Memories of the Old Lady

Alasdair Jones 26/03/2021 54comments  |  Jump to last
I first drafted this article in July last year, when the Echo carried an article, reported by Lyndon, that the club could expect a decision in October on their planning application for a new stadium to be built on the site of Bramley-Moore Dock. A grand, almost futuristic building, to sit on the Mersey Waterfront.

Well, all readers of ToffeeWeb will by now know that the planning application subsequently had something of a rough ride towards consent, including the threat of intervention by the Secretary of State, Robert Jenrick. However today, 26 March 2021, the government have advised the Council that they can proceed to issue the consent for the new stadium, subject to signing off the various Planning Agreements. Mr Jenrick has decided that all is in order with this particular application.

The club have finally secured, after a number of missteps going back over the past 10 or more years, the prospect of a new home. On the basis of a 3-year construction programme, the removal men will be busy sometime during 2024-25.

As the date draws nearer on which the curtain is finally drawn across the theatrical stage that is Goodison Park, I am sure many readers of this website will reach into the darkest recesses of their memories to recall what the ground was like when they first went to the match. Our first impressions count for a lot when it comes to football teams and their grounds.

Mine were in the early 1960s, since when the appearance of the stadium has changed mostly from 1970 onwards, with the demolition and construction of a new Main Stand along Goodison Road. This was followed in the early 1990s with the demolition and reconstruction of the Park End Stand.

Simon Inglis records in his book Football Grounds of Great Britain that Goodison Park was the first major football stadium in England. The ground was opened in 1892 following an acrimonious landlord dispute at their first home in Anfield Road.

In 1909, the original Main Stand on Goodison Road was completed. This was designed by Archibald Leitch, as were most other parts of the ground. Leitch was famous for his work at other football grounds – notably Roker Park (Sunderland), Ibrox (Glasgow) and White Hart Lane (London), former home of Tottenham Hotspurs. By the completion of the Gwladys Steet stand in 1938, it became the first football ground to enjoy the benefit of double-decker stands on each side of the playing pitch.

I first went to Goodison Park in 1961 after pestering my dad to take me there so I could witness First Division football. Having taken one of the football specials from the Pier Head, we approached the ground from the west and made the short walk from Walton Road. There before us, was Goodison Park rising almost cathedral-like above the surrounding terraced housing, with four spires – one in each corner – housing the floodlights.

To my young mind, this was clearly a football ground of some stature and importance when compared to the grounds I had previously experienced at Prenton Park (Tranmere) and Brunton Park (Carlisle). It was something very different. The buildings were of a similar scale to the commercial buildings of the City Centre and exuded an atmosphere of busy importance reinforced by a uniformed doorman at the main entrance. To me, that meant this building was a special place.

The Main Stand was the focus, on a matchday, of the business of football. It housed the players' changing rooms and other facilities together with the club's offices. The whole stadium was surrounded by the buzz of activity associated with the build-up to the big game as the slowly assembling crowds made their way to various parts of the ground, navigating around programme and newspaper sellers and then being confronted every now and then with the placard of a prophet of doom. At the turnstile entrances, there was always the kindly nun collecting contributions for her good cause. I was transfixed.

This first game was on 1 April 1961: Everton vs Birmingham City. My dad reasoned this would be a good game to attend as the anticipated attendance would unlikely be a full house. By taking up a position on the Gwladys Street terrace, towards the corner where St Luke's Church inserted itself into the rectangle of double-decker stands, there was every chance a small boy of 13 years would probably get a reasonable view of the game.

Looking across the pitch from that viewpoint, I could appreciate the grandeur of the Main Stand and the packed sloping terraces below its balcony. On the opposite side was the Bullens Road stand, another Leitch double-decker with its characteristic criss-cross blue steelwork on the balcony balustrade. This was football on a grand scale in an almost elegant and reverential setting and it all confirmed my allegiance to the club. There was no need to visit Anfield!

As to the game itself, we were blessed with a 1-0 win; a late winner from Derek Temple into the Gwladys Street goal. The game was also notable, I believe, as the first at which the Z-Cars theme was played to accompany the team onto the pitch at the beginning of the game.

My second visit is worth recording in the context of this post as it was a night game staged in October 1961. Our opponents were Liverpool and the competition was the Liverpool Floodlit Challenge Cup, this match being the first leg of the final held over two legs. For this game, we stood on the terraces below the Bullens Road Stand towards the Gwladys Street corner.

