I Was a Teenage Woolyback

Mick Gill 20/04/2020 167comments  |  Jump to last

I used to make the occasional post on ToffeeWeb but gave it up years ago. Under the current circumstances, I have decided to throw my cap in the ring one last time. Truth is, I have been looking for a reason to write about being a non-Scouse Evertonian in the Seventies, because I can no longer bore anyone down the pub with it. I’ve painted all my fences; cut my lawn three times, and I can’t buy any non-essential ale from Morrisons because the local police are patrolling it and telling us all to stay safe and go home. And so, I did this instead.

I was a teenage Woolyback.

Woolyback: 1 Noun (plural Woolybacks) Regional, Pejorative, Liverpudlian. A person from any of several towns or the county around Liverpool. (Your Dictionary.com 2020)

Wooly Back: 2 Noun (plural Wooly backs) AKA ‘Wool’ Liverpool term. A derogatory expression for people from Lancashire and Cheshire dating from the early 1900s when the population of Lancashire used to wear a form of sheepskin coat and were considered to be Sheep-Shaggers by Scousers. (Urbandictionary.com 2020)

There’s a Wooly over there
Baggy Kecks and feathered hair
With a three-star jumper halfway up his back
That’s a fucking Wooly Back!
(Urbandictionary.com 2020)

Like a lot of kids, I wanted to be different. But, if you are born into a small Lancashire village called Blackrod that sits in the middle of the black-pudding triangle of Bolton, Wigan and Chorley, then you are expected to support one of the above, or, at a pinch, Man Utd or Man City; it's axiomatic.

That was the path I was heading down, having been taken to watch Bolton by my dad and his friends several times. An avid Man Utd fan, Dad also took me to Old Trafford in 1970 (vs Huddersfield; Best, Charlton, Law, et al) but it didn’t work because it was someone else’s team. Salvation came in the form of a portly man in the 1966 FA Cup final.

It was the first Cup Final I can remember watching; Dad was away at sea, and Mum was doing the housework. So, I settled down to watch the match, only getting up occasionally to adjust the Horizontal Hold on the telly, when the picture started rotating. I didn’t support any of the teams, I was seven and had no idea where Sheffield or Everton was; but, as the game progressed and Wednesday went two-nil up, I began to root for the losing side.

“Yes!” I shouted as the Trebilcock’s equaliser went in. Minutes later, I was rolling around the floor in stitches as Eddie Kavanagh’s joyous solo pitch invasion left four cops in his wake and one holding his jacket. For good measure, one of the Everton players walked around with the policeman’s helmet on. Hilarious!

“Dad?” I asked, when he was next home on leave. “Yes?” He replied, with his face in the Bolton Evening News. “Where’s Everton?” I said. He put the paper down and showed some interest, “Liverpool. Why do you want to know?”

I asked if Liverpool was far away, and he told me it wasn’t. I asked if he would take me there and he said that he would... one day.

“I’ve played there – Goodison Park, best pitch I have ever seen.” He said, then returned to his paper. Dad had been a decent player, he was on Preston’s books once, but couldn’t make the grade and joined the Merchant Navy.

He had also captained England Schoolboys against Scotland, and played non-league and Sunday league until he was 46. I was a massive disappointment to him, because not to put a fine a point on it, I was shit.

Dad had a friend, Dave, who had also been on the books of a club, Bolton. The two of them used to have a kickabout outside our house, before they went to the pub. They sometimes played ‘Piggy-in-the middle’, with you-know-who in the middle. They kept the ball in the air with their feet, heads, knees and back-heels whilst I ran between them like an idiot... Two show ponies and a carthorse.

By the time the next cup final against West Brom came around 2 years later, I was a tentative Everton supporter from afar. I couldn’t watch the match that day though, as I was in a street game myself, keeping goal between the two gateposts outside my house. (The other kids weren’t stupid enough to let me play outfield.)

They all wanted to be West Brom players because Everton were a bunch of ‘Rich Bigheads’, they said. I was annoyed, and it firmed up my support of the Blues even more. I knew that Everton would beat West Brom, they were the better team, had the better players, and I would rub my mates’ noses in it when the match was over. We know how that turned out.

And so, on a cold day in 1971, aged 12, I sat in the Upper Bullens with Dad for my first Everton match versus Stoke City. I stood in awe as I looked down and saw the huge green pitch and towering Main Stand behind it. The two players that impressed me most that day were Howard Kendall and Joe Royle, but the game was awful (0-0) as Everton had already begun their slide downwards which was to last over a decade. (The highlight was losing the 1977 League Cup final! - To this day, my one and only visit to Wembley.) I was to go on to watch most home games on my own during that fallow period and loved every minute of them.

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I can’t remember the first match that I went to on my own, but it was 1972 and I was in the Gwladys Street End and overwhelmed by the atmosphere. I had learned to keep my mouth shut, because for some reason my accent annoyed the locals. That was when I discovered that I was a ‘Woolyback’; it made me laugh when I first heard it said, but the joke wears thin after a while.

One Saturday, I thought I would give the Boys Pen a try. I should have realised, even at 13, that any place that keeps children in something called a ‘Pen’ was probably not going to be a good place. I arrived early, and not being the tallest youth, I clambered up the chicken wire fencing for a better view and supported my feet on a metal strut. Fantastic, I thought.

I could see the whole game instead of the back of someone’s anorak, and up here nobody could piss in my pocket. My joy didn’t last long, bigger boys came, as they say. One of them looked up and shouted.“Oi, Ginge! Get yer fuckin arse down here, softlad, or I’ll fuckin rip you down!” to the accompanying laughter of his mates who all looked about 36 to me.

“I was here first, mate.” I said stupidly. I was dragged down the chicken wire, ripping my fingers in the process which had been locked around the mesh. I fell to the ground on my back which knocked the wind out me. One of them kicked me in the ribs and knocked some more out. “Next time, Woolyback-Bastard, do as you are fuckin told!” He shouted as I walked away bent double. I never went back.

It was cheap to watch Everton as a child back then, it really was. (That’s why there are so many supporters now who are over 60, like myself – How the hell can kids afford todays’ prices?) I earned three quid a week, helping on a farm after school and at weekends. Mum, God bless her, still give me 50p spending money a week. Anyway, the result was I was able to go to most matches every fortnight.

In the early to mid-Seventies, I would get up early and catch the bus to Wigan. From there, I would catch the train to Kirkdale. Sometimes I paid, but mostly I used the platform ticket and hiding in the bog tactic, which was my preferred pricing option. I hid my Everton scarf under my jacket if we were playing a Lancashire team as the away supporters would be on the train. Ironically, I had to put it back on as I ran along the streets to Goodison because I would have been beaten up by my own fans. After one match against Man City, a gang of Evertonians came up to me looking for Woolybacks as I made my way back to Kirkdale station.

“Have you got the time, mate?” one of them asked. This was a time-honoured pre-assault tactic that all my generation knew well. It was an attempt to ascertain your accent. I used to go away to Man City on the bus (anywhere for 2p for under-16s on Selnec buses) and was regularly challenged by City fans where my accent saved me on those occasions. (What the fuck was I thinking about? A 13-year-old ginger lad walking on his own through Moss Side with an Everton scarf under his jumper?!?)

I wasn’t bad at accents. In my finest scouse accent, I looked at the lad with contempt, “You’ve gorra fuckin watch, avven yer, softlad?” I shouted back. He laughed, ruffled my hair and they all ran off to look for real City fans leaving me sweating and with a pounding heart.

I saw lots of violence, as we all did in those days, but one incident shocked me at the time. I remember a large roar going up after a match against Newcastle, and I saw a lad running towards me wearing the black and white stripes of his club. Behind him, and about 30 yards away, was a mob of Everton fans, grown men, running after him. As the Newcastle fan ran past me heading towards Priory Road, he was crying “HELP ME! HELP ME!” Nobody did of course, and I hope he made it back to his coach. He was about my age then, 14.

Some of the incidents were pure comedy; outside the old ticket office on the corner of Bullens Road, I saw a young man take a hot chip from the bag and push it under a police horse’s tail. Now, I know if anyone had ever stuck a hot chip up my arse, I would have kicked his head in, which is exactly what the horse did as it reared up and kicked him up into the air. He was taken away in an ambulance. Good.

Later in the Seventies, I started to go to the match by coach. It was safer, but I couldn’t hide in the bog anymore. Anyway, I was working part-time at 15 and could afford the luxury. I still caught the bus to Wigan where I was then collected by Eavesway Travel. Sometimes I was on my own there. We were then taken to the depot at Ashton-in-Mak where most supporters got on.

The journey took forever to complete all the pick-ups, but at least I was safe in the company of fellow Woolybacks. What I dreaded was being the only supporter to board at Wigan because this meant somebody had to drive me back from Ashton after the match instead of clocking off. Sometimes it was the boss in his car and sometimes it was the coach driver, they were good people.

The regular driver was a wise-cracking wide-boy with long curly hair, jeans, tight tee-shirts, and a bit of what we now call bling. He sold tickets on the coach, and a sign hanging on the rear-view mirror asked me to call him Jimmy. I got on with Jimmy, unless he was the one to take me back to Wigan, when he wouldn’t stop grumbling under his breath. The fact that he would become the team’s coach-driver and then the longest serving kit-man in history gladdens my heart; I doubt that could have happened at any other big club. I hope he remembers me.

In 1975, Eavesway took me to one of my rare away games against the very Corinthian-spirited Leeds team and their lovable supporters (already banned from European football). I cannot remember if Jimmy Martin was the driver – he probably was, but the events of the day overshadowed everything else. The music playing on the coach radio as I boarded was Bowie’s ‘Golden Years’. Ironically, as it transpired.

