What makes an Evertonian? How did we come to be in this lofty position in life? What saved us from kopitism or the far-reaching web casting of the Manure influence? For some of us ? well, let?s face it, most of us ? it?s through family and not via constant Sky Sports coverage of a team that is less than 25 miles from our hometown which entices us to follow the major stars that could be our heroes.
For the record, my Dad, who I look up to for his total exemplary character, is a Liverpool fan. Luckily for me, not a true follower but more of keeping his Dad?s memory alive, who didn?t survive WW2, and I thank him for his sacrifice for the rest of my days. And in the thirties, he would go to Anfield and write the match report to the Echo for a couple of bob, while the ?real reporter? spent the afternoon in the pub and sent the stats on time at 5pm.
On my mum?s side was her dad who was an utter Blue and, thankfully, lived through 5 years of hell in North Africa fighting Rommel and Co. During 1968 he got the Everton claws working; I was 6 and had not been to a match ? what was my Dad thinking of? During summer holidays, my Gran and Granddad would save up the sixpences in a massive old whisky jar. I would get the chance to grab as much of the takings in my hands and have it as spends for the Butlins getaway.
The summer of ?68 was different rules. At aged 6, my Granddad stated an ultimatum: no cash unless you support Everton.
"Okay," was the prompt reply ? like you do, money on offer, a future Dan Gosling in the making if I?m not careful, but what the hell!
The plan was now set. Months later, March ?69, was my first game home to Chelsea... lost 2-1, Royle penalty, but I was hooked. Every home game next season, and I see us win the league at the age of 7! I can still remember the pitch invasion after beating West Brom 2-0 to clinch the title. Wow, easy game this football!
From then on it was pure Everton, mind-bending stories from my Granddad, Dixie Dean the foremost character and I?m fortunate to have passed down the 5 May 1928 copy of the Football Echo with the match report of Dixie?s 60th goal in the 3-3 with Arsenal and clinching the title. (NB: Man Utd beat Liverpool 6-1 to avoid relegation.) The memories go on and last for a lifetime.
So, what was the time that made you a Blue, passed down through a generation perhaps, even so what was that time that spoke to you and said, "This is it, for life"?
Note: we've added David's submission to a long-forgotten section here at TW, "Being a Blue".
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
1 Posted 07/08/2010 at 03:02:36
It felt like everyone in Bootle was an Evertonian when I was a kid. I didn?t really know of any Liverpudlians. (My relatives, on my mother?s side seemingly the only exceptions.) Liverpool had not long emerged from the second division, and I can only remember one kid at school supporting them.
I think of Everton as my religion. I don?t remember becoming an Evertonian; I always was one. Begotten not made, in a manner of speaking. My own children, who, of course, are Evertonians, were born in Los Angeles so their stories will be different. They wear their Everton kits in the street and watch the games on the telly. My worst nightmare as a parent was the thought that one of my kids would become a Liverpudlian. I often wonder how people cope who have had this happen to them. I suppose I will have to worry all over again when the grandkids come along, but I have a while to savour the pleasure of my royal blue children before I have to face that set of bad dreams
2 Posted 07/08/2010 at 08:12:29
Been going ever since, had season tickets for Glwadys Street then Park End where I still am, travelled all over watching them through a lot of highs and lows and now have two boys aged five and two who are bluenoses already but not yet been to a game due to work commitments and their age but they will both be going at some point. My younger brother recently starred in the Beating Berlusconi play and tour and even appeared in a RS fanzine which is funny as he too is a bluenose.
3 Posted 07/08/2010 at 08:57:27
When I was applying for college - wanted to go to somewhere that had good football teams - applied to Sheffield, Nottingham and Liverpool (that gives the era away!)
Ended up in Liverpool. The first people I met were Reds and I did go to a few games.
Thankfully I then met another group of friends - 1 of whom was a Blue through and through. He started taking me to Goodison. I know it sounds corny - but most of you will understand. Once I walked into Goodison - I KNEW that was where I wanted to watch my football. This was 1975 - so not a brilliant time for the Blues, but I was hooked.
