It’s a Grand Old Team to play for, apparently. It’s a Grand Old Team to support too. We can’t vouch for either of those statements, however. And yet, we do know our history. We know how the long story of Everton Football Club first became lodged in our own, and so here we are to explain in our own inimitable, yet haggard, fashion. Don’t ask us why they run out to the theme of Z-Cars though. It seems no-one really knows the answer to that.
Everton: Who Are They?
It’s 1878 and the members of St Domingo church need something to do during the winter. Cricket, as you may guess, is only good for so much of the year. Football is the solution, and so the club is born; renamed Everton the following year to better represent that part of Liverpool. Within a decade, the Toffees are one of the first members of the Football League and a long, rich heritage is set in motion. We could be here for a while…
To cut a long story short because we’ve all got lives to lead, it ain’t long before the club establishes itself as a dominant force in English football. Everton were, for example, the third-ever champions of the land – and the last before the Second World War Two saw regular football come to a halt in 1939. That was their fifth title, by the way, and there were also two FA Cup wins during this time. But have they ever won the Conference? Er. No.
It’s not as if they’ve ever had the chance to. Not since 1954 have the Toffees been outside the top flight. Only Arsenal can beat that stretch. There has been enough glory along the way; the mid-1980s in particular: League Cup runners-up and FA Cup winners (1984); league champions, FA Cup runners-up and European Cup Winners’ Cup, erm, winners (1985); league and FA Cup runners-up (1986); and champions for a ninth time (1987).
Times have been a bit leaner since Sky invented football in 1992. In the first 10 years of the Premier League, it wasn’t unusual for the Toffees to risk their long unbroken stand in the top flight, before pulling it round at the 11th hour. Or relying on goal difference, as they did in 1998! And, yet, there was still a little sprinkling of glory amid the comparative league gloom; the club winning the 1995 FA Cup against Manyoo.
Us And Them…
Everton have stopped getting involved with the perennial strugglers, yo-yoers and fallen giants of the Premier League. Now, it’s more likely you’ll find them making the odd lunge towards the Top Six(TM). Our paths first crossed when we were as close to the Toffees as we’d ever been, and yet still two divisions short. At the start of the 2013-4 League One season, our reward for our League Cup First Round win was a trip to Goodison Park.
We made life uncomfortable for ’em, too. Luke Freeman gave us a shock lead in the first half, before the hosts levelled just before half time. After we forced extra time, James Dunne fluffed his lines and Marouane Fellaini took full advantage five minutes from time. It was Fellaini’s last goal for the Toffees before heading across to Manyoo, and it was Roberto Martinez’ first win as Everton boss. It was also so close, yet so far for us.
But, hey, we didn’t wait long for a chance to avenge that loss. That season, the FA Cup Third Round draw paired us together yet again. You wait ages for your first meeting with Everton, then two come along at once eh? This tie, however, would be less memorable. The Toffees (the guests this time) were a much slicker outfit and eased to a four-goal win at the Lamex; our cause not helped by a dreadful Lucas Akins miss.
And Then What?
The tie marked the end of Bryan Oviedo’s season, for a start. A freak collision with Simon Heslop saw the Costa Rican taken to hospital with a double leg break. Everton marched on, however, and finished the season sixth in the league – one place above Liverpool. Their FA Cup run, meanwhile, was comprehensively nobbled by Arsenal in the Quarter Finals. And for Boro’? Why, we went and got ourselves relegated. Good times, eh?
It’s not been as fun for Everton in the Premier League since, mind you. In both 2014-5 and 2015-6, the Toffees had to settle for mid-table finishes; not quite pushing for the Europe as they had been. The latter of those two terms did see them reach two cup semi-finals, however; Man City doing for ’em in the League Cup and Manyoo in the FA Cup. Our paths, though, haven’t come any closer to crossing once more. Yet.
Everton: Boro’s Record
P2 W0 D0 L2 F1 A6 – League Points: 0, Cup Meetings: 2, Win Rate: 0%
• BoroGuide’s Everton club profile – for old time’s sake…