There’s no football this weekend after our recent debacle at home to Bolton so, just to keep things ticking over before the Swansea “who are you”, here’s a quick trip down memory lane, or as it’s me, down fuzzy memory lane.
The starting point was actually the vast number of posters (i.e. more than three ) on this site who said that at least we wouldn’t get beaten by Everton, our bogey team, and M. Salut himself, who may not have mentioned Everton but who did say his dreams of a 40th anniversary trip to Wembley had crumbled into dust, or words to that effect.
Combining these two took me back to 1963-64, nine years before I went to Wembley and God knows how many years before Everton became bogeymen. At that time we were a second division team achieving crowds of 35-40,000 as we battled with the likes of Man City, Northampton, Rotherham and, of course, Leeds United to get into the first division.
As 1964 started we embarked upon as good a winning streak as I can remember. We beat Northampton in the Cup in our first game of the year and then had league wins over Bury, 4-1 at home, and their close neighbours and rivals Man City, whom we beat 3-0 away. The next two games were at home and resulted in a 6-1 4th round cup win over Bristol City, where 46,000 turned up, and a 6-0 win over Swindon Town a week later. An away game at Cardiff almost ended the run as we only managed a 2-0 win but it set us up for the next week, when we had the mighty Everton at home in the cup.
The powers that be decided the game would not be all-ticket and 62,851 people turned up, the season’s biggest official attendance. The place was heaving. I must have been 12 years old and probably went with my cousin who was about a year older yet I never felt in danger.
And that’s about it. I remember sitting in the straw at the edge of the pitch at the Fulwell end as we roared our team to a magnificent 3-1 victory but little else. We were knocked out in the next round after drawing away at Man Utd, where only 61,000 attended, and replaying at Roker and then Huddersfield, but we made amends by winning promotion.
The next season we played Everton by right. We beat them 4-0 at home and drew 1-1 away.
Bogey team? What Bogey team?