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Pride, Passion & Belief

By Craig Heywood :  09/11/2007 :  Comments (7) :

Oh, to be a Blue!

After reading a couple of interesting articles recently about what makes an Evertonian, I think last night's result could go a long way to explaining what it means to be a Blue no matter what your background is.

I?m 28, grew up just outside Blackburn and started supporting the Blues when I was 6. I think it was mainly down to Gary Lineker and that royal blue top with the white bib at the top. So, since that title winning team of 1987 it?s been a bleak and baron spell in Everton?s illustrious history. An FA Cup and 4th-place finish apart the football has been atrocious, the managers have come and gone and Everton have at times been on their knees, almost down and out. The last 20 years involving mainly relegation fights, bad signings, poor football and nothing to cling on to has left me at times emotionally drained. Head in hands asking myself will we ever be great again?

There?ve been moments where I?ve started to think, "maybe, just maybe," only to be brought back down to earth with an almighty thump. The 4th-place finish followed by the short Champions League jaunt and probably one of the worst moments I can remember as a Blue watching the debacle of Dinamo Bucaresti., followed that season with the 4-0 defeat away to West Brom. I honestly believe that all of these moments have contributed to how I feel today.

Last season was a good one. Top 6 finish and European qualification, a chance to heal some wounds from two seasons before. With some good signings in the summer and exciting youth prospects in Vaughan and Anichebe I approached this season with the same excitement and belief that maybe this could be our year, but with that nagging feeling at the back of my mind telling me we?ve been here before!

Metalist Kharkiv was a heart stopper, the Blues putting me through the mill like only they can! Then on to the group stage and a relief and excitement that we made it. A good draw followed and now we knew we could enjoy at least four European nights and, who knows...? A convincing win over Lariss,a which was expected really, and next to Nuremburg to face a much tougher opposition.

Last night I watched the game at home, unable to go due to work commitments (I?m going to Holland come what may!). I was nervous, this is the sort of game where the Blues would bring me back down to earth with a bang, surely?

Not this time, though, and last night 20 years of emotions that had been held deep within exploded and I sang, I danced, I shook my fist at the TV and I wept with joy. Last night was the night that I had waited so long for and now it has come I have this feeling inside that makes me want to stand on my desk at work and scream:


...until I pass out or I?m removed by security!!

So what makes an Evertonian?

The history that?s gone before them and the hope and belief that history will be made in their lifetime.


Reader Comments

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Steve Williams
1   Posted 10/11/2007 at 00:57:23

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Don’t know what else to add. None of us know what the fuure holds but at least we’re all Evertonians together. We all know what the late, greats Alan Ball and Brian Labone said. You know what - they were so right.
Santosh Benjamin
2   Posted 10/11/2007 at 01:32:06

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Your article made my eyes fill up...i feel the same way as you...its been a tough 20 years as an Everton fan for me too...but i am hoping that things are changing for the better....COYB
Brian Hill
3   Posted 10/11/2007 at 11:46:02

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Thanks for a great read. I live in Cape Town where every second bloke wears a ’soccer’ jersey of you know who and when I say I support Everton they look at me with that gormless expression that all your RS acquaintances have all of the time. I was born within shouting distance of Goodison and of the many things I miss about home the camaraderie of Bluenoses is close to the top of the list. We disagree, sometimes violently, on many subjects, but I wouldn’t swap one Evertonian for the world. When I see somebody wearing their RS/Manure/Chelski/Arse (they are interchangeable here, depending on which is the most successful at the time) jersey, I can laugh inwardly in the knowledge that I support Everton and they don’t and they have no idea of the difference. I love this club, no matter what.
Tony Hawkins
4   Posted 10/11/2007 at 12:36:59

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Hey Craig, I was 10 at the time I started supporting Everton - 1986 and when Lineker was doing the stuff before moving to Barcelona!! Since then it has been what can only be called a baron spell interjected with fleeting glimpses of what we once had (FA cup runs) and what could be once again (top 4 - 7 finish’s).

I have the Everton Shirt of two seasons ago after we finished in 4th with the expectancy of more but harsh realities came home to roost - but I wear it with pride! I believe that season was the biggest learning and turning point for all involved in the modern day Everton setup.

I digress. I live in East Anglia and In all honesty the closest I’ve ever been to Goodison Park is North Wales. It makes me no less of a fan as we’ve all shared in the pain and heartbreaks whilst celebrating the relative successes and breakthroughs we’ve had in recent times.

Man U, Spurs, LP, Arsenal and even Newcastle fans have looked at me in disbelief over the years as I’ve admitted (let’s face it, sometimes that’s what it feels like!) to being an Everton fan. First there’s the initial look of surprise on their faces followed by a glib "what’s it like at the other end of the table?" or similar comments. In the last season there’s been the "what’s it like to be a small club?" from the usual sources.

You know what? I’d NEVER trade any of that to switch teams - I couldn’t. For all the pain and anxiety we’ve been through there’s something special about being an Everton fan.

Yes, it could all go pearshaped in the not too distant future but right now I’m holding on to what looks and feels like a resurgence!

Thursday night I danced and (quietly as others were in bed) sang as Anichebe came on to create one goal and score another!!! I am proud to be blue and it feels like we’re starting to get what we deserved all these years!!

Come on!!!
John Lloyd
5   Posted 10/11/2007 at 22:27:21

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Ha Ha, what a fucking piece!!

Still laughing at the thougt of you getting lashed out by security at your gaff. But that is how we all felt pal, or at least I think it is. Pride, passion, it.

There has been a good few articles on here recently about the qualities of being an Evertoninan and what makes us special, no fuck it, BETTER than all others but this was up there mate. Well done, loved it.

Hopefully we can put one up the millionaire russisn prick on tomorrow & then march on & up.

It really is a grand old team to play for & a grand old team to support isnt it?
Jim Lloyd
6   Posted 10/11/2007 at 23:52:57

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Craig. Magic post. I don’t know what’s going on here but (as ThunderclapNewman once sung) there’s something in the air!
It’s like we’re chucking off the decades of despair.
Tony, what was it that made you an Evertonian? let’s know. But whatever it was, get down to the grand old lady, before the silly sods sell our birthright, and leave Liverpool.
Great posts.
Tony Hawkins
7   Posted 11/11/2007 at 02:16:04

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I can only really say fate, Jim. Fate is what made me support Everton. In primary school, we used to support one team after another Man U, Arsenal, Spurs, Liverpool - the usual lot and I got "bored" so decided to pick a team for myself and it’s been the same one ever since. I would be lying if I denied Linekers’ influence in the decision but it’s stuck all the same.

One of my plans for next year (2008) is to visit Goodison Park - another is to go see more concerts!!

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