Skip to Main Content
Members:   Log In  |  Sign Up

Merseyside Derby Myth

By Chris Butler :  05/01/2010 :  Comments (45) :
After reading a recent article about the Merseyside derby, it seems evident to me that Liverpool’s stature has manipulated the media into believing it’s our fault for the bitterness. You can only understand the Merseyside derby if you're from Merseyside, in my opinion, as, unlike other derbies such as Swansea v Cardiff or the Glasgow derby, it's only important on Merseyside.

The media have portrayed that the derby was friendly in the 70s and 80s which I believe is untrue. What many do not understand is that, when people from Liverpool were hated just as much as any other minority in the country, this made the community stronger. Liverpool and Everton’s peak successes came when unemployment was at its highest on Merseyside. Naturally, supporters who felt that it was them against the world bonded as they had similar problems. Supporters went to the same pubs, schools, churches so naturally people have friends that supported the opposition.

But to say that there was never any rivalry between supporters is totally untrue. Yes, before 1985 you would get the odd dodgy chant but mostly the chants would be humorous and above board. In the 90s was when it all changed, football changed with modern stadiums and a more family friendly feel about the game.

The 90s was an unsuccessful period for both clubs but Everton’s demise from title contenders to finishing mid-table or lower was embarrassing for many fans. The financial gap between Liverpool and Everton widened with Liverpool spending large amounts on players while Everton mostly signed players on loans.

In the late 90s fans started to blame Liverpool for their demise and that’s when the "murderers" chants started. Games against Liverpool were the most important in our season as we were no longer challenging for trophies. In the 90s, Liverpool’s support changed with more supporters coming from out-of-town to watch Liverpool.

But for me it was when Liverpool supporters and players placed the fixture against Manchester United above the derby that things changed. The rivalry was always between for 4 sets of supporters and had more to do with the cities than the football. Manchester United has always had a far stronger rivalry with Leeds and Manchester City than Liverpool.

But I blame Liverpool for the bitterness as their arrogance has caused much of this hatred, not us. After Liverpool’s Champions League victory nobody congratulated Everton who had finished above them that season.

Also Liverpool supporters have created the myth that we sing about them every game. Manchester United supporters indulge in chants about a variety of clubs each game. Arsenal and Spurs constantly sing about each other most games. Aston Villa and Birmingham also indulge in chants about each other in most games they play. Liverpool supporters have made out that Everton supporters are the only sets of supporters that do anything like this.

Liverpool’s players and officials have wound up Everton supporters with their comments. The unforgettable "small club" jibe was blatantly an insult that was said knowing full well that it would cause offence.

The 2008 derby was also an embarrassment to the fixture. The "baby's not yours" chant got most of the headlines despite Liverpool supporters chanting even more offensive chants.

Another thing that winds me up are the midday kick-off times as they leave supporters with the whole day to drink. With the extreme passion that’s involved, it’s inevitable that supporters will get agitated and angry. It only takes one comment that usually a person would laugh at and it can result and a nasty incident.

The problem is that people who know nothing about the game have made out that the Heysel disaster is the sole reason for the bitterness. I can only put the rivalry in perspective when comparing it to the hatred between people where I was born in Bosnia which is far worse than any petty rivalry. Both Liverpool and Everton need to look at their own employees behaviour before blaming the supporters.

Reader Comments

Note: the following content is not moderated or vetted by the site owners at the time of submission. Comments are the responsibility of the poster. Disclaimer

Lee Kidd
1   Posted 05/01/2010 at 16:30:34

Report abuse

I couldn’t really agree more with that article - however, you’re sort of singing to the choir really.

Hopefully, when we’re successful again, we’ll remember all this and put a finger up to Sky in particular.
Rob Jones
2   Posted 05/01/2010 at 16:39:33

Report abuse

I agree with your sentiments particularly about the media manipulation but I guess since football was only invented in the early 90s, what chance do we have to promote our proud and unequalled history?
Gavin Ramejkis
3   Posted 05/01/2010 at 17:08:37

Report abuse

The bias is clear and present, remember the home game against Chelsea where the microphones and speakers were setup at Goodison to make it sound like they had brought about 10,000 supporters, a joke and one massaged by that shower at Sky, Chelski’s away support is shite even when they get their tickets and travel bought for them.

I’ve been to Old Trafford plenty of times in a former colleague’s season ticket seat and heard that lot singing about murdering scousers aimed at us lot yet that never makes the news, when I explained it’s the RS not us they looked very confused.

Martin Berry
4   Posted 05/01/2010 at 17:30:23

Report abuse

Excellent post and totally agree.
Ste Traverse
5   Posted 05/01/2010 at 17:29:00

Report abuse

It sickens me the way the Kopites have this whiter-than-white media image and the decline in relations is all down to the "Bitter Blues".

