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What does Everton mean to you?

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I am a fourth year Visual Communication student. I am currently writing my thesis on the visual representation of the identity of professional football clubs.

I agree with Simon Kuper when he states in his book 'Football Against The Enemy' that ?a club is what it means to its fans.? Therefore I am currently investigating the real identities of football clubs as expressed by fans.

I would be extremely grateful if you or another knowledgeable fan of your club could answer the following questions to help me get the information I need.

1. What do you feel are the most important historical aspects of your club?

2. How would you describe the identity of your club?

3. Are there any official or unofficial political, religious, or cultural ties that you feel your club has or has had historically? If so, how important are they to the club?

4. Do you think that the identity and history of your club are represented accurately in the strip, crest, stadium etc? What would you change? What do you think works particularly well?

Thank you for your time.
Ceol Ryder, Limerick, Ireland     Posted 23/09/2010 at

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Alex Mather
1   Posted 23/09/2010 at 07:33:02

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Hi Ceol, I will give answering your questions a go if thats ok but maybe somebody better qualifies would give you some better naswers, these are just what I feel about the blues.

Firstly with regards to historical aspects if it wasnt for Everton Football Club there would probably be no football in this city you certainly wouldnt have a LFC put it that way! Also historically Everton were always pioneers of the game and not just the way it was played but other aspects we are the club of many firsts with regards to football, and I feel very proud of that also the fact we remain despite some very lean years one the biggest and most succesful clubs in the land.



Everton have had a number of unofficial identies over the years like the School of Science, Mersey Millionaires, Dogs of war and the Peoples Club but the true identity lies just plain and simple as Everton Football Club and proud giant of a club with a proud history who try to play in a fair and honets way, simple as that really.



As regard to unoffical ties Everton were always considered the Catholic club due to are strong Irish links and Liverpool were Protestant but this wasnt anything like Glasgow as its more family connections on merseyside. I feel Evertons strongest links have always been with the local community and they continue to this day not just with the massive community work Everton do through the schools but with the Everton players foundation.

I have always been proud of our Crest maybe it should have the liver bird on it at some point as we were the first to use the Liver Bird before the other lot hijacked it but our crest is unique and has very strong links with Everton as place the tower on the crest still stands today in Everton Brow. I love our Royal Blue strip and wouldnt change it for anything Blue and white will always be Everton we the original Blue boys! Our staduim is known as the old lady and is looking a little old these days but its one of the most historic in the World and with a litte make over could be the best again as it was for many decades, I love Goodison and wouldnt want to move away for anything it is apart of Evertons identity just as much as Royal Blue and Dixie Dean. The Everton Collection is magnificent and there isnt anything like it on the planet this needs to be put in a full time musuem hopefully one day a museum that is connected to Goodision.

I am sure other blues will get the questions answered better but thought I would try hope this helps good luck mate up the Tofees!
Alex Mather
2   Posted 23/09/2010 at 08:08:25

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Hi Ceol,

I apologise for the spelling mistakes I was in work so had to rush it!!!

Up the blues!
Norman Merrill
3   Posted 23/09/2010 at 08:21:57

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Alex, You have done well there, I am sure there will be many many answers to Ceol's request.
There is so much to write and put together, it would take forever.
I have watched the Blues since I was eight, and this is my 60th season, but I just would not attempt the task, but I know there are many Blues who will relish the task.
All the best, good luck.
Tony Waring
4   Posted 23/09/2010 at 09:22:25

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I personally think the religious angle is probably something invented by outsiders i.e. non Merseysiders. I believe it is grounded in the fact that Everton had quite a few guys from Ireland who were signed post war, Peter Farrell, Tommy Eglington etc., Somehow this was misconstrued as a pro-catholic move (by whom ?) because adherents of the Orange Lodge existed long before that period and always marched on 12 July as was their custom. Sectarianism - if it existed and I cannot say one way or the other - certainly is not in evidence today and in my experience has'nt manifested itself for a long time. An other point worth mentioning is that once upon a time Blue & Red would get along much better than seems to be the case today. I had a friend who was fanatically Everton - and fanatically football incidentally - who had season tickets for both clubs. Sadly this camaraderie is not so common any more.
Mike McLean
5   Posted 23/09/2010 at 09:36:50

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There was a very learned article a few months ago on this site about some of the angles you mention.

