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Why Everton are the World's best team

By Lee Heath :  21/04/2011 :  Comments (35) :
Just sat here on a boring morning at work and after years of reading some of the fantastic articles, Ken's match reports, following the forums and the latest transfer gossip and the general goings on around the Evertonian community, I thought that I'd finally get round to writing my own piece for you guys.

Having just turned 24, I've missed out on the glory days of the 80s. Being from the Blackpool area, which is infested by Kopites and Mancs, I caught the Everton bug from my father who of course lived through the glory days.

At the start, I hated football and me and mum would cheer when football season finished... but for one great day ? and I remember it vividly. It was Everton v Spurs and I think it was at Elland Road, the FA Cup Semi-Final changed all that. My dad sat me down and made me watch the game on tele. Amokachi's brace had me beaming that day.

Being 8 or 9 at the time, I came away thinking Everton were the best team in the world. Not even realising the terrible season we had had that year. But, by the day of the FA Cup Final I was a fully fledged fan, sat there in my newly aquired Everton shirt, cheering the boys on to a 1-0 victory over the Mancs with a Paul Rideout header that had come off the bar from Graham Stuart's shot. I still even remember the Southall double save late on in the game.

That was it. I was in love and still am. We proceeded to get season tickets in the Kevin Campbell & Franny Jeffers era, and I was also there when Gareth Farrelly crashed in that volley against Coventry, brought me to tears that did. I was witnessed the awful Earl Barrett and Craig Short 'hoofball' era. Andrei Kanchelskis was awesome and I cried when he left. Also when Big Dunc got a brace on his Newcastle debut...

We unforunatly gave up the season tickets around the time Everton decided to become a half-decent team but I still follow the blues intensely.

In all my life following the Blues, I have been so grateful that that I have experienced the highs and lows of football in the way that the kopites and fans of the Sky 4 haven't. I appreciate every win, whether it be Fulham at home or Chelsea away, whereas most my Liverpool or Utd mates take victory for granted. When they won the Champions League, it was like "Ah yeah good win that", whereas, if we won the League Cup, I'd be jumping around the living room whilst ringing the boss up and booking the next two weeks off.

The point that I am making today is that being an Evertonian is so much more of an adventure than being a fan of a team who never never experienced a relegation dogfight, an unlikely European adventure, sudden rise or fall of fortunes, and their club operating off a shoestring.

I honestly believe that Everton are the best club in the world to support and I don't envy any other team or supporters in the land. I mean who else would stay up till 11:30 to see the highlights of a hard-earned point away at West Brom on MotD? Any of you chaps agree with me when I say that no other club has the soul or the passion that we have for our team.

Anyone else enjoying the adventure as much as me?


Reader Comments

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Andy Crooks
1   Posted 21/04/2011 at 20:40:34

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Good article, Lee. I think I used to be like you. Don't let yourself turn into a miserable sod like me. Still, everyone who takes the time to post here is like you deep down.
Nick Entwistle
2   Posted 21/04/2011 at 20:47:04

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There are small clubs, big clubs. Some are just revenue streams, others remain institutions.
Dennis Stevens
3   Posted 21/04/2011 at 21:08:06

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Hear! Hear! Lee. Very well put indeed. I always feel sorry for people who aren't Evertonians ? despite the frustrations at times, I consider myself one of the privileged few.

I think one of the great tragedies of the Sky era is the way that clubs are deemed to have the place in the footballing hierarchy & it's ever more difficult to progress upwards ? especially when reach sight of the summit!

When I was young a football club's fortunes could ebb & flow, meaning that clubs could get promoted and immediately make their presence felt without years of yo-yoing and then consolidating. Also, clubs could challenge for honours merely because they had built a good team ? there wasn't a billionaires' closed shop.

Tim O'Connell
4   Posted 21/04/2011 at 21:23:22

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Spot on - enough said
Gerry Quinn
5   Posted 21/04/2011 at 21:36:49

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Lee, right on, I'm with you all the way, son. I have been lucky to support Everton through the great 60s and 80s. I will never give up hope that we CAN and WILL at some time in the future get that winning a trophy feeling again.

