Since the split in 1892, there developed a widely-held belief that Everton became the club of the substantial Merseyside Catholic population and Liverpool of the Protestant population. Influential members of the clubs’ respective boards seem to have given substance to this belief.
While Everton was originally founded as a Methodist schoolboys club, it has a strong lasting association with Merseyside Catholic Irish.
The founder of Liverpool FC (originally called "Everton Football Club and Athletic Grounds company Ltd" or "Everton Athletic") was John Houlding, an Orangeman. So were most of the original directors including John McKenna. Houlding was a member of both the Working Mans' Conservative Association and the Liverpool Protestant Association, the latter morphed into George Wise's Liverpool Protestant Party, which contested Liverpool Corporation wards Netherfields and St Domingo's as late as 1973.
Everton acquired Catholic support ever since a certain Dr James Clement Baxter joined the Board of Directors at the turn of the 19th Century (also, the neighbouring Scotland Road and Vauxhall areas were and continue to be, overwhelmingly Catholic). Obviously, Catholics were by no means the sole supporters of Everton (which commands the support of most Liverpudlians), but it is noted nonetheless. Geography plays a part (North-West versus South-East), although this reflects the religious divide.  The fact that many of the respective clubs’ early board members were influential local politicians gave legs to this theory. This was particularly the case in a city, which at the time, had deep sectarian divisions often maintained by local political divisions.
The split of Everton FC in 1892 that brought Liverpool FC into existence saw theemergence onto the football scene of a body of men with strong politicalidentities. The men who controlled the fortunes of Everton and Liverpool footballclubs also took an active part in local politics and it would be strange, given thepolitical environment these men operated within, that football in the City ofLiverpool could have remained untouched from matters of religious controversyand discretely contained in a purely sporting context. To understand why thiswould be so, it is necessary to take a short detour into the sectarian history ofLiverpool politics.
During the pioneering period of professional football in Liverpool, religioussectarianism dominated local life – affecting housing, schooling, and the city’soccupational structure. By the mid-19th century, almost a quarter of thecity’s population were Irish born, and by the century’s end, Liverpool remained akey destination point for an exodus of Irish Protestants and Catholics. Frictionbetween the city’s Protestant and Catholic populations was a feature of the sociallandscape – on many occasions erupting into street violence and rioting betweenethnically divided communities. Some historians have argued that the ferocity ofthe hostility between Irish Catholics in Liverpool and the “native” British and IrishProtestant community surpassed the sectarian divide in Scotland, and only standsclose comparison with the experience of towns of Northern Ireland: ‘Liverpool –sister of Belfast, rough, big hearted, Protestant and Unionist’. Like no othermainland British city, Liverpool reflected the contours of the ongoing struggle in19th Century and early 20th Century Ireland between Unionism andNationalism over the matter of Home Rule for Ireland. 
By the time of my own upbringing on Merseyside in the 1960s and 70s, this overt sectarianism had appeared to have died out. However, I can remember the distress that my own mother felt one day after work when she had been shunned by the predCatholicy catholic workforce in her dock canteen by inadvertently wearing an orange pinafore for the day on July 12th!
More recently, Wayne Rooney’s grandmother has described him as ‘Irish on the inside’ and his legacy as part of Croxteth’s 60% Catholic community, is stressed as the continuance of the special links between Everton FC and the city’s Irish Catholic population. 
As has already been described, the split between the clubs owed much to late 19th Century political divisions in the city. Uniquely in England this split, well into the twentieth century continued to have a religious aspect which was intimately associated with ‘the Irish question’.
The important point to make here is that, whereas in other towns the issues primarily to be addressed and contested by local parties would be the more prosaic matters of, say, housing and health provision, or the setting of rates, in Liverpool “Imperial affairs” (that is, the stance taken by ward candidates on religion and the Irish Question), were paramount. For this reason, it would be completely understandable, given the high incidence of football club directors active in the local Liberal and Conservative parties, if ethno-religious labels became attached to Everton and Liverpool football clubs via the political views held by those directors. 
David Kennedy also shows how many early directors of Liverpool FC were officers in the Liverpool Working Man’s Association; the Glasgow branch was also intimately involved in cementing the sectarian development of Glasgow Rangers. He also has documented the similar influence of Freemasonery at the board level of both clubs. 
It is worth noting that the Liverpool Working Man’s Association changed its name to the Liverpool Protestant Party which contested Liverpool Corporation wards Netherfields and St Domingo's as late as 1973. 
Dod also claims that Everton acquired significant support in the neighbouring predominantly Catholic areas of Scotland Road and Vauxhall which was facilitated, as previously described, by the earlier role of Dr James clement Baxter who was a well respected physician to many local Catholic families. 
There continued to be much anecdotal evidence, up till the late 20th Century of the sectarian divisions between the fans – People ‘dressed’ their houses to advertise Cup Final footballing allegiances, though my Mum would never allow my brother’s Evertonian blue to go up in case neighbours or passers-by mistakenly took us forCatholics – John Williams The late Eric Heffer, Labour MP (Liverpool Walton - 1960s & 70s) once remarked he was obliged to associate himself with Everton FC (as opposed to the Protestant and formerly Tory-supporting Liverpool FC) throughout his career. "In Liverpool, even in the two-ups and two-downs, most Protestants wereConservative and most Catholics were Labour, just as Everton was theCatholic team and Liverpool the Proddy-Dog one." – Cilla Black  "Being a Roman Catholic school, religion played a large part in our schoollife. Pop Moran even tried to turn me off football at Anfield – Catholicswere traditionally Everton supporters and players, Liverpool were theProtestant team. Pop honestly thought that being a Catholic I wouldn’t behappy at Anfield." – Tommy Smith (ex-Liverpool FC player and captain) 
However, it must be said that my research, and the majority of the more detailed research into the fans of Everton FC, conclude that the sectarian divisions of Glasgwegian, and even to some extent Mancunian, football supporters, are in no way matched by football supporters in Liverpool.There, in fact, is overwhelming evidence to suggest that the fan base of both clubs is non-sectarian.
Although the Irish community had a flourishing amateur football leagues by the early 20th Century, this didn’t translate into professional football. There wasn’t the emergence of a catholic club as was the case in Ulster, Glasgow, Dundee and Edinburgh. Both clubs in Liverpool had emerged from the Methodist New Connexion chapel team of St. Domingo’s. Although Liverpool FC was criticised in the Socialist press for not allowing a collection for striking Dublin transport workers, there is nothing in the local catholic press of the time to denote a specific sectarian attachment in the pre- war years. Of the Irish national party councillors in the city, Taggart had shares in Everton, while Austin Harford did in Liverpool. 
