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"The Sandy Brown Derby (1969-70)" by Frank Dacey - Magic Moments - The Liverpool Way Jump to content

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"The Sandy Brown Derby (1969-70)" by Frank Dacey


I can’t remember being more despondent about the Reds' chances in a Derby than before this one, which also just happened to be the first Derby I was able to attend. Liverpool had started the season well, dropping only two points from the the first nine games but had stuttered badly and only won three of the next 10.

 

The previous two home games had seen us go out of Europe on away goals and lose for the first time, against Arsenal. In contrast, the Blues were flying; they’d won all 10 of their home league games and were seven points ahead of us in the League with a game in hand.

 

The main stand at Goodison was being redeveloped (firewood must have been plentiful on County Road that winter) so just 57,000 crowded on to the terraces. They were greeted with the team news that Bill Shankly had dropped Roger Hunt and replaced him with Ian Ross, the reserve team captain and normally a defender. The Blues were at full strength.

 

It quickly became clear that Ross had been picked to do a man-marking job on Alan Ball and his effectiveness in that role and the usual Derby freneticism meant that neither side could create anything in a dour first half.

 

Just 2 minutes into the 2nd half, however, Liverpool made the breakthrough. Ian Callaghan hung a cross up to the far post where Emlyn Hughes got up highest. The ball hit his shoulder and trickled ever so slowly across the line.

 

Could we hang on? Surely the Blues would respond? Well if they were going to, their hopes were deflated seven minutes later. A breakaway saw Liverpool move down the left. The only problem was that there were no Reds’ players in the middle so it seemed a waste when the cross came in. Then Everton left back, Sandy Brown, took a hand. For some reason he flung himself full length and powered a sensational header into the net.

 

For a second there was a stunned silence followed by a roar from the Park End that was part jubilation, part helpless laughter. After that it was game over, 30 minutes to enjoy a sensational triumph with the icing on the cake a third goal scored by Bobby Graham.

 

I walked home - well floated more accurately - avoiding discarded blue and white scarves and the occasional disconsolate Blue. Like Smokey Robinson, it was easy to trace the tracks of their tears. I bought the Footy Echo, I bought all the papers the next day and for once, I couldn’t wait for Monday to get back to school and see all the Blues who’d confidently predicted an easy home victory. Strangely, a lot of them were not in that day.

 

Was that the start of a charge up the table or the wheels falling off the blues challenge? Sadly, not. Our next game was a 4-1 home defeat by Manchester United, followed by a 5-1 win at Burnley and the rest of the season was similarly inconsistent, culminating in a shock 1-0 FA cup defeat at Watford. Shankly decided that enough was enough and started the process of breaking up the 60s team.

 

Everton walked away with the League, but, if any Blues became a little too chirpy, two magic words could quieten them down. ‘Sandy Brown’.

 

 

 

sandybrownderby.jpg
Season:1969/70
Opposition:Everton

Result:3-0
Scorers: Emlyn Hughes, Sandy Brown (own goal), Bobby Graham
Venue: Goodison Park

 


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The sweetest wins are when you think there's no hope. Must have been great to have been there. I can just remember Everton winning the league that year and starting Knotty Ash school in september 71. We were the underdogs and were reminded of it constantly. The Evertonians and the rest of the nation thought Shankly's Liverpool was all but washed up. Needless to say the rest of my LFC supporting youth was sweet as it gets

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Different kind of memory I've got for that match.

It was me Dad's works kids Christmas party and I didn't want to go, not that I would have been at that particular match but, I didn't want to be distracted from following it on the radio. But mainly in order to keep my younger brother company, I was more or less forced to attend.

Have to say it was fucking brilliant!

Tbf, these were good, enjoyable events anyway for kids our age and this one was the best yet. They kept announcing the score as the goals went in and the place was going absolutely berserk, both kids and adults. Mad celebrations from us Reds and gasps of disbelief from the Blues.

As said, they had the last laugh, not just with winning the league, but also with a comfortable 2-0 win at Anfield.

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My dad was in the Gwladys St end that game with his older (Evertonian) brother. He's told us a few times about that goal being one of the best that he's ever seen, a flying header that Brown was almost horizontal when he connected. He really appreciated reading this article, cheers.

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It's a goal never get tired of seeing and David Coleman commentating just adds to it.

 

And yet I can't seem to find it on Youtube. For some strange reason, Goodison in them days had those weird curves in the stands behind the goals, and having seen clips of this goal on numerous occasions on TV it seems clear that the main TV camera was almost in line with that penalty area rather than on halfway.

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It has been on Youtube but it's not there now, or not that I could find. The curves behind the goal were put there after a goalkeeper had had a dart thrown at him. Everton were very hostile to Putting football on TV so they put the cameras in as awkward a place as possible. For that game they were in the Main stand only part of which had been built then. Nowadays they're on the other side.

 

Sut, I'm glad your dad enjoyed the article. 'Horizontal' is the exact word for it. I can still see him clearly now, flying in, almost Superman style, with  an expression on his face moving from gormlessness to horror as he started to realise what he was doing

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I thought the curves were put there as some sort of condition of them being allowed to host world cup games in 1966?

Though saying that, they still could have applied those conditions for the reason you say.

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It has been on Youtube but it's not there now, or not that I could find. The curves behind the goal were put there after a goalkeeper had had a dart thrown at him. Everton were very hostile to Putting football on TV so they put the cameras in as awkward a place as possible. For that game they were in the Main stand only part of which had been built then. Nowadays they're on the other side.

 

Sut, I'm glad your dad enjoyed the article. 'Horizontal' is the exact word for it. I can still see him clearly now, flying in, almost Superman style, with  an expression on his face moving from gormlessness to horror as he started to realise what he was doing

 

 

 

The goalkeeper who was the target for the Blue archers was Bill Brown of Spurs. The FA warned the club that a ground closure could ensue if the problem persisted. Everton decided to act and placed those arcs behind the goals. In light of recent Bitter target practice at the last couple of Derby games it would be helpful if they reintroduced the restriction, this time along the whole length of the Gwladys Street end.

 

I was with a friend on the Goodison Road side for the 'Sandy Brown' game. St John played deep and Ian Ross was man marking Alan Ball and we fucking destroyed them. They had plenty of the game but hardly created a chance, yet whenever we attacked we looked like scoring.

 

When Hughes scored my friend and I finished up on the floor, entwined in the sort of man hug that you would now only see in re-runs of 'Women In Love'. The surrounding Bluenoses were not impressed and we got into a war of words that was threatening to become physical. Then this old guy chipped in.

 

" Behave yourselves, y' stupid bastards. D'ye think they'll (the players) be fighting each other tonight? No chance. They'll be on the ale together while you fucking idiots are fighting each other". Then, with a tone of contempt that only those old Scousers produce, " Get wise, y' fucking clowns! C'mon you Blues!!". 

 

Hostilities halted, we then enjoyed the truly beautiful sight of Sandy Brown butting the ball into his own goal. The embarrassment of the guy was shared by the Evertonians around us. So absolutely stunned by what they had seen they forgot to abuse the Scotsman. The mate and I jumped all over each other once again, being deliberately more exuberant than our we were for our first celebration.By the time Bobby Graham got the third we had a vast swathe of the Goodison Road terrace in which to  cavort. And convort we did. 

 

The old peacemaker stayed to the Bitter's bitter end and we gave him a genuine 'tara' as we left.

 

"Make the most of that one lads,", said the old man, ''because you're gonna win fuck all else this season!". And the old bastard was right.

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