My Everton #69: My Father, The Great Jack Coulter

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I talk about my dad every day and that’s simply because he was such a wonderful father.

My father was Jack Coulter. He played for Everton and for Ireland back in the 1930s.

As a child I could sense that there was something very special about my dad but I was too young to know what it was.

When we went out for our evening walks, hand in hand, with my mum and my brother, Sam, through the Grove Park or along the Shore Road in Belfast, people would call out to him. Strangers would wave and smile and say his name. Sometimes, we would stop for handshakes and a conversation but mostly my dad would just smile and wave.

Was it because he was always so immaculately dressed? I didn’t know.

Then one day, right out of the blue you could say, it became clear. Malcolm Brodie, a sports journalist with the Belfast Telegraph newspaper, arrived at our house with a photographer. We dressed in our Sunday best and we posed for family photographs. My dad held one of his international football caps. We were in the news! “Jack Coulter: This Is Your Life” was featured in the Saturday sports edition of our daily newspaper. I finally understood why my dad was being recognised and was special to others - and I felt so proud.

There it was, my dear dad was a reluctant celebrity, a hesitant local hero because he had played for one of the greatest teams in the world of football, Everton.

So, whether it was a burst of speed and deft touches at Goodison Park or a wave and a smile on the streets of Belfast my dear dad gave pleasure to so many.

That’s it in a nutshell really. My dad made people happy.

In the summer of 1985, my husband and I attended two Everton pre-season matches in Toronto. We had the pleasure of meeting and talking with former Everton Chairman, Bill Scott. Mr. Scott asked how my dad was. When I told him that he had passed away, Mr. Scott was deeply moved as he had warm memories of Jack as a player. A few weeks later we received a copy of the Everton centenary history, compliments of T.H.W. Scott.

Everton remembers.

We are now blessed, here in Canada, with good coverage of the Premier League on TV, so will be up early on a Saturday or Sunday to watch the Toffees in action.

In recent years we have been in touch with Everton historian and author Rob Sawyer. Rob explained to us that he was on a mission to write a book about my dad, and that he did. Jack Coulter: From Whiteabbey to Goodison Park is now available through Amazon. Rob takes us on my dad’s journey from childhood days and humble beginnings in the village of Whiteabbey in Northern Ireland to the grand world of football at Goodison Park and beyond. It is a wonderful tribute to my father. My husband and I, Jack’s grandchildren and his great-grandchildren will be forever grateful for this treasured family keepsake.

I miss my dad. I remember him as a quiet, humble and private man. He loved my mum and his wee family with all his heart. He had a smile for everyone he met. I was born and bred to be an Evertonian because my dad was Jack Coulter.

I talk about him every day.

By Eva Corry [née Coulter], Evertonian

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