Reasons To Be Cheerful BMD

by   |   28/03/2021  31 Comments  [Jump to last]

I thought I’d done with this after last year's lockdown marathon, a 9-month therapy session basically. This will be my last go, I promise.

The new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock changes a lot of things, resets a lot of dynamics, gives hope, restores optimism in a bleak time, locally and all over the place. Can’t be ignored really.

Okay, this isn’t great poetry, but that wasn’t really the point. It’s personal, for sure, and looks at the past. Goodison memories from 1954 to 1970, through the two most evocative things: Everton and music. And to the future, but I’ve got more past than future these days, and it reflects that.

And also our duty of care to our legacy and to L4.

Reasons To Be Cheerful BMD

Down on the river
Thought makes me shiver
Three generations
Feelings of pride
Watching by the Mersey
In my Bob Latchford jersey
Singing 'Royal Blue Mersey'
Warm inside

Ground at Bramley-Moore
Hear the faithful roar
Fitting stage for Everton
Sun going down
Sitting out al fresco
Pissing off UNESCO
Helping city heritage
Cakewalking back to town

Take care of L4
Nothing matters more
Club in the community
Make us proud
The People’s Club
Community hub
Nothing but the best
Say it loud

Going with my dad
Going with my lads
Going with my grandson
Going with my mates
My dad with his dad
Watching great, good, bad
Lifted over turnstiles
Standing on crates

Great history and dreams
Great memories and teams
Thanks for the memories
Goodison nights
History in the making
Opportunities for taking
Records for breaking
Afternoon delights

Floodlights gleaming
Blue people dreaming
Reflections in the Mersey
Everton Sunset is fine
Blue anthems sung
At the top of our lungs
Heard in New Brighton
Everton Sunset is mine

Go back in time
To the start of my time
Monochrome memories
When I was a lad
Back in League 2
Austerity then too
No shortage of heroes
When I went with my dad

I loved the sounds and the smells
The noise and the yells
I kept asking questions
And made the men smile
Hooked from the start
Captured my heart
My 6th birthday gift led to
Lifetime's joy and trials

Blackburn Rovers '54
Davy scored: 1-1 draw
Tommy, Jimmy, Eddie, Ted
Back to League One
Jack, Harry, Peter, John
Tommy, Wally, Cyril, Don
High jinks, family party
Liverpool gone

Sixteen Tons, Blue Suede Shoes
Doris Day, Singing The Blues
Johnny Ray, Frankie Laine
Jailhouse Rock
Lose to Spurs 10-4
Ian Buchan out the door
Harris B, Harris J
Carey in – a shock.

Jerry Lee, Hoots Mon
Conway Twitty, Da doo Ron Ron
Perry Como, Balls Of Fire
Rock Island Line
Bobby Collins, Alex P
Labone, Eddie, Derek T
Mick Meagan, Wiggy, Albert D
Some weak sunshine

Russ Conway, Shadows, Brenda Lee
Buddy Holly, RIP
Lonnie, Adam, Cliff, Roy
Browns, Marcels
John Moores on the scene
A technicolour dream
Tommy, Micky, Jimmy, Roy
Davy gone, bloody hell!

Cathy's Clown, Won’t You Stay
Dustman, Apache, Brother Ray
Drifters, Timing, Jimmy Jones
Save The Last Dance
Billy Bingham, Gordon West
George Thomson, then the best
Alex – Golden Vision
Sublimely takes his chance

Wooden Heart, Latest Flame
Del Shannon, Helen make a name
Stranger On The Shore, BBC
Acker Bilk
Taxi called, Harry in
Mixed feelings, heads spin
Moggsy, Dennis S arrive
Steel and silk

B Bumble, Ray Charles
Locomotion, Telstar
Local group: The Beatles
Granada TV
Boxing Day, freeze sets in
Tony Kay, Scottie check-in
Big backlog to slog through
Champions, Vernon 3

Merseybeat sweeps the land
Fab Four lead the band
Searchers, Blue Jeans, Fourmost
Gerry, Billy J
Andy Rankin, Heslop, Brown
Hat-trick, Big Fred hits town
Match-fixing – Tony Kay,
Stitch up stinks to this day

