CITY VICTIMS OF COLLINS' SORCERY
February 2, 1959. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton 3, Manchester City 1
By Horace Yates
Footballers the country over will tell you of a belief they have that come what may they can do nothing wrong against certain teams, and in all sorts of circumstances and conditions they can almost guarantee a top class display against their favorite foes. If Manchester City do not rocket right to the top of Bobby Collins' list it would be most surprising. At times it almost appeared that there must be two or three Collinses. He was here, there and everywhere, untiring to the end. First City were helpless to prevent a Collins dream debut on September 13, and then on Saturday he gave them the run around in the most tantalizing and accomplished fashion possible. It may be wrong to grab one man and hoist him on to a pedestal in what after all is a team performance, and yet how can one ignore merit so abundant and entertaining? This happy wanderer, who did everything but the obvious and appeared in all sort of unexpected places had a most disturbing talent so far as City were concerned of always seeming to be the man in the wide open spaces. Phonix seemed to have abandoned his shadowing role as a lost cause very early in the proceedings and at times Collins had the freedom of Goodison Park to aid his cause. I think he might well have eluded his own shadow in this new sample of his genius. What an asset he is to the team and at the same time what a challenge. Such an artist such a complete footballer is this bundle of good tempered impishness, and so rarely do his scheming and prompting go astray, that unconsciously one look to others to respond with the same flourish and accomplishment without realizing possibly that in Collins, Everton have a man from whose tiny feet football flows as freely and assuredly as from any other man in the game.
Although the scores in this game and at Manchester were identical the present day Everton are a much more confident, inspiring side than they were in those uncertain days when that first victory was such an appetizing offering to a point-starved side, and yet here there were opportunities for six and maybe seven goals, with only three taken. Manager John Carey did not come to Everton expecting to find a bed of roses awaiting him and if he has found more bloom than thorn; problems still remain. Outside left, I should imagine is the biggest remaining headache for while O'Hara tried with the resolution of a man knowing that his place is in danger and certainly made entries on the credit side of the account, he could scarcely be said to have been convincing. On the other wing, Jimmy Harris was a tantalizing mixture. So much of his work was so very, very good and yet he was guilty of finishing that was no tribute to his enterprising approach. I noted one four-minute spell in the first half in which Jimmy Harris was the man in the spotlight at least at the rate of once every minute. Twice he ballooned over the bar, the third time he headed into Trauntmann's hands and at the fourth time of asking completed a Collins, O'Hara, B. Harris move by nodding home the opening goal. Harris was so much in the game that maybe it was too much to expect that everything he did would turn out right and it was his foot which sent the ball across for Dave Hickson to score goal No. 2 when O'Hara jumped over the ball most prudently to slow the centre forward to bring into play his more devastating shot. For the most part Hickson was well held by the determined –Ewing and it was typical of his spirit that neither by deed nor sign did he admit how hard the going must have been.
Tommy Jones collected the third in 75 minutes, after Horridge had brought down Jimmy Harris in the penalty area, and when it seemed that Everton were to maintain a clean sheet, Sanders who cheered many with his clever touches and confident clearances was unwise enough to known-down a pass of no particular deadliness from Sambrook to concede a penalty for the second successive match that City were given their scoring chance. Leivers' penalty kick in 86 minutes was knocked down by Dunlop and Barlow followed up to head past the goalkeeper. Both Dunlop and Trauntmann effected saves that were in the spectacular class and Everton must be thankful indeed that the early season uncertainly of Dunlop has so completely disappeared that now he is a tower of strength and reliability in match after match. Trauntmann did not take kindly to a linesman's intervention when he ran out of his area before kicking clear and was penalized. On the next occasion when he handed, he ran to the extreme edge of the penalty area and instead of kicking gently rolled the ball forward and looked and waved to the linesman challengingly. Brian Harris impresses more and more with each game as a half-back. He wins the ball in a tackle as often as almost any half back I know and his early training in attack has not been forgotten, Parker, too, promises to be a conversion that will become increasingly satisfying and if Tom Jones is still erratic with his ball placing nobody can fault his defensive qualities. The complete ineffectiveness of McAdam was the most compelling testimony to Jones mastery. If Hannah is to make a go of his outside right experiment he gave no sign of that possibility in this outing and with Johnstone beginning as though he was to be Collins counter-part in the City attack, and fading right out of the picture long before the end. Barlow and Sambrook stayed on to become the visitors most effective raiders. Everton; Dunlop; Sanders, Bramwell; Parker, Jones (captain), B. Harris; Harris (J), Thomas, Hickson, Collins, O'Hara. Manchester City; Trauntmann; Leivers, Horridge; Phoenix, Ewing, Barnes; Hannah, Johnstone, McAdams, Barlow, Sambrook. Referee; Mr. F.H. Gerrard. (Preston). Attendance 43,360.
MANCHESTER CITY RES 3, EVERTON RES 2
February 2, 1959. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton Reserves should not have gone away empty handed for they had sufficient chances to have won comfortably. They were the far superior side, but would indulge in a close-passing game on a pitch that down the middle was like a glue pot. On the wing ground conditions were better and Manchester took advantage of this which brought them the goals. It was a harsh decision by the referee when he awarded Manchester a penalty for hands because the ball appeared to bounce against Meagan's arm and there was little chance at that time to Everton's goal. Godfrey and Williams were outstanding. Scorers were Fagan (penalty) Hayes and Lister for Manchester, and Kirby and Wignall for Everton. Everton team was; O'Neill; Billington, Tansey; Rea, Labone, Meagan; Godfrey, Temple, Kirby, Wignall, Williams.
EVERTON ASK ABOUT OVERFIELD
February 2 1959. The Liverpool Daily Post
By Horace Yates
Before the temperatures of Everton supporters begin to rise as the result of reports that manager John Carey has made a bid to sign Jackie Overfield, the Leeds outside left, it might be advisable to put the position as it really stands – even at the risk of disappointing the fans who believe that with the outside left position strengthened this Everton side will really be a match for the best. I have not made any offer at all? "Mr. Carey told me last night. "What happened, very simply was this. "I asked Leeds manager Bill Lambton if Overfield was on the transfer list. Mr. Lambton said he was not, I then asked if Overfield were available for transfer and Mr. Lambton. Yes at the right price. "I asked him what that figure was likely to be and he would not say. Even when I asked him if he could give me any idea of what figure he might be seeking he was still unable to say. I have not made an offer of any sort. There has been no further contact between the two clubs. Obviously Everton are outside-left minded at this moment and if Leeds were to come out in the open with an announcement that Overfield is on the transfer list,. I have little doubt that so long as the figure was reasonable, Everton would take up the enquiry anew. If Leeds have ideas of collecting a hugh sum, as Aston Villa had when quoting Everton £40,000 when McParland's name was mentioned then, they like Villa will be disappointed so far as Everton at least are concerned.
If the F.A Cup fifth round game between Everton and Aston Villa is drawn at Goodison Park on February 14, the replay will be at Villa Park on Wednesday, February 18, with a 7.30 p.m Kick-off.
THIS STOP-GO MAN IS A PROPER CAUTION…
February 2, 1959. The Liverpool Echo and Evening Express
By Leslie Edwards
No doubt about it, Everton are all lit up these days. First they hotted up their ground; now they've hotted up their team. Their floodlights are among the best in the land and they have in Bobby Collins the best little traffic light in the business. When he displays his stop-go style of forward play he's a proper little caution and the miles his busy legs cover in the course of ninety minutes suggest that he is also one of the fittest men in the game. How can Scotland keep him out of their side against England at Wembley? And may he not have two Wembley commitments next Spring if Everton continue to improve in play and confidence? Football is nothing without such personalities. It would be drab indeed if the Collins, the Trauntmanns the Matthews of League soccer were ever replayed by the colourness run-of-the mill types who form the basis of most sides. Take the moment on Saturday when Jimmy Harris hit over to the right wing (where Collins had taken up the vacant position) a pass so hard any six-footer would have been relieved to collect it. Collins kneed it down, swiveled on a six-inch square piece of turf and beat his man and was off down the wing all in the same movement. A neat through pass and young Eddie Thomas was hitting the ball with the venom of a Jim Harris drive. True, Trauntmann saved brilliantly, but against any lesser goalkeeper this would have been the Goodison goal of the season. Collins back-heeled pas to partner O'Hara who is still unhappily not showing his Scottish form, was another touch of genius which should have earned a goal and didn't.
This Manchester City game and Everton's 3-1 victory was as entertaining as it was satisfying. The light was good (floodlights were not needed); the match had some grand goalkeeping; two penalties and enough incident to keep 43,000 spectators thrilled from start to last. Trauntmann, of course, played second lead to Collins with some wonderful saves; and some streaky ones in which Jimmy Harris and Eddie Thomas were the injured parties. Thomas, from all yards range, hit the goalkeeper's knee the winger, from further out, hit a shot so fierce Trauntmann could only place his body in the lines of flight and hope for the best. In the event the ball so winded him that he did well to call for trainer's attention. And to end this episode shooter and goalkeeper left the field, arm in arm at the end, laughing and joking. Why don't players do more of this establish good relationship? Trauntmann had sportingly kicked the ball straight into touch earlier, to give referee Gerrard opportunity to stop play and have Gordon Watson come on to Harris who lay injured on the touchline. Number three on my list of honorable mentions is Dave Hickson, whose occasional feints are out of the Collins book. Here is a player who now realizes that his best gambit is to play football and leave extraneous matters to those who choose to indulge in them. Hickson took a block-busting goal from a Jim Harris centre (Collins having cleverly let the ball pass) but it was his general play which impressed me. His ability to take up good position on the wing and to make the effective, studied pass. One glories in his new-found strength of character. What a happy day it was for Everton when he refused point-blank to go to Plymouth. What an inspired move it was by the club to have the courage of their convictions and take Hickson back from Hudderfield, when everyone said his best days were gone.
The Long Arm…
Full marks to Bobby Collins for the astute free-kick off which Brian Harris was to move up for the left wing centre off which his namesake nodded the opening goal. Everton's third, from the penalty spot and by Tom Jones, was a case of the long arm of coincidence reaching out and allowing him to do what he had done round 1946 as a boy when playing against Trauntmann, then a P.O.W at a camp near Liverpool. But Tom did not score easily. His looping lofted shot struck the underside of the bar before it crossed the line. City's penalty later was also freakish in that Sanders was at the edge of the box when he handled, involuntarily it seemed, Sambrook's centre. Leivers, whose dead ball kicking is so powerful, was given the award; Dunlop saved brilliantly (as he had twice before from the excellent City left wing pair) and knocked the ball upwards, but Barlow and Leivers were both on hand to take the second chance and Barlow's was the head which applied the coup. Everton evidently thought the referee had disallowed the score, but there was no reason that it should not count indeed if Leivers had headed the ball home it would still have been a good deal. Brian Harris's contribution was substantial; so was Thomas's I rated this as his best match this season. The Everton eleven continue to weld together solidity. They have understanding and competence and things could scarcely be moving better for Manager Carey. City are in different case. They have little sense of urgency. Johnstone is not so fancied in his movement; Barnes still a great passer of the ball, is rather lethargic. But City played much better than their position suggested they might. There is still hope for them.
EVERTON SHOULD BUY CROWD RECORDER
February 3, 1959. The Liverpool Echo and Evening Express
Sir- Your report on the Cup replay was most interesting, especially on the point of the attendance and repercussions. I believe difficulty will always be experienced in assessing when the ground is full, and I think Everton should invest some of Wednesday's profit on the installation off an electric recording turnstile machine. I was present at the record Derby game a few years ago and was infinitely more comfortable then at last Wednesday's game or the one against Blackburn last year. There has been no trouble at any of the all-ticket games of recent years when 75,000 have attended on many occasions. Why? Admitting and being thankful of the fact that I was more fortunate than perhaps 60,000 other fans the other night being in the very front centre of the paddock, I must report that far more irritating than the fog were the dozens of policemen parading up and down the touchline of the trouble-free paddock, impeding the already poor view. I would like to appeal to the club through your column to cut this down to an absolute minimum in future. Finally, an approximation of perhaps ten to fifteen thousands cigarettes and pipes being smoked continually adds to the poor visibility on a foggy evening. This nuisance is in evidence when conditions are well-nigh perfect –W. Ross, 174 Queens Drive, Walton.
Liddell's The Man
Sir –I would like to congratulate the Everton directors for their swiftness in signing Bobby Collins, and Alex Parker, for their foresight in having an electrical wiring system to beat the frost and most of all for admitting they were wrong in not having a manager and then signing one of the best in the business Mr. Carey. Everton this year have a chance of bringing the F.A. Cup to this city. But they should sign Billy Liddell – John meads, Hillcliffe Lodge, Acrefield Road, Woolton.
Sir- After watching the tie in which Everton beat Charlton, I am sure Dave Hickson is by far the best player Merseyside has had since the days of Dean and Lawton. For those people who may think I am taking through my hat, let me recall some of the memorable games he has played while with Everton. First back in 1951-52 season, when Everton faced the mighty Manchester United (at the time favourities for the Cup) in the 5th round. This was Davy's day. After cutting his eye in a collision with Chilton, he was advised to go off. But Hickson is as game as they come. He came back after halt-time with a sponge to mop the blood from his face and after re-opening the cut while heading the ball against the bar, he got the winning goal to round off a magnificent game. Then not so long after in the sixth round at Villa Park it was Hickson who ran at least 50 yards, shock off three men and put in the shot which made Villa Park erupt to the Goodison Roar. It was Hickson who played his heart out and finally brought Everton back to Division ! Where they belong, and it was his stubbornness which gave Collins the chance to equalize against Charlton to give Everton another chance at the Cup. It was also he who set Everton on to success in the memorable replay – Tony Gabler, 16 Maxton Road, Liverpool 6.
No Crushing Then
Sir –at the Cup replay the gate was given at 75,000 and yet the gates were closed and some inside had to come out because of the crush. Yet I remember being at the "Derby" game a few years back when the record gate was 78,000 and there was no crushing. What is the answer? Could not the match have been postponed as the fog started three hours before the kick-off? There may have been no frost on the Goodison turf but I think there was a frost at the turn-stiles. Also why could not the inter-city Cup match between Liverpool and Chesterfield Boys have been played at Anfield or Goodison? It would have given the boys a good gate and they certainly deserve it. This year's City team is good although not as good as four seasons ago when they won everything – A. Wescomb, 72 Nebo Street, Liverpool 15.
EVERTON HAVE POINTS TOTAL INCENTIVE
February 4, 1959. The Liverpool Daily Post
By Horace Yates
If anyone had suggested to Everton supporters after the team had collected a nil return from the first six games that this season the club would gain its highest number of points for any First Division season since the war, it is not difficult to imagine what the reaction might have been. Yet, at this advanced stage of the season that desirable goal lies challengingly within their reach. Let us examine the position. Their biggest haul was 43 points collected in the first post war season, one better than the total with which they celebrated their return to First Division football in season 1954-55.
So far they are credited with 25 points from twenty-seven games, leaving them with the task of scoring 18 points from the remaining fifteen games, to draw level. Can they do it? Nobody pretends it is going to be easy, but that the chance is there is undeniable. Of the outstanding fifteen fixtures, only seven are at home – against West Brom, Tottenham, Blackpool, Aston Villa, Luton Town, Notts Forest and Wolves. Of those West Brom and Aston Villa have been defeated away from home and points were shared with Blackpool. Home and away games with Luton Town have still to be played. From the 13 visits already paid to other grounds, nine points have been gained. A similar average from the remaining away fixtures with a clean sweep from home games would be enough to set up new figures. In the season in which they notched 43 points, incidentally the season in which Liverpool were champions, Everton finish tenth. At the moment they are eight-from the wrong end of the table, so that the leeway to be made up is obviously formidable. Much nearer accomplishment is the passing of their lowest total -32 points in the season which brought them relegation.
EVERTON AND LIVERPOOL FRATERNISE UNDER ONE ROOF
February 4, 1959. The Liverpool Echo and Evening Express
By Leslie Edwards
Everton and Liverpool players will fraternize under the same roof at Blackpool for a few days early next week. They have chosen the same Blackpool Hotel for their short spells of special training, Everton with their fifth round Cup-tie against Aston Villa in mind and Liverpool aiming at victory at Cardiff to celebrate their first out and home trip by air. Everton did some training on the sands at Birkdale yesterday because their own practice pitch at Bellefield was not very inviting. A good idea, son, to steal some Southport sunshine rather than endure a city's grimness in arctic conditions. I am sure the players must have relished the change. Aston Villa will spend four days at West Kirby prior to the Goodison tie. Arsenal, Manchester United, and Chelsea have all done the same thing in the past. It is more than likely that Joe Mercer's side will be given the use of the school grounds on which Joe used to coach youngsters his own boy among them. Everton delay selection of their team for the match at Leeds but come up with this important announcement cornering tickets for the Cup game. All paddock tickets are sold and the balance of stand seats will be disposed of as follows and the following conditions must be complied with. The tickets available are mainly 6s each and there are also a few at 7s 6d. These must be applied for by post at not more than two tickets per applicant and applications must bear a postmark dated February 5, 1959 to quality to take part in a ballot for the tickets. All remittances must be by blank postal order only to assist in returning money. Applicants for 7s 6d tickets must send two blank postal orders (12s and 3s (or 6s and 1s 6d) for change if necessary. The front of the envelope containing applications must be marked Aston Villa in the top left-hand corner and a stamped addressed envelope enclosed with each application. Applications bearing any other postmark than February 5 will not be considered and there is no guarantee that this money will be returned. No personal applications will be accepted.
GRAHAM WILLIAMS MAY JOIN SWANSEA
February 4, 1959. The Liverpool Echo and Evening Express
Clubs Agree Terms
By Leslie Edwards
Everton and Swansea Town today came to terms over the transfer of Wrexham born Graham Williams who joined Everton from Bradford City in March 1956. It is now up to the player who is within a fortnight of finishing service in the Army – he is stationed at Stratford-on-Avon –to make a decision whether he will go to Vetch Field. Williams last game for the Everton first team was in the memorable Cup-tie against Charlton at the Valley a week last Saturday. He has had several spells in the First Division team and has usually begun with great promise, but he has not developed as everyone thought he might. Williams joiner by trade played originally for Wrexham schoolboys. Later he joined Wrexham as an amateur and from there went to Oswestry and became a professional.
Off To Yorkshire
When the former Wrexham manager Mr. Peter Jackson left the Racecourse to join Bradford City he sought Williams again and signed him for his new club. In the first team matches Williams often had moments of inspiration. He showed a strong shot too, but it was clear after the Charlton cup-tie that he was not likely to maintain his place. Swansea Town manager, Mr. Trevor Morris expects to complete the deal after a three-way telephone conversation. First the Everton manager must speak to the player, then Williams will contact Mr. Morris. It is not expected that there will be any hitch. Mr. Morris told me "I've watched Everton Central League side many times in the past two seasons, and never with Williams in mind, but he has always impressed me by his enthusiasm and ability. We've had to pay about £4,000 for him but I think he will prove a winner here. Certainly he will be popular with the crowd."
The Other Way?
Though Everton manager, John Carey has made singularly few changes since he arrived from Blackburn Rovers he has nevertheless seen three outgoings –Peter Harburn to Scunthorpe, Wally Fielding to Southport as player-manager and now almost certainly Graham Williams to Swansea. It would not surprise me if his next move is an incoming one.
The team for the match at Leeds on Saturday is unchanged;- Everton; Dunlop; Sanders, Bramwell; Parker, Jones, Harris (B); Harris (J), Thomas, Hickson, Collins, O'Hara.
HE HOPES OVERFIELD WILL 'ROUST' EVERTON
February 5, 1959. The Liverpool Echo and Evening Express
By Leslie Edwards
An intriguing situation at Leeds on Saturday when Jack Overfield, a left winger whose name has been linked with Everton, will have opportunity to show the opposition his full capabilities. And Leeds United manager, Bill Lambton, says of this "I hope he gives em a rousting." The position about Overfield, who was born and learned his football not far from the Leeds United ground, is that he is not for sale except…The exception concerns any club prepared to pay what Leeds would consider a sum they could not ignore. It is highly probable that Manager John Carey knows to with the nearest hundred pounds what Leeds expects as the basis for negotiation. The fact that three Everton men –Peter Harburn, Wally Fielding and Graham Williams –have left the club recently suggests that the pendulum may now swing the other way. Meantime we wait patiently. Liverpool decision to travel to and from far-away fixtures y plane follows the lead of clubs like Sunderland, and Newcastle who have even better cause to bless this means of cutting down long travel hours. The Everton chief who has done good deal of air travel outside Britain, feels that a case cannot be made out yet for reverting from ground to air travel. Mr. Carey suggests that the day of teams travelling by helicopter is not far distant but the distance of most airports, especially London's, from cities means that if Everton made their London trips by plane they would be saving less than a couple of hours each way. Mr. Carey says that where clubs are faced with 24 or 36 hour train journeys when touring continentally there is only one satisfactory way of getting about –by air.
Favoured On Terraces
Reader W. Williams of 72 Warnerville Road, Liverpool 13, is angry that the be-fogged Everton Cup replay against Charlton should have been played. The public provide all the money in football, he says, and their well-being should be considered always. Games should not be started, he maintains, unless all spectators can see the whole of the pitch. The point arises; If the ball is visible to players and referee, but sometimes not to spectators, should a match continue? I think it should. There were extenuating circumstances about the game at Goodison Park. First, not until about an hour and a quarter before kick-off time was it considered proper to open the gates. Imagine what might have happened, if after say 15 minutes' play the referee had called it off. Imagine what might have happened if he had called the game off with Everton leading 1-0. It was a near-riot at Goodison Park years ago when a match was called off after thousands had paid to go in which brought about the warning notices; "You enter at your own risk; money cannot be refunded." This salutary warming over the main Everton turnstiles remained for years, but has now disappeared through its principles stand good. One agrees that the public on the terraces get too little consideration but in this case they were the favoured. They saw more than those who had paid for seats in the stands.
WILLIAMS SEES SWANSEA CHIEF
February 5, 1959. The Liverpool Echo and Evening Express
Transfer Decision May Be To-night
By Michael Charters
Graham Williams, Everton's outside left for whom Swansea Town and Everton have agreed terms, was seeing Swansea manager Mr. Trevor Morris, this afternoon to discuss the transfer deal. Mr. Morris spoke to Williams last night and arranged for him to travel today from his Army unit at Stratford-on-Avon to Swansea to see houses. Williams who now lives in Wrexham has been married for only a few months and is anxious that his wife should be happy with the move and the accommodation offered. Everton are content to let the final move rest with the player and it is expected that Williams will give Swansea his decision later tonight.
Leeds United centre forward Alan Shackleton formerly of Burnley, has recovered from a bruised knee and should be able to play against Everton at Elland Road, on Saturday. The Leeds team is the same as that which won at Leicester just week. Leeds United; Burgin; Mitchell, Hair; Kerfoot, Charlton, Cush; Humphreys, Crowe, Shackleton, Revie, Overfield.
PENMAN STEPS OUT WITH DUNDEE
February 6, 1939. The Liverpool Daily Post
By Horace Yates
The history which Everton supporters hoped to see Andy Penman, fifteen-year-old outside-right, creating at Goodison Park is now being made instead in Scotland where tomorrow he steps out as a member of the Dundee side to meet Hearts at Edinburgh the youngest player ever to have represented the Dundee senior team. He will not be the youngest player to have appeared in Scottish senior football, for that distinction belongs to Ronnie Simpson now with Newcastle United. He was only fourteen when first he kept goal for Queen's Park. The return of Penman from Everton, to his home in Rosyth Fife, at the beginning of fast month, came as a great shock to the Everton fans. He was just a novelty when chosen as a member of the Everton team for the first of the floodlit Cup games at Anfield on October 1, but before that game was over his name was on everybody's lips. He looked to be the most exciting young prospect seen on Merseyside for years. His ability, rich and impressive was there for all to see and nothing seemed more certain than that Everton had found another winner. Although he played in a subsequent first team game against the South African touring team on October 3 and lacked neither help nor encouragement at work and at play he just could not settle in Liverpool.
