(* = Lingo alert)
Evertonians are born, not manufactured. We do not choose, we are chosen. Those that understand, need no explanation. Those that don’t understand, don’t matter!
25 years ago today was a special day. Everton beat Watford 2-0 to claim their 4th F.A. Cup title. It was also the day I was “chosen” to be an Evertonian.
Like all young lads in Hong Kong, I grew up playing and loving the beautiful game. Everyday before class, during recess and after school you would find me roaming around the concrete pitch (yes, there is such a thing), playing footy* with my classmates. As a reward for doing well in school, my dad would take me to the park, teach me some basic skills and kick the ball around with me. One year during the year-end parent teacher meeting, my head teacher asked my parents why I wore shorts throughout the school year, even during the winter months. My parents didn’t know the reason so I had to explain that it was footy related – I didn’t want to rip my pants while playing. The REAL reason? It was just a hassle playing in pants.
When I’m not playing the game, I would be glued to the Tele* every Saturday afternoon watching the Chinese version of BBC’s “Match of The Day”( 英國足球大賽). That was my introduction to the old English First Division. But I didn’t know which club to support.
A fellow EPL fan I’ve just met: So, I support (insert one of the so-called big four), which club do you support?
Fong Bao (proudly): Everton!
The fellow (confused, bewildered, etc): Oh……..really……..ok.
To many, it just seems such an unfashionable choice.
So why Everton?
As mentioned off the top, May 19th, 1984 was a special day. That night was the first time I watched a live match from beginning to end. It may have been the colour of the kit, the style of play, the left midfielder with the sweet left foot (Kevin Sheedy) or the fact they won the match. But to this day I still can’t pinpoint the reason why it felt right cheering on the lads in Royal Blue that day. I suppose that’s what we Evertonians meant by being “chosen”.
It’s not easy being a Toffee* since I have yet to find another one in Vancouver, let alone a local supporters club. But I take solace that I’m not a “glory hunter” nor a member of the “prawn sandwich brigade”. Take a look at what “The People’s Club” have achieved with so little, compared to the so-called big four, for the past 5 seasons and you’ll understand why I’m proud to support a club that, arguably, have been, pound for pound, the most efficient club in the Premiership.
Less than a fortnight from now, on May 30th, the Grand Old Team will be in Wembley to take on Chelski for the F.A. Cup. Win or lose, it’s good to be back.
If you know your history……
Come on you Blues!
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