The question of why a similarly Catholic-based club, such as Glasgow Celtic, didn’t emerge in Liverpool is key to an understanding this issue. The detailed research of David and Peter Kennedy into this issue explains why this didn’t happen in Liverpool even though Liverpool had the greatest proportional immigration of Irish in the late 19nth century of any British city – in 1871, Liverpool had 15.45% of its population of Irish origin. The nearest to it was Manchester with 9%. 
Crucially the Kennedys have discovered that, despite the development of many Catholic football teams in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries, none of them developed into an equivalent of Glasgow |Celtic. They have given two reasons for this. Firstly, none of the teams lasted or were part of an organised league. Secondly, the local Catholic hierarchy actively discouraged the development of such a team for their own political reasons.
It was the policy of the Liverpool Catholic hierarchy to integrate the Irish into British culture, whilst maintaining their Catholicism. This was due to the perceived threat to the native population of their poverty and passive support for Irish nationalism; to counter this, the hierarchy tried to cultivate respectability through constructing a network of charitable organisations. It also tried to emphasise British, rather than Irish, culture in its schools.
Also, Irish priests were vetted to screen out those with strong Irish nationalist views and 301 out of 391 priests employed were non-Irish. The leaders were outspoken opponents of Irish nationalism, eg, Bishop Goss was a stern critic of Fenianism and Bishop Whiteside was actually a Unionist! The overwhelming loyalty was to the Pope, rather than to Irish nationalism. Many of their appointments to run Irish parishes were continental clerical orders, eg, the largest was St Antony’s on Scotland Road which was run by French missionary priests.
The overall effect of this was to create specific parish, rather than Irish, identities. The parishes’ sports teams played a full role in this. Irish nationalist politicians started to get elected in Liverpool by the late 19thc due to the development of universal suffrage. However, this seemed to direct them into developing the class, rather than ethnic, concerns of their constituents. The only MP to actively promote Irish nationalism in Liverpool was the Irish outsider Thomas Power O’connor, who was criticised by local activists. 
Indeed, as the clubs developed, they both developed strong links with both Catholic and Protestant populations:
"Both professional clubs developed strong links with the Liverpool Irish. This was especially the case at Everton where some board members were influential supporters of the Home rule movement e.g. Irishman Dr. William Whitford, a surgeon and Chairman of the Everton district liberal association. A later Chairman James Clement Baxter, another prominent Liberal, was instrumental in securing the loan which enabled them to leave Anfield. His son, Cecil Stuart Baxter, also became Chairman of Everton. There were 2 other Liberal Home rulers on the board." – Alfred Gates and George Mahon. 
At Liverpool, this was matched after the death of John Houlding:
"Three Irish publicans joined the board – John Joseph Hill, Thomas Crompton (a former Everton player) and William Harvey Webb. Even in 1892, there were Irish councillor shareholders in both clubs: John Gregory Taggart – Everton and Austin Harford – Liverpool. There is also strong anecdotal evidence that both clubs, but particularly Everton, gained strong support from the Irish community." 
Irish nationalist councillors in the city also contributed to the non sectarian development of both clubs:
"Of the Irish National Party councillors in the city, Taggart had shares in Everton, while Austin Harford did in Liverpool." 
Both clubs also provided facilities for teams of both religions to use, in contrast to Scotland and Northern Ireland:"In Scotland and Northern Ireland, only Irish clubs recruited Irish players. In Scotland, there developed an antagonism to recruiting Catholic players as exemplified in the long-term anti-Catholic discrimination at Glasgow Rangers. In Northern Ireland, the establishment saw football as a vehicle for Unionism and Linfield, the biggest club, became identified with the Protestant cause. Catholic grounds were also attacked, eg, Hibernian needed to form its own guard to secure a playing area. Celtic’s fixtures were often marked by crowd violence. Belfast Celtic were eventually forced out of existence due to this in 1949. There was also discrimination to these clubs from the football authorities who sometimes found it difficult to join local and regional leagues. By contrast, in Liverpool, Irish teams seemed to face little or no hostility in being admitted to local leagues. Both clubs provided players to train St. Francis Xavier club team. There also seems to have been free movement between local club teams eg, St Francis Xavier and Brittanic. The lack of hostility was maybe also due to the lack of an Irish threat to the two major clubs. 
One of the more recent developments that gave rise to the view that Everton is the catholic club was the significant recruitment of Irish Catholicl players by the club in the 1950s:
"Through the 1950s, the Everton team took on a distinctly Irish flavour, with the likes of Peter Farrell and Tommy Eglington becoming big crowd favourites. This brought about a significant influx of Irish fans and may have been responsible for suggesting a Catholic flavour." 
However, this seems to be due to Everton’s more extensive scouting network in Southern Ireland than to any religious link. Indeed, there seems to be no evidence that either club deliberately targeted a particular community in their recruitment policies.
"However, despite there being a marked difference between Everton andLiverpool in the volume of players selected from Ireland, evidence suggests that,overall, there was no attempt by the clubs to operate discriminatory policies onthe grounds of religious sectarianism when employing playing staff. And neitherdoes there appear to have been any policy to build up support amongst onesection of the population to the detriment of attracting support from anothersection." In Manchester, there is more historic evidence of sectarianism which could arise from Manchester City’s origins the Church of England parish of St Marks in Gorton. The recruitment policies of Manchester United were also focused earlier on Southern Ireland when they became the first club to sign an Irish player in the early 20th century. Their widespread recruitment of Catholic players in the 1950s also lead to some of their Protestant professionals to complain of discrimination against them. 
The overwhelming research evidence indicates that neither club, despite their origins, has a specifics sectarian support on the lines of clubs in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
References1. Dod – ‘Trouble between orange bigots and Liverpool people’ September 2007
2. David Kennedy – ‘Red and Blue and Orange and Green’
3. Rooney is part of a Generation Irish ‘On the Outside’ – The Independent, 11 October 2006
4. David Kennedy – ‘Red and Blue and Orange and Green’
5. Op. Cit
6. Dod – ‘The trouble between Orange Bigots and the Liverpool people’ September 2007
7. Op. Cit.
8. John Williams – ‘Into the Red: Liverpool FC and the changing face of football'
9. Dod – ‘The trouble between Orange Bigots and the Liverpool people’ September 2007
10. ‘Cilla and Ricky’s “Scouseness” Test’ Liverpool Echo, 17 December 2002.
