Goodison Memories - A Golden Anniversary

Phil Williams 28/03/2020 3comments  |  Jump to last
Today, the 28 March, is the 50th anniversary of my first game at Goodison Park.
Aged just 6 I went along with my Dad to watch us beat Chelsea 5-2.

I cannot remember too much about the game, but I know I was in the Upper Gwladys Stand and my recollections don’t involve the action but I do remember the noise and the smells.

Unfortunately my dad passed away a little over a year later aged just 40, but thanks to my Uncle Jim and a trusted wooden stool (that he made himself) to help me see over the wall, Goodison was to become my second home.

My first proper memories include

  1. Colin Harvey’s goal to clinch the title. I am still sure he hit it from 40 yards out!
  2. Beating Southampton 8-0 in the snow, as the scoreboard ran out of space to list the goal scorers
  3. Charlie George smashing a ball in my face and then running over to me to make sure I was ok.
  4. I remember Mick Lyons's diving header as we beat the mighty Leeds.
  5. AC Milan, my first European game, only to listen to the radio a week or so later as Gary Jones was cheated in the San Siro.
  6. I remember wagging school to queue for tickets for the Derby County Quarter Final. The queue started at the Park End, went down the whole length of Bullens Road then the whole length of the Gladys Street, round the corner and all the way to the ticket office. Hours and hours of queueing and avoiding the Granada TV Cameras
  7. Then came big Bob Latchford’s 30th goal. A ray of sunshine in a pretty bleak period (never a penalty by the way!)

The start of the 80s saw the “magnificent seven” arrive with Howard Kendall. Birmingham were duly dispatched on a sunny first day of the season, but it was another false dawn for a few years. Then came the glorious mid-80s – too many memories to do it justice, however, disappearing from a wedding in Runcorn, getting to the match and then watching us destroy Man Utd 5-0 with one of the best displays I have ever seen is certainly up there. All this was done whilst still wearing my suit, donned with a carnation in the button hole.

The end of April / beginning of May of that season is the stuff of dreams. Bayern, probably my favourite Goodison memory. In the ground before 6 pm (we only just got in) my Brother waving his crutches and not falling over as he has carried in the crowd. I get goose bumps just thinking about it. Two weeks later, the Championship was lifted at home to QPR. I just hope that younger Evertonians can one day experience 2 weeks like that.

Since the '0s there have been many more wonderful days and nights. Wimbledon and Coventry, actually I cannot say that I really enjoyed them, they were horrible days, full of nerves and tension. It was relief not fun!

Big Dunc’s headers versus “the enemy” and Man U, as well as the privilege of watching Andre Kanchelskis were highlights of that time.

Then perhaps another Goodison favourite, not a great game (0-0 v Tottenham) but taking my lad aged 6 the same as me on my first game to his first match was a proper proud Dad moment. Since then, I have converted my missus from red to blue (although I think Tim Cahill and Mikel Arteta may have helped) and I have brainwashed my daughter who is now a proper footie bird.

A few more before I finish.

Rooney’s goal against Arsenal, Arteta’s equaliser against Man Utg, Fiorentina – what a pity about the penalties, stuffing Man City 4-0 and of course Dan Goslings winner.
Goodison will have its own special memories for different people for different reasons.

I have been lucky enough to watch us from every single standing area and every single seating area in the ground. From the Boys Pen to a corporate box, it has been wonderful.

There are obviously many fantastic memories away from Goodison as well, but the reality is outside of my home and my place of work there is nowhere else on earth that I have spent more time at.

I will not get many more years there if all goes well with Bramley Moor but the last 50 have been a blast.

Thank you, Old Lady, for 50 wonderful years.

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Reader Comments (3)

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Alan McGuffog
1 Posted 28/03/2020 at 18:38:12
Phil... great memories. I was 17 at the Chelsea game and don't remember too much myself except for Howard (I think) scoring after about 10 seconds. We battered them.

I was in the Gwladys Street end. Sorry about the smells... I'd had one of those dodgy stewed burgers from the van probably.

John Raftery
2 Posted 28/03/2020 at 23:15:47
Great memories indeed. I was also 17 at that Chelsea game in my second year as a Ground Season Ticket Holder. I remember the game as though it was yesterday. I was in the centre of the Gwladys Street Terrace in the days when we used to make our own atmosphere singing all our anthems in the pre-match build up: everything from ‘When You’re Smiling’ to ‘We Shall Not Be Moved’. The rain was pouring down. I recall the steam rising from the crowd as the goals rained down on Chelsea starting with Howard scoring after 14 seconds.

When Bally nodded the second on three minutes we knew we were on our way to the title. Gordon West turned round to the crowd at the Street End smiling and signalling we needed to calm down. There was little chance of that as we put a really good team to the sword. Only when we were 5-0 up did our team take their foot off the pedal allowing Chelsea two late consolation goals.

It was a truly great day.

Peter Mills
3 Posted 29/03/2020 at 18:24:49
John #2. You've got me thinking now. I was at the match and can remember much about it, especially the first 3 minutes. But I cannot recall the weather.

However, I distinctly remember a line written by Michael Charters of The Echo – “The day was bright with false sunshine”. Help!

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