MILLWALL V EVERTON
March 1, 1947. The Liverpool Football Echo
Millwall; Purdle, goal; Brolly and Tyler, backs; Bradley, McMillan, and Kelly, half-backs; Johnson, Woodward, Jinks, Williams, and Osman, forwards. Everton; Sagar, goal; Jackson and Greenhalgh (captain), backs; Bentham, Humphreys and Grant, half-backs; Mcllhatton, Fielding, Catterick, Lyons, and Higgins, forwards. Referee; Mr. J.R. Reay. Without a League match, Everton broke fresh grounds, today, and played a friendly match with Millwall, at New Cross. Woodward a Welsh international inside right from Fulham made his debut for Millwall, and Williams another Welsh international was tried at inside left. Williams is usually a full back. The ground was well sanded and looked in good condition. Good shots by both teams were scarce, but once when Osman did outpace Jackson and deliver an oblique shot, Sagar went to his knees and brought off a good save. After 23 minutes Millwall took the lead Kelly punted the ball upfield, and both Jackson, the Everton back, and Sagar, the goalkeeper went for the ball and missed it. The ball then appeared to cannon off Osman body into the net. Everton –now went out for an equaliser and Purdle saved good efforts from Bentham, Catterick, and Mcllhatton. By getting in Catterick way Fielding messed up one good Everton attack, and later Catterick almost scored with a red hot shot. After 44 minutes Williams headed a second goal for Millwall.
Half-time; Millwall 2, Everton 0
Millwall set up a fast second half pace and the crowd, now 12,000 cheered a run by Osman. At length Everton had a look-in and Mcllhatton thrilled with a glorious run and centre, but Purdie made a fine save.
Prescot B.I. v. Everton “A”
In the Liverpool challenge Cup semi-final game a couple of goals scored by Peate gave Everton the lead. Jones, in the Everton goal made two good saves from the Prescot centre forward Birchall. Half-time; Prescot B.I. 0, Everton “A” 2.
MILLWALL ON THE TARGET AGAINST BLUES
March 1, 1947. The Evening Express
Goals by Osman and Williams.
In spite of the weather and the Cup-tie attraction at nearby Charlton, there was a crowd of about 10,000 for the friendly game between Millwall and Everton, at New Cross, today. The pitch had thwarted out, and was in quite good condition. The Everton players remarked it was a welcome change to play on a pitch free from frost or mud. Millwall; Purdle, goal; Brolly and Tyler, backs; Bradley, McMillan, and Kelly, half-backs; Johnson, Woodward, Jinks, Williams, and Osman, forwards. Everton; Sagar, goal; Jackson and Greenhalgh (captain), backs; Bentham, Humphreys and Grant, half-backs; Mcllhatton, Fielding, Catterick, Lyons, and Higgins, forwards. Referee; Mr. J.R. Reay. Millwall won the toss and played with the sun behind them. McMillan sent Osman away with a long pass, but the winger was not quite fast enough. Lyon put Catterick through for Everton, but Tyer successfully blocked his shot. Woodward, recently transferred from Fulham, played his first game for Millwall. He sent Osman away on the left wing, but Jackson robbed him by the corner flag. Play so far had lacked thrills and neither side had put in a shot. Fielding attempted to open the play up and, drawing the Millwall defence, swung the ball out to Higgins, but the winger had moved too far forward and was offside.
Over the Top
A few minutes later Higgins receiving the ball on the edge of the penalty area, passed out to Fielding, who shot wildly high over the bar. After just a quarter of an hour’s play Millwall put in the first dangerous shot of the match, Woodward drove in Williams’s pass from 15 yards range, but Sagar’s safely held an awkwardly bouncing ball. After 23 minutes’ play Millwall were somewhat lucky to take the lead, Kelly drove the ball up into the goalmouth, where Jackson and Sagar collide, and Osman put the ball into the net. Everton came back strongly, and Fielding cleverly beating McMillian, put in a good drive which just missed the upright Everton then forced a corner on the left, from which Bentham hit the post. Everton now had the Millwall defence fully extended and Purdle, was called upon to deal with shots from Catterick, Lyons, and Fielding, while a little later Higgins just missed with a terrific drive. Everton then shifted their attack to the right and Mcllhatton raced through to put in a grand drive which brought Purdie to his knees. The Lions broke away, but Williams and Woodward dallied in front of goal and Greenhalgh smartly kicked clear. Four minutes from Half-time Millwall increased their lead, Williams heading in from Jink’s pass.
Half-time; Millwall 0, Everton 2
After the interval the “Lions” put in a sharp attack, and the ball bobbed about in the Everton goalmouth before Jinks finally shot wide. Millwall’s Welsh internationals, Woodward and Williams, were trying hard, but Williams missed badly when he shot high over the bar from an unmarked position 12 yards out. Mcllhatton was playing a grand game for the visitors. He was putting over some brilliant centres, which were a little too far forward for his inside forwards to turn to account. Another fine run by Mcllhatton looked dangerous, but Catterick was pulled up for offside.
• West Bromwich Res v Everton Res P.P.
MILLWALL INTRODUCED “EXTRA” V. EVERTON
March 3, 1947. The Liverpool Daily Post
Millwall 2, Everton 0
Two things, of an unusual character, occurred in the Millwall versus Everton friendly match, won 2-0 by Millwall, at New Cross, on Saturday. First, an interval of fifteen minutes was taken at half-time. This obviously annoyed the 12,000 spectators, who braved a strong, cold wind. Second, about ten minutes from the end, Johnson, the Millwall outside-right, received a cut over the eye which caused him to retire for stitches to be inserted. Soon afterwards Anderson, another Millwall player, took the field as substitute. While all this was happening, Jinks, the Millwall centre-forward shot the ball into the net. Immediately, the Everton players swarmed round the referee to call his attention t the presence of the substitute. The result was that the referee disallowed the goal and requested the substitute to retire. After the match Mr. J. R. Reay (London), the referee, made this statement; “When my attention was called to the fact that it was not the injured player who had returned to the field, but a substitute, I ignored the ball having been netted, and requested the substitute player to retire because the clubs had made no previous arrangements with me for the allowance of substitutes for injured players.”
• Everton “B” 4 Victoria 0
• Liverpool beat Birmingham 3-1, Stubbins (3), Balmer and Mitchell (penalty) for Birmingham).
• Ireland beat Spain 3-2, Stevenson, Eglington and Farrell played for Ireland
March 3, 1947. The Liverpool Echo
Everton’s friendly with Millwall, which they lost 2-0 produced the uncommon incident of a substitute coming on without prior agreement – and being sent off again. The game was more like a desperate cup-tie than a friendly match.
TOMMY JONES BOMBSHELL
March 3, 1947. The Liverpool Echo
Asks Everton for Transfer
Tommy Jones, Everton’s Welsh international centre half, has asked to be put on the transfer list, and his requirement comes before the next meeting of directors. While the news will be a nasty shock to Everton supporters, with whom Jones is a big favourite, it is not altogether surprising to those with inside knowledge, for it has been known for some time that the player has not been happy at Everton. I had hoped that matters might have been smoothed over, for Everton without this brilliant Welsh pivot would hardly be the same, but apparently things had to come to a head, and in view of recent developments he has felt compelled to consider his future. Although at first very reluctant to leave –a feeling which still lingers with him –he decided, after much careful thought, that the break would have to be made, and accordingly put his request before directors of the club on the return journey from Millwall yesterday.
If the board grant his request, he will be the third international to part company with Everton in just over a year. Lawton joined Chelsea in November 1945; Mercer went to Arsenal last November and now there is this latest possibility. In the opinion of thousands of good judges Jones is the finest centre half playing football today. He is in a class by himself. Everything he does has the hallmark of the consummate artists. He is the essence of style, neatness and precision and a gentleman on and off the field. Over the many years I have watched him never once seen him guilty of a shady action. He is a credit as well as an ornament to the game, and Everton cannot contemplate with complacency, the loss of such a star, well as Humphreys is filling the breach at the moment. The club’s supporters also will be more than perturbed over the possibility.
Eleven Years at Everton
After having played for Wales as a schoolboy, Tommy Jones signed for Wrexham as an amateur when 14, becoming a professional at 17. His undoubted promise soon had the club scouts on his trail, but Everton outbid them all, and he joined Everton in March 1936, to be one of the finest captures they have ever made. He was an outstanding star in their pre-war championship side, and during the war, when in the R.A.F assisted them frequently. He was first capped for Wales in 1938, and altogether has played for his county about twenty times. But for injuries the total would have been higher. Football is his hobby as well as his livelihood, and in his spare time he is coach to Liverpool County F.A. and runs a junior side at Connah’s Quay, where he lives. He has been out of the senior side, following an ankle injury, since the middle of January, but is now quite fit again.
JONES’ REQUEST REACTIONS
March 4, 1947. The Liverpool Echo
First reaction to the announcement of Tommy Jones’s desire to go on the transfer list comes in letters from several readers “D.W.P” writes; - “The loss of Lawton and Mercer was serious but the contemplated loss of Jones is well-nigh unbearable. Popular gossip attributes these requests to many causes and it is a noticeable fact that internationals in their prime never used to leave the Everton Club. One also remembers famous players who have refused to join them this season, from stubbins, downwards. There must be a reason for all this. Should the Jones transfer come to be, I think a general boycott should be the order of the day.”
“J.L.W” writes “In recent years the services of nearly an international side have been lost to Everton. This just cannot be “laughed off.” If the club is to uphold its fame and attain further honours, then men of equal class must b attracted to Goodison. If for no other reason that of giving a square deal and value for money to their loyal –but not now so loyal –supporters, who are more than perturbed at the trend of events.”