I remember the April 2008 derby when their manager, fans and the media, post-game focused on that awful "baby's not yours" chant and conveniently ignored the equally bad, If not worse, chants directed at the Yak, Lescott, Neville, Carsley and Cahill’s jailed brother.

Reds fans constantly criticise us for so-called "bitterness" but every club in the world hates their local rivals, why should Evertonians be any different?

In any case, it's not like they don’t hate us, is it?
David O'Keefe
6   Posted 05/01/2010 at 18:30:52

Report abuse

Sorry Chris, but Greg Murphy’s WSAG article on this issue is far superior.
Mark Rankin
7   Posted 05/01/2010 at 19:15:11

Report abuse

I never sing that "baby’s not yours" chant’and it always makes me feel disappointed when I hear it. I have a lot of admiration for Steven Gerrard, as a footballer, just wish he’d played for us.
Chris Butler
8   Posted 05/01/2010 at 19:38:38

Report abuse

Well I don’t think Gerrard or his wife sued the newspaper but they are as much to blame as us in many ways. I dislike his wife as I think the WAG influence is causing so many problems in this country. She recently quoted that she hated Liverpool despite the fact shes never lived there in her life. Evertonians naturally dislike Gerrard more than others as he’s carried their team for abour 7 years... which again they deny.

Our representatives, fans and ex-players, are usually quite honest. To me, Liverpool fans and representatives are dishonest such as Phil Thompson, who also can never accept when Liverpool are playing badly. What entitles them to have millions spent of them after millions spent on unsuccesful players.

Trevor Lynes
9   Posted 05/01/2010 at 19:30:36

Report abuse

Sorry but I cannot agree and your comments are just not taking into account the many friends that support either red or blue who travelled to wembley TOGETHER some years ago in the same cars and behaved admirably throughout the game...

I well remember over a million supporters of BOTH sides lining the streets of Liverpool wearing blue and red scarves at Shankly's funeral... I am proud to belong to a city that has jointly outperformed every other city in England in titles and trophies won.

I have spent a lot of years working all over the Middle East and I've supported EFC since 1948 and we have never stooped to the same level as other city rivals who hate each other... in the northeast, regular fights take place when ’Boro or Sunderland play Newcastle... I have never seen fighting at Anfield or Goodison at derby games. The banter and humour has always been second to none.

The media may well play us down but, let's face it, the media is based mainly in Manchester and London. As I have said before, history has only started ever since the Premier League was formed and that has been a media ploy because it wipes out the achievements of Liverpool and Everton and brainwashes the youngsters who know no better.

The league title for me has lost its former value because it is confined to only two or three teams who have the possibility to win it due to mainly monetary reasons. I preferred the time when almost every team's supporters could have a punt on their own team with some chance of winning the title or FA Cup.

George Best acknowledged Everton as Manchester Utd’s bogey team some years ago and I well remember having lots of good results against them in the old First Division.

I hope that the rivalry of our OWN two great sides is not allowed to turn into hatred as is the case in other cities.Surely we are above all that sort of crap, we are much too sensible and intelligent... Happy New Year!!

Ciarán McGlone
10   Posted 05/01/2010 at 20:16:42

Report abuse

"You can only understand the Merseyside derby if you’re from Merseyside, in my opinion"

I guess I shouldn’t bother watching the next one then... as I clearly don’t understand the rivalry.

Blaming Liverpool’s arrogance for [y]our bitterness... classic.
Colin Southern
11   Posted 05/01/2010 at 20:10:15

Report abuse

Although there are other factors, such as the Euro ban and our drop in status, I also blame some of this sourness down to the actual cost of going to the game.

My whole family are blues with just the odd red like my older brother but we still all went to the games together. When I was a kid, we used to be able to go to Liverpool or Everton games, regardless of what your team was, as it was relatively cheap to get a ticket. The first game I ever went to was at Anfield with my Uncle. Likewise, when Liverpool won the Euro cup in '78 we all went up onto Liverpool Road to see the bus go past to cheer the team on, as we appreciated what they had done for the city as a whole.

Not now, as it so expensive to go the game and take the kids with you. I think that's what we’ve lost — that friendly banter that starts at a young age. Kids now are just fed the images and only see the rivalry on the TV and in the media.
Nathan Ward
12   Posted 05/01/2010 at 21:23:09

Report abuse

There are probably a million reasons why the bitterness has increased.

In general, I would go that society as a whole is more bitter and twisted now than it was 20+ years ago. This, added to the fact that winning is seen as everything and the media puts so much on each and every result.

