Posted 31 Oct 2006 - 14:39
By phil howard
I am 34 years of age but I can tell you the following and much more: Bobby Collins was a better player at Everton than at Leeds, where he won European footballer of the Year.
Tommy Ring was one of the most skilful players to ever play for Everton but never got over breaking his leg. Alex Young sometimes went missing away from home. Jimmy Husband cost us the '68 cup final. And many more things.
Why do I know this? Because my Dad told me other kids were brought up with children's fairytales, my brother and I were listening to grand tales of Everton and loving every minute of them.
Then when I was four I got to go to Goodison West Ham at home in '77. We won two-one and McKenzie scored. I cried the whole time in the upper Glwadys Street because I wanted the toilet and was too scared to go with so many people there - a story my father never bored of telling.
I was hooked and never got over it.
My Dad would take us everywhere, home and away. If we were playing midweek away he would write me a note for school saying I was at the dentist or hospital or something The teachers must have thought me the sickest boy in school.
He first saw Everton in a war match at Crewe. Tommy Lawton got five that was another favourite bedtime tale.
He followed them from that day to this 67 years.
One of my favourite memories is Southampton away in march '85, the championship season. We won two-one and at the station waiting for the train was then England manager, Bobby Robson. My Dad marched straight up to him and demanded to know why Peter Reid was not in the England squad. Mr Robson tried to get away but was pursued down the platform with my Dad screaming at him. He was none too happy when I asked for Robson's autograph.
The next England squad, Reid was in. My Dad was convinced it was down to him.
I told him towards the end, just before he left us, that he had ruined my life bringing me up an Evertonian. It cost me a fortune and brought mainly misery; why couldn't he have got me into trainspotting or something? I didn't mean it though, he brought me up right. I am Blue because he was, and my happiest memories of my father are the ones of him at the match.
He has not been for 18 months because of his health, but the next time I enter Goodison will the hardest, knowing he won't be with me and our kid again, and I won't have to put up with his rants about the performance.
He was a great father and a great Evertonian. Bye Dad.
In memory of Dennis Howard. 31 July 1932-27 October 2006.
Posted 31 Oct 2006 - 14:54
Posted 31 Oct 2006 - 19:17
Posted 31 Oct 2006 - 20:52
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