Born not manufactured we often say. We do not choose we are chosen.
Listening to the Dr David France interview on ToffeeTV earlier in the week, he recounted how his Dad told him he couldn’t have a bike for Christmas because he’d already given him the greatest gift of all: Everton.
My first game with my Dad was Man City at home 26 Dec 1973 (2-0 win), and my son Glenn’s against the same opponents in January 2008 (1-0, Lescott). Over the years we have shared the ups and the downs. I’m a wimp who hates fairground rides and rollercoasters in particular; nothing can ever prepare you for Everton’s ability to take your from triumph to despair and back in the blink of an eye.
Tomorrow three generations of the Armstrongs will gather again at the Old Lady in the Top Balcony. This time under the lights on a Friday night, via a jar in the Winslow first. We’ll be there with a sense of optimism, in spite of two defeats on the spin to Norwich and Bournemouth.
Most important of all, though, we will be together, doing something we love at a place we adore. It’s a ritual played out by thousands week in, week out. Z Cars, the hairs on the back of your neck. Anticipation, hope, excitement, but, more than anything, belonging.
It’s always emotional watching the Blues, but being there with your Dad and your son takes it to another level and makes the blue blood coarse through the veins just that little bit faster.
I’m sure there will be plenty like me doing the same tomorrow. We are lucky, and I will always be grateful to my Dad for the greatest gift of all. It is an honour to receive it and a joy to pass it on. We go the game, it’s what we do.
Come on You Blues!