I think our fans are certainly not blameless but for my money the bitterness did increase significantly during the mid- to late-90s, when they struggled against us.

Sadly, anyone who says they haven’t seen any fighting etc at a derby is simply looking away.
Derek Turnbull
13   Posted 05/01/2010 at 21:52:09

Report abuse

There were "murderer" chants way before the late 90s.

We had many anti so-and-so songs in the past... anti Cockneys, Brummies, Mancs etc — that’s why kopites think that all our songs are anti-them, cos they’re all Cockneys Brummies etc!
Keith Glazzard
14   Posted 05/01/2010 at 20:59:00

Report abuse

Colin - family and bi-partisan attendance may well be good for the game, but all-seater stadia have had the effect of pushing prices up and up, and rigidly segregating supporters (sometimes by stewards ejecting people of the ’wrong’ sort).

Ciarán is quite right to point up the rather parochial nature of some of the assumptions here. The City — even worse, ’Our City’ used by the campaign that dare not mention its name — is taken to confer a birthright status open only to the chosen few.

Whatever the facts of this rivalry-into-hatred story may be, at each new event we lose dignity by sinking to their level. There’s no way anyone here could influence what 500 young men on the Gladwys St End are going to chant, but we know it does our cause no good.

Personally, instead of abuse, I have always thought that a little sarcasm goes a long way. For example, here on TW, if we restrained ourselves and gave up the Fat Spanish Waiter* epithet, and instead referred to him as, say, ’The Great One’ we could edge ourselves up onto higher ground.

* FSW is actually a good slur. Some good mates of mine are Spanish waiters. They eat and drink well, but regard a round face and ’la panza del cura’ (Catholics should look away now — The belly of a priest) as a sign of no longer being useful in this world. ’Fatty’ would do as well as FSW.
Ciarán McGlone
15   Posted 05/01/2010 at 22:26:32

Report abuse

Indeed Keith... A little wit goes a lot further than a barrel of bile.

Interesting that the author suggests there’s no fighting at derbies... being from West Belfast, I’m no stranger to Molotov cocktails, burning buses and even the odd plastic bullet in the back... so I know a riot when I see one.

And I definitely seen one outside Goodison after a 1-3 derby defeat several years ago... fair enough it was a little bit tame compared to my usual experiences — but it ws definitely a riot. Any passing cars with a Liverpool sticker also got a good wrecking... classy.

However, it was quite novel to witness the use of horses to quell a riot... If it had been Ballymurphy, the boyos would’ve hi-jacked them...
Trevor Lynes
16   Posted 05/01/2010 at 22:35:09

Report abuse

As far as I'm concerned, having been present at a few gates over 70,000 without segregation, I cannot understand the stupid bigotry and hatred.

As I said before, I am PROUD of being a scouser first and foremost and an Everton supporter to boot... I would rather see Liverpool stuff Man Utd than any team from our City being beaten. I wish to God that Everton rose again to shut the media crap up and make them all ’choke’ on having to report our success... but if we cannot do it, then I would prefer Liverpool do it instead of any other team from any other city.

We have always had the gift of wit and humour and our music has always been prominent worldwide... don't let our great city down by chanting filth at our local rivals... it really smacks of envy!!

David S Shaw
17   Posted 05/01/2010 at 23:07:31

Report abuse

Trevor Lynes — it’s good to hear how the derby was in the late 40s early 50s. Indulge us more. Any chants from then?
Stewart Littler
18   Posted 06/01/2010 at 01:44:12

Report abuse

I think there’s two sides to this — let’s face it, I imagine that Evertonians in the 50s and 60s were fairly smug towards our 2nd Division neighbours, and with good reason. They went and had a couple of good decades, and that pissed us off. Did it make us bitter? Possibly; can’t comment more than that as I wasn’t around.

At the same time, the Heysel disaster was, and still is, grossly undermentioned, not least for the fact that dozens of people senselessly lost their lives. In terms of the effect on Everton, it can never be proved either way how much or little it did affect us, although my feeling is that we would have entered the Premier League era as one of the top clubs in the land. I think we have every right to feel bitter towards them for this.

Idiot fans of both clubs have let their side down with various acts of vandalism, etc, but this is commonplace across English, and indeed, worldwide football. I tend to look at the bigger gestures. The fact that supporters are still allowed to sit together in the stands (certainly at Goodison — anyone know if this is still the case at Anfield?) says a great deal, and Liverpool, have to have respect for their actions following the tragic death of Rhys Jones, as do Everton on every Hillsborough anniversary.