Both sons are Blues - my husband did support Man City - but is now a Blue and I am responsible for turning my friend (who did have a reds season ticket) by taking her son to the game!
4 Posted 07/08/2010 at 09:21:43
I was 11. My dad & brother didn't mind they liked Everton. They hated the RS. My dad took me to my first few games then I was off and have been going ever since. Thank god for Washo.
I know lots of Reds who go the game and are loyal supporters but loads who have 'season tickets' for the pubs were I live and they all go there with the RS shirts on when theyr'e on Sky. Almost all the Blues I know go the game week in week out.
Funny thing is the armchair RS fans think they are loyal supporters.
5 Posted 07/08/2010 at 09:54:20
I lived in a family where there are no footy fans and so picked a club depending on my mates. Luckly I had one friend who wasn't a Man U or liverpool fan and he showed me the right way.
It running in the family now though. I take my Nephew to Goodison and he's now such a fan that he complained because he went to the zoo on weds instead of coming with me when I took the missus to the Chile Game.
6 Posted 07/08/2010 at 10:02:39
My own journey was being taken to the match by my dad a lifelong Evertonian as was his dad, so I can claim 'I blame my parents'
7 Posted 07/08/2010 at 10:07:08
8 Posted 07/08/2010 at 10:09:08
The sense of injustice makes an Evertonian thanks to Clive Thomas; Alan "hand-ball" Hansen in the Milk Cup Final; the corruption of Pierluigi Collina; the tackle on Geoff Nulty; Stealing of popular songs in the 60's.
But more importantly, the youthful memories of going mental in the Street End during big games in the 80's; recalling Sharpies goal at Anfield; the sound of "whatever way we play it, we play it fair and square"; shivers down your spine at the sound of Z Cars.
And later in life, spending too much of the working day on Toffeeweb and thinking of eureka ideas to change the fortunes of EFC without going cap in hand to an oppressive Eastern regime / oligarch / sugar daddy / dubious entrepreneur.
9 Posted 07/08/2010 at 14:07:50
Long live the Toffees.
10 Posted 07/08/2010 at 14:21:47
You constantly meet new friends and aquaintances through different occasions and nothing stays the same but there is no feeling like being part of the Everton family.
I was taken to my first game at the age of 7 or 8 by my dad,uncle and grandad.
It was a floodlit night match which I think was against some military side.
All I know is the occasion just sucked me in.
Shortly after that my grandad died and my dad had to work Saturdays although he would occasionally try to get off early and get in for half time.
I elected to go via the boys pen ( a shilling I think - 5 pennies in the new European age).As I said nothing stays the same!!
All of a sudden 1962/63 season was upon us and in the final match we beat Fulham (3-1, Ithink) to win the league.
Hundreds of us,seemed like thousands of us climbed over the 6 foot railings in the boys pen (it was called the pen for nothing) and joined in the thousands that were on the pitch celebrating.
Most Evertonians,including my dad were Alex Young mad but my hero was Roy Vernon who could dance around a whole team and the goalkeeper to score and I dont think he ever missed a penalty.
By that time my blood had definitely turned blue and you hardly came across a kopite.
In fact Anfield was a corrugated shed with a sloping pitch that even a conference side would be ashamed of these days.
I made some great pals and we travelled the length and breadth of the country following the blues.
I could go on but the moral of the story is nothing touches you like the Blues.
11 Posted 07/08/2010 at 15:41:34
12 Posted 07/08/2010 at 15:36:26
It is always a puzzle to me why for much of the 1950s the team struggled. There were sell out crowds and there was a maximum wage but we never had any English international stars. Few (if any)Everton players featured in my Chix bubble gum card collection. Although we have a glorious history not all of our history has been glorious.
13 Posted 07/08/2010 at 14:53:43
In May 66 (I was 6) I was 'pleased' we won the FA Cup because 'we're Evertonians' but have a feeling a defeat would have been forgotten fairly easily.