Briefly, the Vauxhall area of Liverpool was overwhelmingly Irish going back to the 1850's / 1910. From 1885 to 1929. it was represented in Parliament by the Irish Nationalist Party MP, T P O'Connor. It also elected city councillors from the same party. Everton at that point were the senior and more glamorous club, so it's not unnatural that a very large number of working class men would turn up at Goodison, having worked in the morning (as was normal for Saturdays in those times), having had a couple of beers. Given that Ireland '85 / 1921 was more or less at war with Britain, it's not unnatural that the crowd would sing Amhran na Bfhiann (the Irish national anthem) as a way of venting their feelings. And thus a myth was born that the club was Catholic. In reality, the Club appeared to be whatever the people filling the ground wanted it to appear as. It never had any kind of link with the Catholic church in reality.

There was never a chance of a Glasgow type rivalry existing for two reasons. The Irish who came over did not meet a hostile, ultra protestant population and secondly, the numbers who went to Liverpool were hugely disproportionate in favour of the Southern, Catholic, Irish. A religious fight would have been a massacre!
Dave Lynch
6   Posted 23/09/2010 at 09:51:22

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Can't add anymore to what Alex said.
It's part of my identity as a human being.
Tony McNulty
7   Posted 23/09/2010 at 09:53:41

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Some useful information in previous posts. Here are my random thoughts which I hope will help. Good luck with the thesis.

1. What do you feel are the most important historical aspects of your club?

Everton were, of course, one of the original founders of the Football League, so there is a tendency to see ?noisy neighbours? and others as ?Johnny come Latelies.?

I suspect one?s answer may also well depend on one?s age. When I started taking an interest in football Everton were known as the ?Mersey Millionaires? (owing to the financial support provided by millionaire John Moores). We were perceived by some as having ?bought? the championship in 1962/1963 (sound familiar?) Jimmy Greaves alludes to this in his more recent autobiography. I was also brought up on a tradition of ?School of Science?, the idea that Everton were the team ?that played beautiful football? (this idea is encapsulated in the ?We?re for ever, Everton? song which references these very words).

Older fans might have a view on this, but I remember reading somewhere that the style of play in the early Sixties owed something to the Tottenham Hotspur ?push and run? style as it was then called. It is interesting to note that traditional Everton heroes were those who were especially skilful (e.g. Colin Harvey). In contrast, Liverpool heroes tended to be people like Ron ?Rowdy? Yates, large, immobile, tree-like characters known for their ability to launch a ball into outer space, to the accompanying roar of the gaping primates in attendance.


2. How would you describe the identity of your club?

For me, it is inextricably entwined with the above historical perspective.


3. Are there any official or unofficial political, religious, or cultural ties that you feel your club has or has had historically? If so, how important are they to the club?

My father?s generation (he was born in 1923) considered Everton as the Catholic club, and Liverpool as CoE. This seems to have been in part owing to the number of players with Irish roots who played for Everton. There have been articles written in recent years which have challenged the ?Catholic Everton? myth, referencing the club?s founders, who were not Catholic (some of these articles may be in the Toffeeweb archives or you might have to search them out yourself).

In my youth, I once heard someone describe Everton, Celtic and Manchester United as the ?Holy Trinity.? For me, bringing religious affiliations into football in this way is a bit of a nonsense, but it is there in the history. However, I have had some fun explaining this history to certain of your Shite-supporting compatriots (from time to time I have worked for extended periods in the Republic) and then winding them up by asking them why they had decided to ?take the soup? in their football affiliations (fortunately, they know I?m only joking).

Re. cultural ties, in his autobiography, Lord Birt describes the character of people from Liverpool as: ?of wit and cheer, of biting observation, of endless story-telling, of independence of spirit and lack of deference ? firmness of opinion and a quickness to take offence.? If you add ?emotional? to that description (for evidence of this, look at some of the current debates on this site with regard to our team?s performance). I think that reflects many of the characteristics of Everton fans, and for me it also reflects the Irish character too. No great surprise here ? I think I once read that 70% of people from Liverpool have Irish roots.

4. Do you think that the identity and history of your club are represented accurately in the strip, crest, stadium etc? What would you change? What do you think works particularly well?

