NOV
02
2013
Exclusive Interview With Frank Darcy
6 comments
Bookmark and Share

 

Blue Echo Interviews Frank D'Arcy

I met Frank in his local pub and was quite surprised at how much he remembered from his ten year stay with Everton. He spoke very well of his colleagues and of the manager Harry Catterick.

Frank still goes to Goodison every home game and is a very approachable person. Frank was unfortunate to have Tommy Wright and Ray Wilson as his competition but was always the 12th man.

Ladies and gentlemen enjoy the tales of Frank D'arcy. COYB!

Q1/ HOW DID YOU JOIN EVERTON FC?

A1/ Straight from school at 15 signed apprentice. I was playing football in Stanley Park with my mates around 6pm then I heard this shout "Frank, Frank, Frank"

It was my mother's voice. I ran over and asked her what the matter was? She said "There's  a Mr. Baker in the house with his big black Rolls Royce outside who wants to sign you for Everton.

He was a director at Everton. I went inside, shook hands with him and he told me that he wanted to sign me and he already had the papers with him for me to sign.

He gave me the forms which I signed then asked him if I could go out and finish playing football with my mates which he replied yes.

Later when I got back home my mother said that I have to take you to town tomorrow to get you a black blazer and a pair of grey trousers with an Everton badge that he gave my mother to sew onto the pocket of the blazer.

He also gave her an envelope containing £250 and an envelope for me with £150 which was then a lot of money.

I then had to report at Goodison dressed in my new attire.

Q2/ YOU PLAYED FOR EVERTON'S YOUTH TEAM IN THE FINAL OF THE FA YOUTH CUP AGAINST ARSENAL IN 1965. WHAT DO YOU REMEMBER OF IT?

A2/ I played at centre half and marked John Radford. We lost the first leg at Highbury 1-0. The second leg at Goodison was a night game and watched by 39,000 fans!

It absolutely lashed it down with rain and still trailing by the 1 goal from the first leg and  only ten minutes remaining I'm sure it was John Hurst that got the equaliser to level the tie.

The game went into extra time and it was either Tony McLaughlin or Aiden Maher that got the winner for Everton.

 Q3/ YOU MADE YOUR FULL DEBUT AT LEEDS UNITED 16TH APRIL 1966, TELL ME ABOUT IT

 A3/ I don't remember much, we got bet 1-0 I'm sure of it. I'd just signed professional forms at the age of 17.

I found out the day before that I was playing when Harry Catterick who we used to call "Boss" said that he wanted me to take a walk with him.

I'm thinking what does he want me to walk with him for? We walked around this garden and he broke the news to me as one of the regulars was injured.

He told me that I had to mark the winger whose name I can't recall. 

I made an early tackle on Billy Bremner and very nearly chopped him in half. He growled at me with a threat of that he would have me.

They are the only 2 things that I can remember, the fact I played against Leeds and my altercation with Bremner.

Q4/ TELL ME ABOUT YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH HARRY CATTERICK?

A4/ He was a gentleman but has anyone told you what he did to me and Gordon West? Gordon and myself used to like a smoke. Before we went out at Bellefield to train we used to share a cigarette in the toilet.

What he had done was he came down from his office, went around the back climbed up a ladder and opened the toilet window and caught the two of us smoking! He sent us to his office and fined us £10 each.

When I was 15 years of age, the professionals, George Thompson, Alex Young and Roy Vernon used to smoke in the dressing room.

The only time we saw Harry Catterick on the training ground was on a Tuesday because the first team used to play the reserves. He would appear in a tracksuit and wait for the first goal to go in for  the first team then he would go back to his office.

I remember one of the European Cup games in Iceland (Keflavik). I think it was Sandy Brown and Tommy Jackson that was on the bench with me that night. It was freezing and we only had a couple of blankets between us. The "Catt" threw me on for the last ten minutes.

On the coach back to the airport the driver stopped to put some diesel in the bus and on board we had a journalist from the Echo called Michael Charters. He got off the bus to make a phone call to report for the paper

The Boss asked the driver what he was waiting for to which the driver replied "Michael Charters"

The boss said "You had better start driving right NOW!. I've got a million pounds worth of players here so you had better go and we left Michael there.

