WE think one of the best things about OTFD is that sometimes we get to feature some of the less celebrated characters in football that may have slipped from the game’s consciousness in recent times.
Today is one of those days, as it was on this day in 1990 that legendary Everton player Colin Harvey proved he wasn’t such a legendary manager when the Toffeemen gave him his P45.
Mention Colin Harvey’s name to any Everton fan of a certain age, and they will go all misty eyed and probably start looking off into the middle distance muttering about the good old days.
Once dubbed ‘the white Pele’ by fans at Goodison Park, Harvey made his Everton debut in daunting circumstances against Internazionale in the San Siro and soon became one third of the fabled midfield trio known as the ‘Holy Trinity’ along with Alan Ball and Howard Kendall. The three of them were the fulcrum of the Everton team that won the first division title in 1970.
He was certainly the least celebrated of the three, perhaps because despite his high level of fitness, tackling and passing ability, Harvey rarely found the net, and despite being a top player, he only ever appeared once for his country, lining up for England against Malta in 1971.
After retiring from playing Harvey began coaching the Everton youth team, and was made first team coach when his old pal Howard Kendall was the top man at Goodison. Kendall and Harvey proved to be just as successful in the dug out as they had on the pitch as their time in charge saw the club win two league titles, the FA Cup and the European Cup Winners’ Cup.
When Kendall left for Spain in 1987 Harvey was promoted to gaffer. He guided the team to respectable finishes in the top half of the table and even got to the 1989 FA Cup final which was lost 3-2 to arch rivals Liverpool.
After the glory years under Kendall, Harvey’s three trophy-less in charge were famine for the Everton fans and board, who decided they had it right the first time when they sacked Harvey and reappointed Kendall.
Harvey left the club in 1994 after Kendall had departed a second time, but he was brought back in his old role of youth team coach in 1997 where he oversaw the development of Francis Jeffers and Wayne Rooney before packing in the game in 2003. This brought to an end 40 years with Everton, during which Harvey played, coached and managed at every level of the club.
Here’s Colin in one of his early games in charge, taking on QPR at Loftus Road, and come back tomorrow to see another legendary player turned crap manager getting the boot.