GOODISON CAME NEAR TO A GOAL FEAST
Monday, March 2, 1959. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton 2, Tottenham Hotspur 1
By Jack Rowe
The remarkable feature of this match was that there were only three goals. There could have been many more, for by my calculation if the score line had read something like –Everton 7, Spurs 5 –it would not have been too surprising. Three times Spurs were saved by goal-line clearances, twice their woodwork was struck, as was Everton’s and why Smith did not score twice was amazing. Hickson too, missed a wonderful opportunity, so it is easy to see how close we were to another goal-getting spree from these teams and if we cannot class the game as a footballing feast there was sufficient incidents to make it so productive of entertainment that the crowd must have been satisfied. And more than that, the Goodison Park fans would go home with a sense of relief for these two points, coupled with the failures of the teams below them, have disposed of much of the misgivings about the dangers of relegation. Everton deserved to win for their lead-up work was generally better, and of the two little men, Collins was vastly superior to Harmer. If the run of the ball had been a little kinder in the first fifteen minutes. I doubt if Spurs would have been in a position to make any sort of effective challenge. And With Jimmy Harris playing better than he has done for some time, Everton looked likely to overwhelm a Spurs defence which was far from solid. Collins, despite the early shadowing by Blanchflower, distributed excellently and before he scored in the twelfth minute, the Spurs goal had survived a shot by Jimmy Harris, which thudded against the post and Baker kicked off the line when another shot had beaten Hollowbread. Collins scored with a calculated drive from the edge of the penalty area after Thomas –how well he played all though –had made the opening by sheer persistence and we felt Everton were going to go a long way towards obliterating the memory of that 10-4 debacle at White Hart Lane. As Blanchflower, still a great player began to prompt and drive his forwards Spurs were able to take a hand and Dunlop made a tremendous save from a first time Smith volley. Clayton put a dipping shot against the bar and Smith kicked over a great chance. In thirty-four minutes Cliff Jones struck a first time volley and Dunlop might have been unsighted as the ball sped past him for an equalizer. Blanchflower headed off the line from Hickson’s header, and shots from Laverick and Collins missed the target by inches. No sooner had the game re-started than Hickson again saw a header somehow kept out by Baker. But in forty-nine minutes Thomas was on the shot when Hollowbread pushed out a short cross from Laverick, who made the chance by the clever way he rounded Baker, to put Everton ahead. If the second half did not compare with the first it still had excitement especially when Cliff Jones rocketed a shot against a post and Smith passed the ball sideways with no one with him when he had only the advancing Dunlop to beat, as Spurs struggled to save a point. Here, I think we saw the value of the decision to put Parker (now on demobolisation leave) to right back. I should imagine he is there to stay. While neither defence was really commanding, there was much fine play, particularly from Bramwell and Meagan for Everton and from Norman Blanchflower and Baker for Spurs.
Boos For Baker
Why Baker should have been booed so much after a foul on Laverick was beyond me. It was a foul, but far from vicious. It might be that Laverick could become a favouritie of the Goodison Park fans. He is shaping in a way which could make his capture the shrewdest of the season and in his third match did so much that was right and so little that was wrong. Hickson had a day on which his passes rarely went to the right place, but amid the criticism let us remember he was the victim of two of the goal-line clearances and two passes which did get through enabled Jimmy Harris to hit the post and have another shot stopped on the line. Hickson also put the ball on a plate for Harris who must have scored if he had not been bundled off the ball, in a way which warranted a penalty. I give the Everton forward palm to Thomas, Collins and Laverick and on the Spurs side to Cliff Jones and Smith and I fall to appreciate how Tottenham can do without Blanchflower. I still feel Everton need more strength in at least one wing half position. Everton; Dunlop; Parker, Bramwell; B. Harris, Jones (captain), Meagan; J. Harris, Thomas, Hickson, Collins, Laverick. Tottenham; Hollowbread; Baker, Hopkins; Blanchflower, Norman, Sharpe; Medwin, Harmer, Smith, Clayton, Jones. Referee; Mr. R. Ryalls, (Sheffield). Attendance, 36,782.
BLACKBURN ROVERS RES 2, EVERTON RES 1
Monday, March 2, 1959. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton Reserves were fortunate to get away with such a light defeat at Ewood Park. Their defence was full of holes but Blackburn’s erractic finishing prevented their taking advantage of it. Despite that, O’Neill in goal, made three excellent saves when the Blackburn forwards were on the mark. Ashworth gave Everton the lead after nine minutes, but Swindell’s equalized after sixteen minutes and Cairns scored the decider twenty minutes from time Kirby, at centre forward and Ashworth, at inside left were Everton’s most promising forwards. Everton team was; O’Neill; Sanders, Tansey; Rea, Labone, King; Blain, Temple, Kirby, Ashworth, Godfrey.
EVERTON GREAT WIN
Monday, March 2, 1959. The Liverpool Echo and Evening Express
By Leslie Edwards
The Everton chief, John Carey, who will be renewing acquaintance with his old club, in a strictly business sense, wishes he could be as sure about Brian Harris recovering from the painful ankle injury he suffered late in the game against Tottenham, but we must wait and see. Everton have almost invariably done well against Manchester United recently. Exceptions were that Cup defeat at Old Trafford and the home defeat by a team so lacking in first teamers it might well have been labeled Manchester United reserves. It will be interesting to see whether Everton can take further steps to safety an aim they furthered against Tottenham on Saturday with a 2-1 victory that could not have been more timely. The basic of this performance was the solidity of the defence in which Parker reverted to his true position at back. One of Dunlop’s finest saves, from a volley by Smith and the ability of Tom Jones to cope with the Tottenham centre forward as young Brian Labone had not been able to a season ago were also telling factors; and so was the promise of Laverick on the left and the solo obligation by Collins who was happy as a sandboy on the much sanded pitch which tended to make the ball do tricks.
Touch and Go
Earlier in the season Spurs had won 10-4 at White Hart Lane. This match too could have been a very high scoring one, but for the number of shots which hit bar or post, and Everton could claim that if full back Baker had not intervened twice on the goal-line the game would have been won and lost long before the 90th minute. There was more than a shade of doubt also about a penalty box charge by Hopkins on Jimmy Harris. Spurs who are far too good a side to be so low in the table – some of their slick touch-and-go moves looked like championship stuff –also hit the goal frame twice so Everton also had their moments of anxiety. Owing to flu this was the first view of young Laverick. He is sizeable young and can slip a pass and take up good positions for a quick return. He is still a bit green but he has a useful shot and his centring is, excellent. Sharpened up a little and getting more into the game in attack and defence he might be the answer to one of Everton’s problems. He could scarcely have done more in this match. The game’s great artists were Collins and Blanchflower. Collins with a goal from a first rate piece of work by Thomas and some sleight of foot which had the defence at sea played stuff which should ensure his place in the Scottish team at Wembley. Blanchflower untiring in his building up from throws from goalkeeper Hollowfield used every gambit in the book –long passes, short passes, passes flicked by head or foot. Too bad for Blanchflower that Medwin is only a shadow of the man who used to be half the Swansea attack.
The Greater Problem
It was the other former Swansea man Cliff Jones who posed the greater problem. He scored with a fine volley to get the equalizer but Parker usually forced him into wanderings which did not amount to much and thus when Laverick crossed the ball and Hollowfield failed to grasp it Thomas was able to cut it over over the line for what proved to be the winning goal. This was the easiest chance Thomas will ever get but he had such a part in the other score and he did so well in his generally play one could rate this as his best game for months. Parker who plays for the Army against the Navy at Bristol On Wednesday looked happier in his old spot. Tom Jones could scarcely have played better and though Meagan has not returned to his wonderful form of last season he finished strongly and Everton at least have the basis for a team of the future. Blanchflower apart from the big man of the Spurs side was Norman at centre-half, but he mixed some extraordinarily good finesses with some wild clearances such as one often sees in parks football but he subdued Hickson, who had a day when little would go right.
- Peter Farrell and Wally Fielding are playing in the all-star team to play Newcastle United Football League side under the St. James Park floodlights tonight.
NO PLACE FOR SENTIMENT
March 6, 1959. The Liverpool Echo and Evening Express
By Leslie Edwards
Everton Manager John Carey, goes to his old stamping ground (but I never knew him to stamp on anyone) at Old Trafford knowing that there is no sentiment where football is concerned. He still has vivid recollection and so have I of Liverpool going there in their relegation season wanting points and finding themselves three down in double-quick time. That was the occasion of Louis Bimpson’s first appearance in the Liverpool first team. Thus, the new Busby side produced almost magically after a crisis which would have shattered most other clubs, will be all-out to further their championship hopes at Everton’s expense, and the only visible sign of sentiment will be the warm handshake between Mr. Busby and his former captain, who did so much to create the Manchester United legend. But Everton are not downcast at the prospect of facing United, at Old Trafford. They’ve been United’s bogey team there too long and the Busby boy’s are aware of it. Dunlop almost invariably chooses these matches to have an inspired day, and when that happens anything is possible. Everton fans will doubtless follow their side in force. They will be keen to see how their side tackles the defensive problems posed by such artists as Violett and Charlton. As if these two were not sufficient, Matt Busby has injected into the attack that bundle of energy and football knowledge, Quixall who seems to me to be playing far above his Sheffield Wednesday form. On the face of it, United should win but football does not work out to form and facts and figures and because Everton’s custom is to play well at Old Trafford and they have Parker at back and two points from Tottenham in their locker, one cannot write them off. The coincident side of soccer has an uncanny way of repeating itself. Manchester United who won a tough match at Blackburn on Monday are almost certain to field an unchanged team. Everton; Dunlop; Parker, Bramwell; Harris (B), Jones, Meagan; Harris (J), Thomas, Hickson, Collins, Laverick.
EVERTON WERE WORTH A SHARE OF THE POINTS
March 7, 1959. The Liverpool Echo and Evening Express
Manchester United 2, Everton 1
By Michael Charters
Manchester United;- Gregg, goal; Greaves and Carolan, backs; Goodwin, Cope, and McGuinness, half-backs; Bardley, Quixall, Violett, Charlton, and Scanlon, forwards. Everton; Dunlop, goal; Parker, and Bramwell, backs; Harris (B), Jones (captain), and Meagan, half-backs; Harris (J), Thomas, Hickson, Collins, Laverick, forwards. Referee; Mr. F.B. Coultas (Hull). Everton lost the toss and had to kick into the wind in the first half.
Off Collins Toe
Carolan took the ball off Collins toe in the opening move when a shrewd through pass from Thomas look like creating danger for United. United came back with a dazzling touchline dribble from Quixall but the wind caught his centre and carried it over the bar. Parker distinguished himself with a couple of neat interceptions and Everton had began quite brightly. The strength of the wind could be gauged when a free kick by Jimmy Harris curled right away from goal. Thomas missed the first shooting chance of the match after Hickson had beaten Cope and cleverly dragged the ball back. From quite a good angle, Thomas shooting quickly, but the ball went wide.
Wind Plays Tricks
When Hickson was obstructed right on the edge of the penalty box, Jimmy Harris, taking a quick pass from Collins, shot well wide –excusable in a way because of the effect the wind was having on the flight of the ball. Everton got another indirect free kick this time when Goodwin obstructed, Hickson but Brian Harris’s shot was just as wild in its direction as the previous one from his namesake. So far little had been seen of the famed United attack although Quixall had shown some delightful midfield touches. Everton continued to have the better of matters and Gregg almost misjudged a high cross from Laverick, falling backwards as he grabbed the ball.
First Corner –A Goal
Then United showed the first flash of real ability with a delightful move starting with a crossfield pass from Goodwin to Quixall out to Bradley who cut past Bramwell, and centred low, only to see Brian Harris stop the ball dead a couple of yards from the line with as good a trap as you could see. United earned their first corner after 20 minutes and from it took a leading goal. From Bradley’s kick, Parker headed the ball out and Goodwin standing on the edge of the area, volleyed it back instantly for a superbly taken effort to which Dunlop had no chance at all. At this stage Everton I thought were a little unfortunate to be behind for they had the better of the game territorially. Jimmy Harris went very close to an equalizer with a first time left foot shot from a wing cross which eluded Hickson and the United defence as it moved continually in the breeze. A minute later the winger a brilliant run and crossed the ball invitingly but it was the tall Goodwin who ran in to head away.
The United inside men sent out a stream of lovely passes to their wingers and it was only due to the fine work of Park and Bramwell that the United forward line was held up. Parker particularly was playing Scanlon beautifully and the Scot made an incredible goalline clearance when United looked like increasing their lead. Charlton not a tremendous 30 yard shot against the crossbar the ball rebounding to Violett whose shot was parried by Dunlop but not sufficiently to stop its progress and Parker came across to clear inches from the line. Charlton was ever ready to try one of his cannonball drives from any range of angle, and Brian Harris took the full force of one left shot from only a few yards, which must have made him sting. After Dunlop had made a magnificent save from a 20-yard shot by Quixall, Everton started to fight back as half-time drew near. From an excellent Hickson-Jimmy Harris link-up, Collins put the ball in the net from a position just outside the box for what appeared to be a perfectly good goal, but the referee disallowed when a linesman flagged for Laverick standing in an offside position. Although United had controlled matters for the last 20 minutes, Everton kept on fighting, but the brilliance of United’s inside trio was beginning to tell. Half-time; Manchester Utd 1, Everton nil.
From a fluid United’s attack with the five forwards moving up in am irrestable red line, it fell on Charlton to delivery the final shot and he did so with such power from an angle position that Dunlop could not hold it first time but quickly recovered to clear.
Both linesmen, I thought were a little flag-happy and twice pulled up each side for offsides when there seemed a great deal of doubt about their decisions. Parker playing brilliantly and keeping Scanlon under tight control and one long touchline pass of Jimmy Harris but the winger, with a clear run to goal overran the ball and the chance was lost. A Collins inspired move for Everton in his own half ended with Hickson passing the ball through cleverly for Jimmy Harris to take a close range shot and Gregg was a little lucky to block it for a corner.
On the hour Everton were awarded a penalty when Gregg fumbled the ball well outside his area and as Jimmy Harris went for it, Gregg recovered and bundled Harris off. But Gregg made a magnificent diving save from one’s kick as the Everton skipper tried to place it wide of the keeper’s left hand. Thus it was astonishing that Everton, although behind on the finer points of the game should have what appeared to be a perfectly good goal disallowed and also fail with a penalty. Brian Harris got into the shooting act with a Charlton like shot from 20 yards which bean Gregg only to hit the crossbar. United came back in classic style to take a second goal after 63 minutes. Charlton went out to the left wing to trick his way past Parker and sling over a centre which eluded the whole Everton defence and Scanlon, in the centre of the goal, went down on his knee to head it just inside the post. Everton’s luck came back to them, however, with an in creditable open goal by Cope after 68 minutes. From Jimmy Harris’ free kick just outside the area, which assuming harmless across the face of goal, Cope stepped in front of Gregg and miskicked it over the head of his goalkeeper into the net. Everton were really fighting now for the equalizer and it was clear that this United defence was jittery under pressure and had nothing like the quality of their forward line, who were always dangerous particularly Quixall. Final;- Manchester United 2, Everton 1. Official attendance 51,044.
Everton despite missing a penalty and having what appeared to be a good Collins goal disallowed and managed to hold the power United, chasing yet another League title. Everton had two brilliant spells early in each half but although United’s defence was jittery at times, they managed to hold out because Everton had no one who could shoot.
WEEK-END IN BRIGHTON
Saturday March 7, 1959. The Liverpool Echo and Evening Express
By Tom Jones
Sentimentality fans supposed to play a big part in modern day football, so it is good to see so many of the top clubs helping their more modest colleagues financially by arranging friendly games in mid-week. Everton have joined the trend by having a game at Crystal Palace on the Monday night following our League match at West Ham on Saturday, April 4. At the same time, the club has fritted in a couple of days’ break for the boys as it is the week-end following the three-games-in-four-days Easter programme. We’re all looking forward to this trip. We go down to London on the Friday before the West Ham match and then, after the game carry on to Brighton where we will stay on the Saturday and Sunday nights, returning to London on the Monday afternoon for the game with Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park that night. We return to our London hotel after the friendly coming back to Liverpool on Tuesday. Altogether it looks like being a very pleasant extended week-end particularly if we can beat West Ham in our important match. We drew 2-2 with the Hammers at Goodison earlier in the season, and this strong, go-getting side are a formidable proposition on their own ground. The name of Crystal Palace always brings back to Everton fans their ill-fated day in 1922 when the London side came to Goodison in a Cup-tie and won 6-0 – Everton’s biggest-ever home Cup defeat. these day’s, Palace are only a shadow of their once good side, but I’m looking forward to playing at Selhurst Park for the first time as I understand that it is a ground of great potentially. It is in a natural bowl in South Liverpool, near Croydon, with a terrific hillside terrace opposite the only stand. It is like Charlton’s Valley – only bigger –and if Palace even managed to progress into a higher sphere of the League, they could turn their ground into one of the finest in the country, if they could raise the money to do so.
