My Everton #85: Life Isn't Always A Bed Of Roses

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I have been supporting Everton Football Club since I was 11 years old, back in the mid-1980s.

That was the era when the likes of Graeme Sharp, Peter Reid, Gary Lineker, Kevin Ratcliffe and Neville Southall graced Goodison Park. 

I lived in Singapore and we didn't get to see too many live games in those days. I remember tuning in to the BBC radio stations to find out the results. Even today, the Road to Wembley theme song is stuck in my head. 

Those were the days.

I did not get to visit Goodison Park until much later in life. I was 42, in fact. It was April 2015, almost 30 years after becoming an Evertonian, I fulfilled a lifelong wish to visit the sacred ground at L4 4EL.

I was at the game when we beat Manchester United 3-0. The atmosphere was exhilarating. One day before the game, I got to meet Graeme Sharp, Howard Kendall (pictured below) and Graham Stuart outside Goodison Park. I tried to be as calm as I could when one of my childhood heroes appeared right in front of me but it turns out that's easier said than done!

After the game I got to meet then-manager Roberto Martinez and several first-team players. 

I was also very happy to know that in the same year, Everton would be travelling to Singapore to be part of the Asia Barclays Trophy competition. 

As the Supporters' Club host of Singapore, we organised a regional futsal tournament where we saw fans from around the region take part in an exciting five-a-side futsal game. 

The Australians won that inaugural competition. It was such an honour to be able to host our fellow fans from all over the world and I must say I did make plenty more friends with fellow Toffees, whom I keep in touch with to this day.

My two boys, aged 11 and 14, are Evertonians, too. 

I did give them a choice to choose their club when they were eight or nine years old, but they both decided to stick with their old man. 

We celebrate our wins and feel heartache when we lose. There have been times when my older boy will break down and cry after we lost an important game. Those times allowed me to teach him about loyalty and that life isn't always a bed of roses (and VAR decisions can sometimes be quite terrible!). 

My hope is that one day, I am able visit Goodison Park with my boys.

Hopefully, that day will come soon. For now, we are contented to be watching and following our beloved club from where we are.

Up the Toffees.

By Tommy Lobinhoot Low, Evertonian and Chairman of Singapore Everton Supporters' Club

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