JOCK THOMSON’S RETURN
May 1, 1941. The Evening Express.
Jock Thomson, Everton’s Scottish international half-backs, who skippered the team to the championship success in 1938-39 and who is now a sergeant-instructor in the Army, will play for the Blues against Burnley at Goodison Park on Saturday in the Lancashire Senior Cup. It will on Jock’s first game of the war for his own club, but he has played a lot in Aldershot, Aberdeen and Edinburgh. He is having a spot of leave and Gordon Watson willingly stands down to give his captain a game. It will be a real treat to see this fine half-back in action again, and it may be that Mr. Theo Kelly can utilise the services of the versatile Watson in the attack. To my mind Gordon is far too good a footballer to be left out on such an important occasion. Another change also brings in a player who will be making his first appearance of the war. This is Eddie Barber, the young inside forward whom Everton brought from the North-east and who played regularly in the “A” and Central League side before the war. Eddie is now in the Army. Everton; Lovett; Cook, Greenhalgh; Bentham, Jones (Tom), Thomson; Wyles, Barber, Catterick, Stevenson, Lyon.
THOMSON IN EVERTON SIDE
May 1, 1941. The Liverpool Echo
Everton make two changes in the side already announced for the Lancashire Senior Cup tie against Burnley. Jock Thomson, their former captain, will play for the first time for over eighteen months. Thomson is down here on leave, and takes the place of Watson at left half. The last time he figured in an Everton side was in September, 1939, when he deputised for Tom Jones at centre half against Preston North End. The other change is at inside right, where Barber (E.) takes the place of Simmons.
EVERTON SHOULD PROGRESS
May 2, 1941. The Evening Express
Chief interest, locally centres on the Lancashire Senior Cup second round tie at Goodison Park between Everton, and Burnley. Everton have the advantage of a goal start. In the first “leg” of the tie at Turf Moor they won 3-2, I think they will be able to preserve that advantage and go forward to face Blackpool in the semi-final the following Saturday. Everton, of course still have an outside chance of securing Regional hours. They need some big wins to do it, but these cup matches are also reckoned as Regional games. It will be good to see Jock Thomson the pre-war skipper, in action again, and Eddie Barber, one of the Blues’ North-eastern products will be making his senior debut. The Burnley attackers will not get much change out of Everton’s brilliant defence, and the issue seems to rest mainly with the penetrative power of the Everton forwards. Everton; Lovett; Cook, Greenhalgh; Bentham, Jones (Tom), Thomson; Wyles, Barber, Catterick, Stevenson, Lyons.
EVERTON’S CUP TIE
May 2, 1941. The Liverpool Echo
Cup war-fare returns to us at Goodison, where Everton, with a goal start, seek to make their way to the semi-final of the Lancashire Senior Cup at the expense of Burnley. The reappearance of Jock Thomson in the Blues half back line will bring back memories of the grand championship season just before the war, for it was the guilding influence of Thomson on and off the field, that helped to weld the Everton team into such an effective combination. Some of that effectiveness has been dimmed of late, which is hardly to be wondered at considering the way the side has been cut and carved about and tomorrow’s encounter with Burnley is no foregone conclusion. There was a welcome improvement in attack against New Brighton. If it is maintained Everton should go a stage further which will bring them against Blackpool in the semi-final, and a visit to Blackpool (the venue will probably be transferred there) is counted today as one of the most lucrative of fixtures. Everton; Lovett; Cook, Greenhalgh; Bentham, Jones (Tom), Thomson; Wyles, Barber, Catterick, Stevenson, Lyons. Burnley:- Conway; F. Snowden, Mather; Gardiner, Woodruff, Robinson; F. Coates, Brocklebanks, P. Kippas, Hornby, Bright.
LANS CUP TIE
May 3, 1941. The Liverpool Echo
Everton:- Lovett, goal; Cook (captain) and Greenhalgh, backs; Bentham, Jones (TG), and Thomson, half-backs; Wyles, Barber, Catterick, Lyon and Jones (J.E.), forwards. Burnley:- Conway, goal; Snowden and Mather, backs; Gardiner, Woodruff and Robinson, half-backs; Coates, Brocklebank, P. Kippax, Hornby, and Bright, forwards. Referee; Mr. R.K. Warburton, Bolton. Through the non-arrival of Stevenson, Everton had to make forward changes for their second-round Lancashire Cup tie with Burnley, at Goodison Park, today. Jock Thomson made his first appearance for Everton this season. Burnley opened, smartly, and Gardner was early prominent with useful passes, but they availed Burnley nothing, for the forward failed to respond to Gardiner’s promptings. The play was long confirmed to midfield, due in some respect to the strong defences of both sides. The rival forwards had not had a chance to get close enough to be troublesome to the respective goalkeepers. Wright once had an opening, which he should have turned to account but a slight delay in his effort spoiled the chance. Thompson who had not played for about three months, did his best to get his forwards moving without success, so he elected to have a go on his own, his shot soaring high over the bar. Gardiner was still putting nice passes through to his forwards, only to see them turned down. The nearest approach to a goal came when Bentham worked his way through only to shoot straight at the goalkeeper. Catterick tried a moment later, but his shot was without the necessary power.
Then the Everton goal enjoyed an escape, the ball bounding about in front of goal inside the twelve yards line, but no Burnley forward could do the needful. A back pass by Bentham almost sealed Everton a fate, for Kippax ran round the former, and but for Lovett would have scored. Even then, the save was more lucky then engineered. Coates scored for Burnley, 25 minutes.
EVERTON OUT OF COUNTY CUP
May 5, 1941. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton 0, Burnley 2
Burnley win in Extra Time.
