Writing your first article for any website as I am is quite a challenging thing to do. Therefore, I decided to write about something that I had a great first-hand experience of and that others could relate to; being a blue down south!
If you were born on Merseyside, you are either a red or a blue. It's as simple as that. There are no other options (unless you happen to have a persuasion for sheep; Tranmere is the team for you!). This was the choice that befell my dad when he arrived into the world in the 1960s and, perhaps unwisely, he picked the colours of Everton. His dad (my grandad) had followed us himself and could remember as far back as the legend that was Dixie Dean.
As a season ticket holder in the 70s and 80s, he watched probably our greatest ever side before moving south for work (at Heathrow) in 1987. 12 years later he had three sons and naturally, all of us were blues too. We were Evertonians, but not from Liverpool. Life would be tough!
Now, I'm sure many of the readers of this website live down in the southern part of the country as well, and can speak of similar experiences. I have sympathy for you and all the other Toffees living further south than Crewe. One of our bigger problems are the so-called "fans" of Liverpool, our esteemed neighbours, and Manchester United. Many of these "plazzies" have never been within 100 miles of their respective clubs and the majority can't even name their starting eleven. Some of the "hardest" supporters couldn't even tell you if they had won over the weekend. Nevertheless, as soon as they realise that their team managed to beat Everton, you'll never hear the end of it. The ribbing goes on and on. It's quite sad if I'm totally honest.
Of course, I'm fine with banter and friendly rivalry, football is just a game after all. However, when someone who blatantly doesn't even know what city the Liver Building is situated in, is taking the piss after a 4-0 derby loss, that just takes it too far. My school is a great example of this and sums up the feeling down here. My two brothers and I support Everton. A kid in the year below supports Everton. No-one else supports Everton. That is 4 people out of 1,100, three-quarters of them in the same family. Meanwhile, my form alone contains 4 Kopites. You start to feel a bit outnumbered even if half of them couldn't point out Liverpool on a map of the North West.
Despite this, as an eternally suffering Evertonian, you learn to cope with hardship and get by in life. It's what we do. You take the stick after a loss to Arsenal or Chelsea and enjoy it on the (very) few occasions when you can give it back. Soon enough though, the suffering continues. Ignorant southerners from the Home Counties calling Everton a "small shit team who've never won anything", without realising that we've played more matches in the top flight than any other team. Spurs fans saying Danny Rose is better than Coleman or that their shite North London Derby is a historically bigger game than ours. You hear it all..
As mentioned previously, I'm certain many readers go through the same stuff day in, day out. However, being young and mixing with people of my age, I believe the lack of understanding is worse. Having to explain the significance of the tragic Heysel Disaster to most of the redshite is a common occurrence. Many don't realise what they've done to us over the years. I've described the events of Thomas, Poll and "Hand"sen derbies multiple times (drilled into me by dad!) but they don't take it in. All they remember is the Suarez "offside" goal a couple of years back and think we get all the luck.
But this takes us to the root of the problem. Here, you aren't born blue or red. You are born as (or more often than not change to) Spurs, Fulham, Reading, QPR, West Ham, Arsenal or Chelsea fans. There is no understanding, no support, no backup. There is only one view of us which, unsurprisingly, is "Ha, you're just a small club overshadowed by Liverpool!".
Sure, there are lots of benefits to living near London and I'm trying desperately to sound like I'm not whining. However, in purely footballing terms, it's not a place you want to be. I still get a thrill seeing someone walk about in a royal blue shirt when visiting my dad's home city because I just never see it anywhere else. Anyone contemplating moving South, prepare yourself for these inevitable events. They will happen!
(By the way, the most frustrating non-football related thing about living down here is constantly being corrected after pronouncing "grass", "pass" or "France" in the normal way, the proper way, the Northern way. It's spelt "pass" not "parse".)
