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1 Posted 04/12/2018 at 21:22:13
2 Posted 04/12/2018 at 21:35:05
3 Posted 04/12/2018 at 21:46:46
4 Posted 04/12/2018 at 21:49:07
5 Posted 04/12/2018 at 21:57:07
When I explained we were all of ToffeeWeb, he said, "Hey I'm on that." I said, "Are ye?" He said, "Well, I read it." So I told him he'd be reading about himself next week.
Turned out he was an ex-seaman who became a taxi driver.
When our Tony sat down later, Jimmy said, "I fuckin' know him!" I said, "So do I!" We found out he knew quite a few fellas that we knew: all bluenoses.
By the way, Mike, you do realise if Tony hadn't have got that ticket for you, then I wouldn't have got one; it was you who did me the favour.
6 Posted 04/12/2018 at 22:12:50
I've been spending more time on ToffeeWeb recently to stop my brain from exploding and of course the mood this season is a lot better on these pages these days. Great to see you were looked after; sorry for that last minute you had to endure but I'm very pleased that you've been well looked-after and Ihope you make it again in the not-too-distant future (maybe to Wembley). All the best!
7 Posted 04/12/2018 at 22:15:06
What a pity though that the trip ended with the match culminating in such a manner, but more than encouraging signs that things are changing dramatically for the better.
I think I share the feeling that other ToffeeWebbers did on the Friday night, by meeting you in person at the Midland, indeed a privilege and an enjoyable experience, what a nice guy and a credit to TW.
Hopefully we will be able to repeat it Mike, in the not too distant future, so take care and kind regards.
8 Posted 04/12/2018 at 22:51:56
Next time you come back please bring the admirable Jamie Crowley with you. I reckon this man could sink some ale.
Mike, it was an honour to meet you and the rest of the lads. Let us, as John senior said, do it again.
9 Posted 04/12/2018 at 23:11:16
10 Posted 04/12/2018 at 23:25:45
Please include me in your plans for a Cup Final gathering! I have a feeling this might be our year! I think we all deserve it but you most certainly do.
11 Posted 04/12/2018 at 23:34:12
And what wonderful people pulling to make that a great trip for you. I'm full of admiration for you all. Scousers are a wonderful lot.
If only our lads could have got that result for you on Sunday, if only.
12 Posted 04/12/2018 at 23:44:31
Hope you, and the rest of us, make it to the Cup Final.
Best wishes for continued good health.
13 Posted 04/12/2018 at 23:55:17
Rob Halligan, Brian Williams, Derek Knox, Andy Crooks, and John Raftery, I met for the first time, and by the time I had to leave the Midland, they felt like old friends, this is what Everton does for us.
I'm only sorry that I had to leave early, my 'young lady' is recovering from a complete knee replacement operation, and I had promised to be home early. I'm counting on somebody suggesting another get-together, it really is great to be able to put faces to names, and to reminisce on bygone days.
It's good to hear that you arrived home safe and sound, and I shall add you to the list of people of an Everton persuasion, who I have met through our love of Everton Football Club. Best wishes.
14 Posted 04/12/2018 at 23:58:26
As I balanced on my barstool at the ToffeeClub up until the last minute, I thought of you often and how fortunate you were to pop your derby cherry with a good performance. And then... well, you put it best.
My first derby was the Clattenburg and so we likely shared some similar emotions in some respects. Really made up for you though on what sounds like great times amongst remarkable Blues.
15 Posted 04/12/2018 at 00:01:01
16 Posted 05/12/2018 at 00:35:01
David, Im so sorry to hear about what youve been dealing with. You were one of the folks I was looking forward to meeting, and you were definitely missed at the Midland. I hope the sunshines a little brighter on you soon.
Andy, I think that qualifies as a cranky and crotchety comment. But you and Brian would be most welcome at the beach house. Ill put the Guinness on ice just in case you show up out of nowhere. But if you want me to bring Crowley on the next trip, youll have to arrange it yourself. Hes about 3000 miles closer to Liverpool than I am.
17 Posted 05/12/2018 at 00:58:51
18 Posted 05/12/2018 at 01:41:00
They'd misdiagnosed him for 18 months. Anyway...
I've often felt I had a love-hate relationship with ToffeeWeb but it's helped me recently to take my mind off things and – ya know what, some things you can't help smiling broadly about.
So you being looked after properly, getting your ticket and Kev Johnson (I don't know anyone personally on here, I've been in Canada the best part of 30 years; currently in Wales) getting that painting made makes me proud to be a blue.
This is what being an Evertonian was all about for me growing up, of course I was spoilt aged 14-17 when we had some sustained success. Last year all the bickering and finger pointing was possibly the worst I could remember. I've enjoyed this season because, so far, the turnaround has been miraculous.
I know I'm going soft because I'm even missing Eugene Ruane, one person who used to wind me up no end... but I miss his posts. Anyone know what's become of him?
19 Posted 05/12/2018 at 03:52:22
Apparently that's a thing with the Cubs. Remind you of anyone?
