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?Once They Were Great?

By Ged Simpson :  04/08/2007 :  Comments (14) :
I went to the KEIOC presentation as someone leaning towards Kirkby but not sure. St Georges Hall was a bit shambolic but I was moved by the effort put in by this passionate group. This was my latest attempt to compare plans and budgets without any skills in land development or accountancy.

Surrounded by debate, I drifted back 40 years. Walking through Liverpool on match day, double stepping to keep up with the tight grip of my Dad, proud to be with thousands of fans clutching a programme. Everton were our team and from Liverpool. Liverpool?? a big, magical city that I was also proud of and where my family was rooted.

At primary school I stood eye to eye with any Reds fan regardless of results at the time. My chest swelled and eyes filled when we both filled Wembley and gave the rest of the country a true spectacle.

Now I am closer to 50 than 40. I am more rational now. I live in idyllic Cheshire and life is pretty good. But there is a constant ritual. Every single day of my life I still check on news about my team from Liverpool. I dream, I worry. I sulk. I make excuses. But I love that club from Liverpool.

So now my middle-aged sophisticated mind has been trying to assess development plans and cut through spin. Make a rational decision. Yesterday, as I made my way across the city to go back to work, I saw many people with the KEIOC leaflet in their hands and all I could here in my head was "One city - One Club - Liverpool"

I wondered would I still be checking on my club every day if my Dad?s tight grip had been taking me onto a tram to travel to Kirkby. Would I have stood eye to eye with another kid who supported that team in red from Liverpool? If we move to Kirkby I will be forced to agree with a Red who says ?One city - One Club - Liverpool"

I reckon many fans will just give up on the club in the face of that ?? or at least their kids will. I can see a stadium in Kirkby half-full, sad songs echoing around, only to be drowned out by Colchester fans singing "Who are you?"

My gut feeling is increasingly we are on the verge of a calamity being forced on us by a short term perspective and LFC's new stadium. If you want your kids to follow you and support the Blues you need to be able to tell them they are "our team." Could you do that if we moved ?

I left last season behind with great optimism... I fear I may look back at Spring 2007 and realise that was the last time I truly felt that.

Emotive. Sentimental. Yeah, you bet. Just like the tear-filled eyes Bill K shows us so often. But it is the fans' emotion and loyalty that will ultimately put money in the club. So be careful if you can vote. Realise you have a duty to the next generation of fans and that it is not just about you having a nice place to piss.

I worry that when I retire here in Cheshire, I will quietly sneak in alone from the garden, pour a drink and turn on the TV. As I watch ?Once They Were Great? on Sky I might see my Dad. Before my ?better half? comes in and switches over??? to watch that team from Liverpool play live.

Reader Comments

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Danny Mullally
1   Posted 04/08/2007 at 15:01:29

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Ged,

I agree with your sentiments, and it really does sadden me to tarnish what has been a positive season with this spun "deal of the century". I am not going to go over old ground by raising this farce once more, but I am now bracing myself for the biggest decision in the clubs history. I truly hope that there are more fans like us, who can see the long term implications of shipping out of Liverpool. Out of ’site’ out of mind.
Dress it up how you want folks, it will be the beginning of the end for us if we move across to the hot bed of passionate traditional football country-Knowsley.
In my opinion there are bigger decisions that should be made-like Wyness and Kenwright doing the right thing and stepping aside. What a farce of a summer it has been-and the only people I blame for that is the Board.
Gav Jones
2   Posted 04/08/2007 at 23:15:17

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I certainly agree with you on one thing Ged - the toilets. Whenever people mention the pluses of a new ground they go on about the toilets. I couldn’t give a f*ck where I pissed as long as we’re winning games. Infact I’d maybe go as far as saying I enjoy the foul stench of the Goodison toilets, it makes me proud.
Stevie Mac
3   Posted 05/08/2007 at 00:05:21

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Ged, shit post the fella was speaking from his heart and that is where our club belong. NO HEART NO EVERTON!!!
Stevie Mac
4   Posted 05/08/2007 at 00:09:39

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sorry Ged, i meant Gav!!!!!
John Charles
5   Posted 05/08/2007 at 00:54:59

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Its 6 miles. I will vote yes and I grew up on Anfield Road. I will vote for progress evolution and amibition.

I will respect all who vote no and understand the reasons why, but let me turn the tables:

Here you are presented with a choice. To stay at a 115 year old stadium out of love, or not be daring, take a bold brave step and move to a very very good stadium for next to nothing. With this stadium we instantly become a financially sound club able to spend season on season - you want more seasons like this - sell before buying? lets just stay at goodison.

With respect - sincerely.
Jay Woods
6   Posted 05/08/2007 at 04:31:25

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Ged, only now that EFC faces the prospect of a move outside the city of Liverpool have Evertonians been citing the name of the city that hitherto I, as a non-Scouser Evertonian, perceived to be unmentionable to you all. All my life it has been "Merseyside derby", "pride of Merseyside", "Mersey clubs", "Merseyside" this, that and the other. I always felt you lot didn’t use the name "Liverpool" in the past because it was too readily associated with LFC.
Derek Thomas
7   Posted 05/08/2007 at 07:14:11

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Ged: what a post, absofuckinlutly spot on.

As for you Mr. John Charles, bearer of such an illustrious name... ’with this stadium we become instantly financially sound’...I have never heard such pie in the sky unmitigated bollocks in all my life. The only reason we have no money and have to sell before buying is thas cash is in the pot to fund this debacle.

The Toffeeweb poll gives the clues, if any where needed and in big 70ish percentages ...Q9...then on to the ’Hobsons choice’of Q13 and the clincher Q15. Which all boils done to...Yes we know that Goodison is getting past it’s sell by date and if Kirkby ticks the Boxes viz a viz Goodison AND there was NO WHERE ELSE ON OFFER!!! then thats it....But Q15. if anywhere else came up that was viable then it’s goodnight vienna to Kirkby.

