The 1980s was a glorious period in the history of Everton Football Club. The team, managed by Howard Kendall, beat all before them, twice winning the First Division title, beating Bayern Munich and Rapid Vienna on the way to lifting the European Cup Winners Cup and defeating Watford as they lifted the FA Cup at Wembley. Surprisingly for such a successful period in the clubs history, there are very few books that cover this period in any detail. One person who has looked to change all that is Paul Gladwell, who recently published his first book, “The Scrapbook Years A Teenage Evertonian in the ‘80s”.
As a youngster I was also fortunate to grow up supporting Everton through the ever so successful 1980s. As a late seventies child I probably wasn’t old enough to appreciate what was happening before me, but I remain thankful that my Uncle took me religiously to support the Blues during this time and I have many fabulous memories of watching Howard’s boys destroying teams at Goodison and Wembley. Therefore I was particularly interested in what Paul had produced and I have to say I wasn’t the least bit disappointed.
At first glance the book provides a quite brilliant pictorial look back at this glorious time, with the odd reference to the history of the club and more recent Toffee adventures under David Moyes. It immediately brought back some fabulous memories and any Evertonian who was fortunate to visit Goodison Park during this time will feel nostalgic as they flick through the pages. From Panini stickers, ticket stubs, through to programme covers and newspaper cuttings, this is everything you would expect from a Scarpbook. There are also some quite brilliant photos, my particular favourite shows desperate fans risking their lives as they try to scale the Wembley walls to watch the all Merseyside cup final in 1986.
But the book goes much further than just a pictorial history. The writer has captured his and other Evertonians memories of supporting this brilliant team.
The stories are superbly written, offering a glimpse of what it means to be a Blue.
The build up to the Bayern Munich game at Goodison, 1984-85
“The journey through Liverpool was quick, but you could sense the atmosphere everywhere…we approached the ground no later than 5:45pm. The place was absolutely jam packed already, you just knew this was going to be a night to remember.
“We got in the ground early and grabbed a prime spec on the back bar at The Park End, the one you could actually stand on as it was bang tight against the wall that filled in the old terrace, perfect for a game of this nature. The teams entered the field to the loudest roar I had ever heard at the Old Lady…”
I am sure you know the rest with Everton going on to beat the German giants 3-1 as Goodison enjoyed one of its greatest nights. But it is not just memories of Goodison, there are some brilliant tales of away days, both close to home and those further afield.
Liverpool at Anfield, 1985-86
“ I had not managed to get a ticket this time and was stuck outside with thousands more Blues as we heard Ratcliffe had scored with a thirty yard effort, then with twenty minutes to go the gate man opened the Kop gates and an already packed Kop end was jammed further as a couple of thousand Blues danced up the stairs singing ‘Blue and White Kop ello ello’, just in time to witness Lineker grab a second and send the Blues wild with delight.”
This book is a real delight and a worthy addition to the collection of any Evertonian. A thoroughly enjoyable read, published at a time when Everton are back on the up.