First ever Golden goal Match
Although Everton started the second leg of their Lancashire cup second round tie with a goal advantage (they had won at Burnley 3-2), they were ultimately defeated in the game at Goodison park by 2-0, which brings Burnley’s aggregate to 4-3, and they now go on to meet one of the most attractive sides in the country, Blackpool. I have never seen Everton so inept. During the 129 minutes play lasted Everton did not give the Burnley goalkeeper the slightest anxiety. Burnley were definitely the better side. We could well have done with less of this game -129 minutes was much too long, for the spectators were bored long before the end. Burnley scored the first goal at 25 minutes. Admitting there was an element of luck about Coates’s shot, which was deflected into the net off T.G. Jones’s body, it will be agreed that they were worthy of their lead, for they had shows more enterprise than Everton. I cannot recall the Everton forwards attacking an attack worthy of the name. In the second half a change was made in the Everton forward line; Greenhalgh was brought to outside left, but there was still no punch in the line. At the end of 90 minutes the
Aggregate score was 3-3 which means an extra 30 minutes. No further scoring came in that period, so that the game from that point had to go until one or the other side scored a goal.
At the 129 minute Coates ran through a hesitant Everton defence and scored the winning goal. In defence there was little fault with Everton until late on, but until Everton find some new forwards they will suffer a lean time. Gardiner the former Liverpool player was the best man on the field, at right half for Burnley. Everton:- Lovett, goal; Cook (captain) and Greenhalgh, backs; Bentham, Jones (TG), and Thomson, half-backs; Wyles, Barber, Catterick, Lyon and Jones (J.E.), forwards. Burnley:- Conway, goal; Snowden and Mather, backs; Gardiner, Woodruff and Robinson, half-backs; Coates, Brocklebank, P. Kippax, Hornby, and Bright, forwards. Referee; Mr. R.K. Warburton, Bolton.
WHIT MONDAY SOCCER “DERBY.”
May 5, 1941. The Evening Express.
Merseyside is to have a real Whitsun football treat. Everton and Liverpool have agreed to meet each other on Whit Monday, June 2, as I suggested some days ago, and the match will take place at Goodison Park. It is possible the game will be the final of the Liverpool Senior Cup, but in any event it will be a North Regional game. The Liverpool Cup is the only honour left for our clubs to annex this season. Everton lost interest in the Lancashire Cup on Saturday when being beaten by Burnley in the game which made football history.
It was the first-ever match on the play-to-a-finish principle. It took 129 minutes to reach a decision. It was briefly, like this. Everton at the start led 3-2 as the result of their win at Burnley. In 35 minutes Young Coates, a Preston lad, who arrived at the ground only five minutes before the kick-off, scored. That was the only goal in the 90- minutes, and although Burnley had won the game they were still only level on aggregate. We had 30 minutes extra time which failed to produce a goal. Referee Mr. Warburton, of Bolton then spoke to the captains, and it was agreed that they play on until one side scored. Yes, and young Coates did it again. After nine minutes he went through to give Burnley a 2-0 win (4-3 on aggregate) and place the Turf Moor side in the semi-final. That goal ending the tie after 219 minutes play, cost the Everton club £200. Mr. Clegg and his fellow-directors of Burnley assured me that the goal will add £200 to their depleted finances. No wonder they were happy at the end. Well, they deserved to win. Jesper Kerr, the former Everton and Preston back, came along to the game. He now lives in Burnley and is training the young players at the club. Obviously, he was done a good job, for the youngsters showed up well under the brilliant guidance of Tommy Gardiner –grand player this –and Woodruff. The 2,675 spectators rose to Gardiner, the local boy, who had done so well since leaving his own city.
EVERTON’S POOR CUP DISPLAY
May 5, 1941. The Liverpool Echo
Everton’s Lancashire Cup-tie against Burnley was one of the poorest games seen at Goodison Park for years. Had Burnley been a super team one would not have minded, but they were only just a useful eleven, yet they fully deserved their victory. The Everton forwards rarely showed any power of penetration and goalkeeper Conway had an easy afternoon. Something will have to be done to bring more Iriving force into the Everton attack. How they are going to remedy this big fault is a problem. The Burnley half backs had neither little trouble in handling the youthful home line, which had nether craft in their manoeuvre of the ball nor a shot in their locker. It was pitiful to see such wastefulness, for the defence did try to get something moving but it was all of no avail. The game lasted 129 minutes before a final result was achieved by Burnley. It should have been over much sooner, for the Burnley forwards had ample chances but failed lamentable. Both goals were scored by Coates from outside right. Others had better chances, which were not turned to good account. This was a match nobody will wish to remember.
May 6, 1941. The Evening Express.
There will be no elections for seats on the directorates of Everton and Liverpool Football Clubs this year. Neither Shareholders Association is to put up a candidate to oppose retiring directors.
WELL WORTH IT
May 7, 1941. The Evening Express.
Secretary Mr. Theo Kelly, of Everton, was delighted that he went to the trouble of getting Eddie Barber down for the Lancashire cup-tie with Burnley. He was well satisfied with the display of the lad. Personally, I was much taken up with barber’s play. Certainly he was the best forward of the ten in action. He is worth persevering with. He is sturdily built, exceptionally strong in possession, and cute ideas are crowned with good shooting power, particularly in the left foot. It was Barber’s first game of the war. He works in a colliery in Blyth, and Everton signed him from the famous Spartans. I suggest that Everton get him down again for the crash with Liverpool on June 2.
MERCER FOR CHESTER
May 9, 1941. The Evening Express.
