EVERTON IN GLASGOW
August 14, 1945. The Evening Express
Everton F.C. will have their first public run-out of the season tomorrow. They visit Shawfield Park, Glasgow to play a combined Glasgow eleven in a Benefit match for Matt Gemmill, the Clyde F.C., trainer, who has been associated with the club for more than 50 years. There are still one or two “ifs and buts which Mr. Kelly, the Everton secretary has yet to clear up but he expects that the Blues side will be chosen from; Burnett; Jackson, Greenhalgh; Grant, Humphreys, Watson, Gillick, Bentham, Lawton, Catterick, Boyes, W. Fielding, Caskie. It will be the first appearance for the Goodison club of Fielding, who is known as “the sensation of the Italian Command side.” Fielding has been granted extended leave by the O.C to enable him to take part in the match –a gesture greatly appreciated by the Goodison club.
Fielding, who pre-war was an amateur with Charlton Athletic, is 23 years of age. He was discovered by Cliff Britton during a match between an F.A. eleven and a Service team in Italy. Cliff was highly impressed. So, too, were Tommy Lawton, Everton’s captain and a colleague of mine, Capt Don McWhinne. Another testimonial to Fielding’s prowess is the fact that after the match in Italy the F.A team took him with them to Greece. Everton will leave Liverpool on the 9.40 train from Exchange Station tomorrow morning the kick-off is at 7 p.m.
EVERTON LOSE AT GLASGOW
August 16, 1945. The Liverpool Daily Post
By John peel
Everton were warmly received by 30,000 Glasgow football fans when they came North to play a Clyde selected team in a benefit game for Mattha Gemmell, the well-known Clyde trainer who has just retired after thirty-six years with the club. Everton were not four goals inferior, but they contributed largely to their own defeat by poor finishing. The game was fought out at a hard pace, and the best players were Burnett, Fielding, Catterick, and Bentham, for Everton and Dawson, Hickie, and the two Johnstones for Clyde. When the game was twenty-one minutes old when a penalty was awarded Clyde for a foul on L. Johnstone and Hickie scored from the spot to put Clyde in the lead. In twenty-nine minutes L. Johnstone scored a grand goal when he took a pass from Mathis on the turn to give Burnett no chance. Two minutes from the interval Duncanson scored a third goal, L. Johnstone scored a fourth goal for Clyde eighteen minutes from the end, when Everton’s defence was all tangled up. Clyde:- Dawson (Ranger), goal; Hogg (Celtic) and Hickie, backs; Campbell, Weir, and Dr. A Cross (Queen’s Park), half-backs; Delaney (Celtic), L. Johnstone, Mathie, Duncanson (Rangers), C. Johnstone (Rangers), forwards. Everton;- Burnett, goal; Jackson and Greenhalgh, (captain), backs; Grant, Bentham and Watson, half-backs; Caskie, Gillick, Catterick, Fielding, and Boyes, forwards. Referee; Mr. R. Calder (Ruthergeln).
EVERTON’S GLASGOW VISIT
August 16, 1945. The Evening Express
Everton F.C’s first run-out of the season in the Matt Gemmell testimonial game at Shawfield Park, Glasgow, last night saw them beaten 4-0 by a Clyde Select eleven, which included stars of the Rangers, Celtic, Queen’s Park and Clyde clubs. It was due in a large measure to the display of Dawson, the Rangers goalkeeper, who gave a fine display. Everton, however, have the satisfaction of knowing that the match gave a big hand to the testimonial as 15,000 people saw the game. The game was fought out at a fast pace and produced some rousing interludes. The Scots were faster on the ball and took their chances, but it was only superlative saves by Dawson that prevented the Blues from scoring. First goal came in 21 minutes, when Leslie Johnstone was sandwiched by two Everton defenders, and the referee ordered a penalty. Hickie made no mistake from the spot. Catterick was the danger man in the Everton forward line, and a brilliant move and cross shot by him was baulked by a thrilling one had save by Dawson. From the goalkeeper’s clearance, Delaney sent Mathie away, cutting out to the wing. The centre-forward crossed perfectly for Leslie Johnstone to place the ball past the advancing Burnett. Two minutes later Duncanson shot a third goal for the Scot. Everton made3 a better show in the second half, Greenhalgh and Watson in particular, giving no quarter in the tackles. The Select X1 improved and scored the fourth goal in 27 minutes. After this Boyes changed positions with Caskie in the Everton attack, but all the Blues scoring efforts were checked. Clyde:- Dawson (Ranger), goal; Hogg (Celtic) and Hickie, backs; Campbell, Weir, and Dr. A Cross (Queen’s Park), half-backs; Delaney (Celtic), L. Johnstone, Mathie, Duncanson (Rangers), C. Johnstone (Rangers), forwards. Everton;- Burnett, goal; Jackson and Greenhalgh, (captain), backs; Grant, Bentham and Watson, half-backs; Caskie, Gillick, Catterick, Fielding, and Boyes, forwards. Referee; Mr. R. Calder (Ruthergeln).
