The Story of The Bullens

Now giving faithful service into its 97th year, the Bullens Road stand and its Archibald Leitch-designed cross-braced panels has provided Goodison Park its key motif since 1926 and the days of Dixie Dean

Rob Sawyer 31/07/2023 40comments  |  Jump to last

Perhaps the key motif for Goodison Park is the Archibald Leitch-designed cross-braced panels — as seen at the front of the Bullens Road stand balcony. The oldest stand and the only extant one to bear witness to Dixie’s glorious 60th League goal in 1928. Now giving faithful service into its 97th year, it will be robbed of reaching its century by the impending move to Bramley-Moore Dock. The new stadium will pay a respectful nod to its predecessor with the Leitch lattice pattern incorporated into brickwork.

After moving to Goodison Park, Everton had a Bullens Road stand constructed in 1895 for the princely sum of £3,000. As an aside – the Bullens Road throughfare was constructed around 1890. The reasons behind the choice of name are unclear — Bullens is thought to be a derivation of Boulogne, the name of the French coastal town.

The single tier Beaty Side stand (known as such, due to the Beaty Bros. Tailors, advertisement painted on the roof) had seen better days by the early 1920s, when it regularly suffered with building fabric issues, as evidenced by board minutes detailing the frequent repairs. This continued outlay, and the desire to increase the ground capacity to approaching 70,000, convinced the Blues’ directorate to explore options for the double-decker stand. Archibald Leitch, the Glaswegian stadium design/construction specialist, who had designed the Goodison Road stand and made Blundellsands his home for a number of years, was approached in October 1922.

The old Beaty Brothers stand at Goodison Park

The old Beaty Brothers stand

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He duly obliged, producing a scale model and cost estimates (unsurprisingly, just within the budget cap set of £27,000). It was agreed that shareholders and club members would be accommodated in the central upper section of the stand. In May 1923, club shareholders heartily backed the scheme, with the expectation of the four-month construction programme getting underway in the following year. However, that autumn, the board advised Leitch of their intention to take a 12-month pause. In the meantime, costs continued to rack up for the old stand, including roof repairs and toilet upgrades.

Finally, in January 1926, the new stand plan was given the go-ahead. Within weeks, the club sought to recoup some costs by advertising the existing stand for sale. Some seating was sold to Blackpool FC for £200, a quantity of timber ended up at auction, but most notably, Burscough Rangers FC bought the stand for £250 — to be disassembled and re-erected at their ground. It was officially opened in early September of the same year, to considerable fanfare.

Bullens Road stand demolition in 1926

Left: Demolition of the old stand; Right: Column with 1926 date stamp

Work on the new stand was under Leitch’s supervision – with Messrs Tyson doing much of the work, alongside Messrs Francis, Morton & Co Ltd, which did the steelwork. Leitch, himself, would directly source the turnstiles. The old stand was demolished in early April — the contractors didn’t tarry with making a start on the successor. It had 700 tons of steelwork and measured 483 feet in length, 51 in height and 40 in depth (55 with the roof overhang).

Leitch was no fool; rather than start from scratch, the final design was heavily derived from one he used at the Twickenham rugby union stadium the previous year. Cognisant of this fact, Liverpool Echo journalist Bee dubbed it the Twickenham Stand, but the nickname didn’t capture the public imagination. The upper stand was divided into four sections, with the central two reserved for club members and shareholders, flanked by end sections with an admittance price of 2s/4d. The Paddock was priced at 1s/6d. By 31 July, the double-decker was described by the Sheffield Star as ‘mounting upwards by leaps and bounds – and promises to be a thing of beauty’.

Paddock seating at Goodison Park

Paddock seating

The fixture list for the 1926-27 season was tweaked to start with two away fixtures for the Toffees, while work continued apace. Newspapers trumpeted its design features, as per this Echo proclamation: ‘Tip-up chairs and plenty of knee-room make the stand one of the best of its kind in the country.’ Much was made in same the article of the so-called distributing floor which ‘will afford a ready means of access to all parts of the upper deck’. The lower-level paddock (a name which stuck) would have terracing all the way to the back of the stand. Visually, the new Bullens was a junior sibling to the imposing main ‘Mauretania’ stand on the opposite side of the pitch. It bore many similarities, if lacking the stunning height and gable roof feature of the Goodison Road edifice.

