TOURS SHOULD BE MADE BEFORE SEASON STARTS
May 3, 1958. The Liverpool Echo
By Don Donovan
League football ended last week as far as the public are concerned, but you should remember that for the players the game still goes on. For instance Manchester City are to tour the United State and Canada, I bet there are thousands of people who would give their right arm to make a trip like that. I was lucky enough to go with the Everton party two years ago, and it was a wonderful experience. I have been to many countries with Everton and Irish teams but I would say that the American trip is the best of the lot. The majority of clubs travel to the Continent for their close season tour. Aston Villa, I believe will have a few games in Germany and a game in Copenhagen, West Brom take on Bilbao, the crack Spanish team that was in this country last year to play Manchester United in the quarter finals of the European Cup.
Preston in South Africa
League champions Wolverhampton are to take part in the international tournament in Brussels against teams like Florentine of Italy and Anderlecht of Belgium. West Ham United play in Ireland. Preston travel to South Africa, and Blackpool’s tour takes them to America and a few more countries, with their main destination Australia. The majority of clubs travel in this manner to foster good relations between themselves and soccer clubs of other countries. There are many of the opinion that Soccer tours are made at the wrong time in that they are invariably arranged too soon after the end of a strenuous season when the players are tired mentally and physically. They believe that because of this the players cannot give of their best and when that happens the prestige of English football suffers. I would not agree entirely with that. All the tours that I have been on with Everton did nothing to mar the light standard of English football that is expected from us on the Continent. English clubs always come away being praised for their sportsmanship, and their high standard of football. Mind you, I do believe close season tours might be better if they were played a few weeks before the season opened. The trip could be used as a training stint in readiness for the full League programme. The players would be keyed up and ready, to go straight into the new season. Manchester United did this many times, I am not saying it was the cause of the playing so well, but I am sure it helped them in some small way to get to the peak of fitness. One must remember that what suits one club might not the beneficial to another. For instance, Bury, when they were in the Second Division, made such a trip, playing in Germany shortly before the start of our own season, but it did not have the desired effect and they were relegated. But I still fell the principle is sound in that a break right after the end of the season would give the player a rest before embarking on a tour.
Reserves at Bolton
Last Saturday saw the final game for the first team, but not so for the reserves because on Monday night we played at Bolton. It was an important match especially for those players who have been regulars in the second team this season because talent money was at stake. It was more like a first team than a reserve side as Dunlop, Jones, Hickson and Brian Harris, Temple, Ashworth, and myself were in the line-up. We had to get a point to become runners-up to Wolves and we led 2-0 at half-time but then our young outside right was taken off. It upset the rhythm of the team, but we got the point.
MERSEYSIDE PIONEERS YET ANOTHER DEVELOPMENT
May 8, 1958. The Liverpool Echo
And This is How It Will Work
Under-The-Turf Heating System at Goodison
By a Special Correspondent
Soccer history is being laid below the surface of Everton Football Club’s ground. For Goodison Park is probably the first sports field in the world –certainly the first in Britain –to be provided with a built in heating system under the turf. The terse “Match abandoned due to snow” can appear all too often during the winter months, when blizzards, hard frosts and quick thaws play havoc with Britian’s soccer fixture list. But they are likely to appear less and less and less frequently in future –and never again, it is hoped, concerning matches played on Everton’s ground. Tired of weather-trouble and intent on making their pitch playable under all conditions, Everton’s directors consulted the commercial engineering experts of the Merseyside and North Wales Electricity Board. Drainage had always been a problem at Goodison. Even when surface snow falls thawed quickly the pitch might be left flooded and unplayable because the ground was frozen too hard for the snow-water to drain away. Everton had already decided to re-lay their pitch this spring, replacing entirely the clinker foundation and the top soil. This, it was decided was the moment to kill two birds with one stone. The job posed a number of problems for the MANWEB engineers. They were breaking new ground, pioneering new idea and applying it to a completely new commercial field. Among the question to which they had to produce answers were;-
What kind of cable should be used?
How deep should it be laid?
How long would it be likely to last?