By the Pilot
Joe Mercer, England’s finest wing half-back will assist Chester tomorrow in the North Regional game with Bolton wanderers at Sealand-road, if Chester secure the necessary permission from Everton. This I feel sure will be forthcoming.
L’POOL SENIOR CUP MAY GO
May 9, 1941. The Liverpool Echo
Owing to team-raising difficulties and fixture complications, there is a possibility that the Liverpool Senior Cup, due to begin tomorrow with the visit of Tranmere to Anfield, will be wasted out this season. Whatever happens with later ties, Liverpool’s engagement with Tranmere will not take place, and owing to Everton’s dismissal from the Lancashire Cup by Burnley, the Goodison Park side is also without a fixture tomorrow. Everton may possibly arrange an away match for Saturday week, and the following Saturday they will have Sheffield Utd, as visitors to Goodison Park.
NO “GUEST” STAR
May 10, 1941. The Evening Express.
With only two remaining matches it appears as if Everton will go through the season without calling on a “guest” player. This will be a unique distinction, for neither did they have a “guest” player last season. Two teams without the aid of a single player from another club is remarkable. Of course, Mr. Theo Kelly, the Blues’ secretary had the ground all ready prepared in case he is forced to include a “guest” player. He has two first class forwards ready to step in should his own men not be available. They are McAvoy, the brilliant Kilmarnock forward, and Moore the Grimsby Town inside-left. Both these players are working in the Merseyside area and Mr. Kelly has received permission to include them whenever he wishes. Personally I should like to see them in action with the Blues and I suggest that they be given a run against Sheffield United and Liverpool. The Everton attack needs strengthening –the Burnley game proved that –and the appearances of McAvoy and Moore would make an instant appeal to the public. Let us see them, Mr. Kelly.
Final Soccer Fixtures
Goodison Park Derby
The football season has four weeks to run, which including Whit Monday, means five playing days. As I mentioned some time ago, several clubs have already put up the shutters for the season because of the difficulty of raising teams and making fixtures. Liverpool and Everton are finding difficulties in these directions, and are wondering whether or not to arrange any more home games. Still, we have some fine games on the schedule with one Merseyside “Derby” match. This is the meeting between Everton and Liverpool at Goodison Park on whit Monday. This becomes a North Regional fixture because of the postponement of the Liverpool Cup competition. In addition there are a couple of all-First games to be decided. Everton appear at Goodison Park on May 24 against Sheffield United. This game should have been played on May 3, but was held over to enable Everton to fulfil their Lancashire Cup obligations. The other match is that between Liverpool and the Cup finalists, Preston North End, will be staged at Anfield on either May 31 of June 7. It is possible that both clubs will accept an away engagement, but I think that will just about complete our home fare this season.
EVERTON MATCH WITH OLDHAM
May 12, 1941. The Evening Express.
Everton after one week of inactivity, return to the North Regional field next Saturday. Secretary Mr. Theo Kelly has arranged for the champions to go to Boundary Park to face Oldham Athletic. But for a matter of minutes the Blues would have been going to Wrexham, for Manager Mr. Tom Morgan, of Wrexham made a special journey to Liverpool to try and arrange a fixture. Mr. Kelly had just clinched the match at Oldham. Still it is highly probable that Mr. Morgan’s enterprise will be rewarded. Mr. Kelly states that he will try and arrange a Visit to The Racecourse. Possible dates are May 31 and June 7.
EVERTON WILL PLAY OLDHAM ON SATURDAY
May 12, 1941. The Liverpool Echo
Everton have arranged to play a Northern Regional game with Oldham Athletic at Boundary Park, on Saturday. Mr. Tom Morgan, of Wrexham journeyed to Liverpool to try and arrange for Everton to visit the Racecourse, but a few minutes before Mr. Theo Kelly had fixed the matter with Oldham. Mr. Kelly however, probably will arrange to play at Wrexham either on May 31 or June 7.
MERCER INSIDE RIGHT
May 14, 1941. The Evening Express
Joe Mercer, the England and Everton wing half-back will play inside right for Everton against Oldham Athletic at Boundary Park on Saturday in the North Regional League game. Mercer will be having his second run of the season in this position. He played there against New Brighton at Rake-Lane when the Blues forward’s bagged four goals. Mercer’s brilliant constructive play and forcefulness will bring extra incisiveness to the Blues front line. Stan Bentham will again be at right half, and the Stevenson-Lyon left wing partnership will be resumed. Norman Greenhalgh has recovered from his ankle injury received in the game against Burnley and will be fit to play. Everton; Lovett; Cook, Grenehalgh; Bentham, Jones (Tom), Watson; Wyles, Mercer, Catterick, Stevenson, Lyon.
MERCER AGAIN A FORWARD
May 14, 1941. The Liverpool Echo
Everton have chosen a good side for their Regional game with Oldham Athletic at Boundary Park. Joe Mercer again appears in the front rank. The last time he played at inside right he did uncommonly well, although inclined to drop back into the half back position. He did, however, hold the line together and that was what has been required for some time. He made cute passes and held the ball to draw the defence before he parted with the ball. There is also a likelihood that Stevenson will make a welcome reappearance and will take up his customary role at inside left. This should be to the advantage of Jackie Lyon, who had a good game at New Brighton, showing something like his true form. Everton; Lovett; Cook, Greenhalgh; Bentham, Jones (JE), Watson; Wyles, Mercer, Catterick, Stevenson, Lyon.
ANOTHER BIG “DERBY”
May 15, 1941. The Evening Express.