He was homesick, admitted it, and was unable to do anything to overcome it. No club could have done more to help him whether these first few awkward months away from home and when it was obvious that Penman was fighting an increasingly losing battle, he was released and returned to Scotland with everybody's good wishes. He is on amateur forms with Dundee, and not surprisingly his fame went before him, so that there was keen competition for his services. Promotion comes to him after two games in Dundee's reserve side and the lad with a scoring shot in each foot already has a tally of three goals to prove the point. Penman was one of the young Scots brought to Goodison by Mr. Ian Buchan at the time when he was chief coach. Penman had already won schoolboys international honours. A footballer mature beyond his years, Penman seems assured of carving out a distinguished career for himself, and many experienced judges have said of him. "He needs only ordinary luck to go right to the top." If ever Penman changes his mind and like so many of his fellow countryman before him decides that England has more to offer the star player, we can only hope that he will think kindly of the club which began the grooming to stardom.
February 6, 1959. The Liverpool Daily Post
By Horace Yates
As anticipated Graham Williams, the Everton outside left, signed forms for Swansea Town, last night after a visit to South Wales and a talk with manager, Trevor Morris. Although Swansea's team to receive Stoke City tomorrow has not yet been selected one position at least has been –outside left the Williams has been told that this will be the game in which he will make his debut. Leeds United who last week broke a losing sequence of four games with a victory at Leicester a team which boasts a double over Everton this season have decided to leave well alone and have announced an unchanged side, which means they are hopeful that Len Shackleton's bruised knee will have recovered sufficiently to permit him to play. The name Shackleton will ring a bell with many Everton supporters for he is the man who hammered home two goals against the Goodison team when they were beaten 3-1 at Turf Moor in early September. Leeds United; Burgin; Mitchell, Hair; Kerfoot, Charlton, Cush, Humphries, Crowe, Shackleton, Revie, Overfield.
I view of his earlier inquiry nobody will be surprised if Everton manager, Mr. John Cary, lets slip Overfield's name, when in conversation with Mr. Bill Lambton, the Leeds manager, this weekend. It Leeds really want to turn Overfield into minor, it is hard to understand their policy of admitting that they would not be averse to parting and yet declining to name the fee at which they would be prepared to do business.
The Army must have its recreation and as so many professional football clubs, from time to time help to bolster the soldiers playing standards by releasing some of their young stars for National Service, nothing is more natural than that clubs, should give sympathetic consideration to appeals for matches. One such request went out this week, to be met with a prompt and hearty response from Everton F.C. The result is that on Tuesday next an Everton Reserve side (with all the first team players toning up for the Cup football at Blackpool) will entertain a team from Fulwood Barracks, Preston a side which is likely to include among its several professionals. Dobing of Blackburn Rovers and Milne of Preston North End. It is not easy for this team to obtain fixtures of the strength necessary to afford them worthwhile, games and this trip to Liverpool will help to fill in one of the blanks. Just a word of caution. If you are thinking of taking a trip to see the game –DON'T. The match will be played behind closed doors, one of the few occasions on which spectators are definitely unwanted and uninvited.
INTEREST IN OVERFIELD
February 6, 1959. The Liverpool Echo and Evening Express
By Leslie Edwards
Everton's task at Leeds will give them a testing in preparation for the Villa game a week hence. Leeds have in Revie and Cush two far-above –ordinary players who can rip a defence to pieces and if Everton gain a point they will have done well. There was talk some weeks ago of the possibility of Cush going, but he is content and with Overfield playing brilliantly on the left, Leeds are probably as good as they have ever been since the days when John Charles was their mainstay. Overfield's performance will not be lost on Everton, whose interest in this non-listed player has been remarked on more than once recently. An Everton victory would confirm the opinion of Evertonians that the side is improving so quickly, all things, including an F.A. Cup triumph, are possible. Meantime, Villa glamour side of the turn of the century and holders of the record number of Cup Finals won, are anchored at the foot of the First Division. But hope of avoiding relegation has not yet disappeared. Under Joe Mercer, Everton's next Cup opponents are staging a belated revival and might yet retain their status. Three wins in the last three matches have inspired them. Tomorrow when they visit Blackpool, Villa will be unchanged for the fourth successive time, and could well surprise their opponents who although unbeaten at home will also have on their minds a fifth-round tie. Everton have only to win a fortunate game and up go the prices (writes Mr. J.C. Hornby, of 246 Longmoor Lane, Liverpool 9). The latest pronouncement in your notes that applicants for tickets whose letters do not bear the postmark February 5 may not have their money returned, is surely all wrong. It is up to spectators to show their disgust of this latest disregard of the supporters. Leeds United; Burgin; Mitchell, Hair; Kerfoot, Charlton, Cush; Humphries, Crowe, Shackleton, Revie, Overfield. Everton; Dunlop; Sanders, Bramwell; Parker, Jones, B. Harris; J. Harris, Thomas, Hickson, Collins, O'Hara.
BRIAN HARRIS DROPS OUT
February 6, 1959. The Liverpool Echo
By Leslie Edwards
Brian Harris the Everton half-back who bruised a knee in the cup-tie at Charlton is not feeling fully fit and will miss tomorrow's League game against Leeds United at Leeds. His place will be taken by Mick Meagan.
EVERTON'S TICKET PROBLEM FOR Villa TIE
February 6, 1959. The Liverpool Echo
Too Many Applications
By Leslie Edwards
Everton Secretary, Mr. Bill Dickinson said today that the number of applications received for stand tickets for the Cup game against Villa a week tomorrow are far in excess of the number available. Tickets will be dispatched as soon as possible to those lucky in the ballot. It will take a little time to return money to unsuccessful applicants. If there is a replay it will take place at Villa Park on Wednesday February 18 at 7-15. Everton have provisionally arranged that their postponed League match against West Bromwich Albion should take place at Goodison Park on February 18 (7-0) subject to neither side being concerned to a replay. When Liverpool and Everton players share the same Blackpool hotel next week –both teams are in special training there –it is likely that they may meet in friendly combat –on the golf links or over the billiards table. Manager Phil Taylor jokingly suggested that they might have a soccer friendly on the sands at 6d side takes, but obviously this is the one thing which cannot happen. Everton chief Mr. Carey said "This will be no holiday. It is business only. I aim to get the boys at their peak for the Villa tie."
NO CAUSE FOR ALARM IN HARRIS' REST
February 7, 1959. The Liverpool Daily Post
By Horace Yates
Brian Harris who has taken to the left-half position like a duck to water, since converted for the convenience of the Everton team when things were not going well early in the season, will interrupt a run of twenty-six games at Leeds today, so that he may rest a bruised knee. Mick Meagan one of the casualties of those early days, and who has made only one appearance since, is the man called upon to deputise. Harris has during the week and was out with the rest of the players yesterday. While the player himself thought he might be able to get through the Leeds game "at a pinch" quite rightly manager John Carey considered it would not be proper to take a chance. League points are, of course important but it is difficult not to look ahead to next week's Cup-tie when a fit Harris will be most acceptable. This rest seems to me to be more of a precaution than a necessity. Although Everton suggested to a 3-2 victory with the help of a penalty goal and an own goal by O'Brien when Leeds were at Goodison on September 20, I think it is fair to say that the Yorkshiremen have shown nothing like Everton's improvement in the intervening weeks.
In the League table the two teams rub shoulders each with 25 points from 27 games, but the fact that Leeds have won fewer matches (three) before their own supporters than any other side in the game, is no happy augury for success for them today. Their specially is for home draws, for they have shared home points on six occasions only Blackpool with seven showing a greater partially for spilt verdicts. As draws do not figure very frequently in the Everton record, there being only one entry in the away column to date this does nothing to strengthen the idea that this will be another case of points shared. I look for an outright Everton victory, for while their recent form has been impressive that can scarcely be said of Leeds. Of their last four fixtures only one of which has been won, Leeds have scored a single goal in each game. In the fixture before this sequence a home match with West Brom they failed to score at all and were beaten 1-0. This is a woeful attacking story and compared with four goals for twelve have been debited against them in five outings. Everton's attack these days is not one of the weakest by any manner of means, and although Tottenham fans might be the differ there are few holes in the defence. Leeds United; Burgin; Mitchell, Hair; Kerfoot, Charlton, Cush; Humphries, Crowe, Shackleton, Revie, Overfield. Everton; Dunlop; Sanders, Bramwell; Parker, Jones, Meagan; J. Harris, Thomas, Hickson, Collins, O'Hara.
EVERTON LACKED PUNCH AND FINISH AT LEEDS
January 7, 1959. The Liverpool Echo and Evening Express
Leeds United 1, Everton 0
By Michael Charters
Leeds United;- Burgin, goal; Mitchell and Hair, backs; Kerfoot, Charlton, and Cush half-backs; Humphries, Crowe, Shackleton, Revie (captain), and Overfield, forwards. Everton; Dunlop, goal; Sanders, and Bramwell, backs; Parker, Jones (captain), and Meagan, half-backs; Harris (J), Thomas, Hickson, Collins and O'Hara, forwards. Referee; Mr. R.M. Jordan (Leicester). On the way to Leeds from Liverpool, the mist became so thick that it seemed the game may be in danger, but fortunately I cleared in the vicinity of the ground. More than usual interest was attached to this match because of Everton's interest in Leeds left winger Jack Overfield who usually does well against them. Everton began confidently and earned a right wing corner. From it Collins pushed the ball for Parker, who hit his shot high over the bar. The ground was well sanded but heavy and Overfield quickly showed his skill when he cut inside Parker but ruined it with a poor pass straight at Collins.
Collins was soon in the form he showed against Manchester City last week and twice slipped past Mitchell brilliantly, for Thomas to slip as he went for the cross. Ten a mistake by Charlton let in Harris, whose quick shot was easily saved by Burgin. Leeds first shooting chance came to Crowe, who put it wide. Leeds were using the offside trap and twice Hickson fell into it from long passes down the wing from Harris. Sanders, having cleverly beaten Crowe to a long through ball, then tried to turn it back to Dunlop, but sent it straight at Crowe, recovering well to scramble it away. But Leeds went ahead in their first real attack through Shackleton after eight minutes. A beautiful judged centre from Overfield was breasted down by the Leeds leader and he then pushed it wide of the flying Dunlop from close range.
Revie was dominating midfield for Leeds as much as Collins was doing for Everton but the Leeds skipper was getting better support from his colleagues than Collins was. Everton's forwards after their initial burst had faded. A good link-up between Hickson and Harris promised better, however, but Harris was finally hustled off the ball by Kerfoot. Harris then snapped up a left wing corner to shoot with his left foot for Burgin to save well. Overfield was showing how brilliantly he could cross a ball and from another of his centres Shackleton headed just wide. But to Everton's credit they began to fight back after the early goal shock and from a long centre by Meagan, Thomas hit the side netting with a first time shot. Leeds were very dangerous, mainly through Overfield who was having a joy day against Sanders and Parker, and with the bursting Shackleton ever ready to hit the ball from any half chance they showed more threat than Everton. Hickson went down holding his right knee after a tackle with Charlton and lay there for a good minute until O'Hara put the ball out for trainer Watson to attend to him. He carried on after attention.
Lack Of Snap
Everton were showing an alarming lack of snap in attack and their close inter-passing in midfield was getting them nowhere against a Leeds defence which went in first time without ceremony. That bundle of energy, Cush was keeping a tight hold on Thomas who was being tackled out of the game. Everton kept plugging away and earned plenty of corners to give them territorial advantage if nothing else, but they were not showing their best form. Revie was a designer of almost every Leeds attack distributing the ball superbly with passes to both wings. He lay back deep to collect clearance and invariably did something useful with the ball. This was a deep lying plan which was paying off. At half-time draw neat Crowe Crowe hit a terrific and straight at Dunlop and then Everton broke away to earn a indirect free kick just outside the area as Hair obstructed Hickson. This had not been a bright Everton to watch and Leeds deserved the interval lead because they had been more direct.
Half-time; Leeds United 1, Everton nil.
Immediately on the restart Everton launched their best attack, with Hickson crossing the ball from the right wing for Collins to force Burgin to make a brilliant save to put the ball over the bar.
From the corner, a long shot by O'Hara was comfortably saved by Burgin, and this former Sheffield United keeper, in only his second League game for Leeds, was impressive with his safe handling. Collins hammered a free kick just over the bar and Everton had begun this second half as well as they had the first. Could they keep it up. Hickson put Thomas through with a neat head flink, but Charlton just got the ball to divert Thomas's shot. Everton kept up the pressure to earn three successive corners from the last of which a Thomas shot was blocked by Charlton with Burgin beaten. The mist thickened, so that it was difficult to follow the ball on the far side of the pitch but the visibility was still good enough to see that Everton had all the play so far this half. But Leeds were still dangerous in their occasional attack and Shackleton only just missed connecting with a long Overfield centre as Everton's defence was left wide open. Everton were building up plenty of attacks in midfield without showing any final punch.
Parker made a last second stop to prevent the eager Shackleton from snapping by a pass by Overfield who had cut to and pulled the ball back Overfield was proving himself the type of left winger Everton badly needed for his brilliance far outshone his patches of mediocrity. The mist was getting thicker although not yet of the same consistency as that on the night of the Everton-Charlton Cup replay. Little had been seen of Collins this half, although Revie was still spraying passes every time he had the ball. Shackleton missed a sitter for Leeds in the closing minutes when he was clean through but pushed the ball too far, Dunlop coming out to take the ball off his toe. Final; Leeds United 1, Everton nil. Attendance 18,000.
• Rochdale "A" 3, Everton "B" 3
VILLA SIDE NOWADAYS ARE DIFFERENT
February 7, 1959. The Liverpool Echo and Evening Express
New Manager Has Brought Urgency to Dispirited Team
By Tom Jones
I knew the demand for Cup tickets would be great, but I never expected such enthusiasm as there is for the Aston Villa game next Saturday. Last week I mentioned the lads would probably be in a spot of brother, but I never thought it would be as bad as it has. Letters, phone calls, personal inquiries, knocks at the door, have all left their mark. I feel I could almost fill Goodison Road stand alone, if my allocation was such. So please don't tell me you have worries. That the game has caught the Everton supporters fancy so much, must point to a great belief in the team. No one will support a team if they don't think they have an earthy of reaching the next round. We have the advantage of a home draw. In front of a partisan crowd such as we have at Goodison and this must take us favourities. Aston Villa are no mean Cup opponents. Six or seven of their present team has savoured the dish named Wembley with all its trimmings and I really cannot blame them for hankering on a return. Cup form is a strange thing. Luck in the draw helps, luck on the field too, team spirit (as always) with that attitude of never admitting defeat. All these items blinded as one will make a good Cup team. Although having passed only two hurdles I feel that we have sampled all these things so far. A continuation of events could well prove favourable towards us but lets look at the team named Mr. Mercer's Villains. No Evertonians will ever forget the last time Everton met Aston Villa in the Cup. It was 1953, Villa Park the venue sixth round the hurdle. One nil was for victory in our favour and Dave Hickson the goalscorer and star. Dave's goal was scored after a move with Ted Buckle on the half-way line, Dave running half the length of the field before crashing the ball home, taking Everton through to the semi-final the round we failed to negotiate. However, not many players are around from either side who played that day so we must look to more recent event to form an impression of the Villa team. This season we visited Villa and won 4-2 but don't let us have any misapprehensions about that. That day Villa were a very dispirited and unhappy team. Next week they may well be just the opposite. Apparently, new manager Mr. Joe Mercer, has injected some of his enthusiasm for the game into his players and I hear that they are a far different proposition than when we played them. Nigel Sims, so long the understudy to Bert Williams at Wolverhampton, is keeping goal, a big lad in every sense of the word. Plenty of experience at full back in Stan Lynn, who must surely be the hardest dead ball kicker in the game today, and Pater Alldis, but both could be exploited by fast winger.
In the half-back line is Johnny Dixon the former Villa captain and inside forward and Liverpool-born Jimmy Dugdale still turning in great displays at centre half. The two most experienced forwards who will need watching are Jackie Sewell at inside right and Peter McParland on the left wing. Hitchens, the £20,000 buy from Cardiff hasn't quite reached the form that tempted Villa to buy him and I hope that he won't choose this Cup tie to prove his real worth. Villa are always a hard team to beat at any time so we are not anticipating anything less than a hard fight. Providing the boys get the breaks and touch something like their real form then I'm pretty confident we'll be waiting for the sixth round tie to be broadcast the following Monday. Let's hope so. The sand or sands are playing a big part in our training these winter days. Last Tuesday when usually we play a practice game at Bellefield we took in the bracing air of Birkdale beach. Did I say bracing? It was so cold that there was ice on the water left by the receding tide. Tracksuits were a must and I don't believe anyone took them off.
Cullis Were Fans
On an improvised pitch some 160 yards long and approximately three or four hundred yards wide (it seemed like that anyway) we played with much amusement and merriment our only supporters being the seagulls wheeling and cavorting overhead. What's that song about "Mad Dogs and Englishmen"? Most appropriate. However, next week will be another kettle of fish. The club are taking the first team for a change of environment to Blackpool, mainly for a change of air, food rest and a chance to forget those requests for tickets. We shan't indulge in too much rest, Mr. Carey will see to that aided and abetted by trainer Gordon Watson.
VILLA CHIEF JOE MERCER LOOKS AHEAD TO GOODISON
February 7, 1959. The Liverpool Echo and Evening Express
Collins Is A Type I Never Liked To Mark
By Joe Mercer
Aston Villa's signing last week of Jock Winton, that fine full back from Burnley, comes at a time when whispers behind the scenes indicate that there's a move on to alter the present system of transfer deadlines from mid-March and make it impossible for League clubs to buy new men after December 31. I can understand how some football fans think it wrong that a club struggling against relegation should buy itself out of trouble. Naturally that only applies to fans whose club is sitting pretty. But I'm sure that generally most football folk realize two important points. First, signing of players doesn't automatically bring success. Sunderland supporters will tell you that. Second the bigger the crowds the more the profits and eventually the clubs that attract the most home fans must automatically attract more than an equal share of the players, because the club can afford transfer fees and because these fans who turn up in large numbers deserve star performers. The strength of a club is not always reflected in their position in the League table, it is often based on cash in the kitty-and I'm certain. It's right and natural that the bigger clubs should have the resource to fight their way out of trouble any way they like –by signing big-fee stars from other clubs…if they need to. Remember that unfortunate injuries or other bad luck may put a big club in a bad League position by the end of the year. If a star man –an important link in the team set up – is hurt early in the season the club faces nothing but trouble. Injuries don't always mend quickly –and surely if a new December dead-line is placed on transfers, it would be unfair to leave clubs with financial ability to replace their injuries smuggling on through January, February, March right to the end of the season.
I say leave the limit for transfer deals in mid-March as it is. Though far-sighted clubs and managers who have the time can groom youthful talent for first team places in five years or so there are occasions when money comes in mighty handy. There are occasions when buying is absolutely necessary. Manager Alan Brown of Sunderland know what he was doing when he paid about £6,000 for Ernie Taylor, the masterly and minute inside forward who had helped Manchester United get over their sticky patch following the Munich air disaster. Ernie's no chicken. But he's still a good un. Note how Sunderland who were at the foot of Division Two when he was signed are now comfortably half way up the table. Little Ernie, of course reached his peak when he was inside right to the fabulous Stan Matthews at Blackpool. And here, let me add belated 44th birthday greetings to Stan the Magician. You know this man Matthews both delights and annoys me. It's great to see he's still playing League football in his 45th year 0the only challenger to Billy Meredith's marathon spell the game will ever see. It's annoying to see this fantastic fellow is still fast enough to scorch his way past full backs in a manner which makes people like me –who are around the same age –feel that life has done them a dirty trick by letting middle age creep into their cracking bones. That man Matthews goes on fermenting those who have spent 25 years trying to figure out how best to stop him. The majority of people in the game reckon because Stan likes to beat the back on the outside it's best for the defender to stand on the touchline and make Matthews go the way he doesn't want to –inside. That's fine in theory, but Stan comes inside so fast he's mighty dangerous that way too…I suppose that Matthews will never be completely locked out of a game until full backs are issued with handcuffs ankle chains and a shotgun.
I mentioned Matthews partnership with Ernie Taylor ..I know that the maestro always has had a high regard for the ability of wee Ernie. It's strange how the good little urns can reach the heights of ability. Remember these great players…Alex James, Jimmy Logie, Alec Stevenson, as well as Taylor..All small in stature and all great in ability. As a wing half I found small inside forwards more difficult to deal with than larger men of equal ability. They're so close to the floor, strong on the ball and can turn on a sixpence. Wing halves marking Ernie Taylor and Everton's Bobby Collins these days know just how awkward their jobs can be. Mention of making the mighty Everton atom Bobby Collins brings me to the Everton v. Aston Villa fifth round cup-tie. Both Sunderland and Charlton found to their surprise soft muddy pitches in their respective Cup games at ground-heated Goodison, while the world outside walked –and players trained –on flinty surfaces. The Everton players revel in the conditions now thrown up by the heating system at Goodison and though I'd say Villa players, prefer a hard surface. I'm sure they're hoping to find some muddy practice pitches when they go to West Kirby next Wednesday for three days special training. Villa have been offered the use of a local school playing field, if it comes up mud on that field –maybe the men from Villa Park, who beat Chelsea on a Stamford Bridge pitch which was identical with the conditions of ground they had practiced upon all week before that match might give the fanatical Everton following more than a little something to think about.
I'M STOKING THE CSM'S FIRES NOW
February 7, 1959. The Liverpool Echo and Evening Express
Says Everton Half-Back Alex Parker.
Since rejoining my battalion, the Royal Scots Fusiliers, I have been given a new job. I am responsible for keeping the fires going. Yes, Fusilier Parker has become Stoker Parker, at least until March 19, so when I'm not backing up Everton's forwards on Saturday afternoons, I shall be backing up the CSM,'s fires in Edinburgh. I'm not sure which is the warmer job, although in view of the winter we're having I could have been much worse off. When we were in Blackpool training for the Sunderland Cup-tie I told you that a few of us went to see Jock Dodds, the former Everton and Scottish International centre-forward. He gave us a standing invitation to visit him any time, so last week-end Bobby Collins and I took him at his word. You will probably recall how light Jock was on his feet for such a big man, and he is still pretty agile. The other week I saw him being hypnotized on a TV show and I'm afraid he came in for some ragging from us as a result. Still he took it all in good part. Naturally we got to talking about football and in particular the F.A Cup. He reminded us that he had played in the 1956 final for Sheffield United against Arsenal. Although he was on the losing side he said it is still one of his greatest football memories and he strongly recommended us to go all out for a Wembley appearance. He told him we intended to do just that. Jock sends his best wishes to all his friends on Merseyside and particularly to the team in its quest for the cup. Today we were trying to avoid a hat-trick of away defeats in the League, having been beaten by Newcastle and Arsenal since winning at Bolton. The only previous occasion I have played at Elland Road was for the Army against an Irish team which included such stars as Wilburn, Cush, who is now with Leeds and Charlie Tully. The Army won 2-1 and I hope it has proved a good omen for today's game. A win should be just the thing we need before out cup-tie against the Villa next week. If confidence among our supporters is anything to go by we are as good as in the last eight, but there's many a slip 'twist F.A Cup and lip. While the boys realize that on form we should win, we will not be satisfied until the referee blows his whistle for time.
Plenty of Support
We think we can win, but the Midlandsside must not expect to be able to cash in on our being over-confident. With ground advantage we will certainly not be lacking in support but there is one disadvantage in being drawn at home much as we all prefer it. You must go all out for a win whereas when you are playing away you can be satisfied with even a draw knowing you can have another chance on your own pitch when the odds will be on your winning. Here's hoping we do it at the first time of asking. I see that manager Joe Mercer has signed Jock Winton, Burnley's Scottish full-back. We don't know yet whether or not he will be playing against us but if he is he will certainly make out task no easier. I have never played against Winton but recall seeing him in a "B" International I think it was at Birmingham. He is a tough player who will not give in without a fight. It must have been a great disappointment to the players that last Wednesday's Under-23 international was postponed. It's a great honour to play at Ibrox in a representative match particularly for the Scottish boys. I remember how I felt when I played there in an Under 23 match against England. The players know that a good game may put them in line for a full capo, and it's really tough on those boys playing in their full representative match to find the chance of showing what they can do taken away from them. You may say that there's always another time, but they may be injured or overlooked next time. This game is the same as many other walks of life – you're got to have the breaks to get to the top.