I think he (Charters) arrived home about 3 or 4 days later. Catterick just left him there.

Harry Catterick one day got all the players in a room and said that he had reports about players drinking in the afternoon in Town.

If I find out who it is you will be fined. If you want a drink go out of town.

 Q5/ WHO WAS THE BEST TRAINER AMONGST THE PLAYERS  IN YOUR TIME AT EVERTON?

 A5/ That's a hard one that. We all trained hard.  Colin Harvey was a very hard trainer but we all trained hard.

Q6/ HOW FRUSTRATING WAS IT FOR YOU TO BE KEPT OUT OF THE FIRST TEAM AND WHAT KEPT YOUR  SPIRITS UP?

A6/ Money.... I was there for ten years. Alex Young and Roy Vernon were there when I joined and after they went there was the next crop with Harvey, Bally and Howard Kendall to which I came through with.

Everton always signed good players. Keith Newton, Sandy Brown and Henry Newton were always there.

One day I went to see Harry Catterick and said

"Boss, it's not worth me staying because I'm only getting a game now and then"

Catterick (On the telephone) "  s that you Harry (Cooke) Can you come in here please? When Cooke appeared Catterick asked him what I was on.

Cooke replied "£25 a week with crowd bonuses"

Catterick: Put him on an extra £10 a week. Sign here Frank and go and do your training

 Q7/ WHO WAS YOUR BEST FRIEND AT THE CLUB?

 A7/ Roger Kenyon, Colin Harvey, John Hurst and Joe Royle.

 Q8/ WHAT DO YOU REMEMBER OF EVERTON'S PARTICIPATION IN THE EUROPEAN CUP 1970/71?

 A8/  I was involved in a lot of the trips but can't remember what I played in. We saw a lot of the world especially the pre season trips.

After we won the FA Cup in 1966 we were only back in training for a couple of days then we went to Israel for 3 weeks

We played about 3 or 4 games for them then we visited America and Australia. You were never at home!

 Q9/ WHEN THE CLUB WERE CROWNED LEAGUE CHAMPIONS IN 1969/70 WHAT KIND OF SPIRIT WAS THERE AMONGST THE LADS?

 A9/  Brilliant. They (Kendall Harvey and Ball) ran the show if you remember. We had big Joe Royle up front and Jimmy Husband out wide. There was a lot of high spirits amongst us all.

 Q10/  WHAT WAS YOUR BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT IN YOUR TEN YEAR SPELL AT THE CLUB?

 A10/ When they got rid of me. I was playing in a reserve match at Goodison and I got caught up in a tackle where my leg went one way and my knee the other.

I went to see the physio then a guy called Norman Borrowdale who took me to see a specialist in Rodney Street to tell me that I wouldn't kick a ball again.

I did a bit of training at Goodison but it just wasn't right. I was limping and I would find myself shirking out of tackles.

Norman asked me what the matter was to which I replied "I'm frightened in case my knee goes again.

At the end of the season, Harry Catterick told me that he was letting me go.

I went to say goodbye to everybody and walked out.

 I got a phone call from the manager of Tranmere Rovers at the time which was Ron Yeates.

He asked me over and managed to play 11 games then my whole knee went.

I went over to Liverpool to see Bob Paisley to see if he could put me in touch with a surgeon. I got a phone call asking me to go and see him.

I went along to Rodney Street with my mother to be told that I wouldn't play football again which was a bit of a shock. He told me that my ligaments had all gone that they had been stretched. All my cartilage was damaged then was operated the following Monday in Fazakerley hospital.

My brother used to work for a builders firm called Tyson's and took a three year course as a painter and decorator with them.

I knew a director from Guinness who asked me what I was up to and told him. He asked me if I could drive a fork lift. He repeated the question to be given the same answer.

He said then "You can can't you" to which I said " Okay, yes"  Then I joined Guinness and it was one of the best jobs I ever had. I still get my pension from them.

Q11/ WHAT WAS THE HIGHLIGHT OF YOUR TIME THERE?

A11/ I would say it was making my debut at the age of 17 against Leeds United.

Q12/ WHO WAS THE BIGGEST JOKER AT THE CLUB IN YOUR TIME THERE?