With regular keeper Dai Davies out, and David Lawson failing a late fitness test, Everton were forced to play the Scottish youth international and trialist, Drew Brand. He made mistakes, but then so did the whole team. We were outclassed and the score of 5-2 flattered us. The atmosphere outside Elland Road was febrile and dangerous, we were escorted back to the coach, which was covered in spittle, and then abandoned by the police.

“Hurry up and get on, for fuck’s sake!” said the driver with a look of panic in his eyes. He didn’t bother collecting return tickets, which was just as well because somebody had sliced open my anorak from behind with a razor blade and taken my wallet out. This had happened in the Everton end; it was the least of my worries as the coach took off with dozens of Leeds fans pelting it with bricks.

Just as we thought we were safe, we got stuck in traffic under a bridge. The hooligans ran at us and began to kick the door. As they did so, I could hear the air escape from the hydraulic system, but the door held. More yobs began to throw objects down from the bridge and a window went in accompanied by a large cheer from the mob. Broken glass skittled across the floor of the coach.

“Fuckin get down!” Screamed the driver, and I didn’t need telling twice. We got away unscathed… eventually. Golden years indeed.

Fourteen years later, I was seated around a table with eight others on a course; we all had those foldable name cards in front of us, and I was staring at one that read ‘Drew Brand’ opposite. He had retired from football and was pleased and a little embarrassed when I mentioned the Leeds match. We were good friends during that 5-week course.

He was a gentle soul and I remember it broke his heart when he hit a fox whilst we were out in his car; its guts were spilling out and he tried to put it out of its misery by hitting it with a tyre brace, but he only succeeded in giving it a headache to worry about. Mercifully, it died on the grass verge. Drew took me to Crewe Alexandra’s social club, where he didn’t have to buy a pint. I hadn’t realised that he’d had a career there.

Like many others, as a teenager, I was drawn to the players' car park before the match. One day, I saw my hero Joe Royle arrive with Gary Jones, the pair of them fashion victims. They sported centre-partings (Joe’s was ridiculous and sat 6” off his already long forehead) and long hair. They wore full-length jackets, and I do mean down to the ground, with enormous lapels. One of them was in Denim with a fur collar (I think this was Joe) and the other was clad in brown leather. They stopped by the door in the corner of the Park End and Bullens Road to sign autographs.

“Joe, Joe!” I shouted, and he looked over the heads of the kids at me.
“That’s not a scouse accent is it, Ginge? (Why do other kids never get called ‘Mousey-Brown’?) Where are you from?” he asked. I didn’t think he would have heard of Blackrod and so I said, “Wigan, Joe”. (Looking back now, I guess he would have heard of Blackrod. Two top ex-players Frank Wignall and Jimmy Cunliffe were born there, and still lived there at the time. I had tenuous connections to both.) He walked over to me, much to the amazement of the other kids who were asking who the fuck that Woolyback was.

“Do you watch Wigan Rugby?” He asked me.
“Yes.” I lied, desperate to keep the conversation going.
“Who’s your favourite player?” Shit! I thought. I didn’t know any of them.
“Er, all of them, Joe.” I said, and he laughed as he saw straight through me.
“Are we going to win today?” He asked.
“Yeah, three-nil and you’re going to get a hat-trick!” I told him.
He laughed again.“Hope so, Wigan” he said as he walked off.

A proper story would conclude by saying that we did win three-nil, and Joe did score them all, but I can’t even remember who we were playing. I do remember watching him play and thinking "He’s just been talking to me" and feeling chuffed. The next home game, I took a friend called Chris from nearby Horwich with me, who said he supported Everton but had never been. We took up a spot by the car park once again, and as Joe Royle walked through the bunch of autograph hunters, he saw me, raised his arm and shouted “Alright, Wigan?” My friend was dumbfounded.
“Alright, Joe!” I replied.
“How the fuck does he know you?” asked Chris, and I tapped my nose leaving him guessing.

Recently, I have been fortunate to be invited into the 1878 lounge a few times by a mate. I met some of the players from that generation who work the lounges and they are all friendly and unassuming men, including Martin ‘Dobbo’ Dobson who was massively underrated. Jim Pearson too, is a nice bloke who didn’t deserve the stick he sometimes got on the pitch (my favourite newspaper typo was… ’in the 82nd minute Latchford screwed on to a glorious ass from Pearson.’ It still makes me laugh.) I saw Joe Royle and he was funny and charming to everyone, but I didn’t get the chance to speak to him. (We stood next to each other in the urinals, but I have a policy never to introduce myself to another bloke with my penis in my hand.)

It's funny how the two men that made the biggest impression on me on my first game at Goodison, were also two of the nicest men in football. In 1995, I was on the train from Euston to Liverpool, I had been sightseeing in London with my wife. As we departed, Howard Kendall walked by towards the buffet car. His team Notts County had been playing Charlton in the capital, but he was on his own.

“Go and talk to him.” Said my wife, but I didn’t want to bother him. It didn’t stop my wife though, and she followed him. After she had been gone 20 minutes, I wondered what was happening and found them both locked in conversation over a glass of wine.
“Oh, here’s Mick.” She said. “I was telling Howard what a big fan you are.”

I called him Mr Kendall, and he insisted on ‘Howard’. I thanked him for everything he had done for Everton, and I told him how disgusted I was in the manner he was sacked. He Just smiled and said, “There is nothing that club could do to stop me loving it.”

He walked us back to our seats, opening the doors as we carried our drinks. When we got off the train at Harftord, he hung out of the door and shouted “Goodbye Julie, Goodbye Mick. Tell your lad to keep on practising.” Top man, and he was a Woolyback!

I wrote to Notts County to tell them what a fine ambassador they possessed in Howard, but they didn’t reply. I am not one for public displays of affection, but I turned up outside the Cathedral at his funeral and listened to Joe’s brilliant eulogy piped through to the outside.

Anyway, back to the Seventies and Dad had brought me a tee-shirt back from Singapore. It was bright orange with a motif of lions on it. I loved it and wore it to one match on a hot summer’s day. I had graduated to the Top Balcony because the view was better for a short-arse. The ref was shite that day and I remember standing up more than once to question his eyesight and parentage.

“Fucking siddown, you Woolyback Bastard!” Shouted a large, middle-aged man, two rows behind me. I was 15 and the sap was rising.

“Fucking make me, you fat cunt!” I shouted back, and once again I have had time to reflect how wise that reply was. He lunged at me over the poor sods seated in front of him, knocking their drinks over. He was restrained by a steward, but not ejected. For the rest of the match, all I could hear was: “Singapore? Sing-a-fucking pore? I’ll bet he doesn’t even know where it fucking is! The fucking sheep-shagging woolyback-bastard!” And so on.

After the match, he tried to get at me but an absolutely huge Scouser in his 50s with a crew cut, gripped him by the throat and told him that his dad, who was born in Blackburn, was killed in the war fighting for twats like him. He said that if he wanted to beat somebody up instead of a kid then why didn’t he try him? Unsurprisingly he didn’t and apologised, blaming it all on the beer.

As the theme of this rambling nonsense is my teenage years as a Woolyback supporter, I won’t go on much more but suffice to say I continue to be a Woolyback supporter, as is my son, daughter, wife and two grandkids… all my fault, sorry guys. My son suffered in the same way I did when I first started to go to Goodison. He was born in 1982, too young to remember the glory years. Apart from the 1995 FA Cup Final, he’s never seen us win a bloody thing, he must hate me for it. To the best of my knowledge though, he has never been called a Wooly. I hardly ever hear the word Woolyback anymore unless it is ironic, and there is usually no malice in it. Football is a kinder place nowadays. However, there is always the odd exception.

In 1994, I went to the infamous Wimbledon relegation match with my son. I rang the club to enquire about the ticket situation.“No problem, mate. There’s plenty left, you can buy them from the office.” The helpful lady said. My son and I grabbed our coats and went off to catch the Eavesway coach instead of driving. The helpful lady turned out to be full of shite, the match was a sell-out.

We climbed up a tree in Stanley Park, as close as we could to the ground, and could see the Street-End half of the pitch over the part-built Park End stand (most of the good branches were already taken).

We were two-nil down when I heard a loud command from the ground below me, it was a Police Inspector complete with ‘Swagger’ stick.“GET OUT OF MY TREE, NOW!” He boomed.

“Sorry? What do you mean your tree?” I replied. And for good measure, I said not unreasonably, “What harm are we doing, mate?” (Even as a man in his thirties, I was prone to dumb replies.)

After informing me that he wasn’t my mate and the tree was on his patch, therefore his responsibility if it got damaged, he ‘playfully’ whacked me on the ankle bone with the stick and told me that I was old enough to know better. As I limped away back to the coach, he said, “Fucking Woolybacks!”

Good luck and good health to you all.

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Reader Comments (167)

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John Keating
1 Posted 21/04/2020 at 15:04:48
Good laugh there Mick cheered up my day
Fucking woolyback!
Brilliant
Paul Tran
2 Posted 21/04/2020 at 15:16:08
That's a great post, Mick. The Boys Pen was a pretty unforgiving place in those days! Some great memories from a great, if trophyless, era. Hats off to you for sticking with it!
Jay Harris
3 Posted 21/04/2020 at 15:40:31
Great post Mick, I read every word which is unusual for me.

Brings back a lot of memories.

Thanks for enlightening a depressing time.

Patrick McFarlane
4 Posted 21/04/2020 at 15:56:04
Some genuine laugh out loud moments in this article thanks Mick.
Alan McGuffog
5 Posted 21/04/2020 at 15:57:06
Superb Mick. Loved..." most of the best branches were taken "
You had some bad luck with vantage points didn't you ?
Alan J Thompson
6 Posted 21/04/2020 at 16:26:58
Mick, it reminded me of coming out of Maine Road the Monday before the Cup Final in 1968 after losing 2-0 and Howard Kendall in hospital having had the bejezus kicked out of him by Tony Book while on the deck.
Halfway down the road out myself and a mate were confronted by at least 30 or 40 City fans. We had a brick wall at our backs and one of the City fans said, "Take the scarves off or you die!".
Before another word could be said my mate, Rob, shouted, "Death it is. Who's first!" and to our total amazement they all walked away.

