I’ve been an Evertonian since birth (1980). My first match was against Spurs when I was around 8 or 9. (I’ve tried to track the exact game without luck; I know it was a night game, I know the sight of Goodison Park blew my mind, and I know I’ve been hooked ever since.)

My great grandad was the first Blue in the 1920s, then my grandad, and then my dad. It’s in the blood. In my early teens, my dad took me and my best mate to the game for a couple of seasons. He was good enough not to sit next to us in the Lower Gwladys as we thought we were too grown up to be near him.

I got my first season ticket with the lads from school in 93-94. That was a bad season, a bad team. We were in the minority at school, laughed at by the kopites, but we navely won arguments because we actually went to the game; none of them did. Looking back, it was one of the lowest points in Everton’s history but it was one of the greatest times in my life. I’ve followed us all over the country since.

I’m 33 now. Unlucky in a way to not really know the Championship-winning teams of the ’80s but I’ve heard enough about it to feel like I was there. I feel lucky to have been there when we won the Cup in ’95.

The reason I thought I would put these words down is because sometimes it’s easy to forget how lucky we are as Evertonians. I now live in London. I hang around with people who ’like’ football. Some of them ’like’ their team. They follow results. None of them understand... I love Everton. I LOVE EVERTON.

When I first met me Mrs (a southerner), I took her to a family wedding back home. She was astonished how every conversation started with "Is he gonna be fit then?" Or "He’s got to start him hasn’t he?" No reason for names, no reason to discuss anything else. It’s always about Everton.

I’ve been saving for a house down here which has stopped me getting back for the match. I’ve been to a few games this season. I feel like less of a Blue. I am less of a Blue. I speak to people about football down here, but none of them understand.

They do like their football. I’m sure some of them love it. But it doesn’t feel like they really know. I’ve never known anything like being an Evertonian. I’ve tried to explain it but never found the words. I hope I never do. It’s a feeling. It’s a belonging. It’s Everton.

I’m going to put away the wine, read this in the morning, cringe slightly... but it’s all true. Being an Evertonian, we’re lucky. We really are.

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Reader Comments (60)

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Dennis Stevens
1 Posted 09/05/2014 at 01:03:46
It is indeed a privilege to be an Evertonian. I pity those who aren't.
Kevin Rowlands
2 Posted 09/05/2014 at 01:27:40
Steve, loved the post, I'm 52 and have been a blue all my life, at my age I was fortunate enough to witness the mid 80's, title wins, FA cup wins and the highlight of my entire life... Rotterdam! through good and a hell of a lot of bad IMHO Evertonians are the best fans in the whole world, realistic, honest, funny, humble, dedicated and fiercely protective of the club and it's history, long may it last. COYB
Spragg Johnson
3 Posted 09/05/2014 at 09:55:56
I'm 43, have lived in New Zealand all my life and was chosen by Everton in 1982. I have dozens of mates who support other clubs... And none of them seem nearly as enthralled by their lot. It's truly an honour. COYB. NSNO. IRWT.
Andy Osborne
4 Posted 09/05/2014 at 10:01:14
Great post, Steve. I think you have captured it perfectly. I'm 47, first game 1975, season ticket holder during the glorious 80's but moved overseas in the 90's. I still love Everton, get up at 3am to watch a live game, fucked the next day at work, but it's part of being an Evertonian. I don't go the games anymore, but don't feel I am a lesser blue because of that. You shouldn't either.
Eugene Ruane
5 Posted 09/05/2014 at 10:01:47
Spragg, if you saw someone in Wellington between 1998 and 2000 in an Everton shirt, chances are it was me (also spent 2001 in Auckland so same applies)
John Scott
6 Posted 09/05/2014 at 10:05:39
You might have heard this story before if we've met.

As a 7-year-old in Edinburgh, I was out with my Grandad and we were in a cafe having lunch and I was reading that week's copy of Shoot!

In it, there was an article from Phil Thompson about that weekend's game between Everton and Liverpool. The article went on about how they were Champions of England and Europe and that they considered themselves unbeatable.

Now, as a 7-year-old in Edinburgh 1978, I had no real knowledge about English football but I decided that I didn't like that man or his team. On the Saturday, Andy King scored 'that goal'. I really feel I did not choose to support Everton I was chosen.

