Everton’s next competitive away game in Europe has been a long time coming, 10 years in fact. So it was with some excitement that we packed Watty off to El Madrigal to watch it, and what better way to kick off our special series of “Away Day” reports than to send him backpacking through Europe for 90 minutes of football?
All my bags are packed I’m ready to go.
It’s only a few hours now until I head off to Liverpool John Lennon Airport (or plain old Speke to those of us who wish to live in the past) and fly out to sunny Spain.
Almost thirty years ago, I was a young innocent following the blues on the ‘Transalpino’* European tours to Rotterdam, Antwerp and Bruges.
*Transalpino were the cheap rail/ferry tickets that got you to anywhere in Europe for about Â£20 quid return.
They were a fantastic experience, visiting strange cities, making friends with all sorts of weirdo Evertonians – in fact, I’m still friends with one of the strangest people I ever met in Rotterdam in 1978 and just having a few beers and a great laugh.
Twenty years ago, I was a poor student, on the verge of getting married and unable to afford any of the great 1985 European away trips. I even missed bloody Rotterdam because I got married a couple of weeks before !
Two years ago I was the jealous football supporter in Portugal witnessing 70,000 Celtic supporters heading for Seville.
I never in a million years dreamt that two years on and it would be Everton’s turn to go on a European venture and I would be lucky enough to get a cheap flight and get me paws on a ticket for the game.
Today it’s Speke, Granada and Elche and tomorrow it’s onto Valencia, Villarreal and El Madrigal.
Stay tuned for more….