The last time I was at Goodison Park, I was 9 years old. I can't remember what the place actually looks like or what way the game went, but I remember the atmosphere, to descibe it in one word it was mindboggling.
I live in Ireland and all my friends support Man Utd or Liverpool. To get over to Goodison has been nearly impossible for me; problems... money, no-one to go over with, girlfriend etc etc. I do have Sky Sports, ESPN, Football First ? and of course ToffeeWeb ? to keep me as close to the action as possible, but it's just not the same.
Now I've finally been freed from my exile!! I've persuaded two on my Man Utd mates to come to Goodison with me, we fly out on the 11 September 2010 (good omen!) and fly back two days later. The whole package was £235 each, we are staying in the Premier Inn, we have tickets for the Main Stand and our flights over... to sum it up ? I can't fucking wait!!!!
Can't wait to stand outside the stadium... can't wait to get in it... can't wait for the Toffee Girl... can't wait for Z-Cars... can't wait to feel the roar of the Goodison faithful on the back of my neck, and hopefully I can give my mates some serious banter if we win!
I'm really going over a bit blind; I don't know where the bars are were Evertonians gather for pre-drinks, what time do the players arrive before kick-off (which is 13:30 Sunday). Any help from youse lucky season ticket holders would be great! Cheers lads, and see you soon.
I'M COMING HOME!!!
Sean McKenna, Posted 19/08/2010 at 18:22:42
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1 Posted 19/08/2010 at 20:58:15
2 Posted 19/08/2010 at 20:56:12
Get in about half an hour before kick-off and watch the squad warm up with the manager and coaches standing by. Keep an eye out for the little exercise they do in front of the Gwladys St touchline, by the Family Enclosure. That way you can avoid the rush and take in the whole atmosphere as it builds up.
Be warned that if you want a pint of Chang in the ground it can be, well, not particulaly cold, to be nice about it.
And tell your mates to completely forget who they really support while they are there. Otherwise....
3 Posted 19/08/2010 at 21:01:53
4 Posted 19/08/2010 at 21:05:14
I don't give a shit who you are ? Everton is the be-all and end-all, the only club that we need to understand.
Sean, welome to the family!
5 Posted 19/08/2010 at 21:17:56
You could have a few in Town then get a taxi to the ground, O'Neills serve the best Guinness in Liverpool and it will be like a home from home for you.
Enjoy and let's hope it's the same result as last season.
6 Posted 19/08/2010 at 21:35:28
Sorry Tony, but I can't agree with that!
Sean if you like Guinness at home stay away from it for your weekend and go on something else. Erm, it can take a bit of getting used to....(but better than it used to be I have to admit) :)
7 Posted 19/08/2010 at 21:57:59
Granted nowhere as nice as in Ireland but apart from The Volley in Crosby, I don't know another pub that comes near.
8 Posted 19/08/2010 at 22:06:21
9 Posted 19/08/2010 at 22:08:45
I'm not having that.
The best pint around is in the Taxi drivers club!!
10 Posted 19/08/2010 at 22:14:46
11 Posted 19/08/2010 at 22:06:49
The players arrive normally between 2 to 1.5 hours before kick off. They all park behind the Park End Stand on the corner near the Bullens Road stand. I brought a mate with me last season who had his kids with him and all the players signed autographs and had photos with the kids.
I would agree with the posts above that you should try and get in the ground about half-an-hour before kick-off because a lot of people leave it late to get up to the ground and there is normally queues outside right before kick-off and you may end up missing Z-Cars and the players coming out on to the pitch. This is especially the case against the Shite and Man U.
Try the Winslow pub right opposite the main stand or, if not, there is loads of pubs on Walton Road and County Road (a few minutes walk from the ground) that will be full of blues.
12 Posted 19/08/2010 at 22:18:41
13 Posted 19/08/2010 at 22:18:21
It's funny we all seem to have our favourites BEFORE the game and go with the flow after it. I used to start in the Tramway ? sadly closed ? The Carisbrooke is brilliant bedlam, The Chepstow and Harlech crammed and similar. The last few years I have been starting at the Mons on Breeze Hill. A good place for a chat and to watch the 12:45 game and a 10-minute walk to Goodison.
The Glebe on the way back and The Black Horse. Then Bootle/Orrell Park/Aintree whichever way the wind blows 'till midnight (on average). The ale always tastes sweeter with a bag of... 3 points. You just need to get into town and get to more games, enjoy!!
