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Mike Royden – Website administrator/publications
Mike has been a professional Historian for over thirty years, having taught the subject to A Level, and also at degree level at the University of Liverpool. He has had several books published, with two more due in 2021/22.
How long have you supported Everton?
Since birth! My Dad was an Evertonian and took me to my first game on 10 November 1962 v. Blackpool. A great season to start going! We won 5-0 and Alex Young scored two, with one each from Billy Bingham, Dennis Stevens and Jimmy Gabriel.
Most memorable match attended
So many great games since I first started attending, several in the sixties, but, as for most Blues who were around in the 80s, it has to be Bayern Munich in the ECWC. Going to the final in Rotterdam was special too, but Goodison was rocking in the semi.
Where do you generally sit at Goodison?
It varies. I had to give up my season ticket a few years ago, so wherever I can get seats with my two sons.
What aspect of being an Evertonian do you like most?
To be able to go to games together with my two sons (now in their 20s) and my close friend Brian Kendrick, with whom I’ve gone to games with since the late 70s. I love the build-up, the walk over Stanley Park as Goodison and the noise looms larger, while we are all discussing the game. Visiting St Luke’s and the FanZone, then getting together afterwards, usually at the Phil on Hope Street, where we analyse the game in a relaxed atmosphere. If we’re making a night of it, we usually head to Chinatown for food, still talking Everton.
In what year did you join EFCHS?
What is your particular area of interest or expertise in Everton’s history/heritage?
I don’t restrict my interest to one period as I’m fascinated by all the club history, but I have had a recent focus on WW1/WW2, with Tony Wainwright (Liverpool Pals historian and EFCHS member) and former member Peter Jones. We produced the Remembrance Booklet for the Society and Everton FC, honouring former Everton players who lost their life in both wars.
What is your main activity/involvement with the Society?
As a historian, research & writing and giving talks. I’m also in the WW1/WW2 sub-group and the Publications sub-group, where I’ve also helped with proof reading and editing. I’m an occasional contributor to the EFCHS page in the Everton FC matchday programme, and I’m also the webmaster and editor of this Society website.
In your opinion, what is the best thing about the Society?
The asset that this Society is for the club and fans alike. The club history and its heritage is in focus at all times. The membership has such varied expertise, from authors, journalists, researchers, statisticians, and programme experts, to collectors of memorabilia, video and film, experts in artwork and graphics, the list goes on. The heritage of the club is in fine hands, thanks to the foresight of Dr David France; the official recognition of Everton Football Club; and the dedication of society members.
Your favourite Everton-related book?
‘Dr Everton’s Magnificent Obsession – The David France Collection’ by David France and David Prentice. A fascinating study of the most incredible collection of club memorabilia ever assembled. All aspects of Everton’s history are here.
If you could travel in time, what match, before your lifetime of attending matches, would you choose to attend?
Rather than the first league game in 1888 against Accrington at Anfield, I’d head across the park for the first league victory at Goodison, 24 September 1892, a 6-0 victory over Newton Heath (the future Man Utd).
The best player you have seen in Everton’s colours?
Alex Young. In goal, Gordon West was my childhood hero, but Neville was just fantastic.
The player you wish that you could have seen, from the past?
I suppose Dixie is the obvious choice, but I would also like to have seen Leigh Roose. I live a few hundred yards from his home and the school house, where he was taught by the author H.G. Wells. Roose was killed in action on the Somme battlefield. So I have always had a particular fascination for his life and career.
Anything else to add?
Proudest moment – my son Lewis as the mascot in the Everton Hall of Fame night at the Adelphi in 2001, while his younger brother Liam, who is a musician, has notched up six appearances playing in the matchday FanZone. For one of those appearances, we were running late, but we could hear his singing coming right across Stanley Park as we headed for the ground, a special moment that.