We walked to the railway station (I think closed down now) and in the pub over the road ordered two half and halves. The barmaid said, "Half a crown" and I ordered two more. Rob asked why and I said at 1/3d for half a bitter and a whiskey why worry about the train.

Dave Abrahams
7 Posted 21/04/2020 at 16:28:20
Brilliant Mick, anyone who can laugh at himself, and as often as you did, is okay with me, you might be a woolly back but you are ‘ a fuckin sound one’ and tell a good story very well.
Colin Glassar
8 Posted 21/04/2020 at 17:02:41
Great post you Woolyback divvy😂😂
Steve Hogan
9 Posted 21/04/2020 at 18:55:04
Mick, what a brilliantly funny story and a welcome tonic to some of the dark, serious stuff we have to endure on ToffeeWeb.

Some of the regular contributors on here need to take a look at what a genuinely funny story can do to lift the spirit's during this awful time.

Like you, I went to a number of away games during the mid '70s, and in particular Elland Road. As you will remember, away fans used to occupy the old 'cowshed' end (it literally looked like a cowshed with a curved metal roof).

Leeds was always a toxic place to visit... out of all the old 1st Division grounds, you were guaranteed trouble, before, during and after the match at this venue.

The West Yorkshire police didn't help, they were heavy-handed, abusive and unapproachable.

I often wonder whether Revie had something to do with contributing to the atmosphere there, or I also have a theory that 'single club' cities are very much the same, Newcastle, Blackburn, can be very much like Leeds.

Anyway, I want to wrap up with a funny story. Me and my mate 'copped off' with two girls at Butlins in Pwllheli in the summer of 1973. They come from a little village not far from you, Anglezarke.

We arranged to meet them the following week when we got home. So off we went, two scousers on the bus to darkest Chorley, can't even remember how we got to the foothills of Lancashire, but it took us ages to find the farm where one of them lived.

For the record, we loved their local accent, and I think they loved ours; anyway, it was a short-lived romance as neither me or my mate could afford a car.

For the sake of my sanity... keep writing!

John Hughes
10 Posted 21/04/2020 at 19:35:27
Blimey, Mick! That's the best laugh I've had in ages. We are of a similar vintage and you have brought back those scary, hilarious times brilliantly. You should consider writing a book, please post again soon mate.
Ray Robinson
11 Posted 21/04/2020 at 20:17:18
Brilliant read, Mick! I think we all have hairy stories to recount about football in the seventies and eighties. Makes me wonder how we're all still footy fans after such "adventures".

Question: can a Scouser such as me (born in Smithdown Road) become a woolyback? I have lived in Warrington for 40 years!

Rob Halligan
12 Posted 21/04/2020 at 20:45:05
Ray, when you say you were both in Smithdown Road, I assume you mean Sefton General Hospital, and not literally "dropped" on Smithdown Road?
Ray Robinson
13 Posted 21/04/2020 at 20:58:03
Rob, I do indeed! Yes, Sefton General - long since gone. Isn't there an Asda there now (or nearby)? Only lived on Smithdown Road!

I was called a Woolyback once at the match. Nearly smacked the guy because I still feel a Scouser, even though, for various reasons (none deliberate), I never developed a full-blown accent.

Rob Halligan
14 Posted 21/04/2020 at 21:12:35
There is a medical centre on the hospital site, as well as the Asda. I was also born in Sefton General Hospital and lived off Smithdown Road when I was young, Granville Road.
Greg Anderson
15 Posted 21/04/2020 at 21:20:59
Fantastic post, Mick. Thank you. And especially for all our friends here from farflung parts of the world who did not grow up in England, this gives you the best account I have ever read on this site of what going to First Division games in the late 60s and 70s was actually like. If you were not "one of the lads", the crowds were very menacing and intimidating, and dominated by males aged 15-35 or so, unlike today.

Serious question for all of you genuine Scousers. I grew up in Birkenhead at that time, a place much more like Liverpool than, say, Heswall or West Kirby, and no sheep wandering around there at all as far as I can remember. But does that matter? Am I still a "Wool"? Or are "Birkonians" an honorable exception to the rule?

Tony Abrahams
16 Posted 21/04/2020 at 21:45:03
Funny story, that, Mick. I can just imagine that little sketch in the top balcony mate!

I'd say that Smithdown Road is a little bit too far out to be born a proper scouser, Ray & Rob, but that's because I was born in Everton!

Dave Abrahams
17 Posted 21/04/2020 at 21:46:09
Greg (15), No, youse are worse than us Scousers. In fact, you get us a bad name. Woollybacks are definitely above you lot!!
Brian Williams
18 Posted 21/04/2020 at 22:00:36
Oi.. you... Dave!
Greg Anderson
19 Posted 21/04/2020 at 22:11:23
Cheers, Dave. Always thought so. That sets my mind at rest!
Brian Williams
20 Posted 21/04/2020 at 22:19:39
I thought the term 'Woollybacks' was one used as a general term for non-Scousers but aimed more specifically at people from the countryside, especially the Welsh.

It actually stems from when out-of-towners (non-Scousers) worked on the docks and weren't liked as they were taking a Scouser's job.
They would have wool on their backs from carrying bales of the stuff, hence "fuckin' Woollyback".

Colin Gee
21 Posted 21/04/2020 at 22:24:39
Haven't posted on here for ages.

Another Sefton General Hospital baby here! Mum and Dad lived with my Nan and Grandad in Alderson Road after I was born. They, along with me, moved to Wigan when I was about 2 and they and I have been here ever since

I can relate to the original poster's story. I was the only Everton supporter in my school years in Wigan, apart from one other lad; most of my mates were either Man Utd or Liverpool fans and, as always, they never went the game. I used Eavesways Coaches to go to the away games I went to in the 80s.

My accent varies between broad Wigan and broad Scouse, depending whereabouts I am and who I am talking to! Living and working in Wigan, I am fluent in Woolyback but, as soon as I pass the Old Yorkshire Imperial factory on the East Lancs Road, my Scouse accent returns, albeit with a touch of wool still but, as soon as I see any family in Liverpool or get to Goodison, it's full Scouse! :-D

I was also one of those who had taken the better branches up the trees in Stanley Park for the Wimbledon game! :-D

Rob Halligan
22 Posted 21/04/2020 at 22:31:17
The song I remember from years ago was

"There's a wooly over there, over there,
And he's wearing brown air wear, brown air wear,
With a three-star jumper halfway up his back,
He's a fucking woolyback, woolyback"

Does anyone else remember this version, or have I got it wrong?

Derek Thomas
23 Posted 22/04/2020 at 01:30:52
Pure Magic, Mick. So, In the manner of The Great Wizard of Oz (yes, I've just re-re-watched it for the Nth time...'kin lockdown), I hereby award you a certificate of citizenship, you are now an 'Official Scouser'... "After all," said Dorothy, "there's no place like home."
Barry Thompson
24 Posted 22/04/2020 at 06:58:11
Rob H @ 22. That's the version of the song that I also remember being sung in the Park End in the mid 70s. I have never heard Mick's version and, when I read his post, wondered if this was an earlier version being sung before I started going to Goodson (Park Ender) in 1975.
Brian Murray
25 Posted 22/04/2020 at 07:11:59
Proper words was:

"There's a woolly over there, over there,
Baggy keks 'n greasy hair, greasy hair,
With a 3-star jumper halfway up his back,
He's a fuckin' woollyback, woollyback."

Stay safe, all hail null 'n void.

Dave Abrahams
26 Posted 22/04/2020 at 08:39:18
Derek (23), hang on Derek mate, you're getting above your station there, you've got no authority to award Scouseships out. However, if you are proposing to award Mick a Scouseship, I will second that motion. Anyone against this motion, speak up now or forever shut your traps.
Eddie Dunn
27 Posted 22/04/2020 at 08:42:05
Rob, that is the version I remember and, despite being originally from Tranmere and brought-up in Eastham, I sang it with mates from Crosby and Kirby with just a twinge of embarrassment.

I wonder on matchday what the demographic is at Goodison Park?

I grew up with quite a scouse accent but left the area at 20 to live in Nottingham, then London for 10 years. I had a few scrapes in Nottingham due to my (Wirral) accent but, once in London, learnt how to get away with a passable cockney (if spoken to at a match).

It's funny thinking that us Wools from Wirral get just as much stick around the UK for our "Scouse" origins, yet still got stick from our close neighbours in the City. I have mates in Portsmouth and they would refer to people from nearby Gosport (across the little Solent) as Turks. Gosport residents have long endured the taunt of 'Turks' and the accolade of living in 'Turk Town'...

The term 'Turk Town' seems to have its origins in an incident dating to 1850 when two Turkish ships, seeking shelter in Portsmouth Harbour during a courtesy visit, were refused permission to land sailors at Portsmouth.
They also refer to people from the Isle of Wight as "Cork heads" – this either comes from the men hired to caulk the hulls of ships, or refers to a ship that sank in the Solent from which only Isle of Wight men survived, hence the term "Caulk" (Cork) heads.

So it's the same everywhere.

Derek Thomas
28 Posted 22/04/2020 at 08:56:28
Dave @ 26; of course I haven't, a bit like the great Wizard of Oz, I just did it – no backs.
Martin Nicholls
29 Posted 22/04/2020 at 10:10:33
Greg #15,

I was born in Garston, brought up near Penny Lane (Plattsville Road) and moved to Wirral (Thingwall) with family at age 18. I have lived in same house in Newton (near West Kirby) for the last 44 years.