West Ham are also aiding the junior clubs by arranging to play a friendly against a North Wales Select X1 at Bangor, on March 18. And with many others following suit up and down the country, it is good to see the helping hand being extended by senior clubs. We only managed to beat Tottenham 2-1 last week, but I thought the boys played well enough to have taken the points more decisively. During Saturday’s game Jimmy Harris was attempting to take the ball past Mel Hopkins by sheer speed Jimmy is no sluggard, but the majority of his attempts were thwarted by the long spidery legs of Hopkins. Bobby Smith was telling me that Hopkins is the fastest around the track at Tottenham. Knowing this, the lads have been pulling Jimmy’s leg this week, telling him that he’s getting slow. Consequently, Jimmy has been indulging in some extra sprints. You can relax now Jim! Reverting back to Mel Hopkins for a moment. Although he isn’t a local find as he has represented Wales in may internationals, he graduated from the Tottenham ground staff. There was no more critical person of his own play, after last Saturday’s game, than Dave Hickson was of himself. Dave indeed was at war with himself. Bobby Collins, who strips alongside, was commiserating on Dave’s shooting and gave Dave the sound advice; “Providing you’re having a go, the goals will come. “It’s when you don’t shoot you don’t score.” That’s logical enough for anyone and I’m sure Dave will be all the better for it. But I thought it a good thing that Dave should be criticizing his own play. So often these days players are inclined to blame the other fellow for mistakes’ or blame the run of the ball luck on an opponent’s part anything that is, apart from their own failings. They won’t admit that they can make an error or play a bad game. The type of player plays for himself or personal gain. He’s not worried over results –just whether he’s played well or not. Luckily players of this temperament seldom reach the top. It’s the player who realizes he can and will make mistakes and is prepared to rectify them who will gain success due to him. Knowing Dave, he’ll be out to show that, as far as shooting is concerned, it was just one of those days. His name on the score sheet today against United will justify his self criticism and perhaps restore his morale. Here’s hoping.
CIVVY STREET LOOKS TERRIFIC TO ME
March 7, 1959. The Liverpool Echo and Evening Express
Says Everton’s Alex Parker, Now Enjoying Full Training
Anybody who has been in the Services will know how I have felt this week, my first after being released from National Service. Strange the number of people who have said to me; “How are you liking Civvy Street?” I don’t know what answer they expected, but if they are in any doubt I think it’s terrific. Although the Army was very generous in giving me time off to play football and I was honoured by being selected to captain the Army team I have missed the full-time training of a professional club, and all the travelling involved has not been the best preparation in the world for First Division football. It was a week last Thursday that I was told I was being demobbed, and what with that. Saturday being my first wedding anniversary and the win over Spurs, it was quite a week-end. As I am now on demob leave, I shall of course, be liable to be called to play in Army games this month. As I was going up to Goodison last Monday morning I don’t think I have ever looked forward to training so much. Apart from a spell of leave over Christmas, it’s the first time I have been able to enjoy the facilities of full training with professionals since last June when I was with the Scottish World Cup party. I suppose it will be some time before I really get back into it. Fusilier Parker is now a thing of the past. I have relinquished my rank and will soldier more, “I hope! Last Monday we started off with a spell in the gym followed by some track work and then had a seven-a-side game. Some of the boys greeting me with Hullo there strangers” and “What’s your name? Are you a new signing.” On Tuesday we had a full practice game with the first team defence against the first team attack. I think the Whites Hickson and Co won 4-2 but don’t spread it around. On March 19, I have to report to the Liverpool-Scottish in Fraser Street. I hear they have quite a good team which included Jock Lindsay the former Everton full back I believe he is going to be one of my sergeants. Remember Jock we’re fellow-Scots.
A 10-4 Special
While watching TV last Tuesday night the orchestra played “Hernando’s Hide away.” It was a favourite of mine, when it first became popular some years ago, and I remember a friend telling me that he always recalled me as a youngster walking home from work with my hands in my pockets kicking a ball of paper and whistling that tune. Don’t get much time to whistle while I play now. After last week’s game with Spurs, thought that although I did not play in the game at White Hart Lane in October 1 could quite easily have figured in another 10-4 game in which the ten was in our favour. When I think back on the number of goal-line clearances, hit woodwork and missed chances there were, it is hard to believe that the score was only 2-1. One thing I did notice was that all four home counties were represented with Blanchflower (Ireland) Hopkins, Medwin and Cliff Jones (Wales), Bobby Collins and myself (Scotland) and Mick Meagan (Eire) I think all the others were English. Last Tuesday I received notification from the Army F.A that I have been chosen to play for them against an Irish F.A X1 I have offend been asked just what form these instructions take. Well they are typically Army as the following will show;
Irish F.A X1 v British Army at Windsor Park, Belfast, and Wednesday, March 19 1959. Kick-off 7-45 p.m. Team the following team has been selected to represent the British Army in the above match; Goal Corporal R. Slater, Scottish Command (M) Signal TP Backs; R Fusilier A.H. Parker 1st Bn Royal Highland Fusiliers; L. Private P. Jones, A.O.C, MT Stores Sub-Depot, Bordon. It lists the rest of the team in the same way and then goes on;- Linesman;- To be notified. Trainer –Staff Sergeant S. Wakeford R.A.M.C.
The letter then outlines the travelling arrangements and continues;-
3. Playing Kit;- The Army will play in red jerseys (numbered), while collars white shorts and red stocks (white tops) which will be provided. Players are requested to bring with them athletic slips, gym shoes, shin guards and football boots, which should be properly studded. Players will also bring soap and towel. That is not all but it gives you some idea. You will see that it is not like some people apparently thought – rather a slipshod set up. It is well organized and the players are given their full instruction., In other words there are no loopholes. Last Tuesday I caught the midnight train from Lime Street on my way to meet the rest of the Army team in London for Wednesday’s match against the Royal Navy at Bristol.
Navy Hit For Six
After last season’s 8-1 victory we thought we would be in for another easy game, but the Royal Navy took the lead in the first minute and at half-time we were being held to 2-2. However, in the second half the match ran true to form and we ran out easy winners 8-2. Peter Dobing of Blackburn Rovers, our centre forward, scored six in about 14 minutes and but for some good saves by the goalkeeper, hit woodwork and goal-line clearances we would have run up a cricket score. During one spell when the ball did everything but go in the net I thought to myself. This is just like the Everton v. Leicester game a few weeks ago. But it wasn’t quite as bad. At least some of the shots got through. I always thought that London was a big place, but now I am not so sure. With a bit of time to kill before leaving London for Liverpool on Wednesday night I dropped into a news threate in Leicester Square. After a few minutes I felt pieces of paper hitting me on the back, and when I turned round I saw that Tommy Docherty was sitting two rows behind me. Quite a coincidence. On Thursday most of the Everton team had their pictures taken but it was not the usual kind we have to pose for Tommy Jones, Bobby Collins, Dave Hickson, Albert Dunlop, Jimmy Harris and I went to be X-rayed in connection with the city’s anti TB campaign. I suppose most of you will recall Arthur Rowe the ex-Spurs manager. Well he is now my new manager. Before you jump to conclusions I hasten to add that he is in charge of the Army games for the next month.
EVERTON RES V BLACKPOOL RES
Saturday March 7, 1959. The Liverpool Echo and Evening Express
Everton Res;- O’Neill; Parkes, Tansey; Sanders, Labone, King; Blain, Temple, Kirby, Ashworth, Godfrey. Blackpool Res;- Caine; Walker, Pragg, Scott, Snowden, Fenton, Gregson, Peterson, James, Salt, Fawiest. Referee; Mr. G. Ollerton (Preston), A good move on the Blackburn left broke down through Salt getting offside and from the free kick Kirby was well wide with a snap shot for Everton. Snowden stopped Ashworth from brusting through but the ball went lose to Godfrey. Craig almost turned the winger’s centre past. Caine who had to make a one handed save. Everton were having more of the play and Godfrey tried a drive which just cleared the far angle. The same player soon released another first timer which Caine tipped over while Kirby breasted down a centre from Blain to hit a vicious volley across the Blackpool goal. Half-time; Everton Res nil, Blackpool Res nil.
ONE MAN KNOWS THE ANSWER
March 9, 1959. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton Mystery Still Unsolved
Manchester United 2, Everton 1
By Ian Hargreaves
Hull referee F.B. Coultas is the only man who knows exactly why Manchester United beat Everton at Old Trafford on Saturday. None of the other fifty thousand present –including the members of both teams –can explain why he disallowed what seemed a perfectly good goal by Collins just before the interval, when United were leading one-nil. And as Mr. Coultas would tell neither Everton skipper Tommy Jones nor myself the reason for his decision the matter remains as mysterious as some of his other rulings. The incident occurred in the 42nd minute when Hickson gained possession in midfield and thrust a long pass out to J. Harris on the right wing. Harris took the ball down to the goal-line and pulled it back on the ground to Collins, standing on the edge of the penalty box who promptly hanged it into the net. Mr. Coultas, appeared to award a goal then noticed linesman Wraggs flag wagging and awarded a free kick to United instead. Since neither Harris nor Laverick could conceivably have been offside and the kick was awarded inside the penalty area, one can assume another Everton forward – probably Hickson obstructed Gregg as trying to save. And just to make things even more confusing Mr. Coultas made no move to consult his linesman until the team came off at the interval.
This stroke of misfortune was not of course the only reason for Everton’s defeat. Other equally congent ones were the failure of Jones to convert a penalty awarded after a clash between United goalkeeper Gregg and Jimmy Harris the intervention of a crossbar which prevented Brian Harris from scoring with a lovely thirty-yard shot, and the inability of Jimmy Harris and Thomas to take advantage of the few chances a subdued Collins managed to create. So Everton remained goalless until one of their opponents centre half Cope, showed them the way with a perfectly times volley into his own net from a Jimmy Harris free kick in the 68th minute. Even this inspired no obvious improvement, and one was forced to the conclusion that matches will continue to be thrown away until the club find an inside-forward to take some of the work off Collins’ shoulders and a competent left winger. Everton’s fallings in attack were particularly regrettable on Saturday, because their defence made a fine job of containing Manchester’s high powered forward line. Bramwell, Jones, and Dunlop all did well, but easily the best was full back Alec Parker celebrating his return to full time football in the grand manner. He had the answer to everyone of Scanlon’s tricks, prevented a certain goal by kicking off the line after Dunlop had half saved a point-blank shot by Viollet and gave an object lesson to friend and foe all with his accurate distribution.
The Three Must Teers
Understandably the Everton halves had a pretty exhausting afternoon against United’s famous inside trio of Quixall, Violett, and Charlton but they were by no means disgraced if occasionally bewildered. Old Trafford’s Three Musketeers pose a pretty problem for all possess balance and ball-control above the ordinary, but on this occasion they were somewhat disconcerted by the storm sweeping sternly down-field and functioned more as individuals than as the formidable combined until they can be. The procedure seemed to be for the wingers to bring the ball down field to within striking distance of goal and then for Violett to feint and manoeuvre until he had opened a gap through which Charlton, Quixall and occasionally Goodwin could burst. Like most plans it has its weaknesses, and these were soon exposed once Scanlon and Bradley had been subdued. In fact neither of United’s goals came through routine channels. The first in the 31st minute was the result of sheer opportunism, Goodwin headed a Bradley corner kick goalward, Parker headed it back and Goodwin met it with the volley to end all volleys a terrific shot that all but removed net from stanchion. The second, on the hour followed one of United’s well planned switches. Charlton’s acceleration enabled him to round Parker on the left and Scanlon was waiting in front of goal to head the ball home from close range. In the end justice was done –if not seen to be done –and United got the two points that keep them snapping at the Wolves’ heels. They have come a long way since I first saw their, reorganized side beat Sheffield Wednesday in the first match after Munich, but on this evidence their defence at least still has some way to go before it reaches the old standard. At present I fancy Wolves to keep their title. Manchester United;- Gregg, goal; Greaves and Carolan, backs; Goodwin, Cope, and McGuinness, half-backs; Bardley, Quixall, Violett, Charlton, and Scanlon, forwards. Everton; Dunlop, goal; Parker, and Bramwell, backs; Harris (B), Jones (captain), and Meagan, half-backs; Harris (J), Thomas, Hickson, Collins, Laverick, forwards. Attendance 51,044.
EVERTON RES 1, BLACKPOOL RES 0
March 9, 1959. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton Reserves gave a vastly improved performance in deservedly beating Blackpool even though victory was achieved only by Kirby’s 48th minute penalty goal. Despite goalkeeper’s Caine’s ability and anticipation, together with Blackpool’s depth in defence, Everton applied sufficient second half pressure to have in creased their tally. Except for outside left Godfrey however, the Everton forwards were hestitant near goal. The Everton defence in which Tansey and Labone were outstanding had little difficulty in containing the Blackpool attack. Everton; O’Neill; Parkes, Tansey; Sanders, Labone, King; Blain, Temple, Kirby, Ashworth, Godfrey.
THE MOST PUZZLING DECISION OF THE SEASON
March 9, 1959. The Liverpool Echo and Evening Express
By Michael Charters
Two drama packed moments stopped Everton from bringing back at least a point from Old Trafford on Saturday when they went down 2-1 to a Manchester United side checking another League championship. In a game which never reached great heights, Everton had as much of the play as their famous opponents and could easily have brought off one of the shock results of the day. The first incident which proved a turning point came in that vital 43rd minutes when a goal can prove decisive and preventing one is equally important to the defence. I shall ever be convinced that Everton scored at that time to bring the score to 1-1 it was disallowed –and I’ll never know why. It took some foraging after the game to learn the reason for referee Coultas who was in charge of the Cup Final two years ago, turning it down. I give the story of the incident in some detail because I had such an important bearing on the match. Jimmy Harris took the ball to the by-line some six yards or so from the upright, before turning it back to Collins, standing just inside the penalty line, and Collins chipped it over Gregg’s head into the far corner of the net. As Harris was right on the line when he crossed the ball, it is impossible as I see it for anyone to be offside-line –the move was similar to a corner-kick. The referee signalled a goal as Collins’s shot hit the back of the net. Then he noticed that linesman Wragg of Sheffield had his flag raised on the far side of the pitch. He reversed his decision and awarded a free-kick to United, which was taken from a point near the penalty spot. He did not consult the linesman. I assumed the linesman had flagged for offside apparently against Laverick who had been little more than an interested spectator of the move and had taken no part in it. It was puzzling to say the least because no one could have been offside from the way the ball was pulled back from the line. Most of the Everton team clustered around the referee as they left the pitch for half-time, and skipper Tom Jones questioned the referee, I learned later that Mr. Coultas told Jones he could not give his reason for disallowing the goal until he had spoken to the linesman. The referee would not see the Press after the game, but I understand his decision was taken because Hickson had impeded Gregg as Collins shot. My view is that Hickson was some yards from Gregg at the time. You can work it out for yourselves –I can’t fathom it.
So Everton turned round one down to Goodwins goal, but were given the best chance of all to equalize right to the hour in the second incident of high drama. Gregg caught a loose ball as he was challenged by Hickson allowed it to slip out of his grasp like a piece of wet soap and the ball went bounding back towards the goal. Gregg chased it alongside Jimmy Harris, bundled Harris out of his way and was penalized. But Jones trying to place his penalty kick to Gregg’s left hand, did not hit it with enough power, and Gregg dived to turn it round the post. Five minutes later United scored their second, and although Everton cut one back with a Cope own goal, within three minutes their great chance, had gone and the game petered out with a series of petty fouls which marred much of the earlier interest. I think Everton could have won this match, despite the disallowed “goal” and the missed penalty had they had a forward who could shoot. Much of their approach play showed United’s defence to be uncertain and nothing like the quality of the attack. But Hickson, Jimmy Harris and Thomas were sadly amiss with their shooting, sending their shot’s high and wide so that Gregg was never really troubled. There was a swirling gusty wind which often played tricks with the ball once it rose more than four or five feet off the ground, and this undoubtedly had its effect on the play. On the other hand, the United forwards moved with tremendous verve and dash at times, and had it not been for the superb defensive play of Parker, Bramwell, and Jones Everton might have been thrashed.
Parker had his best-ever game for Everton and so blotted out Scanlon that if the United left winger is chosen for England against Scotland at Wembley next month, Parker must be an automatic choice to get his place for Scotland. Little behind him was Bramwell, who looked a much better proposition than the vaunted Carolan, the Irishman who has taken over the late Roger Byrne’s place in the United defence. Jones, too, played that brilliant ball player Violett very well, although late on the United leader missed a couple of gilt-edged chances when he had eluded Everton’s defensive cover. United for the championship? That jittery defence must still worry manager Matt Busby but he has three priceless inside men as compensation. Granted wingers Scanlon and Bradley were rarely in the game because of the dominance of the Everton backs, the work of Charlton, Violett and Quixall had top class stamped all over it.
United’s second goal was as perfect example. As Scanlon was getting such little change from Parker, the brainy Charlton moved over to the left wing, took a pass from Violett, beat Parker for the first and only time in the game and sent over such an accurate centre that Scanlon now on the centre forward spot had only to stoop low and head it past Dunlop. Charlton’s power shooting came off once when he set the Everton crossbar shivering with a terrific 35-yard shot, and it took a goal-line clearance by Parker to prevent a goal as Violett returned the rebound. Brian Harris repeated the shot later in the game when he hit the bar from 20 yards, but there was no Everton man around to collect the loose ball. This was a patchy game, however. A Good deal of Everton pressure in the early stages of each half was not turned into goals because of poor finishing. Then flashes of brilliance from United’s inside trio lit up the picture like lightning, but it was not sustained. In between there was much hard slogging without much to shot for it, and at the end the general feeling was that Everton were worth a point.