I told you the other week that I had been looking forward to playing against Trauntmann to see just how good he was. Well, I saw him last week and he certainly didn't disappoint me. In fact, I was wishing he wasn't quite so good, as we would have scored a few more goals. In addition to being a great goalkeeper I noticed that he is also a great sportsman. Those of you who were there will remember him putting the ball out when Jimmy Harris was injured. Incident like that can have much to do with the atmosphere in which a match is played. Not only Jimmy, but the rest of the Everton team appreciated the gesture. Incidentally I was particularly pleased to see Jimmy score our first goal. It must have been a great relief for him to see the ball in the net after having missed a chance earlier on. Of course, that's the sort of thing that rarely happens to me, being a defender, but I can well imagine how a forward feels, I suppose that's why Lawrie was so excited when he scored the equalizer for Charlton in the replay at Goodison. For those of you who didn't see it I'm afraid you will have to take my word for that. Oh, yes. He had missed a penalty earlier on. In case you didn't know.
EVERTON RES V LEEDS RES
February 7, 1959. The Liverpool Echo and Evening Express
Everton Res; O'Neill, goal; Billington and Tansey, backs; Rea, Labone, and Ashworth, half-backs; Temple, Wignall, Kirby, Keeley, and Godfrey, forwards. Leeds United Res; Wood, goal; Guan and Trodden, backs; McConnell, Marsden, and Jones, half-backs; Meek, Peyton, Leighton, O'Brien, and Wilson, forwards. Referee; Mr. R.A. Kibble. Everton kicked off, and Wood became the first Leeds man to touch the ball when he ran out to foil Kirby after good combination on the Everton right. Without directing a shot at O'Neill. Leeds then dominated a lengthy mid-field spell, broken by Temple cutting in and beat two men only for Wood to dive at the winger's feet. Everton became more assertive, and Temple dropped a shot on the top netting from Rea's pass while Godfrey veered into the middle before releasing a strong drive which Wood could only divert. In between snap shots from Godfrey and Kirby who both drove inches too high McConnell ran through the middle for Leeds but fired straight at O'Neill. Half-time; Everton res nil, Leeds Utd Res nil.
CUP STILL THE THING WITH EVERTON
February 9, 1959. The Liverpool Daily Post
Leeds United 1, Everton 0
By Michael Charters
Everton played at Leeds as though they had one eye on the fifth round Cup-tie against Aston Villa at the end of the week. Their causal approach gave the impression that all they cared about was the forthcoming Goodison tie, and with Leeds also showing themselves only an average side, the result was a dreary ninety minutes in misty conditions. It was the dullest game I have seen this season, and the spectators must have wondered if their visit to Elland Road was really necessary. It was dangerous tactics on Everton's part, for they are not yet in such a League position that they can afford to throw away a chance of vital points. At times their play was such that had they taken a grip of themselves and the play, they could have swamped Leeds. But they rarely shook themselves out of their self-imposed lethargy and allowed a poor opposition to rob them of victory. For the first five minutes of each half they played brilliantly. Then unaccountably, the let Leeds taken the initiative on a heavy pitch with the ball bouncing craggily on a bumpy surface. Mistakes were so frequent that the players on both sides seemed to be telling with no set purpose. It was all so very dismal and the weather fitted the play.
One Pass Too Many
Some of Everton's midfield play looked attractive with the ball moving from man to man, for never did they engineer a clear cut scoring chance. They bunched in the middle, tried to make one pass to many and their finishing was almost non-existent. Leeds were not much better. Most of the Everton shooting came from Jimmy Harris, for the trio of Thomas, Hickson and Collins were very subdued by the quick tackling and marking of the Leeds defence. Collins has rarely been so ineffective, although he began in such dazzling style. After his initial spell, he faded and the lesson was obvious that if Collins has an off-day, the Everton attack follow suit. In defence Everton were steady if not inspired with Bramwell and Jones the best although the bustling Shackleton gave the centre half plenty of hard work. Dunlop did not have as much to do as the veteran Burgin in the Leeds goal, but generally, neither attack could penetrate the respective defence to get in a shot. It was Leeds who looked more lethal with their shooting.
Corner After Corner
Leeds defenders were ever ready to concede a corner-and the ratio of 16 to Everton compared with two for Leeds shows how Everton did most of the pressing. But their finishing –Oh dear! Best man on the field was the second oldest player of the 22 –evergreen Revie, the new Leeds captain, who showed himself still to be a superb distributor of the ball. He rarely wasted a ball, flying deep to send out long if short probing passes and he got more support from the enthusiastic Shackleton and Crowe then Collins did from his colleagues. Revie linked well with winger Overfield, the man in whom Everton are interested to fill their problem left wing spot. Leeds have set a tall price of £20,000 for this outside left who can play so brilliantly one moment and so ineffectively the next. But Overfield showed enough skill to give Sanders a rough passage and if Everton can come to terms with Leeds, I'm sure he would improve Everton's forward line immensely. Even the easily (10 minutes) goal, which settled the game was in keeping with the rest of the indecisive play. The build-up was good with Overfield, trickling Sanders and Parker before crossing the ball (and how accurately he can centre).
Slow Motion Goal
The ball struck Shackleton on the chest, rolled down his body and he toe-ended it into the far corner of the net, for a goal when everyone thought that surely one of Everton's defenders could have intervened. It was a slow motion goal, but it earned two points. Apart from a flying O'Hara header, which Burgin tipped excellently over the bar and a Hickson miss from ten yards when he was slow to the ball, Everton never looked like scoring. On the other hand, Dunlop made a magnificent save from a diving header by Crowe and another from a power shot by the same player, while Shackleton blazed over the bar when a canny Overfield pass put him clean through. Leeds too, had grounds for a penalty in the closing minutes as Sanders appeared to handle. Everton will have to do much better in the Cup. This was drab, indifferent football, which was no advertisement for First Division play. Leeds United;- Burgin, goal; Mitchell and Hair, backs; Kerfoot, Charlton, and Cush half-backs; Humphries, Crowe, Shackleton, Revie (captain), and Overfield, forwards. Everton; Dunlop, goal; Sanders, and Bramwell, backs; Parker, Jones (captain), and Meagan, half-backs; Harris (J), Thomas, Hickson, Collins and O'Hara, forwards. Referee; Mr. R.M. Jordan (Leicester). Attendance 18,000.
LATE GOALS BEAT EVERTON RES
February 9, 1959. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton Res 0, Leeds Res 2
Two late goals enabled Leeds win a drab game in which the defences generally held the upper-hand. United showed more method in attack than Everton whose lack of a plan produced only half hearted scoring attempt by the forwards. Wingers Godfrey and Temple were the best of a ragged line. Just when a goalless draw seemed certain Meek, the game's prettiest performer accepted a cross from the opposite flank in the 73rd minute to put Leeds ahead. Two minutes later Meek created the chance for Leighton to score. Right back Billington and centre half Labone were outstanding in Everton's solid defence. Everton team was; O'Neill; Billington, Tansey; Rea, Labone, Ashworth; Temple, Wignall, Kirby, Keeley, Godfrey.
EVERTON SLIPPED BACK TO THE EARLY SEASON FORM
February 9, 1959. The Liverpool Echo and Evening Express
By Michael Charters
Everton went to Blackpool yesterday for a few days of training by the sea in readiness for their Cup-tie at Goodison Park on Saturday against Aston Villa. Any supporter who watched them at Leeds on Saturday will fervenity hope that the salt breeze will also blow away the memory of their dismay display at Elland Road, when they slipped back to the level of their early season games. Against a poor side they played as though next Saturday's tie was dominating their thoughts to the exclusion of everything else. Dangerous this, for their League position does not allow such extravagance. Before the season is ended, they may regret not having taken this obvious chance of grabbling some vital points. With Leeds showing themselves only an average First Division side, Everton had a great opportunity of an away victory to put them in good heart for the Cup. They let it glide away by bad finishing, inaccuracy in attack and a general lethargy which has only to be repeated against Villa for them to say bye-bye to the Cup for another year. At times, Everton played enough attractive midfield football to show that had they taken a grip of themselves they could have beaten Leeds as they wanted. They certainly had more of the play earning 16 corners to Leeds two mainly due to the home defenders putting the ball to safety without ceremony. But the threat ended there Leeds were composed. In defence where Charlton and his wing halves had a strangle hold on Everton's inside trio Hickson and his colleagues helped by bunching together, making one pass too many hear goal, and rarely managed an effective shot. Most of Everton's shooting came from Jimmy Harris, and veteran Burgin in the Leeds goal is too experienced a man to be beaten by the angled shot. In two successive matches Collins went from the superb to the mediocre. He began against Leeds by taking the ball past Kerfoot and Mitchell as though they went non-existent with brilliant dribbling and body-swerving. Then, as we were sitting back, expecting a repeat of his display against Manchester City, in unaccountably faded.
As he did in, Everton's forwards followed. So much depends nowadays on Collins that if he has an off-day, there seems no one else around who can pick the attack and start it moving on the right lines. Defensively, Everton were adequate if nothing else, with Bramwell and Jones the best Parker and Meagan never took control in midfield as the Leeds wing halves did while the deep lying of Don Revie had Parker in difficulties. Far too often Revie had time to look around and chose his spot before starting a move in a manner which showed that he is still one of the finest passers of a ball in the business.
Revie for me, was the outstanding player on a day when it was not difficult to stand out with so much indifferent play around. The game dreary and drab gave little entertainment to the suffering crowd of 18,000. It was the dullest I've seen this season and seemed little better than an end-of-season match with little at shake. From an Everton point of view, much interest centred on Leeds outside-left, Overfield for whom Leeds would be prepared to consider an offer if the price was something like their figure. They have set a £20,000 tag on him, and Everton are not prepared, rightly in my opinion to go so high, much as he would improve their forward line. He is a curious player in that at times he can hit the heights and produce wing play which has England standard stamped all over it. Then, he'll suddenly have a dull patch in the midst of his brilliance when nothing goes right for him. The word is inconsistent not game by game but minute by minute.
But he was easily the best winger on Saturday, frequently cutting past sanders on both sides and he is most accurate with his centres. It was from a cross by him that Shackleton, after 10 minutes, took the winning goal with a slow-motion effort when the ball struck his chest, rolled down his body and he toe-ended into the net with Everton defenders standing transfixed as if they wondered at the impudence of it. I have no doubt that the Everton directors with manager John Carey, discussed Overfield after the game with the Leeds officials but the matter went no further than that because of the price on him. The outside left position remains Everton's main problem, as O'Hara has still not struck his best form. And for the record, Overfield is not Cup-tied as he missed Leeds third round tie at Luton through injury. There were times, on Saturday when Overfield was a dim figure as he fitted through the mist on the far side of the field. But referee Jordan wisely refused to signal the lights to be turned on, no doubt appreciating that the dazzle created in mist can make visibility even worse. Then some ten minutes from the end, the mist lifted quickly and that was the brightest thing which happened for the whole ninety minutes. A sad commentary on the game, perhaps, but this was indeed a dull game, which suited the misty conditions for most of the play. Everton must shake off any lethargy left over from Leeds before they take the field against Villa on Saturday. They should have worked it out of their system by them; their motto must be, as the travel posters tell us. "Brace Up At Breezy Blackpool" Hope it works.
February 9, 1959. The Liverpool Echo and Evening Express
The Everton right back has proved to be one of the best captures by the side for they took him from Manchester City on a free transfer. Manchester-born, he never settled at Maine Road but when given his chance by Everton against Tottenham in November 1957, he quickly became a regular. This season, on the arrival of Scottish international Alex Parker from Army service in Cyprus he went into the Central League side. Then Swansea Town became interested in him, but he refused to go to South Wales as he has business interest in Manchester where he still lives, only a stone's throw from Old Trafford. An inspired move by manager John Carey in moving Parker to right half brought Sanders back into the first team.
The Everton left back, has proved to be another inspired switch by the club. Wigan-born he joined Everton last season from Wigan Athletic as a left half. This season Everton moved him to left back when Jim Tansey was dropped and then injured, and Bramwell has made the spot his own. Improving every game after an indifferent start. He is a fine kicker of a ball, particularly with his left foot, and under the influence of manager John Carey, this boy can make his mark on the game. He is calm and confident, keen to learn and strengthen his play.
EVERTON'S THIRTEEN AT BLACKPOOL
February 9, 1959. The Liverpool Echo and Evening Express
Training For Villa Tie
By Leslie Edwards
Thirteen Everton players –the usual eleven plus goalkeeper Jimmy O'Neill and full back Jim Tansey –did a full day's training at Blackpool today in preparation for the fifth round F.A, Cup tie against Aston Villa at Goodison Park next Saturday. Brian Harris whose damaged knee kept him out of the team at Leeds is expected to be fit to take his place in the team.
Several Everton directors including the chairman Mr. Dick Searle saw Everton beaten at Leeds. Overfield, the Leeds left winger who is not transfer-listed but whose name has been coupled with Everton's by rumour, had a good game.
But Leeds director Stanley Blenkinson, who is if a well-known Wallasey family, said today; "If anyone came and offered £30,000 for Overfield I should be against letting him go. After all , where could we get another like him?" Aston Villa will train at Hoylake and West Kirby starting tomorrow. All their players are fit, so the side is likely to be that which led 1-0 at Blackpool on Saturday until 11 minutes from the end.
EVERTON'S CUP RIVALS TRAIN AT WEST KIRBY
February 10, 1959. The Liverpool Daily Post
By John Peel
The sixteen teams who will contest the F.A Cup, fifth round next Saturday began serious preparations yesterday for the struggles ahead of them. Everton who receive Aston Villa at Goodison Park, have taken thirteen players, the usual first team eleven, plus O'Neill (goalkeeper) and Tansey (full-back) to Blackpool, where they had a full day's training yesterday. Aston Villa's manager Joe Mercer, is bringing fourteen players to West Kirby today in preparation for the tie. They are Sims; Lynn, Aldis, Winton; Dixon, Dugdale, Crowe, Saward; Myerscough, Sewell, Hicthens, Wylie, McParland, and Smith.
Saturday's meeting will be the fourth occasion Everton and Villa have clashed in the Cup competition. First time was in the Final at Crystal Palace in 1897 when Villa won 3-2. Second meeting was in the 1905 semi-final when a 1-1 draw resulted at Stoke and Villa won the replay at Nottingham 2-1. Clash number three was in the sixth round in 1943 when Everton won 1-0 at Villa Park. First formed in 1874 Aston Villa like their rivals of next Saturday, are one of the original twelve members of the Football league. Altogether the Villa have appeared in nine F.A Cup Finals and carried off the trophy seven times while they have made fifteen semi-final appearances. Harris (B) whose knee injury prevented him playing at Leeds on Saturday is expected to be fit to take his place in the team against the Villa.
CRI DE COEUR OF AN EVERTON F.C. STEWARD
February 10, 1959. The Liverpool Echo and Evening Express
By Leslie Edwards
The cri de Coeur of one of Everton's voluntary Stewards is priority today. He says; I suspect that all ticket-holders for the Villa game on Saturday will arrive late, as usual. Everton employ many stewards who are on duty an hour and a half before kick-off time to ensure that spectators are seated in their correct place. What usually happens is that these stewards are doing next to nothing for an hour and a quarter; then they are confronted by masses of people all waving tickets and demanding to be seated. This leads to confusion, congestion and crushing and many people miss up to 20 minutes of the match. On top of this people who have arrived early have their view obscured by late-comers taking their places; I feel that if you could say something about this in your column people might take notice and help to make things easier all round for club, staff and spectators.
Everton secretary, Mr. Bill Dickinson, says he could not agreed more, and to facilitate things for ground patrons he also suggests that they should have ready money (2s) when they pass through the turnstiles. Providing change, often for notes, for some 50,000 spectators takes, in aggregate a great deal of time. The solution of the last-minute rush of stand ticket holders is for those in a position to come early to be in their seats a good 15 minutes before the start. They will thus avoid crushing and leave the way clear for those who arrive with only a few minutes to spare. That stand patrons in the past have missed as much as 20 minutes of the game is indisputable. A little co-operation is all that is required to obviate this risk.
WHEN GLOSSOP BEAT THEM
Everton have been knocked out of the Cup several times by non-League clubs, but Mr. E. Hemmings who phoned me to say he thought Glossop were a non-League side when they beat Everton 2-1 in 1911 is wrong, Glossop were then in the Second Division. Mr. Hemmings remembers the match and has a recollection that a man named Norris scored one of the goals. Amazing how accurate is the memory of followers of soccer of years ago. V.L.B. from Wallasey, details the Everton team beaten by Wolves in the 1893 Cup Final; William, Kelso, Howarth; Boyle, Holt, Stewart; Latta, Brady, Hartley, or Geary, Chadwick and Milward. And he's not far out. But the attack read; Latta, Gordon, Maxwell, Chadwick, and Milward. V.L.B saw Everton play at Anfield in season 1890-91 when they won the League and it was in 1893-94 he says that Liverpool went 29 matches without defeat.
EVERTON'S AIM NOW IS TO BEAT FOG
February 10, 1959. The Liverpool Echo and Evening Express
Interested In French Scheme
By Leslie Edwards
Everton F.C, the only club in Britain who can guarantee a frost free ground, now aim to make Goodison Park fog free too. They are interesting themselves I believe in a French system of dispelling ground fog and mist –an experiment one which French military authorities still have on the hush-hush list. An official of Air France in London told me today. "A study is being made of the new apparatus put we cannot tell yet whether it will be used at Airport or not. It is only in an experimental stage and is on the secret list. It is being tried at present at a military airport near Paris.
What with goal nets invented by a Liverpool man, ground warming players entering the field side by aide for "Derby" matches and now the possibility of fog dispersal, the city has some notable football innovations to its credit. No one knows how the French system works, but I have heard it said that chemical substances are laid on the ground to dispel mist quickly at ground level and for some feet above it. If this were so ground level spectators at Goodison Park would still be at an advantage compared with those whose seats are in towering stands. The possibility of using flares to help visibility is grandly practice at a football ground and only some system such as the French are trying to perfect would seem to be the answer.
Brian Harris Doubt
Doubtless Everton Manager John Carey would like to be able to dispel this morning the mist of uncertainty there must be over the fitness or otherwise of his young half-back, Brian Harris for the fifth-round F.A Cup tie against Aston Villa on Saturday. But the news from Blackpool is not good. Harris trained yesterday but his bruised knee was still a little tender despite the work of trainer Gordon Watson and a local physical therapist. If Harris feels no better after a further run today he will return to Liverpool tonight for consultation with the club doctor and further treatment at Everton's own first-class treatment centre. Mr. Carey returns tonight for the customary Everton Board meeting. The rest of the team are due to come back to Liverpool tomorrow.
BRIAN HARRIS IS GREATLY IMPROVED
February 11, 1959. The Liverpool Daily Post
By Horace Yates
The great news for Everton supporters today, with the fifth round F.A. Cup tie almost at hand is that Brian Harris was yesterday able to take part in full preparation with the rest of the players and the prospects of the half back being fit to take his place against Aston Villa have brightened considerably. Harris bruised knee, which it was at first expected would yield quickly to treatment, proved more troublesome than anticipated and there was a possibility that he might have to return ahead of the rest of the players for treatment at Goodison Park. When manager John Carey met the Everton board last night he was able to take the more optimistic line that the team would be at full strength. He told me "Harris is a lot better. There was a big improvement today and I would say he is progressing very well indeed." A trip to Blackpool produce ideas of all sorts of fun and frolics but with Everton it was a case of business firs, and all the time, with everybody intent on extracting the last ounce of benefit from these few days by the sea. Golf course, for example conjure up visions of pleasurable entertainment with more accomplishment for some than others.
For Everton, their course meant a lapping ground in agreeable secenery. On both Monday and Tuesday they did their lapping, sprinting, physical exercise and concluded with a six-a-side game of football. One thing, at least, seems certain, Everton's preparation is so thorough, varied and complete that they should not lack stamina for the great test and in view of suggestions that Aston Villa may find difficulty in staying the pace of a fast and energy-sapping contest, this surely could be a matter of the greatest importance. While Everton find it advantageous to leave Merseyside for their preparation, their opponents took the opposite view, and yesterday, arrived at their Hoylake, headquarters to get down to serious business. Obviously the idea is that a change of air and scenery is the best tonic and Mr. Joe Mercer, the Villa manager, knows well the attractions of Hoylake. The players arrived ahead of their manager, with the knowledge that a full-scale game has been arranged for team against a Tranmere Rovers eleven at Prenton Park tomorrow. Despite the risk of injury, there is no substitute for actual match practice in keeping players at concert pitch, and it may be taken that the eleven players who turn out in this game will be the team which will oppose Everton. If Villa have any team problems they keep them to themselves.
Rankin Now Full-Time Player
The former Everton left back George Rankin, now in his third season with Southport yesterday became a full-time professional with the club. Previously he has played as a part-timer. The change means that Southport now have twelve full-time professionals and nine part-timers. Rankin, who damaged a calf muscle on New Year's Day, also resumed full training for a run out in a week or so.
ASTON VILLA TRAIN AT HOYLAKE SCHOOL
February 11, 1959. The Liverpool Echo and Evening Express
Boys Watch Everton Cup Opponents on Playing Field
By Leslie Edwards
Boys of the Leas Preparatory School at Hoylake' finished their usual Wednesday break for games this morning with a Close-up view of Aston Villa footballers in training. Everton's Cup opponents of Saturday, who are staying at West Kirby were given all facilities at the school and must several pitches all in splendid order. Led by their manager, Mr. Joe Mercer who did a good deal of his training at the school in his playing days at Arsenal the men who face Everton, wearing claret and blue track suits have relished the "going" on demonstrated to the boys some of the techniques of the professional game. It was a wise precaution by the headmasters, Mr. A.F. Fether-stonhalgh and Mr. H. F. C Silcock to line the boys up a safe distance behind Nigel Sims as they goalkeeper took a barrage of sting as close range shots. Sims was scarcely ever beaten. No doubt he would like to have at Goodison Park on Saturday a bar as low overhead as the one under which he stood today! When it was time for lessons again the school boys hared off indoors apparently quite content at having seen some of the great men of Soccer doing their training chores. The light heartedness of it the necessity for not making training a grim serious business cannot have been lost on the little fellows. Thus, while schoolboys wrestled indoors with geometric problems, Mr. Mercer and his team wrested, in a two-touch seven-a-side game on a Rugby pitch with equality pressing problem of the shortest most direct line from A. (Goodison Park centre spot), to B. (the back of the Everton net) in a Cup-tie which everyone on Merseyside wishes to see. Never have tickets been sought so eagerly.
ASTON VILLA MAY HAVE A SURPRISE CHANGE
February 11, 1959. The Liverpool Echo and Evening Express
By Leslie Edwards
Aston Villa Everton's Cup opponents on Saturday, had a training session at a Hoylake school ground this morning; played golf afterwards and then called it a day in preparation for their practice match against Tranmere Rovers behind closed doors at Prenton Park tomorrow. There is more than a chance that manager Joe Mercer will make a change in the side beaten on Saturday at Blackpool. Mercer, who has Tranmere links –his father used to play for Tranmere shortly before Dixie Dean was unearthed –wants his side to have a forestate of what seems certain to be a yielding Everton pitch on Saturday. Tranmere's ground rivals Everton's for being on the heavy side at this stage in the season. One wonders whether Pongo Waring, yet another great Tranmere and Aston Villa centre forward of yesterday will be around to see his former clubs in action together. If he were he would certainly bring back to Mercer's mind the incident in which Joe, then a young Everton half-back newly promoted to the first team, faced Waring in a match at Villa. There arrived the moment when young Mercer comprised the thin blue streak barring Waring's way to goal. Pongo feinted Mercer three yards to the wrong side, strolled on with the ball and rounding the goalkeeper calmly tapped the ball into the net. His withering comment to Mercer as he passed him on the way back to the centre of the field was "Why don't you –well go back to school, sonny." Mercer has never forgotten but he went on to master football in the hardest of schools and with Villa's threat to Everton's further cup progress and his old club Sheffield United going all out for promotion from the second division the Mercer influence could have important effects on the city's football fortunes this season. Villa may make one change; Everton hope to be able to re-introduce Brian Harris into their half back line but I fear we are in for some moments of suspense about this player before Mr. Carey names his side.
Everton's left half is another of Everton's successful switches which have played a vital part in the team's recovery and success story this season. Born in Beblington, Brian joined Everton as an amateur and after turning professional, played first at outside right and then on the left wing during the past two seasons. He never clinched a regular place on the wing but in an early Central League game this season he moved to left half because of an injury to Jim Tansey and made such a hit that he was chosen there for the next reserve match. He repeated his sterling form with the result that he came straight into the first and has never looked back. Now he has made this new position his own and many observers believe him to be twice as good as he was on the wing. He has only recently been released from his Army National Service and already the full-time training is beginning to have its effect. He is a stronger on the ball and reveals an aptitude for taking the ball through in the style of the great wing halves of the past.