I always thought the terms "scouser" and "wacker" were one and the same but have read that the great Dixie reckoned (ref John Keith's book "Dixie Dean") that "wackers" were Birkenhead born.

Mike Doyle
30 Posted 22/04/2020 at 10:26:59
Rob #22 & Brian #25]

Can I dispute both of your recollections of the song - specifically line 2 - which I recall as:

Turned up jeans and brown Air wear

Closer to Rob's version but not identical.

To make matters worse, when I was a student (late 70s / early 80s) a couple of Preston fans knew another version – in which line 2 was slightly different again.

These pandemic times have me thinking whether in fact we are all correct but that the song mutated – and several strains emerged from the original and spread to different parts of the ground (I used to stand in The Paddock)? Perhaps a question for Prof Chris Witty or Patrick Valence?

Tony Abrahams
31 Posted 22/04/2020 at 10:55:49
That mutation sums up Evertonians, Mike, because the version I knew was with spiked hair, and brown air-ware!

The mutation takes me back to when Trevor Steven scored the third goal against Bayern Munich, because I've never heard so many songs getting sung from different parts of the ground at the same time. But it didn't matter if you was a mickey or a wool, because it was all about the joy of being an Evertonian that night!

Brian Williams
32 Posted 22/04/2020 at 11:07:14
Tony, the reference to Air Wear (Doc Marten's) doesn't quite fit with the song because any self-respecting "boot boy" "footy hooligan" of the time wore brown Doc Marten's – well, oxblood actually (8 hole or 12 if you could get 'em), polished so you could see your face in 'em. So I couldn't see how the very people who'd wear 'em would decry 'em sort of thing.

The uniform of the day was oxblood "Marten's" with "Flemings" – anyone remember Flemings? – and a denim Wrangler jacket.

Brian Williams
33 Posted 22/04/2020 at 11:16:27
Made-to-measure Flemings, by the way!
Len Hawkins
34 Posted 22/04/2020 at 11:19:09
I first started going to Everton in '65 – picked up in Southport by my brothers mate from Penwortham and picking up again in Birkdale, so I suppose I am a Wool. Later, the bloke who lived in Birkdale worked with a scouse lad who started coming with us. He was called the Happy Talker as apparently on a works night out in his drunken state he was sat talking to a girl unaware that one of his fellow workers was sat behind her to one side giving her a good grope whilst Happy Talker was pouring his heart out to her.

In my other life as a member of Merseyside Fire Brigade, I did many enjoyable detatched duties at Wessy Road, Bank Hall, Hatton Gardens, West Derby Road, Longmoor Lane, Storrington Avenue, Canning Place, Derby Lane... Met some great blokes and had many a laugh. Never went to the Deep South, Conleach Road, Banks Road, Belle Vale, only to pick up a spare appliance or drop one off.

Tony Abrahams
35 Posted 22/04/2020 at 11:30:02
I disagree, Brian, because the casual dressed supporter was already here in some quarters, well before the end of the seventies. I remember loads of mods who wouldn't be seen dead in a pair of Doc Marten's, so maybe I'm not as old as I look!

I'm deffo getting old though because I thought I was looking like Chochi before this lockdown, but now I'm looking like Richie Cunningham's dad!

Darren Hind
36 Posted 22/04/2020 at 11:31:18
Flemings?

Me mate's mam worked in the shop by "The Assie".

Fantastic article by the way, Mick. Really funny.

Darren Hind
37 Posted 22/04/2020 at 11:34:58
Flemings and Doc Marten's were trumped by white kecks, comos and a Jaytex shirt (if you couldn't afford a "Bennie").
Steve Hogan
39 Posted 22/04/2020 at 12:48:55
Whilst we're on the 'fashion mode', anyone remember the obsession with 'brogues'? To buy a genuine pair of brogues would have been out of the reach of most lads, so all the high street shops at the time started selling them (well a cheap version of them).

I remember my Ma giving me the money for a pair, I think they lasted 3 weeks before the sole fell off. I think they were stitched on???

Rob Halligan
40 Posted 22/04/2020 at 13:27:01
Brian # 32. I don't remember many blues who wore Doc Martens. I think in the '80s footwear in Liverpool was more like the Dunlop green flash or Lacoste trainers, and usually a white pair.
Brian Williams
41 Posted 22/04/2020 at 13:41:27
Not when you were going to war, Rob!

Green flash? The opposition woulda fell about laughin'.

I'm talkin' early '70s, 72-76 maybe.

Brian Williams
42 Posted 22/04/2020 at 13:43:30
Steve #39.

Como brogues!

Brian Williams
43 Posted 22/04/2020 at 13:49:48
Darren, the white kecks were known as KDs and the original ones came from a shop halfway up London Road. They never trumped Flemings though, mate.

Tony, I think we're talking different times, mate. I'm talking about when I was around 16-18. You'd have been 4!!! 😂

Darren Hind
44 Posted 22/04/2020 at 14:23:25
You may be right, Brian.

I remember buying a pair then going into Denis's on Silvester Street to get me hair cut on the way home. I forgot to pick them up when I left.

I went back about 3 hours later and they were still there – A really bad sign that. If you left a pair of brand new kecks anywhere on Scottie and they were still there after 3 seconds, let alone 3 hours, you just knew you'd bought an exceptionally crap pair of kecks.

Mike Doyle
45 Posted 22/04/2020 at 14:35:52
Is the word 'kecks' unique to Liverpool too? I've never heard it used elsewhere.
Mick Gill
46 Posted 22/04/2020 at 14:37:31
Thanks very much to you all for the kind words, much appreciated:

'Honorary Scouser', I'll take that. Thanks for the proposal Derek, and for the seconding Dave. And Dave, 'Fucking Sound' is as good a compliment as any there is! Cheers mate.

As for laughing at myself, I have plenty of material to work with, (bang on Colin G I must be a 'Divvy!) and if you can't laugh at yourself I don't think you have the right to laugh at anyone else. Some parts of our Country haven't got the hang of it yet.

Steve H, Bloody Hell Anglezarke! Even I would consider them Woolybacks.

I can't claim to know the true lyrics of the Woolyback song, when it's sung at you, then your reaction tends to be 'Oh fuck, here we go again!'

The fashion crimes of the seventies were numerous, but I missed out on 'Flemings', too radical for Blackrod I guess. I did however have a pair of two-tone 'Rupert' bags, complimented by platform shoes that had palm trees embossed on the side. I went to Brian Labone's testimonial in them and my mate's dad pissed himself the whole match through!

Thanks again.

Steve Hogan
47 Posted 22/04/2020 at 14:55:58
Brian (42),

You've just woken up a part of my brain that has been lying dormant for 40+ years... Como brogues, that was the name.

I thought I was the dog's bollocks with them, me and half the population of Liverpool lads.

Available in black or brown only.

Chris Williams
48 Posted 22/04/2020 at 15:09:58
Mike,

In the film The Full Monty, set in Sheffield, the Robert Carlyle character refers to ‘kegs’ for trousers. That’s the nearest I’ve ever heard anywhere. In fact it’s the only thing I’ve heard anything vaguely similar.

Billy Bradshaw
49 Posted 22/04/2020 at 15:41:08
Brian @43, a shop half-way up London Road, got my first pair of monkey boots there.
Mike Gaynes
50 Posted 22/04/2020 at 15:42:20
Mick, I finally got around to reading this and thoroughly enjoyed it, even not knowing so many of the expressions and missing a few of the jokes.

I hope you continue posting and even join in a silly argument or two. You are a hell of a writer, and with your history your contributions would be highly valued. Please come play with us once in a while.

Brian Murray
51 Posted 22/04/2020 at 15:43:32
Coming from Walton I thought it was cool to have Flemings with the logo 79 Walton road on the back pocket
Tony Abrahams
52 Posted 22/04/2020 at 15:54:33
Funny story, Darren, my mate used to have a flat at the bottom of Hapton Street, corner of Nethy, and he got this bird one night. He woke up the next day, the bird was gone, his Armani jeans were gone, and because it was just his little goosing pad, he never had a stitch of clothing in the place, plus he never ever wore bills!

Good job he had bin bags, and one of our other mates lived opposite St George's Church. He ran up the hill and me mates dar was at the front door. "Let me in quick" he shouted, and he quickly became me mate's dar's best mate, because he said he'd never laughed so much in years!

Brian Williams
53 Posted 22/04/2020 at 15:58:04
Ah monkey boots!
Jay Harris
54 Posted 22/04/2020 at 17:02:50
All this talk about Doc Martens reminds me of the Everton boot boys song.

We walk with a wiggle and...

Doing the Everton boot walk.

Anyone who remembers the song can maybe fill in the blanks.

Brian Williams
55 Posted 22/04/2020 at 17:06:49
I'm a bow legged chicken I'm a knock kneed hen.
Haven't had me hole since I don't know when.
I walk with a wiggle and a waggle and a squalk.
Doing the Everton boot walk!
Barry Thompson
56 Posted 22/04/2020 at 17:29:13
But enough of your personal problems, Brian, what's the song go like?
Brian Williams
57 Posted 22/04/2020 at 17:30:19
😂😂😂😂!
Jay Harris
58 Posted 22/04/2020 at 17:40:39
Good job, Brian.

Old timers is kicking in these days but I remember it so well now.

Ray Roche
59 Posted 22/04/2020 at 17:40:43
@56
🤣🤣🤣🤣
Ray Roche
60 Posted 22/04/2020 at 17:43:31
Comos, Ben Sherman, parallels, Crombies... I'm not reminiscing, I'm just looking in my wardrobe.
Brian Williams
61 Posted 22/04/2020 at 18:29:49
Ray, if that was true mate you'd be quids in as some of em'd be worth a fortune!

