Graeme White has always been a blue.
Before becoming Everton’s official club commentator in 1995, aged just 21, he was a supporter like any other, attending matches at Goodison Park while volunteering on hospital radio.
Since then, Graeme has spent 27 years at Everton in various roles, and although he still finds himself behind a microphone on a matchday, it is now in a drastically different setting. In 2015, he became Goodison Park’s stadium announcer and has held the position since.
As the voice of Goodison Park, Graeme is responsible for communicating with spectators in the ground, and describes what a typical matchday looks like for him, saying: “At the moment I’m not sat in the dugout but pre-Covid I was, and I make any announcements, so if there’s a goal scored, a substitution, or additional time to be played, I do that.
“Then at half-time, I go out and do the entertainment, whether it’s bringing fans onto the pitch for a hit the crossbar competition, or introducing former Everton players onto the pitch. Then, obviously, in the second half, I do what I’ve done in the first half.
“It’s a good job, an enjoyable job, but sometimes it can be quite nerve-wracking when you know you’ve got to talk to 40,000 people.”
After seven years in the job, Graeme has made enough memories to last a lifetime. Yet, he feels that his first match as the club’s stadium announcer will always be the one that stands out.
“I had done it numerous times before being the official announcer, and that was a great honour, but [it’s different] when you’re no longer the number two, and not just covering because someone is off sick or on holiday.
“I remember announcing the teams, reading the information out and hearing that cheer, and that sits with me because not many people get the opportunity to do the job that I do.
“I wasn’t good enough to be a footballer, so the nearest I can get is to announce the teams and do stuff for Everton. So, I’ll always remember that moment.”
Unfortunately for Everton, memorable moments have been rare in the past couple of seasons, with the Toffees finishing tenth or below in each of the past three seasons. However, Graeme insists that events on the pitch have little impact on the work he does.
“I’ve got to be professional. I’m the stadium announcer and I’m passing on messages to home and away supporters. It’s difficult when results aren’t going well, but you’re doing your job and you’ve got to do that professionally, and that’s what I try and do week in, week out,” he explains.
Whether it’s a good result, bad result, or indifferent result. I try to be the same across whatever spectrum of football I’m watching at the time.”
Despite the current turmoil on the pitch, things are looking promising for Everton off it. Their new 52,888 capacity stadium on the Bramley Moore Dock is currently under construction and is scheduled to be completed in time for the 2024-25 season.
Having experienced so much at Goodison Park, Graeme will be sad to leave, but explains that he is looking forward to the move, saying: “I’m a bit old school because I’m into my late 40s and I’ve been going to Goodison Park since I was a very young man.
“It’s a fabulous stadium and I have so many memories … however, like anything you have to move on and move on with the times.
“I’m sure there will be tears shed by a lot of Evertonians, probably myself included, but we’ll move on and go to a new stadium where we can create some new happy memories for many years to come.”
With nearly three decades worth of experience under his belt, Graeme is a veteran when it comes to media, and offers some valuable words of advice to people looking to make a start in the same field.
“Whatever opportunity comes along, take it, learn from it, and other opportunities then will follow. It’s just [about] putting the hours in, and you’ve just got to enjoy it. I don’t treat it as a job … it’s an honour to do it,” he says.
“If at first you don’t succeed, try again, keep knocking on the door, and when you do get in and that door opens, enjoy every minute of it.”
From speaking to Graeme, he clearly practices what he preaches.