Saturday 31st March 1987, I was four years old and didn’t have a clue about anything aside from Thundercats and He-Man. Later that day I would have a new love, a love that has grown ever since.
You Had Me At Z-Cars
First off my Dad is a Red, during ’87 I remember him having tickets for a match, I think he got them through work. From what I gather there must have been a few spares as my Dad ended up taking me and my older brother with him. As you’ve probably guessed the match was at Goodison Park and my now beloved Everton were playing Charlton Athletic.
Obviously my Dad wasn’t too pleased but at least he got to see a title winning team that season!
I can’t remember much about the game apart from a Trevor Steven penalty. Thanks to the internet I’ve since read up on the match, we won 2-1 with Gary Stevens getting the other.
What I can remember from that day was the noise. Goodison was alive and every decibel that bounced of the walls found it’s way into my bloodstream. And what about those walls? This was Goodison Park, at this point still one of the greatest football stadiums in the world.
Regardless of it’s current state I still get chills when I set eyes upon it and I see it from my front drive everyday. I can also see the new roof and stand being built at Anfield and it’s absolutely heartbreaking.
I was sat in the Upper Bullens that day and for some reason I’ve only been back up there once since a 1-3 derby defeat in 2001.
I was interested in the football taking place but I seemed to be drawn towards the Lower Gwladys.
It was this majestically mesmerising sea of blue swaying back forth like a wild ocean crashing against the rocks.
Unfortunately I never got to experience that as by the time I was old enough to go the game by myself the standing terraces had been removed. The Lower Gwladys is still my preferred destination of any place on this planet.
There is no better feeling than walking up those steps from the concourse and seeing the ‘Old Lady’ surround your vision. Goosebumps just writing this.
When the season had ended we were champions for a ninth, and at this point final time, and my heart belonged to Everton.
Following my first match I asked my Dad for a replica kit, he said maybe. He did however buy my older brother one as he walked all the way from Walton to Southport with my Dad for a charity event (I took the shoulder taxi).
The kit was a knock off from Kirkby market, you even had to sew the badge on yourself, desperate times the eighties.
I had a ‘hand me down’ from cousin Rob who had fell in love with Everton in the early years of Kendall’s first reign. I’ve been all over the country with him to watch our blue boys and I thank him for teaching me about Everton in my younger years.
More importantly I would like to thank my Dad. Without him taking to me Goodison, even though he was full blown red, then I wouldn’t be an Evertonian. I wouldn’t love this club and all it stands for.
Regardless of who runs it, of what success we have or where we play our home games (although I’ll be absolutely gutted if we do leave), I will love this establishment until the day I die.
Everton have been in my system since ’87, the day my Anfield going ‘arl fella took me to his enemies back yard. So thanks Red for making me a Blue.
p.s: My brother joined the dark side around ’92, proper weirdo him.