Loan Blue in a Liverpool home – The 86 Cup Final

It is not very often that we look back at a defeat, especially one against Liverpool, however that is exactly what our new columnist Marc has done, reflecting on his childhood memories of being a loan Blue in a Red house on Cup Final day in 1986.

Please use the comments section at the foot of the page to reflect on your memories of the first all Merseyside final which ended in agonising defeat.

Ratcliffe

Let me start by telling you all a little about myself. I was born in 1977 into a household of Liverpool supporters. My father and sister where their biggest fans and along with my uncles and cousins, it really was a family full of Reds.

It was aged four that a family friend offered me some Everton posters, programmes and an Everton Teddy Bear in exchange for my support for the Toffees and from that day on I never looked back.  Granted part of it was for the “toys”, but even at a young age I felt different, I was a Blue.

It was always difficult as the only Blue in a Red family and no more so than for the 1986 FA Cup Final. I remember making myself a flag, out of a piece of wood and some crate paper (Blue and White of course).  It looked more like a pom-pom, but I was happy. My sister and dad of course, had the good stuff, flags, t-shirts, horns etc… (I wouldn’t mind but we were watching it on TV!!!).

I was dreading the team news, my hero Neville Southall had been injured for weeks and before kick-off it was confirmed that Bobby Mimms would be in-goal. Bloody Bobby Mimms! Maybe I am being unfair on him, but to this day I truly believe we wouldn’t have lost if Southall was in-goal.

I remember flicking through the television channels (ITV and BBC both showed the final live) and local radio station trying to get more information and pre-match build up. I felt sick, excited and was anxious for the game to get underway.

When the match kicked off, I was doing my best to be louder than the room full of Reds. Early on we were hammering them; we had more touches, more chances and more possession.  Then the breakthrough, Peter Reid I believe, delivered a fantastic through ball into the path of Gary Lineker.  His movement and pace got him in behind Alan Hansen (still hate him to this day) only to see his shot saved by Bruce Grobbelaar, however when the ball fell back to Lineker, the Liverpool keeper couldn’t keep it out.

The roar of the Everton crowd sent shivers down my spine and I went crazy.  I was running around the living room, waving my homemade flag in my sisters face, my dad getting mad, and me singing the song “Liverpool are magic, Everton are tragic, the other way round, Everton are sound” over and over again.

Even after the goal we controlled the game and I really thought we would win. I just wanted a second goal.  Please let us get a second goal so I can calm down.  Every time we would attack I was screaming, but when Liverpool attacked I ran to the bathroom, put the taps on and flushed the chain.  Yes I know, a coward, but I was nine.  I remember thinking Kevin Sheedy had scored, but it wasn’t to be, close, but no goal.

Then it all changed…About an hour through (although research tells me it was 57 minutes), an error by one of our greatest full backs, Gary Stevens let Liverpool back in.  His attempted pass up the right hand side was intercepted by Ronnie Whelan who quickly found Jan Molby.  Molby’s perfect through ball broke our back four and Ian Rush (another Liverpool player I dislike), who had done nothing of note up until this point, timed his run perfectly to round Bobby Mimms and slide the ball home.

I was thinking why??? We were all over them and yet somehow as always they get back into the game.

Still we pushed forward and I actually thought we would do it. We came so close, a mistake by Hansen created a chance for Graeme Sharp, his header looked destined for goal, I was jumping up and down, but credit where credit is due, Grobbelaar made a fantasic save.  Running backwards to tip the ball over, only one other keeper could have produced a save like that and that was Neville Southall.

To me, this was the moment the match changed.  Liverpool started passing, moving, and putting pressure on us. As the game moved away from us I remember fighting back the tears.

A drilled ball from Jan Molby across the six-yard line was missed by Kenny Dalglish but we were out of luck. Craig Johnston popped up at the back post to turn the ball home and put Liverpool in front.

Then the third goal and it was by Rush again.  Whelan had the ball and passed it back to the edge of our box for Ian Rush to smash the ball past out keeper.

I felt my life had ended.  My sister and dad dancing around and there I was alone. It wasn’t until I was older I realized I wasn’t alone; I had a bigger family at Goodison, a family full of Blues.

So there it is, my take on the 1986 cup final. I believe what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, but the hurt and pain when we lose is still immense.

Thanks for reading and please use the comments box below to let us have your memories of the 86 Final.

Marc 

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