Adrian Webster: Eternal Blue, Forever Green (NASL Seattle Sounders)

Adrian Webster Story

Adrian Webster at a Sounders fan event, 1976. (Jenni Conner)
Adrian Webster at a Sounders fan event, 1976. (Jenni Conner)

Adrian Webster spoke with goalWA.net in this 2012 interview, and briefly again after the passing of John Best, in October 2014. We’ve caught up again with Webster as his soccer career makes it to publication in the new book “Eternal Blue, Forever Green: The Sounders in the 70’s.” (Available on Amazon.com)

In the beginning

“It started out with me suggesting to my former team-mate Alan Hudson that he should write a book about his time in Seattle and Al asking me to contribute a couple of pieces,” Webster says about the spark that led to Eternal Blue. “It coincided with me having an operation on my foot and being off work for 8 weeks and as I got into doing it the old memory juices started to flow and all of a sudden I had written about 30-40 pieces about this incredible journey I had experienced. At this point it was very much a jigsaw puzzle so I contacted Rob Hadgraft, a sports journalist in my home town of Colchester, who helped put it together to give it a bit more flow and direction. Rob said the biggest problem I would have is getting someone to publish it so I asked him to contact Jenni Conner who was a young girl that I had met during my playing days for the Sounders. Jenni is now a well-known author who has her own publishing company and she kindly agreed to publish it. So the former Sounders Captain is now an Author. Ha Ha!”

Webster (#16) in Soccer Bowl '77.
Webster (#16) in Soccer Bowl ’77.

AdrianWebster-1977Seattle remembered

Webster eventually moved to Arizona and then back to the UK, but he never forgot Seattle.  “I think the thing that surprised me most about looking back was how quickly it all went by but now on reflection and thinking about my six seasons with the club I don’t feel like it is such a distant memory. From the day I arrived in Seattle I could never have imagined the journey I would take with the players I would play with and against, the beautiful city,those incredible fans and the lifelong friends I have made. I think it is fantastic that the city now has its own team again and that the new owners took on the name of the Sounders in MLS. I think it is a mark of respect to the original Sounders and tremendous credit to the current organization for the great work they are doing by putting their own stamp on soccer in the great Northwest.”

Getting the message out

It’s one thing to have memories but quite another to sift through them and come out the other side with a book. Webster battled with his thoughts and emotions, but admits it has been a long time since he wore Sounders blue. “I think the hardest part of getting it written was writing about the things that I wanted to say especially about the people who I cared for and not getting it right as the old memory is not quite what it use to be. I wanted to share my journey but also use the book to rekindle some of the wonderful times I had during my time as a player for the Sounders. I also wanted to get a message across to all the aspiring young players who want to become a professional. Like in life itself you have your ups and downs but never lose sight of your dreams.”

(Jenni Conner)
(Jenni Conner)
Webster as Sounders Captain, Soccer Bowl '77 against New York Cosmos in Portland, Oregon. (Scott Butner)
Webster as Sounders Captain, Soccer Bowl ’77 against New York Cosmos in Portland, Oregon. (Scott Butner)

Sounders fans are a bloodline from then to now

Adrian knows “Eternal Blue, Forever Green” is a slogan supporters use to describe their love of the Sounders. “For me the fans were the bloodline that carried us from Memorial Stadium to the Kingdome and to the Soccer Bowl Final in Portland in 1997. It was the pinnacle of my career as we battled the New York Cosmos and the legendary Pele. And then when playing my best soccer, I developed a chronic big toe problem that required surgery that meant I missed half of the 1978 season. At the start of the 1979 season the team was divided when 18 of the 24 man squad went on strike…and at the end of that season my Sounders career was over.”

Webster durinf NASL fan event. (Jenni Conner)
Webster during NASL fan event. (Jenni Conner)

We are family

Adrian thinks back on his time in Seattle using his mind’s own soundtrack, and back then disco was king, even in the Northwest. “I have always loved to listen to music because it has away of reminding me of friends, places and events that have left me with some wonderful memories. When ever I hear We Are Family, by Sister Sledge it always reminds me of my Seattle Sounders experience. I write in the book about the Sounders love affair, how me and my teammates, owners, management, office staff, sponsors and those wonderful Sounders fans became a family that grew when we moved from Memorial Stadium to the Kingdome. I hope my book can rekindle some of those memories for those fans that were there from the beginning and hopefully the current fans will one day be able to look back just like we do and say that was fun!”

By David Falk / 2015 goalWA.net

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