Our new series continues as we look at programmes from clashes with Aston Villa from years gone by…
EVERTON 2-0 ASTON VILLA – 28 FEBRUARY 2004
Late goals from Tomasz Radzinski and Thomas Gravesen saw the Blues to a professional 2-0 home win against Aston Villa in the 2003/04 season.
But it wasn’t the players who dominated that edition of the Everton matchday programme – it was interviews with three people you are unlikely to find at Goodison Park on the same day ever again!
Darts legend Phil Taylor, Conservative leader Ian Duncan-Smith and then England manager Sven Goran Eriksson had all attended the previous home game against Manchester United – and programme editor Darren Griffiths grabbed a chat with the trio.
Taylor spoke about his affinity with hometown team Port Vale and Duncan-Smith recalled the days when he watched Tottenham teams containing Jimmy Greaves and Danny Blanchflower battle against Everton sides boasting Alan Ball and Brian Labone.
Perhaps most interestingly, Eriksson explained how Everton keeper Nigel Martyn had done ‘very, very, very well’ for the Blues that season. However, despite earning such praise, the veteran stopper had obviously not done enough to impress the Swede entirely as he overlooked Martyn in his squad for Euro 2004, instead opting for David James, Ian Walker and Paul Robinson in his 23-man group.
Elsewhere in the programme, Alan Stubbs reflected on the landmark of reaching 100 Everton appearances, explaining that he was glad he’d been given the chance to ‘prove one or two people wrong’ after he had been discarded by the Toffees when he was teenager.
It was also African Cup of Nations time and defender Joseph Yobo compiled a diary of his weeks at the tournament, where Nigeria lost in the semi-finals to Tunisia. Whilst there, Yobo explained that he would log on to evertonfc.com every day to keep up with the latest news coming out of Goodison Park!
EVERTON 2-2 ASTON VILLA – 20 AUGUST 1994
Everton opened the 1994/95 season with a 2-2 home draw against Aston Villa. The spotlight in this programme was placed on Graham Stuart – the man who had netted twice against Wimbledon to keep the Blues in the Premier League in the last Goodison game three months earlier.
In the feature interview, the midfielder said the 3-2 victory over the Dons was the best atmosphere he had ever experienced in his career. “The ground was buzzing,” said the former Chelsea man. “And that was with one side of the ground knocked down!”
Selecting Stuart as the profiled player was an inspired choice as he netted Everton’s opening goal in the game! Paul Rideout was also on target for the Blues but their goals were cancelled out by a player many forget played for Aston Villa, John Fashanu, and Dean Saunders.
In the close-season, Everton had welcomed Vinny Samways to the Club. In his programme notes, manager Mike Walker revealed that the Blues had been in the market to sign both Martin Dahlin and Chris Sutton but had failed in attempts to bring them to Goodison that year. It certainly represented a case of ‘what might have been’ as Sutton netted 21 times that season and helped Blackburn Rovers win the Premier League title.
The programme also featured a quirky article on Anders Limpar and the air miles that he had clocked up during that summer. The midfielder had starred for Sweden at World Cup ‘94, where they were the surprise package and reached the semi-finals.
Sweden played games all over the USA; in San Diego, Los Angeles, Dallas, Detroit and San Francisco. He then returned to Europe to link-up with his Everton teammates on their hectic pre-season schedule which saw them play 11 games in England, Sweden, Germany and Italy!
“For the five months since I joined Everton from Arsenal I’ve been living in hotels,” was Limpar’s assessment of the start to his Blues career.
EVERTON 3-1 ASTON VILLA – 15 FEBRUARY 2009
Everton made it safely through to the quarter-finals of the FA Cup when Aston Villa visited in February 2009. The Villans had triumphed 3-2 at Goodison Park two months earlier but this time goals from Jack Rodwell, Mikel Arteta and Tim Cahill secured a 3-1 win.
The cup success arrived just days after Phil Jagielka had made his first England start and this was acknowledged in the day’s programme. The centre-half, who now has 24 caps to his name, had played the first half in the Three Lions’ 2-0 defeat to Spain in Seville the week prior.
It was very much a cup theme throughout the programme as the subject of the ‘guest appearance’ was Graham Taylor, who recalled the day when Everton beat Watford – the team he was managing at the time - in the 1984 final. Twenty-five years later, Taylor still argued that Andy Gray fouled goalkeeper Steve Sherwood for the second goal and admitted that he will never bring himself to watch the video of that game. “It still stays packed away in its cellophane,” said the former England boss.
All Evertonians appreciate the Club’s rich history and there was plenty for them to chew over in this edition of the publication. Eight pages were dedicated to the ‘Golden Vision’ feature, which looked back on classic images from past Everton games against Villa.
There were numerous photos from the 1953 FA Cup last-eight clash, which was won 1-0 thanks to a strike from the legendary Dave Hickson. Perhaps the most iconic of these was one of "The Cannonball Kid" being carried from the field by delirious Evertonians who were revelling in the win.
Skipper at the time, Phil Neville, also praised striker Jo in his column. The Brazilian had notched a double a week earlier on his debut against Bolton Wanderers and Neville was confident that the on-loan forward would ‘make an impact during the rest of the season’. Of course, Jo went on to net a further three times that campaign but his second loan spell the following year was less successful. He failed to score a single Premier League goal and returned to Manchester City in January.
EVERTON V ASTON VILLA – SATURDAY 1 FEBRUARY 2014
The official matchday programme continues to be a popular read on the Goodison Park terraces.
This weekend’s edition is again loaded with content, with January acquisition Aiden McGeady and former Blues Paul Rideout and Scott Gemmill also included.
Priced at just £3, look out for sellers both outside and inside Goodison Park or pick up a copy from Everton One or Everton Two.
Tickets for Saturday's game against Aston Villa are still available - click here
to buy online, call 0871 663 1878 or visit the Goodison Park Box Office, Everton Two or the TicketQuarter.