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Everton Album: Eddie Cavanagh

We re-live the tale of the Blue who invaded the Wembley pitch in May 1966.

Everton Album: Eddie Cavanagh

While 14 May 1966 is a date many Evertonians of the generation will remember fondly, for one Blue it was a day that changed his life.

The man in question was not a player; not one of those who battled heroically from two goals down to lift the FA Cup at the expense of Sheffield Wednesday. He was not Mike Trebilcock, scorer of a brace or even Derek Temple, the match winner. He was Eddie Cavanagh, a fan.

Born in Huyton, Eddie was on the books at Everton as a youngster but never made the grade. The disappointment did little to curtail his love for the Club and, as a supporter, he travelled all over to follow the team he held so close to his heart.

When the Blues reached their first post-war FA Cup final in 1966, there was no doubt Eddie would be present. But even he could not have predicted the notoriety that would follow him from that day forth.

Eddie Cavanagh shakes off his coat, sending the Policeman to the floor.Eddie Cavanagh shakes off his coat, sending the Policeman to the floor.

Two-nil down, Everton's Cup hopes had looked in tatters. But Trebilcock struck twice in five minutes, restoring parity and sparking wild celebrations in the stands.

Cavanagh took it one step further. To use his own words of the time, he was on his bike, heading across the Wembley turf straight for Trebilcock and co. His actions spurred London's Metropolitan Police to life and they too set off - in pursuit of Everton's fugitive fan.

Within seconds Eddie's adventure appeared doomed, one of the chasing policemen clinging desperately to his coattail. But Cavanagh was cunning. Releasing his arms from the jacket he sent his pursuer tumbling to the ground – much to the amusement of the disbelieving Wembley crowd.

Now down to his shirt and braces, Eddie was tiring. A diving lunge finally brought him to the ground, ending the chase which would earn him the tongue-in-cheek nickname, 'The first hooligan'.

"I can’t explain what that 1966 FA Cup final meant to him," says Andrea, Eddie's daughter. "He was so proud of it. On the walls he kept those famous pictures of him on the pitch. He had four in total, all framed and taking pride of place above the fireplace.

"Frank Skinner and David Baddiel actually paid him to reenact it before he passed away [in December 1999]. He wasn’t in the best of health at the time but he did it and had a whale of a time."

Moments from the end - Cavanagh's run is finally brought to an endThe end of the road - Cavanagh's run is finally brought to a halt

But Eddie's moment in the limelight was by no means an isolated expression of his love for the Blues.

"Everton was his world," explains Andrea. "He ate, slept and dreamt football - everything was about Everton. Even in his house everything was blue - everything.

“He fitted blue light bulbs and we weren’t even allowed to have tomato ketchup. That’s how bad he was.

"He wouldn’t even go to Anfield. They were the only games he missed. He wouldn’t set foot near ‘that place’. But going here, there and everywhere on the trains to watch Everton - they were the good old days to my dad."

You would be forgiven for thinking Eddie's fame had faded over time, but you would be mistaken. His name has been written in Everton folklore, something of which his family are well aware.

"People I meet still bring it up now," says Andrea. "I lived in London for a while, and even people there knew my dad. My husband at the time used to say to people, ‘This is my wife, this is Eddie Cavanagh’s daughter’. Everton fans would look up and go 'Eddie Cavanagh? He’s a legend!'. I really feel they love him because of that afternoon at Wembley and that makes me so proud."

Gone but far from forgotten, the story of Eddie Cavanagh lives on - the tale of a local lad who was simply Blue through and through.

"He was just a character, that's why people liked him,” concludes Andrea. “He always wore a shirt and tie and a suit. That’s the kind of man he was. Just a nice, respectful bloke."

Andrea Cavanagh was speaking to evertonfc.com in November 2008.

doug houghtonwell remember 1966 cup final ,what a day...i,ve got the Everton L.P. and the funny part on the commentary is .."He,s lost his jacket..!"

