Tragedy Strikes Z-Cars Actor

Everton 5 Blackpool 0

Amongst the crowd for this match at the invitation of the club’s directors was the West Derby-born actor Leonard Williams who played Sergeant Percy Twentyman in the hit TV series Z Cars which had launched in January 1962.

Sadly, just five days later, Mr Williams, aged 48, died of a heart-attack at his flat in London where he spent the week filming episodes of the show before returning to Liverpool at the weekend to see his family.

Ken Dodd, the well-known Liverpool comedian, said at the time: “This news has come as a terrible shock to me. It is particularly tragic as he was just in the process of shooting up to the top. We both started at the same time. He helped me and, I hope, I was able to help him. He had a wonderful sense of humour and was a very good person to work with. He will be greatly missed ”

On a very windy day, Roy Vernon was instrumental in the opening goal, sliding the ball through to Billy Bingham to slot home from close range on 25 minutes. Four minutes before the interval. Alex Young scored with a brilliant header from a Ray Veall cross and the Scottish striker made it 3-0 after 58 minutes.

Jimmy Gabriel made it 4-0 with fourteen minutes remaining and Dennis Stevens rounded off the goalscoring rampage five minutes from full-time. The win kept Harry Catterick’s side second in the Division One table, one point behind leaders Tottenham with a game in hand, but a remarkable 4-3 win at Nottingham Forest a few days later saw the Blues move to the top of the pile.

Everton’s title challenge was ultimately to be a successful one and the theme from Z Cars was adopted by the supporters in recognition of the club’s title-winning campaign and in memory of their famous supporter.

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