March 4, 1947. The Evening Express
Pilot’s Log (Don Kendall)
The directors of Everton when they meet this evening will discuss the position of Tommy Jones, their Welsh international centre half, who has asked for a talk to make his present standing quite clear; That the directors will agree to transfer Jones is extremely doubtful. Jones, one of the finest constructive centre half-backs in football, is merely a victim of circumstances, but naturally, as an international, dislikes being out of the First Division side. This is exactly what happened. Jones injured both his ankles when playing against Brentford at Griffin Park on December 28, and the injuries were aggravated in the New Year’s Day game with Aston Villa at Goodison Park. Humphreys came into the team against Blackburn Rovers on January 4 and since than has been playing so well that the directors have not felt justified in displacing him. Considering that the only matches lost during the period of Jones’s absence were those at Portsmouth and Sheffield Wednesday, and that the club has earned 12 of the last 14 points, it would have come hard on Humphreys were he asked to stand down. Jones reported fit again about three weeks ago, and when I spoke to him at the recent inter-League game he said he was back in training, but that he appreciated Humphreys could not be moved. Last Tuesday, however, Jones had a long talk with secretary-Manager Theo Kelly, and they came to a complete understanding. A day later, however, the rumours got around that Jones had been dropped. This was an utter untruth. Jones never has been dropped from the Everton team and has lost his place only through injury. However, the rumours upset Jones, who had another talk with Mr. Kelly during the week-end, and Mr. Kelly promised Tommy that he would bring the matter before the directors at this evening’s meeting. “I do not think there is the slightest chance of my directors agreeing to the transfer request,” said Mr. Kelly. In that I am delighted, for cash is not as good an asset as a star player these days, and Jones is without peer in his position from a purely football standpoint. I have not the slightest doubt that Thomas George Jones will still be an Everton player this season –and next. Everton have received permission to tour Holland.
“WOULD NOT EVEN CONSIDER IT”
March 5, 1947. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton Board Refuse Jones’s Request
By Leslie Edwards
Everton directors, at their meeting last night discussed the request by their Welsh international centre-half, Tom Jones, to be placed on the transfer list, but only for a moment. The verdict? “We are not prepared to transfer him. We wouldn’t even consider it.” There, for the moment, the matters rests. Secretary-Manager Theo Kelly, in a conversation, suggested, in connection with yesterday’s report that Jones had been unsettled for some time, that he had no knowledge of this and that the players had never shown by word or action that he was anything but satisfied. I can only repeat that Jones told me himself that he has been far from settled for some time. In the suggestion that Jones was dis-satisfied over being in the Reserves I was at fault. He has not played in the Reserves, except for a short spell last season when recovering from injury, since he first made his place secure in the senior eleven.
March 5, 1947. The Evening Express
Pilot’s Log (Don Kendall)
Tommy Jones, Everton’s Welsh international centre half will as we hoped and expected, remain with Everton. The directors met last night to consider a request for transfer of Jones. Naturally the directors said “No” Would any club agree to part with the most accomplished constructive centre-half in football? Of course not, “My directors would not even consider such a suggestion,” commented Secretary-Manager Theo Kelly. Good. It is my opinion that Jones will be weaving his spells in Football League circles again soon –yes, as soon as the thaw really sets in. And no one can deny that Jack Humphreys, Tommy’s deputy has been a rare winner on these icy occasions. I am delighted Jones stays an Evertonians and hope that we have now heard the last of any request from him for “away.”
TOMMY JONES’S POSITION
March 6, 1947. The Liverpool Echo
Tommy Jones is disappointed at Everton’s decision not to let him go. He felt – rather optimistically I think that agreement would be forthcoming. He is new considering whether to approach the board a second time. He appreciates the club’s point of view, but feels that his has not been given full consideration, especially as this is not the first time he has been out of the game after recovering from injury. It happened last season, when he was allowed to play for Wrexham for a short while, and was actually chosen for Wales while out of Everton’s first team. He realises that after their recent good run the directors are naturally reluctant to change the side, and is the first to give full marks to Humphreys for the able manner he has filled the breach. On the other hand, Jones feels it is doing him no good to be out of senior football, and maintains that it is only fair that he should be allowed to go where he can be assured of a regular place. Against that is the board’s very natural desire to have every position adequately duplicated. Players are a club’s most vital assets. The fee Everton would get for Jones’s transfer is not to be measured against the invaluable benefits of his services. The present position is a difficult one for both club and player. I hope it may be settled to the satisfaction of all concerned.
EVERTON DUE AT GRIMSBY
March 7, 1947. The Liverpool Echo
Everton due at Grimsby stand a good chance of adding another away victory to their list; for the Fishermen are no great shakes this season, whereas the Blues have the advantage of their recent successes to spur them on to keep up the good work. Mcllhatton has at last settled down to produce the form which impressed Everton so much when he was with Albion Rovers, and with Wainwright filling the centre-forward berth so admirably, at least some of Everton’s problems have been solved. Everton; Sagar; Jackson, Greenhalgh; Bentham, Humphreys, Farrell; Mcllhatton, Stevenson, Wainwright, Fielding, Eglington.
Everton Have Issued the Following Official Statement:-
“The Everton Club state that the request from Tommy Jones to be put on the transfer list did not meet with any accord from them, for only did they know his values –they knew he had no real desire to leave the club, as he had already told the directors and Mr. Kelly. “The situation only arose from the belief in himself and that is a praiseworthy feeling. As a matter of sound policy, to change a winning team would not be considered wise by any club. And what is of importance is the fact that the player went out through injury, and the times has not been opportune to reinstate him. Supporters of the club can rest assured that there is no intention of parting with Jones. Whether this will finally resolve the dispute remains to be seen. I sincerely hope it does, but when I spoke to Jones by telephone this morning while reiterating his agreement with certain points of view put forward by the club, he repeated his desire to end the worry and anxiety he has had of late by starting afresh elsewhere.
Severe criticised of the direction of Everton came from Mr. W.C. Cuff; president of the Football league, vice president of the F.A. and a director of the club, when speaking at a hot-pot supper of the Everton Shareholders Association last evening.
“We are passing through a critical period in the history of the club” he said. “We have been sorrowing witnesses for departures of men whose services we could ill afford to lose. Unfortunately, a condition of unhappiness prevails.” After going into the transfer of Lawton and Mercer at some length, Mr. Cuff went on; “And now we come to Tommy Jones. One paper has stated in an interview with an official, that Everton had not the slightest idea he was unhappy. That I deny. “Officials knew he was unhappy, and I can prove it. He should not be in the position, for he is a fine player and a gentleman, who has never caused the club a moment’s anxiety. “There is a reason why he is unhappy, and it does not lie with Jones. I also am unhappy because of Everton’s loss of prestige. Going about as I do I know people do not say the good things about Everton they once did. We were a club that stood on a pedestal, but we do not occupy the position now. The club gets excellent support, whether it is doing well or ill, and it should be right at the zenith of its fame. But it is not. “What can we do? If shareholders are not satisfied they can take steps to unseat the board. If you are strong enough, you can elect a board of your own liking. “I heard one director say he would ‘sooner have Lawton in the bank than on the field of play” and another man said, at the beginning of the season, that Jones and Mercer are no good to any club. That attitude would bring the club to the lowest dregs of despair. “Recently there were grave doubts about the probable position of the club at the end of the season. Fortunately we have gained a bit lately, but almost the whole team wants reconstructing. We are badly off for backs, and not too well off for half backs and forwards. Certainly we are not so well off that we can let men like Jones, Mercer, and Lawton go.” A speech by Mr. Balmforth (chairman) read in his absence through illness by Mr. T. Nuttall, pleaded that the board should take shareholders into their confidence. He suggested it might be in the best interest of the club if better relations existed between the board and the shareholders Association which did not wish to content every election or to be here contentious. Mr. T. Percy, a former director, who also spoke, advocated a reversion to the old system of “one-man-one-voice.” While not wishing to make capital out of the club’s difficulties, he said, he felt that only by adopting that system could shareholders put on the board men most useful to the club. The present procedure favoured those with the most money of most friends at court.
March 7, 1947. The Evening Express
An official statement has been made by the Everton club arising out of the request for transfer made by Welsh international, Tommy Jones. Here is the statement; “The Everton Club state that the request from Tommy Jones to be put on the transfer list did not meet with any accord from them, for only did they know his values –they knew he had no real desire to leave the club, as he had already told the directors and Mr. Kelly. “The situation only arose from the belief in himself and that is a praiseworthy feeling. As a matter of sound policy, to change a winning team would not be considered wise by any club. And what is of importance is the fact that the player went out through injury, and the times has not been opportune to reinstate him. Supporters of the club can rest assured that there is no intention of parting with Jones.
The Long Trail
Everton hit the long trail to Grimsby Town, strengthened in purpose by the fact that the sound victory at Bolton laid their away bogy. Since the turn of the year Everton’s only defeat was at Portsmouth –and in the last minute at that. Grimsby put up a fine show at Goodison Park, when leading twice before Everton saved a point to give Dodd’s a happy debut. Everton; Sagar; Jackson, Greenhalgh; Bentham, Humphreys, Farrell; Mcllhatton, Stevenson, Wainwright, Fielding, Eglington.
EARLY SHOCK FOR EVERTON
March 8, 1947. The Liverpool Football Echo
Retrieved by Wainwright
Grimsby Town 2, Everton 2
Grimsby Town:- Tweedie, goal; Vincent and Fisher, backs; Hall, Betmead (captain), and Blenkinsopp, half-backs; Johnson, Clifton, Cairns, Keeble, Wardle, forwards. Everton; Sagar, goal; Jackson and Greenhalgh (captain), backs; Bentham, Humphreys and Boyes, half-backs; Mcllhatton, Stevenson, Wainwright, Fielding and Eglington, forwards. Referee; Mr. G. Tedds, Nottingham. I think I have seen enough snow to last me a lifetime. There were stacks of it on our journey by road to Grimsby. Roads were very hard in parts, but we reached Grimsby to find that a thaw had taken place during the morning. Without it play would have been impossible, as big patches of ice had to be chipped away.
First for Five Weeks
There was still some left, but men were busy right up to the kick-off, taking it off in buckets. The final decision to play was made at noon. This was Grimsby’s first game at home for five weeks, so you can imagine their relief at being able to get this game off their books. Peter Farrell, who had developed a temperature, probable flu, was not in the party, so we picked up Wally Boyes at Doncaster last night, to play at left half, a position often occupied by him at West Bromwich and occasionally with Everton. This was his first senior game since New Year’s Day against Aston Villa. Betmead was also making his first appearance since the same day.
First Blood to Grimsby
Jock Dodds and T.G. Jones were in the Everton party. The attendance at the start was 10,000. The goal areas were well sanded. Football would be a speculative affair with the insecure footholds. Twice Grimsby wasted opportunities by making their passes too far forward, but they were the first to gain a corner and it proved fatal to Everton. Johnson swung his flag kick close into goal, and Keeble got his head to the ball and nodded it in. Sagar appeared to have the ball well covered and actually got his hands to it, but it passed over his head and into the net. This was at the fifth minute and the Grimsby people were elated at this quick success. Just prior to this Mcllhatton had beaten three men, but the Town defence close down any further progress. Control of the ball was difficult. In place it would dart away quickly; in others it would stop dead in the water.
