My First Everton Match: QPR, May 1984

  Everton 3 QPR 1, (Sharp 2, Heath) (Allen), Saturday May 12th 1984, 3pm. Attendance: 20,679

  I didn’t make it to my first Everton match until I was 13, in 1984. I had been an Evertonian since the late seventies when players like Bob Latchford, Andy King and Peter Eastoe were idolised on the terraces and in the school playground. I became more interested in football and Everton because of the 1982 World Cup in Spain. The Italian striker, Paolo Rossi became an overseas hero for me as he was Italy’s star player and the tournament’s top goal scorer. Italy also played in blue and white which was an added bonus.

  Everton’s fortunes changed for the better during the 1983/84 season. The blues reached two cup finals at Wembley and finished 7th in the league. All this culminated in my Dad taking me to the last home game of the season against QPR. My Dad used to go and watch Everton in the fifties and sixties. His passion was reignited by the club’s high flying status which saw him return to Goodison Park for matches throughout the eighties and nineties.

  My Dad and I were accompanied by my Uncle Owen who is a Liverpool fan. Owen had been to watch Everton before in the 1970s with his Evertonian mate Joey. Both of them would occasionally watch Everton and Liverpool like so many did back then. The three of us set off in my Dad’s car and parked near Goodison Park. We then had a short walk to the ground where we then queued up at the box office and bought tickets for the Main Stand. I then went to the souvenir shop with my Dad where I bought a match programme and a photo of club captain Kevin Ratcliffe. Next we went to the chippy for our lunch before taking our seats in the Main Stand.

  There was a buzz around the ground because Everton were going to be involved in the up and coming FA Cup final at Wembley a week later. I only have a vague recollection of the actual match. QPR took to the field in a stylish red and black hooped top, black shorts and black socks reminiscent Brazilian club Flamengo. I vividly remember Adrian Heath scoring for Everton and him celebrating in front of the Glwadys Street. I seem to remember QPR’s goal more. It was a header scored by Clive Allen, down at the Park End goal, opposite where we were sitting in the Main Stand.

  It was a fantastic day attending my first Everton match and seeing them win 3-1. It was also very good to go to the game with my Dad and my Uncle. The week after was even better as I watched Everton on TV beating Watford 2-0 at Wembley to win the FA Cup.