August 16, 1945. The Liverpool Echo
Everton are establishing themselves firm favourities in Scotland as the 30,000 spectators at the benefit match with Clyde F.C. denotes. They laid the foundation of their popularity when they reached the final of the Exhibition Tournament just before the war. Yesterday’s game was for the benefit of Mattha Gemmell the Clyde trainer, who has retired after 36 years service with the club. Although Scotland has played football, throughout the summer months the size of the crowd demonstrates that the Scots dearly loves his football. They saw Everton decisively beaten by four clear goals, and while that was some satisfaction they were not unmindful of some of the good football displayed by the visitors and readily agreed that Everton was not four goals inferior to their opponents. There was one disappointment, and that came when the team sheet omitted the name of Tom Lawton. The England centre forward is no stronger in those parts for he has played a few games with Scottish side during the war, and of course, they know his fame through his international exploits against the “national” them at Hampden Park and elsewhere. However, the game was thoroughly enjoyed and it was good to see Caskie and Gillick back in the Everton team. Everton were gravely concerned when Alex Stevenson went overseas, they realised that his place would be hard to fill but from a account’s Fielding filled the position with credit. He and Boyes get along very well.
Cook and Wrexham
Billy Cook Everton’s Irish international full back has been given a free transfer, and already his services are being sought by a number of clubs, among them being Wrexham and Rochdale. I have never seen Cook look better. He has been in strict training and last week participated in Wrexham’s practice game, and from all accounts came through with great satisfaction, for he was immediately offered terms.
EVERTON TO INCLUDE SCOTTISH JUNIORS
August 21 1945. The Evening Express
A number of Scottish Junior players will be included in Everton’s Central league side during the opening weeks of the season, and Secretary Mr. Theo Kelly is convinced that among them will be found players of Football League potentials. Those trials are the direct outcome of much diligent but client spotting Mr. Kelly has been doing for some months past. It became a habit of Mr. Kelly to filt away to Scotland now and again seeking talent and I for one, expect good results. Naturally Everton cannot yet divulge the names of players for that, in the case of Scottish juniors is fatal I can appreciate the utter dislike our Scottish brethren have for English clubs whisking away their juniors without giving them a chance to cash in on the transfer fees. This is only one angle to the Everton plan of progress, for in the past two or three weeks local boys have been undergoing tests and instruction at Goodison Park and here some more winners have been found. By this you will gather and rightly that it is not Everton’s intention to go in for guest players unless necessity demands. Everton have no bar to guest, but will do their best to carry on without, and knowing Everton’s best I am convinced they can do it. With a ban on guest players in the F.A. Cup, it is folly leading a side with players from other clubs. The cup does not start for some time, but now is the time to get the house in order in seediness for it. Everton will rely on their tried trusted players –and there are plenty of the 1939 championship winners ready and willing –and youth. Among the youngster element I expect big things of Wally Fielding, the “Cockney” inside forward, just home from Italy and who did so well in the Glasgow game last week. Fielding is stationed away down south in Dorset, but Everton hope he will be able to overcome the travel difficulty, especially as the position gets easier. John Hedley the young full back from North shields, “Chick” from Litherland, both of whom made one senior appearance last season, are worth keeping an eye on, while Billy Lowe of Haydock is absolutely fit again. Jack Lyon, ex-POW is raring to go”; Maurice Hill and George Curwen return after being guests with other clubs and the Scottish inside forward, Logan, will play when his naval duties bring him this way. I could name you dozens of grand youngsters whose progress I have watched closely in the reserve and colts side, and of whom you should be hearing quite a lot soon, and I am confident that they will be thrusting themselves into the news as the weeks go by.
Joe Mercer the England captain and Everton half-back stopped the treats of strike at the players Unions meeting in Manchester yesterday at a time when some “hot-heads” were advocating the laying aside of boots. Mercer wisely advised the union to have the meeting with the Football League which has been promised. “Let us hear what the league has to say,” and Mercer before we take drastic action,” Joe carried a meeting which lasted three hours, but which bar produced nothing sensational. So football restarts on Saturday without hitch.
JOE MERCER RETURNS TO EVERTON
August 23, 1945. The Evening Express
Joe Mercer, England’s captain, will make a welcome return to Everton when he plays right half against Bolton Wanderers, the 1944-45 cup-winners at Goodison Park in Saturday’s grand football opening. This will be the international’s first club appearance since last Christmas tide. For some time now Joe has been only an occasional Everton player because his Army duties have kept him down south, but that he has maintained his form is proved by the fact that he has been elevated to the exalted position of skipper of his country. Rest assured that mercer will get a fine reception when he reappears in a team for which his international colleagues, Tommy Lawton, is doubtful. Lawton “strikes” Army Cadet Force camp this week-end and so may not be able to get away in time to play, but if not the keen Harry Catterick will lead the attack, which is of an experimental nature with only one player, Bentham playing in his usual position. The availability of Mercer releases Jack grant for the outside right position and Jackie is the boy for the job, while Wally Boyes, international outside left plays inside left with the play-anywhere Cecil Wyles as his wing partner. The line may take some time to blend, but there is opportunism in every position. Jack Humphreys will be at centre half, with Gordon Watson completing a good level line in front of the ever-faithful defence of Burnett, Jackson and Greenhalgn which operated to consistently throughout last season.
