From Lampard's winner seconds after Latchford equalised in extra time of the 1980 Cup semi-final to the late, late agony of goals by McAllister and Ashley Young in recent years, there always seemed to be a lot more agony than ecstasy.
My wife warned me to keep our oldest son, Daniel, away from the Blues as it would be a gross dereliction of parental duty to have him subjected to a lifetime of such pain. Now almost nine, he showed little interest in the beautiful game until a few weeks ago when, yes, he woke up to the Blues just as they were embarking on the most difficult set of fixtures in recent memory.
We rejoiced together at Timmy's late equaliser at Anfield, watched with pride as the depleted team hung on for a cup replay, agonised over Van Persie's last gasp leveller for the Gunners, and wondered if there would ever again be a victory to savour at Old Trafford. However, my delight in Daniel's interest in the Blues turned to trepidation as Wednesday's replay wore on.
Despite our dominance, I was convinced we were going to lose on penalties.
I've experienced Everton losing derbies in all sorts of ways, form the 5-0 humiliation to the 80s cup final defeats and the Clattenburg injustice, but here was my son at such a tender age about to experience the horror of a cup exit on penalties to our deadly rivals ? an unwanted first for our club.
As Liverpool ran down the clock, taking their time with a couple of corners, I feared the worst. A boy of 8 should be munching prawn sandwiches and watching United clock up another routine victory ? not suffering like his old dad has for the past three decades!
But up stepped another Dan. After what seemed an eternity, his shot had beaten Reina and gone in off the post. We were in blue heaven!
I hope my son turns out to be a lifetime blue. Who know these days with so many other attractions for youngsters? But he will be making his first visit to Goodison to see the West Brom game later this month and I hope this is the start of a beautiful relationship.
As for me, like every other long-suffering fan, I am just enjoying the moment when, for once, the agony was replaced by ecstasy. And I'm so proud of the dignity shown by our manager in the face of outrageous comments by Benitez... and proud too of those players who have given everything for the Everton cause in recent weeks, showing true sportsmanship along the way.
I've never been prouder to be a Blue.
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1 Posted 07/02/2009 at 05:08:55
I’m a proud "Blue" and wouldn’t change that for anything else the world could offer me!
I reckon your post will hit a lot of Blues fans the same way it hit me. Well done and - message for Dan - See you in many future celebrations, kid!
2 Posted 07/02/2009 at 09:24:24
3 Posted 07/02/2009 at 09:42:07
of everything Everton.
We have all had to pick ourselves up, and look forward to the day when we had the last laugh, so to speak.
In this mornings Daily Express, our captain, Phil Neville has a short atticle
on the base of page 96.
In which he gives the perfect answer
to Benitez and all his past jibes.
He finishes it by saying:
"What pleased me most in training the next day, was the main focus was on beating Bolton.
We know we have bigger challenges ahead, than the one against Liverpool"
Well said Phil.
4 Posted 07/02/2009 at 12:09:01
Claire (25) and Brian (21), have had to grow up with my passion, my heartaches, my misery and my totally biased opinions that no other team has a better history. Unfortunately, both had to leave Houston unable to apply for jobs (due to my waiting on a Green Card). Brian went back and joined the Navy. Claire left to set up home in Aberdeen and now has a gorgeous 7 month old baby named Chloe Amarie.
I’ve just sent some photos of Chloe in her pink Everton top after the RS replay to show her off to the world on Bluekipper.
My son, my daughter, and now my grand-daughter may not be fanatical fans like us, but even they, to me, can rightly call themselves part of our Everton family.....welcome to one of the largest and BEST family in the world, Daniel
5 Posted 07/02/2009 at 17:32:00
Tell Dan he’s a blue for life!!!!
6 Posted 07/02/2009 at 23:36:30