They are correct in saying that money rules football and money dictates who wins the trophies, but I really do believe that at some stage in the not too distant future "poor old us" will get some financial backing and will ram it all down the throats of those "mutant" fans ? it WILL mean something those fans would not understand.

Keep the faith, we may not be the best team in the world, but we certainly are the truest supporters in the world...

Martin Mason
6   Posted 21/04/2011 at 22:08:09

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Lee, I've been in that camp for over 50 years now. 50 years of mainly down but with two periods of incredible up when we were the best of the best. Thank you for being a positive Blue in what is sometimes a sea of negativity. Everton need the support of people like you, people like us I should say.

I dream of a future for us where we solve the ground problem (it has to be a share with Liverpool) and FIFA make all clubs operate on sound finances. A future where our ability to develop young players and see value where no others see it puts us at a massive advantage.

Gerry is spot-on, Lee; keep the faith and you will be vindicated. Once we solve the ground issue, we are a mega buy, we have a massive future because in the end a club is the sum of its fans (even though we are only customers now) and we are genuinely the best. I'm as proud to be an Evertonian now as I was in 1970 when the footballing world was at our feet.

Dick Fearon
7   Posted 21/04/2011 at 23:36:32

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Andy, #1, says it all. You are not alone.... A warning though! if you do keep control of your passion you could end up like me.

Picture the scene: On the far side of this earth, 12,000 miles from my old home, in the early hours of Good Friday morning, in one of my many Everton tops and cap that I will wear to the beach as soon as the sun comes up. The license plate of my car is EVERTON 2. A nod and smile to my minature Everton Father Christmas that is propped up just the right of the computer, with its Everton mouse and pad.

Surrounded at every turn by Everton bric brac, note pads, pens and a rubber blue nose.... I could go on and on about my passion for all things Everton and I have to admit it is a bit over the top. But hey, what better thing to go over board about?

Mike Green
8   Posted 22/04/2011 at 01:07:01

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You've got a point, Lee ? and so have you, Nick (#2) ? a mental institution! : )
Paul Conatzer
9   Posted 22/04/2011 at 01:27:51

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What a great article, Lee. Over here in Texas, there are a lot of Manure & Liverpool bandwagon fans... they can't grasp the fact that I was born an Evertonian. It runs deeper than anything they could understand...
Chris Bannantyne
10   Posted 22/04/2011 at 01:41:40

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Hahaha Dick Fearon #8 your house sounds just like mine!

I also have a royal blue chopper motorcycle with the licence plate EFC-78, which is the best I could do given the 'three letters, two numbers' constraints.

Lee, great article. I feel just like you. I don't understand why anyone would want to support any other team. In saying, I am starting to become bitter and also have a good negative bitch-fest from time to time. I got (what doctors call) "everton induced bipolar syndrome" and unlike regular bipolar, I think it might be contagious. Watch out guys!
Derek Thomas
11   Posted 22/04/2011 at 03:16:37

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Nice one Lee, glad to see it. It's an addiction, there is no cure, you just have to manage it one day at a time.

Like Dick and Chris, I have all the stuff. It makes me pretty easy to buy for at Christmas and Birthdays.

So long as it is Everton related or contains the words Havanna or Single Malt, that's me sorted.

And also, it would take CSI to trace a trace of red in anything I own or use.
Chris Bannantyne
12   Posted 22/04/2011 at 05:56:11

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Yeah, Derek (#12), I don't stock anything red either EXCEPT for a pair of sneakers I have. They are royal blue, but the sole of the shoe is red, which I liked as a sort of metaphor, you know: "Blue on top, red on the bottom and I walk all over it" hehe... God, I probably need therapy!
Matthew Lovekin
13   Posted 22/04/2011 at 07:21:10

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Good post, Evertonians are born not manufactured!