Before completion, Bee, in the Echo, offered a plea-cum-warning to spectators:


I have a special request to make to the crowd at the new stand. There have been no partition wires in the new stand. In similar circumstances at other grounds it has not been found necessary to use these things, and they are undoubtedly a barrier to the view of the spectators. But here’s the rub — the club say that if spectators in the grandstand do not behave like gentlemen, and are found climbing over the various stand-erection, then at once the wire-netting will have to be put up — and it will be a nuisance to all these who want a clear view, such as Bullens Road has always given. I am sure one word from me will have the desired effect. We must start right.

The stand was ready to receive paying customers when West Ham visited on 4 September (the southern sections remained off-limits while finishing touches were made). Sadly, the lustre of the stand’s debut was tarnished by a hugely disappointing 3-0 loss by the Dean-less side (Dixie was recovering after his motorbike accident). Louis T. Kelly reported in his Studmarks newspaper column overhearing one wag leaving the ground mutter: ‘Everton have made a mistake. It’s a new team they want, not a new stand.’

With a third defeat on the bounce, one concerned supporter, ‘E.C.A.’ wrote to the Echo, thus: ‘Renovating the ground is excellent, but what good will it all avail if we lose our status in the League, and play to half-empty stands? This letter is written in no panic-stricken spirit; the season is young, but the time to be up and doing is now.’ Another correspondent joshed: ‘Why is the Everton team like the new stand? Because it is nearly finished!’ The entire stand and all of the turnstiles were in use for the Merseyside derby, the fourth home match of the season — which saw the Blues’ first win of the season.

Drawing of Goodison Park commissioned by Archibald Leitch

Drawing of Goodison Park commissioned by Archibald Leitch after construction of the Bullens Road stand

Upon the stand’s completion, Leitch presented the club with a sketch of the ground, and a photo of the same for each director. With an eye to PR, he also sent it to the Athletic News for publication. After some haggling over snags and invoicing, Leitch and the contractors received their balance of payments due in mid-November.

A dozen years after the Bullens welcomed its first paying customers, Leitch returned to Goodison, creating the expanded Gwladys Street stand (requiring the demolition of houses on the south side of the eponymous street). It was directly linked to the Bullens Road stand — the only two physically connected, helping to create a more enclosed feel. Similar in many ways to the Bullens, advances in design and construction techniques saw the Street End have a more minimalist balcony frontage. Its completion made Goodison Park the first ground in England to have double-decker stands on all sides.

Bullens Road as backdrop in the late 1940s

The Bullens as backdrop in the late 1940s

Goodison Park circa 1960

Goodison Park circa 1960

Training near the Bullens Road, circa 1964

Training near the Bullens Road, circa 1964

The stand remained relatively unchanged for several decades — being patched up after a bomb landed a just few metres away in the Second World War. In 1963, under the Moores revolution, the roof was raised and extended outwards (described as ‘the Umbrella roof’ in contemporary reports) to give better cover from the elements for spectators at the front of the Paddock.

The Paddock underneath the stand had seats added at the same time — increasing seating capacity in the stadium by 3,750 — and making Goodison the first ground to have a combination of standing and seating in all four double-deck stands. The new floodlighting introduced at the beginning of the 1970s saw a lighting gantry added to the roofline (it has been upgraded several times to meet the demands of television coverage). The front Paddock terrace section was converted to seating in the wake of the Taylor Report.

Since its inception as a state-of-the-art structure, people have become taller (and often broader) — making the Bullens feel very ‘cosy’ to the matchgoer. The once trumpeted circulation spaces are now ill-suited to the provision of refreshments or ‘calls of nature’ at half-time. Columns cause obstructed views (ironically, not as many in the 1970-built Main Stand) and those seated to the rear of the Lower Bullens are treated to a ‘letter box’ view of proceedings on the pitch. Match commentators, meanwhile, have a perilous climb up and over the roof to reach their gantry.

Bullens Rd stand, modern day

And yet, for all that, the Bullens — located so close to the touchline — is imbued with a feeling of authenticity. Along with Ibrox’s Main Stand and Fratton Park’s South Stand, it boasts being one of the last three examples of the Leitch criss-cross panels. In the 1990s, these were often obscured at Goodison by advertising, but the club saw the light and the balcony frontage can now be savoured, in all of its blue and white glory.