Tom Magill
7 Posted 09/05/2014 at 10:11:27
Steve, that was brilliant. I'm 39, from Belfast, and I've been a Toffee since I can ever remember, watching greats like Sheedy, Ratcliffe, Gray, Sharp, Southall, et al. All my mates were Redshites.

It was unbelievable seeing us win leagues and cups then and this season finally getting hope for the future again with Roberto. We are a proper football club in every sense, I'm so proud of my super Everton. Every Evertonian I know is a diehard supporter... We are the people! COYB

Paul Livesey
8 Posted 09/05/2014 at 09:32:12
Nice one, Steve. Whilst I don't have the family history you have (although it starts here), born in '77, I can only agree with a lot that you say, I have had very similar times and feelings!

I have had to miss going to the game whilst a wedding and house were saved for too. Thankfully the light at the end of the tunnel is near with my season ticket being renewed from August. It'll happen again for you mate cos it's in your blood.

Mike Hughes
9 Posted 09/05/2014 at 11:51:56
Nice article.

The first match my Dad took me to was April 1976 v WHU. (I've still got the programme). But I'd been a Blue well before that from the age of 6.

Funnily enough, part of my experience was similar to John's #6. My Dad went to watch both teams in the '50s / early '60s (it was mainly a few pints with his mates I think) but became a Blue later in life because of me. His mates were mostly RS and even from an early age I thought similar to John (#6) "I don't like that team."

The kit blue shirt, white short and white socks was also an influence on my 6-year-old mind in becoming a Blue. I thought it looked great and still do, even though the days of the one traditional kit have gone. One of the photos in the Blue Room of my house "Goodison" (complete with wooden inscription beside the front door) is me on my 7th birthday in my Everton kit, the number 7 ironed on the back.

Our next door neighbour in Ariel Street, Bootle, was also an influence John Jennings (not the one who sometimes posts here) a big Blue.

I'd guess that, in the main, it's family / friends who influence people's allegiance but I wasn't rail-roaded into being a Blue.

I definitely agree with Steve's words, I've tried to explain it but never found the words. I hope I never do. It's a feeling. It's a belonging. It's Everton.

Mike Childs
10 Posted 09/05/2014 at 13:20:09
As someone who came to the game very late in life due to living in the USA all my life, the more I read this site and the memories you folks share with me, I couldn't be happier or prouder that I picked Everton to be the team I followed especially this year.
Bill Gall
11 Posted 09/05/2014 at 14:12:44
My first experience that made me a blue was in 1952 when as a schoolboy we played on the hallowed turf at goodison with the added bonus of changing in the home team dressing room. After that it was the normal progression getting, in for nothing when they opened the gates with 20 mins to go, into the Boys Pen. Then the Gwladys Street end, and finally a season ticket holder in The Paddock.

I left for Canada in 1976 but still return back every few years and always during the season after going over the fixtures to see the best time to go. I've lived in a number of places in Canada and always had a shirt or hat to show where my support lay.

Funny thing happened this week: I was on the phone with a technician trying to get my DVR working and when she asked if I followed soccer? I said "Yes," and she asked, "What did I think of Liverpool throwing a 3-goal lead?" After I told her I had not stopped laughing, I explained to her I was an Evertonian and what it meant.

John Keating
12 Posted 09/05/2014 at 14:37:27
I was lucky. I lived in Everton. All my family were Evertonians so nothing else really mattered. At the beginning of the '60s, I was finally taken to a match, just to sew up everything that was in me.

The people I truly really admire, more even than the locals, are the brilliant folk from overseas. These guys have never been as lucky as us, yet, they are as fervent and as supportive as anyone who was born within stone-throwing distance.

They know as much, if not more, about our history as us locals. They have/had a chance to follow the glory but came with us, contrary to media and individual pressure. So to them I take my hat off and admire them as really really True Blues.

Russ Quinlan
13 Posted 09/05/2014 at 14:38:54
Even nearly 50 years after being taken to Goodison Park for the first time for my birthday to see us beat West Brom 5-4 in 1966 with Fred Pickering still playing, I can vividly remember the atmosphere in the Lower Bullens (standing) with 45,000 other blues and it was electric, just the whole experience of the ground, the crowd and the roar when the teams came out.

Although I'd supported the Blues for a few years before, after my dad gave me an Everton kit for an earlier birthday (no reason, just because he liked blue so god forbid if there had been any red shirts there!) that was my first visit (my mum and dad weren't football supporters) and it was then that I was smitten!

