Do you sometimes feel the “Who are You?” interviews ramble on for too long? Could you do with something shorter, snappier? If yes, then David Stead, secretary of the Cumberland branch of the Everton supporters’ club, is your man. He said in advance he would keep his replies short and treated the questionnaire like an exam paper, choosing the questions he wished to answer and leaving the rest. We’re grateful all the same; being asked out of the blue to be a (blue) “Who are You?” candidate probably feels like having cold-call sales pitches from British Gas, BT and every other double glazing firm combined. So in the great tradition of Barry Maddicott, another Everton fan who, in 2010, produced the shortest “Who are You?” in the history of the series, here are David’s responses ahead of the FA Cup 6th round at Goodison …
Salut! Sunderland: one of your pals tells me Everton never get started until January. Is that a bad sign for Sunderland? How are you playing generally?
Two defeats in the last 16 tells it’s own story but there are some more tough games looming. I think that recent poor starts to seasons may be down to injuries to key players because the club then has to play young players in their place. I am not saying they have let the club down but they may lack experience. An example of that was the Cup Final where a look at the two benches told a story. The team at the very beginning of this season on a number of occasions did not play poorly except in front of goal.
A lot of neutrals are talking about an all-Mersey final. I don’t want that, of course, but would it be a dream for you, a nightmare pairing or neither?
I think if it was to happen I would prefer it at Semi-Final stage.
Do you have good, bad or amusing memories of any previous encounter between us?
Outstanding matches I would only have one word taken from Strictly Come Dancing – SEVEN.
What are you general thoughts on Sunderland – club, fans, city?
I have travelled on the Sunderland bus with the Cumberland branch (David’s brother-in-law in a Sunderland supporter – ed)and was made to feel very welcome in fact I don’t ever recollect any untoward comments about Sunderland fans generally.
What, in all honesty and taking account of whatever you hope for your own club’s future, do you think of moneybags football? Is the Man City phenomenon good in that it opens up competition or ruinous, in the long term, to the game?
Lord only knows what would happen if a rich man took us over because with money I think David Moyes would then prove what a good manager he really is.
Describe your branch in Cumberland, its origins etc.
I am racking my brains here trying to remember when our group started I think 1997 with an advert in the local paper and we have been travelling down there ever since. We have an active group of around 40 members and lots more who travel on less frequent occasions. We have not witnessed a League title yet but have been in two comps in Europe and been to Wembley twice.
What form of cheating most annoys you? Do we have to accept it as part of the modern game or what would you do to stamp it out?
Fed up of hearing about online technology. Concentrate on divers and shirt pullers in the the game and people who want to play football can be allowed to do so. To start with yellow card the offenders so has to bring the problem to everyone’s attention.
Club vs country: who wins for you and why?
Country should always come first.I think one of reasons England do not do well at tournaments is that players pick and choose when they are injured.
Will you be at our game and what will be the score?
It is a long time since the Mackems had a result and sport has an awful habit if you take things for granted of pulling the rug from under you.
Thanks, David. There were no answers to questions about links (players and managers) between our two clubs, likely finishing places, his highs and lows as an Evertonian and so on. And no photograph. The thumping at Anfield will have done nothing to loosen the tongue.
But if you think he’s keeping his thoughts to himself a little, you do not need to take it from me that he is positively garrulous compared to Barry Maddicott. You can see for yourself by following this link to Barry’s contribution.
Sample, remembering this is Jan 2010:
Does it give you added pleasure that Liverpool have been going through such a tough patch on and off the field?
Peter Reid and Paul Bracewell are among the names associated with both clubs. Any memories or thoughts on them, and other links between us?
What have been the highs and lows of supporting Everton?
Highs 85-87, lows everything after that.
Sometimes, a few words can say a lot …
Interview: Colin Randall