Another big Merseyside “Derby” between Everton and Liverpool is to be staged this season. It is lined up for Anfield on Saturday May 31 –Cup Final day. No sooner, had the League announced their Cup final replay arrangements –at Ewood Park on may 31 –than Mr. Theo Kelly, of Everton and Mr. George Kay, of Liverpool, got together to see what could be done on that day. Liverpool had arranged to play Preston North End either at Anfield or Deepdale and so were left without a game. Everton had no commitments. So it was decided right away to arrange a North regional game for Anfield. This means that these old rivals will be meeting twice in three days, for they are due to clash at Goodison Park on Whit Monday, June 2. It will be just like old times, and with hopes of many of the clubs regular First players being on view. It is certain some of their Services boys will have Whitsun leave. The clubs have met three times this season, Liverpool winning the Christmas Day game at Anfield, and Everton winning the two Lancashire Cup games.
Everton “A” will be at Goodison Park on Saturday, when they oppose Marine in a Wavertree Cup-tie. Everton “A”:- Johnson; Ireland, Dugdale; Sherratt, Cheers, Atkins; Williams, Owen, Powell, Hankin, Bailey.
EVERTON ON TOUR
May 16, 1941. The Liverpool Echo
Everton’s journey to Oldham will be greatly appreciated at Boundary Park, for the locals have had few opportunities of seeing Everton in recent times. The last time the champions were out “Oldham” way was in their Division 2 days, which means years and years ago. Oldham have got together a really good footballing side this season, so Everton will not find it an easy matter to beat the “Latics”. It will be recalled that Milligan their half-back, was signed on from Oldham. Everton’s team will include a large sprinkling of their championship side, for it is hoped that Alex Stevenson will have permission to play for his side. He has been sadly missed from the Everton forward line, for his constructions play was worth a whole lot, especially so in view of the younger members of the team, who require someone to steady them down. The wee Irishman has no superior in this respect, and young Jack Lyon owes quite a lot of his success to the prompting of “Stevie.” For some weeks now the Everton attack has been higgledy-piggledly, but the experiment of playing Joe Mercer the English international half back, in the forward line against New Brighton proved a hugh success. He brought some wisdom into the line, with the result that four goals were scored; in fact the line functioned better than it had done for some weeks. Mercer will again figure at inside right and with two such constructional players in the line the boys should reap the benefit. The defence is little changed. Greenhalgh, has quite recovered from his injury and is certain to play, so that the old firm, Cook and Greenhalgh, stands fast. Everton; Lovett; Cook, Greenhalgh; Bentham, Jones (TG), Watson; Wyles, Mercer, Catterick, Stevenson, Lyon.
OLD EVERTON PLAYER DEAD
Saturday May 17, 1941. The Liverpool Evening Express
A former Everton and Rhyl footballer, Mr. Alfred Vaughan has died at his home, Queen Street, Rhyl, aged 71. He was one of the best known centre-half backs of his day in North Wales and when his football career ended he took up Hockey and won his way into the Flintshire County team.
May 19, 1941. The Liverpool Daily Post
Oldham Athletic 1, Everton 1
Oldham lack Finish
Had Oldham Athletic’s finishing been as good as their approach work, they must have won their match with Everton instead of sheering two points. They had by far the greater share of the attack and certainty more opportunities than Everton, yet the latter were the more likely scorers. I liked the business like way the Oldham team went to their work against this much changed Everton, who were without Mercer and T.G. Jones. They passed the ball with accuracy and ran into position to accept a pass but near goal they were really weak. Everton were inclined to wait the ball’s arrival and found that a rival had stepped in before them. This made the home side appear yards faster; perhaps they were. They were definitely the more determined tacklers, which cut out any semblance of combination by Everton at the starting point. The defenders stood supreme in the first half when the Athletic should have held a goal or two lead, but having missed their way through poor marksmanship and some solid defensive play on the part of the Everton backs the possibility of their scoring seemed small. Everton’s forwards had their opportunities, but did not snap them up. In the second half Stevenson had desperate luck when a drive hit the crossbar with the Oldham goalkeeper completely beaten. Almost immediately afterwards a corner to Oldham proved disastrous to Everton. Williams, a half-back who had been one of the outstanding men on the field came up and headed the ball from the corner kick into the net. Stevenson then set Everton moving with a perfect pass to Wyles. The latter swung his centre across goal and Owen with great delivery headed the ball to the far corner of the net. Owen played well throughout and so did Hill, who took over the centre half position he is really a wing half. Stevenson almost won the match when he shot inches wide of the upright. It had been hard football with the defences mostly in command. Everton;- Lovett, goal; Cook (captain) and Greenhalgh; Bentham, Hill, and Watson, half-backs; Wyles, Owen, Catterick, Stevenson and Lyon, forwards. Oldham Athletic:- Swindin, goal; Redditt, and Shipman backs; Williamson, Haves, and Gray, half-backs; Buckley, Hampson, Ferrier, Bailey and Taylor, forwards. Referee; Mr. Williamson (Bolton).
BLUES FIND A PIVOT
May 19, 1941. The Evening Express.
Everton, at Oldham on Saturday, where they drew 1-1 , discovered yet another promising centre half. This is none other than young Maurice Hill who has been with the Blues about two years. Maurice was a wing half, but recently he played at centre half against an Army eleven captained by Billy Cook. Mr. Harry Cooke, Everton’s trainer saw the game and was impressed by Hill’s display. He made due report to Secretary Mr. Theo Kelly. When at the last minute on Saturday Tommy Jones could not play at Oldham, Mr. Kelly give Hill his big chance. And this tall, well built, purposeful lad took his chance with both “feet.” Ably backed by Cook and Greenhalgh, Hill proved more than a match for Oldham’s forceful inside forwards. He was outstanding success of a game, in which young Owen, coming in at inside right for Joe Mercer, who was playing with the Army at Newcastle, crowned a good display with a goal to equalise that by Williamson. Jack Lyon was another youngster to add to his laurels –thanks to the cute promptings of Alex Stevenson.