Loved my Crombie. Bought it from a forces apparel shop somewhere near London Road.

Was a real quality one, unlike the cheapo one's sold in fashion shops of the day.

Paul Tran
62 Posted 22/04/2020 at 18:32:31
Brian, I thought the second line was 'Never been so happy since I don't know when'?

Or was it a personal statement on your part?

Dave Abrahams
63 Posted 22/04/2020 at 19:20:39
Darren (#44),

Dennis the barber, a good Friary lad from Prince Edwin Street. I think he had a shop by Liverpool's ground as well.

Jay Harris
64 Posted 22/04/2020 at 19:21:29
Ray,

You should go on "In the attic". They're worth a fortune now, especially the Ben Shermans.

I actually raided my dad's wardrobe for a Crombie and a trilby. Those were the days. Wish I had taken some photos.

Jay Harris
65 Posted 22/04/2020 at 19:26:36
There again... maybe not. Haha!
Steve Hogan
66 Posted 22/04/2020 at 19:26:53
Okay, continuing the thread on '70s fashion, did anyone have a pair of 'two-tone' trousers?

I had a pair, and when the sun shone in the right direction, they kinda shimmered green and purple!!

I must have looked like one of those rare amazon 'birds of paradise'... I was so proud of them, 28'' waist as well at the time.

Jay Harris
67 Posted 22/04/2020 at 19:28:43
Darren,

I don't know if it was the same hairdresser but there used to be a "Dennis's" in Falkland Street. He used to specialise in Perry Comos.

Before that, I used to go to Leo Cotters in Soho Street.

Dave Abrahams
68 Posted 22/04/2020 at 19:42:05
Jay (67), for many years the barber in Falkland Street was Maxie (The Mad Russian), he used to sell a hair gel and people came from all over the place to buy it, it was a load of codswallop.

Leo Cotter, his first shop was in William Henry Street before he moved to Soho Street. with his son Don, he had competition in William Henry Street from Charlie Jackson's shop, Charlie used to give you a sweet when he finished, so I went there.

Mike Doyle
69 Posted 22/04/2020 at 19:47:56
Jay #54,

Further evidence of pandemic mutation in song lyrics again. The version heared from The Paddock as follows:

Line 1: Like a bow-legged chicken or a knock-kneed hen;

Line 2: Paul Tran's recollectIon accords with mine.

Lines 3 & 4: Agree with Brian.

Brian Williams
70 Posted 22/04/2020 at 20:09:08
Paul @62.

That second line had any number of versions depending on which one of us reached it first and sang loudest – oh, and how much we'd had to drink!

There was a version involving a cat but not for publishing on here. 😷

Paul Tran
71 Posted 22/04/2020 at 20:28:52
Brian, I bet I'm not the only one who wants to see that version!
John Keating
72 Posted 22/04/2020 at 20:55:13
Short back and sides in Leo Cotters, great memories.
Jay Harris
73 Posted 22/04/2020 at 20:57:25
Dave,

I now firmly believe Old Timers is kicking in.

You are absolutely correct, it was Maxies but I did go to a Dennis's and now I think about it. I believe it was opposite the new Royal Infirmary.

My Dad and most of his family lived in William Henry Street and he used to take me to Leo's as a kid. I do believe he gave sweets out then too; he must have learned a trick from Charlie.

Isn't nostalgia a great thing, especially at the moment?

John Keating
74 Posted 22/04/2020 at 21:03:23
Quite surprising how many of us originated in the same area.
Dave Abrahams
75 Posted 22/04/2020 at 21:04:14
Jay (73), that barber’s shop facing the Royal Infirmary, Jay are you sure it was Dennis’s, something tells me it was called David’s, wouldn’t argue too much,, down a row of steps, I think the building is still there.
Ian Wilson
76 Posted 22/04/2020 at 21:14:35
There was another song sang in the Gwladys Street in the 70s:

Street End boys we are here
Oh, oh,
Street End Boys we are here
Oh, oh
Street End Boys we are here
Shag your women, drink your beer,
Oh,, oh, oh, oh,...

That must have been some trick

Ian Wilson
77 Posted 22/04/2020 at 21:20:51
Rob Halligan @ 14,

I was born in Granville Road, moved out 1986, one of few blues.

What years were you there?

Greg Anderson
78 Posted 22/04/2020 at 21:34:23
Martin #29

Thanks for the info. Yes, having lived away from the region a long time, I had completely forgotten about 'Wacker'. Wackers of the world unite!

Alan McGuffog
79 Posted 22/04/2020 at 21:46:37
Greg, if you had ever had the misfortune to see an episode of "The Wackers" from the early '70s, you'd want the word erased from all memories.
Rob Halligan
80 Posted 22/04/2020 at 21:56:25
Ian, I was born in 1959 over the road at Sefton General and my family lived in Granville Road until 1965 or 1966, I can't remember which year we moved, but was definitely one of those years. I think it was 1965.
Greg Anderson
81 Posted 22/04/2020 at 22:46:44
Alan #79 Vague memories of that show, though I think it was set in Liverpool, sullying our good name. #wackerpride.
Mike Doyle
82 Posted 22/04/2020 at 22:48:14
Lived in Liverpool until I was 23. Don’t recall ever hearing the word “Wack” used. Another urban myth?
Steve Barr
83 Posted 22/04/2020 at 22:51:46
Rob @80, you didn't go the Bluecoat School did you? I remember there was a young Halligan there when I attended in the late '60s early '70s!
Steve Hogan
85 Posted 22/04/2020 at 22:53:31
Dave (75),

The barber's you're talking about opposite the Royal was definitely David's. I think he might have been of Italian descent. A number of Liverpool and Everton players used to go there to get their hair cut, judging by their collection of black and white photo's in the window.

I remember asking him to cut my hair like David Johnson's... came out looking more like Quasi Modo.

Rob Halligan
86 Posted 22/04/2020 at 23:07:28
Steve, that will be my elder brother Mike. He started at the Bluecoat about 1968 or 1969.
Steve Barr
87 Posted 22/04/2020 at 23:23:55
Rob, Small world! I started in the 3rd year in 1968 and left in 1973. I played in the firsts and, if my memory serves me well, I think Mike was the goalie later in in the mid '70s?
Rob Halligan
88 Posted 22/04/2020 at 23:26:58
He was indeed. In that case, you should know Nick Ryan who also posts on here regularly.
Jay Harris
89 Posted 22/04/2020 at 23:27:47
Steve,

youre absolutely right: it was David's. I'm confusing my Dennis's with my Maxie's and David's. Mind that woopsie on the carpet.

Jay Harris
90 Posted 22/04/2020 at 23:31:38
Mike,

A lot of people outside of the area would address you as Wack.

I remember quite a few occasions people would say to me "Alright, Wack".

Steve Barr
91 Posted 22/04/2020 at 23:31:49
Rob, I remember the name but he was probably younger than me, like your kid, so us "older lads" didn't mix with the juniors much!
Dave Abrahams
92 Posted 22/04/2020 at 23:33:37
Steve (85), thanks, I wasn't absolutely sure David's was the name of the shop although I used to get my hair cut there now and again. I worked on the Royal for six years when it was getting built and can picture the owner of the shop. Thanks again for the confirmation.
Alan McGuffog
93 Posted 23/04/2020 at 01:30:30
Rob... did your brother serve in the SAS? Serious question.
Darren Hind
94 Posted 23/04/2020 at 07:44:13
Dave A @63

Is right. He also had one just off County Road too.

And Jay, you may be correct too. He did branch out a bit and, although he turned out to a fine barber, in the early days he was very much a one-trick pony. People would queue for ages for his "Perry Como".
I thought we looked super cool until a couple of school mates from Norris Green came down (coz we could get in the ale houses at 15/16) and one of them noted, "What's going on round here? Everyone's got the same fucken 'ead!"

There were alternatives. There was arl Murray who was next to the Europa, but you learned to give him a very wide berth by the time you were 11. He wasn't averse to giving you a proper slap round the head if you couldn't keep your head still. He was strictly for the arl fellas...

And there was Jack Gunion down by Dryden Street next to Vernon's. Jack walked with a heavy limp, if I remember. He was a decent barber, but he covered a massive area and was always choca, by the time you got your hair cut, you'd have been into town, got your haircut, did a bit of shopping and back again.

Denis`s apprentice, Tommy "Torbo" has cut hair on Scottie for over half a century.

Tony Abrahams
95 Posted 23/04/2020 at 08:30:33
The Torbo special is a shout I haven't heared for years!

Did you seriously ask the barber to cut your head like David Johnson's, Steve@85? Funny I remember being in the enclosure, and Johnson was warming up to come on as a sub, during the start of Howard Kendall's first reign.

Someone in the crowd shouted, “Make sure you have a go when you get on, Chickenhead!” Everyone started laughing and David gave a very meek "Fuck-off you'!

I was watching him on old footage the other day, scoring two for England against Argentina in the game a very young Maradona tormented the English defence, and can only say that the barber done you a favour, because Johnson definitely did have a head like a chicken!

Ray Roche
96 Posted 23/04/2020 at 08:39:18
Alan @93

Mine did.

Dave Abrahams
97 Posted 23/04/2020 at 09:59:30
Darren (94), mentioning Gunnions, got a shiver down my back, he had a shop in Saint Anne Seett. I think he hated kids, it looked like he'd put a bowl over your head and just cut round it, you looked like a fuckin' Monk when he finished. I only went once or twice cos me mam took me, gave him a miss when I went on my own.

Tony (95), I think you were with me when Kendall tried to sub him, the No 9 came up and he just ignored it. After a couple of minutes, the board got changed to a No 7 and Alan Irvine went off instead. I don't know what the consequences were over that.