What grates me is the actions of employees within Liverpool FC. The "small club" jibe has already been mentioned above, and I have it on good authority from several Liverpool supporting friends of mine that Jamie Carragher himself blames the bitterness on Everton fans in his autobiography (something that I have not a single bit of interest in reading, though if anybody has read it and can confirm this, please do) and makes mention of insulting songs aimed at his mate, Stevie G La. He conveniently ignored the Elephant Man chants aimed at Mr Lescott, of course.

On a side note, my wife (herself an armchair Liverpool fan) informs me that Alex Gerrard née Curran has been surrounded by rumours of affairs (admittedly, these will have come from the mags she reads — you know the ones, OK, Grazia, etc) for years, suggesting our chants might not have been too wide of the mark...
Ste Traverse
19   Posted 06/01/2010 at 04:01:34

Report abuse

Stewart Littler.

I admit I've read parts of Carragher's book and can confirm he 100% blames Evertonians for the demise in relations between the clubs. But, to be fair, he did also criticise Liverpool fans for "chants directed at rival Everton and Man Utd players".

He’s bang on to have a go at the disgusting "baby’s not yours" chant though, as, quite frankly, even if it isn’t Stevie G la’s, what the fuck has it got to do with football? I cringe with embarrassment everytime I hear some of the beauts near me in the Street End singing that.
David Hallwood
20   Posted 06/01/2010 at 09:40:21

Report abuse

Oh we hate Bill Shankley and we hate big Ron,
But most of all we hate St John
And we’ll hang the kopites one by one
On the banks of the royal blue Mersey.

This particular litle ditty is from the 60s. There’s always been some supporters who take it a tad seriously, I remember my dad had a ticket for the main stand, and gave it to me and two men in their 70s squared up to each other.

My recollection of the 80s is that we all went down to Wembley together, drank together, but went to our own ends to watch the match.

Ray Roche
21   Posted 06/01/2010 at 10:35:15

Report abuse

It is sad the way a healthy rivallry has degenerated into such hatred and hositlity and I’m as guilty of this as the next Bluenose.

When I first began supporting Everton, The RS were in the 2nd Div so Derby games were in the old Liverpool Senior Cup but were still important enough for us school kids to get excited about. There was no "hatred" of rival supporters from the City and, indeed, as many have said in these pages, some supporters, like my Dad, would go to Goodison one week and Anfield the next and still retain their love for their own club.

I even tried this myself but it just felt, well... wrong. I was brought up to want Everton to win, but if not us, then Liverpool because they were representing OUR city and my brother supported them. (Manchester, the city and both teams in it, was regarded as inferior in every way.) I even cheered when Liverpool beat Leeds to win the Cup for the first time in 1965.

Now, if the Myra Hindley 11, captained by Hitler with Harold Shipman in goal, were playing Liverpool, I’d want her team to win. A lot has to do with Heysel. I read on a webpage some time ago (that is not as well moderated as this), that it was "Worth a few dead Italians to keep the Bitters out of Europe". Nice,eh? No thoughts for THEIR grieving families is there?

The fact that so many RS supporters are clearly hitching a lift on the LFC bandwagon, never go the match but crow about the team from Surrey or Oslo, still has the ability to irritate beyond belief. And that may be part of it. Before Liverpool became a global brand, most of their fans were like us, Scousers who could give and take banter without wanting to kill each other.

Ok, there may have been some trouble in the 50s and 60s but I don’t think there was the animosity that exists now. I know that someone will come on here and try to refute that and say it was "kicking off" everywhere, but in my experience, following us around the country, that’s how I saw it.

Ray Roche
22   Posted 06/01/2010 at 10:35:15

Report abuse

It is sad the way a healthy rivallry has degenerated into such hatred and hositlity and I’m as guilty of this as the next Bluenose. When I first began supporting Everton The RS were in the 2nd Div so Derby games were in the old Liverpool senior cup but were still important enough for us school kids to get excited about. There was no "hatred" of rival supporters from the City and,indeed, as many have said in these pages,some supporters, like my Dad ,would go to Goodison one week and Anfield the next and still retain their love for their own club. I even tried this myself but it just felt, well, wrong.I was brought up to want Everton to win, but if not us, then Liverpool because they were representing OUR city and my brother supported them.( Manchester, the city and both teams in it, was regarded as inferior in every way.)
I even cheered when Liverpool beat Leeds to win the Cup for the first time in 1965.
Now, if the Myra Hindley 11, captained by Hitler with Harold Shipman in goal, were playing Liverpool,I’d want her team to win. A lot has to do with Heysel. I read on a webpage some time ago (that is not as well moderated as this), that it was "Worth a few dead Italians to keep the Bitters out of Europe". Nice,eh? No thoughts for THEIR grieving families is there?
The fact that so many RS supporters are clearly hitching a lift on the LFC bandwagon, never go the match but crow about the team from Surrey or Oslo still has the ability to irritate beyond belief. And that may be part of it.Before Liverpool became a global brand most of their fans were like us, Scousers who could give and take banter without wanting to kill each other. Ok, there may have been some trouble in the 50’s and 60’s but I don’t think there was the animosity that exists now. I know that someone will come on here and try to refute that and say it was "kicking off" everywhere, but in my experience following us around the country that’s how I saw it.
Chris Butler
23   Posted 06/01/2010 at 11:43:37

Report abuse

I’ve always had far more red mates than blue. But let's be honest, it's both sides that have caused this. Rooney saying he hated Liverpool was a stupid thing to do as it agitates supporters.