On entering the ground, I was shepherded up the short flight of steps to the rear of the lower terrace. There before me was a brightly illuminated pitch that provided an explosion of light and sound as the teams ran onto the pristine greensward. This was something very different to my first game; a match played out on a giant green theatrical stage thanks to the four spires of intense lighting.

Over the many years I have been going to watch the Blues, I have both sat and stood on all sides of the ground. And so it was for my first derby game, in February 1964, I sat in the upper tier of the Park End Stand. The ticket was obtained from our local newsagent via a reservation 2 months before the game.

This stand was undoubtedly the poor relation of the four double-deckers, the seats being no more than wooden benches as I recall. Nevertheless, the view towards Gwladys Street was good, save for the near goal line which required all the seated spectators to stand to view any action close to the goal.

By now, the infamous half-circle barriers had been inserted onto the Gwladys Street and Park End terraces, behind each of the goals, a reminder of the less-than-charitable reception given to Bill Brown, the Spurs goalkeeper, the season before.

To my delight, Everton won the match 3-1 and it was the last home game I saw with the players' tunnel and trainers dugouts positioned between the half-way line and the Park End. Before the start of the 1964-65 season, the players' tunnel was moved to the halfway line. At the same time, two glass sentry boxes were constructed on either side of the tunnel, to accommodate managers, trainers and later the one permitted substitute.

The Littlewoods clock was also erected at the “church” corner above the shallow terracing. In order to afford some better shelter to those standing on the Paddock terracing, the pitch of the Bullens Road roof facing towards the main stand was replaced with a flat and extended structure. None of these changes impacted, in my view, on the overall grandeur of the stadium which in fact remained substantially undisturbed until 1969.

During that time, the club hosted a number of World Cup games in 1966, including the three qualifying round games involving the then World Champions, Brazil, and their stellar forward, Pele. These matches have been expertly documented by John MacFarlane Snr in his post on 29 June 2020: 1966 and All That - Part 1.

For the first match, against Bulgaria, the crowd watched almost in wonderment and awe at the skills displayed by the Brazilians, the game being played to the background of a samba beat from the drums of the numerous Brazilian fans.

Match two was different. The Hungarians were underdogs and so were roared on by the crowd to a 3-1 win under the floodlights on a wet Friday night. And so on to the game against Portugal, with Eusebio, and Torres, who also won 3-1 against the, by now, injury-ravaged Brazil. The Champions were out. We all know how the rest of the competition panned out.

I feel proud to have witnessed all those World Cup games up to the semi-final stage at Goodison Park and that the home of my team was seen fit to host football at the highest level on the International stage. This confirmed the ground as one of the best in England.

From 1964, my usual regular “spec” was, for the most part, beneath the Main Stand, high above the pitch. In the company of various mates who had also journeyed across from the Wirral, I would arrive outside the ground at about 2:30 pm as the crowd outside was beginning to build. After a quick window-shop in the Programme Shop on Goodison Road, we would take our spec and watch the crowd inside the ground fill up whilst skimming through the programme.

From our viewpoint, we could quickly assess if there was to be a poor, moderate or good (over 40,000) attendance. This would generally be a good barometer of the fans' judgement on the team's recent performances. Weather could also be a factor given that the lower terraces were exposed to the elements.

Many memorable games were witnessed from this spec – including the 1967 Cup Tie against Liverpool, played on a blustery Saturday evening, the match being broadcast live onto large screens at Anfield. Alan Ball scored the winner from a tight angle into the Gwladys Street goal. So tight was the angle, I had to blink twice to confirm the ball was in the net. The stadium erupted, the noise reverberating back and forth across the ground, and beyond for the benefit of those watching in silence at Anfield!

On to 1969-70, the famous Championship season about which I wrote in my post “Our Golden Anniversary”. This was a season of change in more ways than securing the First Division Championship. Hours after the last game of the 1968-69 season, demolition of part of the elegant Leitch main stand commenced to make way for the first phase of the first triple-decker stand in Great Britain.

By the time the Championship season commenced, the concrete form and decks of this first phase were at an advanced stage. This occupied the northern wing of the old stand and meant that my established spec had to be abandoned in favour of Gwladys Street’s terraces.