The Bullens is ‘my’ stand — the one I sat in for the Bayern Munich and 1985 title-clinching matches, and where I now have my season ticket spot. I’m treasuring every last moment in it, regardless of events on the pitch.

Bullens Stand 2015

The Bullens Stand in 2015

 Bullens Road street view

Bullens Road street view

Further reading: Engineering Archie by Simon Inglis (English Heritage, 2005)

Liverpool Echo
Liverpool Daily Post
Daily Courier
Sheffield Star

Reader Comments (40)

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Tom Hughes
1 Posted 01/08/2023 at 09:26:36
My dad was an apprentice with Mortons of Garston and helped build this stand. It was essentially a child labour scheme and as soon as the job/apprenticeship was finished, they were all laid off. He spent the rest of his working life on the docks (apart from the period from 1939-45) and mainly stood and sat in that stand till not long before he died in 1985.

In recent years, the obstructed views towards the rear of the lower tier are always mentioned when people talk about the Bullens Road Stand. To the extent that they are now considered the defining feature, yet the truly fantastic views offered in most of the upper stand are rarely spoken about. These views are literally as good (and often better) than the best seats at some of the most modern stadiums in the country. Right on top of, and so close to the action.

Yes, they are cramped and the treads are wooden but, perhaps a more balanced "view" should be adopted as this faithful old servant nears her final matchdays. In its day, Goodison Park was comfortably the finest stadium in the country, bar none. This old stand is an indelible part of that and Leitch's (and my dad's) legacy.

Thanks for the article.

Rob Sawyer
2 Posted 01/08/2023 at 10:16:42
Hi Tom - fascinating information about your father working on the construction, and then using the stand to watch the Blues.

I agree that for all of its drawbacks (eg, the view from the back of the Lower Bullens), the stand is wonderfully tight to the pitch and offers great views of the action, especially from the Upper Bullens.

It is my favourite spot in the ground, these days. At nearly 100 years old, the stand has given great service to the Toffees. Kudos to Leitch and, just as importantly, those who built it and have maintained it.

Ray Jacques
3 Posted 01/08/2023 at 13:02:47
What a wonderful read, thank you.

I used to stand in The Paddock, level with the edge of the penalty area at the Gwladys Street end.

I was there with my dad for the Bayern Munich game. He used to give the linesman so much stick that he would probably be removed from the ground now.

John Raftery
4 Posted 01/08/2023 at 13:06:30
It was a privilege to watch my first game in 1962 from the front row of the Upper Bullens. The view from seat 3 was fantastic. I always thought the stand offered a much better view than the 1970 Main Stand.

In the modern stadiums, only the Upper Shed at Stamford Bridge offers a comparable view – close to the pitch, yet high enough to see the full pattern of play.

Trevor Edwards
5 Posted 01/08/2023 at 14:36:08
I watched all of my first season (1970-71) in The Paddock, nearest the Park End, moving to the Main Stand the following season.

Only ever been in the Upper Bullens for 3 or 4 matches, and the seated area at the back of the paddock just once (a grim draw with Wimbledon). Despite the obstructed views in the lower half, it remains a beautiful stand.

Will Mabon
6 Posted 01/08/2023 at 16:11:20
Thanks for a great article, Rob.

The ground is becoming more interesting than the team!

I have great memories of and from various parts of the ground. My father had an involvement in the building of the current main stand, the barriers and catches to prevent people plummeting from the top balcony as part of it.

For many years though, we had season tickets in Upper Bullens, Row K and near the centre line; still as good a view as I've ever had of a football pitch... and close to the stairs as a bonus. When young, it was Gwladys Street.

The only section I've never been in is the lower paddock of the Main Stand. Maybe I should try to tick that last one off before the sad day arrives. Also wouldn't mind a trip up onto that TV gantry: unlikely. What a fabulous stadium we'll be leaving.

Peter Mills
7 Posted 01/08/2023 at 16:51:50
I have great memories of being in the Bullens Road stand.

The 4-0 Charity Shield win over Manchester United at the start of the 1963-64 season; the manic, almost sinister, atmosphere against Leeds when the teams were taken off the pitch to cool down; the 5-2 hammering of Chelsea that pretty much clinched the League in 1969-70; perhaps the most thrilling sight for a 10-year-old boy, the Jules Rimet Trophy being carried around the pitch by Ramon Wilson and Roger Hunt.

