Following a seven-week spell in hospital earlier this year, I received many Get Well messages from ToffeeWeb contributors. I expressed the wish to arrange a get together to give me the opportunity to thank as many as possible, in person.I decided that the ideal date for such a meeting would be on my 80th birthday, 15 July at the Midland Hotel, opposite Central Station, Liverpool. Starting at 12 noon, so a nice warm-up for the World Cup Final!
I had names on my computer of the people who wanted to attend, but unfortunately it gave up the ghost a couple of weeks ago, and I didn't have a memory stick. The names that I can recall are Dave Abrahams, Steve Ferns, Peter Mills, and Bill Griffiths... apologies to anyone I have overlooked.
The reason for this posting is to confirm that the get together is still on, and I look forward to being able to put faces to the names.
Courtesy of Pete Mills, here is a couple of photos from the day:
Reader Comments (58)
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1 Posted 08/07/2018 at 16:53:49
When I selected the date, I wasn't aware that it was the day of the World Cup Final, but two or three hours of Everton reminiscing will be ideal preparation for the big game, especially if England are involved. Anyone who lives within an hour of the Midland Hotel can be home in plenty of time for the Final.
2 Posted 08/07/2018 at 19:26:56
3 Posted 08/07/2018 at 19:30:11
4 Posted 08/07/2018 at 19:50:23
5 Posted 08/07/2018 at 20:17:46
6 Posted 09/07/2018 at 06:42:47
7 Posted 09/07/2018 at 12:17:19
8 Posted 09/07/2018 at 13:41:36
hi Dave  I think you would have been a bit later if you had to go to confession, as for the candles I'm afraid I've been burning them at both ends, excess diet coke and orange juice, and staying up until 10 o'clock.
Hi Rick  If you still attend the matches, we could maybe meet up before one of the games.
9 Posted 09/07/2018 at 14:43:14
10 Posted 09/07/2018 at 16:21:34
If I lived there, I'd be there. Enjoy your day sir.
Alas, the plane tickets over the pond are a bit pricey.
Dave Abrahams, First Friday, once a month for those confessions sir. Or if you prefer once a year during Lent just to play by the rules. ;0)
I'll bet money Harold Matthews will be there in spirit.
Happy birthday, John!
11 Posted 09/07/2018 at 16:28:18
Enjoy your day!
12 Posted 09/07/2018 at 16:34:28
Happy birthday John. UTFT!
13 Posted 09/07/2018 at 16:57:28
Regarding the 'Despicable Dave', I'm afraid thatm like his fellow Evertonians, he is serving his penance in advance; we must have been bad people in a previous existence.
I will ensure that on Sunday we will raise our glasses to absent friends such as yourself, who find themselves in distant lands, and those who like Harold Matthews are no longer with us.
14 Posted 09/07/2018 at 17:25:34
15 Posted 09/07/2018 at 18:31:28
16 Posted 09/07/2018 at 18:32:07
Hi John , thank you for your kind words, I think I've almost worked out the acronym, I reckon that three of the words are 'Up the -------Toffees' but I'm struggling on the fourth word. Perhaps someone more street wise may come to my rescue on Sunday.
17 Posted 09/07/2018 at 19:25:07
18 Posted 09/07/2018 at 19:37:55
19 Posted 09/07/2018 at 19:40:08
I'm glad to learn that you enjoy the articles, I have readily admitted that I collect a great deal of my information from reference books, of which I have one or two, but a fair percentage is from a lifetime of watching Everton. I will call for a toast to all ex-pat Evertonians on Sunday.
20 Posted 09/07/2018 at 19:57:28
Thank you for your kind words and I'm sure that whoever turns up will enjoy the occasion, I know I certainly will, and you never know it may become a regular event.
Hi Amit  thank you for your good wishes, and I'm sure it will be a pleasant weekend, putting faces to the names that have become familiar to me in recent times.
I must confess that I am in the 'Club before Country' camp but I think that the England players have done the country proud, and of course it would be great if they could win the competition.
