of Everton for the coming season, for the eighth successive time, and the ninth in all.
Along with several other clubs Everton have been asked by the F.A. whether they are prepared to play a Russian Army team under floodlight in November, and a return match in Russia later. They have agreed to the first proposition, but the second suggestion is to be considered by the full board next week.
I RETURN TO EVERTON WISER AND I HOPE A BETTER PLAYER
August 3, 1957. The Liverpool Echo
By Dave Hickson
The past week has been one of the happiest in my life. I won’t say it has been the happiest of all, because nothing will every match the wonderful feeling I got when, as an ambitious and impressionable youngster, I first signed for Everton nearly ten years ago. I was thrilled to bits then, and although I have been again ever since I re-signed for Everton a week ago today, there has been a vital difference. Ten years ago I was young, the world was at my feet, and my one ambition in life, to play in the Blue shirt of the famous Goodison Park club, looked likely eventually to be realized. That was the thrill of my life, and always will be whatever the future may hold. Today I am older and – I hope –wiser, and though my delight at again being on Evertonian has been deep and profound, there has been more to it than that. I have learned a lot in the two years I have been away from Goodison Park, I realize that more is expected from me than ever before, and that it is up to me to do my utmost to see that neither the directors of the club nor its supporters are disappointed. Believe me, that has been quite a sobering thought throughout the past few days. Not that I have let it rob me of any of the pleasure at being back at Goodison Park once more, alongside so many of my former colleagues. But it has made me appreciate in a way which perhaps the Dave Hickson of a few years back would not have realized that I have a big responsible to Everton for giving me a second chance and showing faith in my future. If hard and earnest endeavour will enable me to justify that faith then you will not find me wanting. Never before in my life have I been so anxious to make good; not for my own sake, but for the sake of the finest club in the country and the many supporters who were in favour of my return to Goodison Park. While I am on this subject may I be permitted to make a passing reference to a matter which has been at the back of my mind ever since the day I so mistakenly –but happily only for a comparatively short while –turned my back on the club which did so much to help me make my name in the game.
Perhaps I was Too Hasty
It was due to a misunderstanding that I left Goodison. I have since regretted if almost from the very first day. It is not for me to try to apportion blame, I don’t even want to seem to be making excuses for myself. I know this, however, if I had my time to come over again I should act in a very different manner in short I have learned by experience and hope that as a consequence I shall be a better servant of the Everton club in the future than I was in the pass. Maybe, I acted a little hastily. But if those who have never done the same throughout their lives refrain from casting stones, and only the blameless do so, I shall not complain. Suppose we leave it at that. As I write this I am feeling more than a little stiff and sore. The training during the past week at Goodison has been quite an eye-opener to me. It has been something entirely different from anything I have ever before experienced.
It Is Doing All of us Good
There have been many novel angles to it, and under the guidance of our chief coach Mr. Ian Buchan, I feel –apart from the temporary stiffness, which will soon wear off –fitter and better than for many a long day. My former colleagues, who have been throught it all before and speak highly of the system, have told me how much it has improved their fitness and staying power in the past. I can quite believe it. The weight training system for the strengthening of muscles in all parts of the body –arms, legs abdomen, back and so on – is strenuous, but I am sure it will do me, as it has done the others, a world of good. You don’t mind working hard if the work brings ultimate results. It is well worth the extra effort –and not only now, as we go through a testing routine in readiness for the big kick-off three weeks today –but equally worthwhile of it keeps us on the top line throughout the coming winter. Unless I am very much mistaken we are going to be one of the fittest teams in the country, and far more able to stand a grueling ninety minutes than the majority of our opponents. That may not of course, be all the battle, but it is a jolly good help.
I Hope To Do Better still
Many a game is won in the last fifteen or twenty minutes, because one slide is better able to withstand the physical strain than the other. Judging from my experience of the past week, I should say that we at Goodison Park will be fit to face anything. They say that a footballer is not always himself the best judge of whether he is playing well or badly, I can quite believe that. Yet, at the same time, every player has a sort of instinctive feeling when he is doing well. Although I never settled down at Huddersfield, I honestly believe that at the start of last season I was playing better than I have ever done before. I got fifteen goals in my first nineteen matches which seems quite a fair average these days, and though I say it myself, with a bit of luck I might have had an even better return. Then I got an ankle injury knocked me off my perch, and though I came back after a while before I had settled down properly I was again on the injured list, and had to spend some time in the second team trying to get fit. This I did well before the season ended, and the injury has long since cleared up, without the slightest trace of after effects. Had there been any, the past week’s strenuous work-out under Mr. Ian Buchan’s eagle eye would have soon found the weak spot. Instead I have felt on top of everything apart –as I mentioned earlier –from the natural stiffness which has followed the unaccustomed work. This will soon wear off. I would like to play a warm tribute to Mr. Andrew Beattle, former Manager of Huddersfield Town, who took me in hand, personality from the day I signed for him, and gave me wonderful help and advice. Mr. Beattle made me realize that my old impetuosity was not a good thing. He impressed on me that I could be as good a player, and possibly a better one. If I would use my intelligence a little more.
A Sad Day For Soccer
Whenever he thought I was acting first and thinking afterwards he took the aside and gave me another lecture. In short, he tried to co-ordinate brain, muscle, and action and though really it is not for me to say, I think the achieved something. I shall never cease to be grateful to him for all his help. It was a sad day for me, as well as for football generally, when Mr. Beattie described that the strain of managerial post was more than he fell inclined to shoulder any longer, and he took over a business and sub post office mastership just outside Preston. I was never more anxious in my life to do well than I am this coming season. As I said before, it will not be for want of trying if I fail. Next week I hope to tell you more of my reactions after a further week of training.
DAVE HICKSON’S ESCAPE
August 7, 1957. The Liverpool Echo
There is an old journalistic saying that if a dog bites a man it isn’t news. But it is –when the victim is Dave Hickson. Fortunately the bite, which Hickson sustained while taking part in a demonization at Liverpool Co-op Sports, was very slight, for the dog made a bad shot when jumping at him as he was running off the field. The only damage was a small skin puncture on the leg. Ambulance men dressed the wound and gave Hickson an injection. But it could have been serious if the dog had a real bite. Obviously the animal belongs to a Liverpool supporter. No Evertonian with a dog that fancies a bite would let it come within miles of Goodison Park’s main hope for next season.
(P.S-The dog was NOT a Red Setter).
HARRIS MAY TAKE OVER ON EVERTON LEFT
August 8, 1957. The Liverpool Daily Post
By Leslie Edwards
Since Tom Eglington moved from Goodison Park to Prenton Park –and not all followers of Everton are happy about this – there has been a feeling everywhere that Everton have created for themselves yet another problem. The crowd know and like the enthusiasm and pertinacity of young Graham Williams who filled the outside left position with some distinction several times last back-end. Yet one may fairly question whether a man of his size would be able to fill the place adequately through a long season of First Division matches? If anyone imagines that Williams is Coach Ian Buchan’s first sting for the position it is necessary to put on record the statement by an Everton player that the club may well start the season with Jimmy Harris on the left. this one time centre forward showed enormous promise for awhile then fall away to such an extent as to become disgruntled enough to want his transfer. Now it seems he is likely to get a regular first-team place in Eglington’s old position and if he propensity the winging it when he used to play centre forward is any criterion, he may the position his for life. But even after being told of this likely left-wing choice and allowing for Dave Hickson’s return I suggest that this may prove one of the most difficult of Everton seasons –and we have endured some pretty indifferent ones since the war.
JIMMY HARRIS WAS AMONG THE FIRST TO WISH ME LUCK
August 10, 1957. The Liverpool Echo
By Dave Hickson
One of the most sporting gestures I have experienced for a long time happened when I reported back for training with my Goodison Park colleagues a couple of days after I had re-signed for Everton. Jimmy Harris, who took my place when I left Goodison Park two years ago to join Aston Villa was among the first to welcome me back to the field. As he shock my hand Jimmy said “I wish you the very best of luck, Dave, and sincerely hope you will have all the success that you would wish yourself.” That is just like Jimmy Harris. All I hope is that things work out so that Jimmy may be a colleague in the first team and that he and I along with the others may be able to provide the standard of football and kind of results that the club’s followers would like to see, I have never played in the same team in a Football league fixture, as Jimmy of course did not make his senior debut until a few days before I left. I have had so many letters from Everton supporters during the post fortnight that it is impossible for me to attempt to answer the writes individually. May I therefore take this opportunity of thanking all those who wrote me for their kindness. It has been a big encouragement to me. Yet at the same time it has been rather frightening! It has made me realize more than ever the responsibility resting on the shoulders of myself and my team mates. As I have previously said, we shall all do our best to fulfill your hopes, but I thrust that you will bear with me if I do not strike my best form right at the start. I shall try my utmost to do so, but as all professional footballers know only too well, success does not always come just when you want it. Sometimes the harder you try the more it seems that things will not run your way. When that happens it takes a lot of will-power not to get a little discouraged. I never knew Bryn Jones, the pre-war Wolverhampton and Arsenal inside forward, but those who did tell me that the talented Welsh international was put right off his game after Arsenal paid £14,000 for him.
You Forget To Worry
He desperately wanted to justify that price-tag. He was so anxious to please the Highbury crowd that when things did not at once come off for him be started to worry. That upset his form still more, and he never really recovered it. I hope the writers of future years are not going to say that “Dave Hickson” was similarly upset by the glare of publicity I am more or less used to it now, of course, and don’t really think it will have any detrimental effect. Once I get out on the field I shall try to forget everything but doing my bit along with the other lads to ensure a solid victory for Everton. Among the letters I received just after resigning was one from Mr. Merritt an inmate of “F” Ward at broadgreen Hospital. He very kindly told me that the news was the best tonic he and some of his ward mates had for ages, and added that they were all looking forward to the day when they would see me in action again. After such a letter I felt it was up to me to try to do something for the chaps in “F” Ward, instead of waiting until they were better and could come along to see the Blues in action. Accordingly a friend of mine ran me over by car to Broadgreen last Sunday afternoon, and I spent a happy hour chatting about soccer and other things to Mr. Merritt and other patients. When I left they were kind enough to say that my visit had done them a lot of good, I would like to return the compliment. They also did me some good, too. They made me realize how lucky the rest of us are to be fit and able to follow our normal jobs. It also brought home to me forcibly the wonderful interest and enthusiasm with which so many people follow everything connected with the Everton club. If anything more was needed to make me determined to give of my utmost next winter those fellows at Broadgreen added the finishing touch.
