The Story Of The Blues: Latchford's 30

This month marks 50 years since Bob Latchford signed for Everton.

Joining the Toffees from Birmingham City for a fee of £350,000, a British transfer record at the time (although Everton only paid £80,000 with Howard Kendall and Archie Styles going in the opposite direction), the striker went on to cement his place in the Club's history forever.

A striker with excellent aerial ability and predatory instincts in the box, Latchford scored a total of 138 goals for Everton, a tally that made him the Blues' post-war leading goalscorer until 1990 when it was surpassed by Graeme Sharp.

His most famous season at Goodison Park came in 1977/78.

Before the start of that campaign, the Daily Express had offered a £10,000 prize for any player who could score 30 goals in the First Division because nobody had reached that figure since Francis Lee at Manchester City in 1972.

It developed into a good season for Everton, and Latchford scored regularly until he was left with three games to score two goals to reach the 30 milestone.

However, he then failed to net against both Middlesbrough and West Brom and so went into the Chelsea game on 29 April 1978 stuck on 28 goals.

The Londoners were fifth from bottom in the table and Everton were 2-0 ahead at half-time, but Latchford hadn’t scored either of the goals.

Nine minutes into the second-half, full-back Neil Robinson scored his one and only goal for his beloved Everton, but even he admits that it’s one of the most forgotten in the club’s history.

The points were secured but Goodison was desperate to see their man reach his target.

The atmosphere was electric, but time was ebbing away. The stadium erupted in the 72nd minute when Latchford finally found the back of the net to make it 4-0... and 29 for the season.

Mike Lyons got in on the act a few minutes later to make it 5-0 but he actually got some stick from the fans for getting in Latchford’s way!

One of the most iconic moments in Everton’s recent history came with 12 minutes remaining. The Blues were awarded a penalty-kick and only one man was ever going to take it.

Andy King and Trevor Ross had shared the penalty duties that season but it was Bob Latchford who carefully placed the ball on the spot.

He smashed it past Peter Bonetti and Goodison went absolutely berserk.

The Everton number nine had done it!

Latchford shared his 10,000 bonus between teammates, ground staff and various local charities.

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