21 Posted 09/07/2018 at 21:19:15
22 Posted 11/07/2018 at 18:43:06
23 Posted 11/07/2018 at 22:00:21
24 Posted 11/07/2018 at 00:01:22
25 Posted 12/07/2018 at 08:45:12
26 Posted 13/07/2018 at 16:34:40
So, happy 80th birthday to you, it's a good score in a long innings. I know I tried to get you to 81 earlier in the year! And many more healthy years to come, I hope. A few wins during the season will not come amiss in helping you along the way.
I have always enjoyed your reminiscences, probably because I have seen all of the players you recall during the "Golden Age" of Everton football from 1960-1970. And, as you are aware, I fully support your efforts to discourage the use of any unnecessary foul language.
I know you will have an enjoyable gathering with those who share your unending affection for the "True Religion", those who have supported the team during good days and many a bad day. I'll look forward to the photos.
No need to use up one of your 10 posts on a reply, John. COYB.
27 Posted 13/07/2018 at 17:39:13
28 Posted 13/07/2018 at 19:49:56
With regard to the use of foul language, I believe that [as your post confirms], these exchanges between 'ToffeeWebbers' are read all over the globe, and I shouldn't like my 'Young Lady' and grandchildren to be exposed to it. I know that there are some who consider me to be a bit of a prude, that's far from the truth, I can mix it with the best of them, but I'm a firm believer in the 'time and place'. Thank you once more for your kind words.
Hi Frank  Thank you for kind words, you have set the bar high for me, and as I said to Terry, I do genuinely feel humbled when people compliment me on my articles, but as I've often stated, I am only recycling some other persons words, with a few added personal observations of my own,
I'm a bit excited regarding the present that Mike Gaynes has for me, I don't know if I'm supposed to eat it, drink it, smoke it, or wear it.
29 Posted 13/07/2018 at 20:57:48
30 Posted 13/07/2018 at 21:07:03
31 Posted 15/07/2018 at 15:38:41
John, happy birthday again, in my rush to catch the train home I failed to thank you for your very generous loading of the kitty, and hospitality.
Very best wishes to you and everyone there today, Pete.
32 Posted 15/07/2018 at 15:48:20
All the best, mate.
33 Posted 15/07/2018 at 16:14:00
34 Posted 15/07/2018 at 19:18:31
35 Posted 15/07/2018 at 19:49:52
36 Posted 15/07/2018 at 20:12:24
ps: I hope to see some photos with names!
37 Posted 15/07/2018 at 20:57:11
38 Posted 15/07/2018 at 22:55:21
Hi Stephen , your suggestion is an excellent idea, and when you consider that six of the seven who turned up today, were meeting myself and each other for the first time, it illustrates the power that football has, because in minutes we were in deep discussion as though we were old friends, and though we had a difference of opinion on some issues there wasn't a trace of animosity.
Hi Martin , it was a wonderful day to round off a wonderful weekend, having celebrated a day early with my family and friends, with regard to the articles it can be trying, but it's labour of love and well worth the effort, when people like yourself express appreciation, and it keeps me out of mischief.
39 Posted 15/07/2018 at 23:07:43
40 Posted 15/07/2018 at 23:51:15
41 Posted 16/07/2018 at 09:40:05
I don't know how the photos will turn out, Peter (Mills) took one and then went into the bar to find someone to take one with all of us on it... In all the bars in all of the world, would you believe, Peter came back with an old mate of mine, a Liverpudlian!!!! You couldn't make it up, so that photo is in the lap of the Gods.
George McKane, you should write your life story, it could be a best seller.
42 Posted 16/07/2018 at 10:19:13
John was hard work, he would only let you buy a drink with his money, so he was lucky those old footy boots he brought along were too small, or I might have put them on and kicked him!
Great to meet, some sensible Evertonians, especially Steve, who wisely stayed on Diet Coke, because he has got an exam today, I hope you pass it mate.
Peter, Gerard and Bill were all good company, and it was also great to meet George. So thanks once again, John, for a very enjoyable day.
43 Posted 16/07/2018 at 14:08:51
Hi again, Stephen , I would like to attend any future meeting that may be considered, and I'm sure that those who attended my birthday bash yesterday would also be up for it. I suggest that you put it forward on another thread and see what the reaction is.
