Author Jim Keoghan is back with his 4th book on Everton and 9th overall, where he takes an in depth look at the weird and wonderful facts surrounding Everton.

The structure of the book itself feels post structural, with no clear chapters outlined or themes grouped together. But for the reader this works, actually aiding the reading experience as the hateable (anything LFC related and Oliver Holt) is interceded with the remarkable and the chaotic (mainly Everton related). It allows the book to pass easily through the eyes of the reader, often fuelled by anger and frustration of events that happened before I was born. But hey, isn’t that modern Evertonianism in a nutshell!

Steven Gerrard gets a mention 7 times and rightly takes his place in Keoghans own Hate Figures list (it’s a good list, but Gerrard and a certain Scottish left back are much too low). This section is sandwiched between a section on Eddie Cavanagh (unlike Gerrard a true Huyton hero) and Howard Kendall, yet the structure and even brings out something of a wry laugh. Keoghan posits “you can be a Liverpool legend and not necessarily hated by Evertonians” but rightly concluded that this difficult line was not one walked by Gerrard. I question if such aline exists.

Aside from the much deserved anger towards our red cousins (prizes for guessing which one is caste as Darth Vader) there is an awful lot of interesting, amusing and worthwhile anecdotes about Everton. Keoghan Chronicles the different league successes, both pre and post war, and puts a context to each of them. He has a quote from the great Tommy Lawton that had WW2 not occurred Everton would have won “the league the cup and the Boat Race” had they been allowed too in the following season, as well as giving precious detail on quite how that team spirit was built. History is rich and easily forgotten, and Keoghans commitment to keeping alive the traditions of the club, that predate most of our lifetimes is noble and critical. As is asserted in the book, we support and Grand Old Team, and some of our greatest triumphs ought to be remembered and passed down through chronicles such as this text.

There is also interesting passages on different players, (from Geary to Ferguson) and what their impact on the club was, as well as numerous records and statistics of former players which you can use in any pub conversation to try to sound intelligent (this is definitely how I will use them!). You will be armed with a list of teams we have a 100% record against, so if you ever visit Scunthorpe you will definitely be in business armed with that information.

The book itself reads very easily even though there isn’t a standard narrative of chapters, or a coherent thread running through. But this is the essence of being a football fan is it not? There is no clear narrative at the time, but a series of wonderful, sublime and ludicrous moments jumbled in together. Moments that bring laughter, rage, pride and confusion in equal measure.

For all Evertonians, it is a book I would strongly recommend. Keoghan concludes that in spite of prevailing logic, we do support a grand old team, with a storied and interesting past that we should cherish and take enormous pride in. As he always does, his writing style does great justice to this, chronicling the magic of the club, and what it means to be an Evertonian in a somewhat chaotic world, and does justice to the essence of the club we all support. This would make an excellent present for anybody at Christmas and a wonderful read thereafter.

Everything You Wanted to Know About Everton (But Were Afraid to Ask) is available in paperback here
and Kindle here

Reader Comments (3)

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Brian Wilkinson
1 Posted 18/12/2023 at 21:43:36
What page is the Arteta money on.
Adam Fenlon
2 Posted 19/12/2023 at 01:48:22
“you can be a Liverpool legend and not necessarily hated by Evertonians” - this is a tricky little mind game.

Quite enjoyed the Peter Crouch documentary so there's one.

Got nothing against John Barnes, Kevin Keegan or Steve McManaman.

Otherwise am drawing a blank - the rest of them are all pretty punchable.

Barry Robson
3 Posted 19/12/2023 at 16:53:30
In addition to this book. I can highly recommend Fear and Loathing in Goodison Park by Lou Reed Foster.

This book covers the Moyes years. Assessing if the Moyes tenure can be considered successful or not. It's a brilliant read for any Evertonian who went the game during that period.

The author went the games home and away. He provides, facts, stats and opinion.


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