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Singing Area at Goodison Park

By Chris Butler :  27/04/2011 :  Comments (76) :
This is an issue that continues to be mentioned time and time again by supporters, the club, and external organisations ? about how essential the atmosphere at Goodison Park is. Take a look at the renewal form for season tickets this year: ?We have a stadium that is as atmospheric and intimidating as any in the country.? Anybody who attends matches at GP will say that?s not true.

There are a number of reasons for this, I totally accept that what?s happening on the pitch does largely affect the atmosphere but I don?t believe that?s the only thing that affects the atmosphere.

At the moment, the biggest problem is that there isn?t any designated area reserved for those who wish to chant. This means that you have a lot of people who have no interest in creating an atmosphere in area?s that are considered unofficial singing areas. For example, when people start a song nowadays, half the people around will just sit there staring at those singing. This obviously discourages fans from even bothering to try and create an atmosphere.

The only game of the season that has any sort of atmosphere is the derby because that?s the only game where large amounts of supporters stand. I?ve been told by stewards and other people within the club the problem is the location of where the singers are, that is the problem. The centre of Lower Gwladys Street, near the back, is quite a good view and quite popular, so the club will always being unwilling to set up a singing/standing area there. I believe that fans have to accept this and try and find an area which is unpopular but where a decent atmosphere can be created.

I believe I?ve found the perfect area of the ground where a singing/standing area could be formed. I believe GS5 in Upper Gwladys Street in an excellent place for supporters who wish to create an atmosphere to be located. This area is largely empty for the majority of games; the majority of empty seats are near the back. This is perfect for supporters who wish to stand without causing, other supporters to stand.

The acoustics are excellent in this area; it means that the atmosphere can spread down to the lower tier and along the Bullens Road side of the ground. I believe this could be a great solution in terms of the atmosphere. I?d be grateful for some feedback, (hopefully not too negative!) about this idea. If other supporters agree, I'll speak to a few people and see if we can get this area sorted for next season.

Reader Comments

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Kev Wood
1   Posted 27/04/2011 at 17:28:17

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Sounds like a good idea- sadly I think we already have a 'moaners area' where I sit in the Top Balcony. Things are so much better at away games- we all seem to get behind the team wherever we are. There were great EFC atmospheres at Wolves, Chelsea, Anfield and Old Trafford last w/e. The pre-kickoff singing at Brentford, with loads of retro chants, was also fun because, I guess, we were standing up in a retro-style ground.

If we have a designated chanting area we are sure to get some great new songs- 'Just Can't get Enough' is fun- but it belongs to Celtic really.
Gareth Humphreys
2   Posted 27/04/2011 at 17:38:44

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Goodison has never ever ever been a "singing" ground except at the big matches. The away fans generally make the noise at all grounds ? the one main exception that springs to mind is Stoke.
Trevor Mackie
3   Posted 27/04/2011 at 18:35:51

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Gareth, you must be one of the young breed. At one time, every game at Goodison was a big game; consequently singing/chanting, the Goodison roar was a given.

It is this sort of innocent, but essentially damning remark that highlights what's happening to this club ? it's turning into shite.
Simon Gilmovitch
4   Posted 27/04/2011 at 19:05:15

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Great idea, Chris, and if the club would also agree to a discount on the seating in this area of the ground, then I'm sure plenty of supporters would be very interested.

There's nothing more depressing than sitting in the Park End listening to away fans take this piss out of us for not singing.

We are the People's Club, so what about the club sponsoring a band for match days? Once again maybe providing free tickets.

And we should have more "flags days" when fans can bring along banners etc. I think the club should pay for some of these as well.

I personally think the club should really pull their finger out as far as all of this is concerned. A bit more investment (money) in the atmosphere would make all the difference, and the game going experience much more enjoyable. And let's face it with Moyes/Kenwright in charge the entertainment on the pitch isn't going to improve is it.
Kevin Hudson
5   Posted 27/04/2011 at 19:26:32

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We don't need a designated singing zone, we need 90% of the supporters to stop being so damned lazy!

I recognise it's quid pro quo, but we need to motivate the players better, rather than settling in as though we're at the opera.

Make the Blue Boys feel like they're ten feet tall, and frighten the pants of the opposition. As it stands, Goodison is only a bearpit 3 or 4 times per season. That simply isn't good enough support.
Peter Laing
6   Posted 27/04/2011 at 19:50:37

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Simon, we are Everton, not a half-wit breed of navel gazing neanderthals that masquerade as the spirit of Shankly, Urchins or other intellectually challenged subgroup that have a penchant for displaying their loyalty on a preposterous banner, something along the lines of 'Wine for my men, we ride at dawn'.

I take collective pride in Everton being different: we have 2 or 3 songs, a common identity and do not have a desire or wish to be something that we are not. I can quite happily live with leaving Liverpool et al to create the next pathetic ditty; the idea of a 'flag-day', 'singing-zone' or any other manufactured attempt to create atmopshere is quite frankly absurd.

When the player's turn it on, an incident happens, or the need for collective voice is required, Goodison rocks; any attempt to change the status quo in my opinion is not the Everton Way. Leave that to the teds, wooly backs and bellends across the Park ? they do a cracking cringe-worthy job!

Robert Johnson
7   Posted 27/04/2011 at 20:31:48

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Simon #4

Sponsor a fucking band?? Any fucking band sparks up by me and they'll end up with a trombone stuffed right up their fucking arse.

Un-fucking believable!!! A fucking band!

Give me fucking strength.

Drew O'Neall
8   Posted 27/04/2011 at 20:37:56

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I tend to side with Peter in damning virtually everything Simon has suggested; however, I think Chris is on to something with this chanting area.

It shouldn't be discounted cos people will buy the tickets for the wrong reasons and you will dilute the singers.

Therefore, if you don't need the club's involvement (I agree that this would make it seem contrived anyway), why not try to build a groundswell of fans through this and other forums?
David S Shaw
9   Posted 27/04/2011 at 20:42:59

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Chris Butler, I'm with you 100%.

