As part of the 2017 Liverpool Irish Festival, the latest event in the ‘Everton Fans’ Forum Presents’ series took on an Irish feel to celebrate the many links between the Toffees and the Emerald Isle.
Gareth Farrelly took to the stage to entertain the Blues in the People’s Club Lounge, who also enjoyed an insight into the history and heritage of Irish players playing for Everton by author and journalist Michael Walker.
First on stage was former midfielder and Irish international Gareth Farrelly. Gareth spoke about the highlight in his short Everton career - his only league goal for Everton in the last game of the 1997/98 season, the crucial goal in a 1-1 home draw with Coventry City. The half-volley on his weaker right foot ensured the Blues ended the campaign level on points with Bolton and therefore consigning the Trotters to relegation courtesy of Everton’s superior goal difference.
Host for the evening, Graeme White, was reminded by Gareth that it wasn’t his only goal for the Blues; the eloquent Irishman also notched in a win at Scunthorpe in the League Cup also on his weaker right foot. Gareth regaled Toffees in attendance with tales from his childhood, how he grew up as an Evertonian in Dublin and the story about how he came about signing for the Club he loved. More recently, Gareth has been back working at Everton completing his legal training to become a fully qualified solicitor.
Next on stage was author Michael Walker. The well-known journalist gave the audience a journey through the history of Irish footballers who made their way across the Irish Sea to ply their trade in England for Everton. The Blues in attendance gave a big cheer for mentions of Seamus Coleman and Kevin Sheedy, who both feature in Michael’s new book Green Shoots: Irish Football Histories.
The Everton Heritage Society created a display celebrating Everton’s Irish history with match worn shirts from Lee Carsley, Kevin Sheedy, Kevin Kilbane and a Northern Ireland shirt from David Clements, who while at Everton was player-manager for his country . Other pieces of memorabilia on show included programmes from Everton’s games against Irish opposition and signed photos of Irishmen, both north and south of the border, who represented the Blues.
With a number of raffle prizes on offer, including a signed Seamus Coleman shirt, a signed Tom Davies framed print, a signed copy of Michael Walker’s latest book and a complete history of Everton Football Club, a total of £155 was raised for Everton in the Community.
The evening was part of a series of exclusive events hosted by the Fans’ Forum. The ‘Fans’ Forum Presents’ evenings, which launched in 2016, see Forum members and an audience of fellow Evertonians joined by ex-players, members of the coaching staff, or a famous Blue as they recall their best Goodison memories and discuss all things Everton.
To attend the next ‘Fans’ Forum Presents’ evening keep an eye out on the Fans’ Forum section on evertonfc.com
or on the Everton Fans’ Forum Twitter account (@efc_FansForum