I love that stand.

Bill Watson
8 Posted 01/08/2023 at 20:44:59
Thanks Rob.

Great read about a stand I didn't really know that much about. As far as I'm aware it's the oldest stand in the PL.

Apart from a few seasons in the Main Stand family area I've mostly been on the Gwladys Street terraces and, since the '80s, the Gwladys Street Upper.

As a kid I had one season in the old standing Paddock and I think I've been in the upper balcony once.

I hope you're doing a similar piece on the Gwladys Street stand which, I understand, was delayed a couple of years because a residence refused to move!

Barry Hesketh
9 Posted 01/08/2023 at 21:08:13
I was lucky enough to have a season ticket in the Upper Bullens, prior to the advent of the Premier League. I've been in most parts of the ground since then, but my seat in the Upper Bullens was the best speck to view the game, perhaps, because it was also such a good time to be an Evertonian with that great '80s side.

Mind you these days, the best speck to watch is somewhere near the back of a stand with a restricted view – hopefully, that changes in the coming years and I'll regret not having a great view of the match as the Blues' play champagne footy and not the ale-house version we've become used to in recent times.

Will Mabon
10 Posted 01/08/2023 at 21:09:59
Bill, three-tier stands look good but that high a view isn't my favourite. Only been in the top balcony maybe half a dozen times.

Does highlight how the teams move around as a "bunch" on the pitch though!

Don Alexander
11 Posted 01/08/2023 at 23:04:26
Upper Bullens centre is the best place to watch a football match in the country. You get proximity to the pitch, almost unobstructed views, and a power-packed atmosphere on a good day.

I done my time in the Goodison Road paddock, when a nipper's point of view was the nearside touchline, and was as good as it got due to the camber of the pitch (for years I though Johnny Morrisey was a dwarf!), before Gwladys Street became my perch as a teenager.

Danny O’Neill
12 Posted 02/08/2023 at 13:59:54
I've stood or sat in every part of Goodison Park.

As a youngster, it was always about waiting for the Gwlaydys Street gates to open and get a decent spec right behind the goal just above the ledge as we all rushed in.

I never really liked the Enclosure. It was where I was for my first match at Goodison, sat on a barrier to be able to see. My son's first match was there when it was seated. Front row and because of the curve of the pitch for drainage, you couldn't see then ball when it was over by the Bullens. The Paddock is a much better view if you want to be by the pitch.

I like the Main Stand. The Top Balcony is good if you want to study the tactics and movement of the players.

The Upper Gwladys is good, but I have to say, as I've got older, the Upper Bullens has become my favourite to watch the football.

But really, I don't care where I am, as long as I am in the stadium, I don't care where I am sat.

Andy Riley
13 Posted 02/08/2023 at 14:54:22
I've been lucky enough to have had a season ticket on the front row of the Upper Bullens for over 40 years and seen some great games and moments from there. One small disappointment from me over the new ground is that I'll probably never get a seat like this there!

Prior to that, when younger, I had a ground season ticket for Gwladys Street and always got there early to claim a spec on the upper side in the corner near to Goodison Road – basically the same area as the old caged Boys Pen but on the opposite side?

I always remember being joined there by a large group of slightly inebriated Ribble bus drivers still in part uniform shortly before kick-off!

Jay Harris
14 Posted 02/08/2023 at 15:37:38
"If you know your history" and you certainly do, Rob.

Thanks for another great read.

I started my journey being sat on the bars in Goodison Road then the Boys Pen, then Gwladys Street, ultimately being a season ticket holder in the Main Stand then the Park End.

I only had a few occasions in Lower Bullens but, for some reason, that side of the ground never appealed to me.

John McFarlane Snr
15 Posted 02/08/2023 at 19:19:24
Hi Danny [12],

Those of my generation will have also watched games from every possible position. I started my journey in the Boys Pen, when it was in the Gwladys Street end of the Paddock. The Paddock was what is now called the Lower Bullens and it was a standing only position at the time. The same can be said of Gwladys Street, seats above and standing only on the terraces.

In 1971 the Goodison Road "1909" stand, was replaced by today's Main Stand, the Goodison Road terraces housed the a vast number of fans. The Park End was like Gwladys Street, seats above and standing below.