It has been a number of years since I've been in the Upper Gwladys, though, so I am not familiar with the block you mention and I can't make too much of a comment on it's suitability.

What I would say though is that, just say that you get a dozen people going to a trial, a realistic number, then if in the Lower Gwladys St this dozen would 'advertise' their group to the other like-minded fans in the Gwladys St, so, in the second half, you'd get another half-a-dozen going over to them and joining in, with a few more booking themselves in for the next one.

If this dozen were in the Upper Gwladys St, would the fans in there be the type of fan who would go over and join in?
Dave Lynch
10   Posted 27/04/2011 at 21:00:38

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What a fucking pathetic idea!

We are not Liverpool or Utd fans who act like circus clowns in a pathetic attempt to show how much they think they love the club. Those two lots of halfwitt fans even have designated songwriters. God give me strength.
Andrew Gilbert
11   Posted 27/04/2011 at 21:26:24

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Get rid of the seats in the Gwladys Street and your atmosphere would return.
Mike Gwyer
12   Posted 27/04/2011 at 21:16:59

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Gareth (#3):

Goodison Park was similar to Millwall during the late 70s and early 80s, and being honest it was our home results that kept EFC in Division 1.

You can rest assured that GP was like a hell hole for visiting teams, and their fans. The away support parked up in the Park End, usually only the right side but they had the lot if they could fill it.

We sang, letting them know that we fucking hated them and that their team was about to take a battering... thing was, GP is a tight ground and the opposing players could also hear what we were singing as well. Being honest, Gareth, the game usually just filtered in amongst the mayhem going on around the Park End and opposing standing areas.

Unfortunately all things change and GP is a sad place at times. It makes me laugh when I hear about 300 away fans out singing and generally taking the piss out of GP. Yep, times have certainly changed.

A singing section at GP, fuck me, well that will just continue the general feeling of shite and dismay for many a fan who can't take much more of the ongoing bollocks.
Gareth Humphreys
13   Posted 27/04/2011 at 21:46:30

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Trevor, just to give you an idea of the timescale I am working to, I have had a season ticket since 87-88 and gave it up this season. I can't speak for beforehand but, in the 25-odd years that I have been a regular, Goodison Park is like a fucking church in general. The exception being big games or when things are going against us and the siege mentality kicks in with the players and the crowd.

The best atmosphere for me is when GP is like an angry bear pit and it must be fairly hostile for the opposition. There are some great memories of Goodison being like that. I don't get all misty eyed claiming that it has always been one big sing-song because, quite frankly, it never has since I've been going.

The aways are always different but that's because the whole dynamic is different as it is more an us v them type situation with us being in the minority.

Overall though, what Peter Laing (6) says I agree with 100% and wouldn't want it any other way.

Simon Gilmovitch
14   Posted 27/04/2011 at 22:22:04

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I think it would be fucking brilliant if there was a singing section with a band and loads of banners and flags and a couple of those guys with the megaphones cheer leading that would be awesome! Give me a EFC ultras section any day. At least it would sounds better than listening to 300 away fans taking the piss. I grew up going to games in the 1970s when the Street End rocked, even the boys pen was louder than we get at matches today. I say bring it on!
David S Shaw
15   Posted 27/04/2011 at 22:26:40

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An initiative like this is about those who want it, not about those who don't.

Oh and Peter Laing, Everton have always had singing areas, ie, an area in the ground where fans went and sing. ie back of the Gwladys St, Enclosure, Park End. Our history shows that we've always had fans who like to sing. This has been pushed away with no thanks to Sky's sitting down culture and reserved seating. The silence and no fans singing was never the Everton Way.

We're not some inbred club with one type of fan you know where we all act the same. We've always been a cultured club with different types of fans. In that sense, there is no such thing as an Everton Way, and you can fuck off if you want there to be an Everton Way because that would mean we should all act contrived.
Paddy McSweeney
16   Posted 27/04/2011 at 21:50:41

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#12 ? I agree that GP is a sad place at times. Even against Fulham when they brought no more that a few hundred, played crap and lost, their fans still made more noise than we did. At that game, the reaction from some of the supporters around me looked like they were thinking, why are you singing when we've played so badly. Well, for one, we won, secondly I 'support' Everton and thirdly, that's what people do at football matches.

It drives me crazy when I hear people say things like, the atmosphere's rubbish against the lesser teams cos we expect to beat them and get annoyed if we don't play well. That is a recipe for disaster. We don't have a God given right to win any game and getting on the players' backs seems to me to make them all the more nervous.

Chris, I'd say go for it; we'll never get anywhere if we don't try. If this does get going, that's where I'll be looking to get my ticket. So, if there is enough support and you decide to do something about it, keep us informed. Then the 'real' Everton fans can just join in the singing when they've been given something for them to get excited about, and hopefully I won't have to listen to as much moaning when I go the match.
Simon Gilmovitch
17   Posted 27/04/2011 at 22:53:57

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Well said, David! Bunch of miserable bastards.
David S Shaw
18   Posted 27/04/2011 at 22:52:37

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Dave Lynch ? so you're saying that the thousands upon thousands of Evertonians who liked to sing in the Gwladys Street for many a decade before reserved seating killed the more regular singing were all circus clowns are you?


Gareth Humphreys, the back middle of the Gwladys had many great sing-songs through when you started going, up til about 95-96. You don't get an angry atmosphere every game, you never will. So what's wrong with fans trying to get behind the team vocally when everyone else is quiet?
Grant Watson
19   Posted 28/04/2011 at 00:56:38

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I am from Australia but have been an avid follower of football since I was a young boy. I have been going to football games all over the country here and am proud to say that I am one of the foundation members of the Sydney FC fan section "The Cove".

We have successfully negotiated with the club about letting us stand up during games, sing during games and create an atmosphere.

I know our efforts here in Australia are by far minimal compared to the likes of those in larger European clubs and leagues with history dating back more then 6 years! However, I do fully agree that the GP atmosphere would be enhanced by creating a standing-only section behind the goals in the Gwladys Street end. Those who don't want to stand wouldn't go there and, generally speaking, those who want to stand will want to sing and chant.

