The one that got away – “I wish I was there.”

by   |   01/04/2020  7 Comments  [Jump to last]

This has probably been done before, but instead of walking around saying, “We’re doomed” in a thick Scottish accent, I was thinking…

Andy Crooks asked fellow Toffees what was their greatest moment as an Evertonian. I enjoyed reading people's recollections. So, following on from that, I too have a question: Do you have a game that escaped you?

For me, like thousands of others, I was locked out of the Wimbledon game in ’94 because of the reconstruction that was going on in the Park End. I was gutted. These were the days when walking to the ground and paying on the turnstile was the norm. We got to the ground with loads of time on our hands but just couldn’t get in.

After trying to find a tree that wasn’t occupied in Stanley Park, me and my mate consoled ourselves in the pubs on County Road. For me, it was the game that got away – I wish I was there.

But for my mate, it wasn’t the worst experience of “the game that got away.”

Nine years earlier, he was caught bunking school and, as a punishment, his parents stopped him going to the game that night. That game was the Bayern Munich game – ouch!

I was wondering, did anybody else have a game that got away? Something they still wished they didn’t miss but fate and circumstance conspired against them – the one that got away, “I wish I was there.”

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Reader Comments (7)

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Peter Mills
1 Posted 01/04/2020 at 19:49:37
No doubt about it for me, Mark. I’ve been fortunate enough to be at every major Everton game since the start of the 1963-64 season. Bar one.

4th May 1987. I had two small children, another on the way, strained finances after the joys of the previous 3 seasons, and a dodgy car. Everton needed a win to secure the League at Norwich, my pal and I rationalised that we would get a draw, and win the League at home the following Saturday.

I awoke at 5.00am and thought “shall I go?”. But we had planned a social day at home, while listening to the match on the radio. I stayed in bed.

I have been taking counselling for over 30 years, I thought the wound was healing, but you’ve set me back.

Mike Galley
2 Posted 01/04/2020 at 20:40:00
Rotterdam for me. And Dad. I'll explain if I may.
Dad at the time was taking (paying for!) me and my younger brother the game that season.
Dad worked in Fords and in them days, it seemed if they wheren't on strike they where on short time.
Anyway, at the climax of that glorious season, he could afford to either take me and him to Rotterdam or all three of us to the FA cup final.
Ma Galley stepped in and put her foot down and said we all go to a game or none of us go. It was no ones fault, just finances as we hadn't missed game at Wembley, semi finals etc over the previous few seasons. It was game too far for dads money!!
Dad says he still loses sleep over not being there. In classic Evertonian fashion, we managed to get tickets for the final we lost.
I'm very lucky, as that's the only big Everton game I've missed in my lifetime.
Patrick McFarlane
3 Posted 01/04/2020 at 21:34:20
White Hart Lane 3rd April 1985 - I'd attended most of the away games that season, but I had stretched my boss's patience once too often and I had to listen to the match on Radio Merseyside at home, I was a bag of nerves for the entire game, whilst the lads I usually went with had a memorable evening. I remember seeing the brief highlights on the news later that evening, it was good to see, but not half as good as being there.
Mark Cuddy
4 Posted 02/04/2020 at 09:09:21
Peter, Mike, Patrick - ouch!

You have my compete sympathy.

I'm lucky in the way, on the day in question, after the disappointment of not getting into the game and before the boozing started, I bought a Small Faces CD in a record shop on County Road. I've still got it and play it many times throughout the year. It cushions the blow of the game that got away.

Life is fun, keep smiling.

Eric Myles
5 Posted 03/04/2020 at 04:19:40
Last game of the 1969-70 league winning season. I was 9 and had been to all the daytime home games with my mate Peter from along the road but me Mam wouldn't let me go to night games.

My mate Donald from around the corner went and got a piece of the hallowed turf. At least that's what he told us, he could have just dug it out of Stanley Park.

Brian Wilkinson
6 Posted 17/04/2020 at 01:58:11
Cheers, Mark, I was normally good for a sub off my dad but the one time I caught him at a bad time was the Bayern Munich game. I went all the other league games, and quite a lot of the away games so had to sit that one out.

I had the option of Rotterdam or Wembley; again finances tight, I picked the FA Cup Final.

Like yourself, I just could not get a ticket for the Wimbledon game so was in Stanley Park, getting commentary from the wise guys who had already taken the high ground in the trees.

One I nearly missed was Forest away around October 90-91, they changed it to a Sunday because of a Goose Fair in Nottingham the day before, I kid you not.

I got smart and worked out getting the train to Stockport then boarding the Sheffield train would be a good option... nope, trains diverted Sunday so had to get back to Piccadilly, jumped on the train. It was slow, train down to around 20 miles an hour, hmmm driver leaving it late to pull up.

Sailed straight through, next stop Liverpool Lime Street. I finally got to the game, having missed the first 12 minutes. If memory serves me right, it was when Ronald Mcdonald rattled In a screamer to make it 1-all, only for Jemson to fire in a winner.

Never did have much luck at the City ground.

Alex Lee
7 Posted 21/04/2020 at 12:22:51
Two Games!!!

Still can't believe it now!

1) Super Kev 1999 @ Anfield
2) Andrei 1995 @ Anfield

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