OCT
27
2013
Exclusive Interview With John McLaughlin
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Blue Echo Interviews John McLaughlin

John McLaughlin was one of Harry Catterick's signings back in 1972 arriving from Falkirk where he ended his career after leaving Everton via a stint in the States.

John is a legend back in Falkirk and is a season ticket holder at the Falkirk Stadium. He has not been to  Goodison since Brian Labone invited him.

John was very obliging with the interview and his warmth shone through and I enjoyed his company. I sincerely hope you enjoy him as much as I did. COYB!

Q1/ YOU STARTED YOUR CAREER AT FALKIRK. TELL MORE ABOUT YOUR BREAK IN FOOTBALL. 

A1/ I started off with a trial, got a couple of reserve games then got into the first team. and that was it.

Q2/ YOU JOINED EVERTON 4 YEARS LATER WHEN EVERTON CAME CALLING. WHEN WERE YOU FIRST AWARE OF THEIR INTEREST?

A2/  It was a Thursday night and I got a phone call from the manager (Falkirk) to tell me that I had to go to Carlisle to meet Harry Catterick. It wasn't a case that I wanted to go it was that I was to be transferred

Q3/ DID THE STEP UP TO EVERTON WORRY YOU AT ALL?

A3/ I was a little apprehensive about going down there but football players are football players aren't they? It doesn't matter who you are.

It's like when you change your job, you meet new people and you have to get on with it.

I started off as an apprentice plumber to get my grounding as you are not relying on football for the rest of your life and not wondering what's going to happen. I just treated football like a job.

Q4/ WHAT WAS SAID TO CONVINCE YOU TO SIGN FOR EVERTON?

A4/ I didn't really have an option. In them days you didn't have a choice you got told that you were going and that was it.

Falkirk were always a club that sold their players and they could not turn down Everton's offer. They were a club that was always up and down from the first and second division so they had to sell.

Q5/ HOW QUICKLY DID YOU SETTLE IN AND WAS IT EASIER HAVING JOE HARPER AND JOHN CONNOLY WITH YOU?

A5/  No, I settled in fine. Like I say I just treated it like a job. You meet different players at different clubs and I got on with them fine.

Q6/ WHO WAS YOUR ROOM MATE AT AWAY GAMES?

A6/ There's a bonny question. I had one or two . To tell you the truth I can't remember you know that? I roomed with Dai Davies a couple of times.

Q7/ TELL ME ABOUT YOUR DEBUT

A7/ I think it was the Saturday after I signed and it was away at Leeds United. I think the next 2 were Arsenal then Liverpool.

I was quite fast which helped me. The players down there were a wee bit quicker so I had to learn a bit faster.

Leeds had  Bremner, Jones, Charlton and Clarke. Arsenal were another good team with great players

Q8/ WHO WAS YOUR BIGGEST THREAT FOR YOUR POSITION?

A8/ Archie Styles I think. Henry Newton came a couple of years later who was a nice lad.

Q9/ TELL ME ABOUT YOUR ONLY EVERTON GOAL?

A9/ It was Arsenal at Goodison. I just hit it with my left foot and to tell you the truth I think it was more of an own goal. It was Peter Simpson that tried to clear it with his right foot which wasn't his best foot but was going in anyway so I claimed it.

Q10/ WHAT WAS YOUR OPPINION OF HARRY CATTERICK?

A10/ A gentleman. Without a shadow of doubt a really nice man (repeating).

Q11/ WAS THE TRAINING AT EVERTON MORE DEMANDING THAN AT FALKIRK?

A11/ It was more heavier. At Falkirk it was much lighter. We used to have a match amongst the players and then at Falkirk I was only part time.

Stewart Imlach and Wilf Dixon took the sessions.

12/ IN YOUR OPPINION, WHO WAS THE HARDEST TRAINER AMONGST THE PLAYERS?

A12/ Probably Colin Harvey, he really looked after himself.