Reader Comments (54)
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1 Posted 07/03/2015 at 09:47:10
I limited experience of this, I've only ever lived on Merseyside but my aunty who is from Huyton has lived in London since the 70's, as a result I have cousin who supports Spurs because that's the team his Scottish dad decided upon many moons ago.
Anyway at my little cousins football birthday party in the late 90's I asked all the little cockney gets why they supported Man Utd when they're from London, there reply was why do you support Everton when you're from Liverpool.
Don't know how you cope full time!
2 Posted 07/03/2015 at 10:54:11
Keep the faith kid, you are the one who can act superior in front of your mates, you are a 'proper' footy fan. Not a plastic gobshite.
3 Posted 07/03/2015 at 11:22:41
4 Posted 07/03/2015 at 11:22:33
5 Posted 07/03/2015 at 11:38:11
6 Posted 07/03/2015 at 11:56:49
7 Posted 07/03/2015 at 13:34:52
To add to your examples, I once asked a RS "fan" which manager was in charge when they first one the European Cup. They hesitated for ages before getting it wrong. He knew nothing of Heysel, Ian Rush...the list went on. Man Utd fans are probably worse though. They always come up with some justification as to why they're from the South but support United. It's always incredibly tenuous, seems to be post 1993 and I wish they'd just come out and admit they're glory seekers. These are the clowns that go on Radio 5 Live and call for Wayne Rooney to be dropped to the reserves because he has one bad game.
The other trend in the South in the last 20 years has been the rise of Chelsea fans. When I was growing up I think I knew maybe one Chelsea fan in school and he was in my brother's year. Now, wherever you go in the South East, there are dozens of them. I just wonder though, especially of the older ones, were they really supporting Chelsea 30 years ago? I doubt it.
Just be thankful you didn't choose your football club and that you support them not through some big feeling of inadequacy which is what I find with most of those following the other clubs I have mentioned. Wow, on recent form, I'm not sure what we'd all do if that was the case!
8 Posted 07/03/2015 at 13:30:33
In fact I play in a Five-a-side league in Brighton and our team has a squad of 8; including me and another scouser, who’s an Evertonian, and there are 3 others from Kent, Sussex and London - all RS adherents but have never been to Anfield or even intend to go but are full of opinions!(ps Roberto, if you’re reading, I scored a hat trick on Tuesday - and I’m willing to play for free)
I work at the University and i’m sick to death of the students from the South who walk round in Liverpool shirts or tops with the Anfield logo - any in my class get instant 10% reduction in their assignment mark!!
Anyway keep the faith - it will all come good in the end?!
9 Posted 07/03/2015 at 16:51:50
IÂm pretty sure im the only one!
10 Posted 07/03/2015 at 18:29:21
I usually hate smugness and people who feel superior to others but you can do both in bucketfuls with my blessing.
The Sky generation retards in your school will never ever know what supporting a team realy means and that is, the pain, frustration, anger, heartache and sheer ecstasy that comes with truly loving your team.
So just look them in the eye and smile, whilst thinking to yourself. " What a knob".
11 Posted 07/03/2015 at 18:52:51
Can I just say what a fella ya dad was to name you Sam Day. In a saff-ern accent, Sam Day watch us go lad ...
12 Posted 07/03/2015 at 18:57:49
Totally get what youÂre saying - fortunately or unfortunately whichever way you look at it youÂre just an Evertonian. YouÂll find you donÂt like any other teams - obviously youÂll have the red shite no other but most other teams come close. U may not think that now but the more u get to know another team and their fans the more you dislike them. So you couldnÂt choose another team if you wanted to - we are chosen like it or not!
DonÂt know if youÂve ever seen us win - itÂs unbelievable canÂt explain it. I saw us win in 95 fantastic.
ItÂs not as bad as you think - itÂs just that you love us so much and we deserve success so more than other fans .
13 Posted 07/03/2015 at 22:10:47
14 Posted 08/03/2015 at 06:56:58
However, we're all scousers or in the case of my son and grandson, connected to Everton. The so called locals of the Sky generation simply pick a team off the television that's successful and call themselves supporters.
