The recent tragic death of Gary Speed has brought many reminiscences from Evertonians on Toffeeweb, including myself.
The day Gary scored his hat-trick against Southampton was my grandson Liam's debut at 4 years old at Goodison for a Premier League game; he had been to a pre-season friendly. I remember saying to him "now you are an Evertonian". He is 20 now, goes every game, home games with me and he loves The Blues.
It made me think how our lives are linked to Everton and how events in the club history run alongside events in our personal life.
I remember when Alan Ball was signed and sold, when Kendall made his debut, Latchford's 30th... I was at Anfield when we won 4-0, the 8-0 Southampton game was on my birthday 40 years ago. I remember when my daughter Helen was born and a few weeks later we drew our first game of the season 2-2 with Arsenal.
The famous Thomas disallowed goal, my dad died that week and I couldn't go to the game. After several games the 5-1 away game at Sheff Wed when Sharpy scored 4, I had a ticket but my Mum died that day. The day my daughter got married and we won 2-0 against Coventry at home. Believe it or not my sister got married on the Cardiff 8-3 day and I moaned all day at the wedding. My brother died on the day we played Newcastle a few years ago.
Throughout all these days the constant is obviously family, but also Everton and Evertonians. We go to The Dark House (have been for more than 28 years now) every game, before and after the game, we talk all day about Everton, memories and recall often what was happening in our lives and how it affected our attendance at games or what was happening at Everton at the time of births, deaths and marriages and everything else in-between in our lives.
I got married to a wonderful Polish woman, Gosia, 11 years ago, I wanted to show her my Club and my friends, so I took her to the pub and the game. We won 4-0, I do a Â£1 bet every single game for that score, I won. Later in the pub she asked what a "Spot The Ball" was, I explained and she won it ? she said "It's great being an Evertonian, isn't it?" Too right.
Thank you Gary for being one of my memories and forever being linked to my grandson Liam.
No matter how tough things get, it is "A Grand Old Team".
George McKane, Posted 29/11/2011 at 09:35:59
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1 Posted 29/11/2011 at 14:12:07
2 Posted 29/11/2011 at 14:24:47
At least I know I'm not alone now!
3 Posted 29/11/2011 at 14:48:09
4 Posted 29/11/2011 at 15:07:41
I love that my (French) girlfriend's brother-in-law (an Olympic Lyon supporter) still wears the Everton shirt I bought him for Christmas five years ago and always looks for our result.
And that my girlfriend (when she's had a couple of bevvies) likes to sing "Ohhhh Tommy, Tommy...".
(yes I HAVE explained he's long gone but..)
5 Posted 29/11/2011 at 15:34:07
6 Posted 29/11/2011 at 15:58:39
And something to be really proud of.
As the late Gary Speed so often showed and spoke about.
7 Posted 29/11/2011 at 17:18:57
8 Posted 29/11/2011 at 17:52:17
Oddly enough, the very first chapter heading in the book is when we won 1-0 away at Arsenal, the first game of our 1969-70 Championship season.
9 Posted 29/11/2011 at 17:57:06
Actually, I think I'll write a book. Each chapter will be headed by a match score at a significant time of my life...........
10 Posted 29/11/2011 at 18:27:55
11 Posted 29/11/2011 at 18:49:50
Unless The Lee Park served VERY underage drinkers.....
12 Posted 29/11/2011 at 19:01:11
It's an excellent book. The film's crap though. I'd buy the Bluenose version.
Go for it!
13 Posted 29/11/2011 at 19:03:27
Goes to show that football is more than just a sport, but a family affair which brings people and cultures and generations together, and that in the end the football is often 2nd to the people and friendships and memories and moments of joy.
14 Posted 29/11/2011 at 20:14:18
15 Posted 29/11/2011 at 20:31:37
16 Posted 29/11/2011 at 20:37:12
Oh and the Lee Park (now a shop) served anyone (with anything!)
17 Posted 29/11/2011 at 20:58:04
Slightly off subject but the Leeds fan tribute tonight was absolutely immense. It's by no means a competition but I hope we also do a great evertonian proud this wkd. The Goodson roar is special at the best of times, lets make even better at this the worst of times.