I am looking forward to getting myself over in the 2010-11 season for some fun! I for one would be overjoyed to stand and sing at the place I consider to be a strong point in my life!!
Paul Gladwell
20   Posted 28/04/2011 at 06:50:00

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Clubs with Bands ? Tranmere, Blackpool and Bolton, have you witnessed it? Absolutely embarrassing and the only atmosphere they create is one of utter embarrassment, ridicule and annoyance. No matter what some say, we are Everton, we still are regarded as a big club by many a person and phoney shit like this takes me back to whistling Dixie and Clarence Freewater or whatever the stupid fucking name was.

It's simple: if the team performs, so will the fans... and that goes to any club you wish to name. People harp on about Stoke etc, but they are new to the big league still, that will soon change as their poxy away travel has proven everywhere this season compared to last.

It's the same with flag day too: many blues slaughter them lot across the park for those big daft banners with stupid sayings on; if we were to do it, you have to do it better, or you will end up looking like a London street party will look like tomorrow ? and that will just add more fun for our lovable neighbours.

Ray Roche
21   Posted 28/04/2011 at 07:55:23

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Robert Johnson @ #7:

You couldn't have been going the match in the early 60s, when there was a military band playing regularly pre-match.

This gives me the chance to impress with the line, "Oh, yes, I used to sing with a band, you know."

Andy Codling
22   Posted 28/04/2011 at 07:54:13

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@ Paddy McSweeney, I was reading until I got to your "real Everton fans" bit. Be quiet.
Mike Atherton
23   Posted 28/04/2011 at 08:06:45

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Peter Laing (#4):

It's fans like you that really do make Goodison Park a truly boring ground.

I really don't see the point of going to the game and sitting there in silence. In the days were you can watch any game on TV, I don't know why fans like you don't just stay at home home and get a better view of the game there.

Why do some Everton fans have this obsession with calling anyone who wants to have a laugh at the match a 'kopite' or 'wooly back'???
Steve Guy
24   Posted 28/04/2011 at 08:13:04

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If it doesn't happen spontaneously, it shouldn't happen at all.

I hate the orchestrated singing and banner waving across the Park and elsewhere. If anyone waved a flag in front of me at GP, it would get shoved where the sun don't shine.

I laugh at teams who regularly only half fill their grounds (Blackburn, Sunderland) playing music over the tannoy when they score.

I also think the pre-match bollocks we get at GP, delivered at ear-splitting volume, takes all the life out of any collective desire to sing and shout; fans stay buried under the stands until the teams come out. In the days of standing you had to get in early to get a good spec. I'm not advocating a return to standing, but I do think that this is when the atmosphere started to get much quieter.

Having said that there is a core of Blues supporters who sing their hearts out brilliantly, usually about 4,000 of them. The ones who go the away matches.

Mark Stone
25   Posted 28/04/2011 at 08:19:58

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It's a bit of shame that there needs to be a 'designated area'. It's a bit like something my mum would suggest. These areas (as listed by David Shaw) have previously been borne from tradition without the formality of 'designation'.

I guess, in years gone by, it's the cheap(er) seats/terraces where some of the more boisterous fans have congregated and it's the spontaneity of these gatherings and the witty responses to impromptu goings on, on the pitch, that really sparked the raw atmosphere. Can such a formal arrangement elicit similar emotion? Probably not.

Eugene Ruane
26   Posted 28/04/2011 at 07:59:40

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I remember being at The Dell in the 80s.

Before the game, that grinning 'patriotic' oul' prick that you used to see at England games, walked right around the ground, raising and lowering Victory Vee symbols (no idea, don't ask).

He had a red one in one hand and a blue one in the other.

As he raised the red one, the Saints fans cheered.

When he raised the blue one - "booooooo" etc.

When he came down to our end, the response from Everton supporters (when he raised EITHER V) made my day and I remember thinking THIS is Everton.

That response was... nothing. He was ignored, completely.

Basically they said 'we're not playing'.

The old bloke was confused and doubled his efforts but all he got was hard stares. His expression became one of confusion and I watched him as he walked off, shrugging and saying (I'm guessing) "Well I don't know what else to do, it was just a bit of fun".

If only he'd known Everton away in the mid 80s didn't really do 'fun' (just winning).

The 'Everton Way' imo is not flags, bands, banners or manufactured self-conscious 'support' (that has always been the domain of the other shower).

Give me noise that's generated ONLY by what goes on on the pitch and I'll live with the long quiet periods in between.

(nb: Yes, I AM old and miserable...)
James Cadwaladr
27   Posted 28/04/2011 at 09:03:37

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"I believe I?ve found the perfect area of the ground where a singing/standing area could be formed. I believe GS5 in Upper Gwladys Street in an excellent place for supporters who wish to create an atmosphere to be located. This area is largely empty for the majority of games; the majority of empty seats are near the back. This is perfect for supporters who wish to stand without causing, other supporters to stand."

Couldn't think of a worse place. Sound will be muffled be the roof, and you can't see shit so, to be telling people who want to sing to sit there, is tantamount to telling people to sing at home to the radio.
Tony J Williams
28   Posted 28/04/2011 at 09:07:00

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Robert (#7), congratulations, you have hit the highest ratio of swear words in a post.

But I agree with every "fucking" one of them.
David S Shaw
29   Posted 28/04/2011 at 09:20:26

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Mark Stone, you had the freedom of movement in terraces you don't have that now, meaning that like minded fans cannot congregate. This scheme is just saying like-minded fans congregate here.

That is not manufacturing support. It is merely removing some of the barriers that have been stifling our support. It is not a flag fest or band day we're after. It is about like-minded fans congregating.
David S Shaw
30   Posted 28/04/2011 at 09:43:32

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Eugene Ruane ? nice selective story. So fans coming through now should not get behind the team at home because away 25 years ago fans didn't join in with a bell ringer?

Are you really out of touch with Evertonians today that you think that fans who want to get behind the team vocally will be some kind of dickhead who wants to play along with jesters?

