Everton call upon their former heroes not to go to the ball

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The Independent Football

Everton were accused of a sense of humour failure yesterday after instructing their former players not to appear in an Easter pantomime at Liverpool's Royal Court Theatre.

Everton were accused of a sense of humour failure yesterday after instructing their former players not to appear in an Easter pantomime at Liverpool's Royal Court Theatre.

The show, "Snow Blue and the Seven Blue Noses", which is due to run for four days from next Tuesday, has been written by an Everton fan, Mike Howl.

The storyline centres on an attempt by Liverpool to poach the Everton teenage sensation Wayne Rooney. Publicity material had promised appearances by the likes of the former manager Howard Kendall, Graeme Sharp, Dave Watson, Brian Labone and other former club "heroes".

When Everton were made aware of the production, which is being staged without any involvement or endorsement by the club, they told Sharp and Labone, who are still employed by the club, not to take part.

Kendall's role is still uncertain. Asked by the local newspaper if he had withdrawn, he said: "Oh yes, I have." Howl yesterday insisted: "Oh no, he hasn't."

Everton's problem with the panto is that they do not want fans to think it has anything to do with them. The script features a baddie, Count Houllio, and countless derogatory jokes about Liverpool, something Everton do not want to be associated with. "It's neither entertaining nor funny," one source said. "It's drivel of the highest order."

An insider at the 1,500-seat Royal Court Theatre said: "The whole city's based on taking the piss out of each other. Surely Everton have got better things to worry about, like staying up?"

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