Needless to say, I've been through the good times and the bad and I still feel pissed off if we get beaten in any game. My wife of 38 years still doesn't grasp why I'm a miserable bastard after any defeat but I think, unless you ARE are Blue, you won't get it!

Norman Merrill
14 Posted 09/05/2014 at 14:45:28
Memories, I first went to Goodison Park in the early '50s... in fact, the great Ted Sagar was still in goal.

A great memory was when we returned to the First Division in the 1953-54 season, with our red neighbours going the opposite way.

Brian Baker
15 Posted 09/05/2014 at 14:51:51
A supporter since 1968. Reason for becoming an Evertonian: my best friend at school was an Evertonian.

First live Everton game: Notts Forest V Everton at The City ground 1969-70 Joe Royle scored the only goal in a 1-0 win. That year we won the title.

I was a season ticket holder at GP 1989 to 1999 until I moved down south. I have been to 4 cup finals: 1984, 1985, 1986 and 1995.

It's been a roller coaster!

Kevin Jones
16 Posted 09/05/2014 at 15:22:50
Hi Steve nice article

My First game was I think one of the Bristol Clubs @ Goodison, I was about 10ish got in early and stood in the Park End behind the circle that used to be behind the goals. We won either 1-0 or 2-1 its all a bit vague. Been going ever since, had my season ticket for God knows how long. Just wanted to say I don't think we're any more passionate than a lot of other fans, I've seen fans crying from Southend to Sunderland from Exeter to Everton, I just love to see the fans of any club, other than them, celebrating with each other. I remember watching one of the play-offs a few years back when Blackpool came up and I was crying as much as their fans seeing how emotional they where that THEIR team had made the EPL.

A girl my missus works with is a Wigan Rugby Fan, but she started crying when she saw our photo's from the Man U Semi Final, because of the passion in the faces of 3 Generation of Blues. When we lost The Final v Chelsea my grandson ( 12 at the time ) looked at me and said "is it alright if I cry", to which I replied " "I'd be disappointed if you didn't mate" Feeling choked now.

Rick Tarleton
17 Posted 09/05/2014 at 16:50:28
I've said this before , but I'll repeat it, my whole family are reds, but as a boy (I'm 67) we went every Saturday to The Match, Liverpool or Everton. My first football game was in 1953-4 when I saw Liverpool play Blackpool , I was taken to see Stanley Matthews, because my dad and uncles thought he might retire and he was my favourite footballer as a seven year old. Liverpool won 5-2 and a few weeks later, my dad was at this stage a merchant seaman and it was the next time he was home, we went to Goodison for my first trip to see Everton. They won 8-4 against Plymouth and I had a new hero, Dave Hickson. I became an Evertonian on the spot and have remained one ever since. That was the only twelve goal thriller I've evr seen and at the end of that season Everton weee promoted and liverpool were relegated.
Since then I've enjoyed the glory years of the 60s (Young, Vernon et alia), then the Ball, Kendall and Harvey magic , the wonderful 80s team and I'm enjoying when I can get to Goodison and through Sky the present team.
After the 66 Final I remember getting soaked in the fountains at Trafagar Square and I've seen us win the European Cup Winners Cup. It's important to have a team, football isn't a game for an aesthetic neutrality and throughmy sixty years of being an Evertonian and I hope many more to come they've given me pleasure , misery and above all a sense of commitment and belonging. I only get to Goodison four or five times a year nowadays, but a soon as I arrive I feel at home and as though I've never been away. My younger son too is an Evertonian through and through and he has a four year old who talks non-stop of Everton. Next season we'll bring him for his first game and hopefully the tradition will carry on.
Alan McGuffog
18 Posted 09/05/2014 at 16:57:14
Russ.....I hate, truly, to question another Blue's memories... and, if I am wrong, I apologise unreservedly. I remember us beating Albion in the mid-sixties 5-4. We went 4-1 up and were cruising until the Baggies pulled us back to 4-4. Imagine losing a three-goal lead. Dear, oh dear. Alan Ball then scored a penalty a few minutes from time. Brilliant.

However I don't recall Fred ever playing alongside Bally. Unless there was an earlier 5-4 victory. Whatever, happy days altogether.

Now if I could only remember what it was I was looking for on the internet......

Paul Hewitt
19 Posted 09/05/2014 at 17:25:05
I really couldn't think of supporting any other club.

