By Matthew Barry
As I enter my 4th decade on this planet today and whilst there is an international break, I’ve been able to sit and reflect on this question. It’s been doing the rounds a little bit on social media, and there was a fantastic question on the Blue Room Extra Mailbag podcast: Would you give Everton up for £1 million pounds?
I’m sort of in the middle of old Everton and new Everton, I’ve cried the tears of joy and dispair.
I’ve been in the fortunate position to see and know my club as the best, to watch them with the utter confidence that we weren’t getting beat regardless of who we were playing. As a supporter, having this feeling, having this sheer belief is massively powerful. It’s powerful because it comes from the whole club, from top to bottom. The confidence, energy, belief, even arrogance in some respects of knowing that when we take to the pitch, we can’t be matched, we can’t be beaten, the only way it would happen is if we let it. It’s a magnificent feeling. The belief in the management team to the boardroom to uphold our traditions and motto, to strive every day and every game to fulfill it.
I’ve been there and I’ve lived that and hopefully I’ll live it again. I’d love for both my sons, indoctrinated into EFC to be able to wear there Everton shirts over the park and in PE lessons and know what all their friends are looking at them whilst wearing their Chelsea, Man City, Man Utd, Spurs & Liverpool shirts and thinking top side Everton, great players, maybe I should have supported them, they win trophies all the time…. I’d love for them to know and feel what I’ve felt, not just watch the DVD’s, look at the photos and pictures with me and listen to me tell them the stories over and over again. It’s like a history lesson for them, something that is folklore, like it’s happened and never will again.
Also by contrast, I’ve seen the worst, I’ve seen us get left behind on and off the pitch. Crying like a baby because we’ve managed to stay in the top division, and then realising what the club has become and how far we have actually fallen behind our traditional peer group. The ridiculousness of the reality of this is just painful. Anybody reading this doesn’t need reminding of the last 25 years.
Maybe just maybe we are on the way back, a wealthy owner, BMD on the horizon, I’ll park the manager situation for a moment.. but for the first time in a long time we are looking for that seat at the top table.
So what of the question, What does Everton really mean to you?
To me they are one of two constants in my life along with my family. That automatically makes them priceless to me. It makes them irreplaceable, friends will come and go, relationships will end, people will come in and go out of your life, but what remains? For me, family and Everton. It’s what I’ve always known, it’s my default, even when times are bad and when we’ve been bad, it’s a constant in my life, it provides me with my escape, it provides me with my hopes and dreams, it provides me with everything I wanted to be, but never could be. I watch 11 lads on the field and wish to God I could be or could have been one of them, I well up when I talk about us, I we’ll up when I here and tell the stories about us. Most people don’t understand why I feel this way, but most of you reading, if any, will identify with me.
£1 million pound to give up Everton? It’s not even a question. That’s what Everton means to me.