May 19, 1941. The Liverpool Echo
Everton had to make several changes in their side to meet Oldham Athletic at Boundary Park, owing to the non-arrival of Mercer and T.G. Jones. Young Owen, of the “A” team was introduced into the forward line to fill Mercer’s place, and he had the honour of scoring the equalising goal in a game in which the defence were supreme. Oldham had much more of the play, but were feeble in front of goal. They had enough chances in the first half to have held a decided lead at the interval, but threw them away in an exasperating way. Everton were not a great deal better but it must be said, that with fewer chances, they were always a more dangerous lot in front of goal. Oldham were undoubtedly a strong side in midfield. They kept the ball moving well with quick, wise passes, and had not the inside forwards been throttled down by the solid Everton defence, goals should have been natural outcome of an so incessant an attack. Maurice Hill, who has been helping New Brighton practically all the season, did exceptionally well at centre half; he is normally a wing half, but it was Cook and Greenhalgh who stood out in the Everton defence. Oldham’s wings, well plied by forceful half back play, had a good innings, but the inside men were unable to carry on the good work, for the reason I have given.
LAWTON RETURNS TO EVERTON SIDE.
May 20, 1941. The Evening Express.
Tommy Lawton, the England centre-forward, will return to Everton’s team to oppose Sheffield United in the North Regional game at Goodison Park on Saturday. It will be his first game for the Blues since Easter Monday, when he played against Blackpool at Goodison. He also appeared in the Anfield international game. Joe Mercer and Tommy Jones, other internationals, also reappear for Everton, and so the champions will have out their most representative side for weeks. Jones will come back to centre half for young Hill after a week’s absence, but Mercer returns to occupy the unfamiliar inside-right position. It will against New Brighton some weeks ago –the day of Everton’s last win –that Mercer was experimented with at inside-right, and he brought balance and penetrative power to the line. Everton rattled up four goals. Since then the Blues scored only one goal –that by Wally Owen at Oldham last Saturday. Simmons the former Wallasey schoolboy player will be at outside right in place of Wyles. Simmons should have played at Oldham, but missed the motor-coach by a few minutes. Everton; Lovett; Cook, Greenhalgh; Bentham, Jones (Tom), Watson; Simmons, Mercer, Lawton, Stevenson, Lyon.
EVERTON TEAM TO MEET SHEFFIELD UNITED
May 20, 1941. The Liverpool Echo
Everton are early in the field with their team to meet Sheffield United at Goodison Park on Saturday, and there is little likelihood that the team selected will show any change by the week-end. It is some considerable time since the Yorkshire side were seen in these parts, and as I am told that they will send their strongest possible eleven for the occasion, a good game is in prospect. Joe Mercer and Tommy Jones were unable to make the trip to Oldham last Saturday, but they will definitely be on duty on Saturday next, so that the Everton team will include quite a number of their championship players and internationals, Mercer will be in the forward line, and will have as his partner Simmons, who will once again operate at outside right. Everton have had a lean time in recent weeks, their only two victories being at Southport and New Brighton. Mercer played inside right against the Rakers, and did uncommonly well. His constructional play and forceful attacking help considerably in securing a convincing victory. He was inclined to drop back into his original position, but there was no denying that his inclusion in the attack brought greater punch and more cohesion in the line. Stevenson will be on the other wing, so that the youngsters of the line, Lyon, Catterick and Simmons, should reap the benefit of Mercer’s and Stevenson’s promptings. Bentham’s playing well at right half. He struck a poor patch as a forward, but his transference to the middle line gives him greater scope. There is no more wholehearted player on the Everton books than Stan. But it has been in attack where Everton have faltered in recent weeks. It will be the United’s first visit to Goodison since season 1933-34, the season they suffered relegation. Everton took three points from them, drawing 1-1 at Bramell Lane and winning 4-0 at Goodison Park. They will have the aid of several of the pre-war players and two they hope to bring to Goodison are Hagan, the former Derby County player and Hampson, the former Southport inside forward and brother of the late Jimmy Hampson, of England and Blackpool. Everton; Lovett; Cook, Greenhalgh; Bentham, Jones (Tom), Watson; Simmons, Mercer, Catterick, Stevenson, Lyon.
BLUES PRE-WAR VINTAGE
May 23, 1941. The Evening Express.
Everton will field a team of almost pre-war vintage against Sheffield United at Goodison Park for the first meeting of the teams since 1934. Of the side which brought championship honours to Everton in 1938-39, eight will be on parade tomorrow –Cook, Greenhalgh, Bentham, Tom Jones, Watson, Mercer, Lawton, and Stevenson. The return of Lawton for the first time since Easter Monday, and the inclusion of Joe Mercer at inside-right will add great incisiveness to the attack. I look forward to seeing flashes of the old, effective Everton tomorrow. Mr. Ted Davison, manager of the United, sends word that he is bringing a strong side, including some of the players who helped the Blades to gain promotion in 1939, so the stage is set for a fine struggle. Everton; Lovett; Cook, Greenhalgh; Bentham, Jones (Tom), Watson, Simmons, Mercer, Lawton, Stevenson, Lyon.
EVERTON’S MEETING WITH SHEFFIELD UNITED
May 23, 1941. The Liverpool Echo.
