Come from behind success seems to be the theme for May 14th, so let’s take a look at how this date shaped Everton history as we know it!
1966: Everton complete comeback to win FA Cup
The early 1960’s were one of the better times in Everton history. The club didn’t fall below 5th at any point from the beginning of the decade through 1965 and they had captured another league title to add to their trophy case. So, when the 1965-66 campaign came around, many expected much of the same from the Toffees. Unfortunately, things did not go as planned as Everton lost 12 games by the end of the calendar year, including 7 of 11 matches from the beginning of November through December. They did pick things up as things turned to 1966, going unbeaten in 14 straight, but were unable to save the season as they finished below 10th for the first time since the 1959-60 season. But, all was not lost as the Toffees were dominating the FA Cup, specifically on the defensive side. Everton opened the competition with three consecutive 3 goal victories, all 3-0, over Sunderland, Bedford Town and Coventry City. They were cruising when they entered the quarterfinals, but Manchester City would give them a battle. After two scoreless draws in each team’s home stadium, the two sides faced off in a second replay at Molineux. It was another tough battle, but the Toffees were finally able to close the door on City, beating them 2-0, to advance to the next round. In the semis, it was Manchester United that tried to keep Everton from moving on to the finals, but just like the other 4 teams, the Red Devils were unable to grab a goal. Colin Harvey was the lone goalscorer in this one as the Toffees advanced to the final, winning 1-0. That brings us to May 14th, 1966.
With the league season ending about 10 days prior, Everton met Sheffield Wednesday in the FA Cup Final at Wembley. The two sides had met twice already that season with each team winning at home, so this one was bound to be a good one, but no one expected what actually happened. The Toffees hadn’t given up a goal the whole tournament, but Sheffield Wednesday would change that quickly as they scored 2 to head in to the half up 2-0. Sheffield Wednesday would continue to hold the lead in the second half and things were looking bleak for the Toffees until the 60th minute. With a half hour to play, Mike Trebilcock put one in the back of the net to cut the deficit in half. That sparked the comeback. 5 minutes later Trebilcock would tie things up at 2 with his second of the day and, all of a sudden, Everton were back in business. David Temple would seal the come from behind victory with a goal from the edge of the box to put the Toffees up 3-2 for good. Despite the rough season in league play, Everton still finished the campaign with a trophy. It was the first time the Toffees had lifted the FA Cup trophy since 1933 and it would be their last until 1984.
1984: Everton finish in 7th after dismal start to campaign
As we have mentioned, in 1981, Howard Kendall took over as manager of the Toffees and we remember all the great times and the trophies he brought the club in his time here, but what we don’t remember is how he was on the brink of being sacked before any of that happened. After Kendall took over, the Toffees were certainly better than before, but they were not reaching the heights they had hoped. They had finished in 7th and 8th in Kendall’s first two seasons, respectively, but they wanted more. Unfortunately, as the 1983-84 campaign got underway, they got the opposite. After a 6 game stretch in November where the Toffees fell in 4 of them, the fans were calling for Kendall’s sacking as the team would slip into 18th place during the season, but things would turn around as the legacy of Howard Kendall’s managerial career at Everton started to take shape. With his back up against the wall, Kendall led the Toffees out of the dark, losing just two of 21 matches from the end of November through mid-February, including 14 straight starting on the last day of the 1983 calendar year. From that point, they would only lose 5 games the rest of the season, moving Everton up the table, which brings us to May 14th, 1984.
On the final day of the season, the Toffees took on West Ham United with a chance to end their season on a high note. Everton had already played the Hammers three times that season, winning one, losing one and drawing one. But, with the team in good form, they had no problem handling West Ham this time around. The defense was phenomenal, holding West Ham scoreless, while Kevin Richardson scored the only goal of the game as the Toffees won 1-0. Everton would finish in 7th that year as Kendall figured out how to get the best out of his team. 5 days later, he would pick up his first trophy with the club as Everton would beat Watford, 2-0, to win the FA Cup, kick starting what would be some of the best years the club has seen.
And THAT is today in Everton history!