Interesting Everton club news is that Mr. Billy Borthwick son of the late Mr. Jack Borthwick, who played for the club before the 1914-18 war has been appointed to the club training staff and that the new coach and former captain, Jock Thomson, will be taking up his appointment at the end of September. Everton; Burnett; Jackson, Greenhalgh; Mercer, Humphreys, Watson; Grant, Bentham, Lawton (or Catterick), Boyes, Wyles.
EVERTON LINE UP FOR STAURDAY’S OPENING MATCH
August 23, 1945. The Liverpool Echo
Everton will turn out at least five of their pre-war championship side for opening fixture of the season, possibly six if Lawton can play, while Bolton Wanderers ho provide the opposition, will have ten of last season’s cup-winning side on view. Mercer, England’s captain, comes in for Everton at his best position, which is right half but Humphreys occupies the centre-half post, as Tommy Jones’s ankle is still not thoroughly right again after his close-season operation. There is a doubt whether Lawton will be playing. He is in camp with the Army cadets at grange, and may not be able to get away. In his absence Catterick will deputise and if the Stockport man plays as well as he did last season, and again at Glasgow last week, where the Scots were much taken with his skill, he will satisfy. Boyes takes over for Alex Stevenson, now abroad with Wyles on the extreme left flank. Except that Howe comes in for Butler, not now available. Bolton Wanderers will have the same eleven as that which beat Manchester United in the League North Cup final last May. Lofthouse and Barrass, two internationals of the future both still in their teens will be in the Wanderers front line, with bald-headed George Hunt to supply the subtly and experience and Woodward those quick, darting raids along the wing. A notable feature is that neither side includes a single guest artist –happy augury for the advent of the guest-barred F.A. Cup-ties. Everton; Burnett; Jackson, Greenhalgh; Mercer, Humphreys, Watson; Grant, Bentham, Lawton (or Catterick), Boyes, Wyles.
Bolton; Fielding; Threlfall, Hubbick; Taylor, Hamlett, Murphy; Woodward, Hunt, Lofthouse, Barress, Howe.
Bill Borthwick son of the late Jack Borthwick, the old-time Everton player, has been added to the Everton training staff. Borthwick played as an amateur with Orrell and other clubs, and has looked after Everton’s juniors throughout the war period.
CUP VICTORS HERE
August 24, 1945. The Evening Express
Bolton Wanderers last season’s winners of the North Cup, will set the ball rolling on Merseyside for not only do they visit Goodison Park tomorrow to face Everton, but will be at Anfield on Wednesday to oppose Liverpool. Who could wish for anything better than the Wanderers to bring back peace football to our two leading grounds? The astonishing feature about the Goodison Park game is that not a single guest player will be on view. Both clubs are fielding teams composed entirely of their own players. This proves that both at Goodison and Burnden the outlook is to say the least, rosy. Last season Everton tackled the Wanderers twice –in the cup qualifying competition –and the Blues brought off a smashing double, winning 2-1 at home and 3-1 at Bolton. Everton’s main problem of course, is to find a successor to Alex Stevenson, who is in the Far-East, but the choice has fallen on another international, Wally Boyes a versatile player and quite an opportunist. I think Boyes can handle a vital task, and if so then Everton need have no worries. The return of Joe Mercer the England captain, after a long absence in the South, is most gratifying while Humphries is one of the most improving centre-half backs in the game. Lawton is doubtful, and if he cannot get away Catterick leads the line, while Grant and Wyles shoulder the wing forward work. Everton will find the Wanderers a team possessing a perfect understanding with one of the most capable leaders playing in Lofthouse and the whole organisation thriving on the subtle inspiration of George Hunt, the former international. The game starts at three o’clock and there should be a grand crowd to welcome back the game. Everton; Burnett; Jackson, Greenhalgh; Mercer, Humphreys, Watson; Grant, Bentham, Lawton (or Catterick), Boyes, Wyles.
Bolton; Fielding; Threlfall, Hubbick; Taylor, Hamlett, Murphy; Woodward, Hunt, Lofthouse, Barress, Howe.
A GOOD START
August 24, 1945. The Liverpool Echo
Everton opens the ball for us on Merseyside –this elastic term again embraces Wrexham, Chester, and other district sides –with a visit from the leading side of last season, Bolton Wanderers. Bolton can justly claim that title, for after lifting the League North Cup they defeated Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in the championship final. Everton will have the valuable assistance of Joe Mercer, England’s captain, for most of their games, which is a nice change from previous years. He is now stationed at York. The old firm of Burnett, Jackson and Greenhalgh continues to to duty in defence, which means that this department is pretty well cast-iron. With Humphreys between the pre-war wing halves the intermediate line also looks good. Testing point will be in the attack, where Lawton is a doubtful starter, and the flanks though willings, may just fall a trifle below the best Everton standard. Bolton Wanderers bring a strong side, showing only one change from that which lifted the Cup, and Manager Walter Rowley, never given to undue optimism, is hopeful of starting the season with maximum points at Everton’s expense. We shall see. There isn’t a single borrowed player in either teams. In the stand will be a company of our Constantinian friends from the West Indies. Thirty N.C.O’s from Trinidad are seeing the game as guests of the Everton club to brush up their Soccer knowledge. Everton; Burnett; Jackson, Greenhalgh; Mercer, Humphreys, Watson; Grant, Bentham, Lawton (or Catterick), Boyes, Wyles.
