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Frustrated Gwladys Street Singers

By Derek Turnbull :  30/10/2008 :  Comments (41) :
So at half time against Man Utd, a comment was made in the dressing room about the fans being quiet. This goes to show that the players believe that our vocal support is a help to them.

So why then after 40 years of the Street Enders continuously asking for the club to attach proper acoustics (even just a cheap roof will do) to the underside of the Upper Gwladys Street (directly above our singers at the back of the Lower Gwladys) are we still waiting for this to happen???

Also, the past decade or more has seen the singing die out nearly completely due to the fact we cant stand in front of our seats anymore due to the obstructed views for those on the last couple of rows. Those who stand there naturally tell us to sit so they can see the pitch. This previously was not a problem as attendances were far lower and so they would just move seat.

So for over a decade we have also been requesting that the club either remove obstructions or scrap the seats and look into replacing them at the front. Yet again nothing has happened.

Therefore we now only get on our feet for a significant length of when the front rows do which is if we're a few up, we have a number of decisions against us etc... but these are not the only times you need vocal support, you also need it more when the team are struggling.

So why have Everton continually ignored our requests? If vocal support is important then why are they stifling us singers? Surely if it gets mentioned at half-time then it must affect performances which in turn affects results, I wonder then how many points we've missed out on over the years by the club not maximising the potential of its supporters' impact like the way Liverpool have done?

Now not only have Everton not bothered to address the minor yet hugely significant tasks that I have mentioned but they have also made similar mistakes in the design for the new stadium, only they are not rectifiable. Executive boxes at the back of the new Gwladys Street? Are they doing this on purpose or are they just seriously incompetent?

Reader Comments

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EJ Ruane
1   Posted 31/10/2008 at 15:32:18

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SIDDOWN!!!
Chris Brigden
2   Posted 31/10/2008 at 15:44:57

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Derek, you're a goat.
Ste Jones
3   Posted 31/10/2008 at 15:46:06

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We dont know any songs anyway apart from "Everton , Everton, Everton" and "Its a Grand Old Team".
Derek Turnbull
4   Posted 31/10/2008 at 15:53:58

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Ste, you’ve just proved my point at how bad it’s got. As veteran of the Gwladys St I could rattle off a ton of songs, but since we’ve been forced to sit our singing has gone down to a minimum. There are stll fans trying their hand at writing new Everton Songs but its so hard to get them going and established when everyone’s sitting down constantly.

It takes a lot of bottle to start off songs especially your own ones but this is eased when everyone is standing up.
Charlie Dixon
5   Posted 31/10/2008 at 15:56:42

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Great article. I have noticed recently that even at away games the noise can be piss poor when we?re still very much into a game. Not sure if it?s a nervous thing or just the style in which we play, but when the likes of Villa, City, Sunderland etc come to Goodison they seem to stay strong from the start. Being told to sit down in an away end is frustrating. Our numbers away from home remain strong, just a shame that a few are more concerned with murdering Hibbert, Neville and Leon as opposed to singing the new Yak number.

Also where do all the young lads who bounce before the game in the concourses in the St end and away from home go when they enter the ground?
Barry Sherlock
6   Posted 31/10/2008 at 16:01:44

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Derek,
I?ve noticed this too. Over the last few years it?s become almost an embarrassment to start singing. Earlier this season we were struggling against Portsmouth and a bloke stands up and starts singing.... only a couple of people join in so he shouts out "On my own again am I???"

Says it all really.
Aled Jones
7   Posted 31/10/2008 at 16:25:16

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Hire a choir.... get a grip.... moan moan...
Charlie Dixon
8   Posted 31/10/2008 at 16:36:44

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What a great idea Aled. You must know a few in the valleys?
Si Kirwan
9   Posted 31/10/2008 at 16:55:00

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Yer, we are shit for songs... we?re louder away from home.
Gareth Lewis
10   Posted 31/10/2008 at 16:54:33

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It?s an interesting point about singing.

The atmosphere was very good in the second half against Utd but there were still very few songs.

The atmosphere was more pure noise and people shouting at the ref, Rooney, whoever.

There are fewer songs than of years gone by but as has been said there are still a couple sang before the game in the concourses.

Yet come the actual match and we?re reduced to a few variations on Everton, Grand Old Team, and even more rarely We Hate Bill Shankly.

A common response to this is "we?re not Kopites", as though they have a monopoly on singing songs and we couldn?t possibly be doing something they do.

Very strange.
Matthew Morgan
11   Posted 31/10/2008 at 17:27:01

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Hi Derek, i Don’t no if you’ve noticed a number of threads on the forums at the moment, there seems to be a lot of people unsatisfied with the atmosphere at the moment.

