The 'Friendly Derby', I concluded, was just a myth and part of their (local BBC) agenda. So I ignored it because I didn't recognize it.
The myth may have been assumed to have substance following the very special circumstances of Hillsbrough, with Everton mementos appearing in rememberance on the streets and on the Kop and the divide temporarily bridged by grief. Perhaps this was further fortified by the chanting of 'Merseyside, Merseyside' at Wembley. But these were very special circumstances and if there was ever the prospect of our Derbies being friendly, that possibility was killed stone dead by the snide and sarcasm of the late 'grate' (sic) Bill Shankly. (I won't repeat the remarks, we all know them...)
I have just read the article in the Times concerning the loss of the 'Friendly Derby', by following the link on the home page and I was amazed that the myth of the 'Friendly Derby' was being perpetuated there too! What they confuse with friendliness are the differences between our football divide and those of other similar rivalries. Ours has nothing to do with religion or politics.
Ours has nothing to do with race or culture or what part of Rome or Milan we live in or whether we believe our part of the world should be independent of where the other club live. Ours cuts across families but is nevertheless just as tribal. Some of us will have parents of differing persuasions, I know I did, and while I love my brother, he is still a Kopite (and an arrogant one at that) and I can't stand him when football is the issue.
This strange sort of partizanship, probably unique on a scale as large as this, did allow the events after Hillsborough to happen when they wouldn't have happened on such a scale anywhere else and has probably served to keep physical violence between supporters to a minimum which is exceptional when compared to other such rivalries.
But this doesn't mean I want to be friendly at a Derby match. I loathe our neighbours with a passion and their result is always the second I look for in the hope that it was a defeat. Nothing would give me greater pleasure than to see them go to the wall as a result of their massive debts and their owner's inability to pay them back to the Bank. I will never physically assault a Kopite nor join in the Gerrard chants which have become so infamous, but that doesn't mean I do not hate the buggers with an everlasting passion.
Friendly Derby? In 46 years of watching them they have never been friendly to me... it is just that we have a peculiar way of showing our unfriendliness on Merseyside don't we?
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1 Posted 20/01/2009 at 22:10:30
Worst of all (I live in Sydney) is the non-scousers that support them, who are even worse....again, being brought up on the myth of Liverpool being the ’greatest team in the world’’. It will all come crashing down soon, when they (and others) go to the wall and the fat spanish waiter walks away......at least my kid brother is a Tranmere fan (bless, youth of today don’t know any better!!!)
2 Posted 20/01/2009 at 23:21:51
If we say they won?t win the league because Man Utd have a better squad and are built to improve-bitter.
If we say that at times their manager has made tactical errors and they have cost Liverpool-bitter.
If we believe signings like Bellamy, Kuyt, Pennant, Lucas etc etc are not the standard to win the Premier-we?re fucking bitter!!
No we are not. Most Evertonians are also football fans and therefore can see that they are not a great side, but this cannot be said as they just laugh or sneer and say ?typical bitter blue?.
As a kid it was obvious that Liverpool and Everton had a mutual understanding that we wanted the other to lose every game and then most of the time good banter would ensue. These days they?re more interested in Man Utd.
A classic one which sums it up was Champions League Final last year. Watching it in the Dunnys Club on Rice Lane the final pen went in to choruses of fuck off as expected.
One gobshite stood up and went ?fuck thats no win, its was only on pens!? Ha- i just screamed ?have youse ever won anything NOT on pens??
Every club has dickhead fans, fickle and unknowledgeable but the fact we?re all now ?bitter? is just an easy way to see why ten red shite are not worth one Evertonian.
3 Posted 20/01/2009 at 23:42:55
I guess this makes MU, MC, Oldham, Bury etc supporters all ’bitter’. These kopshites ought to get out more.
4 Posted 21/01/2009 at 06:38:50
5 Posted 21/01/2009 at 10:05:48
One alleged RS ’fan’ who (once he’s had a look at the results in the paper, naturally) never fails to have a pop at me, didn’t even know they were fucking playing us on Monday night!
6 Posted 21/01/2009 at 10:12:12
Someone had painted a red headband on Dixie and apparently the Hilsborough memorial had been covered in blue paint...
There was murder that day...I nearly got a bottle over the head in the Oak for wearing a cork top...
Being from Belfast i’m used to a bit of mindless rioting...but this stuff seemed to be more pointless than usual..
7 Posted 21/01/2009 at 11:09:27
I look at the ’Bitters’ tag with a different view.
I would tell any Dark Side fan that they’re are damn right I’m bitter, because I can catalogue many instances over 30 years of ’reasons to be’ (as the great Steve Walsh would sing).
My brother (RS fan) was going down to Monday’s match from Tyneside where we live and I advised him that relations are not what they might have once been between the two sets of fans and to be careful.He launched into a tirade about how he goes to derbies every year and he’s never seen any trouble.
I couldn’t seem to dissuade him from this rather naive romantic view he still holds and I’ll tell you why.It’s because a a Liverpool fan he doesn’t have any resentments to harbour unlike us ’Bitters’.I think it’s that simple.