New Tactical Ideas
During the past week, we have been trying out some new tactical moves in our training sessions at Bellefield. Obviously I cannot let you into the secret of these. We want them to take the opposition by surprise. But I will say this that if they succeed as well in our League matches as they have been doing in the “dress” rehearsals” you may be seeing quite a crop of goals his winter. One of the aims behind what we have been practicing is to spread the goalscoring as evenly as possible among all five forwards. In one particular scheme I act the part of “stooge” more or less, and Jimmy Gauld, with whom I am early looking forward to playing for the first time, has shown amazing facility for snapping up the chances which this move should bring if properly executed. Jimmy is exceedingly quick off the mark, and quickest still when he gets going on one of those hectic weaving runs of his. He is one of the fastiest men I have played with. All I hope is that we shall fit in as well in competitive football as we have been doing in our training sessions. It will be an experience to play alongside the former Charlton star, and I think very helpful to me. Another thing on which Mr. Ian Buchan our coach, has been concentrating during the past week has been the accuracy of shooting. You don’t need me to tell you that the most vital thing of all in Soccer is goal scoring. Brilliant approach work is just useless so far as the result of a game is concerned, if the goals are not, forthcoming. Good football is all very well but only goals count.
It will not be for want of plenty of practice at marksmanship if we don’t produce the goals this time. During every morning training session the forwards and half-backs have at least six spells, each lasting one minute of concentrated shooting in against a boarded up goal. A minute may not sound very long. But I can tell you that this is real “pressurized” training. You are made to go at it full out with everything you have got. The ball come back to you off the boards like lightning and you keep on hitting it with power and precision every few seconds. It is not easy and me, at any rate at the moment one minute is enough. The boards are specially marked a yard inside each post a yard under the bar, and a yard up from the ground. We have to try to put our shots within that area, which is the most difficult part of the goal for the goalkeeper to guard. Already I feel that my shooting has improved through this execise alone, and it is only one of several designed for the same ultimate purpose. We are certainly leaving nothing to chance up at Bellefield.
BLOW FOR BLUES
August 15, 1957. The Liverpool Echo
Before a ball has been kicked in competitive football, Everton’s staff of 20 full timers has been temporarily reduced to 19. Gauld has cracked an ankle bone in practice, is now wearing a plaster cast and is unlikely to be fit for Everton’s first two or three games.
If chosen by the F.A to play against the visiting Russian Army team coming in this country in the autumn. Everton’s board last night decided to agree to the proposal for a return match in Russia on a Continent date.
TOMORROW’S APPETISERS FOR THE SOCCER SEASON
August 16, 1957. The Liverpool Echo
Main interest at Goodison Park will centre in the appearance in Everton’s colours once again of Dave Hickson, whose return to his first love was received with such pleasure by the vast majority of the club’s supporters. I have rarely known a player with such a single minded purpose as Hickson possesses at the moment. He is desperately anxious to prove himself and to help Everton to a better season than they had last winter. A surprise in the teams which appeared in our later editions yesterday is the omission of Peter Farrell, only recently appointed captain for the seventh consecutive season for whom Meagan is preferred in the probable first team. Originally signed as a forward Meagan was switched to wing half in the Central League side last season and shaped well. At the same time he lacks experience and Farrell despite his approach to the veteran stage never let the team down last season. Many a time he was fighting back when others were ready to call it a day. Apart from his ability Farrell’s whole-hearted endeavour was always an inspiration. While the unfortunate injury to Gauld robs the club of one of their attacking mainstays of last season, there is some consolation in the fact that Temple, who shaped promisingly as leader last spring, is equally at home at inside forward, where he fills the vacancy tomorrow.
The Big Question
The question is whether Hickson, the only newcomer –if we can call him that –apart from Labone can satisfy last seasons need for greater penetration in the front line. In the old days he, Fielding and Parker fitted together well. It remains to be seen whether Hickson gets the right support from his colleagues. He is a maker as well as a taker of chances and will provide opportunities as for his inside man. They must return the compliment. One department where Everton seem most suspect, is at full back. If the Donovan-Tansey pairing is upset by injury or loss of form there are only inexperienced men available. Neither Leeder nor Sanders, the only other full timers on tap, have played in the first team, and the only other back on the staff are two players in the Forces –one of whom broke his leg recently – and a part timer with only one Central league outing to his credit. Even Sanders, though originally a back has played most of his games at centre half. If I were an Everton director I should feel very anxious about the full back position. Maybe tomorrow’s display will settle those doubts. We shall soon know. In the white team it will be interesting to see how Labone shapes at centre half. I am told he has been playing most promisingly in practice matches. Blues; Dunlop; Donovan, Tansey; Rea, Jones, Meagan; McNamara, Temple, Hickson, Fielding, Williams. Whites; O’Neill; Sanders, Leeder; Birch, Labone, Farrell; Harris (J), Thomas, Kirby, Haughey, Harris (B).
As an appetizer to the main match there will be a game between the clubs junior players starting at two o’clock.
HICKSON SHOWS THE WAY AT GOODISON
August 17, 1957. The Liverpool Echo
Young Labone’s Promise In Everton Trial
Blues; Dunlop, goal; Donovan (captain) and Tansey, backs; Birch, Jones , and Meagan, half-backs; McNamara, Temple, Hickson, Fielding, and Williams, forwards. Whites;- O’Neill, goal; Sanders, and Leeder, backs; King, Labone, and Farrell (captain), half-backs; Harris (j), Thomas, Kirby, Haughey, and Harris (B), forwards. Referee; Mr. J. Mitchell (Whiston). Everton made two changes for their public practice game at Goodison Park due to Rea having pulled a leg muscle in training. Birch was switched from the Whites to take over at right half in the Blues with King coming in to fill the vacancy in the second string. The attendance did not seem any greater than usual for a practice match in spite of the return to Hickson. At the start no more than 10,000 were present. There was no doubting the popularity of Hickson, however, for the roar which greeted him when he came out towards the end of the Blues team far exceeded the reception given to those who had trotted out earlier and within half a minute a hundred or more small boys had invaded the pitch and gathered round the centre forward. It was a couple of minutes before three policemen were able to get the playing pitch clear. the Blues turned out in new style Continental stockings all white apart from a blue band at the top while the reserve players also had a new type of black and white hoop. Donovan captained the Blues and Farrell he Whites. The Blues were a goal up inside two minutes thanks to Hickson who flicked a pass from Williams to temple who had the easiest of chances from eight yards. Williams had one good shot just before this and another immediately afterwards, the second missing the bar by inches. Labone the 17-years-old who was at school only a month ago, had the advantage of an inch or so in height over Hickson and was obviously determined to give the returned wanderer “little scope.” He followed Hickson wherever he went, standing shoulder to shoulder with him most of the time, and made good use of the ball.
Although the Blues looked the better balanced and more progressive side, they were not having matters all their own way. Kirby and the two Harris boys were trying hard, but Dunlop was not tested to any extent. At the 18th minute a long centre by Fielding to the far right wing drew a bunch of players together and O’Neill also went out, missed making contact with the ball, and Graham Williams had nothing to do but hook it into the empty goal. The Blues might have had a third when Hickson slipped Labone and bore down on goal but could not get in a shot before Leeder came across to baulk him. Temple did get the ball into the net but only after the whistle had gone for offside against Williams. Labone was coming out of his duels with Hickson, with considerable credit. The former grammar school boy looked every inch a born footballer and nobody would have imagined from his cool unhurried demeanor that this was his first big game. Dunlop made a short range save from a header by Kirby off Brian Harris’s centre, but the goalkeeper was still virtually unemployed. King tried a couple of long range shot without getting on the mark.
Kirby Shows How
The Blues forwards were producing little more in the shooting line than the Whites. Indeed while the match had provided some quite entertaining football, there was nothing like the shooting there should have been. The best effort so far had a pile driver by Kirby taken on the turn, which would have left Dunlop he pless had it been the mark instead of a few inches on the wrong side. Kirby had two possible chances without being able to get a shot and twice, with no-one up in support pulled the ball back to an opponent. Half-time; Blues 2, Whites nil.
There were several changes in both teams in the second half Harris (J), Haughey and Harris (B) switched over to the Blues with Williams, McKay and Keeley taking their places in the white eleven. Griffiths (B) replaced Leeder and Griffiths (G) took over from O’Neill. Hickson’s best scoring effort was a powerful shot in the side rigging after he had sent Labone running the wrong way. Generally speaking, however, the shooting left much to be desired. There was little of it and much of what there was anything but accurate. Donovan came up to set an example. His shot was powerful enough but like the others he also was off the mark. Brian Harris scored a third goal for the Blues at the 55th minute after temple had gathered a pass from Birch in full stride in stylish fashion and, after drawing Griffiths out of goal, had pulled the ball back so that Harris had nothing to do but steer it into the unguarded net. At last the Whites started to do some shooting and after King had almost scraped the bar with a powerful effort Kirby broke through on his own and scored off the post as Tansey and Dunlop vainly tried to halt his progress. Williams brought Dunlop to his knees with a strong shot and then, with the goalkeeper at a disadvantage but the rebound yards wide.
BLUES NOT DISMAYED AT TOUGH OPENING
August 17, 1957. The Liverpool Echo
By Dave Hickson
It won’t be long before we are in the thick of a new season again. By the time you read this our first and only public practice match will have been staged at Goodison Park. Our supporters may then have a better idea of what the future holds than they had hitherto. I hope the picture is a good one. We could hardly have a tougher opening fortnight. After Wolves have started the ball rolling next week we have two games against Manchester United, with a trip to Aston Villa sandwich between, and then a visit to Highbury to meet Arsenal. Needless to say, I am looking forward keenly to returning to First Division football, and none of us at Goodison Park are dismayed that we begin with such stiff engagements. We are all determined to make a really good and encouraging start if humanly possible. The lads have not been slow to remind those who mentioned the Manchester United games that twelve months ago the Blues not only defeated the champions at old Trafford but did it by such good football and so handsome a margin that these could be no disputing which was the superior team on the day. What they have done once they may well do again. It is the unexpectedness of football first makes much of its popularity, for you never know what is going to happen next, so to those who are worrying about how Everton are going to fare next season I say; “Just wait and see, and maybe you will have a very pleasant surprise.” I have already mentioned that the training we have been undergoing these last few weeks has been very stringent, and that we are likely to be one of the fittest teams in the country.
Team Spirit Is Good
Another thing in our favour is that the team spirit throughout the club is so good. It is certainly better than any I have known previously with any club. Although compared with some players, I have not spent very many years in the game yet, I have learned enough to know that one of the greatest assets of the club is its team spirit. Naturally it will have occasional off days. No side remains at the peak of its form throughout the whole nine months of a testing winter’s campaign. I don’t doubt that we at Everton shall have setbacks now and again. So long as they are only occasional there will be no need to worry unduly. One of the biggest tests of the spirit of a team is when things are going badly. That is when the players, individually and collectively need not only a strong and optimistic spirit to sustain them, but also when their followers can be most helpful. Neither should get unduly downcast by a few reverses. Everton started very badly last winter. But they soon pulled themselves together and had a run of success in which they gained more points, over a three month period, than any except two or three clubs. Although I was not there, that must have been a very anxious time for everybody concerned. But I am sure, knowing most of the lads as well as I do that the early run of nonsuccess did not result in undue pessimism in the dressing-room.
