My Everton #102: A Double Love Story From Canada Via Cayman Islands

I first moved to England from Canada in August 1999, on a hope and a prayer to live with a woman I met working in the Cayman Islands. 

I'd heard of Liverpool, the city. I had memories of the Hillsborough disaster from my junior high years as it was felt worldwide but, soccer, as I naively called it back then, was really just a sport I played when I was a wee nipper. 

I quickly found out that in England one of the first questions people ask you, even in job interviews, was, 'What team do you support?'... I didn't have a proper answer but I figured, since we drank Newcastle ale as youngsters back in Canada, Newcastle would be an answer to give when asked the inevitable question.

My first-ever football match was Everton v Newcastle. It happened to be Big Dunc's first match back at Goodison Park as a Newcastle player and, at that time, little did I understand the significance of that. 

I was under strict instructions from my friend to keep my mouth shut if I was supporting Newcastle, who came out 2-0 winners on the day. To be honest, I was just taken in by the whole experience of a matchday.

Over the next few years I went to all sorts of matches whenever and wherever I could. I went to see Wigan, Everton and I even the neighbours lose to Roma at home in the UEFA Cup. 

Fast forward to 2009, I somehow landed a free ticket in the Gwladys Street for an FA Cup replay between Everton and Liverpool. 

When Dan Gosling scored the winner that was it for me. What a moment - and I finally had my team.

We moved to Canada that summer and who would be in town? The mighty Blues. It was like it was all meant to be.

What a ride it has been since. Both of my children, who were born on Merseyside, are Evertonians, too. Their first match was Ross Barkley's senior debut against QPR. Most of my wife's family are Reds but I'm glad there is a nice vein of Blue running through the family.

We're hooked for life.

By Niall Wolfram, Evertonian

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