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Brian Labone

Everton FC

26 appearances, 0 goals

P 26 W 14 D 6 L 6 F 44: A 23
65% successful

1962-70

disciplined: none
captaincies:
none
minutes played:
2370

Profile

Full name Brian Leslie Labone
Born 23 January 1940 in Liverpool, Lancashire [registered in Liverpool South, March 1940].
Married to Patricia E. Lynam [registered in Wallasey, Cheshire, June 1966]. One daughter, later divorced in 1970.
Died 24 April 2006 in Maghull, Liverpool, aged 66 years 91 days [registered in Liverpool, May 2006]. Collapsed suddenly and died from a heart-attack at his home. Funeral took place at Liverpool Cathedral.
Height/Weight 6' 0½",12st. 11lbs [1966].

Source

Douglas Lammings' An English Football Internationalist Who's Who [1990] & FindMyPast.com

Biographies x
 

x. - A Football Compendium, Peter J. Seddon (1999).

Club Career

Club(s) x
Club honours x
Individual honours x
Distinctions x

Source

Douglas Lammings' An English Football Internationalist Who's Who [1990].

England Career

Player number One of three who became the 811th players (811) to appear for England.
Position(s) Centre-half
First match No. 364, 20 October 1962, Northern Ireland 1 England 3, a British Championship match at Windsor Park, Donegall Avenue, Belfast, aged 22 years 270 days.
Last match No. 448, 14 June 1970, West Germany 3 England 2, a World Cup Finals quarter-final match at Estadio de Guanajuato, La Martinica, León, aged 30 years 142 days.
Major tournaments European Championship Finals 1968; World Cup Finals 1970; British Championships 1962-63, 1967-68, 1968-69, 1969-70;
Team honours British Championships winners 1967-68, 1968-69, shared 1969-70;
Individual honours x
Distinctions x

Beyond England

x.  - An English Football Internationalists' Who's Who. Douglas Lamming (1990). Hatton Press, p.x.

 

Brian Labone - Career Statistics
Squads Apps Comp.
Apps
Starts Sub on Sub off Mins. Goals Goals Av.min Comp.
Goals
Capt. Disc.
- 26 14 26 0 0 2370 0 0 min 0 none none
Due to the fact that many matches rarely stuck to exactly ninety minutes long, allowing time for injuries, errors and substitutions.  The minutes here given can only ever be a guideline and cannot therefore be accurate, only an approximation.

 

Brian Labone - Match Record - All Matches
Type P W D L F A GD FTS CS FAv AAv Pts % W/L
Home 5 4 1 0 14 3 +11 0 2 2.80 0.60 90.0 +4
Away 16 8 5 3 25 15 +10 4 6 1.563 0.938 65.6 +5
Neutral 5 2 0 3 5 5 =0 2 2 1.00 1.00 40.0 -1
All 26 14 6 6 44 23 +21 6 10 1.692 0.885 65.4 +8

 

Brian Labone - Match Record - By Colour of Shirt
Type P W D L F A GD FTS CS FAv AAv Pts % W/L
White 21 12 5 4 38 18 +20 4 8 1.81 0.857 69.0 +8
Red 5 2 1 2 6 5 +1 2 2 1.20 1.00 50.0 =0
All 26 14 6 6 44 23 +21 6 10 1.692 0.885 65.4 +8

 

Brian Labone - Match Record - By Type of Match
Type P W D L F A GD FTS CS FAv AAv Pts% W/L

WCP

0 0 0 0 0 0 =0 0 0 0.00 0.00 0.00 =0
WCF 3 1 0 2 3 4 -1 1 1 1.00 1.333 33.3 -1
World Cup 3 1 0 2 3 4 -1 1 1 1.00 1.333 33.3 -1

ECP

3 1 1 1 5 7 -2 0 0 1.667 2.333 50.0 =0
ECF 2 1 0 1 2 1 +1 1 1 1.00 0.50 50.0 =0
European Championship 5 2 1 2 7 8 -1 1 1 1.40 1.60 50.0 =0
British Championship 7 4 3 0 16 5 +11 1 2 2.286 0.714 78.6 +4

Note that the 1967-68 records of the European Championship and British Championships are duplicated, and one set is therefore deducted from the grand total.

