Everton - sticky times against the Toffees - 05/11/2002

Everton - sticky times against the Toffees
We've got Chopra, they've got Rooney

With Michael Chopra and Wayne Rooney providing the headlines in the build up to the Worthington Cup, Bez looks back at previous Newcastle Everton fixtures…

18/12/93 v Everton (a) 2-0 Premiership

Cole and Beardsley combined for two classics but Mike Hooper almost got on the scoresheet as well.... "Hoops could really thump the ball and it was no surprise that he tested Neville Southall with a punt upfield in that game. It was a real shame that things went wrong for Mike at United, Pav's popularity always made it difficult for him. He is a really great bloke and intelligent, which obviously set him apart from the rest of the lads...!! After one particular nightmare he had at St. James' (Southampton, I think) he was leaving the ground at the bottom end of the car park when a bloke came up to him and asked if he would sign a ball. As he hands the ball to Hoops, he says, "Watch you don't flippin' drop it," Mike took the ball and hoofed it way over the fence and onto the roundabout on Barrack Road. The bloke just watched. "Nar, I won't drop it," Mike says and walked off. I was in stitches...".

Before the kick-off of the Everton game Hooper thumped one as he goes onto the pitch, which eventually hit the post. The end of season video shows Peter Beardsley watching the effort and giving it an "Ooooh," as it comes back out.

01/02/95 v Everton (h) 2-0 Premiership

"The referee, David Elleray, sent off a couple and booked about 11 in this one. Elleray is one of those refs that you never know what sort of mood he'll be in. Sometimes he'll not book anyone but in this one he went crazy. I remember Everton's boss Joe Royle was fuming afterwards. We just put it down to it being Elleray's time of the month as most of the players thought he was a bit of a woman anyway...."

16/12/95 v Everton (h) 1-0 Premiership

"Les got an early goal in this one too but I'll remember it for other reasons. I was marking Kanchelskis and suddenly he got away from me. In that split-second I remember thinking, 'Please don't play it to him," - too late - "Please be a bad ball" - it wasn't - and I had to haul him down and hope that I'd just get a yellow. I went up to Paul Durkin [ref] and said, "Fair enough, I made a mistake, can you let me off?". "No way, John, you're off," he replied. I stormed off, calling him 'a little ginger git' as I went, which Steve Watson pulled me up about.... "It was still in the first half and I sat in the dressing room trying to work out what was happening from the crowd. It's a lonely place and I went for the proverbial early bath feeling devastated. I ended up watching the second half from the bench which, strictly speaking, you shouldn't do. The crowd and team were brilliant and Pav played a blinder to make sure we won and to get me off the hook."

17/08/96 v Everton (a) 0-2 Premiership

During the 1996 close season, there was a rumour that Keegan was about to sign someone big. When we got on the plane for the Thailand tour. KK disappeared and we knew something was about to happen. It was Terry Mac that broke the news to the lads and we were all delighted. The only problem was Les losing his number 9 shirt. It's funny because I don't think there would have been a problem if someone had asked Les but he was just told that Al would get the number 9 shirt. I think the commercial side of things dictated that Alan would have the shirt but the repercussions went further. Les was given number 10 and Clarkie lost that shirt which he was not happy about. The whole thing could have been dealt with much better. I don't remember much about the game - the pre-match hype was massive though. The build-up was pretty traumatic for me as well. At the Darren Huckerby game at Lincoln I came off in the second half with a bit of a sore foot. It felt a bit wet in my boot and I looked down to see blood squelching through my lace holes. My heart sank - it was Wembley and the Charity Shield just two days later. I didn't want to ruin my chances so I tried to keep it quiet. When I took my boot off blood started spurting out everywhere - I'd burst a blood vessel in my foot. I just got Derek Wright to stitch it up, quick. The next day Keegan asked how my foot was and I said it was fine but it was agony to start with and hurt like hell. By the time of the Charity Shield it was OK but I really thought I'd miss it. I had to be careful in training but I made the season opener away to Everton. Duncan Ferguson caused us problems that day and I remember he won a very dodgy penalty, pulling down Watto and then falling over him.

04/01/98 v Everton (a) 1-0 FA Cup 3rd Round

Tino knew he was on his way out and I think you could tell from his performance that day. He didn't like the cold and it was freezing that day. When Dalglish arrived, he and Alan Irvine made us bust a gut in training and Tino never did that. He had a lot of run-ins with Irvine and he lost a lot of heart towards the end. I think the language problem did contribute, though. Irvine's Scottish accent was hard enough for us to understand at time, so Tino had no chance.

Ian Rush came on and got our winner which I was pleased about. I had mixed feelings when he arrived - I was delighted that someone with the prestige of Ian Rush had joined us but I just wished he'd come earlier in his career. I don't know if Dalglish knew he needed an operation when he arrived - it's the manager's decision - but it didn't get him off to a very good start. Ian was smashing around the club and worked hard in training but he wasn't the player he used to be. Things started to go off the rails about then, although we'd got off to a great start in the Champions League. With three across the back and Stuart Pearce marshalling us we looked good but losing Alan, Les and TIno all in space of a couple of months knocked us back.

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