Great article. May your remission long continue.
20 Posted 05/12/2018 at 04:28:01
Fantastic you were able to meet so many people. You deserve it Mike.
A shout out to Everton's greatest all-time striker, Kev Johnson, for such a nice gift.
The Abrahams boys did you a solid.
A quick thought for Steve Ferns. He seemed, through posts, very fond of you Mike, and he's been MIA on these pages as Derek Knox pointed out a day or two ago. I can't believe he wouldn't have met up with you if things were right. I really hope he's well.
Andy Crooks, can I sink some ale? Yes, yes I can. When I get over there we'll test our tolerances together, if you can make it over from your island. And a great gesture making that journey to meet Mike. Very, very cool.
David Pearl - I hope Lyndon and Michael read your post about TW being a respite for you. I often wonder if they realize how this site can bring people together, and be such a welcome distraction to the world at times. I also wonder about Eugene Ruane, among many, many others whom I do not see post any longer. The list of names is endless.
Great read Mike. Be well friend. Shame we're almost as far apart as England is to America. When I finally do make the trip - and with three kids in college next year it'll be a few years - I'll reach out and see if we can't coordinate. A two man Yank invasion would suit me just fine. Be forewarned, the missus will be coming with me. I'd not go without her. Only down side to that is I'll have to go see a Burnley game as that's her team. But that'll be fun so why not?
Wonderful stuff. Made my day. TY Mike. Happy for you. So sorry the game ended the way it did. Gut wrenching finish. But you experienced the Blues in Mordor, lived to tell about it, and my God what an experience that must be.
The endless ocean of hospitality shown to Mike is mind-boggling. You all should be proud. It's heart-warming.
22 Posted 05/12/2018 at 04:58:58
Thank you for sharing it.
24 Posted 05/12/2018 at 06:11:51
"After the game, Dave vigorously walked me all the way to Lime Street Station – he is seriously pacey for 78".
Perhaps the answer to our striking problems is right under our noses!
25 Posted 05/12/2018 at 07:33:57
I'm confident the good times will be with us again and I hope to share some of them with you next time you pop over, or if you end up this side of the border.
26 Posted 05/12/2018 at 09:53:55
Although I have been in England for over forty years, I was originally from the Dundee area, and Everton were always my 'English' team.
I can also re-iterate what many have already mentioned, that it is great to put faces to names that you feel you already know as friends on TW.
While it was a very enjoyable experience to meet Mike, as John McFarlane Snr suggested we should do it more often. So Paul, let us know when you are next down here, and we can have another get together.
27 Posted 05/12/2018 at 10:03:39
But, seriously, it's interesting to see so many TWers drawing solace from the stories and postings here.
Having lost both of my parents, and my brother-in-law, in the last few months, I found myself, at odd hours of the day and night, reading almost everything posted here. It definitely had a 'healing' effect, getting to know quite a lot, about people you've never met; ... apart from Rob Halligan, who probably doesn't remember being at school with me; but he was!
The Pickford incident showed us, that anyone who thinks they can predict, either sport or life, is a mug.
Hope you'll be back soon.
28 Posted 05/12/2018 at 10:04:42
I know, I know but someone's gotta do it!
29 Posted 05/12/2018 at 10:17:20
So, so glad you had such a great time and were “spoilt” rotten – ha, loved it. Your story-telling is brilliant and I envied every bit of your adventure except for that soul-destroying result…
As Paul Tran mentioned, you need to get yourself up here to Scotland, Aberdeenshire in particular (Aberdeen v Everton Europa, nee, Champions League) – some of the most majestic and wild scenery and we can all have a great sing-song together tromping through the local Dalgety Woods or Dunnattar Castle whilst walking the dog 😊
We could even ask the Crowley bird to join us – sounds a plan. All the very best to you and yours – and again, thanks for the great stories – and to TW for bringing everyone together.
30 Posted 05/12/2018 at 10:19:06
The joy and pain of being a footy fan!
You can't have it good all the time, but the hope is at some point you will!
31 Posted 05/12/2018 at 10:57:58
Great story by Mike. Being with him most of the day on the Friday, I know how much he enjoyed the whole time he spent in Liverpool.
Mike forgot to mention in his story, we paid a visit to Prince Rupert's Tower, and Pete got a couple of good photos of Mike by the tower. A small lock up, but very big part of Everton's history for Mike to see.
As stated by others, it was a great meet-up in the Midland on the Friday afternoon. Another one must be planned ASAP, and maybe even Nick might turn up!!
It was fantastic to meet you again Mike. You almost squeezed the life out of me with that bear hug outside the Liver Building!! Sorry I couldn't see you after the match but I know how tight your schedule was. Scouse humour and hospitality cannot be matched anywhere in the world, and I think all those who met you will be happy to call you an adopted Scouser.
So Mike, take care of yourself and hopefully we will all see you again soon. Down at Wembley in May will do.