Hard Luck On Gauld
Earlier in this article I mentioned my pleasure, at returning to First Division football. Several people have asked me the difference between playing centre forward in the Second Division and the First. You certainly get more buffeting in the second Division for centre halves and full backs on the whole are more rugged and uncompromising. The standard of defensive play from a constructive point of view is not so good in, the lower sphere, either. There is a greater tendency to get the ball away from goal at all coasts rather then seek to make each clearance the starting point of a counter-attack. As goals are the things that count most perhaps that is only natural. Anyway, if I get a good bag in the coming season I shall be happy enough, but I hope that full credit will be given to those who help me get them. No centre forward can score goals unless he has the right service of passes from the men alongside him. If I am selected for the first team next Saturday I shall be looking forward with anticipation –and not a little trepidation also –to facing the England and Wolverhampton skipper Billy Wright. When I played for the Blues against Wolves at Christmas over three years ago we took four points from the Midland lads for we won 3-1 at Molyneux and 3-2 at Goodison Park, and I had the good fortune to score three of our six goals, I hope I am as lucky again next week. I expect this time Billy who is one of the finest pivots I have ever faced will be anxious to keep me well “tapped” so it should be a real battle.
Anxious Time For All
All Everton followers were sorry to hear of the injury by Jimmy Gauld. It happened quite simply in a tackle and until the X-ray disclosed a slight crack in the ankle it was thought to be nothing serious and that Jimmy would soon be all right. He felt the same way himself. I often wonder what happened to professional footballers before X-rays were invented and disclosed the real nature of so many injuries. In the old days they must often have been taking risks that they never realized. Last Wednesday we had an enjoyable break from training with a day’s golf at Southport and Ainsdale which the Everton lads who are playing in the Footballers golf championship at Preston next Monday seized upon for practice purposes. We have some very useful golfers at Goodison and I hope that they will do well on Monday.
LABONE STOLE THE SHOW AT GOODISON PARK
August 19, 1957. The Liverpool Daily Post
Blues 4, White 2
Although practice matches rarely tell club officials or football starved enthusiasts anything they do not already know about the majority of the players on view, they do occasionally concentrate the limelight in new-comers to the public gaze. That was the case at Goodison Park on Saturday, when 14,997 spectators dispersed at the finish talking of little else but the splendid display of 17-years-old Brian Labone, whose name, unknown a month ago, is likely to be heard with increasing frequency in the not very distant future. As a rule I am most chary of unduly eulogizing any player on the strength of one performance. But this was an exhibition very much out of the ordinary. Labone who was still at school a few weeks ago, gave one of the finest displays I have ever seen from a newcomer to the game. Cool, competent, and unhurried, he came out of his duels with Hickson with as much credit as his more experienced rival. He use the ball well, he is good in the air, and on this showing is one of the best prospects I have seen for years. Naturally he has a lot to learn yet. Hickson sometimes had him running the wrong way, due to the boy’s over-eagerness to anticipate his opponents next move. Labone will some tumble to that, however, for he is undoubtedly a born footballer and definitely a player of class and artistry. Another and even youngster player who distinguished himself was Graham Griffiths a fifteen-year-old former Welsh schoolboy international goalkeeper. Griffiths who is now on the Everton office staff, made three outstanding saves, and showed great courage in diving at the feet of oncoming forwards. He is rather on the small side, but at fifteen has plenty of time and grow and fill out.
Dave Hickson whose perplarily was evidently by the hugh swarm of autograph hunters to invade the field before and after the game was not the Hickson of old. He was no worse for that. The old fiery crusader ship was missing. In its place we saw a more mature player seeking to make chances for others than came out for himself by battering run methods. He offered the Blues first goal to Temple, most unselfishly, had a useful but less definite part in another and if only some of his colleagues had been able to shoot more quickly and more accurately other goals would have come from Hickson’s offerings. He had a couple of good shooting efforts himself, one a pile-driver that ended up in the side netting but on the whole got fewer chances than had been anticipated. To a large extent this was due to Labone who shadowed him closely and was obviously determined to be first to the ball whenever possible.
Temple showed some neat touches, though not much shooting power, Haughey and Mackay are just a trifle too slow at the moment” Harris (J) and his namesake Brian put more fire into the Blues’ attack when they took the place of McNamara and Williams in the second half, and Keeley, a very solidly built outside right, also shaped well when brought in after the interval. Both sets of forwards were tainted with the old Everton falling of excessive elaboration in approach work and inaccurate shooting, until they livened up in the last fifteen minutes of the game. Then the match hitherto lacking in thrills, but providing some quite enjoyable football at times, sprang into something like real action. Six goals seems a reasonable return. But only one of them, scored by Keeley ten minutes from the end, was the result of a strong shot. Temple was a simple chance, Williams and Brian Harris had empty nets to shoot into. Kirby’s effort went in off the post through the leading up work was well executed, and Brian Harris’s second dropped over the line when the ball struck him on the back of the head after rebounding from the woodwork. He knew nothing about it.
Defensively the first teamers were sound. Of the reserves Sanders was the best, with King shaping nicely at right half in the second period. Farrell was not as outstanding as usual and seemed content to take things rather easily. Prior to the senior practice the junior game which ended 2-2 showed some promising talent. Ashworth a tall and well-built boy from Southport has speed and a fair shot. Llewellyn and Burgess looked useful leaders, Parkes was the best of the backs, Billington shaped solidly ay centre half and there appears to be some good material among the wing halves. Altogether, thirty-two players, mainly amateurs were given a chance to show their ability, ten changes being made after the interval.
August 19, 1957. The Liverpool Echo
Preston’s newcomers –Everton’s followers will keenly watch the progress at Preston of Derek Mayers, Alec Farrell, and Ken Heyes, three Goodison cast-offs that Manager Cliff Britton snapped up very quickly.
LABONE SHOWED SPLENDID PROMISE AGAINST A MUCH QUIETER HICKSON
August 19, 1957. The Liverpool Echo
It may seem paradoxical to asset that a match producing six goals has been marked by paucity of shooting, but that was so in Everton’s practice game. For more than three parts of the time we saw the old Goodison falling of over-elaborate approach work and indifferent marksmanship. Dave Hickson was not the Hickson of old. Possibly he is saving himself for the competitive games. But in Labone Everton have a real discovery, and 15-years-old Griffths looks a goalkeeping star of the future. It was only in the last fifteen minutes or so that both forward lines, whose composition had been changed considerably at half-time seemed to realized that games are not won without plenty of shooting. Then they produced more efforts of power and precision than throughout the previous 75 minutes, during which the goalkeepers had little more than a watching brief. Apart from the lack of finishing, the game produced entertaining if not thrilling football and showed up some of the younger professionals in an encouraging light. Hickson, the man whom most of the 14,997 crowd had come to see, was not the dynamic and forceful leader he used to be. Just how far that was due to Hickson taking things easily or to the excellent display of seventeen –years-old Brian Labone at centre-half is something upon which nobody can be dogmatic. I certainly seemed at times that Hickson was willing to let his opponent share the limelight and that he was not exerting himself unduly. On other occasions, when he showed brief glimpses of his former dash and forcefulness, he was not always the man to come out of the tussle with the ball.
By and large, honours between the pair were evenly divided. But remembering that Hickson has been in first class football for over six years, and that it was Labone’s first outing in such experienced company, the latter’s performance was the more meritorious. I always hesitate to eulogise a young player unduly on the basis of one game. So many contenders for stardom in the past have flashed across the football firmament for a brief period, then faded out that I usually prefer to suspend judgment until a reasonable time has elapsed. But with all the reservations one may feel inclined to make, the fact remains that Labone is an exceptionally promising player. I cannot recall having seen one since the war who looked so cool competent, and completely efficient in his first game. Almost everything he did had the stamp of class and artistry. He was never hurried and never at a loss. I will say no more than that at the moment but if I wanted to go on record with something more venturesome I could say that this youngster who gave up a possible university career to become a full time professional is likely to play for England before he is 21. Long before that he may force Tommy Jones to pull out his to maintain his first team place. I have never said that before of any player on one view and it may be years before I do so again, so you will understand that young Labone impressed me more than somewhat.
Not Snapped Up
Hickson, as I have said on many occasions, is as much a maker as he is a taker of goals in the game with the way down the middle so effectively stopped he concentrated on providing opportunities for others. Unfortunately they were rarely snapped up, otherwise the Blues would have won much more handsomely than they did. Hickson’s experience came to his aid when he occasionally had Labone running the wrong way, due to the latter’s over eagerness. The younger player will tumble to that weakness before he is much older. Temple was another of the younger professionals to show clever touches, but he needs to shoot oftener and not wait to get too close to goal before he does. Jimmy Harris and Brian Harris who switched from the Whites to the Blues for the second half, looked more effective on the wings than McNamara and Williams though there was little in it so far as the latter was concerned, Williams at least shoots whenever there is a chance and though some of his efforts were well off the mark he got one goal and almost grazed the woodwork with other attempts.
Haughey and Mackay have football in their feet and football brains, but need speeding up, Kirby shaped quite well and had a few shots –one on the turn was a beauty –but he is still a trifle slow to get the ball under complete control when moving at pace. Birch and Meagan were reliable at wing half without either being outstanding but Farrell was not as good as I had anticipated. I thought he would have striven to show that he is still worthy of first team inclusion. Instead he seemed content to take things comfortably and did not stamp his game with the all-out effort which characterizes his play when there are points at stake. There was plenty involved on this occasion, but it was a personal stake, not one affecting Everton’s position in the table. Maybe that accounted for it. I like the promising work of Sanders. Beautifully built and only a slightly smaller edition of Duncan Edwards, he settled down well after a shaky opening in the first ten minutes when little Williams was at his perkiest. O’Neill on this showing has not regained his lost confidence. Next to Dunlop the goalkeeping honours went to fifteen years old Graham Griffiths a former Welsh schoolboy international who is now on the Everton office staff. Griffiths made three wonderful flying saves in the best Frank Swift style, catching the ball while in mid-air with all the confidence of a veteran and showed such courage in twice diving at the feet of Hickson that the latter ran back to give him an encouraging pat. The six goals were not all out of the top drawer. Temple’s was a simple chance from eight yards from a Hickson flick. Williams had an empty net to shoot at after O’Neill had dashed out and lost the ball, and Brian Harris got a couple of grits, the second of them hitting him on the back of the head as he stood almost beneath the bar. For the Whites Kirby’s went in off the foot of the post, though he seized the chance well enough. Keeley’s was the best shot of the lot.
EVERTON APPEAR TO BE FACED WITH A TOUGH STRUGGLE
August 20, 1957. The Liverpool Echo
With another football season almost upon us this seems an opportune time to wipe the dust off the old fortune-tellers’s crystal ball, whisper the magic words, make the appropriate passes- which will be as meaningless as some of those we see on Saturday afternoons –and endeavour to ascertain whether our favourities teams are going to give us joy or break our hearts. Taking Everton first, I wish I could feel more hopeful about their prospects. It would be a pleasure to be able to say that the Blues are likely to push Manchester United’s elegant championship nose out of joint. Alas, having been brought up to emulate George Washington, I must say, instead, that I cannot see anything for them but a struggle to keep out of trouble. That is, of course, if the staff remains as at present. Should there be strengthening signings –and some are badly wanted – then the whole position could be changed. As nobody can say what will happen in that direction, I must weight up the position in the light of things as they are not as they may be. With only twenty full-time players on call, and one of those injury before a ball has been kicked in real earnest, I must repeat what I have been saying all summer –that in my view Everton have been wise and pound foolish. They are taking risks, which may cost them more in the long run than the few thousands they saved by cutting down the wages bill. For years shareholders have listened starry-eyed at annual meetings to glowing reports of the wonderful youngsters Everton had in their junior ranks. These were the lads who were going to prevent anxiety for many a season ahead. The shareholders lapped it up and went home to sleep the sleep of the reassured. Their fears were banished and they felt they had only been torturing themselves with baseless doubts.