What kind of automatic control system would ensure that the heating system would never be caught napping by a sudden weather change and would still not waste current by operating when it was not really necessary?
How closely should the wires be laid to ensure the right degree of heat?
How much would the system cost to run?
The cable chosen -32 miles would be used –had to be really durable. It would have to remain buried –and working efficiently –for many years. The eventual choice fell on a steel-stranded wire encased in a tough plastic sheath, which had been proved by exhaustive tests to be impervious to nearly every natural corrosive agent. The MANWEB men had recently perfected “under foot” heating in two other directions, which had proved remarkably successful. These were the “Thermalay” carpet underlay –a thick felt with heated wires running through it – and a heating system built straight into the floor itself such as that recently installed in Birkenhead Corporation’s brand-new all-electric flats at Eldon Street, Birkenhead. Could there systems be adapted for use at Goodison Park? A visit to the Turf Research institute’s centre at Bingley, Yorkshire, convinced them that this was possible. It was decided that the heating wires -225 pairs of them running the full length of the pitch –would be laid above the clinker foundation, embedded in soil, their covered with a six-inch layer of topsoil. This would give them sufficient protection against the spiked roller used for aerating the ground. The cables are being laid six inches apart –close enough to radiate the necessary heat to keep the pitch in good condition. Each pair of cables will have its own separate fuses. The total load of 750 kilo-watts –enough to keep 750 single bar fires burning – can be reduced in steps of one-third or two-thirds to deal with variations in weather conditions. The maximum cost of running the installation will be about £3 an hour. To ensure economic performance it was decided to arrange a two stage system of somatic based on both ground and air temperatures. Snow might fall when the ground temperature was above freezing point –and less current would then be required. But in really bitter weather, with heavy ground frost, the full load would have to be applied. So a specially designed robot “watchman,” acting on both temperature factors will see to it that the right amount of heat is applied to the ground. And when the thermometer drops to danger level, 32 miles of cables will keep the top 4,000 tons of the pitch above freezing point. If blizzards rage next January, blanketing Merseyside in white, that vital rectangle at Goodison Park will remain green and snow-free. When prolonged frosts turn the earth to iron, Goodison’s turf will keep its spring allowing the most expensive “star” to play flat-out without the fear of broken bones. Mud-baths at Everton will is hoped, become a thing of the past. It is probably too, that the new installation will have another incidental value. As every gardener and farmer knows, warmth means growth. It may be that the innovation at Everton will mean a better growth of grass throughout the winter, a better turf surfaces and thus better football. When the wiring system has been laid, the whole pitch will be re-seeded with fresh grass in time for a good turf to develop by the beginning of next season. The whole job, including of course the complete relaying and re-seeding of the pitch, is costing Everton something like £13,000, of which the total cost of the electrical turf warming installation is about £7,000. MANWEB have told the club that the heating system should give first-class trouble-free service, for many years with practically no maintenance costs. Everton will certainly not be the only club to go in for turf warming. Already at least half a dozen well known F.A clubs have made inquiries, as well as a number of Rugby League Clubs. Interest has been sparked off in other parts of the world – including Germany and the U.S.A. It seems likely that the next few years will see similar systems installed in leading sports arenas of all kinds throughout the world, following this bold experiment pioneered by Everton and MANWEB.
EVERTON’S STRONG SIDE IN SENIOR CUP FINAL
May 8, 1958. The Liverpool Echo
Football still lingers on, but by Saturday all the outstanding County F.A Cup finals will be cleared off, leaving only the close-season tours of clubs –plus England’s international games and the World Cup matches –on the agenda. The star item on Saturday will be the meeting on Everton and Southport in the final of the Liverpool Senior Cup, for which Everton are running out a side which is reckoned their strongest senior eleven. This shows three changes, one of them position, from the team which wound up the season with that surprise victory against Nottingham Forest at Nottingham less than a fortnight ago, but which already seems months ago to many soccer enthusiasts. Dunlop comes into goal in place of O’Neill, Thomas moves to inside right in place of Fielding and Hickson resumes the place at centre forward which he lost in the last two League matches of the season. The team reads; Everton; Dunlop; Sanders, Tansey; King, Labone, Meagan; Harris (J), Thomas, Hickson, Ashworth, Harris (B).
