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Fans Comment
Rick Tarleton

Different from any other
13 December 2005

Daniel Parker in a recent letter to the ToffeeWeb Mailbag from New York finished with the above epithet and he's right.  But I reckon that every club and its supporters feel exactly the same.  I've got a mate who supports Peterborough and he reckons "The Posh" are special... the poor deluded fool!

However, for any Evertonian under thirty, I wonder how they find the touchstones that allow them to feel the specialness of our club.  I grew up worshipping Dave Hickson and Bobby Collins, spent my adolescence with Alex Young, Roy Vernon and the wonderful Jimmy Gabriel.  Watched Ball, Kendall and Harvey (still the greatest player I've ever seen in our colours); watched Latchford, Dobson and McKenzie in the disappointing seventies and then the renaissance with Sheedy, Steven, Ratcliffe, Sharpe and Gray in the mid-eighties.

I've been there when Everton won the league on several occasions and I've been in Trafalgar Square fountains after 1966, the greatest of all Cup Finals.  I've been to see them win in Rotterdam in '85, so I have a clear picture not just of our being special or different, but of us being great.  For me, the problem is to adjust my mindset: to me Everton are "The Merseyside Millionaires", "The School of Science".  They are the club managed by great managers like Harry Catterick and Howard Kendall.  A club that took the pick of the players available for cash, breaking the transfer record time and again for Ball, Latchford, Cottee etc.  

However, had I been half my age, and started supporting them in 1988, how would I see them?  Where are the touchstones?  "The Merseyside Millionaires"?  Not exactly!  "The School of Science"?  "Dogs of War" more like.  The only player of the last twenty years who ranks in my mind as a great player is Wayne Rooney and his story is sadly symbolic of the modern Everton.  A great talent discovered, promising to lead us back and sold by a treacherous Board to balance the books.

So, for young fans, I think we are "different" for reasons that have little to do with success.  Their support of our club is an act of faith.  Perhaps they are part of the tradition passed on by fathers and uncles.  Their unwavering support for our club is built purely on faith and for that I honour them.  When my dad (A Red, I'm afraid) took me in to "The Dublin Packet " to meet Bill Dean when I was eighteen, I was bored.  My dad knew Dean (my name's Tarleton, my uncle and Dean were the sporting heroes of the city in the 30s) and I listened, but was, as the young always are, a tad bored with the tales of the past.  Now I regard it as one of the events of my life that I met "Dixie" Dean and spoke to the great man.

To young Evertonians, I say remember we are special, we are historically alongside Arsenal and Liverpool the greatest of clubs.  Look at the history and don't let the present Board forget what we have been and what we must become again.  Evertonians are special and we deserve nothing but the best: Nil Satis Nisi Optimum.  You've had little success and little of the flavour that us old hands can recall, and yet you are brilliantly loyal.  Be loyal, but keep demanding more.  You deserve it.

Rick Tarleton


Just read Rick Tarleton's piece and I am in total agreement with the comments made. Though not a scouser, Everton have always been my team and always will be from 1988 till the day I finally RIP. (Fingers crossed having hopefully experienced the feeling of finishing above 'them' a few more times in my life). I have had girlfriends come and go and none have so far managed to fathom out why I support Everton, particularly due to the consistent depressive state I often find myself in at the weekend.

My highlights have included a few Peter Beagrie screamers in my younger days and the total shock of winning the FA Cup under Joe Royle. My Dad was forced into taking me to games if I was lucky at Birthdays and Christmases. A 4-1 home defeat to Sheffield Wednesday particularly sticks in my mind, though I went home happy dreaming of re-creating Ferguson's bullet-header, Breaking down on the M6 on New Year's Day and being stuck there four 8 hours left my dad cursing (incidentally my brother and sister used to have to come too and now find themselves blue to the core as well).

What keeps me going though is that Lottery tag line 'IT COULD BE YOU' and I honestly believe that OUR time will come. I took a moment to forward on to a Red the piece on the points to goals ratio, please see the response below. I sent it out of fun remember, light hearted banter at that!, this is what I was met with......

Hahaha what a load to tosh

You everton believe any old junk. End of the day winning games make you winners!! (fair point)

Not how many goals per ratio points you get


Mid table mediocrity at best is all you lot will ever be! Last season was a freak season and your run in the champions league and uefa cup proves this


And that my fellow blues is what drives me on.I have a yearly bet that I have started with him after we finished above them last year and I can see that my tenner's a lost cause though I won't surrender it just yet as he wants me to do. I could lose for the next 10 years but I know that the year I win will be sweeter than the last 10 years put together. That day when I can finally stick two fingers up and know that it has all been worthwhile.
Allan Price, Shropshire (13/12/05)


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