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'There goes my hero...'

By Chris Rudd :  12/11/2007 :  Comments (11) :
All too infrequently in life you can look back on a week and find yourself luxuriating in the pleasure of a warm glow. Last week was one such week.

After the dramatic last ten minutes at the EasyCredit Stadion I found myself in a Nuremberg bar after midnight nursing a kalt one and thinking back to the previous Saturday evening and a similarly, although not directly comparable, joyful event as the Foo Fighters (Okay we?re not here to discuss my musical taste) blasted through a two hour set at the arena in Manchester.

In particular a song lyric came back to me which on that night in Nuremberg had a more than appropriate resonance... ?There goes my him as he goes. There goes my hero...he?s ordinary?. It struck me that there was something rather Evertonian in that sentiment.

When we look back on the heady days of the mid 80?s and compare that Toffee?s team with the one that appears to be moulding itself into a similarly efficient and pleasing unit today (okay I accept we?ve got a way to go yet but bear with me) a common thread seems to be the lack of ?star names? or ?glamour players?. Okay, to Bluenoses everywhere they?re all (well most of them) stars ? I mean we all know there?s nobody better than Mikel Arteta ? but it?s the team that counts, much like it was when Reidy, Tricky Trevor, Sheeds, Big Nev and co bestrode Goodison to become legends in all our hearts.

I watched Lee Carsley ?picking up all the bits? on Thursday evening, Cahill, Piennar and Osman interchanging and working their socks off, even the Yak covering huge amounts of ground to create time and space for others. All working for the common good rather than individual glory. Even after Big Victor?s match winning cameo he was quick to praise others, in particular the man he?d replaced. I think that kind of selflessness is very Evertonian and we love it in a player.

We love it when an Aussie talks about the special bond he has with the club, when a mad Dane is so thrilled to be back at Goodison, when a big daft Scotsman points all around the crowd and mouths ?you?re all quality? and when a cherished ex-player says ?once Everton has touched you, nothing is ever the same again?.

Likewise, the ordinary men, women and children that came together to form the extraordinary ?wave of passion? that Nuremberg welcomed, it has to be said, with open arms. They, whether they realised it or not, were witnessing something a little bit special ? a club and its public regaining its pride, together. A public that had come primarily from Merseyside, but also from starting points across England and indeed across the world.

I would, I guess, be called a ?wool? coming from Lancashire and I met and enjoyed the company of passionate fans from as far afield as Norway (thanks for the offer of the Russian vodka), Ireland, the States and Ellesmere Port all celebrating their passion for Everton together. To quote another Foos lyric...?it?s times like these we learn to live again, it?s times like these we learn to love again?.

We?ve all seen some pretty dreadful stuff at Goodison since those ?glory days? but you stick by the team and wait for nights like Thursday to come along and enjoy it for all you?re worth. So thanks to those ?ordinary heroes? for their efforts on the pitch. Thanks to all those fellow Bluenoses for their passionate support (an underground journey will never be the same again|), exemplary behaviour (take note, Uefa ? you broad tar brush artists) and typically witty banners.

In particular, to the other 3 guys who kept me company and made me feel a little less isolated surrounded by about 200 Nurembergers in the centre of Block 28. Thanks to those good people of Nuremberg (It?d be nice to think we could extend the same welcome to them one day) for their welcome, their noisy fans, their hospitality, their beer (note to Aldi ? get more in next time) and their police ? organised, approachable, helpful and whose presence, rather than spoiling a great day, added to it by giving the local fans a feeling of security so that they could join in and add to the carnival atmosphere.

Unfortunately I won?t be going to Alkmaar (Can?t they play it at the Ajax arena then we can all get in?) but hopefully there?ll be other great European nights coming up in the New Year and more opportunities to show the footballing world what it means to be an Evertonian and what can happen when ordinary individuals get together to create something very special. Happy days. Auf weidersehen La!

Reader Comments

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Steve Linden
1   Posted 12/11/2007 at 14:22:50

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The fact we?ve waited so long is what made Thursday so special.

