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Sweet Dreams Are Made Of This!

By Dave McDowell : 31/05/2006

I've never been a heavy sleeper. When I was a kid my Mum and Dad ran an Irish pub off Scottie Road and virtually every night we'd have a "staybehind" and I never quite got used to the sound of the music blaring out and the noise. This inevitably led to me to staying up into the early hours listening to the radio or reading (no 24/7 TV then) comics. Mostly I got by with 5/6 hours sleep. Not much has changed since then except as I have eased passed 40 the dreaded prostate gland must be swelling and this leads to the 4.30 am piss!!

What's all this got to do with Everton? Well, when I was a kid and I couldn't get to sleep, there was only one thing that would help: I PLAYED FOR EVERTON!

I have been going to Goodison since the late 60s and most nights I couldn't sleep I had the same routine: I would be in the dressing room getting ready for the game (always at home), looking around and seeing the other players and thinking what a great game we would have today.

I always played up-front, ALWAYS! I was a striker and scoring goals at Goodison for my team was IT! So we would be in the tunnel (I never heard one team talk from a Manager) and I would run out, leading the team (I was also Captain), Z-Cars playing to a packed Goodison Park! We would line up and kick off, a few silky runs, a magnificient pass here and there, and off to sleep I would drift I can't ever remember scoring!

The thing you have to remember is that, over the time I have been watching Everton, we have had a lot of very average (or past their best) players playing upfront for us: Biley, Ferguson (Mick), Walsh, Eastoe, Cadamateri, Kidd, Hughes, Whiteside, Amokachi, Radzinski, Bent etc. So I have always been in the team the only time I was seriously challenged was when we had Sharpy and Lineker for one season but I still used to think I would be in instead of Inchy and Gray. So over the years I have partnered Big Joe, the Latch, Sharpy and Dunc and played the perfect foil to get the best out of them for the team!!

But this coming season I am worried! For the first time in 20 years I feel I maybe keeping the bench warm! When was the last time we had two strikers who have played for England and also in their prime! You see my problem? I'm so excited at the prospect I don't think I'll be able to sleep and when I try to do my usual routine I won't get a game so no sleep!! So I think this season is going to lead to the bags under my eyes becoming sacks and a zombie-like state come Christmas time.

At the grand old age of 44, I still enact this sleep routine, I always have and I always will, even if I have to it sit it out and watch the goals fly in. After all, playing for the team you love and wanting them to do well is the best dream ever isn't it!

Now, if I can just dream we sign Angelina Jolie as physio, then...

Dave McDowell


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