Liverpool has not seen a football game for three Saturday’s, so the meeting of the two senior League teams, Everton and Sheffield United at Goodison Park tomorrow should be an attraction. The United have not been seen in Merseyside for some considerable time. In League days the Yorkshire side were always able to give out club’s a keen game, for they had many good players on their boots. Some of them are still helping them today, and one of their members Hagan, the former Derby player, who first made his name with Liverpool, is said to be a certain starter tomorrow. Then there is Hampton, the brother of the late Jimmy Hampton, of Blackpool and England. Along with the “old Uns’” there will be some smart youngsters, who have won their spurs in this season’s Regional football. Sheffield have not pulled up any trees this season, but in the War Cup they had a good run, winning their way to the fourth round before falling to Newcastle United, at St. James’s Park, after a draw at Bramell Lane. They have put up some smart performances, and have always been a side to play good class football. They will find Everton difficult on their own ground. Everton’s recent form has been distinctly moderate. Goal-scoring has been their weakness, I think they have scored only one since they defeated New Brighton at Rake Lane, and prior to that their marksmanship was anything but good. The “rot” set in on the departure of Tommy Lawton from the district. The attack was so feeble that the defence had to put in double duty in almost every match. But defence cannot be expected to hold out for ever. Tomorrow we will have Lawton back in the side. He is on leave, and naturally wanted to help his club in this attractive game. Lawton has been playing regularly with Aldershot since he went down South. Some of his goals for Aldershot would have been useful to Everton during the last few weeks. Also in the forward line will be Mercer and Stevenson, so Lawton should be well supplied with the right type of pass. Mercer did well at inside right against the Rakers, and Stevenson’s cute and canny play is an asset to all. Young Lyon is always a shade better when 2Stevie” is alongside him. The game promises well. Everton; Lovett; Cook, Greenhalgh; Bentham, Jones (TG), Watson; Simmons, Mercer, Lawton, Stevenson, Lyon.
MR. ERNEST GREEN RESUMES
May 24, 1941. The Evening Express.
There is general satisfaction with the F.A. statement that the suspension of Mr. Ernest Green, of Everton, ended on May 3. The fact that the current soccer season was extended officially to June 7 caused many to wonder whether Mr. Green suspension “until the end of season 1940-41” would include the extended period. Happily this is not so. For the suspension, to go on until June 7 would have meant punishment extra to that intended by the Commission which sat at Crewe in April, 1940. Right through the piece Mr. Green had the full support of his fellow directors, the shareholders, the players and the supporters. As it happened Mr. Green came up for re-election to the Board at the last annual meeting, and although he was debarred from participation in Soccer management, he was re-elected with opposition. Mr. Green was elected chairman of Everton in June 1938 in succession to Mr. W.C. Cuff and after having been vice-chairman for 15 years. In his first season as chairman Everton won the First Division championship. When the suspension was imposed Mr. Green naturally gave up the chairmanship, and in April last year Mr. Andrew Coffey was elected to the position. At the close of the season Mr. Coffey resigned the position owing to ill health and was succeeded by Mr. W.C. Gibbins, who still continues in office.
I met Alderman W.A. Robinson, M.P., during the week-end, and, as usual, we chatted over sporting matters. He brought up the question of the first cup final ever played in the province –that between Everton and the Wolves at Fallowfield in 1893. He said he had been concerned in an argument regarding the constitution of the Everton side. To settle the matter here are the details. The teams were:- Everton; Williams; Kelso, Howarth; Boyle, Holt, Stewart; Latta, Gordon, Maxwell, Chadwick, Milward. Wolverhampton Wanderers:- Rose; Baugh, Swift; Malpass, Owen, Kelsey; Topham, Wykes, Butcher, Woods, Griffths. Wolves won 1-0, Wyles scoring the goal. This was the famous final when the Everton enthusiasts had engaged a band to play home the Everton players with the cup. The band had to wait until 1906 before they could play “The Conquering Heroes.”
EVERTON DRAW AT GOODISON
May 26, 1941. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton 3, Sheffield United 3
Sheffield United’s Recovery
Sheffield United, with their young side, made a fine recovery against Everton at Goodison Park, for they were twice two goals in arrears, but by the final whistle they had brought off a commendable draw, of three goals each. Everton’s team had been strengthened by the surprise arrival of Ted Sagar home on leave, while of course; there was Tom Lawton, who was expected to put the necessary punch into an attack which has been punchless for weeks. He did that, but good chances were frittered away, and instead of Everton being in a safe place at the interval, Sheffield United were in striking distance. Mercer should have had two goals in the opening half before Lawton got his rocket goal from a Stevenson pass. It was considerable time before the Yorkshiremen got a sight of Sagar’s goal, and when they did, they usually directed the ball straight at Sagar. So it seemed that Everton were going to walk steadily to a convincing victory. With a few minutes off the interval Mercer gave Stevenson his chance to chalk up goal number two, but after the United took a hand, and after Pickering had had two shots saved, he finally beat Sagar at 70 minutes -2-1. Stevenson then missed “sitter,” but Mercer made it 3-1. The outlook still appeared rosy, but Everton became too finicky, preferring the dribble rather than the shot so that Machen reduced the leeway and finally Settle, with a lob over Sagar’s head, levelled matters. It was then too late for Everton to do anything about it. Lyon was the best winger on the field, many of his centres calling for conversion. Hill gave another sound display at centre half-back. He is a natural successor to T.G. Jones. The United’s young men did well under the prompting of Pickering, but the man of the united side was Johnson, White the former Everton goalkeeper made several good saves. Everton;- Sagar (captain), goal; Cook, and Greenhalgh, backs; Bentham, Hill, and Jackson, half-backs; Simmons, Mercer, Lawton, Stevenson and Lyon, forwards. Sheffield United;- White, goal; F. Furness and Latham, backs; Boot, Johnson and Archer, half-backs; Settle, Manchent, N. Shirtliffe, Pickering, Rickett, forwards. Referee; Mr. W.H. Evans (Liverpool).