18 Posted 29/11/2011 at 22:13:33
Indeed, Nick Hornby did write the very enjoyable ?Fever Pitch?, later made into two movies, the original Arsenal version and an Americanised adaptation; but that was in the early nineties, let?s not forget the seminal and original work on how life and football inevitably coexist, written a quarter of a century earlier; our very own ?The Golden Vision?.
Most will know it was co-written by local actor/writer Neville Smith and broadcaster Gordon Honeycombe, and brought to the screen by Bath supporter and shareholder Ken Loach. The drama portrays how football is inextricably intertwined with the elements of the circle of life; birth, marriage and death.
The result is a poignant mixture of joy and pathos cleverly delivered by Loach in a mockumentary style which, a few years ago, somebody pointed out to me, is just like how we carry on in the pub George mentions in his article.
I like to think I?m as bleedin? cultured as George but he has the advantage over me when he begins quoting Aristotle or Rimbaud during a rant about Moyes or Kenwright [I kid you not], you see I?m a little younger so I never saw either of those play for us!
Great piece George, enjoyed reading it, thought provoking as ever.
19 Posted 29/11/2011 at 22:34:50
Never went The Lee Park, though the girl I mentioned was from Netherley (quiet at the back...).
As for under age drinking, The Clock on London Rd and The Legs of Man were always a good bet. Also on match days The Salutation off Scottie Rd could be relied on not to knock yer back even at 14 or 15.
20 Posted 29/11/2011 at 22:33:15
Aristotle was a cunning playmaker but that Rimbaud was a lousy trainer and let his rampant sex life over shadow his game. Who can forget the day the frisky French winger starting grinding up against the linesman?
Now Solzhenitsyn was a player. And he hated the Reds.
21 Posted 30/11/2011 at 07:54:18
The great thing about Van Gogh of course is you can talk to him all day about Everton and it goes in one ear and stays there.
22 Posted 30/11/2011 at 08:25:27
Dad loves all the family/Everton stuff, he is still the patriarch and until recent weeks has managed to join us post-match in the Edinburgh (Crosby). He is in Fazakerley Hospital at the moment, I was with him yesterday afternoon and he was quite frail, but buoyed by a card Charlie junior had brought him signed by David Moyes and some of the players. He could barely talk, but made sure he made known to me his love for his family and his team.
23 Posted 30/11/2011 at 08:42:45
I would like to add another dimension to your article, namely "Births, marriages, deaths and Travel" as an Evertonian. I vividly recall the day after 20 Feb 1991 whilst doing my year in Malaga. I was living around the corner from where Pablo Picasso was born. This day I decided to visit my mate who was doing the same in the historic and cultural city of Murcia, not too far away. Whilst standing on the flat roof of his white-washed walled Chateau overlooking this ancient place, I can still hear him say "Everton 4" and my heart skipping a beat, then "Liverpool 4". Despite the setting, I recall wishing I'd been at Goodison that day.
Also, aged 10 on 1 March 1980 I still vividly remember standing by the dug out and them trying to save Dixie in the stands after another Derby. Someone was desperately trying to resucitiate him and everyone round about the Enclosure was shouting words of encouragement. I didn't really understand what was going on at the time, but I only hope the last words Dixie heard were fans shouting his name.
Finally on 17 October 2010, at last year's home Red Sox Derby, I walked into The Dark House for the very first time. The first person I met was George McKane. After that match, I met a fella called Mike Owen. This was also the very first time the words "Trust Everton" were uttered. I know I've only been lurking on TW for ages, but we are getting close, so close to launching this. There is still a long journey ahead but we have laid down many foundations that will help us along the way.
24 Posted 30/11/2011 at 09:02:21
25 Posted 30/11/2011 at 10:19:59
26 Posted 30/11/2011 at 10:22:41
We're that special, that far ahead, that the rest can't see it...poor sods...serves them right, they wouldn't know what to do with it any way.
27 Posted 30/11/2011 at 13:28:35
Another of my memories, less pleasant this time. I was coming home with my brother from a Boxing Day game against Huddersfield, and we were getting the ferry back to Birkenhead. As we were walking down the landing stage there was a little group of Bolton fans coming up from the ferry. They'd been playing Tranmere. Cue for a group our 'knobheads' to attack this group of lads and get one of them on the floor. The poor Bolton fan must have been all of twelve years old, but that didn't stop our brave lads from kicking him in the head. That memory stuck with me for a long time.