The club often nods in the direction of tradition in selecting its strips, although I am not sure where the current pink away kit fits into all this. As someone once put it on a fans? website: ?I like the new kit. Sorry this is written in crayon. They won?t let me have anything sharp in here.?

Look into the Toffeeweb archives for the polarity of opinions about the ground. Like a number of people, I don?t know where football is now going with all of the foreign cash which has come into the game. I suppose if I were a Chelsea fan, I would feel that it has all worked rather well so far.
James Cadwaladr
8   Posted 23/09/2010 at 11:01:15

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Founder members of the Football League in 1888

Founder members of the FA Premier League in 1992

First club to be presented with the League Championship trophy

First club to present medals for winning the Championship

First club to play officially in Blue and White (1901)

First club to stage an FA Cup final 1894, Notts County v Bolton Wanderers

First club on Merseyside to win the FA Cup 1906

First club to go on an overseas football tour

First club to construct a purpose built football stadium

First club to have a four-sided stadium with two tier stands

First club to have a stadium with a three tier stand

First club to issue a regular match programme for home fixtures

First club to have a player (William Ralph Dean) score 60 league goals

First club to wear numbered shirts from 1-11 (1933 FA Cup final)

First club to have a church attached to its stadium

First club to install dugouts

First club to install undersoil heating

First club to win a penalty shootout in the European Cup 1970 v Borussia Moenchengladbach

First club to play 4000 top-flight games

First club to amass 5000 League points

First club to play 100 seasons in the top-flight

First club to stage a World Cup semi-final in Britain

First club to have the youngest Premiership goalscorer in two consecutive seasons with two different players

First club to break the £100,000 transfer threshold when Alan Ball moved from Blackpool for £110,000 in 1966.

First club to be featured in a TV game in August 1936 v Arsenal. Not live (pre-recorded).

First club to have scoreboard half time/full time facility

First club to have its own podcast

First club to have its own online social networking site.

First club to sell tickets via text message.

Mike McLean
9   Posted 23/09/2010 at 11:15:21

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ONLY club to stage a world cup semi final in Britain. West Germany 2 - 1 Russia.
Andy Callan
10   Posted 23/09/2010 at 11:16:01

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Alright mate,

Yeah I'll help.

History is all well-and-good, but we need to stop constantly hanging on to it. This is the problem you see, while our club has a wonderful history, too many supporters are clinging on to it. The reason for this is that unless we have HUGE investment Everton are going nowhere. The sooner people accept this, the better.

We need to move forward quickly by getting a new stadium and by selling the club to a multi-billionaire, or we're fucked.

Everton FC has it's own identify when it comes to being recognised in Britain. Unfortunately that shower over the park put pay to us ever having one abroad.

Politics and religion have NO place in football whatsoever. In fact they have no place in anything but themselves. I hate politicians 'coz they lie all the time. The sooner everyone comes to terms with the fact that no 'God' exists, when you're dead you're dead and that you don't get to shag 50 virgins once you've blown yourself (and 50 others) in to a thousand pieces, the world will be a MUCH better place.

That's my opinion; I won't kill anyone if they don't agree, nor will I wipe it in everyones face on a daily basis either. Church SHOULD follow the same fuckin suit.

We've not won ten titles or the European Cup, so we can't put a star on the badge, so I can't see how we could change anything, unless we started winning things again - which lets face it, isn't very likely.... I suppose we could list the clubs honours down the back to the shirt and do away with the huge numbers / names.

Cheers bud and best of luck

Andy
Jamie Morgan
11   Posted 23/09/2010 at 12:01:38

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Fantstic views already.
would just like to add in terms of visual identity. I live in the midlands away from the city of Liverpool, but whenever i see i see another person in an Everton shirt or a car with sticker on it. I IMMEDIATELY feel an affinity with that person as i know we share something we care about.
Seeing Goodison still gives me goosebumps every single time i see it, no matter how often.
Tom Hughes
12   Posted 23/09/2010 at 10:27:12

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Questions 1&2.
In my opinion "History" and "Tradition" are absolute bywords for all things Everton FC. To the extent that although I am biased, I believe this "historical stance" holds greater credance than for ANY other club. By which I mean our identity has far greater longevity, deeper roots, and is iconic in so many respects and across significantly longer periods. There have been many truly great players and teams across many eras, with a broad spead of honours. A stadium that is literally without peer in terms of it's historic character, and the place that it holds in the history of football stadium architecture. Goodison Park is often referred to as the grand old lady, and was the finest stadium in Britain for the vast majority of its history.

