By Renata Leite, FootballPredictions.NET, 12:34 04/10/2020
Updated at: 12:55 14/11/2020
Since 1963, Everton Football Club players have entered the field play to one tune. The track deployed from the Toffees hierarchy is synonymous with Goodison Park and their set of supporters. Despite a small hiatus of the walk-out music during the 1990s, Everton fans consider their club to be the first to use it.
The song played before kick-off is the theme music from the BBC drama ‘Z-Cars’. The theme is enriched with Liverpudlian history and it’s due to that fact as to why the Everton faithful see it as part of the fabric of their club.
Other football clubs such as Watford have also adopted the theme music as their walk-out anthem. However, due to Z-Cars’ Northern England setting, Toffees fans feel as though they relate to the song more than Hornet fans.
The television programme that aired from January 1962 to September 1978 ran for 801 episodes across 12 seasons. The drama series focused on the work of fictional mobile uniformed police in Lancashire.
The series differed drastically from earlier ‘lighter’ police procedurals. It was an early police-based programme to be set in the North of England, at it would usually focus on the harsh realities of the English police force.
Z-Cars was a grittier portrayal of police work and was the first of its kind at the time. Despite an initial wave of controversy, viewers were hooked while appreciating the regional aspect.
Regular stars included Stratford Johns, Frank Windsor, James Ellis, and Brian Blessed.
The song itself was based on an old Liverpool sea shanty called Johhny Todd, which dates back to 1891. The song tells the story of a sailor and the instrumental version for TV was composed by Liverpool-based, Austrian-born musician and journalist Fritz Spiegl.
In March 1962, a revamped version of the theme tune was released with the aim of climbing up the British pop charts. Its peak position in the charts was in eighth place.
A few days before his death, Everton fan and Z-Cars actor Leonard Williams from West Derby, and the only genuine Scouser among the cast, was formally invited to watch Everton play Blackpool in November 1962.
Some Z Cars clippage from TV 50 - That's Television Entertainment, featuring John Thaw, Judi Dench and James Bolam. pic.twitter.com/Q2yOyDCHgL
Some Z Cars clippage from TV 50 - That's Television Entertainment, featuring John Thaw, Judi Dench and James Bolam. pic.twitter.com/Q2yOyDCHgL— Archivetvmusings (@archivetvmus71) January 3, 2020
Title Winning Campaign
As the Toffees went on to win the 1962/63 old First Division title, with the song about ‘the boys in blue’ becoming synonymous with their great achievement - it was adopted by supporters in memory of Williams.
The Blues secured six wins from their first seven games and stayed in and around top spot for the remainder of the season.
Everton only lost six games during the entirety of the season, with none coming at Goodison Park. The Toffees remained unbeaten during the final 11 matches of the season, which placed them in the driving seat ahead of Tottenham Hotspur to lift the title.
The league title was secured and lifted on the final day as the Toffees hit four past Fulham at home. Roy Vernon was the hero of the day as he scored a hat-trick to cap off his most successful season with the club.
Brief Hiatus and the Return
Across the 1994/95 Premier League season, then chairman Peter Johnson replaced the Z-Cards walk-out music with a new anthem.
The tune chosen was ‘Fanfare for the Common Man’. This classical music was devised in 1942 by Aaron Copland, inspired by a speech made by US Vice President Henry A. Wallace.
Everton finished the campaign in an underwhelming 15th place, 11 positions and 24 points behind arch-rivals Liverpool.
Other teams have adopted the ‘Z-Cars’ theme such as Watford who still used the music until recently. It wasn’t until Joe Royle’s return to the club in November 1994 when the song was reintroduced at Goodison Park.