'Blues Are My English Team'
World Champion John Higgins reveals his passion for the Blues.
Shortly after he overcame the tenacious young upstart Judd Trump to win a fourth World Snooker title last month, a photograph of John Higgins emerged.
Gleaming trophy next to beaming smile, the eye-catching addition that made this snap different to those adorning the sports pages of every tabloid and broadsheet was the Everton scarf draped around his neck.
Was it a mistake? Placed there, perhaps, by an opportunistic Toffee? Or could it just be that the known Celtic die-hard had a wee soft spot for the men from Goodison Park?
“It’s true, Everton are definitely my English team,” says the 36-year-old Scot when questioned by Evertonian. “It all came about through my older brother, Jason. He was in Ibiza one year and saw a guy in a Celtic top. My brother is a Celtic fan and shouted across to him expecting him to be from Glasgow, but he was from Liverpool and an Everton fan. They ended up talking, became good mates and my brother’s now Everton mad.”
As a child, John had been taken along to Parkhead by his elder sibling, a family affair which also involved his father and grandfather.
When Jason acquired tickets for Everton’s FA Cup final in 1995, then, it was only natural John would accept the invite.
And so began the Wizard of Wishaw’s love affair with the Blues.
“I’d never had an allegiance to any English team, but I went down to the FA Cup final with them because I was down there doing a ‘Big Break’ show on the Friday night. At the match on the Saturday I met up with all the scousers and fell right in with them. I just felt they were exactly like Glaswegians, the same sort of humour and everything.
“I always look out for the results, I have been down to a few games at Goodison and I have seen a few more matches in London too. It’s brilliant.”
To read more from Higgins on his Everton allegiance, the merciless nature of football banter within the world of snooker and his pride at being back at the top of his profession, pick up June's Evertonian.
The magazine is out now and also includes exclusive interviews with Leighton Baines, David Moyes, Mark Hughes, Duncan McKenzie, Diniyar Bilyaletdinov and much, much more.
Evertonian is available from Everton One, Everton Two or your local Liverpool newsagent.