My first game was 1980 against Nottingham Forest. I think we won 1-0 with a Graeme Sharp goal. From that moment, I was hooked.

I've been through very good times and not so good times. Everton have given me so many good memories... and hopefully under Roberto, many more to come. Quite simply, we are the greatest club in the world. And by far the best fans in the world.

Tony Draper
20 Posted 09/05/2014 at 21:47:22
My Mam n Dad are Blues, and so were ALL their brothers & sisters & my grandparents

That's not why I'm a Blue
I'm a Blue because I'm a Blue

My best ever early memory was my first night match in the Paddock
Fuck !
Walking up the steps into the blue floodlit football Valhalla !
God's Acre

I can still feel my heart thunder at the sheer power of the impression
The smell of the perfect green sward
The bluish tinge of the floodlights
The whiff of ale, ciggies n pies

And then
"Z Cars"

Eugene Ruane
21 Posted 09/05/2014 at 22:57:15
Rick (17) - I know it's a long shot but you're not related to to Nel Tarelton are you?

He was a (1930s) Liverpool featherweight who won the British title three times (despite having one lung)

Ste Traverse
22 Posted 09/05/2014 at 23:21:20
Good article. Spot on.

First game in 1983 aged 7. With great times just around the corner.

My Blue influences were all on my mums side of the family. My mum is a Scouser with little interest in football but her brothers and dad and other members of her family are in the main blues so took me along for the long ride!

My dad,although having lived in Liverpool since the mid 70s, is a 'wool' from St Helens and is from a Rugby League family who are all massive supporters of the 'Saints',and although I like Rugby and I watched St Helens many times with him,particulary when I was a youngster, he knew my heart lay completely at Goodison.


Proud to be a Scouser. Proud to be an Evertonian.

Brian Denton
23 Posted 10/05/2014 at 00:03:14
Eugene (and Rick) yes I've often wondered that. Not such a long shot - Tarleton strikes me as being quite an unusual surname. I await Rick's response with interest.
Karl Masters
24 Posted 09/05/2014 at 23:58:51
Steve, it sounds like your first match was either August 1989, a midweek game v Spurs, or maybe the previous December when we played them under floodlights for a large part of the game. We won both times.

Nice article. I agree that other fans are often just as passionate, but theres definitely something different about us. I have been an Evertonian 40 years and first match was an away game in London at Spurs in April 1980 which we lost 3-0 and played terribly. Only about 300 Everton fans were there (as opposed to 30,000 at the cup semi-final replay at Elland Rd v West Ham 3 days earlier!) but even then there was something different about Scousers.

Tube train got smashed up in a battle with Spurs fans afterwards as well (they were the days!) but it didnt put me off, and Im still here today.

David Edwards
25 Posted 10/05/2014 at 00:42:41
Nice post, Steve - a fan since 1968 - first match my dad took me was the famous 3-2 win v Leeds in 1969. He held he on his arm the whole game so I could see the game from the Paddock. Got my Alan Ball booklet from the touch line seller and read every word repeatedly. Next game my dad made me a little stool (he worked at Stanlow) and my place at the front of the Paddock near the half-way line was assured for several seasons. Only the night we won the league v West Brom did we have to go elsewhere. We had to leave Chester late and the tunnel was queued right back, so we needed to squeeze in at the back of the Park End. Didn't see much of the match - although I remember a corner we might have scored from - but what an atmosphere! A blue forever after that! COYBs
Steve Green
26 Posted 10/05/2014 at 01:20:23
Eugene and brian, if rick has family from the Crosby / blundellsands area then yes he probably will be related to the the great and unsung Nel. I travelled to the 84 milk cup final, Wembley leg, with lee Tarleton who was a red and a member of the boxing family
Si Cooper
27 Posted 10/05/2014 at 01:38:59
Steve - Gary, Leigh and Dean are the legendary (to those in the know) Nel's grandkids. Their dad was also a Nel, but was more commonly known as Brian.

Good all-round sportsmen I think. Leigh (and Gary) played a very good level of rugby (union) which is where I know him from.

Eugene Ruane
28 Posted 10/05/2014 at 01:47:34
Steve/Brian - Nel Tarleton was one of those Liverpool fighter's names I remember my (late) father talking about, like Peter Kane and Gus Foran (think Kane was a wool but fought a lot in Liverpool). In the 30s and 40s these fellers would have been Liverpool's boxing heroes.