So you only want noise from fans that's only been generated on the pitch? Many a time the singing in the Street End would start an hour before kick-off till about 20 mins at worst, so are you saying our support back then was manufactured?

If anything our support now is self conscious and manufactured and very contrived. Once you believe there's a set way of acting at a match that is when that behaviour becomes contrived and a parody. Sitting there purposely being self-consciously quiet aka 'moody' as that is how you're meant to act as an Evertonian is contrived to fuck.
John Ford
31   Posted 28/04/2011 at 10:04:36

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Like the idea of terracing again. Shalke 04 charge 12 quid entrance for their terraced sections.
David S Shaw
32   Posted 28/04/2011 at 10:50:49

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Chris Butler ? GS5 is actually the size of 2 blocks with an exit and steps running through the middle. So it would have to be a specific area within GS5.

Going by e.ticketing then. The seats 245-250 and the last 5 rows, 0-S, gives an area of 29 seats.

To start with this could be the aim to try and fill in a one-off trialled match...
Derek Turnbull
33   Posted 28/04/2011 at 11:17:31

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Surely 'The Everton Way' is an evolutionary process? From the Bootboys to the Skins to the Park Enders to name the obvious. Culture evolves at Everton. It did not start and end mid-80s like the out-of-touch When Skies are Grey would have you believe.

Culture and movement against the tide and expression should be encouraged so I'd love to see this happen.
Jon Ferguson
34   Posted 28/04/2011 at 12:28:05

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I don?t think there is an ?Everton Way? ? some like to sit and ?study the game?; others like to be vocal and cheer on the team and make atmosphere. I can understand why fans would want to do either, but think any ground needs atmosphere. Surely not even studious Peter Laing would want the team to play in library conditions. For the big games, or under the floodlights, the atmosphere is immense; most Saturdays at 3pm it is embarrassingly quiet.

Organising people who want to chant into one area isn?t a bad idea. That area used to be the Lower Gwladys but, if it moves, so be it. Fans organising amongst themselves where to go isn?t comparable with Chelsea handing out official flags to wave at the game. The fans are trying to create atmosphere off their own backs.

The band idea is a giant NO from me. The only idea worse would be to play ?I feel good? through the stadium speakers after we score.
Andy Crooks
35   Posted 28/04/2011 at 12:23:03

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Eugene, I remember that old guy well. I think he was called Ken Bailey. He was at Windsor Park with England in the early eighties and left the game in the middle of the home supporters.

For various complex reasons, the atmosphere was always incredibly hostile towards England and I feared for his safety. The response was exactly the same as you described. He might as well have been invisible. Sometimes a crowd can collectively come up with exactly the right reaction. I think when we win and play exciting football Goodison will rock again.

Phil Bellis
36   Posted 28/04/2011 at 12:39:16

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"Stand up! if you're deeply involved in what's going on and currently trying to work out how you'd stop the opposition getting the ball to the winger so easily."

You pay your money ? it takes all sorts. I sit more or less where the I used to stand, 2nd barrier in Gwladys Street. I've seen and have heard it all ? "Bless `em All", Eee-Aye, We Got Alan Ball", "We shall Not Be moved", "When You're Smiling" etc.

In the old black and white days, the crowd were always up for it because so were the players; 66-70 was pure gold ? didn't matter who we were playing, you could guarantee Everton (and the crowd) would entertain.

Totally agree with Steve @24 ? cringeworthy "Live from Goodison Park": I fuckin know, I'm here you daft prick; "Here's how it's shaping up". Jesus wept...

Derek Turnbull
37   Posted 28/04/2011 at 12:54:37

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Phil back then you'd go by who you wanted to stand by for the type of match experience you wanted. You had a choice. Now each part of the ground is becoming homogenous. What's wrong with fans wanting to be next to similar fans? You meet up in a particular pub because you like the others in there you arrange to meet your mates in there. Fans here are saying they're sick of going the match naturally wanting to break out in song for support only to be told to sit down and be quiet.

Imagine in the 66-70 era everytime you went to have a bit of a sing or shout a bit you got a tap from the bloke behind you to stop it. You'd move wouldn't you? That is what these lads are trying to do.
Charlie Dixon
38   Posted 28/04/2011 at 11:13:25

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29 people?!
I think it's a nice idea and a good post; however, any bands and it'll be a fucking joke.

Next we'll have Eiffel 64 playing "I'm Blue" every time we score... oh hang on a minute...
David Crowe
39   Posted 28/04/2011 at 12:57:24

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Not everyone wants to sing at matches. Also it is just disrespectful to say that people who are quiet at games don't care as much as those who do. I have a few quiet people around me in the Lower Gwladys who don't sing but I've never known people who care more about the club than them and I have huge respect for them as supporters and wouldn't dream of telling them where or where not to sit.

At the end of the day, everyone should be able to sit where they want without being grouped and categorised. All that does is break the support up into different 'types' of fans and will do nothing to improve the atmosphere and unity in the ground between fans. At Wembley I was amazed at the almost family like atmosphere between supporters and it made for an absolute cauldron.

Also, Fiorentina was a recent game which blew Anfield Champions League nights out of the water and I was sat down for most of the game which suggests maybe our ground was such a 'bear pit' because we simply had more to play for.

Personally, the only way I can see the atmosphere of old returning is through terracing the lower gwladys. That way there's virtually no segregation and pointing out differences between supporters and those who don't wish to stand there should be offered seats elsewhere in the ground for a cheaper price.

I know for a fact that the atmosphere would be twice as good in the whole ground in this case because there's easily 6 or 7+ thousand capacity in that stand and with a higher concentration of more vocal supporters, it could make an absolute racket for a big game that would spread to the rest of the ground.

Guy Rogers
40   Posted 28/04/2011 at 13:42:48

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How about some of those Royal Blue flares they let off at Inter Milan, lovely jubbly!
Chris Butler
41   Posted 28/04/2011 at 13:26:06

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I am against any type of band. Yes, there's nothing worse than hearing some moron continually bang on a drum.

