Everett’s 70-year love of the beautiful game

Everett Nelson shows his goal-keeping agility and ball skills. (Rebecca Hosking) 185461

By Luke Voogt

Everett Nelson continues to bamboozle players a quarter his age during a lunchtime soccer competition on the waterfront as he approaches his 80th birthday.

“I must admit I do,” the North Irish expat told the Indy this week.

“They don’t use their head, they just use their feet.

“When you get the ball they come charging and I just pass it to someone else. I’ve always done that anyway – it’s part of game.”

Everett plays against workers from around central Geelong at the waterfront on Wednesday at lunchtime and in an East Geelong social competition Thursday nights.

“I’m a lot fitter than some of the ones that are 60 – 50 even,” he said.

“I’m still the same weight I was 50 years ago.”

Perhaps not surprisingly, the Drysdale octogenarian narrowly missed out on playing in the English Premier League during his prime.

He was playing as goalkeeper at an RAF base in North Ireland when Everton invited him for a trial, which he had to decline.

“I’ve dreamed of it many-a-time,” he said.

“The money in 1961 was not what it’s like now but it was still good money.

“But when you’re in the Air Force you can’t just pack up your bags and go.”

Everett has played soccer since age 10 and was a striker for Deakin University for 23 years after moving to Geelong in the mid-70s.

“I was the top goal-scorer for six years,” he said.

Everett remembers scoring one of the fastest goals ever for Deakin from the kick off.

A strong tail wind was blowing, so he launched the ball expecting his teammates to charge after it while the goalie was out of position.

“But it went into the net!” he said.

Everett turns 80 in November and until recently played for a Drysdale masters side, which he helped set up.

He hopes to play for as long as he can.

“It’s just for the love it,” he said.

“I’ve never drank or smoked so that helps a lot.”

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