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Happier Times

Comments (38)

As someone who has been accused of only being negative, I'd like to post something positive here. I'd like to go back to the days when my Dad and I walked to the ground with a feeling of excitement. To be honest, my dad probably didn't but I did.

I went to the match with only one player I wanted to see. I didn't follow play, I just watched my hero throughout the match. To me it was Alan Ball. He could have been tying the laces on his white boots, but, well, he did it for a reason and I was watching him. I'd like to ask my fellow Evertonians who has made them feel that excited. Who did you want to see?
Andy Crooks, Belfast     Posted 26/02/2011 at

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Eric Myles
1   Posted 26/02/2011 at 14:39:23

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Bally was my hero as well, I was always amazed by his bouncing the ball on his head while walking the touchline during warm-ups.

When he was sold to Arsenal I even used to go over the Park to see him play aganst the other side.
Lee Courtliff
2   Posted 26/02/2011 at 15:49:26

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Big Dunc and Kanchelskis.There was a time when i really thought we would build a great team around those two!!
Kieran Kinsella
3   Posted 26/02/2011 at 17:30:10

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First season I really watched the man to keep an eye on was Gary Lineker. Later I liked Kanchelskis. That's about it.
Ray Said
4   Posted 26/02/2011 at 17:35:07

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I started going on a regular basis in the very early 70s and the player I loved watching was Duncan McKenzie, an unpredictable genius. You couldn't tell what he was going to do with the ball and it made for compelling watching ? the buzz around the place when he got the ball near the opposition's area was fantastic.
Peter Dry
5   Posted 26/02/2011 at 17:44:00

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I bunked off school (well, 6th form) to go and see Duncan Ferguson get married in The Anglican Cathedral, say no more. The only other two were Kanchelskis and Joe Parkinson.
Trevor Lynes
6   Posted 26/02/2011 at 17:50:09

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I got excited with the whole side in the 60s and Vernon was my hero although Collins, Young and Tony "Cassius" Kay ran him close... In later years, I thought that Lineker would definitely be a big star with us... but he went after one fantastic season. McKenzie was a joy to watch when he was on song and well worth the admission to see him play!!

Billy Liddell frightened the life out of me every time he got the ball when he starred for Liverpool!!!

Steve Green
7   Posted 26/02/2011 at 17:48:00

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Funny you should mention Bally, Andy.

Only yesterday I took the kids down to HillHead, a local beach front on the Solent and as I was driving there I went past a sign saying Hook 1 mile. "What's so special about Hook?" I hear you cry... well Hook was the hamlet where Alan in latter years lived, and sadly, died.

Last time I was down there, it was right after his untimely demise in the fire and I just drove around Warsash and Hook trying to make sense of it and believe it had really happened.

Sad, I know... but, like you, he was my man, the first man I ever remember idolising in my life. No player in a blue shirt has touched him since. Can't ever see one doing so to be honest.
Alan Ball RIP, You Blue Warrior!

Bertie Alloff
8   Posted 26/02/2011 at 18:30:38

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Duncan Mckenzie was a big fave of mine, infuriating at times I know. I've always been a fan of the little players with bags of skill, so was also a big fan of Dave Thomas, socks around his ankles, and one of the best crossers of a ball in a blue shirt ever!
Robert Patterson
9   Posted 26/02/2011 at 18:41:37

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Gavin Ramejkis
10   Posted 26/02/2011 at 18:18:11

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Started going to GP early 70s and Duncan McKenzie for me was magic to watch, sad but my 5.5 year old's middle name is Mackenzie (Mrs wouldn't let me have exact spelling as she thought it was bad enough) but he was great to watch as was Andy King and Bob Latchford, funnily enough was talking to the guy who sits next to me in the Park End today about the rumours of Andy King from Leicester and we talked about the original getting shoved off the pitch by that copper after his volley against the RS.
Alex Kociuba
11   Posted 26/02/2011 at 19:17:40

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Claus Thomsen
Greg Anderson
12   Posted 26/02/2011 at 19:34:36

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Bally. Incredible combination of skill, energy, intelligence, and charisma. I think a little part of me died when he was sold to Arsenal.
Jim Hillier
13   Posted 26/02/2011 at 20:13:46

