The family of Alex Young spoke recently of the immense pride they feel towards the life and footballing career of the Everton Giant.
Young, affectionately known by Evertonians as the Golden Vision, will be laid to rest on Saturday morning and remembered with a tribute at Goodison Park ahead of kick-off in the Blues’ clash with West Bromwich Albion.
His son, Alex Junior, who was born on Merseyside whilst Young was a player with the Toffees, recalled last year the fond reception the former Scotland international received when he returned to Goodison last November for the premiere of ‘Alex The Great’.
“I’m a Scouser - I was born down in Crosby in 1968,” Alex Junior explained. “I keep getting reminded of that all the time. I am proud of where I was born and I am an Evertonian through and through. I watch all the games on TV and I have been to see games several times. Every time I go down I love it. When I go down with my dad though it is chaos!
“It was a bit strange the first ever time, a bit overwhelming. The people in Liverpool, the way they adore him – overwhelming is a good word to use. He is a humble man but he loved the Evertonian people. He loves Liverpool and loved living down there. And Goodison he talks about non-stop. We watch all the games together. If Everton play well, he is over the moon. If Everton get beat or they draw, he is devastated. He is kicking every ball. His day is totally spoilt if they don’t play well - even if they don’t play well and still win! When they win he is ecstatic.
“It was strange when you are young, a wee boy, because you don’t understand that he was a good player. Until you start to get a little older, play football yourself and people say, ‘You’ll never be as good as your dad’ and you ask why and they tell you what a player he was. It dawns on you as you get older how good he was. Then when you see footage as well, one or two brilliant goals he scored, it makes you proud.”
“People said to me that if I was half as good as my old man I would be a great player!” explained Jason. “Being the son of Alex Young, I knew people held him in high esteem and had told me he was a legend, that he had won major honours. So I knew growing up from what people said to me that he was a legend, more so at Everton where the fans really took to him.
“I was 16 when I signed a three-year contract with Hearts. I also played with Duncan Ferguson in the under-16 Scottish schoolboys. We were called Little and Large - Duncan being the larger one, obviously! Duncan was a smashing player. He had a great left foot. I actually fractured my femur playing up front against East Germany in France and that more or less put an end to my career, whereas Duncan went on to achieve great things, especially at Everton.
“But I probably didn’t have a sense myself [of how good he was] because there was very little footage of old games. I saw a goal he scored against Manchester United on video - that was fantastic. There wasn’t much television so it was about what people told me. I was never that aware myself of how good he was.
“I’m super proud of what my father has achieved in the game. Every major honour in Britain - the Scottish Cup, Scottish League Cup, Scottish League, the FA Cup, the English top division. And caps for Scotland. I’m so proud of what my father has achieved and I’m really looking forward to being back at Goodison. The whole family is looking forward to it - Dad most of all.”