After winding up the season with two away victories –the other was at Blackpool – without conceding a goal, Everton should be able to take the Senior Cup into custody again. They are the present holders.
EVERTON SPORTS ATTRACTIONS
May 9, 1958. The Liverpool Echo
The main soccer match of the day is the meeting of Southport and Everton in the final of the Liverpool Senior Cup, starting at three o’clock. While the Southport public has never been noted for over enthusiasm where football is concerned, this game should bring a good crowd. The chance of watching a First Division team in action at Haig Avenue does not often arise, and though there is not the vital competitive element about this game which attaches to a League match, you can take it that Everton are going to do their best. It would be a sad blow to their pride after turning out their strongest team, to go under to one of the founder-members of the new Fourth Division –and one which has to seek re-election to be assured even of that. When the same two clubs met in last year’s final Everton only just got home by the odd goal of three. They hope to do better tomorrow, but Southport themselves have ideas of giving their supporters something more cheerful to talk about than has been their of recent months and Everton will not win without a fight. Everton; Dunlop; Sanders, Tansey; King, Labone, Meagan; Harris (J), Thomas, Hickson, Ashworth, Harris (B).
FEW THRILLS IN SENIOR CUP FINAL
May 10, 1958. The Liverpool Echo
Everton Miss Chances at Southport
Southport; Richardson, goal; Dodd and Rankin, backs; Kinloch, Taylor and Parkinson, half-backs; McDermott, Gryba, G. Bromilow, Barker, and A. Lee, forwards. Everton;- Dunlop, goal; Sanders and Tansey, backs; King, Labone, and Meagan, half-backs; Harris (J), Thomas, Hickson, Ashworth, and Harris (B), forwards. Referee; Mr. D.L. Lovelady (Liverpool). There was only a very moderate crowd for Everton’s visit to Southport in the final of the Liverpool Senior Cup despite the fact that the visitors turned out their strongest First Division side. The weather, however, was very bad with heavy intermittent rain and a dank mist. Southport had McDermott, at outside right in place of Brian Lee, who was not available, but Tony Lee appeared at outside left in the home side, who thus had two amateurs in their forward line. Everton played as selected.
Everton attacked strongly in the opening stages, but good interception by Taylor and Rankin prevented them testing Birkenhead. Hickson slipped awkwardly on the treacherous turf when trying to pick up a loose ball and round Taylor and seemed to have wrenched his right knee. Fortunately he was able to resume after receiving attention. A free kick against Kinloch taken by Tansey saw the ball returned to the Everton full back and when he lofted it over into the middle Thomas header skimmed the bar. Gryba also went close with a header off a centre by McDermott, but most of the attacking was still being done by Everton.
A pass back by King to Dunlop looked innocuous enough until the ball spun out of Dunlop’s hand right at the feet of Bromilow, stood within a couple of yards of the left-hand post. With all the goal to shoot at Bromilow muffed a great chance of putting Southport in an early lead. Southport were now coming into the game very strongly and a speedy run by McDermott, opened up another chance, this time for Gryba, who just failed to make contact. Southport had two more opportunities to take the lead but lost them through over elaboration in the penalty area. In trying to make doubly sure they gave the visiting defenders time to recover.
A lovely through pass by Thomas might have sent Ashworth away, but offside nullified his efforts. It must have been a very close decision. Hickson tried what would have been a very spectacular goal had it come off when he back-heeled the ball from behind himself, connecting with a Jimmy Harris centre in such good fashion that the ball was no more than a yard off the post. The pitch was very muddy in the centre circle and both penalty areas and it was difficult to judge the skidding ball accurately. Gryba went close again, also with a header; this time from a corner by McDermott. For some minutes Southport had been well in command and more than once Everton’s defenders had found touch to get themselves out of awkward situations.