Rob Halligan
98 Posted 23/04/2020 at 10:38:30
Alan 93, yes he did.
Alan McGuffog
99 Posted 23/04/2020 at 10:42:22
Hi Rob... before we left Liverpool (25 years ago), my missus, Vanda, and I lived in Woolton. Lived next door to a Mike Halligan. Really decent bloke.

Must be your brother... say hello!

Rob Halligan
100 Posted 23/04/2020 at 10:53:32
Alan, would that be Orient Drive?
Alan McGuffog
101 Posted 23/04/2020 at 10:58:26
No, Rob... Hunts Cross Avenue. Did he go on to become a police officer?
Rob Halligan
102 Posted 23/04/2020 at 11:01:25
Of course, Hunts Cross Avenue. I forgot about that one. Yeah, he did after leaving the army.
Steve Hogan
103 Posted 23/04/2020 at 11:10:30
Tony (95),

Yes, I did. The other option was Alan Whittle who also had his picture in the window, and he had a head like a jar of 'mad worms'... my ma's saying for anyone with curly hair.

Brian Harrison
104 Posted 23/04/2020 at 11:13:48
Dave 92,

Yes, it was definitely David's, I used to go in there regularly for quite a few years. I think David was Greek, not Italian, and he was big mates with many of the players. But I only ever saw Liverpool players in there... mainly Phil Neal and Ray Clemence.

Laurie Hartley
105 Posted 23/04/2020 at 11:21:54
Dave # 17 - I will take that as a great compliment 😉 12,000 miles away now but here is the current view from what was once our front doorstep.

Link

We produced more boxers than farmers:

Link

And the odd footballer

Link

Tony Latham
106 Posted 23/04/2020 at 11:51:52
As a fellow Woolyback a couple of years younger than Mick, I can relate to much of his article, I also remember being on the platform at Kirkdale when we were mistaken for City fans and had glass bottles thrown down on us.

My first match travelling with Eavesways was Coventry in 76, when Duncan McKenzie and Bruce Rioch made their debuts in a 4-2 defeat. From then onward, I had many away trips with Eavesways, travelling home from Coventry in 77 and Wolves 78 in particular stick in my mind, freezing cold, due to the lack of glass in our coach windows.

As does the 1977 League Cup Final when, if I remember correctly, our former manager Billy Bingham, his wife and teenage daughters had the dubious pleasure of being stuck in a traffic jam behind our coach.

For all home matches at that time, a large group of us from Orrell would congregate on the Gwladys Street terrace beside the pole on the Paddock side of the main pole, the main pole being the one always occupied by the striped jumper supporter who led the singing.

I have many good memories of supporting Everton at that time, we had some great footballing teams in the late '70s and generally there was good-natured banter between ourselves and fellow supporters, but I can't help feeling a little bit of animosity was aimed in our direction whenever the Woolyback song was aired.

Darren Hind
107 Posted 23/04/2020 at 12:29:51
Tony@95

I remember Blue Kipper used to do a spot on Shouts from the crowd.

Always a funny slot.

Jay Wood
[BRZ]

108 Posted 23/04/2020 at 13:10:01
What a cracking opening post, and what a good thread it has provoked.

Who said nostalgia isn't what it used to be..?

Brian Harrison
109 Posted 23/04/2020 at 13:59:21
Just read that David Moyes was shopping in his local supermarket when he saw a sign saying Drivers Wanted, so he volunteered. He said his first delivery was mainly fruit and veg to an old lady, the cost of the goods was £17.50 she gave him £20 and told him to keep the change. I suspect he gave her back the £20id i and pat himself.

He said that now football needs a reset on wages and agents, and he hoped things would change in the future.

Tony Abrahams
111 Posted 23/04/2020 at 14:05:36
I’ve got little time for David Moyes, but if that is a true story, then bravo, and just as good as any other deed or story I’ve heard lately.
Patrick McFarlane
112 Posted 23/04/2020 at 14:08:57
I heard that Gold and company locked up the chequebook when they heard that David Moyes had gone shopping for Vegetables!

Seriously though, he was and probably is a very decent bloke but he screwed Everton over when he didn't have to.

Tony Pemberton
113 Posted 23/04/2020 at 14:09:12
Great thread. Talking of 70s songs and Wizard of Oz, wasn't there one to 'If I only had a Brain'?

Or maybe it was 'If only he was brave'? It was skitting a kopite I think?

Robert Tressell
114 Posted 23/04/2020 at 14:15:29
Brian, I assumed that was a joke when I started reading. If true, it's a remarkable story. I hope it is true.
Joe McMahon
115 Posted 23/04/2020 at 14:38:44
Mick, brilliant! For the record, I'm from Lancashire and, after time in the south and east coasts, live back in Lancashire now. Full of (never attended a match) kopites though.
Alan J Thompson
116 Posted 23/04/2020 at 15:06:40
Alan (#101); Which end of Hunts Cross Avenue or rather which side of Newts Field as it was supposed to link but they never got around to it? And also across the golf course at the other end but the same there. I assume from Rob's that you lived on the Gateacre end.
Eric Myles
117 Posted 23/04/2020 at 15:06:49
Dave #75, you're spot on, it was David's, he used to do footballers hair, from both sides. I always got on the No 10 there to go home the afternoon after a night out, or sometimes a weekend out.
Eric Myles
118 Posted 23/04/2020 at 15:25:08
Great stories Mick. Your bunking train story reminds me of when I was a student in Newcastle. They were shit so I used to go down to watch Hartlepool instead.

The trains were operated more like buses with a conductor collecting the fares so I'd get on in Newcastle and pretend to be asleep when the conductor came around. He wouldn't wake us up.

So, on getting into Hartlepool station, I'd nip into the station bogs until the ticket collector had buggered off and then head out. But not before rooting in his ticket bin for a Newcastle to Hartlepool fare ticket.

The return journey after the match was the same but, on arrival at Newcastle, I'd hand in the ticket I'd picked up in Hartlepool.

Eric Myles
119 Posted 23/04/2020 at 15:26:18
Re: #117. By No 10, I mean the bus, not a haircut!
Dave Abrahams
120 Posted 23/04/2020 at 15:44:04
Laurie (@105), yes, Birkenhead, the one-eyed city, has certainly paid its part in a lot of English sport.

I looked up your link to boxing and remember Pat McAteer, a good boxer fighter, and his fight against Liverpool's Billy Ellaway. I was only in my early teens and failed to bunk in that night, but stayed outside. It was a full house, a local Derby fight, which Pat won pretty easily on points.

He emigrated to America, well rated in boxing circles as was his cousin Les, who also won the British middleweight title. Les had two brothers who also boxed, Neil and Gordon. Neil became a bizzie and promoted to detective later on, stationed in Liverpool.

I also knew a good boxer and cracking fella, Eugene de Foe, he worked in Camel Lairds. I liked him a lot, very genuine and funny. So I've got to admit Birkenhead is not all bad, but don't tell Brian Williams I said that!!

Brian Williams
121 Posted 23/04/2020 at 16:30:58
Too late... I spotted yer, Dave!
Alan McGuffog
122 Posted 23/04/2020 at 17:06:53
Alan #116. We lived on the corner of Hunts Cross Avenue and Holly Tree Road, so I guess it may have been classed as Gateacre. All means little to me... a Norris Green lad who married above his station.
Alan J Thompson
123 Posted 23/04/2020 at 17:42:26
Alan (#122);

I was not far away, born and bred behind the shops on Hunts Cross Avenue but got the bug and traveled for what started out as an intended few months but lasted years and repeated a few times. Age and health means I don't get back too often these days.

Rob Halligan
124 Posted 23/04/2020 at 17:47:09
Alan, I know exactly where you lived then, as Holly Tree Road also runs down to Halewood Road, which is just a stone's throw from Gateacre village.
Steve Barr
125 Posted 23/04/2020 at 18:37:48
Dave @120; The McAteers were indeed a top notch boxing family. I read an old Echo article that said Pat moved to Fairfax in Northern Virginia, where I've lived for the past 20 years. He eventually moved to Maryland to a great sailing/naval town called Annapolis, which is also home to the US Naval Academy. Visited it a few times, really impressive set up.

I also believe Pat was Uncle to Jason McAteer who played for Liverpool back in the late 90s early 2000s. A sporting family!

Martin Mason
126 Posted 23/04/2020 at 18:55:33
A great article, Mick. I'm an inverse woollyback in that I was born in Sefton General but attained woollyback status when we all moved out to mid-Cheshire where, as Scousers ,we were hated by the locals who were in the main Man Utd and City supporters.

To Scousers, I was a woollyback... and to the woollybacks, I was a scouser.

I was a child of the mid to late '60s side and onwards and, until Uni and working abroad called in 1975, went to most games by coach, motorbike and often by hitchhiking with hardly a penny.

Interesting about the term wacker or whacker? I thought it was in common use in mid '60s Liverpool which was a great place.

Darren Hind
127 Posted 23/04/2020 at 19:06:58
Some really good threads going on at the moment.

You lot need to get out less.

Chris Williams
128 Posted 23/04/2020 at 19:11:09
Steve,

There was a story about Jason. One day in Liverpool, resplendent in a purple leather suit, he decided to jump the queue at a checkout in a store in the city centre.

The girl at the checkout told him to wait his turn, whereupon he responded with ‘Do you know who I am?'

The girl turned to her mate at the next checkout and said, “Eh, Mary, there's a feller here who doesn't know he is”

Exit a chastened Jason.

I'm convinced it's true.

Steve Barr
129 Posted 23/04/2020 at 19:58:07
Chris, Very funny, and probably true! Seems like fame and fortune gets to a lot of people who become celebrities.

However, to digress a little, I actually met Jason McAteer on holiday in Bermuda back in 1999.

We were on the beach with my two lads who were football crazy and there on the beach, kicking a ball around, was McAteer with Teddy Sheringham and Jamie Redknapp!

