If there's one stadium on your bucket list you have to visit first, it is Everton's Goodison Park. It's one of England's most beautiful stadiums and is a dying breed that will disappear within the next few years. Go to Everton while you still can. Thank us later.
By some people, Everton is referred to as the 'little club from Liverpool'. However, this is far from the truth in our opinion. Of course, neighbouring Liverpool FC has won more trophies, but The Toffees have a history that many clubs will envy. Everton is one of the country's oldest clubs and there is no club in the Premier League where you can feel the history quite like you do at Goodison Park.
So why go to Everton now? Well, simply put, they’re moving. The beautiful open-air museum that is Goodison Park is going to disappear after more than 130 years of service. It saddens us football romantics, but Everton also needs to join the rat race that is the Premier League. As such, they have to move on from one of the most beautiful stadiums in England. A stadium where Pélé and Garrincha both scored, where a World Cup semi-final took place and where tons of matches played in the English top division have thrilled Liverpudlians. It almost feels criminal to leave.
Goodison Park may not look that special from the outside, but its location is. Note how close the cottages on Goodison Road are to the main stand. It's a special sight to see Evertonians walking down the narrow streets to the stadium on match day.
The inside of 'Goodison' is fantastic, with seats close to the pitch and the main stand that seems to run straight up. We recommend a seat in the Howard Kendall Gwladys Street End, traditionally the stand where the most vocal Everton fans are. Also notice the clattering of the wooden chairs, when the entire grandstand stands up at once: It is music to our ears.
Take a tour of the stadium, as the exterior depicts a sort of timeline of Everton's history. Start at Bullens Road, on the away section, and walk counterclockwise around the stadium and you'll be all clued up about the Toffees.
At the end of the round, you'll stand next to the greatest player in the club’s history: Dixie Dean, who is immortalised by a statue in front of the stadium gate on Walton Lane. A tribute to the man who scored nearly 400 goals in blue, but at the same time became a memorial for deceased Everton supporters. Dixie Dean passed away in 1980 in a rather unique way when he suffered a heart attack at Goodison Park during the derby against Liverpool. If there is such a thing as a beautiful death, this must be it.
St. Luke's Church
A special feature of Goodison Park is the church, St. Luke's Church, in the northwest corner of the stadium. The church is almost as old as the stadium and inextricably linked to Everton. The church used to be very visible from the field, and daredevils would climb on the roof to watch a match. Services are still held in the church and Evertonians come here to light a candle for a good result. On match days, the church also houses stalls selling numerous football relics.
A three-headed statue of greats from the past has stood in front of the church for several years now: The 'Holy Trinity' Howard Kendall, Alan Ball and Colin Harvey, the legendary midfield of the 1970 champions.
Stanley Park and the walk to Anfield
It is well-known that the distance between Everton and Liverpool is less than a kilometre. This means you can get from one stadium to the other in ten minutes. What you wouldn't say today (and they would rather forget this at Liverpool too) is that Everton once played their home games at Anfield before there was even any mention of Liverpool FC. Today there is of course nothing to be found that reminds you of Everton, but we recommend you to see for yourself.
When you first come to Liverpool, you may be surprised that Everton is also a part of the city. Typically, the football club plays in the Walton borough and has never actually played in the borough of Liverpool, which actually only starts on the other side of Anfield.
Ever wondered what that turret in the club logo is? It's the 'Everton Lock-Up', a small landmark in the heart of the Everton neighbourhood. You'll find it between Shaw Street and Village Street. Back in the day you really didn't want to end up here. It served as a mini-prison, to put drunks and petty criminals in for a night of contemplation. Today, you have a beautiful view of the city of Liverpool from the slope next to it.
Bramley Moore Dock
Curious about the future of the club and the new stadium? Then head to Bramley Moore Dock, just north of the city centre. A brand new stadium with a capacity of more than 50,000 Evertonians will be built here on the River Mersey. It will not surpass Goodison Park, but the location of the yet-to-be-named stadium promises a lot.
Tickets for Everton can be purchased through the club's official website. It is usually quite easy to get tickets for home games, especially by Premier League standards. If it is sold out, you can always visit the resale site StubHub, an official partner of the club.
How to get there
The best way to get to Goodison Park is by train. Kirkdale station is a 15-minute walk away, where you can catch the train to and from Liverpool Central, a journey of less than ten minutes.