I’m just wondering how have you gone about telling the club about the seating arrangements before? It just seems with this new CEO that he’s very open with sugestions about how the club is run and trying to promote tickets. Maybe an online petition could get a big enough amount of interest to force the clubs hand?
Phil Bellis
12   Posted 31/10/2008 at 18:10:23

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Derek,
Ah... remember the days of the nutters standing on the barriers, ?conducting? the St End? As for ?new Gwladys Street?, surely you mean the Checkout End?
Trevor Lynes
13   Posted 31/10/2008 at 19:28:54

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What about the song suggested when we borrowed Saha from United... "Knowing me, knowing you... SAHA" ... fantastic!!!!
We could then do an ABBA tribute eg; Dancing Queen for Ronaldo and Waterloo when Bolton come.... followed by Shaddup your face for Zola?s Hammers! The list is endless... use your imagination boys!!
Derek Turnbull
14   Posted 31/10/2008 at 19:27:51

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Phil, bog of eh with your Checkout End!!

Every year I hope a book is released called ?The Exciting adventures of Fozzie and Wurzel?!

Re Matthew I have sent an email to Elstone who replied and said it will be looked into along with all the other comments. Standard reply, but there?s no point in one person asking it must be a load of us. I have sent letters to the Echo too but they have been ignored.

This is something I have asked a number of times previously although recently I have been arguing the toss over the fact that Kirkby is an even worse design, so current Gwladys St problems have took a backseat.
Joseph Moore
15   Posted 31/10/2008 at 19:51:16

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Times change and our crowds are now peaceful crowds, like American Football crowds. They generate atmosphere by playing music and the use of cheerleaders.

Bouncing Toffee girls in tights ? that's what we need!!!
Stephen Graham
16   Posted 31/10/2008 at 21:10:10

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An Evertonian owning the club is what we need!

Oh, right. We have one and that doesn’t work.
Perry Umbown
17   Posted 31/10/2008 at 22:21:11

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Fair point about the standing ? but if people wanted to stand the whole match they would do it anyway and people would soon learn not to get a seat on the back 2 rows unless it was a sell-out. My point would be that if they stopped blasting that frankly fucking embarrassing Grand Old tinkety plonk it would encourage other songs to be sang. Although ? small mercies ? thank god we don't play it when we score a goal

Oh yeah, here's one for yer ? why not reposition the mikes near the Gwladys instead of the fucking Bullens? It's like a library over there (except for the away fans of course), and don't get me started on that fucking "!OPERATION GOODISON!" bitch ? does she really have to shout like that ? ?alright love WE FUCKIN HEARD YOU FIRST TIME!" (How come not a single other club does that shit?)
Karl Masters
18   Posted 31/10/2008 at 22:17:15

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Derek makes some very true and important observations here.

English football has worldwide appeal not so much because of what happens on the pitch which is not always that good to watch, but because of the uniquely partisan atmosphere created in instantly recgnisable unique to each Club stadia. It?s what?s brought in all the international TV money.

Moving to homogenised, non-descript stadia and actively putting barriers up to stop crowd participation (ejection for standing up; badly thought-out seating arrangements as detailed here; poorly designed stadia, which Kirkby most definitely is) as well as pricing out working class fans, fresh from the pub and ready for a song, is going to be the thing that kills the goose that lays the golden egg.
Moreton Fisher
19   Posted 01/11/2008 at 12:23:16

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For Christ?s sake, SIT DOWN AND SHUT UP!
Richard Harris
20   Posted 01/11/2008 at 13:27:28

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Joseph Moore wrote "Bouncing Toffee girls in tights ? that?s what we need!!!"
Or even better in stockings!! That would get us standing up and giving our all :0)
Joe Hurst
21   Posted 02/11/2008 at 19:44:34

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Moreton, I know that?s a funny sarcastic gentle poke there, but:

For anyone who really does want serried ranks of perma-seated, quietly applauding fans, shame on you. I can watch the blues quietly seated from my couch. I go to the game to enjoy football with other devotees of this great club. I hate the quietness that seems to follow every kick-off whistle, and it is seating I hold so much to blame. This is despite being joined at many games by my dad, for whom standing up with the rest of the Gwladys whenever an attack happens isn?t as comfortable as it is for me.

There are ways those who aren?t as ?exuberant? to have areas reserved for them, and the powers that be in football really have to look at carefully managed schemes of reintroducing what for many is the soul of football ? the standing terrace.
Jonny Conk
22   Posted 02/11/2008 at 20:27:18

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Last thing we wanna do is sing shit songs for 90 mins like the sad arse Mancs do ...

They think they?re oh so cool, but it's fuckin dogshit.
Derek Turnbull
23   Posted 02/11/2008 at 22:20:11

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Jonny, if you don?t want to sing that?s fine, don?t.. Each to their own.

This post is for the many of us who do want to sing more, and how the club have done nothing to help the atmosphere despite years of asking and despite calls from players and managers for more atmosphere.

