It's been a long time coming.
"Those who understand, need no explanation... Those who don't understand, don't matter."
Not for quite some time had the above line been as relevant as this time last year, when one of the biggest things that makes us who we are was treated as something corporate bosses could play with.
The crest that had represented us for 75 years was stripped of all its glory, left completely bare of the elements that we had grown to love and be proud of. It was unrecognisable. It was not Everton.
Amidst the understandable (and what should have been expected) uproar, we were then fed the nonsense that the crest had changed before. Not true, or at least a very questionable choice of the word 'change'.
Since 1938 when it was introduced, the crest of Everton Football Club had contained two laurel wreaths flanking St Rupert's tower, with club motto 'Nil Satis Nisi Optimum' presented in a scroll underneath. Even in the 1970s when a simple 'EFC' adorned the club's shirt, the crest could be seen on match programmes and countless other things representing Everton. The same is true during the 1980s, during which time kits featured just the wreaths and the tower.
The point is, when the crest was created back in 1938, it stuck. Generations of Evertonians grew up to respect it and wear it with pride. When something means so much to so many, why on earth would anyone even consider tampering with it?
We found ourselves asking questions like this, with a lack of legitimate answers preceding an eventual 'apology' from the club. A subsequent vote, for which we should be very grateful to the hard work of former Director of Communications Alan Myers, ensured a return to something we had wanted all along: an Everton crest.
On a personal level, perhaps one of the most controversial consequences of this time last year was my decision not to buy anything containing the badge masquerading as our crest. I spoke to people who completely agreed and planned to do the same, but also some who suggested I get a grip.
Both sets of fans, however, would probably have been shocked to learn that I would not attend a home game whilst what I considered to be a fake badge surrounded Goodison. Prior to it being plastered across the ground, I had bought tickets for the pre-season friendly against Real Betis. I didn't go, and then missed out on seeing any of Roberto Martinez's excellent first season from the stands.
Having endured my first season in which I didn't watch a game at Goodison, I sincerely hope it is my last. I previously couldn't imagine a situation that would keep me away from watching Everton, and a lot of supporters reading this now will probably see me as extremely passionate or extremely idiotic (or both!). Matchdays are special, but even that moment when you first see the ground in the distance didn't have the same feeling any more. It felt like whilst everything was going so well on the pitch, an imposter with no eyes (wreaths) and no message ('Nil Satis...') was claiming the credit.
The biggest positive to come out of the whole situation is that, as we always do, Evertonians stood up for themselves. The people responsible for the change had tried to pull a fast one on the fans, but they hadn't counted on us fighting back. Supporters of smaller clubs may well have been powerless to act against the suits who are only interested in making a quick buck. Not at Everton though.
There is a distinct difference to having a resemblance to an Everton crest and actually being one. Disgracefully, the 2013/14 monstrosity could claim neither.
Good riddance to bad rubbish.
Time for me to get back to Goodison. Up the Toffees. Tony Davies @TonyDefc
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