28 Posted 30/11/2011 at 14:25:00
I used to have a t-shirt that I bought in the Gwladys Street chapel. It said:-
for better for worse
for richer for poorer
in sickness and in health
to love, cherish, and to obey
till death us do part
29 Posted 30/11/2011 at 15:36:10
30 Posted 30/11/2011 at 18:40:05
31 Posted 01/12/2011 at 01:35:53
Everyone in the church had a portable radio in their pocket and earphones, including the groom and the priest.
32 Posted 01/12/2011 at 08:27:21
Happy birthday for yesterday. Mine too! (and Churchill's and Lineker's) Except I was 21 that day. Consequently I don't remember anything about the following day but after a night out down town (mainly in the Bear's Paw as I recall) I was told I nearly got arrested for having a piss on the little roundabout that used to be between the Adelphi and Lewis's corner (it still embarrasses me to think of it!)
I had a season ticket in those days in the Lower Bullens, at the front about 20 seats in from the Gladdy end.
You weren't sitting next to me were you?!
33 Posted 01/12/2011 at 10:09:46
34 Posted 01/12/2011 at 13:28:50
Happy Birthday to you too! No,mate, I was standing in Gwladys St, not far from where I now sit. I don't remember seeing you, though....
Hope you had a good day, I did!
35 Posted 01/12/2011 at 14:43:38
Some great memories on here. Hopefully we will have some more in the near future...fingers crossed, never know just whats around the corner.
36 Posted 01/12/2011 at 14:51:34
You never know... I might need them on Sunday.
37 Posted 01/12/2011 at 15:00:42
And it was on your birthday in 1971 that we beat Southampton 8-0! In a snowstorm as I recall.
We had two hat tricks that day. One from Royle and I think the other was Husband (?) The scoreboard read something like 7-9-9-7-9-8-7 and another player number (can't remember who else scored) The sad thing was, didn't know it at the time but Bally's goal that day was the last he ever scored for Everton.
38 Posted 01/12/2011 at 15:23:30
What a day!
39 Posted 01/12/2011 at 15:27:41
Danny Biddle can play up front as he's probably the youngest.
And we'll put Dave Roberts in defensive mid since his legs have gone...
Dad's Army FC.
40 Posted 01/12/2011 at 15:29:32
You see it in the records and you would be excused (if you weren't there) for assuming it was a one-sided slaughter and it was far from it. It was so windy and snowing that snow was starting to pile up against the old Park End wall. It must have been very difficult for the players. I seem to remember they started the game with the usual white ball but changed it at half-time for an orange one that we never see nowadays, because the snow was starting to stick.
Because of the conditions there were loads of chances at both ends but every chance we had seemed to hit the back of the net and none of theirs did. It was actually quite an even game apart from the eventual score!
I've never seen another game like it. It was weird.
But I liked it!
41 Posted 01/12/2011 at 15:46:25
So can't play in defence I'm afraid.
I'd have a go on the wing if you like but I do have TWO Garrincha knees. Is that good or bad?
42 Posted 01/12/2011 at 16:11:08
43 Posted 01/12/2011 at 16:11:35
Two vivid memories of personal post-match celebrations (other than the trip back):
1. Wrapping my Everton scarf around my draughtsman's light table in work on the Monday and almost setting it alight!
2. Talking with Jimmy Gabriel's dad on the Thursday night in the Gateway pub (near the old Dell) - what a great guy he was - and still a total Evertonian just like his son
44 Posted 01/12/2011 at 16:26:52
Sorry to see your Dad is in hospital. Also sorry to say my Dad was in Southport at the weekend after breaking his arm in a fal at home. He and my Mum are now in respite together in a care home in Southport. Two old friends and great Evertonians suffering together. Dad is now 94, Mum 89. I'll pass on your news and trust you will do the same. All the Best to all your family.
45 Posted 01/12/2011 at 16:23:04
Regarding the 8-0 game, I lived in City Road then and could just walk to the game. It was indeed freezing and snowing. We always talk about that game and say Royle got 4, Johnson got a hat-trick but hardly got a mention in the press and of course Bally got the other.
46 Posted 01/12/2011 at 16:49:10
I'm trying to think up a quip about your damaged tackle and "over the ball" but I'm failing...
Now, Garrincha.... HE was a wide man!