Certainly any tears could have been stopped quickly with a 'lucky' bag or a handful of African American Jacks (or whatever they're called now)
However by 68 all that had changed and I was inconsolable and wept buckets when we lost to West Brom.
Things I suppose from then on were never really the same.
My dad (from Tuebrook) was I suppose a very fair minded blue.
Never really saw or heard any real bitterness towards Liverpool and if he saw they had a good player, he'd say so.
(he always said Ian Callaghan was the perfect footballer)
Actually, one of the moments in my life when I started to realise dads weren't all-knowing sages, was when Stevie Heighway signed for Liverpool.
They were at home (to Spurs I think) and the reports coming from Anfield on radio Merseyside were of this wonder-kid tearing the arse out of Spurs each time he got the ball.
I remember being nervous thinking they'd unearthed someone really good, but my dad waved it away with "flash in the pan son, he'll be in their reserves in two weeks"
Big pan, big flash.
I am certainly a less forgiving individual I suppose, but that's probably no fluke.
Because the truth is my mother was THE original 'bitter blue'.
What's even odder is that until she was 15 or so, she had probably never even heard of Everton.
She was from Roscommon in Ireland and came over shortly after the war to start nursing training.
I don't know if anyone's ever been to Roscommon but...well it's still VERY rural now (Christ knows what it was like then - certainly in 1967 I can remember hand-pumping water).
Anyway at some stage, when they started 'courting' my dad took her to the match and as Everton had Farrell, Eglington, O'Neill, Meagan - that was that.
A love affair with Everton untIl the day she died.
And she fucking hated Liverpool, they were ALL 'a shower of bleedin' gobshites' (gobshites - a word not as widely used back then - certainly not by the under 40's)
Shankly was 'that fuckin' mouthpiece' and 'har har Mr funny arse'.
It was....odd, she really fucking HATED them (I mean why would she give a shit?)
Everton players on the other hand were ALL 'smashing lads' who could do no wrong (talk about blinkered!).
When Duncan went to jail it was "he's just a big daft lad, how can they jail him? He should tell those Scots gets to shove it..." etc etc
'Language' from women 'back then' then was rare(r), but was a lot more acceptable in rural Ireland.
Consequently, it was often the source of embarrassment when we were kids (winces - specially if she was taking stuff back to shops and there would be a 'difference of opinions').
Come to think of it, anyone under 30 my mam didn't like was a 'bit of a kid' or 'a snotty nosed get', anyone over 40 'a big hairy arsed lump'.
Her views on players like Tommy Smith, Emlyn Hughes, Sourpuss - I'll leave you to guess at.
And when she heard the lovable Terry Mac has slashed on a nurse, I swear if she could have got a grip of him, she'd have knocked his tongue stiff.
It was never easy getting money from her for sweets or comics from but she ALWAYS made sure I always had match money.
My dad gave me money for chips as she wouldn't condone "eating all that shite from them filthy places (as you can imagine, my dad was Liverpool eye-rolling champion for many years)
Anyway (despite the pain) forever grateful to both of them.
By the way, just got a text saying we signed Arteta for 5 years (from a non wind-up mate).
14 Posted 07/08/2010 at 16:10:59
15 Posted 07/08/2010 at 16:43:31
16 Posted 07/08/2010 at 16:54:00
17 Posted 07/08/2010 at 17:40:26
"Anyone can support Liverpool"
18 Posted 07/08/2010 at 19:01:20
19 Posted 07/08/2010 at 20:11:13
Memory lane. I too was at the Fulham game in 1963 when we clinched the league. And Roy Vernon was also my hero. He did miss one penalty I believe but otherwise he always scored. He had a great trick of hitting the ball with the outside of his right foot and invariably sending the keeper the wrong way.
Does anyone else recall the following? One year there was a great picture of Ron Springett of Sheffield Wednesday diving to his right from a Vernon penalty, whilst the ball was simultaneously hitting the net high up the opposite side. The following season we played Sheffield Wednesday at home and were awarded a penalty. Vernon did his usual, but Springett this time dived to his left and saved. But he had moved. Penalty to be taken again. Identical scenario. Same side, same result. Penalty taken again because Springett had moved for a second time. The third time Vernon ran in, dummied to do his usual trick, and Springett again dived to his left, whereupon Vernon gently rolled the ball along the ground into the opposite corner.