Grimsby exploited the long ball, many of which were wasted, and when Wainwright broke through his shots taken on the run were so close to a goal that there was a sign of relief when the ball passed outside. Eglington put across a fast centre which Betmead headed away, and then an Everton corner taken by Boyes brought Tweedy into action, for the first time. Grimsby were playing the right sort of game for the occasion, sweeping the ball about and showing much speed in their approach. Everton were more methodical, but one had to admit that Grimsby looked the more dangerous at this point. At 19 minutes Grimsby struck another blow when Wardle centred and Cairns made a splendid header which reached the back of the net, via the upright. Just previously Keeble had headed into Sagar’s hands.
Humphreys headed away a hot one from Clinton, and Stevenson ran through, but found his pass to the inside drag and so help Betmead to slip and clear. The Town defence had an escape when Tweedy came out and sliced his kick, which went to Wainwright, whose shot slowly travelled outside, closely watched by two defenders. Sagar made a mighty catch from Wardle, but there was no getting away from the fact that Grimsby had been the attackers-in-chief. Mcllhatton worked his way round three Grimsby men to deliver a centre right across the field, but the ball beat all, friend and foe. With two moves the Town players simply ate up ground and spilt open the Everton defence, and Sagar had to watch a ball that was going out very closely, in case of eventualities Eglington tried a long effort which found a resting place in the side netting.
After Double Effort
Mcllhatton went hurting down the bank when trying to scoop a centre. At 38 minutes Fielding made a pass which ultimately culminated in a goal. Fielding’s shot was hit instantly by Wainwright, but his shot was dropped. The ball came back to him, and he shot again. This time the ball struck a Grimsby defender –I think it was Betmead – and the ball landed in the net. This took some of the sting out of Grimsby’s tail. Everton enjoyed more of the attack, Fielding hitting the side netting. There was a hot tussle near the Grimsby corner flag, but it fizzled out. Just on the interval Wainwright was just off the mark with a strong shot, and Tweedy had to save from Eglington.
Half-time; Grimsby Town 2, Everton 1.
Everton opened the second half with an attack which, however, did not reach Tweedy, and Clifton made a perfect opportunity for Cairns, who failed to connect up with his head, and lost a good opportunity. Twice Sagar had to save smartly and then Fielding ran through to shoot outside. The pace had slackened, but Eglington showed fleet foot and a clean pair of heels to all challenges to neatly turn the ball inside to Fielding. He pushed it further on, and Wainwright strode up to take the equalising goal at 52 minutes.
Everton take Command
Everton were now playing with something like their old swing, and much of the “fire” had gone out of Grimsby. Another left wing pairing almost brought another goal. At this point Everton were in command, and Eglington made another splendid run beating Vincent en route, and brought Tweedy down to all four to turn out a curling shot from the winger, whose speed left his opponents lagging behind. Boyes wormed his way through and Betmead seemed to give up the ghost but the ball was running away from Boyes who didn’t get his full power behind the shot, which went slowly towards the far post. Fisher stationed there, kicked clear.
A free kick against Everton outside the penalty area saw the ball bandied about in front of the Everton goal until it was finally cleared. Tweedy saved a Stevenson effort and Johnson supplied a dangerous cross which was cut out by Humphreys. It came back to life when a hot shot by Stevenson was cannoned away. So prolonged was Everton’s pressure that Grimsby had only three forwards up when a ball broke loose. Wainwright tried to breast the ball down to his feet, and only just failed to do so. Grimsby appeared to be completely played out, and their chief concern was to prevent Everton from scoring a leading goal. From one breakaway Wardle shot wide. Final; Grimsby Town 2, Everton 2.
• Liverpool beat Blackburn 2-1, Stubbins, Done for Liverpool and Oakes for Blackburn.
• Everton Reserves v Newcastle Reserves P.P
TOMMY JONES DEPARTURE THREAT ANGERS THE FANS
March 8, 1947. The Liverpool Football Echo
Rangers Selects from Hugh Postbag
Everton Club Statement
He news that Tommy Jones, Everton’s Welsh international half-back, wants to get away from Goodison Park because he is not happy there has raised a terrific storm among the Everton followers. Everton have issued an official statement stating that they have not the slightest intention of parting with Jones, adding that not only do they know his value, but that they know he has no real desire to leave the club. To this Jones has replied reaffirming his decision, and stating that he feels the only way to end the worry he has had for some time is to be transferred. During the last three days I have been inundated with letters. The hubbub caused over the departure of Lawton and Mercer was a mere whisper compared with what has followed in the wake of the suggested possibility, that Tommy Jones might shake the dust of Goodison from his feet. Supporters are up in arms with a vengeance. It is impossible for me to give anything more than extracts from a few of the letters I have received. One indignant Evertonian writes me four foolscap pages of single-spaced typewriting. Several others are almost as voluminous. How I wish readers would be less long-winded. Here are some typical extracts.
J.R. Gillbanks (24 Maxton Rd, Liverpool 6) writes; “The recent request for transfer from Lawton, Mercer, and Jones, emphasises the obvious fact, that there has been serious trouble at Everton for some time. Players of the standing of these men would not desire to leave for trivial reasons. There are many rumours circulating about the city, and loyal Everton supporters expect a frank statement from the directors to clear the air.
“Stoke” held a Town’s meeting to keep Matthews. Let us hold an Everton supporters meeting and thrash this grievance out.”
“For Ever Blue” (Drummond Road, Hoylake) writes; “Please use your good offices to prevent Tommy Jones from leaving Everton. The loss of so many star players is getting more than the public can swallow. How many more star players are going to leave the club? What is the trouble I have met both Jones and Mercer, and always found them perfect gentleman and good sportsmen. It is time the Everton Board of directors took action, and we (the fans) took to the Press to give us a lead, and urge that the matter be fully thrashed out.”
Les Phythian (10 Ballantyne Place, West Derby) sends two closely-typed pages, of which this is the gist;- “News of Tommy Jones’s request can only result in bitter disappointment, and unrest amongst Everton supporters everywhere. Season 1946-47 has in many ways been a cheerless one, but club followers worth their salt can stand a good deal in the way of reverses and still come back for more. ...But what a crushing blow has been dealt just when Everton have at last struck something like form! With the disquieting prospects of relegation left behind them, Goodison-ites ought how to be experiencing a little quiet jubilation. “Instead they have received about the blackest piece of news to date. “If Tommy Jones leaves, Goodison Park won’t be the same without him. It will mean much more than the departure of yet, another star player, because, to the average supporter, “T.G” is by way of being an Everton institution. The superlative pivot is in every way a model player is credit to game and club alike, and while we must be thankful for so capable a deputy as Jack Humphreys, the fact must be faced that with Tommy Jones would go much of the personally of the Everton team.”
“Very Anxious Blue” says; “ if T.G. Jones goes, so will thousands of Everton’s supporters. He has given us football as it should be played, and has been the backbone of the team. Can’t anything be done? The way things are shaping, Everton are going to lose their grand name, as well as their supporters.
H. Cockroft (3) Dee View, Rd, Connah’s Quay; “ it is with disgust that I hear of the possibility of T.G. Jones leaving Everton. Only a few weeks ago he was the mainstay of the team and saved them from much heavier defeats than they were already receiving. I am a keen supporter and only hope, along with thousands more, that he remains with Everton.
Fairplay (Great Crosby), who is an ex-Everton player writes; “I feel very sorry for Tommy Jones, and feel that his transfer would be a terrific loss to Merseyside football. I would like to know why three of today’s most famous players, who always fostered the true club spirit, namely Lawton, Mercer, and Jones, have now applied for transfer under the guise of being “Not Happy.” It is high time that all enthusiastic supporters should be told the whole cause and root of the trouble.”
“Demobbed” (Milton Road, Waterloo) asks; “Why should Everton lose their “Prince of Centre-Halves?” Ardent Everton fans are getting more than perturbed. We went to know why the star players are not happy. No doubt the next “Atom Bomb” will be that Wally Fielding and Eddie Wainwright are not happy. I think the position is such that the fans should have some true inside information and the whole matter should be publicly cleared up.
J.A. Lambert (Settrington Road) expresses the view that “a boycott” is our only answer to this secrecy from the boardroom which is losing Everton some of the greatest stars football has ever produced and resulting in failure to sign any player they go after. If Jones goes I definitely boycott.”
E.W. Benson. (Rudston Road); “The directors should realise that their first duty is to please supporters and to permit a state of affairs to develop whereby great players are unhappy is quite the reserves. “We support the Everton team by virtue of what we see on the field, and no single player has demonstrated what we want to see more than Tommy Jones.”
A.E. Jones, (Kremlin Drive), expressing the view that the air at Goodison will have to be cleared sooner or later, appeals for it to be done before any more great players leave the fold. “Once upon a time” he says, “when players left Everton they announced their sorrow, but today they seem anxious to leave. We supporters are not dumb. We can read between the lines. And the reading is not pleasant. I realise that you are not able to say much on the subject. But through your columns we supporters –and I’d sooner die than be disloyal -can voice our opinions. It is too much to ask the board to place an ear to the ground just once in a while.”
H.E. Thomas (Arkles Road); “A bomb shell? It’s a regular blitz. If it had been any other player than Tommy Jones I might have been inclined to blame him rather than the club, but not Tommy, no the fault must lie elsewhere. We are completely in the dark and simply horrified at the possibility of losing such a player. Everton need Tommy Jones –he must not leave us! Please do all you can to keep him at Goodison Park. How about organising a petition of protest?”
H.C. Boyle (Moreton) says that despite 35 years regular “spectatoring,” he has never before written to the Press. He makes up for it now by sending me four closely-typed foolscap pages, and beseeches me to get down from the Pressbox some Saturday and move about the rank and file, to learn what they really think about things. I’ve quite a good idea, and after wading through Mr. Boyle’s indigent epistic can hardly be in any doubt. I hope he will not feel aggrieved at it’s non-publication, but what extracts I could make, add nothing to what is given above. He finishes up,” Keep on the good work. I am not given to lip-service, but I give your report priority over all others, including the national Press. I have found that when you have reported matches I have seen you have been strictly fair to both sides. I think they are the fairest I read. I maintain that the idea reporter should not mix with players or officials, so that he could not be the victim of speech by any who put personal feelings before the accuracy of a reporter’s statements.