When have they ever been shafted by EFC directly or by others to our benefit?No,I can’t think of any such occasions either.
8 Posted 21/01/2009 at 11:17:57
For god sake, will they ever wake up and realize they are all so disillusioned about the club, that by all accounts are in worse debt than us by asking the bank to give them six more months to start re-paying the loan ? ?FACT?
they have a waiter who doesn?t want to wait on the Gobshites for much longer,
Due to problems with the aforementioned owners who seem to want to pick the players just as much as the waiter does.
His King Kev rant was a classic moment of comedy ? FACT
What a fool, What a complete fool..
Ged a quick note about us ?The peoples Club? I totally agree with you, We are football fans, that?s why we are Evertonians, We follow our hearts and give our footballing option to anyone who will listen to us, But its seems that no-one is allowed to mention how shite & lucky the RSGS are, how in some cases the waiter makes a mistake?. But then we are all ?BITTER BLUES? what a load of horse cock that comment is, We know, We Believe, We understand exactly where we are & where we want to be, We know what we have to work with, and we get on it with it, NO rants about who should pick the league fixtures, No rants about how many top teams we have to play ?at home? consecutively in fact no rants at all & that?s a FACT?.
Did you hear Moyes Rant about playing the top six teams in the league for the last six games of the season a few years ago, NO we just got on with it?.
We are ?The Peoples Club? FACT
All ?kopites? are ?Gobshites? FACT
Bring on Sunday
9 Posted 21/01/2009 at 12:08:13
If I disliked a person just because they’re a Liverpool fan I’d be a tit. Yes they might call me a bitter blue but I’ll then call them a gobshite back. It’s not malice it’s just banter and it’s a bit of fun.
10 Posted 21/01/2009 at 12:40:09
I think the contrived moniker of ’the people’s club’ has kind of went to some people’s head..
11 Posted 21/01/2009 at 12:36:32
What I can’t understand is this ’friendly’ tag. My grandfather would not allow anything red in his house, this was before Heysel. I’m not into fighting with them but I can’t stand their gimmicks, their flag waving to that shit song, their poor knowledge of how a game should be played, their famous but silent Kop, and their twat of a manager. The worst thing is this tripe of doing things "the Liverpool way", which their classless manager seems to be going against.
12 Posted 21/01/2009 at 16:26:04
I tell them that I am bitter because of the outcome of a very shameful event in the Shite?s history, so everytime they call a Blue a bitter, they are actually recalling a very shameful event.
13 Posted 21/01/2009 at 17:35:14
14 Posted 21/01/2009 at 18:27:02
"How come you reckon we?re bitter, your more bitter than us"! "Oh no we?re not," they replied. Mate's reply, "You fuckin hate Man U, also fuckin hate Chelsea, also fuckin hate Arsenal... in fact you fuckin hate anyone that?s won the Premiership! However, we only fuckin HATE YOU!! So how come were so bitter? NOW FUCK OFF!!"
Well, I thought it was funny .
15 Posted 21/01/2009 at 18:32:56
Unfortunately, my husband is a red and I even got married in my Everton Shirt and him in his shitty top. Come the end of the derbies we don?t even talk about the game until a week later. At the moment he is pissed off and I don?t care not one little bit. It doesn?t mean I don?t love him but when it comes to My Everton and derbies, for that one day I can?t bear him. Friendly, my arse.
16 Posted 21/01/2009 at 19:22:44
Jacqui, getting married in footie shirts is fucking mad.
17 Posted 21/01/2009 at 20:12:18
Such is the rivalry and tribal nature of support within our city. I may not reside there anymore but my heart, my family and my "tribe" are there.
Scousers blue or red, never had the arrogance of Manc supporters, but the RS have adopted it lock stock and barrel.
The influx of support the RS have from other parts of the country (world) has brought with it that arrogance. Whilst Everton fans exist everywhere, they don;t have the fly by night supporters who know nothing of the club, its history or its pride.
We truely are a class above that.
We are BETTER Blues
Just tell them they can’t spell either...
18 Posted 21/01/2009 at 21:05:19
One time he was serious though was when he was addressing a formal function, speaking of a famous player Shankley said: he "? was the greatest centre-forward there will ever be ? He belongs to the company of the supremely great . . . like Beethoven, Shakespeare and Rembrandt".
Note, he said he "was the greatest centre-forward there will EVER be...".
Who was he speaking of? A certain William Ralph Dean.
Yes, there are some Reds who know a bit about football.
19 Posted 22/01/2009 at 06:23:28
Nothing you said then Ciaran ?
20 Posted 22/01/2009 at 08:44:02
21 Posted 22/01/2009 at 15:10:19
I?d like to meet your mate. That is a fucking cracker but Oh so true! I will have to remember it for my next joust!
I know what you mean about Shankly. In many ways he was the manager we should have had. While a lot of what he said was in a way ?tongue in cheek? he knew exactly what he was doing. When he arrived it was Everton who were the big club in Liverpool, it was us who had the history, the tradition and the success. He needed a higher profile for his club and he did that in the first instance by getting a higher profile for himself. He made himself a darling of the press with insulting comments especially about Everton as a way of diminishing the role of the ?bigger? club at the time. This is all well and good except anybody such as he, who could and did say that football was more important than life and death, must have known the impact it would have on Evertonians.