I remembered this incident years later when Sheedy scored from a retaken free kick against Ipswich (it?s been mentioned and described on TW before.)
20 Posted 07/08/2010 at 20:19:43
21 Posted 07/08/2010 at 20:43:59
Once you realise kopites are indeed gobshites, it never really leaves you.
I think this is what makes you love the blues, polarisation!
22 Posted 07/08/2010 at 21:57:23
23 Posted 07/08/2010 at 22:33:10
"Scott McKenzie was always singing about going to San Francisco and wearing flowers in your hair".
I remember it so well - but don't forget there was always Dusty as well - EVERY half time! I Only Want To Be With You.
24 Posted 07/08/2010 at 23:00:29
25 Posted 08/08/2010 at 02:03:43
I do remember that song being played. Now you have reminded me I can't get it out of my head. Thanks.
26 Posted 08/08/2010 at 03:57:03
When I was around 6 or 7 my dad, who had attended Gwladys Street primary school and who supported Everton like his dad before him, wanted me to go along to a game with them. I agreed, much for the same reason another person posted before, I was coerced with the promise of sweets and a burger.
I don't remember who we played but it was a night game and we drew, however to me it felt as good as any victory. I have vivid memories of standing with my dad in the lower Gwladys, screaming and singing, with a guy who was standing next to us telling me the words to the songs. So proud of this transformation that he was witnessing, that he even afforded me a "FUCK OFF REF" which on normal circumstances would have warranted a belt around the ear.
So taken in by Everton that I went home and cut up my Liverpool top and brought the remnants downstairs, dad beaming from ear to ear and my mum livid that I had just destroyed an item of clothing. I was grounded for a week (reduced to two days on appeal) which was made easier by the fact that my dad sneaked in an Everton annual and copies of his old programs.
It only dawned on me years later just how much it meant to my dad to see me where I belonged. He is a bitter a blue as they come. It's strange because he was born in Poulton Le Fylde during the war and my mum (who was born in Everton valley) is a supporter of the shite. In fact just this very evening my dad (whilst feeling the effects of a couple of vinos) told her to "fuck off and get a fucking grip WOMAN" all because she had the audacity to tell him some news about the shite. "I should fucking divorce you.....37 years and you still think I give a shite about that lot?". Priceless
27 Posted 08/08/2010 at 12:12:56
28 Posted 08/08/2010 at 15:08:52
followed later by Mick Meagan. The first really good side that we saw was when John Moores came into our club, we were known as "The Mersey Millionaires" How times have changed. My all time best player was Roy Vernon, incidentally Jay the one penalty he missed was against Spurs at White Hart Lane, the game finished goalless. I still see some of my "ragamuffin" gang,some have stopped going to the match,but they are still Evertonians.
29 Posted 08/08/2010 at 19:15:28
My parents were both southerners (Bristol Rovers and Chelsea--actually likable in those days), but in the Sixties we lived in very un-swinging Birkenhead. I became an Everton fan because I preferred our gorgeous rich blue to their cheap-looking red, because our stadium was a majestic, world-class footballing edifice (imagine!) and theirs was a dark, dank dump, because our team was full of classy, elegant footballers like Brian Labone, John Hurst, and Colin Harvey and they had Tommy Smith, Ron Yeats, and the loathsome Emlyn Hughes, but above all because we had Alan Ball, simply the most electrifying player in Britain (George Best occasionally excepted). Hard to believe it now, but Everton just personified glamour, wealth, and effortless superiority in that era, the very essence of a "big club."