Everton at last got away after being penned in their own quarters for fully five minutes. It was Sanders who set them on the attack with a run half the length of the field and the final pass which offered a shooting chance for Jimmy Harris. Harris hit the ball first time but it cannoned behind off Rankin for a corner, which came to nothing when the flag kick sailed high over the heads of friend and foe alike and was booted upfield by Dodd. Twenty-five minutes had elapsed before Richardson had a direct shot to save. Even then it was a very simple catch off an effort by Hickson from the edge of the penalty area. A stranger coming into the ground and not knowing either team would have looked in vain for any marked indication of the very different standing in football league affairs of the two clubs. Southport had slightly more of the play and Everton had locked very little like a First Division team.
Offside ruined a promising Everton move, but not before Thomas had hit a rasping shot which Richardson turned behind in brilliant fashion after throwing himself across goal. Sanders made another effort to infuse some penetration into the Everton forward line, but his speed was such that it led him into an offside position before J.Harris had made his pass. Hickson was unable to get out of the way of a strong drive by Brian Harris and though he made a desperate effort to back heel the ball it did not come off. Jimmy Harris was a long way off the target and Richardson still continue to have an easy time. His work consisted of little more than picking up loose balls and centres and back passes.
Not that Dunlop was having to work overtime either. The shooting on both, sides was very poor. In one little burst of Everton pressure, Jimmy Harris had a shot blocked away and Thomas had a couple which came to the some end, though the second of them produced a corner which led to an exciting few seconds as the ball bobbed up and down in the vicinity of the six yards line. A curling centre by Bromilow temporarily in the inside left position, looked is certainly to provide a goal to either Gryba or McDermott both of whom were coming up at top speed. Unfortunately for Southport each failed to connect when they had only Dunlop to beat the Everton defence having been spread-eagled. Harris (J) and Thomas, who had been pairing off nicely, carved a way through the Southport defence and Thomas when reasonably well placed despite a certain amount of angling put the ball across the face of goal, instead of into the net.
In The Net –But!
A couple of minutes before the interval Southport broke through and looked certain scores until Barker was fouled just outside the penalty area. The ball ran loose to Bromilow who slammed it into the net a fraction of a second after the whistle had gone. Bromilow took the free kick and delivered a strong shot through the ruck of players but Dunlop was alive to the possibility and pulled the ball down smartly almost from under the bar. Half-time; Southport nil, Everton nil.
The second half started as the first had done with Everton staging a couple of raids, but when Kinloch raised the siege he went close to putting Southport ahead. Getting the ball just inside his own half he took it up field 40 yards or so before unleashing a shot which struck the bar near the angle and went behind. This was an excellent effort and the same player tried another shot a couple of minutes after which was almost as close.
Pass in the Pool
There was a patch of water in one corner of the penalty area which had raised a fountain of spray each time the ball landed in it. When Dunlop and Sanders tried to work a passing move so that the Everton goalkeeper could clear the ball out of hand it struck in the pool and Lee, darting in quickly took the ball before Dunlop could get to it. He was so angle however, that he could only hook it back into the side netting. Another bit of good work by Kinloch and McDermott saw the Everton goal have an amazing escape when the winger’s centre flashed passed everybody and King’s desperate defensive lunge went behind for a corner. As in the first half there was nothing so far in the second portion so differentiate the sides. If anything Southport continued to look slightly the more dangerous. Dunlop saved a long range shot from Parkinson just under the bar. Labone twice forestalled Bromilow by timely interceptions and then when Everton got away Richardson again escaped without having to make a direct save.
Taylor was having a very sold game in the home defence and Hickson’s chance had been severely limited. When the Everton leader broke away from Taylor’s clutches, however, and provided a first class opening for Brian Harris the latter shot behind from 12 yards. Ashworth a native of Southport who not unnaturally had been trying hard to distinguish himself in from of his fellow Sandgrounders almost broke through. His feet slipped from under him just as he was about to shoot from the edge of the penalty area. It had been extremely difficult all through for the players to keeping their footing on some occasions and slips had been plentiful.
