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It?s taken 14 years...

By Adam Cunliffe :  09/04/2009 :  Comments (7) :
It?s official ? I?ve been taken over by FA Cup fever. I love watching all Everton games, be they against Liverpool or against West Brom; however, recently I don?t know if this emotion is mirrored by my fellow Evertonians but every game since the Middlesbrough quarter-final has seemed to be one of little importance compared to the forth coming semi-final at Wembley vs Manchester United.

My mum told me a very memorable story about THAT FA Cup Final. We were in Majorca and couldn?t find a bar anywhere that had the game on until we stumbled across a sports bar in Alcudia. It was full of Mancs though, as per usual, most were from London and the commentary was in Spanish. I was on my dad's shoulders when Paul Rideout scored the winner and my dad celebrated so much he nearly dropped me.

At half-time, my mum got very annoyed and left my dad to it and marched me back to our hotel. Then, about 45 minutes later my dad came back in to our hotel room, slightly tipsy singing ?If you know your history? at the top of his voice. Needless to say, my mum didn?t believe we?d actually won as we were most definitely underdogs.

My dad fell asleep on the bed and my mum continued to tut disapprovingly. Then, when she turned on the TV in our room and saw the pictures on Sky news, she soon realised my dad was right and duly apologised when my dad sobered up.

It?s stories like that that make supporting Everton worthwhile. It?s been a long slog since... with many a relegation scare. The Coventry game most definitely comes to mind. I was at home with my mum, about 3 at the time, wondering where my dad was for a couple of hours. I remember the radio being on and listening to the commentator on Radio Merseyside celebrating a goal like a mad man. Then, when my dad came in, the first words my mum said to him were, ?If I find out you were on the pitch at the end, I?ll bloody kill you!?

Unfortunately, unless I get lucky some time from now between the day of game, I won?t be at Wembley for the semi-final. Neither will my dad, which is a massive disappointment. Though I guess priority does have to go to season ticket holders and people who have been to X amount of matches. Doesn?t mean I?m going to enjoy watching it on tele but life goes on and hopefully there?ll be plenty more opportunities for me to get to Wembley.

And the greatest irony of it all is, once again, we're on holiday for the FA Cup Final. Maybe it?s a good luck omen, I don?t know. But I just bloody hope we get there. We have to beat United first though. However, the way they?re playing at the minute, there?s a good possibility that we may just do them.

Time is a funny thing and many things change. Since Big Joe Royle, we?ve had our fair share of quite frankly crap managers. As much as I respect the bloke as he is an Everton legend, Howard Kendall?s final tenure at the Grand Old Lady was one of disappointment. Mike Walker... the less said about him the better. And Walter Smith; he tried, but ultimately just wasn?t good enough, even with limited resources.

However, in David Moyes we now have one of the best managers is the Premier League. The only think missing form his CV is decent silverware and I get the feeling that maybe this is the year. Things have changed for Everton since that fateful day 14 yrs ago at Wembley. New manager, new team and plans for a new stadium (which, for the record, I?m completely against).

Just like they have for me. I used to be 11 months, like Noddy, Barney and the Wombles. Now I?m 14, like Fit girls, Fast cars and 50 cent with G-unit (A gangster rap group form America ,I doubt any one who?s over about 18 will have heard of them, though I do like some of my dads favourite artists such as U2 and Bruce Springsteen) However one thing hasn?t changed, my love for everything Everton. And I?ll be sat, in my front room watching the game with my dad, praying for an Everton victory. Just like I did against Liverpool, against Sunderland in 2001 for my 1st game and hopefully, like I will be against either Chelsea or Arsenal in the final even though I?ll be in Crete.

Just remember people, whether your in Merseyside, Britain, Ireland, Sydney, New York or even Malaysia... We?re Moysey?s army and we are most definitely on the march.


Reader Comments

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Gavin Ramejkis
1   Posted 10/04/2009 at 06:08:22

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Pity you missed the magic of the 80s, the away day specials on the trains to Wembley every year and the Cup Winners Cup run and magic in Rotterdam ? you?d never forget them as long as you lived.

Oh and not all 40-year-olds don?t know who "fiddy sense" is... lol!
Lynn Penrose
2   Posted 10/04/2009 at 07:26:53

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This is what it?s all about? When we beat Liverpool, I was thrilled for all our Everton youngsters. Unlike the Reds hangers on, they have followed the Blues through the lean years, not seeing anything for their support. Simon was just 5 when we won the cup in 95 ? he just about remembers it, although more from videos and the picture of him jumping up in the air dressed head to toe in his Everton gear.

Fortunately we will be there ? my first vsit to Wembley, as I was a poor student or producing kids at the other important times!
COYB ? We can do it. Believe

Will Leaf
3   Posted 10/04/2009 at 10:32:05

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Nice team... shame about the songs!
Joe Jennings
4   Posted 10/04/2009 at 10:45:09

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Nice story, Ryan.

It’s a shame you won’t make it to Wembley but judging by your article, I sense you’ll be there in spirit!

As somebody above said, believe.
Nathan Snell
5   Posted 10/04/2009 at 11:12:31

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A great article, Adam, and well written. I am 31 this year and, although I was around during the 80s, I have very little memory of Evertons successes during that period. However, since then I have a very vivid memory of how fustrating it has been to be an Everton fan with the expection of that famous win in '95 and qualifying for the Champions League. God did I celebrate?!

I feel we are on the verge of something very special. Like you I will be out of the country (in the Canneries) when the boys walk out onto that wembley turf. I will be celebrating my first Wedding Anniversary and I have a feeling that I will be celebrating on this day for more than reason.

Enjoy the memories of the day and the build up Adam ? regardless of where you are in the world your voice will be heard in the heart of Everton!!! COYB.

Peter Roberts
6   Posted 11/04/2009 at 22:09:29

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I wasn?t fortunate enough to go to Wembley in 1995 but remember that game to this day ? even to the Kopite friends of ours coming down to watch the match at our house. I also remember spending the second half hiding behind the sofa because I was so scared big bad United would equalise (I was 2 weeks away from turning 10) ? only to remember three quite stunning saves from our beloved Binman ? two from Scholes and one from McClair.

That and the Champions League qualification are the only joyous memories of being a Blue in 15 years of following us. Hopefully 2009 will provide happy memories next Sunday and then in a month when we stick our third past Arsenal.
Sean McNally
7   Posted 13/04/2009 at 19:09:06

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Well done mate, great article. Cum on the blue boys!!!!! 1-0 Cahill header.

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