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Everton boss Sean Dyche has played down the fact he is a self-confessed Liverpool fan ahead of the Merseyside derby by claiming Kettering Town were his first love when it comes to football. The former Burnley has backed himself into a corner after previously declaring Liverpool were the team he supported during his extended break from management.
But now the comments have come back to bite him after being appointed Everton manager following the sacking of Frank Lampard.
Inevitably, Dyche has since been pressed for clarity on his affiliation to Liverpool and he provided Everton fans with reassurance that Kettering were always his primary focus during his younger days.
“I don’t mind telling you that at seven years old I’m in Kettering, not exactly the metropolis of football I will tell you,” Dyche said.
“I was actually a Kettering fan, which by the way never makes a story. I actually physically had a season ticket and I used to physically go and watch Kettering.
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“The sideline of Kettering, because obviously Kettering doesn’t make a story and you’ll all agree with that, is that a 70s kid, most kids in the 70s supported Liverpool.
“My mate Franny Theanne, he had a yellow Liverpool kit. That is my first memories of the football team. You know the yellow one with the stripes down it?
“We have a picture of me and him together with it. So that was my first reference point of supporting Liverpool.”
Dyche also claimed he visited Anfield as part of his own personal playing career after being invited to join up with a development squad by Kop legend Phil Neal.
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“I could tell you a million Kettering stories, I can’t tell you many Liverpool stories other than the ones you all know,” Dyche added.
“I only actually came to Anfield with Phil Neal because he was from Irchester, a little place near Kettering.
“We got invited up as a local elite team if you like to play half an hour before the kick off when you play two 15 minutes, you know what I mean?
“I nearly scored an own goal actually. I whipped it off the line. I put it past my own keeper, ran after it and swept it off the line.”
Speaking to LADBible, Dyche originally dropped himself in it when explaining his admiration for Liverpool earlier in the season.
He said: “I was a Seventies kid so I supported Liverpool. My local Kettering, Kettering Town, me and my dad used to go down and watch them, they were pretty big in the non-league scene but Liverpool from a distance.”
Dyche hardly helped himself when he also labelled Kenny Dalglish as his boyhood hero, adding: “Got to be King Kenny. I met him in the most bizarre circumstances because I’m obviously a man and he treats you like a man in football, but in my brain I’m going ‘you’re King Kenny’ and he’s just chatting to me going ‘oh alright, Burnley are going alright’, and I’m still going ‘you’re King Kenny’ in my head.”
The Toffees manager is looking to follow up a perfect opening match following the 1-0 win over Premier League leaders Arsenal last weekend.
He has already had success of his own against Liverpool with Burnley having won 1-0 against the Reds in 2021 when football was played behind closed doors.
Burnley also took points off Jurgen Klopp’s side in the 2016/17 season, 2017/18 and 2019/20 campaigns as Dyche looks to replicate his achievements with Everton.
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