Bolton; Fielding; Threlfall, Hubbick; Taylor, Hamlett, Murphy; Woodward, Hunt, Lofthouse, Barress, Howe.
EVERTON WIN 3-2, BUT HAD TO FIGHT HARD
August 25, 1945. The Liverpool Football Echo
Took it Easy After Brilliant First Half
Everton had to fight grimly to take both points from Bolton Wanderers. At one period of the first half they were well on top, and held a two goals lead, but Bolton had the better of matters in the second period, and were unlucky not to force a draw.
Goodison Park looked a picture for the opening of the season today when Bolton Wanderers, last year’s League North Cup winners, provided the opposition. Catterick deputised for Lawton, who was at the ground, but told me his right leg is still giving him trouble since he slipped down steps in the dark at his Cadet camp recently. He seems to have strained a tendon at the back of the knee and is to see a specialist next week. T.G. Jones also horse de combat, was watching the match from the press Box, and Cyril Done, Liverpool’s centre forward, was another spectator. Cyril said he started kicking a ball last week, and though his leg muscles are still a little flabby, he hopes to resume within a month. Harold Pickering, Everton’s “A” team manager, home after nearly four years in the Middle East, was another of the 20,000 odd spectators who saw the teams turn out, with Everton in new utility stocking with a deep yellow band at the top. Everton; Burnett, goal; Jackson and Greenhalgh, backs; Mercer (captain), Humphreys and Watson, half-backs; Grant, Bentham, Catterick, Boyes and Wyles, forwards. Bolton Wanderers;- Fielding, goal; Threlfall, and Hubbick, backs; Taylor, Hamlett, and Murphy, half-backs; Woodward, Hunt, Lofthouse, Barrass, and Howe, forwards. Referee; Mr. W. Prescott (Southport).
The spectators got a success of thrills before the game had been in progress 6 minutes. First the Bolton goal had a couple of narrow escape, one when Fielding turned a Bentham shot round the post for a corner, and again when Hamlett nearly put into his own goal. Bolton’s first breakaway brought them at goal. Lofthouse met a centre from Barrass and flashed the ball past Burnett after 5 minutes. Bolton’s lead was short lived. Within 30 seconds Catterick dashed through as Hubbick slipped to pick up a forward pass from Bentham and scored. Jackson won applause with neat defensive work, but what pleased the Goodison supporters more than anything else was the unusual willingness of Everton’s forwards to shoot at every opportunity. In the first quarter of an hour they produced more scoring efforts than they did in the whole ninety minutes of many of last season’s games.
Bentham was working with his usual vim, and Catterick was always a danger to Bolton with swift dashes. The strong sun troubled the visiting defences and first Hubbick then Hamblett and finally Fielding lost sight of high balls and missed their clearances. Fielding’s lapse led to Everton taking the lead. Boyes dashed forward and was about to shoot into the empty net when Fielding seized him by the foot and pulled him down. Mercer put the penalty kick at medium speed well out of Fielding’s reach. This was after 22 minutes and Bolton undismayed, made nice combined attacks, but could make no headway. Humphreys was a star at centre half and Mercer and Watson sound on the wing flanks.
Humphreys several times held up Lofthouse by brilliantly-timed tackles, Burnett made one marvellous save from a header by Howe. The Bolton goal had a narrow escape when four Everton forwards in succession shot from close range, and each time saw the ball cannon back from a defender until it went behind. This was exhilarating football and nothing was neater than the way Mercer took the ball from Hunt as the Bolton men was making a wild lunge, or the cool way Burnett was coming out and catching high balls with the ease and facility of a Test cricketer. Once Burnett tipped a high dropping shot from Hunt over the bar at the last second. Everton’s persistence had its reward three minutes from the interval when Boyes put the ball through to Bentham during a scramble near the penalty spot. Bentham shot a foot inside the upright to make the score 3-1 –a brilliant goal. George Hunt finished off a run with a pile-driver which Burnett patted down and cleared coolly. Then Barrass and Jackson had a little wrestle in the far corner, which led to a free kick for Bolton, but before the ball reached Burnett the whistle had gone for the interval.
Half-time; Everton 3, Bolton W. 1
Mercer’s Fine Passes
Bolton were unfortunate to be two goals down at the interval, but one must give credit to Everton for their first time shooting and the manner in which they took advantage of slips in the Bolton defence. The first incident of note on the resumption was a splendid save by Burnett from Hunt, followed by a “scissor” pass by mercer, with which he stabled a forward pass to Grant. Mercer’s passes all through were a feature of the game. Howe wasted an opening with a square pass when he should have pulled it back to his waiting inside man and Hunt gave away a free kick by a foul on Boyes though it came to nothing. The first stoppage came when Threlfall was winded after a collision with Catterick, but earlier Bentham had got a nasty kick on the legs, and limped for some minutes.
