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On This Day – January 30th 1977

Gordon Lee was confirmed as the new Everton manager on this day 45 years ago, signing a five-year contract. It was also announced that Steve Burtenshaw who had been caretaker boss for three weeks following the dismissal of Billy Bingham would remain in his position as first-team coach.

Lee’s first game in charge was an FA Cup replay against third division Swindon Town which the Blues won 2-1 thanks to a late goal from David Jones, but the team then lost the first two League games of Lee’s regime. His fourth match was the second leg of the League Cup semi-final against Bolton and Bob Latchford’s goal took Everton to the Final, 2-1 on aggregate.

Lee’s good fortune in Cup competitions continued as the Blues advanced to the semi-final of the FA Cup after beating Cardiff City and Derby County. That game against Liverpool is famous for referee Clive Thomas’s controversial decision to disallow what would have been a winning goal for Bryan Hamilton. It finished 2-2 and Lee’s side lost the replay at Maine Road 3-0.

Ten days previously, Everton had also lost an epic League Cup Final second replay against Aston Villa, with Brian Little scoring the winning goal two minutes from the end of extra-time at Old Trafford.

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