What has happened? Inside eighteen months the Board has cleared out something like thirty players, including many of these supposed stars of the future. I’m not saying they have been wrong, although think they have parted too hurriedly in quite a few cases. But if they are right, their supporters must have been led up some long garden paths in past years and the board must take responsibility for that. The youth scheme has indeed produced a good proportion of first-team players from its own nursery in the past. They may not all have been outstanding, but most have been of fair average. One would have thought there might have been a little more patience over some of those, who have since prepared. Now when the club will have a bigger income than ever before thanks to the abolition of entertainments tax, we find Everton facing a new season with the smaller professional staff any post-war season, and smaller than many a pre-war one. Already Gauld is laid aside and Rea is doubtful. If the team strikes a nasty crop of injuries in the opening weeks Everton are going to have difficulty fielding anything like a representative First Division side.
Or the full-times, no fewer than seven made their senior debut only last season, while Birch, Kirby the two Harris boys, and Williams have less than two seasons’ senior experience. Put another way there are 12 players out of the 20 – admittedly some of them of quite good promise- who between them have played in a total of only 216 Football League matches, or an average of about 18 games each. This would not matter much if there was a big staff of experienced men to call upon. As there is not, what it means it means is that if the Blues loss their older, and more seasoned men through injury or loss of form, they will be forced to field a side with far too big a proposition of immature and inexperienced youngsters. They may get away with it. Some of these youngsters given their big names may prove outstandingly brilliant. But as a general rule few players come into the First Division and reach peak form immediately. It is a gradual process, involving accumulated experience, steadily improving skill and craftsmanship, increasing confidence, and above all a blend with the rest of the team which is not easy to attain when changes are frequent. As I have said before, I am dubious of Everton’s full back strength. If anything happens to Donovan or Tansey there is nobody of experience to step in. Though I have liked Sanders when I have seen him. It is a big jump for a boy who was given a free transfer by another senior side only a little over a year ago. At wing half the club looks reasonably well, insured against all possibilities. This is the strongest department of all. As for the attack, Everton followers do not need me to remind them how much everybody is relying on Dave Hickson. Whether he alone can transform the forward line is another matter, Jimmy Harris might solve the outside right problem, but that we cannot count on yet. One thing is certain there must be more shooting than there was last season. I hope I am being unduly apprehensive, and that when a few games and victories have gone into the record books I shall hang my head in shame. I should do it gladly but for the time being I can see nothing ahead but a long struggle for survival. The man I envy least of all is Mr. Ian Buchan, who apparently is expected to make bricks without much straw. He is doing as good a job as possible with the limited staff and limited powers. I wish him the best of luck.
August 20, 1957. The Liverpool Echo
Home from home –Colin Vizard transferred during the close season to Rochdale should feel at home with former Evertonians Harry Catterick (manager) Jackie Grant, and Eddie Wainwright.
August 21, 1957. The Liverpool Echo
Mr. Ian Buchan, who will be sole selector of the Everton teams this season, is delaying his chose until this afternoon, owing to the doubt surrounding Rea. I should imagine there may also be a ticklish question to settle regarding the two wingers, Brian Harris, who like Williams, is in the Forces must be a strong contender for the outside left berth after his display in the public practice match and Jimmy Harris did enough in the same game to make him a very strong rival to McNamara at outside right. News about Jimmy Gauld is that he is to visit hospital for a further X-ray on Saturday. It will depend on the result of this examination whether the heavy plaster cast is removed from the lower part of his leg, or left longer. In any case I think we can write Gauld off for some little time yet.
ODDS AGAINST YOUR PLACING THESE FACES
August 22, 1957. The Liverpool Daily Post
By Leslie Edwards
Disregard, for the moment, the composition of the Everton team to open the season against Wolves on Saturday and cast back your minds to twelve months ago…to the Everton faces which opened the season at Leeds. One could safely lay 100 to one against anyone naming those men correctly since they were unlike the current Everton X1. O’Neill was in goal, of course. This was Everton immediately before they elected to fit Dunlop. Right back? None other than Eric Moore who looks like being the best back in the Third Division, with Tranmere Rovers, this season. Left back? Jimmy Tansey, the man still in possession. Right half-back and captain? That’s easy, Peter Farrell of course. Centre half? Tom Jones left half-back? Cyril Lello, now Player-Managing Runcorn (and good luck to him) after being transferred to Rochdale. It is the attack of that day twelve months ago at Leeds which now reads, so oddity, Brian Harris on the right wing with the most unlikely of partners Dan Donovan. Jimmy Harris at centre forward; Derek Mayers (now gone to Preston to join Cliff Britton) at inside-left with Tom Eglington, Tranmere’s most conscientious player in training on the extreme left. I would never have credited the two opening Everton teams could be so dis-similar. Now mark the team chosen yesterday to take the field against Wolves at Goodison Park on Saturday –no O’Neill, no Lello, no Brian Harris, no Mayers, no Eglington, and believe it or not, no Peter Farrell, though it is only a few days ago since Everton announced that he would continue as first team captain. And no Tony McNamara, though this same McNamara last season headed Everton’s band of goal-scorers.
The Old Firm
Dealing serially with the team which we shall see on Saturday one finds that Dunlop a year ago had never made a senior appearance in his several seasons with the club; Donovan and Tansey remain as the old (and very good) firm of full backs. Birch of the red hair and big cross-field pass gets his place at right back, with Tom Jones and young Meagan, another Dubliner, as co-partners Harris (j) is now played on the right wing; eighteen-years-old Derek Temple gets his place at inside right and Wally Fielding and Graham Williams, the Welsh boy, from one of the smallest and maybe liveliest left wing partnerships. Dave Hickson, in the centre is no stranger to Liverpool at season’s openings. He was at Anfield a year ago with Huddersfield Town and the gate that day was blostered by thousands of Evertonians who went there specially to greet him. Everton have certainly injected the spirit of youth into their side but with it they must accept a great deal of inexperience. The question is will Billy Wright’s side be able to expose this?
THE NEW SEASON
August 23, 1957. The Liverpool Echo
Everton open the campaign with a visit from Wolverhampton Wanderers tomorrow. The return of Dave Hickson should add to the attendance considerably and maintain it at the higher level if he and the team enjoy a reasonable measure of success. During the past three years Everton’s gate have dropped by an average of over 11,000 per home game. That is a serious matter and though the abolition of entertainment tax has eased the position. Everton naturally want to get back the missing support. To do that they must serve up the sort of football the public wants. While I hope Everton provide the results that their supporters hope for, even if they do not there will be some consolation if the standard of football is more akin to what we used to expect from the “School of Science.”
Not So Optimistic
Those who read these notes regularly will have already gathered that I am not too optimistic about the Goodison outlook. Some of the players upon whom they must obviously rely in view of the small staff numerically, have been tried in the past and found wanting. In the case of some of the others there is a lack of experience and while this is not a serious barrier, for the game abounds with examples of young players who have held their own in the top class right from the start if the club is hard hit with injuries –and already three of their full-time professionals have been laid aside-they may have too big a proportion of inexperience in the team to enable them to wealthier the strain and tension of a lengthy winter’s campaign we shall soon have a better idea about that. Meanwhile I thrust that all Evertonians will turn up in full strength at Goodison tomorrow to give the side every encouragement against the Wolves. Let us hear the old Goodison roar at its best.
The Cullis View
The Midlanders next to Manchester United, have been one of the most consistent sides of recent seasons. They have one of the game’s finest managers in Stanley Cullis, a former captain of England. Cullis is no respecter of persons. He insists on getting the best out of every man on his staff, irrespective of reputation. Nobody keeps his place on the Wolves eleven unless he is up to standard. The present Wolverhampton side is a nicely blended mixture of you and experience, with a reduced age average compared to the recent seasons. Skipper Billy Wright is still going strong and Dave Hickson has a very tough assignment in front of him for his first game. Meagan who makes his Football League debut, is a promising youngster. He is a little on the light side physically but that need be no drawback if he has the requiste skill and determination.
New Hope for Harris
Temple and Jimmy Harris may make a sound right wing pair, I have felt for a long time, that Harris might find the outside right berth more to his liking. Temple is a clever footballer and a natural ball player. If he will shoot a little oftener he could stake a claim to regular first team preferment. Wally Fielding, now well on into the veteran stage, and the oldest and longest serving player on the Goodison staff, brings craft and intelligence to help him when the physical strain gets a little too severe, but he also is one who could be of even greater service if he would shed his reluctance to shoot. This season is notable in a less minor key, for the inauguration of season tickets for the paddock and ground. Holders of the latter will see a special turnstile, the first in Goodison Road when approaching from the Walton Lane end, set apart from their use. Paddock season-ticket holder enter by a special gate in the centre of the Bullens Road Stand. Harry Hooper, the England “B” international and former West Ham winger, is omitted from the Wolves team. Deeley takes his place. Everton; Dunlop; Donovan, Tansey; Birch, Jones, Meagan; Harris (J), Temple, Hickson, Fielding, Williams. Wolves; Finlayson; Stewart, Harris; Clamp, Wright, Flowers; Deeley, Booth, Murray, Broadbent, Mullen.
BOLTON GET IT
August 23, 1957. The Liverpool Echo
Although Everton were willing to play home and away games against the Russian Army team which is to visit this country in two months time, Goodison Park has been passed over by the F.A, who have awarded the fixture to Bolton Wanderers, on November 4. The Russians will also meet West Bromwich and Chelsea.
STARS MISSING FROM OPENING GOODISON GAME
August 24, 1957. The Liverpool Daily Post
By John Peel
About a million spectators will crowd into forty-five League grounds today for the opening of the new English soccer season. Though they will see most of the familiar faces when their favourities trot out, some will be missing. For instance Everton and Wolverhampton Wanderers, who clash at Goodison Park, will both be without established stars. Everton have omitted their captain and Eire International wing-half Peter Farrell, and last season’s top scorer, right-winger Tony McNamara. Missing from Wolves line-up will be their most costly signing £25,000 Harry Hooper (outside right) and internationals Slater and Wilshaw. Everton’s decision to leave out their captain means that another Irishman gets a chance to prove his worth in League football. He is Mick Meagan, a twenty-three-years-old Dubliner, who steps into the side at left-half. many Goodison Park enthusiasts I have talked to do not rate Everton’s prospects for a successful season very high, but I am confident that the club have sufficient talent on their books to be in a position to field a side capable of holding their own with the best in the First Division. A lot will depend on Hickson and if he ran strike his best form from the outset then opposing defenders will have plenty of work on their hands trying to hold him in check, and Wolves Billy Wright will find Hickson a handiful today. The kick-off is at 3.15 and the teams will be;- Everton; Dunlop; Donovan, Tansey; Birch, Jones, Meagan; Harris (J), Temple, Hickson, Fielding, Williams. Wolves; Finlayson; Stewart, Harris; Clamp, Wright, Flowers; Deeley, Booth, Murray, Broadbent, Mullen.
