My grandfather was born in Limerick, Ireland in 1916 and his father (my great-grandfather) suddenly upped and fled overseas in the late 1920s (we think he went to Australia, but no-one really knows) leaving behind his wife and their three children.
My great grandmother found caring for the three kids difficult and had to send one of her daughters to live in Liverpool with her sister. That decision turned out to be a defining moment in the history of my family. My grandfather, whom we affectionately referred to as “Pop” growing up, began visiting his sister in Liverpool when he was a teenager, taking the ferry over from Dublin to Liverpool.
Pop loved sports, especially football, and on his trips he would visit Goodison Park and it was there that he fell in love with Everton. The first match he attended, I am told, was against Portsmouth sometime around 1933 (archives show that Everton played Pompey at Goodison in ‘32, with Dixie Dean scoring in a 1-1 draw). Pop passed his love of Everton Football Club onto his three sons, but it was my father, Larry, who took the baton with the most fervent loyalty. He loves Everton.
He loves talking about Everton. He loves reading about Everton. He loves watching Everton. He is a true blue.
What I think differentiates my father from the average football fan, however, is how he gets his football news: he only reads ToffeeWeb! He does not read any other football website (except occasionally the BBC to check some scores but that’s it). In fact, he loves ToffeeWeb so much that, not only does he read all the articles on here, he also reads all the comments that ToffeeWeb readers post. If he comes across any that are particularly poignant or funny he loves to tell me all about it.
The reason for this, I think, is because my father is truly a man of the people. Websites like The Guardian and The Telegraph lack the voice of the true fan, so it is places like this, where he comes to to feel at home. This is a fitting match if ever there was one.
That being said, what I would like to do is post on here to give you the chance to wish my father, Larry, a happy 70th birthday. It would absolutely make his day to hear from you. As my father is not a materialistic man, this is the best way I can show my gratitude to the man who raised me, and my sister and brother, in the right way. So please, post on here and say happy birthday to a true blue.
Finally, I would also like to list all of the matches that my father has been to over the years. And if any of you out there were at any of these games as well, please add a comment:
My favorite game was the March 1970 game v Chelsea 5-2 winners.
Happy Birthday Dad!
Reader Comments (35)
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1 Posted 08/09/2017 at 19:02:03
2 Posted 08/09/2017 at 19:08:33
Spurs at home 1-0 1963 eh ? What a nice Birthday present if we could repeat that score line over half a century later.
Let's hope we're all as happy as Larry tomorrow night!
3 Posted 08/09/2017 at 19:10:23
4 Posted 08/09/2017 at 19:22:30
Three points for Larry please.
Great sentiments, Mark. Your love for your dad is easy to see.
5 Posted 08/09/2017 at 20:06:15
The 1970 Chelsea game sticks in my mind too, I'd always felt we would take the title but that win and the style of it were special. It summed up a great side.
6 Posted 08/09/2017 at 20:14:20
7 Posted 08/09/2017 at 20:16:18
Checked the Derby game and it was 1998. A home defeat to Derby is rare. But I remember the game well. I was outraged at the ref, but watching a YouTube clip, the elbow was so blatant.
The game is also memorable for a goal by Claus Thomsen, an overhead kick no less! Yes the same Claus Thomsen who is always in the running to be our worst ever player!
I also remember the Chelsea game. Famous win over Mourinho, with an amazing hattrick from the Scottish Naismith! We were still full of hope after the first great Martinez season and it was after this game we seemed to start to fall apart.
8 Posted 08/09/2017 at 22:41:25
And a good piece, well written. Looking at the list of games and to the right were it says 'Everton became champions', sent a shiver through my whole body, in a good way though, fond memories hey.
Have a great day fella.
9 Posted 08/09/2017 at 22:54:52
10 Posted 08/09/2017 at 23:37:06
Many happy returns, Larry. And good luck sifting through all the crap we post!
11 Posted 09/09/2017 at 00:19:43
12 Posted 09/09/2017 at 00:19:46
13 Posted 09/09/2017 at 00:49:33
14 Posted 09/09/2017 at 05:26:27
Anyway, Happy B'day Larry!