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Joe Royle not getting a mention here?
Mark Browne
14   Posted 26/02/2011 at 20:14:33

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Alan Ball epitomised Everton in the late 60s and for me was the best modern Everton player (nobody can touch Dixie Dean). I can still remember my mum and dad buying me the white boots and trying to play like him when on the fields in Stanley Park. Happy Days.
Paul Rice
15   Posted 26/02/2011 at 20:17:47

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Paul Holmes or if he didn't get a game Carl Tiler :-D

Dunc........without a doubt - usless a shite half the time but when he was on form nothing was better than watching defenses scratch their heads trying to work out what the hell to do with him.
Christopher McCullough
16   Posted 26/02/2011 at 20:51:31

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Neville Southall and Kevin Sheedy. Met Nev once; in Coleraine.

I liked Cottee and Kanchelskis, too. Recently it's Arteta, Saha and Cahill.
John Talbot
17   Posted 26/02/2011 at 21:05:05

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Andy Gray and Sharpe
Matthew Salem
18   Posted 26/02/2011 at 21:38:05

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Carlo Nash...
Shaun Sparke
19   Posted 26/02/2011 at 21:57:17

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I can't believe nobody has mentioned Glen Keeley
Dick Fearon
20   Posted 26/02/2011 at 21:51:12

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Only Hickson could have me marching around the ground holding aloft a sign that read, IF DAVY GOES, I GO!
Mike Allison
21   Posted 26/02/2011 at 22:12:02

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Big generational problem here. For many of us the current players are far more exciting than the Scott Gemills, John Ebbrells and Barry Hornes we grew up watching.

When I was able to actually go every week, Don Hutchison was our designated footballer for a while, then it was John Collins. Marco Materazzi and Olivier Dacourt could look excellent in very brief spells as well.

Maybe now you see why so many of us look on the bright side of the team we have now. We'd have killed for a player like Arteta, Pienaar or Fellaini back then, now they're seen as a bare minimum and "Why haven't we got twelve or thirteen of them?"
Mike Allison
22   Posted 26/02/2011 at 22:17:52

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I meant to add Mark Pembridge to my list (in the first paragraph!). Those were the guys in our midfield 10-12 years ago. I actually remember thinking thank God at least Scott Gemmill tried to play football, and pass the ball forward to a man, unlike the rest of them. I actually thought for a minute he'd scored for Airdrie today but it turns out to be a different bloke with the same name.
Andy Peers
23   Posted 26/02/2011 at 22:47:57

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After I watched Andy King score that great goal against Liverpool in 1978 and ended our 7 years without beating them, he could do no wrong in my book. I remember him commenting that as he was about to shoot Souness yelled " you missed it " to try and put him off, what an asshole!!

Always loved Dave Thomas crossing the ball and to be honest one player that I always like watching these days is Leighton Baines. I was also there for Latchfords 30th goal of the season, but Andy King's goal was just a great feeling.

Kieran Kinsella
24   Posted 26/02/2011 at 23:02:12

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Mike Allison I guess you were unlucky enough only to know Peter Beagrie as the loanee from Bradford. Rough time to start watching Everton.
David Thomas
25   Posted 26/02/2011 at 23:06:44

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Whose the player with the most? It's Alex Young the golden ghost.
Gary Hughes
26   Posted 27/02/2011 at 02:18:30

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I was a spoilt brat because my first season was 84-85 & my heroes were Sheedy & Steven. Doesn't get much better than that.
John Sreet
27   Posted 27/02/2011 at 06:32:28

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No 1: Alex Young

No 2: Alan Ball

No 3: Inchy Heath

John Sreet
28   Posted 27/02/2011 at 08:01:27

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No 3: Bobby Collins

No 4: Inchy Heath

Colin Ryan
29   Posted 27/02/2011 at 10:57:29

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For me it was Sheedy for years and then over the years it went from Cottee, Ferguson, Kanchelskis, Speed, Rooney, Cahill, Arteta. Hopefully Rodwell will be on that list soon.
Ray Roche
30   Posted 27/02/2011 at 10:55:54

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Alex Young, by a country mile, Vernon, Kay, Ring, Morrissey, Wilson, Parker....