BILLY COOK POWER BEHIND MARCH OF NORWICH
March 11, 1959. The Liverpool Daily Post
By Horace Yates
Everton may yet be doubly represented at Wembley? This is no joke in poor taste, but a possibility which may become fact with the playing of Saturday’s F.A Cup semi-finals. Have you ever heard of Billy Cook the right back who gained a Cup medal in 1933, within five months of joining the Goodison Park club from Glasgow Celtic? Of course you have Billy, believe it or not, he’s trainer-coach to Norwich City the sensation of this season’s F.A Cup competition. Mr. Cook has travelled far and I mean that literally since he wound up his playing career with Everton, and in a far-flung tour as a football coach he can justly claim to have as much experience as most men in the business. Billy the Irishman, from Colerain, whose Scottish ascent would fool even the natives was skipper of Everton’s championship side in the last post-war season during the days of Tommy Lawton, Tommy Jones and Joe Mercer the manager of Aston Villa hose success could provide the second leg of Everton interest on May 2. Joe Mercer’s triumphant march of progress is known to all, but Cook’s part in the adventures of galliant Norwich has not captured public imagination to anything like the same extent. When one examples the antecedents of some of the City players and the powers behind the scenes, it becomes easier to understand how the East Anglian side have survived to become the fourth Third Division team to reach the last four.
This is the route Billy Cook has travelled to reach one of the most exciting phases of his non-playing career; Four years as coach in Norway, before moving on to Peru. From there he went to Sweden, where he was associated with George Raynor the Swedish national coach. Then he became national coach in Iraq, but surrendered to the heat and an intense longing to see something of home, which caused him to turn down further offers to travel to Italy and Singapore where his soccer knowledge was in demand. At home he was in turn manager of Crewe and Wigan Athletic until last October when Norwich made him a member of their staff. One of my most recent memories of Billy was at a sports day of the “Daily Post and Echo” several years ago. There he took part in an exhibition of ball control with head and feet in company with Everton and Liverpool players, and for me Billy stole the show with his artistry. Apparently at Norwich it is a case of do as I do and if Billy is still as adept now as he was then small wonder these Norwich boys are playing right above the class expected of them.
SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY WANT KIRBY
March 12, 1959. The Liverpool Echo and Evening Express
By Leslie Edwards
Sheffield Wednesday, now managed by former Everton player, Harry Catterick, are interested in Everton’s reserve centre forward George Kirby, and the transfer may be completed tomorrow. The fee involved is not enclosed, but as the last day for transfers this season is Monday, Everton manager John Carey is on a seller’s market and must therefore have named a fair price. Mr. Catterick with Froggatt and Ellis injured is so badly off for forwards he had to make a move quickly. He had thoughts of going for Ken Birch of Southampton who made his delay debut for Everton on the same day as Kirby in April 1956 with the idea of converting him immediately to one of the forward positions. Kirby, formerly apprentice in the printing trade signed amateur forms for Everton in 1950 and turned part-time professional when he was 18.
His best spell of first team duty was the season before last when he held the centre forward position for about a dozen games, during which Everton had a impressive spell. He performance them were so good that he looked like becoming another Dean. The strange thing was that Kirby himself was certain such form would not last. He told me “I am waiting for the bubble to burst” It burst in a match at Newcastle the following week and within a week or two he was back in the Central league side. He is a good header of the ball.
KIRBY LEAVES TODAY?
March 13, 1959. The Liverpool Daily Post
By Horace Yates
Harry Catterick’s long search for an inside forward signing to improve Sheffield Wednesday’s ability to plug worrying gaps brought about by a crop of injuries looks likely to end with George Kirby, the twenty-four-years-old reserve player, at Goodison Park early today, for with terms agreed between Everton and the Sheffield Wednesday manager, only the players agreement is necessary to complete the deal. Coming as it did yesterday suddenly and without so much as a warning word, the Wednesday approach is something that Kirby wishes to talk over with his wife before committing himself. I understand there is no reason to assume the answer will be anything other than “Yes.” Mr. Catterick earlier approached Tranmere Rovers to see if they would transfer Keith Williams but was given little encouragement there and further observation off Williams in a recent game, which did not see him at his best, prompted the switch to Kirby. There was no question of the Everton player being on offer but when Mr. Carey heard the price Wednesday were prepared to pay for this reserve forward who has not had a single first team outing this season, he was immediately interested. How can Everton afford to denude further their forward resources already depleted by the transfer of Harburn and Williams and the return to Scotland of Penman? That appears to be a fair question and when I asked if Everton had in mind incoming possibilities to keep Laverick company I was told. “There are a number of players who interest Everton.” Who they are remain Everton’s secret, but it might be wrong to rule out the possibility of progress in this direction. When a move is made I feel sure it will be on Laverick lines – a quick swoop without any barring of trumpets and the player’s signature before a single clue is dropped.
KIRBY GOES –LIST GROWS
March 14, 1959. The Liverpool Daily Post
By Horace Yates
The transfer of George Kirby the Everton reserve forward, to Sheffield Wednesday was completed yesterday to add to the impressive list of outgoing players which has given Goodison Park a resemblance to a transfer camp during the last three years. I wonder how many clubs can match Everton’s record in this direction over such a short period. Without reference to the book, it is not difficult to recall the following names of players who have become ex-Everton in the post-Cliff Britton era- Leyfield, A. Harris, Donovan, Moore, Sutherland, Farrell, Woods, Lello, Grant, McNamara, Tomlinson, Mayers, Wainwright, Parker, Potts, Eglington, Gauld, Glazzard, G. Williams, Harburn, Kirby, Birch, Lindsay, Fielding, Rankin and Farrell. No doubt there are others.
SCOTSMEN WILL TAKE THE EYE AT GOODISON PARK
March 14, 1959. The Liverpool Echo and Evening Express
By Leslie Edwards
The great disappointment about the match at Goodison Park this afternoon is the fact that Stanley Matthews will not be here. We, in this city, have been singularly unfortunate in missing him, latterly as a Blackpool player and before that when he was with Stoke. The loss is not only ours, but that of the two clubs who will find thousands fewer at Goodison Park, than would have attended if the maestro had been there to make the spectacle complete. Still, I suppose we are lucky to get any game. If Luton had not conveniently beaten Blackpool in the quarter-final Cup replay we should have been without an Everton or Liverpool fixture in which case the home bow at Anfield of Des Palmer in the Liverpool Reserve side would have had a gate such as once came to see Albert Stubbins in the Liverpool second team. Everton are still not as comfortably placed in the League as they would wish but their position is remarkably good when one considers their almost disastrous start. In the absence of Matthews the great personality of the match is likely to be Bobby Collins, who will vie with little Jackie Mudie of Blackpool – also a Scot –it ability and in lack of inches. Throughout the seasons Blackpool have been as consistent as they have been successful and most of their great years came when they were under the management of Mr. Joe Smith. Now the former Blackpool player Ronnie Suart in the chair. He returns on Thursday from a long scouting mission in Scotland, no doubt one prompted by the possibility of Matthews long and wonderful career ending. Although Blackpool had expected Matthews to be in their team today the recurrence of a knee injury which has bothered him recently meant that he had to cry off.
There is no doubt that Everton have reverted to a more solid defensive base in bringing back Parker to his true position. Much of his value was lost when he played at wing half-back but as he admits “a spell there certainly helped to get me fit after my spell in Cyprus.”
Scotland will be foolish if they look anywhere than to Parker and to Bobby Collins for their right-back and inside left positions for the match against England at Wembley, in a few weeks’ time. Collins according to those who saw him a good deal in his Celtic days, is playing better than ever. Possibly the sharpering up he has received in training here and the necessity in League football in England to do things quickly is responsible for this.
Gradually –and in taking plenty of time about it he is characteristically wise –Manager Carey is sorting out at Goodison Park the players he feels might do better elsewhere. Peter Harburn, Wally Fielding, and Graham Williams have all departed within recent weeks and there will be more, no doubt, at the end of the season. Mr. Carey’s aim to produce entertaining football as a priority has been half-fulfilled. This was the positive approach. It has solved the problem –and what a problem! – of how to keep the club in the First Division. Everton; Dunlop; Parker, Bramwell; Harris (B), Jones, Meagan; Harris (J), Thomas, Hickson, Collins, Laverick. Blackpool; Farm; Armfield, Garrett; Hauser, Gratrix, H. Kelly; Peterson, Mudie, Charnley, J. Kelly, Durie.
COLLINS OPENS THE WAY FOR EVERTON VICTORY
March 14, 1959. The Liverpool Echo and Evening Post
Splits Visiting Defence For First Half Goals
Everton 3, Blackpool 1
By Jack Rowe
Everton; Dunlop, goal; Parker and Bramwell, backs; Harris (B), Jones (captain), and Meagan, half-backs; Harris (J), Thomas, Hickson, Collins, and Laverick, forwards. Blackpool; Farm, goal; Armfield (captain) and Garrett, backs; Hauser, Gratrix, and Kelly (H), half-backs; Peterson, Mudie, Charnley, Kelly (J), and Durie, forwards. Referee; Mr. D.H. Howell (Birmingham). The non-appearance of Stanley Matthews in the Blackpool team was reflected in the attendance at Goodison Park today, and there were not more than 30,000 present when Blackpool came out. If manager Suart had included his Tranmere signing of yesterday I think he would have pulled in not only many extra Evertonians but a good few who follow Tranmere. A fine interception by Parker set Everton in motion, Hickson got a corner on the right and when Jimmy Harris kick passed across goal, Laverick made a nice chip back only to find the tall Hauser getting his head to it. A mis-header by Jones of a long ball into the Everton penalty area led to hesitation between him and Brian Harris, Jim Kelly made an opening for Durie but the winger put the ball over from close in. This was a chance, and then Meagan only just got the ball away from Chranley, who had gone in after Kelly (J) had pushed the ball through. Blackpool were much-smarter on the ball and certainly more accurate in their passing. There was danger for Everton when Peterson came across to the left wing but Meagan made a good tackle and a few seconds afterwards Durie made Dunlop catch a nasty swerving centre. When Everton did get away via Collins the referee could I thought have applied the advantage rule instead of awarding a free kick against Blackpool and from this taken by the Everton inside left Hickson did not make proper headed contact and his effort went outside. Mudie was prompting Blackpool cleverly, and once more the Everton goal was under threat when he sent Charnley away but the centre forward with ample time, only half hit shot and although I bounced awkwardly Dunlop found it coming straight to him.
Collins Shows How
Passes by both sides were going astray repeatedly but Collins showed how it should be done with one but to Laverick. If Farm had not left his goal quickly the winger’s run past Armfield could have been dangerous. Hickson and Collins linked up on the right, and the centre forward’s long centre to the far side of the goal was struck first time by Laverick on the volley. The ball did not miss the bar by much. Thomas dribbled through from a Collins pass and the attempt failed only because he was thwarted by the out-stretched foot of Garrett as he tried to lay on a grit for his inside left. Parker rendered the same sort of service to Everton when he stopped Charnley getting the ball through to the unmarked Durie. There were few thrills, however, and the crowd were restless with the general performance of both sides. The game came to life suddenly when Peterson ran on to a poor clearance by Jones and shot most powerfully with his left foot. Dunlop making a grand save by turning over the angle with one hand. Straightaway Collins brilliantly deceived the Blackpool defence and his right foot drive from outside the penalty line missed the far post by a whisker. Collins was the one man who had been accurate more often than not with his passes, and in the 36th minute he took part in the move by which Everton went ahead. Brian Harris took over from him, and bringing the ball into the middle, slipped it through for Hickson. He went between Gratrix and Garrett and, taking deliberate aim shot low into the net from about 18 yards as Farm came out. Everton were doing much better now and Thomas got a goal in the 42nd minute when he finished off a Hickson-Collins link up. There was some hesitancy in the Blackpool defence which enabled Hickson to slip the ball aside to Collins. The little man, with a chance of shooting himself, preferred to make sure by turning it across goal to the incoming and unmarked Thomas who beat Farm comfortable from about eight yards out. Half-time; Everton 2, Blackpool nil.
Everton were the better side now and after Farm had caught a corner from Harris, Hickson got the ball past a slipping Armfield so that Laverick was able to race in and crash a tremendous shot inches over. In the 51st minute, and in their first real attack this half Blackpool pulled back a goal through Charnley but I feel the ball should have been cleared before he got in his chances. The goal came as the result of a free kick awarded against Parker for an offence on Kelly (J) and when Durie took it he put the ball near enough I thought, for either Dunlop or Jones to have got I away but it went through to Charnley, who nodded it down into the net. It was Jones though, who stopped the probability of a Blackpool equalizer when Peterson was bursting through. The centre half got the ball away for corner as the Blackpool winger was shaping to shoot. Hickson, who was doing many good things, laid on a chance for Jimmy Harris but although the winger did not make the most of it the corner which came led to Everton’s goal in 55 minutes. Collins took the corner and put it height across goal where Hickson made a header which seemed to strike Farm in the chest and bound up for Laverick to have an easy lob nodding it down past the goalkeeper.
Applause For Hickson
Hickson’s action in fetching the ball for a Blackpool free kick was suitably recognised by the crowd, and there was even more recognition when, after Charnley had been slow to shoot with a chance. Everton went down in a brilliant three man move between Laverick, Hickson, and Collins which ended with Collins going through and Farm pushing away with one hand. Everton did have a couple of anxious moments when Peterson hit another left shot which Dunlop saved excellently at the cost of a corner, and from this Durie made a header which Parker kicked off the line with Dunlop in no position to save. Everton were able to carve so many holes in this Blackpool defence that they should have had a couple more, goals for Hickson went through and then lost control as he tried to manauvre into a more deadly shooting position, and Jimmy Harris half hit shot was scramble off the line by Farm after Laverick and Thomas had let him in the clear. Blackpool were beginning to provide more danger and Dunlop threw himself out of goal to save brilliantly from Peterson. Final; Everton 3, Blackpool 1. Official attendance 34,562.
Everton two first half goals gave this match life for before then it had been poor, Blackpool started the quicker side but once Everton want ahead they were the better team.
EVERTON’S ALEX PARKER NAMES HIS ENGLAND LINE-UP FOR WEMBLEY
March 14, 1959. The Liverpool Echo and Evening Express
By Alex Parker
My good luck continues. It’s no secret that my dearest wish is to play for Scotland against England next month, so you can imagine how delighted I was when I heard that I had been chosen to play in the Scottish trial at Ibrox on Monday. It’s up to me now, and I hope that a good display may get me in. Bobby Collins (naturally|) has also been picked, and he and I will travel to Scotland tomorrow. However, whether I am selected for the Wembley match or not I shall be hoping for a Scottish win. Remember we have last year’s 4-0 Hampden defeat to avenge. One thing that has struck me about English soccer fans is that they do not seem to get as enthusiastic over international matches as we do in Scotland. North of the border, the clash with England is the game of the year, but I do not hear people down here talking about it so much. They make more fuss over Cup-ties and the League championship race, I suppose there must be a reason for it. Everybody interested in football fancies themselves as selectors at some time or other and the players are no exception. It won’t be long before the public and the Press will be putting forward their ideas of the England side for the Wembley game, so I’ll get in first with what I consider the best team Scotland could face. I suppose you might call it the side I would least like it’s ace my country have to face. For the position of goalkeeper two passes spring to mind – McDonald, Burnley and Sims (Aston Villa). Those of you who saw the Everton-Villa Cup-tie with remember the display of Sims and although I haven’t played against McDonald this season I know what a great keeper he is. There’s not much in it, but I think I would vote for the Burnley man. The right back position is a problem one. It’s a toss-up between West Brom’s Don Lowe and Blackpool’s Jimmy Armfield. I have played against Armfield in Under-23 internationals and I don’t think I have ever seen him have a bad game. He is a strong tackle and on the few occasions he is beaten a very fast in recovery. Howe is a class player, and if I had to choose between the two, I would give it to the West Brom man, simply because he is the man in possession. I have little difficulty in running Graham Shaw of Sheffield United for the left back berth. He had to wait some time for his first cap, but now he is in I think he is going to take some shifting. His biggest rival is his predecessor in the team, Bolton’s Tommy Banks, Tommy has not had as good a season as many people expected after his success in world cup games but I’ve heard he is now regaining his form.
Great Wing Half
I think Ronnie Clayton of Blackburn Rovers, is the man for the No 4 shirt. He is a really great wing half although I must admit that the name of Maurice Setters crossed my mind. The West Brom player is undoubtedly a fine tackler one of the strongest in the game, but I think Clayton has the edge on him when it comes to distribution. Naturally it must be Billy Wright for centre half, I have heard it said that Roy Gratrix of Blackpool and Joe Shaw, of Sheffield United, are worthy of a place, but such is Wright’s personality and experience that he is an ideal man to have on your side when things are going against you. He is such a natural footballer that he can take time off to encourage the players around him, the ballmark of a great player. For the left half berth, I considered two players from the same club Ron Flowers and Bill Slater, of Wolves. It is obvious from the chopping and changing they have done in both Wolves and England’s team that there is not a lot between them. My vote would go to the younger man. Matthews for outside-right. Yes, the 44-years-old Blackpool wizard himself. It is no secret that of all the great players to have worn the England shirt in the last generation Stan has been more feared in Scotland than any of them. He is as much a legend north of the border (maybe more so) as he is down here. Brian Douglas name also comes to mind but for me if would be Matthews. I hope I’m wrong. Some claim that he is too old, but providing he is still playing well for 90 minutes what matter? If a 44-years-old man can help you win a game, I would play him. The inside-forward trio as always provides the biggest headache. The names that flashed through my mind included Haynes, Charlton, Quixall, Viollet, Lofthouse, Broadbent, and Bloomfield. The last named would be in my side, but of course he is ruled out through injury. After much thought, I settled for Charlton at inside right and Haynes at inside left. This was all very well, but it still left me with the No 9 shirt to fill.