I also agree that it's sad we have to have an official area of the groud but thats down to seating. In the 70s and 80s you could chose where you stood so there wasn't any need to a designated area of the ground. But with reserved seating I believe you need to organise things. It would be great if everybody joined in but that's only a dream.

It's ridiculous to compare us to Liverpool in terms of atmosphere, nobody has suggested that flags should be brought into the ground. I personally don't have a problem with people waving flags ? look at some of the games in the 80s, the giant blue banners and the huge Irish tricolors ? they certainly were impressive. As long as the flags aren't red or the typical St George flag with the name of a pub, I personally couldn't care if fans want to bring flags or banners.

Eugene Ruane
42   Posted 28/04/2011 at 13:21:36

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Actually, I think I might have been persuaded by the arguments... or rather the arguers.

The idea of a dedicated 'singing area' COULD be a good one.

I'm not so much thinking of atmosphere, but at least that way there'd be more chance of being with your own ilk.

At one end, David S Shaw and his Dixieland showband Jesters, at the other, me and the moody starers.

They could spend the game blowing trombones and saying "Look at us, Sky! The Everton version of Geordies!", we could spend the game biting our nails, sending them moody death glares and muttering 'knob-heads'.

Everyone's a winner! (um... except Everton who drew 0-0 with Wolves... probably).
David S Shaw
43   Posted 28/04/2011 at 14:21:17

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Amusingly albeit predictably stereotypically put Eugene.

I'm always at a loss though as to the stereotype of when people talk about singing at Everton they throw in trumpets, jester hats, Geordies and Sky?

Everton have had fans singing in the Gwladys Street since long before even my time without any of those associating factors.


The unofficial standing areas across the country are always reactions against the Sky culture.

It was the sitting down to be entertained and cheer along to the the play that was what Sky and the Premier League wanted.
Chris Butler
44   Posted 28/04/2011 at 14:47:12

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Yes, Everton fans are different from most supporters. Our support is one of the most diverse supports in the land. We don't really copy any of the behaviour of any English clubs yet we don't copy the behaviour of the RS. Our supporters simply remain unique.

When opposition fans try to annoy us we just laugh, clapping the "Sign on!" chants. Amongst our ranks we have Communists, Anarchists, Facists, Nazis, Zionists, BNP members, Irish Republicans, Orangemen and Loyalists. Everton supporters have always forgotten their differences to just support the team.

If everybody took the view that they'd only support the team in big games, I'm sure we'd be in even more trouble. Just look at Wigan on Saturday ? our supporters in the concourse will bounce away singing all sorts of songs, yet when we get into the ground there's hardly any singing.

Phil Bellis
45   Posted 28/04/2011 at 15:19:13

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Derek @37:

Spot on and fair-does. I've commented before on how I "grew up" with a bunch of mates in "our spec" behind the goal and how we're now spread out all over the stadium.

We're still mates and meet up before and after but can't take the camaraderie into the match, just a polite few words with the next seats is usually it. When all-seating came in, we never had the foresight and/or cash to book a block of seats.

How I wish...

Eugene Ruane
46   Posted 28/04/2011 at 15:27:08

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David S Shaw.

Jesus, did you used to introduce the acts on 'The Good Old Days'?

"The tingly, spingly, amusingly, predictably, stereotypically (audience 'Ooooooh!').

You know what, you're talking out of your freckle when you say things like...

"Everton have had fans singing in the Gwladys Street since long before even my time without any of those associating factors".

No they haven't, not in the way you are inferring (ie: the WHOLE of the St End singing THROUGHOUT games).

What we ACTUALLY had was a bunch of kids in the MIDDLE of the Street End singing (nb: mainly threatening 'acting hard songs' towards the away end - eg: 'you're gonna to get your fucking heads kicked in' etc).

The rest of the St End WOULD join in with singing, from time to time, BUT (important bit) DEPENDING ON WHAT WENT ON ON THE PITCH.

Oh and I can tell you this as a fact because in the early 70's, I WAS one of those kids in the middle.

But you know what, I/we got to 16 or 17, discovered the pub and suddenly just wanted to watch the game rather than be part of the show.

Those who stayed 'in the middle' into their 20's/30's we generally saw as 'divvies'.

(keep in mind that wearing a scarf was, at one time, considered about as 'uncool' as one could get).

The truth is, I'm not sweating over it and tend to I agree with Phil Bellis (36) who says 'you pay your money ? it takes all sorts'; however, if I'm/we're asked (nb: and in the OP we are!) that is what I think.

And by the way as much as I loathe and fucking detest Murdoch and Sky, they had NOTHING to do with grounds becoming all-seater.
Col Wills
47   Posted 28/04/2011 at 16:29:39

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A simple idea would be to move the away supporters upto the other end, near the Gwladys Street end and re-create a bit of banter. Also, I've gotta say, the young kiddas ain't what they used to be, don't they go to choir practise in school these days?? You can't be expecting the over-40s to be starting the chants now, can ya!
David S Shaw
48   Posted 28/04/2011 at 16:29:46

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Yet again, Eugene your argument is based on what you perceive as being cool, on how you're supposed to act as written in the WSAG guideline to being a boss Evertonian.

You remind of the kids I see walking around the Strand in fake tan trying to look dead hard and saying bitchy comments to their mates because others do not have the right gear on and not being as cool as they think they are saying things like "Oh my god ? you just don't do that."

It is about what fans want to do. Fans ages are neither here nor there. All Evertonians should be equal and allowed to have the match day experience they want.

Yes, it was the middle of the Gwladys Street and not the whole of the Gwladys who done the majority of the singing. No-one is suggesting that the whole of the Gwladys St is to be turned into this. We're talking about like-minded fans wanting to get behind the team vocally congregating. A moving of the old middle to elsewhere in the ground if you like.

For the Sky comment, I take it Murdoch and Sky invented singing at the match did they which was your original attempt at a dig? Part of the rebranding of football by Sky and the Premier League was to have fans watching it passively like you'd watch a theatre performance. Clap here, cheer there.