Hi Peter , yes everyone appeared to enjoy the occasion, most of all myself, and as you are no doubt aware, there are some who consider me a bit of a prude, but I think that I well and truly dispelled that image, and as I've always maintained, "There's a time and place."
44 Posted 16/07/2018 at 14:23:47
45 Posted 16/07/2018 at 15:18:16
46 Posted 16/07/2018 at 15:19:13
47 Posted 16/07/2018 at 15:20:50
Steve hope your exam went ok and you pass.
It would be good to meet up like this occasionally and I would willingly travel to do so.
Thanks John for setting it up.
48 Posted 16/07/2018 at 15:25:42
Happy 80th John and may there be many more articles and birthdays.
49 Posted 16/07/2018 at 17:44:41
Yes that young Irish girl was quite attractive wasn't she?, you wouldn't have heard her, but she reversed the usual chat up line by whispering, " I wish I was a little bit older" I must have had a few too many bottles of Guinness, because I told my Young lady of my encounter, I don't know why she's still laughing.
Hi again, Martin  I had hoped for a favourable reaction to our get together, and if there are enough people interested, I would suggest the last Sunday of each month, [fixtures permitting]
I know that that it would involve a bit of travelling for some people, but yesterdays venue the Midland Hotel was ideal, I travelled in from Skelmersdale via Ormskirk, Bill Griffiths from North Wales, George McKane from over the water, and Peter Mills from Crosby, we all finished our journey at Central Station, which is immediately opposite the Midland Hotel, however I may be jumping the gun, we'll just have to see how things develop.
Hi Bill  I don't think I have to ask you about possible future get togethers, yourself, Steve, George, Gerard, Pete, Dave, and Tony made it the success it was, as Dave has said, to come all the way from North Wales was commendable, thanks once again. Best wishes John.
Hi Ian,  you may change your mind about my qualities if you met me, but I would welcome the opportunity for you to do so [if indeed you did]
I'm sure you would enjoy the company of fellow Evertonians, and at the risk of disappointing you, and from a purely selfish point of view, I hope there are more years than articles.
50 Posted 16/07/2018 at 17:50:47
If you can keep triggering 22-0 victories that will be nice!
51 Posted 16/07/2018 at 17:55:44
52 Posted 16/07/2018 at 18:03:00
This type of kindness and camaraderie is all too absent in today's world.
Special shout-out to all the attendees who made the trip over water, from distance, or across borders. That effort is one of the nicest, selfless acts I've read on these pages in a while.
John Snr., I hope it was a great day for you sir!
53 Posted 17/07/2018 at 15:29:18
The main reason for posting now, is to reiterate my reply to Stephen Brown , where I proposed the possibility of arranging a monthly get together, if there was sufficient interest.
I am a great believer in 'striking while the iron's hot', and it really is a simple process, all that it requires is a willingness to participate, and the selection of a date, time, and venue.
The get together on Sunday was remarkable, because I had only met Dave Abrahams on two occasions, and the other six people were complete strangers to me, but in minutes we were conversing as though we were old friends.
So, I suppose that this post constitutes a sounding of the water, but I believe that our love of football in general and Everton in particular, is sufficient to ensure another pleasant gathering, and as it's so often said, 'Hope springs eternal'.
I must confess that I would be disappointed if there was no interest at all.
55 Posted 17/07/2018 at 17:36:06
However, I am extremely disappointed the "good looking Irish lady" didn't make the picture!
56 Posted 17/07/2018 at 18:11:39
I took on your suggestion and posted an item on the general board about an annual get together with guest speaker.
Far away blues such as myself would be able to plan to attend such an event! It would be great !
57 Posted 17/07/2018 at 19:30:20
Hi Stephen  don't be disheartened if the response is not immediate, I don't how many people post on the various threads, but I was pleased that seven of them turned up for my 'Birthday Bash'.
I believe that those who have sampled the occasion, and those who would have done if circumstance had allowed, would like to try it out, that's why on reflection I think a monthly get together, would be a better proposition.
You say you live 200 miles away, as a matter of interest do you attend games? if so, it's possible to arrange a pre- match meeting.
58 Posted 17/07/2018 at 20:45:01
59 Posted 17/07/2018 at 21:48:27
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