OCT
12
2013
EXCLUSIVE Interview With Everton Legend Tony McNamara
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Blue Echo Interviews Tony McNamara

I was delighted to spend time with Tony McNamara and his wife to dwell on his association with the Toffees during the 1950's when they played with a real ball and wore proper boots when pitches were mud baths.

Ladies and Gentlemen enjoy my latest article with more to come. COYB!

 

Q1/ HOW DID YOU ,JOIN EVERTON FC?

 

A1/ I was playing in a boys final at Goodison. so I was spotted there. One of the men that was also with Everton had something to do with ST Matthews school.  He came to my house and ask me if I would like to join Everton which I did and started in the 'A' team working my way up.

I'd just come out of the air force too at that time.

 

Q2 WHAT WERE YOUR TRAINING DUTIES AS A YOUNGSTER?

 

A2/ We used to go training a couple of times a week, just basic training,  mostly road running. We didn't do weights or anything like that.

 

Q3/   WHO WERE THE STARS IN THE EVERTON TEAM AT THAT TIME?

 

A3/ Tommy Egglington, Peter Farrell , Wally Fielding and Harry Leyland

 

Q4/ WHAT DO YOU REMEMEBER ABOUT YOUR EVERTON DEBUT?

 

A4/ Actually we were training on a Friday morning and we (Dave Hickson and myself) were coming off the training ground. Cliff Britton appraoched us both and told us to join the other players as were playing the next day.

 

Q5/  TELL ME ABOUT YOUR EVERTON DEBUT?

A5/ It was at Leeds United at Elland Raod, we won 2-1 with Tommy Egglington scoring both goals.

 

Q6/ CAN YOU RECALL YOUR FAVOURITE GAME IN YOUR TIME AT EVERTON FC?

 

A6/  Probably when we played Manchester United  (October 20th 1956) at Old Trafford. I know George Kirby was centre forward. I made two crosses for George who scored twice. Everton won 5-2, it was even mentioned at Dave Hickson's  funeral as well.

 I got a pass from somebody just over the half way line. I looked up and saw the keeper of his line around the penalty spot, strolling around like he had nothing to do. So I chipped him and he was scrambling back and I think then he realised the ball was travelling faster than he thought. He was also met by the centre half who was also trying to save their blushes with them both ending up in the back of the net with the ball.

 

Q7/ CAN YOU RECALL YOUR FAVOURITE GOAL?

 

A7/  Not really, all my goals were favourite goals. I think I was top goal scorer one season it was 1951/52.

 

Q8/ WHO WAS YOUR TOUGHEST OPPONENT?

 

A8/ Tommy Banks the full back from Bolton Wanderers

 

Q9/ WHICH STADIUM DID YOU ENJOY PLAYING IN THE MOST?

 

A9/ I suppose Goodison Park. It was one of the top stadiums back then even better than the likes of Old Trafford.

 

Q10/   FAST FORWARD TO TODAYS GAME. DO YOU THINK YOU COULD HAVE PLAYED THE MODERN GAME?

 

A10/ Yes I think so. It's a different game now. Back in my day we used to play 5 forwards and 3 half backs. Today's game is more defensive.

 

Q11/ YOU WERE THE FIRST PLAYER TO PLAY IN ALL 4 DIVISIONS IN 12 MONTHS. IS THAT SPECIAL TO YOU?

 

A11/ it doesn't sound very good when you can't stay in one team. I was happy at Everton and for some reason they wanted to get rid of me. The club then was run by the directors as we didn't have a manager then.  Dave Hickson also lost his rag at that time.

When I joined Liverpool  who were second division then I got an injury which was the turning point and at the end of the season they put me on the list and joined Crewe Alexandra spending  6 months or more.

You never got looked after when you were injured in them days unlike today as they never really had any reserves. I had a terrible leg injury which swelled up and ended up having psoriasis losing a lot of skin off my leg which ended up my career.

I later joined Bury where I ended up finishing my career.

 

Q12/ WHAT WAS THE STORY WITH TED SAGAR AND A BOTTLE OF WHISKY?