For someone who is normally progressive and encourages fans to get off their arse and do things about the club they love, your views are very surprising and staid.
Phil Bellis
49   Posted 28/04/2011 at 17:09:55

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I'm missing me old Gwladys St mates, now
Wonder if my arl fella's rattle is still in the loft; hmmm...
Steve Guy
50   Posted 28/04/2011 at 17:21:40

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Phil Bellis, as an aside.....I found the Ticket Office staff really helpful when it came to moving seats. If you write to the manager of the Goodison Road Box Office you may find they can help re-unite you and your mates.
Chris Butler
51   Posted 28/04/2011 at 17:46:12

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The problem is simple ? there are those who do not wish to be involved in the atmosphere and those who do. Naturally as supporters get older, they lose their interest in being bothered with standing up and singing silly songs. But the simple reality is when they were aged maybe 15- 24 they found it just as enjoyable to be involved with it as youngsters do now.

Personally, if I wanted to just sit there and watch a game in silence, I'd stay at home. I've got no problems with fans who sit in lets say quieter parts of the ground. But when you've got supporters in the centre of the Gwladys Street who just stare at fans who start songs, then you've got a problem.

Yes, some of the chants that are started are pathetic and tedious. Why whenever Everton fans want to do something slightly different are they immediately shot down by other supporters. "A protest against BK would be far too much like Liverpool and Newcastle fans". We need to try and get younger supporters in and I don't believe we'll get many if our ground is like a library. That's why there's more young lads at away games than there are at home.

Phil Bellis
52   Posted 28/04/2011 at 18:16:28

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Thanks Steve; I'll try that.

From speaking to local fans, I've a feeling there may be quite a few ex-season ticket seats spare in August.

Have to brush up on the golden oldies: "We're the lads from Goodison that you all know
We're the boys from the banks of the Mersey..."

Adam Cunliffe
53   Posted 28/04/2011 at 18:20:10

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@Peter Laing, I'm from St Helens and consider myself to be a wooly-back, and I'm fucking proud of both were I'm from and the blue shirt I wear to the game. So don't give me the kopite wolly-back nonsense, because I'll tell you now, plenty of these wooly-backs support and follow Everton just as much as any scouser.

And in response to the article I'm all for it, grown up on my Dad's tales of some of the songs (He also is a wool too Peter) he'd sing in the Lower Glawdys as Everton demolished everyone put in front of them. In my opinion I think night matches are the key to a good atmosphere, but suppose we have to get in Europe for them. Still, a singing area's a great idea!
Karl Masters
54   Posted 28/04/2011 at 18:16:15

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Bring back the 1978 ticker tape when the Blue Boys come out I say!

Nothing like ripping up some newspapers, stuffing them in a carrier bag and chucking it over the front of the Upper Gwladys!

Of course, this is probably now illegal and banned on Health and Safety grounds by some European directive ? the same Europeans who like to set flares off at matches, but would get upset if we do the same!

THE WORLD AINT WHAT IT USED TO BE.
Eugene Ruane
55   Posted 28/04/2011 at 18:22:41

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David S Shaw (47).

Tip: - slow down, walk away, re-read, re-write, ciggy....THEN send.

I mention this as you're getting very 'ranty' (nb: over fuck all).

You did say ONE thing I agreed with, however.

"It's about what fans want to do".

Good!

Because I want to watch the match without some balloon blowing a fucking a trombone in my ear and trying to make it all about him, rather than what's happening on the pitch ? If I can do that, I don't really give a fuck who does what (or where).

Happy?

A compromise?

And Jesus, what happened with you and 'the cool guys'?

Did some WSAG sellers laugh at your Bluekipper t-shirt?

"He thinks he's so cool" is what I used to say at 13 (out of sheer frustration) about older boys who had the temerity to... er... not have spots or to have 'had their hole' or be old enough to have a Honda 50.

As much as you try hammering me with the 'cool' angle, it's really starting to look like a defensive thing ? ie: 'anyone not prepared to act like a show-offy cunt is... um... trying to be cool!'.

Well fine, meet... The Fonz!

Atmosphere/noise/singing in grounds that is NOT created by what's happening on the pitch, is, imo, just showing off, SELF-conscious and posturing.

Not a crime by any means but... that's what it is (and personally, I'd think it odd if anyone over 15 would be interested).

One more thing, you say 'fan's ages are neither here nor there".

Now this IS wrong ? they ARE here and they ARE there (and if you're here, I'm definitely there!).
Alan McGuffog
56   Posted 28/04/2011 at 18:46:10

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Phil, I have total admiration for your enthusiasm for this project but your memories of the late 1960s underlines my point. You are obviously of a similar vintage to me and I, too, was known to belt out an aria or two back in the day.

But now? I'm too bloody arl' and miserable to sing and where I sit in the Upper Gwladys most people fit into this category. Match going punters are, largely, a lot older than they were forty years ago. As a proportion of the make up of the ground, the crowd is older and less likely to want to warble.

But fair play to you, fella', keep hammering them out! But do you remember that toe-curling month or so in the Johnson years when we experimented with a Sheffield Wednesday type band? Blood still runs cold...

Eugene Ruane
57   Posted 28/04/2011 at 18:59:03

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"Eh mate, do you know if Arteta's back?"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKHZ6Y2dYbI&feature=related

"Ohhhhh...FUCK IT!"
David S Shaw
58   Posted 28/04/2011 at 18:48:46

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All we've had from you, Eugene, is that fans who want to sing are balloons, divvies, dickheads, they must be kids. I see them as being image based abuse hence the 'cool angle' which you first mentioned.

You have a lot of hatred issues for fans who want to support Everton in their own way. If fans don't want to sing, that's up to them; for them to start insulting those who do, though... I will get defensive. There are probably hundreds of thousands of Evertonians who have enjoyed singing at the match. Are you saying they're all show-offs if they sing and we're not 2-0 up? People like to feel they're helping the team by giving their vocal support.


A lot of the associations you have used like they must be Geordies, they will bring a trombone etc are unsubstantiated and are out of touch sterotypes, perhaps you know that, because you're arguments are not against mine. They are against text and language. Why's that? You can't substantiate your arguments and relate them to the subject matter?