And so, in August 1970, the Champions took to the field against Arsenal in front of a new Main Stand. For me, that part of the ground became no more than the embodiment of the sterile brutalist architecture of the 1970s. The stand is aptly described by Simon Inglis as “a dominating but scarcely attractive structure”, with its Goodison Road elevation having the appearance of a “factory or brewery”. I am inclined to agree. Best to sit in this structure and enjoy the view across the pitch to the remaining grandeur of the old parts of the ground.

From 1971 onwards, my attendance at home games became intermittent. I was by then living in Warwickshire, as I am now, save for 3 years in Billinge, outside St Helens. This enabled somewhat more regular visits during the Gordon Lee years. So my fondest and strongest memories of the Old Lady are those formed during the 1960s when, for me, the ground itself contributed so much to the whole matchday experience.

We are now at a point in the club’s history when Goodison Park will very soon close its doors for good. If all goes to plan within the next 3 to 4 years, during which further tinkering with the Old Lady will likely take place if only to meet new regulations regarding crowd control and structural modifications for reasons of safety, Everton FC will decamp to a modern purpose-built arena at Bramley-Moore Dock on the banks of the Mersey. It will have to establish its own character, atmosphere and sense of place. I hope it does and gives to future generations many fond memories of the whole business of going to the game as I was so lucky to have experienced.


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Darren Hind
1 Posted 27/03/2021 at 07:40:00
Thank you, Alasdair,

Feels like we are leaving paradise to get to the promised land. It's going to get a little bit emotional when we file out of the Old Lady for the last time.

I don't even remember who we played the first time I went. I just remember reaching the top of the Bullens steps and looking across at the vast terraces under the Main Stand... then I saw the pitch. I scanned around this vast arena... I couldn't breathe.

Michael Kenrick
2 Posted 27/03/2021 at 10:05:05
Some great memories that many must identify strongly with there, Alasdair.

Probably off-topic as a thought struck me about our previous ground that we vacated in 1892: Anfield Road. Only later – a lot later, I believe – would it become known simply as 'Anfield'.

I suspect this, along with introducing the all-red strip, was a change made by Bill Shankly back in the 1960s... but that may be my imagination.

Interesting that, in our folklore (as opposed to theirs), indeed the great Thomas Keates (History of the Everton Football Club 1878-9 – 1928-9, 1929) calls it 'Anfield Road' but James Corbett (Everton: The School of Science, 2003) drops the 'Road' bit very early on in his retelling of the club's early years, perhaps in a concession to the modern usage?

Brent Stephens
3 Posted 27/03/2021 at 10:18:46
A good read. I was in my teens in the 60s and they're still the best memories of Everton and Goodison Park for me.
Martin Nicholls
4 Posted 27/03/2021 at 10:26:05
Another brilliant article Sas - thanks.
Tony Abrahams
5 Posted 27/03/2021 at 10:36:15
Michael, I think between you and Lyndon, you would be able to publish a fantastic book of memories on the back of threads like this one hopefully brings.

That pitch, Darren, that is my earliest memory of a place I fell in love with, the first time I ever went. Although I've been lucky enough to play on our ground a few times, my best memories are of being on the terraces and in the stands.

Noise, wit, humour, anger, joy. A place full of character and a real sense of belonging, and when it's in full flight, I'd say it's definitely the greatest place I've ever been.

I love Everton, and Goodison Park stands for everything I've ever loved about our great club. My only wish now (again) is that I hope Goodison Park goes out with the bang it deserves.

Thomas Richards
6 Posted 27/03/2021 at 10:48:01
24.4.1985

7.5.1994.

xxxxx

Peter Mills
7 Posted 27/03/2021 at 10:50:16
Excellent article, Alasdair. Having started going to Goodison in the early '60s in the Upper Bullens, decanted to the Gwladys Street terrace for the '70s, had a brief flirtation with the Park End stand, I agree that sitting in the Main Stand, which I have for many years, gives the best perspective of the stadium.

I love looking across at Bullens Road, and Gwladys Street to my left. Night matches have an atmosphere of their own, but a packed crowd on a sunny day is also a sight to behold.

We shall not be moved? It's going to take some time for quite a few of us to move away from the place after that final game.