Everton's Jimmy Harris is another player who has changed positions with a marked degree of success, Birkenhead born, and a Birkenhead Schoolboy centre forward he joined Everton as an amateur and then signed professional forms. He came into the first team when Dave Hickson was transferred to Aston Villa in September 1955, and his form was a revelation. Within five months he played for England in an Under-23 International at Hillsbrough against Scotland, scoring a goal in the 3-1 victory (Alex Parker played for Scotland). He retained the leadership for Everton until Hickson returned to Goodison in the close season of 1957, and then switched to outside right, where his speed and tremendous shooting power has made him one of the best wingers in the First Division. This season he played in the inter-League game against the Irish League at Anfield at inside right, where he has also appeared for Everton.
FOR VILLA CUP-TIES ARE RELAXATION
February 12, 1959. The Liverpool Daily Post
By Horace Yates
Aston Villa manager, Mr. Joe Mercer, will put his cards on the table today by announcing his team to oppose Everton in the fifth round of the F.A. Cup at Goodison Park on Saturday. Whoever heard of cup ties, with all the atmosphere, thrills, and excitement, being referred to as a relaxation? I can tell you of a very experienced official, who takes just that view. The name? Joe Mercer. At the team's Hoylake head-quarters last night, Mr. Mercer told me that he regarded the Everton game as a most attractive and open tie. "The interesting thing about this match" he said "is that for Aston Villa at least, it will be a form of light relief. To be able to play in a game which is over and done with at the sound of the referee's final whistle means a great deal to players who, week after week are taking part in a never ending mad, anxious scramble for points. "In our perilous position, to be able to interrupt that sequence and take part in a cup tie is undoubtedly a form of relaxation and I am sure the players regard it as such.
"We will not be entering this contest with anything like the same tension and anxiety that would obtain if we were playing Everton in a League game instead. "That is the outlook our boys had before the Chelsea match and there is no doubt that it was a great steadying influence and you saw the result. "Don't get me wrong. There will be nothing of the couldn't care less attitude about the Villa approach. Of course we care, of course we want to win but this is a challenge with a different sort of responsibility." From that point it was an easy step to lead Mr. Mercer to consider the possible embarrassment which a successful Cup run could cause, at a time when the threat of the Second Division is only thinly veiled. "What an embarrassment that would be" he said. "All I can say is that it is just the sort of embarrassment we could well do with," and I gathered he would be well content to worry about such possibilities when they were converted to fact. Mr. Mercer admitted that he might have known more of Everton current form had the Charlton replay not been conducted behind a concealing blanket of fog, that almost turned the game into an exhibition for the sole benefit of the referee, the only non-player who could claim to have seen all that was going on. It was the nearest Mr. Mercer has managed to get to seeing Everton in recent weeks. For all that Mr. Mercer is under no illusions about the task which lies ahead.
"I definitely look upon Everton as a tougher proposition than Chelsea were in round four," said Mr. Mercer. "They have been down but now they are coming to the crest of the wave just as the right moment to prove very awkward Cup opponents. "I have been impressed by the terrific amount of enthusiasm there is at Goodison Park these days and things are beginning to go right for them, but for all that I still say our prospects are good." I asked Mr. Mercer if he could visualize Wembley finalists in either Everton or Aston Villa, and the reply, I thought was typical of a man whose forthrightness and candour are so obviously part and parcel of his success. "I would not exactly call either of them favorites for the final said Mr. Mercer, "I look at it this way, if you were studying form with a view to having a wager, I would think you could look further than both and find some better bets. "At the same time it would be wrong to count either of them out. You would not have to stretch the imagination a great deal to find them coming into the reckoning." Yesterday Mr. Mercer took his players to the playing fields of the Leas School, Hoylake where some of their preparation was carried out under the admiring eyes of the boys. Today there is a trip to Prenton Park for a practice game with Tranmere Rovers team. Mr. Mercer said he would probably use the game to give an outing to all the members of the party, rather than to try out the Cup eleven.
And now, over to the other side of the picture – to Goodison Park for the news that the progress reported yesterday in regard to Brian Harris's knee injury, is maintained and that today he will be going through the complete training routine which has been arranged for the rest of the team. If anyone expected Everton's training ground to be a hive of industry yesterday, what a shock they would have had for Wednesday is rest day, and F.A Cup ties of no F.A. Cup ties, the holiday stands. Today it will be a very different story.
There was no comment from Everton last night concerning the report that Jack Overfield the twenty-six years-old Leeds United outside left, a regular member of the team for the last three years had asked for a transfer. Overfield's request will be considered by the United directors next Thursday and if they agree to let him go nobody will be very surprised in view of the kite-flying that has been going on in the last few days. Overfield has said that he is unsettled and would like a change. Nobody pretends that Everton are as favorably placed at outside left as they would wish to be but for all that I should be surprised if Overfield found his way to Goodison Park.
VILLA SWITCH MAY SURPRISED EVERTON
February 13, 1959. The Liverpool Daily Post
By Horace Yates
Aston Villa, Everton's fifth round F.A Cup opponents at Goodison Park tomorrow are first in the field with the announcement of their team, and boldly they include for the first time since his transfer from Burnley Jock Winton. Although he is named at right back do not be surprised if there is a late defensive switch which will take him to left back with Aldis moving over to the right. Villa manager Mr. Joe Mercer may not have had much opportunity of seeing Everton in action recently, but there is no doubt that he has an intimate knowledge of every player's capabilities. It be should decide that Jimmy Harris is the sort of danger man who can best be handled by Winton he will not hesitate to make the switch. There is no mystery in the delay by Everton in revealing their team, for obviously they must await a fitness report on Brian Harris the side's only doubtful starter before committing themselves. Harris was able to train yesterday and I gather there has been no set back in his progress so that when a decision is taken during the day the prospects are that it will restores Harris to the half back line in place of Meagan. Aston Villa; Sims; Winton, Aldis; Dixon, Dugdale, Crowe, Myerscough, Sewell, Hitchens, Wylie, McParland.
Note Villa lost to Tranmere Rovers 2-1.
VILLA PLAY WINTON IN CUP TEAM
February 12, 1959. The Liverpool Echo and Evening Express
By Leslie Edwards
Aston Villa manager Joe Mercer surprised the Birmingham natives (and maybe some Evertonians) by naming Jock Winton, newly signed left back from Burnley, at right back in place of Stan Lynn for the fifth round cup tie against Everton at Goodison Park on Saturday. Winton was signed only a week last Friday –just in time to be eligible to play. He was Mercer's first signing for Villa and the he was moderate. Winton joined Burnley from the Scottish junior club Jean field Swifts and held his place at left back for several seasons in the Turf Moor side. Aston Villa; Sims; Aldis, Winton; Dixon, Dugsdale, Crowe; Myerscough, Sewell, Hitchens, Wylie, McParland.
Everton players who returned yesterday from a few days at Blackpool had their last full days training at Bellefield today. A decision as to the fitness of Brian Harris whose bruised knee is still bothering him a bit, is likely to be taken tomorrow at mid-day. The chances are that he will be fit.
News of the desire of Jack Overfield for a transfer from Leeds United created interest among Everton fans today. The Leeds Board will discuss the request at their meeting next Tuesday. Manager John Carey, of Everton had this to say on Overfield. The position has not changed so far as I am concerned. The Everton manager denied that he had ever made an offer for Overfield.
COLLINS COULD UNLOCK DOOR TO ROUND SIX…
February 13, 1959. The Liverpool Echo and Evening Express
By Leslie Edwards
Our friends, the enemy –that is the most apt description of the Villa side which comes to Goodison Park tomorrow to try to beat Everton for a place in the Cup's last eight. Many of the team are friends of Dave Hickson, the man who put Villa out in 1953 and who may well do it again; Dugdale is a Liverpool boy who once played for Harrowby' the man who manages the club Joe Mercer is not only an Everton shareholders and Supporters club Vice President but is the one man who can take victory for either side with equanimity –you see, he's still an Evertonian at heart. But when fifth-round Cup-ties and an £8 apiece bonus come in sentiment often goes out and the pairing of these famous clubs –the fourth in their long history –will contain little ceremony, though if the winners were to stand aside at the end and applaud the others off (as Manchester United did so gracefully on Wednesday) –it would be a nice gesture and one not lost on 75,000 all keen to see the match fought hard and sportingly. The choice of Mr. Luty as referee guarantees a match firmly handled.
It was Hickson's goal at Villa in 1953 which so impressed them they came for him two seasons later and paid £20,000. It would be ironic if he floored Villa again since he left them because he could never quite reproduce Everton form. As I see this is a tie about which one cannot dogmalise but I am hopeful. There are few indifferent sides left in the tournament at this stage and the fact that Messrs Carey and Mercer, two of the greatest tacticians the game ever knew, have planned tactics makes it a game of special appeal. The scene in the dressing rooms at the interval, whatever the score, can be well imagined, with Carey on one hand and Mercer on the other making fresh assessment of policy on the evidence of the first half. Villa are getting with full back Winton, who will be making his debut in this most vital match. The dropping of Stan Lynn must have cost Mercer, a few pangs but he is not one to shirk an issue.
Men To Fear
The men I should fear most, if I were Tom Jones, are McParland and Sewell. Even in training it is impressible not to be impressed by the extraordinary; life of McParland it is as though he has never lost his youthful enthusiasm for football. The greatest, most powerful winger in the contemporary game is my rating of him. Sewell who made his £34,000 debut at Anfield for Sheffield Wednesday –and got a black eye into the bargain –is so experienced; so ready with a shot; so adept at engineering Everton must beware him, too. The other Villa forwards, Wylie and Hitchens, both interested Everton in earlier days –Wylle after a friendly match for Notts County at Goodison Park, Hitchens as a Cardiff City centre forward. Villa's problems are not light ones, either. Number one on their list of headaches no aspirin can cure is Bobby Collins, whose busy brain and busier feel must make him the key which can open the door to round six and all that. But ensuring Collins is kept quiet is more than one man's work. Can Villa afford such judgment?
A Great Occasion
Hickson, of course, will be specially keen to show his old club his new (and so much better) style. He's good in the air; he links the line admirably be can crack a goal with the best when the mood is on him, as I hope it will be. Villa will also be wary of the hard-hit shots which fly in from the right (either foot) from Jimmy Harris. Whatever happens I think we are destined to see fine goalkeeping. Sims and Dunlop are alike in size in courage and in ability. It should be a great occasion. Everton may well win, but I am convinced they'll have to do it the hard way. You can read all about it in the Football Echo tomorrow and in the Daily Post on Monday. And if they do win please do not send to the club blank cheques and postal orders and applications for tickets for the sixth round match. It you do you will be wasting your time and the club's. They promise to announce as early as possible ticket plans for any future tie. Until then patience please. Aston Villa; Sims; Aldis, Winton; Dixon, Dugsdale, Crowe; Myerscough, Sewell, Hitchens, Wylie, McParland.
HARRIS IS FIT FOR THE VILLA TIE
February 13, 1959. The Liverpool Echo and Evening Express
Everton At Full Strength
By Leslie Edwards
Brian Harris is fit and plays tomorrow for Everton against Aston Villa at Goodison Park in the fifth round of the F.A. Cup-tie. This was the good news announced at midday by Everton manager John Carey who had left selection of the team until today so ensure himself of the fitness of the boy whose bruised knee, kept him out of the game against Leeds United last week. Harris's return to the side at left half means that Everton are able to field the side which has climbed so quickly to a good place in the League and an excellent chance of a place in the Cup last eight. Harris did light training sprinting and exercises with the other players as their final preparation for the big game Villa also did light work at the playing fields of the Leas School at Haydock.
Winton On left
Though it was stated yesterday that Jock Winton, Villa's new left back would come into the side on the other flank, Mr. Mercer said to day, "Winton plays on the left. That is definite" He added "I would put our chances as high as 50-50. The Everton chief was inclined to agree with this, but though that Villa's cup experience would be more than off-set by Everton's fine home form by his players refusal to be overawed and by the magnificent support they will receive. Everton; Dunlop; Sanders, Bramwell; Parker, Jones, B Harris; Harris (J), Thomas, Hickson, Collins, O'Hara.
Everton players will have tomorrow morning treat at their homes; their opponents intend to have a short walk along the front at West Kirby after which they will have their tactical talk with Manager Mercer. The party leave by coach for Goodison Park at one o'clock after a light lunch.
FLU STRIKES GOODISON –BUT TEAM ESCAPE
February 14, 1959. The Liverpool Daily Post
By Horace Yates
Somebody waved a magic wand over Goodison Park this week and with it brushed the influenza germs right away from the first team players preparing for their great battle today with Aston Villa in round five of the F.A. Cup and directed them instead over the reserve team, which has been hit so severely that it is rather remarkable the seniors have been allowed to remain immune. Already the signs are that those few days spent at Blackpool may have been a regular first team saver. Just look at this formidable array of flu victims; Johnny King, Derek Temple, George Kirby, and Mackay, in addition to a number of others from the junior sides. All of them have had to miss training this week, although Johnny King has struggled through in time to become twelfth man for the Villa game. Friday the thirteenth, has come and gone and for Everton it brought only good news, for Brian Harris followed up his wholehearted practice on Thursday with normal training with the rest of the players yesterday and at the end of it all pulled up perfectly sound in wind and limb. Manager John Carey was able to announce last night "He is back to normal I have no worries about him."
And so the one player about whom there has been any real worry displaces Meagan and Villa's opponents will be those which saw Everton safely through the Charlton replay. Aston Villa yesterday confirmed as fact the whisper I had previously heard that Winton would more over from right to left back, the position he prefers. While the Everton players have been allowed to relax according to their own choosing until the time for the game, the Villa team again visited a cinema last night and plan a brisk sea-front walk today to round off their preparation. At this stage of the competition ties-are possibly more wide open than during the earlier rounds, and certainly this applies to the Goodison game. Ground advantage is helpful rather than decisive and all the pointers are to a grand contest sternly fought, with victory likely to go to the side which succeeds in remaining unmoved by the Cup-tie atmosphere that can turn nerves of steel into a wobbling jelly. How encouraging it is therefore from an Everton point of view, to look back on the fourth round. No side had more excuse to "blow up" than did Everton at Charlton –two goals down and only 13 minutes to go. In such conditions they took a grip of themselves that produced equality and then in the replay, after being denied outright victory by a Charlton goal as time was running out they imposed their win and won handsomely in extra time. That is the spirit that wins cups.
Watch On Collins
It does not require the astute brain of Villa manager, Mr. Joe Mercer, to recognize the fact that Collins must be shackled and rendered ineffective if Villa, with an additional outsize job on their hands to avoid relegation are to prove once again that League from counts for nothing when the prize is the Cup. Everton will not delude themselves that the speed, subtlety and effervescent enthusiasm of Collins cannot be curbed. We know it can for Charlton proved it in the first meeting, and it is to Everton's credit that, though thrown completely out of their stride by the unexpected event, rallied and found a counter in time. At the second time of asking Everton must be prepared to make their alternative work much earlier. I may be mistaken but I have an idea that Villa will be very sorry today that the man for whom they paid Everton £20,000 –Dave Hickson –was allowed to slip back to Goodison via Huddersfield for I know of no man in the Goodison camp who could rival Hickson for the ability to keep the fight going, no matter how hard it may be. That Everton should recover this player and have a credit balance of around £14,000 on the double deal, represents one of the soundest strokes, of business imaginable. If Villa thought Hickson worth buying in those days their admiration now painful thought it may be is likely to be increased beyond measure.
Never Gives Up
McParland has many of the qualities of Hickson and I shall be surprised if he does not give the Everton defence more anxious moments than the rest of the forward line combined. He more than most never gives up a cause until it is retrievably lost. He will chase that half chance and go on chasing it until he worries defenders into a fatal slip. I am prepared to find opportunities for both sides so restricted that the 75,000 spectators may see no more than one goal in the match. So long as it goes into the Villa net, the vast majority of the crowd will still count it an afternoon well spent. Everton; Dunlop; Sanders, Bramwell; Parker, Jones, B. Harris; J. Harris, Thomas, Hickson, Collins, O'Hara. Aston Villa; Sims; Aldis, Winton; Dixon, Dugsdale, Crowe; Myerscough, Sewell, Hitchens, Wylie, McParland.
WYLIE'S GOALS PUT END TO EVERTON CUP HOPES
February 14, 1959. The Liverpool Echo and Evening Express
Villa Inside-Forward's Three in 4-1 Victory
Everton 1, Aston Villa 4
By Leslie Edwards
Everton; Dunlop, goal; Sanders and Bramwell, backs; Parker, Jones (captain), Harris (B), half-backs; Harris (J), Thomas, Hickson, Collins, and O'Hara, forwards. Aston Villa;- Sims, goal; Aldis, and Winton, backs; Dixon, Dugdale, and Crowe, half-backs; Myerscought, Sewell, Hitchens, Wylie, and McParland, forwards. Referee; Mr. A.W. Luty (Leeds). Goodison Park was-well packed for the fifth round F.A. Cup-tie against Villa though nothing like as tightly as for that amazing Charlton replay. The pitch was dry, but showed footprints lightly and looked as though it might churn-up a bit without ever getting really heavy. Tom Jones span the coin, but Villa won the toss and elected to defend the Gwladys Street goal. McParland narrowly failed to get his head to a free kick by Winton near the vicinity of the six yards line, but it was a pretty tentative opening and the crowds only roar came when a drive from Collins was cut off by a Villa body early in its flight. There was another cheer for Collins when he dispossessed the tall, light haired Hitchens and some criticism for Dixon for one of those fouls Mr. Luty seemed determined to give on the slightest provocation in the early stages just to show the players he was master. Sim's first job was to catch high overhead a long lob by Parker. So far the football was anything but scintillating, but the tenseness never relaxed. Centre forward Hitchens is not reckoned to be a great ball player, but when he went to the inside right position at nine minutes he could have scarcely done more brilliantly in teeing up the chance which Wylie took readily to give Villa the lead. Hicthens beat his man, edged the ball forward 10 yards into the box for Wylie to run on to and fairly lash it wide of Dunlop right hand post. Everton's only counter for the moment was a right foot volley by Harris which was a bit or miss thing, and it missed by the proverbial mile. Hitchens again showed his ability to feint and the Everton defence had no answer to him. It was fortunate that his right foot shot was so heavily deflected that Dunlop had only the easiest of pick ups. Again Wylie was through in almost identically the same position and this time; his shot was brilliantly saved, though being immediately behind the shooter one anticipated that if Dunlop had not connected the ball might well have flown wide. Villa's leading goal seemed to have taken some of the edge off Everton. Villa were inclined to get caught in possession and it was a foul by Crowe on Harris which led to a free kick from which Sims made another first-rate catch. The light had deteriorated to complete dullness and Everton's rather sketchy patchwork style was not satisfying them of their following. Tom Jones was having to cute interventions and it was notable that Dugdale unlike some other Villa players almost invariably made studious and good use of the ball. Villa were poised and unhurried and at the moment looked very much like potential winners. It was Hitchens pass to Mysercough, and Mysercough's centre from which the centre forward made a first rate header that Dunlop took high over head a foot under the bar.
Dunlop did the best work when stretching out a long right arm to keep out a stormy shot by Sewell and the ball rebound to make a most difficult shooting chance for McParland, who swiveled on a sixpenny piece as it were and drove the ball narrowly wide. Sims' fielding of a Jimmy Harris corner high near the far angle was brilliant and so was his save from a header by O'Hara which followed. Everton went two down after 35 minutes. Hitchens made the centre from the left, McParland supplied the diagonal header which found Wylie toe once in his true position at inside left and it was almost a formality that Wylie should best Dunlop from such range. Aldis all but put through his own goal when the game restarted and then Dugdale made the save of a lifetime from a point blank shot by Jimmy Harris with goalkeeper Sims completely beaten. How he managed to head away from the goal line a shot which could not have been more than two feet above the line is his secret, but he managed it and Sims scrambling back into position could not have been more pleased. Villa fairly cut loose and placed on goal number three at 40 minutes. Wylie was the man who set partner in possession but at such an angle that all McParland could do, one thought, would be centre instead he flew through the Everton defence as though it did not exist and plastered the ball in down an angle to narrow it could not have been more than one of five degrees. It was now a question of all hands to the pump so far as Everton were concerned, but Villa defence was confident and Everton with Brian Harris plainly still feeling the effects of his knee, were not functioning at all well. Yet Villa went within an inch of conceding a goal again when Hickson, with his back to the goal, turned the ball square for O'Hara to force Sims to yet another dramatic save one handed, and Sims had to be sharp to regain position in time to deflect a point blank shot by Harris (J). Half-time; Everton nil, Aston Villa 3.
Brian Harris had more than the sign of a limp as he came out for the second half, indeed Manager Johnny Carey had ordered him to the right wing with Jimmy Harris as his partner and Thomas at left half. Everton cut the lead by one at 49 minutes with a goal started by Jimmy Harris and completed by the willing head of Hickson. O'Hara headed into the centre, Harris pass and a firm head by Hickson beat Sims at the goal angle.
Bramwell and Myerscough then found that two heads were not better than one and Myerscough ran off field with the Villa trainer holding a blooded towel to his right temple. He went straight to the dressing room. Fortunately for Everton, Bramwell was fit to play on. But for Villa defenders lined up against him O'Hara might well have made the score 3-2 but all he got was a corner, from a ball hard driven, and from this Hickson headed into the ready hands of Sims. Four minutes after he had departed. Myerscough came back to take up his normal position. McParland was not seen as much as one anticipated, but when he stepped back and threw-in to the region of the near post the ball beat everyone, and the incoming Myerscough was not a mile out of making the converting touch. McParlands' glancing header from a right wing centre threatened to find the net via the far angle, and Dunlop had to give a corner away.
It was a result of this that Villa got their fourth goal at 63 minutes. Hitchens, standing close in, would probably have beaten the unsighted Dunlop with a fairly slow-moving shot, but to make certain Wylie standing even closer in, gave it a back-heeled touch for luck, and so the goal was a shared one, even if Wylie goes down in the book as the scorer. Too bad a splendid right wing run by Jimmy Harris and a gilt edged invitation card to Hickson to shoot a goal should come unstuck through Hickson mistiming the cross-and getting too much pull on it. Dugdale went down like a log when tackled by Hickson and referee Luty had an imperious word with Hickson who was very solicitous of the man he had damaged, and indeed went back to shake him by the hand. Final; Everton 1, Aston Villa 4. Attendance 60,900 Receipts £10,300.
WHAT IS UNITED SUCCESS PLAN?
February 14, 1959. Liverpool Echo and Evening Express
TV Friendly Showed They Never Stop Trying For a Second
By Tom Jones
One has often wondered about the success of Manchester United during the post-war period, their successes in the European Cup and their recovery from the Munich disaster. With manager Matt Busby holding the reins, there appears no end of thrills in store for the fanatical crowd who congregate at Old Trafford every other week. But surely one person cannot claim all the glory for welding a team together as Mr. Busby has done for Manchester United. As a manager he must be one of the world's great. I personally haven't spent a great deal of time in his company, much to my regret but although he hasn't many leisure hours away from Old Trafford, many a visiting player has been impressed that Mr. Busby has spoken to him, calling him by his Christian name. He strikes you as a man among men, who isn't afraid to mix with the lesser known. Let's look beyond Matt Busby and find out what makes the United players tick. Watching their midweek friendly on television, I was struck by the fact that there were no slackers. Considering that this match was a friendly, where no player had to run himself into the ground or take any undue risks, every United player from right back to outside left, if dispossessed, chased or harried the opposition into mistakes or made their distribution difficult.
We know that good players shouldn't be dispossessed, shouldn't be beaten but there are many occasions when they are. It was nothing to see the United inside forwards chasing or tackling to redeem what was almost a lost cause. They were not successful every time, but they persevered and made it a difficult game for the Austrian side. There lies the success of this United side. They never know defeat and they are big enough to realize that no one makes a team and anything that makes it a little easier for a colleague, will, indirectly help them. We know eleven footballers can be trained to chase and harass opponents, but United's ability doesn't end there. That is their beginning but the talent at their disposal has mattered early and gained experience the hard way. It takes a great manager to mould such personalities into a worthwhile team to make them realize that only through hard work and graft on the field for 10 minutes by the whole eleven will they gain any success. That must have been Matt Busby's aim, and how well he has succeeded. Since the Munich disaster United have seen many changes. Only Charlton, Violett, Scanlon, Gregg and Foulkes survived that catastrophe and it speaks volumes for United's in their youth programme that they should have to seek only two or three players from other clubs to put them back on the pedestal where they belong. We shall be playing United in three weeks time at Old Trafford, perhaps I shall be able to get some inside dope to pass on to you in a future article.
