As most of you will know, I like to keep my statements as a Chairman to a minimum, as I am extraordinarily happy to let our inestimable manager represent the Club.
However, on last week’s long Saturday night drive back home from Goodison, I felt that I had to say a word or two of thanks…as an Evertonian, not particularly as a Chairman.
Like all of you, I find it difficult at times to adequately sum up my devotion to our Football Club. But a few recent events have reiterated to me just where this love affair comes from…
And that’s quite aside from the wonderful football we have been blessed with this season!
On Saturday I was ushered away from the usual Directors’ car park, and was subsequently knocked out to see literally dozens of youngsters holding their own “action packed” matchday programmes.
I eventually walked through the Directors’ car park to see even more youngsters preparing for their own kickabout before the match!
As I arrived pitch side I was introduced to our young “stand in match-day appointees!” all champing at the bit to make their special mark on another glorious Saturday at Goodison Park. I read the “kids programme” as if I was in the boys pen all of those decades ago. Seamus on the front cover was today’s “Roy Race” and the memories of Roy of the Rovers, Dave Hickson, and my Everton youth came flooding back…
Our history, my history; soon to be handed over to the young Evertonians who will take our Club forward.
The previous Saturday, Goodison had opened its doors and its heart to the Missing People Campaign. We have subsequently had several letters since from the organisation itself, and from Kate and Gerry McCann, telling us what we already know. Everton is a special Club. Goodison is a special place. Evertonians are special people.
Finally, (but by no means finally!) just before Christmas, we kept the Goodison lights on after a game, and opened our doors to some of the community who are less privileged than others, and enjoyed, once again, an Everton People’s Picnic, where we ate, laughed, and sang our way to Christmas.
And that’s the reason I am writing today. We are a great Football Club. The best. But we are more than that - we are a family that looks out for, cares for, and ultimately celebrates the unique privilege of being what we are: Evertonians.
Now I obviously know that all of this wonderful activity we see at Goodison is based on a clear plan, and is motivated by a relentless pursuit of excellence that can only be brought to life by long hours, hard work, and great commitment – but it still makes me proud to be Blue!
And I still want to say thank you not only to our tireless CEO Robert, his deputy, Denise, and her awesome Community team, but also to everyone who contributes at times like this. Whether it is to write that kids programme, organise that Missing People campaign day, or simply switch off the lights after another special Goodison day – you are Nil Satis.