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.
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