AN UNUSUAL OPENING TO EVERTON SEASON
August 24, 1957. The Liverpool Echo
Bootles, Boos and Disallowed Goals
Everton 1, Wolves 0
Everton; Dunlop, goal; Donovan (captain) and Tansey, backs; Birch, Jones, and Meagan, half-backs; Harris (J), Temple, Hickson, Fielding, and Williams, forwards. Wolverhampton Wanderers;- Finlayson, goal; Stewart and Harris (G), backs; Clamp, Wright (captain), and Flowers, half-backs; Deeley, Booth, Murray, Broadbent, and Mullen, forwards. Referee; Mr. G. Black (Kendall). There was an excellent crowd for this opening game, with Everton captained by Donovan in the absence of Farrell, one of the main attractions being the return of Hickson. Hickson had something on his mind today, apart from his second debut in a blue shirt for his father is in hospital with bronchial asthma and though he is no seriously ill, Dave was naturally anxious. Gauld has had the plaster off his leg. He told me he hopes to be fit for play in three weeks. Haughey, another casualty, with suspected cartilage, was sent to hospital after examination by a specialist today in readiness for a further examination after for swelling has subsided. Wolves were quickly away after winning the toss and setting Everton to defend the Gwladys Street goal. Mullen burst through on his own and looked on almost certain scorer in the first minute until Donovan came across to baulk him. Temple was likewise pull off his stroke when a perfect through ball by Jimmy Harris sent him away. His topped effort proved a simple pick-up for Finlayson.
An Offside Score
Two minutes later Everton had the ball in the net several seconds after the whistle had gone for offside against both Temple and Williams. Turning quickly to this Slater seemed to pull a muscle slightly and required the trainers attention before resuming limping perceptibly. After Dunlop had saved a Mullen header from a Deeley corner Everton dashed away with a characteristic run by Hickson, in which he outwitted Wright and Flowers. This brought a corner on the right, taken by Fielding but nothing else. A second corner was taken by Fielding with Jimmy Harris running into the middle –again to no advantage. A centre by Jimmy Harris, headed by Wright provided a first time shooting chance for Meagan from well inside the penalty area, but the debutant was off target. Broadbent was only a couple of yards wide with a fierce drive following a long upfield clearance by Clamp and then a header by Hickson provided an opportunity for Temple who harassed by Flowers was unable to hit the ball with full power.
Wolves on Top
Wolves were well on top for some minutes during which Finlayson was the only man in their half of the field, but they produced nothing strong enough to cause Dunlop any anxiety. The nearest approach was when Harris (G) had a go from 30 yards and Booth just failed to get to the ball in time to deflect it from the waiting Dunlop. A free kick against Harris (G) brought no grist to Everton mill because an obviously preconceived plan by Birch and Fielding came to nothing. Finlayson was hurt in collision with Hickson when the pair went to a high centre by Harris (J). It was a couple of minutes before the goalkeeper was able to resume. The referee gave a foul against Hickson who in the next minute was heavily tackled by Clamp and heavily charged by Wright. Although I thought the charge perfectly fair it sent Hickson sprawling and Referee Black waggled his finger admitting at Wright.
Enter Two Bottle
While all this was going on and later Hickson had tried to draw the referee’s attentions to the incident in which he was sufferer a couple of bottle were throw on the picture from behind the Wolves goal and “salvaged” by photographers. It is a pity that spectators cannot control themselves particularly as the Everton programme today carried a warning ordered by the F.A –the outcome of misconduct by a spectator at a Central league match last April. A couple of minutes later referee Black stopped play while he went to speak to a spectator behind the Gwlady’s Street goal. A splendid shot by Temple produced an equally fine diving save by Finlayson. Birch had a chance from the resulting corner, only to put the ball close to the second tier of the stand. Good work by Williams caved out an opening for Hickson who put in the best shot so far, a real beauty which Finlayson did well to save. Hickson came to earth again following a tackle by Wright and then Temple and Meagan in turn shot outside. Everton were lucky to get away without a penalty when Tansey tackled Broadbent from behind and the Wolves man came down the referee waved appeals aside. Everton had the ball in the net again but again there were four men offside so that Meagan’s header counted for nothing. Everton were now showing more punch than previously and Temple looked a scorer all over when he broke through on his own and was only foiled when Finlayson dived at his feet. Temple came a cropper and limped when he rose.
Right on half-time Everton scored a goal which everyone except referee Black thought was perfectly legimate. The referee however disallowed it for offside, I had a perfect view across field, at right angles and to mind not only Temple but the rest of the Everton forwards were well on side. Temple’s shot was a curling one just over Finlayson’s out stretched hands. Half-time; Everton nil, Wolverhampton Wanderers nil.
Wright and his colleagues was greeted with boos when Wolves took the field after the interval, but that did not stop the Wolves skipper having a cheery word with his namesake the Everton trainer. Jones came to the rescue with a headed clearance after Booth had bored his way through with three forwards lined up waiting for his cross. Then came yet another disallowed goal, this time to the visitors, and though I could see nothing wrong when Murray netted from 12 yards, Mr. Black demonstrated “elbows.” Four disallowed goals inside an hour must be something of a record. Hickson was moving to both wings in an effort to escape the clutches of Wright, who was still being booed by a section of the crowd whenever he touched the ball. Meagan had not shaped too badly considering the strain on a youngster making his debut but he had not been outstanding and his passes had some time been adrift.
It took the united efforts of Tansey and Jones to put the stopper on Murray when the Wolves leader clung tenaciously to the ball. A pass by Meagan straight to the foot of Murray caused Jones anxiety for a moment. Then Deeley who might be the twin brother of Graham Williams as far as build is concerned, fired into the side netting when he should have done much better. Hickson was getting no change out of Wright and got none out of the referee either when he threw himself down in the penalty area when tackled by the Wolves skipper. Hickson was brought down by Stuart and this time there was no “cod” about it. Fortunately for Wolves it was a few yards outside the area and though the kick had to be retaken after pushing back the lined up defenders Fielding produced an anti-climax by firing high and wide. Everton had a narrow escape when Dunlop missed a cross by Mullen and Murray slipped at the ital moment. At the 70th minute a centre by Temple gave Jimmy Harris a chance and from the centre forward position he hit a 20 yards shot which Finlayson was unable to reach to give Everton the lead rather against the run of play. Everton almost made it two a minute later Temple’s shot being only inches wide. Once more Everton got the ball into the net for a goal which did not count when Hickson netted seconds after the whistle had gone for offside. Wolves rarely looked like scoring for some time and it was now nearly all Everton with Temple always anxious to have a go. Final; Everton 1, Wolverhampton 0. Official attendance; 58,229.
BLUES’ TALENT MAY MATCH THE BEST
August 24, 1957. The Liverpool Echo
By Peter Farrell
Throughout the country today thousands of soccer fans will have flocked through the turnstiles to see the start of another soccer season. It is a day to which they have early been looking forward as despite the attractions of summer sport, nothing captures the imagination of the keen soccer followers as much as watching the weekly battle for league points. During the close season the game has figured prominently in the news, the most notable item being the announcement that season 1957-58 will see the formation of a Fourth Division of the Football league. What a terrific fight there will be among the clubs of the two Divisions this season to finish in the top half. It is a big enough worry to be languishing near the foot of the table in ordinary circumstances, but we can well visualize the strain and anxiety of the Third Division clubs below the halfway mark as the season progresses. Running a professional football club must be a worrying job for those whose responsibility it is so even if your favourite team is not doing quite so well as you anticipated, spare a thought for those supporters, managers and directors of struggling Third Division clubs, with so much at stake this season. So much for the Third Divisions. What does the forthcoming season hold in store for the teams in the First Division? For those of us who have the Everton club at heart, the question uppermost in our minds is “What are the Blues’ prospects for season 19657-58. Firstly let’s take the views of some pessimistic supporters and critics, who predict that Everton will have a big fight on hand to maintain First Division status. Some of these are the people who following Everton’s disastrous start last season, in which we only collected one point from seven games, were willing to bet that the Blues, were a certainly, for the Second Division. My own views are a lot brighter and I am convinced that there is sufficient ability within our ranks to more than hold our own with the best of them. We are all hoping that the Blues will get off to a really good start, as he psychological effect of a respectable League position early in the season can act as a tremendous morale booster in the months ahead. Everton fans are hoping that the return of their popular hero Dave Hickson will give the forward line more penetration and produce those goals which the fans are eargley anticipating. It must be a long time since Everton had such a popular player in the eyes of the supporters as Dave, and the reception the 15,000 crowd at last Saturday’s practice game accorded their hero must save been sweet music in his ears. A lot of praise has already been lavished on young Brian Labone, following his great display against Hickson last week. Brian has a lot of ground to cover before he is ready for the big test. Suffice it for me to say that it is a long time since I have seen a youngster so likely to become a star. Manchester United last year’s team of the year despite their failure to bring off the double will once again start the season as hot favourities for the League championship. United have established themselves as such by their brilliant and consistent brand of football over the past few seasons, plus the glut of talented footballers, Matt Busby has at the disposal. Believe me, the side that can show bigger points tally than Manchester United at the end of the season will be worthy champions. Well, readers here’s wishing you all a very happy season with plenty of thrilling football and satisfactory results for whatever side you follow on Merseyside.
ASTON VILLA RES V EVERTON RES
August 24, 1957. The Liverpool Echo
Aston Villa Res; Sabin, goal; Jackson and Ashfield, backs; Bach, Morrall, and Crowe, half-backs; Southern, Chapman, Pace, Morris and Roberts, forwards. Everton Res; O’Neill, goal; Sanders and Griffiths, backs; King, Labone, Farrell, half-backs; McNamara, Thomas, Kirby, Ashworth, and B. Harris, forwards. Referee; Mr. J.P. Holmes. (Derby). Slow work in the goalmouth by right back Sanders early in the game cost Everton the lead. Sanders was about to pass back when inside-left Morris robbed him on the ball and scored. Everton fought back but shots by wingmen McNamara and Harris failed to get past Sabin. From a shot by McNamara Sabin had to dive full length to stop the ball with his fingers tips then centre forward Kirby had a goal disallowed for fouling the goalkeer. Half-time; Aston Villa 1, Everton res nil. Everton had several tussles in the Villa goalmouth but the Villa defence held good. Then after the Everton defence had good Morris put the Villa still further ahead.