Monday 3rd June 14:47 Report Comment

christina holmesEddie will remain forever the "first hooligan" Rest in Peace Eddie Known you, through "Kirkby drums""since I was 20yrs of age. R.I.P

Thursday 12th January 18:27 Report Comment

christina holmesguess Eddie will remain forever the first hooligan" Rest in Peace Eddie

Thursday 12th January 18:23 Report Comment

christina holmesTHOUGHT IF I ADDED YOU AS FRIEND O N FACEBOOK MIKE McLOUGHLIN IT WOULD BE EASIER OR TELL ME HOW TO GET PROFILE ON THIS SITE

Sunday 2nd October 18:37 Report Comment

christina holmesgreat that you replied mike, i am known better as tina shorter version yes got the very last news of the world with Vic plastered all over it, the comment at the time was " just look at this hooligan" or words to that effecr completely different from reaction to Eddie. unfortunately at the moment I am still learning and have not quite got the knack of getting pics on emails etc. but would be delighted to post when successful. also am trying to find the write- up in hospitality room where Vic and other old and new fans told their story for the last book on everton. we are everton , i think iis the title and vics story is there with pic of him and sharpe, but editor put wrong surname , hughes instead of holmes so the players signed the book for him Guess it turned into a book itself instead a quick reply so sorry about that and thanks again for your interest

Monday 18th July 13:49 Report Comment

Mike McloughlinThanks Christina, have you got a photo of Vic on the pitch?

Sunday 5th June 16:26 Report Comment

Phil ThomasAbsolute legend

Saturday 16th April 20:31 Report Comment

christina holmesMichael Mcloughlin, hope my comment answered your question as to second man, (1966) you are the first other person mentioning a second man. Vic was chuft. so thanks for that

Friday 4th March 21:03 Report Comment

CRAIG WEILDINGGreat man.

Sunday 20th February 10:26 Report Comment

christina holmesI was fifteen and living in Kirkby when Eddie Cavannagh was hailed a hero and although I supported Everton was not really interested in football. His name stuck in my mind all my life and a name you could remember without effort. Little did I know that 10 yrs later I would meet his copycat Evertonian , on his very first visit to a match. Vic was spurred on by Eddies elation. did a pitch run as well.Vic Holmes and I were married and here I am surrounded by memorabilia of that day Vic was carted carried off the pitch and I feel in some way that I met my husband our connection was made 1966 when Eddie became famous, It is no suprise to read what nice famil man he was.R.I.P Eddie

Sunday 20th February 08:22 Report Comment

christina holmesI was fifteen and living in Kirkby when Eddie Cavannagh was hailed a hero and although I supported Everton was not really interested in football. His name stuck in my mind all my life and a name you could remember without effort. Little did I know that 10 yrs later I would meet his copycat Evertonian , on his very first visit to a match. Vic was spurred on by Eddies elation. did a pitch run as well.Vic Holmes and I were married and here I am surrounded by memorabilia of that day Vic was carted carried off the pitch and I feel in some way that I met my husband our connection was made 1966 when Eddie became famous, It is no suprise to read what nice famil man he was.R.I.P Eddie

Sunday 20th February 08:21 Report Comment

Joe HayesWhen i was goin to wembley to watch everton v man utd his son was on our coach

Friday 28th January 19:45 Report Comment

robert l lloydgreat stuff proper evertonian,,,in the days when we were GREAT RIP Eddie lad, you deserve it, that same year in august (when we signed Bally) we had TWO world cup winners in our team Ray Wilson and of course Bally,,, then after that we had the great holy trinity of Kendal Ball n Harvey,,,,, cup final again in 68 then the title two seasons later great memories of a great time for our GREAT CLUB,,lets hope we can get them back AND i,m sure eddie will be up there wishing it for us as well,,a legend at everton ,,,(agree about jimmy gabriel,,had a great game) as did them all that day.............

Friday 28th January 18:31 Report Comment

francis gallagherr.i.p eddie with your lovely mate labby .you and labby must be together havin a good bevvy and agood laugh.

Thursday 13th January 02:39 Report Comment

Noel PepperThis was my greatest everton match. We were down but we had another hero called Jimmy Gabriel who didnt lie down. He busted his guts and nevver gave up and inspired our revival. Then Mr Cavanagh did at wembley what i did in my sittingroom. He did it for evertonians everywhere. What a great day. Toffee for ever.

Monday 23rd August 18:44 Report Comment

Mike McloughlinI once met Brian Labone at a sportmans dinner in Kirkby, and the first thing I asked him was 'what did you say to the bobbies?' when Eddie Cavanagh was brought down (I was only 10 in 66 but remember the match well, as I watched it in one of the mates houses in Isaac Street, Dingle) and he replied 'that he asked them to go easy on Eddie as they had both played together in the same youth team at the club!'. By the way we all quite rightly remember Eddie, but what about the other Blue who also ran onto the pitch after the winner, who was he? Anyone know?

