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Gwladys Street's Hall of Fame — The Video

By Simon Paul :  06/04/2009 :  Comments (0) :

Hall of Fame – A Wonderful Souvenir

Like many of the thousands of fans who took part in the Hall of Fame ballot conducted on the NSNO and ToffeeWeb sites in December 2008, I never made it to the final Hall of Fame celebrations. As always, the event was sold out in advance and way before I had got my act together. Instead, I made do with reading Ian MacDonald’s article Endeared into Our Hearts which from all accounts captured the spirit of what must have been another truly emotional night at the Adelphi. Ian, who is a veteran — or rather a survivor all eleven events, knows a thing or two about Everton celebrations and his fantastic article captured the magic of the final Hall of Fame evening.

Ian mentioned that a DVD had been provided to the 700 fans who were fortunate to rub shoulders with the new members of Gwladys Street’s Hall of Fame — namely Duncan Ferguson, Tony Kay, David Unsworth, Graham Stuart and of course Bill Kenwright. It didn’t surprise me to discover that the DVD, which embraces pen-pictures and caricatures to provide a lasting tribute to the 126 members of the Hall of Fame, had been commissioned by Dr David France. Those who had seen it claimed that it was spine-tingling. Therfore I tried to track down a copy but soon discovered that no spares were available — a bit like Wembley. As a last resort, I took the liberty of contacting the good Doctor himself — thankfully with immediate success.

In my humble opinion, it is a wonderful souvenir — something that will stand the test of time. It's something that makes you proud to be an Evertonian. While some of the earlier players are unfamiliar, the DVD reminded me that the Hall of Fame, like Everton Football Club itself, is not just about Big Dunc, Big Nev, Big Bob, Alan Ball, Alex Young or even the incomparable Dixie. It embraces 130-odd years of great footballers and pays tribute to the heroes of our grandfathers, great grandfathers, etc. More than anything, it confirms that there has never been a shortage of truly great players throughout the illustrious history of our great club — even though some of them may have been forgotten previously.

David France encouraged me to publish the DVD on both NSNO and ToffeeWeb for the benefit of the fans who couldn’t make it to the Adelphi. In addition, he asked me to relay his thanks to all the hundreds of players who attended the Hall of Fame events over the years and also to mention the unheralded organizational efforts of Brian Snagg, Dave Prentice, Steve Milne, Barry Hewitt, George Orr and others whose names I’ve forgotten as well as the valiant efforts of the Everton stewards who apparently have provided order to the organised chaos.

I detected that, without question, he remains in awe of the special relationship between Everton players and Everton fans and electricity generated by the thousands of Evertonians who have attended the annual celebrations and of their generosity in raising funds for Merseyside charities as well as the Everton Former-Players’ Foundation.

By the way, for those who want to see if Big Bob still look like his caricature, Bob Latchford along with Tony Cottee will be attending the NSNO End of Season Party at the Holiday Inn on Saturday, May 9. But before then, if you need reminding what makes us such a very special club, then take a look at this wonderful DVD souvenir of Gwladys Street’s Hall of Fame.

Simon Paul

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