47 Posted 01/12/2011 at 16:52:25
Then there was Alex Young's stunner against Spurs but I don't remember the year and needless to say the one against Bayern Munich... only got a ticket at the last minute and so glad I made it that night.
48 Posted 01/12/2011 at 16:57:37
49 Posted 01/12/2011 at 17:03:33
50 Posted 01/12/2011 at 17:20:57
I always remember one of my teachers ? Jimmy Yeo, a geography teacher ? having a gentle dig at the end of the season: "You scored a quarter of your goals last season in one game!!!"
51 Posted 01/12/2011 at 18:25:13
52 Posted 01/12/2011 at 19:20:57
Austin Thomas was a true gentleman...with a fine voice.
53 Posted 01/12/2011 at 22:04:43
Now then, Charlie Mills and Dick White. Two very old men now, but how they love the Blues. 3 wonderful memories of them:
Wembley 66, they set out from St Peter and Paul's Crosby at 6:30 Saturday, returned 24 hours later. Terry, we were just boys, tagging along with them, in awe of everything that happened in those 24 hours!
Wembley 89, I was still by their side as Dick White physically attacked his oldest friend for not celebrating Stuart McCall's last minute equaliser. But that friend, my Dad Charlie Mills, shrugged and said "We're never going to win today."
And best of all, going with them to the launch of a book, the History of Everton by Charlie's grandson James Corbett. I picked up my dad, in our lounge suits, to attend the event at the Adelphi. We collected Dick, aged about 85, who came out resplendent in dinner suit and bow tie as my dad had instructed! Massive row ensued in the taxi as Dick was not happy about his outfit.
The night was a great success, typical Gwladys St Hall of Fame lunacy. We were on the top table with James, I had a quiet word with the compere Elton Welsby that Dick had a good story to tell. Elton handed the immaculate Mr White the microphone and he held the audience spellbound as he recalled every detail of the day he saw W R Dean score his 60th goal. It brings tears to my eyes to recall it. As might be expected the audience went wild, and it took us about an hour to leave the Adelphi at the end of the night because everyone wanted to shake his hand!
Ours is a special club.
54 Posted 01/12/2011 at 22:54:03
Wonderful memories. The coaches to Wembley actually left Southport and I, together with my best mate, Bill James, were on a separate coach and so were not regaled that day by Jack Fleming in his prime! Needless to say, our coach arrived back in Southport in the wee hours but WAY ahead of the second coach. So Bill & I had to field questions from the law about why we were hovering in shop doorways in the middle of the nigh.
My Dad has always been a bit more excitable than your Dad. There again, just about everybody I know is more excitable than your Dad! He is renowned for thinking a good while before passing judgement! A wise judgement, may I say.
We have been very fortunate to know each other as families. And very fortunate to be brought up as Evertonians. My Dad's first game at Goodison was in January 1924, nearly 88 years ago. And my two sons were in the crowd among the Blue Support at the Reebok last Saturday. We have been taught well by Masters.
55 Posted 01/12/2011 at 22:54:47
56 Posted 01/12/2011 at 23:14:32
But our families are just two, and there are so many families and friends who are similar who go to the match or don't but still understand the whole thing. Bless 'em all!
We cannot linger in the past, we have to move forward, but if you don't understand your past you cannot create your future.
57 Posted 01/12/2011 at 23:28:05
If you could bottle that post you'd make a fortune, fantastic stuff.
58 Posted 02/12/2011 at 02:01:40
To conclude from my end, I think George McKane, the original poster, had it right. There's much more to being an Evertonian than "Moyes Out" or "Kenwright Out". These are passing temporal issues. It's about supporting the club and the team on the field regardless of who is running the club or who is the manager. It's rather like being Catholic, isn't it? You must have faith. And I wouldn't have it any other way.
59 Posted 02/12/2011 at 02:09:41
As for departed blues, did anyone see the BBC documentary about Hitler living in Toxteth in the years before the first world war? Apparently the rumour is he was an Evertonian, but I can't remember a minute's silence for him.
60 Posted 02/12/2011 at 07:35:51
No doubt Kenwright will come out and tell us about the time he showed Old Adolf around Scotty Rd.
With Elvis, apparently.
