'They Were An Inspiration'

'They Were An Inspiration'

Peter Reid recalls with affection the era when Everton’s title-winning achievements helped to create a ‘white hot’ atmosphere throughout Merseyside.

Born and raised in Huyton, the future Everton great was six-years-old when the Toffees lifted the Championship trophy in 1963, ending a 24-year wait for top-flight glory in the Blue half of the city.

Twenty-two years later and Reid, inspired by Catterick’s heroes as a youngster, emulated that golden generation with his own title triumph.

Indeed, 1985 proved a glorious year for Reid, who was named PFA Player of the Year and also helped Everton to get their hands on the European Cup Winners’ Cup.

And the 56-year-old says he will be forever indebted to the heroes of 1963, the players which fuelled his ambition to achieve his own success with his boyhood club.

“As a young boy growing up, football in the 1960s was white hot,” Reid recalled. “The atmosphere was electric and Merseyside was a great place to be.

“I do remember the team and I will always recall the 'Golden Vision' Alex Young, his strike partner Roy Vernon and a youthful Brian Labone. They were a fantastic team.

“Any side that wins a championship – and it was 42 games in those days – doesn’t achieve it by luck. You don’t win championships unless you are the best and in 1963 Everton were the best.

“Everton were winning championships and FA Cups, and Liverpool won promotion in 1962 after several seasons out of the top division. As a kid, the city was rocking.

“It meant that there were derby games again and I can remember those vividly. I used to go in the boys’ pen at Goodison.

“Fortunately for me, when I grew up I was able to play in those games. To play in your hometown derby is second to none. To watch them was great but to play in them was even better.”

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