I woke up this morning thinking where was I 30 years ago? It was probably in Ostend, Belgium as we had taken the overnight ferry from Dover which was full of blues drinking and singing.
We then took a train from Ostend through to Rotterdam. We had nowhere to stay but didn’t care as we were going to watch Everton play in a European final. I will say it again slowly for our younger readers…. WE WERE GOING TO WATCH EVERTON PLAY IN A EUROPEAN FINAL.
I know it sounds impossible (well it was 30 years ago) and guess what: we had a fantastic football team and we were favourites to beat our opposition, Rapid Vienna.
On arriving in Rotterdam, we found a city eager to welcome the Blue hordes. Every bar was packed with Blues and the canal banks that ran through the city center were also packed with Blues. There was even a football match in the main square between the Dutch Police and Evertonians!
Time for the match and as expected the then mighty Blues completely dominated and won the game 3-1 with a display that Brian Clough hailed as the best by a British team in a European final.
Can you believe it! Everton were League Champions and now had won the European Cup Winners Cup. That night we stayed a the house of a Dutch couple who took us in after approaching us in a bar as they had watched the game and had been impressed with Everton (4 of us aged 19 to 29).
The following day we headed back to Dover on the ferry as the coming Saturday we had Wembley for the FA Cup final with Man Utd and the chance of a historic treble. We lost but after the season we had it did not seem to matter as much.
How proud we were to be blues that day, Everton, the Champions of England were feared throughout Europe. Surely we would march on and dominate football for years… 30 years on and very little to show in terms of further success. Are we known much throughout Europe? And certainly not feared!
I ask one question: Do you trust the current Chairman and Manager to give our younger fans a chance of experiencing some of those highs of 30 years ago?
30 years on and we fans still dream... that’s what keeps us going – but come on, Everton, please show some ambition. Please gives us some hope that you have the ambition and share our dreams rather than just willing to survive in the big boys league.
Reader Comments (14)
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1 Posted 15/05/2015 at 16:40:36
Sadly your last sentence sums it up for me and no matter how much of a blue he claims to be, Kenwright had never shown that desire or ambition to give us that, alls heÂs wanted was to keep his little train set and its dragged our club to mediocrity and in the process has dragged the greatest club ground in the country to a shack, wasting money on pie in the sky garbage when a slow development over the years like villa etc would have meant the ground would never have been an issue with any potential buyer.
I get a feeling more are siding with enough is enough of this board and hopefully the change will come sooner than we think.
2 Posted 15/05/2015 at 21:23:31
Only a couple of seasons before the fans were having a whip-round to sign Terry Curran, and now we were being awarded World Team Of The Year!
3 Posted 15/05/2015 at 23:17:55
After the game, it was back out in to the town for Lager with their supporters.
Missed the boat back.
Did not see an Evertonian all the way back till I got to that services on the M6 just North of Spagetti junction. Walked in and just cried, it was as full as can be of our glorious fans.
Call me a bitter blue, I really do not care, but I saw the best team in Europe win in Europe and then a week later our fire was extinguished .
4 Posted 15/05/2015 at 23:35:05
Decided I needed to get on to the pitch at the end.
Anyone else remember those dogs making sure you did not climb over the fence? Scary
5 Posted 15/05/2015 at 23:49:22
Imagine my surprise (effing horror actually) when I settled to watch the video and at half time it switches to Dallas on the other channel. Someone thought that more worthy.
However, the bit that was recorded included the late Brain Clough saying that Everton are the best team in Europe and will win the European cup next year.
Bitter Blue?? I plead guilty.
6 Posted 16/05/2015 at 00:12:19
7 Posted 16/05/2015 at 00:55:38
8 Posted 16/05/2015 at 01:01:35
9 Posted 16/05/2015 at 19:58:56
By Calais it had long gone. We stocked up at Calais for enough to get home. We thankfully just made Rotterdam! Spent late afternoon having a wee refresher before going the match.
The drivers were great as they stocked up in Rotterdam with enough drink to get us home. Fortunately we stopped in Calais to replenish the empty luggage bay.
That night we got dropped off in London Road and had a few liveners. Phoned my mam and she told me IÂd been adopted.
Next day, we headed down South for the FA Cup Final! I canÂt last a night on the bevvy now but those days ........ Still talk about it now!
10 Posted 20/05/2015 at 07:55:47
11 Posted 20/05/2015 at 08:24:43
12 Posted 20/05/2015 at 09:11:54
ItÂs funny what you remember about such occasions Â– apart from the sheer elation of it all. I recall having to run the gauntlet of snarling alsatians as we disembarked at Ostende with the Belgian police seemingly trying to provoke us, the constant banging of metal advertising boards in the stadium that seemed to be in danger of falling off onto the crowd below, the fact that I couldnÂt find a programme seller anywhere and the ease and good nature with which the Everton and Vienna fans mingled, the slight worry that Celtic fans were going to come over and cause trouble (over a ban they received in the earlier rounds Â– didnÂt one of their fans run onto the pitch and kick an opposition goalie? Someone enlighten me?).
No sign of the trouble that was to mar English football a mere few weeks later and help cause the premature disintegration of the best Everton team ever. If I remember rightly, those were dark days in Thatcher Britain and many thousands of fans (my match-going mate included) could not afford to travel either through unemployment. There were still about 25,000 there.
I fear that at the age of 61, I may not see such nights again but I live in hope!
13 Posted 20/05/2015 at 21:58:45
A great trip.3 ESCLA coaches left from Kings Cross. All I remember was drinking, drinking and drinking. Two guys on our bus missed the first half after returning to a hooker in Amsterdam. I met a dozen people I hadnÂt seen for years at half time. A great performance, with the classic Everton wobble which was extinguished by Sheedy within a minute.
I had some time to kill in and went to the National Football Museum. They have the cup we won on display and I bought the DVD of the Final and Semi final. I watched it in the airport bar and started welling up.
TheyÂll never take that great trip from us Â– how good could that team have become?
From never thinking IÂd ever see us win a trophy, I thought weÂd never lose a big game again Â– well that lasted three days!
14 Posted 20/05/2015 at 23:05:43
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