Alasdair Jones
8 Posted 27/03/2021 at 15:37:56
Tony @5, Michael @2,

Tony's idea about a compilation of memories from ToffeeWeb articles is one that has crossed my mind. I am sure there is the potential for a book, proceeds from which after costs go to one of the clubs recognised charities.

Title? "Musings of Some Old Evertonians" or "Memories of The Old Lady" even! Wonder what Michael and Lyndon might think of this? Given the time they already commit to running the website.

Might sell well at Christmas in the club shop!

Darren Hind
9 Posted 27/03/2021 at 16:16:57
I'd buy it.
Ray Roche
10 Posted 27/03/2021 at 16:37:26
Alasdair, calling it “Memories of the Old Lady” would preclude memories from other great Everton occasions. “Musings” etc is better, it would include Rotterdam, Wembley etc.
Paul Birmingham
11 Posted 27/03/2021 at 20:30:28
On to the promised land, and a life time of fantastic memories which we can all revere and cherish for eternity.

The next phase in the history of Everton is happening, onwards and upwards.

Now to beat Palace.

Dave Abrahams
12 Posted 27/03/2021 at 21:29:08
Alasdair, excellent post and the memories are going through my head of the brilliant times and games I've seen at Goodison Park. I could name literally dozens of games but I'll stick with one game that thousands will recall, young and old, inside the ground and outside the ground. Just an incredible day that saw us all rejoice in a great victory and the birth of an Everton legend, we all thought... Alas, not to be.

The day was bright and sunny, a good game, Everton versus Arsenal, with the game in the balance 1-1 with 20 minutes to go, Everton introduced their young sub, Wayne Rooney. We all knew who he was... “Remember the name” we all knew the name, plenty of fans had just never seen him before.

A long ball was punted up the field when this young kid pulled it down to his feet with his back to the goal, swivelled past one man, went inside, looked up and smacked the ball with his right foot and the ball went like a thunderbolt into the top right-hand angle of the goal. The goalie had no chance, the crowd just went berserk – as did the Everton players and those on the bench. The Arsenal players couldn't believe it, lots of us thought we were dreaming.

Wayne nearly scored another just after before the game ended, with thousands staying behind in raptures, not wanting to go home. Out onto Bullens Road and into Gwladys Street, fans were talking about only one thing “That fuckin' goal” on their phones to God knows where and to who describing that brilliant goal.

Not to be a spoilsport, Alasdair, but that Floodlit Cup game you saw wasn't in 1961, 1958 more likely, possibly 1957.

Brian Williams
13 Posted 27/03/2021 at 21:48:55
The Bayern Munich game for me. Best atmosphere I can ever remember. It was as though the game had been scripted, going one-nil down, before the comeback and the victory.

Just all the ingredients of a real drama. Loved it.

John Keating
14 Posted 27/03/2021 at 21:59:10
Too many, far too many.

Fulham at home in 1963 was brilliant after so many years with nothing. The city was working, the music was starting to go crazy. No seats, no segregation... What a team!

Jay Harris
15 Posted 27/03/2021 at 22:03:00
I have 3 outstanding memories of Goodison.

1. When my Dad, Grandad and uncle started taking me about 1959 and they used to put me over the turnstile and pass some money to the turnstile attendant and then sit me on the rails in Bullens Road.

2. I was in the Boys Pen (no doubt Black Bill and his bike were somewhere around) when we beat Fulham 4-1 to win the league in 1963; cue pandemonium and everyone climbing over the railings to run onto the pitch – something which was later banned (shame).

3. As Brian said, the Bayern Munich game will stay in the memory of everyone who was there. You would think there was 150,000 in the crowd, such was the noise – which totally blew the Bayern boys away.

Peter Mills
16 Posted 27/03/2021 at 22:06:03
Dave #12, I've posted here previously about the emotional importance of that goal to me.

I shall look forward to buying you a pint and talking you through it.

Neil Copeland
17 Posted 27/03/2021 at 22:15:35
Goodison will rightly always have a special place in the hearts of most if not all Evertonians. It's magic never ceases to give me goose bumps, a truly majestical place. From the very first time I heard “We shall not be moved” belted out accompanied by the wonderful noise of thumping on wood I knew that being born an Evertonian was a very special privilege (thanks dad). We are truly blessed to have the honour of supporting such a wonderful football club. Goodison is our heritage, BMD is our future.

