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On This Day in Everton History: May 11th

Blues become champions for the first time in 24 years, a truly dreadful night at Highbury and two managers’ final games in today’s features

Soccer - League Division One - Everton v Fulham - Goodison Park
Everton won the First Division title on this day in 1963 after victory over Fulham
Photo by PA Images via Getty Images

May 11 marks the anniversary of one Everton’s highest highs and two of their more forgettable lows, including one title celebration, one bruising defeat and two managerial farewells. Let’s look back:

1963 - Fulham victory sees Blues end 24-year title drought

It was on this day in 1963 that a final-day thrashing of Fulham saw Harry Catterick’s side crown a superb season by becoming champions for the first time since 1939.

The Blues were two up at Goodison Park inside eight minutes thanks to a Roy Vernon brace, and soon regained a two-goal lead that Johnny Key had halved thanks to Alex Scott. Vernon then netted his hat-trick and his 27th and final game of an excellent campaign to seal the 4-1 win.

This result also meant that Everton had secured their greatest points total so far with 61 and unbeaten home campaign for the first time in their history. Second-placed Tottenham still had three games to play but could no longer catch Catterick’s Blues, who deservedly regained their title.

May 11 1963 - the 4-1 home win against Fulham sees us crowned as champions for the first time in 24 years. It also meant we went through the entire season unbeaten at home in League and Cup matches.

1987 - Kendall’s first spell as boss ends with Spurs win

Another season in which the Blues were champions was rounded off with a home win in 1987; indeed, over third-placed Tottenham, as Howard Kendall’s first reign as Everton manager came to an end.

It was Derek Mountfield who netted the only goal of the game with ten minutes left to play at Goodison, which then saw its heroes lift the First Division title for the ninth and most recent time in their history after the match.

But it would prove the final chapter of this stunningly successful era in the Blues’ history, with Kendall moving on to Spanish side Athletic Bilbao afterwards.

2005 - 4th-placed Blues come thumping back to earth at Highbury

Only David Moyes could lead Everton to fourth with a negative goal difference, due in no small part to the 7-0 battering they suffered at Arsenal on this day in their penultimate game of 2004-05.

The Blues had already locked up fourth place thanks to their home win over Newcastle the previous weekend and the Gunners’ subsequent victory against Liverpool in fifth, but this was a demolition job on an under-strength Everton side.

Robin van Persie started the rout after eight minutes, before goals followed from Robert Pires, who bagged a brace, Patrick Vieira, Edu from the penalty spot, Dennis Bergkamp and finally Mathieu Flamini.

This remains the last time Everton shipped seven in a match and their joint-heaviest defeat.

2016 - Sunderland drubbing proves Martinez’s last stand

Like Kendall, another managerial spell came to end on May 11, although this time in 2016 in far grimmer circumstances.

Roberto Martinez had long since lost the backing of many Evertonians by the end of the 2015-16 campaign, which would see the club finish 11th and amass 47 points for the second successive year.

But after two semi-final cup defeats, an Anfield hammering and countless more embarrassments, the Blues being thoroughly outplayed by Sam Allardyce’s relegation-threatened Sunderland, who secured safety in their 3-0 win here, proved the last straw.

A reign that had started so promisingly, with a fifth-placed finish, free-flowing football and a record points haul came to an overdue ending the following day.