For me it was Joey Singleton, John Conteh and (later) Tony Willis.

Was also at 'The Nark In The Park' rooting for Everonian Shea Neary.

Peter Mills
29 Posted 10/05/2014 at 09:06:36
Steve, I hope you didn't cringe after re-reading your post, you should be proud of it as many others have said. I have a long family history of supporting the Blues, I was taken to a couple of games in the Championship winning season of 62-63, but my first real memory of Goodison was the Charity Shield at the start of the following season. We won 4-0, and the hope of a glint of sunshine or floodlights on silverware held by an Everton captain is what has been keeping me going ever since.

We would all like to have seen more trophies over the years, but maybe the scarcity of them is what makes that special bond between Evertonians. You are no less of a Blue for being down south, nor are the people who support from the USA, New Zealand or anywhere else. Wherever football's played, you'll hear the song of Everton come riding on the breeze.

Ray Robinson
30 Posted 10/05/2014 at 09:53:15
Have been a Blue since 1961. My first game was against Blackburn Rovers when we won 1-0. My dad was a Red and took me to matches when his mate, a fellow season ticket holder, couldn't get to the game but I chose Everton no idea why, really I just did.

My biggest compliment to fellow Blues is that I've never met a disinterested one. Unlike some "supporters" of other clubs, they always know the results of the last match, the upcoming fixtures, who's out injured and so on. There are no glory hunters. Everyone is passionate about the club. It matters!

Paul Andrews
31 Posted 10/05/2014 at 09:52:10
Eugene,

Joey was a great boxer, as were the other names you mention. He had an accident after his career ended where, I think I am right, he lost an arm.

Stephen Brown
32 Posted 10/05/2014 at 10:17:28
Great article, Steve thank god for this website as its great to read about so many people who feel like I do!!

I have no family connection with the City of Liverpool but have been a Blue since 1985 (impressionable 6-year-old following top team!) but I certainly have the feeling Steve describes so well. My mates support various teams but they don't live them like Evertonians do!

I think about the Blues all day!!! The results determine my mood; I see a scouser on the telly... "Wonder if he's a Blue?" If I catch a glimpse of someone in an Everton shirt, it makes my day! Etc, etc.

As Steve said, you just can't explain it!!

Phil Sammon
33 Posted 10/05/2014 at 10:33:36
Great article.

This weekend a few of my mates are going down to the pub to watch the final day of the season. They are a mix of Leeds, Man Utd and Sheffield Utd followers and support their teams to varying degrees. What none of them can understand is why, rather than watching the top-of-the-table Premier League climax, I would rather stay at home and watch Everton play a meaningless game against Hull on some very ropey internet stream.

I LOVE the club and I want to see every minute of every game they play. It's obsession, it's completely stupid... but it's my life!

Carl Sanderson
34 Posted 10/05/2014 at 10:16:28
I'm a Blue through my Dad, who was a Blue all his life. (My Mum was a Manc from Birkenhead - "Munich mourner", he called her.)

First game... Chelsea at home in August '71, night match, won 2-0, both scored by the White Pele. Chips, Everton mints, bottle of pop, seats in the Upper Bullens. Amazing atmosphere, I'll remember that game if I live to be 100. (Thanks, Dad.)

Rick Tarleton
35 Posted 10/05/2014 at 12:31:35
Hi, Eugene,

If you are on Facebook, you'll see I published two photos of my uncle Nel this week.

Rick Tarleton
36 Posted 10/05/2014 at 12:33:43
My dad was Nel's younger brother, Joe. And another uncle was Ernie Roderick who was married to Edna Tarleton. There were 10 Tarletons: five lads and five girls; Nel was the oldest lad, born in 1906.

My dad was born in 1913 and was in the middle; another sister Lily was married to Norman Low who was a Liverpool footballer in the thirties. I've recounted on numerous occasions about my dad taking me to meet Dixie Dean when I was 18.

Eugene Ruane
37 Posted 10/05/2014 at 12:34:20
Rick - Wow, so it wasn't such a long shot. For those with an interest in Liverpool boxers, your uncle's name is about as big as it gets (and I include Conteh and Rudkin in that). Was he someone you knew or met? (don't know your age or...anything).

If my memory serves me right he won a Lonsdale belt outright or maybe even two. (Or... was that Foran? too idle to Google.)