May 26, 1941. The Evening Express
Just as the Everton players were leaving their dressing-room at Goodison Park, on Saturday to go out and tackle Sheffield United, Mr. Ernest Green, the club director and former chairman, walked into the lobby. It was his first visit to any ground since April, 1940, and in readily marked the end of his suspension period. And Mr. Green was given a grand “welcome home” by the players among whom were nine of the championship side, for Ted Sagar turned up unexpected, and Tommy Jones, and Gordon Watson were there although not playing. It was a real “get together.” Mr. Green was just as warmly greeted in the directors, box, where he found colleagues Mr. Will Gibbins the chairman, Dr. Cecil Baxter and Mr. Dickie Williams ready to take him back to the fold. I sat with Mr. Green during the match and he and I agreed that it was just like old times. I didn’t know the suspension was over until I read it in the Evening Express,” and Mr. Green,” and Mr. Theo Kelly induced me to come along. It’s good to be back.” Yes, it was grand to have Mr. Green on duty again, and I was only sorry that he did not see his favourites put up a better show. In the first half it was all Everton; in fact the United were hardly in the picture. They never suggested they could hold this Everton of international appearance.’ Yet in the second half the Blues took things too easily and the United were able to get away with a 3-3 draw. Everton’s tried and trusted players could not be faulted on ability, and young Maurice Hill as Tom Jones’s deputy did exceedingly well. Lyon’s ball-control was a feature George Jackson added another position to his “repertoire.” This time it was left-half. Lawton, Stevenson and Mercer scored for the Blues, and Pickering, Mechant and Settle for the United. Not exactly exhilarating football, but there were satisfying touches of the real Everton arts and crafts. Congratulations to Billy Cook and Tommy Lawton, whose promotion to warrant officer rank like Joe Mercer has now been notified Nice work.
May 26, 1941. The Evening Express.
Mr. Ernest Green, the Everton director and former chairman, is back in football. He made his first appearance since his suspension at the Everton V. Sheffield United match at Goodison Park on Saturday. I had a chat with him during the game and he said: I don’t feel as though I have been out of it at all.” Well, Mr. Green saw Sheffield United stage a rally against his side, which took them from a seemingly certain defeat to a half-share of the spoils. Twice two goals in arrears, they wiped off the deficit and split six goals. The Everton half back line, which had done fine work in the first half, faltered in the second, and this enabled Sheffield to pull the game out of the fire. Lawton had some dour tussles with Johnson, but even so unleashed some fiery drives, his goal could not have been saved by half a dozen goalkeepers, let alone White, the former Everton keeper.
May 28, 1941. The Evening Express.
Wartime football is certainly giving George Jackson, of Everton, the opportunity of earning the title of soccer’s most versatile player. In wartime soccer he has played in no fewer than eight different positions. Last Saturday, against Sheffield United, he played at left-half, but he will be outside right against Liverpool. He filled this position in the War Cup-tie against Manchester City at Maine-road. The last time Jackson appeared against the Reds was in the Lancashire Cup-tie and he scored all four goals for the Blues. He will be partnered on Saturday by young Wally Own who scored the only goal on his last appearance with the first team. Catterick will resume at centre-forward and Lovett will again be in goal, Ted Sagar leave ending on Friday. The one doubt is regarding centre-half. It is hoped that international, Tommy Jones will be fit to resume. Should he not be able to play Maurice Hill will continue as deputy, Gordon Watson has recovered from his ankle injury and so will return to left half. Joe Mercer has been selected to play for an Army eleven and so will not be available. Everton; Lovett; Cook, Greenhalgh; Bentham, Jones (TG), (or Hill), Watson; Jackson, Owen, Catterick, Stevenson, Lyon.
LIVERTON DERBY GAME
May 28, 1941. The Liverpool Echo
Liverpool and Everton meeting never loss their savour, no matter how many times they come into conflict, and this week-end’s home-and-away meeting between the pair should provide good holiday entertainment. The first clash is at Anfield on Saturday with the return at Goodison Park on Whit Monday afternoon, kick-off 3 p.m. in each case. Pity Liverpool could not field an all-Anfield team for these encounters, but Mr. George Kay, though not so dependent these days on guest artists as he was earlier in the season, still can’t quite manage a complete eleven of his own registered players. The games will give boards and spectators a good chance to weigh up the respective merits of each club’s youngsters. Liverpool are particularly well pleased with the showing of the lads who have filled the breach in the absence of Anfield’s one-time regulars. Some of the latter would have a job nowadays to shift the men who have been taken their places, for Lambert, Spicer, Paisley, Liddell, and others have abundantly proved their claim to be regarded as first team men. It’s an ill-wind that blows nobody good, and Liverpool’s loss of their pre-war stars has brought its own compensation. Everton’s younger end have not had quite the same chances to weld themselves into a cohesive force, but the club is biding its times, knowing that every game gives them greater experience and confidence. Goodison’s only doubt for Saturday lies at centre half, where Hill will deputise if Jones cannot play. Jackson, utility man No. 1, returns to outside right, with Catterick again leading the forwards and Lovett in goal. Liverpool will make their final decision from thirteen probables, including young Seddon again at full back. Teams:- Liverpool (from) –Hobson; Seddon, Lambert; Turner, Cook, Spicer; Liddell, Paisley, Done, Dorsett, Polk, Hanson. Everton; Lovett; Cook, Greenhalgh; Bentham, Jones (T.G.), or Hill, Watson; Jackson, Owen, Catterick, Stevenson, Lyon.
