On a date that hasn’t seen an Everton game since 2008, today we look back at two occasions in the 1980s when May 4 brought tremendous joy to Blues everywhere, including one particular day that will live on in legend forever. Let’s go:
1985 - Sheff Wed win makes it 14 away games unbeaten
On this day in 1985, champions-elect Everton took another step towards their eighth First Division title by winning 1-0 at Sheffield Wednesday, and in doing so sealed a record 14th successive away game unbeaten in all competitions.
Andy Gray bundled home a scrappy close-range goal on 26 minutes to secure three points for Howard Kendall’s men, who had not lost on the road since late November and at home since the end of December.
Though Kendall would have Neville Southall to thank greatly for this win, as the Welshman made a number of fine saves to deny the Owls, including one stop at full stretch to deny a former Blue, Imre Varadi.
There were six league games left, but victory over QPR at Goodison Park two days later would clinch the title with five to play.
1987 - Van Den Hauwe seals ninth league title for Blues
Just two years after that inevitable title success, the Blues were at it again, putting the seal on their ninth First Division with two games to spare at Norwich City.
In another 1-0 win, Pat Van Den Hauwe’s only goal of the season came at the best possible time, leathering home from a corner after just 55 seconds. Again, though, Everton were made to work for the win, particularly when Robert Rosario came close with a first-half header and then when Southall and Paul Power bumped into each other nearly gifted the Canaries a second-half leveller.
But Kendall’s men would hold out for their second league title in three years, cueing swathes of delirious Evertonians to flock to the Carrow Road pitch to celebrate with their heroes.
Little did they know that, 33 years later, we would still be waiting for title number ten.