11. Tommy Smith and Dave Stuckey ‘I Did It the Hard Way’ p.14.
12. John Belchem – ‘Irish, Catholic and Scouse – The History of the Liverpool Irish 1800-1939’ 2007
13. David and Peter Kennedy - ‘Irish Football Clubs in Liverpool’
14. Op. Cit.
15. Op. Cit.
16. Op. cit.
17. John Belchem – ‘Irish, Catholic and Scouse – The History of the Liverpool Irish 1800-1939’ 2007
18. David and Peter Kennedy - ‘Irish Football Clubs in Liverpool’
19. Michael Kenrick –‘Are Evertonians Catholic or Protestant’ ToffeeWeb
20. David Kennedy – ‘Red and Blue and Orange and Green’
21. Stuart Brennan – ‘Why Rangers ‘hate’ the Reds’ Manchester Evening News 12 August 2004
Reader Comments (173)
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1 Posted 09/08/2018 at 16:45:03
2 Posted 09/08/2018 at 16:51:22
Perhaps at the current time we should be asking 'Is Everton a South American team'?
ie Bernard, Mina, Gomes, Richarlison et al
3 Posted 09/08/2018 at 16:52:35
4 Posted 09/08/2018 at 16:54:44
5 Posted 09/08/2018 at 17:08:54
6 Posted 09/08/2018 at 17:27:07
It is well referenced and a good read but the title spoils the whole thing.
This sort of question needs to remain a memory.
7 Posted 09/08/2018 at 17:32:57
8 Posted 09/08/2018 at 17:41:23
9 Posted 09/08/2018 at 17:43:10
I still don't think it matters and further more, it's a question that, like Nicholas says, should never be asked. Why do some people try to make a big deal out of something that doesn't exist ?
10 Posted 09/08/2018 at 17:47:17
I would imagine that most football clubs, with the exception of Celtic and Rangers, [and possibly Hearts and Hibs], have a mixture of faiths and also non believers, from Boardroom level down. I agree with David  that a 'Blue' is a 'Blue' and that's all that matters.
11 Posted 09/08/2018 at 17:49:45
Absolute shite trying to introduce religion into Everton.
12 Posted 09/08/2018 at 18:00:45
13 Posted 09/08/2018 at 18:01:24
14 Posted 09/08/2018 at 18:02:22
15 Posted 09/08/2018 at 18:03:32
I also remember the Irish Nationalist graffiti in the streets to the South of Scotland road and the pro Orange/anti Papist graffiti on the wall near the flats on Netherfield Brow (and all this was there in the early 1980s).
However, the truth was that the sectarianism was never strong and my dad and his mates (mainly merchant seamen) used to go and watch both teams when they were home. So for me neither Everton or Liverpool were viewed as sectarian in the 70s when I spent my youth going to the match as often as I could. And unlike Parkhead I can never remember being asked if I want to buy An Phoblact while waiting for the game to start :)
16 Posted 09/08/2018 at 18:07:13
17 Posted 09/08/2018 at 18:11:39
I realise it is a free country and everybody has an opinion (even that prat Boris Johnson) - but this is one article which in my opinion should be taken down. It has nothing to do with EFC and has little historical fact that makes this article relevant.
18 Posted 09/08/2018 at 18:13:03
Bit puzzled to see such a piece on here, to be honest.
19 Posted 09/08/2018 at 18:16:40
Its a valid subject to research due to the situation in Glasgow and other places where that schism exists or has ever flourished.
If it doesnt interest you in particular stick with the OPs that do.
No harm no foul, each to their own, freedom of expression, etc, etc.
20 Posted 09/08/2018 at 18:22:37
Doubt it is a relevant question now but interested to see history.
21 Posted 09/08/2018 at 18:24:35
I have to agree with the first response, this shouldn't really be a question that's worth asking. You see the hatred that can be caused by religious rivalry & the nonsense between Rangers & Celtic. I don't like the idea of the two senior teams of Liverpool developing anything more than a sporting rivalry.
Brian Williams response is a little OTT, but I understand the sentiments. I think it's a legitimate thing to research if your interested in the history, but it's certainly not something we should dwell on.
22 Posted 09/08/2018 at 18:25:19
I don't think the editors have done him or his opening post any favours being published on TDD with so much angst and interest on who we are signing.
Nor does the stark headline help 'warm' an audience to Bob's evidently well-researched and accurate reporting of Everton's early history and how both the red and blue divide of the city clubs was influenced by religious affiliation.
I recall just a few months ago having this aspect of Everton's early history revealed to me on these very pages by one of the authors Bob references, David Kennedy, and his book 'Merseyside's Old Firm: The Sectarian Roots of Everton and Liverpool Football Clubs'.
David was also harshly treated and misunderstood as Bob appears to be here by some.
I consider neither David nor Bob are trying to argue that affiliation to Everton and Liverpool is determined along sectarian heritage, even though in both clubs' formative years the governance of each was heavily biased towards different religious creeds and political allegiance.
What both David and Bob seem at pains to demonstrate is that - to their credit - neither of our city clubs adhered to such sectarian traits as is evident in the Auld Firm pair in Glasgow. For that I believe we can be both grateful and proud.
So from me, well done Bob. You certainly don't merit the dismissive scorn some have posted in this thread.
23 Posted 09/08/2018 at 18:34:12
In 2018 does it really matter if you're catholic or protestant it's all about the team you support, unless you just want to seriously shit stir, especialy with tensiosn still bubbling under the surface in the north.
24 Posted 09/08/2018 at 18:39:51
The history of religion is like every other subject really, There will always be some (not necessarily those who are religious themselves ) who find the subject facinating
I don't think there is any offence intended here. its just a pity Bob didnt speak to John Mc first. He may have thought twice about putting in all that time and effort researching a subject which, as John points out, has already been done to death
25 Posted 09/08/2018 at 18:40:21
26 Posted 09/08/2018 at 18:48:30
*Merely intended as humor.
27 Posted 09/08/2018 at 18:55:35
28 Posted 09/08/2018 at 18:58:24
29 Posted 09/08/2018 at 18:58:44
The writer has quoted quite a lot of facts in his article
30 Posted 09/08/2018 at 19:01:50
I can't wait for one of the locals to recognise my accent and start spouting shit about the other lot.
As my mother used to say. " He'll get the full length of my tongue."
31 Posted 09/08/2018 at 19:03:13
32 Posted 09/08/2018 at 19:08:31
Therefore all Koppites are Lutheran...all Evertonians are every other religion and don't care who believes in what as long as they all believe in Everton!
33 Posted 09/08/2018 at 19:26:48
Fuck all to do with being a snowflake.
If you'd seen the damage and death caused by someone asking that very question "are you catholic or proteatant"? you might understand some of the strength of feeling.
If you had any experience in the deaths to both sides during the troubles purely in the name of religion (discounting politics) then you'd realize your "snowflake" comment is as deeply offensive as the question itself.
I'm no snowflake mate but the question fucking riles me like nothing else.
34 Posted 09/08/2018 at 19:39:57
Murder and killing has gone on because of religion since man created invisible people that live in the sky.
Whether you, me or next doors dog like it or not it's part of human nature. It was an attempt ( and a decent one at that) at exploring a part of our history.
No need for the venom mate.
I have spent a lot of time in Ireland, both north and south, I'm married to a Gaelic speaking Irish woman and still go over 4-5 times a year as I have done for the past 35 years.
The troubles are long gone and thank fuck they are. Still a minority of idiots but there always is wherever you go.
