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Was there football pre-1992 – Part 5

Everton History


Continuing with the theme that football was indeed alive and kicking before the TV companies hijacked it, I have endeavoured to capture some of the highlights since I first visited Goodison Park in 1948 as a 10-year-old schoolboy.

Season 1977-78

Pat Jennings left Tottenham Hotspur after 13 years and signed for Arsenal on 11 August.

Don Revie threatened to sue the Daily Mirror for libel after the paper printed a series of claims alleging that Leeds United had tried to fix matches when he was in charge.

Sir Alf Ramsey returned to football as caretaker manager of Birmingham City, but he resigned in a dispute with the Board over whether Trevor Francis should be placed on the transfer list.

Joe Jordan’s £350,000 move from Leeds United to Manchester United on 6 January was the biggest transfer between two English clubs. Four days later, Liverpool raised the record to £352,000 when they bought Graeme Souness from Middesbrough, but even that record did not last long as Manchester United bought Gordon McQueen for £495,000 in February.

Bob Hatton was presented with a silver salver before Blackpool’s match to mark the fact that he had already scored three hat-tricks this season. After the presentation, he then scored another hat-trick against Blackburn Rovers.

At the end of the season, Everton’s Bob Latchford collected a £10,000 offered by the Daily Express for scoring 30 goals in the League.

Peter Bonetti and Ron Harris played their 700th first team matches for Chelsea on the same day.

Wigan Athletic were elected to the Football League in place of Southport on 2 June; the two clubs had received the same number of votes in the first round but Wigan won 29-20 in the second round.

Season 1978-79

Gordon Taylor took over as Chairman of the PFA in November.

Viv Anderson became the first black player to appear for England in a full international, in the match against Czechoslovakia on 29 November.

Goal difference was introduced in the Home International Championship to produce an outright winner, rather than the title being shared.

A Scottish referee and two linesmen were suspended for 3 years when they admitted accepting lavish gifts from AC Milan before officiating in the Italian clubs Uefa Cup tie against Levski Spartak.

Tommy Docherty was suspended for a week by Derby County after he admitted lying on oath during a libel case he brought against Willie Morgan and Granada TV; Docherty was forced to abandon the case and pay £30,000 costs.

The FA banned Don Revie for 10 years for signing a secret deal with the United Arab Emirates while still the England manager, and trying to persuade England to pay him £50.000 compensation if he resigned. Revie decided to sue the FA because the sentence was ‘Savage and out of proportion’.

Alan Ball’s match for Southampton on 21 April made him the first player to make 100 appearances for four different clubs, the other three were Blackpool, Everton, and Arsenal.

Season 1979-80

The 92,000 attendance at the Charity Shield game where Liverpool beat Arsenal 3-1 was a record for the event.

Seven players were booked at the same time in the match between Doncaster Rovers and Hereford United on 11 April, when the Hereford wall refused to retreat 10 yards at a free-kick.

Two people were killed when a gate collapsed after the match between Middlesbrough and Manchester United on 12 January.

Dixie Dean, the former Everton forward, died at Goodison Park on 1 March, aged 72.

First class criketer Ian Botham appeared as a substitute for Scunthorpe United against Bournemouth on 25 March.

Paul Cooper saved two penalties against Derby County on 29 March, that brought his total to 8 saves from the last 10 penalties he had faced.

Season 1980-81

ATV cancelled plans to show highlights of the First Division match between Aston Villa and Brighton on 22 October when Brighton refused to wear shirts that did not carry their sponsor’s name. Newcastle United and Bolton Wanderers were both fined £1,000 by the FA for wearing advertising in FA Cup games in January. The following month Nottingham Forest were fined £7,000 by Uefa for a similar offence. The FA also vetoed Coventry City changing their name to Coventry Talbot in the wake of a £250,000 deal with the car manufacturers.

Despite protests from referees, the FA ended the showing of yellow and red cards from 19 January.

Queens Park Rangers said that they intended to use an artificial pitch at Loftus Road at the end of the season. Both the FA and Football League expressed reservations, although they did not make any formal objection.

The Football League decided in February that clubs could not buy a player until they had paid all their previous transfer fees. Club Chairmen also reached an official agreement not to poach each other’s managers during the season.

Vince Hillaire of Crystal Palace was found guilty of bringing the game into disrepute after he pushed a referee over.

