It was another summer of turmoil leading up to the start of the 1997/98 season. Peter Johnson had spent much of the close-season courting Martin O'Neill and Bobby Robson only to be jilted by them both. It was actually the third time during his career that Bobby Robson had been offered the job and still he turned us down!
Johnson then turned his attention to the dream partnership of Andy Gray and Howard Kendall and, for a minute back there, it looked like our former front man was going to put pen to paper.
But the thought of tearing himself away from Richard Keys proved too much and Gray decided to stay with Sky. Well, it was either that or the massive amount of wedge Sky were prepared to bung him for not doing very much at all that kept him there!
However, once Howard knew that he was in the frame there was no way that he was going to turn us down. And so we had the Dome mark III at the helm. Unfortunately, history was never going to repeat itself and it turned out to be a wretched season, with this game was one of the few high points.
We had already been involved in a controversial draw at The Reebok Stadium when
And never get an Evertonian going on hard luck stories, we'll wipe the floor with anyone!
But back to this game…both teams went into it badly in need of the points to try and pull away from the relegation places. Everton got off to a flying start as Tony Thomas pinged a cross into the six-yard box and
But a minute later
And, a minute after that, Scott Sellars lashed a shot from outside the box and
But the big man saved the day, and our season as it happens, as he rose to meet another Tony Thomas centre and headed his third of the game past the
His hat-trick had secured a 3-2 win in a match that proved to be a real six-pointer.
We finished the season on level points with
Dunc in action against Coventry on the
day we stayed up at Bolton's expense!