Only two readers take the opposite view; “M.M.E (Rake Lane) writes; “Tommy Jones is a joy to watch, but I have not failed to notice that Everton have won four consecutive matches without his assistance. I challenge you to produce a similar success for any other part of this season when he was playing. As a regular Everton supporter I have not forgotten the excellent work Humphreys did last season. Yet I did not notice anybody rushing into print to commiserate with him on having to make way for Jone’s return. Nor did I hear any complaints or not happy remarks on his part.
Matthews Moreton (17 Elmore St); “People are yelling “What’s wrong at Goodison” Their answer is easy. There is nothing wrong. Other men have had runs in the Reserves, but did not say they were unhappy and wanted to go. No sir; they are club men. I agree with the Everton board when they do not alter a winning team. If a player wants to move just because he cannot get his place in the first team, then I say, let him go, because these requests can only get the Everton Club an undeserved bad name, and must have a bad effect on the other players.
The above are a representative selection of the letters which have poured into my room this week and seriously dislocated the week’s work. They are all I can give. Other writers please accept apologies. There we can leave the matter for the time being. Nobody hopes more sincerely than I do that Tommy Jones will reconsider his decision, and that his future may still remain with Everton.
EVERTON 2 GOALS DOWN FIGHT BACK
March 8, 1947. The Evening Express
Wainwright’s Brilliant Sharp Shooting
After being two goals behind in less than 20 minutes, Everton fought back brilliantly at Grimsby. Eddie Wainwright’s brilliant sharp shooting brought him goals in the 38th and 52nd minutes. Wainwright was in brilliant form and Betmead, the Grimsby captain and centre-half was never really able to cope with him. Grimsby faded badly after a grand first half display and during their fast wing-to-wing raiding constantly had the Everton defence bewildered. Boyes did exceptionally well at left-half, excelling both in attack and defence, while Humphreys was a tireless worker who did great work in repelling Cairns and company. Wally Boyes returned to the Everton team at left-half. He took the place of Peter Farrell, running a temperature and unable to travel. This was Boyes first appearance with Everton’s seniors since the game against Aston Villa at Goodison Park on New Year’s Day. Referee G. Tedds, of Nottingham, who was the official in charge of Liverpool’s cup-tie last week, made two inspections of the pitch this morning. He finally decided that play would be possible. There had been a heavy thaw, but there were still large patches of ice covering the ground. A squad of men were busy clearing the pitch right up to the kick-off. Grimsby Town:- Tweedie, goal; Vincent and Fisher, backs; Hall, Betmead (captain), and Blenkinsopp, half-backs; Johnson, Clifton, Cairns, Keeble, Wardle, forwards. Everton; Sagar, goal; Jackson and Greenhalgh (captain), backs; Bentham, Humphreys and Boyes, half-backs; Mcllhatton, Stevenson, Wainwright, Fielding and Eglington, forwards. Referee; Mr. G. Tedds, Nottingham. About 10,000 saw Grimsby first away, but Keeble was far too strong with his intended pass to Cairns and Sagar was able to come out and clear without difficulty. Keeble was immediately afterwards guilty of exactly the same error Grimsby kept it up and Clifton sent Johnson away on the right. Johnson forced a corner off Humphreys, and this proved fatal to Everton. Johnson’s accurate centre was headed goal wards by Keeble, Sagar appeared to have the ball well covered but it slipped out of his grasp obviously because of its slippery conditions, and finished up in the back of the net. After a brief Stevenson-Mcllhatton skirmish Grimsby came again and Humphreys had to be on the alert to prevent Cairns taking control of Johnson’s square pass. Everton’s first raid of note came when Wainwright rounded Betmead; the Grimsby captain, who was making his first appearance since New Year’s Day, following injury. Wainwright although badly angled shot hard and low without hesitation, but the ball flashed against the net support. Grimsby were certainly adapting themselves splendidly to the treacherous surface and twice Fielding came back to help his defeats at the vital moment. Then Fielding broke through high up on the left and tried a through pass to Wainwright. Betmead, however, was alive to the danger and intercepted efficiently. Everton were now beginning to find their feet and Eglington’s pertinacity forced Betmead to concede a corner. Tweedy was brought into action for the first time to deal at full length with a puzzling Fielding corner.
Grimsby Increase Lead
Away went Grimsby again and left half outpaced his own forwards to force Sagar to save at the foot of the far post from close range. After Sagar had saved in great style a glancing header from Clifton, Grimsby maintained their pressure to bring their second goal in for the 19th minute. Blenkinsop and Wardle did their preparatory work, and Caires was on hand to head Wardle’s accurate centre beyond Sagar off the foot of the left-hand post. Cairns almost made it three within two minutes with the Everton defence at sixes and sevens. Cairns oblique shot sailed inches over the angle of the woodwork with Sagar helpless. Undoubtedly Grimsby were adopting the right tactics. Their fast open methods constantly had the Everton defence floundering. Little or nothing had been seen of the Everton attack thus far, although Wainwright had hard lines when he thrust out his foot to try and direct the ball past Tweedy who had left the goal. Fisher had dropped back and kicked clear when an Everton success appeared an odds-on certainty. Again Wainwright made tracks down the middle but in trying to outwit Betmead stepped on the ball and lost his footing. Again things looked dangerous when Johnson centred from the touchline, but Sagar was on hand to take the high ball in brilliant style. Yet again Johnson centred a danger-laden ball but it slewed round the far post with no other Grimsby forward available. When Everton moved for once with rhythm Mcllhatton bambozzled first Fisher and then Blenkinsop, but his centre flashed across the goalmouth with Eglington unable to get his head to it.
Fielding and Stevenson interpassed cleverly for Fielding to nullify the movement by retaining control when it would have been better for Mcllhatton to have taken over. In the 38th minute Everton reduced the arrears following a clever run and pass by Fielding to Wainwright. The Everton leader’s first shot was charged down but he was able to gain possession anew and his shot was deflected beyond Tweedy by a Grimsby defender. From the Press Box it appeared to be Betmead. Pools of water on the pitch were responsible for many errors, but the game never laced incident. Boyes were working like a Trojan in his new position but Greenhalgh was finding Johnson a more than testing adversary.
Half-time; Grimsby Town 2, Everton 1
A long range Jackson free kick produced the first thrill on resuming Fisher having to blind the ball behind for a corner to keep Mcllhatton out. Away went the progressive Grimsby side again for Clifton to offer Cairns a chance of a lifetime. Cairns, however, made a sorry hash of his attempted header. Then Wardle tried a long shot which was well off the target. It was all Grimsby at this stage and Sagar had to field sharpishly from Johnson as Wardle and Cairns dashed in. Fielding temporarily relived pressure when he went through on his own. His final effort had neither sting nor direction. In 52 minutes, rather against the run of play, Everton drew level with a brilliant conceived effort initiated by Boyes, who fed Eglington. The Irishman sped round three opponents, and turned the ball inside to Fielding, who moved forward and in turn gave Wainwright the opportunity to beat Tweedy easily from 12 yards. Almost immediately afterwards Eglington raced away again and centred square across the goal but this time Wainwright was unable to connect.
A Boyes-Wainwright-Eglington triangular switch almost brought further success. This time, however, Wainwright was ruled offside. Everton now begin to play havoc with the Grimsby defence and Tweedy was almost continually in action for the next 10 minutes. The Grimsby keeper saved brilliantly at full length following a dazzling run and drive by Eglington. Then Boyes raced through to leave Grimsby standing apparently expecting an offside decision. Although running away from goal, Boyes succeeded in getting in his shot. He beat tweedy, but Fisher had dropped back and cleared when all seemed lost. Grimsby fought back and Everton were hard put to it to emerge unscathed. Following a Betmead free kick just outside the area the ball was charged down half a dozen times before it was finally cleared into touch. Grimsby, however, had lost much of their earlier confidence and method, whereas the Everton attack was now in top gear. Stevenson and Fielding were working earnestly and effectively with lively response from Mcllhatton and Eglington. On one occasion Fielding slipped a short pass to Eglington, whose centre brought a terrific drive from Stevenson. Luckily for Grimsby, Fisher took the full force of the shot. Another Fielding run produced a square pass to Wainwright, but the ball altered so awkwardly that Wainwright could not reach it. Final; Grimsby Town 2, Everton 2.
EVERTON’S GRAND RECOVERY
March 10, 1946. The Liverpool Daily Post
After being Two Down
Grimsby Town 2, Everton 2
It was a long journey to Grimsby, though roads banked up in snow, but it was worth the trek, if only to see the side fight back with spirit to snatch a half when defeat seemed certain. Grimsby started with a fury and a speed which seemed too much for Everton. They looked more like league leaders than a side nearer the bottom of the table. When they took a two goals (Keeble and Cairns) lead things did not look at all rosy from the visiting point of view. But there was always the doubt in my mind as to whether the side could maintain the cracking pace. That was where they failed. They took so much out of themselves in the initial half that they were a spent force even before the interval. The ground, waterlogged in parts, had a thin surface of ice in others, and was a problem for all.
Gradually Everton got more together, and when Wainwright reduced the lead they had obtained a secure hold of a side which had promised to sweep them aside. From then on Everton played with a confidence which was astonishing considering the state of the ground. After Wainwright equalised. Grimsby simply petered out to nothing. There was still danger however, that a Grimsby raiding party might pull the game out of the fire and Wardle might have done it when he unleashed a terrific shot with Sagar out of goal. Fortunately the effort was off the target. It then became Everton’s turn to threaten a victory and Wainwright had hard luck in not registering a hat-trick. On a normal ground I think he would have done so. Boyes would, I am confident have scored had the ground not beaten him. It looked such a certainty that Tweedy seemed to have given up the ghost, and it was left for Fisher to kick the ball off the line.
Boyes A Success
No one could complain that it was not a grand recovery on the part of Everton, who showed a fighting spirit and the ability not to be knocked off their normal game. None did better than Boyes who came at the last minute for Farrell. Eglington had one of his best games. Grimsby Town:- Tweedie, goal; Vincent and Fisher, backs; Hall, Betmead (captain), and Blenkinsopp, half-backs; Johnson, Clifton, Cairns, Keeble, Wardle, forwards. Everton; Sagar, goal; Jackson and Greenhalgh (captain), backs; Bentham, Humphreys and Boyes, half-backs; Mcllhatton, Stevenson, Wainwright, Fielding and Eglington, forwards. Referee; Mr. G. Tedds, Nottingham.
