My father is a true blue Evertonian and on September 9th, 2017 he turns 70. But before I get into the main subject of this story, I first need to give you a brief history about how he, and eventually me and everyone else in my family, became Evertonians.

My grandfather was born in Limerick, Ireland in 1916 and his father (my great-grandfather) suddenly upped and fled overseas in the late 1920s (we think he went to Australia, but no-one really knows) leaving behind his wife and their three children.

My great grandmother found caring for the three kids difficult and had to send one of her daughters to live in Liverpool with her sister. That decision turned out to be a defining moment in the history of my family. My grandfather, whom we affectionately referred to as “Pop” growing up, began visiting his sister in Liverpool when he was a teenager, taking the ferry over from Dublin to Liverpool.

Pop loved sports, especially football, and on his trips he would visit Goodison Park and it was there that he fell in love with Everton. The first match he attended, I am told, was against Portsmouth sometime around 1933 (archives show that Everton played Pompey at Goodison in ‘32, with Dixie Dean scoring in a 1-1 draw). Pop passed his love of Everton Football Club onto his three sons, but it was my father, Larry, who took the baton with the most fervent loyalty. He loves Everton.

He loves talking about Everton. He loves reading about Everton. He loves watching Everton. He is a true blue.

What I think differentiates my father from the average football fan, however, is how he gets his football news: he only reads ToffeeWeb! He does not read any other football website (except occasionally the BBC to check some scores but that’s it). In fact, he loves ToffeeWeb so much that, not only does he read all the articles on here, he also reads all the comments that ToffeeWeb readers post. If he comes across any that are particularly poignant or funny he loves to tell me all about it.

The reason for this, I think, is because my father is truly a man of the people. Websites like The Guardian and The Telegraph lack the voice of the true fan, so it is places like this, where he comes to to feel at home. This is a fitting match if ever there was one.

That being said, what I would like to do is post on here to give you the chance to wish my father, Larry, a happy 70th birthday. It would absolutely make his day to hear from you. As my father is not a materialistic man, this is the best way I can show my gratitude to the man who raised me, and my sister and brother, in the right way. So please, post on here and say happy birthday to a true blue.

Finally, I would also like to list all of the matches that my father has been to over the years. And if any of you out there were at any of these games as well, please add a comment:

My favorite game was the March 1970 game v Chelsea 5-2 winners.

Happy Birthday Dad!

Love,

Andy


Reader Comments (35)

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Peter Warren
1 Posted 08/09/2017 at 19:02:03
Happy 70th Birthday, Larry. Trying to think of any former Everton players called Larry.
Darren Hind
2 Posted 08/09/2017 at 19:08:33
Happy Birthday, Larry, and well done Andy for thinking of such a wonderful way to Mark it.

Spurs at home 1-0 1963 eh ? What a nice Birthday present if we could repeat that score line over half a century later.

Let's hope we're all as happy as Larry tomorrow night!

Tony Abrahams
3 Posted 08/09/2017 at 19:10:23
Happy birthday for tomorrow, Larry, I hope the Toffees give you something to really celebrate, mate!
John G Davies
4 Posted 08/09/2017 at 19:22:30
Happy birthday Larry. All the best for tomorrow, sir.

Three points for Larry please.

Great sentiments, Mark. Your love for your dad is easy to see.

Tony Hill
5 Posted 08/09/2017 at 20:06:15
Have a very happy birthday, Larry, and let's hope the Blues do it for you tomorrow.

The 1970 Chelsea game sticks in my mind too, I'd always felt we would take the title but that win and the style of it were special. It summed up a great side.

Alan McGuffog
6 Posted 08/09/2017 at 20:14:20
Howard scored after about 14 seconds in that 5-2 game. That was one happy day.
Steve Ferns
7 Posted 08/09/2017 at 20:16:18
Happy Birthday, Larry.

Checked the Derby game and it was 1998. A home defeat to Derby is rare. But I remember the game well. I was outraged at the ref, but watching a YouTube clip, the elbow was so blatant.

The game is also memorable for a goal by Claus Thomsen, an overhead kick no less! Yes the same Claus Thomsen who is always in the running to be our worst ever player!