61 Posted 02/12/2011 at 07:22:14
As regards personal dates and anniversaries, my Dad ? who went to his first game in 1949, and took me to my first one in 1967 when I was 7 years old ? passed away on the morning of the Derby game at Anfield 23rd February 2002. Before I became a student at Christ's College (now Hope University), we would go to the games together and for some seasons we had a season ticket. When I started to go to the Gwladys Street End as a poor student (we really were poor students in the mid/late 1970s!!!) my Dad had a season ticket in the Upper Bullens Road seat H142. I think I still have his season ticket book for the 2001-02 season.
The time that it really hit me that he had died was actually at Goodison. It was my visit after he had passed away ? the opening game of the 2002-03 season. Everton were celebrating 100 seasons of top flight football and there was before the match a parade of former players. Many of them were guys that my Dad had told me stories of when I was kid, such as Dave Hickson and Wally Fielding. I can remember thinking that he would have loved to see that parade, and trying to keep a tear or two away.
62 Posted 02/12/2011 at 09:21:14
63 Posted 02/12/2011 at 09:33:54
If you put " Alex Young" into Google and look through the images you can see that photo amongst the collection and also read some articles on the Blues. Worth 10 minutes of anybody's time.
64 Posted 02/12/2011 at 12:15:43
When Tommy Eglington scored the 5 goals at Goodison, it was against Doncaster Rovers and the score was 7-1
65 Posted 02/12/2011 at 12:40:04
66 Posted 02/12/2011 at 12:58:02
I am in the Golden Vision Book by David France, page 129. I ran onto the pitch at the end of the game and kissed Alex Young's boot. I told my Mum I was never going to wash around my mouth again ? you want to see the state of me these days ? dreadful.
Again, good memories.
67 Posted 02/12/2011 at 13:28:56
Yer dirty get.
68 Posted 02/12/2011 at 13:31:02
Talking of running onto the pitch, do you know who this young hooligan is evading the copper after we won the league in '63????
69 Posted 02/12/2011 at 14:00:29
Was it Bill K?
70 Posted 02/12/2011 at 14:02:08
71 Posted 02/12/2011 at 18:01:54
72 Posted 03/12/2011 at 13:18:23
29 September 1952. We played doncaster Rovers, my first game at Goodison on my own, I was 7 years old.
Ended up in the Gwladys St end instead of the Boys Pen. I was lifted up onto one of the crush barriers near the front. It became my spec for years after that.
Eggo scored 5!! I think it was a Second Division game.
Thanks for bringing back the memory.
73 Posted 03/12/2011 at 21:39:15
My 7 year old daughter died at Alder Hey on 17 February 1991 ? the day we played that other lot at Anfield in the Cup. She was dressed in her autographed Everton shirt which I still have. Her death was unexpected and I actually had a ticket for the match which obviously wasn't used. If you all remember we had a cast iron penalty against Pat Nevin which wasn't given by a referee, Neil Midgeley. Midge was a good guy who spoke at a Dinner to raise funds for a Musical Trust in Sarah's memory and would not accept a penny.
The replay was the famous 4-4 draw and I went, against my will, but at the insistence of my wife, my brother (who is posted here) and my Dad. I remember little of the evening but I do know that Tony Waring and Austin Thomas ( also referred to in this thread ) were seated just in front of us in the Main Stand.
The point of this post is not to be morbid, far from it, but to explain that our Football Club goes far beyond what and when they win. I went to that replay because everyone knew that would be where I would find some comfort, amongst my own, and they were right! It wasn't about Football it was was about Family and I was amongst my own.
We should not underestimate the power of belonging to this extraordinary Everton family.
Regards to Terry, Tony, my Brother and Alan McCuffog. Great Evertonians all of you.
74 Posted 03/12/2011 at 22:49:25
75 Posted 03/12/2011 at 22:55:48
One day I will have to deal with losing somebody I truly love and I imagine Goodison is one place I would be able to find some degree of comfort.
Like you said, it is an extension of family, of home.
It's my favourite place on Earth.
76 Posted 03/12/2011 at 23:11:24
For what it's worth, I think that sums Evertononians up for me. Class.
Best of luck in the future, and I wish you and your family all the best. Not morbid, but an inspirational post.
77 Posted 05/12/2011 at 18:44:44
78 Posted 05/12/2011 at 19:23:54
Best wishes all round.
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