Strangely Man City have yet to crack this market , I see far more Arsenal and Spurs shirts than Man City.
15 Posted 08/03/2015 at 07:21:20
Oh dear !!! Cue my history lesson !
I hope we can start winning things soon as we could eventually be likened to teams like Preston !
16 Posted 08/03/2015 at 07:31:23
On an aside, my son met Paul Parker last night who is working as a pundit out here and asked him his views on Everton. Summary was 1) we have to remain positive and keep true to how we play 2) he would be devastated if we went down but it wont happen 3) on the other hand if the shite went down he would be delighted 4) because they are always bitter, aggresive and have a chip on their shoulders. A good judge of the RS at least!
17 Posted 08/03/2015 at 07:54:10
You guys and the overseas lads deserve all the praise going. You really are TRUE supporters. So many supporters outside the City have not had the fortune to go to Goodison but know as much, if not more, than the locals!
To support the Club when you are vastly outnumbered by the fair weather supporters of the "in" teams is incredible! Never forget you are one of the "chosen few" it doesnÂt matter what happens you will always be one of us!
18 Posted 08/03/2015 at 08:11:50
Anyway, one source of great pride for me is that there is a tiny village in Zimbabwe, about an hour's drive from Harare which is an enclave of Evertonians..... This came about after I started giving my old Everton shirts to the Zimbabwean guy from whom I buy a certain .... erm .... organic product. He sends everything back to the village, and he showed me a photo a while back of their football team .... all wearing (different) Everton shirts, and the team is called (naturally) Everton Zimbabwe..... Regardless of form, we never stop spreading the word..... If only the players in our squad has anything like the passion of our fans we would be unstoppable.
19 Posted 08/03/2015 at 08:22:03
Anyway, I moved south in the 1990s (lived all over London and now just outside Tunbridge Wells) and have experienced much of that prejudice and foolishness. Some think the Wirral is near Newcastle. Many are surprised to hear how successful Everton are. However, there are quite a few blues around, they just aren't as conspicuous as the glory hunters. I work on the trading floor in Lloyds of London - one of the most traditional establishments in the City and am proud to know quite a few Bluenoses.
Those that know their football give you quite a bit of respect and there seems to be a fondness for Everton that just isn't there for Liverpool. It is also hilarious to hear some 'Reds' from various minor Public Schools referring to Liverpool as 'us' and dropping by for Derby banter when I know I've been to Anfield more times than they will ever go (and many have never been at all).
Keep the faith Â– it's more rewarding being blue even if it doesn't always feel that way and keep writing, you are good at it!
20 Posted 08/03/2015 at 08:43:53
I'm going out for a couple of hours now, I'll give you the answer when I get back, I bet a lot of Evertonians are thinking about this now.
It's a trick question but it's genuine and most definitely happened.
21 Posted 08/03/2015 at 08:58:25
22 Posted 08/03/2015 at 09:04:31
Your circumstances resonate with me. Although born and bred in Liverpool myself, all my three children born respectively in Sheffield, Cambridge and Salford are true Evertonians. They too were the only Everonians in their school but your dad obviously fulfilled his duties and brought you up the right way.
Some people can be a little sniffy on here about supporters who don't live in Liverpool, probably because we give that lot so much stick for their Norwegian connections.
For me though becoming an Evertonian when living somewhere else given the number of options and the Sky obsession with the big sides is a hard thing to do and you deserve credit for sticking it out. Now like the rest of us there is no escape.
It might not seem so at the minute but there are plenty of good times ahead supporting the boys in blue.
23 Posted 08/03/2015 at 11:49:46
People say, after I've told them the answer, That doesn't count, but it is still a fact Everton did score EIGHT and they wanted to bet when they heard the Question.
24 Posted 08/03/2015 at 14:35:31
Ok then, like your thinking, what about the true fact that there have been seasons where we have scored more at Anfield than Liverpool have at home all season?
