THE Ruleteros Society was formed in 2002 to celebrate the world’s two Evertons, separated by 8,000 miles of the Atlantic, Amazon and Andes. The aim is to encourage the development of links between supporters of the Everton football club in England and the Everton football club in Chile.
This was achieved in August 2010 when a crowd of 25,934 attended Goodison Park on the evening of Wednesday 4th August 2010 to watch the two Evertons play each other for the Brotherhood Cup (Copa Hermandad). The crowd included around 200 Chilean Everton supporters who had travelled to England.
One of the world’s foremost clubs, Everton were formed in Liverpool in 1878. Such was its early success, winning the English championship in 1897 and the FA Cup in 1906, that Everton were invited to play in South America in 1909. They travelled by boat with Tottenham Hotspur who were also invited.
The English visitors caused a stir among the growing number of football enthusiasts in South America, with Everton beating the Argentine League XI, the Uruguayan League XI and the Argentine club Alumni.
On June 24, 1909, in the Chilean port of Valparaiso, where many ships from Liverpool docked in pre-Panama Canal days, a group of young Anglo-Chileans (David Foxley, Arthur Foxley, Francisco Boundy, Hugo Boundy, Percy Holmes, Alberto Gonzalez, Carlos Gonzalez and Malcolm Frazer) met and founded Everton Football Club.
In 1942 the club moved five miles up the coast to Vina del Mar, a Pacific resort famous for its casinos. As a result Everton have the nickname Los Ruleteros (The roulette players). Hence the name the Ruleteros Society.
Everton won the Chilean championship in 1950, 1952, 1976 and 2008.
A further link between the two Evertons is that they are among the global elite of clubs who have hosted World Cup semi-finals. The tournament was hosted in Chile in 1962 and in England in 1966. In each case, all Group 3 games involving Brazil were hosted by Everton, with the Sausalito and Goodison Park subsequently being the venue for a quarter final and semi final.
The Sausalito stadium was badly damaged in the earthquake that hit Chile in 2010. It has been rebuilt and is re-opening in May 2015.
Supporters of the two clubs keep in contact with each other through social media and by occasional visits in person. A common goal is to see Everton play Everton in Chile.
The Ruleteros Society also has links with football clubs named Everton in Uruguay and Argentina.