• Everton “A” 8, Prescott R.I 0
March 10, 1947. The Liverpool Echo
Let me open this week’s story of Everton with a tribute to all twenty-two players for providing a game which did not seen possible when I trod the “turf” at Blundell Park, Grimsby. The ground was made up of water, mud and ice, yet the play reached a standard well above anything expected. The Grimsby put the wind up us for half an hour goes without saying, for they had collected two goals during which time they swept the Everton defence before it in a manner which was foreign to me. They shocked and shook Everton by their pace and long passing and I could see nothing to stop them until the Everton defence found the time and the ability to put the curb on them. But the race is not always won by the quick starter. Grimsby set a pace impossible for any team to maintain under such conditions but they had garnered for themselves a nice lead while Everton were trying to solve the problem set before them. Two goals down in twenty minutes and with the Ton playing with a confidence that two goals can give. Everton were faced with a stern task. How were they going to turn the table as turn the tables they must if they were going to pull this game out of the fire? Grimsby made the most of the conditions during their fiery spell –the long ball and the quick pass seemed likely to play a higher rate off divided than Everton’s more methodical football and Everton’s great need was a defensive cover where there had been none. To expect Everton to change over to punt ball is like asking a leopard to change its spots. They must win by their football skill or not at all and slowly but surely that skill brought its due reward a half share. Only the run of the ball foiled them of victory, for had not the ball “bumped” badly. Wainwright and Boyes would most assuredly have scored (writes Stork). Grimsby had petered out to such an extent that Everton cut through their ranks at will. It was an astonishing transformation –not unforeseen by the writer. Once Everton got into their swing the Town had no answer to it. With the ball “on the floor” Everton were complete masters and Grimsby were never again allowed to strike back. With their backs to the wall they could do nothing but flight a defensive battle against a superior force.
T.G. Jones has again asked Everton to place him on the transfer list, and this will be discussed at the meeting tonight.
MAGIC AT WORK
March 10, 1947. The Evening Express
Pilot’s Log (Don Kendall)
There was a time not so long ago when we used to consider Everton had “had it” when they were behind in an away game, but some “magic” must have been at work during the past few months imbuing the Blues with the team and fighting spirit, for it is when things are running ill for them that they are pulling out their finest effort. two early goals to Grimsby would have knocked the heart out of most teams, but not so the Blues who, apparently, were rather unfortunate not to win outright instead of drawing 2-2 thanks to Wainwright’s brace. Only one defeat in eight League games this year.....grand going Blues. Here is Radar’s comments on this latest triumph, and believe me a point away is a triumph. “It is doubtful whether Eddie Wainwright will ever give a finer display then in this game. Where Wainwright finds his unlimited energy is a mystery to me. Towering Grimsby centre-half and captain, Betmead, could never solve this Wainwright problem and, in fact, for the most part he did not know just where to find Wainwright, for Eddie speeded out to either wing on any pretext, and constantly had the Town defence bewildered. It was this inspiring leadership and the wiles of Stevenson and Fielding, backed up by the dash of Eglington and Mcllhatton, which played a great part in the Blues splendid fight back, Jackson and Greenhalgh had their worrying moments until they became accustomed to the treacherous surface, and Boyes was positively great at left-half –a position he once occupied with West Bromwich. Mr. W.C. Gibbins and Mr. R.E. Searle, were in London on Saturday, and as the match they intended to see was postponed, they went on a busmen’s holiday to Charlton, and not to watch Metcalfe.
Tommy Jones, the Welsh international centre-half, has renewed his request to Everton to be placed on the transfer list, and this will be discussed by the directors at their meeting this evening. Last week Everton turned down unanimously a similar request, and the answer this evening will still be an emphatic “No.”
EVERTON MATCH OFF
March 11, 1947. The Evening Express
The Football League match between Everton and Charlton Athletic, scheduled for Goodison Park tomorrow, has been postponed because of the ice-bound state of the ground. A new date will be fixed later, and it is expected the game will now take place on an evening in midweek. Secretary-Manager Mr. Theo Kelly and members of his training and ground staff made a thorough examination of the ground today. Although the thaw has made conditions on the Goodison-road side good, the ground on the Bullens-road side is still covered with thick ice. “No matter how much we work on it, there is no possible chance of the ice being removed by tomorrow” said Mr. Kelly. “A continuance of the slight thaw, and with four days on which to work, however, the ground should be all right for Saturday’s match here with Leeds United.” Mr. Kelly telephoned to Charlton and told them of conditions so that Athletic could be saved setting out from London today. This is a disappointment for the midweek fans, but they will reap the benefit of an evening kick-off later. Everton would have been without Eddie Wainwright for the Charlton game as Eddie left for Paris today to play for the British Army against the French army on Thursday, but Wainwright will be available for the game with Leeds, so that with Peter Farrell confined to bed with influenza, the team will be that which drew at Grimsby. Wally Boyes retaining the left-half berth. Everton; Sagar; Jackson, Greenhalgh; Bentham, Humphreys, Boyes; Mcllhatton, Stevenson, Wainwright, Fielding, Eglington.
The Everton directors at their meeting last night turned down the second request by Tommy Jones to be placed on the transfer list. Secretary-Manager Mr. Theo Kelly said afterwards that the directors never have had any other thought than that Jones should remain at Goodison. The fact that Jones is for the moment out of the Everton side will not affect his position regarding the Welsh International side, and Jones is still well in the running for a place in the All-British team to meet the Rest of Europe on may 10, from which the Players’ Union are now demanding one third of the gate for their Union Funds.
TOMORROW’S GOODISON GAME “OFF”
March 11, 1947. The Liverpool Echo
Everton Say “No” Again
The weather still conspires to prevent clubs polishing off outstanding fixtures. Charlton should have been at Goodison Park tomorrow, but the game has been further postponed. Two-thirds of the pitch, which gets the sun is almost entirely under water, the other third is coated with a solid sheet of ice, almost two inches thick in places. Given a continuation of the present thaw, Saturday’s game against Leeds United at Goodison is not likely to be in danger. Interesting point about this match that isn’t taking place is that Jock Dodds was chosen for centre forward in the absence of Wainwright, who plays for the Army in Paris. Dodds is now fit again.
Everton F.C board have returned another “Not on your life” answers to Tommy Jones’s second request for a transfer. They reiterate their view of his worth and their determination to retain him at Goodison.
EVERTON TRIP TO SCOTLAND
March 12, 1947. The Evening Express
Transfer of Forward Pending
By Pilot (Don Kendall)
Secretary-Manager Mr. Theo Kelly, of Everton, was in Scotland today, on more important business than the Inter-League match at Hampden-Park. This trip may result in a transfer deal involving a forward who has been under review for some time. The final day for unrestricted transfer deals is midnight Saturday.
March 13, 1947. The Evening Express
Pilot’s Log (Don Kendall)
Peter Farrell, Everton’s Irish international left half-back, has now recovered from his attack of influenza and has reported fit for Saturday’s match at Goodison Park against Leeds United. Farrell comes back to take the place of Wally Boyes, who will be at outside left in the Central league team against Birmingham City at St. Andrew’s. Everton Reserves; Burnett; Saunders, Hodgkiss; Livingstone, Lindley, Finnis; Johnson, Grant, Catterick, Higgins, Boyes.
Everton “A” (v. Runcorn, at Runcorn); Jones (JA); Griffiths, Dugdale; Fergie, Falder, Fairfoul; Simmons, Thompson, Green, Swain, Dutton.
Everton “B” (v. Norris Green Meths, in Harwood Cup, at Bellefield); Charlton; Jones (T), Rankin; Tansey, Wright, Street or Dunroe; Heath, Bentham, Macauley, Hickson, Brazier.
LEEDS AT GOODISON
March 14, 1947. The Evening Express
Pilot’s Log (Don Kendall)
Goodison Park, which was unplayable on Wednesday, has recovered well, and news from the club is that the match with struggling Leeds United will be played. No club has had a better run of success, and each week the Blues moving up the ladder, I fancy they will keep up the good work against a battling Leeds, strengthened by the acquisition of Ken Williamson, ex-Huddersfield and Sunderland, who should be able to bring back that old Willis Edwards touch to the United they have missed so badly in recent years. The United have gained only one out of 28 points played for away. Only four clubs have scored more home wins than Everton, who should square accounts for the 2-1 defeat at Leeds. Everton; Sagar; Jackson, Greenhalgh; Bentham, Humphreys, Farrell; Mcllhatton. Stevenson, Wainwright, Fielding, Eglington.
EVERTON GAME TOMORROW
March 14, 1947. The Liverpool Echo
Everton’s ground staff has been working on the pitch all week, and is still making every effort to ensure the home game with Leeds United being played. Unless conditions deteriorate, the prospects are reasonable hopeful. Assuming the game is on, Everton should further consolidate their recent excellent record, for the Yorkshire side, already practically doomed to relegation, are hardly likely to find the Blues provide them with their first away win of the season. Considering their lowly position, Leeds have made few changes in the composition of their team. Usually the threat of relegation leads to much reshuffling and experiment. Leeds seem more or less to have resigned themselves to the inevitable and have preserved with pretty much the same formation all through. They have called on only 23 players to date, some of whom have only had very occasional outings, filling temporary vacancies through injury. With Farrell fir again and Wainwright expected back from Paris in time, Everton revert to their recent match-winning formation, viz;- Everton; Sagar; Jackson, Greenhalgh; Bentham, Humphreys, Farrell; Mcllhatton. Stevenson, Wainwright, Fielding, Eglington.
EVERTON MATCH OFF
March 15, 1947. The Evening Express
The Everton v. Leeds United match, scheduled for Goodison Park, today, had to be postponed (writes Radar). One half of the ground was covered with snow and ice and the referee Mr. C. Fetcher of Northwich, after inspection, decided that play was impossible.
Runcorn Res v Everton “A”
At Runcorn. Everton were aggressive, but their forwards could make no impression in the first half against a solid home defence. Smart play by Richardson was supported by Booth, who went through to register the only goal of the first half. Runcorn deserved their interval lead. Half-time; Runcorn 1, Everton “A” 0.