Friendly 12 7 3 2 19 7 +12 3 6 1.583 0.583 70.8 +5
All 26 14 6 6 44 23 +21 6 10 1.692 0.885 65.4 +8

 

Brian Labone - Match Record - Tournament Matches
World Cup Finals Tournament
Type P W D L F A GD FTS CS FAv AAv Pts% W/L
WCF 1970 3 1 0 2 3 4 -1 1 1 1.00 1.333 33.3 -1
WCF All 3 1 0 2 3 4 -1 1 1 1.00 1.333 33.3 -1
European Nations' Cup/Championship Preliminary Competition
Type P W D L F A GD FTS CS FAv AAv Pts% W/L
ENP 1962-64 1 0 0 1 2 5 -3 0 0 2.00 5.00 0.00 -1
ECP/BC 1967-68 2 1 1 0 3 2 +1 0 0 1.50 1.00 75.0 +1
EN/CP All 3 1 1 1 5 7 -2 0 0 1.667 2.333 50.0 =0
European Championship Finals Tournament
Type P W D L F A GD FTS CS FAv AAv Pts% W/L
ECF 1968 2 1 0 1 2 1 +1 1 1 1.00 0.50 50.0 =0
ECF All 2 1 0 1 2 1 +1 1 1 1.00 0.50 50.0 =0
European Nations' Cup/Championship
Type P W D L F A GD FTS CS FAv AAv Pts% W/L
EN 1962-64 1 0 0 1 2 5 -3 0 0 2.00 5.00 0.00 -1
EC 1966-68 4 2 1 1 5 3 +2 1 1 1.25 0.75 62.5 +1
EN/C All 5 2 1 2 7 8 -1 1 1 1.40 1.60 50.0 =0
British Championship Competition
Type P W D L F A GD FTS CS FAv AAv Pts% W/L
BC 1962-63 2 2 0 0 7 1 +6 0 1 3.50 0.50 100.0 +2
BC/ECP 1967-68 1 0 1 0 1 1 =0 0 0 1.00 1.00 50.0 =0
BC 1968-69 2 2 0 0 7 2 +5 0 0 3.50 1.00 100.0 +2
BC 1969-70 2 0 2 0 1 1 =0 1 1 0.50 0.50 50.0 =0
BC All 7 4 3 0 16 5 +11 1 2 2.286 0.714 78.6 +4
All Competition
Type P W D L F A GD FTS CS FAv AAv Pts% W/L
WC 3 1 0 2 3 4 -1 1 1 1.00 1.333 33.3 -1
EN/C 5 2 1 2 7 8 -1 1 1 1.40 1.60 50.0 =0
BC 7 4 3 0 16 5 +11 1 2 2.286 0.714 78.6 +4

Note that the 1967-68 records of the European Championship and British Championships are duplicated, and one set is therefore deducted from the grand total.

All 14 7 3 4 25 16 +9 3 4 1.786 1.143 60.7 +3

 

Brian Labone - Match History
 Club: Everton F.C. - 26 full caps

Coach: Walter Winterbottom - 2 full capsx

Age 20
1 u23 2 November 1960 - England U23 1 Italy U23 1, St James' Park, Newcastle-upon-Tyne Fr HD Start 5
Age 21
2 u23 8 February 1961 - England U23 2 Wales U23 0, Goodison Park, Liverpool Fr HW Start 5
3 u23 1 March 1961 - England U23 1 Scotland U23 1, Ayresome Park, Middlesbrough Fr HD Start 5
4 u23 9 November 1961 - England U23 7 Israel U23 1, Elland Road, Leeds Fr HW Start 5
5 u23 29 November 1961 - Netherlands U23 2 England U23 5, Stadion Feijenoord, Rotterdam Fr AW Start 5
Age 22
1 364 20 October 1962 - Northern Ireland 1 England 3, Windsor Park, Belfast BC AW Start 5
2 365 21 November 1962 - England 4 Wales 0, Empire Stadium, Wembley HW Start 5
 

