Colin Reflects

by Alec Woolford

Colin Harvey has been looking ahead to his Testimonial at Goodison Park on Sunday and reflecting on his glorious Everton career.

Colin's done the lot at the club as a player, coach and manager, but his relationship with his beloved Everton began on the terraces of Goodison itself.

"I used to watch the match from the boys pen," he laughed. "My dad used to bring me and I remember watching the likes of Wally Fielding. There were so many lads in the boys pen that I don't know how we all crammed in!

"I was at Goodison for one match that was watched by 75,000 spectators."

From such humble beginnings began one of the greatest Everton careers of all time - starting in the intimidating surroundings of the San Siro Stadium, home of Inter Milan.

"Harry (Catterick) was very casual about it all and didn't tell me I was in until as late as possible," Colin recalled. "I think I did okay and after it 'The Catt' told me he thought I'd done well.which coming from him was a massive compliment!

"In fact I was a bit disappointed not to be playing in the first team on the following Saturday, but there I was back in the reserves. It's quite funny looking back but I remember playing one game for the reserves and not doing too well and the next day I was told that Harry wanted to see me.

"I feared the worst as I approached his office but when I went in he gave me a memento of the Milan match that the Italians had actually presented to Everton. For him to pass it on to me was a magnificent gesture."

Colin still describes that match in Milan as his most memorable simply because it was his first.

"You always remember your first match," he said. "I recall my debuts for the C, B and A teams and the reserves. My most memorable match as Everton manager was the first competitive one when we beat Norwich City 1-0 at Goodison."

Some Evertonians actually refer to the Charity Shield against Coventry City as Colin's first match in charge - how typical of the man to win a trophy in his first match, but still choose to overlook it!

Although he played alongside all the greats of the 60s, Colin still didn't hesitate when we asked him to pick one player from the pack.

"Bally was the best," he stated emphatically. "He had everything and to achieve the things in the game that he did proves it. He came from Blackpool but of course he was already a World Cup winner so he was never going to be over-awed.

"He came straight in and scored the winning goal at Fulham on his debut. He was a marvellous player to have alongside me.and Howard, too, of course.

"There were others, too. If Tony Kay had played on for a lot longer then believe me, we wouldn't have heard as much about Bobby Moore as we did. No disrespect to Bobby at all, but Tony could have made that position his own at international level.

"Roy Vernon was another one. He always used to go out every Thursday evening because that was 'his night out'. The next day he'd be smoking away next to me in the dressing room blowing smoke and alcohol fumes all over me!

"But then he'd go out there the next day and be the man of the match!"

One of the very, very few regrets that Colin has when he looks back is his tenure as manager. If you check the record books, Colin's reign stands comparison with most but he knows why it will be regarded as a bit of a failure.

"If you look, we did okay," he said. "But at that time it just wasn't good enough for Everton. I'd followed Howard, who'd had all that success, but we couldn't keep it going and it was a transitional time for the club."

Colin eventually made way only to be re-instated as number two when Howard returned for a second spell and although he had later spells at Mansfield and Oldham his heart was always at Goodison and he was to return yet again to coach the youngsters.

"I've always loved coaching the kids," he smiled. "That's the main reason why I'm packing it actually, because I can't coach in the way I want to.

"My hip operations have been great successes and I'm fine, but I am restricted when it comes to being out there on the pitch.

"But I've loved every minute of fact in all honesty it's gone very quickly!

"People are saying it's 40 years but it's really 43 because I was three years as a schoolboy at Everton."

And finally.what about Wayne!

"I knew I'd be asked about him!" Colin laughed. "He can be whatever he wants to be in the game, but he hasn't done anything yet.

"He's an exciting talent but it's all about attitude and commitment. I've worked with countless talented boys who just didn't have the attitude that you definitely need to be a player.

"I think he'll be alright though and I'm glad he's here!"

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