A12/ It's got to be Westie (Gordon West)

We used to have court meetings every other Monday. The one that he crucified the most was Bernie Wright. There used to be a court every morning at 10am.

Q13/ WHO WAS THE MOST SKILFUL AT THE CLUB IN YOUR TIME THERE?

A13/  (A Long pause) If I had to choose one then it would have to be Alan Ball.

Q14/ WHICH WAS YOUR FAVOURITE GROUND?

A14/  Old Trafford and Newcastle United.

Q15/ WHO WAS TOUGHEST OPPONENT?

A15/ George Best. I couldn't get near him. One second he was there then the next he was gone. The only way to have stopped him was to give away a foul.

16/ WHAT WAS YOUR FUNNIEST MEMORY?

A16/ We went on a trip to Israel. We had a director at the club called Mr. Waterworth.

Anyway one day it must have been 80-90 degrees and he (Waterworth) always wore a shirt, tie and a suit. He used to come to you every day with your expenses.

Labby (Brian Labone) said to me. "Shall we ? And I replied "What?"

Labby said "I've seen Westie. And what we are going to do is when he's paid everybody their expenses, we're going to throw him in the pool!"

And they did. But to be fair he took it well.

Q17/ WHO WAS THE BEST PLAYER THAT YOU PLAYED WITH?

A17/ Alan Ball

Q18/ WHAT DID RAY WILSON TEACH YOU AS A DEFENDER?

A18/ Ray was one of them who kept himself to himself who very rarely joined in with company.

He never taught me much to be honest.

Q19/ WHAT WAS YOUR TIME LIKE AT TRANMERE ROVERS?

A19/ I wasn't there long. I had to play 12 games to get my signing on fee of £1,000 and my leg went on my eleventh.

Q20/ TELL ME ABOUT FRANK D'ARCY TODAY

A20/ I'm now retired and awaiting a knee replacement which the club will pay for. I had some new dentures which the foundation paid for too.

 

Email Bluekipper at enquiries@bluekipper.com

Comments about Exclusive Interview With Frank Darcy
 
6
Frank mentions the 1965 Youth Cup. I've often wondered if I was the only person who saw both legs of the final. As I was a student in London at the time, I went to Highbury where there were about 3000 people present and the following week was back in Liverpool to go to the second leg at the end of which Everton had won the Cup in front of a crowd 10 times bigger than Arsenal's. In between the matches, I travelled home on the train carrying the other lot who had just won the other cup but 1966 was just around the corner.
David Catton, Chesterfield, 9:06 PM 7/11/2013
 
5
Great interview. I remember Frank, but mostly as a name on the programme. He didn't play often. That interview brought back memories like Keflavik of Iceland. I was only 15 and started work that season. The next round of the European Cup we played Borussia Moenchengladbach and I flew for the first time in my life to Dussledorf. 26 pounds return with hotel for a night, match ticket at Bokelstrasse stadium and coach transfers. What memories. Gunter Netzer scored and Howie Kendall equalised. What memories. I LOVE EVERTON FOOTBALL CLUB.. A TRUE UNRESERVED LOVE OF MY LIFE!
Peter, Tuebrook, 6:07 PM 4/11/2013
 
4
What a guy Frank is, always polite and loves the odd joke.
Adam Farley, Liverpool, 12:22 AM 4/11/2013
 
3
I worked with Frank in Guinness,He was a brilliant fella,so funny.
Keith, number one son.only when i went for his coffee, 5:28 PM 2/11/2013
 
2
The answer to Q20 says everything about what a fabulous and honourable club Everyon are, and what a great job the former players foundation does. Great interview, keep 'em coming.
Andy, Accra, Ghana, 2:16 PM 2/11/2013
 
1
Wow,what a nice guy! Imagine any of that happening now. Signing on without an agent or lawyer present. Getting a career ending injury and feeling no bitterness or sense of grievance. Playing with legends and accepting it as normal. Glad to hear the club looks after our old stagers.
Win, Stafford, 1:29 PM 2/11/2013
New comment about Exclusive Interview With Frank Darcy
Name:
Location:
Comment:
Verify:

Reload Image
 Please type the string above in the input box below.