35 Posted 09/08/2018 at 19:45:42
36 Posted 09/08/2018 at 19:52:18
I went on a cruise to Norway in 2013. Lovely time but the weather was .erm...changeable. No, it pissed down while the UK sweltered in 80c!
But we had a great time (thanks Holland America) If the weather behaves you ll have great time. Enjoy 👍
37 Posted 09/08/2018 at 19:55:32
I'm really looking forward to it.
38 Posted 09/08/2018 at 20:07:05
39 Posted 09/08/2018 at 20:22:32
"Budd-ha thought we wuz PROMISED a new stadium!"
"Budd-ha can play better than Barkley!"
"Budd-ha was told Chang was beer!"
I'll get me coat.
40 Posted 09/08/2018 at 20:26:52
Most of the posts above would support his conclusion.
41 Posted 09/08/2018 at 20:43:39
That is basically my less eloquent tuppence version of what Jay Wood said in post 22.
42 Posted 09/08/2018 at 20:52:18
The Club is and alway was Blue, nothing to do with orange or green.
43 Posted 09/08/2018 at 20:53:19
“Why do some people try to make a big deal out of something that doesn't exist ?” enough said Ray.
44 Posted 09/08/2018 at 20:53:28
45 Posted 09/08/2018 at 20:57:19
It is of some relevance as many Irish and glasgow fans of the “other side” have often justified their allegiance on sectarian religious grounds. This article makes it clear that this view is nonsense.
46 Posted 09/08/2018 at 21:02:58
Apologies to the plebs on here who cannot see the article for its historical context – and are merely brain dead from too much exposure to football.
47 Posted 09/08/2018 at 21:05:47
I'll grab my coat.
48 Posted 09/08/2018 at 21:07:47
49 Posted 09/08/2018 at 21:18:09
Ray at #9 is spot on.
Brian at post 33 is right, if you can see the shit storm caused by the religon question, then you know to leave well alone.
A shite article and I ashamed that TW put it out there, especially after a great day. Lyndon & Michael Hang your heads bwoy
50 Posted 09/08/2018 at 21:18:36
51 Posted 09/08/2018 at 21:32:13
We try to publish most things Everton-related that are sent to us unless it is obviously problematic. Ironically, I put up because I wanted to check some formatting issues with the author, and assumed you'd all be distracted with the Deadline Day shenanigans So much for that theory!
Personally, I'm in the John Lennon camp — "Imagine no religion..." but you can't negate the history of our club and the ironies that saw it grow from a Methodist entity to leaning more toward Rome, at least in terms of the Board of Directors and attracting a significant Irish / Catholic following.
Thankfully such distinctions are largely a thing of the past... but take a moment to count the Irish names on this forum, and the number who respond with that "RIP" nonsense when someone dies. And this at a time when we are seeing more and more demonstrations of religious faith from players genuflecting as they come on the field, or pointing to the heavens in celebration of a goal.
I wish it would all go away... but a number of the adherents are duty bound, as I understand it, to tell us all about it, or to kill us if we qualify as infidels.
52 Posted 09/08/2018 at 21:34:21
Amen to that
53 Posted 09/08/2018 at 21:40:02
54 Posted 09/08/2018 at 21:40:19
55 Posted 09/08/2018 at 21:45:35
Interesting read for this old atheist Irishman.
I'm a Celtic fan and I hated when we had so many former Rangers players in the 1990s. Nothing to do with religion but their sectarian songs are shit whilst I do enjoy the rebel songs sung at Parkhead.
56 Posted 09/08/2018 at 21:48:52
57 Posted 09/08/2018 at 21:51:36
If you want to pretend that there is no legacy of sectarianism on Merseyside left - get yourself up to Southport any July 12th and then pass judgement.
Racism, Sexism and Bigotry have no place in Sport or society in the 21st century but to be blind to the fact it still exists is fanciful at best.
58 Posted 09/08/2018 at 21:53:24
There are too many people these days who take offence to things merely if they disagree with the subject. There is nothing offensive in this post.
59 Posted 09/08/2018 at 21:55:55
I have to admit that I didn't read one word of the article because it's title alone is, in my book, completely out of order.
I suppose those that don't have too much first-hand knowledge, or are not aware, of some of the absolute atrocities carried out by Protestants and Catholics because they simply WERE either Protestant or Catholic may find nothing wrong with the question but I find someone asking whether my club is Protestant or Catholic insulting in the extreme and inflammatory unless they're completely naive and/or socially unaware (IMHO).
60 Posted 09/08/2018 at 21:58:36
61 Posted 09/08/2018 at 22:12:32
62 Posted 09/08/2018 at 22:17:47
But the article does actually illustrate and support the historical context of the question, if you are at all interested. And it is fundamentally a historical question.
I understand your concerns regarding the countless atrocities committed in the name of religions... That's not the subject of the article, but I too find it hard to ignore with any mention of religion.
63 Posted 09/08/2018 at 22:19:25
Wtf have the two Glasgow clubs got to do with the two Liverpool clubs?
Other than transfer dealings I'll give you a clue.
64 Posted 09/08/2018 at 22:23:01
65 Posted 09/08/2018 at 22:29:52
66 Posted 09/08/2018 at 22:33:20
67 Posted 09/08/2018 at 22:33:31
68 Posted 09/08/2018 at 22:35:00
It's part of the Club's history. That's all I see in this.
I'm Catholic. Some might say ardently so. Here's the thing the sectarians forget - especially the religious radical ones.
This will get a bit religious, but makes a point in the end (I hope).
Ask any devout Protestant or Catholic what's God's greatest gift? Atheists, just stay with me for a bit please. The answer is almost invariably "life" or "free will".
It's the free will thing that gets me and is paramount in my opinion. Human beings can choose to do anything or believe anything they want. Atheists wouldn't argue with that, and religious folk believe that's a gift from God.
So if you choose to be Catholic, Protestant, or Atheist, that's your right. Either by social convention or from above.
To me and in my mind, that means it doesn't really matter what an individual's religious preferences are - it's their right to believe in whatever the heck they want to.
And again for me, and what drove me away from Celtic and definitively towards Everton, Evertonians espouse that viewpoint.
Everything I've ever read on these pages about this subject, albeit a part of the Everton history, is that is doesn't matter. You're either Blue, or you aren't.
And thank God for that! Treating people poorly strictly because of their religious preferences is simply astoundingly unacceptable.
So leave that sectarian crap for others.
I've said it before, my best friend here in Florida is a Blue who played for the Everton Youth Team in the FA Cup. He's Protestant. We constantly joke back and forth - all of it in good fun and as friends - about my Catholicism and his Protestantism. He's a good, good man. He favors the Protestant way, I prefer Catholicism.
Who cares in the end?