Barker had a good header off a corner by Bromilow saved in confident fashion by Dunlop, and it was still Southport who were calling the tune. Ashworth neatly flicked the ball goalwards from a centre by Jimmy Harris. A worthy effort which was closer to the target than many previous Everton attempts. Meagan also had one only a yard wide. The Everton goal had a miraculous escape when Labone slipped and Bromilow found himself with an unimpeded run through and only Dunlop to beat. He took the ball up some 20 yards or so and then drawing back his foot slipped on his back on the greasy turf and his shot took a wayward course halfway towards the corner flag. No wonder Bromilow showed his disgust and Dunlop gripped with relief. When the ball stuck in the mud on the edge of the Southport penalty area after a through pass by King, Taylor did well to get to the ball first and kick it almost off Hickson’s toe. Dunlop had to be lively to save an angled drive by Lee and then Dodd came right through to win a corner off Brian Harris near the corner flag, both players being very much off their normal beat. Dodd was not the only forwards where the goal lay, defenders seeking to show his Sanders had a go as well and his strong shot ended in the side netting to the relief of Richardson. Bromilow had another chance to put Southport ahead, but Dunlop came out, narrowed the angle and saved with his knee.
EVERTON JUST HOLD SOUTHPORT
May 12, 1958. The Liverpool Daily Post
Southport 0, Everton 0
An Everton side, who showed only three changes, one positional, from the one who beat Notts Forest away in their last League game, were extremely fortunate to become joint holders of the Liverpool Senior Cup, at Southport on Saturday. It had been expected that it would be the First Division side who would dictate the course of the game and show the finer arts. But it was nothing of the sort. Southport had far more of the play and there were times in the second half and in extra time when Everton were outplayed. In fact it is true to say that in no game at Haig Avenue this season have Southport had so much of the play. Why was the game goal-less? There were three factors, bad luck, bad marksmanship and at least two mysterious decisions by referee Mr. D.L. Lovelady of Liverpool. We will take the last reason first. Just before the interval Gryba, the home inside right was going through when he was fouled on the edge of the penalty area, but the ball ran loose and Bromilow pounced on it, as most people thought the referee had applied the advantage rule. But as the home leader shot – the all flew into the net – the referee blew his referee and awarded Southport a free kick. Then in the second period of extra time Bromilow broke through and was brought down from behind by Labone in the penalty area, only for the referee to wave play on.
In the first half Thomas, Everton’s best forward, hit the bar with a header and after the interval Kanloch, the home right half, hit the Everton bar with a first time drive. Everton gave a colourless display. Early on they gave the Southport defence a few anxious moments but once the home rearguard, in which transfer –listed centre half Taylor and left back Rankin who was formerly at Goodison Park were outstanding, had got the measure of the visiting attack it was not often that Everton were in the picture, and goalkeeper Richardson had one of his easiest games of the season. Kinloch was the driving force behind Southport and the home front line, with right winger McDermott nearly always the master of Tansey and Bromilow frequently drawing Labone out of position, often led the Everton rearguard a merry dance. In the closing stages the Goodison Park side had to thank goalkeeper Dunlop for them able to have a half share in the handsome trophy –Southport will hold it for the first six months. It was however, a moral victory for Southport and a crowd of 2,543 –receipts were £239 –must have left the ground reflecting that if only Southport had played like that during their League programme they would not have finished in the bottom half of the table.
NO FINAL GLORY FOR EVERTON
May 12, 1958. The Liverpool Echo
What is the difference between a team which finishers 16th in the First Division and one which ends up next to bottom of the Third Division? Which would you say is likely to be the better side? Don’t brother to answer these rhetorical questions, I’ll tell you. On the basis of the Liverpool Senior Cup final between Southport and Everton, the Third Division side is the better, which proves once more that any connection between football and logical deduction is purely coincidental. Any stranger seeing this game, and being unaware of the identity of either team, would have been puzzled to say which was the supposedly superior one, and more puzzled still if told that one came from the hightest sphere of English football. He would probably have said, on the assumption that the side doing most of the attacking must be the fitter and stronger that Southport were the senior organiastion, even if their finishing was terribly poor. Had the Sandgrounders accepted the chances which their speedy and determined approach work enabled them to carve out they would have had five or six goals. Everton could have had two possibly three at a pinch. One could not make the excuse for Everton that they were not trying. So far as anybody sat in the stand could judge, they were genuinely doing their best. But sad though it is to ponder on it their best just was not good enough to master a side which has been struggling in the lowest section of Football League soccer all season, and which still needs the re-election votes of its friends to ensure admission to the new Fourth Division next winter. It is a good job that football fortune does not hinge on one game, otherwise I would feel more disquietude than I do about Everton’s prospects for next season.