58,000 SEE THE RETURN OF DAVE HICKSON
August 26, 1957. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton 1, Wolverhampton 0
The result of this match was about the only thing over which followers could enthuse for there was nothing exhilarating about the play, and no indication that the coming season is going to provide football of a higher standard than that to which we have become accustomed. There were few thrills, shooting of real power or precision and for long periods of drab and rather aimless play the saving grace was the earnest endeavour of two ordinary sets of players. Everton, however, just about deserved to win, for they did test the Wolves goalkeeper oftener than Dunlop was called upon by the visiting forwards, and two of Finlayson’s saves were of top calibre. Wolves were the better side in the first half when they had the wind behind them. They went to the ball more quickly than Everton; they had occasional bouts of forward combination in which they made ground speedily and effectively, and if they had matched their approach work and wing-half play with a reasonable proportion of accurate shots they might have established an interval lead. Whether they could have held on to it is another matter, for Everton were on top for most of the second half, thanks partly to their wing-halves who had been shaky in the earlier portion taking a more decisive part in affairs. Neither Birch nor Meagan, however, particularly distinguished himself. The latter seemed a trifle nervous, understandable in a debutant and was inclined to put his passes awry too often.
There were nevertheless some good things from him to set on the credit side, and when he has further experience and will assert himself more strongly he might well come up to expectations. One grace of Birch is that he will shoot whenever there is any opportunity, and usually with promptitude and power. Unfortunately, his aim was wild on this occasion and Finlayson had nothing to fear from him. The eyes of the majority of the 58,229 spectators –the highest attendance of the day – were for the most part fixed on Hickson, who played a more orthodox game than in his former Goodison days, and showed that he can read the possible trend of play as well or better than most. He had few chances against the solid and reliable Wright, who had clearly determined that this should be so. But he put in two excellent shots, one of them the best of the day, which Finlayson was rather fortunate to turn around the post. Temple was the best forward on view, partly because he was not showed with the same closeness and also because he was always ready when Everton were in the ascendancy to try a shot, rather than make an unnecessary pass. Harris did well at outside right, and had the satisfaction of getting the winning goal from the centre forward position from a pass by Temple after Clamp had dallied and lost possession.
Weathered The Storm
Defensively and excluding the wing-halves. Everton were sound enough once Jones had tumbled to the speed and occasional tricks of Murray. Dunlop had a few saves to make, but Donovan and Tansey had some tough work in the closing stages, when Wolves crowded on pressure for a short spell in an effort to snatch the equalizer. There was one period in the first half when it seemed the game might become unduly robust. I stated when Hickson and Finlayson simultaneously went for a high centre from Harris and the Wolves goalkeeper tell to the ground. So far as one could judge from the stands Hickson was in no way to blame but the game had hardly re-started after a couple of minutes break while Finlayson received attention before Clamp fouled Hickson. The latter attempted to draw the referee’s attention to this and rightly so, but without any apparent success. A couple of minutes later the home centre-forward was sent sprawling on to the cinder path when Wright charged him and this time Referee Black ran over to speak to the Wolves captain.
Shoulder to Shoulder
The charge seemed a perfectly fair one to me. Both players set themselves for it, and met squarely shoulder to shoulder but when Hickson came off worst it was the signal for an outburst of booing from a small section of the crowd and the arrival of two bottles on the pitch from behind the Wolves goal. A photographer dashed on to retrieve them and a couple of policemen hoisted themselves to their feet and patrolled the dead-ball line. Fortunately, the players soon cooled off, and nothing untoward occurred afterwards. Hickson comported himself most correctly all through and if he did endeavour to win a penalty for his side when he threw himself down after being tackled later y Wright that is all in the game. Referee Black was too canny to be caught that way, but I thought Everton were fortunate not to have a penalty against them earlier when Tansey tackled Broadbent from behind as the Wolves man was tearing through and brought him down heavily. Although Jimmy Harris’ goal at the seventieth minute a good left-foot shot was the only score of the day, the ball was actually in the net on six occasions four times by Everton players. In three instances the “scorers” were well offside –twice the goals were merely token affairs for the whistle had gone seconds before –but in the case of Temple’s shot just before the interval he seemed well onside.
These offside goals pinpointed the over eagerness of the Everton attackers. They fell into the Wolves’ offside trap in a wholesale manner. On three occasions not one, but four forwards were yards offside. The visiting defenders must have chuckled to themselves at the ease with which their tactics succeeded. Wolves goal also seemed a perfectly good one, but the referee showed by his gestures that he had spotted Murray using his elbows. On this showing Wolves are not the attacking side they used to be. Deeley was a disappointing substitute for Hooper and Mullen, though starting brightly faded out well before the finish. But in Finlayson the club has a worthy successor to Williams.
NOT MUCH SHOOTING
August 26, 1957. The Liverpool Echo
Everton were slow in going to the ball for most of the first half, particularly their wing halves, who took a long time to settle down. The forwards were better, but the close marking of the Wolves defenders gave them little scope. Everton improved after the resumption and for fairly long periods hammered away at the Wolves defence, with the wing halves coming into the game in a more virile and effective fashion. Even so, there was not as much shooting as one would have liked and some of what there was bore the old taint of inaccuracy and wildness. I thought Temple who had a particularly good game was the best forward on view. Hickson got few chances against Wright. Yet Hickson put up a very good show. He did all anyone could have done to render the task of the colleagues more simple and gets credit for the best shot of the match. Only a superb save by Finlayson kept it out of the net.
Hickson Was Blameless
I absolve Hickson from any blame for the incident which left Finlayson stretched out on the ground for a couple of minutes and which indirectly led to some misguilded person or persons throwing a couple of missiles on the pitch. Learn today that these were glasses, not bottles, which may be even worse, for they break so much easier. Such incidents are no fault, of the club, but unfortunately they reflect adversely upon it. When the game was restarted after Finlayson had recovered, Clamp at once fouled Hickson and Wright bowled him over on to the cinder path. Clamp got away with it, but Wright was spoken to by Referee Black and thereafter booed at intervals by a small section of the crowd I thought Wright harshly treated for the shoulder charge was a perfectly fair one. Both men squared up for it and met shoulder on, but Hickson came off worst. It was that which seemed to rile some of his admirers. They like to see Dave dishing it out, but cannot bear to see the boot on the other leg. It looked for a while as though the game might take on a regrettable trend, but Hickson most scrupulously avoided anything in the nature of retaliation. With the settling of such a good example, the rest quickly returned to an even keel and got on with the game. Jimmy Harris’s left foot shot at the 70th minute settled the issue. It was a snap goal, one right out of the clouds, after Clamp had fiddled and lost the chance to clear Harris scored it from the centre forward position, where he had with commendable intelligence taken up his post quickly on seeing Wright drawn out of position by Hickson.
Four Off-Side “Goals” in addition to Harris’s goal all the other members of the Everton attack except Fielding got the ball into the net once each only for the “goals” to be disallowed for offside. I agreed with that verdict in three instances. In the case of Temple’s shot just before the interval, however, with which I was dead in line, I reckoned he was well on-side when the pass was made, and even when he took his shot. Two of the offside points were only token efforts “scored” several seconds after the whistle had gone. Wolves also had what appeared to be a perfectly good goal disallowed, the referee indicating that Murray came out of the ordeal –and to be a perfectly good goal disallowed the referee indicating that Murray, the scorer, had used his elbow. I will not quarrel with that, for the referee has the best view, but I saw nothing amiss. Everton’s defence came out of the ordeal –and it was a tough one in the closing stages –with considerable credit. Birch and Meagan gave of their when it was most needed and if Meagan did no distinguish himself greatly on the full 90 minutes –largely because his passes so often went wrong –he was certainly not a failure. It was a big ordeal for a youngster. Experience will ripen him in due time, and the promise is there. While the points were acceptable I should feel happier about Everton if they could shape more fluently and not give the impression that they are playing right up to the hilt of their powers. The sides which do well are those who always have a little bit in hand and are not going all out with almost fanatical zeal and desperation from start to finish. This was not the Wolves of old, though. The defence is all right, but the attack will have to pull its socks up if the Midlanders want to be in the talent money again.
EVERTON; NO CHANGES V. UNITED
August 27, 1957. The Liverpool Daily Post
By John Peel
Apparently satisfied with the side’s display against Wolverhampton Wanderers –last Saturday, the Everton team selectors have made no change in the eleven for the game with Manchester United at Old Trafford tomorrow. The team will thus be Dunlop; Donovan, Tansey; Birch, Jones, Meagan; Harris (J), Temple, Hickson, Fielding, Williams.
KIRBY IN GREAT FORM FOR EVERTON
August 27, 1957. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton Res 3, Manchester United Res 1
Everton were not overawed by their visitors’ reputation and well deserved their victory at Goodison Park yesterday. Kirby, the best forward on view, headed them into the lead after Gaskell had failed to hold a McNamara free-kick. Ashworth increased it from Kirby’s cross and Thomas added a third goal ten minutes later. United reduced the arrears when Sanders turned a shot from Dawson past O’Neill but that was the end of the scoring. Apart from Kirby, Ashworth, proved to be a long-striding forceful inside-left and O’Neill distinguished himself with several spectators saves. Seventeen years-old Labone was not overawed by Dawson’s reputation and kept him fairly quiet, while mention must be made of right half King’s display against Charlton, one of United’s Cup finalists.
CAN BLUES DO IT AGAIN?
August 27, 1957. The Liverpool Echo
Ranger’s Notes although Everton did well to start off with a victory at Wolverhampton’s expense, they will need to turn in something more fluent and decisive to have much hope of success against Manchester United at Old Trafford. Yet, this might just be the occasion when the Blues turn on one of those sparkling displays which seem to falsify all the fears that have been felt regarding them. If they do, it will not be the first time. A year ago, when they were having a particularly unhappy time they went to Old Trafford and made the champions look like selling platers. I was in Hereford that Saturday night finishing a week’s holiday. On getting a football paper I could hardly believe my eyes. Pinching myself to see if I was awake I went out and bought another paper in case the first had transposed the figures. But they hadn’t. It was true enough. That was the first defeat the Mancunians had suffered in 27 matches and the first time they had lost at home for over 18 months –and the team that did it on the previous occasions also was Everton. What Everton have done once they may well do again. The positions are no different. They look to have just as little chance tomorrow as a year ago. It is just when a result seems a foregone conclusion that shocks are apt to crop up. Everton will field the same team as that which defeated Wolves on Saturday, namely Dunlop; Donovan, Tansey; Birch, Jones, Meagan; Harris (J); Temple, Hickson, Fielding, Williams.
UNITED SWITCHED ON LIGHTS AND SOCCER SORECERY
August 29, 1957. The Liverpool Daily Post
By Ian Hargreaves
Manchester United 3, Everton 0
Manchester United switched on their own special brand of soccer sorcery at the same time as their magnificent floodlights halfway through the match against Everton at Old Trafford last night. Somewhat fortunate to lead by a goal (scored by Taylor with a magnificent header from a lob by Byrne) at the interval. United slipped into top gear immediately following the resumption and dazzled the large crowd with a superb exhibition of pattern-waving football. They soon increased their lead when, first Jones put through his own goal and then Violett shot from close range from Colman’s pass. From that moment they were complete masters. They proceeded to toy with the opposition and much of their play was almost impudent. Yet Everton, although beaten so decisively, could claim to be more than a little unfortunate in the first-half, although having less of the play they were distinctly more dangerous and only two magnificent saved by Wood from Hickson, prevented them from taking an early lead. At this stage United’s intricate manceuvres frequently broke down on the hard-tackling Everton defence and United’s over-elaboration seemed likely to cause them trouble. But Everton failed to gain any concrete advantage and after the interval there was only one team in it.