Either the fairy tale I espouse is crap and I'll end up as worm food 6 feet under, or I'm going to meet my Maker. I prefer the fairy tale. So do Protestants. And Atheists can believe in whatever the hell they want to.
Keep it out of Everton. Everton has a history. It's a history that might be more a bit more of one than the other Christian faiths, but my experience with it is Everton is all-inclusive.
And that's awesome.
Open door policy - come one, come all.
FFS I hope I've not offended a single soul with this post.
69 Posted 09/08/2018 at 22:37:27
TW publishes all sorts of articles which are not purely about, but which are related to, football generally or Everton specifically. And is much richer for that.
70 Posted 09/08/2018 at 22:42:51
71 Posted 09/08/2018 at 22:44:32
72 Posted 09/08/2018 at 22:46:57
73 Posted 09/08/2018 at 22:46:57
74 Posted 09/08/2018 at 22:49:34
Interesting enough piece. Clearly religion was a big part in our foundation but I've never really bought the religious divide... I think it's something that people went looking for and when they found any hint it provided them with confirmation. It's called confirmation bias.
There also will have been families for whom their two most significant beliefs were their religion and their football colours. Taking a sense of being a part of "what's right" might have made people link the two.
75 Posted 09/08/2018 at 22:50:10
However, as someone who has posted “RIP”, or “May he (or she) rest in peace” as a comment of genuine respect and condolence on this site, I find your description of it as “nonsense” to be uncharacteristicly opinionated and unnecessary.
76 Posted 09/08/2018 at 22:57:13
I'd actually read part of a phd on the same topic a few years ago. Came to much the same conclusion on the history of both clubs and the city.
Anybody who's genuinely offended by this historical piece would be best avoiding libraries for the rest of their lives.
77 Posted 09/08/2018 at 23:06:21
Clearly we have it in abundance.
Between Ray's comment and Ciaran's:
Anybody who's genuinely offended by this historical piece would be best avoiding libraries for the rest of their lives.
I laughed my ass off.
I'm converting to the Church of Good Humo(u)r.
78 Posted 09/08/2018 at 23:08:12
Me too. "Altarnative" humour?
79 Posted 09/08/2018 at 23:10:44
Too good. It astounds me the ability to have such wit with the English language you fine people across the pond possess.
80 Posted 09/08/2018 at 23:13:24
81 Posted 09/08/2018 at 23:32:07
Agree with Peter Mills, and can only say in Michaels defence, that we all speak nonsense at times!
Live and let live is such an impossible dream, and Im sure many a wise man would tell us this?
And finally going back to religion, but we are going to have some catholics, in our team next season, after the transfer window we have just had. Up the blues!
82 Posted 10/08/2018 at 00:13:54
83 Posted 10/08/2018 at 01:14:47
84 Posted 10/08/2018 at 01:39:08
85 Posted 10/08/2018 at 01:46:57
Sure have my doubts!!
86 Posted 10/08/2018 at 03:23:32
87 Posted 10/08/2018 at 04:49:00
88 Posted 10/08/2018 at 05:13:36
Some have recoiled against it, but others might say that lessons can always be taken from history... and this is a part of our history. Plus the headmaster of my old school gets a mention for an extra connection (Pop Moran).
89 Posted 10/08/2018 at 05:38:01
My mum's brother-in-law, my uncle Peter, supported the other mob, but he enjoyed his football enough to go and watch whoever happened to be at home any given week.
He had a sarkie sense of humour, I remember him at our place one Sunday morning after Mass. Everton had been at home the day before. I asked the question, "What was the game like, uncle Peter?"
"I never got in," he replied, "they shut the gates."
Gullible young me queried, "How come they shut the gates?"
The inevitable grin told me I'd been sucked in again: "They ran out of Holy Water for the fonts," he chuckled.
That happened about 1950. Funny it has always stuck in my memory.
90 Posted 10/08/2018 at 06:06:11
As someone who has 3% archaic neanderthal DNA, I find that comment offensive.
91 Posted 10/08/2018 at 06:18:00
92 Posted 10/08/2018 at 06:46:54
93 Posted 10/08/2018 at 07:17:15
94 Posted 10/08/2018 at 07:31:43
Hey Peter, so you saw that programme too with Doctor Alice Roberts. Fascinating wasn't it?
95 Posted 10/08/2018 at 08:18:10
Football is now global and the diversity within the team is hopefully apparent in the fan base. All undermined by the stupidity of the title.
96 Posted 10/08/2018 at 08:25:59
The OP piece is full of long disused 'whistles' that have faded out of use in my lifetime in the places I have lived. I lived in Belfast in the 1980s where they were in common use and police with automatic weapons searched you before you could go shopping on your own High Street. Soldiers would stop you in country roads in the dead of night to try to discern if you were paramilitary and that was largely done using religion as a reference. I lived in Glasgow in the 1980s too and although the religions lived side by side reasonably peaceably compared with Northern Ireland they were still in daily use.
Desperate times full of scared people, but eventually we learned to live in peace.
Long may they remain historical references. Unfortunately, we have new scapegoats now and again religion & culture is to the fore. It is important we remember our old mistakes and see where they got us so we can use that knowledge to take us forward in the 21st century – this time with a dramatic reduction in amount of blood lost. Hopefully, the story of footballing tribes on Merseyside is one such lesson.
98 Posted 10/08/2018 at 08:57:43
I lived down south for many years and it used to irritate me when southerners asked me which is the Protestant team and which is the Catholic team on Merseyside. I told them that was nonsense and that most Liverpool families had reds and blues within their own houses.
99 Posted 10/08/2018 at 09:48:51
But for me it gave me an insight in to both the formation of my club and its subsequent history and an insight in to the world my forefathers in Liverpool lived through politically and socially, leading right up to my own parents and their family.
And thank goodness that most of us escaped the nonsense done in the name of the divide.
This kind of piece definitely belongs on ToffeeWeb.
100 Posted 10/08/2018 at 11:02:46
My non-researched & lighter view, just how I saw it as a youngster in the 90s and gut feeling.
I always felt that the Everton fan base was probably more Catholic, but that was purely a reflection of the demographics of the city; Liverpool being a city with more Catholics than most parts of the UK. If I recall a random stat floating around many years ago (again not researched it) was that we were the only city in the UK with more Catholics (%) apart from Londonderry / Derry.
In the 80s when we were all running around in half Everton / half Celtic or Rangers bobble hats, Evertonians seemed to lean more towards the blue / green whereas Kopites towards a red / blue combo. "To hell with Liverpool & Rangers too" as the line in the song goes.
I think it started to change with the Walter Smith & Duncan Ferguson link in the 90s, certainly from an outside perception phase.
Having worked away from the City since 1988, I always get asked this. There is an assumption because of wearing blue & said 90s links that we affiliate with Rangers & are the Protestant team.
My response is we are neither. Liverpool (city) is simply not divided like that; certainly from a football perspective nor in a sectarian way, not in my life time anyway.