Everton may have two representatives in the Army side which meets the R.A.F in the final of the Inter-Allied Services Cup on Whit Monday. The Army probables include Cliff Britton and Joe Mercer, while no fewer than five Arsenal players are in the R.A.F.,side viz; Scott, Hapgood, Crayston, Bernard, Joy and Kirchen.
BOYES WILL BE THERE
May 29, 1941. The Evening Express
Here is a spot of good news for the local football fans. Wally Boyes, Everton’s international winger, will appear in Saturday’s “Derby” against Liverpool at Anfield. Boyes will be on leave, and so will be having his first game with his own club for many weeks. This necessitates a late change from the original choice. Jackson had been selected for outside right, but Boyes will now occupy the position as partner to young Wally Owen. The return game at Goodison Park on Monday –for which it is hoped Boyes will again be available –will close the season so far as Everton are concerned. Mr. Kelly states that he will arrange no fixture for Saturday, June 7.
EVERTON TO CARRY ON.
May 30, 1941. The Evening Express.
Everton directors at a special meeting last evening, decided to compete in the Football League competition next season unless there are developments which would preclude such action. So both Merseyside clubs carry on. They meet tomorrow at Anfield in the first of two attractive Whitsuntide “Derby” games. The return is at Goodison Park on Monday. Tomorrow match will be the fifth meeting of the clubs this season, and so far Everton held the balance. Liverpool’s one win was at Anfield on Christmas morning, when they succeeded 3-1. Everton won at Anfield 2-1 in the Lancashire Cup and sealed the win by a 4-1 victory at Goodison the following week. They met at Anfield again early in February and Everton again won 3-1. Liverpool followers will be pleased to know the word has come through from Billy Fagan that he will be able to play. He might also be available for Monday’s return. This makes a total of 13 players with pre-war First Division experience on parade. The sides are so evenly matched that it will not surprise me if we have the first “Derby” draw of the season. This will be Liverpool’s last home game of the season, and Monday’s game constitutes Everton’s finale for 1940-41. Liverpool (from) –Hobson; Seddon, Lambert; Kaye, Turner, Spicer, Cooke; Liddell, Fagan, Paisley, Done, Dorsett, Hanson, Polk. Everton:- Lovett; Cook, Greenhalgh; Bentham, Jones (T.G.), (or Hill), Watson; Boyes, Owen, Catterick, Stevenson, Lyon.
“LIVETON” HOLIDAY ATTRACTIONS
May 30, 1941. The Liverpool Echo
We have one of the comparatively few Derby meetings this season between Liverpool and Everton at Anfield, with the return on Whit Monday at Goodison. Mr. George Kay informs me today that he hopes Willie Fagan will be available for the first match, and possibly the second, and with Dorsett and Hanson in the probables, to say nothing of Liddell and the much improved Done, Liverpool’s attack should give the Blues defence latterly the mainstay of the side, plenty to think about. Everton’s attack will be strengthened by the inclusion of Walter Boyes, who crosses over to the right in place of Jackson, and may help to infuse more vigour and directness into the line which latterly has been disappointing. Though the lengthy run of football has had its effect on recent games, which have had a decided end-of-the-season favour, this is not likely to be the case with these Liverton games, which ought to provide a grand finale for local supporters. Teams:- Liverpool (from) –Hobson; Seddon, Lambert; Kaye, Turner, Spicer, Cooke; Liddell, Fagan, Paisley, Done, Dorsett, Hanson, Polk. Everton:- Lovett; Cook, Greenhalgh; Bentham, Jones (T.G.), (or Hill), Watson; Boyes, Owen, Catterick, Stevenson, Lyon.
May 31, 1941. The Evening Express
For memorising facts and figures you cannot beat the football enthusiast. Their long memories and accuracy regarding details are amazing. You may recall that last Saturday I published in the Log the teams which represented Everton and Wolverhampton Wanderers in the F.A. Cup final on March 25, 1893, when the Wolves won 1-0. That reference struck a chord in many a memory and the letters have been pouring in. Mr. T.H. Jackson, of Birkenhead –well known at Prenton Park complete with cigar – leads the batch of letters thanking me for reviving memories of that never-to-be-forgotten game. Mr. Jackson writes; “Thanks for your interesting memo re Fallowfield final. I was present and remember dear old Bob Lythgoe (who had charge of the arrangements) being swamped by the crowd which broke the ropes into the reserved seats around the playing pitch. By the way I was always under the impression that Allen, Wolves centre-half not Owen scored the only goal. Mr. C. Bagnall, of Connah’s Quay and late of Wolverhampton, also contends it was Allen and not Owen who was centre-half and who scored. He adds, “In my opinion Everton would have won that day had they played Freedy Geary at centre-forward instead of Maxwell. Clearly played a storming game the week previous at Wolverhampton when Everton won with only two first team men on. R.G.B (Watson, Liverpool) and many others have written stating it was Allen at centre half. I am indebted in all for their help. After going through dusty files, I can clear up the matter once and for all. Allen had played centre half and not Owen although some reports of the match had Owen and not Allen in the team sheet. Wyles the inside right was the scorer. The goal came in the second half and The Evening Express critic of those days describes the goal in the following manner; “Then Topham gained applause for a fine sprint at the end of which Wyles gained possession and with a light shot from a very long distance scored. Williams fumbling the ball in unaccountable fashion. The Saturday previous to the final Everton sent the following team mostly reserves players –to Wolverhampton and won 4-2 in the League; Jardine; Kelso, Coyle, Jones, Stewart, Latta, Hartley, Geary, McMillan, Elliott.