Bolton kept pegging away, and with Everton inclined to be a stifle nonchalant the visitors gradually assumed the upper hand. They were doing most of the attacking, but they met their master in Burnett who made a number of excellent saves. None was better than a flying leap to turn the ball round for a corner when Taylor tried a first time shot from the edge of the penalty area. Grant was sadly neglected on Everton’s right wing where he had little more than a watching brief, and got only two passes in half an hour. Everton had a fondness for swinging it over to the far left where Wyles was disappointing. Barress was allowed to go on and shoot when he appeared well offside, but arguments were saved when he hit the bar from three yards out with the goal at his mercy.
The standard of play deteriorated considerably and there was a lot of haphazard kicking, and mis-timed passes. When Grant at last got a pass and found himself in a good shooting position, he screwed the ball yards wide. Everton forfeited a goal through slackness in defence. A loose ball was punted up the field into the Everton penalty area. There seemed not the slightest danger of a goal, but Humphreys, instead of going for the ball, called on Burnett. Barress slipped in quickly as the Everton defence stood still, and whipped the ball into the goal at the 76th minute. Burnett could not be blamed; the fault was Humphreys misjudgement in not clearing. This was the only blot on a fine performance by the Everton pivot.
This brought new life to a game which looked as though it was going to end tamely. It also looked as though Everton were going to have to fight to hand on their single goal lead. An offside decision against Howe was only the second offence of this kind throughout the match. Then came another great save by Burnett. When the ball was centred by Howe, after good work by Barrass, Lofthouse looked a certain scorer, but Burnett threw himself at the centre forward’s feet, blocked his shot, and at the second attempt scrambled the ball away. This was a let-off for Everton, who had gone back almost entirely on the defence and were fighting with their backs to the wall. Final; Everton 3, Bolton Wanderers 2.
BLACKPOOL RESERVES V EVERTON RESEVRES
August 25, 1945. The Liverpool Football Echo
Everton opened promisingly at Blackpool, but their forwards faded away. Their defence was overworked, and the good work of Jones kept a blank sheet for twenty minutes when Creagan opened the scoring for Blackpool. In the twenty-third minute Curwen missed his kick and Cross added a second goal.
Half-time; Blackpool 2, Everton 0
Makin scored for Everton at 75 minutes.
August 27, 1945. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton 3, Bolton Wanderers 2
Bolton’s Second Half Recovery
After worthily holding a 3-1 interval lead against Bolton Wanderers at Goodison Park and appearing likely winners by a comfortable margin, Everton in the long run, had to fight desperately hard to take both points. In the first half they extracted full toll of Bolton’s defensive slips by sprightly forward play and first-time shooting, but in the second half Bolton were definitely the better side, and once Barrass had reduced the lead at the 76th minute, Everton were on the collar against a team which had suddenly realised it had a good chance of pulling the game out of the fire. Bolton crowded on heavy pressure in the closing stages when only solid work by the home defence in which Burnett took chief honours with some brilliant saves, enabled Everton to preserve their slender advantage. Bolton took the lead in five minutes when Lofthouse headed in a neatly placed centre from Barrass but within thirty seconds Everton were on level terms through a goal by Catterick. They got in front when mercer demonstrated how a penalty should be taken and strengthened their position when Bentham scored the best goal of the day from a pass by Boyes. Everton this half had shown a desire and ability to shoot first time that is not customary with them, and Bolton’s defence had a busy time.
A Lucky Goal
Play in the second portion gradually fell away until finally it threatened to peter out into an aimless and disjoined exhibition. Then just as Everton earlier had been aided by defensive slips, Bolton had a spot of luck. A loose ball just inside the penalty area seemed to present no danger but Humphreys held off and called on Burnett to make the clearance. Barras seized the opportunity like a flash and had the ball in the net before either Everton man could retrieve the misunderstanding. This grit brought new life and vigour into the game and ensured a fighting finish with Bolton finally displaying far more craft than Everton. Next to Burnett, Mercer was Everton’s most outstanding player. Everything he did had the effortless grace of the born artist and his passes were models of perfection. Humphreys and the backs were sound. Boyes and Bentham were the pick of the forwards. Grant was starved for long periods and Wyles proved nothing except that he is not an outside left. Bolton need not worry over this defeat. A draw would have done them more justice. Their best were Hamlett, Hunt, Hubbick and Barrass. Humphreys had Lofthouse in his grip throughout. Everton; Burnett, goal; Jackson and Greenhalgh, backs; Mercer (captain), Humphreys and Watson, half-backs; Grant, Bentham, Catterick, Boyes and Wyles, forwards. Bolton Wanderers;- Fielding, goal; Threlfall, and Hubbick, backs; Taylor, Hamlett, and Murphy, half-backs; Woodward, Hunt, Lofthouse, Barrass, and Howe, forwards. Referee; Mr. W. Prescott (Southport).
