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60 Greatest Everton Players: #57. Jimmy Gabriel
by Ed Bottomley

Apps 301, Goals 36

“Everton is in your blood – that’s what happens when you play for them.”

No matter the player, there is always one episode in their career that will rise above the rest and become their sporting epitaph. For Jimmy Gabriel, his lapidary moment was playing for time in the corner flag, helping to chip away at the final seconds in our remarkable FA Cup Final comeback against Sheffield Wednesday.

Between 1960 and 1967, Jimmy played over 300 games for Everton and won League and FA Cup medals with us. A defensively minded player, he was bought for a hefty 30,000 pounds, becoming Scotland’s most expensive export south of the border. The fact that Gabriel only won two Scottish caps isn’t a reflection on his lack of talent, rather the huge choice of half-backs available to Scotland at the time. Gabriel was a player who managed to carefully tread the line between physicality and skill; he was able to both break up play and distribute the ball too. Manfully, Jimmy twice took on the role of caretaker manager at Everton, and both times he stepped up during a bleak nadir. 

There’s a corner of Wembley will forever be Jimmy Gabriel’s.

Read More: 60 Greatest Everton Players

60. Duncan Ferguson
59. Tony Kay
58. Andy Hinchcliffe

Written by Ed Bottomley

Everton fan exiled in Michigan. Duncan Ferguson obsessive, history buff, optimist. Follow me on Twitter @DixiesSixty

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