Bob Latchford was the complete centre-forward: good in the air and on the ground. Even though his clubs, in particular Everton, were relatively unsuccessful, he scored prolifically. Despite his size (over 6 feet tall) he was very fast over short distances, making him a great ‘poacher’ of goals and he also scored with some great diving headers.
He was transferred from Birmingham City to Everton for Â£350,000, a British transfer record at the time. (Howard Kendall was transferred to Birmingham City as part of the same deal.) At Everton, Latchford was the top scorer for six successive seasons scoring 30 goals in the 1977-78 season. The closest he came to a winner’s medal at Everton was a finalist in the League Cup in 1977. Latchford made 268 appearances (3 as substitute) for Everton scoring 138 goals. He left Everton for top-flight Swansea in 1981, scoring a hat-trick on his debut for the swans.
So, when we were offered the chance to chat with “Big Bad Bob” we jumped at the chance, and sent along our seasoned reporter Watty and his side-kick, Moog along to meet their hero.
As an innocent, wide-eyed 11 year old attending my first ever Everton game, there was only one player I was watching. He was the huge no 9, the man with the hairy beard, Big Bad Bob, our centre forward, he scared the shÃt out of the opposition, always scored and even walked on water. Mr Robert (Bob) Latchford – my hero!
After Everton’s win on Saturday I had the chance to meet the legend. I didn’t really know what I was letting myself in for, a book launch for his 30 goals? I could just hide in the background and listen to the great man speak, or maybe not, there were only seven of us there and that included Bob and his agent (You are his agent aren’t you Martin?)
So it was almost a personal audience with the great man. And what a lovely fella he turned out to be, witty, amusing, knowledgeable, patiently listening to and answering our questions with no sign at all of an ego. It was an absolute pleasure to sit in Bob’s company for an hour an a half, asking him all sorts of questions and listening like the wide-eyed 11 year to his answers.
These are the questions and answers – some questions were mine, some came from the other people there. (We’re sorry if we don’t credit each individual question, but feel free to contact us and we’ll add your name to your questions)
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