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BELLEFIELD - THE EARLY DAYS

BELLEFIELD - THE EARLY DAYS

When Bellefield opened its doors in 1946, one of the first men to train at the facility was Tommy E. Jones.

Tommy would remain a regular at Bellefield for over 15 years, and is well placed to comment on the changes that have taken place over the last half century.

"I started here in 1946," he recalled. "There have been some tremendous changes over the years.

"It is far different from 1946. It is built more around the individual these days. Where in our day it was more of a team faction."

With the current Everton squad moving to the brand new Finch Farm development, Jones was able to reflect on some good times at the West Derby location.

"When we first got Bellefield there was no changing facilities like there is here now," Tommy continued. "We used to change at Goodison and come down by coach.

"There was characters like Brian Harris, who would chuck buckets of water out of the window at people.

"Now they want to get everything under the one roof which is understandable. Then the manager can see everything and watch the youngsters.

"It is a bit sorry that we are leaving it but we are leaving it for a better all round situation. It looks pretty good for the future."

Tony McNamara shared many of his Bellefield years with Jones and he admitted that it would be difficult to surpass the atmoshpere he enjoyed at Bellefield.

"I have some great memories because of players like Tommy Jones and Kenny Ray," he said.

"We used to play our matches here on a Saturday but there is nothing like that now. It is just a training ground.

"I enjoyed my days here when I played and trained here as an amateur but it is a shame to see it go.

"What it is going to be like at the next ground, I don’t know, but it can’t be any better than this I don’t think."

Check out our special Bellefield section on evertonTV now.

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