The legendary William Ralph Dean greets all comers at the entrance to Goodison Park, home of Everton FC. His feat of sixty top-flight league goals in a single season (1927-28) will never be matched.
I chose a good day for one of my rare visits to Goodison. Although I am a lifelong Evertonian, the practicalities of travel, family schedules and finances mean that trips there remain an occasional treat. It has been an inconsistent transition season for us, but things have started to click over the last month or so, and a victory over Arsenal was fully deserved. Indeed it should have been by more than the one goal.
I arrived in plenty of time, so had a good walk around the neighbourhood for a change, visiting Anfield Cemetery and Stanley Park for alternative perspectives on the ground (extra). And after the game, once I’d got back to the city centre I wandered down to Albert Dock and Pier Head before returning to LIme Street for my train home.
I unwittingly stumbled on the sit of a Banks controversy, what remains of his Love Plane. Indeed, so unwitting was I that I didn’t even realise that the exhaust in the shape of a heart was part of the (original) picture so none of the pictures I took reveal it in full. The biplane element was painted in 2011 and controversially removed by developers in 2016. A Banksy (esque?) rat also appeared at the foot of the painting with various changing comments attached to it. Then in February this year, an updated biplane was installed in exactly the same spot by an unknown “man in a blue hoody.” It hasn’t yet been claimed by Banksy so it may be just a tribute, but it was interesting digging around to uncover the story.