Harvey - The Glory Years

In the second half of the Colin Harvey story we take a look at the period between 1976 and 1985, some of the most pleasing years for Colin at Everton....

Colin Harvey's time at Hillsborough was short - shorter than he would have liked.

After being transferred to Sheffield Wednesday in October 1974, the talented midfielder was forced to retire from the game due to a hip injury in November 1975.

Several months later, Harvey was back at his spiritual home as a youth team coach and reserve boss under Billy Bingham and Gordon Lee.

"I finished playing and didn't really know what to do," he recalled.

"Billy Bingham asked me to go back as youth team coach in 1976. You feel honoured to be invited back. He sold me as a player and I understood the reasons. I held no grudges.

"There were players like Kevin Ratcliffe, Graeme Sharp, who was bought but was only young when he arrived, and Neville was playing for the reserves when I was in charge. Stevie McMahon came through around that time and Paul Lodge - there were quite a few that went on and played in the first team. And also Brian Borrows, who went on to Coventry and played in a Cup final.

"I always enjoyed seeing that, not just for any self satisfaction, but those who had gone on and done things like that had worked really hard to get it. It wasn't given to them on a plate. It was their just rewards to get in the first team and become good Everton players."

Five years went by until he was reunited with Howard Kendall, who was appointed to the Goodison hotseat in May 1981.

Kendall's reign was initially troubled, but perhaps unsurprisingly, the transformation began when he appointed his former team-mate as assistant manager.

Within months the Kendall-Harvey team were at Wembley twice in the Milk and FA Cup Final's of the 1983-84 season.

Everton's displays in those games announced that they were back in the big time and Harvey believes that those high-profile clashes gave the players the confidence they needed.

"Getting to the '84 Milk Cup Final was the start really," he said.

"It gave them the belief. They got there on merit and got beat by a very, very good Liverpool side, and possibly we deserved to win it.

"So once you do it you think, 'well, there is not much difference here'. And they realised that and off they went.

"It is great to win the Cup. But at the start of the championship year, in '84, we lost the first two games, but played really well in both of them. And you are thinking, 'We've got to win the championship over 40 games.' But we knew we could do it and did it in style - winning it quite easily in the end."

Harvey has few regrets about his time at Everton, but is understandably irritated that the side he helped to shape was never given the chance to shine in the European Cup.

"They never got the opportunity and it would have been very interesting because they beat a very good Bayern Munich side," he continued.

"We weren't over confident going into the final after that, but we had watched Vienna.
The final was Bayern Munich really. The atmosphere at Goodison was unbelievable and it stepped the game right up. It was an amazing night.

"It would have been very interesting to see how we would have got on in the European Cup, but three or four players moved on because of the Europe thing - as did Howard."

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