I decided on Peter Broadbent, of Wolves, I know that will cause much argument, as he is a recognised in sideman, but I would like to justify my choice. He is not big as centre-forwards go but he is deceptively fast, moves into the open spaces, and is very clever with the ball in addition; he can score goals, as he proved with two against Wales a few months ago. My outside-left choice would be Tom Finney, but like Bloomfield, he is ruled out through injury. In view of Tom’s absence, I would pick Derek Hogg, of West Brom, with Blackpool’s Bill Perry as second choice. So there it is, a Scotsman’s choice of the England team to play Scotland. McDonald (Burnley); Howe (West Brom), Shaw (Sheffield United), Clayton (Blackburn); Wright (Wolves), Flowers (Wolves), Matthews (Blackpool), Charlton (Manchester United), Broadbent (Wolves), Haynes (Fulham), Hogg (West Brom).
I have nothing against any of the players, but for Scotland’s sake I hope the English selectors don’t name it! One of the boys at Everton suggested that my half-back line could read Queenie, Gem, and Flo; I must admit that I gave the matter some thought, before deciding against them. You’re never heard of them? Well, they are the women who prepare the lunches at the ground for the team after our training spell, and a darned good job they make of it too. Eddie O’Hara is awaiting an operation on his ankle ligament. As a result of an injury some time ago, the ligaments are stretched and he has to have them shortened. As they are at the moment his foot sometimes gives way under him. Here’s hoping for a speedy recovery, Eddie.
NINE MORE TO GO AND WOLVES LAST
March 14, 1959. The Liverpool Echo and Evening Express
By Tom Jones
It may come as a surprise to our fans that Everton have only nine more League matches to play this season. Indeed for the rest of this month, including today’s game with Blackpool, we have five to play within the space if 17 days. Within this cycle comes the Easter games, which this year brings to Goodison teams such as Luton Town and Mr. Mercer’s Villians, Aston Villa, both Cup-semi-finalists. Apart from these teams we have a fairly stiff programme ahead. There won’t be any time for leisure; it’ll be a case of fighting until the last breath. We have to visit Blackburn Rovers next Saturday, Luton Town on Good Friday, West Ham United (never known the Hammers to give points away), Chelsea and Portsmouth. We have a few old scores to settle with Pompey, so it’s about time we repaid a few. At Goodison our fans will have a treat n store with our final game of the season against the Wolves at home. Now there’s a nice easy fixture to wind up a season, especially if they have a chance of the championship at that time. We are far from being out of the wood yet although half a dozen points would work miracles, so to speak, to our League position. It was a great pity that we should have left Old Trafford pointless last week. A point there would have done a lot to restore morale, for we haven’t gained a point from our last five away games. I thought our lads deserved to share the spoils, plus the fact that we missed a penalty and that what looked like a wonderful goal scored by Bobby Collins was disallowed (I doubt if I shall ever know why). You may gather that our efforts deserved a better fate, but that’s football. We shall probably be repaid on some other occasion when we won’t fully deserved it.
Collins or Quixall?
A friend asked whether in my opinion, Albert Quixall was a better inside forward than our genial will-of-the-wisp, Bobby Collins. You cannot estimate a player’s worth in a team unless you’re watched him play regularly. Bobby is a player who can win a game off his own bat, talking in cricketing terms. You know a player of class when he dictates the game to his liking, and Bobby is such a player. I’ve played against Quixall perhaps six or seven times, and although younger than Bobby by two or three years. To far rather have this canny Scot in my eleven than against. Quixall may be a little quicker over a longer distance but I don’t think he possesses the same ability as Collins to fit his style of play into that of his colleagues. Mind you, I consider him to be a fine player. Knowing Matt Busby to be a great manager, I must side with him on signing Quixall, as I can’t see him making an error of judgment over paying £45,000. But having played with Bobby, and seen him in practice my choice must be in him. And I must congratulate Bobby and Alex Parker on being selected to play in the Scottish trial at Ibrox Park, Glasgow, on Monday. Bobby was telling me, although pleased with this honour, it doesn’t quality him automatically for the team against England at Wembley, on April 11. He played in four such trial games last season and wasn’t selected for the first international. Apparently the Scottish selectors changed their minds as Bobby played in the remaining internationals of the season.
SHEFF UNITED RES V EVERTON RES
March 14, 1959. The Liverpool Echo and Evening Express
Sheffield United Res;- Thompson, goal; Ridge, and Mason, backs; Richardson, Finnegan, and Matthewson, half-backs; Ringstead, Hamilton, Shiels, Roony, and Gould, forwards. Everton Res;- O’Neill, goal; Parkes, and Tansey, backs; Sanders, Labone, and King, half-backs; Blain, Wignall, Hood, Ashworth, and Godfrey, forwards. Referee; Mr. A.B. Hirsy, (Wrexham). Everton, with Scots boy Hood at centre-forward in place of the transferred Kirby, visited Bramwell Lane, where Sheffield United included Richardson, Hamilton, and Ringstead, members of the League team last week. Richardson and Shiels gained a corner in the first minute, but a packed Everton defence had little difficulty in clearing. Godfrey with a neat run threatened danger for Everton, but saw Ashworth over-run the ball and allow Ridge to clear. After seven minutes Hamilton side-footed a corner from Ringstead past O’Neill with other Everton defenders standing apparently mesmerized. Another cross from Ringstead found both Shiels and Roony unmarked but a handling offence by the former prevented a second goal from counting. In these early stages Everton were not in the hunt. They were slower, less skilful and unimpressive as a team. Labone at centre half and full back Parkes did a great deal of solid work and Ashworth’s efforts occasionally brought Everton into the picture. Nevertheless it needed two free kicks to Everton to reach the United half but before half time the home forwards were again hammering at O’Neill. Half-time; Sheffield United Res 1, Everton res nil.
COLLINS MAKES UP FOR MATTHEWS
March 16, 1959. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton 3, Blackpool 1
By Ian Hargreaves
A superb exhibition of skilful soccer by Everton’s mighty midget, Bobby Collins, did much to compensate the big crowd at Goodison for the absence of Stanley Matthews. Ably assisted by Eddie Thomas, whose unpretentious labours made possible many of his most ambitious coups, the wee Scot gave his opponents never a moment’s peace but teased and tormented them until even their well-ordered defence cracked under the strain. As the gaps began to gape, so Hickson and Harris darted gleefully goalwards with increasing frequency, and the final score would have been considerably larger but for two astonishing mistakes when it seemed easier to find the net than to miss it. Blackpool without Matthews are like the Halle Orchestra without Barbirolli –technically proficient but sadly lacking in inspiration. A team full of talented individuals they badly need a guiding hand to concentrate their efforts into clearly defined channels, and inbus them with a sense of urgency. On Saturday they must have yearned, not only for Matthews but for a player with the dash and exuberance of that other great player of former years, Stanley Mortensen, who has never been adequately replaced.
Charnley, who did so well against West Bromwich in the Cup seemed strangely lethargic and with the long-legged Durie left outside his normal sphere of operations at outside left, only Durie posed much of a problem. The red haired Peterson on the right wing made praiseworthy efforts to put some punch in the attack –as Dunlop can testify – but saw comparatively little of the ball thanks to Bramwell, whose poise was quite astonishing for a man who less than a year ago was playing in the Lancashire Combination. We might however, have been watching the Lancashire Combination for the first twenty minutes, when play was so featureless that not one shot was fired in anger. A couple of beautifully timed interceptions by Parker brought some relief and then matters livened up with a vengeance. First Mudie then Petersen threatened the Everton goal with first rate shots, only to see Dunlop bring off two saves of rare quality. What other goalkeeper I wonder moves so gracefully, yet conveys such a vivid impression of drama in the making? Even his simplest catches make the thrill with excitement. Perhaps it was this very feeling that brought Everton to life. Certainly they now began to move with new decision to anticipate Collins’ far-flung passes with greater dispatch and to shoot with renewed determination. The improvement was soon apparent; Collins beat goalkeeper and goalpost by the merest whisker. Hickson crashed a shot against Gratrix with Farm lying helpless on the turf and finally after 37 minutes the first goal arrived. Collins and Thomas combined to send Brian Harris away in midfield, and his final pass was so well placed that Hickson had all the time in the world to slam the ball home before a finger could be laid upon him. A second goal followed five minutes later. Garret, who had scarcely put a foot wrong previously, found Hickson instead of Gratrix with his inside pass. Hickson promptly fed the ever present Collins, and the latter drew the defence so completely that Thomas had only to side-foot the ball into an unguarded net.
With the wind at their backs in the second half Everton carried on where they had left off, but received a rude shock when Durie was obstructed by Parker in a rare Blackpool raid, and Charnley emerged from obscurity to head the free kick past Dunlop. However, the reverse proved relatively unimportant for in the 57th minute Everton went two up once more. Collins took a corner on the right, Hickson headed against Farm’s outstretched knee, and Laverick popped up from nowhere to head in the rebound. That was the end of the scoring, though the closing minutes were not devoid of incident. Hickson left alone in front of goal with only Farm to beat somehow managed to fall over the ball Laverick won a round of applause with a terrific shot inches over the bar, and Durie emphasized Blackpool’s fallings with another shot that landed in the upper tier of the stand – quite achievement at Goodison. When all these events have been forgotten, however, I shall have one abiding memory of this most friendly of games –the sight of Collins leaving a trial of bewildered defenders behind him in one glorious dash for goal, and then applauding goalkeeper Farm for turning his final shot round an upright. Truly a rare example of skill and sportsmanship to treasure. Everton; Dunlop, goal; Parker and Bramwell, backs; Harris (B), Jones (captain), and Meagan, half-backs; Harris (J), Thomas, Hickson, Collins, and Laverick, forwards. Blackpool; Farm, goal; Armfield (captain) and Garrett, backs; Hauser, Gratrix, and Kelly (H), half-backs; Peterson, Mudie, Charnley, Kelly (J), and Durie, forwards. Referee; Mr. D.H. Howell (Birmingham).
EVERTON RESERVES RALLY TO DRAW
March 16, 1959. The Liverpool Daily Post
Sheffield United Res 2, Everton Res 2
For forty-five minutes Everton Reserves were outstanding and out-paced in this Central league game at Bramwell-Lane by Sheffield United who were rather unlucky to be restricted to a goal by Hamilton. It needed a second goal by Ringstead –to make Everton realize their plight but in a last twenty minutes rally they more than atoned for their previous lapses. Godfrey hit home a cross by Sanders and Wignall earned an equalizer with a bullet like header from Godfrey corner. Parkes and Labone were outstanding in Everton’s defence, and Ashworth, Wignall, and Godfrey were the best forwards. Everton team was; O’Neill; Parkes, Tansey; Sanders, Labone, King; Blain, Wignall, Hood, Ashwood, Godfrey.
MORE OF THIS 1959 DAVE HICKSON PLEASE!
March 16, 1959. The Liverpool Echo and Evening Express
By Leslie Edwards
For half an hour Blackpool and Everton for that matter played like a side whose thoughts were more on the what-might-have-been of the Cup than on the immediate business of the League. The win did not help; neither did the much sanded and rather variable pitch. Everton made some defensive blunders early on and it was well these offset by some very fine goal-keeping. Blackpool demonstrated the stupidity of playing a man like Durie in a position (outside-left) in which he had so little room for maneuver he might as well have been on the side of the touch-line sitting on the trainer’s bench. Then with a solitary voice in the crowd crying “We want Billy” Everton snapped into action and we had splendid goals first Hickson then by Thomas, Hickson’s from a shot satisfyingly smacked in low and fierce was due to Brian Harris splendid solo run and clever placing of the ball. Thomas goal was even better in the making with Hickson, Collins and the scorer all concerned. The marvel was that Thomas whose opening was made so easy by Collins did not attempt the net-breaking gambit which so often tempts forwards faced by an open goal, but took the chance with an adequate shot that left little margin for error. If there has been a less effective Blackpool attack I have never seen it. It was sons Matthews, sans power, sans ideas, sans everything until Charnley with a header directed downwards scored from Duries free kick. Some of the Blackpool defence and particularly Hauser have the height and long legs of Harlem Globetrotters but they did not find the net once where the Globetrotters find it 50 times and only when Durie came inside into his true position after young Laverick had scored Everton’s third did they create any real problems for the defence. Some goal-line retrieving then became the order and a side which should have been beaten out of sight went close to narrowing the margin to a goal.
Laverick is young and is not in full training Everton fans should remember this when they assess his play I like the way, after Hickson’s initial header had bounded off the goalkeeper’s chest, Laverick reacted quickly to add his further nod for a dramatic, well-deserved goal. Like new wine (and most of us I hope) Laverick will improve with keeping. People who are not in the habit of seeing Dave Hickson play every fortnight were surprised at his play, I wasn’t. This the 1959 version of Hickson –the best ever. He did well when going to both wings; he used the ball intelligently; he was solicitors of opponents accidentally injured; he retrieved the ball for Blackpool free kicks. Only his luckless loss of control when clean through was a blot and we’ll always forgive him for that while he persists in proving to us that he has left behind forever the tantrums which made him the game’s stormy petrel. Blackpool should have played their Tranmere signing Green. They can certainly use him between now and the end of the season. Meantime, good wishes to Eddie O’Hara the Everton left winger who goes into dock today for a minor operation to an ankle ligament.
COLLINS “UNETTLED” REPORT
March 16, 1959. The Liverpool Echo and Evening Express
Everton Deny Rumours
By Leslie Edwards
Rumours that Bobby Collins, Everton’s £24,000 buy from Glasgow Celtic, is not happy on Merseyside and is anxious to return to football in Scotland are circulating not only in Liverpool, but in Scotland and London. Everton secretary Mr. Bill Dickinson told of this today said; “I haven’t even heard a whisper to that effect.” Collin s a Scottish international inside-forward, whose play since coming to Everton last September has been better than ever, was in Scotland today in readiness for the Scottish trial match, Scottish F.A v. Scottish league, at Ibrox this evening. The Everton manager Mr. John Carey and a director also travelled North to attend this match, but their visit was believed to be a purely routine one. What may be behind the rumours of Collins discontent is the fact that he has made periodic visits to Scotland since he joined Everton in their crisis days at the beginning of the season. The surprising story that he was not happy was certainly whispered in Liverpool last week but he has been playing so brilliantly there seemed no basic for it in fact.
He Hopes To Stay As Coach at Norwich
Willie Cook, Norwich City trainer-coach and former Everton full back today issued a statement denying he was dissatisfied with the treatment he had received at Norwich. Cook said; “I would like to state emphatically that the statement concerning my position with Norwich is entirely wrong and completely out of context. During my stay at Norwich I have always worked amicably with Manager Archie Macaulay and I hope I shall be allowed to continue with eh club as trainer-coach under his jurisdiction.”
SOUTHPORT-EVERTON CUP CLASH
March 17, 1959. The Liverpool Daily Post
For their Liverpool Senior Cup Semi-Final with Everton at Haig Avenue today (kick-off 3 o’clock), Southport will field the same eleven who drew 1-1 at Millwall on Saturday, which means that three former Everton players, Rankin, Grant and Fielding will be in the line up. Teams; Southport; Richardson; Parkinson, Rankin; Kinloch, Darrell, Grant; Fielding, Barker, Green, Kerr, Woodhead. Everton; O’Neill; Parkes, Tansey; Sanders, Labone, Rea; Boner, McKay, Wignall, Ashworth, Godfrey.
WHEN THE HOTTENTOTS GAME
March 17, 1959. The Liverpool Echo and Evening Express
By Leslie Edwards
Another letter comes from reader John Mack of 112 Vienna Street who happens to be eight-eight. “No one has told you;” he says, of the match played at the Everton ground years ago against a team of Africans called Hottentots who played barefooted. It was well advertised but the club put out their reserve team. Even then it was a complete farce. When I left the ground with half an hour still to play Everton were leading 9-0. I haven’t been to the ground since but I have followed the fortunes of the two local clubs for 68 years.
EVERTON’S EXPERIENCE DECISIVE
March 18, 1959. The Liverpool Daily Post
Southport 2, Everton 3
Everton are in the Final of the Liverpool Senior Cup for the third year running. On the last two occasions they have met Southport in the decider, but yesterday they disposed of their fellow joint holders of the trophy at Haig Avenue, and now meet Tranmere Rovers in this year’s final. Aided by the wind Everton were well on top in the first 30 minutes but their finishing did not match their approach work. As the interval drew near Southport were beginning to take over the initiative but then two defensive blunders presented Everton with a couple of quick goals. In the 42nd minute the ball ran loose following a mix-up between goalkeeper Richardson and two of his colleagues and Wignall tapped it home. Then two minutes later a faulty clearance enabled Boner to centre for Ashworth to head through.
Southport began the second half in determined manner and they reduced the arrears in 48 minute following one of the best moves of the game. Woodhead moved into the open spade to accept a centre from Kerr, and when the winger centred Green, the chief new centre forward who led the line in grand style brilliantly hooked the ball into the net. Southport-born Ashworth who was Everton’s most dangerous forward seemed a grand solo goal in the 51st minute, but on the hour, with the visitors appealing for offside, former Goodison forward Fielding, now Southport’s player-manager, scored his first goal at Haig Avenue. Although they pressed hard subsequently and twice hit the woodwork Southport could not beat the experience O’Neill again. The home attack moved smartly at times in the second half with Kerr working hard, but Everton’s experienced half back line did much to keep the home side at bay, and played a decisive part in the visitors’ victory.
BUCHAN AND EVERTON PART “ON BEST OF TERMS.”