I?m annoyed about the apathy and incompetence of the club towards this matter.
Damian Wilde
24   Posted 03/11/2008 at 12:23:05

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Okay, I?m sure there are certain factors which would help, but are you telling me you guys sing your hearts out for 90 minutes at the top of your voices, but we can?t hear you because of the roof; or as soon as you sit, your voices become mute??? I know it?s easier to get into (singing) when you are standing up, but get it going when you are sat down and stop moaning.

I sit in the LB and so we look to the GS to get it going, but apart from derby games which we are winning, Arsenal, Man U games, there is virtually fuck all, apart from the odd pathetic ?Everton?. Could it be that Evertonians are shit singers? Away games are much better. Upon walking in the concourse at Stoke there was loads of singing, great atmosphere. Bolton the other night was the least singing at an away game I think I have ever heard, was it the cold weather??!!

Stop blaming your tools and make more of an effort (everyone). We know it can be done (even with a poor roof, no standing) as there have been games where the singing has been loud and really good, so don?t make out we can?t ffs! Get singing everyone!

COYB

Andy Ferguson
25   Posted 03/11/2008 at 13:18:47

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I have a new song for our new signing Fellaini!!

Marouane Fellaini, Marouane Fellaini
You make me happy when skies are grey.
So fuck off Lampard and Steven Gerrard,
Please don't take my Felly Away.
Na na na etc etc.
Derek Turnbull
26   Posted 03/11/2008 at 14:37:10

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Damian Wilde: Acoustics are so much to getting the songs to spread. In the days of terracing that was the difference between Goodison’s atmosphere and Anfield’s.

At Goodison the songs would struggle to spread around the ground and would take a lot longer to do so. It would require far more participants in the singing to get it to spread around the ground for others to join in with. Anfield would be far quicker as it had better acoustics.

Eg, take the Lower Bullens, what are you more likely to join in with, a loud song or a quiet song in the distance?

Re standing up. If you have ever took the time to start the chants you will realise that the success rate is so far greater when fans are standing up. Fans feel less inhibited when everyone is stood for some reason. They are therefore more likely to start off songs and join in with them when they are loud. There was a great difference in atmosphere when grounds went from terracing to all seater yet it was initially the same fans that went.

Inititives nationwide have been set up such as the standupsitdown. This issue is recognised all over Britain. I am not giving excuses I am giving reasons.
Kris Glover
27   Posted 03/11/2008 at 16:38:00

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I agree the atmosphere has decreased. As someone who sits in the Upper Bullens but goes to away games and sits in the lower in the cup, since I got my season ticket at the start of 2004, I have seen the atmosphere decrease. The only things you can hear these days are "Everton, Everton, Everton" and "If You Know Your History".

What went wrong? I don?t think it's a roof that is needed, it's just a bit more belief within the team. We have got some class songs even if they're not relevant to the game we should do our best to make a sound whatever it is. You see everyone going mental before the games and at half time, so why can?t it happen inside the ground, like Preston at the pre-season friendly?

Everyone saw the Standard Liege fans and even the Stoke fans. We?ve proved we can make a noise so why can?t the Street End have the formidable reputation it had in the 70s and 80s. It?s not down to Everton, it?s down to the fans.

Derek Turnbull
28   Posted 03/11/2008 at 20:56:44

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Kris, it is down to Everton to do something about it. I’ve been going in the Gwladys Street for well over 20 years and am fully conversant with how atmosphere works.

The three most vital things for singing are:
1. Fans are standing up,
2. There are good and well positioned acoustics
3. Like minded fans can group together

The first two are design related, the last is about how tickets are sold.

Everton have done absolutely nothing to aid any of those three factors, and it shows. Liverpool have no problems with the first 2 factors (although they do have some problems with the third factor) and the difference really does show.

It has reached a stage where relatively new fans are even coming up with excuses that singing is for kopites, or saying it’s smalltime and all the other cliched excuses, they don’t know our history behind the singing.
Graham Nodwell
29   Posted 03/11/2008 at 21:37:16

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That Fellaini song is ok, this one is better, sung to "I love you baby":
Marouane Fellaini,
He cost a bit too much,
Marouane Fellaini,
But he?s got the scoring touch,
Marouane Fellaini,
We wouldn?t be without you....
Kris Glover
30   Posted 03/11/2008 at 22:04:36

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Thats a fair comment and if we did have the fans stood together at the back of the Lower and Upper Gwladys street it would enhance the sound but something needs to be done about the Park End aswell. The Park End only seems to come to life at big matches. Have you not contacted Everton recently about it? It could be an idea to set up a group of some sort which people would be willing to group together at the match both in the Gwladys Street and the Park End? If you need any help contact me on bluenose_28@hotmail.co.uk
Derek Turnbull
31   Posted 03/11/2008 at 22:31:57

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Hi Kris, I have sent an email to Everton in reply to Elstone’s blog. A reply was received to say that a team will be looking at all comments. With requests for better acoustics being asked for the last 40 years by various fans but with not a tap being done I will not hold my breath.