Coach: Alf Ramsey - 24 full capsx

Age 23
3 366 27 February 1963 - France 5 England 2, Le Parc des Princes, Paris ENP AL Start 5
Age 27
4 414 24 May 1967 - England 2 Spain 0, Empire Stadium, Wembley Fr HW Start 5
5 415 27 May 1967 - Austria 0 England 1, Praterstadion, Wien Fr AW Start 5
Age 28
6 419 24 February 1968 - Scotland 1 England 1, Hampden Park, Glasgow BC/
ECP
AD Start 5
7 421 8 May 1968 - Spain 1 England 2, El Estadio Santiago Bernabéu, Madrid ECP AW Start 5
8 422 22 May 1968 - England 3 Sweden 1, Empire Stadium, Wembley Fr HW Start 5
9 423 1 June 1968 - West Germany 1 England 0, Niedersachsenstadion, Hannover Fr AW Start 5
10 424 5 June 1968 - Yugoslavia 1 England 0, Stadio Comunale di Firenze, Firenze ECF NL Start 5
11 425 8 June 1968 - England 2 USSR 0 , Stadio Olimpico, Roma NW Start 5
12 426 6 November 1968 - Romania 0 England 0, Stadionul 23 August, Bucureşti Fr AD Start 5
13 427 11 December 1968 - England 1 Bulgaria 1, Empire Stadium, Wembley Fr HD Start 5
Age 29
14 430 3 May 1969 - Northern Ireland 1 England 3, Windsor Park, Belfast BC AW Start 5
- 431 7 May 1969 - England 2 Wales 1, Empire Stadium, Wembley HW squad/unused
15 432 10 May 1969 - England 4 Scotland 1, Empire Stadium, Wembley HW Start 5
16 433 1 June 1969 - Mexico 0 England 0, Estadio Azteca, ciudad de México tour AD Start 5
17 434 8 June 1969 - Uruguay 1 England 2, Estadio Centenario, Montevideo AW Start 5
18 435 12 June 1969 - Brazil 2 England 1, Estádio Jornalista Mário Filho, Rio AL Start 5
Age 30
19 439 25 February 1970 - Belgium 1 England 3, Stade Émile Versé, Bruxelles Fr AW Start 5
20 440 18 April 1970 - Wales 1 England 1, Ninian Park, Cardiff BC AD Start 5
- 441 21 April 1970 - England 3 Northern Ireland 1, Empire Stadium, Wembley HW squad/unused
21 442 25 April 1970 - Scotland 0 England 0, Hampden Park, Glasgow AD Start 5
22 443 20 May 1970 - Colombia 0 England 4, Estadio Nemesio Camacho, Bogotá Fr AW Start 5
23 444 24 May 1970 - Ecuador 0 England 2, Estadio Olímpico Atahualpa, Quito Fr AW Start 5
24 445 2 June 1970 - England 1 Romania 0, Estadio Jalisco, Guadalajara WCF NW Start 5
25 446 7 June 1970 - Brazil 1 England 0, Estadio Jalisco, Guadalajara NL Start
- 447 11 June 1970 - Czechoslovakia 0 England 1, Estadio Jalisco, Guadalajara NW squad/
unused
26 448 14 June 1970 - West Germany 3 England 2, Estadio de Guanajuato, León NL Start
- 450 3 February 1971 - Malta 0 England 1, The Stadium, Gzira ECP AW injured squad member

Notes

To characterise a professional footballer as noble, and to reflect on his sensitive side, might seem incongruous when set against the greed, cynicism and rampant self-aggrandisement which go hand in hand with the modern game. But in the case of Brian Labone, whose name has been synonymous with that of Everton for nearly half a century, such treatment seems singularly apt.

An archetypal one-club man, dubbed "the last of the great Corinthians" by the former Goodison Park manager Harry Catterick - a fearsome fellow not noted for dispensing fulsome praise - Labone was a colossally influential figure as the Toffees won the League Championship in 1963 and 1970 and the FA Cup in 1966, the last-mentioned pair of successes under his captaincy.  Tall and naturally commanding, he operated at centre-half, a position traditionally associated with flint-hearted bruisers prone to crunching physical excess, but Labone was cut from an altogether more stately cloth. He played the game as he lived his life, with dignity, composure and integrity, and during his 15-year career he picked up a mere two bookings in more than 530 games for the Merseysiders, a total of appearances exceeded by only two other Evertonians, the goalkeepers Neville Southall and Ted Sagar.

Yet there was a myth about Labone, perpetuated by his calm, almost tranquil character and his polished, unflappable style of play. The contention among some critics was that he was devoid of "devil", - simply too easy-going for a role which demanded a more ruthless approach; that both he and Everton would have achieved more if he had been tougher. The theory was seriously flawed on two counts. First, "Labby" had to be true to his own nature, which precluded random violence or unnecessary harshness. Secondly, although he played the game with impeccable fairness, he was a hard footballer, imbued with every ounce of steel needed to survive and prosper at the top club level for almost a decade and a half, and to earn 26 caps for his country.  Had he been anything approaching a soft touch then he would never have progressed beyond the junior football in which he excelled during his education at Liverpool Collegiate School in the early 1950s.