Of course we steamed in and they let my lads kick around with them for a good 15 minutes or so. Needless to say, my lads, Evertonians (age 8 and 10 at the time), ran rings round them!!

To be honest, they were all very friendly and gracious and autographed a football we had and gladly let us take pictures with them. Later on that week, we were on the beach and they were all sunbathing behind us, Jamie's wife Louise was there and a grey-haired guy who I recognized but couldn't quite place immediately. Turned out it was Bruce Rioch.

As I say, they were all very friendly but I have to say Jamie Redknapp was an absolute gent, even for a Red!

Dave Abrahams
130 Posted 24/04/2020 at 10:22:09
Martin (126), regarding the term 'Wacker', I think in the late George Green's cartoon series in the Echo “The Back Entry Diddlers” a strip about Liverpool urchins, one of the characters was named Wacker, he was the schemer in the football team.
Darren Hind
131 Posted 24/04/2020 at 10:32:02
"The Back Entry Diddlers" ?!? ... wouldn't get away with that today!
Mick Gill
132 Posted 24/04/2020 at 11:13:30
I was worried that I would get mauled after posting this, but I have been bowled over by the many kind words (and I have read every one of them).

What's more, I came out of it with Honorary Scouse Citizenship, and to quote Dave A, that's "Fucking Sound"!

Absolutely fascinating and often hilarious posts followed mine. I feel I have learned a fair bit of Scouse social history through them and the thread is certainly a happy one.

Many thanks again for going easy on the Wool. Good health to you all.

Mick.

Brian Murray
134 Posted 24/04/2020 at 14:46:49
Alright Mick...

Don't be mistaken,
Don't be mislead,
You're not a scouser,
You're Birkenhead!!

Brian Wilkinson
135 Posted 24/04/2020 at 16:24:41
Was a large few coach loads from Ashton, Earlestown and Haydock that we travelled to on Eavesway in the seventies. At some point, you would have been on our coach depending on the routes they decided on pickups.

No matter how early you set off for an away game, either by coach or car, there was always a Sunnyways (or something like that name) on a coach, that always beat you to the coach park. They must set off the night before...

Forgive me if I am dreaming this second part, blame it on the old grey brain cells, but pretty certain there used to be a double-decker bus at some of the away games parked up.

Speaking of Eavesway, Mick, I went the League Cup tie at home to Wolves in the early 90s. We won 4-1 with Beagrie netting.

There were only about 5 coaches there when we got there, one from Flynt, the other three from the Midlands. When we approached the coach after the game, they were all the way down to the bottom of Priory Road, mostly Wolves coaches.

We were wedged in between the coaches, no way of leaving until the front coaches moved, so had to sit there with the coach being rocked, spat on, you name it – it was pure hell.

At last, we finally managed to set off but not before we were greeted at the bridge by the police station, before you get to the lights at Queens Drive, by a barrage of bricks and stones by our own fans.

To be fair, it was limited as they noticed the blue scarfs on the coach, which followed a half-hearted mimed sorry.

Those that were rocking and spitting on our coach were in for a surprise when they got to the bridge.

Ian Pilkington
136 Posted 24/04/2020 at 16:27:04
Mick, thanks for a really enjoyable article.

These days, I live a couple a miles away from you in the Chorley direction, but until my mid-twenties I lived in a village a mere 15 miles from Goodison Park.

I never thought of myself as a woollyback, probably because my wartime-evacuee mother was born ½ mile from the ground and all my maternal relatives were Evertonians.

I have always thought of Liverpool as my home city although I have never lived there, yet I have always found it surprising that Scousers have such great difficulty identifying other local accents.

Many years ago, c 1965, walking up to the ground from Kirkdale Station with some friends, as usual wearing our blue-and-white scarves, a local asked us how long our journey had taken us. He was amazed when we said “half an hour” (still steam trains in those days).

We were playing Sheffield Wednesday and he thought we were away supporters. As a proud Lancastrian and half-scouser, I wasn't impressed.

Brian Wilkinson
137 Posted 24/04/2020 at 17:38:02
From being an Evertonian and Beatles fan, I was a woollyback but always saw Liverpool as my second home.

Back in the 70s and early 80s, there was always the wollyback that grated away at me, "How dare they treat me as an outsider?" when we followed the same team home and away; it was tough on us wollybacks to take.

Anyway, since then and numerous visits to a Liverpool, I have never felt a more welcoming place; it does not matter who you are, whether you go on your own, you will always find people welcoming you with open arms.

When I worked on the trains at Wigan, there was one self-obsessed Man Utd supporter, nothing but 'scouser' quips and the usual. I pulled him up and asked "Have you ever been for a night out around Liverpool?" His face turned into Cosmo small piece, a Les Dawson sketch to the younger generation.

Anyway, he agreed to go, he was blown away, could not believe how great it was. He still follows Man Utd, but now visits Liverpool most weekends and thanked me for what he now calls his 'pick me up' weekender.

I never had the slightest doubt he would like it. I never tire of visiting the City, nothing better than going in the pubs and everyone welcoming, met so many people not just at the game, but around the City as well.

Mathew Street, I am like a dog with two dicks: Flanigan's Apple, Grapes, for a while Rubber Soul but seems to have gone downhill.

There is a good one as you come out of Mathew Street at the top end near McCartney's Hotel, turn left out of Mathew Street, cross over the road then the first left side street, there's a double pub with a coach yard in between them both... for the life of me, I cannot remember the name of the pub.

Before Mathew Street, our first and last port of call is the Crown, then Yates etc.

Once this lockdown has been and gone, I will look forward once again to visiting Liverpool.

Brian Wilkinson
138 Posted 24/04/2020 at 17:40:41
Sorry, above should say: first left, out of a Matthew Street, then first right.
Alan J Thompson
139 Posted 24/04/2020 at 17:56:29
Brian, I think it is The Crocodile and opposite used to be The Why Not, Harrington Street... are they both still there?
Tony Abrahams
140 Posted 24/04/2020 at 18:01:31
Can't think of the name either, Brian, but it's a great boozer though. You should try next door further up the road, I'm sure you will love that one mate,😛
Tony Abrahams
141 Posted 24/04/2020 at 18:08:08
I used to love Bacco's in the later part of the eighties, Alan J, but that was a night time place. I've always thought the true scouse character is better found in boozers of a day time, not many better places than Liverpool, if you want to go and have a drink in the day!

Everyone's tongues out, and I'm talking about boozers, probably because I've never been one for drinking in the house.

Alan J Thompson
142 Posted 24/04/2020 at 18:18:37
Tony, there used to be a website of a bloke who was trying to have a drink in every pub in Liverpool and used to give them ratings but it's a few years since and I can't recall the site's name.

Your last para reminds me of my father who always said he didn't drink "Fenders'. It took more than a few years to find out "Fenders" used to be a company that delivered to your home.

Tony Abrahams
143 Posted 24/04/2020 at 19:26:36
Chris W, had a little joke about the whiskey diet, making people lose three days (on the other very good thread going on right now) but lager does the same to me, Alan, especially because I forget when to stop.

I drink for the company, a laugh and the crack, and even with the sunshine we're currently receiving, I'd sooner do lockdown sober because I find it boring drinking in the house.

I had a cracking vape, it's even legal in parts of America, and although it was great for my back-pain, it was giving me a really bad chest, unfortunately!

Maybe the pubs will open in August, long after the football season is over, because if I have to listen to those fuckers celebrating forever, then I will probably end up drinking in the house!

David S Shaw
144 Posted 24/04/2020 at 19:35:43
Re the song, "If he only had a brain" – that was about Fairclough, I think?
Steve Hogan
145 Posted 24/04/2020 at 20:25:57
Brian (138),

The pub is the 'Croc' in Harrington Street. Last season, it was one of the few remaining pubs in the city centre where you could watch Everton away games 'live' on the dodgy 'streams'.

On the subject of away games, the two most prominent coach firms operating every two weeks in the 70s were 'Home James' and 'Sunniways'. Although I used to see Eavesway as well, but not sure they did many trips picking up in Liverpool?

God knows how those companies made any money because very often all the windows would be 'put through' on a regular basis at certain grounds, Man United, Leeds etc.

Dave Abrahams
146 Posted 24/04/2020 at 20:31:34
Alan (139), yes it's The Crocodile and next door is The Baby Crocodile (because it is smaller) – both lively and welcoming pubs. A mate of me and Tony's used to be the manager there, he also ran The Red Brick in Walton Road, a massive Bluenose.
Martin Mason
147 Posted 24/04/2020 at 20:54:25
Dave @130...

"The Back Entry Diddlers?" That wouldn't get past the censors now, would it?

Brian @135...

I had the same problem many times on the coaches that used to come from the Northwich area in Cheshire as, when we played Man Utd, the coaches had many United as well as Everton fans. Us Everton fans were all from Liverpool, descent but spoke more like Mancs.

Brian Wilkinson
148 Posted 24/04/2020 at 22:27:53
The Crocodile... that's it, cheers. I will check the other one out further up on my next visit.

Yes, it was alright going to Old Trafford and Main Road, even Leeds, without scarfs due to not having scouse accents, we got away with blending in on the way to the ground.

Brian Wilkinson
149 Posted 24/04/2020 at 22:33:02
There was one lad who used to go on the coach with us and, no matter where he went in the ground, he always ended up getting a smack, must have had one of those faces.

Anyway, after years of following Everton, he got fed up of his own supporters turning on him and started following Wigan Athletic.

Always bump into him when we go watching Everton at Wigan, but there's no chance of him ever going to Goodison again watching Everton.

