One of my most memorable life experiences happened 51 years ago today.
We got a taxi, walked up and down a noisy Goodison Road that was filled with people and their anticipation. Everyone seemed so tall, you could smell the tobacco and police horses.
The best memory was that magical moment when my Dad led me up the staircase to get my first sight of that shiny green pitch, bathed in floodlights. I had my first shared experience of seeing us score, then concede in a 1-1 draw. I lost the original programme and was thrilled to find this copy a few years ago.
Apart from fuelling a lifelong following of Everton, that memorable day led to my first experiences of travel, the idea of living somewhere else, so many friendships that began with football, lessons in loyalty, patience and understanding others’ views. It taught me that success means more when you’ve had to wait and work hard for it. And when you achieve it, you work even harder to maintain it.
28 years later, things went full circle, when we laid Dad’s ashes into a tiny plot behind one of the goals in the same stadium. It was a lovely feeling, laying him to rest in the place where we had shared so many memories.
Even now, 51 years on, one of the first questions I’m asked when I meet someone, and they hear my accent, is ‘are you Red or Blue?’
Our special memories can be the moments that matter most in our lives. How we respond to them has a profound effect on our life’s path.
What special memories guide your life?
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