Temple's Mixed Memories
Back in 1963, Everton saw off the challenge of a Jimmy Greaves-inspired Tottenham Hotspur to clinch a record sixth league championship.
But for Derek Temple, the memory is tinged with sadness.
During pre-season, as manager Harry Catterick readied his troops for the campaign ahead, Temple inadvertently trod on a ball, rolled his ankle and suddenly his campaign was effectively over.
While he did manage to play a handful of games in the season’s final stretch, he had to watch from the stands for long periods as his teammates won the title by six points ahead of Spurs.
It remains the only thing you could call a blemish on an otherwise fantastic Blues career for the former forward.
In a decade of service, he smashed 82 goals and helped capture the 1966 FA Cup. It was Temple himself who struck a late third to cap a fine comeback over Sheffield Wednesday at Wembley.
As a result, it’s a success he looks back on with immeasurable pride.
That 1962/63 campaign, however, stirs mixed emotions.
“Apart from us winning that league title, which was a wonderful achievement, my other memories are more painful,” he recalls. “Prior to the season starting, I twisted my ankle badly. I damaged ankle ligaments and ended up being out until around September.
“I got back to training but I had this terrible pain in my knee. It was discovered that while I had damaged the ankle ligaments, I had also damaged my cartilage. I had to have some of it removed. It was in 1962, where we had a really bad frost and lots of games were cancelled. Not that that mattered to me because I couldn’t play!
“But Everton were doing very well. I managed to play five games towards the end of that season but unfortunately that wasn’t enough to gain a winner’s medal.
“It is a regret because that would've been a nice one to have among my collection. But I can say I played in the side that won the league, so it's not too bad.
“I suppose the standout game was the last one of the season when we put four past Fulham, with Roy [Vernon] scoring a hat-trick. That was a great day. We won the Cup in ’66, but to win the league shows you are a good side.”
In total, Temple played 275 times in the Blue shirt before departing for Preston North End in 1967.
Yet, the 74-year-old believes his statistics would have been far greater but for a spell of national service.
“I made my debut in March 1957,” he explained. “I went in the army at the end of that year - in January 1958 - and did two years of national service.
“It certainly didn't do my career any good. I played nearly 300 games but I might have played nearly 500, because I missed two years through the army and ended up in Kenya. When I came back it took me a year to get back in the right frame of mind and get fit again. So that was a regret.
“The army thing was a good experience, though two years was maybe a little bit too long. They wanted me to sign on, and they would have made me sergeant. I said, 'You've got to be joking, I've got a career waiting for me!’”.