I also point out that we are a mixed city full stop in footballing terms; families can be split down the middle on Derby day.
If I was to suggest either way, I'd say that by virtue of Liverpool's % of population being Catholic and that our strongholds were traditionally in the more working class parts of north Liverpool, then more of our fans were Catholic and therefore in that sense we were historically the "Catholic club". However I would also imagine for similar reasons, a large portion of the city based Liverpool cohort are too.
Interesting subject, but not one I think about too much. I'm Catholic, support Everton & follow Celtic because of family ties but it's football to me.
We are neither, just a reflection of the city we come from.
101 Posted 10/08/2018 at 11:07:12
102 Posted 10/08/2018 at 11:07:26
That's the problem with these things, they raise other things which perhaps we should leave to the individual.
103 Posted 10/08/2018 at 11:28:34
104 Posted 10/08/2018 at 11:46:38
My family were Irish Catholics and supported Liverpool, so maybe that maybe explains my assumption. By accident more than design I ended up as an outlier and supported Everton but I am basically an atheist. Weirdly, we had a very close relative, also a Catholic, who played several hundred games for Everton after the war so I'm not sure why my immediate family plumped for Liverpool given those circumstances.
I think the conclusion I'd now draw is that neither club was one or the other and their respective fans don't care that much either way.
105 Posted 10/08/2018 at 12:17:06
Maybe in the future a piece could be done about our Russian influence as opposed to our American influenced neighbours.
106 Posted 10/08/2018 at 12:24:11
Religion was the best business money making model ever invented. I suppose it does not matter if there is no god. If you truly believe there is, dare I say it gives more meaning to your life. The downside is the fanatics who want to force others into their way of thinking.
107 Posted 10/08/2018 at 12:38:26
I think this article is quite well researched but the title of it should be changed.
108 Posted 10/08/2018 at 12:46:44
I have often been asked this question of whether Everton is the Catholic or Protestant club and the answer alluded me though. The Street End in the 80s used to chant, "Celtic - Rangers" just to indicate that we fancied a scrap.
The best answer I now give is that the Everton/Liverpool split was on temperance lines. Everton board members being most influenced by their wives who were worried about the evils of drink and so left the pub landlord and owner of Anfield behind. Hard to believe, I know, but temperance was once a big an issue as religion.
109 Posted 10/08/2018 at 12:46:47
Kenrick will slate or support you depending on his own point of view, not the actions of a responsible "editorial" team.
Others like Brian just can't help but perpetuate religious conflict by getting so angry "because of what he's seen in the past". Isn't that the kind of tit-for-tat mentality that is prevalent in the middle-east?
I found this a good read, what I didn't like was the sheer hatred towards the author by those who claim to hate religion and what has been done in its name.
Here's a thought, most people need an excuse to be a cunt. As long as that mitigating moral superiority is there, you believe it gives you the right to be a cunt to everyone else?
Hate begets hate and this country is lost in a sea of it.
110 Posted 10/08/2018 at 12:55:03
You're doing it.
113 Posted 10/08/2018 at 14:16:17
114 Posted 10/08/2018 at 14:27:00
The article is written to explore the past and move into the future united.
There will always be small sections of every club that contains idiots who are racist, sexist and often just full of hatred.
As far as I am concerned, I don't care who you are or what you look like, a blue is a blue.
Unless you are a Liverpool fan, I treat you with extreme caution ;)
115 Posted 10/08/2018 at 17:03:22
I grew up in Ormskirk, born in 1947, lived in a council house. My dad played for Stalybridge Celtic before the war and he was a City supporter – hated Man Utd. We had a good mix of Protestants and Catholics on our street and everyone my age supported either Everton or Liverpool but there was not a strong link between religion and which team you supported.
I remember seeing election posters with religious affiliation on my way to Goodison in the late 50s and 60s and I had heard that religion, politics and football were aligned to some degree but I knew little detail. I appreciate the education of the article and the responses.
116 Posted 10/08/2018 at 17:56:55
I agree -- the headline was awful and didn't reflect the actual article.
I did find your "RIP" remarks offensive. One poster just lost his Dad here and we've seen others like Harold Matthews pass away. I think it's a bit crass to criticize however people (religious/non-religious) express their sympathies.
117 Posted 10/08/2018 at 18:06:32
I have no interest in religion but a genuine question.
118 Posted 10/08/2018 at 18:15:48
119 Posted 10/08/2018 at 18:29:09
I am of Indian decent and love LOVE Everton. Love them
What does that mean? That I dont ‘belong? Because Im not Catholic or Protestant?
Honestly, religion has caused enough problems hasnt it?
120 Posted 10/08/2018 at 18:56:34
121 Posted 10/08/2018 at 19:11:55
There is evidence in this thread that the more vociferous voices opposed to the publication of Bob's article haven't read much beyond the headline and have based their conclusions on its content on that.
123 Posted 10/08/2018 at 19:35:10
Religion may well have been the reason for all sorts and squabbles and wars but this is just a bit of history.
Nobody is a more or less entitled blue or a better or worse one mate.
124 Posted 10/08/2018 at 20:15:02
Its actually very interesting that so many people got so upset but actually reading the article doesnt give much cause for it. This subject has been covered on ToffeeWeb before but I think there was detailed information that I hadnt come across before.
Its a question that does get asked about the Merseyside clubs and certain myths are still occasionally perpetuated. This article is an intelligent and well researched rebuttal of those myths (with some formatting issues).
125 Posted 10/08/2018 at 20:28:51
No they didnt, not t my knowledge and I went home and away in those days. Whether they did in some specific ale house is another matter but I dont recall it.
126 Posted 10/08/2018 at 20:53:47
I guess if you believe in life after death (an oxymoron surely!), then fair enough... but I suspect it's used more as a routine and rather hollow expression of condolence similar to the annoying claim that someone's death "puts into perspective" anything at all. I've always wondered exactly what that was supposed to mean?Mike (#124), you perfectly captured my own assessment of reading the submitted piece as I prepped it for publishing. I had no hesitation in posting it because it was well written, and it was about a historical aspect of Everton FC. I had no conception that the title could possibly cause any offence to anyone. I still don't understand it despite the rabid mouth-frothing it induced. It's just a question... a perfectly valid one to ask. It's what the author chose, not that that would absolve me, but we rarely make changes to titles unless there's a good reason to.
127 Posted 10/08/2018 at 20:54:40
RIP - Rest In Peace - is an actual prayer for the soul of the departed. So yes, it has religious meaning at it's core and inception, but isn't really viewed as such now.
Nowadays it is used with little to no religious connotation, only to offer sympathies to the surviving family and friends.
