Apparently there has been a fresh influx of people complaining about the pre and half match entertainment and activities at Goodison Park this season. I have heard rumblings before about this. It’s generally from, “lids” who claim such things are tacky and ruin the atmosphere. They worry about “their” club being labelled as a joke and worry about the perception people might have of us as gimmicky or childish.
I invite these people to sit down with my ten year old daughter and explain what the club is doing wrong. This season is her first as an Everton season ticket holder. Thanks to the clubs encouraging pricing structure for juniors I was able to actually afford a season ticket for us both this season and she has barely missed a game. Everytime we go she asks, “What are the club doing for us this week?” Today she has gone to bed proudly wearing her extra large Everton in the Community t-shirt she was lucky enough to be given by the staff in the ground today and she talks of the good things they are doing for local people.
Her memories of this season of course include the 3-3 derby game, today’s fantastic turnaround against Villa and many other fantastic match moments. She has learned all the players names and has been lucky enough to meet Legends like Howard Kendall and Neville Southall. However, the things that have cemented her forever as an Evertonian are the things that have been done in and around the match to make her feel part of the family. “They did Junior fan day just for us?” As she proudly holds her own programme and sticks her posters on her wardrobe. “That girl can sing” when she sees Jeniffer Jewell on stage in the fanzone. “Isn’t that man great who came all the way from South Africa today just to see Everton”?
I have been a vocal advocate for increasing the amount of activities for families at Goodison for many years and the club have listened and responded accordingly. Initiatives such as the fan days and Junior fans forum make the fans of the future feel close to the club for now and forever. So next time you think about complaining about the drums being too loud or the ukelele’s not being “classy enough” have a word eh and take a look at the family enclosure were you will see my daughter and lots of other children loving every minute. You might know your history, she and they are the future.