The Blackpool hotel where we stayed for a few days this week was virtually an autograph hunters paradise. Apart from we Evertonians there were the Liverpool players, manager Phil Taylor, and trainer Albert Shelley, and a contingent from Turf Moor, headed by former colleagues, Harry Potts, the Burnley manager. You'd be amazed at the convivial attitude adopted by the players when they meet socially. We know that even the best of friends, be they supports, often get annoyed with one another should they support different teams. But not the players. We shared all the same amentias, chatted on the same subjects, enjoyed the same jokes. In fact it was almost a players' rest home on occasions. The best crack heard was between one of our lads and a couple of the Liverpool players when on reaching the ground floor the Everton player stepped from the lift and two Liverpool players stepped into it. The Evertonian remarked "I hope this isn't a sign of things to come." "What's that?" Inquired one of the Reds – You going up and us going down" was the reply. Don't get onto me for baiting the Liverpudians will you?
SPARE A THOUGHT FOR PENALTY TAKER
February 14, 1959. The Liverpool Echo and Evening Express
Pleads Everton's Alex Parker
The game of football is full of thrills, and one of the biggest is provided when the referee blows for a penalty, especially if it is for your side. As the player who is to take the award strides up to take the kick, the majority of supporters take it for granted that it is going to result in a goal. But sometimes it doesn't. What then? The arguments follow "A professional should never miss a penalty." "A man who is earning his living at the game should be able to hit a ball into the net from 12 yards…"It's a disgrace that he can't score." And so they go on. Admitted a professional should be able to score from the penalty spot and in training spins I'll guarantee that 95 p.c. plus, will find the net, but in a League or Cup game, with so much depending on the result, and thousands of people looking on, it's not always so easy as it seems. What prompts this argument is that I read that Ronnie Moran, of Liverpool, missed last Saturday, the team's third failure on the trot. It must be very disappointing particularly as our friendly rivals from across the park are going all out for promotion but I would like to take this opportunity of putting the players' point of view. I have heard people discuss this to the point that they have worked out the number of square feet required to be covered, i.e. eight yards by eight feet and then taken into account that the penalty taker is 36 feet away. And on and on it goes. Against arguments of this sort we professionals have not much defence if we miss but..Like everybody else trying to earn their living we are only human, and just as you all make mistakes at your jobs, for an apparent reason so do we. As I said before the majority of penalty kicks taken in training are successful; but out on the park things are different. You try to hit the ball just that little bit too hard, just that little bit wide of the keeper, and hey presto, a scoring shot develops into a hard drive wide of the goalkeeper –and wide of the post.
Four In Seven
To illustrate my point, I will admit to my penalty taking career. I have taken seven kicks from the spot, four in friendlies and three in League matches, I was playing for Falkirk in every instance. My first was against Scotland, yes Scotland, in a trial; I scored and promptly jumped to the conclusion that it wasn't such a difficult job as people made out. I took three more against Preston, and Scotland Amateurs (twice). On the strength of these successes I decided to try my luck in league matches and took a chance against Celtic, Hibs, and Queen of the South, I missed them all. One consolation is that they were all on the mark, the goalkeeper saving each time. The Hibs, keeper was Tommy Younger, incidentially. So next time you see Tommy Jones or any other player, going up to take a penalty kick, think of what must be going through his mind as well as the thousands of supporters in addition to yourself. As you read this you have an advantage over me as I write it for you know the result of our Cup-tie against Aston Villa. Still the game meant something for me in that at least two spectators were making their debuts at Goodison Park –my father and father-in-law. They watched today's game, I only hope we have won! Mr. Collins senior was present, too, although it was not the first time for he has watched us before. Talking about Bobby reminds me of last Wednesday night when the Cup teams were featured in a T.V programme. All the sides shown were in training, whereas Everton were represented by Dave Hickson and Bobby Collins going for a walk. It probably looked as if we weren't bothering, but believe me that's far from the truth. We really trained in Blackpool. To emphasize my point, I will tell you that there was no golf played by Everton players, which is unusual, for a Cup side in training. Mind you, we didn't complain. Our first object was success at Goodison today, not on the golf course.
West Brom Stars
During a break from training we met Jimmy Clitheroe the comedian. He is a Blackpool supporter, but he wished us all the best in our game against the Villa. Providing there are no replays we are due to meet West Brom on Wednesday , a team that immediately brings to mind such names as Barlow, Allen, Kevan, Robson, Hogg, and others. I have played against Kevan and Hogg before and I would say that the latter is the fastest winger I have ever faced. I have often wondered since our duel in an international match at Sheffield why he has been overlooked by England I thought he was terrific. Derek Kevan came in for much criticism when leading England in the World Cup but he is a useful player to have on your side. He's big and strong and there aren't many more dangerous forwards in the game than Derek when he goes on one of his dashes down the middle I hope he doesn't try too many against us.
BRITAIN MUST NOT BACK OUT OF WORLD CUP GAMES
February 14, 1959. The Liverpool Echo and Evening Express
-Says Joe Mercer Aston Villa Chief
British football is in the greatest danger it has known for 30 years. That's my reaction to whispers that the four home countries will refuse to play qualifying matches among themselves before the 1962 World Cup and, if F.I.F.A insist on these home pairings England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales will withdraw from the competition. I say this must not happen. It's vital that we play the cream of the game displayed every four years in the World Cup competition. Above all we must show that the bitter groans of football history have been learned. We quit F.I.F.A in the early 1930's –and we've spent nearly 30 years regretting it. We all know too well what happened. Without real contact, with European and South American football we plugged blindly on in our domestic League programme, maintaining the same standards- good League standards mind you –without realizing that the rest of the world was catching up on us and in some cases passing us by. Improvements in the standards of players to Austria, Italy, and South America were fantastic. Defensively they learned how to match us in attack they introduced ideas which left us gasping –and that famous F.I.F.A match in 1953 warned this country of the hammerings we were going to go through. Three weeks later the most incisive result of all time in British football etched its acid mark into the record books, England 3, Hungary 6 at Wembley of all places makes tragic reading. Since then, British clubs have done much to improve. In many cases Continental techniques have been adapted in training.
What a tragedy it would be if for any reasons we are plunged back into the waste land outside the F.I.F.A areas. F.I.F.A football is the best in the world. Only by mixing with the best can we keen up the standards. However, if F.I.F.A, I feel that the present system of qualifying is unsatisfactory and that Great Britain with its four entrants, receives an unfair advantage here's a suggestion for a new method of deciding the last 16 countries to be represented in the finals. In Chile in 1962 and in all future World Cup competitions. Let F.I.F.A. adopt the system used by our own Lancaster Gate in the England F.A Cup, judging those qualified for late rounds on their performances in the previous competition. The F.A. Cup system works pretty well, with many top-line, non-Leaguers, exempt until the first round and First and Second Division clubs not brought into the draw until the third round. If this system was adopted for the Chile festivities in three years time England and Northern Ireland would have no worries. Both reached the Final stages. I think that is as fair a system as can be devised. Imagine the situation if, in the next World Cup all four home countries reached the final 16. Four years later, if the present F.I.F.A. ideas of a Great Britain eliminating tournament was adopted two of our home four would definitely be left at home. Would that be fair, particularly with the present situation in which little Switzerland automatically qualifies –and you can bet all four home countries would hammer the Swiss?
Last Saturday, at Blackpool I saw what I suppose is a novelty. A goalkeeper playing in track-suit trousers. We British traditionalists can't immediately accept something which is different and Blackpool goalkeeper George Farm came in for some hoots from his own home crowd. I can't understand why. The ground was hard and why should Farm skin his knees worst when they could keep them protected and also warm ad active in wintry weather? If tracksuit trousers suit goalkeepers, there's no reason why they should not wear them in bad conditions. Certainly Farm's agility was not impaired. He played a great game, helped Blackpool to a 3-1 win, so it's difficult to understand why the crowd were so upset. To wind up, I think Wolves manager Stan Cullis hit upon a fine ideal when inviting ex-Wolverhampton player Roy Swinbournes, now a referee to gave a talk to the players. Nothing but good can come from get-together between players and referee. It would be a good idea if every club invited a local whistler along to put the referee point of view and in turn hear what the players have to say.
WEST BROM RES V EVERTON RES
February 14, 1959. The Liverpool Echo and Evening Express
WEST Bromwich Albion Res;- Jackson; Cram, Williams; Dudley, Hughes, Styles; Campbell, Whitehouse, Burnside, Smith, Main. Everton Res;- O'Neill; Billington, Tansey; Rea, Labone, Meagan; Blaine, Wignall, Hood, Ashworth, Gregory. Referee; Mr. A.D. Hirst (Redford). Everton were first to show danger when Blaine cut in from the right and sent in a shot which Jackson could only parry. There was a hectic scramble in the goalmouth before Williams finally relieved the pressure by clearing off the line. Albion hit back with two good shots from Burnside and Whitehouse, which were both only inches wide, and a flying header from the centre forward which was well saved by O'Neill. Hesitancy in the Everton defence cost them a goal in the 21st minute. A harmless-looking high lob was left alone by the Everton defenders and Campbell darted into head the ball through O'Neill's hands. Another run by Blaine brought a second furious melee in the Albion goalmouth. Hood and Ashworth had shots stopped on the line before Blaine shot inches wide. Everton were having more of the play now and as the half came to a close looked the better side. Half-time; West Brom Res 1, Everton Res nil.
NO PLACE IN THIS VILLA FOR EVERTON
February 16, 1959. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton 1, Aston Villa 4
By Horace Yates
Surprised? Not at all. I always said we had a fifty-fifty chance. We had the experience, men who can play football and did, and don't forget the ball did run for us. Who could ask for more?" That was how Mr. Joe Mercer, manager of Aston Villa summed up his team's dismissal of Everton in the F.A. Cup fifth round tie at Goodison Park, a result which shocked the football world. Possibly Everton were a shade unfortunate not in the result for that the better team passed on to round six there cannot be the slightest question. Everton were humbled as they have not been since those early uncertain days, which, everybody hoped they had lived down, but their misfortune was in being confronted by a Villa which has not shown such form since the corresponding stage of their Cup year. This was a Villa, buoyant, confident able and methodical with forwards, who in startling contrast to the Everton line, hammered home the goals instead of sighting over near-misses. Never was there the slightest danger of this Villa coming numbering down. The foundations were so solid and the superstructure so neat, trim and well fashioned that it was unrecognizable as a bottom-of-the-table shack, ripe for demolition. With Sanders and Bramwell playing wide, the forward quartet of Hickson, Sewell, Wylie and McParland made hay in the open spaces, and as the Everton defence was inclined to stand off in a mistaken sense of superiority, the road to goal was left alarmingly and invitingly broad and beckoning for anybody with the will to take it. let us make no mistake. This was not a one man failure. As near as makes no matter, it was a team collapse surrender to opponents who thrived on success and were able enough to make it wholly decisive. Villa's supporters insistence in the second half –"We want five," was no mere bravado. They might have had their five and more if first Hitchens had not departed from standard by pulling a chance inexcusably wide, and then Sewell had not chosen to direct his shot unhurried and unhampered, right at Dunlop. Even before this the Aston Villa crowd had begun chanting with the fervor of a Welsh Rugby Union assembly, to the tune of "Tipperary," the words. "It's a long, long way to go to Wembley, but we'll get there just the same." And who is to say them nay? If this was form and not freak their team can be the villains of further tales yet to be told. "Watch McParland and watch Sewell," were the pieces of pre-match advice freely given to Everton, and yet it was the wily Wylie and the ball-juggling Hitchens as much as anybody who helped to fill the Everton cup of sorrow to the brink.
Even the team's followers rubbed their eyes in disbelief as they saw Hicthens become a ball-player par excellence a handful and more for the usually immaculate and reliable Tommy Jones. They claimed they had never seen such a Hitchens before and by comparison the Hickson who was to have turned them green with envy was little more than a dashing enthusiast, despite a headed goal, taken with the touch and assurance of the master craftsman. Then there was Wylie, first from the right and then from the left, driving balls home with a force and accuracy that could scarcely have been surpassed by bullets from a rifle. If Wylie could not collect the third, he at least put the ball up for McParland who, with no margin for error, hit the ball into the net from the most ridiculously narrow angle. Everton enjoyed their moments of hostility such as when O'Hara with probably the finest header of his career directed the ball wide of Sims an effort that deserved a goal. With a cat-like leap, Sims, whose handling was as safe as his movements were spring-loaded denied the legitimate reward. Even Sims was out of the picture and a helpless spectator when Jimmy Harris sent one of his cannon-ball efforts screaming towards goal. Instead of Sims, there was Dugdale who somehow contrived to stop on the line and head out a ball, travelling so fast that the miracle was he was not knocked out in the process. No wonder Sims patted the centre half's head approvingly and possibly sympathetically. By half-time then, 3-0 down, Everton's fate was sealed. True, they had rallied from a 2-0 deficit at Charlton in the previous round, but Villa were no Charlton. They were supremely confident and there was no sort of evidence that they were to be denied their day to remember.
Everton resumed with the crippled Brian Harris at outside right, Jimmy Harris inside and Thomas plugging the half-back gap. Only the incentive of an early goal could put hope where there had been dark despair and four minutes after the resumption it came from the educated head of Hickson to set the ground and game aflame. Myerscough came off worst in a collision with Bramwell which temporarily stunned both, for the Villa winger had to leave the field for five minutes to have a cut eye-brow treated. When he came back it was in time to miss one of the best scoring offering of the match from McParland's pass. Collins, clever and thoughtful in all he did, was denied the opportunity to become the spark that would fire Everton into unanswerable activity. Villa had sunk their teeth firmly and securely into this tie and as if to show Everton that they were merely beating against a wall, solid and unyielding Villa collected their fourth goal after sixty-five minutes. Officially the goal is credited to Hitchens, although I thought Wylie had changed the direction of the shot with a back heeled effort. It matters not who was the scorer, the purpose of putting the game further and further out of Everton's reach was achieved. If only Everton had been as talented as they were determined, we might still have seem an interesting finish, for Jimmy Harris for once in a way swept past two defenders and pulled the ball back from the goal line. There was Hickson, connecting with a moving ball almost on the penalty spot. Instead of flying just inside the post outside it went. O'Hara has never tried harder to put his name among the scorers, but again he reckoned without the ability of Sims and in the closing minutes with Parker hobbling from a knee injury, Everton's fight was over. Everton; Dunlop, goal; Sanders and Bramwell, backs; Parker, Jones (captain), Harris (B), half-backs; Harris (J), Thomas, Hickson, Collins, and O'Hara, forwards. Aston Villa;- Sims, goal; Aldis, and Winton, backs; Dixon, Dugdale, and Crowe, half-backs; Myerscought, Sewell, Hitchens, Wylie, and McParland, forwards. Referee; Mr. A.W. Luty (Leeds).
Attendance 60,900 (receipts £10,300).
Harris' Injury Is New
Just how dangerous it is to jump to conclusions is proved by the experience of Everton's Brian Harris, who damaged his knee during Saturday's Cup-tie with Aston Villa to produce a chorus of assertions from supporters. "He should never have been played." The facts, I understand writes Horace Yates, are that Harris's latest injury has no association with the original trouble, which made him a doubtful starter last week. Harris explains that he caught his foot in an opponent's foot and twisted his knee during the first half of the match. He was examined by a specialist yesterday and a report is awaited. After a bath following the game, Parker felt much happier about his knee injury received he says when he got a direct blow on the knee.
EVERTON RES, HAD GREAT DEFENCE
February 16, 1959. The Liverpool Daily Post
West Bromwich Albion Res 2, Everton Res 2
A great display by the Everton defence gained them a point in a thrilling tussle at West Bromwich in this Central League game. Albion Reserves playing some of their best football of the season, were on top throughout the first half but the visitors defence kept the score down to a goal –headed by right winger Campbell after twenty one minutes. Everton opened the second half in an attacking mood, and were quickly level through Wignall. Then Wignall, Everton's best forward was upended in the penalty area, and centre forward, Hood scored from the spot, Campbell equalized in the 77th minute and then the Everton defence underwent terrific pressure in the closing stages but held out for a deserved point. Everton team was; O'Neill; Billington, Tansey; Rea, Labone, Meagan; Blaine, Wignall, Hood, Ashworth, Gregory.
DUGDALE IS WORTH HIS CAP
February 16, 1959. The Liverpool Echo and Evening Express
By Leslie Edwards.
If Everton can't win the Cup this season they can at least produce managers of teams with the Wembley potential Joe Mercer (Aston Villa), Cliff Britton (Preston North End), Archie Clark (Sheffield United), and Harry Potts (Burnley), all former Everton players, are all connected with teams still going strong, Villa perhaps a little too strongly for those Everton followers who considered that Mr. Carey's boys were as good as in the last eight. But the Everton manager had no illusions about the difficulty of the Villa tie nor has he any about his team. You cannot expect a new manager to come to a club and revolutionize a team by the wave of a wand. These things take time. Thus this doleful Monday morning we have no recriminations but only credit for the winners by 4-1. "I thought Aston Villa rose to the occasion extremely well, "says the Everton chief. None but the blindly partisan would disagree, though I make the point that Brian Harris's injury, dating from 20 minutes after the start, was the thing which did most to ensure that Everton failed. A specialist examined Harris two days before the match and ruled him fit. And he was fit. The trouble was that he did fresh damage to his bruised right knee by twisting it. That meant he spent the whole of the second half on the right wing. It meant also that he saw a specialist again yesterday with a view to what could be done to get him right for the rearranged League game against West Bromwich Albion here on Wednesday evening. Parker's jarred knee also makes him doubtful so at worst Everton could be without both. But even if Harris had not broken down in the Cup-tie I doubt whether the result would have been different. It was Villa's day, with a superb contribution from the Liverpool boy Dugdale. Everton never got into the game except for a few minutes after the Hickson goal. Their form was no better, no worse, than the first 77 minutes of the tie at Charlton. But this time there was no inspired recovery.
Tea and Aspirin Celebration
Mercer celebrated on Saturday with a cup of tea and a couple of aspiring. After all the excitement it was hardly surprising that he had a head. But he was at early Communion in Hoylake yesterday, and then, after visiting his mother at Eastham, let for Birmingham to join the team he hopes will now have the confidence to win match after match and save their relegation faces, I think this quite likely. Mercer's tactical plans were simple. No special attention to the Everton danger man, Collins, except to tempt him as often as possible to make those long, accurate passes for which he is famous. Villa took the sensible precaution of having plenty of their own players well placed to pick up these Collins offerings. Most of Villa's danger came slap down the middle, where Hitchens was faster and more maneuverable than most of us anticipated. But the great man of the Villa side was Dugdale the old Harrowby player, at centre half. His handling of Hickson, his generalship in moments of crisis and his ability to get through a tough match valiantly stamped him as the sort who might well one day replace England's Billy Wright. Dugdale's goal-line save in face of Jimmy Harris's hardest-hit shot was the dramatic moment of a tense game. How he got down to within two feet of the turf to head the ball away only he knows. Villa's goal came so fluently, so quickly and Everton's counters were so well held (if sometimes a little fortunately) the game was virtually over at the interval when Villa led 3-0. It took a Hickson goal to put flight and fire into Everton but Villa, tutored on the Arsenal plan of defence, remained poised and calm and added a fourth and in the last two minutes nearly a fifth and sixth, and what was left of the 60,000 spectators drifted away to share with their Anfield counterparts the solace of "concentrating on the League." The pity was that Everton lost so easily; that they went out with so few honours. That Harris was almost a passenger did not explain completely Everton's failure to match the football of a side occupying last place in the First Division table.
Three –For A Good Reason
I give Wylie credit for three goals for a good reason. He cracked in the first magnificently; he took the simple chance McParland's downward header offered for the second, and after McParland had scored breath-taking after a sharp burst almost paralled with the goal line, Wylie with a cute back-heeled touch ensured that Hitchens' slow-moving shot beat the unsighted Dunlop. I spoke to Mr. Mercer who gave Hickson credit for the goal. He said; "I think you're right. I think Wylie did help the ball on but we gave the goal to Jerry Hitchens." Considering Wylie has his back to goal when Hitchen's shot came through I think he deserves his meed of credit for literally studding the ball over the line with a brilliant back-heel effort. Sims too had a big part in his side's success. His catching his punching his timing were all excellent, Winton whom Mercer had gambled on because he was more likely than Lynn to match Jimmy Harris pace also did well. The main Jimmy Harris contribution came after a remarkable run in which he served up the best chance of the day for Hickson. Unhappily Hickson did not take it with the accuracy of a Wylie. In their present mood Villa will take a deal of stopping. The wiles of Wylie who slips into all sorts of unexpected positions, the experience of Sewell and the backing of three good half-backs and a splendid goal-keeper ensure that they will have further success. Be prepared to see them at Wembley not just because they beat Everton but because of the manner in which they did it. A pity those final minutes should bring an eruption after a game so clean and well contested. But it all ended happily and of all people on the ground those 11 Everton players most of all must have been satisfied that the ticket to the sixth round was in the right hands.
POIGNANT BUT PROUD MOMENT
February 16, 1959. The Liverpool Evening Express
By Michael Charters
Aston Villa manager Joe Mercer walked into the Goodison Park board room after his team's great 4-1 Cup win over Everton on Saturday to receive everyone's congratulation for the way in which he has revitalized the Villa side during the few short weeks he has been in charge. Since he took over Villa have beaten Chelsea, and Everton in the Cup both away, and in two League games defeated Chelsea and last at Blackpool by a last-minute goal. Quite a record. It must have been a poignant as well as proud moment for Mr. Mercer as he looked around the walls of the room at the team photographs on which he was such a prominent figure in the famous Everton sides of pre-war days. He could never have thought then that one day he would be welcomed into the Everton sanctum as the man chiefly responsible for infusing such life and ability into Villa that they knocked his old club out of the Cup in so decisive a manner. I saw Everton beat Villa 4-2 at Villa Park earlier this season, and it was hard to recognize that practically the same team (only Winton and Wylie were changes from that day) had performed so brilliantly on Saturday afternoon to beat Everton at all points of the game. How have you done it, I asked Mr. Mercer? He replied "I in stat on them playing football –it's as simple as that. They played magnificently today but no better than they did at Chelsea in the Cup when they fought back from being a goal down in the first minute."
That Deeside Air
There's more to it than that I suspect. He has put some of his own enthusiasm and composure into a team which is still bottom of the League, but should not stay there for long if they can continue in this form. I ask him if he would return to West Kirby for training before the next round of the Cup-tie –the Deeside air seemed to have had the right toning-up effect for his players. He said; "We only came to West Kirby because it was convenient for Goodison Park. We were able to become acclimatized and I'm sure it helped, I won't make any decision about the next round until I know who we play, if we're drawn away, we will go somewhere near to avoid travelling far on the day of the match." Everton manager John Carey accepted the defeat in his usual calm and philosophical way. He said; "We have no complaints Villa were the better team on the day and deserved to win." This view was shared by everyone who saw the game. Everton players Alex Parker and Bobby Collins agreed that Villa were on top, although they both thought that Everton had more of the second half and might have done better if their finishing had improved. Dave Hickson nursing his bruises after the match praised Villa centre half Dugdale for his magnificent header which stopped a point blank shot by Jimmy Harris from going in the net. He said; "Had Dugdale no stopped that one it would have made it 1-2; and I think we would have done better from then. As it was we were three down at half-time and it was too much leeway to make up" Hickson took a fair share of punishment in those goalmouth tussles but will be alright for the game with West Bromwich Albion at Goodison Park on Wednesday night. Parker, too who had a knock on the right knee in the closing minutes expects to be fit. He said he will be able to get leave from the Army unit in Edinburgh to travel down for the match.