3. The politics and religion of 19th century Liverpool certainly contributed strongly towards the famous breakaway of Everton Football club to Goodison Park. This is covered in several good books. The resultant Liverpool FC directorship was led by staunch orange brewery-affiliated conservatives, while Everton's were the more liberal-minded tea-total methodists, with the notable inclusion of a catholic. However, I don't believe this then permeated down to a direct sectarian division in the support of each club. Although there were certainly periods in history when EFC's support gave the perception of being predominently catholic. It would appear that Liverpool's overwhelming success over a long period, and a general decline of 19th century sectarian tensions has mixed the soup even more in recent decades, to the extent that it is even less of an issue than it ever was.

4. The biggest manifestation of a club's identity and history is it's stadium, and I don't believe any club's stadium is more synonymous with its whole history, and the place it holds in the history of football than is Goodison Park. Yes, other clubs had their iconic stands or terraces, but few if any were truly a unified stadium as opposed to often very basic "football ground". In terms of the shirt, thankfully recent efforts have stuck close to tradition (although the colour has been a bit off at times). Despite Chelsea's recent glory years and the sky-era hype, we are still historically the most successful club to have worn Blue, and therefore I feel that the colour, the badge are far more strongly engrained into the fabric, perception and imagery of the club. That richness of character and history cannot be manufactured overnight. Personally, I think that this could probably be built on even more, and I am glad to see the recent addition of historical images all around the stadium. You can have this and still be forward thinking IMO!
Christopher McCullough
13   Posted 23/09/2010 at 12:24:05

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I always feel a warm sense of empathy with anyone wearing an everton top in the street, which probably means I'm a basket case.

For me, the mixture of history and character is unmatched and ineffable, the specifics known by Evertonians but overlooked by the media and other fans, mainly.

If I wanted to manifest my religious affiliation through the medium of a football jersey I would go to Glasgow every other week. (not that Old Firm fans support their clubs for that reason) .

T.P O'Connor (elected as MP for Scotland Road in 1885) is an interesting reference : "His pen could lay bare the bones of a book or the soul of a statesman in a few vivid lines."

Growing up I was always aware, based on snippets of conversation from elders, that something magnificent was recently deceased. We last won the league in 1987. Everton was a "sleeping giant". Still is.

Finally, I find the badge and home kit (blue, white, white) ascetically pleasing. Goodison Park is a wonderful place to be. When the atmosphere is raucous, when the team are looking hungry, playing 'beautiful football' as the song goes, you wouldn't want to be anywhere else.
Dominic Bobadilla
14   Posted 23/09/2010 at 12:42:41

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1. What do you feel are the most important historical aspects of your club?

ANSWER: Tradition.

2. How would you describe the identity of your club?

ANSWER: Working class.

3. Are there any official or unofficial political, religious, or cultural ties that you feel your club has or has had historically? If so, how important are they to the club?

ANSWER: Catholic [Ed Note: This is plain wrong; see other contributions.]

4. Do you think that the identity and history of your club are represented accurately in the strip, crest, stadium etc? What would you change? What do you think works particularly well?

ANSWER: The crest has a very special meaning for me. Firstly, it signifies Everton's German connections, c.f. Prince Rupert of Rhine. Secondly, it was also a dungeon of sorts in which criminals - presumably Kopites, counterrevolutionaries and other enemies of Everton F.C. - were incarcerated. What would I change? Unfortunately you cannot change the past. As for the present, I would change our manager.
Dominic Bobadilla
15   Posted 23/09/2010 at 12:56:34

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Addendum regarding (iv): I was referring to the tower on the crest.
Tony McNulty
16   Posted 23/09/2010 at 13:34:36

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James #8

A good list. I think we were also one of the first clubs to feature in a live, top-flight televised game. Was it Chelsea away in the 80s on the BBC on a Friday night? I think we won 1-0.

As for the under soil heating, we were probably the first club to rip it out as well. I recall that the wires were too close to the surface, which meant that they couldn?t fork the pitch, so games would be cancelled because of flooding, once the snow/ice had melted. Someone else may also have memories of this.

Christopher McCullough
17   Posted 23/09/2010 at 13:39:30

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Andy (#10): I think you are actually more representative of British and Irish society than those religious people who you attack without provocation or reason.