I only ever saw three games at Goodison: a damp December loss to Leeds in the strange 1970-71 season, and wins over the Arse and Hammers in 1971-72. We moved to the North East in 1972, and I had to endure the frustrations of the 70s and early 80s pretty much alone, a solitary Blue in a sea of Geordies and Mackems. I have only been back to Merseyside twice since we left, both times to queue for hours for a passport. But the flame never completely died, and now because of fantastic sites like this one (and the recent news of Arteta!) it burns brighter than it has for nearly 40 years.
30 Posted 08/08/2010 at 20:33:55
31 Posted 09/08/2010 at 06:43:44
Quote, "my Granddad stated an ultimatum: no cash unless you support Everton." Thank you that brought a huge smile.
32 Posted 09/08/2010 at 08:03:02
Now 38 with two sons ... eldest has the middle name 'Everton' while the 2nd lad has 'William Ralph' after the greatest of them all.
I was born and then chosen to be Toffee ... NSNO ...
I'm still the proudest supporter amongst my mates ... we constantly over achieve and don't tainted megabucks ...
and in August I ALWAYS think ... THIS will be OUR season...
that's what it is to be Everton ... downtrodden, disregarded but SO SO PROUD and LOYAL ... forever and ever and onto following generations.
33 Posted 09/08/2010 at 08:31:37
In 1984, I lived in shanty (the worse one in town) and yet there was constant live coverage (years before Sky's PPV) for both Merseysiders. Obviously, I didn't fall for the darkside when nearly all around me sold their soul.
Fortunately, I have a penchant for The Beatles as well, so it was natural for me to one day set a foot in Liverpool
In 1997, I got the opportunity to further my study in LJMU (I manouvered my way to study in Liverpool). I rented a house in Toxteth and week-in, week-out watched the Toffees playing... ALONE!!
I was there the day Farrelly hammered the goal that saved us... and I was there the last game in 1999 when we mauled West Ham. I long to be in GP again. Everton started to have more followings in Malaysia, at least I converted some :) and I believe our greatest asset is always the PASSION and HARD WORK (even though we play beautiful now).
Guys... it is a privilege to be a BLUE!!! When the last game of 1999 against Hammers was concluded, nearly all the persons around me saying goodbye and wish me the best... These are the same people who 90 minutes ago stared at me with disbelief and shock as like they were saying "Who is this guy? What the hell he is doing here?"
After the game, one guy ask me this...
"When will you come back?"
"I don't think so... the cost of air ticket bla bla bla and the time constraint bla bla" said I, giving all the excuses in the world... The guy just smile and said...
"No mate... you'll be here again..." Class!!! From that day I know I will be back again in GP, chanting and swearing.
That's what makes me an Evertonian and nobody can take that from me... If You Know Yer History!!!
34 Posted 09/08/2010 at 09:44:26
If you were a kid in the 80s it was far easier for your dad to get you to support Everton. I took it for granted we would win a trophy every year or at least be near the top of the league. I did have a run though of never seeing Everton lose up until 1993.
35 Posted 09/08/2010 at 10:42:26
Lasting memories were: the smells; the noise; the swearing!!!!! and losing one of my shoes in the sea of humanity on the way out and getting all hell from my Mum when I got home with only one shoe.
However, the case of my brother is a curious tale. We moved to South Africa in 1974, by which time I was a committed Blue. My brother on the other hand was a kopite (he was only 10 at the time, so perhaps that may be forgiven), and he remained in that terrible state until 1987. He received a call-up to the apartheid war machine, and so he decided to return to the UK (still a kopite).
Upon his return, he went to Anfield a few times, but in his own words ".... it didn't feel right, and I didn't enjoy it". He later admitted that he ended up hating the fans, the team, the stadium and everything to do with them - and this was in the Barnes, Beardsley, Dalglish era! So a glory boy he most certainly is not.
Then he was invited by some mates to go with them to Goodison, and he had "The Epiphany", much to my utter delight - now he knew exactly what it was that I'd been banging on about for years - the fella had become, almost overnight, a Blue. It was one of the happiest days of my life, in that he'd finally seen sense.
Nowadays, kinda like an ex-smoker, he's gone completely the other way and is as committed a Blue as anyone. He has 3 boys and all of them are Everton mad (as are my kids), and a dynasty of sorts is developing down here at the tip of Africa.