128 Posted 10/08/2018 at 20:56:38
Again Glasgow Rangers were well known for not signing Catholic players and Maurice Johnston was touted as the first Catholic to sign for them since the war. As a matter of fact, Don Kitchenbrand, a South African, signed from Sunderland in the late fifties was a Catholic and he later said "When I signed for Rangers, they never asked me what my religion was so I never told them."
As in most subjects, there is plenty of humour in them if you look for it; better to be humorous about a topic than bitter... Unless of course the topic is THEM.
129 Posted 10/08/2018 at 20:58:16
I was taught by the good Sisters at St. Jude's Elementary that RIP is indeed a three word prayer. And they were sure to emphasize those three words were quite powerful.
Make of that what you will. You're 100% correct in that it really isn't viewed as a prayer by society, only by us religious nuts. ;0)
130 Posted 10/08/2018 at 21:01:08
Surely a little unchristian to only wish believers a rest in peace.
131 Posted 10/08/2018 at 21:08:12
132 Posted 10/08/2018 at 21:09:05
Not being confrontational at all here, please don't mistake me.
I don't understand your statement of, 'Surely a little unchristian to only wish believers a rest in peace. '
If anything, if you're a bit religious, you should wish non-believers RIP more than anyone else! They might need a little help!! ;0)
RIP isn't reserved strictly for "believers." In theory you'd hope RIP is mentioned for anyone!
There you have it.
I'm done talking religion, it's a damn dangerous subject.
133 Posted 10/08/2018 at 21:21:03
I can see you are not being confrontational, me neither.
I'm fine thanks Jamie, I don't need any help as a non-believer. Again, it's individual choice each to their own... and you're right: religion can be a dangerous subject. One of the reasons I don't have anything to do with it.
134 Posted 10/08/2018 at 21:24:25
135 Posted 10/08/2018 at 21:35:35
Posibly the most compassionate and moving post on this site over the past couple of weeks was that by Mike Gaynes, asking for the names of specific people so that prayers might be offered worldwide over candles via his Buddhist wife. Mike, I know you are a few hours behind us here in the UK, I suspect English may not be your wifes first language, do you think you could get away this evening with quietly slipping in the name of an old lady we all hold dear for a worldwide prayer of special intention?
Tell Mrs Gaynes her name is Eve Rton.
136 Posted 10/08/2018 at 21:46:16
When Bobby Collins was a youngster Rangers went to his house with the intention of signing him.
When they were shown into the living room they say some Catholic artefact in room...and thr family never heard from them again and he signed for Celtic.
Bobby wasnt Catholic..buy a neighbour had recently been to Lourdes and gave the item to them .
On another note..Liverpool didnt have any Irish (Eire) players on there books until 1979 Ronnie Whelan.
137 Posted 10/08/2018 at 22:01:12
I thought this was a football website
We struggle to agree on all things football without bringing religion into it
139 Posted 10/08/2018 at 22:15:49
In closing, whenever a new person started in the various jobs that I had in my working days, the first question I asked was, "Are you an Evertonian or a Liverpudlian?" and as a relapsed Catholic, I embraced the Everton religion.
140 Posted 10/08/2018 at 22:22:21
However, when all our new signings are playing in a couple of weeks it looks to me as if we will be Catholic so COYB as we say in the Vatican.
141 Posted 10/08/2018 at 22:31:13
It was obvious in the '60s and '70s that Liverpool had a Rangers leaning and Everton Celtic. In recent years, Liverpool have done a lot to woo the Irish and Celtic support. And we should also play friendlies in Ireland and play Celtic as we've always had close links.
I can still remember all the Celtic support we had when we beat Man Utd 5-0 and when we won the European Cup Winners Cup. Great days.
Friendlies against Rangers? Definitely not. I'll never forget the trouble at the Tommy Wright Testimonial and at a more recent one too. But we like Celtic and they like us!
142 Posted 10/08/2018 at 22:54:53
143 Posted 10/08/2018 at 00:38:19
Brian Williams has the right to say he doesn't like the subject matter, but he can't use the fact he is personally offended to try to dictate what others can write about or discuss unless it crosses into the realm of illegality.
I think he is being grossly insulting if he thinks anyone with the slightest empathy isn't revolted by some of the things that have been done because of religious differences. He is also incredibly naive if he hasn't yet realised that the dregs of humanity will always seek a banner of some kind to rally behind to try to give credibility to their wholly self-interested actions. Religion is just really easy to exploit because the scum can pretend there is some higher calling involved.
I grew up in an era when a lot of people raised the question that forms the title of this piece. It never meant anything of importance to me but some people seemed to really want there to be a connection. It's good to be able to state that careful research reaches a sensible conclusion.
144 Posted 11/08/2018 at 05:04:22
The last time I watched the derby over here. I was accused of being a 'Feinan'. As it happens, my parents were Catholics from Cork. When I was growing up in 60s on Merseyside, most of us 'left footers' supported Everton. I supported Everton because of my parents not because of religion. I became an atheist early in life. I am just saying Everton are perceived as the Catholic side over here whether or not it is true.
I will be watching the game later with my 'proddy' Liverpool supporting brother-in-law in a bar in North Belfast. I will have to keep my mouth shut, fact.
145 Posted 11/08/2018 at 05:36:00
Genuinely curious, as I find your area of the world and the religious dynamic fascinating.
Will you have to keep your mouth shut for fear of retribution? Or do you keep your mouth shut out of respect for others and their allegiances?
146 Posted 11/08/2018 at 05:52:28
Over here I support Crusaders that attracts Loyalist support despite my ancestry because the family I married into supports them. They are mixed Catholic and Protestant but mostly all atheist now.
My taxi driver last night said he used to support Crusaders but had to stop going when the troubles started as he was a Catholic. He started to watch Cliftonville instead. But now most people don't care but there are always one or two looking for any excuse.
147 Posted 11/08/2018 at 08:30:31
148 Posted 11/08/2018 at 08:46:59
St. Pauli, almost certainly the most egalitarian club in world football, the number, scope and participation of its projects, memberships and involvement dwarfs even Evertons fine efforts. Hopefully, Everton can match then supersede St. Pauli in the future.
Take a leaf out of our noble clubs lead, focus upon positives.
Leave meaningless behaviours, such as sectarianism, where they belong in the past.
those who know
149 Posted 11/08/2018 at 09:22:45
150 Posted 11/08/2018 at 09:36:41
I think that if you are a Protestant who supports Everton then you imagine us being a Protestant club, if you're a Catholic then you imagine the opposite.
But at the end of the day, who cares? I don't think we're either.
As long as we're not Buddhist...all that chanting.
Although, come to think of it...
