Terry Darracott, Everton’s former full back, passed away last week. To many younger supporters the name may not mean that much but he was a player for the Blues for 11 years and although he was not what you might call a star player there were few players even then that stuck with their team as long as he did, the club meant an awful lot to him.
I first saw Terry play in 1968, I think making his debut or one of his very first games against Arsenal at Goodison Park. Unlike how he has been reported in some other tribute articles, he was playing in the unfamiliar position of left back, very much a right footer and it was a as a right back that he played the vast majority of his games for the Toffees.
He was very distinctive on that first day I saw him play, he was one of the few footballers sporting the closely shaved hair and a shaved side parting look. Although slight of build in those early days he looked tough and he played rough. It was fitting that he played during the late 70’s soccer resurgence in the North American Soccer League for Tulsa Roughnecks. Though hairstyles changed during the early 70’s with his beloved Everton the edge to his game never disappeared. If I was to give a current example of foul play as being the tackle by Allan on Saint-Maximin at Goodison Park recently then I’m sure had Terry Darracott made the same tackle he would have turned away with a satisfied smirk on his lips rather than pleading his innocence. I’m equally sure Saint-Maximin would not have got up as quickly!
As longer haired fashions emerged in the early 70’s and sadly Terry’s hair didn’t keep pace, he sported what we used to lovingly call a “comb-over”. He was instantly recognisable. He was always shouting for the ball and in the half-full stadiums at Goodison in the early 70’s his voice punctured the air. Without ever being a firm fans’ favourite Terry played several games a season for the Blues without being an absolute starter until about 1974/ 75 when he played right back under manager Billy Bingham’s tenure. He did do a pretty good job in that right back position sending crosses aplenty over but like most supporters of that era they will fondly remember him for his dogged determination and ferocious tackling. It was the 70s after all and you had to be full blooded or you’d fail or get injured! One thing never lacking with Terry was the art of tackling.
Terry did return as a coach later for Everton under Howard Kendall and later still was part of Kenny Dalglish’s hugely successful mid-90s football coaching set up at title winning Blackburn Rovers, finishing his football career as assistant manager at Wrexham in 2009.
There’ll not be many or any clips of Terry as a football player and the clips might have had to be age-restricted (he’d laugh at that!). But he left a lasting impression on me and many supporters my age. He will hopefully be remembered as a fine Evertonian, a player who got on with training and playing even when things didn’t go his way. He was simply Terry Darracott, a local player who was grateful to play for his club. RIP Terry.