I’ve Seen Dixie, Now I Dream Of Glory At Bramley-Moore

I’ve Seen Dixie, Now I Dream Of Glory At Bramley-Moore

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My father was an Evertonian and he went to Goodison regularly in his younger days, including the 1933 FA Cup Final at Wembley.

Throughout the 1930s his work as a draftsman took him from Liverpool to various places throughout his career. When I was born in 1944 my family lived in Anglesey where he led a team designing a motor torpedo boat to compete with the German E-boats. Then when the war was over his employers moved their base back to the Isle of Wight – but my Scouser father couldn’t bear the thought of living so far from Liverpool so we moved back to Waterloo.

My treat for my fifth birthday was being taken to the South Liverpool ground to watch a charity game where I saw Dixie Dean play for Old Everton (vs Old Liverpool).

Dean played in two charity games around that time and for this, apparently, the insurance company, which after retiring from football – due to the injuries he accumulated over the course of his playing career – demanded the return of the money he received, such as So was then dealt with players.

In 1951 tragedy struck and Everton were relegated.

I was taken to a few games by my dad but back then, as a little kid who didn’t know any better, I objected to watching second division football and instead demanded to be taken to Anfield to see Liverpool in to watch the premier league play. …How it must have hurt my dad, but he actually took me out a few times.

Then he found a way to restore my connection to Everton.

He had a good friend whose son played for Liverpool (it was Laurie Hughes who later played for the neighbors more than 300 times!) and had a car. He was willing to do us a favour, so he picked us up on match days and took us to Goodison for the Everton game while onward to Anfield to play for Liverpool Reserves in the Central League.

Because of Laurie’s post-game libation we had to make our own way home, but I was happy to brag about our lift to Goodison to my school friends and fell in love with the place.

It wasn’t long before Everton returned to the First Division but my loyalty to the Blues was already unbreakable.

Almost 70 years later my father is long gone and after living in the south from 1962 to 1998 I now live in Derbyshire.

For most of those years – and still today – I had a season ticket in the grandstand.

I initially traveled from London with ESCLA, but today I go to games with a great group of friends, all Scousers who live in Derbyshire or South Yorkshire. We share cars and enjoy our memories of games we’ve seen over the years, as well as our hopes for the game we travel to.

In over 70 years I’ve watched Everton’s great and lesser teams and been leavened with too few fantastically exhilarating performances – but hope lives on forever and I dream of being there when Everton play in the Champions League at the new stadium of Bramley plays -Moore Dock on their way to once again being the best team in England and Europe.

By David Catton, Evertonian

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