My Matchday: Graeme Sharp
Sharpy reveals his matchday routines - now and as a player.
A new series sees evertonfc.com delve into the matchday routines of Everton legends, players and staff.
This week, it's the Blues' leading post-war goalscorer Graeme Sharp.
Don't forget you can share your pre-match rituals and be in with a chance of winning a very special prize - visit evertonfc.com/WeGoTheGame now.
What time do you leave home on a matchday?
I leave the house in a morning and it normally takes about half an hour to get in. For a typical Saturday 3pm kick-off, I normally arrive at the ground at 10am.
What time does your work at Goodison start?
We start our tours at about 11.15am with the match, programme and ball sponsors. I show those groups of people the dressing rooms and walk down the tunnel for them to have photos taken at the side of the pitch. I just try to make their experience as enjoyable as possible.
That will probably finish at about 12.15pm and then it's a case of making myself available to speak to fans throughout the lounges. There are numerous lounges at Goodison and you often find lots of people want to discuss the game with you in the lead up to kick-off.
Where do you sit during the game?
After I have finished the tours, then it's on to my radio duties with Radio City at about 2pm up in the press box. At half-time I come down and have a chat with journalists and then after the game it's more of the same.
Do you have to do much preparation for your radio commentaries?
I watch most Premier League game on the television, be it live or through highlights packages, so I more or less know about all the players. Obviously, though, a number of the players' names are tongue twisters that I have to get used to!
How does your routine compare to when you were a player for Everton?
It's totally different. In the eighties when I played, for a 3pm kick-off we had to make sure we got to the ground for 2pm. As long as you were in the dressing room an hour before kick-off, that's all that mattered.
The manager would read the team out, then you would go and leave the tickets for your family and friends, walk back to the dressing room and get changed. In those days we used to have a little warm-up area that we would go in and play a bit of head tennis. Then it was a case of going out and playing the game. Once the match finished, you would get away from Goodison at about 6pm.
Looking at the players nowadays, the whole pre-match routine has changed. They have got to be in the dressing room for 1.15pm, so there is a lot more time spent preparing. Fitness-wise, the way they eat before the game is different as well.
When you were playing, did your routine on a Saturday night depend on the result of the game?
Nine times out of ten, I would probably go out for a meal after the game with my family. It was obviously easier to go out when you had won the game.
Certainly with the derby games, if we had lost then we wouldn't go out all weekend. It was one of those where you had to batten down the hatches, stay in the house and mull over a difficult couple of days.
Do you have rituals now? What about when you were playing?
Not now. As a player I had little things, for example if I scored the week before I would make sure you did the same thing that I had done previously, whether it be what I ate for breakfast or the suit and tie I wore.
Oppositely, if you were going through a spell when you hadn't scored, you would try every trick in the book to try and change it.
Footballers are superstitious and they have their own little routines. Certainly, if I was on a good run of form I would try and stick to the same things.
We are Evertonians. We go the game. That's what we do.