Then And Now
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My first away game with Everton was at Stoke City on Saturday November 8th 1975 only to watch us lose 3-2 with Jim Pearson and sub George Telfer netting for the blues.

I got a coach which cost me 50p return, 35p entrance fee and a programme 15p a grand total of £1!! Yes £1!!. Fast forward 37 years and that £1 won't even get you a cup of tea!

So how different was the game then to how it is now? For me personally I preferred them days more than today's game dictated by Sky TV, the only sky we knew then was that big blue thing hovering above us.

When the fixtures were released you knew exactly where you stood and Saturday games kicked off at 3pm and the midweek ones at 7.30pm.

Today, the fixtures are released and you just don't know when they will be played due to the money being thrown about the Premiership as tv companies fight for the games to meet the armchair fans requirements.

The grounds had more of a working class mentality to it then with the smell of Bovril flavoured drinks and onions and hot dog snacks opposed to people sitting in hospitality suites having t bone steaks and bottles of chateauneuf du pape with delicacies from the sweet trolley to follow.

The atmosphere was more superior then as today's game lacks that maybe due to the all seater stadiums we have today and there was no end of football songs sung unlike today's repetitive shanties.

The players wore numbers from 1-11 with one substitute sitting on the bench with the manager and the trainer but today we have players who inherit a squad number and the bench looks like a choir vestry.

When the he FA cup games required replays you knew that the replay was destined for the midweek following the last game unlike today as it's anyone's guess when the matches are finally confirmed.

The FA Cup semi Final venues were normally Villa Park and Hillsborough and NOT Wembley with the old Wembley being the main reason for hosting the end of season showpiece.

We had a home kit and ONE away kit and no such thing as a third strip which never gets worn unlike today's strips that are no more than fashion accessories.

The European Cup was for the league Champions of each league opposed to the glorified 'European Circus Champions league' format we have today.

My first season ticket was for the main stand in season 1976/77 which cost me then £36!! Today you might get a seat in the lower Gwladys Street for that. Ground season tickets were as little as £15!!

Match of the day was so much better then as you got to watch 2 games with extended highlights and not 5 minutes of every game that gives you no real idea as to how the game really went and of course we had Jimmy Hill. That and the Generation game earlier on were worth staying in for on a Saturday evening.

I can't believe all this has changed in 37 years but Everton are still Everton and I still love 'em to bits.

What do you remember of the changes in your time watching your beloved blues?

