It’s a good time to be an Evertonian. I try not to gush too much on this blog, but sometimes, the heart will out. This, I’m afraid is one of those times. But it’s a good time to be an Evertonian, not just because we’re having another good season on the pitch (despite the torrid beginnings) but because the squad of players, the manager, and the board make me proud to be an Evertonian.
Most of football is seeing a wealth of foreign money, investors who have no emotional interest in their clubs and players who are just looking to make a quick buck and trying to snag a couple of trophies in the process. Not at Everton though. We have a Chairman who is as much of a fan as I am, a manager who is building a dynasty with charisma and dignity and a bunch of players who are genuinely honoured to pull on their jerseys each week, who we fans can actually relate to.
The encapsulation of this spirit at the club is Tim Cahill. The little Aussie that can has gotten better and better since Moyes took a chance on him in signing him from Millwall, and in return for his great performances and incredible commitment he has become beloved by the club’s supporters. But he also seems to have become one of the club’s supporters, when you see him out there on the pitch you know he is constantly busting a gut for your club, for you.
When I used to live in England I had a season ticket in the Park End in Goodison. From the age of about five or six I sat in the same seat, week in week out, and so naturally, my family and I became friends with those around us. We didn’t know them from Jack in the beginning but that didn’t matter, we were united by the love of our club and we were there together through the fleeting ups and prolific downs of the nineties and early naughties.
Since moving to New Zealand, one of those friends in particular has remained in touch, and it is great to hear from him most weeks when we’re up in the middle of the night watching on TV or cussing the Internet connection because the streaming won’t flow continuously. He’s still there, in the same seat, sitting with my uncle and my cousin and god I wish I could be there with him.
That his symptomatic of the bond that football can create, but I bring up this friend mainly because he recently told us about a recent meeting he had with Mr. Tim Cahill himself that summed up everything that is great about the player, the man, and the club as a whole.
This friend of mine has a bit of a part-time dog walking business and about a month ago, he bumped into our favourite little Aussie. They got talking and Tim took my friends number with a view to employing him to look after his dogs in the future. Obviously he was made up, he’d met and chatted to one of his heroes and found him to be a lovely, friendly guy who was down to earth enough to legitimately take his details for future reference.
‘Lo and behold last Saturday morning my friend received a phone call from Tim Cahill himself, ringing to see if he was available to look after his dogs for 10-14 days while he went home to Australia with his family with a view to recovering from a slight calf strain and possibly playing for the Socceroos in their World Cup Qualifier if fit.
Naturally my friend was delighted to agree and so Tim invited him up to his house to meet the dogs and his family and he even sat and watched the second half of the match between Everton and Portsmouth together, in Cahill’s living room. Needless to say, barring the scoreline and eventual result, my mate was in heaven, and I can’t even begin to tell you how jealous I am when I picture him sitting on the couch with the Tim Cahill watching his beloved Blues.
Furthermore, talking as they naturally were about Everton’s upcoming trip to Wembley for the FA Cup semi-final with Manchester United, Tim even offered to get my mate tickets for the match! Having already checked out the price of plane tickets back to the UK I’ve realised that it is completely impossible financially and so I will only be going should we progress to the final, when hopefully Tim could secure us some tickets!!!
I just think that this epitomises the great atmosphere that runs through our club at the moment. Tim is such a nice, obliging bloke and he was willing to take time out and watch the match with a fan, someone he doesn’t know in the slightest. I think it’s fair to say that Tim’s two King Charles pups (10 months old) are going to be the most spoilt rotten dogs in the world over the next week or so.
The great thing is though, that although Tim Cahill is clearly a top, top bloke, I don’t think he is unique within our squad. I would say that should you bump into any of our players they would all be genuinely friendly and pleased to stop and spend some time with you. The reason for that i think, is the same reason why we are still in touch with this friend after all these years.
We only ever saw him on Saturday’s or Sunday’s (or for the odd night match) at Goodison, but that didn’t matter. We were connected because we shared the love for Everton and I think that when it comes down to it, that is why Tim is such a good guy too. He genuinely cares for our club, and so when he met my friend, a like minded bloke, they connected and could easily get on in a way that you just cannot envisage most other modern players doing with their adoring fans.
Everton certainly has an incredible pull on those that it gets to. Most players who come to the club will say in later years that it has a special atmosphere and incredible fans and that once you’re inducted as a member of the club, it stays with you for good. Numerous players over the years have epitomised this feeling, Alan Ball being the first to sum it up and Duncan Ferguson being perhaps the most doting, but even in today’s world of big salaries and disloyalty from players, foreigners like Mikel Arteta and Maruaone Fellaini seem to genuinely feel an attachment to the club.
So let this blog stand as a tribute to Tim Cahill and all of the current staff of Everton football club. We, as fans of the Toffees, can ask no more from you than the 100% commitment that we see from you week in week out and we are incredibly proud and honoured to be able to watch such a brilliantly committed and bloody nice players play week in week out in the royal blue shirts that we so treasure. Here’s to many more years of our special club and to two very spoilt King Charles Terriers.