Eugene Ruane
38 Posted 10/05/2014 at 12:49:14
I need a slap for forgetting Ernie Roderick.
Colin Glassar
39 Posted 10/05/2014 at 12:47:27
I saw the light when I was 5, despite being surrounded by a family of rs. I've seen them all since the Holy Trinity and, despite more downs than ups I've never regretted my decision.
Vince Hindson
40 Posted 10/05/2014 at 13:11:04
Great article. I've been Blue since the 1968 FA Cup Final; no background to the area but I did move around a bit as a kid so never established any local commitments.

Tony Hyland
41 Posted 10/05/2014 at 13:03:40
I first started watching the Blues when they were in the Second Division but got promoted along with Leicester in 1953.

My first game in 1954 was Preston at Goodison when over 76,000 were there and one-nil to the Blues. To my eyes, the blue was always bluer, the green turf just amazing... and that was it!!

Since that time, I have seen all the ups and downs but all in the Top Division, along with Arsenal just think: 61 years of the top table.

Having been overseas for the last 40 years, but hanging onto every little bit of Everton news in every game they have played in that time, I feel privileged to tell anyone who wants to listen that We are Born, not Manufactured.

Rick Tarleton
42 Posted 10/05/2014 at 13:23:39
Yes, I knew them both, Nel died in 1956 when I was ten, Ernie died about 20 years ago. We saw them all regularly at the Tarleton home, 98 Gloucester Place, off Kensington. M and our family lived on the other side of Kensington in Renfrew Street.

You mentioned Peter Kane and he too was part of the Tarleton stable of boxers. My dad and George (said to be the best Tarleton sportsman, but he lost his leg in an accident when he was 14) were basically Nel's and Ernie's trainers, but officially they were managed by Ted Broadrib; in those days, relatives couldn't manage a fighter.

My dad loved his football and took me to games whenever he was home from sea. He became a merchant seaman after he finished with boxing. He was like all the Tarletons a Red, but we went to "The Match" and when he wasn't around, my William's uncles, mainly Reds too, took me regularly to Goodison Park and Anfield Road throughout the fifties.

I've recounted how I became a Blue above and I think Dave Hickson and Everton's promotion to the First Division were the prime ingredients.

Eugene Ruane
43 Posted 10/05/2014 at 14:44:11
Great stuff, Rick. My guess is, as long as there's a few Tareltons around, there'll be someone (like me, interested in Liverpool fighters) asking "You're not by any chance related to...?"
Paul Andrews
44 Posted 10/05/2014 at 14:56:54
Eugene,

The former Liverpool boxers used to meet on a Sunday in The Rose in Cheapside. Not sure if they still do...

Danny Kewley
45 Posted 10/05/2014 at 14:39:18
Definitely one of the best articles I have read on the Web of Toffee, Steve and all the posts took me back to childhood in a poignant-poetic way... Well done, lad!

I've been smitten since the late-50s; I went to my first game in '61 with my mate it was an evening reserve game against Derby County and I am not kidding it was packed. I didn't see BK in the Boys Pen, by the way. I forget the friggin score but I will always remember the meat and potato pie and a cup of Oxo at half-time!

The rest, as they say, is history which, as we all know, was filled with a rich tapestry of Everton Football Club!

I feel it in me water, though the glory days are coming back big style. Coytoffeeeeeeees!

Steve Wright
46 Posted 10/05/2014 at 20:15:58
Thanks Danny, great to hear all the posts and stories. I'm already looking forward to a summer of scouring the news for articles of potential Everton signings and seeing what Roberto has in store for us next season. COYB!
Roberto Granelli
47 Posted 10/05/2014 at 20:45:01
In a nutshell, Steve.

That's exactly how we feel.

Nathan Ward
48 Posted 10/05/2014 at 20:50:34
Would this first game be the one that Psycho Pat did Nico Classen but somehow avoided a red (and a prison sentence if it was now!)
Jim Hourigan
49 Posted 12/05/2014 at 13:19:09
The mention of Psycho Pat reminds me of one of his encounters with Nottingham Forest. I was in the Bullens Road paddock and they had a speed merchant on the wing (forgotten his name), and in the first couple of minutes he squared Psycho up, pushed the ball past him and left Pat for dead. Words were exchanged to the effect of 'Don't do that again son or...' The lad took no notice and did Psycho again.

