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The day I broke my derby rule

fatspanishwaiterI haven’t watched an away derby in four years. I just can’t hack them anymore. A series of poor performances, results, injustice meant that my blood pressure rises to a point where the top of my head blows off.

The 0-4 three years ago, which was the worst since the ‘Keeley derby’ in 1982 seemed to prove my point. Oh i’m a nice person… I give to charity, have been known to fight the causes of the under privileged, I recycle and I encourage my sons to treat others with dignity and respect. Except on derby day! I’ve decided It’s not worth the risk to my health, marriage and sanity to view this match that takes place at the a******e of the world.

To add perspective, i’m not a very good loser and have also been known to be a poor winner. I remember following a 2-1 victory over Ipswich in the FA cup quarter final 1980 coming home very drunk at 2am I accessed the phone code for Ipswich I phoned as many Ipswich phone numbers from a local phone box as I could and sang “2-1, 2-1” etc…

On a family holiday in Lanzarote having watched a show, all the children were encouraged to go up on the stage for ‘one last song’. That song happened to be “ynwa” at which I ran to the front of the stage to drag my boys off. I always wondered why ‘that song’ was sometimes played at the end of weddings. At one wedding many blues stood on a table and sang Everton songs while that dirge was being played. Not a good way to end a wedding I think…

I moved to Torrevieja on Spain’s Costa Blanca nearly 18 months ago and to keep watching the Blues live hasn’t always been plain sailing. A mix of local bars and dodgy internet have had mixed results. Most of the bars in Torrevieja are very Spanish, it’s only when you venture to the outskirts and the urbanisations that the bars that cater for English football are found. It will never replace the live experience but the sunshine helps a little to cushion the blow.

We moved house in April this year and were in the process of getting to know our new local which, fortunately, shows premier league football. My son and his girlfriend were visiting and Chris told me he wanted to watch the derby. I refused and told him to go out and watch it but after a long discussion I said he could watch it in the house. That way we would avoid confrontation with other people and I would have a sympathetic fellow blue in which to put the world to rights should we lose. Unfortunately, our new place had a reputation for having dodgy internet coverage and it crashed ten minutes before kick off. Stupidly I was persuaded to go to our new ‘local’ with my wife, son and his partner as we were ‘due a win’ according to my son. How I wish I hadn’t.

Within minutes I realised I was in a (Spanish/Irish) bar mainly populated with British neutrals and Scandinavians (guess what’s coming?). In fairness the first 20 minutes went without scene. I realised the table behind me had Liverpool supporting Scandinavians sat around it and although we weren’t playing well I felt we didn’t look like conceding. Still, it was the derby and my critical comments were becoming louder and louder. I was receiving looks from the owner (which I hadn’t noticed) and it was suggested by my wife that I make my comments a little quieter.

As we approached half time I was hopeful we would get to the break on level terms. Then of course we decided that we wouldn’t concede one but two goals in quick succession.

That was when I stood up and started to shout at the telly. Oh yes! Telly baiting at its worst. The “F’s” and “B’s” started, especially when their goals seemed to go down quite well with those in the bar. It was at that point my wife exited the pub. Apparently I’d had quite a few final warnings and the bar manager was staring at me so in the spirit of big Dunc, I completely ignored them.

The half time break came and gave some respite. It was five minutes into the 2nd half that I completely lost it.

Have you ever experienced a situation when you know who is at fault, yet you blame pretty much everyone including the guilty party, just for fairness of course.

Funes-Mori at least showed passion when he went in full blooded and took out Origi but I was straight up accusing Origi of diving, I then started on Klopp and was clearly leaving Funes-Mori until the end. My best was saved till last however when I completely lost it, shouting “you’re just a fat Spanish waiter” in a Spanish bar, to… an Argentinian? As I was about to be kicked out I looked around at everyone, and gave a double two-fingered salute to the “all the f****n red s****s” and walked out.

My son tells me that as I left the Norwegians (as it tuned out) said to him “your friend is not happy”. I missed the rest of the game and vowed never to watch an away derby until we had a team with a chance of winning. As for getting back into my local bar? That’s another story…

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Paul Chaloner

Paul Chaloner was born less than a mile from Goodison Park in 1962. He retired to Spain where he follows Everton from afar. He went to his first Everton match in 1970 (5-2 v chelsea), sold cushions in the stands throughout the 1970s until they were abandoned in the early 1980s and continued to watch the blues until relatively recently before going to live in Spain. He has three sons, all blues!

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