Just thought that story is a bit unusual :-)
36 Posted 09/08/2010 at 13:17:54
37 Posted 09/08/2010 at 16:23:14
My own story of becoming an Evertonian starts with my dad. He was a real gent - too good to be a red but that's what he was. A genuine lover of football though and on the Saturday's that "they" weren't at home he would nip across the park and watch the Blues.
Anyway, my 4 brothers continued going with him to Anfield and I went with him to Goodison. I can't remember the dates but my first game was QPR at home in the mid-sixties. I don't remember the score but we got walopped. I remember the noise getting louder as we got closer to the ground. Then there's that moment when you walk up the steps and see the pitch and terraces for the first time - and then hear the crowd noises go up another few notches. Then comes Z-Cars. Fuckin' 'Ell. I'm getting goosebumps again just thinking about it! The only thing better was seeing it under the fllodlights for the first time. So when I took my son to his first game about 20 years ago I picked a night game against opposition I thought we'd stuff. We got beat by Leicester I think but the Old Lady did her thing anyway. It's up to him to pass the word along now.
38 Posted 09/08/2010 at 21:06:30
My older brother was a Red but when I was a little kid Everton FC owned the house next but one to my Mum and Dad's and that's where the manager lived ? Cliff Britton at the time. His oldest son was the same age as me and we grew up as best friends.
Anyway, my Mum got very sick one year when I was about six and I slept over at the Britton's house for a few nights. They put me in the spare room where Mr Britton kept all his medals and England caps. So before going to sleep the first night I tried on his 1933 Cup Winners medal and a couple of caps, which were actually just about the right size for a 6-year-old. I was so excited that I became an instant Evertonian and then promptly wet the bed!
I went to my spec (Goodison Road terrace ? low down ? close to Glwadys St) almost every game for 15 years and hitch-hiked all over England watching the Blues in the late 50s and 60s ? highlights being the 62-63 Championship, a floodlit cup game against Blackburn around 1958 with over 75,000 in Goodison (even though we lost) and of course the 66 Cup Final as Wembley. Then moved to Canada, where I'm just as fanatical a Blue as ever and now one of the "Toronto Toffees". I still watch every game on the telly and try to get to Goodison every 2 or 3 years. Goodison Park is like a cathedral to me ? the only place that's been a constant for me all my life! May we renovate and stay there for ever.
39 Posted 09/08/2010 at 23:27:45
My story started about 5 years ago. My dad got Fox Soccer Channel (I live in America) and I began to watch football. I decided that I wanted to follow a club but I wasn't sure who to follow. I watched a Liverpool game and thought 'these guys are total douche bags'. I found out that Everton were their rivals and I decided that I would support them. Everton grew on me and now here I sit, writing on an Everton fan site which I visit daily. I watch every game and hopefully, I'll be visiting Godison this upcoming season.
40 Posted 10/08/2010 at 09:55:16
The rest is history. There have been more bad times then the real good times that I can remember. 1995 was a better time. A few of my friends are Spurs fans and I still pull their legs about Amokachi. And then down the pub for a bashing from Man Utd fans. RIDEOUT. In your faces. Everything in Red is shite!!
Almost all of my missus' family are Arsenal born and bred and the joy when my 4 year old son was asked by his nanny if he wanted a red or blue shirt for his birthday. His reply. "I want a blue one so I can be like my daddy"
Welling up now just thinking about it. I know that we have another generation in the making. Just goes to show that the club will continue even after we don't.
41 Posted 10/08/2010 at 12:42:09
Thankfully my grandparents lived next door to a guy who was friends with Peter Reid and my uncle became an Everton fan from an early age.
I persuaded Dad to take me to an Everton game and became an Evertonian for life. Dad saw the light and has become as much an Evertonian as me.
As he reaches 60 we still go to games together and will be there in our seats come the first home game.
42 Posted 11/08/2010 at 11:02:41
I liked Imre Varadi because of his name - he had to be good.
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