DOUBTFUL FOR WEDNESDAY
February 16, 1959. The Liverpool Echo and Evening Express
Everton's injured Half-Backs
By Leslie Edwards
Everton F.C., wing half backs, Brian Harris and Alex Parker, both of whom suffered knocks in the tie against Aston Villa, are doubtful for the re-arranged League match against West Bromwich Albion at Goodison Park, on Wednesday evening. Harris saw a specialist yesterday and needs further intense treatment on his right leg; Parker who jarred a leg badly is now back with his unit in Scotland, and is also having treatment. One of two Goodison Park mysteries on Saturday, was the attendance of 60,000 some 15,000 fewer than for the Charlton Cup replay in mid-week. The fact that many more people are available to attend matches on mid-week evenings and the crushing ensured by some t the Charlton game probably had its effect. Asked whether he would attend any of the Cup replays this week, Jimmy Carey, Everton's manager answered "it all depends."
EVERTON HAD FLOOD-LIGHTS 60 YEARS AGO
February 17, 1959. The Liverpool Echo and Evening Express
With Leslie Edwards
The longer you live the more you appreciate that there is little new under the sun. The first floodlit soccer match at Goodison Park was not last season, but sixty years ago. Mr. Ralph Fry, uncle of the famous one-time England and Rugby player, Mr. Harry Fry, was at the match which was played under Wells lights –a tar fluid with a naked flame under pressure was fed from drums on the ground, the burners elevated on poles. Mr. Fry, then a small boy, had good cause to remember the game –he thinks it was against West Bromwich –because the supply pipe near him burst and he got some of the stinging fluid in his eyes. "There were personalities in the teams of yesteryear, just as famous as today" says Mr. Fry. "Daddy Holt, a diminutive centre half was able to out-head the tallest opponents by the simple expedient of putting his hands on the other fellow's shoulders. He usually got away with it and to the plaudits of the crowd! "There were plenty of fist fights on the terraces at 'Derby' games, public-houses being open from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. When Everton and later Liverpool, at first played at Anfield they dressed at John Houlding's pub the Sandon and after the match had to run the gauntlet of a back-slapping crowd of people, some too hearty slaps being hotly resented by defeated opponents. "It was good business for John Houlding, who really got Everton going. It was his ground opposite his house in Anfield Road, but when the Everton club began to prosper there was a spilt as Houndling wished to recoup himself; and the other directors, objecting, brought the piece of what was then waste land and formed Goodison Park.
"You recently replied that Spion Kop was opened in 1928. So far as the cover is concerned that is correct, but the Kop as a mound was in existence long before that, of course. Tom Watson, then the Liverpool Secretary gave it its name at the time, when during the Boar War, General Bulkler was trying to capture an eminence in South Africa known as Spion Kop. "The original ground was at Walton-on-the-Hill; the site of the Spion Kop at Everton. It was a place where we had our games of football with a tanner-meg ball. It was also the site of Hombwell's Circus with Seqush an Indian healer, there to extract teeth painlessly. The band which struck up as he began his dentistry made such a din no sound could be heard from the victim! "Tom Watson came from Sunderland at a salary of £000 per annum. He was secretary manager and general factotum, and certainly put Liverpool F.C., on the map. It makes you think."
LAVERICK JOINS EVERTON AND PLAYS TONIGHT
February 18, 1959. The Liverpool Daily Post
By Horace Yates
A novelty for Everton's supporters this evening for the match with West Bromwich Albion at Goodison Park (kick-off 7 p.m), will be the first appearance of Bobby Laverick, a twenty-years-old outside left from Chelsea, who was signed by manager John Carey yesterday. This development was a well-kept secret and while the directors anticipated there would be a new face in the team today, even they did not know who it was to be until Mr. Carey telephoned to announce his capture. What they did know was that the manager embarked on a tour of exploration on Monday armed with a calling list on which there were four or five names. The supporters had half expected that there might be some development in view of the linking of Everton's name with Overfield of Leeds United, especially as yesterday his request for a move was scheduled to appear on the Yorkshire club's agenda and was duly granted. Although it is a fact that Everton have asked Leeds what price they would take for Overfield, that is as far as the inquiry went and those in touch with Everton affairs have failed to detect any rise in temperature at Goodison Park when Overfield's name has been mentioned.
How much Everton paid for Laverick is apparently to remain the secret of the two clubs, for the only information forthcoming last night from Secretary Mr. Bill Dickinson, was that the fee was "sizeable." Laverick first signed professional forms in 1955 and although a native of Durham is regarded as one of the Chelsea "babes" having passed through their youth team, to be introduced into League soccer in season 1956-57. He took part in six games, and last season played once, but has still to register his first goal in senior company. At present he is serving in the army at St Albans and will be demolished on April 1. Laverick is five feet ten-and a-half inches and weighs about eleven stone ten pounds. It seems to me that this is one of Mr. Carey's hunches for the player did not figure on the transfer list and negotiations were started and finished yesterday. It will be interesting to see how the youngster, with almost his entire football career before him, measures up to the challenge of Everton's outside left position, for judging by experience in recent times, this is a challenge. Since Tommy Eglington joined Tranmere Rovers this berth has caused Everton continued concerns. They have tackled it by trying Brian Harris, Derek Mayers, (now with Preston North End) Graham Williams (recently transferred to Swansea_ and Eddie O'Hara in the position.
Always the feeling has persisted that the search was not over and that is the situation at the moment of entry of Bobby Laverick. News of the signing was not long in spreading and among the telephone calls I received was one from the Everton Supporters Association, who had the club correct but were right off target with the identity – suggested by them as Brabrook! Laverick has not played in Chelsea's League side this season, but has found enough football elsewhere to keep him in trim.
SO EVERTON NOW HAVE A TWO-BOB LEFT WING
February 18, 1958. The Liverpool Echo and Evening Express
By Leslie Edwards
A bit of luck for Everton that the Chelsea manager, Ted Drake, had an embarrassment of good outside lefts. In all there were five with Blunstone, top man, but like all good managers Drake was not for parting with any until his League position had stopped looking, to put it mildly, a bit dicky. But the pertinacious John Carey of Everton was not to be put off. He pestered Drake about 20-years-old Bobby Laverick until Drake succumbed. He didn't want to stand in this Durham boy's light and he was not averse to doing an old friend a good turn if he could. So Carey entrained for London, negotiated with Drake, saw the boy and then last night brought him up to Liverpool where he will make his debut on the Everton left wing tonight against West Bromwich Albion. Thus, Everton hope to forge a link between two Bobs ad no doubt Collins had opportunity early today to get to know his new partner and his needs. Laverick played eight or nine games for the Chelsea first team two season's ago. He has been with the club since he left school at Trindon Village in Durham. He stands 5 feet 10 ½ inches and weighs 11st 18lb, and represents the Everton chief's first important buy in his effort to build a Goodison as he did at Blackburn. Laverick who is in the R.A.M.C., finishes his service on April 1. Part of it was spent at Chester, he is now stationed at Poole in Dorset. All scouting reports on him received at Everton were exceptionally good.
Twice As Often Away
West Bromwich Albion will be playing under the lights at Everton for the first time for 60years. The first occasion was as a correspondent recalled yesterday, under naked Wells lighting. Albion under the direction of the former Spurs' player, Vic Buckingham, will find the new system of "floods" as good as any to be found elsewhere. Though they have won only four times at home in the League Albion have won eight away fixtures. Indeed they have lost only twice in matches away from The Hawthorns. This form prompted people to think they might win the Cup, but old man Matthews and Blackpool ended that prospect, and now, like Everton, they must forget Wembley and concentrate on the other competition. Everton need points to make themselves safe from relegation; Albion need them to get the talent money offered at the other end of the table. Coming as it does immediately after the Villa disappointment, this match is a great challenge to an Everton who must try to pick up the threads of victory before reaction sets in. Surely they cannot play as badly again as they did on Saturday? Though the problem now posed is a very difficult one Everton must overcome it by being more punishing in their finishing and by reverting to the ground-level movement of the ball of which we saw too little in the Cup tie. Potter in the Albion goal is a young man Vic Buckingham picked up on a free transfer from Crystal Palace last close season. With such as Barlow, Allen, Robson and Hogg on view the game has much appeal, and it may be that the attendance will not be so small as the sceptics imagine. One thing the Everton fans does not lack is loyalty. This is a time when he can show it.
From The Shoulder…
Mr. M. Nathan, of 261 Menlove Avenue, Woolton, writes;- "For 35 years I have been a loyal and keen supporter of Everton and, in company with thousands of others, O long for the day when I can travel to Wembley to see them play in the Cup Final. Last Saturday saw the end of my longings for 1959, and I cannot let this occasion go by without passing a few comments. "When Everton lined up, I was astonished to see Collins in the outside-right position. Although I fully realize that the intention was to bamboozle Villa, it seemed to me rather childish, for we have in recent months come to recognize in Collins the architect behind any success which Everton have enjoyed, and who on earth were we trying to kid by lining him up in this position. "Secondly may I say that the almost incessant pattern of Everton football throughout the years has been to move the ball out to either wing, and for the remainder of the forwards to congregate in the penalty area waiting for a high cross. These high crosses are in 99 cases out of a 100 easily cut out by any first-class goalkeeper, as was proven by Sims on Saturday, and if you will cast your mind back to Saturday's game, you will recall that not once did Dunlop have to go up to make a similar catch. In other word's Villa's football was direct approach to goal on the ground, in contrast to Everton's airborne style, which was completely ineffective against a team such taller and stronger than themselves. "Everton are probably the fittest team in the country, no doubt thanks to Mr. Buchan, as they are invariably moving twice as fast at the end of a game as the other team. This is obviously no sufficient, for in the event of the other team being in front towards the end of the game, their enthusiasm will keep them going and too often we have seen Everton fighting from behind. Even on Saturday, Everton were much fitter and faster towards the end by which time Villa's lead was too great to pull back. "Dare I predict that Everton will win the Cup next year for the following reasons. They last won the Cup in 1933, which will be 27 years ago from 1960. Prior to that, they won the Cup in 1906, which was also 27 years earlier, if you total up the numerals 1906-1933-1960 they are all the same.!
EVERTON'S CHANGES FOR WEST BROM GAME
February 18, 1959. The Liverpool Echo and Evening Express
Laverick And Meagan In
By Micheal Charters
Everton make two changes, with the possibility of a third, for their rearranged League game against West Bromwich Albion at Goodison Park tonight (7 p.m.) Newcomer on the left wing is Bobby Laverick, signed from Chelsea yesterday in place of Eddie O'Hara, and Mick Meagan is at left half as deputy for the injured Brian Harris. There is a doubt about Eddie Thomas at inside right and Derek Temple, who is on embarkation leave prior to going to Kenya with his Army unit is standing by Thomas had a chill yesterday, but manager John Carey is not ruling him out of the match yet. A final decision will not be made until just before the kick off. Brian Harris was admitted to Broadgreen Hospital on Monday and the specialists there have decided to keep him in for further observation on his injured right knee. Everton; Dunlop; Sanders, Bramwell; Parker, Jones, Meagan; Harris (J), Thomas or Temple, Hickson, Collins, Laverick.
England international Derek Kevan returns to lead West Bromwich after illness. He replaces Ronnie Allen, who reverts to the left wing in a forward shuffle from the side which lost to Blackpool in the Cup. Burnside comes in at inside left in place of Robson, now twelfth man, and Jackson moves to inside right. West Brom; Potter; Howe, Williams (R); Setters, Barlow, Frury; Griffin, Jackson, Kevans, Burnside, Allen.
LAVERICK GOAL WAS NEARLY A WINNER
February 19, 1959. The Liverpool Echo and Evening Express
Everton 3, West Bromwich Albion 3
By Horace Yates
Is R.A.M.C, soldier-boy Bobby Laverick, Everton's new signing from Chelsea, just what the doctors ordered? History is full of examples of the dangers of making a judgment on first impressions, and obviously it would be better to wait before writing off the problem position as solved. Yet, this youngster, who, curiously enough, made his League debut for Chelsea against West Bromwich Albion, last night collected his first goal in senior football with a cracking right-foot drive, when he was offered no more than a yard at which to aim. His goal, scored after 70 minutes, put Everton in the lead for the first time in the game, and that it was not the winner was certainly no fault of his. Playing for most of the second half with Tommy Jones a limping passenger on the right wing, replaced by Alan Sanders, Everton still promised to make this their second League double, until tragedy struck with barely five minutes left for play. Danger was almost as far away as the top of the First Division so far as Everton are concerned when the ball reached Sanders, with time enough to have done almost anything he pleased with the ball. The last thing anyone expected was a mis-kick, and yet that is precisely what did happen and it left a surprised but not too startled Allen to collect as easy a goal form a few yards range as is ever likely to be credited to him or anyone else for that matter. No wonder Sanders hung his head. It was a costly blot on a game which had previously left him with a great deal of credit, especially earlier in the match when he was operating in his customary position. Those jittery concluding minutes will have left most unhappy memories for Sanders for shortly afterwards he pulled an overhead kick wide of goal for a corner when there was a variety of much more satisfactory alternatives available to him.
It was his clever touches in combined play that Laverick looked best. We have yet to see how last fast he is or how adept at beating a man in full stride, but there is no doubt the crowd liked what they saw and it must be quite a time since an Everton outside left ran into the dressing-room with cheers ringing for him. By this signing, Mr. John Carey, the manager has brought no mere novelty but genuine hope that his constructive approach will enable him to cross off one of the queried positions on his list. That Everton came so close to annexing two points is tribute to the power of their recovery for they began this game almost as though they had not shaken off the hangover of the Aston Villa defeat. West Brom, a big fast and robust side capable of good football helped considerably by their ability to put the ball where they wanted it and with a defence that was so quick to the tackle that there were times when it looked almost impossible for Everton to retain the ball long enough to set up a worthwhile attack, promised so much that they must have been disappointed that they realized so little. Yet, in fact, they were a trifle lucky to take away a point in the end. That there is nothing wrong with the Everton spirit was shown by their refusal to be discouraged when play was flowing against them.
This surge began after 26 minutes when half-back Setters drove the ball into the net with a superb shot. Eight minutes later Everton were on terms, when Hickson put the ball through and Temple ran onto it to score with a wonderful angled shot that had the beating of Potter all the way. Kevan the blond giant who moves at a disarmingly fast pace and with the almost unanswering resolution of a tank rolling into action collected a Jackson pass to hammer in West Brom's second goal after 59 minutes. Still Everton were not dismayed and six minutes later they were again on terms. For once in a way, Howe, who had been an immaculate full back, misjudged Harris's overhead kick, but Hickson did not. Fastening on the ball he hared away 20 yards or more with defenders pounding after him in an effort to hurry him into some error of judgment. Hickson made his own calculation and when he shot the ball sped into the corner of the net at express pace. Then came the Laverick goal and Allen equalizer. West Brom have lost only two games away from home a record unmatched by any other side in the League, but they must have been a greatly relieved team that it was not three at the end of last night's tussle. Any team that takes two points from Albion in this fighting mood will have to earn them and that Everton came so close to doing so after Saturday's disappointment made a pleasant surprise for the crowd.
Meagan In Form
The crowd was treated to the rare spectacle of seeing Collins acting in a half-back emergency role and although this had not been one of the Scot's brightest and best performances while in the front line, there is no question that Collins value to the side lies in his more customary sphere of activity. What a pleasure it was to see Meagan at last showing form more in keeping with expectations. For me this was his best display of the season. Although Temple did not always make the best use of the ball there few things finer in the ninety minutes than the manner in which he accepted his goal. That Hickson was able to accomplish as much as he did against such an able meticulous and towering opponent as Barlow was testimony enough for the centre-forward's bull-dog spirit and yet even he did not present as deadly a menace as Kevan first in the middle, but oftener in one of the inside positions. In addition to his goal he had the ball in the net on two other occasions, only to find a previous infringement in each case counting against him. All in all, this was a most enjoyable game, with the well built Laverick in marked physical contrast to his predecessors William and O' Hara whitting the appetite and leaving everybody asking for more. Everton; Dunlop, goal; Sanders and Bramwell, backs; Parker, Jones (captain), and Meagan, half-backs; J. Harris, Temple, Hickson, Collins, and Laverick, forwards. West Bromwich Albion; Potter, goal; Howe, and S. Williams, backs; Setter, Barlow, and Drury, half-backs; Griffin, Burnside, Kevan, Jackson, and Allen, forwards. Referee; Mr. L. Howarth (Beverley). Attendance 32,629.
WING PUNCH WILL COME FROM LAVERICK
February 19, 1959. The Liverpool Echo and Evening Express
By Jack Lowe
Young Bobby Laverick, the left winger signed from Chelsea little more than 24 hours earlier, made his debut and his mark in Everton's thrilling 3-3 draw with West Bromwich Albion at Goodison Park last a match which was featured by some fine football and an enthralling last half hour which saw Everton get within sight of victory and then lose a point because of a defensive mishap. And what made the night so memorable for Laverick was that he scored his first ever goal in League football, a goal which put Everton in front a bare eleven minutes after one had mentally written them off as having little or no hope of avoiding defeat. There seemed no prospect of an Everton revival when the big bustling Kevan shot Albion into a 2-1 lead after 59 minutes for the men from the Hawthorns were playing speedy, precise football, and no sooner had Kevan's drive gone into the net then Everton centre half Tommy Jones went hobbling out to the right wing with a thing muscle strained. But Everton came into their revival because Albion right back. Howe and centre half Barlow between them "lost" a clearance from Bramwell and there was Hickson to take over on the left wing and cut in for nearly 40 yards before seeing his low drive beat diving goalkeeper Potter and go to the back of the net. This was in the 65th minute and five minutes later Collins slashed a high centre across goal and Laverick, using his right foot shot first time on the half-volley and beat Potter in an almost identical way. So Albion had not only lost their lead but also their grip on the game and with the patched up Everton defence – Sanders at centre half Parker at right back and Collins at right half –presenting a fighting front an Everton "double" – they won at the Hawthorns –was in sight.
Then with five minutes left came the blunder, Sanders smack in front of goal completely missed his kick and Ronnie Allen quickly snapped up this last chance to give Albion their point. Few, however, would quibble with the contention that they did not deserve to lose for from them came the poise and the movement, and if the finish was not always there to some grand approach work much of this was due to the tenacity of the Everton defence and in particular to a couple of tremendous saves by Dunlop when Kevan struck thundering drives after a lead up which tore the Goodison defence wide open. Laverick's part in the game was not a big one because he did not see a lot of the ball –seven minutes went by before he touched it –but his use of it when it did come was direct and the conclusion is that manager John Carey brought back a useful player from Stamford Bridge. The new boy had height and build and if there were no frills about his play it was refreshing to see an Everton left winger make ground and use the first time pass. His goal too was taken calmly and cleanly and there was quite an ovation for him as he came off at the end –an indication also that Everton fans recognized the merit of a testing debut. I feel that he will add wing punch to an Everton attack with has lacked this on the left fir sometime and I shall be surprised if his first goal is anywhere near his last. Everton, I rather played better than they did in the Cup game against the Villa but there were spells last night when they were very much out of it and this was especially so when Setters out Albion in front after 26 minutes following a right wing move between Griffin and Burnside. At that time Albion were threatening to take complete command for apart from an early flourish there was so little hint of an Everton shot that one wondered whether they would not have been better if they had tried to sign a wild western gentleman, named Maverick instead of Laverick.
A quarter of an hour from the interval Everton suddenly product thrust and Jimmy Harris made a volleyed drive which fortunately for Potter went straight to hand and as the surge continued Temple in for Thomas suffering from a cold, fastening on to Hickson's pass and did exceptionally well to get in his shot as Barlow challenged a shot which flew to the far corner and Everton were level. Jimmy Harris made Potter save again just after the restart and then Albion took over and so assured was their football that a goal had to come yet when it did it sparked off that fine Everton rally and the thrilling final half hour. Until he was injured I thought Jones was as competent a defender as any. He was not rattled by Albion's trick line-up which had Kevan (in a number ten shirt) at centre forward and Burnside (the number nine man) on his right and made the man occupying the middle his marking target. But this Albion can be so good that any defence is going to have its moments of dread and Everton's was no exception. On the credit side though is the fact that they always presented a front of spirit to the Albion skill, and Meagan put up a brave show although Parker did not look as good a half back as he did at full back when reshuffling necessity put him there. Sanders blunted the memory of some good work against Allen, who took over from Hogg on the Albion left wing by his mistake. And on the other flank Bramwell was steady enough. Everton's forwards could not match Albion's for class but here again there was spirit, and on occasions some nice ball play with Hickson producing the side flick and accurate pass. Temple got his goal when we thinking he had lost his pace, while from Jimmy Harris the chief contributions were his two shots.
Collins was too closely marked to be really effective as a chance maker but the surprising thing was that there was a much more penetrative look from Everton when he had to go to right half, for from there he had just that little more time to make his passes and his cross to Laverick was perfect. Barlow and Setter were strong in Albion's defence, and the two young forwards Burnside and Jackson, hold high promise for the future, but I felt that the talents of Allen were out, of place on the wing. Kevan played less clumsily than I have ever seen him, and the terrific volley of his in the second half –and Dunlop's save – were among the highlights of a game which was always entertaining in spite of a blanket of smoke which made visibilities difficult for a short time after the interval. After the disappointment of Leeds and Aston Villa this was a meritorious performance by Everton. They were worth the point if only an reward for their finishing flight.
February 19, 1959. The Liverpool Echo and Evening Express
By Jack Lowe
Although manager John Carey is waiting until tomorrow to name his team to go to Birmingham on Saturday, it is unlikely that centre half Tommy Jones will be fit. Jones pulled a thigh muscle against West Bromwich Albion last night and it was still sore today. Inside forward Eddie Thomas is in bed with flu and will not be available but apart from one or two minor knocks the other players are all right. Alex Parker sustained a slight knee cut last night, but this should not keep him out of the Birmingham match.
MEMORY-MAN CAREY DIDN'T FORGET
February 20, 1959. The Liverpool Daily Post
Two-Year-Old Sight of Laverick Satisfied
By Horace Yates
It is no disrespect at all to the lad to say that when people heard that Everton had signed a winger named Laverick from Chelsea their immediate reaction was; "Never heard of him" That of course is completely understandable for here he is with his future and his name still to make. How well he began in Everton's colours is now well known to more than 30,000 people, and admitting that it is a football manager's job to know these things there has nevertheless been a great deal of conjecture as to how Everton's Mr. Carey came to have the Laverick name in his notebook. The best man to tell that story is Mr. Carey himself, and this is how he gave it to me. "I know most of the players that clubs have on their registers, and it was common knowledge that Chelsea had four or five outside lefts nearly all of them very young players. "I had seen Laverick play in one First Division game and also in a reserve team game, and the impression he left me with then was that he had natural football ability.
Mr. Drake Relents
"Little things like that stick in your memory and since I have been at Goodison Park I have badgered Ted Drake , the Chelsea manager about releasing one of his youngsters, particularly mentioning Laverick. "I know he was having difficulty in keeping all these boys happy, because generally lads are not happy unless they are playing and it was not always easy to find games for them all. "Mr. Drake at first gave me no grounds for hoping that he would ever part. He wanted to hold on to the lot and kept on saying no. Not until this week did he change his tune. The rest everybody knows." A less demonstrative or excitable man than Mr. Carey it would be difficult to find in football. When I suggested that he had every reason to believe that his first major sighting for Everton had got him away to a good start in the recruiting line his only comment was; "I think he has what it takes." It is two years ago since Mr. Carey first saw Laverick and although he had no need to interest himself in the boy while manager of Blackburn Rovers, it was when he took over at Everton and quickly came to his own conclusions that the name Laverick rang a bell which he took as a call to action. Even though the combined fees received from the sale of Harburn, Williams and Fielding will not cover the cheque (the size of which is still secret) which had to be written for Chelsea, nobody at this moment believes that it is anything but money well spent.
When enthusiasm in Everton affairs might have slumped somewhat following the Aston Villa set back, the new signing has acted as a topic and there is little doubt that Laverick's appearance on Wednesday evening was responsible for a gate increase of several thousands. That is important in itself, but more important is that many thousands who have so for had to be content with a second hand valuation of Laverick's worth will not rest until they have seen him for themselves which means a new interest to a season which might otherwise have held little promise of excitements to come. Not until today will Everton announce the team to travel to Birmingham to meet a Cup conscious side which was beaten 3-1 at Goodison earlier in the season. Tommy Jones the captain who has not missed a single game this season looks like having to forfeit that record due to a thigh muscle strain received in the West Brom game. I understand that his leg felt a lot better yesterday, but not so much so that he would have been able to train had it been a training day and a decision is deferred. Derek Temple will probably celebrate the last day of his embarkation leave with another first team game and the likelihood is that he will not proceed to his overseas posting until next month. Meanwhile Parker now stationed in Millon, Cumberland for the last few weeks of his service is not at all worried by the slight cut he received to his knee on Wednesday.
