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Everton v Bayern Munich, Wed 24 April 1985

This match was billed in the programme as the ‘biggest-ever European occasion at Goodison Park’ and it remains the greatest night in Everton’s history. In the previous four years of European competition, Bayern Munich had lost to Liverpool, Aston Villa, Aberdeen and Spurs when coming up against British clubs but after a 0-0 draw in the first leg, the match was finely balanced.

Looking back on that match in his notes, manager Howard Kendall said the Blues had chances in the away tie to sneak a goal but acknowledged the German side had their moments too, none closer than when Kevin Richardson cleared one off the line. That excellent result may have had something to do with the preparation beforehand as on the Saturday before this game, Kendall’s assistant Mick Heaton had been sent out to watch Bayern’s German Cup semi-final with Borussia Moenchendgladbach.

It was the first time in the European campaign that Mick had been on a ‘spying’ mission. Previously, Colin Harvey had been to Ireland to watch University College Dublin, while the club relied on videos and outside reports on Inter Bratislava and Howard Kendall watched Fortuna Sittard himself. Heaton said at the time, “The idea is to get a basic overall knowledge of our opponents’ pattern of play, what particular threats they have, the way the team plays. I thought the left winger (Ludwig Kogl) would be a threat and the big number nine Hoeness would be a danger, but Derek Mountfield gave him very little.”

Though the Bayern coach Udo Lattek was confident that his side would get the result they needed on Merseyside in the return game, the British press were fulsome in their praise of the Toffees in front of 67,000 fanatical Germans. Colin Wood of the Daily Mail said “Everton, already the team of our season back home, showed on the foreign field last night they are also the men for all occasions.” Patrick Barclay of The Guardian wrote “Everton moved into the European big time last night and, unabashed, kept their seventh consecutive clean sheet of the Cup-Winners’ Cup campaign.”

In his Captain’s Column, Kevin Ratcliffe also commented on the first game, saying ” We knew Bayern were a good team and that not many teams had held them in the Olympic Stadium in the past. As we expected, they put us under a lot of pressure in the first-half but we defended well and gradually came more into the game. I think it will be our turn to put them under pressure tonight, but we will have to keep a sharp eye on them when they break.”

They were prophetic words from the skipper as the two men Mick Heaton had identified as dangermen combined for the opening goal of the second leg. Kogl was put in the clear only for Neville Southall to block his shot but the ball rebounded to Hoeness who coolly picked his spot with defenders on the line to slot home.

Undaunted, the home side roared back in the second period with Graeme Sharp nodding home to level the tie then Bayern keeper Pfaff living up to his name, allowing Andy Gray to sweep the Blues in front. Trevor Steven sealed the momentous victory after a slide rule pass from Kevin Sheedy was deftly knocked into his path by Andy Gray and ‘Tricky Trev’ buried his shot into the Gwladys Street net.

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