• Liverpool beat Burnley 3-1, Liddell (2), Nieuwenhuys and for Burnley Brooks
JUST HELD ON
August 27, 1945. The Evening Express
Everton just contrived to pull out that defensive reserve against Bolton Wanderers at Goodison Park to enable them to hold on to a 3-2 lead, but there were periods in the closing stages when it seemed as if they must crank. To have dropped even one point would have been an injustice to the Blues, who had out quiet a makeshift attack, but who did so well for an hour that even the brilliance of a fine Bolton team was dimmed. One could hardly blame the Wanderers for contending that they should not have been beaten, but I would remind Bolton that they took oh so long to settle to a good side defensively, and that far too often in the first half they “led with their chins.” It was not until Hamlett secured at grip on the proceedings that the Wanderers got into their swing and even their fine second half rally was aided and abetted by the age-old Everton tendency to ease up when a lead has been established. Yes, it happened again and with the Wanderers taking every advantage Boyes and Bentham had to forsake their attacking roles, and become defenders in one big wholehearted resistance to the eager Boltonians. This was really two distinct games for Everton were well on top in the first half when goals by Catterick, Mercer (a penalty) and Bentham wiped out Lofthouse’s early score, but subsequently it was the Wanderers who became the dictators and Everton a destructive combine. Believe me Everton had little time to think about attack once they had given Bolton the latitude the Wanderers sought so persistently in a game which delighted 24,898 spectators with its hectic thrills and fine combined football on a stretch of turf which did full credit to Grounds man Mr. Ted Storey and his staff. Such a playing area invited good football.
I found no reason to change my view that Bolton are a fine all-round combination, as Liverpool will find out on Wednesday, but gallantly as Grant and Wyles –half-backs remember –tried at outside forward for the Blues one came away convinced that Everton must have two natural wingers, if they are to continue as they have started –on a winning note. Cecil Wyles had one of those days when nothing would go right for him and Jack grant suffered because he tried too hard. Catterick made a capable deputy for Lawton, while Bentham and Boyes were excellent at inside forward, the cute Wally deceiving Taylor and Threlfall by his footwork and quick darts to the unexpected spot, and Bentham was the ever-present driving force behind an experimental line which could take its chances. I thought Everton held the upper hand at half-back where Joe Mercer made a grand return to the fold and so like Joe, saved a point by a head-away bang in front of the posts in the dying seconds of the game. Humphreys well held the dangerous Lofthouse so that Barrass –fine young player this –had to become a second centre-forward and good at “evergreen.” George Hunt played and schemed he got no change out of Watson and Greenhalgh. Jackson was also a vital cog in that excellent Everton defence which brings me to the man of the match –George Burnett, the local boy who is making good. Whether or not it was because George was wearing Sagar’s international sweater that he decided to play like one, the fact remains that Burnett gave the perfect exhibition of goalkeeping, diving here, leaping there, with always a sure eye and safe hands. No wonder the crowd rose to Burnett. He deserved it all for three of his saves in particular were as good as goals any day. I missed Mr. Will Gibbins, the Everton chairman, but had a word with messrs Ernest Green, Tom Percy, Dick Searle, and Fred Lake, who like secretary Mr. Theo Kelly, were quite satisfied with their season’s start.
August 27, 1945. The Liverpool Echo
One turning point of the game was when Catterick wiped out Bolton’s early lead before it was thirty seconds old. Instead of having to labour under a deflect which sometimes knocks them off their stroke this equaliser gave Everton confidence. Cheif lesson of this match is that the Blues attack needs strengthening. Wyles was completely out of touch at outside left, and Grant was so starved that when he did get a few passes later on the rust of inaction had eaten into him so much that he failed to make best use of them. Boyes was a revelation. If he can maintain this form Stevenson won’t be missed half as much as one feared. Burnett was brilliant, and the defence all through gave no cause for anxiety. Mercer showed how easy a class player makes everything look. He never seemed to be out of a canter, yet was always where he was wanted made canny use of every ball, and served up his passes like a master he is. Humphreys bat the error of judgement which led to Bolton’s last goal, never put a foot wrong. He had Lofthouse pegged down as securely as any butterly pinned to a collectors’s sheet and had time to cover his backs well when necessarily arose. Revises spiked most of Catterick’s guns though the Everton leader showed enterprise and speed in the first half. The news that Tommy Lawton is to see specialists about his injured knee tendon is not so good, though rest may put it right.
LAWTON AND MERCER FOR IRISH GAME
August 28, 1945. The Evening Express.