I’ll be honest here that we all sing songs that we regret in the heat of the moment that usually you wouldn’t dream of. Fighting is very rare at the fixtures but I think in many ways it has more to do with all-seater stadiums and the pressure involved.

Nowadays if a Liverpool supporter stood in the Street End or an Everton fans stood in the Kop, there might be trouble. What I was trying to point out was that we constantly get labelled bitter. I was told by many supporters that the "murderers" chants started in the mid 90s. Carragher hasn’t made it better by saying he hates Everton supporters but yet again Everton supporters are to blame.

Dave Roberts
24   Posted 06/01/2010 at 10:40:25

Report abuse

My personal history of Everton playing a major part in my life extends to the late fifties and while I would never describe myself as bitter towards them, I have always felt a certain dislike or disdain for our neighbours.

In those early years it didn’t seem to matter too much as they were in the Second Division, not very successful and not to be considered as serious rivals but nevertheless, I can still remember my father’s delight whenever their defeat by Arsenal in the 1950 FA Cup Final crept into a conversation. So not everything was sweetness and light in those days.

For example, if pointing out that Gerrard’s child is not his is to be considered as unsavoury (which it undoubtedly is) how much more unfortunate and distasteful was the chant of ’Munich...Munich...’ which met Manchester Utd at most of their away games, including at Goodison, in those days? I remember it being sung very loudly at Burnden Park in the 1966 semi-final, made more pertinent and sad by the fact that a flurry of snow had just started to fall.

Anybody discussing this issue has to do so while recognizing the essentially tribal nature of football supporters and this tribalism can have the effect of diminishing us all to a certain extent to the lowest common denominator of human behaviour. It is a natural tendency for human beings to want to be a part of a group and from this membership we gain a part of our sense of identity (or, more dangerously, ALL of our sense of identity!) and no small measure of our self-esteem; or worse, frustration and anger when things go wrong. The greater the status of the group the greater our own sense of well-being. When the status reduces for whatever reason, it can be very depressing for members of the tribe.

When the object of the tribe (in this case, a football club) is successful, the status of the tribe rises. When the opposite is true, the tribe and the individuals within it lose status and that is when the frustration sets in. Those of us who are old enough to remember when our higher status than our neighbours was never in doubt (and therefore our tribe was more ’powerful’) are perhaps more likely than most to refer to Everton’s history as a kind of compensation, and even those tribal members too young to have experienced that higher status directly have been caught up in this same response, which basically makes the statement....’yeah, but look how great we used to be!’. But this will never be as effective or fulfilling as being great NOW. So the frustration continues, barely contained.

Another aspect of tribalism is rivalry with other groups. There is little satisfaction in being a member of a tribe if there are no other tribes to be better than or try to show we are better than and this can be difficult enough when the status of the tribe is at a low ebb. It is even more difficult when two tribes share the same territory, perhaps even the same home and workplace. There is no escape from the rivalry then.

There is no contented Monday morning back in work after a defeat when the other tribe won, especially after a Derby. The worst Monday morning I ever experienced in my life as an Everton supporter and tribe member was having to go to work after being two goals up at Anfield and playing them off the pitch for most of the game only to lose 3-2 (was it 1970?)

My tribe had been on the verge of a wonderful victory only to have it snatched away.I would have preferred to have just got beaten 2-0 or something like that. The rival tribe had gone quiet and were on the verge of a humiliation and now here they were loudly triumphant! How much would my status have grown if we had won on their own midden? Instead, I felt humbled and diminished and had to suffer Kopites in work all that day. Bad enough getting beat... but getting beat when on the verge of a smug and superior Monday morning was horrific.

This is the price we pay for tribal membership. But there are rewards too. We can grieve or celebrate together and even grown men, strangers, can kiss each other just as I was kissed when Jag’s penalty went in at Wembley last April. If he had walked up to me and kissed me in Church St. I’d have had him arrested... but when you know he is a member of YOUR tribe celebrating the same thing that YOU are celebrating, well, we can let things like that go can’t we? Tribal behaviour does not have to conform to the accepted norm.