 

A12/ It was one of my first games and there was a doubt as to whether Harry Catterick would be fit as we were away at Fulham.

We were in the dressing room before the game then I decided I needed to go the toilet and there was the trainer Harry Cooke with Ted Sagar and a bottle if whisky.

After seeing this i'm thinking we've got no chance  and we went on to win 4-1!! Harry Catterick was declared fit and scored a hat trick so everything turned out fine.

 

Q13/ WHO WAS YOUR BEST FRIEND IN YOUR TIME AT EVERTON?

 

A13/ There was no particular best friend. we were a good gang of lads who often went out when were invited anywhere.

St Matthews club we used to play snooker about seven of us. It was good camaraderie which you wouldn't get today. Jimmy Tansey , Alec Farrell and Tommy Jones would be there.

 

Q14/ IN YOUR DAY YOU PLAYED GAMES ON CHRISTMAS DAY. WHAT WAS THAT LIKE?

 

A14/ There was always a scare by the management that you would go on the ale so they would get you together earlier but we were all level headed.

If we had a home game we would meet on the day but away from home we used to go the day before.

(Laughing)   The club used to go mad when they got the bill for the orange juice we drank (Laughing) at the away games.

 

Q15/ YOU JOINED LIVERPOOL ON THE 12TH DECEMBER 1957 AND SCORED ON YOUR DEBUT A WEEK LATER? TELL ME ABOUT IT

 

A15/ The only thing I can remember is that it was against Bristol City and  I scored inside the first ten minutes. The goal I scored, I picked up the ball and gave it to the outside left and told him to hold it until I got into the penalty area. When I made the move the ball came over and I headed it into the net.

Billy Liddell was in the team at that time and I often shared a room with him but he was never there  because he  was always invited somewhere to give a talk or one thing and another.

It wasn't a special goal but they all count.

 

Q16/ AT THE END OF YOUR CAREER YOU PLAYED FOR CREWE ALEXANDRA AND BURY RESPECTIVELY. WHAT WAS IT LIKE IN THE LOWER LEAGUES?

 

A16/ Crewe at the time were fourth division and Burt were third division. Obviously the standard wasn't as good but there was some really good football played.

When I was at Bury I played with John Willie Parker who was also ex Everton.

 

Q17/ WHAT DID YOU DO WHEN YOU RETIRED FROM FOOTBALL?

 

A17/ After retiring from the professional game I still played but at an amateur level with Runcorn.

I went into insurance for a while then worked for a company called Telebank where we had to empty  Television meters.

A lot of players at that time used to go into the licensing trade but I didn't think it was a way of life.

 

Q18/ WHAT DID YOU MISS ABOUT THE GAME WHEN YOU FINALLY RETIRED FROM IT?

 

A18/ The camaraderie. When we used to play home games we used to go out with 4 or five of the lads and have a meal in town then  to a place called the Rialto a dance hall.

We could go out in those days and nobody would bother you for autographs and stuff like that.

I still keep in touch with a few of the lads.

 

Q19/  WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE EVERTON PLAYERS FOUNDATION?

 

A19/ It's good, very good.  Jimmy Harris who lives over the water has had a lot of help from them. Brian Labone used to be very good for keeping his finger on the buzzer.

Pat Labone is great organising events like at Christmas and so on.

We get looked after with tickets with good seats and tea and biscuits.

We don't hear anything from Liverpool FC but then i'm not sure if they do anything for the former players like Everton.

Everton are excellent looking after the players with dementia and  alzheimer's  They paid the fees for Wally Fielding when he was in a home as he had no family. They really are a fabulous organisation.

 

Q20/ HAVE YOU ANY FUNNY STORIES FROM YOUR DAY?

 

A20/ Harry Cooke phoned up one night and said "If you want Dean (Dixie) fit for tomorrow you had better come and get him because he's out of his mind"

 He was in some pub somewhere. Harry Cooke went and got him, took him to his house and put him to bed. He played the next day had a blinder and scored a hat trick.

Can you imagine anyone doing that today?

