Welcome to We Love You Everton - A Blog made for fans of Everton Football Club

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Complete Guide

Goodison Park has undergone many changes over the years and it presently has an all-seated capacity of around 40,157. Some Everton fans refer to the stadium as "The Grand Old Lady" and the abridged "Goodison". It has hosted more top-flight games than any other stadium in England.

Goodison has hosted the maximum possible number of Premier League games as Everton have never been relegated from the division. Although, they were relegated from the old First Division twice. The first was in 1930, followed by a second time in 1954.

As well as hosting Everton games, the stadium has been the venue for an FA Cup Final and numerous international fixtures, including several in the 1966 FIFA World Cup. The record for the highest attendance in women's football was set at Goodison Park in 1920. This game's high attendance resulted in women's football being banned by the Football Association for 50 years as they felt it threatened the men's game.

Goodison Park was conceived in unusual circumstances: two factions of politicians on the Everton board wanted to control the destiny of the club. Ultimately it was a tool devised by local Liberal politicians to gain electoral support. Everton F.C.'s relocation to Goodison Park was one of the earliest cases of a team moving to a new stadium for monetary benefit.

Goodison Park has a total capacity of 40,157 all-seated and comprises four separate stands: the Goodison Road Stand, Gwladys Street Stand, Bullens Road Stand, and the Park End Stand.

The Main Stand (Goodison Road) 
The Goodison Road Stand is a triple-decker stand with each deck-level given a separate name.

The middle-deck level is known as the Main Stand and is fronted by another seated section known as the Family Enclosure. The Enclosure was originally terracing prior to the advent of all-seater stadia.

The Top Balcony is the highest part of the stadium. The stand became all seated in 1987 and now has a capacity of 12,664.

The Goodison Road Stand is also home to the conference and hospitality facilities. On non-match days Goodison Park holds conferences, weddings, meetings and parties on a daily basis.

The Gwladys Street Stand
Behind the goal at the North end of Goodison Park, the Gwladys Street Stand is divided into Upper Gwladys and the Lower Gwladys.

This stand is the "Popular End", holding the most boisterous and vociferous home supporters. It is known colloquially as "The Street End".

If Everton win the toss before kick-off the captain traditionally elects to play towards the Gwladys Street End in the second half.

The stand has a capacity of 10,788.

The Bullens Road Stand 

On the East side of the ground, the Bullens Road stand is divided into the Upper Bullens, Lower Bullens and The Paddock.

The rear of the south end of the stand houses away supporters. The north corner of the stand is connected to the Gwladys Street Stand.

The current capacity of the stand is 10,784.

The stand takes its name from the adjacent Bullens Road.

The Upper Bullens is decorated with Archibald Leitch's distinctive truss design.

The Park End Stand 

At the south end of the ground, behind one goal, the Park Stand backs onto Walton Lane which borders Stanley Park.

The name of the stand was originally the Stanley Park End but it's commonly referred to as the Park End. The single tiered stand broke from the multi-tiered tradition of Goodison Park. The Park End has the smallest capacity at Goodison Park.

The current layout of the stand was opened on 17 September 1994 with a capacity of 5,922.

It was opened by David Hunt, a Member of Parliament. During the structure's development, fans were able to watch matches by climbing trees in neighbouring Stanley Park.

In the late 1970s and 1980s the stand accommodated the away fans. Previously it was open to home supporters.

The lower tier of the old stand was terracing and this was closed off by the turn of the 1980s due to it being a fire hazard as the terracing steps were wooden. The front concrete terracing remained and was one of the last standing areas at a Premiership ground.

During the 1960s and 1970s, both ends of the ground featured a large semicircle behind the goals.

The area around Goodison Park when built was a dense area full of terraced housing, and Goodison Avenue behind the Park End stand was no different.

Oddly housing was built right in to the stand itself (as shown on old photographs of Goodison and in programmes).

The club had previously owned many of the houses on the road and rented them to players.

One of the players to live there, Dixie Dean later had a statue erected in his honour near the Park End on Walton Lane.

By the 1990s the club had demolished virtually the whole street and this coincided with the redevelopment of the Park End stand. However at present the majority of the land is now an open car park.

The Park End scoreboard was covered up in 2011 and replaced with sponsors logos with Everton preferring to use the big screens much to the annoyance of some fans whose vantage point of the big screens meant they had to invest in a new pair of glasses to see how long was left to play!

St Luke's Church
Goodison Park is unique in the sense that a church, St Luke's, protrudes into the site between the Goodison Road Stand and the Gwladys Street Stand.
Everton do not play early kick-off's on Sundays in order to permit Sunday services at the church.

The church is synonymous with the football club and a wooden church structure was in place when Goodison Park was originally built.

Former Everton players such as Brian Harris have had their funeral service held there.

The church can be seen from the Park End and Bullens Road and has featured prominently over the years as a backdrop during live televised matches.

It is also the home to the Everton Former Players' Foundation of which the Reverend is a trustee.

Everton fans used to be able to go up into St Luke’s where a football programme fair was present letting fans purchase programmes from years gone by or perhaps one of the games they had missed to complete their programme collection.

The programme fair is no more for various reasons but the Church is still open downstairs on matchdays were you can purchase a range of food and drink.

Everton once tried to pay for its removal in order to gain extra space for a larger capacity. One of two jumbotron screens (both installed in 2000) has been installed between the Goodison Road stand and Gwladys Street stand partially obscuring the church from view.

The other is situated between the Bullens Road and Park End.

Imaginative spectators would climb the church and watch a football game from the rooftop however they have now been deterred from doing so with the installation of security measures such as barbed wire and anti-climb paint.

In addition, the introduction of the 'all-seater' ruling following the Taylor Report has meant that spectators no longer resort to climbing nearby buildings for a glimpse of the event as a seat is guaranteed with a purchased ticket.

The Dixie Dean Statue
William Ralph Dean (22 January 1907 – 1 March 1980), better known as Dixie Dean, was an English football player.

Dean originally started his career with Birkenhead based Tranmere Rovers before moving on to professional team Everton, the club he had supported as a child, where he became one of the most prolific goal-scorers in English football history.

Dean played the majority of his career at Everton before injuries caught up with him and he moved on to new challenges at Notts County and Ireland's Sligo Rovers.

He is best known for his exploits in 1927-28 season which saw Dean score 60 league goals - a record which stands to this day.

A statue of Dean was unveiled outside Goodison Park in May 2001.

A year later Dean became one of four players inducted into the inaugural national football hall of fame.

He was the first football player to wear the "number 9" shirt in club football. Dean is regarded as one of the greatest pre-war sports heroes in British culture.

The Everton One Megastore

The Everton Megastore was opened soon after the FA Cup win in 1995 and fans even scaled the half built structure of the megastore during Everton's homecoming parade which passed Goodison Park

Recently the Megastore was renamed 'Everton One' while a new shop named 'Everton Two' was opened in the new Liverpool one shopping development which meant that the address of the new store was Everton Two, Liverpool One!

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