Tony Cheek
14   Posted 22/04/2011 at 07:52:23

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Nice one Lee, brought back some good and not so good memories.
Derek Thomas
15   Posted 22/04/2011 at 08:48:56

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Anybody know where you can get red toilet paper??
Chris Bannantyne
16   Posted 22/04/2011 at 08:59:52

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Dunno where you can get red dunny papper from... but, if your bog roll ends up red, you are likely to have health issues...
James Hollister
17   Posted 22/04/2011 at 09:02:27

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And then you have the apologists who seem to think the word mediocrity is the club's motto.

EFC is an institution that has for too long suffered with debt and totally inept board management... quite how we've stayed up defies any sense, when you consider some of the terrible managers we had in the past.

I wouldn't say relegation was exciting, exhilarating or any of that stuff... Nevertheless, EFC is a special club, with real fans and a passion all its own. There is no other club quite like Everton, the rest of the Premier League is made up of revenue streams and small clubs who will never amount to very much or, dare I say, never win a thing, there to keep the numbers.

Everton on the other hand are capable of defying the odds even in the face of adversity. I believe we are overdue a title-winning side, and you know the funny thing? This very team is capable of delievering it, if they can ever start a season on form.

Once a blue always a blue; we are not manufactured... through adversity and hardship, we grow stronger. Our love for everything Everton may wane at times, but we'll never truly walk away... it will always be in our blood. :)
Chris James
18   Posted 22/04/2011 at 08:20:29

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Wow! What an uplifting and refreshing article, Lee are you sure you got the right site? ;-)

Seriously though I completely agree with Lee about the ups and downs ? those fans of teams who are always at the top expecting to win or have bought success will never be able to appreciate the god times as much as those on a rollercoaster ? even this site bears that out (eg, see the consistent griping because we haven't improved upon our 'expected' top 6 finish to break the top 4 this year ? I still remember when staying in the top flight was an achievement).

I started my own journey as a 10-year-old fan in the mid-80s, so to be fair I did start on a pretty amazing high watching the likes of Sheedy, Steven, Sharp, Reid, Ratcliffe, Bracewell (briefly) Lineker playing gorgeous football and trading domestic (and European) titles with Liverpool.

Suffice to say it took a while before I had similar reason to celebrate, shouting my head off and boozing the night away before my final Uni exam after the United final in 95 with Rideout, Amokachi, Hinchcliffe, Watson, Limpar and Co.

Even when we weren't winning trophies, I counted myself lucky enough to appreciate some brilliant individual players or those I considered legends, the likes of Kanchelskis, Beardsley and Big Dunc plus others who may not have hit quite the same levels but just wore their heart on their sleeve for the cause, like Beagrie, McCall, Campbell, Carsley, Gravesen and Parkinson).

Of course I've seen some almost very lows; I was stood in the Gwladys on the last day win against Wimbledon and saw 4 of the 5 goals go in (including that Horne screamer and the slight (ahem) softer winner ? thanks Hans!), I was in amongst the clutch of away fans at Highbury as we 'celebrated' our Champions league slot by being thrashed 7-1 (still kept singing "Champions League, you're having a laff" mind) ? one of many fruitless away trips (being whipped by Spurs on New Year's Day, losing after going ahead at the Emirates and more recent capitulation at Craven Cottage... made all the worse by having to watch Jô in an Everton shirt).

Right now though I can honestly say I'm somewhere in-between. I'm immensely proud of what we've achieved over the last few seasons in raising our starting expectation to a European slot, of a first team squad featuring genuine sought-after stars (Cahill, Felliani, Arteta, Howard, Jags, Baines), some exciting youthful prospects (Rodwell, Coleman, Beckford, Gueye and Vellios plus prospects like Duffy, Baxter, Barkley and Mustafi) as well as homegrown locals (Osman and Hibbo) and a manager who's regarded by pretty much everyone else (outside Toffeeweb) as one of the best young talents in the league.