March 18, 1959. The Liverpool Echo and Evening Express
Goodison Park Chief Coach Intends To Stay In Soccer
By Leslie Edwards
Mr. Ian Buchan the man who was in charge of the Everton team until the arrival last October of Mr. John Carey, has parted company with the club – on the best of terms. He told me today It is my intention to stay in the game in some capacity and I am looking around for some suitable opportunity. I would like to express my thanks to the Everton players who always gave me the greatest co-operation; I appreciated very much indeed their efforts for me between the time of Mr. Carey’s appointment and his arrival to take over. Mr. Bill Dickinson, Everton Secretary issued the following joint statement by the club and Mr. Buchan. “Owning to the re-organization in which has taken place at Goodison Park and in particular owing to the appointment of Mr. John Carey as Manager it has become increasingly clear that there is not the scope nor the opportunity for a proper employment of Mr. Buchan’s undoubted ability as Chief Coach.
“In these circumstances an amicable arrangement has been made whereby Mr. Buchan’s connection with the club has been terminated but the club wish it to be known they shall hold Mr. Buchan in the highest esteem and for his part Mr. Buchan also wishes it to be known that he leaves the club with a certain regret, but with the highest regard for the club and sincere good wishes for its future success.” Mr. Buchan was appointed chief coach at Everton in 1956 shortly after the crisis which ended with Mr. Cliff Britton departing. The choice was an unusual one in that Mr. Buchan had never before been connected with professional soccer. He played as an amateur in Scotland with the famous Queen’s Park club. At 30 he was lecturing in physical training at Loughborough Colleague Leicestershire when Everton first became interested in him. With the F.A. coaching certificate and his knowledge as a fully qualified physical therapist he gave Everton a unique opportunity to experience in training methods.
Top Of league
It’s novel methods of getting players fit, including a good deal of weight-lifting were not well received initially, but 18 months ago when Everton went straight to the top of the First Division table they looked to be the finest side in the competition. Only when they began playing extra matches under their new-installed floodlights did the spell break. It seemed that two matches per week plus intense training may have been one of the reasons for the side’s fading away. For a while after his appointment Mr. Buchan’s job was purely connected with coaching later he was made responsible for selection of the first and second teams. The players effort for their Coach during his spell in charge, immediately prior to Mr. Carey arrival to take over Manager was a splendid one and proved their liking for a man whom they knew to be loyal, straight and considerate.
It was during this period that the club moved away from the bottom of the League table and showed signs of the improvement which has been happily maintained. There should be a place for Mr. Buchan in football as Coach or in a purely secretarial capacity. That he parts on good terms with the club –his contract did not expire until 1961 – is mutually good for both parties.
Everton At Blackburn
The Everton team to visit Blackburn Rovers on Saturday is unchanged;- Dunlop; Parker, Bramwell; Harris (B), Jones, Meagan; Harris (J), Thomas, Hickson, Collins, Laverick.
FIVE-A-SIDE ON TV
March 19, 1959. The Liverpool Echo and Evening Express
By Leslie Edwards
Twice a week since the middle of February Dave Hickson of Everton and Tommy Younger, of Liverpool have been introducing the thrills and skills of five-aside indoor soccer to scorers of Liverpool lads, at the 1st Battalion Liverpool Scottish, Drill Hall. From the scorers of enthusiastic youngsters between the ages of 15 and 20, who attended these sessions, Hickson and Younger are each picking a team to represented Liverpool in an inter-cities junior five-a-side tournament which will be played before A.B.C television cameras on Sunday afternoons (1-30 to 2-30). The Merseyside lads take the field –or rather the floor –on April 5 at the Tower Ballroom, New Brighton. In the first round Hickson’s and Younge’s team will face each other to decide which takes on the victors of an all-Glasgow battle between sides trained by George Young and Alex Scott; Winners of the second round tie, played the same afternoon, qualify for the finals in Manchester on April 19.
MATT WOOD’S 100TH
March 20, 1959. The Liverpool Echo and Evening Express
By Leslie Edwards
It seems only yesterday that Manager John Carey, then at Blackburn, made two shrewd signings from Everton –Matt Woods and goalkeeper Harry Leyland. Yet tomorrow, all going well, Woods will be making his hundredth appearance for Blackburn against his old club, at Ewood Park. The big man from Skelmersdale has been one of the most consistent defenders in the side and moves, especially in his production of the ball for those up front with a daintiness seen only in John Charles among the big fellow. Matt was an ever-present last season when Blackburn won promotion. Both clubs regular outside lefts, McLeod (Blackburn) and Laverick (Everton) were mid-week doubtful. McLeod was nursing a foot injury and Laverick one sustained in a unit match in the South. McLeod is recalled as the man who did much towards the Cup exits, last season, of both Everton and Liverpool. A slimly-built Scot, he can be very good at times. Making his first appearance in the Blackburn side will be Derek Dougan, whom Manager Dally Duncan signed recently from Portsmouth. Everton’s Blackpool victory virtually removed that slight risk there was of them being involved among teams at the bottom of the League table. With Collins one of the few men in the game capable of taming the ball well on grounds on which it is likely to be exceptionally lively the chances are that Everton will move up further.
LAVERICK WILL MISS EVERTON GAME
March 20, 1959. The Liverpool Echo and Evening Express
Harris B, On Left Wing
By Leslie Edwards
Bobby Laverick hurt when playing for his unit team at Poole, Dorset, during the week, has told Everton manager John Carey that he is unfit to play on the left wing against Blackburn Rovers at Ewood tomorrow. His place is taken by Brian Harris, who had spells on the right and left wing before settling down, this season, as a wing half-back. Brian Harris’s place at right half-back goes to Ken Rea, whose only games for the senior team in 1958-59 were early in the season. Blackburn have one change –Isherwood at outside left in place of the injured McLeod. Isherwood a local boy deputized on the Blackburn right during Brian Douglas’s long spell of injury. Everton; Dunlop; Parker, Bramwell; Rea, Jones, Meagan; Harris (J), Thomas, Hickson, Collins, Harris (B). Blackburn; Leyland; Taylor, Whelan; Clayton, Woods, McGrath; Douglas, Dougan, Dobing, Vernon, Isherwood.
REA HALF-BACK FOR EVERTON
March 21, 1959 Liverpool Daily Post
Because of the unfitness of Laverick injured in the Army match, Everton switch Brian Harris from Half-backs to left wing for the visit to Blackburn Rovers today to position in which he has plenty of experience. To fill the vacancy at right half, Rea, who has not figured in the senior side line the season’s opening matches, is introduced. Roy Isherwood who deputized for Bryan Douglas on the Blackburn Rovers right wing for two months, will be at outside-left in the Rovers team. He replacing McLeod who has a foot injury. Blackburn Rovers; Leyland; Taylor, Whelan; R. Clayton, Woods, McGrath; Douglas, Dougan, Dobbing, Vernon, Isherwood. Everton; Dunlop; Parker, Bramwell; Rea, Jones, Meagan; Harris (J), Thomas, Hickson, Collins, Harris (B).
BLUES LOSE THE LEAD
March 21, 1959. The Liverpool Echo and Evening Express
Dobing Goals, And Second A Penalty
Blackburn 2, Everton 1
By Jack Rowe
Blackburn Rovers;- Leyland, goal; Taylor and Whelan, backs; Clayton (Captain), Woods, and McGrath, half-backs; Douglas, Cairns, Dobing, Vernon, Isherwood, forwards. Everton; Dunlop, goal; Parker and Bramwell, backs; Rea, Jones (captain), and Meagan, half-backs; Harris (J), Thomas, Hickson, Collins, and Harris (B), forwards. Referee; Mr. L.J. Tirebuck. (Halifax). Derek Dougan, Blackburn’s new signing from Portsmouth missed today’s game against Everton because of tonsillitis, and so still awaits his home debut for his new club. With Laverick unfit Rea came in at right half to enable Brian Harris to switch to the left wing in an Everton attack which was led by Dave Hickson whom was rumour involved in a fatal car accident last night. Everton playing in yellow shirts with back collars were pressed back and straight away Cairn who was deputizing for Dougan put on a strong shot just outside the Everton post. Blackburn’s fearless Douglas went down with an injury to the knee which kept him out of the game for-so-long but after treatment he continued although still rubbing the leg. A 30 yard drive from Cairns thudded against the bar and came out after Parker had failed to make a clean clearance from a Clayton improved pass. Apart from a centre from Collins which Leyland caught Everton had not threatened the Blackburn goal but there was promise about a Collins-Jimmy Harris link-up. In the end Woods who like Everton’s Dunlop was playing his 100 League game for his club, headed away. When Douglas did get the ball he got rid of it first time, an indication that his knee was still troubling him, and certainly he was not doing the wandering he usually does. A through pass from Cairns to Dobing was the only real constructive move from either side for some time and nothing in it was very ordinary stuff. Then with 21 minutes gone Brian Harris celebrated his emergency return to the left with a leading goal for Everton. Collins took a free kick about 10 yards outside the Blackburn penalty area, and when he put it in the goalmouth, Leyland came out to make a one fisted punch-away from Thomas. It was not a very good punch and the ball went straight to Brian Harris; standing on the fringe of the area, and after breasting it down he shot with his right foot, the ball entering the net at the angle with Leyland out of his goal and Whelan making desperate efforts to hand it away.
Actually this was the first shot Everton had at goal and they were immediately facing strong Blackpool raids with Douglas now on the left wing. Blackburn had three quick corners and at times the Everton defence did not look too secure, but they survived, thanks but one occasion to a chase back by Jimmy Harris to dispossess Isherwood who once more was in his proper position on the left. After Douglas and Bramwell had been spoken to by the referee, following an incident near the half-way line, the Everton man had his name taken a few minutes later after Douglas had been brought down in another tackle. From a free kick awarded just outside the penalty area Collins hit a tremendous drive which beat Leyland completely and smashed against the underside of the bar before coming out.
Everton appealed that the ball was over the line, but referee Tuebuck was in an ideal position to wave play on. Then Hickson dropped a centre on to the bar, while Leyland just managed to reach Collins’s pass before Brian Harris. Rea had done well and so had Meagan, and for some time before the interval the Blackburn attack had not produced any threat to Dunlop. Half-time; Blackburn Rovers nil, Everton 1.
When the second half started Everton had an escape when Cairns headed against the bar from a hard cross by Isherwood.
In the next minute when Meagan fell over the ball Douglas was able to get in a centre which Dobing headed in powerful enough but Dunlop made a good catch. There was more sparkle from Blackburn than in the first half but all in all the game was not one to give much entertainment to the crowd. In the 63rd minute Blackburn got an equalizer through Dobing. A long ball from McGrath was chases by the scorer and Jones and the Everton man had two attempts at clearing it. On the second occasion the ball rebounded from the Blackburn centre forward and left him with the opportunity of beating Dunlop. Hickson had a header saved by Leyland before Dunlop had to save from Isherwood when the winger cut in to make a hook shot from short range. How Dunlop gathered the ball from a maze of legs was remarkable and then a shot from Dobing was kept out by a defender. Hickson tried to get Jimmy Harris away but Woods stopped the move. Blackburn went ahead in 80 minutes with a penalty goal from Dobing and one must say that it came from one of the very few good movements we had seem in the match. Cairns was brought down in the area by Meagan, when he looked to be through after a defence spitting pass by Douglas. Dobing’s spot kick low into the corner, actually went through the bottom of the net but there was no doubt that it was a goal.
Collins tried desperately to get some sort of potency about the Everton attack, but apart from his goal, Brian Harris had never looked happy out on the wing. In a sensational finish, Woods the Blackburn centre half, was sent off after a clash with Hickson which left the Everton forward lying on the ground needing the attention of the trainer. What actually happened I do not know but the incident occurred when Everton had a corner during heavy pressure. When referee Tirebuck left the field at the finish he was booed by the crowd. This was certainly an amazing finish to a generally otherwise unspectacular game. Final; Blackburn Rovers 2 goal, Everton 1. Official attendance 26,900.
NORWICH ALMOST SHOCK OUR PRIDE
March 21, 1959. The Liverpool Echo and Evening Express
But I Am Glad Luton Won For Owen’s Sake
Says Everton’s Tom Jones
After searching for the right knobs, I was happy to hear the Luton-Norwich Cup semi-final replay on steam radio on Wednesday. With knowing so many of the Luton players, I felt I had a personal interest in the game. Not that they were the only grounds I had for supporting the Hatters, for it was, a matter of first Division pride, which would have been hurt should Norwich City have performed the modern Soccer miracle and reached Wembley. There’s quite a mob attitude regarding First Division teams. One is included to believe that the smaller clubs shouldn’t enter our domain as would have been the case and Norwich triumphed over Luton. But what made me happy beyond anything else was to know that Syd Owen, that indomitable figure captain and centre half of the Hatters had reached Wembley in his last season in football. Owen a gentlemen in both on and off the field deserves a medal for his services to soccer. Should it be a Cup winner’s medal then he will have won it on merit. Harry Wright now a member of the Everton training staff spent a number of seasons with Luton and knows Syd very well. Talking over lunch one day the boys were recollecting tours and their good times on them. Retalking the F.A tour to the West Indies on which he was trainer, Harry mentioned Syd and reckoned that Syd was the most diligent and enthusiastic player on the tour. Owen lives, eats and sleeps football and it’s no wonder that his name has been connected with the Luton management once his illustrious playing career it is finished. Now you know who I’ll be cheering should I be lucky enough to get a Final ticket. Any offers?
Wins On Merit
I feel that Norwich City deserve a pat on the back for their achievement of reaching the semi-final and almost pulling off the unbelievable. Here’s a team although not even mid-way in their own League knocking out Manchester United, Tottenham and finally Sheffield United on their Cup way, and on merit too. During the replayed semi-final it was apparent that the players weary. Even allowing for this Norwich fought to the final whistle, almost snatching an elusive equalizer. Their stamina and condence must have been supreme for in the arts Luton had the advantage. Colin McDonald the Burnley and England goalkeeper must consider the luck of the Irish to be against him when he broke his left leg playing for the Football League against the League of Ireland at Dallymount Park, Dublin’s this week. Colin had a host of caps and hundreds of miles of travelling in front of him as he was one player assured of the England place against Scotland at Wembley next month and also to be inclined in the England party on their American tour. Fate has been unkind in this respect. Here’s to a quirk recovery.
Some of Merseyside’s personalities from the soccer world are going in goal next Wednesday No. It isn’t quite what you may think. The truth is that there’s to be a sports quiz at Walton Gadi and Billy Liddell, Tommy Younger, Tommy Eglington, Dave Hickson, and myself are going along to have a look at the inside temporary stay we hope and also to provide a few answer for the folk there. Eddie O’Hara not so long ago our regular left is now spending a few days recuperating in a nursing home after an operation on his ankle. Eddie’s troubles apparently stem from an old injury incurred some two years back. The operation performed was to shorten the external ligament in his ankle to that he won’t be as liable to “go over” as he has been doing. Eddie hopes that with the clearing up of this old injury he may e able to resume the form that encouraged the club into signing him. Even his buddy and former club mate Alex Parker, reckons that Eddie wasn’t turning in the performances he did north of the border. See you back soon Ed!
MY LAST ARMY GAME IS NEXT WEDNESDAY
March 21, 1959. The Liverpool Echo and Evening Express
I’ve been offered a trial for another team! From what I’ve heard it is quite a good side and there’s guarantee that I’ll get in, but at least I’ve been told I can have a go any time I like. Before you start jumping to conclusions I must add that the above was the gist of a conversation I had with a chappie when I reported to the Liverpool Scottish T.A H.Q last Thursday in Liverpool. That visit it virtually the end of my National Service when I play my last game for the Army on Wednesday at Wolves ground against the R.A.F. Although I enjoy playing football all the travelling involved is very tiring. For instance 11 days including today I have played in Belfast, Liverpool, Glasgow, London and Blackburn. See what I mean? Despite our defeat at Manchester United, it was generally agreed that the team had played well, and we were anxious to prove against Blackpool last week that our form at Old Trafford was no flash in the pan. Against a team reputed to be the best defence in the First Division I think we made our point for those of you who saw the match will admit that we could easily have had more than the three we scored. Last Sunday Bobby Collins and I travelled on train for the Scottish trial match at Ibrox on Monday night. You can tell by the score of 6-5 in favour of the League side that the spectators had their money’s worth. Neither side every led by more than one goal. It was quite a night for Davey Mackay our team’s left half just before the game he was transferred to Spurs’ and then went on to score two goals. Davey is not known to English fans but you can take it from me that he is a great player who will do the London side a power of good. He is an attacking wing-half, similar in style to Tommy Docherty. You may remember that I wrote the other week about him being Scotland’s Player of the Year and how I had to make a speech at the presentation. Immediately after the match I had to catch a train to London to play against the Belgian Army at Stamford Bridge. It was for the Kentish Cup, which is competed for by the British, Belgium and French Army teams. As we beat Belgium and lost to France last year It all depends on the meeting of the Continental sides in a few week’s time.
Fight For Ball
On Tuesday morning, we trained at Woolwich under Arthur Rowe the former Spurs manager. We spent Tuesday night in London and trained at Hendon on the morning of the match. There was an amusing incident after the match. Immediately the final whistle blew the Belgium team made a mad scramble for the ball while we looked on in amazement. It reminded me of cricketers fighting to get hold of wickets after a Test series. Anyway, the right-back eventually gained possession and when we saw him outside the ground afterwards and later on in the hotel where the banquet was held he was still holding on to it. After the struggle he had to get it he was obviously determined to hang on to it. for seven year’s R.S.M Blackman was in charge of the Army team, a duty he carried out very well despite having a bad leg as the result of a war injury. Last January he had the leg amputated and on Wednesday night the Army F.A presented him with a pair of gold cuff links. It was a nice gesture. Next week-end brings us the important Easter games with three matches in four days. From our point of view they could hardly be more interesting for we play the Cup finalists Luton Town, twice and entertain Aston Villa semi-finalists on Saturday. I don’t think I need remind you that we have an bad score to settle with Villa You probably read in Tommy Jones article about our visit to Crystal Palace next month Arthur Rowe who is charge of the Army team is coach to the Southern side and he was telling me that everybody down there is looking forward to Everton’s visits. He said that their lighting was excellent and that he had quite a good side.