25 Posted 08/03/2015 at 14:33:16
I'm thinking of retiring soon and having a drive up for home games, I live in Horsham so let me know if you're interested in coming.
26 Posted 08/03/2015 at 14:57:35
"WeÂll sign Cavani from PSG in the summer and weÂll be up there."
"WeÂll replace Gerrard with Pjanic from Roma when he retires."
Another thing that sums them up was their expectation to stroll back in to the Champions League like theyÂd been there for the previous 5 years, very few, if any, of the Southern kopites realised the importance of recent experience in European competitions.
27 Posted 08/03/2015 at 15:30:55
Everton have simply been one of the most amazing things in my life. I am one more of the rare breed of non-Scouse and non-English Evertonians. The reason for loving this beautiful club was the sheer passion that was exuded every time I watched them play. Most people around me here in India support Liverpool (loads of them, believe me), Arsenal, Man Utd and even Spurs, but I somehow didn't find a connection.
I remember my first introduction to professional Football Leagues was on TV and then on one of the early editions of FIFA, the computer game. Being new to the world of football (I was around 9 or 10) I picked one of the teams I knew about: Manchester United and was drawn against Everton. After the game, I decided to play as Everton and so began my love affair.
After that I would gobble most information I could gather about the club. My favourite player was Thomas Graveson because he was the easiest to recognize because of the bald head the first Everton game I saw.
However over the years the exposure to Everton increased and I always had a passion for the Toffees; the more games I saw, the more I fell in love with the club. As I said earlier, the day I declared myself a Toffee, I had loads of slags and even more laughs but the conviction and the pure desire of the club to the game gives me great pride that I support the real club of dreams Â– Everton. The Glory days are not far behind and are not too far ahead; tough times will come and go but all I can say is Everton Till I Die!COYB!!!
28 Posted 08/03/2015 at 15:25:12
Anyone can choose to support any team , but you were chosen by Everton. That's the difference.
If you want to wind up all those plazzy RS fans, just ask them who was their Manager before Bill Shankly, I guarantee not one of them will be able to tell you. It was Phil Taylor be the way.
Plus don't forget if we hadn't won the league in 1890/1891 and moved out of Anfield after the Landlord trying to rip us off by increasing the rent, then they would have never existed. In a way I am glad we did move out, imagine having that lot as fans of Everton! Plus they even tried to pinch our name, they wanted to be called Everton Athletic but the FA said no.
29 Posted 08/03/2015 at 15:41:14
30 Posted 08/03/2015 at 15:50:23
Well, Blues have always had better luck with the ladies. Not hard when most of the red shite competition resemble the bloke from Robocop who got his face melted by toxic waste though, is it?
There's a guy I always see walking the streets around where I live who looks like something out of Lord of the Rings crossed with Terry from Brookside. About 4ft-8in, fat as fuck, bit of a limp and is constantly decked out in a minty Crown Paints Liverpool trackie worn under a clear plastic mac like the one Patrick Bateman put on just before he battered Paul Allen with a big axe.
Never, ever, gonna get his hole that lad.
31 Posted 08/03/2015 at 16:15:06
32 Posted 08/03/2015 at 16:32:35
33 Posted 08/03/2015 at 16:48:15
34 Posted 08/03/2015 at 20:28:28
Plus here is a question for everyone...I was watching an old 1970's Everton match recently and you have that archway behind the goals. I believe it was there when Eusebio played as well. But my early memories of Goodison don't register it. When was it removed because that must have been a bit of work? Anyone recall?
35 Posted 08/03/2015 at 20:43:05
36 Posted 08/03/2015 at 20:44:37
37 Posted 08/03/2015 at 20:49:44
38 Posted 08/03/2015 at 20:44:36
I learnt that many years ago, working in London, I was constantly bombarded with abuse and ridicule and there was often mention of those sheep you talk about. But, being a Welshman I learnt to ignore those taunts and became a better Welshman.