Why are Evertonians who like to sing balloons? Why must they be kids. Go on.
Trevor Mackie
59   Posted 28/04/2011 at 19:50:49

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I am in favour of anything that helps the team and contrived or not I think vocal support does just that. The fact the "away" support do it so well tells me there's a place for "something" ? I wouldn't call these supporters contrived... more like front line troops.

I say give it a go; many of us blame DM and the clubs hierarchy for not being innovative, I see young lads on here ready to try something in support of the team ? putting their heads above the parapet. Get in there lads, I'll write songs if you like ? I quite fancy myself at that sort of thing.

Try this for Tim Cahill (to the tune of "The Runaway Train Came Over the Hill and She Blew")

The Wizard of Oz is Tim Cahill and he's blue
A spring-heeled jack, he'll score a goal for you
In green and gold or royal blue
He's Everton's boxing kangaroo
An' he's a true blue, blue.
He's a true blue.

The Wizard of Oz is Tim Cahill and he's blue
He comes from a land where they play a diggery-doo
But we don't care...
It's legal there....
So why do they hide it under the stair?
He's a true blue, blue
He's a true blue.

Repeat until the lager makes you puke.

The frightening thing is I've got a million of these lads.
Brian Denton
60   Posted 28/04/2011 at 20:07:12

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Bleeding 'ell, Eugene ? where did you dig that clip up from? No comments, hardly watched by anyone, black and white... I'm impressed.

Yes, I remember being a teenager 'in the middle'. For a period it was actually 'harder' to go in the Park End, before it was all given over to away fans. Do you remember "Street End" ? "Park End" ? "Street End" ? "Park End" ? "Street End.... Street End... Street End....". Then off to The Salutation after the game for a well-earned under age pint.
Brian Denton
61   Posted 28/04/2011 at 20:36:58

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Back on topic. No fucking band!
Paul Gladwell
62   Posted 28/04/2011 at 20:22:45

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Could you imagine a gang like you see at Tranmere and Blackpool banging away in the Park End? They would end up with them fluffy drum sticks shoved down their throats and, if we had them, I am sure, no matter where they stuck them, they would get a similar response.

Everton are different to these and so are other seasoned Premier league clubs and it shows when you see dickheads from Wolves and WBA turn up in their chav gear, wanting to take every Weatherspoons in the league and singing their knobhead songs, thinking they are big time charlies. The next season, these and Stoke are mustering 800 in the away end similar to how they all behaved in the 80s and we won't change either.

Eugene Ruane
63   Posted 28/04/2011 at 20:41:22

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David S Shaw.

Fact (sigh!) I didn't say 'Everton fans who like to sing are balloons' ? I made it CLEAR I had NO problem with anyone singing IF it was a response to what was going on on the pitch.

Clear enough for you or do I have to keep repeating it?

As for anything else you asked (nb: the bits I could understand), you will I'm afraid just have to accept that they are they opinions of someone who thinks in a VERY different way to you.

End of story.

Brian, I do indeed remember the 'Street End, Park End' stuff (along with 'Celtic-Rangers!') and the bravery of those (us) in the St End urging those in The Park End (and later the Enclosure) to 'get into them!'
Phil Bellis
64   Posted 28/04/2011 at 20:41:13

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Cheers, Alan (@54).

These days I'm a "serious", thoughtful match-student, stunned by what a lot of people around me will put with watching without ranting.

I think we should bring back cushion-throwing before we reinstate community singing.

Eugene Ruane
65   Posted 28/04/2011 at 20:51:11

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By the way, if I see anyone wearing a 'silkie' round their wrist or a smiley badge sewn to their flemo's arse-pocket, that's me finished.
Phil Bellis
66   Posted 28/04/2011 at 21:22:24

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EJ... just seen that clip ? Magic!
"...Joe puts it in the goal
and as for Alun Evans you can stick `im...."
David S Shaw
67   Posted 28/04/2011 at 21:03:15

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For some, a response to what is going on on the pitch is different to others. Some will see us playing shit and want to boo or moan early on; some will say we'll try and give them a lift. Different fans will have different responses.

I'll go in against Stoke say and want to get behind them from the off; I want those points. I don't want to wait to see if Everton are deserving of my support; some are the same, others aren't. Each to their own.

Who you're surrounded by has an effect on your preferential actions. If you go in the Family Enclosure, some actions are not acceptable for example. Some fans are in say the Gwladys St and are feeling they're restricted, like they would be in the Enclosure. Fans have been getting kicked out for starting off your standard Everton songs for example.

People are looking into this far far too much. All it's a case of is those who don't want to be told to sit down or be quiet etc, go in this space, yet they're getting mocked for making an effort? No doubt the phrase 'Singing Area' is conjuring up dodgy images. But that's the trouble with labels; it excludes, but in short title it has to be called something.

Imagine us two having to sit by each other. Jesus. That's thought alone is a reason why it should happen. With thousands of fans though, you're bound to have contrasting ways of wanting to support them.
Noel Lynam
68   Posted 29/04/2011 at 13:13:33

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Eugene,

You say: "Atmosphere/noise/singing in grounds that is NOT created by what's happening on the pitch, is, imo, just showing off, SELF-conscious and posturing"

You then clarify by saying: "I made it CLEAR I had NO problem with anyone singing IF it was a response to what was going on on the pitch."

What about fans who engage in pre-match singing in order to motivate or get a reaction from the Everton players and / or intimidate the opposition? Do you have a problem with this? Do you consider this "showing off, SELF-conscious and posturing"?

How about the pre-match roar when Z-Cars is played and the teams are coming out the tunnel? Clearly this is not an event happening ON the pitch, it's happening OFF the pitch. Again, do you have a problem with this? Should the crown remain silent until the game kicks off?

I'm just errrmm... curious like... in case you construe this as a personal attack... or a comment of yours being quoted out of context.