Rebounded From Post
Even then Everton had their chances. A glorious run by Harris ended with a left-foot shot that rebounded from the post with Wood helpless and again Blanchflower kicked off the line when Hickson header seemed certain to score. In the second half there was a vast disparity between the two sides mainly because Everton’s two inexperienced wing half-backs. Birth and Meagan, were unable to curb United’s lively inside forwards. Whelan and Viollet. Though both tried hard their lack of experience was obvious and this meant the rest of the Everton defence was greatly over-worked. Jones did a wonderful job in keeping Tommy Taylor, United’s England International centre forward, comparatively subdued, but even he could not stem the stream of United’s attacks. Behind him Donovan and Tansey converted acres of ground and Dunlop played almost as well in goal as on his two previous visits to the ground. Harris’s speed, and shooting power made him much the most dangerous Everton forward and he was well served by Fielding, who flung long, raking passes out to him with pin-point accuracy. On the left Williams played with great spirit and determination though he was occasionally made to go the wrong way by the experienced Foulkes. Hickson did reasonably well and was generally in the thick of the fray, but he got little change out of Blanchflower, a dominant centre-half who had no hesitation in bringing the Everton leader down with the minimum of ceremony. There were, however, no unpleasant incidents and indeed the game was fought out in a most sporting spirit. There is little new one can say about Manchester United. They seemed as sparkling and as effervescent as ever and if at times they were a little inclined to show off, who can blame them? Had luck gone Everton’s way the match might have developed more interest as a contest, and then one would have had a better opportunity to see how these magnificent young men could rise to the occasion, but they played as well as they had to and on this form will take a great deal of beating once more. Everton have no need to be ashamed of this performance. They played with spirit and determination and with a little more experience in one or two key positions, notably at wing half should do reasonably well. On the night they were beaten by a much better team.
UNITED HAVE THEIR REVENGE
August 29, 1957. The Liverpool Echo
There was no Jack the giant killer act at Old Trafford last night, for Everton failed to repeat their last season’s sensational and much talked of victory over Manchester United; then, as they are now, the best footballing side in the land, but at the same time I don’t think that the champions were three goals better than the Goodison Parkers. It is small satisfaction to know that you have held strong and powerful United for half the game and then finish three goals in arrears but few teams will come away from Old Trafford with anything in their points bag. When Matt Busby’s boy do start to click they can bore holes in any defence. Their football is high powered and we saw it in the first twenty minutes of the second half when they simply cracked open the Everton defence. Yet for all their superiority, and I will give them that I have seen them play ever so much better and the whole of their three goals did not bear the stamp of genius. Far from it, for the first one scored half a minute from the interval had no lead up, but was just a swinging clearance by Byrne into the goalmouth and Taylor who has always been one of the best headers of the ball in the game, just managed to reach it before Jones and flick it into the net. A goal near the interval is always considered a valuable one, because of its effect upon the opposition and the confidence it instills in the scorers. A goal never looked like accruing from the movement, but one must give Taylor every credit for taking his chance so well. Up to them he had been given little chance by Jones who played magnificently throughout. I am not trying to flatter Everton in any shape or form, but I don’t think anyone will deny that they were equally as good as the United in that first 45.
Everton had just as much of the play as the United and sometimes vied with them in football craft, but there was still that lack of penetration up front, and their greatest asset was a defence, which checked the United time and time again Manchester if anything tried to be too clever and it took them a long time to learn the lesson that you just cannot walk the ball into the net. Their desire to make just one pass more often enabled the Everton defence to cover up and face up to the threatened danger. The champions have such a belief in themselves that they gave me the impression that they could go out and win just when they liked. One of these days they will pay clearly for their over confidence. They had one or two narrow escapes while they were cutting their capers. A header by Hickson brought out a magnificent save from Wood and a little later a ball was kicked off the goal line while Temple was given the chance of a lifetime by Hickson only to muff it. so you can judge by that the United were not having it all their own way, but that goal at the 44th minute seemed to put them on their mettle and on resuming they produced the football we know they are capable of, and the Everton defence was hard put to stem the tide somewhat rattled and Jones had the misfortune to turn a ball into his own goal in an attempt to clear, Whelan’s shot. It was rank bad luck for up to then Jones had not put a foot wrong. Some seem to think the ball would have passed across the goal, but Jones dared not take a risk.
In full Cry
Two down from streaky goals and the United now in full cry and at the 61st minute Viollett took a Colman pass and raced through the middle and that low, so low that the ball actually went through Dunlop’s legs. Wouldn’t you call that a lucky goal? I would and did. But prior to the second goal – United scored their three in 16 ½ minutes –Harris had cut into goal and hooked his shot on to the upright with Wood helpless, but the United goalkeeper was lucky to see the ball come back into play and right to him. Naturally, with a three-goals lean the Champions were in a commanding position and held it to the end, but to their credit Everton fought it out to the bitter end and Fielding and Harris tested Wood to the full but the United had their teeth in the game for the whole of the second half. They had cut out some of their fancy football and realized that more straightforward methods were likely to pay the full dividend – and it did. This United side is undoubtedly the best side in the country and likely to be so for some time to come, for it has youth on its side and a whole lot of ability, yet at the same time I say that Everton were far from disgraced. It was hardly to be expected that they would repeat last season’s sensational win. United had not forgotten it and were out for revenge – and took it.
Harris Was Best
Now to Everton, where did their fail? My reading of the game was that they were weak at wing half. Let us put it down to lack of experience. Meagan, making his second League appearance tackled well and so did Birch, but they were not of much help to their forwards. They were not prompting like Colman and Edwards they had too much to do taking care of defence. Even Williams and Harris had to come back, such was the power of the United when they turned on the heat. Harris was Everton’s best forward. He had a grand game and Hickson, playing a lone hand most of the game, did well under the circumstances. Blanchflower was not always quite fair to him. I had heard about Temple’s game against Wolves and looked for a repeat, but he never really go going in the game –a much harder test, of course –and Williams was not on his best form. Fielding worked like a Trojan, tackling and coming out with the ball time and again. His cross passes to the wing were of good quality. I gained the impression that Everton were all out to stop Manchester scoring for they often refrained from going forward – centering on defence Dunlop, Donovan, Tansey and Jones backed each other up extremely well and that section of the team will be no worry to Mr. Buchan when he sits down to select his team to go to Aston Villa on Saturday.
HARRIS (B) BACK
August 30, 1957. The Liverpool Daily Post
By Leslie Edwards
Everton, who seem to have played very well indeed for a good part of the game at Old Trafford male their first change of the season for their match at Villa tomorrow. Graham Williams at outside left is replaced by Brian Harris, so the club now have a Harris on either flank. Everton; Dunlop; Donovan, Tansey; Birch, Jones, Meagan; Harris (J), Temple, Hickson, Fielding and Harris (B).
ANOTHER STIFF JOB FOR THE EVERTON LADS
August 30, 1957. The Liverpool Echo
Everton who were by the score disgraced at Old Trafford have another stiff away engagement tomorrow. They tackle Aston Villa the Cup-holders who are reckoned one of the hardest of teams to beat on their own ground. We can forget that Villa beat Manchester United in the Final and United with the same team have just inflicted a revenge on Everton. Apart from anything else, the Cup Final was not a real test, with the Mancunians reduced to ten men for well over three-quarters of the match. Villa’s team in their two opening matches has been the same as that which played at Wembley. They lost the first game being beaten 3-1 by neighbours Birmingham City at St. Andrews, but they won their home mid-week fixture with Leeds United by 2-0. McParland scorer of the two Wembley goals, was on the mark in each fixture. He is clearly a man Everton must mark most closely. That task will fall to Donovan, who has been in good form in the Blues opening engagements. The wing half positions may again be the vital test for Everton. Birch and Meagan must do their best to clamp down on Sewell and Dixon two inside men of great experience and considerable ability who will be quick to seize any chances which come their way.
When Danger Looms
The best of players can do nothing without the ball. Their danger is also educed it the opposition is poised ready for a quick tackle whenever they gain possession. The trouble arises when clever manipulates of the ball are allowed to get it under control and draw opponents out of position while colleagues run into the open spaces. It will be Dave Hickson’s second “home-coming” in eight days. It is two years almost to the day, since he was signed by Villa from Everton for a fee of £20,000. His stay there was brief. He made only 12 appearances in the first team, scoring one goal before moving on to Huddersfield for about £16,000, less than three months later. Hickson would have had his name on the Everton scoring list by now had his luck not been out. I hope he is more fortunate tomorrow and that by the time the final whistle goes Villa Supporters who remember his wonderful display in a sixth round cup-tie on their ground five seasons ago, will start asking why they did not keep him. The only change in the Everton line out is the incoming of Brian Harris in place of Williams at outside left. It is almost a year since Harris was last in the first team. Now he has another opportunity to shake his claim to regular selection. Aston Villa; Simms; Lynn, Aldis; Crowther, Dugdale; Seward, Southern, Myerscough, Dixon, McParland. Everton; Dunlop; Donovan, Tansey; Birch, Jones, Meagan; Harris (J), Temple, Hickson, Fielding, Harris (B).
Everton Reserves (home to Derby) O’Neill; Sanders, Leeder; Rea, Labone, Farrell; Keeley, Thomas, Kirby, Ashworth, Gregory.
HICKSON HELPS TEMPLE TO TOPPLE THE VILLA
August 31, 1957. The Liverpool Echo
Aston Villa 0, Everton 1
Aston Villa; Simms, goals; Lynn and Aldis, backs; Crowther, Dugdale, and Saward, half-backs; Southern, Sewell, Myerscough, Dixon, and McParland, forwards. Everton; Dunlop, goal; Donovan (captain), and Tansey, backs; Birch, Jones and Meagan, half-backs; Harris (J), Temple, Hickson, Fielding, and Harris (B), forwards. Referee; Mr. G. Aston (Iford, Essex). Everton were soon on the attack, and Birch was early in the picture a ball up the middle which, however, went to a Villa man. When Jimmy Harris put across a good length centre Sims made a save. Everton had undoubtedly opened with some bright football and Dugdale who apparently was not going to give Hickson any chances, if he could help it was soon challenging the Everton leader in a close tackle. The Villa hereabouts made the first advance and McParland, running into the middle tried a long shot which passed well outside.
This was the forerunner to a strong Villa and to relieve things Birch had the misfortune to handle the ball. The free kick had to be taken twice and Lynn shot fiercely behind on each occasion. McParland put across a good centre but the Everton defence had covered so that Dunlop was not called upon, and at the other end Hickson almost sneaked his way through and won a corner, Brian Harris pulled his flag kick close into goal and Sims made a good catch. The Villa then produced the best movement of the match thus far, but it fell down at the crucial moment. Everton made the next move and Hickson was spoken to for his challenge on Sims.