Thanks to Nurnberg, their people and the police for being so welcoming and organised.
Kevin Hudson
2   Posted 12/11/2007 at 14:51:12

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Wonderful article. So proud to be a blue . . .
Phil Smith
3   Posted 12/11/2007 at 15:03:36

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I was sat in the stand at the half way line to the right of the Everton end and I have to say that whilst there was the usual beer fuelled exhuberance from the Everton fans before and after the game the Nuremburg fans gave us a lesson in how to support a team during the game. They sang a variety of songs from the beginning to the end. One notable one being "You only sing when your winning".
I had a mate saying that the Everton fans were too tired and pissed to sing but they managed it after we scored.
It was particularly noticable because our away support is usually very vocal. However its no new thing to hear opposing supporters at Goodison sing "Shall we sing you a song" or you only sing when your winning".
If we want to be able to claim to be up there with the best supporters in the world and so genuinely deserve to have one of the best teams in the world we have to start with the crowd inspiring the team to play out off their skins every match. Instead of at the moment waiting for the team to inspire us to get behind them by scoring goals. Yes the atmosphere at Goodison can be up there with the best but only occasionally. We expect consistently passionate performances from Everton players; well in my opinion that should be inspired by consistenly passionate support from the fans not the other way around.
Hughie Foy
4   Posted 12/11/2007 at 15:25:23

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I would like thank our tour director of Sweeneys Tours for another unforgetable trip to Germany. Great three days again lad, keep up the good work. Great people... police... result.
Michael Newton
5   Posted 12/11/2007 at 16:01:09

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The Everton fans were a credit to the club the city, the Merseyside area and to themselves in Nuremberg

"I tifosi sono il cuore di calcio (the fans are
the heart of football)" .
John Charles, one of the greatest centre-forward’s ever.
for Wales, Swansea Town, Leeds United, Juventus, Roma, speaking to
Turin newspaper "La Stampa", October 1960
Mark Ledbetter
6   Posted 13/11/2007 at 10:50:33

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That's it, I?m startin a campaign to have "my hero" blasted out after every win by the us blues. the shite can stick YNWA right up their arse.
William Haigh
7   Posted 13/11/2007 at 17:31:43

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Mark, Oh why do you have to go and spoil the tone of the excellent first article, and well reasoned responses, and even the good idea proposed in the earlier part of your comments, by using that language (vitriol) in your last sentence. I know I?m getting on a bit but I can well remember the Final (Milk Cup, I think?) which ended in a draw between Liverpool & Everton, when ALL the fans sang "Merseyside, Merseyside....." can?t recall which tune was used and asked "Are you watching Manchester?" Even at the last Derby, on TV I noticed blue/white & red/white scarves on fans seated together. That?s what it used to be like on Merseyside - fans were drawn for both "the Blues" & "the Reds" from the same families. Seems, from what I saw on TV that this still happens AND we never hear about rival Everton & Liverpool fans fighting after these matches do we? So why such hate for our Merseyside rivals? For all that, I agree playing "My Hero" at our games would be great.
Rob Paterson
8   Posted 13/11/2007 at 22:36:40

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When you read a piece as good as this, well it’s enough to make you heart go wooo. Enough said.
James Power
9   Posted 14/11/2007 at 14:29:32

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Chris - great article - enjoyed it very much, really nice tone to the whole article and the comments underneath. Phil - totally agree with your points re the singing - I had a season ticket in the Park end for about 5 years in the 90’s and there were about 7 of us, really enjoyed it and fuelled with 2 or 3 bevs, would get the singing going, try a few new chants - and people responded, - you only need a few people to get things going.... come on boys!!

and Mihero - lovely end note - more power to you my friend - COYB!!
Titus McCready
10   Posted 15/11/2007 at 08:54:14

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At last! Someone other than me who is fed up with all this "Red Shite" nonsense. William Haigh is right, apart from Merseyside derbies there are very few matches where opposing fans sit together. This RS rubbish is borderline racist, or unpleasantly mindless at best. It is only a short step from "Red Shite" to "Paki" or "Nigger". I am not suggesting for a minute that any of our fellow fans are actually racist but this sort of language is always how racism breeds. Stop the name calling and spread a little love why not.
neal king
11   Posted 16/11/2007 at 20:05:25

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RE titus, get a fucking grip, its because of people like you that in todays world you cant say blackboard or ba ba black sheep,
ive got many red friends and its exactly the same for them football banter goes on between us bluenoses and the red shite.
take your head for a shake will you!!!

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