I will miss GP to the point where I know I will get inconsolable at our final game there but then I will be uncontrollably excited at the thought of BMD.

There simply is no substitute to being an Evertonian. As the saying goes we are borne not... I can only feel pity for those not blessed to be borne into the greatest club in the world.

UTFT!

Thomas Richards
18 Posted 27/03/2021 at 22:17:33
Rooney.

In the same company as Messi, Ronaldo, Best, Cruyff and any one else you care to mention. That goal still brings a tear to my eye every time I see it.

Neil Copeland
19 Posted 27/03/2021 at 22:29:06
Strangely enough, I was well and truly sold before I even stepped foot in Goodison Park, credit to my dad and his mate George.

Having said that, 8-0 against Southampton has always stood out for me, the weather was abysmal, the football sublime,

Our 2-0 in the FA Cup against Chelsea will always be special too as it was my daughter's first game and dad's final one.

But, as others have already posted, the 3-1 against Bayern was so special and will take some beating. Who knows, perhaps BMD will see us surpass that day.

Lenny Jameson
20 Posted 27/03/2021 at 22:31:57
Mr Keating (14)

You're so right. So many memories.

I think us oldies are going to miss Goodison the most because we've grown up there and seen 4 glorious titles.

My first game was in 1959 against Forest. We lost 3-1 but it didn't matter. Everton had me.

In the 1962-63 season, I had a great spec in the Paddock, sitting on the box where they kept the half-time score numbers. They are my favourite team. Alex Young's header against Spurs, my favourite goal. And that Fulham game! Roy Vernon's hat-trick.

So many memories from that season alone. My dad taking me to away games. Throwing me what felt like miles into the air when we scored at Blackpool.

And as much as we need the new ground and as spectacular as it will be, the tears will be flowing for quite some time over leaving our beautiful old home.

Darren Hind
21 Posted 28/03/2021 at 14:07:59
Ah yes Dave A... That goal.

Reading your post made me think about all the other goals scored at the Old Lady. Ones that will stay with me forever. We all have our own memories for different reasons.

I defy anybody to list their top ten moments without changing their minds every couple of seconds.

I've had a go, but I know as soon as I hit the submit button I will remember moments which had momentarily escaped me..Here goes

10) Eamon O'Keefe's late winner in a cup game (cant remember who against) after taking Dogs abuse and constant calls to drag him off because he was proper having one...The shear joy of thousands of people not giving a fuck that he'd proven us all wrong.

9) Jelavic winner against Spurs while we were still Celebrating Pienaar's late equalizer

8) Big Duncs header from Arteta's cross against the Mancs

7) Andy Gray 1st one against Sunderland

6) Alex Young against Spurs...Just Wow

5) Sharpie against QPR - We are the Champions

4) Tricky Trevs goal with sent us to Rotterdam - I have never seen such prolonged celebration. It still hadnt died down at the final whiste

3) Bally's goal in the saturday night cup game against the shite - Never seen so many people on the floor as Gwladys street went berserk

2) Colin Harvey's goal to clinch the title 1970...Seeing me arl fella crying his eyes out.

Then there is my own favourite It didn't win us anything like some of the others, but the tension inside Goodison was heart stopping.

1) Dan Gosling. I was sitting in the top balcony surrounded by Gobby Kopites. AVM crossed drop to his feat. He shuffled it and Goodison held its breath for a couple of seconds. When it nestled in the far corner the pace absolutely exploded. I honestly thought the TB was coming down. It was shaking and moving all over the lace....Nobody gave a fuck

Rick Tarleton
22 Posted 28/03/2021 at 14:36:19
I first went in our promotion season (1953-54), I was 7 and my earliest games were occasional as it was expensive (4s/6d). I remember feeling hugely impressed looking down and the players looked quite small.

A couple of years later, the first set of floodlights appeared, four giant towers, and although I didn't get taken to night games, they were turned on at half-time for afternoon matches in the mid-season. Before that, games started at 2:15 pm. I loved the floodlights as a boy. They became integral to the matchday experience.

By 1960, I went to most matches and we had our "spec" in the old Paddock, first barricade up just in the Gwladys Street end. I had a season ticket when we won the League in 1962-63, and I think it cost ٢- 5 shillings for my Paddock season ticket.

I hope I'll be fit enough to attend another game at Goodison Park, and to attend a game or two in the new stadium.