Everton’s form pleased me quite a lot and when Hickson beat Dugdale there were prospects of an Everton goal but Sims cut down Hickson’s shooting angle. The Everton leader got in his drive all right but the goalkeeper parried it and eventually cleared. Temple scored for Everton at 23 minutes. The exchanges were pretty evenly divided and when Meagan plied his left wing it culminated in a goal for Everton at the 23rd minute. Harris (B) took the pass and dropped the ball into the middle of the Villa goal where Hickson headed the ball on to Temple. The scorer did not wait to kill the ball but just hit it and Sims was left helpless.
The two Everton wing-halves had done a time work up to this point not only in defence but also in attack. This had been a thoroughly enjoyable game up till now and Everton’s form was rather a surprise to the Villa. Throughout the team there was determination and ability and the halves were having a much better time than they had at Old Trafford. Naturally the forwards were seeing more of the ball than they did against United. The Villa were also a capable lot and when Jones conceded a free-kick Lynn came up to try one of his cannon-ball drives but it rattled up against a wall of bodies.
Brian Harris was having a happy time on the left wing. There was a stoppage for an injury to Jones and on resuming he went to outside left, Donovan going centre half and Birch to right back. Dixon made an angular shot which Dunlop did well to save. At this point Jones went back to his normal position. Myerscough veered out to the left wing and put across a dangerous centre which was headed away. The Villa were attacking with power and when Myerscough centred Dixon tried an over-head kick which Dunlop turned over the bar. Half-time; Aston Villa nil, Everton 1.
Everton were soon on the attack and Fielding lobbed one over in the first half minute. Then Southern won a corner, Birch tried to clear it but only put it over for a corner on the other side. This was speedily cleared and a ball through to Hickson saw him give Dugdale the slip and he was about to sprint off when he was brought down by Lynn. Everton were playing much the better football and for the first ten minutes of this half they had the Villa looking very ordinary. Meagan gave Fielding an opportunity but the Everton inside man’s shot was deflected for a corner. When McParland veered over to the right wing there was extreme danger but the Irish man’s shot, shook the side netting. Hickson then beat Aldis, cut in and shot straight at the Villa keeper. McParland came running through the middle and Dunlop with the greatest daring threw himself at the feet to save a difficult situation. Had the Villa’s shooting been of any quality they might have got that equalizing goal, but there were several shots well off the mark. One of the best was by Full-back Lynn, who cracked the ball into side netting. The appearance of Hickson right in front of the Villa goal made Sims act rather quickly and uncommonly for he kicked the ball into touch rather than take a charge by catching the ball. A last minute tackle by Birch prevented Myerscough from racing through to what would have been a glorious chance. The Villa were certainly fighting hard for an equalizer, but it was Everton who nearly got the next goal. Hickson’s centre was pin-pointed to Brian Harris head and with an open goal before him a goal seemed a certainty, but the left winger put the ball against the bar and it went over. Southern had a shot which rattled against Meagan’s legs and a misjudged clearance by Donovan almost let in McParland. McParland in trying to produce one of his big drives stuck his foot in the turf and Dunlop had no difficultly in saving.
A lovely movement between Brian Harris and HIckson had the Villa defence worried until Dugdale came along and saved the situation. McParland was undoubtedly the danger in the Villa side. He came through again but was successfully challenged before he could do any real damage. With five minutes to go and the Villa taking a corner every Everton man with the exception of Hickson was in the penalty area. Dunlop only half punched McParland’s kick, but was able to recover as the ball bounced. McParland’s tried a hook shot but Dunlop was unbeatable today. Final; Aston Villa nil, Everton 1.
EVERTON RES V DERBY C RES
August 31, 1957. The Liverpool Echo
Everton Res; O’Neill, goal; Sanders and Leeder, backs; King, Labone and Farrell, half-backs; Keeley, Thomas, Kirby, Ashworth and Gregory, forwards. Derby County Res; Jackson, goal; Fallon and Smith, backs; Clark, Upton, and Richmond, half-backs; Darroch, Wyer, Newbury, Darwin, and Crowshaw, forwards. Referee; Mr. A. Arrowsmith (Adlington, Lancashire). Sanders was prominent in the first minute when he cleverly stopped Crowshaw, Everton went ahead in the fifth minute when Ashworth headed a long centre from Leeder past Jackson. Derby came more into the game but Newbury and Darwin were slow to benefit from a mistake by O’Neill. The Everton goal keeper, however made a thrilling save from Wyer a moment later while Crowshaw and Darroch also tested him. Everton broke away to increase their lead in the 24th minute when King netted with a surprise drive. Keeley after combining well with Thomas fired over the bar while Kirby just missed connecting with Gregory’s cross. Everton were three up in 41 minutes when Ashworth again netted. Half-time; Everton Res 3, Derby C Res nil. A good move by the visitors was cleared by O’Neill after he had saved from Crowshaw Everton soon broke away and when Keeley centred Jackson fell on Kirby’s back heel flick Thomas deliberated too long with only Jackson to beat in the 74th minute. Thomas made no mistake when he scored Everton’s fourth goal.
SECOND STRING WITH A PULL TO COME
August 31, 1957. The Liverpool Echo
By Peter Farrell
The opening day of the football season each year is a great thrill for all footballers as they trat out on to the field wondering what the coming months have in store for them and their clubs. As I made my way by coach with the Reserves to Villa Park last Saturday my mind went back to other opening days of the season during my 11 years at Goodison Park. Of them all, the one that stood out most vividly in my memory was the day at Bramell Lane when Everton on their return to the First Division were playing Sheffield United on the opening Saturday of the season. As we took the field to the accompaniment of a great roar from the many Blues supporters present I felt a great thrill in the realization that we were back in the First Division and what a triumphant return the Blues made that day with a great 5-2 victory over Sheffield United. Yes, Everton were back with a bang and it is small wonder that that August Saturday stands out so clearly in my memory of opening League games. There have also been quite a few disappointing opening days as well, one of the most being the Blues crushing 5-1 defeat by Leeds at Elland Road last season. A win in the opening game is a great psychological advantage to a side, and last week’s victory by the Blues over such redoubtable opponents as Wolves was just what we all hoped for. I was pleased to hear such glowing reports of young Derek Temple’s display against Wolves, particularly as he was hallmarked in this column last year as a great proposition to make the grade. With more experience and maturity, I am convinced that Derek will be a big name in football before long. Some Everton fans who weren’t lucky enough to see the Reserves in action last Monday against Manchester United’s experienced youngsters, may be wondering about the up and coming talent in the reserves. Believe me if Monday’s display by the Reserves is anything to go on, there is a decided base for optimism for the future. It wasn’t so much the fact that this young (except for the left half) Everton side defeated United 3-1 but the manner in which it was accomplished. It was one of the finest displays of team work and first class football I have ever seen from a reserve side. so good that Bobby Charlton remarked to me after the game. “That’s the best central League display I have seen for some time.” I know one swallow doesn’t make a summer and it could have been one of those night’s when everything clicked for the Blues. Nevertheless it must have been very gratying for Mr. Buchan, the Everton directors and all Evertonians present, to see so many good replacements for the first team in the event of injury or loss of form. It is rather unfair to single out individuals after such a fine team effort as that against the cream of Matt Busby’s youngsters, but I know the lads won’t mind if I make a special mention of young Alex Ashworth; the baby of the side who not only scored but proved that he is one to note for future reference as a great prospect. Alec was a member of last year’s Everton Youth team, and his promotion has been rapid. He showed his worth against this experienced Manchester side. another youngster whom I must mention is Johnny King, whose tackling distribution and never “say” die spirit single him out as a wing half very likely to make the grace.
Everton Staff List
Name Date Signed Height Weight Birthplace Previous Club
Dunlop A. 28-8-49 5- 8 ¼ 11 -10 ¼ Liverpool Amateur
O’Neill J. 9-5-49 5- 10 11- 5 ¾ Dublin Amateur
*Moore R 11-10-56 5- 8 ½ 10- 6 Ashington Amateur
Donovan D. 21-5-49 5-9 ½ 10-6 Cork Amateur
Tansey J. 3-5-48 5-8 ¼ 11-6 ½ Liverpool Amateur
Leeder F. 26-3-55 5-9 10-6 Seaton Amateur
*Griffiths B. 13-3-56 5-8 ½ 10-10 ½ Liverpool Amateur
+Parkes J. 8-12-551 5-8 ¾ 11-4 ½ Liverpool Amateur
+Hillsdon I. 13-5-54 5-7 ½ 10-2 Liverpool Amateur
*Gannon T. 27-3-56 5-6 ½ 10-8 ¾ Liverpool Amateur
Birch K. 22-8-51 5-8 11-2 ¼ Birkenhead Amateur
Jones T.E 27-1-48 5-10 12-7 Liverpool Amateur
Farrell P.D 11-7-46 5-8 12-9 ½ Dublin Shamrock R
Rea K. 16-6-52 5-7 10-0 Liverpool Amateur
Sanders A. 7-7-56 5-10 12 12 ½ Salford Man City
Meagan M.K 6-9-52 5-7 ½ 10-2 Dublin Amateur
*King J. 13-3-56 5-5 ¼ 10-0 Liverpool Amateur
*Billington S. 8-6-55 5-10 ¾ 12-4 ¾ Wallasey Amateur
+Clayton J 22-6-54 5-6 ¾ 11-3 St. Asaph Amateur
Labone B.L 25-7-57 5-11 11-12 Liverpool Amateur
Fielding A.W. 7-9-45 5-7 10-9 ¾ London Amateur
McNamara A. 8-5-50 5-11 ¾ 12-4 Liverpool Amateur
Gauld J. 19-10-56 5-9 ¾ 11-11 Aberdeen Charlton
Temple D.W 24-8-56 5-9 10-12 Liverpool Amateur
+Williams G. 10-3-56 5-3 9-2 Wrexham Bradford C
Harris J. 28-9-51 5-9 ¾ 11-7 Birkenhead Amateur
+Harris B. 16-1-54 5-8 10-11 ¼ Bebington Amateur
Thomas E 29-9-51 5-7 10-0 Newton Le-Willows Amateur
*King J. 14-6-52 6-0 11-13 Liverpool Amateur
Haughey W. 8-6-56 5-9 ¾ 11-8 Glasgow Larkhall T
+Hood J. 5-10-56 5-11 ½ 12-2 Glasgow Shettl’ton
*Davison W. 17-11-55 5-9 ¼ 11-3 ¼ Newcastle Amateur
*Llewellyn H 25-5-56 5-5 ¾ 10-7 Golborne Amateur
Keeley. J. 11-5-54 5-6 11-5 ½ Liverpool Amateur
+Gregory J. 12-4-56 5-6 ½ 10-6 Liverpool Amateur
+Mackay F. 9-4-57 5-7 ½ 10-8 Edinburgh Bathgate Thistle
Ashworth A. 7-5-57 5-8 10-5 Southport Amateur
*Steele B. 13-5-57 5-9 ¾ 10-9 Shankhouse
Hickson D. 27-6-57 5-10 12-13 Salford Huddersfield
+ Denotes H.M. Forces