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Remembering the Past

By David Brown :  13/01/2011 :  Comments (6) :
My eldest brother Jim took me to my first Everton matches in London in the early 60s. He really supported Man U but had a soft spot for us. My Dad came from Dundee and I remember Jim telling me that once they had met my hero Jimmy Gabriel while on holiday there waiting at the bus stop!

Anyway I grew up to support the Blue Boys and Jim eventually left London to live in Manchester. Often I would go there to meet him and go to see Everton play, sometimes dragging Jim along with me and, more often than not, I would cause some type of disruption to his life by some stupid problem like my car breaking down. Still the most notable of these disasters was the FA Cup semi-final against Liverpool played at Maine Road.

Both sets of supporters shared the old Kippax side of the ground and I stood there with my mate DC in the middle of a sea of blue. The swaying of the crowd was unbelievable throughout and we looked out of it at 2-1 down but we started to play well and made it 2-2. The supporters went crazy and we swayed down the terraces and back up again. In all the movement, my glasses fell off, as I went to pick them up we piled down the terraces again... when I finally had my glasses in my hand, one lens was shattered.

I had no choice other than to try to watch the rest of the game through that one lens which was crap as it proved almost impossible to see. Still Everton were on top now and the excitement was immense and we did score a winner through Bryan Hamilton only for it to be chalked off ? incredibly!! ? by ref Thomas the Book.

The next day, I tried to drive home with my mate DC being my eyes only the car would not start. Jim helped to push it and I ran over his foot. Eventually, we got away but hadn't got too far when we were driving down a one-way street the wrong way so we abandoned the trip and went back to Jim's.

I got back to London by train and pretended to work that I was stuck in Manchester as I decided to try to turn this broken lens situation in my favour by telling them I could not drive home until it was fixed which would be Thursday! To be honest I never thought my boss believed me but Jim got a ticket for me to see the replay at Old Trafford so I got back up to Manchester to see the game wearing some temporary glasses I'd sorted at a local optician in London that my Dad had driven me to.

My Dad died last October, it was not a major surprise, he was 90 and had a good innings. We were sad, of course, because he was still all there and loved his football... in fact, the last game we watched together was Everton's 3-3 draw with Man Utd.

Then, a week before Christmas, Jim passed away too; this was completely unexpected and a great shock to us all. My Brother would have been 66 the end of January. I miss them both and think of all the times watching football together then afterwards normally arguing with my Dad about the game but with Jim it was a discussion as he never argued with anyone.

I will be watching the game on TV Sunday and I know if there is anyway at all they will be watching too and, while they may not be Evertonians, you can bet they will want us to win. I hope we can do it not just for me but also for them.

Reader Comments

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Howard Don
1   Posted 14/01/2011 at 08:01:19

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I was at both the Cup games David and, I may be wrong, but I'd have sworn both games were at Maine Road. I remember we went so crazy when Hamilton scored the "winner" and so it was a while before we realised it was disallowed. Still one of my most heartbreaking moments watching Everton.

Thank you Mr Clive Thomas, may you rot in bad referee hell.
David Brown
2   Posted 14/01/2011 at 12:29:52

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Yes you may well be right Howard. I can't remember the replay at all I know we lost but thats about it. Think I just blocked it out of my mind. Also bit muddled at the moment so may have got confused. Anyway lets hope for no more heartbreaking moments this weekend!!
Thanks for printing this Michael appreciate that and all the effort from you and everyone connected with Toffeeweb who provide us all with such a good site.
Mark Billing
3   Posted 14/01/2011 at 12:43:45

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My mate who was then 13 was playing football for the BB that afternoon. His game finished and he, his brother, his mate and his mum (all Blues) got into the car just after hearing Hamilton score on a tranny radio. No radio in the car. They celebrated noisily and ribbed his dad (a red) for all 15 minutes on the journey from Bebington back to Upton; got into the house to discover that it was still 2-2. *pop*
Dave Charles
4   Posted 14/01/2011 at 14:43:37

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Both games were at Maine Road and my bottom lip is starting to wobble as those horrid memories of that day come back. I was 15, on the Kippax with my dad and soaked.

That bastard Thomas took years to admit he was wrong when ' an infringement occurd ', that didn't.

Rot in hell Thomas, it's no more than you deserve.
John Ford
5   Posted 14/01/2011 at 22:12:47

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I was 12 and have vivid and still painful memories of Hamiltons goal being disalowed. Id been a blue since a nipper so of course id never experienced us beating Liverpool which hadnt happened since 1970, which was before I knew what all the fuss was about. The Hamilton incident sticks in my mind more than any other, its still an awful memory.

I spent my most intense footy fan years just wishing we could beat Lierpool but it never happened, not once. I was living in Skelmersdale along with lots of other kids who'd moved there from Merseyside with their families. Happily it was just a year later when Andy King did his stuff and the wait was over. I was standing on a fishing stool in the paddock. One nil. Get in!
David Brown
6   Posted 15/01/2011 at 09:08:32

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yes John now that reminds me... The main stand couldn't have long been built and we were sitting in the upper tier remember going up via escalator well impressed it seemed so steep up there and these reds saying as they looked down onto the pitch... wheres the effing parachute!! Was almost in line with Andy King as he smashed it in now thats a wonderful memory and one that I will never forget.

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