EVERTON RES V. BURY RES
March 21, 1959. The Liverpool Echo and Evening Express
Everton Res;- O’Neill, goal; Parkes and Tansey, backs; Sanders, Labone, Peat, half-backs; Blain, Wignall, Hood, Ashworth, and Godfrey, forwards. Bury Res; Mackay, goal; Gallacher, and Conroy, backs; Wilson, Bunner, and Neill, half-backs; Robinson, Birkett, Pollitt, Bottomley, and Bartley, forwards. Referee; Mr. G. Lockett. With neither team able to control a lively ball, the early play was very scrappy, Bury were slightly more dangerous for O’Neill had to dash out three times to foil Politt. At the other end Mackay snatched the ball from Blain’s feet. In the 12th minute Hood headed in from a free kick awarded for a foul on Sanders. A minute later Ashworth headed inches too high from Godfrey’s centre after Ashworth had twice blazed over the bar Bury staged a determined assault with both Pollitt and Birkett going close. Hood increased Everton’s lead after 8 minutes when Mackay allowed a hard drive to slip through his hands. Apart from one save by O’Neill, Everton were now well on top and Mackay made a good catch to stop Hood’s hat-trick. Half-time;- Everton Reserves 2, Bury Reserves nil.
WOODS SENT OFF IN HUNDRETH MATCH
March 23, 1959. The Liverpool Daily Post
Blackburn Rovers 2, Everton 1
By Jack Rowe
Two players, Matt Woods, of Blackburn, and Albert Dunlop, of Everton were making their 100th League appearance for their clubs in this game – and they were the only two who came out of it with much credit. Yet the day was an unhappy one for Woods, because his 100th appearance also marked the first time in his career that he has been sent off. The massive Woods, playing against his former club, was given his marching orders by referee Les Tirebuck, of Halifax, with barely two minutes left for play, after an incident with Hickson near the Blackburn goalmouth following a corner. As Woods walked off Hickson was left lying just outside the penalty area, and the trainer had to come on before he could resume. A barrier of players prevented me having a clear view of what happened, but it was clear there was some sort of clash. Mr. Tirebuck declined to make any post-match comment but the crowd’s attitude towards it all was quite clear. There were cheers for Woods when he left the field, and boos for the other two central figures at the end.
Lack of Inspiration
Even Bobby Collins, although he still contrived to look the best forward, could not provide his usual inspiration and for the most part we had a scrambling, dreary affair. For 15 minutes before half-time Everton looked as though they might achieve something and I thought they deserved to lead by Brian Harris’s goal in 21 minutes. The Everton players also say that a Collins free kick during this period rebounded over the line from the crossbar, but referee Tirebuck disagreed. That was another controversial incident in a game in a game which had a lot of infringements and rarely reached First Division standard. Blackburn were much slower to the ball in the first half but their attack was not helped by an injury to Douglas which slowed him down. Cairns, deputizing for the sick Dougan, struck the bar in the opening minutes but apart from that the Ewood fans had to wait until the second half before their team showed real life. Cairns against struck the bar this time with a header, soon after the interval and with Blackburn showing more urgency and the Everton attack almost non-existent they got on terms in sixty-three minutes when Dobing netted. Jones seemed to be at fault in not clearing quickly enough but he contended afterwards that he was the victim of a push which threw him of balance. Dobing got his second goal –and the winner –in eighty minutes when he blasted home a penalty after Meagan had brought down Cairns as he was going through from a Douglas pass.
Dunlop The Best
Dunlop was the one man on the Everton side who did not make a mistake. He made two superb second half saves besides going down heroically twice at the feet of Dobing when Blackburn were making their one real effort in the match. Woods was the best Blackburn defenders and his supremacy over Hickson was so complete that I cannot recall a shot from the Everton centre-forward troubling Leyland. Jimmy Harris played under the handicap of a heavy cold and it was clear that Brian Harris is more at home at half back then on the wing. The fact that he had to be moved there points to a problem Everton will have to solve, the provision of replacements for injuries because I am convinced after this showing that Brian Harris does not relish the left wing job any more. One player I have sympathy for is Bramwell. He had his name taken following two clashes with Douglas in the first half, and from what I saw the Blackburn man was just as responsible. Blackburn Rovers;- Leyland, goal; Taylor and Whelan, backs; Clayton (Captain), Woods, and McGrath, half-backs; Douglas, Cairns, Dobing, Vernon, Isherwood, forwards. Everton; Dunlop, goal; Parker and Bramwell, backs; Rea, Jones (captain), and Meagan, half-backs; Harris (J), Thomas, Hickson, Collins, and Harris (B), forwards. Referee; Mr. L.J. Tirebuck. (Halifax).
EVERTON RES 4 BURY RES 1
March 23, 1959. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton Reserves were flattered by the victory margin in this Central League game as two of their goals were decidedly streaky. With only Bottomley Bury’s inside left mastering a lively ball the game had few combined moves yet there were some unusual incidents. In the first half centre forward Hood scored twice for Everton though his second goal resulted from a goalkeeping error Midway through the second half Hood somehow wandered to the fringe of his own goal area and deflected a shot into his own net. Just prior to this Wignall had a penalty kick parried but the ever-alert Godfrey, Everton’s best forward fastened on to the rebound to score. Ashworth completed the scoring near the end. Labone was Everton’s outstanding defender though wing halves Sanders and Peat worked tirelessly. Everton team was; O’Neill; Parkes, Tansey; Sanders, Labone, Peat; Blain, Wignall, Hood, Ashworth, Godfrey.
WOODS SENDING OFF WAS THE ONLY DRAMA OF THIS MATCH
Monday March 23, 1959. The Liverpool Echo and Evening Express
By Jack Rowe
It is ironical that the only real dramatic and remembered moment of a First Division game should be the sending off of a player. Yet this is how it was at Ewood Park on Saturday when after Blackburn Rovers and Everton had struggled through a drab 88 minutes the boiling up some when the Blackburn centre half Matt Woods was ordered off on a day when he was not only playing against former colleagues but also making his 100th League appearance for his club. But for this scene there would be nothing to put the match –won 2-1 by Blackburn –in the memory book because for me it was the least entertaining 90 minutes of the season and what made it more poignant was that the man who had to go off had been this side’s best defender and one of two players who I rated as worth any real marks at all. Woods had to go to the dressing room because of an incident near the Blackburn goal which involved Hickson and which took place in a crowd of players following an Everton corner. It was this crowd of players which stopped me having a clear view of what happened and all I can say is that the two players were close together and not ignoring each other with the ball well away. Then suddenly Referee Lee Tirebuck of Halifax, was telling Woods top go off and Hickson was lying on the ground just outside the penalty area. As Woods walked off amid the cheers of a section of the crowd, especially those behind the goal, Hickson received attention from the trainer before resuming for the final minutes. There were boos when he and the referee left the field, and Mr. Tirebuck when asked afterwards about the incident declined to make any comment. This was not the only controversial matter for earlier Everton left back Bramwell had his name taken following a couple of tackles on Douglas and in this case I think he was unfortunate for there was responsibility on the other side. Another point during the game which Everton disputed was the refusal of Referee Tirebuck to heed appeals that a Collins free kick just before half-time had crossed the line on its downward passenger from the underside of the cross-bar.
This happened at the goal which is furthest away from the back-of-the-stand Press Box at Ewood Park and I was in no position to judge whether the Everton claim had any basis. However, it was a crucial moment, for then Everton were leading by a goal scored by Brian Harris in twenty-one minutes when Leyland punched another Collins free kick straight for the only time in the match some signs that they were capable of getting together. Before this neither attack had produced much idea, although Cairns in the Blackburn side for the sick Dougan, had struck the bar from 25 yards out and we had been sitting through spells of play which were notable only for the number of misplaced passes and general lethargy. It seemed difficult to believe that teams with internationals in them could play so badly and it may be hat a firm pitch, lively ball and a breeze had something to do with it, but on the other hand it cannot completely explain a lack of urgency which characterized the game for long periods. Everton were more willing to challenge in the first half and if Bobby Collins could not stamp his genius on the game he did at least introduce a desire to work which entitled him to the tag of the best forward on both sides. Blackburn probably suffered because Douglas strained a knee early on a long before the Bramwell incident. He was strangely ineffective and although he did improve in the second half his one real contribution was the through pass which led to his side’s second goal. Everton were rarely an attacking threat after the interval and it was because Blackburn shook themselves and did manage to produce the more attempts at goal that they were probably worth their eventual victory. Even so there was hardly a top class movement during the whole of the match, and the big lesson for Everton was that Brian Harris is not now suited to the role of left winger. He went there on the emergency created by Laverick’s injury but this is another position which the club must put on the list when they seek reserve strength; I think it was proved on Saturday that the move earlier in the season which made Brian Harris a half-back was the correct one.
Not one of the Goodison forwards apart from Collins did anything which lifted them out of the ordinary Jimmy Harris had a heavy cold which would not help while Hickson was completely mastered by Woods for the 88 minutes they faced each other and what made the finale again so dramatic was that one could not say that there had been a real clash between them before it happened. Dunlop is the man I ranked with Woods as the best players of the match for the goalkeepers was probably the only one on the field who did not make a mistake and two saves in the second half when Blackburn had come back into the game were truly terrific and his gallantry in going down at the feet of inrushing forwards helped to provide the very few thrills we had. Rea had quite a good first half and so did Meagan and if Parker had not yet settled into the path of consistency he was one of the very few players in the match who did show that they had some class. Clayton the Blackburn captain was another, but the trouble was that it was never sustained and for the most part it was a case of wondering how it was that two First Division teams could play so lethargically and so uninspiring for so long. Blackburn’s first goal was scored after 63 minutes by centre forward Dobing when he and Jones chased after a down the middle ball from McGrath. My reaction was that Jones had failed to get the ball away when opportunity presented itself on two occasions with the result that his final clearance attempt rebounded off the Blackburn player and left him with only Dunlop to beat. Jones contended after the game that he was pushed as he first ran on to the ball and this put him off balance and I gladly give his view. There was no question of contention, however, about the second Blackburn goal ten minutes from the end for when Meagan pulled Cairns down in the penalty area he was heading for a clear shot at Dunlop and Dobing’s spot kick had such power that it broke through the bottom of the net. Everton did show a little more fight in a bid to get an equalizer afterwards, but all we had was the Woods incident to end a match which had more than the usual quota of infringements, and which had precious little to commend it.
VILLA MORE TESTING
Thursday March 26, 1959. The Liverpool Echo and Evening Express
By Leslie Edwards
Everton have Easter matches made more attractive by the fact that they meet Cup finalists Luton Town twice and their Cup conquerors Aston Villa in the third fixture. Tomorrow Everton renew acquaintance and rivalry with their former forward –George Cummins, at Luton Joe Mercer’s greatly improved Aston Villa are at Goodison Park on Saturday and on Monday (pleased note the 2.45 start to enable the opposition to get home the same day) at the same ground we shall get our previous of the side which will face Notts Forest at Wembley. The Villa game will give Everton opportunity to show that Cup form against the same rivals was all wrong Dave Hickson will be meeting old friends again and since Villa have gone all one way (with two notable exceptions) since Joe Mercer took over, this match can be considered more testing than either of those against Luton especially as Villa put it across Luton as recently as last Saturday.
Thursday March 26, 1959. The Liverpool Echo and Evening Express
By Leslie Edwards
Everton Chief, Mr. John Carey, who expected to be able to name his team today for the match tomorrow at Luton has found it necessary to delay choice until he has seen his left winger Laverick in London tonight. Laverick, stationed in the Army at Poole, Dorset missed last Saturday’s game at Blackburn through injury and is still a doubtful. Lest he is unable to play Everton are talking with their party half-back Rea and reserve forward Ashworth.
GOALKEEPER GIVES EVERTON VICTORY
March 28, 1959. The Liverpool Daily Post
Luton Town 0, Everton 1
By Michael Charters
A Dramatic, last minute own goal by Baynham the Luton goalkeeper, yesterday, gave Everton two points from a match in which they played for much of the time with ten men and a cripple. Nearly all the drama came in the opening and closing minutes, for within seconds of the start captain Tom Jones gashed his right ankle severely and went off the field for 25 minutes. He returned to play at outside left for the remainder of the game. Rea went to right back Parker to centre half and Brian Harris who had started on the left wing as Laverick was still unfit, went to right half. This patchwork defence did a great job but they were undoubtedly helped by the lackasdasical and shot shy attack of the Cup finalists. But most credit goes to Everton, who ignored their handicap and fought with every ounce of endeavour and skill they possessed. They were faster on the ball than Luton, engineered more shooting openings and always looked the more dangerous side.
Thomas Off Target
In the first half Everton had their best spell when they only had ten men. Their greatest chance of scoring at this time came when Collins and Brian Harris started a brilliant move for the Scot to put through for Thomas who had two chances of shooting. His first shot struck Baynham and rebound, and when Thomas shot again Owen was fortunate to find himself in the way and the ball went for a corner. On the stroke of half-time Jones, showing many neat and surprising touches on the wing almost scored, his shot catching Baynham unawares and the goalkeeper trapping his fingers between the ball and the post. Whether this injury had any effect on him is doubtful, but he was certainly at fault with the fantastic goal which settled the match in Everton’s favour. Jones swung across a corner which Jimmy Harris headed from ten yards into the goalkeepers hands. He held it firmly for a second or so but, challenged by Collins allowed the ball to slip over his shoulder into the net. Although Everton were lucky in this incident, I thought they deserved to win for the great spirit and fight they showed. Collins played brilliantly both up in attack and back in defence, while Parker completely subdued the Luton leader, Morton as deputy centre half. Brian Harris playing by sheer chance in the position he likes best, was the best wing half on the field, while Meagan also did very well. So Everton have started their Easter programme with an away win but Jones whose ankle injury required three stitches will miss the games with Aston Villa and Luton, in company with Laverick, Labone deputise at centre half against Aston Villa today. Luton Town; Baynham, goal; McNally and Hawkes, backs; Groves, Owen and Pacey, half-backs; Bingham, Turner, Morton, Cummins, and Gregory, forwards. Everton;- Dunlop, goal; Parker and Bramwell, backs; Rea, Jones(captain), and Meagan, half-backs; Harris (J), Thomas, Hickson, Collins, and Harris (B), forwards. Referee; Mr. T.W. Dawes (Norwich), Official attendance 22,948.
SAD START BUT A HAPPY END
March 28, 1959. The Liverpool Echo and Evening Express
By Michael Charters
Rarely can a game have started and ended so dramatically as did Everton’s at Luton yesterday. No sooner had we settled in our places than Everton captain Tom Jones was walking off the pitch with blood streaming from a gash on his right ankle; as we were reaching for our hats at the finish, Everton snatched two points with one of the most unusual happenings in football –an own goal by a goalkeeper! So a day which had begun disappointingly for Everton became one of triumph, for the team had shown themselves despite their handicap to be better at every point than cup finalists Luton. In the morning manager John Carey took winger Bobby Laverick, still complaining of soreness in his left foot to the boy’s old ground at Chelsea for a try out. He was back quickly with the decision that Laverick could not play and indeed was out of the reckoning for the Easter games. The team was unchanged therefore from that which lost at Blackburn last Saturday which meant Brian Harris at outside left and Ken Rea at right half. It stayed that way for exactly 30 seconds for that was all the time it took for Jones to be injured. The skipper was off for 25 minutes, having three stitches inserted in the wound by the Luton Club doctor-and manager Carey was full of praise for the quick and expert attention Jones received. While he was away Rea moved to right back, Alex Parker to centre half and Brian Harris to right half. When Jones returned he stayed on the left wing and despite his injury showed some deft touches and played more than an invalid’s part in the team’s success. The re-shuffled defence improvised beautifully. Parker particularly took the switch in his stride and made an excellent job of controlling Luton centre forward Morton. Brian Harris relishing the enforced move to his old position had a great game along with Mick Meagan, who is rapidly regaining his fine form of last season. All the players however, stuck a bright patch together it was essentially a team victory. They were yards faster on the ball than Luton, quicker into the tackle, and player much the more effective football. They accepted the challenge of playing with virtually 10 men instead of dug down to it and were always in control by the determination and spirit to get to the ball first. Although they won by the narrowest of margins they engineered enough openings to have been two up by half time and they cut Luton’s chances to a minimum so that Albert Dunlop had a comparatively uneventful game in goal. He made two excellent saves from inside right, Turner deputizing for Alan Brown who was rested but otherwise his composure was undisturbed. Jimmy Harris and Dave Hickson roamed and probed at Luton’s defence, backed up superbly by Bobby Collins whose vast store of energy carried him to the four corners of the field to fill the gaps of the depleted team, Collins has rarely done better.
