A poem by one of the country’s top poets has been used to launch Everton Football Club’s 2018/19 Season Ticket campaign.
Entitled ‘home’ and penned by Paul Cookson, Evertonian and ‘Poet in Residence’ at the National Football Museum, the poem eloquently celebrates the sights, sounds and rituals of a Goodison Park matchday. The emotional lure of matchday rituals – as well as the devout loyalty of Everton Season Ticket holders – is reflected in a poem that perfectly sums up why going to the game is like going ‘home’.
A video has been released by the Club to introduce the ‘home’ 2018/19 Season Ticket campaign as Season Tickets go on sale for renewing members from 8am on Monday 15 January, with Season Ticket holders having until 6 April to guarantee their Season Ticket for the 2018/19 season.
The ‘home’ campaign will run for four months and focuses on the emotional connection and shared experiences of fans on a matchday at Goodison Park. The poem celebrates those connections – and is the first piece of content in a campaign that puts fans at its heart. Hundreds of fan stories have already been compiled by the Club and will be shared in a range of media formats in the months ahead.
The poem – which starts with the words “It’s who we are, it’s what we do” – is presented in a two-minute film as it weaves together the familiar sights and sounds of a ‘home’ matchday. The Goodison faithful is celebrated as “more than just a football crowd”. That sense of community is at the heart of the video, with the poem explaining how coming to a ‘home’ fixture is a mixture of “belonging… faith, hope and love” shared with “family and friends” but that, as an Evertonian, “you’re never on your own”.
Paul Cookson, the Evertonian who crafted the poem, said: “Paul Cookson, the Evertonian who crafted the poem, said: “This is a dream project for me. I’ve tried to distil what coming to a game at Goodison Park is like for a match-going Evertonian, not an easy task … but a challenging and extremely satisfying one.”
“The starting point for me was to sit in an empty Goodison Park one Tuesday afternoon and take in the sheer magnificence of what has been Everton’s home for the past 125 years. There’s always something exciting about being in the stadium – even when it’s empty and you can see the day to day stuff going on. Although it has been the Club’s home it has also been mine from time to time and probably every Evertonians’ ‘home from home’. When I was writing the poem I went to a few matches and wasn’t watching the football – I was observing the people around me, both inside and outside the stadium. It reminded me of how we arrive for home games in expectation and hope, we ride the rollercoaster every game, we feel the lows and also the euphoria of the highs which keep us going through the matchday. But it is the love of our Club that keeps us coming back season after season.
“Writing ‘home’ allowed me to reflect on how Everton was passed on to me from generation to generation and how we are custodians of the Club for our sons or daughters, who will also be custodians of the Club to their own children.
“There is always something special about Everton playing at home, be it on a Saturday afternoon at 3pm or a midweek night game under the lights. I wanted ‘home’ to be able to capture the essence of coming to a game, why we do it and why we will always continue to do it.”
Everton’s Director of Marketing and Communications, Richard Kenyon, said: “We wanted our Season Ticket campaign to be about the people and the experiences of coming to Goodison. The poem is our starting point for the campaign and perfectly encapsulates what coming to Goodison is all about.
“Coming to the game is something Evertonians are rightly proud of. Taking that pride and using Paul’s words alongside some of the visual representations of fans in the stands at Goodison and taking part in their own rituals before the game really captures the essence of Everton at ‘home’. We’ve presented the poem in a video so it can be shared easily by fans – and we want fans to now get involved and tell us their stories and rituals so we can showcase these to other fans over the coming months. We’ve already put a number of stories – some amusing, some touching – online to represent what coming to Goodison – or ‘home’ – means to fans. But we’re keen to share many more.”
Fans can view the video – as well as some of the already compiled fan stories – by going to evertonfc.com/thehomepage. Fans can also use this page to share their own stories and memories.
Everton has frozen Season Ticket prices for the 2018/19 season, with Season Tickets available from just £420 for adults, and £95 for junior fans which equates to £5 per game. Supporters can continue to take advantage of the flexible payment options offered by the Club, including interest free payment options using the Everton Mastercard and Direct Debit options. For the first time, supporters using the Club’s Direct Debit option will also benefit from an auto-renewal service which means fans can guarantee their seat for seasons to come by maintaining their Direct Debit payments.
Everton Season Tickets are on sale to renewing members from 8am on Monday 15 January. To renew a Season Ticket fans can call 0151 556 1878, visit the Park End box office, Everton Two in Liverpool one, or go to evertonfc.com/home1819 to renew online.
Non Season Ticket holders wishing to register their interest in for a 2018/19 Season Ticket will need to become an Official Member to receive priority access to non-renewed Season Tickets. Supporters can become an Official Member by purchasing a membership in-store, by visiting evertonfc.com/memberships of by calling the Fan Centre on 0151 556 1878. Official Members will be able to register their interest from 8am on Monday 15 January.
Image: PA Images