Q13/ WERE THE EXPECTATIONS AT EVERTON  GREATER THAN YOU THOUGHT?

A13/ They had won the league prior to me joining so whether that tells you something? They were a top club way back then and they had a tough time from about 1971 for about 6 years.

There were always expectations for the size of the club.

Q14/ WHAT WAS YOUR FAVOURITE STADIUM?

A14/ I liked Goodison, it was a really good stadium.

Q15/ WHO WAS YOUR TOUGHEST OPPONENT?

A15/ Ian Callaghan (Liverpool)was a handful and Keith Weller (Chelsea) was the strongest.

Q16/ BEST PLAYER YOU PLAYED WITH?

A16/  Probably wee  Alan Ball for the way he could play the ball off. The way he would take it into his body and play it off.  A fantastic one touch player.

Colin Harvey was also a good player.

Q17/ WHAT IS YOUR FUNNIEST MEMORY IN FOOTBALL?

A17/ Not really, it was a long while back and a lot is now vague to me.

Q18/ WHAT WAS YOUR BEST PRE SEASON TOUR?

A18/ Singapore was good, I think that was 1972 that was an experience.

Q19/ WHAT MOMENT IN FOOTBALL WOULD YOU LIKE TO FORGET?

A19/  I got sent off a few times. I scored a terrific own goal at Anfield once.  It was a header from a corner kick, it was a beauty. Tommy Wright ducked the ball hit me and it flew right into the goal. I didn't see it go in, I just heard the roar.

Q20/ WHAT DOES JOHN McLAUGHLIN DO TODAY?

I retired when I was 51.  I go and watch Falkirk every week and even buy my own season ticket. I can get tickets but would rather buy a season ticket. I go to a lot of away games with the ex players.

Q21/ WHO CHRISTENED YOU TIGER?

A21/ I think it was at Brockville when I first went. I got called the name and it just stuck. Even today I get called that which is quite nice but it doesn't bother me.

 

Email Bluekipper at enquiries@bluekipper.com

Comments about Exclusive Interview With John McLaughlin
 
7
John made his home debut for Everton against Newcastle United 30th October 1971. Alan Ball played and scored in that match. I was there.
Dave Jones, London, 10:41 PM 12/12/2014
 
6
played with him at Gowanhill great player hard as nails good to have in the trenches when it came to a battle his nickname with us was peapod who tackled like a Tiger
Andy DUN, Balfron Stirlingshire, 8:00 PM 3/12/2014
 
5
Brockville Tiger? It was Bellefield lad lol
Steve, Widnes, 11:16 PM 1/12/2013
 
4
Good character was John,always gave 100%
Roy winstanley, Aintree, 10:59 PM 31/10/2013
 
3
Another really good interview but i think Tigers memory might be fading. He said that other than Archie Styles, Henry Newton was his biggest rival. He said that Newton came later. I'm pretty sure we signed Newton in 1970 because i remember seeing his debut at Highbury and we lost 4-0. Also he says that the best player he played with was Alan Ball. Bally left for Arsenal in 1971. If Tiger joined in 1972 he must be having a senior moment. I remember him as a wholehearted defender so he can be forgiven for his dodgy memory
Vic, Exiled Blue, Carshalton, 2:50 PM 28/10/2013
 
2
I remember Tigers' debut at Leeds, he did well and amazed everyone in the Cowshed End when he headed a full-blooded piledriver of a shot from Peter Lorimer off the line. A very honest, hard-working player, the sort the Cat liked to compliment the touch and skill players. And what a good guy, buying his own tickets rather than expecting Falkirk to give comps for free, shows the kind of straight up guy he was/is.
Andy, Accra, Ghana, 12:10 AM 28/10/2013
 
1
Another good read on a quiet Sunday afternoon BK, so thanks for that. Can't wait for the Andy Van der Meyde issue though,I can smell the hops from here.
Willy, Eckesrsley, 1:59 PM 27/10/2013
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