I pity the younger fans who missed out on seeing such truly great footballers and who don't have the successfull teams to look back on, but still follow the Blues through thick and thin. Those of us of a certain vintage, now in their fifties or sixties, can remember title-winning sides on four occasions and seasons when we were at least in the mix but fell short at the death but the younger fans have been starved of success for far too long. It's Hibbert's fault. Everything is.

Howard Don
31   Posted 27/02/2011 at 11:36:32

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Alex Young would have to be the player whose skills I'd love to still watch, poetry in motion.

Favourite players over the years Ball, Harvey, Kendall, are the first names on the list. Tony Kay was brilliant but not with us long enough. Peter Reid for his tenacity, Trevor Steven, Arteta at his best... I could go on. Just realised, with the exception of Young, all my favourite players are midfielders.
Adam Cunliffe
32   Posted 27/02/2011 at 12:24:40

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My first idol was shithouse Barmby, first ever player I got to see in an England shirt. Cried for hours when he left, never will forgive him. Ripped down all my posters of him, as a 6-year-old it killed me, first thing my Mum ever said to my girlfriend was "Don't take this the wrong way, but his first love always will be Nick Barmby" and how true it was.

He was closely followed by Big Dunc, that man was my hero until his final game against WBA. Finally got to see him score and oh how wonderful it was. That penalty rebound, along with the noise the Glawdys Street made when Tim Cahill scored vs Newcastle and when James Beattie scored against Villarreal in the subsequent Champions League games are memories I'll take with me forever.

Always will have love for Jasper Blomquvist for scoring the winner in my first ever game vs Sunderland in 2001, and I always did want to see Thomas Myhre in goal.

Fucking love Everton Football Club and I always will, comes to something when you're throwing yourself around as a kid wanting to be Myhre when all my mates were immitating Scholes and Owen, but that's Everton and I wouldn't change it for the world.

COYB let's get to Wembley again!
Andrew Cunningham
33   Posted 27/02/2011 at 13:26:21

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I Idolised Alan Ball. Could not believe he left us... still can't.
Steve Higham
34   Posted 27/02/2011 at 14:05:04

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Sheedy, Reid, Bracewell and Steven ? best midfield Everton will ever have. Loved them all.

Sheedy ? best left foot I have ever seen ever. Does anyone remember the THAT free-kick against Ipswich ? never seen better than that!!!

John Audsley
35   Posted 27/02/2011 at 14:51:50

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Trevor Steven

Superb player
Tom Bowers
36   Posted 27/02/2011 at 16:31:18

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Sheedy's free kicks were just fantastic. Johnny Morrissey was tough as nails but a great winger as was Tommy Ring. Bally obviously for the tremors he gave Liverpool and Peter Reid a real dynamo.

Kendall as a player and manager (shame on you England managers for not selecting him for the national team when many bums got at least one cap). There have been many other heros but Mackenzie was a delight to behold.

David Price
37   Posted 28/02/2011 at 09:06:15

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Joe Royle was my hero, he scored my first Everton goal, a penalty in a 2-1 loss to Chelsea, March '69, remember him shoulder barging 3 Man City players off the ball before scoring, the bloody ref disallowed it.< >Favourite player though, I think due to the gloom suffered from '71, was Duncan Mckenzie, he lit the place up. Bingham signed him and Rioch, first game for them I think away at Coventry and lost 4-2. Along came Gordon Lee and hardly played him then sold him to Chelsea.

Duncan came back and put Chelsea 2-1 up at Goodison in Nov '78, still can see the whole of the St End applauding the goal. We came back to win 3-2, Gordon Lee criticised the fans for their response to Duncan's goal. He never really understood the Everton Way.

Most skilful player for me was Peter Beardsley, one of the great English players anywhere.

Paul Johnson
38   Posted 28/02/2011 at 19:40:36

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Being born in 1965 and attending the game regularly from 71 onwards I have had the pleasure of seeing some special players (and not so special). I have racked my brains over this question and without doubt the one player who gave me the most enjoyment as a young Evertonian would have to be Bob Latchford. I wish we had him now.

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