All four clubs seeking re-election: Halifax Town, Hereford United, Tranmere Rovers, and York City, comfortably retained their Football League status. Altrincham, who had only missed out by one vote the previous season, were less successful this time, finishing 24 votes adrift of Halifax.

Season 1981-82

The Football League introduced 3 points for a win, a decision that was criticised by Alan Durban, the Sunderland manager, on the opening day of the season, after his side had drawn 3-3 at Ipswich. He said, “It’s outrageous that clubs should lose two points each for drawing after giving a superb exhibition like that.”

The Football League ordered referees to send players off for committing ‘professional fouls’ next season.

Bobby Robson, who had worked wonders at unfashionable Ipswich Town, was appointed England Manager on 7 July.

Wolverhampton Wanderers finally cancelled the contract of Peter Knowles on 5 June, he had walked out of the club in 1969 to become a Jehovah’s Witness.

Season 1982-83

On 22 February, Brian Clough suggested that no football should be shown on television for 3 years.

Pat Jennings became the first player in England to appear in 1,000 senior matches when he kept a clean sheet against West Bromwich Albion on 26 February.

The Football Leagues proposal to allow two substitutes was rejected by the clubs on 27 March, the clubs claimed it would be too expensive.

The International Board changed the rules on 9 July: goalkeepers were required to release the ball after taking four steps.

Police in South Yorkshire were told to arrest players whose behaviour on the pitch was likely to incite crowd trouble.

The rule requiring players to be sent off for committing a professional foul meant that 120 players were dismissed by 28 November. However, the attempt to eliminate cheating was weakened when the FA referees committee rescinded the rule in July.

George Graham was appointed manager of Millwall on 6 December; 3 months later, he was imposing his authority, ordering six players to report for extra training because he thought that anybody who had lost their first-team place should work twice as hard to get it back.

Season 1983-84

Injury-hit Watford advertised in The Times for professional footballers, “Men or women, preference given to applicants with two arms and legs in working order.”

Alan Smith lost three teeth during Leicester City’s 2-2 draw with Stoke City on 24 September, they were retrieved from the pitch and replaced in hospital.

The second round of the League Cup saw the competing clubs seeded for the first time.

Tottenham Hotspur beat Nottingham Forest 2-1 in the first of 10 live matches due to be shown on television.

Jason Dozzell, aged 16 years and 57 days, became the youngest goalscorer in First Division history when he came on as a substitute for Ipswich Town and scored on 4 February.

Crystal Palace sacked Alan Mullery on 24 May; they appointed Dave Bassett but he returned to Wimbledon after 4 days, saying he had made a mistake.

Chris Withe of Bradford City and Willie Naughton of Preston North End both scored direct from corners in their clubs’ match in January.

Tommy Docherty became a manager for the 17th time when he took charge of Wolverhampton Wanderers in June.

Season 1984-85

Fulham made a remarkable comeback in their Second Division match at Portsmouth on New Year’s Day: 4-0 down at half-time, they recovered to draw 4-4.

Sheffield United’s game against Oldham Athletic on 9 February was postponed when a war-time bomb was found near Bramall Lane.

Stoke City set a First Division record by scoring only 24 goals in 42 matches as they finished bottom of the table.

Norwich City, making their third visit to Wembley, won their first trophy there, when they beat Sunderland 1-0 in the League Cup Final on 24 March, but disappointment followed the celebrations when they were relegated from the First Division.

Manchester United finally won a tug-of-war with Cologne for Gordon Strachan. Cologne appealed to Uefa, claiming that Aberdeen had previously agreed to sell Strachan to them. When Strachan joined United for £500,000 on 8 August, Aberdeen were ordered to pay Cologne £100,000 compensation.

Terry Venables, in his first season in charge of Barcelona, won the Spanish League title with four games to spare. It was Barcelona’s first title in 11 years.

Harry Catterick, the former Everton Manager, died on 9 March while watching a match at Goodison Park.

Tottenham Hotspur broke a long-standing jinx when Garth Crooks scored the only goal to beat Liverpool on 18 March, it was their first victory at Anfield since 1912.

Wolverhampton Wanderers, who once again barely avoided going out of business, returned to the Third Division for the first time in 61 years. They went 19 matches without a win between November and April. Tommy Docherty, who said, “Relegation was the outcome of 15 years of neglect,” was fired as manager on 4 July.

Acknowledgement Chris Nawrat & Steve Hutchings. Illustrated History Of Football.

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