14 Posted 19/08/2010 at 22:32:26
When I come home, I always swear that The Metropolitan on Berry Street did serve the best Guiness... but now that's shut. Now I reckon it's Pogue Mahone's. But to make sure I'll sample O'Neills (it's a chain right) Guiness.
15 Posted 19/08/2010 at 22:31:13
Jay, I'm 29 now so 20 years since my last visit. Really super buzzing, knowing us Irish lads we will probly be in every pub in Liverpool.
Just one more question ? what's the main stand like? Good viewing? Close to Mmoyes an Co? It would be great to get the stadium tour but they don't do it on Sunday or at the weekend of the match, so bit gutted there.
16 Posted 19/08/2010 at 22:38:31
Took the words out of my mouth pal :)
Excuse me whilst I salivate!!
17 Posted 19/08/2010 at 22:36:58
Is it 235 euro or punts your paying? Seems decent value. Is that match tickets/flights and hotel all in? If so can I ask what company that's with?
18 Posted 19/08/2010 at 22:38:31
Took the words out of my mouth pal :)
Excuse me whilst I salavate!!
19 Posted 19/08/2010 at 22:52:42
Yep, it's a themed Irish Bar in Hanover Street. They show GAA etc, and Ireland games. I watched a few World Cup matches there in 2002 - great craic. But I've always stayed on the lager there, not trusting the Guinness. Tony says different, so everyone to their own. Perhaps I'm spoilt because I'm used to Irish Guinness, which, without a hint of bias, I can confirm is better.
Colin (#16) - The punt was abolished in 2002. I think Sean means pounds sterling.
20 Posted 19/08/2010 at 23:03:17
21 Posted 20/08/2010 at 05:38:51
Having moved to Canada three years ago, I can say I am hugely jealous. Against Utd so it will be a great game and atmosphere. Hopefully the boys will be in full flow by then.
I don't know about the Guiness... but Sly Stallone will agree just to stay away from the 'tea'.
22 Posted 20/08/2010 at 07:04:51
My first meeting with Goodison Park was for an October game v Aston Villa, the season we finished fourth, the game ended 1-1. It was a fantastic experience and I've made sure to come back for a "fix" of the Old Lady once or twice a season ever since, plus the occasional away game. Frequency is a matter of money of course, and I'm very jelous of those lucky enough to have a season ticket.
I've sat in every stand, bar the Park End. Most of Main stand offers a good view, Upper Bullens pherhaps even better and Top Balcony is just spectacular. Gwladys' for the best atmosphere. I was in the Gwladys when The Yak scored a hat-trick v Fulham in December 2007. 0-0 at half time, three goals in the street end second half and the "Feed the Yak"-song was born, the atmosphere was sheer MAGIC!
I always go to the Royal Oak and the Winslow. Can't wait until next time, which will be sometime next spring!
ENJOY YOUR TRIP, SEAN, MAKE THE MOST OF IT!
23 Posted 20/08/2010 at 08:16:15
First home game of the season should be special though. An early goal from Mikky will set us up nicely or a bad refereeing decision will get the crowd going.
24 Posted 20/08/2010 at 08:32:23
25 Posted 20/08/2010 at 09:15:15
I am also an exile ? I know that it's daft but when you watch a game on TV or listen to it on the radio you feel as if you have no influence on events. But when you are there, you feel you have an impact upon proceedings!! Probably a daft romantic notion we footy fans have.
I hope that you manage to find a good "watering hole" ? I have had some Guiness over in Ireland and the stuff we have over here is not as good. Over there it's was like heaven had come down and touched earth ? the equivalent in football terms it was like comparing Shandy Andy to Kevin Sheedy.
26 Posted 20/08/2010 at 09:38:35
27 Posted 20/08/2010 at 09:42:28
28 Posted 20/08/2010 at 09:45:55
29 Posted 20/08/2010 at 09:44:29
30 Posted 20/08/2010 at 10:02:04
Good on ya for getting back over after all this time. I?m from Ireland myself (up North ? not sure what part you?re from) and there is a very well run supporters club called ESCNI. It's almost certain that if I was to get a plane over to the Wolves match tomorrow I?d easily be able to fall in with another member whether I know them or not and share taxis etc.
