Colin Harvey

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For the British science fiction writer, see Colin Harvey (writer).
Colin Harvey
Personal information
Full name James Colin Harvey
Date of birth (1944-11-16) 16 November 1944 (age 70)
Place of birth Liverpool, England
Playing position midfielder
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1963–1974 Everton 320 (18)
1974–1976 Sheffield Wednesday 45 (2)
National team
1971 England 1 (0)
Teams managed
1987–1990 Everton
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Colin Harvey (born 16 November 1944 in Liverpool, England) is a retired English footballer who is best known for his time as a player, coach and manager with Everton.

Playing career[edit]

Harvey was born in Liverpool and joined Everton as an apprentice in 1960. Harvey was often described as an elegant and skilful player and was nicknamed the "White Pele" by Everton fans. "A beautiful footballer this boy" commented Kenneth Wolstenhome during the 1968 FA Cup Final, while Goal Magazine called him "a delightful player to watch". The 'White Pele' nickname came about because of his natural ability, grace and technique:

"It was when I made my debut for Sheffield Wednesday at Bolton. My dad had brought me back and I got a few phone calls asking how the game had gone, and someone told me that there was a banner at the Park End at Goodison saying something about me and the white Pele – it was a very proud moment for me! For someone to say that about you comparing you to probably the best player that ever played the game is really unbelievable. To think that people thought that much of me was hard to believe."[1]

Debut[edit]

Harvey made his debut in 1963, aged 18, against Italian side Inter Milan in a European Cup tie in the chaotic San Siro Stadium. He became a first team regular during the 1964–65 season.[2]

Of the occasion he said: "[I found I was playing] on the afternoon of the game. We had lunch and then we had a team meeting. Harry Catterick said there would be only one change. He said “Denis Stevens – you move to number 4 and Colin Harvey goes to number 8” This was all because Gabby was injured at the time. It was as simple as that! I just gasped, I didn’t have a clue that I was going to play – it was a great way of doing it, he didn’t give me a chance to think about it, I just had to go out there and play! I thought no-one was going to expect too much of me, I just went out there and done my best and I did okay."

Holy Trinity[edit]

Harvey became a part of the famous midfield trio known as the "Holy Trinity" with Alan Ball and Howard Kendall. Widely regarded as the best midfield of their generation, they were the key components of Everton's Football League First Division winning team in the 1969/70 season captained by Brian Labone.[3] In an interview in the late 1970s, Harry Catterick claimed that in terms of "skill and ability, Colin was the best of the three". Of the late 1960s/early 70s Everton side, George Best said "they were a delight to watch and indeed play against." It was in fact Harvey's superb solo goal which clinched the title at Goodison Park vs West Brom which has been described as one of the best ever goals to win the league championship.

Honours[edit]

He played in the 1966 FA Cup winning team, scoring the winning goal in the semi-final against Manchester United. Harvey also played in the 1968 team that also reached the FA Cup final who lost the game against underdogs West Bromwich Albion. Harvey was also a key member of the 1970 League Championship winning side. While at Everton he made 384 appearances (4 as substitute) and scored 24 goals.[4]

Moving On[edit]

Harvey left Everton in 1974 to join Sheffield Wednesday where he played for 13 months before retiring because of a persistent hip injury.

England Material[edit]

Harvey was capped once for England against Malta in a European Championship qualifier in 1971. When asked by an Independent Everton website whether he felt he should have won more caps for England, he said:

"In my honest opinion yes I do, it was difficult because Alf Ramsey played England like a club side and he picked players who’d done well for him over the years. Some were top players who had won the world cup and reached the quarter finals in 1970. Give him his due in that respect but I always hoped I would have got more and I believed that I should have done. Unfortunately it wasn’t to be but the fact I did I play for England is a great honour and one I will remember.".

Colin was first called into the squad in 1969 for England's South American Tour and made his international debut in a 4–0 win over Mexico. It was only after he arrived home that he realised this was unofficial. In late 1969 a serious eye injury kept him out of contention for two months and his absence was felt hardest by Everton as their results suffered without their deep-lying playmaker. By the time he returned Alf Ramsey's Mexico World Cup squad was virtually picked, meaning Colin had to wait a further year to pick up his solitary cap.

Managerial career[edit]

Following his retirement from the game in 1976, Billy Bingham invited Harvey back to Everton to become Youth Coach. This was a role in which he was successful, winning the 1977 Youth Cup in a side featuring future stars Kevin Ratcliffe and Steve McMahon.

Harvey was promoted to reserve team coach in 1981 at the same time that Howard Kendall became manager.

In 1983, Harvey was promoted to first team coach, which coincided with the beginning of Everton's most successful period in their history in the mid-1980s (two Championships, FA Cup and a European Cup Winners' Cup). Indeed, many ex-Everton players including striking partners Andy Gray and Graeme Sharp, cite Harvey's promotion to first team coach as the main reason for the team's reversal of fortune and the great success that followed. Colin was appointed manager of Everton in June 1987 after the departure of Howard Kendall. During his spell as Manager, Everton finished 4th, 8th and 6th respectively in the old First division and also reached the 1989 FA Cup Final, losing 3–2 to Liverpool. Harvey's time as manager ended on 31 October 1990, when he was sacked as manager of an Everton side which stood 18th of 20 sides in the First Division – their worst-ever start to a league season. On 7 November 1990, Everton appointed Howard Kendall as their new manager and Harvey returned to Goodison Park in the old manager-coach partnership.

Harvey left Everton shortly after Kendall's departure in December 1993, and in November 1994 became assistant to Oldham Athletic's new player-manager Graeme Sharp following the departure of Joe Royle to Everton. Sharp left Oldham in March 1997, and Harvey followed him out of the Boundary Park exit door, but was soon back in the game as Burnley assistant manager to Adrian Heath, however after just a matter of months he was appointed Everton's youth coach when Howard Kendall became manager for a third time.[5]

As youth coach, Harvey was once again successful in winning the FA Youth Cup in 1998. During his spell as Youth Coach, Harvey nurtured the talents of England internationals Francis Jeffers and Wayne Rooney, where once again the Youth Team progressed to the Youth Cup Final in 2002.

Retirement[edit]

He retired in 2003 due to ongoing hip problems, and was granted a testimonial against Italian side Bologna FC recognising his remarkable achievement of playing, coaching and managing at every level within the club during 40 years of almost continuous service to Everton Football Club.

In 2005, Harvey released an autobiography called "Everton Secrets", written with BBC Radio Merseyside presenter John Keith. He also had a weekly column with the Daily Post entitled "Talking tactics". He currently also presents a weekly round up of the English Premier League on GNB Radio 2 UAE prior to the Premier League commentary.

Evertonians have nominated Colin Harvey for an MBE for over forty years worth of service to Everton F.C.[6]

Return with Bolton[edit]

In November 2007 he came out of retirement to become the new chief scout at Bolton Wanderers who were managed by former Everton midfielder Gary Megson at the time. Harvey has helped to bring a number of UK and foreign based players to the Reebok Stadium including Grétar Steinsson, Tamir Cohen, Matthew Taylor and Gary Cahill.

In July 2012 it was announced that Harvey had left his role at Bolton after just over four years at the club.Up to 17 staff may go at Reebok Stadium in cost cutting measures.

Personal life[edit]

Harvey is married to Maureen and lives in Aughton, Lancashire.[7]

Playing honours[edit]

Managerial honours[edit]

References[edit]