Old-Time Bitter Rivalry Replaced By A New Spirit
Opinions vary greatly as to what constitutes the greatest change in football over the past generation. Some will vote for the new offside rule, others the numbering of players. Many would support the gradual switch-over from the more leisurely style of the old to the speedy progression of modern sides. And so we could go on, getting no nearer a definite conclusion as to nay one vital aspect of the game which stands out more than another. Those matters are generalities. When we get down to the particular I think one item which most folk will agree deserves special commendation is the greatly improved spirit which characterizes local “derby” games between Everton and Liverpool. This has its beginning in the suggestion by Ernest Edwards, many years ago, that the teams should come out side-by-side. A simple thing, and a humble beginning, but it set the pointer. We have progressed a lot since then. Today there is a warm feeling of friendship between the boardrooms of both clubs and both sets of players. That is as it should be. The old bitter rivarely and win-at-all-costs spirit; belongs to an age in which sportsmanship was not so tolerant as it is today. Not that either Everton or Liverpool give anything away when they meet one another. Far from it. The old desire to win is a keep as ever in both camps- in the boardrooms as well as dressing-rooms, but the underlying spirit is different. Last year when Liverpool were doing so well and Everton were beset by anxiety. Liverpool directors and players were always keen to know how Everton had got on. Their pleasure when the Blues had won, or their disappointment when they had lost, was perfectly genuine, Liverpool like to be above Everton – just as Everton would prefer always to be in front of the Reds –but neither likes to see their neighbours having a tough struggle.
The Right Spirit
In these games of local rivalry both sides want to win by good, clean, wholesome football. Not only do they endeavour to play that way themselves but they are willing to let the other fellows do it as well which wasn’t always the case. Even today, of course, players are only human and occasionally we have have rare instances when one has temporarily lost sight of the standard which has been set up during past years and “had a go” in a manner which has not been in keeping with the general turned. I remember one incident at Anfield some years back which rather blotted the record. These lapses however, have been few and far between and if not forgotten by spectators do not weaken the claim that “Liverton” games in post-war years have set an extremely high standard of sportsmanship. I trust that by the time these notes are read, and the 85th Football League game between the pair has become a matter of history, there will be no occasion to recast that statement.
Reviving memories for all who have seen past struggles between the sides. It does not include war time matches of which there were many. Indeed, it was a wartime match which produced one of the most exciting finishes of all in “Liverton” history. That was at Anfield in August 1943, when Everton were two goals ahead with only ten minutes to go. Jim McIntosh at the time on Preston North End’s books and playing for Everton as a guest at centre forward had scored both Everton goals, and if anything looked signed, sealed and settled this game did for the Blues. Bu Manager George Kay never gives up. He sent a message on to the field for Cyril Done, and Don Welsh to switch places, and hey presto, the Blues were hit by a tornado that swept them off their feet. In the last eight minutes Liverpool notched five goals. Balmer and Liddell set the Kop alight by getting one each to level the scores, and then Welsh got a hat-trick. I’ve heard some cheering from the Koppites during my time, but never such a sustained roar as this day. For eight solid minutes they never let up. Most of them must have been gasping for breath when the final whistle went. Our “derby” games abound with incidents of note but all I have space for today is to summaries some of the major aspects of the meetings over the years. One days if ever we get back to freedom of newsprint, I should like run a series reviewing some of these old-time games. Maybe it will come some day.
Highlights of the Past
Honour of the longest unbeaten sequence in the series rest with Everton, who won eight and drew six of 14 games between 1899 and 1907. Liverpool’s longest unbeaten run was immediately after the first World War, when they won five and drew three. Most goals in a single game were scored at Anfield on February 11, 1933, when Liverpool won 7-4. The order of scoring in this game was Dean (Everton), Barton (Liverpool), Hanson (Liverpool), Morrison (Liverpool), and Johnson (Everton) in the first half and Taylor (Liverpool), Barton (Liverpool), Dean (Everton), Roberts (Liverpool), Baron (Liverpool), and Stein (Everton) in the second half. Everton’s biggest win at Anfield is 5-0 on October 3, 1914. Liverpool’s biggest win at Goodison Park has been by 3 goals to nil in 192-21 and 1947-48. They won 4-2 in 1907-08. Biggest home victories are Everton’s 5-0 on April 9, 1909, and Liverpool’s 6-0 on September, 1935.
Some Tight Games
Everton have won 17 games by the odd goal (nine of them at Anfield) and Liverpool 11 (six at Goodison). There have been 10 goalless draws, five on each ground. From 1934 to 1937 Liverpool played four matches at Goodison without scoring a goal. English played centre in the first two of these games, and Howe in the last two. Liverpool scored in only two of the eight meetings between 1907 and 1910, but nevertheless collected seven goals. Since football was resumed after the second war Everton have scored in only three of the eight matches, a “singleton” each time. Curiously enough each of these goals was unusual. Liverpool claimed for a free kick when Wainwright scored in 1947 at Goodison-Dodd’s goal at Goodison in 1948 came from a penalty, and last season (at Anfield) Farrell gave Everton a shock lead by scoring in the first minute. Against Everton’s three post-war goals, Liverpool have scored 11, divided between Fagan (3), Balmer, Stubbins, and Baron (2 each), Liddell, and Brierley.
Copyright - The Liverpool Football Echo - Transcribed by http://www.bluecorrespondent.co.nr