In fact, although he was always enthusiastic about sport, the thoughtful, intelligent youngster might never have signed on at Everton anyway, even after joining the club as an amateur in 1955. He was sorely tempted to go to university and deliberated coolly before accepting the offer of professional terms at Goodison as a 17-year-old in 1957, spurning local rivals Liverpool in the process.  Having taken that momentous decision, Labone made meteoric progress, first riveting the attention of hard-boiled Everton insiders with his masterful shackling of the rumbustious centre- forward Dave Hickson in a public trial game. So impressive was the newcomer that he leapfrogged the Toffees' three junior teams to claim a place in the reserves.

Seven months later he made his first-team entrance following an injury to Tommy E. Jones, but it was not until his next senior outing, at home to Tottenham Hotspur in April 1957, that he discovered the cruel reality of top-flight football when he was subjected to an embarrassing runaround by Bobby Smith. Now the rookie proved he was made of the right stuff, returning to the "stiffs" to hone his craft, then earning a regular place in the First Division line-up in 1959/60 and winning England under-23 recognition in 1961.  Slim and rather more elegant than most stoppers, but formidably powerful in the air, Labone was fearless in his tackles and an astute anticipator of the unfolding action, enabling him to specialise in timely interceptions. On the ball he was accomplished and often constructive when using his right foot, invariably employing his left only for emergency clearances.

His game had developed serenely under the management of John Carey, but it was when that benevolent Irishman was replaced in the summer of 1961 by the abrasive Catterick that Labone, and Everton, truly began to prosper.  In 1962/63, with a team in which the star forwards Alex "The Golden Vision" Young and Roy Vernon tended to monopolise the headlines, the Toffees lifted the League title, and Labone's part as the rearguard's principal bulwark was recognised with a first full England call-up in October, to face Northern Ireland in Belfast. Astonishingly, in view of his club's historical eminence, he was the first Everton player to be capped by England at senior level since the Second World War.  At that point, though, he was unable to inch ahead of Sheffield Wednesday's Peter Swan and Maurice Norman of Tottenham Hotspur to claim a regular international berth. Still he continued to advance his case, being made Everton skipper in 1964/65, succeeding Tony Kay who, along with Swan, was banned from football and imprisoned for his part in a bribes scandal. 

Come 1965/66 Labone remained in imperious form but now was headed by Jack Charlton in the pecking order of England centre-halves. However, during the run-up to the 1966 World Cup Finals, the Everton captain stunned the football establishment by asking not to be considered for the tournament, so that he was free to go ahead with his planned summer wedding to a former Miss Liverpool, Pat Lynam. He later explained that he hadn't expected to be in contention for a World Cup place: "I had fixed the date, made all the arrangements, issued all the invitations. What could I do?"  Happily for Labone, soon his controversial announcement was overshadowed by Everton's breathtaking victory in that season's FA Cup final, fighting back from two goals down to defeat Sheffield Wednesday and, as he brandished the coveted bauble aloft in the Wembley sunshine, all seemed well with his world.

But another shock declaration was in the offing. In September 1967, notionally in his prime at 27 and leading one of the best teams in the land, he revealed that he was no longer enjoying his football, having lost both form and confidence, and planned imminent retirement. It seemed that the modest Merseysider, a strong-willed but sensitive individual, preferred a future in the family central-heating business.  However, having bared his soul, he felt his mind clear and his anxiety lift. Now he produced arguably the finest football of his life; he replaced the ageing Charlton as England's first-choice No 5 and he was happy to reverse his decision to depart prematurely.

In 1969/70 Labone was majestic as an exhilaratingly entertaining Everton side, featuring the beautifully balanced midfield trio of Alan Ball, Colin Harvey and Howard Kendall, romped away with the League crown, and that summer he recovered from injury in time to perform smoothly for his country in the World Cup Finals in Mexico.  A successful defence of the Jules Rimet Trophy appeared possible when England seized a two-goal advantage over West Germany in the quarter-final in Leon, only for Franz Beckenbauer and company to complete a devastating comeback to prevail 3-2. That proved to be Labone's final international appearance and, now in his thirties and increasingly prone to injuries, there was little left of his club career, either, and he laid aside his boots in 1972.

Subsequently he enjoyed a successful sojourn in insurance and served for many years on the Littlewoods "spot the ball" panel. Meanwhile his love affair with Everton never abated. In recent years he worked for the club as a match-day host, a convivial role to which this courteous, patient, gently amusing man was ideally suited. - Ivan Ponting - The Independent Obituary

____________________

CG