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Ground Move

By Colin  Riley :  18/07/2007 :  Comments (6) :

Dear Blues everywhere,

It's time to jog on to a new adventure down the road. Kirkby, Speke, Switch Island, the docks. I couldn't give a diddly's. I was born in Priory Rd in 1970, moved to Kirkby from '78 to '81, going to Park Brow School. Then back to Richard Kelly Divinity School. Now I live and work in Jersey with ten thousand Evertonian brothers, since 1992. Most of me Blue life was spent walking down Cherry Lane and that smart walk through the cemetery with all me Blues for company and me Dad. Amazing times. Never to be forgotten. It's the same for all of us. Goodison Park is unique.

Fact is, I didn't exactly like Kirkby much, and I was made up to go back to being by Goodison again. Now I only get home a couple a times a year. I still watch every game in me local pub The Boot & The Ball, on a Saturday. Run by a Portuguese manager who loves our crew of 20 to 30 mad Bluenoses. We go on the main telly; Mancs on in the corner; Sheff Utd in the other; and Liverpool on a portable at the end of the bar. Big club, eh? Not in Jersey: only Everton banners in here...

Now I don't want Everton to go anywhere. I love it where it is. I'm as sentimental about the place as everyone is but I'm all for change if it's for the best. Last time I looked, Liverpool's a brilliant city on a revival after years of getting everything last 'cos Westminster hates the north. But its still a bleedin' dive in loads of places: Anfield, Walton to name just two. You know where you are. All the dosh goes to the centre first and it will be years to reach surrounding areas.

Wherever Everton FC goes, you just watch it all blossom around it. Spin off businesses. Bars, resturants, the works. Like flies round shite. New memories formed for all, especially if the team continues to develop as it has done. I think it's smart. We need the Toffees kicking some of the big boys' arses, which we don't do enough. I won't be happy going back to Kirkby at first but I'll get used to it in the end ? especially if we're in the stadium designed for Kings Dock. 50,000+ Evertonians, plush seats, top bars and scran, giant screens, etc.

First game in that stadium and the first sound of Z-Cars in it will blow our heads off big style. It's either get busy living or get busy dying. As they say "its not where you live but how you live." And I want to do it in style and class and get a cracking team together to play in it. Helicopter flights over the new Goodison. How about that on a matchday, the old one will be a flaming Kwicksave and you'll tell yer kids big Nev used to go there.

Let's just get the bleeding thing built. I'd watch Everton in a giant cow shed if I was with me mates and we were top of the Premier League. I've moved loads of times to loads of places in the world too but you don't lose your Everton soul. It's a new journey lads. Remember, NOTHING SATISFIES BUT THE BEST... and we are! We're a special club. We are the People's Club.

Who'd wanna be a Manc, or a Kopite, or a Gooner or Chelsea fan? I pity them all because they sit next to strangers every week, they're not even neighbours, they live miles from each other and have sod all in common bar the crap team they support just because they may be winning at the time. There's no-one like us becuase we've seen them all but wouldn't wanna be them. EVERTON TILL WE DIE. FOREVER EVERTON. 'CAUSE IF YA KNOW YER HISTORY. God bless every Blue brother. Second family. Thanks for listening. Nice one.

Reader Comments

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John McDonald
1   Posted 19/07/2007 at 02:34:02

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You said a gob full, and brought tears to my eyes...
Tony Towers
2   Posted 19/07/2007 at 08:36:31

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Nice one!
Great words said for a great club with the best fans in the world.
Brian Waring
3   Posted 19/07/2007 at 10:13:25

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Colin,just one bit I wanted to pick up on mate.The first sound of z-cars in that new stadium. My opinion, they may as well scrap it.Because,to me it just won’t sound the same anymore.
4   Posted 19/07/2007 at 13:38:08

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Your right Colin...wherever I lay my hat..thats my the song says... but it’s true, you make of the place you live, work etc what YOU want. and as for Brian’s aside re Z Cars.. you wanna have a word with yourself mate, scrap Z cars?! it is and always will be our tune... and it comes from a show based in....Kirby....
Steve Williams
5   Posted 19/07/2007 at 14:11:15

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Thank you Colin. The reality and the future in one great article. I wish it wasn’t Kirby too but there is no other way right now without us the fans ending up paying financially or the club going into massive debt and taking a huge gamble. Shunned by the council & no investor wants to take a chance. Unless Liverpool are ever relegated they will always be the media darlings but they can’t take ’My Everton’ and ’Your Everton away’ - wherever that might be.
6   Posted 19/07/2007 at 16:26:09

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I can only agree with the comments on the City vs Kirby debate is different if you live outside the City. As woolly backs from St Helens, my whole family has a lifelong history of support for EFC with two members being season ticket holders literally ?until the day they died? ? at over 80 years of age. We are all proud to be ?born blues?. The debate on the ground move has many parallels with St Helens RLFC ? the most successful and attractive team in the modern Superleague era and arguably in the history of the Rugby League. The Club has supposedly been moving to a new ground for 10 years or more. The plans have been dogged by many of the same debates as the Kirby farce - the ill-will of some supporters (moving from the historical site of over 100 years, can?t walk to ground, no local atmosphere etc) plus an inept Local Council (grants lost due to slow decision making, politically motivated in-fighting, blah blah) and sponsors pulling out (red-tape and enforced conditions). The fact remains that, despite matchless on-pitch success and a literally fanatical fan base, Saints have nowhere near enough money to do it themselves. The current status of this project (re-activated a few weeks ago with a crescendo of council trumpets) is that a planning application has gone in, the land has been given free by the Council and a ?sponsor? has been found to provide the usual mix of retail shopping, leisure & sports facilities etc. (ring any bells?). Saints fans yet again wait with bated breath to see if anything at all will actually happen in practice - Saints have the success but need a new ground - Everton don?t have either. Last season, Saints won every single competition they played in, attracted far above league average attendances and received more TV income than their rivals. The reality for Saints is that a one hundred and twelve year old ground in a heavily built up area is no longer viable and there is also no Dave Whelan (the ?Abramovich? of both Wigan RLFC and FC) on the horizon. It is the nature of modern televised sports and proof if need be (albeit on a far smaller scale) that success on the pitch doesn?t necessarily lead to riches off it. Whichever way you look at it, it is a ridiculously blinkered to believe that moving Goodison Park a short distance over a line on a map, regardless of the reasons, is precluded from happening simply because the line exists. Having said that, the admission that ?there is no plan B? is possibly even more ridiculous, particularly coming from a Business Development Manager who, by definition, should create, attract, explore and expand business options for a living. Outside of the North West, many people think that all of Merseyside, including St Helens, is part of Liverpool. The ?Keep EFC in the City? brigade reminds me, sadly, of the ?keep St Helens in Lancashire? campaign of 40 years ago ? an admirable viewpoint but in the end doomed to failure by forces outside our control.

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