Caroline, RSG
Tamla, Kinks, Stones, feeling free
Manfreds, Animals, Rising Sun
Sandy Shaw
Inter lock us out
Colin Harvey stands out
Team, changes, up and down
Third, wanting more

Hollies, Byrds, Ken Dodd
Righteous, Otis, Stax, Mods
Dylan, electric, How Does It Feel
Rolling Stone
Vernon injured, Young’s feet
Fred, 37, can’t be beat,
Wright, Harvey, in Parker, Roy out
Fourth, poor at home

Not unusual, Otis Blue
Spencer, Small Faces, Who
Reach Out, F-F-F-Fade Away
Good Vibrations
Ray Wilson, John Hurst thrive
Big Joe, Husband arrive
Mike T and Temple, win from 2 down
Cup excitations

Sound of Silence, Cream
California Dreams
Sam and Dave, Ike and Tina
A Girl Like You
Ball and Kendall make 3
Young and Scott set free
Angell, Fred, Shirley too
Joe, Jimmy, goals in Blue

Pepper, Love, Doors
Procul Harum, Flowers, War
Need Love, Hello-Goodbye
Otis Rest In Peace
Joe, Alan, Jimmy score
Wembley loss: cheated, raw
Progress, jigsaw building
Piece by piece

Fairport, Joni, Band
Tull, Creedence Rock the land
Troubled Water, Astral Weeks
Love In Vain
Trinity lead the team
Joe, Jimmy, John make us dream
Roger, Keith, Alan in the mix
Champions again

Should have ruled for years
All ended in tears
Ball sold, players knackered
Harry gets ill
Conveyor belt dries up
Poor signings stacked up
Rotten form, angry crowd
Bitter pill

That’s it for me

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Reader Comments (31)

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Barry Rathbone
1 Posted 28/03/2021 at 22:10:58
Well done, Chris, bit of work gone into that even if it is casting pearls before swine. Anything more than "Everton, Everton, Everton!" is declared kopite behaviour by curmudgeonly Philistines among the faithful.
Chris Williams
2 Posted 29/03/2021 at 09:13:06
Thanks for that, Barry.

I wasn't sure whether to do it really. But I'm glad I did.

Barry Rathbone
3 Posted 29/03/2021 at 10:16:52
Keep at it Chris, innovation is a lonely path but never give up. We will get Evertonians singing again one day, don't worry.
Chris Williams
4 Posted 29/03/2021 at 10:26:25
Yes, Barry, and some nice sea breezes and fresh air as well.

This is a start!

I forgot about the sewage plant. I hope it hasn't got some special protected status. I suppose we could call it The Kop!

Alan McGuffog
5 Posted 29/03/2021 at 10:33:42
Sitting out al fresco
Pissing off UNESCO

Chris, we salute you!

Chris Williams
6 Posted 29/03/2021 at 10:39:01
Had to be said, Alan.
Derek Thomas
7 Posted 29/03/2021 at 10:40:41
Nice one, Chris.
Tony Abrahams
8 Posted 29/03/2021 at 10:43:12
I thought it was brilliant up until Liverpool went down, Chris, then you seemed to change track and started speeding it up, instead of slowing it down to let those Kopites suffer!

Seriously though, it's something you enjoy and it's something you're good at, imo, so hopefully that's it for me, only means until the next time mate!

Chris Williams
9 Posted 29/03/2021 at 11:01:24
It's all your fault,Derek!

It did change tack a bit, Tony, I suppose. I really wanted to give a bit of space to the team that got promotion back in 1954, and tried to name them all. For two reasons I suppose.

They were a team of unsung heroes, who rarely rate a mention, apart from by your dad and a couple of others. They actually achieved something, sadly all too rare over the next 68 years, and could do with an article all their own (if you read this, Rob Sawyer!).

They were also the first team I watched, which is significant only to me. But I also wanted to do some music, my ‘other woman' in my Everton relationship, to set the time periods, so that started to appear.

Plenty of other people can add in their own stuff too.

Alasdair Jones
10 Posted 29/03/2021 at 11:39:50
Chris. Brilliant absolutely loved it.