Quite a number of fans used to wait until the toss-up and they would head to the half of the ground that Everton were attacking, and at half time they would head to the other end of the ground, something that the Paddock fans couldn't do. I have no doubt that, if you were my age, you would have accompanied me on the journey.

Danny O’Neill
16 Posted 02/08/2023 at 20:26:14
John Raftery,

I'll second that about Stamford Bridge. Having sat in the upper and lower sections several times, the upper one is really good in terms of view, steepness and closeness to the pitch.

The first time I entered the Top Balcony as a child, I was in awe. It was like I was watching something from afar, although you can still follow. But it doesn't compare to the modern Newcastle away section. You can barely follow the match, it's that far away. Maybe that's just me? They shouldn't be allowed to get away with that. And for many, it is a hell of a workout to walk all of those stairs to get there.

John Senior, I would stand or sit anywhere in Goodison Park.

Mike Doyle
17 Posted 02/08/2023 at 20:45:31

Painful as it is to admit, Stamford Bridge is a safe bet for a good view.

Of the London grounds, Fulham is about the last one that still has a Goodison feel about it – plus their supporters always strike me as proper fans who enjoy their football.

Jay & John Mac Snr - can you recall any experiences in the Boys Pen you may have shared with the greatest living Evertonian? (No, I don't mean Colin Harvey!)

Paul Birmingham
18 Posted 02/08/2023 at 20:52:36
An outstanding read, Rob, and a brilliant history of the Bullens Road and Goodison Park.

Time to digest and reflect, and take nothing for granted.

“What's Our Name?”

Jay Harris
19 Posted 02/08/2023 at 20:59:08

I do remember one time a bike was found and a cardboard cut out of Elvis and Tommy Steele…

But, apart from that, the only greatest living Evertonian I met in the Boys Pen is me.

Brent Stephens
20 Posted 02/08/2023 at 21:01:33
Worst London ground: Crystal Palace.

Andy #13, I can't see why they can't allocate seats at Bramley-Moore Dock on a like-for-like basis in relation to seats at Goodison Park, given the greater capacity at the new stadium.

I did mention it to the Everton marketing guy last week when he phoned me asking if I was interested in a "Premium Experience" seat at BMD, including meals / drinks. "From £3,250 - £7,250 + VAT per seat, per season".

Mrs Stephens smiled in that withering way of hers.

Kieran Kinsella
21 Posted 02/08/2023 at 21:09:52

Maybe she was thinking “For that price, we can bring the whole family, buy seats for the neighbors too. Just £100k or so…”

Brent Stephens
22 Posted 02/08/2023 at 21:17:02
Kieran, please delete yout post in case she sees it - don't go putting ideas into her head.
Danny O’Neill
23 Posted 02/08/2023 at 22:56:54
Brent, I get that look when I'm heading to Euston, be that home or away.

On London grounds.

Arsenal is a pain in the arse and Tottenham similar because of the way they funnel you to and from the tube stations. Maybe that's because I travel on the tube. Chelsea is great considering Stamford Bridge was practically a greyhound racing tack with one big stand when we last won the league.

Fulham is a great day out, as is Brentford and, unlike other London clubs, you are welcome in the pubs around the stadium. Unlike at Chelsea where even with your best Dick van Dyke accent, you're not getting in.

West Ham is odd. The supporters are fine outside the ground, but I don't like that stadium, however impressive it looks.

Brent Stephens
24 Posted 02/08/2023 at 23:13:40
Danny, walking to Fulham, through / by a graveyard. Walking to Chelsea through a graveyard. Walking to Goodison next to a graveyard.

Any others close to a graveyard?

Ben King
25 Posted 02/08/2023 at 23:32:13
Brent #24,

Watford, Vicarage Road is near a graveyard.

Danny O’Neill
26 Posted 03/08/2023 at 05:38:55
I have an experience with that graveyard near Stamford Bridge.

At the FA Cup match when Phil Neville scored the winning penalty, I only had one ticket, so gave it to my son. I went off to find somewhere I could get into, which involved about a mile walk before I was accepted (ie, no doormen). I sat with a few Chelsea supporters watching it on TV and left with the score still at 1 - 0 to Chelsea and walked through that graveyard on my way to pick my son up after the match.