We live in quite an aggressively secular society where Christians are pressurised into public silence. RE: British Airways. Liberals preach tolerance like a sermon while hiding their own ideological premise.

Evertonians are an impressively ecumenical bunch and I like the wee church in the corner.
James Cadwaladr
18   Posted 23/09/2010 at 14:19:36

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I believe we were also the first club to install Floodlights.

I suppose in addition to all of the other posts, one word in which I would describe the cluib, despite the fact we are not so anymore, is Pioneers. Clearly we led the way for more than a century and played a massive part in making British (and world for that matter) football what it is today.
Mike Owen
19   Posted 23/09/2010 at 14:37:08

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What does Everton mean to you?

Fucking misery!
John Daley
20   Posted 23/09/2010 at 17:09:51

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Everton to me is both a gift and a curse.
Charles King
21   Posted 23/09/2010 at 17:20:18

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It is a family, a historic, proud, True Blue Family.

A few years ago the percentage of "walk ups", local people who attend the matches was calculated for all the premiership clubs. No one came near to matching Everton, over 90% off the home fans were from Liverpool, I think the next club was in the 78% range.

When the team and the fans are as one there is no place on earth I would rather be.

Ray Roche
22   Posted 23/09/2010 at 17:50:45

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Tony McNulty @7

You say your fathers generation regarded us as a Catholic club. 'Fraid not. My father was born in 1912 and he, and HIS father, born in Everton, were both staunch Protestants would turn in their graves at the suggestion that they, or their generation, regarded Everton as Catholic club.

Everton aren't Catholic or Protestant. They are a football club with no religious affiliation. Remember, they started out as a Methodist club, not Catholic, but you wouldn't say "Everton are a Methodist club" would you?.

Dennis Stevens
23   Posted 23/09/2010 at 20:59:21

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Christopher McCullough : "We live in quite an aggressively secular society where Christians are pressurised into public silence." - Quite right Christopher, people should keep their superstitions to themselves!
Christopher McCullough
24   Posted 23/09/2010 at 21:26:28

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Could you define the legal boundaries of freedom of speech for me ?
Dave Smith
25   Posted 23/09/2010 at 22:15:23

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Dennis and Christopher (23&24) - Lets not turn this into a theological/human rights debate please

I was enjoying reading what fellow Evertonians felt about Everton.
Christopher McCullough
26   Posted 23/09/2010 at 22:28:51

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Good point, well made, Dave.

I've actually read Simon Kuper's book; its main objective is to outline how politics and religion permeates football and the horrible consequences that result. eg Boban kicking off the Croat/Serb war.

Our tangent may not be completely useless to the original contributor. For example, it may interesting that some Evertonians use Chrisitian denominations in a sectarian way to enhance their infinity with the club but it seems that nobody is willing admit to affinity with the man himself, Jesus Christ.
Joe Bibb
27   Posted 23/09/2010 at 22:50:02

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Everton Football Club mean everything to me. I have watched them all over the world in the last 50 years. I love them and I care passionately about them.

Our history is the envy of all the other Clubs, our away fan following is phenomenal. We don't wear replica kits like the Toon Army, Everton is in our hearts not on a shirt.

I have risked my marriage following EFC and will always do that. Maybe that sounds over the top but to me EFC is a vital part of my make up, for me DNA means Dixie Never Ages. The players of today and the manager are only passing through I am here for the full journey from the cradle to the grave.

Dennis Stevens
28   Posted 23/09/2010 at 23:17:05

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Not sure if posting a single comment really counts as a "debate", Dave.
David Hallwood
29   Posted 24/09/2010 at 00:57:53

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Another first is we were the first to wear numbered shirts in an FA Cup Final, in 1933 vs Citteh and we won 3-0. The numbers went from 1-22 and it was for the benefit of radio commentators.
David Hallwood
30   Posted 24/09/2010 at 01:03:52

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Ive just noticed James Cadwaladr #8 listed it, sorry missed it first time round
Gerry Morrison
31   Posted 24/09/2010 at 05:01:46

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Being an Evertonian is, this is the only explanation that makes sense, my religion. With all the metaphysical and supernatural connotations that implies. There is no rational reason to believe what I believe. I know that. And still, I don't wear anything red. I don't eat anything red. I hate people I have never met. I believe that one Evertonian is worth twenty Liverpudlians. I would not let my daughter marry a Liverpudlian. Asking me to to explain why this is the case would be akin to asking the pope why he is a catholic. Maybe there is a reason, I just don't have it.
Mike McLean
32   Posted 24/09/2010 at 07:55:35

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Ray Roche @ 22. Excellent point. The district of Everton was regarded as protestant. Even today, four of the eight Orange marching bands are based in that district. There was, according to my dad, a very distinct difference between the districts of Everton and Vauxhall.

