ROYAL BLUE: Spirit of 1985 is still strong for Everton FC old boys
ALTHOUGH misfortune keeps intruding in terms of injury set-backs, there is still a quiet belief among supporters that this Everton squad are capable of success. As the club reels from the news that Marouane Fellaini will not kick a ball for the rest of the season, it is important to remember that the Blues still have Phil Jagielka's imminent return and Mikel Arteta's improving fitness to ignite them. Importantly, the team spirit that held Everton together in the absence of those players, personified by players like Tim Cahill, Leon Osman and Leighton Baines, will continue. It's a spirit never better exemplified than by the historic 1984/85 league and European Cup Winners Cup team. Ahead of a 25th anniversary reunion dinner, I sat down with Graeme Sharp and heard how it still feels like yesterday for him. 'I can't believe all this time has passed,' he said. 'Some of us met up last week and I think it took everyone by surprise when it dawned that it was 25 years ago. 'I'm looking forward to the dinner on March 29. It's been hard trying to get them all over. The likes of Pat Van Den Hauwe who lives in South Africa now is coming over, and Adrian Heath who manages in the States is also coming over. 'It was a special time for the football club and we went down in history so it's nice that we're getting together.' To mark the event, the club are trying to find 11 children named after players from that team. Graeme said: 'I've met a few people who've mentioned that they've named their son after me. Maybe not the right spelling of Graeme but they did it anyway which is nice. 'It'd be fantastic to see if we can find 11 kids named after the most successful team in our history. I'd love to see if there's one named after Van Den Hauwe. 'There were so many special occasions and games in that season and you know what happens with football fans when they get back after their team's won - so there'll no doubt be a few babies named after us. 'The ultimate would be to find someone named after every member of the squad. It'd be great to find them and reminisce with their parents.' Graeme tends to see more of the players who still live nearby and work in football. He said: 'I meet regularly with Andy and we go golfing together. Andy is always at Goodison with Sky and Reidy is nearby at Stoke.
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