As You See It
Mr. G.S. Neale, (Liverpool 16) writes;
"I was very pleased indeed to see the pictures of the Everton and Aston Villa teams on Saturday as it brought to mind many happy memories of over sixty years ago; when Bootle Football Club was in existence. "It was more particularly interested in two players included in the Everton team, namely Boyle, and Arridge. Both were idols of the supporters of the Bootle club and were more particularly known as 'Daddy' or Danny' Boyle and Smart' Arridge before joining Everton. "The Bootle ground occupied an area reaching from Hawthorn Road, running parelled with the Bootle cricket ground, and the length of the rear of Bedford Road probably to Miranda Road. It was at the Bootle ground I saw football by floodlighting, but not of course comparable with the system introduced today. "The ground was illuminated by 'Wells' lights and consisted of oil drums approximately three feet high and fourteen to sixteen inches in diameter, the oil being fed to the burner through a vertical pipe from the drum on a principle similar to the action of a primus stove today. These lights were placed at intervals around the pitch. I may mention in those days the Football Echo was printed on pick paper and was sold at a half-penny a copy. "I think it is true to say in conclusion those were the days."
EVERTON'S "DOUBLE" CHANCE
February 20, 1959. The Liverpool Echo and Evening Express
By Jack Rowe
Everton have two "doubles" –over Manchester City and Bolton –this season and after getting so near to a third against West Bromwich Albion on Wednesday night they face Midland opposition again tomorrow with the opportunity of succeeding where they just failed in the Albion game. What must make them fancied a little more than normally against Birmingham City at St. Andrews is the Cup situation, for City are likely to be more concerned with their second fifth round replay with Nottingham Forest at Leicester on Monday night. They had a tough extra time match with Forest on Wednesday and their league position is such that they could be excused if they regarded Monday as more important. Everton beat Birmingham 3-1 at Goodison Park on October 4 and a fighting display comparable with that on Wednesday night could give us a repeat at St. Andrews. A change will almost certainly have to be made at centre half for Tommy Jones has pulled a thigh muscle and it might be that Brian Labone will make his first appearance of the season in a team which will have new signing Bobby Laverick on the left wing.
LABONE'S FIRST GAME OF SEASON
Friday, February 20, 1959. The Liverpool Echo and Evening Express
Everton Team v. Birmingham
By Jack Rowe
Everton centre half and captain Tommy Jones is unfit for the match against Birmingham City at St. Andrews tomorrow, and Brian Labone comes in for his first game of the season. Jones pulled a thigh muscle against West Bromwich Albion a Goodison Park on Wednesday night and although he had treatment yesterday and again today there was little prospect of him being ready in time for the Midlands visit. Labone played in four matches towards the end of last season including the last two against Blackpool and Nottingham Forest, both of which were won. This will be the first time this season that Jones has missed an Everton game. The incoming of Labone is the only change from the side which draw with Albion on Wednesday night so that Temple continue at inside right in place of flu victim Thomas and new man Bobby Laverick is on the left wing. Brian Harris who has been in hospital for treatment to his injured knee came out today and Manager John Carey is hopeful that he may be able to start training next week. Everton; Dunlop; Sanders, Bramwell; Parker, Labone, Meagan; Harris (J), Temple, Hickson, Collins, Laverick.
Saturday, February 21, 1959. The Liverpool Daily Post
By Horace Yates
As was feared, Tommy Jones is unfit to lead Everton at Birmingham. Brian Labone, former Liverpool Colleague's schoolboy, who enjoyed the distinction of moving straight from his school side into Everton's Central League team, will deputise and no doubt will be saying to himself; "This is where I came in," Last season when he made his debut again as deputy for Jones, it was then as now at Birmingham. He has been playing consistently well for the reserves and while Jones experience is bound to be missed there is every confidence in Labone. The last team to win at Birmingham was Manchester United at the end of November and as Everton have not prevailed away from home since the turn of the year, it might have been difficult to hold out much hope for them in ordinary circumstances. These, however, are rather abnormal circumstances, for Birmingham are engaged in a Cup battle to the death with Nottingham Forest and face the second replay on Monday evening. Whether 'players allow the shape of things to come to dominate their thoughts before the event, is a matter for argument, but there is also a theory that nothing is quite so good as a stiff challenge to prepare a team for a major objective. If Birmingham regard Everton's visit in that light point-hunting will have its trials –and possibly disappointments. On the other hand if Birmingham decide to take the points if they are there for the asking and refuse to run themselves into the ground if reward can e obtained only by ceaseless and tiring endeavour, then Everton may succeed where so many have failed. Like Everton, Birmingham make one change, and strangely enough the two substitutes will be directly opposed for leading the home attack will be Brian Orritt in place of Alex Jackson who is nursing a strained thigh muscle. Birmingham City; Merrick; Hall, Allen; Watts, Smith, Neal; Astall, Gordon, Orritt, Larkin, Hooper. Everton; Dunlop; Sanders, Bramwell; Parker, Labone, Meagan; J. Harris, Temple, Hickson, Collins, Laverick.
EVERTON'S RALLY TOO LATE TO SAVE A POINT
Saturday, February 21, 1959. The Liverpool Echo and Evening Express
Birmingham 2, Everton 1
By Jack Lowe
Birmingham City' Scholfield; Hall, Allen; Watts, Smith, Neal; Astall, Gordon, Orritt, Larkin, Hooper. Everton; Dunlop; Sanders, Bramwell; Parker, Labone, Meagan; J. Harris, Temple, Hickson, Collins (captain), Laverick. Referee; Mr. R.H. Windle (Chesterfield). Birmingham goalkeeper Joe Merria had flu and was unable to play against Everton at St Andrews today Schofield taking over. Everton also had a change Brian Labone replacing the injured Tommy Jones at centre half and making his first appearance of the season on the ground where he made his debut about 12 months ago. Bobby Collins captained Everton and winning the toss gave his side the advantage of a slight breeze. It was Collins who was soon moving the ball about cleverly and one of his passes nearly opened a way for Parker to go through and shoot but Smith made a good tackle at the last second. Birmingham in the early minutes could make no impression on Everton's defence and with Collins continuing to sparkle, Jimmy Harris went near with a header from a Hickson cross after Collins and Laverick had worked the ball down the left. Two long throw-ins by Astall were the only menace to the Everton goal and Everton went ahead in 11 minutes when Jimmy Harris headed through from close in. He had to thank Collins and Hickson for the chances for when Collins cleverly chipped the ball over Allen it left Hickson in the clear and his fast centre came across at just the right height for Harris who had gone into the middle to head the ball at speed past Scholfield. Birmingham got a couple of corners and then Dunlop made a good catch from Astall who with Hooper, was continually switching wing positions.
Laverick so far had done everything correctly and I liked the way he moved the ball first time tactics which Jimmy Harris could have copied usefully on a couple of occasions for he ran into trouble when the first time pass was the obvious thing to do. The quick tackling of the Everton defence was also paying off against the close work of the home forwards, and with Collins still distributing the ball precisely. Everton should have had another goal when the little man put Laverick away and when the winger switched the ball low into the middle Temple from little more than six yards, completely more than six yards completely kicked over it was only Schofield in front of him. Labone was doing very well against the former Bangor boy Orritt for Everton were having to do a lot of defending at this point and we had a brilliant run by Hooper who beat Sanders and Parker and when he flicked the ball back it was well for Everton that Larkin did not make full connection so that Dunlop was able to fall on the ball by the post. Just before this the goalkeeper had punched our from Astall and in an Everton attack Laverick beat his man nicely before crossing the ball to the far post where Hickson nodded it inside and it seemed as though Temple had missed another chance but the referee's whistle indicated that the Everton man had used his hands in getting the ball under control before shooting weakly at Schofield. There were one or two moments or robustness but nothing ran out of hand, for both defences were lacking quickly and strongly.
Birmingham were level in 40 minutes when Hooper scored from fully 20 yards range with a shot which went to the top corner of the net like a rocket. He got his chance when Gordon swung the ball across field from the right wing and although Hooper himself seemed to mis-time his headed pass to Astall it went in the right spot, and when Astall turned the ball inside once more there was Hooper to kill it and flash his shot into the net with the right foot. Half-time; Birmingham City 1, Everton 1. The first few minutes of the second half saw Everton in desperate defensive straits for Birmingham with the breeze at their backs swept immediately into attack. Twice Dunlop made great saves from Larkin and Gordon and before Everton could make a-raiding move themselves they had to contend with four Birmingham corners, the last of which Astall put against the post before it bounced outside.
An Offside Effort
Then Hickson did get the ball into the net but after the whistle had gone for off-side, and with Birmingham now dominant Larkin shot just wide and Hooper began to weave patterns which were always productive of menace. However when Birmingham did go ahead in the 53rd minute it was a curious goal for Astall made one of his long throws-in from near his corner flag and with Labone and Bramwell hesitating and beaten by the bounce Larkin nipped in to make a glancing header which beat Dunlop and went into the net just inside the post. Everton's reply came from Jimmy Harris who centred across goal and outside and then Temple was very weak with a shot when Parker put the ball outside Allen to give the inside right an opportunity. Harris and Hickson between them could not beat Trevor Smith and from his clearance Gordon raced fully 40 yards before shooting over. Temple went to the right wing in an Everton forward reshuffle but with Birmingham now rampant the thrills were at the Everton end with Gordon having a terrific shot saved by Dunlop after Labone had slipped when in control and them Larkin heading inches outside. Certainly since the interval it had been all Birmingham for even Collins could not rouse Everton to a move that looked really promising.
Everton's defence often looked shaky against the speed and inter-switching of the Birmingham attack and twice more Dunlop was the barrier first when Gordon and then when Larkin shot powerfully from close in. Everton began to do a little better and Hickson beat Smith for the first time this half and then pulled the ball too far back for the rest of his forwards. Scholfield made one good save by diving out to punch away from Parker and after the referee had attention from the Birmingham trainer for what appealed to be a nose bleed Hickson shot against the net support. Everton did more attacking towards the close and on one occasion Scholfield put the ball against Temple in trying to clear and the rebound was crossing the line when Hall kicked away. If Temple had been quicker; he might have made more use of a fine through pass from Laverick but there was no doubt that on the second half Birmingham had earned the points. Final; Birmingham City 2, Everton 1.
• Everton Jrs nil, Bolton Jrs nil
• Blackpool "B" 3 Everton "B" 2
CIVIL DEFENCE, DEMOB AND LIVERPOOL SCOTTISH
Saturday, February 21, 1959. The Liverpool Echo and Evening Express
And I Hope To Play for Everton in the Meantime
By Alex Parker
When I got back to my unit at Edinburgh last Monday I was not feeling exactly on top of the world after our Cup defeat, but I received some news which helped relieve my disappointment to some degree. I have been posted and it means I am going to have a deal less travelling to do for Everton games. Travelling to Edinburgh and back has not exactly been the best training for me, but now I will not have half as much to do, as last Thursday I had to report Milam in Cumberland. I have to spend the rest of my National Service there on a Civil Defence course and an added advantage is that I shall probably get demobbed a week earlier than I anticipated. It looks as if I might be reduced to the rank of Mr. Parker about March 12, instead of March 19. Of course I shall not completely sever my connections with the Army for there is the question of my Territorial Army service, and at the moment it looks as if I might be doing that with the Liverpool Scottish, which for obvious reasons sounds all right to me. Last Sunday I spent a most enjoyable evening at the Scotland Player of the Year award to Devey, Mackay of Hearts. As I was the previous winger I had to make a speech I know I have my critics as a footballer but believe me, I'm a far worse speech maker. I was told afterwards I only spoke for about three minutes but it seemed nearer three hours to me.
Galaxy of Stars
There was quite a gathering of stars, past and present there. Most of Davey's team mates were present and among others there were Gordon Smith, Bobby Evans, Willie Ormond, Gerry Dawson, the ex-Rangers and Scotland goalkeeper and Mr. Haggie Smith my former manager at Falkirk. As proof that the Scotland-England amity holds away only on the football field Davey received telegrams from Stanley Matthews and Billy Wright, in addition to those from Tommy Docherty, Bobby Collins, and Denis Law, and many others. Mention of Willie Ormond reminds me that we were follow-columnists on a Scottish newspapers, Willie's brother Bert, was a particularly friends of mine in my Falkirk days. He is an inside forward now with Airdrie. Before last week's game with the Villa I met my Football Echo colleague Joe Mercer and had an interesting conversation with him. He told me he was a great friend of ex-Falkirk manager Bob Shankley, who signed me for the Scottish club.
Our Cup Defeat
Naturally the boys were all disappointed with the result of the Cup game, but we must admit that the better side won. Immediately after the game with West Brom on Wednesday we were all anxious to find out how the Cup replays had finished. I think the eventual winners will come from the Villa-Burnley tie, and my fancy is for Mr. Mercer's men. If they continue to play as they did against us they will take some stopping. Their opponents in the final? The winners of the Birmingham –Nottingham Forest v. Bolton-Preston game. As I walked off the pitch after Wednesday's game David Burnside said to me, "I'll bet you wish you had scored those three last Saturday," How right he was, although we were pretty pleased to have scored three against West Brom, particularly as we had to play most of the second half with Tommy Jones on the wing. That's the second successive game we had been reduced to ten men. I hope we have avoided the hat-trick at St. Andrew's today. I thought we played much better than in our previous two matches and fully deserved our points. The Midlands side came here with the reputation of being one of the best footballer sides in the country, but I think we held our own.
It must have been a great boost for Bobby Laverick to score on his debut and he must have been very pleased with the first game in our colours. I know the team were and from what I heard afterwards so were the supporters. Keep it up, Bob. He told me that he does not get demobbed from the Army for about six weeks and I was hoping he would ask me how long I had to do. He did and I took great delight in telling him "Three weeks," I said. "You'll have to get some services in!"
VILLA SHOWED US HOW TO USE OUR OWN TACTICS
Saturday, February 21, 1959. The Liverpool Echo and Evening Express
By Tommy Jones
So it's not to be the golden road to Wembley for the Blues this season. We the players have no excuses. We were beaten by the better side on the day. We may mention as an afterthought that we didn't get many of the breaks that were going, but then soccer depends so much on how you get into the game. Villa went in looking and fighting for the ball and they came out triumphant. We never quite got together as a team. Maybe Villa's tactics made sure of that, but they exploited us as we intended to exploit them. It was our intention to be first to the ball, move it quickly from man to man, and finish off with a shot. The boys in claret and blue allowed us how it should have been done. I remember Tommy Docherty the Arsenal wing-halve saying to me when I asked him what he considered his chances were of beating Gillingham in an earlier round of the Cup "Tommy" he said "if you don't beat these teams then you don't deserve the Cup." He never spoke a truer word. Although Villa were a far different proposition, the odds on winning weighed heavily in our favour. Villa's recent form, playing at home with such support as we get late change in the Villa defence. Of course it's too late to argue now. Truthfully we didn't deserve to progress further. There's always next year.
There was a welcome on the mat on Wednesday evening for our new signing from Chelsea left winger Bobby Laverick. That he should mark his debut with a goal makes his signing all the most interesting. What I did admire about a section of the paddock was their handicapping of the youngster when he took up his position on the wing prior to the kick-off I'm sure it made him feel as home as he so aptly demonstrated by his use of the ball and quick thinking. Tall, as wingers go these days, he is not quite as fit as he would like to be. Chatting in the bath after the match he stressed this point. With only six weeks to serve before demob it wasn't surprising to see Alex Parker taking things over in Army language. Perhaps comparing Naafi queres. The game against West Brom on Wednesday emphasized the spirit of the lads by their fight back after twice being in arrears. Afraid I complicated things a little by injuring a thing muscle but that didn't deter the lads. The score was 2-1 against when I took over the number seven berth with about 20 minutes to go, and the team fought back so well that West Brom only scored their third and equalizing goal five minutes from time. Pity the lads couldn't have held out but then the odds were against them. Not much wrong with a team, when they can come back from behind like that.
Two comments shouted from the terraces intended for "yours truly" set me thinking during the week. After the final whistle for the Cup-tie with Villa a spectator shouted "Hard luck Tommy," presumably referring to the effort made by the lads to give our supporters something to shout about. The other incident occurred at half-time on Wednesday. A spectator shouted "You'll have to buck your ideas up or we'll have someone else playing. No names, no pack drill. No there are two entirely different approaches in spectatorship. The first commiserating with the team, the second doing his best to upset moral. Supporters can help a team to success, they can help the individual. They can also backbite throw spanners in the works, single out individuals either for praise or barracking. All of this we know is part of the game. Players should be able to take the back-slapping and the barracking in their stride. But players are only human they know when they are having a bad time long before anyone on the terraces can tell them and unless they have the constitution of an ox their confidence goes. Confidence mans so much on the football field. "Confidence is your own ability so that you won't be scared of appearing before a hugh crowd. Someone once said that there's only a thin line between confidence and big-headedness. Without knowing the person intimately who's to say which is which? So let's have some encouragement in future should a player be having a rough time. We know you all have your likes, and dislikes regarding certain players but surely it's the team you support not the individual.
EVERTON RES V. DERBY C RES
Saturday, February 21, 1959, The Liverpool Echo and Evening Express
Everton Reserves;- O'Neill; Billington, Tansey; Rea, O'Brien, Gannon; J. Blain, Wignall, Hood, Mackay, O'Hara. Derby County Reserves; Mitchell; Partick, Smith; Daykin, Young, Richmond; Swallow, Brown, Thompson, Hunt, Scarborough. Referee; Mr. G. Foley (Leeds). Hood gave Mackay a splendid chance to give Everton an early lead but the inside left shot weakly at Mitchell from only eight yards. Derby replied through Brown, whose good run was marred by a faulty pass. Everton's uncertain defence made County seem all the more dangerous, and O'Neill recovered well to save from Scarborough after failing to cut out Swallow's cross. Blain had a shot deflected for a corner from which Hood forced Mitchell to a point blank save. Swallow out Derby ahead after 22 minutes just after Hunt had hit an upright during a goalmouth scramble. Blain raced away for Everton to shoot against the post, but Derby were the more impressive and it was no surprise when Brown increased their lead in the 34th minute. Half-time; Everton Res nil, Derby County Res 2.
EVERTON TOO NEAR DANGER FOR COMFORT
Monday, February 23, 1959. The Liverpool Daily Post
Birmingham City 2, Everton 1
By Jack Rowe
Everton's position in the First Division is not calculated to give their followers an easy mind. One point only from the last three League matches has altered the situation considerably and a couple more quick defeats could leave them perilously near the relegation zone. Although I do not think they will find themselves in this kind of trouble, they are making a burden for their own backs by throwing points away and this has happened twice in the short time of four days. The memory of the West Bromwich Albion game is still vivid and again on Saturday they dropped points because the most was not made of excellent chances at a time when they were controlling the run of the play. Everton could have ensured freedom from defeat –if nothing else –in the first 20 minutes and when they did not Birmingham were able to come back to take command and made the second half pretty well their own.
In those 20 minutes Everton –and Collins in particular –played well enough to suggest they had the measure of a side which was still concerned with Cup matters and when Jimmy Harris put them in front with a headed goal from Hickson's cross in the eleventh minute there was justification for this view. Collins who was captain for the day, was directing so ably and passing so devastatingly that the Birmingham defence was easily prised open and sure enough came the moment which swung the game. From Collins the ball went to Laverick and this young man promptly returned a beautiful pass right in front of the in-running Temple who had the whole goal to shoot at from a distance of little more than six yards. He did not connect properly and so Birmingham got away with it. Temple, many will contend, should have also scored shortly afterwards when a low Hickson cross struck him on the legs at similar range, but there was excuse for this because the ball was on him before he could shape to make what might have been a scoring deflection. But these were good chances and if one had been taken I doubt if Birmingham would have recovered. As it was they were given the incentive to fight back and sure enough they did so that Hooper in forty minutes smashed a twenty yards range shot past Dunlop and eight minutes after the interval Larkin put them in front when he used his head in more senses than one to glide into the net a long throw-in from right winger Astall when Labone and Bramwell were beaten by the bounce.
Everton went out of the game so much that for half an hour in the second half Birmingham with Hooper in grand form, did pretty much as they liked and the one man in the Everton defence who did not have shaky moments was Dunlop. He made some cracking saves and more than anyone kept the margin to a goal, so that Everton were able to make a final rally in which Hall kicked off the line, with Scholfield out of goal, and Laverick laid on another chance for Temple, which was not taken because this young man is nothing like as nippy as he was in the early part of last season. Yes, I think Birmingham would not have had justice if Everton had scored. In a game of much hard tackling their's had been the more telling. I think this match illustrated once more Everton's need for stronger wing half-backs, for Meagan and Parker lost control over Birmingham's inside forwards while Watts and Neal, once Everton had allowed them to hit back got an effective grip on Collins and Temple. And when Collins could not make his genius could the Everton attack did not exist because Hickson was up against a good centre half in Smith and Jimmy Harris seems to have lost his biggest asset of getting away quickly and making ground. Of Laverick I am content to stay with my first impression that he is a useful player. He did not see the ball for long stretches in the second half but his directness was apparent and he helped to lay on two of the chances which if taken, would not have had us worrying overmuch about the League position. Labone, Sanders and Bramwell all suffered during Birmingham's second half spell, the full backs particularly looking most shaky. Labone did not let the side down, although his defensive equalities outweigh those of construction. I believe that while Parker has done good club service by playing at half-back his best position is full back and this may be one of Everton's future building priorities. Birmingham City' Scholfield; Hall, Allen; Watts, Smith, Neal; Astall, Gordon, Orritt, Larkin, Hooper. Everton; Dunlop; Sanders, Bramwell; Parker, Labone, Meagan; J. Harris, Temple, Hickson, Collins (captain), Laverick. Referee; Mr. R.H. Windle (Chesterfield). Attendance; 22,750.
EVERTON RES POOR DISPLAY
Monday, February 23, 1959. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton Res 0, Derby County Res 3
Everton gave an incredibly poor display in this Central League game in being mastered by a faster and cleverly side. Derby's task was made easier through Everton's reluctance to fight for possession and the inability of their forwards to run into the open spaces. So feeble was the Everton attack that County's goalkeeper did not have a single shot directed at him in the second half. previously outside –right- Blain showed speed and directness in contributing more than had Everton scoring's attempts with one of his three shots striking an upright but after the interval he did not receive a decent past. Tansey was Everton's best defender, Swallow (2), and Brown were Derby's scorers. Everton team was; O'Neill; Billington, Tansey; Rea, O'Brien, Gannon; J. Blain, Wignall, Hood, Mackay, O'Hara.
MISSED CHANCES WERE MOST COSTLY FOR EVERTON
Monday, February 23, 1959. The Liverpool Echo and Evening Express
By Jack Rowe
The story of Everton's 2-1 defeat at Birmingham City on Saturday begins and ends in the first 20 minutes, for it was in this vital period that the chances were made and missed so that another match was lost in a manner which has made their followers feel so frustrated on other occasions this season. And with them has gone the loss of points which is now making up look at the league table with no sense of complacency about the prospects of the team dropping no lower to a position which could make the fear of relegation a reality. Over a little more than a fortnight Everton have played three league games and taken a solitary point and there is no doubt in my mind that they came back from St. Andrews without reward of some sort simply because they failed to cash in at a time when they had assumed a superiority and had the beating of Birmingham in their hands. To get a point away is tough enough, to win is a notable achievement, but when you lost because of the legrant fault of poor finishing it is not difficult to understand the frustrated feelings of supporters. For the first 20 minutes at St. Andrews, Everton were the better team, and with Bobby Collins justifying his close of captain by his direction and splendid passing the Birmingham fans had to yield to the leading merit of the goal Jimmy Harris scored with 11 minutes gone.