March 15, 1947. The Liverpool Football Echo
Half Ground A sheet of Ice
The match at Goodison Park between Everton and Leeds United was declared off at 12.15 today. The referee (Mr. C. Fletcher, of Northwich) got to the ground early and made his first inspection at 11 0’clock, but deferred a decision in the hope that if the temperature rose, conditions might improve. It was a vain hope, however, and after further examination Mr. Fletcher definitely pronounced the pitch unfit. Half the ground was clear of snow but here and there patches of ice made it dangerous. The other half was covered with snow, with an almost continuous sheet of ice blow, which in some places was an inch or more thick. This is the second game which has been called off at Goodison this week, as the Wednesday fixture with Charlton had to be postponed. Last time there was a Saturday postponement was on January 18, 1936 when Bolton should have been the visitors. Ice on the pitch was the reason then, also. Everton have been involved in one away postponement this season their game at Wolverhampton on February 8 being called off again due to the ice pitch.
BIRMINGHAM CITY RESERVES 4, EVERTON RESERVES 3
March 17, 1947. The Liverpool Daily Post
Both teams gave a good display of entertaining football under difficult conditions in a raging snow-storm. Everton claimed an equal share of the play, but Birmingham were more opportune in front of goal and their defence the more resolute under pressure. Massart (2), Hall, and Hodgkiss (own goal) netted for the City while Grant (2), and Catterick scored for Everton.
• Runcorn 1, Everton “A” 0
• Liverpool beat Portsmouth 2-1, Stubbins (2) and Frogatt for Portsmouth.
BLUES AND JONES
March 20, 1947. The Evening Express
Pilot’s Log (Don Kendall)
Everton have issued a complete statement on the whole position of Tommy Jones, their international centre-half, from the moment Jones first thought of seeking a transfer up to his request to be played in the reserves. Here is brief is the statement. “In the aristocratic sense ‘T.G.’ is the Prince of Wales where football is concerned, and we subscribe to your valuation of his class. But that subscription does not mean that we must guarantee he is on the field because from week to week the Football League results are important, and if a substitute does a good job of work without detriment to his leading man, and produces maximum pay for the cast, then why should the audience worry? Take Tom’s case. On February 13 Jones was attended by Mr. McMurray, our orthopaedic surgeon, and two days later was reported to but as fit as man could be. Dr. Davies, the club doctor, informed the manager of this situation, but as the team, constituted as it was –and is –was playing well, no alterations were made. Ten days later, February 24, Jones spoke to Mr. Kelly, our manager and pointed out his difficulties. Jones himself said he could understand the desire to leave a winning team unchanged, but this meant that temporarily he was in the background and yet he felt fit to wear the Welsh cap which might be denied him because he was not chosen for his club. (That apparently, was the only reason which could be used to term the player’s situation an unhappy one). “After a little more conversation both parties agreed that the matter should be left over for a while, but after reports that Jones had been superseded in the Everton team following the game at Millwall, Jones repeated to messes W.C. Gibbins and E. Green, his request, as made a few days before to Mr. Kelly. We saw his viewpoint and he saw ours. So the matter came before the Board on March 4, and it did not take long for the decision to be reached that Jones was not for transfer. It was more than passing strange that the first official inquiry should come from Arsenal though Tom Whittaker on Wednesday, March 5, and stranger still that George Allison should further press the matter over the telephone on March 6 when one realises that by that time the Board’s decision not to transfer was common knowledge. Upon our return from Grimsby (March 9) Jones’s request was re-affirmed and was again turned down the following evening, and that is the position today. On the morning of March 10 Tom himself had especially called at Goodison to ask Mr. Kelly to notify the Board that he was not responsible for anything which had appeared in the Press except in one instance, and that he deprecated his request being used as propaganda to suggest to shareholders and others that there was a spirit of unhappiness and that the club was being badly guided. “That should prove the type of man he is, and we fell sure his personal prestige is not likely to suffer in the least from the present situation.”
TWO EVERTON STATEMENTS
March 20, 1947. The Liverpool Echo
Club Gives Jones Case “History”
Players Say “Never Happier.”
Two statements have been issued today, which should finally blow away from Goodison Park any remaining doubts which may have lingered in the wake of Tommy Jones’s request to be transferred, and completely kill the many rumours which have been floating about the City. The first is an official statement from the club, and the second –and probably the more important –is a “round robin” from the players, which was brought in to me, this morning by Ted Sagar, who had been elected spokesman by his colleagues. The club statement was printed in the programme for last Saturday’s game with Leeds United, but as this was postponed the folk whom the club hoped to reach could not read it, and I am glad to be able to remedy the deficiency. The essential points of the statement, which is a lengthy one, are as following. “We subscribe to the valuation of Tommy Jones’s class, but that does not mean we must guarantee he is on the field. If a substitute does a good job of work without detriment to his leading man, and produce maximum pay for the cast, then why should the audience worry?” after detailing the medical steps taken following Jones’s injury, and indicating that Jones was fit on February 15, the statement goes on to say that ten days later (February 24) the player told Mr. Theo Kelly of his difficulties and said that although he could understand the desire to leave a winning team unchanged it meant that he might be denied a Welsh cap because he was not chosen for his club. “That apparently” (the statement continue) “was the only reason which could be used to term the players situation an unhappy one. “After a little more conversation, both parties agreed that the matter should he left over for a while ...on the return journey from Millwall, Tom repeated his request to Messrs. Gibbins and Green (directors as made a few days before to Mr. Kelly). “We saw his viewpoint and he saw ours. The matter came before the board on March 4 and it did not take long for the decision to be reached that he was not for transfer. On March 9 Jones reaffirmed his request, which was again turned down the following evening. “On the morning of March 10, Jones asked Mr. Kelly to notify the Board that he was not responsible for anything that had appeared in the Press, other than the column in the Echo on march 3 (in which it was first announced that he had asked for the transfer) and that the repeated his request being used as propaganda to suggest to shareholders and others that there was a spirit of unhappiness, and that the club was being badly guided. The statement concludes; “That should prove the type of man Jones is, and we feel sure that his personal prestige is not likely to suffer in the least from the present situation.
The Players’ Opinion.
Following receipts of the clubs statement Ted Sagar called to hand in a statement which he had prepared, and which had been signed by all the players who were out training at Goodison Park this morning. Ten explained that the players felt that in the minds of prejudiced persons a statement by the club might possibly be “suspects” as not necessarily convenor the views of all the staff but that when the source was the players themselves, then no such suspicious could arise. His statement reads; “I have completed eighteen years at Goodison Park, and I would like the public to know that the camp today is a happy of not happier, then it has ever been. Not only do I feel that, but as do my colleagues. Much has been said which might give a bad expression and all the players feat that by this one spontaneous gesture they can kill the rumours which are being spread among supporters and shareholders. This declaration, in addition to be signed by Sagar, also bears the signature of T.Eglington, P. Farrell, S. Bentham, W.M. Lindley, G.E. Saunders, TG Watson, A. Hodgkiss, J. Humphreys, N. Greenhalgh, A. Johnson, W. Higgins, G. Jackson, A. Stevenson, and W.Fielding, along with D. Craig, the Blackpool player who trains at Goodison. Other signatures could have been obtained had the players been available, but they were not present today. Ted adds that this “round robin” was entirely uninspired and sprang from the players own desire to put an end, once and for all, to Dame Rumours. Let us hope that it has desired effect, and that Everton can now settle down to playing football without any disturbing domestic elements.
GOOD AT HOME
March 21, 1947. The Liverpool Echo
Everton are away to Manchester United, who drew 2-2 when they were at Goodison earlier. United have had their ups and downs this season. They started off like champions, faded out after a spate of injuries, and latterly have come back to a more reliable vein, despite their heavy defeat by Arsenal last month. Like Liverpool, Everton have a run of success to spur them on. Thirteen points out of the 16 played for since the start of the year is adequate testimony to Everton’s improvement so that their chances against United must be reasonably bright. The Mancunians however, take a lot of beating on their own ground, where only one club (Sunderland) has collared full points, and only three have forced a draw. If Everton can do the latter it will be a good performance. Everton; Sagar; Jackson, Greenhalgh; Bentham, Humphreys, Farrell; Mcllhatton, Stevenson, Wainwright, Fielding, Eglington.
T.J. Jones Not Playing
Tommy Jones who asked to play for Everton Reserves against Stoke tomorrow, is unable to turn out after all, as a slightly pulled muscle received in training has not mended in time. He will be fit for next week.
• Hamilton ex-Everton is currently coaching in Holland
UP TO DEFENCE
March 21, 1947. The Evening Express
By Pilot (Don Kendall)
Everton’s success at Maine-road against Matt Busby lads depends mainly on the ability of their defence to hold one of the most dangerous attack in football. The United are brilliant forward, and Everton must find the answer to the lightning raids of Delaney and Rowley and the subtle scheming of Pearson and Morris. First time tackling by the Blues’ half-backs can pave the way for victory, for forward the Goodison lads are playing splendidly, just now, with Wainwright such an opportunist at centre forward. When the clubs met at Goodison Park they shared four goals and I fancy this second clash may also end in a division of the spoils. Everton; Sagar; Jackson, Greenhalgh; Bentham, Humphreys, Mcllhatton, Stevenson, Wainwright, Fielding, Eglington.
EVERTON SERVE UP ATTRACTIVE SOCCER
March 22, 1947. The Evening Express
Lack a Goal Getter at Manchester
Everton fought well but unluckily against Manchester United at Maine road. They played infinitely the more attractive approach football but they could not strike the mark when it came to the all essential final shot. They did not deserved to be behind at the interval through a disputed goal scored in the 28th minute when Sagar was bundled over the line by Delaney in saving a puzzling high shot from Rowley. Eglington, who gave a brilliant display, had wretched luck with a rocket-like shot which dropped behind after hitting the upright. United’s second came after eleven minutes in the second half, and against the run of play when Burke who was always a dangerous United leader, beat Sagar from close range. Everton never gave up trying, but United had by far the best of matters in the closing stages and Sagar was applauded for brilliant saves. Everton were at full strength, Peter Farrell returning after an influenza attack. United had Crompton back in goal in place of Fielding and Cockburn reappeared at left half. Leading the United attack was Ron Burke whom I last saw playing in an R.A.F representative side in Italy. Manchester United;- Crompton, goal; Carey and McGlen, backs; Warner, Chilton and Cockburn, half-backs; Delaney, Morris, Burke, Pearson and Rowley, forwards. Everton; Sagar, goal; Jackson and Greenhalgh (captain), backs; Bentham, Humphreys, and Farrell, half-backs; Mcllhatton, Stevenson, Wainwright, Fielding, and Eglington, forwards. Referee; Mr. H. Berry (Huddersfield). About 30,000 spectators saw Everton first away, but the attack petered out through a mis-pass by Farrell. Then a handling offence by Fielding saw Sagar deal confidently with Chilton’s rising free kick. Considering the recent weather the pitch was in excellent condition and the players were not finding it easy to control the lively ball. When Everton again made the running, Crompton left his goal to pick up with Wainwright in attendance, but his clearance kick cannoned against the Everton centre forward and ran clear to Eglington whose first time shot was intercepted by Chilton. Mcllhatton’s persistence enabled him to force a corner but when Eglington gained possession his intended centre from a difficult angle went high into the crowd at the back of the goal. United’s first raid of note produced a free kick for a foul when Delaney was brought down, but Sagar cleverly anticipated Morris’s shot although he was partially unsighted. After Pearson had wasted an excellent chance through hesitancy, Fielding tried to send Wainwright away with a swerving through pass but Chilton stepped in cleverly and hooked the ball over Wainwright’s head before clearing. United, whose forwards were speedy and tricky, now began to have more of the game but they found themselves opposed to quick tackling tenacious Everton defenders.