Get the team right and in the CL more seasons than not and the money and investors will present themselves. Then and only then will the revenue streams flow, the shirts, the big business wankers, more bigger and often Sky TV money.

Build it and they will come is all field of dreams hollywood shmaltz...PEOPLE WILL COME TO SEE A GOOD TEAM!!
Phil Smith
8   Posted 05/08/2007 at 10:52:57

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John Charles listen to yourself "Do you want more seasons like this waiting to sell before we buy". There are two possible reasons for this situation either horrendous financial mismanagement from the board or deliberate manipulation to cause a yes vote out of desperation not to have another summer like this. Either possibility should give you no confidence in the board to follow them to the economic and cultural wasteland that is Kikby in Lancashire. How many more of you Yes voters are allowing deliberately manufactuered desperation to vote to get out of the city because the competition is too hot. The really pathetic thing is that even by KW’s own maths we would only have an extra £10 million to spend on players a year and you would give up the city for that.
Blue In Bolton
9   Posted 05/08/2007 at 11:57:30

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Re..Jay Woods..

Spot on fella, nail on the head, etc etc.

Whatever happened to Merseyside..?
John
10   Posted 05/08/2007 at 11:58:24

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Goodison has given us plenty of memories.. But has there been enough ? Sure over the past 50 years there has been some epic games, but not enough for me.. Where are the big european nights ? Ok so we were banned from europe, but if you looks back on the past 20 years since we won the league, there hasnt been too much to cheer about. Everton can do better than this and I feel the new ground is our platform to progress further and start playing at a standard we all want..

Bring it on..
Steve Ryan
11   Posted 05/08/2007 at 12:19:17

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Excellent article Ged,
hopefully the Bestway option will be financially viable. According to a number of sources coming from the St. Georges Hall forum, Kenwright has actually been in discussions with Bellway and LCC regarding the inner city site for the past 3 months. I wonder if this explains why he is not pushing the Kirkby option at present.
robert carney
12   Posted 05/08/2007 at 21:09:52

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All the articles on this site today provest he vote is swinging to No.

Come on Bill. join us before you regret it for the rest of your life.

I hope this site is reaching all the Evertonians that matter at this historic moment. VOTE NO.
Michael Brien
13   Posted 06/08/2007 at 12:12:41

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Great article Ged - to put it mildly - a timely reminder of our history, our heritage and what it means to be an Evertonian.
I am sat here at my desk during my lunch break, in an office in the centre of Lincoln. On my desk is a framed A4 picture of Everton 1956-57: why that season ? Well I was born on 10th August 1957- so it should really be a picture of the 1957-58 team, I am still on the lookout for that.
I remember being first taken to Goodison by my Dad back in the 1960’s.It was a magical place to a 7 year old back in 1964, like Rivendell in the Lord of the Rings books or Camelot.Romantic notions - yes you bet, when it comes to Goodison.Even going past on days when there’s not a match there, sets the hairs on the back of my neck tingling.
Sadly I can’t get to Goodison as often as I would like, so I tape anything and everything I can find on TV about my beloved blues.I look at any and every web site I can for any news, even for the reserve team results.
I know that some people have been rather critical of Evertonians who feel we should stay at Goodison, try and rebuild ( just like Newcastle Utd did with St James) or look for another site in the city of Liverpool. The Kirkby site is seen as being the answer to all our problems. If you are against it it would seem that you are in danger of being labelled emotive and sentimental.
Well as I come up to my 50th birthday and my 43rd year of being an Evertonian - I am proud to be emotive and sentimental about Everton and anything and everything to do with Everton - including Goodison.Blimey even the mention of the name makes me emotional, I shall have to be careful I’ve got 4 hours work to do after lunch !!
The point is for all of you who have the vote - please take into account our history, our traditions and our heritage."If you know your history..." is more than just a great song - It means everything or should do if you’re an Evertonian.
Michael Brien
14   Posted 06/08/2007 at 12:12:41

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Great article Ged - to put it mildly - a timely reminder of our history, our heritage and what it means to be an Evertonian.
I am sat here at my desk during my lunch break, in an office in the centre of Lincoln. On my desk is a framed A4 picture of Everton 1956-57: why that season ? Well I was born on 10th August 1957- so it should really be a picture of the 1957-58 team, I am still on the lookout for that.
I remember being first taken to Goodison by my Dad back in the 1960’s.It was a magical place to a 7 year old back in 1964, like Rivendell in the Lord of the Rings books or Camelot.Romantic notions - yes you bet, when it comes to Goodison.Even going past on days when there’s not a match there, sets the hairs on the back of my neck tingling.
Sadly I can’t get to Goodison as often as I would like, so I tape anything and everything I can find on TV about my beloved blues.I look at any and every web site I can for any news, even for the reserve team results.
I know that some people have been rather critical of Evertonians who feel we should stay at Goodison, try and rebuild ( just like Newcastle Utd did with St James) or look for another site in the city of Liverpool. The Kirkby site is seen as being the answer to all our problems. If you are against it it would seem that you are in danger of being labelled emotive and sentimental.
Well as I come up to my 50th birthday and my 43rd year of being an Evertonian - I am proud to be emotive and sentimental about Everton and anything and everything to do with Everton - including Goodison.Blimey even the mention of the name makes me emotional, I shall have to be careful I’ve got 4 hours work to do after lunch !!
The point is for all of you who have the vote - please take into account our history, our traditions and our heritage."If you know your history..." is more than just a great song - It means everything or should do if you’re an Evertonian.

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