Sticky Time Ahead
Unless they succeed in their search for first-class experienced players, which has gone on so long with such meagre and almost invisible results, I am afraid they are in for a very sticky time. The best crack of the afternoon at Haig Avenue came from a man who with mock seriousness; apologized for Southport’s failure to score after so much pressure, and territorial superiority on the grounds that Everton had pulled the Sandgrounders down to their level. Certainly the level from Everton’s point of view, was very low. Southport’s regulars told me that the home team had never had so much of the play in any game all last season. Just what that makes Everton out to be is anybody’s guess. George Bromilow and Ray Gryba two former Liverpool players, might each have registered a hat-trick. The fact that neither scored was due both to over-eagerness and bad luck. Bromilow was clean through on one occasion with practically an open goal, but slipped on the extremely muddy turf just as he was shooting and ended up on his back as the ball trickled towards the corner flag. This was the sort of thing Southport suffered more, than once. The easiest of chances eluded them. They also had a “goal” disallowed just before half time because the whistle had gone a split second earlier for a foul in their favour. Many people criticized the referee for this contending that he should have given Southport the benefit of the advantage clause and let play proceed. It is easy to make out a case of the nature after a goal has been scored. But the man in the middle, is not clairvoyant. He doesn’t know one is coming. Had the referee not given a free kick, and had the ball been booted away as might easily have been the case, he would have been criticized then for not penalizing Everton. It was unlucky for Southport but only one of the jobs of the green which have to be taken philosophically. Where I did think an error was made was when Sanders tipped Bromilow from behind with only five minutes left in the extra half-hour. So far as one could judge this seemed a definite penalty, but Referee Lovelady almost on top of the incident waved Southport’s appeals aside. The only man on Everton’s side to give a display commensurate with his reputation was goalkeeper Dunlop. But for him Everton would certainly have lost. Tansey was the next best, but nobody else stood out though Meagan and King had periods when they shone in defence. Labone was too easily drawn out of position by wily Bromilow. Hickson had only rare chances against Taylor and Thomas’s finishing was weak, bar one good header, which struck the bar. Kinloch was “robbed” in the same manner. Richardson vied with Dunlop for goalkeepers honours. Kinloch was the best half back on the field, and Rankin bore favourable comparison with any of his former Goodison Park colleagues.
O’NEILL IN FORM, BUT EIRE LOSE
May 15, 1958. The Liverpool Daily Post
Austria 3, Eire 1
Austria’s national soccer team tonight defeated Eire 3-1 (half-time 1-0) before 40,000 people in Vienna Stadium. It was a tune-up match for the Austrians for the World Cup in Sweden. The Eire team played Continental style football with short passes, no attack on the goalkeeper and little tough tackling. Their stars were full-backs Dunne and Cantwell, left winger Harverty and Everton goalkeeper O’Neill who deputized for the injured Godwin.