Everton Goal Escapes
When United went away on the left a danger-laden Rowley centre flashed across the goalmouth with no one on hand to apply the necessary finishing touch. United came again for Rowley to force a corner off Jackson, but Sagar caught Rowley’s kick in great style. Pearson and Burke in turn saw pile-drivers veer well wide of the target. There was a close call for Everton when Sagar only just managed to beat Burke to possession of a long ball down the middle. The Stevenson initiated a delightful. Everton movement in which Wainwright and Mcllhatton figured but Mcllhatton’s square pass failed to find its objective. Everton pressed strongly for a penalty when Mcllhatton appear to be brought down just within the area but Referee Berry said “No.” After a spell of midfield play misfortune overtook Everton in the 28th minute. Rowley made tracks down the left and sent in a deceptive swerving shot from an oblique angle. Sagar caught the ball, but as he did so Delaney dashed in at top speed to bundle the Everton goalkeeper over the line with the ball in his possession. Everton retaliated strongly and Wainwright dispossessed Crompton but was unable to get his shot. Everton could consider themselves definitely unfortunate to be in arrears at this stage but they should have equalised when Fielding served up a perfect through pass for Wainwright. Unfortunately Wainwright in trying to round Crompton forced the ball too wide of the goal and his shot finished up in the side netting. There was another thrill in the Everton goalmouth when Sagar only managed to gave Pearson’s shot at the second attempt.
Half-time; Manchester United 1, Everton 0
Eglington’s Narrow Miss
Everton came near to equalising within seconds of the restart when Wainwright beat Chilton to possession and sent Eglington through. Eglington’s shot from a difficult angle shaved the far upright and dropped behind for a goal kick. Everton kept United on the defensive and a Stevenson volley went narrowly over the top. When the scene switched to the Everton end Bentham was penalised and Chilton tried to find Rowley, but Jackson was in a position to head clear. Away went Everton again for Crompton to save the day for United by brilliantly beating a fiery Eglington drive round the post. The game developed at a bewilderingly fast pace and Everton had a narrow squeak when Burke eluded Humphreys and shot low down, but the ball was deflected behind for a corner. Then a dazzling run and pass by Eglington gave Fielding an opening but his first-time shot slewed just wide of the post. Burke was proving a real menace and against the run of the play it was he who put the United further ahead in 56 minutes. A slip by Bentham enabled Burke to gain control, move forward, and shoot into the roof of the net, Sagar having no semblance of a chance. Everton fought back spiritedly and Eglington had cruel luck with a brilliant rising drive which shook the upright, with Crompton beaten. Everton crowding on all sail constantly had the United defence in trouble who clever approach work without being able to finish effectively. A thunderstorm broke over the ground, and in drenching rain Morris headed against the cross-bar from McGlen’s free kick. Everton tired considerably and United kept Sagar constantly in action, and they made the Everton goalkeeper save in brilliant style at full length from a powerful Rowley snap shot. When Everton returned to the attack, Mcllhatton moved into the centre, gained possession from a melee and forced Crompton to save a grand hooked shot from an almost impossible angle. United went further ahead two minutes from the end when Warner, who had moved into the left wing position, outpaced Jackson and beat Sagar with a perfectly placed cross-shot. There was no denying the United’s supremacy at this stage, but Everton continued to fight back hard. Final; Manchester United 3, Everton 0.
Everton Res v Stoke Res
In 58th minute Jackson netted for Stoke. The referee decided it was offside. Grant added a second for Everton. Final Everton Res 2, Stoke City Reserves 0
FORM, BUT NO GOALS
March 22, 1947. The Liverpool Football Echo
United Kept Up Pressure
Manchester United 3, Everton 0
Manchester United;- Crompton, goal; Carey and McGlen, backs; Warner, Chilton and Cockburn, half-backs; Delaney, Morris, Burke, Pearson and Rowley, forwards. Everton; Sagar, goal; Jackson and Greenhalgh (captain), backs; Bentham, Humphreys, and Farrell, half-backs; Mcllhatton, Stevenson, Wainwright, Fielding, and Eglington, forwards. Referee; Mr. H. Berry (Huddersfield). It was strange to see a ground not covered by snow, and no doubt this alteration would have the effect upon the style of play, not that Everton could improve upon their recent displays, which have been extraordinary considering the conditions. There was a crowd of 30,000 people, which was likely to be augmented as the game proceeded. Chilton showed polish in a defensive scheme which defeated Wainwright and then the United showed more bite than hitherto. Rowley centred across the Everton goalmouth and had there been a colleague in the vicinity there would have been trouble for Sagar. Everton were not greatly troubled by what Manchester United had thus far provided, but Humphreys once had to make a hurried overhead kick to clear away an obvious danger. Wainwright showed his paces to effect, but it was all to no purpose, for he was judged offside. Neither side had got into any sort of rhythm, and the 50,000n people –it had reached that mark by now –had little to enthuse about.
Everton might have had a penalty when Mcllhatton was brought down by McGlen, but the referee turned a deaf ear to the Everton claims. My own opinion was that it seemed undoubtedly worthy of a penalty award. The first goal came at 28 minutes. Rowley, from the left wing, made a cross into the centre, and the ball made a decided curl into the goalmouth. Sagar caught it, and there seemed no danger, but Delaney decided a charge was the correct thing. He made it – and Sagar went into the goal along with the ball. Just afterwards Warner went off with an injury. Wainwright tried to copy the Delaney incident when he charged Crompton, in possession, but this little goalkeeper was able to take Wainwright’s weight and eventually clear. There was a lot of really good combination, mainly due, perhaps, to terrier-like tackling of the respective half back.
Everton were fighting strongly for an equaliser. Wainwright slipped through the defence, but unfortunately the ball ran too far ahead, and when he made his shot he was at an atrocious angle. The ball finished in the side netting. This was a game in which the respective defences were in charge, and neither set of forwards could be said to have had a game –at least this far.
Near the interval Wainwright who had been one of the greatest troubles to Chilton and company weaved his way through the United blockade and finished up with a shot which left Crompton standing, but unfortunately it was no goal because the referee had previously whistled “off-side.” This was practically the final incident of the half.
Half-time; Manchester United 1, Everton 0.
Everton were unfortunate to be in arrears, for they had provided the better class football, and with the slightest bit of luck they would have equalised matters in the first minute of the second half when an Eglington shot grazed the top of the cross bar. Stevenson, also with a good opening shot over. The Fielding –Eglington –Farrell trinity was the danger point to the United, and Carey and Warner found it a difficult obstacle. From one of their movements Eglington found himself through and he pulled the ball back to Fielding, whose shot travelled a foot wide of the upright. Again the left wing struck another blow and Crompton had to make an acrobatic save to keep out a fiery drive by Eglington. Despite all this superiority it was the United who took the next goal at 57 minutes. Bentham miskicked and this let in Burke who delivered a shot which left Sagar helpless. Everton, however, continued to do battle and Crompton had to make yet another save to keep his goal intact.
The game had livened up considerably and Eglington had bad luck when he shot hard against the upright, but to counterbalance that Morris should have scored when he was left with a clear opening from a centre by Rowley. The United reorganised their forward line owing to an injury to Warner. Everton were still full of fight and the left flank was extremely busy. Sagar had to carefully watch a long ball, which he clutched securely underneath his bar. Burke was ever on the lookout for any sort of chance and Sagar once again foiled him with a capital save. Warner scored a third for Manchester at 87 minutes. Sagar did magnificent work in the final minute. Final; Manchester United 3, Everton 0.
EVERTON RES V STOKE RES
March 22, 1947. The Liverpool Football Echo
The game had a sensational opening, for within a minute Catterick gave Everton the lead with a shot from 15 yards’ range. The Blues were definitely the speedier side, Catterick, Grant and Higgins being unlucky in not increasing the lead. Up to the interval Everton monopolised the play, but found Herod in the Stoke goal equal to all shots. Half-times; Everton Res 1, Stoke City Res 0. In the 58th minute Jackson netted for Stoke, but the referee disallowed the point. Final; Everton R 2, Stoke City Res 0.
• Everton “A” 2, Formby 2
• Liverpool draw 1-1 with Derby, Taylor and Stamps for Derby
EVERTON FINISH BADLY
March 24, 1947. The Liverpool Daily Post
Left Wing Success
Manchester United 3, Everton 0
Everton were masters of the intricate manoeuvres of football, but that does not count unless the ball is put into the net. They had many near misses and once the upright was struck, but they were once beat the goalkeeper. One must not detract from the United’s game win, which maintained their unbeaten spell at home since Portsmouth beat them on October 26. United’s first goal was not of the clear-cut type. Delaney charged Sagar and the ball over the line (28 minutes) but Burke (57 minutes) and Warner 87 minutes put the game beyond all doubt. Everton’s main strength was on their left wing where Fielding Eglington and Farrell had the measure of the opposition defence Crompton had to make many saves from this quarter.
Wainwright however, found Chilton a stumbling block although he worked like a Trojan. The Everton right wing was uncommonly quiet, but this may have been due to the fact that Eglington and Fielding were in such brilliant form that they were to be fully exploited. This was Everton’s first defeat for some weeks, and while we must acknowledge that the United were the goal-getters it must be said that they were not three goals the better. Everton’s methods up to a point were superior. They linked up with effect but there was a serious lack of finish. Manchester United;- Crompton, goal; Carey and McGlen, backs; Warner, Chilton and Cockburn, half-backs; Delaney, Morris, Burke, Pearson and Rowley, forwards. Everton; Sagar, goal; Jackson and Greenhalgh (captain), backs; Bentham, Humphreys, and Farrell, half-backs; Mcllhatton, Stevenson, Wainwright, Fielding, and Eglington, forwards. Referee; Mr. H. Berry (Huddersfield).
