My Team & I: Everton


By Jamie Maher

Twitter: @thosefeet

Why Everton?

Put simply, my love of Everton stems from my father. This is an adage that I imagine many others would attest to. I was born in Liverpool but my family relocated to the Midlands when I was young so my only continuing link was my through my father, we could only attend sporadically at first as attending games was tricky. We’re both season ticket holders now, so pretty much every way now my relationship with the club is intertwined with my Dad.

The first memory I have of the club would be taking an Everton scarf to Anfield just after the Hillsborough disaster. I was four years old at the time but I can still remember my Dad walking me to the memorial place and trying to explain to me what had happened. After having this as a heavily engrained memory I don’t really find to much time to really get to overly passionate with “bitter” rivalries, I’ll have a joke around with opposition fans but when it really comes down to it you realise there are much more important things to put your energy into than fulfilling the pathetic stereotype that many people believe football fans are.

Favourite Player?

Of the current crop, it has to be Tim Cahill. He’s given so much to the club. He, for me anyway, totally embodies what this current Everton team is about. There is a clear limit to ability but through continuing hard work he gets the job done.

The first player I truly fell in love with was Daniel Amokachi, the Nigerian forward circa ’95. His stand-out performance in the FA Cup semi-final against Spurs in ’95 is what probably really won me over. Also the fact that he was our alternative to the hopelessly inadequate Brett Angell helped. I had Amokachi’s name adorn my first Everton shirt and I wore it to school the day after we’d won the FA Cup in 1995. The reaction of my fellow pupils, Manchester United fans from Warwickshire, called me a “glory hunter”. The irony was clearly lost upon them.


Favourite game?

The game I have the fondest memories of is a 3-2 win over QPR in 1995, with Andy Hinchcliffe getting a 90th minute winner, a free-kick from 30 yards curled into the top corner. It was my tenth birthday and I don’t think I’ll ever have a better birthday again. This day was also topped off neatly when we stopped at a KFC on the way home to be told, “Sorry, we don’t have any chicken left. We’ve had a bit of a run on it today”. Yeah, funny that.

As for the best game I think I’ve seen, though we lost in the end, it would be the second leg against Fiorentina in the last 16 of the Uefa Cup. We had lost the first leg 2-0, and looked extremely hapless in doing so. Andy Johnson got an early bundled effort, then Mikel Arteta scored what I believe is his best goal for the club to level the scores. We ended up losing on penalties, new Inter Milan striker Giampaolo Pazzini amongst the scorers, but what stuck with me from that game was the noise. I hadn’t heard Goodison, or anywhere, sound like that before. The atmosphere in the stadium was electric, I’ve grown up watching a lot of dross from Everton through the 90’s and this was a real high point. Playing in Europe, even though it was “just the Uefa cup” was really taken on by Everton and it’s fans, unlike some teams who treated it without any real respect.

Favourite Kit?

Sometimes the simple ideas are the best ones. The fact that the shirt also evokes images of Alex Young or Brian Labone or Colin Harvey certainly helps its cause for me.


Worst Thing About Being An Everton Fan?

At the moment? The severe lack of investment, which has held back the clubs progress. New investment is crucial, though in this current climate you have to question the sanity of anyone who’s going to buy or invest in a football club. Clubs are now essentially just an endless black hole to throw money into. I can however take solace in the knowledge that we are at least sensibly run and that’s something to take comfort in given the amount of clubs near destroying themselves by over investing. Though this whole area ties in with the general feeling of apathy I feel towards modern football, where success has more to do with having a wealthy benefactor than it does hard work. It’s just a shame that you fall in love with the game, but then realise that in doing so you then have to live through the business.

Funniest Moment?

My funniest moment, and I’m not even sure that many people will remember this, was during James Vaughan’s debut in 2004. Vaughan came on to score the fourth goal in a 4-0 win over Crystal Palace, Vaughan was going bezerk and Duncan Ferguson came over to him and told him to calm down. Duncan Ferguson! The man who was became a prisoner for on-field assault when we signed him.

Either that or the game in which Maroune Fellaini came out sporting corn-rows instead of his glorious afro.

Favourite moment?

In recent years the 2009 FA Cup run is obviously a real highlight. The favourite moment from this run would be the 1-0 over Liverpool in the fourth-round replay. The reaction to Gosling’s extra time winner was incredible. The noise and hysteria did not dissipate one jot for about five solid minutes. The walk back through Stanley Park was a real pleasure that night.

5 Responses to “My Team & I: Everton”

  1. Really really brilliant read. As an LFC fan it’s interesting to go through, also quite moving hearing about your experience of Hilsborough aftermath as a child.

    Just a shame you support Everton I suppose!! 🙂

  2. Great piece. I remember the time when Dunc was telling Vaughnay to calm down. Very funny.

    Been loving this series so far, delighted an Everton piece has finally gone up.

  3. Yeah I had been looking for an Everton one for a while. So I was delighted Jamie could do this.

  4. Great piece – very similar to my views on the Liverpool/Everton divide (although from the other side of the park ;-))

    Enjoyed it. Keep up the great work. Great series too.

  5. Great piece – very similar to my views on the Liverpool/Everton divide (although from the other side of the park ;-))

    Enjoyed it. Keep up the great work. Great series too.

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