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20th of March 2018


FanView: Why Everton Must Replicate Gwladys Street Atmosphere at Bramley-Moore Dock Stadium

The late Howard Kendall's legendary quote about the Gwladys Street End of Everton's Goodison Park home still tells people all they need to know about the famous stand.

'Get the ball into the box, and the Gwladys Street will suck the ball into the net', the Toffees' most successful manager once told his squad.

It's a soundbite that remains true to this day and, whilst both goals in Saturday's 2-0 win over Brighton came at the Park End instead, the Gwladys more than played its part in helping the Blues over the line.

It is fitting, then, that the much-loved stand celebrated its 80th birthday - since it became the world's first double-tiered stand, it should be noted - and that its anniversary was marked with a giant banner at last weekend's game.

Goodison and the Gwladys Street won't be around for much longer, however, as the Merseysiders press ahead with plans to build a new state-of-the-art stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock - the club looking to increase their commercial income and standing on the world football map.

With Everton's 11-point plan for their new ground wishing to incorporate the raucous, bear pit-esque atmosphere that Goodison has become renowned for, it should be a priority to bottle up and relocate the Gwladys Street spirit to the docks when the Toffees eventually depart.

If Everton wish to avoid the drab, oft-times church like atmospheres at other new stadia, it is essential that the Gwladys Street is replicated at Bramley-Moore Dock to the best of its ability.

Numerous bosses, players and fans have made mention of how much of a difference the Blues' home faithful make when they're fully behind their team.

It is a positive, passionate and sometimes angry ambience that has helped wrestle wins from the jaws of defeat, led to unforgettable nights and borne witness to the makings of truly legendary teams.

(You may also be interested in Sam Allardyce Excited by 'Balance' Yannick Bolasie Brings to Everton After Brighton Victory)

For 80 years the Gwladys Street has been part and parcel of Goodison Park, and at times its own lifeblood to inspire or rebuke those on the field of play.

It's a huge shame that the Gwladys Street won't make it in time to celebrate its centenary year, but Everton need their new stadium to help boost their status and reputation on and off the pitch.

If the 'Gwladys Street End Mk II' can be provided a fitting home at Bramley-Moore Dock, it will be a fitting tribute to a stand that has carved its name into the very being of Everton's history.

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