All About Everton Chile
A brief history of Everton Chile and the Ruleteros Society ahead of Wednesday's historic friendly.
It appears to be a game Everton cannot lose. But that depends on which Everton you are talking about. The one that has been crowned champions of Chile four times, most recently in 2008, or the Premier League club that has been champions of England nine times.
Above: Everton Chile captain Gustavo Tulo Dalsasso talks about the game.
One was named after the other, a century ago. To celebrate this fact - and to extend the hand of friendship across the Atlantic, Andes and Amazon - they meet at Goodison Park to play for the Brotherhood Cup.
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It was in 1909 that Everton and Tottenham Hotspur were invited to South America to play a series of exhibition games against each other and against the strongest teams Argentina and Uruguay could muster.
The trip for the two English clubs involved a three-week voyage each way, with stops on the way that included Lisbon, Madeira and Rio de Janeiro.
Obviously, it was a marvellous experience for the players who included England's centre forward, Bert Freeman of Everton. He was the star of the tournament, helping the Blues' score 14 goals in five games that included wins over the Argentinean League XI, the Uruguyan League XI and Spurs.
A few weeks later, after news of the games had spread, a group of Anglo-Chilean teenagers met in the port of Valparaiso and formed a football club which they named Everton.
If there was any doubt about the origins of the name, this was dispelled in 1919 when one of the founders, David Foxley, confirmed the link to Goodison Park officials during the celebrations for the Chilean club¹s 10th anniversary. Sadly, two of the founders, Frank Boundy and Malcolm Fraser, had died on the Somme in 1916, fighting for Britain.
Later, the two World Cup tournaments of the Sixties served as a reminder of this unique link. In both the 1962 and 1966, a semi-final, a quarter-final and all three of Brazil 's group games were held at the Everton ground, the Sausalito in Chile and Goodison Park in England.
By this time, Everton had twice been champions of Chile, in 1950 and 1952, and had re-located to Vina del Mar, a few kilometres along the coast from Valparaiso. They were Chilean champions again in 1976 and 2008.
The match will pit two of the shrewdest coaches in the game against each other: David Moyes, three times voted Manager of the Year by his fellow managers, and Nelson Acosta, who was in charge of Chile when they beat England at Wembley. Acosta has said his players will be treating the game as if it were a cup final.
The game is taking place after years of lobbying by the Ruleteros Society, which was set up in 2002 to develop links between supporters of the two Evertons. Visit the website www.theruleteros.com. There have already been exchange visits involving supporters of the two clubs, including one Juan Foxley, nephew of Chilean co-founder David Foxley.
A leading light in the Ruleteros Society has been John Shearon, from Norris Green, Liverpool. He was a 20-year-old Latin American Studies student in Mexico when he decided to hitch-hike to Chile in 1980 to see at first hand this other Everton he had heard about. He has since been back five times and has conducted extensive research for a book he is planning to publish next year.
Shearon said: "In an age when everything connected with football seems to be driven by profit, we have an occasion where two teams will meet as a direct result of the initiative of both sets of fans - supported by the boards of each club - to celebrate a unique relationship and history."
Tickets for Wednesday's game are currently on general sale. To secure your seat, click here.