Wednesday 14th July 13:20 Report Comment

francis elliottA good comment Bill. like you, I was sorry for Fred Pickering being dropped but the inclusion of Mike Trebilcock did add to the fairy tale outcome, didn't it ? Sadly, Mike never kicked on afterwards. It turned out to be his supreme moment of his carrier. Just a little bit of nit-pickin' Bill ! Your tellies horizontal hold must have needed adjusting ! I'm sure Eddie more or less ran across the pitch rather than the the length of the pitch. And that goal was made from an Everton high clearance down the middle [NOTE. not the wing] of the pitch, It sailed high and long .Gerry Young seemed to be in the perfect position to trap it on the first bounce. But as we know, the ball had a life of it's own, it some how squirmed under Young's boot and Our DEREK latched onto it. The rest as they say is history. From behind Gordon West's goal the center spot, Gerry Young, Derek and Ron Springett you could have nearly drawn a straight line, so no wing was involved, unless your referring to the pigeons.Incidentally, I never seen any bike on the pitch either !!!!!! ? O.K. o.k. o.k. he was only 12 and I'm a nit- picker.

Wednesday 26th May 03:50 Report Comment

Bill RollinsonI was 12, watching on my gran'mas telly, I had a terrible face on me when 2-0 down, I wasn't happy because we we're without our big 'FRED' and getting beat 2-0, then Mike Trebilcock bags two, my gran came in to see what all the fuss was about, only to see Eddie running the length of the pitch, then grandad came in we all ended up in floods of laughter. Then the icing on the cake, St Derick was on his bike down the wing and smashing it past Ron Springet, what a result, what a game. R I P Eddie.

Friday 21st May 14:50 Report Comment

francis elliottI was there with my brother Tommy and seen 'THE TWO GREAT ESCAPES '[ Evertons and Eddies.] we was at the other end of the ground from where all the goals were scored and we were surrounded by cockneys who were giving us a bit of stick when we was two nil down. I still can see Temple gather the ball from a defensive error and leg it towards goal. I thought he'd let go too far out but no.The greatest goal I've ever seen. All I can say of Eddies escapade . It would have done justice at Twickenham . Evertons answer to Jason Robinson. I met Eddie,[ who was a friend of my brother Richie,] in Cantrill Farm a few years ago when I came home[From Australia] to see my Mam who was very ill.He was a typical amiable Scouser and I'm sad to find out that he has passed away. He will remain forever a Evertonian legend . Frank Elliott [Australia ]

Thursday 13th May 07:49 Report Comment

Philip LovgreenI was 17 at the time and my Mum and Dad had gone into town, leaving me to watch the match on TV as I couldn't get a ticket. They'd just bought a new Ercol three piece suite, their pride and joy. Things were miserable when we were 2-0 down, and bucked up when Trebilcock snatched a brace but then the unthinkable happened. When Temple went on his run and scored, I jumped up in the air and came down with such force that there was a breaking sound, of wood. I'd broken the new settee and I was sitting on the floor. The framework was broken. What could I do before they came home? My remedy was a roll of sticky tape. My parents went mad when they came home and I was grounded but when the air blew over, my Dad, who was a bit of a carpenter on the side, mended the damage and the settee lived to survive another 20 odd years. But in the end, it was all worth it, to see that run from Temple, and Eddie, and Everton lifting the cup. Happy days when footballers were footballers and men were men.

Sunday 21st March 18:04 Report Comment

Tom Mc AndrewWhat a man!:L

Saturday 13th March 22:35 Report Comment

Stephen Tayloreddie will always be rembered with a smile what a cup final and what a day

Friday 28th November 19:32 Report Comment

William FooteHa ha, Superb man... A legend!

Friday 28th November 05:40 Report Comment

ARTHUR JONESWhat a man ! A true blue legend , Never forgotten !

Thursday 27th November 21:40 Report Comment

Neil FreemanYes I remember it well, what a day that was. I remember looking at that big scoreboard and seeing 2- 0 and saying to myself I will wake up in a min and this is just a bad dream and we will win, and we sure did, yes what a day thanks to Mick, Derick, and Eddie. From a TRUE BLUE in Spain.

Thursday 27th November 20:09 Report Comment
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