It was the 1966 FA Cup Final and Everton were on their way to the impossible. Two goals down after 57 minutes, on 64 minutes they were level after Mike Trebilcock’s quick-fire brace.
For one fan, Eddie Cavanagh, the excitement became too much. ‘I think the crowd got to you more than anything,’ he would recall to the authors of Three Sides of the Mersey. ‘They were all screaming. You’d have to see it to believe it. I couldn’t explain that.’ Seizing the moment, he climbed the Wembley perimeter fence and, evading the attention of police, made his way onto the pitch. He remembered:
I’d seen Trebilcock and I went for him first. Well, he didn’t know me but I grabbed him, pulled him on the ground. He shit himself because he didn’t know me. We all played in blue and white, didn’t we. Sheffield were in blue and white, and we’re in blue and white, so he didn’t know who I was. When I got him down, I was coming across the to Westy. I was going to say, 'Gordon, for god's sake don't let no more in, we'll get that now.' But I'd seen this busy [policeman] came after me and he caught up with me and got me by the coat. But I just took off...
RUNNING FULL PELT across the Wembley turf, this hysterically jubilant fan was chased by a procession of police officers. One grabbed Cavanagh’s coat tails, but he wriggled out of his jacket and the policeman fell to the turf, holding Cavanagh’s empty coat. A second officer gave up the chase, throwing his hat to the ground in frustration.
A third officer, coming from a different direction, caught Cavanagh unawares – ‘I didn’t see him coming because he wouldn’t have caught me,’ he recalled – and floored him with a rugby tackle before he could reach West’s goal. A bevy of policemen piled onto Cavanagh, then threw him out of the ground. But Cavanagh was indomitable: he climbed back in and was able to see Derek Temple’s sublime winner and Brian Labone lift the Cup. A well-known figure among Evertonians even before his famous cameo, Cavanagh remained a regular at Goodison until his death in December 1999.