Alasdair Jones
23 Posted 28/03/2021 at 14:49:20
Dave @12,

Well you got me doubting myself. I do normally check my stats before submission. So I have checked again. I think you will find (recorded as a friendly game!) that, on 18 October 1961, Everton hosted the first leg of the Liverpool Floodlit Challenge Cup Final, opponents being Liverpool FC. Result 2-2.

See for example EFCStatto.com or Google Everton Football Results. With the latter one, the site shows the cover of the special programme issued for the fixture.

Dave Abrahams
24 Posted 28/03/2021 at 20:03:44
Alasdair (23), yes, apologies, I always thought the floodlit cup was just for one season, the year both clubs first used Floodlights. Johnnie Mac then brought up that the cup was carried on for a few years after the initial cup was played for.

To be honest, I have never thought this cup was played after that first season and have no recollection of it being mentioned. Although I'm not saying these games didn't take place, so stop doubting yourself – you were correct.

Tony Abrahams
25 Posted 28/03/2021 at 20:31:38
I'm remembering that Gosling goal now, Darren. I remember the last minute of normal time and I'm saying "Come on, Everton, I've waited nearly 35 years to score a last-minute winner against these bastards!" And then we wasted the free-kick.

I was laughing, saying to the people who sat around me, that I expect too much, and I would probably win the lottery before we scored a last-minute winner against Liverpool.

Fast-forward to Gosling, I was sitting dead centre, back row of the upper Gwladys Street stand, and was definitely the first to jump, screaming “It's in!!!” and then that beautiful pandemonium, that sheer joy, the absolute delight on my two sons' faces...

When it all died down, the lady who used to sit in front of us gave me a big beaming smile, saying “You've finally got that last-minute winner!” Brilliant!

Rob Young
26 Posted 28/03/2021 at 20:36:10
My word, that Gosling goal.

Match going since 1989-90, that must have been my finest few minutes at Goodison. I couldn't speak for days afterwards.

Brent Stephens
27 Posted 28/03/2021 at 20:38:58
Rob, "My word, that Gosling goal. I couldn't speak for days afterwards".

That's given me an idea... I might just show the clip to my wife.

Neil Copeland
28 Posted 28/03/2021 at 20:49:16
Brent #27, very good but not sure it it will work. Worth trying it just to see that goal again though.
Brian Murray
29 Posted 28/03/2021 at 20:49:34
That long walkway (gap) that stretched the length of the Gwladys Street stand was where I was put in front of a stanchion – so as not to get crushed, like many a young lad – by my dad for years. Wrist tied to the bar with my scarf to hold on...

1969 I think my first season and all I can remember is Whittl's shock of blond hair, pipe smoke and then them players came on. I was just in awe as a kid... the blueness of the blue shirts (if that makes sense). I just fell in love with them straight away.

I think it was nil-nil vs Newcastle, but remember the Chelsea game – 5-2 win Bally running amok – and of course the night match vs West Brom, getting thrown on the pitch. Title winner. After that, I never missed a game in the mostly heartbreaking 1970s.

Neil Copeland
30 Posted 28/03/2021 at 20:54:54
My dad used to take me in the Paddock. He somehow managed to smuggle in a fold-up stool that I would stand on, resting against a barrier.
Rob Halligan
31 Posted 28/03/2021 at 20:56:41
Too many great goals to try and remember at Goodison, but one of my favourites was Mikel Arteta against Fiorentina to square the tie at 2-2. The noise was electrifying when Mikey scored, and I really thought we would go on and win that match.

God knows how many chances we had; even in extra time, I was convinced we would win. Had we beaten Fiorentina, that Uefa Cup would have been ours.

I think Fiorentina then played PSV Eindhoven before getting knocked out by Rangers. We would have beaten both those two and then Zenit St Petersburg at the Etihad. Manchester wouldn't have known what hit it!!

Another opportunity blown by us.

Chris Leyland
32 Posted 28/03/2021 at 21:02:50
My three favourite memories are:

Bayern game – I was in the enclosure – best night of my life.

QPR when we won the league. Queued up for hours to get in the Gwladys Street End. My Dad got stamped on by a police horse just before we got in. Couldn't walk for 2 weeks after but didn't care!

Wimbledon – took my girlfriend (now my wife of 25 years) to her first game. We were in the Bullens Road. She asked me why I was crying when we were 2-0 down...