(Sits back, doesn't light a cigarette, waits for an utterly HILARIOUS not-at-all contrived response.)
Chris Butler
69   Posted 29/04/2011 at 13:42:30

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Eugene, I don't have a clue what you issue is. Nowhere has anyone mentioned forcing you to locate to where we are. Nobody has threatened to bang a drum right by you, so what exactly is your problem? People daring to sing when we're losing?

To those who seem to have this idea that chanting or waving banners has anything to do with Liverpool FC, then you're crazy. Look at the Gwladys Street ? we had banners and songs that were far more witty than our neighbours across the park.

John Littler
70   Posted 29/04/2011 at 13:10:26

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Chris - I'm all for this. I'm sick of games at Goodison where all you can hear are the away fans singing. The Goodison crowd only seems to get going for the big games and often seems to have a "can't be arsed" or "this game's not big enough to bother singing" attitude when we play the so called smaller teams.

I'm not really a singer myself, more of a screamer and a shouter, but there's nothing better than when Goodison Is bouncing and I certainly wouldn't have any Issues with anybody or everybody around me singing / chanting.

I do get the whole the fans will only repsond to what's happening on the pitch argument, but surely it works in the opposite direction too? Both in helping to get behind our lads and intimidating the opposition. When we played Liverpool a few years back and the whole stadium was singing "ladyboy" to Fernando Torres was absolutely hilarious. In retrospect and in light of Everton's recent ridiculously over PC stance on banning fans we probably all risked getting three year bans, but surely this helped Jags keep him in his back pocket that night? Maybe maybe not, but I enjoyed it and it still makes me laugh today.

I went to the Rhein Energie Stadion in Germany (home of FC Koln) a few years back when we were in the throws of Destination Kirkby. Although I voted against Kirkby I wanted to sample what we may well end up with. The stadium was much better than I expected and the atmosphere was up there with the best I've sampled from around the world. Main reasoon for this - they had a designated standing area behind one of the goals (no seats whatsoever) where all the chanting started and slowly spread its way all round the ground

Chris I sit in the top balcony, so I'm not too sure if there's anything I can do to help get this going, but if there Is anything please get In touch
Eugene Ruane
71   Posted 29/04/2011 at 14:20:55

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Noel Lynam (68) - Sorry but your weapons are useless.

That you feel you have to protect yourself with your final paragraph 'If I get my retaliation in first, he'll be forced to go easy on me' TRICK, does you a disservice and more importantly, has NO consequence on how I'll respond.

(nb: been tried before by smarter than you)

As for your questions - "What about fans who engage in pre match singing in order to motivate or get a reaction from the Everton players and / or intimidate the opposition? Do you have a problem with this? Do you consider this "showing off, SELF-conscious and posturing".

That is three questions I count which I will answer as honestly as I can.

1) What about them?

2) No.

3) Yes

You don't agree with me?

Fine, it's opinions, but I HAVE made myself clear (afuckingain!).

If we're at home, playing shite, getting beat 1-0 by Birmingham and you want to sing and dance and show how amazingly loyal you are, fill your boots.

I don't and I don't want to be surrounded by people who do.

Seriously how fucking hard is that for you to grasp?

Not asking you to agree, couldn't give a shite.

And...that's it, there's no more, it's an opinion, it's not fact-based, or science, you're not going to produce a document that proves me wrong.

The question was put in the OP and I answered.

Seems my (honest) answer has put a bee in a couple of bonnets - below is the amount of minutes sleep I'll lose as a result.

Noel Lynam
72   Posted 29/04/2011 at 17:15:20

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Eugene,

I counted three further unanswered questions (although it's possible I miscounted and if so, can someone 'smarter' than me please correct me) These were: "How about the pre-match roar when Z-Cars is played and the teams are coming out the tunnel? Clearly this is not an event happening ON the pitch, it's happening OFF the pitch. Again, do you have a problem with this? Should the crown remain silent until the game kicks off?"

These were in direct response to your comments (NB: your actual comments about noise etc generated by events happening ON the pitch, not misinterpretations and fabrications such as wanting to sing and dance when 1-0 down to Brum in order to show 'loyalty')

As for your own question as to whether I agree with you...in that order:

1. Can't really agree with a question.

2. Yes

3. No. I believe it's a method of showing support and trying to intimidate the opposition and get a reaction from the home team. By singing. At events that have not (yet anyway) happened ON the pitch.

And yes, you have made yourself clear.
Derek Turnbull
73   Posted 29/04/2011 at 17:10:25

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Wouldn't being 1.0 down to Birmingham be a better time to get behind the team than if we were beating them?

I don't think fans sing to show their loyalty, more likely that it's their way of trying to encourage the team on.

Derek Turnbull
74   Posted 29/04/2011 at 18:04:42

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Chris Butler

It could be an idea to do this without the clubs knowledge to begin with.

Once it takes off the you have more fans on side to argue with the club if the club sees it as a problem.

Chris Butler
75   Posted 29/04/2011 at 19:35:51

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Eugene without sounding rude but nobody was asking you to sit in front of us. If an area can be created, you could merely choose to sit in another part of the ground or another block. Nobody was suggesting that you'd be forced to sit or stand with us.

This is the main point I'm making, if you do not wish to join us, that's up to you but those who want to join are more than welcome. GS5 is an area of the ground that seems largely empty for most of the games. There's readily around 300 seats for people to locate to, without disrupting other supporters.

The centre of LGS, due to being a quite popular area of the ground, it seems reasonably understandable why Everton would want to restrict ticket sales in this area. The club would be far more willing to set up an area in an unpopular area of the ground as there won't be as many people affected.

Derek, hopefully if there's a pre-season game at home, we can organise something.

Andy Crooks
76   Posted 30/04/2011 at 18:49:02

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It's great roaring at the great moments, everyone on their feet cheering etc. To me however, and if it's a sign of age I accept that, the idea of singing,actual songs that one has learned, in praise of players many of whom patently are in it for money only, is well, for those of a certain age, i.e children. The most embarrassing support in the history of sport is the truly ludicrous, nauseating barmy army. A singing area makes me think of that.

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