The memory of my first Everton match will never fade. I travelled to England with my husband to visit family and we bought tickets to the biggest game of the season, Everton v. Liverpool at home in Goodison park. Sixteen family members all went to the game, a huge one by any rights but Everton usually did not fare well and many wouldn’t have gone if the Canadian cousins weren’t visiting.
As I walked up the stairs into the stadium, saw the pitch for the first time, and was hit by the noise and anticipation of 42,000 fans it was a sensation akin, I imagine, to a religious awakening.
The vantage point from our seats at Gwladys Street end was so totally different from the experience of watching on tv with the camera looking down on the game. The pitch was a regular size and the players looked huge in comparison.
Never have I watched a more exciting game. Everton opened the score, then scored again, and again. We all were one, thousands of people united, daring to believe and watching the unbelievable happen. I didn’t sit down for longer than a minute, lost my voice by half time and fell in love with Andrew Johnson forever.
A result like that hadn’t happened in 99 years and we had been there to experience it all. We finished the day off with a family bbq, 21 Everton fans, three generations spanning age 3 to 83. I’ll always remember my Great Auntie Peggy during that trip, our gracious host, and one of the most generous, funny, strong and wonderful women in the world. She brought so much into my life, the love of Everton being one of them and I will carry that Derby day with me forever – September 6th, 2006.