The way the goal was scored was an example of how Everton in this period, had Birmingham on the run for Collins and Hickson between them carved out an opening which in the finish left Harris inattended to make his winning header. No less devastating was the passing duel between Collins and Laverick a few minutes later and this time the winger was able to push the ideal ball in front of Temple who from about eight yards had only goalkeeper Scholfield as the barrier. He did not even get in a shot so badly did he mistime his effort and if one could not be as hard on the inside right shortly afterwards when a hard cross from Hickson reached him in front of goal these were opportunities which in the finish decided the destiny of this game. From them Birmingham were able to find a rallying point and sure enough they came back gradually but with the strength one expects from a team whose reputation is built on hardness, until Hooper put them on terms five minutes before half-time. Hooper had started badly, but his goal put him in good mood and he was the leading light of a rampant Birmingham in the second half and for half an hour could do little but defend desperately. That only one more goal came – Larkin's in 53 minutes was surprising but fortunately for Everton goalkeeper Dunlop was the one man in defence who kept his poise and his ability to make several fine saves which meant that Birmingham did not keep the gain their pressure threatened. Had held firm and Everton were still able to make a last ditch bid to gave a point and would have done so if Temple had been fast enough to capitalize on two through passes from Laverick and if Hall had not kicked off the line on another occasion with his goalkeeper, Scholfield missing. But whether Everton deserved a point was problematical I don't think they did after the first 20 minutes because they could not take their chances and Birmingham stuck back so well that their command was more prolonged than Everton's had been. Also their wing half Watts and Neal, members of a hard-tackling and determined defence in which centre half Smith because the power, were able to impose greater subjection on Temple and Collins than ever Meagan and Parker were able to do with Gordon and Larkin.
Everton's defence looked best in the early part, for later the full backs, Sanders and Bramwell found wingers Astall and Hooper too fast and tricky and in the second half spell when Birmingham were supreme. Labone was the best aid to Dunlop. Labone was not perfect by any means, but he had a more solid look than the rest of the defence and his first outing of the season in place of the injured Jones suggested that Manager John Carey can put the centre half position in the back ground in his assessments of the future requirements of the club, I should imaging that wing halves will be well up the list, for I am convinced that Parker's best position is the one he has occupied for his country, and he can best serve Everton there. How much the Everton attack leans on Collins was again illustrated for when he is not working it is not either Hickson baffled hard against Smith, not without success on occasions, but Temple's pace and nippiness is so much below that which made him so menacing in the early part of last season, that his effectiveness is much minimized, and Jimmy Harris is stopping with the ball too often instead of using the speed, we know he can produce. Laverick suffered from lack of service in the second half but he did enough which he got the ball to satisfy me that I can retain my first impression that he can be, and will be, a most useful player. At least he used the ball on three occasions to help to make chances, and I like his directness. Birmingham do not stand on much ceremony when they go in for the ball and the match had it's moments of tough tackling, but I should hesitate to say that it all came from the home side. Hooper, in the mood is the star man of the St. Andrews attack and his runs and dribbles in the second half were the chief reason why his side got so much on top, but another reason was the fact that half-backs, Watts and Neal were able to come through with the ball and when this happen a defence is always likely to face trouble. Everton's did face it and survived more than one second half goal because Dunlop was so secure when the pressure was on.
EVERTON'S INJURED BACK IN TRAINING
Monday, February 23, 1959. The Liverpool Echo and Evening Express
By Michael Charters
Everton skipper Tom Jones, and wing half Brian Harris, who missed the game at Birmingham through injury are back in light training. Flu victim, Eddie Thomas, is also expected to have recovered this week. Manager John Carey gave me this good news today although it is too early yet to say whether they will all be match fit in time for the game against Tottenham at Goodison Park on Saturday.
Wednesday, February 26, 1959. The Liverpool Echo and Evening Express
By Leslie Edwards
When colleague Michael Charters spoke of Mr. Joe Mercer's revitalizing of Villa in a few weeks and I said that Mr. John Carey could not revolutionize Everton with a wave of a wand two readers (Mr. W.Macaulay of St. Brides Road, Wallasey, and Mr. Bowland Williams of 9 Far Moss Road, Liverpool 23) jumped in wanting explanation of what they consider to be a paradox. I still maintain that a team cannot be revolutionized quickly unless vast sums are spent on signings but that it is still possible for nay manager to vitalize a team without even spending a penny on it or even changing its composition. The dictionary says that when you revolutionize anything you make complete and basic changes; or alter it drastically or radically. The definition of revitalize is to make more vital, to give fresh vigour. Surely Mr. Mercer has done just this? Surely Mr. John Carey, in the few months he has been at Goodison Park, has had no opportunity, even if he wished, to make complete, basic changes?
Another reader, Charles Birmingham from Moreton, is disgusted with Everton because although he informed them that he wanted a stand ticket for the Cup-tie for the use of his blind father (a supporter for fifty years) none as forthcoming. Why don't Everton do like other clubs and reserve a section of the stand for the blind and infirm he asks. I spoke to the club on this matter. They have every sympathy with those unlucky in the ballot for tickets and especially one who has lost his sight, but if they were to give priority to everyone deserving it the allocation of tickets would be an impossibly lengthy task. That a sightless soccer fan should still be able to attend matches, with someone able to "read" the games for him is a wonderful thing but like Mr. Birmingham I am sorry there is no means of giving the few who cannot see every opportunity to hear a match in progress.
SCORE AND A HALF
Thursday, February 27, 1959. The Liverpool Echo and Evening Express
By Leslie Edwards
Everton have a score-and-a-half to rub out –to be precise a 10-4 beating at Tottenham on October 11 at White Hart Lane that day and, oddly, far from all chances being taken by both sides Spurs missed at least half-a-dozen other goals and Everton themselves might well have scored eight. Twice in the last five minutes they missed sitters. The sequel to this Everton hammering –the worst in recent history –was victory the following week against Manchester United. Will they rebound again tomorrow, I wonder, after their defeat last Saturday, at Birmingham? Spurs, like Everton, are still not over the effect of Cup defeat, but it is worse, psychologically, to lose to a Third Division club than to be beaten by a side of your own class. Neither Everton nor Tottenham are doing well enough to look on the game disinterestedly and Everton in particular, would find great embarrassed in defeat.
PARKER AT FULL BACK
Thursday, February 27, 1959 The Liverpool Echo and Evening Express
Brian Harris On Right
By Leslie Edwards
Alex Parker, the Scottish international full-back whom Everton have pressed into service as a half-back since the match against Leicester City on December 20, reverts to his true position tomorrow in the team to meet Tottenham at Goodison Park. Brian Harris, fit again, is switched to right half to take his place and Alan Sanders, who had held the right back position drops out. Tom Jones, returns at pivot and Eddie Thomas comes in after missing two games, in place of Derek Temple. Parker's return to his old position will make him a happy man. He has never complained about being played out of position, but it is clear that his hopes of further Scottish caps depend on his appearing for his club at back. Brian Harris plays right or left with equal facility, so with Meagan coming back to his old form, Everton's defensive strength in this vital game against Tottenham looks more solid.
Sanders has had a long and in some respects very successful innings in Parker's place, but he has not been consistent and his performance against West Bromwich recently may have been the one which caused his club to restore Parker as Bramwell's partner. Everton; Dunlop; Parker, Bramwell; Harris (B), Jones, Meagan; Harris (J), Thomas, Hickson, Collins, Laverick.
Tottenham keep Danny Blanchflower at inside right, where he played against Portsmouth in the 4-4 draw last week. There are two changes in the half-back line. Tottenham; Hollowbread; Baker, Hopkinson; Ryden, Horsman, Sharpel; Medwin, Blanchflower, Smith, Clayton, Jones.
EVERTON'S CHANCE TO GET THEIR REVENGE
Saturday, February 28, 1959. The Liverpool Daily Post
By Horace Yates
Today may not be make or break day for Merseyside's senior clubs, but there is no doubt about the importance to both Everton and Liverpool of the games against Tottenham and Leyton Orient respectively. Three points from the last twelve at stake is not the way to put a healthy glow to the Everton outlook, and with the remaining programme bristling with difficulties, it is essential further ground should not be lost in matches against the weaker clubs. Among those I include Tottenham Hotpsur, despite the events of the humiliating day last October when Everton were thrashed 10-4. That in itself should be incentive enough for the Everton team, to pull out all the stops and ensure there is no further pain and sorrow for their supporters from the latest clash with the London side. Everton need points badly, but a glance at Tottenham's position shows that they are in even direr straits. They are face to face already with relegation so that all appearances suggest a desperate battle.
Not surprisingly Everton's manager John Carey has decided this is the time to cease the experiment of playing Scottish international half back Alex Parker in the half back line, and he returns to his favouritie position at the expense of Sanders. Sanders has had several fine matches this season, but has recently been below his best and will probably be thankful to avoid another clash with star Welsh winger Cliff Jones, who gave him such an unhappy time when the clubs last met at Goodison. It may even be reports of what happened that day that have influenced Mr. Carey to rest the former Manchester City man for the moment. Parker's position at right half goes to Brian Harris, who moves over from the left to leave room for Meagan, while Jones and Thomas fit again after injury, replace Labone and Temple. These changes should strengthen Everton's hand considerably and with the Goodison crowd to spur them on they should gain the revenge they seek despite the inspiring influence with Danny Blanchflower, now functioning at inside forward, can be expected to exert on his Tottenham colleagues. Teams; Everton; Dunlop; Parker, Bramwell; Harris (B), Jones, Meagan; Harris (J), Thomas, Hickson, Collins, Laverick. Tottenham Hotspur; Hollowbread; Baker, Hopkins; Ryden, Norman, Sharpe; Medwin, Blanchflower, Smith, Clayton, Jones.
PARKER IS DEMOBBED
February 28, 1959. The Liverpool Echo and Evening Express
Good News For Everton
By David Horridge
Alex Parker, Everton's Scottish international full back, has been demobbed from the Army. This was the good news the 23-years-old player gave up manager John Carey when he returned from Edinburgh for the game against Tottenham Hotspur today. Parker who has been stationed with the Royal Scots Fusiliers, was not due for release until March 19, but it is quite customary for National Serviceman to be demobbed a few days early. He is on leave and will there-for almost certainly be called upon to play for the Army next month against the Royal Navy, an Ireland X1, Belgium and the R.A.F., but he will now be able to train full-time with Everton. He is due to report to the Liverpool Scottish T.A on March 19. For today's game with Spurs he was chosen at right back his Scotland position, after a couple of months at right-half. Everton signed Parker from Falkirk last June, but soon afterwards he was posted to Cyprus and did not make his debut until last November at Aston Villa. In view of his having had so much travelling to do; allied to the consequent lack of full-time training, it is hardly surprising that he has not been displaying his best form of late, but now that he is virtually free from his Army commitments and is back in his right position he should soon be challenging for a place in the Scottish team to meet England at Wembley in April.
EVERTON BACK TO FORM AND VICTORY v. SPURS
Saturday, February 28, 1959. The Liverpool Echo and Evening Express
Goal-Line Clearances Prevent Scoring Spree
By Michael Charters
Everton 2, Tottenham 1
Everton; Dunlop, goal; Parker and Bramwell, backs; Harris (b), Jones (t) (captain), and Meagan, half-backs; Harris (j), Thomas, Hickson, Collins, Laverick. Tottenham Hotspurs; Mollowbread; Baker, Hopkins; Blanchflower, Norman, Sharples; Medwin, Harmer, Smith, Clayton, Jones. Referee; Mr. R. Ryall. (Sheffield). Tottenham made a late change by bringing in Tommy Hamer at inside right and Danny Blanchflower back to right half in place of Ryden. The ball bounced discongantingly on the heavily-sanded pitch and Spurs were first to make any move of note, with Smith being only fractionally offside, as he went for a lovely pass by Medwin. When Everton broke away Collins with a cute pass gave Laverick a chance and the winger hit the upright with his cross which he obviously intended to pull back for Hickson. Parker celebrating not only to release from National Service but also his first wedding anniversary today, looked happier in his old position and twice stopped the dangerous Cliff Jones.
Harris Hits Bar
Tottenham had a let-off when Jimmy Harris cut past Hopkins and hit a tremendous close-range angled shot against the angel of upright and crossbar. Norman and Baker got to each other's way to concede a corner and from Laverick's centre the ball dropped over the heads of Thomas and Baker but there was no Everton man up to take a gilt-edge chance. Everton were swinging the ball about and finding their men accurately on this beach-like surface. Both sides were playing excellently and there had been nothing better than Hamer's crossfield 40 yards pass to Blanchflower from which Cliff Jones had a chance-but Dunlop was able to save at his leisure. Everton went ahead after 12 minutes when Brian Harris put the ball through for Thomas. He turned it back for Collins to take a shot as he pleased and he beat Mellowbread with a fierce drive into the top right-hand corner. Then Jimmy Harris who was having his best game for weeks cut through again to beat Hollowbread only for Baker to come across and kick off the line. The ball was never properly cleared and when Thomas hit a fierce drive from just outside the box, it was deflected for a corner. From it, Hickson was only narrowly wide with a header. This was Everton at their best. Dunlop was called on to do the first work for ten minutes –and what a good job he made of it. When Blanchflower, who was always backing up his attack, lobbed the ball through the powerful Smith, looking like a younger edition of Denis Compton hit the ball on the volley, but the Everton keeper made a magnificent diving save. He repeated it a few moments later but this time to collect a too-strong back pass from Brian Harris which could quite easily have gone into the net. Clayton hit the ball on the volley to find it striking the crossbar with Dunlop beaten. A Collins-Thomas link up gave Laverick a chance to move on and hit a strong shot against the legs of the goalkeeper. The Collins-Laverick partnership was working like an oiled clock and after one brilliant move, Collins was only inches wide with a shot from outside the area. Tottenham snatched an equalizer after 34 minutes thanks to the wandering Cliff Jones. When Baker centred Tom Jones headed away but the Spurs winger took the clearance on the volley to hit it straight back past Dunlop. From the kick-off Everton went away and Hickson beat Hollowbread with a header only for Blanchflower to head off the line.
A Near Thing
The ball came back to Hickson whose shot was luckily parried by the goalkeeper's legs for a corner, I thought Hickson's first effort may just have been over the line before Blanchflower cleared but it was certainly a very narrow thing. This was the first time I had seen Laverick play, and there was no doubt that his directness has strengthened the left wing problem spot. He earned a corner off Baker through his tenacity, and from his cross Hickson again beat the towering Norman in the air, only to see his header flash wide. Half-time; Everton 1, Tottenham Hotspur 1.
For the third time in the match a Tottenham defender cleared off the line with the goalkeeper beaten. This came straight from the kick-off when a Hickson header from a Brian Harris centre was going in the net when Baker luckily got his knee to it. Everton went ahead again after 49 minutes with a "couldn't miss" goal by Thomas but the credit goes to Laverick. The winger beat Baker and crossed the ball strongly from the goal line for Hollowbread to deflect it straight at Thomas foot as he stood only a yard from the goal line.
It was all Everton now and from another beautiful hanging centre by Laverick, Blanchflower was lucky to pick up a deflection as Collins shot from close range. When Jimmy Harris came over to the left wing he linked with Laverick to give Thomas a chance and the inside man, jinking his way past sharpe hit a good left foot shot which Hollowbread saved at full stretch. Baker brought down Laverick with a thump and the crowd booed the Spurs back every time he touched the ball for the next few minutes. A great cross-field pass from Hickson to Jimmy Harris started an all-out Everton attack which lasted for a couple of minutes and ended with Brian Harris moving up to try a shot on the volley which bounced wide. Brian Harris twisted his right ankle in a harmless looking move when he passed back to Dunlop and it took trainer Watson a couple of minutes to get him on his feet again. Then Harris went on the left wing with Laverick inside and Collins at right half. Within a few minutes the Everton line-up was as per programme as Brian Harris went back to right half. The game as a whole had slipped in standard with both defences having comparatively easy times. Everton I thought had grounds for a penalty award when Jimmy Harris was knocked off the ball after a Hickson headed pass but the referee waved play on. Hickson shooting wide from a long centre by Jimmy Harris could not have had a better opportunity of making the game safe for his side, and the way Spurs were playing now it looked as though the equalizer was due any second Cliff Jones hit the upright and Clayton's quick return shot was cleared off the line. Final; Everton 2, Tottenham 1. Attendance 36,782.
THE COOKE MAGIC HAD ME FIT IN TIME
Saturday, February 28, 1959. The Liverpool Echo and Evening Express
The Amiable Man of Goodison
By Tom Jones
I owe a debt of gratitude to that amiable character of Goodison Park, trainer Harry Cooke, for the fact that I played against Tottenham today. Throughout the years Harry has been on the staff, he has had numerous players fit before they fully realized it themselves. My name can be added to that list. I'm sure he has surprised himself in my case, for a thought I would be out for a fortnight. Less than a week after straining a muscle high up on my thigh, he had me running around the track. On Tuesday when all bar Harry and myself had left Goodison for Bellefield, Harry had me taking my first steps towards fitness. And I men literally taking my first steps. First I had to learn to walk again, without limping gradually increasing into a jog and by Thursday he almost had me sprinting or as near to it as I am likely to get. During my lonely solourn round the Goodison pitch, I wondered what it would be really like to have to finish playing. It must be agony having to stand and watch lads going through their paces in a practice match, or more so in a six-a-side, when there isn't anything really at stake and you can fiddle a little. I no longer wonder why managers, trainers or coaches willingly forsake their track suits in particularly in such a kick about. The old urge takes some shifting , and I've seen many a good pair of shoes ruined just for a kick for old time's sake. We are all boys at heart.
The feeling are just the same when you are recovering from injury, I was dying for a run out with some of the youngsters who were playing a six-a-side on Wednesday morning. But all I had to be content with was a kick about with a soft light ball, after the grind of training on my own. Perhaps that's all the more reason I owe this debt of gratitude to Harry Cooke. Harry spends many of his leisure hours tending his flock as I am sure he calls them, beside other names. Even on Sunday morning he gave me treatment massaging my thing for almost an hour. He's one of the old brigade who has his heart and soul in his work and particularly so for the lads under his care. His devoted labours and time spent more than justify the position he holds. Thanks again, Harry.
It's not often a reserve team player is highlighted in these columns, so it would not come amiss should I do so now. The players I have in mind is that quiet redhead from Birkenhead, Stan Billington. You may wonder why I should pick on Stan. Simply because I don't believe Stan has had the plaudits his play at times deserves. He is quiet off the field but a rugged fearless 90-minutes player on. Stan has spent most of his time occupying the centre-half berth, but due to the consistency and good form of Brian Labone, his outings in the reserve will have been limited. That is, until manager Mr. Carey considered Stan a most eligible full back, for since then, Stan hasn't looked back. Unfortunately, last Saturday Stan met his match in slimly built Kenny Rea. Apparently Kenny was backing towards his own goal, as Stan behind him was moving out to clear a high ball. A nasty collision resulted, Kenny having a slightly cut head and Stan suffering facial cuts needing a stitch on the bridge of his nose. Stan was more worried over Kenny's condition than his own. In Harry Cooke's words; "That lad's a brick," The blow he took on the nose would have laid many a lesser man down. Twelfth man, needing the bonus at Birmingham last Saturday was Jimmy Gregory. Pity the lads couldn't have maintained their early form throughout the 90 minutes as the points would have been assured. Jimmy's need for bonus is urgent. We hear that there's to be wedding bells for Jim sometime in June. Leg-pulling apart, Jim here's wishing yourself and the future Mrs. Gregory the best of everything for the future and many bonuses. On the fitness front flu victims Eddie Thomas and Alec Ashworth who both had to cry off last week, have reported fully fit. Derek Temple whether he is superstitions or not I don't know, tells me he sails for Kenya on Friday the 13th of next month. With some eight months to do, he's looking forward to some sunshine. Safe return, Derek.
I'VE BEEN DROPPED BY DEFENCE –CIVIL TYPE
Saturday, February 28, 1959. The Liverpool Echo and Evening Express
By Alex Parker
I have experienced the ups and downs of a professional footballer's life as much as the next, and while I have had a share of the honours, I have also been at the other end of the scale. Soon after making my debut for Falkirk I was dropped and I have been dropped from the Scottish defence, but last week came the crowning blow. Dropped by the Civil Defence! As I told you last week I had to report to Millom for a Civil Defence course, but when I arrived there I was told I was too late as the course had already started. So after last week's game at Birmingham, it was back again on the road to Edinburgh, Ah, well. Our twelfth man at Brum was Jimmy Gregory, who is also in the Army. We discovered that we are due for demob on the same date and that he was also down for Civil Defence course at Millom. He didn't go on it either, but he was saved from having to make the journey there to find out. In the absence of Tommy Jones last week, Bobby Collins was captain for the day, and I'm afraid he had to put up with some ragging. In the dressing room it was; "Skipper, do this…skipper, do that…skipper, go and see about the other." Poor Bobby, but he took it all in good part. During the game Dave Hickson was chasing a ball towards the goal line followed by centre half Trevor Smith. To prevent City gaining a goal kick Dave turned the ball for what he thought was going to be a throw-in, but the ball hit the corner, flag. Smith went running on and the ball bounced straight back to Dave so he promptly hit it across for a perfect centre. It looked very effective, Dave, but somehow we don't think you planned it. The next stop in Parker's conducted tour of Britain takes me to Bristol next Wednesday to play for the Army against the Navy at the Rover's ground. The matelots will undoubtedly be out to avenge an 8-1 defeat last season.
The Army play the Belgium Army at Stamford Bridge on March 18, and a week later we meet the R.A.F at Wolverhampton, I know that is a week after my release but I shall probably be playing as I will be on demob leave. If United have avoided defeat today it will be up to us next Saturday to try to end their run and the way Quixall, Charlton, Violett and Co, and playing at present that is going to be far from the easiest task in the world. I don't need reminding what a danger Bobby Charlton is, for I have played with him many times in Army matches and against him in international matches. From all accounts Albert Quixall is playing as well as ever, and with Dennis Voilett between them our defence is going to have something on its plate. I hear that Albert Dunlop usually saves his best displays for Old Trafford. Here's hoping he gives a repeat performance next week. I have only played at Old Trafford once before. That was for the Army against an F.A X1 and whisper it, we were thrashed 6-3. I was playing against the late David Pegg that day, Jimmy Gregory tells me that he played with him in a schoolboy international match at Anfield some years ago. Pegg was with Doncaster Boys then, the same team that knocked our on school boys out of the English trophy a couple of week's ago. What fascinated me on my last trip to Old Trafford was the neon sigh they have outside the ground –Manchester United F.C. It puts me in mind of a threatre, and with some of the arts, crafts and ball jugglery which the United fans have been privileged to see the last few years that may not be far but I hope we can show them a few ourselves next week. It should also be quite a homecoming for our manager Mr. Carey; I hope we can make it a case of happy returns for him.
That 10-4 Day
As you read this you will know how we have fared in our effort to gain revenge for that 10-4 defeat at Tottenham earlier in the season, I didn't play in that match but I remember the day well. I was in Nicosia and working in the arms store with Willie Ritchie, the Rangers keeper' when the football results came on the wireless. The announcer said "Tottenham 10 Everton 4. I will repeat that score, Tottenham 10, Everton 4." I had to put up with some leg-pulling from Willie but it got me in the good books of the R.S.M. He had Spurs in the sweep and won £4. It's puzzled me why Tottenham have had such a poor season when they have players like Hamer, Smith, Blanchflower, Medwin, and Cliff Jones to call on. I've played against Medwin, Blanchflower and Jones in internationals and you can take it from me they are no mean players, I hope they haven't chosen today to make a return to form.
BLACKBURN ROVERS RES V EVERTON RES
Saturday, February 28, 1959, The Liverpool Echo and Evening Express
Blackburn Res; Walton; Bray, Kennedy; Smith, Herron, Clayton (A); Isherwood, Cairns, Hudson, Swindells, Kirkup. Everton Res; O'Neill; Sanders, Tansey; Rea, Labone, King; Blain, Temple, Kirby, Ashworth, Godfrey. Referee; Mr. N.J. Hampson (Southport). Everton had two narrow escapes in the opening minutes, Kirkup drove inches over from only eight yards and them O'Neill made a brilliant save from centre forward Hudson. Ashworth sent Kirby away and the centre forward looked dangerous until Herron robbed him neatly. Herron deliberately handled mid-way in his own half and from Rea's well placed free-kick Ashworth rose above the defence to head over the advancing Walton. Within five minutes Rovers were level. A Hudson header straight from a goalkick, spilt the Everton defence wide open and Swindle's strolled through to beat O'Neill. Although they had much less play, the Everton forwards Ashworth and Kirby in particular, worked hard against a resolute defence. The Everton defenders were often caught on the hop and with a marksman Blackburn could have been well in the lead. Half-time; Blackburn Rovers Res 1, Everton Res 1.