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The Eighties and Beyond

By Wes  Burgin  : 29 October 2006

As a youngster growing up in the northeast of England, it is apparent that I should be a Sunderland, Newcastle or Middlesbrough fan (maybe not in 1986; Middlesbrough were bankrupt and their merchandise was available in the discount retailers of the day, as it should still be in my opinion!). However, at the age of seven, you do not really know any better. Although it annoys me to see so many children walking round in Chelsea and Manchester United replica strips, I accept that in my youth I too was a “glory” supporter. Or was I?

At the time, supporting Liverpool was the vogue. Anyone who thinks Newcastle and Sunderland fans start supporting their club at a young age are deluded. Also anyone who thinks you see a mass of Middlesbrough shirts in the town centre is also deluding themselves, Newcastle is the team of choice for most of Teesside still! So, with this in mind, and with most of my school chums supporting Liverpool, surely I was destined to join the young mis-placed red hordes?

However, things took a turn for the better one evening in 1985. With a very recent interest in football developing and still a few months away from my first ever Panini sticker album and replica kit, I sat down to watch a football match at home with my dad.

At the time, it was just some football on the telly, I had little idea of the importance of the match in question. I vaguely knew who Everton where; however, I had no idea who Rapid Vienna were or where they were from. I would love to give a full analysis of the game, but to be honest I would be talking out of my backside if I did. At the time, I barely even knew the rules of football, throw-ins, corners etc. However, I did like the strip. The blue colour which at the time was so alien, so used I was too seeing a red football shirt be it Sunderland or Liverpool. Also, they won; how good were Liverpool exactly and why weren’t they on the telly?

1985-86 – Over the summer of 1985, my appetite for football grew and in August I received my first ever sticker album. I was delighted when I got my first few packets of stickers (10p per packet I think!). I was even more pleased when I got my first Everton sticker — Peter Reid. Unfortunately, I got him twice in the same packet and I soon found out that you were guaranteed to get Old Monkey's Heed every few packets!

By the end of the season, I had a new hero: Gary Lineker. I also had a Cup Final and the League Championship to look forward too... Or did I? It is no coincidence that, as my fondness for Everton grew, my hatred of Liverpool and one player in particular began…

Needless to say, they completely fucked my first ever season as fan. I remember the joy at half time of the FA Cup Final, 1-0 up and my hero had scored the opening goal. The cup was ours! — after all, it was on the telly and Everton won when they were on the telly! Didn’t they?

Enter my nemesis: I’m sure I will not need to name names but basically I blame this man for spoiling my childhood and also causing me great embarrassment as a young adult as well. Without this cunt, I’m sure Everton would probably have won several more trophies in my time as a supporter and Liverpool would have won considerably less! To this day, the sight of him on the telly makes my skin crawl. I am pleased that his managerial career went tits up as if he had ever managed a Premier League team I have every confidence he would have continued to fuck my life up! He can shave off the tache but I still know who he is!

In my 20 years as a “glory supporter”, I can look back on the following highlights:

  • 1987 League Champions
  • 1995 FA Cup Winners
  • 2004 Fourth Place in the Premiership
Now, at the age of 28, I am optimistic that the current side is probably the best team we have had since 1989, when I consider us to have last been a “force”. Since 1986 we have been missing a Gary Lineker; finally, we have his replacement and I can see the difference already. Forget the Fox in the Box or the Greatest Talent we have ever Seen: Johnson scores goals and teams that score goals win things.

If Lineker had stayed at Everton, we would have won everything that Liverpool did. I believe it is that simple.


What's your story? Tell us how you became a Blue and what supporting Everton means to you.

©2006 ToffeeWeb

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