May 15, 1958. The Liverpool Echo
Everton Supporters Federation have at last acquired the clubroom for which they have been seeking for some years. After viewing premises in various parts of the city, the Federation’s executive committee learned some 18 months ago that the Coliseum picture house in City Road, within a few hundred yards of Goodison Park, was for sale. Contact was immediately made with the vendors, and after protracted negotiations the draft contract for the purchase of these premises was signed a couple of months ago. Completion of the purchase is to take place this week-end. In the meantime, however, no time has been wasted by the trustee of the Federation Contractors are already engaged on alterations to convert the old cinema into up-to-date club premises, consisting of a dance hall with stage, billiards room, table tennis room, licensed bar, snack bar, clock room and so on. It is hoped to have the club room opened for members sometime in July though all the attentions will not have been completed by then. The Everton supporters Federation at the moment has a membership of approximately 4,000 who pay in annual subscription of 2s 6d. it is hoped by the promoters of the scheme that all existing members will join the new club, the subscription for which will be 16s per annual in addition to the existing 2s 6d. Applications should be sent to Mr. J. Doyle, 196 Orwell Road, Liverpool 4. The thanks of all members of the Everton Supporters Federation are due to Mr. G. Bailey the chairman, and others of the executive committee for the hard work and time they have put in over this scheme. When all the attritions are finished the clubroom will be one of the finest of its kind in the country.
May 16, 1958. The Liverpool Echo
If all the players Everton have tried to sign in the last few months were laid head-to-toe on the Goodison Park pitch they would stretch from one goalmouth to the other. That none of the sought-after stars has arrived is not Everton’s fault, as I have explained before. They can only make the offers. If the holding clubs prefer the player to the cash that ends it. Whether they will succeed in their bid for Alex Parker, Falkirk’s 22-years-old and 14 times capped Scottish international remains to be seen. At least half a dozen other clubs are also in the running. Contrary to reports Falkirk have not yet mentioned a fee. They have informed all the inquiring clubs that they are open to offers and naturally will take the top bid. The same applies to outside left O’Hara of the same club in whom Everton are to use their own words” interested.” Chief Coach Ian Buchan has been personally on the job in Scotland but it may be some time before anything definite is known. Neither the players nor Falkirk are in any great hurry. Parker also wants to see what sort of house is offered.
PARKER IN LIVERPOOL
May 24, 1958. The Liverpool Echo
Everton Houses on Show
Scottish international full back Alex Parker of Falkirk, in whom Everton have been interested for some time today visited Merseyside to look at the accommodation the Goodison club can provide. Parker, who is 22 years of age and has played for Scotland on 14 occasions is a member of his country’s World Cup party, and was in training with his colleagues yesterday prior to departing for Liverpool. He is due to return to Scotland later today, however, and no developments are expected until next week.
Under 23 international outside left Eddie O’Hara, another Falkirk’s player who has attracted Everton’s interest, is weighing up the wisdom of a move South, but as in the case of Parker, a fee mutually agreeable to both clubs will have to be reached before anything definite can be settled.
PARKER BOARD MEETING]
May 26, 1958. The Liverpool Echo
The Falkirk board are meeting this meeting to consider Everton’s offer for the transfer of full back Alec Parker, who visited Merseyside over the week-end to inspect accommodation.
EVERTON PROFIT WAS £35,122
May 26, 1958. The Liverpool Echo
Although Everton F.C did not meet with a great deal of success on the field of play in the season just closed, their finances prospered to a remarkable extent. For the period ending May 3., 1958, the excess of income over expenditure, as shown in the balance sheet released today was £35,122. With income from properties (£1,568). Bank interest (£163) and the balance to credit from the profit and loss account brought forward from last year, the total reaches £75,063. The directors have made provision for depreciation of amplifying equipment, floodlighting installations and properties, plus the five per cent tax free dividend for the year, reserve for tax on current profits and interest re floodlighting, amounting to £19,151 leaving balance to be carried forward of £55,911. There is a contingent liability for capital expenditure on completion of the warming installation. Additions to the floodlighting last year brought the cost of the installation up to £46,375, £4,642 having already been written off. Current liabilities to trade and sundry creditors amount to £37,857 against £8048 the previous year. League matches at Goodison Park brought in £94,882, while cup ties and other matches resulted in £22,781 going into the club coffers –proof of the value of the installation of the floodlights. With the percentage from away league games and the sale of season tickets the receipts totaled £147,883 an increase of some £18,000 over 1956-57. The transfer of such players as Farrell, Eglington, Gauld, and McNamara brought £13,450 against a nil return in the previous 12 months. On the expenditure side the main items were players wages and bonuses £24,349 (£26,465 in the previous years, benefits £6,620 (£6,252), training expenses £6,639 (£5,942) travelling and match expenses £15,631 (£8,747) share of gates to visitors £15,818 (£10,412) share of cup ties receipts £10,753 (£5,375), ground expenses maintance £24,222 (£29,791) and rates and water £6,923 (£6,633). The abolition of entertainments’ tax meant that there was no entry under that heading whereas £23,176 had gone to the Chancellor in 1956-57. The annual meeting of shareholders will be held at the Chamber of Commerce, Old Hall Street on Thursday, June 19, at seven p.m. The directors place on record their regret at the lost sustained through the deaths of Messrs E.Green and T.C. Nuttall, Mr. Green was due to retire this year, with Messrs J.C Sharp and C.H. Askham who offer themselves for re-election. Nominations have been received on behalf of Messrs W.Birch, E.H. Hughes, R.A. Joynson and D.M. McPhail.