The reason for Everton not winning more decisively and without the aid of an own goal is twofold –the effective work o centre half Owen (a great stopper if nothing else) and goalkeeper Baynham; the man widely tipped to take over again in England’s goal for the injured McDonald. It was a tragedy for Baynham that he made this one mis-take, so late in the game, and what a vital one it proved. When Jones sent over a corner with less than a minute to go Jimmy Harris made a glancing header from some 10 yards out. It few straight at Baynham who had reach out for the ball over the shoulders of his right back McNally. He caught the ball pulled it back, and obviously harassed by the proximity of McNally and the imminent challenge of Collins allowed the ball to slip out of his grasp over his shoulder and into the net. But the fact that he had made a clean catch and held the ball for a second or so made it an own goal rather than being credited to Harris. Jones, of course will be out of the game for several days. His place against Villa today was taken by young reserve centre half Brian Labone and manager Carey decided that Brian Harris had played so well as wing half that it was a waste to put him back on the wing, even in an emergency. He tried young Alex Ashworth normally an inside forward on the left against Villa. Wembley bound Luton were lukewarm and disappointing. They lacked snap and their attacks were laborious in the extreme. Apart from Bingham on the right wing the forward line was ineffective and slow and they will have to recover from this dull spell if they are to have a chance against Forest in the final. They have such a heavy backlog of fixtures in the next few weeks that they find themselves playing as many as four games in seven days. They may well also discover themselves in dire trouble before their great Wembley day arrives on May 2.
EVERTON ON TOP DESPITE VILLA’S TOUGH TACTCIS
Saturday March 28, 1959. The Liverpool Echo and Evening Express
Parker Scores With A Twice Taken Penalty
Everton 2, Aston Villa 1
By Michael Charters
Everton; Dunlop, goal; Parker and Bramwell, backs; Harris (B), Labone, and Meagan, half-backs; Harris (J), Thomas, Hickson, Collins (captain), and Ashworth, forwards. Aston Villa;- Sims, goal; Aldis and Winton, backs; Dixon, Dugdale, and Crowe, half-backs; Smith, Sewell, Hutchins, Wylie, and McParland, forwards. Referee; Mr. E.S. Oxley (Pentefract). Everton brought in Labone for his second league game of the season in place off the injured Tom Jones and tried Ashworth at outside-left for the first time. Villa of Cup game no exactly appreciated at Goodison played their semi-final side which beat Everton in the fifth round, Smith being at outside right in place of Myerscough. The pitch looked in splendid under the heavily sanded centre portion having been watered to removed the possibility of a sand storm. Labone was quick in action, he cut out a dangerous centre from McParland, but it was Everton who made the first shot of the match. When Dugdale obstructed Hickson within the penalty area Jimmy Harris quick free kick came out to Meagan who hit a lovely shot which Sims palmed over the bar. Villa were lucky to get away with it when Ashworth headed in a corner kick from Jimmy Harris which was blocked luckily by Dugdale as Collins was roaring. Everton were keeping up an impressive pressure in the early stages with Jimmy Harris particularly lively and Meagan had another chance with a quickly taken shot on the volley which flew high over. Everton were playing attractive even spectacular football especially on the right wing and the Villa defence was hard pressed to keep them out. Parker, coming up was prominent with some lovely passes and Harris on the right wing was dangerous. Everton had taken up where they left off at Luton with an excellent team display and although they had not troubled Sims unduly so far they were doing everything else to unsettle the Villa side who could not match them for pace and skill. Villa’s first clear cut chance came when Hitchens first timed a centre from Smith well over the bar. Villa scrambled the ball away somehow with another all up Everton attack and altogether this was an Everton display which had the big holiday crowd on very good terms with themselves.
Hickson who had taken a knock on the leg at Luton yesterday was brought down with a fearful thump by Dugdale and I although Everton had just claims for a penalty award. Straight form this incident Villa in only their second attack took the leading goal through McParland. Wylie chased a ball to the left corner flag, but was dispossessed by Brian Harris who made a faulty pass to put Wylie n possession again. From the cross McParland standing right in front of goal was able to control at his leisure and shoot past Dunlop. This was at the 21st minute. This shock goal, however, had not taken the edge off Everton’s undoubted territorial supremacy for they attacked again with a brilliant move started by a 10 yards cross field pass from Parker which ended with Collins shooting from 25 yards and giving Sims his hardest save up to this point. For the second time Dugdale pulled down with his hands a ball which had beaten him, and Villa’s rugged defensive play was tiring the wrath of the crowd. When Smith whipped the ball away for a throw-in he apparently damaged it for the referee called for a new one. Much of Villa’s defensive play was crude but effective and so far they had kept Everton’s scoring chances down to a minimum. But they had a let-off when a Collins corner-kick beat Sims stopped invitingly a yard from the empty net before Winton cleared. Everton were giving the ball too much air in their attacks and the Villa defenders, all expert headers were having little difficulty in clearing. Hickson going to retrieve the ball which had run out for a goal kick, was very rude chested off the field of play by Sims who earned a word from referee Oxley. Labone’s first mistake in an otherwise good display let in Hitchins with a glorious chance but the centre forward with only Dunlop to beat shot just wide But inevitably this Everton pressure told to the end and they equalized two minutes before half-time through Hickson. Jimmy Harris took a left wing corner and Collins stooped low to pull the Villa defence on the wrong foot. The ball came through to Hickson, who slammed it instantly past Sims. The crowd booed the Villa players as they left the field at half-time for there was no doubt that much of their defensive play had been very strong – If that is the tactful word to use. Half-time; Everton 1, Aston Villa 1.
The second half opened sensationally which Mr. Oxley awarded a penalty for Everton as Hickson was shouldered off the ball by Dugdale from a left wing corner. The Villa players protested so strongly that it looked as though the referee had to make a gesture towards his notebook to restore order before the kick could be taken. Parker took the kick and smashed it into the net high and wide past Sims right hand but he referee reordered it to be taken again because a Villa player, Wylie had run into the area. But give Parker all credit for he calmly stepped up again and put his second shot into exactly the same place. The referee’s decision in making Parker to take the kick a second time was a peculiar as some of the others he had made in the first half and it was obvious he would have to use stronger control than he had shown so far of he was to keep the game in hand.
Left Wing Switch
Collins was temporality on the left wing with Ashworth inside a pre-arranged switch by manager Carey, and the Scot continued to probe and trouble the Villa defence, even from this position. I thought Mr. Oxley was at fault again in allowing play to go on when Wylie palpably handled in Everton’s penalty area, and when the ball was crossed to the unmarked McParland it looked odds on a Villa equalizer but Parker playing brilliantly, came across and blocked the winger’s shot. The referee had trouble with Wylie a moment later when the Villa man questioned a free kick award given against Dixon for a foul on Collins. Collins took the free kick and swung it to the far side of the goal where Jimmy Harris made a spectacular flying header from some 15 yards Sims cleared for a corner at full stretch. Villa were attacking in fits and starts and McParland volleyed a cross from Aldis high over the bar. Several of Everton’s players were having their best game for weeks notably Parker, who was outstanding, Bramwell and Meagan while Jimmy Harris was easily the best winger on view.
Well as they were playing in midfield, however, Everton still found it difficult to break down this Villa defence in the air. The Villa tactics of funneling back in defence with only Hitchin upfield set an almost impenetrable barrier. Sims, however, was by far the business goalkeeper. Labone was proving himself a most capable deputy for Jones and he made one sliding tackle to whip the ball off Wylie’s toes which was worth his place alone. The game had lost much of its earlier fight as time wore on and also had calmed down considerably. Villa almost equalized following another handling offence which the referee missed –this time by McParland –and from the winger’s pass Smith centres on to the top of the net. Final; Everton 2, Aston Villa 1. Official attendance 34,946.
THY OF THE FOOTBALL WORLD GOES OUT TO HALL
March 28, 1959 The Liverpool Echo and Evening Express
Fixtures May Go Into Cricket Season, says Tom Jones
When one reads of an outbreak of a serious disease you are prepared to dismiss it as one of those things which won’t happen to you. But the case of Jeff Hall the Birmingham City and England right back, being attack with pollo brings the situation home to you. Thousands of people probably saw Jeff on television on Sunday, supervising, along with Ray Barlow, of West Brom and England fame, his team of five-a-side players in their game against the Leeds contingent, coached by Don Revie and Wilbur Cush, both of Leeds United. As he is such a personality in the football world, we all hope he will recover enough to resume his career. Our sympathies go out to this well-liked player, who believed in playing the game irrespective of opponents. The Birmingham players will but out of training for three weeks or more and the Football League may have to extend their remaining games into the cricket season. Last Saturday’s game at Blackburn proved a milestone in two players careers. Both Matt Woods so long an understudy at Goodison but now a permanent fixture at Blackburn, and Albert Dunlop our keeper, celebrated their 100th appearance for their respective teams. Matt’s display was marred by his only indiscretion of the game. His sending off spoilt what was probably the finest game he has played in the Rovers colours. One highlight of the game was Bobby Collin’s free kick when we’re a goal up which cracked against the crossbar rebounding into the goal, as we though with the Blackburn defence waiting for a chipped pass to an Everton colleague. The element of surprise was never more evident, even goalkeeper Harry Leyland another exiled Evertonian, registered his surprise and intimated to me after the game that the ball “Seemed yard over the line.” Reflecting on the game coming home we wondered whether it was worth while taking quick free kicks such as Bobby did. Is this another case for a goal judge? Walking off Ewood Park at half-time, I was struck by an announcement over the loudspeaker. It was to give the result of a draw for a Cup Final ticket from a programme lucky number. It’s quite a sound idea, as it gives the really true supporter an opportunity for a ticket should he be interested. I had a programme put my luck was right out. Signing autographs is one of the penalties of being a footballer. But I came in for some rude remarks when I took 18 autograph books to be signed by the lads one day during the week. They were new books and intended as a memento to some boys club team for their endeavour throughout the season. When I gave our lads the story they were more than pleased to sign but stated that next to me, it should be a case of one book at a time please.
WHO SAYS I’M SHORT OF MATCH PRACTICE?
April 28, 1959. The Liverpool Echo and Evening Express
Asks Alex Parker
While having lunch in Preston prior to last week’s game at Blackburn, I made a note of what the rest of the team were eating. I know many players who would not dream of having a huge meal before a game, whereas others do not appear to mind what they eat. I noticed that Tommy Jones, Albert Dunlop and Bobby Collins, had poached egg on toast, Jimmy and Brian Harris, Kenny Rea, Mick Meagan and Dave Hickson had chicken, while Eddie Thomas, John Bramwell and I had steak. While the boys don’t always follow the same routine, they usually settle for one of those three things. I know that Bobby never eats a great deal before game whereas I am not quite so fussy about the amount. That artist from the time I played in my first floodlit match at Falkirk. I was playing for the reserve team at the time, and along with the rest of the team I went to see the first team. When I got home before the game that day I tucked into a meal of soup, meat and potatoes desert, followed by tea. Imagine any disray when arriving at the ground I was told that the first team right back had gone down with flu and –that I had to play. Despite the big meal, I did not feel sluggish and even since I have not gone out of my way to eat only small meal before a game. While in the subject of food I had my first taste of “Scouse” last Monday. I quite enjoyed it, but was rather puzzled afterwards when one of the players said “Now you will have to try “blind scouse” I had to get a friend in to explain that one to me. Incidentally last week’s was Albert Dunlop’s 100th first team game for Everton. Providing he keeps playing the way he has since I’ve been back from Cyprus, he can go on adding to that for as long as he likes. Congratulations, Albert. Here’s to the next century. Did you bet on the Grand National? Jimmy Harris did, The boys ran a sweep and Jimmy drew “Oxo” Mick Meagan drew the second Wyndburgh –and Mick Meagan drew the third, Mr. What. Talk about the luck of the Irish. The three I drew are still running I think. Last Wednesday I played my last game for the Army and with the plus the Easter games I will have played four matches in six days I think that the tag I saw in the papers seen after I got back from Cyprus that “Parker lacks match practice” will now be a thing of the past.
Last week-end was the second anniversary of two notable events in the life of yours truly. Two years ago last Saturday I played for Falkirk against Raith Rovers in the Semi-Final of the Scottish Cup. We drew 2-2 but won the replay 2-1 and went on to beat Kilmarnock in the final at Hampden. Two years ago last Saturday I went into the Army. I should have joined on the Thursday but got three days determent to play in the semi-final. You have probably read that Tommy Younger and Dave Hickson have been training the Liverpool youth teams to take part in the inter-city five-a-side competition. If you have never played this form of soccer you must take my word for it that it is great fun, and very fast. Much faster than you would think. As far as I’m concerned it’s much tougher than it looks too. Playing for Falkirk against Hibernains, I splintered a bone in my thump. I suppose the boys will be interested in what Tom has to any will be the goalkeepers, but I think I can surprise you by mentioning that I once saw him score a hat-trick in 45 minutes. I thought that would surprise you. He was playing for Scotland top! And what is more, one forward refused to give him a pass, namely Gordon Smith, the famous Hibernian right winger. Perhaps I’d better explain. It was during a Scottish tour of the Continent and Tommy played centre forward against an Austrian Village team. Lawrie Reilly bet Gordon Smith 10s that Tom wouldn’t score a hat-trick, Gordon did all he could to ensure he won his bet by not giving Tom a pass but nevertheless Lawrie won. So, you boys, next time Tommy gives you tips about scoring goals, listen to him. He knows what he’s talking about. Naturally I was delighted that my last game for the Army ended with a victory over the R.A.F at Molineux and the Services life, staying with the boys in khaki Peter Dobing of Blackburn Rovers scored the winning goal 17 minutes from the end but we should have had the game sewn up well before. We were 2-0 up at the interval though goals by Leicester City’s Riley but the R.A.F fought back to equalize and it was a relief when Dobing got the winner. In a way I felt a little sad pulling off an Army jersey for the last time, as I have enjoyed playing for them. We have had a pretty good team and I have played with some great players. It was an honour to captain such a grand bunch of lads, although they made the job easy. Of course, I shall come across them, in League matches and when we look back on our days in the Army I will be able to say I had no regrets.
Like everybody else I was most upset to hear of the dreadful news about Jeff Hall of Birmingham City. I have played against Jeff in League and representative matches and have always been an admirer of his. I think the first time I played him was in an international match and as he was playing right back, the same as myself, I look particular notice of him. I remember thinking that he looked rather small for a back and so he was, but he made up for his lack of height and weight with good old fashioned ability. I rate him as one of the classiest backs I have seen. Not only was he a resolute defender but he could take the ball up field to start an attack and if that petered out such was his speed in recovery that he always seemed to be in the right place for the counter attack.
BARNSLEY RES V EVERTON RES
Saturday March 28, 1959. The Liverpool Echo and Evening Express
Barnsley Res; Hough, goal; Jones, and Gilbert, backs; Price, Hopkins, and Lunn, half-backs; Anderson, Vost, Wood and Cade, forwards. Everton Res;- O’Neill, goal; Parkes, and Tansey, backs; Clayton, Billington, and Peat, half-backs; Blain, Wignall, Hood, McKay, and Godfrey, forwards. Referee; Mr. H. Price (Goole). Everton went straight on to the attack and should have taken the lead after 60 seconds when McKay ran on to a ball 10 yards out and fired over the top. At the other end Anderson raced towards the Everton goal but from the edge of the penalty area he fired over the bar. Wignall rounded off another Everton attack with a hard low shot from 15 yards which went inches wide. Peat, the Everton left half nearly put his side ahead after 21 minutes when he hit the post from 25 yards with Hough unsighted. The Everton goal had two narrow escapes through the efforts of Wood, Barnsley inside left First he headed into the ‘keeper’s hands from five yards and then had a diving header which went inches wide. Half-time; Barnsley Res nil, Everton Res nil.
STRONG WORDS NEEDED IN THIS GAME
March 30, 1959. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton 2, Aston Villa 1
By Jack Rowe
A match with much incident, not all of it wholesome, and one which also tended to make something of a mockery of the Players’ Union claim that referees were being too tough in their implementation, of the F.A. edict to “clean up the game.” If the fans had a union they might be tempted to complain that in this instance, Mr. E.S. Oxley, (Pontefract) was not tough enough. There were several words from him at different times, none apparently strong enough. Villa goalkeeper Nigel Sims once became the target of the crowd’s ire after an incident in which he pushed the ball at Hickson, who had retrieved it for him for a goal-kick. The action of Sims was so blatant that one looked for a reason and I am not satisfied that what happened on this occasion was entirely one-sided. The match was not helped by some peculiar decision by Mr. Oxley and some of the testiness (I was pleased to see Collins and Hitchens settling one clash which produced blood from the Everton man’s nose, amicably just before half-time) could be attributed to this. One of the most surprising decisions was the penalty incident two minutes after the interval, when Parker scored the winning goal. Hickson was clearly sand-wiched, but why Mr. Oxley should order it to be re-taken when a Villa player moved forward is beyond me. Fortunately Parker scored identically the second time.