Perhaps in time you will become a better Evertonian when you learn to ignore those ignorant bastards.
Nil Satis - Cymru am Byth.
39 Posted 08/03/2015 at 20:51:35
40 Posted 08/03/2015 at 20:47:34
Everton were fined and decided to put the arches in so the fans were much further back. Neither club had to switch grounds during the war, but Man Utd played a home cup tie at Goodison because their ground at Old Trafford was bombed during the war, they played Liverpool and beat them 3-0.
Everton used Anfield a couple of times when they were getting the underground heating installed, one match was the game against Tranmere which I referred to above; another game was a reserves match against Huddersfield Town which I think they won 3-1. They also played a reserve game against Wolves at Earle's ground; they were an Amateur team at the time.
41 Posted 08/03/2015 at 21:06:25
42 Posted 08/03/2015 at 21:07:52
43 Posted 08/03/2015 at 21:15:01
44 Posted 08/03/2015 at 21:13:05
There's loads of people down here in Portsmouth decked out in quilted and grime covered, Kenny Dogleash Crown Paint jackets. You can spot em' a mile away, rushing to get their scratch cards at 8am.
Nice to have you on board Sam. Supporting Everton is definitely a labour of love at times.
45 Posted 08/03/2015 at 21:08:56
Also read how the manager Cliff Britton had offered his resignation just a couple of weeks before that sixth round tie with Man City, due to the Board trying to bring in a general manager for the summer tour of the USA.
Typical Everton on the verge of getting to a Cup Final and doing reasonably well in the league and they self-implode. Mind you Dave Hickson had already been sold. Man City went on to win the FA Cup and Bert Trautman who had had a stormer against Everton managed to play on injured and won a Cup Winners medal.
46 Posted 08/03/2015 at 21:35:54
Now if could someone could kindly explain to me why we got rid of Billy Bingham and brought in his replacement, why we sold Bob Latchford and who Terry Darracot was, you might help fill the gaps before I was born...
48 Posted 08/03/2015 at 22:02:24
49 Posted 08/03/2015 at 22:38:14
50 Posted 09/03/2015 at 11:29:49
The story of how we signed Scott is worth a mention, Spurs had virtually signed Scott and a lot of us Blues had given up on us getting him. One night, I went to bed thinking Spurs had signed him; when I woke next morning there it was in the papers, Catterick had sneaked in and talked Alex Scott to sign for us.
That's the way Harry Catterick worked, did the same with Alan Ball, almost snatched him out of Don Revie's hands at Leeds.
Terry Darracott was a local born lad, made his debut against Arsenal (I think) and gave good service to the Blues, solid rather than spectacular, a bit like Mick Lyons, a player who would never let you down.
Billy Bingham was a very good player, but I think Catterick thought his best days were behind him, Catterick never made many mistakes but Bobby Collins and Alan Ball were two massive ones, let them go too early.
51 Posted 09/03/2015 at 11:51:06
But that first half performance by the Blues has always stayed with me, wonderful, but not enough.
52 Posted 09/03/2015 at 12:04:09
53 Posted 09/03/2015 at 12:28:54
Interestingly you mentioned that Cliff Britton the manager had offered to resign not long before that match, that's true because the whole team had signed a petition asking him to stay in the job, including one player, rumoured to be Wally Fielding, who never got on with the manager. Everton got beat the following Wednesday 3-0 at Maine Road in a league match, again if my memory is correct.
54 Posted 09/03/2015 at 22:53:25
I was the only Everton fan in my school surrounded by RS glory hunters. All my family are Arsenal, Chelsea, Spurs and West Ham. But I get great satisfaction in being a fan who regularly makes the trip up to my club and taking my son who too is a blue. He's got 3 blues in his school and he too has the same old rubbish I had but now it's all Arsenal, Chelsea, Man Utd and Man City glory hunters down here.
Also, to me it confirms we are born and not manufactured!! COYB!!!!
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