Neil Copeland
33 Posted 28/03/2021 at 21:03:12
Rob, agreed. I remember being gutted after the Fiorentina game... more so because I was convinced we were going to win the cup. Didn't Rangers make it to the final by only scoring one goal at home, or have I got that wrong?
Rob Halligan
34 Posted 28/03/2021 at 21:05:18
Neil, they certainly made it to the final, I think they beat Fiorentina in the semi-finals, before losing to Zenit. Don't know about how many goals they scored at home though!
Neil Copeland
35 Posted 28/03/2021 at 21:15:14
Rob, I have just googled it. They entered the competition as a team finishing 3rd in the Champions League group. From the round of 32 to reaching the final, they scored 2 goals at home with both coming against Werder Bremen.
Mark Murphy
36 Posted 28/03/2021 at 21:25:54
Not my first game by any means but brings a tear to my eye for my lost youth and the sheer joy of matchdays all over the place with Everton.

1974 home v Birmingham City and Bob Latchford scores his first goals at Goodison Park against, I think, his brother. The sun shone and the Gwladys Street was the happiest place in the world!

Tony Abrahams
37 Posted 28/03/2021 at 22:04:16
Rob @31, I remember looking at the Fiorentina fans a few minutes after Arteta scored, thinking that they'd probably never witnessed a better atmosphere in their lives. But they got the last laugh in the end, with Yakubu trying to stupidly chip home his penalty. I still think we lost that cup with our first leg performance in Italy, where we just didn't do enough to try and score.

We had a good few days in Italy though, even added a bit of culture by visiting the leaning tower of Piza, and going inside the fabulous cathedral next door. I had visions of 40,000 Evertonians walking along the East Lancs Road to the Etihad, to play a team that we kept in the competition, by winning against a Dutch team when Jack Rodwell made his debut, I'm sure?

Rob Halligan
38 Posted 28/03/2021 at 22:18:19
Tony, you're right about losing the tie over in italy. When it was 1-0 we should have shut up shop and settled for the 1-0 defeat. Still don't know why Moyes threw Andy Johnson on?
Joe McMahon
39 Posted 28/03/2021 at 22:31:02
For me, it was donkeys ago but the 4 -1 v Sunderland in 85 and Andy Gray's headers. It was then I knew we would win the league.

Sadly not enough moments over the last few decades. Let's hope BMD will change that, and I'm sure it will be the beginning of a much needed revitalised Everton.

Tony Abrahams
40 Posted 28/03/2021 at 22:33:06
I've forgotten nearly everything about the game, Rob, but I thought Moyes got caught between two stools (a very common occurrence when there was something to play for) and he got his tactics back-to-front that night.

They weren't anything special, but our very cagey start helped them settle, I'm sure. Then, instead of taking the narrow defeat, like you say, he then opened up, which suited the cagey Italians, and helped them pick us off near the end.

Tony Abrahams
41 Posted 28/03/2021 at 22:36:38
Joe@39, that was definitely my favourite ever Everton performance, what an absolute delight it was to watch Everton play that day.
Peter Mills
42 Posted 28/03/2021 at 22:45:52
Given the 2-day journey to get there, the fact that Florence was basically closed down for the day, the behaviour of the police, the open stadium, the freezing wet night and our pathetic performance, that match at Fiorentina must go down as one of my most miserable Everton experiences.

Cracking few days though!

Rob Halligan
44 Posted 28/03/2021 at 22:56:48
Going off the rails a bit early doors on this thread, which Mr Kenrick won't like. I've had plenty of great European away trips only to be ruined by the match itself. Might start a new thread on some of them.
Danny Broderick
45 Posted 29/03/2021 at 00:10:23
My first game was the 5-0 over Man U in 85. It's been downhill ever since! My finest memory was the Wimbledon game. Barry Horne's goal, the stadium being full from midday with no Park End Stand. Just wow.

I loved the 90s under Joe Royle. His first game vs Liverpool is up there with Wimbledon for me. I moved away in 2001 so I tend to go more to away games than Goodison now. I was at 2 great comeback games against Bournemouth and Watford where Oumar Niasse scored some goals a few seasons ago. I was in a box for the Bournemouth game, had a fillet steak in Goodison with my lad. I will cherish that particular day, meeting Sharpie and all the players. But nothing will match the Wimbledon game for me. Just pure relief.

