Snapshot: The '77 Cup Runs
We speak to Ronnie Goodlass about a famous Cup final against Aston Villa.
As Ronnie Goodlass followed his cross through the air, onto the hip of Bryan Hamilton and into the Liverpool goal, he thought he had helped book Everton's place in the 1977 FA Cup final.
The winger had a different view to referee Clive Thomas.
The whistle that blew signalled not a richly-deserved Everton goal but a freekick to the opposition. Hamilton's effort was chalked off; Liverpool went on to progress.
But Everton had already been to Wembley, to play Aston Villa in the League Cup final. A goalless stalement meant a replay at Hillsbrough, where a 1-1 draw, incredibly, sent the tie to a third game.
Old Trafford was the venue and, for Everton, it would provide an agonising end to the saga. Despite goals from Mike Lyons and Bob Latchford, Villa – inspired by a certain Andy Gray – condemned the Blues to a 3-2 defeat.
Ahead of a recent visit of Villa, evertonfc.com caught up with Goodlass to discuss the remarkable '77 cup runs, his love for the Club and Everton’s battle with their mega-rich Premier League rivals.
Click here to see an enlarged version of this photograph
Who's in the picture?
[Back left to front right] - Mick Coffey, Dave Jones, Mark Higgins, Drew Brand, Dai Davies, David Lawson, Ken McNaught, Martin Murray, Ross Jack, Steve Burtenshaw [first-team coach], Eric Harrison [reserve-team manager], Gary Jones, George Telfer, Bob Latchford, Roger Kenyon, Mike Lyons, Jim Pearson, Martin Dobson, David Smallman, John Connolly, Ray Minshall [youth development officer], Colin Harvey [coach] BJ Monoghan, Mike Bernard, Mick Buckley, Steve Seargeant, Terry Darracott, Billy Bingham [manager - Billy was replaced by Gordon Lee in January 1977], Bryan Hamilton, Andy King, Ronnie Goodlass, Neil Robinson, Nigel Groome, Barry Wellings, Ray Deakin, J Milne, M Hart, Pat Heard, Billy Russell, P Lamont, G Stenson, David Esser.
The Interview - Ronnie Goodlass
"My memories of my time at Everton are really good. I've always been an Everton supporter - as was my granddad, as was my dad. To end up playing for the Club was a dream come true. It's something you never forget.
I'd played for England schoolboys and a lot of Clubs showed an interest in signing me. In fact, Bill Shankly and Bob Paisley came to my house to try and sign me on. But once Everton came knocking there was only ever going to be one winner. I can think back to walking through the gates at 15, my goal to get into the first team. To go on to achieve it meant so much.
The 1976/77 season was brilliant. We nearly ended up as the first team to play at Wembley twice in one season. If it hadn't been for the Clive Thomas decision we would have been. I beat Tommy Smith, crossed the ball, and it went in off Bryan Hamilton's hip. Even Liverpool fans I know - and I've spoken to Tommy and other Liverpool players too - say it was goal...
When Liverpool came out of that hat the whole city was talking about it. It was a massive occasion for both clubs and, if you look at some of the reports, we really did play well. Only Ray Clemence kept them in it!
The only person in the whole stadium who didn't think it was a goal was Clive Thomas. He's finally admitted he made a mistake but it's 31 years too late. Have I forgiven him? Let's just say he never gets a Christmas card off me!
We were so unlucky not to get to that final but we did get to the League Cup final, beating Manchester United 3-0 along the way.
You always want to play at Wembley and it was good for the players and the supporters. It was the first time I'd played at Wembley and coming down Wembley Way, it really was blue and white - the Evertonians were everywhere. I always go on now about Everton supporters - I think they're a little bit special.
We ended up playing Villa three times to decide that final and I thought we were unfortunate to lose it in the end. Villa had Andy Gray in the side at the time and they were a good outfit. We went in as underdogs but by the end of it there was very little between the teams. Between success and failure there are very small margins.
Finally, a word on the current team. I think David Moyes has done a great job and there's been a real improvement in the squad. It's obviously difficult to sustain it all the time and maybe at the moment the home form isn't as good as the away form.
Statistically though, there are teams out there - the likes of Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur - who have spent far more than us. You can't always moan about it but we should give a huge pat on the back to Moyes and the players. If a billionaire does come in, perhaps we could really kick on.
But for now we're pushing up the table and hopefully we can drive on and secure European qualification again. And a Cup run like ‘77 wouldn't go a miss!"
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