As for the friendly Derby, it never existed. Dixie Dean (according to my dad) was particularly popular with Evertonians because he loved scoring at the Kop end and when he did he would wind them up by bowing to them before returning to the centre-circle. The Kop’s response was not friendly by all accounts and neither would it have been if the situation had been reversed.

The relationship between the two clubs began in acrimony and the tensions have never really receded. The two clubs at a ’political’ level don’t actually get on too well either, and for me I dislike them and I expect them not to like me when football is the issue. When football is not the issue I can even love a Kopite as I married one once and my brother, though I love him as a person, as a Kopite I can’t stand him or the club he supports!

The world of the football tribe is a strange one indeed.

Steve Syder
25   Posted 06/01/2010 at 14:12:00

Report abuse

It never ceases to amaze me how seriously some people take themselves on here.

I’d bet Gerrard couldn’t care less about the "Baby’s not yours" chant, taking it for what it is — a daft wind-up. Just to keep a balance — I thought it was ridiculous when people got wound up about Fowler "eating the grass" when he scored against us, and Emlyn Hughes having to apologise for his "Everton are tragic" singing when they brought the European Cup home.

All of this is pretty minor stuff compared to the Stanley knives and darts of the 70s.

Yes, I’m bitter towards them and yes, it’s because of Heysel, their arrogance and the way the authorities treat them.

I’m from Merseyside and whatever the protestations of people on here who think they know better, 50 years of growing up with it is different to following the team from a distance.
Ray Roche
26   Posted 06/01/2010 at 15:47:41

Report abuse

Steve Syder

You’re right about the importance, for want of a better word, of following the team(s) from a distance. Although born and bred a scouser, I’ve lived in North Wales for 30+ years and I can have a laugh and some banter with an exiled LFC supporting scouser but a "supporter" from elsewhere can be hard work, not understanding the history of the clubs in the same way.
Chris Butler
27   Posted 06/01/2010 at 17:23:15

Report abuse

Ciaran, just like I could never understand the Arsenal v Tottenam game. Manchester United v Chelsea is about points more than anything. It would be impossible for anyone to understand a local rivalry if they’ve never lived in the area.

I’m not bitter mate I think we need to accept that bad management and awful board members wrecked our club, not Liverpool. I’ve watched derbies at mates' houses who are reds. The derby means more to me as you live near the rival supporters and go to work with them.

Trevor Lynes
28   Posted 06/01/2010 at 19:10:13

Report abuse

Although I am a diehard Blue, I must admit that players who genuinely frightened me included one: Billy Liddell who played for Liverpool and had a shot like a bombshell and tremendous pace and strength.

The big song of the times came when Shankly had signed St John and Ron Yeats and we sang... We hate Bill shankly and we hate St John but most of all we hate big Ron etc etc..this was when we had Young, Vernon and Collins. St John made his debut against us and scored a hat trick although we won 4-3 with Vernon and Gabriel sharing the goals.

I well remember that the church near Stanley Park had the question: "What would you do if Christ came to earth?" and some wag had written, "Play St John on the wing and put him at centre forward."

I remember great games with Sandy Browns hilarious own goal and both teams vying for the top... Man Utd and Man City were just also rans in those days....and they included Law, Charlton, Best, Frannie Lee, Colin Bell and Summerby amongst them.

St John was known as the only player with a Lonsdale belt as he was sent off on three occasions for punching and flattened Pancho Pearson with a left hook in one game against Man Utd... the fan rivalry then was fabulous with bananas given to Saint John and a handbag given by a red to Gordon West... the banter was worth the admission alone and the grounds were not segregated in our derby games.

Chris Butler
29   Posted 06/01/2010 at 19:32:11

Report abuse

Another issue is the ticketing. It's so hard to get tickets in the away end... most of the fans in there are die hards rather than the average supporter. There wasn’t too much trouble this year although i saw a horrific picture of an elderley Liverpool fan getting abused which was disgraceful.

Although I depsise Liverpool, I can’t hate the people who were my freinds for years. Another thing that was completely ridiculous was that it was a subdued atmosphere in the game recently. It was far better than the FA cup 1 or even the 3-0 game.

Keith Glazzard
30   Posted 06/01/2010 at 19:26:58

Report abuse

Ciarán - the UDA have decomissioned today. If its true, surely an epiphany to be welcomed. Sleep sounder old mate.

Merseyside Derby Myth, it said up there - I sincerely hoped nobody died.

In this particular football story - and Hillsborough has got absolutely nothing to do with this - thirty-one dead people, Italian football supporters, on a good day out, were killed through no fault of their own. Just for being there and following the rules.

