Archie Styles, a player neither Pompey or Everton fans will be remembering…
One player who nobody will be remembering this Saturday when Portsmouth entertain Everton is a certain Archie Styles. A defender (left-back) he played for both clubs either side of spells at Birmingham and Peterborough.
Born in Liverpool in 1949 Styles joined Everton as an apprentice, signing professional forms in the summer of 1967. Big things were expected of the talented left back, who had won England caps at both schoolboy and youth levels, but sadly he never fulfilled his great
He didn’t make his debut for at Goodison Park until December 1972 when he was 23 in a defeat by Wolves, and made eighteen appearances before the end of the campaign.
He pulled on an Everton shirt eight times the following season but left Merseyside in February 1974 to move to Birmingham City as part of the deal which took Bob Latchford to Everton in a players-plus-cash deal, along with Howard Kendall, and £80,000 in a deal worth £350,000 – a British record fee at the time.
His departure didn’t disappoint many Everton fans who clearly didn’t rate him. He helped proved them right as he endured a nightmare debut for his new club at Goodison Park in March 1974 as Birmingham were beaten 4-1.
Despite this, he spent five years at St Andrews but played just 74 games scoring 4 goals.
A season at Peterborough then followed before he was signed by the then Pompey boss Frank Burrows along with a whole host of Fratton legends (John McLaughlin and Steve Aizlewood from Swindon, Alan Rogers from Plymouth and Joe Laidlaw and Terry Brisley from Doncaster and Charlton). All but captain Laidlaw had come from higher divisions – Burrows was clearly going for a mixture of class and experience.
Archie played 28 games as Pompey gained promotion from the Fourth Division before retiring (through injury?) and joining the coaching staff.
What happened to him after that is a bit of a mystery, I think he had a spell on the coaching staff at WBA.
After retiring, Styles went to live in Cradley in the Midlands. I wonder if he’ll have an eye on events at Fratton tomorrow? I doubt it very much.
Written by The Rabbi.
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