 

Email Bluekipper at enquiries@bluekipper.com

Comments about EXCLUSIVE Interview With Everton Legend Tony McNamara
 
13
Tony Mc great man and gentle man. Loved playing golf with him at Childwall golf club. My dad said he was a great.
Keith Roberts , Liverpool , 2:14 AM 31/05/2015
 
12
I am now 74, but I went to St Mathews as a primary student. I used to go to the Mass at the church and loved the fact that he played for the Blues and also 'cos my Mum thought he must be lovely lad because he must be Holy.
John Boon, Canada, 4:36 AM 10/03/2014
 
11
Tony used to live opposite me jn Sandyville Road/ My father's company did the reception at his wedding at the Farmer's Arms in Clubmoor. The last time I saw Tony was when he was playing for an all stars eleven against Heswall Reserves on the occasion of their new ground at Heswall being opened jointly by Joe Mercer and Ernie Taylor. I had talk with him at half time, and had to help him back on his feet again
John Roberts, Heswall, 8:59 PM 28/02/2014
 
10
When Tony talks about Wally Fielding having his care home fees paid for by the club as he had no family its things like this that makes Everton so special and why we are a great club. You can't buy that.
Martin, Bristol, 9:51 PM 21/10/2013
 
9
Love these interviews, keep em comin'! Very nice fella is Tony. Use to collect his pools coupon from his late 80's,early 90's,don't know how many times i told him to get his boots back on!
David, Liverpool 14, 12:52 PM 15/10/2013
 
8
I know Tony, played golf with him. Such a gentleman. I was always made up if I drew out to play with him, he would tell great stories about Everton, espacially the trips to America. Great interview.
Frank, Huyton, 9:26 AM 14/10/2013
 
7
A nice story but I don't remember Everton ever not having a manager - unless Tony is referring to when Ian Buchan was coach. Also Dixie Dean's last game for Everton was in 1938 and he retired from playing in 1941 so A/20 would have been well before Tony's time at Everton.
Dave, Auckland NZ, 1:42 AM 13/10/2013
 
6
Its style and manner, epitomised first class, but this is what the game in 1990 plus - 2000's, has lost, genuine style and manner. Fair play the past is gone but the game must learn soon,in this country there will be very little, Saturday & Sunday footie.In my time its gone big time , and so lament. Great read and keep these coming. "Whats Our Name?"
El Cid, Offshore, 11:50 PM 12/10/2013
 
5
I have so many interviews to go on to the site with many great name who have worn the blue shirt. Tony Kay, Joe Royle, Colin Harvey, John Hurst, Frank D'arcy, Graham Stuart, Tiger McLaughlin, George Wood, Alan Biley, Wayne Clarke and the oldest surviving Everton player Tom Gardner have already been done. I have many more besides such as Michael Ball, Kevin Campbell, Terry Darracott Colin Todd, Paul Rideout Tony Cottee, John Baton, Lee Carsley , Mick Ferguson, Ian Snodn and Howard Kendall already agreeing to speak with me and so many more. Thank you all for your taking to read this column and supporting the team and the Bluekipper site.
BLUE ECHO, NORT WEST, 11:16 PM 12/10/2013
 
4
Before my time, but memories worth cherishing. Makes superb reading. You're probably already doing it (or done it), Blue Kipper, but you should consider putting all these experiences in a book, and some of the proceeds could go towards the McCann's search for their daughter or Rhys's 'Foundation'. Part of the title could be something like 'Goodonyerson'.
Joe Dids, Bury, Lancs, 10:25 PM 12/10/2013
 
3
OMG Was born on 20/10/56, no wander me dad was always cross with me...he missed us doing Utd!
Malcolm in York, York, 9:34 PM 12/10/2013
 
2
Great read that and wonderful to hear that our old lads with that terrible Altzeimers and Dementia get comfort in their time of need.
Alan, Hinckley, 9:19 PM 12/10/2013
 
1
I just love hearing the stories rom the players at a time when they didn't get a year's pay every week, just normal working class guys who happened to be good at football. Let's hear more from this shrinking generation
Terry.U, Gosport, Hants, 2:19 PM 12/10/2013
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