If you have read my latest article, Memories of the Old Lady, you will see a comment from Tony Abrahams @5 referring to the idea of a book of memories about Goodison; unforgetable moments when fans were first introduced to the Stadium. All based or taken from ToffeeWeb contributions. It would of course be subject to Lyndon and Michael's agreement, plus willing contributors. Your poem would fit the bill admirably.

So I may have to get in touch if the idea flies, as they say. I'm off to read your poem again!

Brent Stephens
11 Posted 29/03/2021 at 12:11:12
Amazing how so much history and so many memories are captured in so few (brilliant) lines.

And yes, Tony's suggestion elsewhere is a beaut.

Chris Williams
12 Posted 29/03/2021 at 12:13:57
Cheers Alasdair,

Yes I did read your excellent piece thank you. I enjoyed it immensely. Sucker for those.

That’s an excellent suggestion about a book of memories. There must be some crackers, personal, family. Lot of humour knocking about.

No shortage of contributors I’m sure.

Chris Williams
13 Posted 29/03/2021 at 12:20:52
Thanks Brent, that’s being very kind!
Mike Gaynes
14 Posted 31/03/2021 at 17:20:59
Chris, great stuff. And I don't believe for a minute it's your last one.

Alasdair, I didn't see Tony's comment, but it's a brilliant idea!

Dave Abrahams
15 Posted 31/03/2021 at 17:34:49
Chris, excellent that Chris, ran out of breath reading all of that, don’t know what you were like writing it, brilliant.

Got stuck on that promotion team’s surnames, in the very last one, took me ages to get him, Don Donavon. By the way you left Gwyn out.

Chris Williams
16 Posted 31/03/2021 at 17:46:53
Hi Dave, Thanks

I thought you’d catch me out, you’re the memory man after all! I honestly believe that team must be the least celebrated team in our history. They achieved something after all. I was a bit knackered after it, but that’s my normal state.

Chris Williams
17 Posted 31/03/2021 at 17:50:45
Mike,

I said that 10 times about the one last year!

Oddly enough something else has occurred to me now, which might be interesting.

Dave Abrahams
18 Posted 31/03/2021 at 18:01:14
Chris (16),

You nailed it right with “A team of unsung heroes” – they were just that and strangely enough, after Everton were relegated in 1951, the team that got them promoted were all with the club when they went down. I don't think any players were signed during the 3-year period we were in the Second Division.

Chris Williams
19 Posted 31/03/2021 at 18:08:47
Dave,

I remember my dad at the end of the season. Really emotional. All my older cousins and their dads were the same at the party in our house. Little terraced house in Walton bursting at the seams. I think that’s when I started to really learn about what that club could do to people.

He worked in Walton, and even years later he’d point out the likes of Cyril Lello, long after they’d retired, walking along County Road.

Dave Abrahams
20 Posted 31/03/2021 at 18:43:07
Chris (19), Chris I’ve posted on ToffeeWeb two or three times about that night in Oldham when we won promotion, for me a thirteen year old boy, the happiest I’d ever been, before, during and after the game, thousands of Blues fans cheering the team on, victory achieved, the pitch rammed with dancing, singing Everton supporters, in the railway station waiting for one of the dozen or more trains, no let up to the joy of the, on the train, happiness all around you, off the train in Exchange Station marching singing bands of fans everywhere and all the time the knowledge that Liverpool had gone down and we were up added to the merriment, and Liverpool would stay where they belonged, in the second division, for the next eight years. In fact if it hadn’t been for Billy Liddell, they would have gone further down.
Chris Williams
21 Posted 31/03/2021 at 18:53:40
You can only dream Dave
Paul Birmingham
22 Posted 31/03/2021 at 20:56:57
Great work Chris, this epic captures the spirit of Everton, and what it means, superb effort.
Chris Williams
23 Posted 31/03/2021 at 21:13:16
Thanks Paul

Kind of you

Chris Williams
24 Posted 01/04/2021 at 10:19:02
Dave,

I came across a great website recently. You may well be aware of it, but it’s called bluecorrespondent.co.uk. It’s meant to be a research resource for Everton, and it contains historical reports from The Echo, Evening Express and Post, which are compiled season by season, and then month by month within each season. It shows not only match reports for the first team, but reports for the Reserves and younger teams too. It also has all the midweek articles by writers you would remember, as well as the articles by the likes of Peter Farrell and Roy Vernon. All the transfer updates etc.