15 Posted 09/09/2017 at 07:25:34
Be there myself soon!
16 Posted 09/09/2017 at 07:31:41
You and your dad have a great day.
17 Posted 09/09/2017 at 07:39:55
Andy, really good stuff. All Goodison Park invited round for cake after?
18 Posted 09/09/2017 at 08:57:49
19 Posted 09/09/2017 at 09:25:36
20 Posted 09/09/2017 at 09:40:07
21 Posted 09/09/2017 at 09:45:56
I'm only 10 behind you.
Were you at the game at Goodison when we beat West Brom 5-4.I was in the boy's pen and I remember it being a cracking game.
I think Bally scored the winner with a pen.
22 Posted 09/09/2017 at 11:27:36
Nice post Andy, hope the family has a great day.
23 Posted 09/09/2017 at 11:38:49
Peter#21, yes, another cracking game, Ball 2, Young, Morrisey and Scott(?) the others. Didn't WBA come back from 3 or 4 nil down before Ball's pen?
24 Posted 09/09/2017 at 12:03:59
25 Posted 09/09/2017 at 12:33:13
26 Posted 09/09/2017 at 12:57:23
27 Posted 09/09/2017 at 12:57:45
28 Posted 09/09/2017 at 13:38:54
You must have an interesting view of humanity if you only get your football news from ToffeeWeb.
29 Posted 09/09/2017 at 14:07:30
30 Posted 09/09/2017 at 15:12:03
70 years an Evertonian is testament go any man's endurance. Yet, when you've actually withessed, first-hand, such shudder inducing sights as Claus Thomsen doing a bad impression of Basil Fawlty, before falling backwards in slow motion to score maybe the scruffiest overhead kick ever seen (very rare), and Duncan Ferguson stupidly getting sent off (not so rare) for wiping the sweat from Paulo Wanchopes brow with a flailing elbow.... both in the same bloody game (Everton 1-2 Derby)...then, somehow, saying you've been a blue for 'seven decades' still seems like we're selling your shift short.
In dog years you would be closing in on half a millenium as a fan and, given the many highs and (many many more) lows you've seen the club go through, that might actually feel a more accurate measure from time to time. However, unlike a hound, Evertonians can always hold on to the faint hope that one day we might be able to grow our damn balls back.
Hopefully, they start sprouting today against Spurs.
Big blue balls. Err...for Larry's birthday, like.
31 Posted 09/09/2017 at 15:18:23
32 Posted 10/09/2017 at 07:50:02
I can still see Alex Young hanging in the air to score from Roy Vernon's cross in 1963.
33 Posted 10/09/2017 at 22:35:34
We celebrated Larry's 70th yesterday in some style and he was beaming about the postings on here. Simply beaming. You truly made his day.
I told him that he should post on here to say thanks, so hopefully we'll hear from the man himself soon enough. Thank you all again.
35 Posted 15/09/2017 at 01:44:14
Thank you for all your greetings and birthday wishes. I did survive the day and a great time was had by all. Looking back over the past 50+ years, I am so proud to be an Evertonian.
Since I first visited Goodison Park in 1963 through the present, Everton FC is never far from my mind. Although I now live in Boston, USA, it is a little more challenging to make it to games.
Fortunately, with NBC sports having the rights to the premier league I get to see almost all the Everton games live on TV.
Now that I am getting nearer to retirement, I do expect to spend more time in Limerick and visit Goodison Park more frequently. Nothing equals the excitement of a game at Goodison (and a win).
Again, thank you for all your greetings and birthday wishes and I will be among the faithful more often in the next few years.
36 Posted 18/09/2017 at 13:03:33
I have lived locally all my life so have seen many games (maybe around the 1000 mark) but some of those that Andy lists contain special memories. If only this thread had appeared last year (shouldn't wish our lives away though!) I would have got in touch with you with a view to meeting up as I flew into Boston on the day of the Sunderland away (0-3) game for the start of a US road trip - couldn't find a bar showing the game!
Andy have you looked at Ancestry to try to establish exactly what happened to your great grandfather?
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