I also remember the Chelsea game. Famous win over Mourinho, with an amazing hattrick from the Scottish Naismith! We were still full of hope after the first great Martinez season and it was after this game we seemed to start to fall apart.

Paul Kelly
8 Posted 08/09/2017 at 22:41:25
Happy Birthday Larry.

And a good piece, well written. Looking at the list of games and to the right were it says 'Everton became champions', sent a shiver through my whole body, in a good way though, fond memories hey.

Have a great day fella.

Dave Abrahams
9 Posted 08/09/2017 at 22:54:52
Happy 70th Larry hope you have a great day on your birthday, topped off with a good win and performance against Spurs, well done Andy for thinking of your dad this way.
Kevin Tully
10 Posted 08/09/2017 at 23:37:06
Just seen this - superb.

Many happy returns, Larry. And good luck sifting through all the crap we post!

Dennis Stevens
11 Posted 09/09/2017 at 00:19:43
Many happy returns, Larry - let's hope the blue boys annihilate Spurs for you!
Dennis Stevens
12 Posted 09/09/2017 at 00:19:46
Many happy returns, Larry - let's hope the blue boys annihilate Spurs for you!
David Currie
13 Posted 09/09/2017 at 00:49:33
Happy Birthday Larry and hope we win for you, my dad took me to my first game at Goodison back in the early 70's.
Rick Barnes
14 Posted 09/09/2017 at 05:26:27
That's such a thoughtful way to say happy birthday, you'll have him choked up when he reads what you've written. I feel the same about my dad, who is of a similar era to yours (it was his 75th on the 4th of Sep) so they would've both grown up watching the same games. I can almost guarantee he would've been at one of those games in the sixties, that was when he used to go home and away on a coach with his cousin.

Anyway, Happy B'day Larry!

Chris Williams
15 Posted 09/09/2017 at 07:25:34
Many happy returns Larry and well done Andy.

Be there myself soon!

John G Davies
16 Posted 09/09/2017 at 07:31:41
Apologies Andy, called you Mark in an earlier post.
You and your dad have a great day.
Brent Stephens
17 Posted 09/09/2017 at 07:39:55
Happy birthday, Larry. I've ordered a win for you today!

Andy, really good stuff. All Goodison Park invited round for cake after?

William Cartwright
18 Posted 09/09/2017 at 08:57:49
Happy birthday Larry (Nice one Andy) . . . . .!
Niall McIlhone
19 Posted 09/09/2017 at 09:25:36
Type or paste your comment here. PLEASE capitalise initial letters of proper names and use proper grammar. No txt-speak; all-lowercase posts are likely to be deleted
Bill Griffiths
20 Posted 09/09/2017 at 09:40:07
Happy 70th Larry . Let's hope The Boys in Blue do their part to make it a memorable day.
Peter Howard
21 Posted 09/09/2017 at 09:45:56
Happy 70th birthday, Larry.

I'm only 10 behind you.

Were you at the game at Goodison when we beat West Brom 5-4.I was in the boy's pen and I remember it being a cracking game.

I think Bally scored the winner with a pen.

Peter Mills
22 Posted 09/09/2017 at 11:27:36
Happy birthday Larry - loved that Chelsea game, Howard scoring after 14 seconds, Bally in the 3rd minute, Goodison rocking.

Nice post Andy, hope the family has a great day.

Ray Roche
23 Posted 09/09/2017 at 11:38:49
Yes, Happy Birthday Laurie, Andy, the standout game for me is the Spurs one in '63. What a game and a goal by the Golden Vision! It just about put paid to Spurs hopes of winning the League I think.!
Peter#21, yes, another cracking game, Ball 2, Young, Morrisey and Scott(?) the others. Didn't WBA come back from 3 or 4 nil down before Ball's pen?
Brian Murray
24 Posted 09/09/2017 at 12:03:59
Happy birthday, Larry. Regarding 1971 home derby, it was my first live one, Dave Johnson got the goal. I've never seen any footage but remember floodlights were on so maybe a midweek game... anyone shed any light on that? Remember four players booked which was bit unusual then. Last win before Andy's drive.
Peter Mills
25 Posted 09/09/2017 at 12:33:13
Ray, I seem to remember West Brom making it 4-4 after being 4-1 down, before we got the winner.
Charles McCann
26 Posted 09/09/2017 at 12:57:23
Happy 70th Birthday Larry! From a Tyrone man here! Great post Andy. Hope you have a great day and have more reason to celebrate after hopefully beating spurs later! Your dad sounds like he is as mad about Everton as myself! I'm always very happy When I get to meet up with fellow Irish toffees for watching the matches. Andy, are you and your dad still living in limerick? I manage to catch most matches live in my now local bar laverys in Belfast so if you're ever up north on a day of a game it would be really good to meet you both. Coyb!
Ray Roche
27 Posted 09/09/2017 at 12:57:45
You're probably right Peter, I do know it was some fight back from them, to be fair.
Tony McNulty
28 Posted 09/09/2017 at 13:38:54
All the best, young man.

