MIKE'S MEMORIES - PART 1
Mike Trebilcock reflects on his early footballing memories in part one of a three part series.
This season marks the 40th anniversary of one of Everton's greatest FA Cup triumphs.
The Blues had to come back from two goals down in the 1966 final at Wembley to beat Sheffield Wednesday 3-2.
Mike Trebilcock was the young Everton striker who netted twice that day to put the Blues back on level terms before Derek Temple provided the winner.
Forty years on and Everton are preparing for the start of a new FA Cup campaign with a third round trip to Millwall. In the build up to Saturday's game evertonfc.com catches up with Trebilcock and chronicles his journey from a youngster in Cornwall to the heroics of that cup final in the first of a three part series.
Today Mike recalls how the prospect of appearing in an FA Cup final seemed almost impossible to a young boy from a small Cornish village.
"I was a little boy in Cornwall being brought up reading
Roy of the Rovers, and seeing him doing the impossible," he
"We were in Cornwall and Wembley seemed a thousand miles away because we could only dream of Wembley.
"When the TV came out and we saw the smooth, Brylcreemed guys walking out at Wembley it was so impressionable, that was all I wanted to do."
Trebilcock explained that as a youngster he would play on the streets of his fishing village, with seemingly little hope of being spotted as a footballing talent.
"We lived on a council estate so there was no chance of any scouts coming to see us, it didn't happen," he continues.
"Then a woman moved into the street, a complete stranger. I was kicking the ball up and down the street and one day she asked me if I would like to go to Blackpool for a trial.
"I said 'yes I would love to,' even though I didn't know where Blackpool was or how I was going to get there. She said that she had gone to school with the manager of Blackpool and that she would write to him about me.
"So I went home with this dream in my head. Our family never had any money, there were fourteen of us so there was no way they were going to pay to send me to Blackpool."
They were exciting times, as he was soon handed a chance to make a name for himslef closer to home, with Plymouth.
"I was supposed to be in a trial match with a local team, but I injured my ribs so I couldn't play.
"But I went to watch my mate, Dudley Barry, play. After the game my manager said someone wanted to see me round the back of the grandstand. So I went round there and it was the Plymouth manager. I knew who we was, I had seen him on TV. Ellis Stuttard was his name.
"He said 'they tell me you are going to Blackpool' I said 'yes'. He replied 'you don't want to go to Blackpool lad, you want to come to Plymouth - it is nearer home.'"
And so his association with the professional game began, but it
was not without the odd glitch.
"We got 7'6 to go training," he explained, "We had to leave work early at the quarry, and get the train down to Plymouth. We went to the first trial game and there was about 100 kids there.
"When we got back home, we thought we wouldn't be going back, and that we didn't have a chance. We thought the kids were better than us, bigger than us and stronger than us.
"So we went back to work in the quarry and never thought any more of it. Then the phone rang and the boss came out and said to my friend, 'Dudley, Ellis Stuttard wants to talk to you'.
"We were wondering what we had done. Ellis said, 'You missed training on Tuesday,' and Dudley told him we didn't think we were good enough.
"But Ellis said 'don't be silly, none of those kids will make it, come back down on Thursday night.'
"So we went back down on the Thursday and started training. Eventually we went into the third team and the reserves, and that is really how the journey started."
Tomorrow: In part two of the series, Mike reflects on his dream move to Everton - and doing his best to settle in alongside some of football's biggest stars.