Wednesday, September 1, 2010

My First Confession

I made my home debut in front of a packed Gladys Street End on a bitterly cold Saturday in December 1965. I was both nervous and cold so I decided to wear my leather jacket in the hope that it would hide my shivering. I played alongside Roy Wernon and Alex Young, who both commented on how stylish I looked in my brown Duberry moccasin shoes with the tassels on the top.

I remember waving to my old school mates before I took the field, a small gesture of appreciation for what they had taught me on the playing fields of Stillorgan. I only wished that Barry Foley could also have been there to witness this proud moment.

We were up against Huddersfield that day, a team well known for mixing it, and before long my suede baggies (tailor-cut) were in complete shit. On that day I put Roy Ellam's name in my little black book and vowed that someday I'd get him back for wrecking my beautiful tweeds.

We won 2-1 and I played my part - the second goal, a piledriver from a young Howard Kendall, (just signed from Preston), ricocheted off my glasses into the bottom left hand corner of the net. I gave a quick glance to the line, saw the flag was down and raised my arms aloft - holding that brown cashmere scarf proudly in the air. I threw off my brown leather jacket to reveal a blue t-shirt with the message bright and clear -"Everton for Kirkby".

And the crowd, they all chanted my name.
Except for one.