I do think it is a good idea to get some action about this together. (I will try and send you an email tomorrow about this)

The first problem though is that if the group did congregate at the back of the Gwladys St and stand up then those on the back row cannot see half the pitch when they stand up so will just tell people to sit.
Kris Glover
32   Posted 04/11/2008 at 08:40:12

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Okay thats great thanks a lot.
Alex Burrell
33   Posted 04/11/2008 at 11:47:27

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Great post, Trevor Lynes. I love the idea of "Knowing me, knowing you, SAHA!". Hilarious.

There is definitely a problem with the atmosphere though. I used to go to Goodison Park in the early to mid nineties as a kid... then I lost interest in football (shame on me) - and then returned home in the early part of this century (!).

The difference between then and now is quite something. Back then, I can remember us singing more than just the two songs we seem to bother with now. And there was actually an atmosphere. Nowadays, I’m most often found in the UB, where you can generally hear the sound of a pin dropping.

It seems to me that Evertonians need to find a way to lose our inhibitions. The best way of doing that is pretty simple: it needs a large enough group to be brave enough to start together. It’s the usual problem though: everyone waits for everyone else to sing, the result being no one else sings at all.
Derek Turnbull
34   Posted 04/11/2008 at 14:54:06

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Alex, spot on with your post, I was probably next to you sometimes at the back of the Gwladys Street! The singing would sometimes start half an hour before kick off and that would be just for a run of the mill league match. My favourite chant then was EI EI EIO up the football league we go, one (I also heard once or twice then one to the tune of Rod Stewart’s ’We are Sailing but never got to hear our words, any idea?).

There were seats but we’d stand up.

Another big difference then was that there was unreserved seating, mates could stay with mates and like minded fans would congregate, so I know that a return to terracing is not necessary for atmosphere.

Now though with us having bigger attendances the unreserved seating went so we lost some congregation, the worst though is that we don’t stand up anymore. The last row now gets occupied and they have blocked views of half the pitch there and so tell fans to sit.

The answer then is for views at the very back to either be improved or removed, and also for the club to try and get some sort of congregation back. Perhaps by telling fans who purchase tickets there that it is an area where fans are likely to stand.
Chris Boyd
35   Posted 05/11/2008 at 12:14:39

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I have sat in the LG for the last 15 years and have noticed the significant drop in atmosphere. I sit Row Z directly behind the goal and recently we have been standing up for the majority of each match but the singing still hasn't improved. One thing I have noticed is that when songs don't start from the back (under the Upper glad), those who sit there seem reluctant to join in, this leads to songs either dying out or two separate songs going out of sync at the same time. This is something that has been going on for a while now and is something which I can't get my head round!

We are all blues together and need to get behind the team as one. This does not just go for people in the LG it goes for all of us. I agree that the atmosphere is poor at the moment but it is down to all of us to improve it, FANS, PLAYERS and CLUB OFFICIALS ALIKE. We all need to do what we can. COYB

Dave Shaw
36   Posted 05/11/2008 at 12:42:02

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All the singers have to be able to congregate and you need everyone standing up. We have never had a good atmosphere when fans are sitting. Sort it out Everton!
Chris Brigden
37   Posted 05/11/2008 at 14:02:10

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Dave Shaw, sit down!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
John Reilly
38   Posted 05/11/2008 at 14:22:46

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I agree with your point about stadium design. A two-tiered home end splits up the support. We need one big home end to rival the end that the other lot have. Somewhere where all the really vocal, passionate supporters can book their season tickets. Doing this WILL make a difference in atmosphere, volume and more importantly points. But will they listen? Will they fuck!
Peter Benson
39   Posted 05/11/2008 at 17:02:22

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John Reilly: out of interest have you emailed the club to ask for a large single tier behind the goal? If so did they say anything?

I’ve asked for us to have a large single tier behind BOTH goals, nothing back from them. I’ve also emailed the Echo a couple of times too, but they haven’t been printed.
Franny Porter
40   Posted 07/11/2008 at 13:02:01

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I'm gonna bring my ?triangle? to the Boro game, which, to my shame, I stole from All Saints Junior School in 1984.

I could be like that tool who brings a drum to the Sheff Wed games!
Deian Jones
41   Posted 07/11/2008 at 23:23:32

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I agree, at the Standard Liege game, their fans put us to shame, they were having much more fun than we were and were getting behind their team. Everyone around me would just sit there quietly and tell me off for my use of bad language but at least I care, it?s not a trip to the cinema is it?

We are better fans away from home and I?m considering only going to these games from now on, maybe that?s why we play better away.


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