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My Dad was an Evertonian and he regularly went to Goodison in his young days, including going to the 1933 FA Cup final at Wembley.
As the 1930s unfolded, his work as a draughtsman took him away from Liverpool to various places as his career progressed. When I was born, in 1944, my family was based in Anglesey, where he led a team designing a motor torpedo boat to compete with the German E-Boats. Then, when the war ended, his employers moved their base back to the Isle of Wight - but my Scouser father couldn’t bear the thought of living so far from Liverpool, so we moved back to Waterloo.
My treat for my fifth birthday was to be taken to South Liverpool’s ground to watch a charity match, where I saw Dixie Dean play for Old Everton (against Old Liverpool).
Dean played in two charity matches around that time and for that apparently the insurance company that paid out when he retired from football - because of the injuries he had accumulated over the course of his playing career - demanded repayment of the money he had received, such was the way players were treated back then.
In 1951, tragedy happened and Everton were relegated.
I was taken to a few matches by my dad but back then, as a young kid who didn't know better, I objected to watching Second Division football and instead demanded to be taken to Anfield to watch Liverpool play in the First Division... How it must have hurt my father, but he actually took me a couple of times.
He then hit on a way to rebuild my link to Everton.
He had a good friend whose son played for Liverpool (it was Laurie Hughes, who went on to play more than 300 times for the neighbours!) and had a car. He was willing to do us a favour, so, on matchdays he would pick us up and drop us at Goodison for Everton’s game, while he went on to Anfield to play for Liverpool Reserves in the Central League.
Because of Laurie’s after match libations, we had to make our own way home but I was delighted to boast to my school friends about our lift to Goodison and fell in love with the place.
Before long Everton returned to the First Division, but my loyalty to the Blues was already unbreakable.
Almost 70 years on, my Dad has long passed away and after living down south from 1962 to 1998, I now live in Derbyshire.
For most of those years - and still today - I have had a Season Ticket in the Main Stand.
Initially, I travelled with ESCLA from London but nowadays I go to matches with a great group of friends, all Scousers, who live in Derbyshire or South Yorkshire. We car share and enjoy our reminiscences of games we’ve seen over the years as well as our hopes for the game we are travelling to watch.
In more than 70 years, I have seen the great and less than stellar Everton sides and been leavened with too few fantastically exhilarating performances - but hope springs eternal and I dream of being present when Everton plays in the Champions League in the new stadium at Bramley-Moore dock on our way to, once again, being the best team in England and Europe.
By David Catton, Evertonian