Everton nearly secured a glorious clean sweep of trophies in 1986 but instead had to watch as Liverpool won the lot under new player-manager Kenny Dalglish
By Iain Macintosh for The Set Pieces, part of the Guardian Sport Network
There have been many occasions over the past 30 years when there has been reason to believe that the universe hates Everton. They are one of only seven clubs to have played in every season of the cash-rich Premier League and yet they never seem to have enough money. On the one occasion that they broke into the top four, the best referee in the world made a mistake and they were blocked from the transformative riches of the Champions League. But for peak Everton, for the absolute crystallisation of what life supporting this club must be like, you must look to the 1986 FA Cup final.
In an alternative reality, this could have been the day that Everton strode towards an unprecedented treble, laying down a marker for Alex Ferguson to follow 13 years later. Had it not been for the Heysel disaster, they would have been England’s representatives in the 1985-86 European Cup. No one can guarantee that they would have been victorious, but given that an English team had won the trophy in seven out of the previous nine years and that Everton had won the Cup Winners’ Cup in 1985, they would have been the bookies’ favourites. In this reality, they were left to contest the ScreenSport Super Cup, the unpopular makeweight competition knocked up by the Football League to compensate for the absence of European adventures. They lost in the final. To Liverpool. Obviously.
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