James Rosales from Dallas, Texas, was becoming intrigued by the English Premier League but didn't have a club to support until one was presented to him by complete chance.

When global superstar James Rodriguez joined Everton in September 2020, fan website and forum GrandOldTeam tweeted the playmaker's new number but pressed send early and, as opposed to tagging @JamesRodriguez, they linked to @JamesRo.

Shocked to find his account peppered with notifications, Rosales suddenly had hundreds of Toffees in his mentions and from that moment, he belonged.

First buying a royal blue Everton shirt, complete with 'James' on the back, Rosales has since gathered with fellow Americans in the early hours to catch the Blues' in action and has even flown to Merseyside to see the team live at Goodison Park.

Here, Rosales recalls the moment he was 'Chosen', as the famous Everton quote states, and shares what it's been like to follow Everton throughout one of the most turbulent times in the club's history.

Reader Comments (31)

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Christine Foster
1 Posted 01/03/2024 at 02:15:51
Welcome to the family, James, a great story, one that's repeated daily in the four corners of the world. You have indeed, been chosen. Once touched, you are never the same.

Born a mile from Goodison, I have lived in many countries across the globe, in each and every one, no matter where, no matter when, I would find ways of following the Blues on a matchday.

I was privileged to have known I was a blue from my first game as a 4-year-old, where the crowds stood and regularly had 50k or 60k in attendance. I stood on the Gwladys Street terrace on my wedding day, watching the Blues defeat Man Utd 2 - 0, George Best and all...

The family you have been adopted by are some of the most knowledgable, funny, passionate people you could ever wish to meet.

We can laugh at ourselves because sometimes life can hit so hard it's funny, you have to laugh, though the past years have been hard, the future in the new stadium is going to be fantastic.

The likes of Goodison Park will never be seen again, the love of so many, the dreams and hopes of millions... even the players know, Everton are something special.

Welcome James. :-)

Danny O’Neill
2 Posted 01/03/2024 at 06:30:35
James, congratulations for finding Everton and becoming part of Evertonia. Many of us like me were born into it. Some choose and find it. Regardless, we are all Evertonians.

We are unique as a fanbase. We discuss, debate, get very passionate, get frustrated and even argue. As my brother once said in a heated discussion between us, we argue about the one thing we agree on!! There is no logic to it, just sheer passion.

Jeff Spiers
3 Posted 01/03/2024 at 11:50:24
Welcome onto the Blue road. It gets bumpy at times!!
John Keating
4 Posted 01/03/2024 at 12:32:11
Great story! Brilliant!

I so admire our supporters across the globe who really have no affiliation to the club by birth, by family. Amazing!

These boys and girls deserve all our respect, they really do.

Easy for me. Born and brought up in Everton. Family all blue. Walk to the game – via every ale house along Greatie!

Reading and hearing stories such as James's is truly inspiring. Well done to all our Blue family members.

Benjamin Dyke
5 Posted 01/03/2024 at 14:07:15
Feeling gutted today as I've just said a last goodbye to my dad via videocall. He is lying unconscious in Arrowe Park hospital after a stroke and massive bleed on the brain which he is not going to wake up from.

My dad was born in Tuebrook and walked to Goodison Park. Some of my fondest memories are from walking to the ground with him and "going the match" with him. He was a Blue like his Liverpool-born dad was, like I am and my kids are.

Sad to think I will now not get to the new ground with him and he'll never get to see it completed.

Welcome to the big Blue family, James!

Kieran Kinsella
6 Posted 01/03/2024 at 14:44:19

So sorry to hear about your Dad mate. Best wishes to you and your family of Evertonians.

Mark Murphy
7 Posted 01/03/2024 at 14:54:50
My deepest condolences to you and your family, Benjamin.
Danny O’Neill
8 Posted 01/03/2024 at 15:06:06
Sorry to hear of your loss Benjamin.

As well as my brother in law recovering from serious heart surgery, we lost a family member and Evertonian this week.

They are now with the big Evertonian in the sky looking down on us.

God bless.

John Keating
9 Posted 01/03/2024 at 15:42:59
heartful post that we can all relate to
Thinking of you at this sad time
Dave Abrahams
10 Posted 01/03/2024 at 16:04:21
Deep and sincere sympathy to you and your family Benjamin, hold on to those precious memories you have of you and your dad together, best wishes Benjamin.
Edward Rogers
11 Posted 01/03/2024 at 16:54:44
Stay strong Benjamin.
Brent Stephens
12 Posted 01/03/2024 at 17:27:18
Benjamin, a poignant post. Best wishes, mate.
Neil Copeland
13 Posted 01/03/2024 at 17:43:37
Benjamin. So sorry to hear about your dad, stay strong mate.

James, great story, welcome to the greatest club in the world!

John McFarlane Snr
14 Posted 01/03/2024 at 20:12:26
Hi James, welcome to the Everton family, it makes pleasant reading to learn of someone who hasn't latched on to one of the current so-called 'Big Clubs'. I was lucky enough to have been born into an Everton family, following my Granddad (born in 1875), and six uncles who were all fanatic Blues.

I'm in my 86th year, and able to attend games together with my Grandson Josh, who has been a season ticket holder since he was 6 years old, he's now a 19-year-old season ticket holder.

I feel sorry for fans who have been loyal to the club, but unfortunately have never seen success. Fans of my age have suffered relegation, followed by League titles and FA Cup victories.

Hi Benjamin [5] sincere sympathy to you and your family, it's at times like this, that we can appreciate that there are more important things than football. Once again, sincere sympathy.

Barry Rathbone
15 Posted 01/03/2024 at 20:36:52
There's still time – get out while you can.
Danny O’Neill
16 Posted 01/03/2024 at 20:41:42
Barry, there is no escape.

Once you're in, you're in.