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Comments about Then And Now
My first away game was Derby County around season 77/78. I recall what a claustrophobic atmospheric ground this happened to be. Corrugated sheets of iron assisted the Everton fans with their songs as hands and feet kicked and banged in Samba style in the Columbo End to spur on the Toffee Men on the notoriously consistent glue pot of a pitch. If N.A.S.A. launched a lunar module to circumnavigate the surface at the Baseball Ground they had to have wisely invested in a AA/RAC type surface recovery package to rescue its probe as the only pictures it would be beaming back to Mission Controlwould be that of the Head Groundsman up to his neck in mud trying to salvage his pouch of tobacco and his rollies,before calling it a day. On entering the turnstile this day of baptism I noticed my first piece of home fans graffiti to strike fear into the mind of any visiting fan on a near by wall. It read DCLF, that is Derby County Lunatic Fringe. In my naivety I assumed it was a group of people who frequented the same barber whose strong point was not snipping straight. As it turned out, there were other hi-lights, pardon the hairdressing pun, to come out of this trip. I still have the programme to this day, The Ram, an unusual match day publication, as it was more a newspaper than a glossier one that most other clubs had on offer. I think Derby were trying to kill two birds with one stone here, as if you possessed the will power to eventually make it to the toilet after consuming one or two pre match government health warning sausage rolls,and cubicle resources were not available,hey presto,The Ram, the match day read for all scenarios. But the stand out attraction of the day was the Derby souvenir shop, superbly called The Ramtique. Don't know whether or not their marketing people were on the money with this brand name, but it seems that visionary commercial marketing in Asia and the U.S was an unheard of commodity in the back streets of 70's footballing Britain,and there was a closer alliance with the club's supporters and innocence and allegiance was still prominent before it took a turn for the worse in and around the stadiums. The fixture from what I remember ended 0-0 and a shocker of a debut away match, but this game was to have many rivals for worst away performances. Could have been worse though,might have had some kiosk food at Derby and come home without my Ram match day read.
The Obstructed View, Liverpool, 3:53 PM 7/08/2012
We had a winger called Gary Jones in the mid 70's. Could go past anyone with ease. Was the victim of some vicious 'assaults' from an AC Milan team (Ian, Culcheth mentions). What happened is anyones guess, I think he had a bust up with Bingham and he left and never lived up to his early promise. 1977 League Cup Final at Wembley, I didn't realise how many fans we had till that day, 1.000's everywhere.
Dave Charles, Liverpool, 8:39 AM 4/07/2012
Good on you, Les. Here's another memory. League Cup semi-final, 2ng leg Burnden Park - all my family come from Bolton, and we were in the Great Lever End, Ronnie Goodlass ( I think it was Ronnie) cross for Big Bob, straight in front of us, 1-0, and I went ballistic with ecstasy; only went to Wembley and Maine Rd for the final, and didn't hear the last of it from my family until the mid-eighties!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Joe Dids, Bury, Lancs, 12:42 AM 4/07/2012
We went all over the country following the Toffees during the Bingham and Lee years. The trick was to be very,very,very,drunk. p.s. Martin Dobson, what a player!
Lennie, West Kirby., 7:42 PM 2/07/2012
West Brom away was snowed off but in my mind that was about 20 mins before kick-off.
Les, Liverpool, 7:05 PM 2/07/2012
I rememnber that day at Ipswich. We took 3 special trains from Lime Street. From what I remember Mick Buckley snatched a draw very late in the game.
Steve Zocek, Warrington, 6:23 PM 2/07/2012
Paul Mariner's repeated v-signs and gesticulation to EFC fans in the away end at Portman Road, 3-3 draw, great match - great fun! But you did have to watch yer back on the way out.
Martin, Jersey, 2:46 PM 2/07/2012
Joe Dids, Bury snowed off game was away to Bolton, new year's hols I think. I stood near the floodlight pylon with no roof. Big f**k off battle when it got stopped with thousands of blues there!!!
Mike, Lpool, 1:22 PM 2/07/2012
The Frddy Boswell cart men selling hotdogs with boiled onions and the sniff of cheap slimline panatellas was always the smell of goodison when I was a kid.
Shoney, Auckland NZ, 6:35 AM 2/07/2012
The 70s (apart from 69/70) were hard work for watching Everton - my first away games were in season 74/75, the worst experience being the 3-0 defeat to Carlisle (who got a 6-2 double over us that season!!). I also remember going to an away game in the early 70s, that was snowed off, with about 20 mins to go, but can't remember where it was. Can anybody help!?
Joe Dids, Bury, 11:43 PM 1/07/2012
Yeah - it was purgatory watching Alan Ball, George Best, Tony Currie etc. The 70's weren't brilliant for Evertonians, I'll grant you (Apart from a couple of seasons) but I agree with everything in the article. Happy days...£3.50 for a Wembley ticket for starters.
Foxy, Wirral, 10:56 PM 1/07/2012
Jimmy Husband having his leg broken by Dave McKay (a "player" who proudly claimed he'd never been sent off!) John Connnolly's leg broken by a thug from Altrincham, AC Milan at Goodison, legalised thuggery. Clever though - they took it in turns and always behind the ref's back. We were average to say the least but I believed we could win the league every season. Sadly I still do - that's being a blue isn't it?
Ian, Culcheth, 9:03 PM 1/07/2012
My Dad says the 70s were a shite time for watching football so I'm glad I didn't have to watch it.
Smegger, Nogsy, 2:39 PM 1/07/2012
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