This was Parker’s first goal for the club and the perfection of his spot kick was equalled by the rest of his game. On this performance, if Scotland have a better full back they are lucky. Villa danger man McParland moved everywhere in an attempt to escape Parker’s iron grip, which made him so ineffective. Yet, it was McParland who put Villa in front in 23 minutes when Brian Harris did not get the ball away in a duel with Wylie who made the pass, which McParland turned to account. With Jimmy Harris dancing his way down the wing and Collins emphasizing his value, Everton swept through but this tough strong tackling Villa needed a lot of opening up and the equalizer did not come until a minute before half time. Jimmy Harris took a corner which Collins allowed to pass to Hickson who firmly planted the ball into the net. If one occasionally raised an eyebrow at Villa’s unceremonious tackling, there was a plan behind it all and Joe Mercer has instilled a determination which I think will save them from relegation. I think anything less than a win would have been an injustice to Everton for they were the better footballing combination. The Villa attack relied mainly on the thrust of Hitchens. Rarely did Wylie or Sewell threaten to repeat the part they played in the 4-1 Cup victory at Goodison in February. Aldis and Dugdale maintained a defensive front when Everton looked likely to run away will things in the second half and ims could not often be faulted. Hickson is always a worry to defences, a fact recognised by Dugdale who twice deliberately handled to stop Hickson getting away. I doubt if Collins will ever have a game in which his personally and skill do not stand out and again he was the top forward, despite the improvement in Jimmy Harris. Manager Carey would be happy if he had as many capable deputise as Labone, who came in for the injured Jones. Labone and Meagan (playing as well as he did early last season) and Parker, were outstanding in the defence. Everton; Dunlop, goal; Parker and Bramwell, backs; Harris (B), Labone, and Meagan, half-backs; Harris (J), Thomas, Hickson, Collins (captain), and Ashworth, forwards. Aston Villa;- Sims, goal; Aldis and Winton, backs; Dixon, Dugdale, and Crowe, half-backs; Smith, Sewell, Hutchins, Wylie, and McParland, forwards. Referee; Mr. E.S. Oxley (Pentefract). Attendance 34,986.
Laverick May Be Back
Everton with the opportunity of recording a double over Luton at Goodison Park today, may have Laverick back at outside-left. He will undergo a fitness test this morning and if the outcome is satisfactory he will replace Ashworth. Everton; Dunlop; Parker, Bramwell; B. Harris, Labone, Meagan; J. Harris, Thomas, Hickson, Collins, Laverick, or Ashworth.
EVERTON RESERVES HAD GOOD DEFENCE
March 30, 1959. The Liverpool Daily Post
Barnsley Res 0, Everton Res 0
The Everton defence worked overtime in this Central league game at Barnsley to earn their side a point. For long stretches they were back in their goalmouth keeping the Barnsley forwards at bay. At times, however, they were lucky to keep their goal intact. With only minutes left Parkes saved the day when he cleared a shot from Dunn off the line. Everton too, had their misfortunes. Left half Peat who was the pick of the Everton side, sent in one great 25 yards shot which struck a Barnsley upright and bounded to safetly. Everton team; O’Neill; Parkes, Tansey; Clayton, Billington, Peat; Blain, Wignall, Hood, McKay, Godfrey.
IN THE WARS
Monday March 30, 1959. The Liverpool Echo and Evening Express
By Leslie Edwards
Nigel Sims, the Villa goalkeeper, nursed a blooded nose sustained when he came in contact with an upright. Bobby Collins was also in the facial wars accidentally in a clash against Hitchins and Villa half-back Crowe clearly got an elbow in his face in one of the game’s many ill-tempered moments. Add to this fuel a penalty decision against Villa which caused them to protest as I have rarely seen players protest before and you have some reasons for a game which went, for a time almost uncontrollably and they happily, came back to sanity in the second half. With a last minute victory at Luton the day before and full points from the Villa Everton now seen likely to pick up all six holiday points. This latest Everton win repaid Villa for the clear win they scored here in the Cup two months ago. They were a different side on Saturday –all bustle and bustle in their anxiety to pick-up the points they need to keep them out of the relegation whirlpool. In the Cup their play was measured. Now they gave obvious signs of anxiety and where Wylie had taken half chances so well he was now guilty of more than one serious blunder. The Villa plan which succeeded at Bolton –eight or nine players in a predominantly defensive role –did not work or because Hitchens could make no progress in the centre and because Parker held McParland well. It was only when McParland drifted into the middle to screw the ball in for a clever goal that we saw him in his most dangerous role.
At Second Attempt
Sim had brought off a brilliant save from Meagan before McParland put Villa in front from this left wing move. But when Hickson scored from an easy position –Collins having cutely allowed the ball to pass in from a left-wing corner –the sides were level and Everton were soon to go ahead from the penalty their opponents disputed so vehemently That Hickson was between two opponents and that all three players came into contact as the ball came over from the left is beyond doubt but it did not look like a penalty. Parker scored at the second attempt with a shot identical to the one first disallowed. Both sides played good football at times but what should have been a fine exhibition was spoiled by incidents which suggested that the game had not been handled strongly enough from the outset. Wylie missed a sitter and despite some dangerous centres by McParland who spent the last ten minutes in the centre forward position. Everton were able to hold the lead and the imitative For young Brian Labone, who has been studiously burred to take the place of Tom Jones when necessary, it what a happy decision and while Hitchens found the ball playing unkindly for him at times, Labone had his moments and certainly impressed as a player always anxious to build something once in possession.
One could not help being impressed by the work of the other Liverpool centre half on view –Dugdale. He was fearless and his sense of anticipation and heading were exceptional. Aldis too, had moments of genius. Labone and Dugdale are both former Liverpool Collegiate schoolboys. It was the same school, of course which provided Liverpool with Jack Balmer. Before turning professional with West Bromwich Albion from whom Villa signed him, Dugdale played with the famous Wallasey club, Harrowby. Everton’s attack with the willing Ashworth on the left, played well to a point but their finishing was not powerful and Thomas contribution was often the negative one of slipping the ball a few yards sideways or backwards. Everton have developed a tendency to move the ball laterally when more penetrative direction is required. The fact that Collins was not at his most brilliant had its effect on the attack as a whole.
The death in a charity match yesterday in Birmingham of W.G. Richardson, the former West Bromwich Albion centre forward who was aged 49 was a shock to players who took part. Richardson had not long before scored with a header which left a mark on his forehead. He was so proud of his effort he said to his team-mates. “That’s one mark I’m not wiping off in the bath” When he went down on his knees players and spectators thought he was fooling but he died en route to hospital. The most brilliant feat his career was four goals in five minutes against West Ham. Recently he had been coaching the West Bromwich Reserve team.
BUSY DAYS AHEAD FOR MR. CAREY
March 30, 1959. The Liverpool Echo and Evening Express
By Michael Charters
Everton manager John Carey with be having his own Cook’s Tour next week-end when he will be spending a hectic few days in charge of two teams. His busy itinerary is such that one is tempted to ask “who would be a football manager,” in these organiased days of fast travel, which plays such an important part in Football League life. With Everton playing West Ham next Saturday, Mr. Carey takes his team by train to London on Friday. After the match the party go on to Brighton for the week-end, but Mr. Carey says a hasty au revoir to them at Upton Park before leaving for London Airport, where he flies to Dublin that night. In Dublin he will meet the other team he managers, the Eire International side, who play Czechoslovakia at Dalymount Park the following day. On the Monday after that game, he flies back from Dublin to London to join up again with Everton, who travel up from Brighton for the Friendly match on Monday night against Crystal Palace. Another night at their London hotel headquarters and then it’s Liverpool by train on the Tuesday. The week-end at Brighton will be a happy break for the Everton players after the strenuous programme over this Easter. It will not be their last trip down South for the fixtures take them to Portsmouth on Wednesday April 15 (a re-arranged date made mainly to suit the wishes of Portsmouth and Luton Town), and they will probably stay there for the rest of that week for they are at Chelsea here days later. Like his manager, Dave Hickson will miss the stay at Brighton. He has to return to Liverpool after the West Ham game because he has a TV appointment with his boys’ five-a-side team next Sunday.
It is good to see Everton goalkeeper Jimmy O’Neill keeping his place in the Eire team, for it was an injury he received in their last match which brought on his cartilage operation. Although O’Neill is kept in Everton’s Central League side by the consistent brilliance of Albert Dunlop he is still Eire’s best in that position. The other Everton Eire international Mick Meagan, slowly coming back to his best, has struck his form just too late to enter the reckoning for next Sunday’s game. But his time is sure to come again. Also in Eire side is Mick McGrath who was under Mr. Carey while he was at Blackburn. Another Eire player who cannot get a regular place in his League side is Aston Villa’s Pat Saward. Mr. Carey had a chance to see two of his team in action at Luton on Good Friday right back Brendan McNally and inside left George Cummins the former Everton player. Cummins was not impressive but McNally, facing the injured Tom Jones on the wing had a good game. Jones disappointment over his injury was tempered by the good news he had received last Thursday. Then his wife had presented him with their third child and second boy. I understand the boy is to be called Brian – information which led Everton’s Brian Harris to wonder if he was going to be called on as godfather.
March 30, 1959. The Liverpool Echo and Evening Express
Bobby’s Laverick, Everton’s recent signing from Chelsea returns to the team this afternoon for the match against Luton at Goodison Park after missing several matches through injury. He displaces Ashworth at outside left. Brian Labone continues at centre half as manager John Carey does not want to expose Tom Jones’s injured leg in further risk. Jones had the leg gashed just above the ankle in the match at Luton on Friday. Everton; Dunlop; Parker, Bramwell; Harris (B), Labone, Meagan; Harris(J), Thomas, Hickson, Collins, Laverick.
EVERTON PULL POINTS OUT OF LUTON HAT
March 31, 1959. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton 3, Luton Town 1
By Horace Yates
Everton could not have had a happier Easter. Six points from three games have worked wonders with their League record, giving them a position in the top half of the table that not only spells security with a wide margin of safety but makes those niggling early season doubts and uncertainties seem like some unpleasant dream. Disappointing though it may have been to find Luton’s team almost unrecognizable from the side which will represented them in the final at Wembley on May 2 with changes in seven positions, leaving only Cummins in his advertised place in the forward line. Everton won very much more easily than the score line might suggest and it made a handsome double. Jimmy Harris had to put the ball into the net four times for two of them to count and Thomas also lost a score through offside before satisfying the referee at the second attempt. Hickson although not enjoying one of his most successful outings, having unusual difficulty at times in bringing the ball under control was the unluckiest player on the field not to have his name included among the scorers. One of his headers had the goalkeeper beaten, but Kelly was under the bar in a position to head clear. He hit the post and fired into the side netting on other occasions, but goals eluded him to the end. It took a vastly superior Everton thirty-four minutes to open the score through Jimmy Harris. Brian Harris made all the running, taking the ball to the Luton goal line before whipping the ball back to Jimmy Harris’s foot and though Kelly got his leg to the shot, he merely helped it on its way.
Luton’s spirit after half-time took Everton somewhat by surprise and in 48 minutes they were on terms through a goal by Morton. Dunlop fisted clear a shot from Cummins and all might have been well had he not injured his knee in the process. Down he went and Morton finding himself with the whole of the untenanted goal to aim at lobbed the ball securely home. A game which had been proceeding prettily and serenely came to life as Everton gathered determination not to allow this match to slip from their grasp. How refreshing it was to fine a spirit of real competition, when for so long it had been missing. Their greatest moment of discomfort came when Gregory’s shot rebounded from Dunlop’s body to give Whitby the chance of a lifetime. He sliced his shot and Everton were spared the ordeal of having to fight against arrears which would have made a mockery of the run of play. With Collins operating at outside right and Jimmy Harris as an inside forward, the threat to Luton became more pressing and pronounced and it was the quick thinking of Jimmy Harris that dealt Luton the blow from which they never recovered. In 74 minutes Everton were awarded a free kick for a foul on the disappointing Laverick. As the defence prepared the accepted barrier, Harris flicked the ball through to an unmarked Thomas who shot into the net over a diving goalkeeper. Almost immediately Jimmy Harris put the ball into the net again only to find the Luton offside trap against full marks.
Still there was compensation in 78 minutes when Hickson with a clever wiggle of the hips, sent the ball through to the on-running Harris and scoring presented no problems. While it was not the sort of game to rouse the crowd to fever pitch, largely because Everton were able to maintain their superiority without any undue exertion, there were plenty of things to admire in a bright and attractive exhibition which found almost all the players collecting high marks. Laverick back after injury, showed a disconcerting inability to keep his feet, particularly in the first half and did nothing in this game to prove that he is the answer to Everton’s outside left prayer. As cheering as anything was the superb promise of the nineteen-year-old Labone. He showed coolness and control, far beyond his years, tackled cleanly and placed the ball to advantage almost every time. The commanding ability of Jones kept Labone in the back-ground for some time yet, but how comforting it must be to Everton to realize that there is reserve material of this quality ready for the call. While I found much to admire in the solidity and enterprise of the young pair of full-backs, Parker and Bramwell, it was the tremendous improvement shown by Meagan that I think is counting so heavily in the present march of Everton progress. There is no comparison between the Meagan of to-day and the hesitant uncertain Meagan of the early days of the season. Possibly the flow of points that has brought security has given the side an air of confidence and belief in their own ability, for there is no doubt they played this match at their own pace and dictated almost at will for the most part. If anyone had sufficient courage to have suggested at a time when Everton were going through the mill of a double and stinging reverse at the feet of Preston, that the end of the season would find Everton higher in the table than Cliff Britton’s side imagine the reception such a prophecy would have had. Yet such is the possibility now. Collier made a capable understudy for Baynham and Kelly never allowed Hickson more than the minimum of latitude. Only once did Brown suggest that he still has a match winning shot, and Cummins, always appeared to be on the losing end of his battle with the Everton halves. A more normal Luton forward line might have caused much more serious concern. Everton; Dunlop goal; Parker and Bramwell, backs; B. Harris, Labone, and Meagan, half-backs; J. Harris, Thomas, Hickson, Collins (captain), and Laverick, forwards. Luton Town;- Collier, goal; Dunne and Hawkes, backs; Morton, Kelly, and Groves, half-backs; Whitby, Turner, Brown, Cummins, and Gregory, forwards. Referee; Mr. K. Howley (Middlesbrough). Attendance 32,620.
EVERTON RESERVES FADED AWAY
March 31, 1959. The Liverpool Daily Post
Chesterfield Res 4, Everton Res 1
Everton Reserves one goal up at the interval, faded badly at Chesterfield yesterday. The home side were faster on the ball and their strong tackling defenders kept a firm grip on the Everton attack. At the 32nd minute Godfrey gave Everton the lead from a McKay pass. In the first 20 minutes of the second half Chesterfield took command and O’Neill who made a number of fine saves, was beaten by McMahon, Lumley, Lewis and McMahon. Pick of the Everton defenders were O’Neill and centre half Billington, McKay and Godfrey were the best forwards.
MAXIMUM EASTER FOR EVERTON
March 31, 1959. The Liverpool Echo and Evening Express
By Leslie Edwards
Everton’s six points out of six over Easter leaves the way clear for an easy coast in to the finish line, yet how remote that possibility seemed before the arrival first of Bobby Collins and then of manager Carey. Burnley also with six out of six over the week-end completed a remarkable double for clubs formerly managed by Cliff Britton whose ageing Preston North End have dropped steadily in the table from the day Tom Finney became non-available. Normally the holiday’s settle many League problems but there is an openness at the top of the First and Second Divisions which suggests that things may not be settled until the last kick of the last match, Liverpool are five points behind Fulham but if both sides each won their remaining home games –Fulham have only two remember –the margin would be narrowed to a single point.
England command men they choose. The other home countries can only request the services of players they require. That is with any Everton tour – and I gather one proposed –may affect Scotland’s desire to play Alex Parker, and Bobby Collins against the Germany in Scotland. It is a vexed question but I don’t doubt that Everton and other clubs concerned will find a satisfactory solution.
Yesterday’s preview at Goodison Park of the Luton Town half of the Cup Final was rather spoiled by the non-appearance of many who will help to represent the club at Wembley but at least it was a more equable, entertaining match than the one against Villa. The extraordinary thing was that Everton had the ball in the net seven times for their 3-1 victory. Their play in the last half hour with the emphasis on attack and Collins taking over on the right wing to allow Jimmy Harris to operate inside produced a striking dividend of two goals and many near misses besides providing the game’s most enlivening moments.
Good But Unlucky
It was a good but unlucky day for Hickson One of his shots struck ran upright he had a good header kicked away from the line, he found goalkeeper Collier deputizing for Baynham saving his best efforts brilliantly. Yet Luton whose sandy-haired trainer Frank King used to keep goal at Goodison Park, were not outclassed despite their many changes and might well have made the margin narrower. Everton’s improved form I thought came from the better command of Meagan and Brian Harris, It was Brian Harris who slipper quickly into a good right-wing position to give Laverick the centre from which he was able to nod the ball to the other Harris whose successful shot after a quick bit of swiveling was as good as McParland on Saturday. Luton were fortunate to equalise since Dunlop lay injured after punching away when that slick acceptor of half-chances, Morton at right half-back banged the ball in. Amid the spite of disallowed goals, Thomas scored from Jimmy Harris catch-em-on-the-top free kick and the same Harris picked up a ball “hipped” his way by Hickson from another free kick to compete Everton’s third.
In this phase of Everton’s supremacy Parker and Bramwell added weight to the attack Bramwell’s left-wing runs invariably finishing with a first-rate centre. Veteran Shay Dunne is still the old warhorse of the Luton defence and none could say that he didn’t completely subdue Laverick. The former Everton forward Cummins whose control of the ball is better than ever had a fine match too and if Brown did not always come off against Labone who continued to use the ball well, he did enough to suggest that he will be a great problem to the Notts Forest defence at Wembley. The deputy right winger Whitby was hard-working and able and it took Bramwell all his time to keep him tied up. Everton’s defence is so solid the basis is there for a fine team it was good to see Meagan and Harris of the half-backs doing well again even if the opposition was necessarily a little below par through so many changes. With a maximum of points from Easter games, Everton can now afford to go out and indulge themselves completely in the attractive entertaining football their guvnor aims to give the public. People certainly derived more pleasure from yesterday’s game than from the Villa one which was so ruffied by lax control and pretty nastiness.