Tommy Lawton and Joe Mercer the Everton and England internationals have been invited to play for England in the Victory representative match in Belfast on September 16 and 17. The first of the games will be England v. Ireland
Blues at Bury
Everton, with two points safely in the bag go to Gigg-Lane to tackle Bury, but at the moment Secretary Mr. Theo Kelly is able to pronounce a definite team, and it will show four changes as compared with the eleven which defeated Bolton. Jack Humphreys cannot get away for midweek matches, and so versatile Joe Mercer, the England captain –Joe is happy in any half-back position –goes to centre half. Jack Grant dropping back to right half. Billy Lowe, one of the several good boys Everton “picked up” at Haydock, makes a welcome return to senior football –at outside right. Billy was playing great football two seasons ago, when he had the misfortune to break a leg when playing against Tranmere Rovers. At the back end of the last season Lowe played with the junior side and showed signs of recapturing that good form. George Makin, the scorer for the Reserves last Saturday will be at outside left. Makin is a local boy groomed at the Everton coaching school, and with plenty of League experience, having been quite in demand as a gust player last season. The Everton defence should be capable of holding the young Bury side, and if Bentham, Boyes and Catterick play as zealously as they did on Saturday the Blues may win. Bury lost at home to Blackpool 4-1 on Saturday, but that is no indication that they are easy to beat for Blackpool had out a team of stars. Everton; Burnett; Jackson, Greenhalgh; Grant, Mercer, Lowe; Bentham, Catterick, Boyes, Makin.
August 28, 1945. The Liverpool Echo
Everton away to Bury tomorrow (7 p.m.) chose their side from fourteen. Lawton is not named owing to his bad knee, but Mercer hopes to play. Curwen and McDonnell are among the halves and Billy Lowe is mentioned in the seniors for the first time since he broke his leg nearly two years ago. He played last season with the second string. Makin who holds the Everton record for the most guest appearances with other clubs, is the likely outside left. Team from; Burnett; Greenhalgh, Jones (JE), Mercer, McDonnell, Curwen, Watson, Lowe; Grant, Bentham, Catterick, Boyes, Makin.
The new committee of Everton shareholders association are not letting the grass grow under their feet. They are determined to make the organisation a really live affair, and are planning a full programme of social events for the coming winter. First, however, they have called an extraordinary general meeting at the Central Hall on Friday September 29 (7-30) the inaugural social gathering is a “Victory” hot-pot at Francis Cain Parker Street on November 8. Tickets (3s) from Alex Lomax, 7 stoppage lane, Liverpool 9 or any member of the committee. All shareholders will be welcome. Mr. W.C. Cuff President of the Football League has recently joined the association “I have done so because I think it is working on the right lines,” he said.
LIGHT BEATS EVERTON
August 30, 1945. The Liverpool Daily Post
Bury 2, Everton 3
The game between Bury and Everton at Gigg lane, failed to reach a definite conclusion for the light was so poor that the referee, fifteen minutes from the end, abandoned the game. At that point, Everton were leading by three goals to two, but it would have been futile to have gone on with the game, for it was impossible to follow the flight of the ball or even where it was. From the stand the only thing one could see at times was a figure slipping by, but when the ball was one had to guess. This was particularly so in the first half and the amazing thing to me was that the players were able to do so well as they did. It must have been a strain. It certainly was to the spectators and the critics, and their task was well nigh hopeless. Bury started off as they usually do, with a terrific burst and in eleven minutes they had taken the lead, but such a pace could not kept up. There were times when the light improved momentarily and the football looked distinctly good. There was method about Everton’s play but no one could gainsay Bury’s enthusiasm. Makin equalised in twenty-five minutes when there was a suggestion of offside about the goal. Boothway scored after forty minutes and again after fifty-five minutes, so that Everton were in a pretty solid position. The second half opened in a better light but gradually it became almost a blackout and after 71 minutes F. Greenhalgh made a glorious run beating two men, falling rising a to his feet again to put across a good centre. In his effort to clear McDonnell headed the ball into his own goal. It was shortly after this that the referee decided to abandon the game with the score Everton 3, Bury 2. After the game it was arranged between the clubs to have the replay on New Years Day. Everton; Burnett, goal; Jackson and Greenhalgh, backs; Mercer (captain), McDonnell and Watson, half-backs; W. Lowe, Grant, Boothway (Crewe Alexandra), Boyes, and Makin, forwards. Bury; Swift, goal; Hart and Lyons, backs; Jones, Griffiths (W.), Hallard, and F. Greenhalgh, half-backs; Blunt, Davies, Sutherland, and E. Littler, forwards. Referee; Mr. P. Snape (Swinton).
• Liverpool draw 2-2, Taylor, Kippax, for Liverpool and also missed a penalty Welsh penalty was saved, and for Bolton, Howe, Lofthouse.
August 30, 1945. The Evening Express
Tentative plans have been made for Everton to go to Gigg-Lane on new year’s Day for the reply of last evening’s blacked-out game. This needs confirmation by the Everton board and the League. Despite the fact that they started ten minutes before time and dispensed with the interval darkness had blotted out play 13 minutes from time last night with the Blues comfortable in their 3-2 lead. My observer says that at no period was it easy to follow the play, but that Everton revealed the greater craft and goalmouth effectiveness against a side making ground rather more quickly. Bury took a lead through Davies, but Makin, the best forward on view, equalised and before the interval Boothway, a guest from Crewe, gave Everton the lead. Boothway increased the lead before McDonnell had the misfortunes to turn a centre from F. Greenhalgh into his own goal. The Blues were without Bentham, who has an injured toe, and this meant Grant going to inside-right to Lowe. Mercer to right half and McDonnell in the centre. To be on the way to victory is tribute to Everton’s enthusiasm and workmanship in the circumstances. The defence was magnificent with McDonnell doing effective work in a rugged way, while Mercer was a tremendous driving force behind the forwards. Lowe did well with his few chances –encouraging this –while Watson was once again, the complete footballer. Chairman Mr. Will Gibbins was supported by Messrs Ernest green, Dick Searle, Fred Lake, and secretary Theo Kelly on a trip which brought fleeting link-up with the returning Boltonians at Leigh.
