My Everton #120: Blue Genes

My first experience of Everton was when I was around six or seven years old. I realised I was a Blue while I was looking through my dad's old work gear. He was a docker - a welder by trade and hidden amongst his gear was a box, when I opened it was full of Everton things... photographs, newspaper clippings etc.  I felt a connection that very moment. I can’t describe it but I felt dad had left me a gift.

You see, I lost my dad - Frank Bellis - when I was just six years old. He was 38. I knew he was an Evertonian. Our family's folklore says he sneaked into the ‘66 FA Cup final by flashing a John Player Special cigarette packet, claiming he was press and ended up sitting right behind the goal with the photographers!

My first game memory was around 1983. I remember that it was raining, it went dark before the match finished and at the final whistle there was discontent... But I loved it.

My brother took me to the other side of the park for a game. It was packed out and they won 3-1 - but I felt nothing. It didn't interest me at all. Everton were my team. 

Matchdays back in the day we’re great. I used to get the bus from Cantril Farm to Tuebrook and walk up Priory Road in my old bobble hat. There were so many great memories made with my mates. We were the Everton gang.

Needless to say I was very fortunate to watch the Blues with Howard Kendall at the helm and THAT team of the 1980s that went on to win the league title, FA Cup and European Cup Winners' Cup. Wow.

I had the privilege of standing on the terraces in the Gwladys Street singing, “Bring on the Champions”, with the Canon league trophy. I can still visualise it today. 

Through all the teams and mangers since, I’m as proud now as I was then to be an Evertonian and now my own family are all Blues, too. 

So, thanks, Dad, for having Blue genes.

By Steven Bellis, Evertonian

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