You must have an interesting view of humanity if you only get your football news from ToffeeWeb.

Gillian Casey
29 Posted 09/09/2017 at 14:07:30
Happy Birthday, Dad!! Love you, Gillian and the boys!
John Daley
30 Posted 09/09/2017 at 15:12:03
Wishing you all the best on your birthday, Larry.

70 years an Evertonian is testament go any man's endurance. Yet, when you've actually withessed, first-hand, such shudder inducing sights as Claus Thomsen doing a bad impression of Basil Fawlty, before falling backwards in slow motion to score maybe the scruffiest overhead kick ever seen (very rare), and Duncan Ferguson stupidly getting sent off (not so rare) for wiping the sweat from Paulo Wanchopes brow with a flailing elbow.... both in the same bloody game (Everton 1-2 Derby)...then, somehow, saying you've been a blue for 'seven decades' still seems like we're selling your shift short.

In dog years you would be closing in on half a millenium as a fan and, given the many highs and (many many more) lows you've seen the club go through, that might actually feel a more accurate measure from time to time. However, unlike a hound, Evertonians can always hold on to the faint hope that one day we might be able to grow our damn balls back.

Hopefully, they start sprouting today against Spurs.

Big blue balls. Err...for Larry's birthday, like.


Alan Casey
31 Posted 09/09/2017 at 15:18:23
Happy 70th Dad hopefully you can bring the blues good luck today!
Paul Ward
32 Posted 10/09/2017 at 07:50:02
Happy Birthday, Larry.

I can still see Alex Young hanging in the air to score from Roy Vernon's cross in 1963.

Andy Casey
33 Posted 10/09/2017 at 22:35:34
To all the ToffeeWeb readers, especially those of you that posted responses to this article: thank you so very much!

We celebrated Larry's 70th yesterday in some style and he was beaming about the postings on here. Simply beaming. You truly made his day.

I told him that he should post on here to say thanks, so hopefully we'll hear from the man himself soon enough. Thank you all again.


Larry Casey
35 Posted 15/09/2017 at 01:44:14
My fellow blues.

Thank you for all your greetings and birthday wishes. I did survive the day and a great time was had by all. Looking back over the past 50+ years, I am so proud to be an Evertonian.

Since I first visited Goodison Park in 1963 through the present, Everton FC is never far from my mind. Although I now live in Boston, USA, it is a little more challenging to make it to games.

Fortunately, with NBC sports having the rights to the premier league I get to see almost all the Everton games live on TV.

Now that I am getting nearer to retirement, I do expect to spend more time in Limerick and visit Goodison Park more frequently. Nothing equals the excitement of a game at Goodison (and a win).

Again, thank you for all your greetings and birthday wishes and I will be among the faithful more often in the next few years.
Thank you.
COYB
Larry

Martin Nicholls
36 Posted 18/09/2017 at 13:03:33
Belated birthday greetings to you Larry - I'm of a similar vintage and I too saw my first game (2-0 against Forest on 9th March) in that great 1962/3 season. I have lived locally all my life so have seen many games (maybe around the 1000 mark) but some of those that Andy lists contain special memories. If only this thread had appeared last year (shouldn't wish our lives away though!) I would have got in touch with you with a view to meeting up as I flew into Boston on the day of the Sunderland away (0-3) game for the start of a US road trip - couldn't find a bar showing the game!
Andy - have you looked at Ancestry to try to establish exactly what happened to your great grandfather?

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