Special mention for Tony Cottee's debut though!

Paul Hughes
46 Posted 29/03/2021 at 08:41:56
Darren (21) - that Eamon O'Keeffe goal was against Southampton - in extra time in a replay.
Lee Courtliff
47 Posted 30/03/2021 at 16:54:49
Being from Burnley, I was introduced to football by visiting the old 4th Division grounds of the day.

Burnley, Torquay, Aldershot, etc. Even went to Maidstone, before they folded. Mainly because my Uncle and Aunt were die-hard Burnley fans who followed them all over the country.

When my (step) Dad took me to Goodison Park for the first time, in October 1990, I was amazed that there was an escalator in one of the stands!!!

I was only 9 years old at the time and didn't really become a proper fan until the 1993-94 season.

My best memories, in no particular order, are the games against Newcastle in August '96, Villa '96 and, obviously, the Wimbledon game. Incredible atmospheres, something on the line, etc. Memories I'll take to my grave with me.

The 90s were awful for Everton but to me they were amazing. Nothing like being a football-mad kid.

Jim Burns
48 Posted 01/04/2021 at 19:49:13
Having sat in the Upper Bullens some 6 seats from the Upper Away section for more years than I care to remember, my memories vary from the pain and shame suffered at the hands of triumphant leering away fans (including the odd handbags across the barrier), and the pure joy and satisfaction at their sullen silence and averted gaze when we scored or won. All at close hand and pretty much within touching and smelling distance.

Sadly since the triumphant heady eighties – experiences have been more the former than the latter with some wonderful exceptions – not least the pasting we gave Liverpool when Andy Johnson made their goalie look an absolute gobshite to seal a terrific victory. The memory of the RS – those that were still in their seats by then – gaping open-mouthed at what they'd seen will live with me forever.

Dave Abrahams
49 Posted 01/04/2021 at 20:40:46
Jim (48),

I sit in The Upper Bullens but more to the middle section, but the night of the Dan Gosling goal in the FA Cup game against Liverpool, more of the Bullens Stand was given to Liverpool supporters and near the end of the game a barrier of police lined up from the top to the bottom of one section separating both sets of fans.

As I walked along and out to the passageway, this bizzie had a big smile on his face. I said to him, “Take that grin off your face” he smiled at me and said “ I'm fuckin' lovin' it” nodding at the Red fans, so was I!!

Darren Hind
50 Posted 03/04/2021 at 10:57:33
Paul Hughes,

Give yourself a pat on the back, mate.

I've asked about half a dozen people who that goal was against since I posted that. Everyone remembered the goal, but nobody could remember who we were playing against.

Thank You!

Steve Carse
51 Posted 03/04/2021 at 11:17:51
Darren, you'll find the goal on Youtube somewhere. One of the most tumultuous Gwladys St crowd reactions ever.
Steve Carse
52 Posted 03/04/2021 at 11:22:55
Tony (25) and others recalling the Gosling goal, when I see that goal my main feeling now is not that it was a truly magical emotional moment but that unless VAR gets scrapped we'll never get to witness such spontaneous, unreserved emotion again. Football has lost so much since its introduction.
Tony Abrahams
53 Posted 03/04/2021 at 12:01:37
Totally agree, Steve, and honestly believe that someday, somewhere, VAR will cause a proper almighty riot with the excuse already being that the crowd just wanted to show some emotion.

Thousands inside Goodison when O'Keeffe scored that goal, and only Everton could blow it against City after knocking out three better teams!

Darren Hind
54 Posted 03/04/2021 at 12:07:34
Nice one Steve.

I just You tubed it and it lead straight on to the 2-1 win against the shite in the cup.

One clip made me literally laugh out loud. There was a bit of hand bangs and Souness come charging into it looking to knock someone out. John Bailey (didnt recognise him without a bevy in his hand) fucks him right off with a shove of utter contempt

I don't think Souness realised that charging into a crowd screaming your head off didnt cut much ice with people who grew up around the squares

Brian Murray
55 Posted 03/04/2021 at 12:14:06
As has been said, we missed chance after chance vs Man City (Varadi). Great memories of an earlier round going to Southampton we had thousands there and the noise in the replay when O'Keefe scored, I'll never forget.

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