151 Posted 11/08/2018 at 12:45:30
When I told him he launched into a mad tirade against them, said he hated them and everything they stood for. He won't go to a game while Slippy is in charge. Never heard that up here before,
152 Posted 11/08/2018 at 12:58:25
153 Posted 11/08/2018 at 13:19:16
154 Posted 11/08/2018 at 13:44:26
155 Posted 11/08/2018 at 13:47:15
156 Posted 11/08/2018 at 13:49:54
157 Posted 11/08/2018 at 14:06:08
158 Posted 11/08/2018 at 14:22:38
159 Posted 11/08/2018 at 14:33:08
160 Posted 11/08/2018 at 14:50:04
161 Posted 11/08/2018 at 15:47:49
Sport is part of society and so free discussion of any aspect of Everton and society is relevant. The range of discussion on this forum is very diverse and the editors should be applauded for providing this space.
Bob asks questions about religion and Evertons past but the relations between society, Everton and religion now have a new relevance. Helen BB our CEO writes about the influence of Christian ideas on the history of the club and faith based ideas drive the great work of EiC. She was recently invited to and attended a papal seminar on ‘sport in the service of humanity. Lets discuss not dismiss.
162 Posted 11/08/2018 at 16:58:35
Maybe I should have put barge pole or shitty stick, Ill keep my friends thanks, you enjoy your fun filled life
163 Posted 11/08/2018 at 17:01:35
164 Posted 11/08/2018 at 22:09:52
That was not my point at all. I meant to infer that my boyhood friends were both Catholic and Protestant. We all supported the blues. We were just Evertonians not missionaries or enemies.
165 Posted 11/08/2018 at 22:53:39
Anyway, as I said, does it matter? It's the team that counts.
166 Posted 12/08/2018 at 12:27:09
167 Posted 12/08/2018 at 13:50:50
If Everton are Catholic then a Protestant church at the corner of the ground wouldnt go down well.
My family are from Walton-date back to 17th century and not Catholic but have been blues from the start of the club.
This article concludes that religion is being attached to the club as a label historically and to attempt to now or them is irrelevant to football.
168 Posted 13/08/2018 at 07:15:18
Yet in my school, Rathbone the split was probably fifty/fifty. No one worried that being a Proddie, we were following the Catholic club.
However, when the Moores family took over, it seemed that Liverpool started signing the young local Catholic boys, Smith, Byrne, Morrissey. When Johnny Carey was sacked it was rumoured that one of the factors that played a part was that John Moores preferred to not have a Catholic manager. These were rumours, anecdotal, but they did exist.
Later on in life I worked in Corby, that anomaly of a town in Northamptonshire, the rose of the English shires as it calls itself, where 90% of the inhabitants were Scots who'd moved down with Stewart & Lloyds steel works. Corby was a town where football mattered and religion mattered. Catholics were Celtic supporters and Protestants were rangers supporters. The divide was simple and very few deviated. I worked with two Liverpool Catholics who were devoted reds, but whose second team was Celtic as they were of Irish stock. My "second" team was Montrose as my dad played for them during the war when he was stationed there.
To look at it from a twenty-first century perspective and from a politically correct contemporary view as well, it doesn't matter and it was never like Rangers/Celtic or even Hibs/Hearts, but I'd suggest that up to the fifties it was a factor within the support base.
169 Posted 13/08/2018 at 07:40:53
170 Posted 13/08/2018 at 07:46:53
Forget about catholic and Protestant, just remember that Liverpool will always be the devils club, and nobody would have celebrated a player like Ramos, more than them, if only hed worn a red shirt!
Great shout by Peter, Mike, please get some prayers in for the real old lady, because if Goodison becomes a happy place, then so will all us Evertonians!
171 Posted 13/08/2018 at 09:32:55
172 Posted 13/08/2018 at 09:48:12
173 Posted 16/08/2018 at 08:15:06
I've got no religious leanings whatsoever, not even an atheist. I'm a nothingist so leave me aloneist.
Paradoxically, it makes me happy that Catholics
Protestants, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, anyone – or even any Alien who turns up in its spaceship is welcome.
As long as they behave themselves.
174 Posted 16/08/2018 at 13:14:44
It doesn't really matter at all in Liverpool.
175 Posted 16/08/2018 at 14:28:19
Anyway, the article is a well-researched piece of history and should be respected as such, and the author is to be congratulated. But I agree with those on here who say the title is awkward.
176 Posted 16/08/2018 at 17:20:17
177 Posted 17/08/2018 at 11:44:35
Okay, it includes a few anecdotal exerpts (and many more have been offered in the responses). However, the key issues covered relate to the well-documented sectarian and political backdrop that existed at the outset; The historic split that could've easily polarised the respective supports along that very real sectarian divide, with the more liberal-minded board-members moving to Goodison, while the staunchly orange conservatives stayed at Anfield. At first glance, it would appear that all the elements were in place to promote a similar outcome and rivalry here.
It's perhaps long forgotten now, but we have to remember that many in the establishment considered Liverpool a far greater potential powder-keg than Glasgow (or probably even Belfast) at that time. This was mainly attributed to attitudes towards the significantly higher numbers of Irish Catholics in the city, as well as the strong Irish-nationalist and related political networks that proliferated the city's make-up at that time.
I have a theory that the sectarian divide in Liverpool, while appearing as virulent as anywhere, was fundamentally different to that in Glasgow. Most of Liverpool's Irish came from Ireland's southern counties, while Glasgow was a more direct transfer of a proportion of Ulster's population, with all the much longer-established and deeply-rooted bigotry there.
On the otherhand, when my great grand-parents arrived in Liverpool from Dublin, Roscommon and the west of Ireland (one via New York), they had never seen a working class Protestant or an Orangeman before. Where they came from, they were probably more acutely aware and conscious of a class divide than any religious one.
There was also a strong cultural tradition of appreciation of all sports, and as the fortunes of both clubs fluctuated, so did their support, and that of each new generation. So that sectarian divide was crossed by the stronger desire to watch your favourite team, based simply on who was best at the time that you first showed interest.
Also, unlike many other two-team cities, the clubs' close proximity also didn't lend itself to a split on any geographical-tribal allegiances that might've occurred if one had grown out of the quite distinctive Irish inner-city ghettoes for instance. Ultimately, the fact that both clubs grew out of the original, means that the religious divide had already been crossed, and loyalties for some, already established.
My great grandad was a staunch Evertonian who started watching us in our Anfield days – he never changed his ways. Thankfully for most in this city, and increasingly with the passing generations, that sectarianism became a bit of a cultural joke, and source of self-ridicule. One of our city's greatest successes imo.
That said, as an Evertonian with some renewed vigour as a result of a new manager and signings, would it be inappropriate or incentive to now declare: "Tiocfaidh ár lá"? ;)
178 Posted 17/08/2018 at 13:10:01
As someone eluded to above, the younger me just automatically assumed it was a Catholic team, as I was a Catholic but once I was older and, ahem, wiser I realised that there was no affiliation within the club other than the Church of Everton.
Saying that I do still enjoy calling my wife a "Proddy Dog" every now and again then I realise I was married in a C of E Church and my daughter was baptised in one too.
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