Writer: Peverell Green
Date:Tuesday October 9 2012
Peverell Green takes a look back at the career of former Argyle striker Mike Tebilcock in the next installment of his 'Where Are They Now' series.
Mike Trebilcock - Born 29th November 1944 Gunnislake, Cornwall.
Mike started his football career playing non-league football with Tavistock before joining Argyle near the end of the 1962-63 season; he made an immediate impact by scoring on his debut in a 2-1 home win over Southampton.
He made another five appearances in 1963 without adding to his goal tally.
The following season he only made six first team appearances, without scoring any goals. In 1964-65 his form dramatically improved as he formed a partnership with the experienced Frank Lord.
Mike scored a total of 17 league and cup goals from 47 appearances. He ended up joint leading goalscorer with Frank Lord also scoring 17 goals.
Goals continued to flow the following season, another eleven goals coming before the end of October including a hat trick in the 6-1 thrashing of Birmingham at Home Park.
It wasn't long before his goalscoring talents were recognised by a top level team, it was rumoured Liverpool were looking at him as a replacement for Roger Hunt.
He played his last game for Argyle on 27th December 1965 in a 0-0 home draw against Derby. Returning home from the cinema he found his manager Derek Ufton waiting on his doorstep, he didn't mess around and simply said he was on his way to Everton the following day.
In a local newspaper Mike was quoted as saying, 'I didn't even know where Everton was, I was told it was in Liverpool, but I didn't even know where Liverpool was, I had never been there in my life'.
He was obviously from humble beginnings saying it was incredible for someone like him to be playing for Everton, he said, 'I was just an ordinary chap from Cornwall. We never really had anything, we used to be so poor in the winter we gathered round a candle to keep warm'.
When he arrived at Lime Street Station there were people from the club waiting for him, some of them pushed him past the ticket collector on a mail trolley. He signed for Everton on 1st January for a fee of £23,000. He made 81 appearances for Argyle and scored 29 goals.
Mike made his debut a few days later against Aston Villa but picked up an injury that would keep him out of the first team for most of the rest of the season.
An injury to their leading goalscorer, and England centre forward, Fred Pickering gave Mike the opportunity to play in the FA Cup Semi Final.
With Pickering back in the first team, although not fully fit it was thought Mike would only be a squad member for the final against Sheffield Wednesday. Everton manager, Harry Catterick, had a difficult choice to make, stick with a partly fit Fred Pickering or risk the inexperienced Mike Trebilcock.
I guess his decision was made easier by the fact there were no substitutions in the 1966 Cup Final and he couldn't risk Pickering's injury recurring and either carrying a passenger or playing with ten men.
Goals from Jim McCalliog and David Ford saw Wednesday go 2-0 up. Their manager Alan Brown was probably imagining his hands on the cup. Unfortunately for him within five minutes of scoring their second goal Mike had pulled a goal back and then scored another to level the scores. A Derek Temple winner ensured the cup was going back to Merseyside.
With only a handful of games for Everton Mike had become an instant Goodison legend. His bonus for scoring twice in the final was £30, the rest of the team got £800 but as he only played in the semi, and final the generous directors didn't consider his contribution was enough One curious thing to come out of the Cup Final commentary is a change of name for Mike, his surname had been pronounced ending in cock, to rhyme with sock and lock. The genteel BBC of the time preferred to end his name in co, rhyming with go and so.
Even after his Cup Final heroics he still struggled to establish himself in the Everton first team and in January 1968 he was sold to Portsmouth for £40,000. He made eleven league appearances for Everton and scoring three goals.
In the four seasons he spent at Fratton Park he was a regular goalscorer, managing to put the ball in the net 33 times in 109 appearances.
At the end of the 1971-72 Mike moved down the South coast to Torquay on a free transfer, he spent one season at Plainmoor making 24 appearances, scoring ten goals.
He left Torquay on a free transfer in June 1973 to move to Weymouth. Within a few months he had decided to emigrate to Australia and in March 1974 Mike, his wife Pam, who he met when he was playing for Everton, and their two children moved to Sydney.
He signed for a Sydney club, Western Suburbs, winning the NSW Rothmans Medal in 1974, in the two seasons he spent at the club he made 23 appearances and scored seven goals.
After giving up playing he coached NSW team Newcastle before moving to Darwin to take up a similar position with the now defunct team Darwin Cubs, who strangely enough played their football in a Singapore League.
In 2003 he was asked to take up the position of head coach with the newly set up ATESA (Arafura Top End Soccer Academy) to identify and develop players aged nine to nineteen in the Northern Territories, with responsibility for all training and running clinics alongside local coaches.
He now works for a removal company in Darwin, coaching an amateur team called The Northern Lions who play in a Sunday League and also does a spot on a radio sports show on Saturdays.
He still makes occasional trips back to England and always drops in to Goodison Park where he is accorded hero status by older Evertonians.
If you have any more information on Mike we would be interested in hearing from you by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Date:Tuesday October 9 2012
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