Crrumbling stadium they say. Wankers.


You don’t get much deader than that.

Unless you know better.
Keith Glazzard
31   Posted 06/01/2010 at 22:10:33

Report abuse

Sorry lads —- I was genuinely moved thinking about it, but that gives me no more right than anyone else to say, well that’s that then. All over. I’m right. Emotional blackmail pure and simple.

Sod that... let's get back to slagging Hibbo off.
Chris Butler
32   Posted 06/01/2010 at 22:48:44

Report abuse

Suppose Ciaran there will be a few reds near you so you probably get a lot of banter as well, just as much as on Merseyside.
Ciarán McGlone
33   Posted 07/01/2010 at 10:03:06

Report abuse

Haha, Keith.

An allegory of political naivety... the UDA also stopped dealing drugs for a while — whenever the squeeze was put on their ’new dawn’ funding.

As seen recently in Coleraine, they don’t need guns to kick you to death...

Hard men in gangs... you know the type.
John Lloyd
34   Posted 07/01/2010 at 15:32:31

Report abuse

It's mad the way certain incidents & feelings from our derby are being compared to the ’troubles’ in N Ireland... of which I have very little if any knowledge regarding day to day life!

But it's amazing that we take it this seriously... but we do. And I don't think anyone was having a go at out-of-town Evertonians but it is a little different if you are in the city around derby time; doesn't mean its not important to you guys... it's just one of them things. I actually admire your loyalty & commitment, especially you match-going lads!

Just wondered if any of you were like myself, as in... when I discuss gobshites in general there is an instant dislike, resentment & ill feeling but when I’m talking to my mates who are reds I am able to have ’reasonably’ balanced discussions (and I emphasise the reasonably!!).

I have partaken in "murderers" chants & "the baby is not yours", cos it's funny! Simple as... you can comment on my moral fibre all you want but that's how it is, but don't ket the press or kopites shame you into not doing it if you want to, I don't recall the press commenting on Phil Neville's back being spat on when taking a throw in at Anfield last season the dirty, horrible bastards.
Dave Roberts
35   Posted 07/01/2010 at 16:19:26

Report abuse

Ciaran McGlone’s posts always remind me of a LIberal Democrat. Not really passionate about anything except his own opinion.

To believe it is wrong (or ’classic’ according to his sarcasm) to become bitter as a result of somebody else’s arrogance is not only naive but demonstrates no understanding at all of human nature. I can remember being very bitter at Thatcher’s arrogance towards the IRA hunger strikers. Who was wrong....she or I?

I feel bitter too (as I think Keith Glazzard has already hinted at) at the arrogance of a football club who will (and have) made every effort to glean public sympathy for the the tragedy of Hillsborough (and quite rightly) but have never accepted any responsibility at all for the tragedy of Heysel.

Even as an Evertonian the effect upon my Club of the events at Heysel are way,way secondary to the simple injustice of the fact that our neighbours did not for one moment choose to apologise for the latter event and this is what galls me most of all. The fact that even after Heysel and the events in Athens when there, but for the grace of God and a dose of good luck, it could have happened all over again, that Club and that element of its support which is shameful are still lauded as ’the best’ rather than the truth being given an airing.

I can’t stand the ’organism’ that is...and the ethos and...YES...arrogance of Liverpool FC. That is one of the reasons why Derbies will never be friendly for me.
Terry McLavey
36   Posted 07/01/2010 at 17:13:43

Report abuse

I used to say to people, "l don’t care if we lose all our matches as long as we beat the RS twice!" A stupid thing to say really as we need to stay in the Premier League!

l’m 58 and live in Cornwall now but l can still remember when l was 17 dreading going into work at Rushworth and Dreaper in Great George Street by the Cathedral on the Monday after we lost and they won (even worse after a Derby!).

l do think you have to be from Merseyside to appreciate the passions felt about our teams. l now work in Sainsburys in Truro, it’s full of reds that think the Liverpool side are 4" tall as they’ve only seen them on TV! l often ask them "remind me again what part of Merseyside are you from?" You can guess how popular l am! COYB!!!

Ciarán McGlone
37   Posted 07/01/2010 at 22:58:57

Report abuse

Dave, I may be naive... I very much doubt it.

But you are simply wrong. You make the mistake the original poster makes... you refer to Liverpool FC as a ’someone’ — an all-embracing collective .... and then give it personality by suggesting I do not understanding human nature by not understanding bitter reactions to it.