March 24, 1947. The Evening Express
Pilot’s Log (Don Kendall)
Colleagues Radar was at Maine-Road with Everton (beaten 3-0 by Manchester United) and he writes; “Not until after the game did we find that jack Humphreys had played throughout the second half in considerable pain from an injured ankle. Up to the interval Humphreys had the mastery over manager Matt Busby’s young centre-forward discovery, Ron Burke, but afterwards it was a different story for Humphreys found he could not move so quickly to counter the fast-moving Burke. Burke scored the vital second goal, although in this instance the chance came following a slip by Bentham and not Humphreys. At no time were Everton three goals inferior, in fact, for prolonged spells the Blues’ intricate offensive manoeuvring made the United appear almost stodgy by comparison. Delaney bundled Ted Sagar into the net, for a lucky first goal against the run of play, but in finishing Everton had no luck to aid them. Up to half-way Mcllhatton was grand against McGlen, but later was not so conspicuous because Stevenson could not strike his normal game. Dangerous early on, Wainwright later found Chilton quite a problem, and Fielding and Eglington were left the main attacking factors. Eglington provided a really fine exhibition against fellow-Irishman Carey who can never have been so often left standing on one leg. This fast and always entertaining game was marked by a faultless exhibition by Farrell, who got through a prodigious amount of work in defence, and yet always paid due attention to construction. Farrell demonstrated that he is one of the really great half-backs of modern football. Bentham was not quite as accurate as usual, and Jackson and Greenhalgh had a tough task against fast wingers, Sagar could not be blamed for the goals, and late on made half-a-dozen brilliant saves. After the game, Chairman Mr. Will Gibbins, colleagues Messrs George Evans, Dickie Williams, and Jack Sharp and the lads were regaled by reminiscence by the former Goodison favourites. Charlie Gee, who came along to renew old acquaintances,”
March 24, 1947. The Liverpool Echo
Looking at the score in cold print one would naturally come to the conclusion that Manchester United’s victory over Everton was most convincing. Actually never was a side more flattered than were the winners for Everton took full marks for their better-class football, but without goals that is, of course, of little account only from a spectatorial point of view. The United were the once to take the goals, and on that score they must be given full credit, but there were times when they were made to look very ordinary foemen by the more intricate football, and the better methods of their rivals (writes Stork). I am not going to claim that this was one of Everton’s best games for it was not, but they certainly had more moves up their sleeves than did the victors. Matt Busby, the manager of United, told me that their recent slump was due to the icy conditions of the ground. They had no excuses on Saturday, yet their football was never of a standard which suggested their high position. Had Everton been able to finish with any degree of accuracy they must have run out easy winners. Time and again the Everton left wing broke through the United defence and twice the woodwork was emitted by shots from Eglington and Wainwright which only goes to prove my contention that the luck was on the United’s side. Here was a side which was bring over played by a more methodical team, capable of scoring three goals, which to my mind was definitely all against the run of the play, but it only goes to show that the side which can snap up its chances is the one which is going to win. The Everton defence was not nearly so compact as it has been, and the lively Burke was able to find holes in it. This could not be said of Chilton, who was one of the outstanding players on the field, but even so Wainwright gave him much cause for anxiety.
Everton’s away game with Blackpool on Easter Monday will be an “all ticket” one. Prices are 6/- (centre stand), 4/6 (wing stands and centre paddock), 3/- (other paddocks), and 1/3. Everton supporters who wish to go should write at once to Blackpool club, enclosing stamped-addressed envelope and remittance.
T.G. JONES COMES IN
March 26, 1947. The Liverpool Echo
The Everton team to meet Stoke City at Goodison Park on Saturday shows one change from the side which was so unluckily beaten at Maine Road last Saturday. Jack Humphreys suffered an injury in the first fifteen minutes, when he pulled a ligament of the right knee, and he is likely to be unfit for three weeks or so. In the circumstances Humphreys did uncommonly well against the lively Burke, who would not have enjoyed a good innings had not the Welshman been hurt. Naturally T.G. Jones comes into the side in his place. This will be Jones’s first game since he played at Portsmouth ten weeks ago. He should have played in the reserves side last week-end, but he pulled a muscle in training. Don’t forget the kick-off for the match is 5.45 pm, Team;- Sagar; Jackson, Greenhalgh; Bentham, Jones (TG), Farrell; Mcllhatton, Stevenson, Wainwright, Fielding, Eglington.
EVERTON INCLUDE JONES
March 28, 1947. The Evening Express
Pilot’s Log (Don Kendall)
Tommy Jones, brilliant Welsh international centre-half, returns to the Everton team tomorrow for the first time since being injured at Fratton Park in January. Jones will be there to face Stoke City and Stanley Matthews at Goodison Park in a game put back until 5.45 pm. The ankle injury received by Jones against Portsmouth proved more costly than at first expected, for in went Jack Humphreys to play so well in Everton’s long run of success that it would have been illogically to change the team. Jones appreciated that fact, but felt so much out of things that he twice asked Everton to place him on the transfer list, and Arsenal came racing to Merseyside to try and sigh this master of football artistry. Everton resolutely said “No” and a week ago Jones asked for a run with the reserves so that he could at least get a game. A slight injury prevented that plan being put into action, but then Humphreys tore a knee ligament, and now Jones is back again. What a great opportunity that is for Tommy to prove that he is still the No 1 centre-half in Britain, and set the seal on his place in the Welsh team to play Ireland, and the All-Britain team to meet the Rest of Europe. The Blues have had a great run -only two League defeats in 1947. While Stoke represent strong, as well as attractive opposition I think the Blues will avenge the last-minute goal defeat at the Victoria Ground that deprived them of a point. The evening start will enable the race goers to enjoy their football after the Grand National and there will be many enthusiasts dashing back from Blackburn in time to see the second half. Everton; Sagar; Jackson, Greenhalgh; Bentham, Tommy Jones, Farrell; Mcllhatton, Stevenson, Wainwright, Fielding, Eglington.
EVERTON’S FINE RECOVERY
March 31, 1947. The Liverpool Daily Post
Matthews is Subdued
Everton 2, Stoke City 2
It is not always the side that does most attacking that gets the goals. This football axiom was forced home to Everton at Goodison Park. For most of the first half they weaved intricate patterns through the Stoke defence, had enough chances, to have built up a commanding lead, and yet were two goals in arrears at the interval. It was an ironic position, yet one could hardly say Stoke were lucky. They had two scoring chances and got goals from both. Everton had a dozen and were goalless. For twenty eight minutes Sagar was a spectator. Then Stoke broke away Steele slipped the ball to Matthews who promptly placed it in the Everton goalmouth. Sagar pushed it out and the ball went to the feet of Baker who slammed it into the net. Two minutes later Stoke were two up Peppitt ran in to take a forward pass and his first-time shot as Jones tackled sped well away from Sagar.
Everton profited from the lesson in finishing and in the second half imparted more punch into there attack. Wainwright and Stevenson switched positions and the change brought results. In sixty-one minutes Eglington scored with a well taken header, and six minutes later Fielding levelled the scores with the best shot of the match. So Everton saved a point where they should have collected two. A pleasing feature was the sound work of Jones, who, making his first appearance in ten weeks, kept Steele subdued. Wainwright was unhappy. It was left to Stevenson to produce the major threat. Apart from opening the way for Stoke’s first goal little was seen of Matthews, and the visitors main strength was on the other wing Everton must do something about the lack of finish. Everton; Sagar, goal; Jackson and Greenhalgh (captain), backs; Bentham, Jones (TG), and Farrell, half-backs; Mcllhatton, Stevenson, Wainwright, Fielding, and Eglington, forwards. Stoke City; Herod, goal; Mould and McClue, backs; Sellars, Franklin and Kirton, half-backs; Matthews, Peppitt, Steele, Baker, and Ormston, forwards. Referee; Mr. W.H. Moore (York).
• Manchester United Reserves 6, Everton Reserves 1
• Liverpool draw 0-0 with Burnley.
Match 31, 1947. The Liverpool Echo
Stoke City were the luckiest team on earth to take away a point from Goodison Park, for in everything except scoring of goals they were greatly inferior to Everton. Everton should have had such a bag of goals in the first half that even Stoke’s two goals should not have made any difference, but that was one place where Everton failed –the scoring side of the game. It certainly was a bitter blow to Everton to find themselves in arrears after their excellent display of football (Write Storks). The second half saw Everton in a more determined frame of mind near goal, and Eglington headed a fine goal from Mcllhatton’s centre and than Fielding scored the best goal of the day. Once again it was Everton’s left wing which was the driving force, yet it was not until Stevenson went centre forward that the attack showed any real thrust. Matthews has never been quicker. True, he did not get much of the ball, but even when it came his way he did not exert himself. He was a big disappointment to the crowd. Wainwright found Franklin a difficulty, yet the England centre half did not make a great appeal on this showing. He was not nearly so calm and effective as Jones playing his first game for some weeks.
CITY WERE LUCKY
March 31, 1947. The Evening Express
Pilot’s Log (Don Kendall)
Stoke City gave Everton a fright at Goodison Park on Saturday evening, but were, apparently, thankful to get away with a 2-2 draw in the end. Our observer at the game writes; “Despite the fact that stoke scored two snap goals in the first half through Baker and Pettitt, the Blues always were the better side, and had Wainwright been in scoring mood would have had a couple before half-time. The 2-0 for City at the interval was a travesty, but a masterly forward switch, taking Stevenson to centre forward, and Stoke’s own mistake in starving Matthews gave Everton the chance for a fighting rally, and the forwards revelled in the fine support of Bentham and Farrell, who paved the way for the revival. Eglington headed a beauty off Mcllhatton’s centre, and then Fielding equalised with a marvellous 25-yard shot which had Herod beaten all the way. Greenhalgh again played Matthews excellently, although I think the City tried to “fox” Everton by keeping Stanley out of the game for spells, waiting for the golden moments. Stevenson led the forwards excellently and had hard luck not to get goals, while Everton always were neater and faster in combined football. Tommy Jones came right back to his best and was given a fine welcome. Only once was he caught on one foot and for the rest was splendid.