The third occasion never occurred 'cos Psycho got his tackle in, stood over the young lad and quite audibly said "I told you if you did that again I'd break your fucking legs". The poor lad went missing for the rest of the game; today Pat would have been banned for half a season. What he lacked in quality he made up for in menace different times!!

Trevor Thompson
50 Posted 12/05/2014 at 15:41:06
I've been an Evertonian since 30 October 1988. Even though I live in Croydon, everyone I knew supported the bottle merchants across the park. I wanted to support another team (I know there's Crystal Palace but I hadn't even heard of them then).

Anyway, the game was on The Match and it was Everton v Man United. Even though it ended up being 1-1, I was drawn to Everton. Not because they played better they just seemed to have "called me". Been a Blue ever since.

Drew Shortis
51 Posted 13/05/2014 at 01:10:03
Some really great comments on here!

I grew up in Hastings on the South-east cost and started supporting Everton at the age of eleven after the 4-4 draw in the FA Cup 5th Round in 1991. I had little concept of how far away Liverpool was. I used to watch Hastings Town play and occasionally Brighton but never felt the same connection to them as I did for Everton. A few years later I met my childhood best mate who was also a Toffee. We were both obsessed with the Blues and the fact that most other kids were Liverpool (and later on Man Utd) fans just seemed to make me more protective of my team. His dad (a Leeds fan from Yorkshire) used to take us up to London to see Everton at away games. I'm ashamed to say that I have never seen us play at Goodison, something I need to put right soon!

Having followed Everton through a pretty barren twenty plus years I'm really enjoying the feeling of optimism Martinez has brought to the club. Can't wait for next season!

Steve Barr
52 Posted 13/05/2014 at 02:39:55
Rick,

Unbelievable. My grandfather was Dick Burke who was a top boxer from Liverpool in the 1930s, boxed at Fly, Bantam and Featherweight. He was great friends with Nel and Dom Volante. I have a few photographs of them together, in civvies and in their boxing gear.

Nel and my grandfather both did exhibitions during the war to raise money for the war effort.

My grandfather was also good friends with Dixie. I have photos of them together.

He use to speak very fondly of Nel and Dom. He was also good friends with Ernie Roderick as well. I have photos of them sparring when Ernie was helping my grandfather prepare for one of his upcoming fights.

I'm absolutely stunned!

Steve Barr
53 Posted 13/05/2014 at 02:54:17
Rick,

If you want I would be more than happy tocopy the pictures I have of Nel and send them to you.

Let me know.

By the way, my grandfather was a blue...My grandmother was a red!

Paul Ferry
55 Posted 13/05/2014 at 03:07:18
I'm just loving this Rick, Steve, Eugene et al back and forth that gets better with each new post. I have mental images of these men back then and my city and my feelings are shimmering.

On the recent two decades survey I mentioned that some sort of ToffeeWeb alehouse city-centre night might be a good idea for all you lucky L blues (postcode) to bevvy and natter.

I really hope that happens one day and becomes a part of the blue calendar and this lovely Tarleton et al natter is a real reason why this should happen.

Albert Perkins
56 Posted 13/05/2014 at 03:11:01
I've been a Blue since the early 60s and went to both games with my Red mate. Things have changed. A few years back I was returning to USA from a trip to Copenhagen and had trouble with my passport. Just got my dual citizenship but still had my UK passport and had to have proof of citizenship to get on the plane. 50 mins to take-off. Panic.

The guy at the help desk was Irish and he said there was no time to sort this out, and if they let me on the plane without clearance they would have to pay a fine of $5,000. "So you come from Liverpool, do you?" he asked, "and which team to do support?" "Everton," I said proudly, and his eyes lit up. "Same here," he said and we talked about things Blue for a bit.

Then he looked at his watch and called his girlfriend who worked at the American Embassy. She was at lunch and couldn't get to her office in time to help me. My newfound friend told her to find someone in the restaurant with a laptop and tell them it was urgent international business. She took my details and confirmed my status with 5 mins to spare and I ran to the plane with my new bezzie mate, ignoring all formalities.

Evertonians are family. Luv em!

Stuart Gray
57 Posted 15/05/2014 at 10:33:05
Nice article.

Sorry to say but I'm a southern Blue. Born in Limerick to English parents (my dad is a Mackem), moved to the South coast when I was 10 months old.

