Ever dreamt of watching a live music show of your favourite artist and being right there in the action with all the revellers?
Even better, ever thought what it would be like to watch a football match live at the home of your favourite team?
For 12 local Everton fans this dream became a reality.
Members of the Cape Town Toffees Supporters Club have just returned from touring England where they had the opportunity to watch their beloved Everton Football Club in action over 10 days.
Chairman and lifelong fan, Rodney Scara Brown explained to the Plainsman that this trip had been in the making for years.
“We are a very small group of loyal and dedicated members who are passionate about football and Everton Football Club in particular. We always had aspirations of visiting the UK and being among the crowds, soaking up the atmosphere. When the fixtures schedule were announced in June last year, it looked very desirable. Games at Anfield, Old Trafford, St James Park and Goodison Park were impossible to turn down. The trip started with the Merseyside Derby on Saturday April 1 and ended with the home clash against champions Leicester on Sunday April 9. However, we experienced mixed feelings with three different results. Some of the lads also took part in the Liverpool Marathon, while others enjoyed golf days and even a trip to Wales, among others. We even ended up at the Grand National, which made the venture even more exciting. The boys were well received by our hosts, Everton Football Club and enjoyed awesome hospitality and beautiful memories were made.”
For Anwar Gamieldien, a Toffee since the mid-1980s, the trip was extra special because he could share it with his son.
“My son Rashaad accompanied us and for him to understand and experience the People’s Club in its entirety, was brilliant. Having Rodney on board, made it easy. He was always busy networking or negotiating and generally making things happen.”
The Cape Town Toffees were formed seven years ago when seven ardent members started watching games together. Since then, membership has grown and official membership status had to be sought from Everton Football Club.
To date there are 85 registered members on their books.
Games are usually watched in Westridge or in Parow, with the Blue Whistle in Claremont earmarked as a potential home base for games in the future.
Every country can only register one official supporters club, however, they may operate as sub-branches in various regions throughout South Africa.
With various other football supporter groups in the city, rivalry is big. With a grin and a twinkle in his eye, Mr Brown explains: “We often get teased about the size of our supporters club and the lack of silverware over the years. All good banter but as always, Everton fans are a chosen few. We are born and not manufactured. Those who understand, need no explanation. Those who don’t understand, don’t matter. There are loads of silent fans who are out there. We urge them to join our social media pages and become part of the family.
“Our boys relished the opportunity to go and be true ambassadors of Cape Town. Being part of the euphoria was awesome and watching the sweetest team in the world was an experience of a lifetime for this group of Toffees.”
The group can be followed on their Facebook pages Cape Town Toffees and Everton South Africa and also on Twitter @CapeToffees.