These were the seeds of not only the great divide, but also of the arrogance of today?s Kopites even though most were not born until after Shankly died. Shankly was a good manager and an even better publicist. But he did not do the relationship between his club and ours any favours and he set the tone for everything that followed.
When did you last hear a Man U manager taking the piss about City... or an Arsenal manager taking the mickey out of Spurs... or vice versa? I never have and ?tongue in cheek? or not, Shankly was the first, to my knowledge, or in my experience, to do anything like that. And for me, that diminishes the man in my eyes.
22 Posted 22/01/2009 at 16:46:36
Thanks for clearing that up- I thought a cork top was an Australian hat.
23 Posted 22/01/2009 at 17:40:27
24 Posted 22/01/2009 at 21:15:19
I have come to despise the shite and have reflected upon this shift of consciousness many times in the last few years. I (fortunately, or unfortunately, depending on your historic perspective) grew up exposed to the most beauitiful of games in the mythical time of the late 70s and early 80s, when as a blue I?d go to all the Goodison games and frequently with red mates to anfield, shouting for the oppossition and receiving and reciprocating banter, without ever resorting to violence.
My fanatical season ticket holding red uncle at my brother's wedding stood up and urged the blues to beat Man Utd in the FA Cup Final, not because he hated Man Utd, but rather because ?the treble will come to Mersyeside and god bless the blues if they do it and show to the world the city is the home of football, and we (Liverpool) will do it next season and be even better" and all blues and reds stood up and cheered and got bevvied together, safe in the knowledge that WE (the city, EFC and LFC) was peerless and magnificent and Gods chosen ones. The political landscape unquestionably had a significant influence on this, but this is another story.
And I stood arm in arm at Wembley with my red biological brother, he with red and white scarf and I with blue and white scarf, singing, "Merseyside, Merseyside, Merseyside" as a demand of heritage, because we had parents and aunties and uncles and grandparents at home tears streaming down faces having dreamt of a red/blue derby at Wembley for almost 100 years - oh god, how quickly we have forgotten that desperate aching longing.
This is not a fabrication, but a now sad and ancient fact and our growing denial is a tragedy to behold. This civil war and my new hatred, fills me with despair and shame and a longing for the days of the mythical ?friendly? derby that as we growingly deny make us simply barbarians.
25 Posted 22/01/2009 at 22:53:12
26 Posted 22/01/2009 at 23:33:56
27 Posted 22/01/2009 at 23:45:59
I personally remember as a young boy getting a ticket for the red shite end at the very last minute for the quarter final of the FA Cup at Goodison. I didn?t dare to wear any colours being amongst the shite. It was quite fogy that night and difficult to see up the other end.
Well, I?d done quite well keeping my emotions under control during the game but late on the great Alan Ball slotted one home and it proved to be the winner. Because of the fog I couldn?t see the ball go into the net but the Street End rose as one. All I did was throw my arms in the air and shout, "Goal".
Well the biggest fuckin red shite you?ve ever seen, a grown man, punched me on the side of face so hard, even though we were packed in like sardines, I finished up five or six yards away. The side of my face ached and I felt physically sick. There was only about ten minutes to go but I couldn?t get out of the ground. I remember that incident as if it were yesterday and that was back in the sixties.
My feelings towards the shite reflect pretty much those of the Dave Roberts and I thought it was an excellent article.
28 Posted 23/01/2009 at 08:42:50
29 Posted 23/01/2009 at 11:30:16
You sound like a nice person.
30 Posted 23/01/2009 at 11:32:00
This is the first time I?ve entered into a correspondance on TW, and always surpised, dissapointed and saddened by the personal attacks that seems to poison the site occassionally. Let's beg to differ and accept we only have a few things in common - a love of EFC and hatred of the shite (maybe a few ales too).
Good luck to you and Tommy and see you at the game!
31 Posted 23/01/2009 at 12:28:01
I hate Liverpool FC,
don’t particularly hate their fans,
just pity them.
Too fuckin’ thick to know better!! Thats the way it is, natural selection!!
We’re just lucky: born to be be blue!!
32 Posted 23/01/2009 at 12:00:14
My views tend to revolve around the truth and honesty. I will always admit to not having the best player, team, or manager in the prem. Even our style of football is (sometimes) not so easy on the eye. But I know where we are and I know where we are going.
His views revolve around them being/having the best of everything. You simply can’t get a word in sideways!
Gerrard and Finance aside, they would be nowhere in comparison.
Why can’t they just admit that they have a shit manager? why can’t they just admit that they are a 1 man team, or even a two man team!? I suppose I am going to far if I think one would admit to being lucky!
Moyes is a far better manager and bridges that gap created by the finances (in my opinion)
What pisses me off is that he will end every argument with the same comment - every Evertonian has a chip on their shoulder... because we don’t have the money! It’s complete bollocks!
33 Posted 23/01/2009 at 20:09:32
34 Posted 23/01/2009 at 20:08:59
35 Posted 23/01/2009 at 20:43:03