SAFC v Everton ‘Who are You?’: from Birmingham Blues to Bitter Blues

Jake poses the question

Yesterday was a day for Sixth Round Blues as the Birmingham shade wrecked Sunderland women’s FA Cup dreams in their quarter finals. Can the Lads drive red and white into the ascendancy tomorrow and shatter the Everton Blues’ 6th round hopes? Diane Hill, a devoted Evertonian and secretary of the Harrogate Toffees*, seems to think we will do no such thing – but doesn’t see her Blues going on to win the trophy …

Salut! Sunderland: I bet you’ll say Everton shouldn’t really have needed a replay and had chances to finish us off at Goodison.

Dithering Dave (Moyes) chose to break up the memento of the team after a great win against Spurs by making changes for the mid week derby game. He prioritised the Sunderland game but in my view the manner of the defeat by Liverpool affected the confidence of the team, and the fans; you would think after 10 years he would get how important that game was to the supporters … Sunderland deserved a draw for the way they approached the game; I think it was a fair result.

You obviously share the media’s desire for an all-Merseyside semi-final but is it also an extra incentive?

It wouldn’t matter who it was – FA Cup Semi-Final – bring it on.

FA Cup 6th round, mid-table but (sometimes) threatening to rise: is David Moyes the man to restore Everton’s former glory or, good as he is, is 10 years too long for one man?

After a poor start to the season (as usual) there were lots of dissenting voices around Goodison, including mine, usually around team selection, negative tactics and substitutions (or lack of them) David Moyes has done a fantastic job with next to nothing and he has made some shrewd signings (and some poor ones too!) and there is scope at Everton for young players to come through the ranks. Yes, I think he has taken the club as far as he can but equally I can’t see anyone coming in and doing a better job with the resources available.

Getting controversy out of the way early, since Everton and Sunderland supporters mostly get on, do you think Leon Osman is already rehearsing that extraordinary fall-over-and-claim routine to get the winning penalty?

It is a sad reflection on the current game. Bring in the technology and ban the cheats.

On that subject – Everton and Sunderland, not Osman and penalties – why is it that our two sets if supporters seem generally to have a high degree of respect for one another?

Probably because if you take note of the media, we both live in the shadow of our supposedly bigger/better neighbours.

If this wasn’t part of the last answer, what thoughts do you have on the many links between our clubs: Peter Reid, Paul Bracewell, Kevin Kilbane to name but three. And is there a better example I haven’t mentioned?

What about Gavin McCann? Never quite made it at Everton but a good servant to Sunderland?

You’re in Yorkshire. Where does the Everton passion come from and how actively are you able to pursue it?

I was born in Liverpool into a family of Evertonians. I have been crossing the Pennines for the last 40 years to watch Everton, although I only purchased my first season ticket 16 years ago when the Harrogate Supporters Club formed.

Who are the greatest players you’ve seen, or wish you’d seen, in Everton colours?

All the players from the 80s Championship and Cup winning sides but to single out a couple of personal favorites it has to be big Duncan (Ferguson) – a fantastic servant of the club and Andre Kanchelskis – class act and my unsung hero award – Lee Carsley a player we only missed when he wasn’t playing! What football fan wouldn’t want Messi in their team?

And who should have been allowed nowhere near them?

Per Koldrup and Andy van der Meyde

Liverpool-Everton is sometimes portrayed as a relatively benign rivalry, with so many friends, workmates and even families divided and Man Utd traditionally Liverpool’s more bitter enemies. How do you see it?

I am a ‘bitter’ blue as they call us. We won the league in 1985 but were prevented from playing in Europe because of their antics abroad. That 10-year ban cost us a championship winning side as the players went off in search of European football. I think the friendly rivalry is a thing of the past for many blues.

'We know the way to Wembley'

Is there anyone in Sunderland’s squad who could improve yours?

Lee Cattermole would improve the strength of our mid field – but not perhaps our disciplinary record!

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What will be this season’s top four, in order, who will win the FA Cup and who will go down?

Man U: Man City: Arsenal; Chelsea.

Cup: Tottenham
Relegated: Wolves; Wigan and QPR

Not, I promise, another Osman question: which form of cheating annoys you most and who do you feel is or are the worst culprits?

The influx of foreign players in my mind started the antics on the pitch, such as rolling around after tackles in an attempt to get players booked/sent off and diving to gain an advantage. They are all at it now and players rarely try to stay on their feet. Worst cheating ever witnessed – Gerrard who approached the referee (Clattenburg) in a derby game. He had a yellow card in his hand following a tackle by Hibbert and after Gerrard intervened and had a little word in his ear, he swapped it for red!

Club versus country: who wins for you and why?

Club everytime. I don’t really get the England thing, never have; but I do show more interest if there are Everton players in the team.

Will you be at the replay and what will be the score?

Yes, I will be there. I think it will be a close game and I wont be too disappointed if we only win 1 – 0.

'Harrogate Toffees' quiz night; I'm the blonde in the middle'

* Diane Hill on Diane Hill:

I have been following Everton for as long as I can remember but have been attending matches for the past 40 years. During our most successful period in the 80s, I was busy producing the next generation of Everton fans and my two daughters still go to matches and both are married to Evertonians. They are now doing their bit to keep the family tradition going and my four-year-old grandson has already been to several matches at Goodison Park. In January 2006, the Harrogate & District Everton Supporters club was founded and we have been running coaches home and away for the past 16 years. We run several social activities during the season and a number of friendships have formed through the club including my own relationship with a fellow member Alan, and we married in July 2011. To say that Everton Football Club has a huge impact on my life is a bit of an understatement – it totally dominates it!

** Read more about the Sunderland Women’s Football Club at

Interview: Colin Randall

4 thoughts on “SAFC v Everton ‘Who are You?’: from Birmingham Blues to Bitter Blues”

  1. “The influx of foreign players in my mind started the antics on the pitch,”?

    Am I the only person who remembers Francis Lee?

  2. Desperate for us to win, but if it’s not to be then let’s hope Everton go all the way. A proper club.

  3. Just to say that the Harrogate Tofffees have been very gracious in allowing local Sunderland supporters to travel with them whenever we’re at Goodison.Mind you they always seem to beat us! It made a change last week coming home after a well-earned draw.

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