Colin Gee
151 Posted 25/04/2020 at 00:16:35
Good Evening, Brian! I worked with you when you were at Wigan! Always wondered if it was the Brian Wilkinson. :-D

Alan J Thompson
152 Posted 25/04/2020 at 06:37:15
Anyone know if the Why Not, which was almost opposite The Crocodile (other side of the street) is still going. There was a barman named Hughie who used to work there and was a very quiet bloke unless you mentioned Poteen as, apparently, his experience of it left him with most of his stomach that hadn't burnt away removed by the surgeon.

My own experience of it was with the Dubliners, an Irish band. I was asked what I thought about it and I thought it was rather tasteless with maybe a hint of potato but not wanting to upset anyone said, "Yeah, quite nice." 30 seconds later, this bloody volcano took off from inside. Never had anything like it before or since, and I've tried some muck.

Anthony Newell
153 Posted 25/04/2020 at 09:25:48
Quality.

I can relate to a lot having, on occasion, been branded a 'Southport Wool'.

Interesting this concept doesn't appear to translate to our Scandinavian, red-supporting brethren.

Colin Glassar
154 Posted 25/04/2020 at 09:35:12
Surely the Republic of Woolybackdom only encompasses Lancashire, West Yorkshire, Cheshire and Cumbria? No-one would accuse a Geordie, a Brummie, a Cockney or even a cider drinking, sheepshagger from Devon of being a Woolyback twat, would they?
Brian Wilkinson
155 Posted 25/04/2020 at 23:25:29
Hi Colin, what a small world, yeah was that at Walgate? I normally had to do the Wigan to Kirkby run 4 times a day, and those bloody signals at Rainford a few times a week, when the oil needed topping up.

Were you a guard or a driver, Colin? Just trying to picture you, mate.

Brian Wilkinson
156 Posted 25/04/2020 at 23:28:44
There was one Colin I knew at Wigan Walgate who was a Blue... but different surname.
Colin Gee
157 Posted 26/04/2020 at 15:24:24
Brian take the first letter of surname of the blue that you knew at Wallgate!!! Then you should be able to work it out, that it is the blue who you knew :-D
Brian Wilkinson
158 Posted 26/04/2020 at 17:05:02
I thought it might be you, Colin, some good times there at Walgate, shame it coincided with Mike Walker. :-)
Danny ONeill
159 Posted 26/04/2020 at 17:21:21
Thanks for the great read, Mick. I recall that “divide within” during the 80s. It was like there was an apparent pecking order amongst Evertonians depending on where you came from.

We're all Evertonians, right, and what some of the more home-based fans may realise is that Evertonians with different accents may actually be from staunch Scouse-based families that had moved to other parts of the country or globe but had retained their heritage and roots.

That aside, why would we not want to encourage people from other parts of the country or globe to follow our fantastic club? That's what sets you apart from being a purely local club to one that has reach beyond.

Greg Anderson @ 15. A very good point. I've always considered Birkenhead as part of the wider City of Liverpool / Scouse community. We missed a trick in being so insular (hence the “Wool” thing), whereas Manchester stole a march with it's “Greater Manchester” approach and is now effectively the nation's second city region.

One thing that always struck me though, Greg, was the key difference between the Liverpool side & Birkenhead side of the river; the pronunciation of “o” in words like “Coke”. Birkenhead side, men pronounce it in the feminine Scouse vernacular. That is by no means meant to put this into a sexist debate, but has anyone else ever noted that?

Tony Abrahams
160 Posted 26/04/2020 at 17:59:39
How did that song go again about Jason McAteer, Danny!
Paul Tran
161 Posted 26/04/2020 at 18:22:14
Alan #152, a mob of us were in Dublin years ago. We sourced a bottle of poteen and the bloke who sold it us gave us a rope done like a noose. He said, 'Youll be needing that after you've drunk it.'

He was very close to being right!

Les Green
162 Posted 27/04/2020 at 08:39:00
Great storytelling, Mick.
Dave Abrahams
163 Posted 27/04/2020 at 10:03:13
Being serious about different Evertonians getting picked on, whether they are from out of town or Scouse Blues, the people who pick on them are 100% bullies.

I remember a game, Everton v Spurs, this Spurs supporter was with his girlfriend when a big fella, a Bluenose, started giving him loads. The lad in his late teens had the sense to ignore him, but that didn't satisfy the bully, he went over and gave the Spurs fan a couple of heavy blows that put him down.

I ran over and got in front of the kid, mostly to save him from any further blows, but another fella I knew came over and said to the kid “Get up, mate, have a go at him. No-one else will join in, you'll be fighting a shithouse.” The bully gave a glare at the lad I knew but walked away without any further bother, like the shitpot he was.

The Cockney kid was a bit shook-up and I told him to walk along with me and instead of walking back to Lime Street for his train along Scotland Road. I took him along Netherfield Road and waited with him until a bus came which would drop him off outside the station.

As I said the bullies always pick their marks, and usually as part of a gang; on their own, they are useless.

Martin Reppion
164 Posted 27/04/2020 at 13:15:30
Great post, Mick.

Although born in Liverpool, we moved to my mum's home town, Bradford, when I was 4. (1967). My mates in the Gwladys Street call me a woollie too.

Some of those memories are shared. I saw Drew Brand play for Crewe at Bradford where I used to go as a lad because I couldn't get to Goodison. He let 5 in there as well. I met him a few years ago. He was working for the police in Cheshire.

I've not been as lucky with my sons. 2 aren't really into football. But one of them is as biased a blue as I am.

We get to as many games as we can and the state of the team, transfer rumours etc are always top topics between us.

I compare every team we see to the 85 vintage. Hopefully he, and yours will get something to really cheer about once the world gets back to normal.

Brian Wilkinson
165 Posted 27/04/2020 at 20:35:14
Martin, this could be the big chance for Everton going forward, once we rid this virus.

There are not many players we are going to let go and get a decent transfer for, most are coming to the end of their contracts.

Most other teams in the Premier League will take stock and keep what they have; others will be selling, but not for the price before the epidemic. This is where Everton can pick up some players at a fraction of the cost before all of this.

There will also be some leeway in regards to FFP so, by the time it commences next year, we will be able to get a lot more players off our books and balance the FFP a lot more in our favour.

Add to the new ground – and believe me, with the economy the way it is, the new stadium is a cert to be accepted, to help easy the economy and jobs – everything is going in the right direction for Everton a Football Club.

All we need now is to find a vaccine and end this awful pandemic.

Steve Hogan
166 Posted 27/04/2020 at 22:06:43
Brian (165),

I wish I shared your optimism with regards to the immediate future. I honestly can't see the new ground at BMD being started this year, not at a cost of £500m plus, with the future of all financial institutions in disarray at the moment.

Lenders will be re-evaluating all their previous commitments in the months ahead as the future of all major commercial developments may well be mothballed until the markets have settled down.

On the player front, and this applies to Everton as much as anyone else, we will find it incredibly difficult to move the 'high earners' on, such as Sigurdsson, Bolasie, Walcott, as any potential clubs will be simply put off by the size of their current contracts, and I don't know any player's who will move on willingly for less money.

My guess many will just sit tight for the next 12 months.

Brian Wilkinson
167 Posted 27/04/2020 at 22:13:42
That is what I was saying Steve, by the looks of it, this may well go on until Christmas or beyond, the players you mentioned above will be winding their contracts down by next summer.

We will not make on them, but at last we can get them off our wage bill and by the summer of 2021, most will have left or at least taken off the wage bill.

It may well be next year before we can get the ground moving, but with so much money and jobs created in the area, I honestly think this will give Everton, a stronger case for the new ground.

Greg Anderson
168 Posted 28/04/2020 at 03:58:02
Danny #159,

Thanks very much for your commendably "inclusive" outlook and for the fascinating sociolinguistic detail! I hadn't realized there were male and female variants of Scouse.

More generally, I suppose I have always been puzzled by Birkenhead's very low profile in popular consciousness. It's a pretty big place that's given the world no end of Ark Royals, His Supreme Dixieness, numerous other sports heroes, legends of the arts, the very model for Central Park in NY, and somewhere for the "Ferry 'Cross the Mersey" to actually go to. But hardly anyone ever talks about it in the national press.

And even on this site, few people ever confess to being from there that I've noticed. Why, I wonder?

Alan McGuffog
169 Posted 28/04/2020 at 17:20:07
Greg...

Not to mention Half Man Half Biscuit.

Chris Williams
170 Posted 28/04/2020 at 17:43:07
Alan,

A bit related to Birkenhead. The third series of Auf Wiedersehen Pet is just replaying, the one where they dismantle the transporter bridge in Middlesbrough.

There's a funny exchange between a Liverpool villain, Micky Startup, played by Paul Angelis, and a hitman he wants to hire to kill Moxey, one of the intrepid builders.

It goes like this:

MS: "So you'll kill Moxey then?"

HM: "Listen, I'm a Tranmere Rovers supporter. I was brought up in the shadow of Everton and Liverpool. Like a poor relation. Looked down on. It caused me to have feelings of great resentment and spite."

MS: "I'll take that as Yes, then."

All done completely deadpan and very funny.

Greg Anderson
171 Posted 28/04/2020 at 18:26:11
Alan 169, Yes, indeed, charter members of any Birkenhead Hall of Fame. "All I Want for Christmas is a Dukla Prague Away Kit."
Danny ONeill
172 Posted 28/04/2020 at 21:36:06
It's hard to explain in writing, Greg, but mainly revolves around the pronunciation of the “o” vowel in certain words like “coat”.

Although having spent the earlier part of my childhood away from Liverpool, both parents were scousers, so I really picked up on it and noticed it even more when we re-settled in Liverpool.

The interesting thing is, on the Birkenhead side of the river, they all use the “female” pronunciation. That's not to be discriminate to our Wirral cousins, just a random linguistic geek observation!!!!

Hopefully someone on here can back me up, or conversely tell me I'm talking utter nonsense!!

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