Like everyone else, I'm frustrated by the fact we haven't ben able to get those one or two extra players (striker/winger) to complete the team, by the fact we started the season so terribly (again) saving our run of form until it's slightly too late to challenge for top 4 and by the fact that we have no money to improve the squad in the summer and will need to sell to buy.

Ultimately though I'm still enjoying the ride and believe that things can and will get better (albeit with the sacrifice of 1 or 2 'stars' this summer) and that plenty more thrills and spills (ideally including a CL campaign or a shiny new trophy) lie ahead.

Err, so in summary, I'm with you, Lee, great post!

Lee Courtliff
19   Posted 22/04/2011 at 09:07:44

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Good stuff, Lee. I am only 5 years older than you and I also live outside the Liverpool area and only support Everton because of my Dad (who is a scouser).

I fully understand what it is like to be surrounded by glory-hunting fuckwits who know nothing about football.

I have this wonderful daydream where one day I am walking through town with my Everton shirt on and some random stranger starts having a go at me for being a glory hunter!

"You're only wearing that shit shirt 'cos Everton just won the League and Champions League, you glory-hunting twat!"

Then I can start lecturing him about how my first game was back in 1990, how difficult it was being one of only 2/3 lads in the whole school who supported Everton when we were fighting relegation every season. Then I can end by saying that I have earned this... 'cos I was there when we were shit!

Like I said... it's just a daydream but, fucking hell, I would love it to happen.
Richard Tarleton
20   Posted 22/04/2011 at 10:04:02

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A lovely positive article and one that made my old heart sing. However, if like me you're 64, and remember vividly the glories of Young, Vernon et alia, Ball, Kendall and the majestic Colin Harvey and of course Kendall's first visitation as manager, it's a little harder to be content with where we are now.

To me, emotionally, if not rationally, we are still "The Merseyside Millionaires", "The School of Science", I expect us to compete and beat Liverpool, United et cetera. I find it hard to be content with the odd good defensive performance and sneaking a goal at Man City. I expect us to be there and to win trophies.

In my way, I am another kind of Romantic to young Lee.

Trevor Lynes
21   Posted 22/04/2011 at 10:09:14

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I well remember all the similar feelings you have since I was tied to a stantion so that I would not be crushed in crowds of over 70,000 at Goodison. I caught the bug back in 1948 so witnessed relegation... the re-emergence and title winning of the 60s and 80s. I STILL say that John Carey would have been our best manager if he had been allowed to stay... he brought us Vernon, Colllins, Young, Parker, Gabriel, Labone, Bingham, Lill and Ring... members of the best footballing side I ever saw wearing an Everton shirt!!
Good on yer... I hope you see the 2nd coming!!!
Andy Amey
22   Posted 22/04/2011 at 11:14:42

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Born not manufactured... simples!
Dick Fearon
23   Posted 22/04/2011 at 11:31:29

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Trevor # 23, you have a few years over me cos I started in 54 and saw promotion with the team.

I also was a fan of Johnnie Carey and the marvellous team of footballers he assembled. Win, lose or draw I would leave the game feeling satisfied with our standard of play.

Despite Cattericks success, I never quite reached the same level of satisfaction. There always was a longing for what might have been under JC.

Phil Bellis
24   Posted 22/04/2011 at 12:27:02

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I'm a big lad but I couldn't watch this to the end without my eyes watering...

Andy @25 - look out for that on the ladys' t-shirt

God help us when we finally win something ? the street party to end all street parties.
Mark Pierpoint
25   Posted 22/04/2011 at 12:42:12

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Excellent article, Lee. Also being 24, my experience of Everton is quite similar. Bloody loved Kanchelskis also. The only player I remember being as gutted to see leave was Rooney.

Being from Stoke, I also have to field questions of Why Everton? And as you say, with all the ups and downs, I cannot imagine the boredom of supporting anyone else.

Norman Merrill
26   Posted 22/04/2011 at 12:35:51

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Lee, A well put article, and, and its obvious you're a true Blue.