32 Posted 05/12/2018 at 11:44:00
I was soooo looking forward to seeing Mike and Dave Abrahams pictured in the promised drag, in all their glad rags and high heels, as they went into enemy territory as 'undercover' Blues.
Mind you, the stilettoes would probably have hindered the pacy return to Lime Street post-match.
Not at all surprised that you were once again totally overwhelmed by Scouse hospitality, kindness and humour, Mike.
Just a bugger about the result, eh?
33 Posted 05/12/2018 at 12:08:08
I was a bit gutted that I couldn't make it to the Midland to meet all the TWers as I'm recovering from a shoulder operation. Hopefully you'll be back over for a cup final and we can have a TW meet down at Wembley.
34 Posted 05/12/2018 at 12:26:20
Brilliant story Mike, “mysterious Steve is a cracker” with the biggest mystery being that he gave an Evertonian a ticket, because he absolutely hates Everton FC!
I enjoyed the company of everyone but Andy, coming from Belfast, was brilliant, and as it stands, Andy, I am away on holiday when we play Utd, at home. I get back on the Saturday night, but even if the game gets put back till the Sunday, you can still have my ticket mate, if you can make it over for the Easter weekend?
Thanks again Mike, “for a story of humanity, humility, and life, which is surely the greatest gift of all”
35 Posted 05/12/2018 at 12:41:07
Andy, get yerself back over here for a game, mate!
36 Posted 05/12/2018 at 14:27:09
Paul C, hope you didn't hurt yourself when you plummeted off that barstool. I assume Liam is still crying. Visit soon.
Jamie, glad you enjoyed this. Tell ya what, you and the eye-rolling spouse are welcome here at the beach anytime. You'll be comfortable in my neighborhood -- about a 3-1 proportion of Reds over Blues, if you know what I mean from the US perspective.
Darren, Paul T, Gerry, Frank, you're among the TW folks that I still hope most to meet in person. (Gerry, hope your Cathie is doing better.) David E., you as well, and you should know the Cubs did win it all two years ago after more than a century of trying, and most of us are still in tears of joy.
Tony, thanks for one more laugh, and again for your efforts on my behalf. Dave and I never did spot a taxi with its light on, except for one ill-fated sojourn in one that was stuck behind a barrier.
Nick, condolences on your losses... I've been through stretches like that in my life, and you find healing where you can. Glad you've reconnected with Rob at least!
Dave G, would have been great to meet you, feel better soon.
Jay, I only wear that outfit around the house. Maybe a few parties.
37 Posted 05/12/2018 at 17:58:13
38 Posted 05/12/2018 at 19:03:26
Also, a thank you to Lyndon and Michael. Without your great work on this great site I would never have met these top lads and had a night that was truly wonderful.
39 Posted 05/12/2018 at 19:17:25
40 Posted 05/12/2018 at 19:18:55
Next time, you will see us beat them!
41 Posted 05/12/2018 at 19:32:22
Shame about the result Sunday but let's hope for better things tonight.
42 Posted 05/12/2018 at 22:51:05
43 Posted 06/12/2018 at 01:25:54
Consider yourself banned from the apparently uncomfortable hotel, Harrison!!
I bet you didn't take Pete's cutlery or towels either! You can keep our towels for your birthday, but return the silver service for my 60th, which was 3 days after your birthday, and the reason I missed this year's Gaynes Gala.
Glad everyone enjoyed, nice stunt with the credit card 😎😎, and make sure you get back over for the home derby.
Offski now as I've just walked through the door after the Newcastle match. Hate Lee Mason and his blind linesman.
Striker desperately needed, and Gana's feet straightened in a vice.
Take care of yourself mate.
44 Posted 06/12/2018 at 05:34:48
Pete, I'm glad you reassured the lads. Trust me, they are now the junior fashion icons of Merseyside.
Keith, Pete and Sheila learned from your experience. They hid the good stuff. I did cast a covetous eye on Pete's comfy chair but it was chained to the fireplace.
45 Posted 08/12/2018 at 19:18:30
First of all, Mike, I just hope you're okay with that other caper. The lads'll know what I mean... But, once again, it just proves to me, as if any proof were needed, that we've got the best, most fanatical, warmest, happiest, loving set of fans in the world. I mean witness the generosity these great lads have shown to you!
What a pity them dirty bastards (well Pickford) had to go and spoil what should have been a win, never mind a draw, but hey ho...
Next time there's a meeting, I'm getting down the Midland – the 10A only takes half-an-hour so no excuse. Big mention to the Abrahams lads; Dave sounds as if he's got more pace than Sigurdsson although Dave, I will say, going by your pic, you've got the perfect face for radio, with all due respect.
I've also heard Tony his lad was a fabulous footballer but slower than his arl fella. Special mention to Kev, Rob et al, who made Mike's 2nd time around even more special. Them Red bastards might at the moment have a far better side than us But have they got far better people supporting them? Er... I think not.
Take care, Mike, and I hope you get back over the pond again some time soon.
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