I do understand bitterness... I also understand over-reaction, proportionality, and going out of your way to be offended.
Michael Brien
38   Posted 08/01/2010 at 07:46:07

Report abuse

I remember back in 1977, when I was a student at Christ’s College in Woolton and Liverpool won the European Cup. On their homecoming there was the rather infamous comments of Emlyn Hughes. The next day, one of my mates Laurie — a staunch Kopite — sought me out to apologise!! I also recall reading Tommy Smith’s comments in his book about the incident, he was highly critical of Hughes.

Yes Liverpool are our rivals, but I would personally hate to see that rivalry descend to the level of the Celtic & Rangers situation. It’s within the last 10 years I think it is, that a young 17-year-old Celtic supporter was murdered because he happened to go the wrong way home, through "Rangers territory". There are still Rangers fans who have never forgiven the club for signing Catholic players. Do we want that kind of bigotry?? I would hope NOT.

Ciarán McGlone
39   Posted 08/01/2010 at 09:35:29

Report abuse

Michael... here in the north of Ireland, Celtic and Rangers suporters have been murdering each other for years. In fact, the incident I mentioned in Coleraine last year actually happened after a derby...

Maybe my exposure to this degree of bitterness is why I despise it in Evertonians and equally despise the apportioning of blame for such hatred...
Chris Butler
40   Posted 08/01/2010 at 11:47:31

Report abuse

Ciaran, the hatred between Bosnians, Serbs and Croats overides any football rivalry as there's been 300 years of masscares between the sides. I’m mixed so I try to never be bitter as many families have far more reason to feel that way.
Ciarán McGlone
41   Posted 08/01/2010 at 16:04:36

Report abuse

Exactly Chris. Contextualise (as the liberals would say).
Chris Butler
42   Posted 08/01/2010 at 22:53:18

Report abuse

Terry, if you had a scouse accent, you were treated like scum. The "sign on" chant Everton and Liverpool supporters had to deal with every game annoyed both sides. Like I cannot understand the rivalries mentioned above by Ciaran. Scousers were treated just as badly as blacks or asians.

At England games, supporters from Liverpool were targeted, hence why few scouse diehards support Everton. As I mentioned to Ciaran, who will understand the bigotry that, in fact, we all work in the same places. You will obviously get a fair bit of banter but there are far more issues surrounding the derby.

Pete Jones
43   Posted 09/01/2010 at 04:10:34

Report abuse

I’ve travelled around a lot over the years and lived in a lot of different places. I have to say that even though we do wind each other up more than before, generally there isn’t anywhere near as much hatred on merseyside as there is in most big cities in the world inc scumchester, london, obviously glasgow, etc etc etc.
Any scouse Evertonian you meet will have a load of red mates and possibly relatives too. Hate each other during the derby, but either side of that, it’s usually just banter - helps the day go quicker.
As for the bitterness thing. Sorry, but over the last ten years or so, being a blue seems to have become as much about hating the RS as anything else, which is embarrassing. There are endless references to RS on this site and all other blue forums, whereas that’s not the case from the other side (tho of course they mention manure a lot - they’re punishing themselves with that i think).
Have got to say that any true scouse blue should genuinely hate manure much more than the RS. But it’s the RS that are there at school or work or whatever the day after a derby defeat, hence the endless wind-ups.
If it was friendly, it wouldn’t be a decent rivalry. But at the end of the day i’ll back a fellow scouser in principle against anyone else, whether they be red or blue. For those of you that are consumed by hate, try actually venturing outside the city’s boundaries for once - or go and get laid or sthg. Make love not war :-P
Pete Jones
44   Posted 09/01/2010 at 04:20:58

Report abuse

And incidentally, it’s not like Heysel did the RS any favours either, is it?
I remember charging an end quite a few (urgh) years ago. If a wall had come down then, would I be a shameless murderer too? I just thought I was standing up for where I was from (stupid, I know).
David Johnson
45   Posted 10/01/2010 at 07:29:41

Report abuse

"Trevor Lynes
Posted 05/01/2010 at 22:35:09 As far as I’m concerned, having been present at a few gates over 70,000 without segregation, I cannot understand the stupid bigotry and hatred.
As I said before, I am PROUD of being a scouser first and foremost and an Everton supporter to boot... I would rather see Liverpool stuff Man Utd than any team from our City being beaten"


Add Your Comments

In order to post a comment to Fan Articles, you need to be logged in as a registered user of the site.

Log in now

Or Sign up as a ToffeeWeb Member — it's free, takes just a few minutes and will allow you to post your comments on articles and MailBag submissions across the site.

© ToffeeWeb

Latest News

Subscribe to The Athletic, Get 40% off

Online Football Betting with Betway

Bet on Everton and get a deposit bonus with bet365 at

Recent Articles

Talking Points & General Forum

Pinned Links


We use cookies to enhance your experience on ToffeeWeb and to enable certain features. By using the website you are consenting to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.