I heard the Baines equaliser. I knew we had equalised without the aid of my smartphone because I know the sound of an Everton crowd. So I stopped.

Then as the penalties started, I paced around the graveyard. I could tell who had scored and missed by the noise from the stadium.

I confess (forgive me God) to standing in front of the grave of a couple buried together and talking to them, asking for their blessing.

True pathetic story of a grown man! Maybe a mad man. Everton make you mad.

Away from Graveyards, I find Brighton a tricky one to get to if you are travelling by train because of where they have built it. There is a nearby station, but the stadium is way outside of Brighton and causes a bottleneck as you approach the station to get back into the town centre. Even the Brighton fans, as much as they are happy with their current situation and their impressive new stadium, complain about the location.

First World problems I guess.

Eddie Dunn
27 Posted 03/08/2023 at 07:31:52
Love this piece, Rob.

I've been in the Bullens many times over the years and think the front of the upper deck is as good a view as anyone would want.

I always like the Leitch design, as did my mates in Portsmouth. I think Spurs had the same too. I like the lovely old timber. Slow-grown and of a quality that today would be impossible to get.

Once we leave, the place will be even more special.

John McFarlane Snr
28 Posted 03/08/2023 at 14:48:36
Hi Mike [17] I'm afraid that I never had the 'pleasure'? of meeting Bill Kenwright, he is 7 years younger than me, and when I joined the army in 1956, he was approaching his 11th birthday. When I was demobbed in 1959, there's every chance that he was still serving his apprenticeship in the Boys Pen.
Paul Washington
29 Posted 03/08/2023 at 16:38:29
Danny O,

I'm another who has stood / sat in all parts of the ground.

My first time in Bullens Road (lower) was in November 1971 in the David Johnson derby win; I was with me dad.

I was a starry-eyed 9-year-old and made up to be close to Alan Ball! Who was sold a few weeks later! Bloody Everton!

Brent Stephens
30 Posted 03/08/2023 at 17:25:29
Ben #25 - ah, yes, Watford. The nearest garveyard to a ground I can think of. Right opposite the away fans entrance.
Rob Halligan
31 Posted 03/08/2023 at 17:31:50
Brent, everyone is forgetting the obvious………….Anfield cemetery / graveyard on Priory Road!!
Brent Stephens
32 Posted 03/08/2023 at 17:39:00
Rob I had that in mind in #24.
Mark Murphy
33 Posted 04/08/2023 at 08:57:43
"True pathetic story of a grown man! Maybe a mad man. Everton make you mad."
True story of a man who drinks Pinot Grigio by the pint you mean Danny! hahaha
My first game at Goodison was as a player (captain actually) of St Annes & Blessed Dominics U11's and was right at the back of the Bullens upper. It was a night match on the 16th october 1968 and was a dour 0-0 draw. I'd been to see ManYoo with my uncle a couple of times that season but this game changed my life. The sight of that luminous green pitch under the lights and the atmosphere around us converted more than just one of our squad that night and Ive never regretted that for one minute, despite ManYoos success. (its so ironic when scousers tell me to "f#ck off and support Manyoo" these days because of my accent... From that season on me and my mate Cliffy, son of the U11's manager Ken Cliffe, stood on wooden stools made by my joiner dad, in the paddock overlooking the half time score cards. I vividly remember being lifted above his head by a celebrating Blue during the Alan Ball led 5-0 romp over Colchester in the FA Cup. Migrated to the Glwadys street (where Danny stood by the sounds of it) once we hit our mid teens. I would never have stood in the Boys pen - not with my accent!! UTFT
Paul Tran
34 Posted 04/08/2023 at 09:45:36
Been in all the Goodison terraces, stands and Boys Pen. Lower Bullens once, against Dukla Prague, the old Park End once, against AC Milan. Had one season in the Enclosure, to try something different, and regretted it instantly. Will always have a soft spot for the Street End, just under the stand, in line with the penalty box at the church side. I grew up there.

These days, my very rare trips to Goodison would be in the Top Balcony, where I love the overview of the pitch.

London? You can't beat the old Brentford ground, with a Fullers pub on each corner. I would often go to London games with mates who support the London team, so it was often a good craic. Always liked the view at West Ham in every end, except the away one!

Geoff Lambert
35 Posted 04/08/2023 at 10:09:52
I to have been in all but one area of the old lady in my 60 years of match going. never been in the upper gladys st stand. My Son knowing this has got two tickets for this Sat in the upper Gladys st.