Trevor (#23): I am the same age group as yourself; while I agree in what you say about Johnny Carey, it's all about opinions, and I for one will be forever grateful to Harry Catterick, in winning the Championship twice, and the FA Cup.

I would like to think that in my lifetime we might see the glory days return, Lee has time on his side, but I don't want to go into the problems, because they have been well documented on this website.

Intish Goreeba
27   Posted 22/04/2011 at 13:09:11

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Hello out there. Lee just described what a true EFC fan goes through. I shared the same memories especially when Big Dunc scored for Newcastle against Man Utd... brought tears to my eyes. This season I thought would be a great season, but it's not over yet.

By the way I'm from Mauritius ? we do have diehard Everton fans.


David Crowe
28   Posted 22/04/2011 at 13:18:12

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Absolutely right Lee. I also can't for the life of me envy any other club because there is no club quite like Everton.

Certain times in my relatively short time as an Evertonian have summed it all up: Fiorentina was the game that showed me that no-one ? and I mean no-one ? was more passionate about their club than the Evertonians; the Rooney saga told me that, no matter how much we love certain players or how important they are to our success, no-one is bigger than the club.

The days out at Wembley showed me the togetherness the supporters have and the atmosphere just blew me away and left me hungry for more. I believe we have the best supporters, the best ground (believe it or not, I love the atmosphere and look of the place) and, God help me, I'll never stop supporting this club.

Thomas Owen
29   Posted 22/04/2011 at 14:16:49

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Spot on lee, I first started following Everton in the great days of the 80s... even at 4 years old, I was in love with the club and would never miss a chance to watch them, though living in Northern Ireland it was always on TV. Over the years, friends and family have often ridiculed me for my devotion but I will never stop supporting ? unlike them, when they decide to support whoever is popular that season! Keep the faith, come on you blues!
Trevor Lynes
30   Posted 22/04/2011 at 16:31:19

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Dick #23.....I can never really forgive Catterick for removing the flair from that great side. He let Collins go much too soon and he went on to be an absolute legend with Leeds.

Catterick injected steel but his style of football waned after 1963... that title-winning side was the best we ever had!!! Most of them were signed by John Carey who was also a great player.

I'm afraid that most of Catterick's football was played in a very poor EFC side (he fitted right in).

Karl Masters
31   Posted 22/04/2011 at 17:38:31

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I have always said you appreciate winning or success of any type in life if you have lost a few or sufefred some failures.

Great article, Lee.

I'm not from Liverpool or even the North and since the 1973 when I started following the Toffees, I have continually been asked, 'Why?' I think it would be good to keep some copies your article on me to hand out as I really could not have put it much better myself.
Greg Anderson
32   Posted 22/04/2011 at 20:41:20

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Great article, Lee. And all the more credit to you and all the others who are fans despite never knowing the "glory days." These days, the biggest source of pride for us all should be that we are the only team in the country that is consistently competitive while still retaining at least a bit of our soul and our historic identity.
Mike Hughes
33   Posted 22/04/2011 at 21:22:39

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#7 Dick and # 10 Chris -

My house is called "Goodison", the front parlour is the "Blue Room" and my dog is called, "Dixie".

I'm nearly 45 years old!
Andrew Laird
34   Posted 23/04/2011 at 09:51:26

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An excellent summary by Lee of what being an Evertonian is all about. After the Manchester FA cup semi this season I was standing in a queue behind a red Manc who was telling the off licence owner how Ferguson had "lost it" and should step down and that Carrick "should be hung" (although I think he is a glorified Vinny Sideways). This was the latest affirmation that I support the right team.

Most teams have fans/ supporters, Everton have devotees and I am for the most part proud to be associated with my like minded fellows.
Lachlan Ross
35   Posted 24/04/2011 at 00:48:50

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Being an Evertonian is an exceptional roller-coaster ride! I have supported Everton since I was 7 (1961). Because of where I live, I have only been to a watch an Everton game twice. Though I watch them often on TV.

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