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On This Day In Everton History: April 1st

Blues crowned champions again and more in today’s feature

Soccer - Football League Division One - Everton v West Bromwich Albion - Goodison Park
Everton won the First Division title 50 years ago today
Photo by Peter Robinson/EMPICS via Getty Images

We’re looking back at three notable Everton victories today, including a derby thumping, a win that moved them closer to the league title, and the three points that crowned them champions (again). Let’s go:

1904 - Blues romp past wretched Reds

Not all Merseyside derbies that have ended 5-2 have involved Everton given a good hiding and their manager given his P45 a day later. Indeed, back in the heady days of 1904, roles were rather reversed between the Blues and their near neighbours.

Everton were eighth but a strong end to the season would see them finish third, just four points behind champions Sheffield Wednesday, who successfully retained their title. Liverpool, meanwhile, faced a second relegation battle in the last decade under Tom Watson, with this bruising Good Friday defeat leaving them just one place above safety.

The rout began almost instantaneously, Sam Wolstenholme netting to give Everton the lead after just three minutes. Though Liverpool then equalised through Robbie Robinson, it was then that Alex ‘Sandy’ Young took matters into his own hands, scoring a magnificent four goals of his own to pummel Watson’s sorry side.

Jack Cox’s goal was scant consolation for the Reds, who then missed a late penalty to added further insult to injury. Things wouldn’t improve, either - they later slipped a place to 17th and were ultimately relegated.

1963 - Villa victory keeps Everton in the hunt

Alex Young
Alex Young netted one of his 22 Everton goals in 1962-63 on this day
Photo by Evening Standard/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

A run of two straight away defeats in a week had left Everton’s 1962-63 title challenge looking rather bleak with 12 games to play. If they were going to rise from third and win the league from here, they would have to be almost perfect from here on out.

They made the best possible start in that regard, seeing off mid-table Aston Villa on April 1, 1963 at Villa Park as Harry Catterick’s men got back on track just when they needed to most.

They were made to be patient; Alex Young did not break the deadlock with his 17th goal of the season until 48 minutes, while it was only in the final minute of normal time that Jimmy Gabriel doubled the Blues’ lead to secure the three points. A vital win that prevented anyone from ruling Everton out of the title running altogether.

1970 - Seventh heaven as Blues become champions again

It was exactly seven years later, though, that the Blues sealed their seventh league title with two games to play, courtesy of a routine 2-0 home win over West Brom in front of a delirious 58,000-strong Goodison Park.

An early Alan Whittle opener settled the nerves, before a Colin Harvey long-range stunner midway through the second half sealed the three points, a seventh successive league win and, far more importantly, a seventh league title for the Blues.

The full-time whistle sparked the inevitable mad surge of on-rushing fans wanting to celebrate with Harry Catterick and his heroes, sparking the sort of scenes scarcely replicated this side of Stanley Park since then.

This could have been the start of something. Everton were, to put it bluntly, a ‘proper team’ then, and looked well-equipped to dominate the English landscape for years to come. To quote Alan Ball:

“This team is certain to go better... how can we fail?”