THERE'S a remarkable story behind this wartime line-up of soccer players and club officials, shown above. For eight Haydock C&B teammates featured (two injured and wearing suits) were all signed by Everton.

The 1943-44 picture was dug out by Eric Bond, chairman of St Helens Combination, in response to a piece last week in which soccer fan David Morris of Shaw Street, St Helens, said he and his mates had no knowledge of anyone from the St Helens area making it at Goodison Park.

Though most of the talented eightsome, then competing in the St Helens Combination, only made a modest impact before moving on to serve other English League and local teams, at least one, full-back Eric Moore, became a regular first-teamer and a favourite with the Toffees' fans.

Eric Bond identifies the super eight as follows: From fourth left (back row): Martin McDonnell (centre half) goalkeeper Wilf Birkett, Jackie Melling (winger). Seated, from second left, Billy Lowe (winger), striker Fred 'Fritzie' Jones, full-back Eric Moore, Frankie Finch, an Oxford Blue who played on the wing, and another forward Johnny Morley. (Lowe and Morley, both in suits, were suffering from broken legs).

Committeemen at the back are (from left) John Tilley, Ned 'Needy' Davies, Jack Taylor, Horace Smith, Jackie Hardman (team trainer) and Harold Mills.

Seated extreme left is the long-serving club secretary Harry Bond, father of Eric Bond, pictured in front as the nine-year-old mascot, who was also on Everton's books as a schoolboy player.