Player Memories: Kevin Richardson
An Everton game against Blackburn Rovers at Goodison proved one of the turning points in Kevin Richardson’s career.
On November 28, 1981, the Blues’ first-team were falling to a 1-0 defeat at Arsenal, but back at Goodison, the second string were on cloud nine.
The reserves put Blackburn to the sword, winning 9-1 with Richardson, then a promising talent, scoring five of them.
He says: “I remember that game well. To be fair, I didn’t score too many goals in my career so when you get five in one game it tends to stick out!
“There was a good group of youngsters at the time like Neville Southall, Gary Stevens, Steve McMahon, Joe McBride, Paul Lodge and myself. That afternoon everything clicked into place. To be honest I can only remember two of the goals. One was a far post header after a good build up that saw us make pass after pass - The move was probably better than the finish! - and one was a 25-yarder. It was great for me because all I wanted to do was become a footballer.”
Richardson had made his first-team debut for Everton a week before the rout of Rovers, ironically against Sunderland where he later spent time as a first-team coach.
Impressed by his performances at reserve level, manager Howard Kendall made Richardson a first-team regular in the second part of that season.
The affable Geordie went on to become a fixture as Kendall built one of the club’s finest sides and forged a particular place in Everton history.
While live broadcasts of Premier League games are now part and parcel of top-flight football, Richardson wrote himself into the record books in August 1984 when he became the first Everton player to score a televised league goal.
His winner at Stamford Bridge on August 31, 1984 helped him achieve the milestone.
“I remember that game at Chelsea but I didn’t realise I was the first Everton player to score a league goal live on the telly!," he admits.
“The BBC had started to show live games on Friday nights and the pressure was on us as we went in to that game. It was our third game of the season and we needed to get a win because if you lose your third and your fourth games, things start to set in and players become nervous. So it was a big game for us and we needed to get something out of it.
“Paul Bracewell played the ball in and I managed to get in ahead of Colin Lee to score. It didn’t turn out to be too bad a season after that! I think we must have been lulling the other teams into a false sense of security.”