Shane Corcoran
17 Posted 01/03/2024 at 20:52:29
Sorry but the “chosen” stuff is cringe enough in general but is the inference in this case that powers beyond our understanding got involved?
Barry Rathbone
18 Posted 01/03/2024 at 21:03:50
Dan 16

Don't I know it.

I'm waiting for an anti-Everton drug because supporting this carcass of a club has developed into a mental condition.

David West
19 Posted 01/03/2024 at 21:23:12
What a boss story!! We moan about 12:30 kick offs, these fans up at 4:30 to catch a game. Overseas fans show so much dedication, it amazing.

Bet he wishes his twitter name was @Erling Ha instead now!!

Imagine being introduced to the Premier League aged 50!! The questions you'll have!!

Why are they getting paid £200k a week while injured?
Are they allowed to give penalties at Old Trafford?
Who's this Dele fella?
Do Man City win every year?
Why can Chelsea spend £1bn but Everton have to sell every decent player?
What do they grow at Finch Farm?
Is Haaland a real human????

Danny O’Neill
20 Posted 01/03/2024 at 21:33:06

We've been doing it for years.

For those who witnessed success it is very frustrating. For those who haven't. Total respect. Keep believing.

Us supporters and those loyal Blues that show up tomorrow, never stop believing. Ever. Forever.

Tony Hill
21 Posted 01/03/2024 at 23:16:36
Odi et amo, Barry, @18. Your consistent misery is a function of your ache for joy.

Same for us all.

There is a holy beauty in our persistence, despite it all.

Paul Ferry
22 Posted 02/03/2024 at 07:21:08
Benjamin Dyke, God bless you mate. I know how you feel right now. One day in the future, you will smile about your dad rather than get teary all the time.
Michael Kenrick
23 Posted 02/03/2024 at 09:23:59
Shane @17,

I'm with you. Extremely sceptical of this 'higher power' bollocks. I'm not a believer in any of it. What good has ever come of it?

As so many on here seem so keen to follow the example set by our loveable cousins, surely there's an open & shut case to be made for switching immediately to full-on Devil Worship, Satanic Rituals and all that goes with, instead of all the pseudo-religious bollocks we seem to pride ourselves on.

Dave Abrahams
24 Posted 02/03/2024 at 09:35:40
Michael (23),

You don't believe in a higher power, that's fine, I do but never preach. You must believe that a man named Jesus Christ was born and lived amongst us?

Don't you think if people followed and practiced his teachings, the world would be a much better place?

Barry Rathbone
25 Posted 02/03/2024 at 10:08:42
Tony 21

Very true.

I sometimes adopt an out of body experience to look in on myself ask "why?". Everything else I do is governed by sensible decisions leading to life fulfillment but this Everton thing. Well, it defies rational thought.

Easy to see how religious fundamentalists and cult extremists evolve.

Tony Abrahams
26 Posted 02/03/2024 at 10:25:46
If Michael could only use two words, Dave, then I'm sure the second word would definitely be “off”!
Michael Kenrick
27 Posted 02/03/2024 at 10:36:48
Dave @24,

A massive can of worms to send this thread seriously off track…

You must believe that a man named Jesus Christ was born and lived amongst us?

The key word you use there is 'believe'. If you look beyond the self-serving mass of Christian literature, the independent factual evidence is a bit sketchy, to say the least. One author who has looked into this cites a list of no less than 41 contemporary writers living around that time, and concludes:

“Enough of the writings of the authors named in the foregoing list remains to form a library. Yet in this mass of Jewish and Pagan literature, aside from two forged passages in the works of a Jewish author, and two disputed passages in the works of Roman writers, there is to be found no mention of Jesus Christ.”

And on your last point, so many examples, but I'll just cite just one that I did witness: so-called Christians in Northern Ireland during 'The Troubles' following and practising his teachings to the extreme. What a wonderful world that was!

Duncan McDine
28 Posted 02/03/2024 at 11:02:10
A wise man once said "never discuss politics, religion, or kopites in polite conversation"... and despite lyrics suggesting otherwise, the Goodison Gang have excellent manners.

As for those redshite scum, they're all a bunch of Tory voting heathens.

David West
29 Posted 02/03/2024 at 11:31:20
Higher Power??? My arse!!! Coincidence??? Of course!!

A funny coincidence nonetheless.

Like most of us, we are brought up blue as a coincidence of either fathers, families & friends initiating us into supporting a club, which is only the culmination of previous coincidences.

If my mother had married a kopite… who knows???

Dave Abrahams
30 Posted 02/03/2024 at 11:41:44
Duncan (28), Yes very good advice Duncan.
Really though I was just asking Michael two simple questions, I thought the first answer would be yes but Michael is saying no, so it’s best to leave it there except to say that a lot of Muslims who follow and practice their religion believe that Jesus lived but believe that he was a prophet not a God.

Tony (26) I don’t think Michael would say that, he might be agnostic but he has the manners of a Christian!!

Christine Foster
31 Posted 02/03/2024 at 11:56:48
Michael, I was brought up a Catholic with both catholic and protestant Irish ancestry. With all the drawbacks that entailed. For a couple of thousand years men have killed in the name of their religion, no matter who, or what they believed in but as a righteous cause. Wars are fought for much more and much less. But this set of posts has nothing to do with religion or higher powers, it's about something you can't explain and never will, a love for a football team. None of us know exactly when or how it started, or even why.. and that's why we sometimes jokingly say " God knows"
Because we don't.
As for if Jesus existed, I don't know as it's something you believe or not, but in terms of teachings or choice of how one leads one's life, I believe in good and evil, that if I can live a life trying to live by the principles of Christianity then its the best I can do.
Lastly this isn't the place to challenge religious beliefs, it's a football forum.. let's leave it at that.

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