And of course, as I wrote earlier, the Club simply provided a space for men to vent their feelings. It didn't proclaim the Irish Free State, neither did it have "No Surrender" as a motto.
Mike McLean
33   Posted 24/09/2010 at 08:01:08

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Dennis Stevens ... can see your point but I have to say it's improbable / impossible for people to divest themselves of any other emotion but support for the Blues when they walk into the ground. We're complex beings and it's only natural that all of those things that make up our lives are brought to the table. Gotta go, but if you wanted to pursue it, happy to discuss.
Michael Brien
34   Posted 24/09/2010 at 07:34:02

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Ceol : I have been an Evertonian since I was 7 years old and my Dad first took me to a match at Goodison in 1964. Everton Football Club has been an important part of my life for many years and I think many of the people who have commented would say that as well.

In answer to your first two questions I think that some of the other comments really sum things up very well. There is a strong sense of pride amongst Evertonians in our History, My Dad used to tell me stories about Dixie Dean when I was a kid in the 1960's. I recall looking at one of my Dad's football books from the previous decade. The 1950's were not a very successful time for Everton, I put it to him that we hadn't done well even with Dixie Dean. It was then that he put me right !!! Indeed my Dad never saw the great man play !!! But his exploits were just as real to him as if he had seen him play.

I am sure that there are Evertonians who never saw Bob Latchford play, who can tell you who he scored against in that 30 goal season of 1977-78!!! I was lucky enough to be at Wembley in 1995, of course winning the Cup that day was brilliant - but also arriving at Wembley in time to see the Veterans match was also brilliant too.

As others have stated the Everton are a Catholic club, Liverpool a Protestant one is really a myth and there has never been a Celtic - Rangers type of divide. Our religious links in 1878 were actually Methodist.

Although many fans will bemoan the tendency to change/bring out new kits virtually very season, I have to say I do like the updated design of the club crest - which since 2000 I think it was has feature the year 1878 very prominently. Also the colours of our shirts should be Royal Blue - in 1997-99 for a couple of seasons we had a fairly well designed kit - with the only problem being that the blue was too light.

As a slight digression I too like the Church in the corner !!! It was only when I was a student in the mid/late 1970's and two of my mates - from Yorkshire- in the same year as me pointed out how unusal it was to have a Church in the corner of a football ground.
Tom Hughes
35   Posted 24/09/2010 at 10:08:32

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Mike @32:

The district of Everton has never been exclusively protestant ? nor Orange for that matter. In actual fact, despite the number of Orange halls, only quite a narrow strip of housing above Netherfield Road could ever be considered anything approaching exclusively Orange (certainly not of the Ulster variety). Whereas, the much larger and more densely populated areas below Netherfield Road and certainly Vauxhall were almost completely Irish Catholic (with a smattering of Italians and other Europeans) prior to the so-called slum clearances of the 50s & 60s, and represented easily the greatest concentration of Catholics in Britain. This bled into all surrounding districts. In fact St Domingo Road (well inside Everton) was the original intended location for a Catholic cathedral. Over the brow towards Anfield was generally a mixed bunch, again with plenty of Catholic parishes. I actually went to a Catholic school in Everton.

I think there's probably several geographic and historical reasons for the "Myth" to have grown legs. Perhaps the high-density population of hundreds of thousands of Catholics, generally living closer to the docks in North Liverpool, felt less inclined to travel up over the hill through the hostile district above Netherfield Road to get to Anfield, than they did to simply go along Scotland Road to Goodison Park. Perhaps the Orange enclave on the hill preferred the closer ground in Anfield.

