Blues Brothers in True Everton Tour; Toffees Rediscover Their Hidden Links with South America: Chile, Argentina and Even Uruguay Part of the Family
Byline: DAVID PRENTICE
IT'S enough to make your heart go... well, perhaps miss a beat.
After more than a century of labouring under the misapprehension that there's only one Everton, it turns out that there are at least four.
And like that scene from Monty Python's Life of Brian, sometimes the boundaries become a little blurred.
If you think the politics of the Judean People''s Front, the Judean Popular People's Front and the Peoples Front of Judea - "Splitters!" - were confusing, just check out the colourful history of Everton Football Club.
Everton's pioneering tourists who set sail for South America a century ago this summer sparked a whole host of imitators. And they flourished.
There's the Chilean champions CD Everton, Club Everton of Argentina and Uruguay's Club Atletico Everton.
And an intrepid band of Everton three this shareholders visited all summer.
John Shearon, Paul Wharton, Michael Durkin, James Asquith and Anne Asquith have just returned from a fact-finding mission to the southern hemisphere - which took in all three South American Evertons.
"We were shown incredible hospitality by all three - from the terraces to the board room," said Paul Wharton "although in Uruguay and Argentina the two were pretty much one and the same!" The intrepid travellers began their epic journey in Chile - to watch CD Everton's semi-final play-off clash with Universidad de Chile.
Links between the two clubs have been established thanks to the Ruleteros Society, a body of Blues fans on Merseyside who set up a group in 2002 to forge friendships.
In February a CD Everton delegation, led by President Antonio Bloise, was received at Goodison and presented on the Goodison Park pitch.
The gesture was replicated on the return journey, with the Blues shareholders presented before the quarter-final play-off against Iquique at the Estadio Sausalito and presented with individual pennants commemorating the 1909 South American Tour.
The group was also invited to attend the semi-final first leg, away at La Universidad de Chile, where Harold Mayne-Nichols, Chairman of the Chilean FA, along with Anne Asquith and Paul Wharton from the Shareholders Association presented President Antonio Bloise with tokens to mark the historic centenary.
CLUB Location: Buenos Aires, Founded: Population: Honours: Amateur Facts: competed in league for the Club Everton as "El Decano title given to surviving club club serves as for its local executive Robert Elstone had commissioned an engraved silver-salver presented with an engraved crystal decanter set provided by Dave Hickson.
To cap a memorable day, Argentine striker, Ezekiel Miralles, popped up in the dying minutes to head the Ruleteros into a first-leg lead.
Sadly Miralles was sent-off early in the decisive second leg and the Ruleteros lost the match 3-1 and went out 3-2 on aggregate.
From Chile, the Blues' band headed to Argentina and a meeting with Club Everton La Plata.
Founded in 1905 in the newly created capital of Buenos Aires Province, La Plata, the club has competed in the amateur league for the last 104 years and is referred to as "El Decano Platense" - the title given to the oldest surviving club in the city.
Again the Blues were treated like visiting dignitaries, met at the airport by the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the club, entertained to dinner and presented with a silver tray to commemorate their visit.
EVERTON Plata, Argentina April 9 1905.
An inscription, in English and Spanish, read: Club Everton La Plata, Argentina to Everton Football Club, Liverpool, forging links of Brotherhood & Frater nity. …