Forgive me for overlooking a wonderful GAA championship but with Tyrone’s SKY love-in and Chris Kamara and his mate visiting Garvaghy (‘unbelievable Jeff!’), it would be remiss not to address Wayne’s return to Goodison Park.
I”ve been advised that all I’ve got to do is act naturally and it won’t be long before I’ll be chanting, “ROONAY, ROONAY, ROONAY”. No way, no way, you won’t see me at that craic.
Because I became an Everton fan all of 49 years ago, around February 1968 when Merseyside’s greatest heroes The Beatles ruled the world of popular music.
In the town where I was born, the GAA had a ban on watching, never mind playing ‘foreign games’.
You had to hide your love away, but who could resist Geordie Best, the fifth Beatle, mesmerising defences and the ladies, or Celtic who had just conquered all of Europe. But it was the Yer Blues for me.
Maybe I should have known better but I was smitten and with I love like that, how could I be anything else but glad?
Yesterday’s heroes are easy to recall – West, Wright, Kendall, Labone, Ball… Who was the only member of the Royal family to play for England was the trick question; Answer: Joe Royle! Back of the net! Another headed goal from the centre forward!
In my life the love grew stronger despite realising with the passing years that this team does not lift many trophies. Teenage life became a diet of Embassy Regal, Clan Dew, Horslips, Frank McGuigan and Everton.
It was a long and winding road. After winning the league in 1970 Everton didn’t lift their next trophy until 1984, when they beat Watford 2-0 in the FA Cup final.
“Well Elton I guess that’s why they call us the Blues” read the banner directed at the Hornets’ Chairman.
There is the story of young Rafferty who was slobbering about Man Utd in a pub and said to his mate as they left, “Why didn’t you back me? We’ve supported United since we were at primary school.”
Friend Mickey tersely replied, “Because I grew up, that’s why.”
Alas I didn’t grow up either and continued to follow the Toffees with a passion, despite the obvious clues that Premiership clubs care little or nothing for their loyal fans.
Check out footage on the net last week of Liverpool millionaire superstars boarding a bus and ignoring kids asking for autographs to the strains of Hello Goodbye.
Everton haven’t won a trophy in over 20 years but I remained faithful until Chairman Kenwright didn’t respond to my letter for one measly FA Cup final ticket in 2009.
The penny finally dropped, as I whimpered, “Love, love me do, you know I love you, I’ll always be true, so please, love me do”.
Not that it stopped me going over to Merseyside in more recent years with visits to Goodison thrown in, but the passion, the child of the 60s, was nowhere, man.
However nothing could have prepared me for the phone call I received two weeks ago when an old comrade said, “I read the news today, oh boy…” Rooney was going back to Everton.
This was the Wayne Rooney who strutted around wearing a shirt, “Once a blue always a blue”, yet when he hit the headlines, looked at Old Trafford and screamed, “I got my mind set on you, I got my mind set on you… it’s going to take money, a whole lot of spending money to do it right.”
He went off to put his foot on Everton necks while the Blue man loyally declared, “I don’t care too much for money, money can’t buy me love…”
Now the fickle fans are welcoming him back after he gave the best years to another. Not this kid… it’s all over now baby blue; Everton no more.
Yesterday love was such an easy game to play, now I need a place to hide away. Don’t worry, I’ll get by with a little help from my friends.
It is a club with no self respect and no ambition. People advise me to let it be but you can’t do that. It’s Help! the Everton fans need, not Rooney.
Rooney says he wore Everton pyjamas during his time at Old Trafford. Yes, and I suppose that while he was away he wrote home every day…
I have put in too many hard day’s nights with the Toffees to be that gullible.
Liverpool is a fabulous and proud city and I don’t want to spoil the party but this is not the Merseyside way.
It has been suggested that Everton took Rooney back to sell jerseys. Imagine. They can have mine for nothing.
I’m so tired. It is no wonder I took a week off work but sad my buddies seized the opportunity to slag me when I’m down. I won’t hold it against them. I can carry that weight.
After all, life is very short, and there’s no time for fussing and fighting, my friend…
* With special thanks to The Beatles.