There was also quite a sustained period when Everton fielded lots of Irishmen. In fact, wasn't it well noted that, when the Republic of Ireland beat England at Goodison Park in the 40s, the crowd was strongly partisan towards the Irish? Anyone who attended in the 50s and 60s would've also noticed the number of Catholic clergy in the stands (often the front rows too), and nuns collecting outside.

Thankfully, because there was no formal affiliation from day one, and because the club's fortunes varied across the decades, this never became polarised..... I'd also like to think that it says something about the psyche of the average scouser that the city has been relatively successful in eradicating the whole sectarian issue (and divorcing it from footy), to the extent that most people nowadays wouldn't know it ever existed..... when quite frankly the place was a powder keg for long enough.

Then again, I've only once heard someone sing "so to hell with Liverpool and Celtic too" and when I turned around it was a lad in a Rangers shirt, so maybe it survives yet. Conversely, I've also heard Liverpool fans sing "we're not English, we are scouse"......( a sentiment I would agree with;) ) showing it's never been cut-and-dry!

All that said, I'd say there is probably a greater and more defined distinction to be made in terms of Geography and say: Evertonian/Liverpudlian population densities across the city-region..... with North Liverpool far more strongly Evertonian than South Liverpool.

Danny Burke
36   Posted 24/09/2010 at 10:57:02

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Interesting to read peoples responses.

The religion aspect has been discussed here and I have never been aware in my lifetime of any real connection with the club and religion other than the Church between the G St end and the Main Stand.

Evertonians rightly are proud of our history, as the song says " And if You know you're history......" Some people are clinging to it hard as we haven't had much to celebrate in recent times. But none the less it is to be celebrated, not just the trophy haul but also all the other achievements listed by James in post #8. Our history defines who we are and forms our identity.

Our stadium, Goodison Park, the grand old lady. So much history and passion in the place. I LOVE Goodison Park, it is one of the few stadiums left with charater and generates an atmosphere second to none.There is also somthing special about Goodison under the floodlights, Bayern 85 is the classic example.

Contrary to media belief, footabll wasn't invented by SKY TV in the early 90's. We indeed are the most successful club team to wear blue, Chelsea have been ahead in recent times but we still better them. It is this reason that I love the colour blue, my house is decorated mostly in blues, I own no red clothing, I even got married with blue as the predominent colour, bridesmaids, flowers, table decorations, all in blue. Hell our 11 tables were each named after a former Everton legend. Everton is a huge part of my life, I am in a better mood when we win, I am in a bad mood wehen we lose, if we lose to Liverpool I am unbearable. I am 28, I was too young to really remember the great days of the 80's even though I have a few memories, mostly of my Dad cheering and a neighbors dog called Sheedy. It is true that Evertonians, especially of my Generation are passionate and committed and no accusation of "Glory Hunting" can be levelled our way. Indeed the same is true of older genarations who were lucky enough to enjoy success on the pitch, for the demographic of support has largly been local. I travel a lot to see friends from Uni and people in Leeds, Bradford, Manchester can be seen wearing Chelsea shirts, these are not in my opinion true fans, they have just chosen a currently successful club. To be a"Proper fan" is to be in akind of marriage will stick through thick and thin (mostly thin) better or worse, then when success does come, it is all the sweeter for it. It's hard to explain but like the great Alan Ball said, "Once Everton has touched you, nothing will be the same!"
David S Shaw
37   Posted 24/09/2010 at 14:04:04

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When you ask whether a club is protestant or catholic, the distinction needs to be made about whether or not you are talking about the fans of the club or the owners of the club.

I was interested to read Mike McLean saying that the crowd would sometime sing the Soldier Song (sorry I cant spell the other name). There was an Everton version of that in the 70s, does anyone remember the words to it?
Charles King
38   Posted 24/09/2010 at 20:57:18

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On the religion think I was mystified when I first heard the alternate chants of "celtic" "rangers" in the street end back in the 70s.

My mate had to explain the catholic and protestant affiliations of those clubs such was my ignorance.

The chants were of equal volume and it appeared to be a teenage thing ignored by the vast majority.
Ceol Ryder
39   Posted 27/09/2010 at 03:05:49

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Thank you to everyone who has responded to my queries. I think its invaluable to get these answers from fans, especially when a consensus seems to be forming with a lot of what is being said.

I have also set up an online survey in which I have expanded on the questions that I originally asked. It would be great if some of you could fill it out.
Here is the link: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/N7CD7ZF

Thanks

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