I?m lucky in that my dad, 3 brothers and a cousin all support the blues, plus my wife has a reasonably keen interest so I?m never stuck with anyone to travel with but on the odd occasion I?ve been on my own, I?ve not been short of company. My advice for you would be to get yourself into an Everton Supporters Club whether north or south.
If money is tight then there are a few ways around a cheaper trip to Goodison. For example, when we played St Petersburg a few seasons back in Europe, I managed to get a trip for £55. Ryanair had £10 return flights, the hotel was £60 for the room (Premier Inn) between 2 people and the match tickets were only £15. Only snag was I needed to book 2 days off work but that?s not a problem for me. European games, hopefully next season, make for a much cheaper trip.
There?s a hotel called the Dolby Hotel which can sleep 3 people in one room for a mere £40 or £50 per night depending on the night you stay. Absolutely fine for 3 fellas (maybe not for a romantic night with the wife).
A single day trip cuts out the cost of accommodation completely. Admittedly it can be a long day, especially when you?ve just been on the receiving end of a 6-1 battering at the hands of Arsenal, but you could get flights for you and your girlfriend for £80-£100 plus match tickets for £60-£70. £170 basic price isn?t bad for 2 people.
I?m sure you?d like to get over more often, Sean, so hopefully this helps.
31 Posted 20/08/2010 at 10:52:41
How I envy you! I have been away from UK for many years and I only seem to get back there in the summer months. So, whilst you are enjoying the match and all that goes with it, think of us exiles. On matchdays, I can be found at the Brass Monkey in Taipei, with my Everton supporting friend (she supports them because her surname is Chang). Everyone else there will be wearing the shirts of other teams I don't want to mention. I will be the only one there who has actually been to the ground of the team I support.
When I read all of the responses to this string, it makes me think of the times I went to Goodison Park, usually on the bus. On the way home, having had a few pints after the game, talking to fellow passengers about how well Martin Dobson had played, and what a great goal Latch had scored, and how Andy King was a great buy from Luton, and how badly we wished Clive Thomas (ref) would quickly retire.
I really hope you have a great time and that you are able to go to Goodison more often than once every nine years and definitely more often then me. Maybe one day, my dream of actually experiencing again what you are going to will come true. When it does, I will look out for you.
32 Posted 20/08/2010 at 11:23:48
Whenever I've scraped together enough money to get on a plane heading for England, I most certainly make sure there's a game on (at least one!) :-p
No, just joking, I understand it's probably got to do with family and work commitments, but I hope you'll get to see Everton playing again soon!
33 Posted 20/08/2010 at 12:50:13
34 Posted 20/08/2010 at 13:57:29
I went with four Man Utd fans last season, they all left ten minutes early and avoided me the rest of the day. Best day I've had in a long while; hope for more of the same this time.
35 Posted 20/08/2010 at 13:45:42
For a bevvie, there are numerous watering holes. I find for pre-match build-up and banter etc, the Red Brick on County Road or just next door the Royal Oak as a great boozer to start your day.
There is only one boozer to settle in after ther game and that is the Wimslow opposite the Main Stand. Around 30 mins after the game, the Wimslow proper gets going with the Everton tunes played on CD, and if the result is one that will please you more than your Utd friends (I would call them acquaintances rather than friends, but that's just me) then you will really enjoy the tunes, banter and after-game drink(s).
Either way, I hope your day goes well, and we get the result we want.
Just to advise, I'm over tomorrow for what feels like my first opening game for quite some time (I've had to sell the majority of my games to various friends at HOME). I've just had to give up my season ticket for the first time in 12 years, this is due to various reasons... mainly living on this horrible Island I unfortunately call home at present The Isle of Man. Anyway, enough of my ranting; I'm on the 7:30am boat tomorrow and can't wait either, for the walk up to the ground and that feeling you get EVERY time you make that short walk from County Road to the game.
36 Posted 20/08/2010 at 13:49:35
37 Posted 20/08/2010 at 14:43:13
You can't beat that pre-match athmosphere around the ground. My first game was '88 opener v Norwich when we beat them 1-0. My last game was an away at Xmas at Old Trafford when Pienaar gave away that penno.
38 Posted 20/08/2010 at 16:48:53
39 Posted 21/08/2010 at 11:30:19
40 Posted 21/08/2010 at 12:23:58
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