I came to support Everton because my older brother did. He supported them because his favourite colour was yellow and the first team he saw on TV were playing in yellow. Everton. So glad it wasn't Norwich.

This was in the late 70's. I've been supporting them since before I really knew what football was.

I remember, aged 6 or 7, I went to bed one Saturday and Everton were going to be on MotD later that night. I had insisted that my parents woke me so that I could watch my beloved team. The bug had hit me.

I saw us through the success of the 80's. Everton were never fashionable down south, even then. In 1985 I was beaten up by the school bully. I was 10 and had the cheek to not support ManUre before the FA Cup final.

I remember in 1989 I said to my brother "If Everton don't beat Liverpool, I'm going to start supporting them instead". Haha, as if. I sat down that even and squeezed as if I could simply squeeze out the love I had. The reason I did it was because losing hurt, it really is one of the worst feelings.

I don't get people who have managed to change their allegiances, I work with someone who used to support ManUre (he is actually from Manchester, go figure) but now support Southampton. How?

My first trip to Goodison, when I could afford it, was with a bunch of Chelsea fans. I had a ticket to sit with them. I went to the ticket office and asked if I could change it to sit with the home support. To my astonishment they did without ever questioning. I was a young southerner in Bullens Road stand. I remember the guy next to me making some jokes, so I joined in. The moment he heard my accent he stopped and stared, smiled and then the banter went on.

Everton consumes my life, probably not as much as many of you, but it's impossible to get away from. It affects my mood every day, just ask my wife. Everton lose and the feeling is completely disproportionate: I have my health, a loving wife and children yet nothing can be done to stop that feeling in the pit of my stomach.

And you are right, people don't get it. Hell I don't get it. It's unfair to say everyone, but a lot of football fans down here seem able to switch off when a match isn't on.

And being an Everton fan down here isn't easy, I only know 1 other - and he got me started on this path.

Andy Meighan
59 Posted 19/05/2014 at 11:07:03
Jim (49) that would have been Franz Carr, the forest winger. He was quick but his final ball was shit. I remember Psycho doing him. His bottle went after that... in fact, I think they took him off. For all his thuggery, Pat was an excellent player and very underrated at the time not by us Blues, though!
Paul Withe
60 Posted 19/05/2014 at 15:25:42
Great article Steve! I too am an exiled Blue living down south (if you can call Milton Keynes the south!) and still absolutely love it when I spot a fellow Blue in and around London where I work. Nobody (including the missus who is from MK too) gets us and why supporting Everton is more than just following a team. She didn't get why I didn't want the RS to win the league!
Anyway, if you ever fancy a pint when there's a live EFC game on the telly, I'm always looking for company among the plastic RS/United/Chelsea set...
Chris Lawlor
61 Posted 22/05/2014 at 16:26:47
Brilliant article lads!

I'm sat here at my desk in work reading this for the last hour holding back those man tears we get when we see our players hug the gaffer after a goal (Rom & Rob).

Originally from Cork where everyone is a Man Utd or Liverpool fan, I was called by the Blues in 1984 and have been loyal ever since. School days of being the only Blue in an all boys collective of 700 students the sole blue shirt in a sea of red I was never prouder of my team, and never backed down from the relentless jibes of the red hordes.

Fast forward a decade or so and my life took me to the North West where I settled for 10 years and got to see the Blues play at Goodison every week I could. I took my now wife to her first ever football match a few years back when we beat Fulham 3-1 with a stunner or two from Faddy if memory serves! I leant into her and said "This doesn't happen every week, love but look at the reaction on that ladies' face." The lady in question must have been in her 80s and she was up, fists pumped and a huge smile from ear to ear!

One of my most treasured memories of my seat in the Lower Gwladys. The missus has been a Blue ever since and quotes her best memory so far as the reaction to the Arteta equalizer vs Fiorentina at Goodison the place went berserk, and so did she! I almost wept with pride then!

Everton reaches into your soul, never lets go. Doesn't promise the moon and the stars but by god how we celebrate every win and mourn every loss. I love my team and I love my fellow Evertonians like family.

Mark Acreman
62 Posted 23/05/2014 at 23:44:31
I'm sitting at work on a Friday late shift (booo!) and have just read all the recent fan atricles about being Blue.

I am 55, have been one forever and reading these letters has just made my day. It made me feel that "lates" is not the worst thing in the world. Not being a Blue probably is!

COYB


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