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On This Day in Everton History: May 28th

An new era starts and an unforgettable season draws to a close in today’s feature

Howard Kendall and Billy Bingham
Billy Bingham (right), who was appointed Everton manager on this day in 1973, with Howard Kendall in 1973
Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

As seasons end, so too, inevitably, do some managerial tenures.

Today, we look back at how perhaps the best campaign in Everton came to an end, and how a new era at Goodison park began. Let’s go:

1973 - Former Blue Bingham returns as boss

Soccer - League Division One - Everton Photocall
Bingham (central, front row) with the 1974-75 Everton team
Photo by PA Images via Getty Images

By the end of the 1972-73 season, Everton’s better days of the 1960s were well and truly a thing of the past. From First Division champions in 1969-70, the Blues failed to record a single top-half finish in the three following seasons.

Harry Catterick had left as manager in April 1973 to take up an executive role at the club, and after Tommy Eggleston presided over a tortuous ending to a season which yielded 17th place, the hot seat was filled on May 28, 1973 by former Everton winger, Billy Bingham.

Already garnering respect from the Goodison Park faithful as an old boy, the Northern Irishman boasted a rather diverse managerial CV by then, having previously been in charge of Southport, Northern Ireland, Plymouth Argyle, Linfield and latterly Greece.

Bingham would last almost four years in charge at Goodison, winning no trophies despite a significant upturn; at least in his early days. Indeed, he may best be remembered as the manager who oversaw a drop from first to fourth place in the final five league games of 1974-75.

1985 - Stunning season ends with a thud as Southall completes full house

When you ask Evertonians fortunate enough to remember the 1984-85 season, they will recall the stunning football, the unforgettable wins over Bayern Munich and Rapid Vienna, the jaunt to the title at a canter, that 28-game unbeaten run in all competitions.

What they will be probably less likely, or at least less inclined to remember, will be its finale. For just two days after being thumped 4-1 at Coventry in their penultimate game of the season, the Blues lost again on this day, going down 2-0 to Luton.

It was revenge somewhat for the Hatters, who had been edged out by Everton 2-1 in the FA Cup semi-finals a month earlier. An early goal from Emeka Nwajiobi set the tone, before Luton hero Ricky Hill doubled what prove an unassailable lead on the hour.

In truth, it was an under-strength Everton side they saw off, with of Jason Danskin, Neil Rimmer and Derek Walsh all making their only appearances of the campaign that night at Kenilworth Road, Darren Hughes his second, and Robbie Wakenshaw his third.

Though if anyone of a royal blue persuasion might remember this game more fondly than most, it will be iconic goalkeeper Neville Southall, who completed an ever-present campaign that night. His 63rd appearance of the season at Luton remains a record high for an Everton player.