Zim man's undying love for Everton

HARARE – Blue blood runs through Smart Bernard Mahosi’s veins.

But it’s not the blue of Dynamos or the defunct Zimbabwe Saints that has him so obsessed.

Mahosi is an ardent follower of English Premier League side Everton FC ever since he was a young boy.

The 34-year-old now considers himself as the Toffees’ number one fan in Zimbabwe and even on the continent.

Of course English football has a grip on the continent with millions of people across Africa aligning themselves to different clubs.

However, most of these fans are divided among the top clubs like Manchester United, Liverpool, Manchester City, Chelsea and Arsenal.

It is very rare to find someone like Mahosi, who has devoted all their lives to the lesser followed clubs like Everton, Burnley, West Ham and West Brom.

Mahosi lives, breathes, eats, sleeps and dreams Everton every single day of his life and he claims that it all started when he was still a child.

“It all started in 1984 when I was born. It’s a long story because my father was a staunch Liverpool fan and that’s when I was exposed to the Everton brand,” Mahosi told the Daily News on Sunday.

“As you know Evertonians are born and not manufactured. I used to read in my father’s diary where he called them “phenomenal” and “a threat to my Liverpool”. That’s where it all began.

“My brothers Benjamin and Maxwell support Manchester United and Tottenham respectively while my sister Beatrice is also an Evertonian.”

During the late 80s and early 90s, it was not easy to get access to English football for Zimbabwean fans but still Mahosi found a way to be closer to his beloved Toffees.

“Back then there were not many live matches on television. There was Match of the Day highlights on Saturday on TV and one live match on Sunday,” he recalls.

“Everton were not shown much on television as they were always fighting relegation. I kept in touch with the club by writing to players and club officials. The club would send me matchday magazines, shirts, and other memorabilia.”

Just like most Everton fans of his generation, Mahosi has undying affection of former Blues striker Duncan Ferguson, who Evertonians fondly call by the moniker “Big Dunc”.        

“Some of the players that attracted me to the team were Ferguson, Dave Unsworth, Daniel Amokachi, Andrei Kanchelskis, Neville Southhall and Dave Watson. These are my Everton heroes but Big Dunc is my all-time favourite player,” he says.

“My current favourite players are Tom Davies, Idrissa Gana Gueye and Seamus Coleman.”

It’s not always easy being an Everton fan because of the lack of success on the pitch for the Merseyside-based club which will always live in the shadows of their more illustrious neighbours, Liverpool.

The Blues’ last league championship came way back in 1987 when Mahosi was still only three-years-old. Their last major trophy was the FA Cup title in 1995.

“I have seen the likes of Chelsea and Man City develop into giants. I have seen many people leave the teams they used to support to be fans of Chelsea and Man City but I will never leave Everton.

“Once an Evertonian always an Evertonian; I have stuck with this club for over 22 years through thick and thin.

“It’s been long since we last won a trophy; our last triumph was the FA Cup in 1995 but with the take-over from (Farhad) Moshiri, I think the club is moving in the right direction. Hopefully, very soon we will be able to end that trophy drought.”

Like most local fans of English football, Mahosi’s dream is to one day watch his beloved Everton play at Goodison Park one day and he is racing against time.

The Blues are due to start construction of a new stadium at Bramley Moore dock on the banks of the River Mersey which means very soon Goodison will be a relic.

“I’m always in constant touch with the club and they are saying they are organising a trip for me,” Mahosi says.

“Hopefully by next season I will make the trip because pretty soon Goodison will be demolished as the team moves to the new stadium.”

He has every reason to believe his dream could become a reality because in 2017, Everton organised Mahosi’s trip to Tanzania to watch the Toffees’ pre-season tour and it was an experience he will never forget.

“I met all the players at training, the likes of (Wayne) Rooney, (Phil) Jaggielka and Yanick Bolasie,” he says.

“The trip was a dream come true because I got the chance to meet my all time favourite player Big Dunc.

“The trip was organised by Everton historian and writer George Orr. Together with his friends, they raised money for my flight, accommodation and passport which had expired.

“I lived with Everton fans from England and Christine from the club took care of me during my time in Dar es Salaam.”

The Blues finished the just-ended season in a disappointing eighth place some 51 points behind record-breaking champions Man City.

Sam Allardyce was sacked by the club last week and former Watford manager Marco Silva is set to be named the new manager.

Mahosi shares a similar sentiment with the rest of the Evertonians; Big Sam was not a perfect fit for the job.       

“Good riddance he is gone. Big Sam was never my choice for the Everton job but I would like to thank him for saving the club from relegation,” he says.

“I just hope the club sort out the situation of finding a new manager soon so that he can get to work early.”

Comments (2)

This is the second guy I know. The first, is a friend who started supporting as a 10 year old in 1982..

Bill - 30 May 2018


Bill - 30 May 2018

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