Dave Cashen
36 Posted 08/08/2023 at 20:28:19
I don't have a season ticket. I am lucky to get up to a dozen home games a season.

With an attendance record like that, it's very rare I can get tickets among the traveling blues when I can get to away games. I find it far easier to get hold of tickets among the home fans.

I've been in a lot of stands around the country. Nearly all of them more comfortable than the Upper Bullens, but none of them come close to matching the feeling of entering the old lady's iconic stand. It absolutely reeks of the beautiful game and all its finest traditions.

I only have to look at the images in your article Rob and I can actually taste and smell my first game. Hot dogs. Pipe tobacco. Bovril, expectation and that shaking floor

Danny O’Neill
37 Posted 11/08/2023 at 07:55:34
Dave, if you don't have a Season Ticket at the moment, it is very, very difficult to get a ticket for Everton. Away games are remarkable.

I think we are currently completely sold out until Sheffield United away.

I'm keeping an eye on Doncaster tickets. The League Cup is going to happen one day.

Dave Cashen
38 Posted 11/08/2023 at 16:31:04
I can't explain it, Danny.

Our away support has always been fanatical. But in years gone by, there was always a ticket going because somebody couldnt make it. Nowadays, when somebody has to miss a game, there are three or four people desperate to get their hands the spare ticket. I often wonder how many tickets we could actually sell if there were no visitor restrictions.

Anyone living in Liverpool with his mates and his ear close to the ground has an obvious advantage, but the demand now is greater than it ever was.

Thats the thing I don't get. The worse our team gets, the greater the desire to follow them. There are no cliffs over which the travelling Evertonian will not follow his team. These are the people who have earned their place at the front of the pecking order.

Okay it's harder to get away tickets, but we none of us would want it any other way.

Peter Morgan
39 Posted 28/08/2023 at 21:42:43
November 1958, my Dad took me to my first game, in the Upper Bullens. I kept the mauve counter foil for many years.

We drew with Blackburn Rovers, 2-2, with a future blue in their ranks, Roy Vernon. I was hooked, line and sinker. Floodlights on the lush green turf, the blue and white painted stands glistening. It was the beginning of a love affair that endured despite boarding school distance, studies abroad and now the vicissitudes of old age.

After dad's premature death 2 years later, I wasn't allowed (by mum) to go to games on my own. Tranmere was permitted! My last game with dad was in the old Main Stand in 1960 I think, beating Spurs 3-0 as Carey started to develop a team with Moores money.

January 1961 v Sheffield Utd in the FA Cup Third Round – Park End stand and a 1-0 defeat. After that, my next permitted visits were in the old Goodison Road enclosure, witnessing Helenio Herrera Inter Milan team in 1963, 0-0, and earlier in the year the wonder goal by Alex Young from Vernon's free-kick to beat Spurs and virtually claim the Championship.

The Paddock became my home in the '70s but sadly little stands out in the memory. My first season ticket was on Row B opposite the half-way line in the Upper Bullens in 1983 sensing that Howard Kendall was building a side to be reckoned with. My adjacent seating companion would arrive in his seat at 2:59 armed with two pints of beer and an ever expanding girth. I only lasted the season but what an amazing spec.

Studies and duties meant I could only admire the 1985 victories from afar. Later years saw season tickets in the Main Stand and the Alex Young lounge, a sign of middle-class success.

It's been a wonderful experience to have lived in all the nooks and crannies of this old stadium with special memories of heroes and villains. These days, living at a distance, it's so difficult to get a ticket and rock up as one once did.

I'm hoping to visit and enjoy the new stadium, check out my purchased brick, and see some good football once again. One lives in hope.

John McFarlane Snr
40 Posted 28/08/2023 at 22:46:17
Hi Peter [39] I've looked up your first visit to Goodison, on 1 November 1958 and you were part of a 52,733 crowd, the goal scorers were Jimmy Harris and Dave Hickson. You saw floodlit football before I did.

I was home on leave in December 1958 and saw the Boxing Day game when Dave Hickson scored the winner (1-0) against Bolton Wanderers in front of 61,692. and to tell you the truth I can't recall my first floodlit game. I was demobbed in August 1959, so it would be a short time after that.

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