After our exchange above, I had a good look at April in the 1953-54 season. I think you might enjoy it Dave.

Proper journalism, good writing. Local football journalism has fallen a long way.

Dave Abrahams
25 Posted 01/04/2021 at 11:31:38
Chris (24), thanks for that tip Chris, I’ve been reading it, April1954, for the last half an hour. I have no memory of the loss to Leeds 3-1, the draw at Fulham 0-0, but I was at the WHU game when we lost 2-1, and the three Easter games when we drew two and won the home game v Lincoln 3-1. What I have never realised until reading about that period of the promotion season, just now, is how we nearly threw away the climb out of the second division and how we certainly threw away the many chances to come up as champions, although all’s well that ends well.

I read a bit further and educated myself in the knowledge that Alec Farrell, a terrific young player from West Kirby made his debut at Maine Road in October of 1954, in the first division, I would have swore black and blue he played in the second division with Everton. Alec or Alex had terrible bad luck with injuries and never became the great player he could have been, I think he went to PNE from Everton when Cliff Britton went there as manager.

Thanks again Chris for the tip, I’ll be using that site again to recall old memories and refresh them as well.

Chris Williams
26 Posted 01/04/2021 at 11:42:41
Cheers Dave

Some great stuff on there for sure. It's good to know you can now check out any match you like. I was trying to find something on the Burnley match December 1960, when we lost at home 3-0, just a day after we beat them at Turf Moor, just after Christmas. They were Champions then and a really good team.

Over 76,000 there and all the kids sitting round the pitch on the track to escape the crush. We got hammered and I thought it was a bit closer than that!

Some great articles there on crowd control afterwards. The police actually got some praise!

Stephen Vincent
27 Posted 01/04/2021 at 13:07:04
Chris, I remember the Burnley games well, they were on 26 and 27th December 1960, reason I remember them is they were my Christmas present, the game at Turf Moor was my first away game and we won 3-1. I don't remember that much but a Bobby Collins penalty sticks in the memory.
As you say we lost the reverse fixture 3-0 the following day.
The crowds were phenomenal, quite a bit bigger than the reported figures. My dad had me on his back as we went into the old Goodison Road terracing carrying a wooden lemonade crate for me to stand on and I bet most of the kids sitting round the pitch hadn't paid.
George McKane
28 Posted 01/04/2021 at 13:16:26
I remember well being handed down - well passed over heads from the back of Gwladys Street to sit in the front - edge of the pitch - only went in the ground because I had my Christmas money - would normally be in The Boys Pen - absolutely loved it and a very powerful and wonderful memory.
Chris Williams
29 Posted 01/04/2021 at 13:34:20
Hi George and Stephen.

Yes it was one of my abiding memories too. Reading the reports again, to take Stephens point, there is discrepancy in the size of the crowd, between various reports.

I was stood in the Paddock for some reason, 12 years old and not in any trouble. What sticks in my mind was the care taken by the ‘grown ups’ in the passing of the kids over their heads. I don’t think I misremember.

Have a look at that website if you haven’t already. My next couple of matches to look at are Tommy Rings debut and Fred Pickerings debut, both against Nottingham Forest. More abiding memories

Dave Abrahams
30 Posted 01/04/2021 at 13:39:15
Yes that home game v Burnley, there were plenty of games like that one at Goodison, also Anfield, Maine Road and Hillsborough, but because of age you just took them in your stride and never really thought about the obvious dangers that were there and the consequences that could have happened, only later on in life did fans look back and think how lucky fans were that there were not many more disasters over the years. Hillsborough in the replay v Aston Villa always stood out as a very dangerous night to be a fan present at that game, frightening, very frightening.
Stephen Vincent
31 Posted 01/04/2021 at 14:13:47
Dave, that was a scary night I was in the seats behind the goal when Big Bob scored, everyone went absolutely berserk, I fell over the top of the seats, llanded Landon top of this guy quite heavily and was quite worried about him. Needn't have bothered he was bellowing in my ear 'Bobby Latchford walks on water tra la la la la, la la la la'.

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