EVERTON SIGN PARKER –AND O’HARA
May 28, 1958. The Liverpool Daily Post
Aggregate Cost Estimated at £25,000
By Leslie Edwards
Everton did a three-way deal with the Scottish club, Falkirk, yesterday. First they signed the young Scottish International Alec Parker at a fee stated to be £17,500, then took the tiny under 23-Scottish outside left, Eddie O’Hara (fee in the region of £7,500) and finally they transferred to Falkirk (where speed is so essential as it is in English football) Willie Haughey, one of their Scottish inside forwards whose development at Goodison Park has not been quite as anticipated. Add news from South Africa that former Everton forward, Hoylake-born Alec Farrell will not play again on Preston North End’s tour there –he has cracked a bone in his left leg – and news of the resignation of Manager Norman Dodgin at Barlow and you have news that will set the fans talking their way happily through the boredom of the close season. Everton could not have moved more opportunely. They are plainly not content to let their big profit last season lie idle. Yet the Parker signing came as a surprise because only twenty four hours before all Scotland was convinced that Falkirk were not prepared to move until all other interested clubs –and there were many –had been consulted. What with their floodlights; their glow worms (the new electrical system by which the pitch is wired against frost); their pitch re-turfing and now this £25,000 signing of two players it really looks as though Everton are moving towards that often-mentioned Wembley of the North tag. And the indication is that Coach Ian Buchan and company have not finished spending. Oddly, Parker and O’Hara both played at Goodison Park last season. They appeared in the Scottish under 23 team which played England on a night so misty the Everton lights had difficulty in penetrating and there was a chance that the match would not take place.
Parker, who still has ten months of National Service to complete at Kent with the Royal Scots Fusiliers, has played fourteen full Internationals since season 1954-55. His troubles at Falkirk began when he asked the club for a house. He spent last week-end in Liverpool with his wife and they were satisfied with accommodation offered by Everton. Falkirk signed Parker from Kello Rovers in 1951 and he played as a right half and inside forward before being converted into a right back. He was an overnight success as a full back. Since 1955, when he first played for his country against Portugal, he has become the most capped player in history of the Falkirk club. Temporary loss of form attributed by the critics to over playing cost him his place against Hungary in the recent international, but he has regained form at Turnberry where the Scottish players have been preparing for the World Cup. Parker probably has more caps at his age than any other Scottish player and is the only player to have turned out for under-23 Scottish X1 in every match sponsored by the Second X1 Association.
Record For Falkirk
The fee paid for Parker is a record for the Falkirk club. Eddie O’Hara joined Falkirk in 1955 from Shettleston Juniors. He has been on the fringe of International recognition all season and was among the provisional list of forty-four nominated by Scotland for the World Cup. He is twenty-two years old and has completed his National Service. His signing came six hours after Parker’s.
Alec Farrell who had two cartilage operations while with Everton seems dogged by misfortune. His ankle bone injury came when he was tackled heavily during Preston’s match against Western Province, in Cape Town last Saturday. The seriousness of the injury was not discovered until the team arrived at East London yesterday.