Evertonians won’t derive any pleasure from recent memories of April 3 matches. The Blues have lost their last four on this date, including to both Manchester United and Liverpool, as well as going down to struggling West Brom and an Alan Shearer-inspired Newcastle.
In fact, it’s been a pretty miserable day for the club for as long as they’ve been in existence. Of the 25 games Everton have played on April 3, they’ve won only five of them. Here, we look back at three of the best:
1931 - Stein takes Everton closer to immediate top-flight return
The 1930-31 saw Everton enter uncharted territory. Relegated for the first time in their history the season before, they began this campaign in the Second Division, with an immediate return to the top-flight the aim.
By the time they visited Bristol City, themselves hovering just above the relegation zone, on April 3, the Blues had been top of the league for almost six months. With just seven games to go, promotion was within touching distance.
And they took another step closer that day, though not thanks to Dixie Dean, scorer of 48 goals that season, but of Jimmy Stein, who notched his 12th of the campaign on the half-hour mark in the only goal at Ashton Gate.
1982 - McMahon on target to edge Blues past Forest
Steve McMahon is obviously remember more for his six-year spell across Stanley Park at Liverpool, but it was on this day in 1982 that McMahon netted the winner for Everton, the club he started his career with.
A fairly unremarkable first season under Howard Kendall, then player-manager, saw Everton fail to make the latter stages of either domestic cup competition and languish in mid-table for much of the league campaign.
Indeed, it says much that one of the Blues’ better days of that season came on this day at the City Ground, when McMahon scored the only goal of the game against Nottingham Forest on 74 minutes to ensure they offered the perfect response to the home derby defeat the previous weekend.
1985 - Kendall’s table-toppers see off title rivals Tottenham
It didn’t take Kendall long to turn Everton into an unstoppable force, though. Three years later to the day, an away win at title rivals Tottenham moved the Blues closer to becoming champions, extending their unbeaten run in all competitions to an unbelievable 18 games.
Andy Gray capitalised on an early mistake by Paul Miller to hump Everton ahead inside seven minutes at White Hart Lane. Then, another defensive blunder from Spurs, this time from Mark Bowen, let Trevor Steven in, who rounded Ray Clemence before slotting to double their lead just after the hour mark.
It wouldn’t be smooth sailing from there on out, though; Graham Roberts soon halved the deficit with a 25-yard bullet that arrowed past the helpless Neville Southall. And Southall would then come to Everton’s rescue with an incredible save from Mark Falco’s header from point-blank range.
Ultimately, though, as they often did that season, the Blues got the job down.