Saturday’s Soccer Team Sheets
Everton are hopeful that Tommy Lawton their captain will be pronounced fit to play against Bolton Wanderers at Burnden Park on Saturday, his name being coupled with that of Catterick for the centre forward position. Humphreys returns to centre half and Grant and Bentham comprise the right wing (writes Pilot). Everton; Burnett; Jackson, Greenhalgh; Mercer, Humphreys, Watson; Grant, Bentham, Lawton or Catterick, Boyes, Makin.
Everton Res (v. Blackpool at Goodison Park); J.A. Jones; Jones (Jack), E. Anderson; J. Cookson, Curwen, R.L. Doyle; D. Fitzpatrick, Hill, bell, Lyon, Trentham.
August 30, 1945. The Liverpool Echo
We could have done with floodlighting at Gigg lane last night, for the gloom was such that it was impossible to fellow the play between Bury and Everton, and it was not surprising when the referee abandoned the game 13 minutes from the end (writes Stork). Personally I think the game should never have been started, for the light was so poor that even the players could not see the ball until it was almost on top of them. We in the stands never saw it at all. We saw the players fitting about but the whereabouts of the ball was a matter of guesswork. It was ghost –like until the early part of the second half when the light improved for a while but down came the “night” again and brought the game to a close with Everton leading 3-2. What little I saw showed Bury up as an enthusiastic lot, with Everton the more practical and more purposeful. They held Bury when the latter were rushing matters in the full knowledge that their pace must crack sooner or later. When it did Everton took command. It is impossible to give details of the goals. All one could see was a player making a show to shoot, and then the ball being scooped out of the net. Some of the goals would never have been scored had the light been good. That the goalkeepers saved any shots at all was amazing. Bury started the scoring with Davies, and when Everton gradually got a grip of their opponents, Boothway (Crewe) slapped in a couple to follow on Makin’s equaliser. Just before the end F. Greenhalgh made a fine run and centre the ball being turned into the Everton goal by McDonnell. The replay will probably be on New Year’s Day.
August 31, 1945. The Evening Express
Everton face a particularly stiff task in tacking Bolton Wanderers at Burnden Park, and if they can avoid defeat they will have every reason to feel pretty proud of themselves. The Blues contrived to defy the rally of the Wanderers last week to win 3-2 and gave a splendid exhibition at Bury on Wednesday night for the lack of it, depriving them of another success. Having seen the Wanderers twice I am convinced that they are really a second half side. The longer they play the better they become. Against both Everton and Liverpool the Wanderers started indifferently, but settled down to become an ever-present menace after the interval. Everton; Burnett; Jackson, Greenhalgh; Mercer, Humphreys, Watson; Grant, Bentham, Lawton, or Catterick, Boyes, Makin.
A SPORTING CHANCE
August 31, 1945. The Liverpool Echo
If you’d asked me immediately after the game at Goodison last week for my estimate of Everton’s chances in the return against Bolton Wanderers at Burnden Park tomorrow, I shouldn’t have been very optimistic. But after seeing how Liverpool’s incisiveness and speed knocked Bolton right off their stride at Anfield, I’ve revised my ideas somewhat. Though Liverpool only drew and Everton won. Liverpool’s measure of superiority was far greater than Everton’s. That might prove, for those who like to argue it that way, that Liverpool are a better side than Everton, or it might mean nothing at all, which is far the more likely. The season is far too young for any settled lines to reliable form to emerge. Let’s leave the eternal “liverton” superiority wrangle to sort itself out later on. Suffice it, for the time being, to say that if Everton’s attack takes their chances as they come, and if Burnett and his co-defenders are in the same sparkling form as last week, the Blues have a sporting chance of getting a point. Everton; Burnett; Jackson, Greenhalgh; Mercer, Humphreys, Watson; Grant, Bentham, Lawton, or Catterick, Boyes, Makin. Bolton –Fielding; Threlfall, Hubbick; Taylor, Hamlett, Murphy; Woodward, Hunt, Lofthouse, Barrass, Howe.
Everton followers should note that tomorrow’s Central league match against Blackpool at Goodison Park (3.0) signalise the return of an old Everton favourite in “Bunny” Bell, who has been recalled to lead the second string as well as Lyon and Trentham. Team; J.A. Jones; Jones (J.E.), E. Anderson; J. Cookson, Curwen, R.L. Doyle; P. Fitzspatrick, Hill, bell, Lyon, Trentham.
Good News for Everton
Fears about Tommy Lawton’s injury have happily been dispelled by the specialist’s pronouncement and there are hopes he will be able to lead the side tomorrow.