As featured on News Now

TOP SIXTY EVERTON PLAYERS

 Read below and click on each name for a bio on my top sixty players to have played for this illustrious club – Ed. 

 

TOP SIXTY EVERTON PLAYERS

431 appearances, 377 goals

“There was an atmosphere wherever Dixie went; there was excitement. I’ve seen around 2,000 people following him around in places like Switzerland, Germany and France. He was bigger and better than life.” – Joe Mercer

The Babe Ruth of football, Dean cost Everton £3,000 from Tranmere Rovers in 1925 and became the greatest goalscorer in English history, recording 377 goals. Dixie was Deane’s nickname – but he disliked it – just as Edson hated Pele. Being in goal and seeing Dean bearing down on you must have been like looking down the barrel of a gun. Armed with a header almost as powerful as his shot, one number percolates through from his glorious Everton career – his 60 goals in one season, a record that will never be touched. Dean himself describes his “lust” for goals and he was a relentless matchmaker, introducing ball to net with astonishing regularity; rumours also swirl around the solid statistics and add to the legend of the man. Did he really score from the half-way line with his head? The more you look into this remarkable player, the more you begin to believe. Pre-war footballers are often fobbed off as a Jurassic breed – but Dean was a T-Rex, and his goalscoring feats are impossible to ignore.

249 appearances, 78 goals. “No one was greater than their club, but you came pretty close.” – Tribute sent to Goodison after Ball’s death. ‘I was running back to the centre-circle after I scored the second goal against Liverpool and pure elation welled up inside me. I remember thinking: “I just love this place, I want this place forever.”‘ – Alan Ball, August 1966 Ball, who chased his surname perpetually, like a Jack Russel chasing its tail – was a true Everton legend. The zest from this orange haired dynamo was extraordinary, and it was borne out of an utter hatred for losing. Remarkably he may have hit his peak in the summer of ’66; a 21 year old squeaky ginger drill-sergeant with the world at his feet. “Run you bastard, run!” screamed Ball – the youngest man in the team – upon spotting an exhausted Nobby Stiles flagging in the World Cup final. Two weeks after England lifted the Jules Rimet, Harry Catterick – Everton’s shadow-dwelling mastermind – made Ball an Everton player as Britain’s first six-figure signing. Ball himself was tireless, a blur of orange and blue, moving his white-hot boots in perpetual motion. Ball led his Everton to their 1970 league win; they finished on 66 points – a heady nine clear of Leeds United – very impressive for a time when two points were given for a win. Catterick’s sale of Ball was controversial, but Everton had him in his pomp. He left Goodison in body but not spirit, he was to remain an Evertonian for the rest of his life.

578 appearances “It was my first signing, and my best, in his prime, Neville was the best keeper in the world.” – Howard Kendall The bulky Nev of later years (although as a former hod-carrier, he was always a big man) repelled wave after wave from Manchester United in the 1995 FA Cup Final and the earlier, supremely elastic ‘keeper of the mid 1980s was the world’s best. Such was Everton’s domestic supremacy in 1985 that they gobbled up 60 per cent of all votes for the writers’ footballer of the year, with a deserving Nev eventually winning the award. Southall is the best Everton ‘keeper of all time, and won two Championship medals, two FA Cups and a Cup Winners’ Cup, made a staggering 578 appearances for Everton (easily a Blue record), and has won more games than any other Toffee. After winning his second FA Cup, this porcine footballing perfectionist will be remembered for leaving to be with his wife and kids rather than join the celebrations.

97 appearances, 70 goals “Technically, surely the greatest number nine of all time” – Joe Mercer A teen sensation, Tommy would be higher up this list if the war hadn’t halted his career and deprived him of six seasons of football. Underneath the centre parting and lashings of Brylcreem, lay an instinctive goalscorer. So prolific was Lawton that it seemed as if he had dipped his feet in gunpowder; including war fixtures, Lawton scored a ridiculous 222 goals in 209 first team games. Tommy refused to be bowed by the pressure of filling Dixie’s boots, and is only bettered by Dean as Everton’s greatest striker.

271 appearances, 87 goals “I left Everton Football Club in 1968. But I can honestly say that Everton has never left me.” Alex Young was the beatific poster boy for the School of Science. Bought for £42,000 from Hearts, Young bewitched all with his skill and it soon became fluorescently obvious to Evertonians that they had someone truly special. “The Golden Vision” with his vicar’s collar and blonde locks was an elegant, gracile forward who – for a slight man – had wonderful heading ability. So acute was his reading of the game that he could deliver exquisite passes without even checking where his teammates were. Young scored 89 goals in 275 appearances; his 22 strikes helped win the league for Everton in 1963 and he was in the FA Cup winning team of 1966. There was something almost ethereal about Young, who somehow throttled the life out of games with the lightest of touches, and he is probably the most beloved of all Everton legends.

472 appearances, 2 goals In American sport-speak, Ratcliffe is the “most winningest” Everton captain ever and he won two league championships, an FA Cup, and the European Cup Winners’ Cup for the Blues. The Welshman initially played in a variety of roles, and it wasn’t until he was moved to centre half that he really excelled. Ratcliffe was blessed with pace and an exquisite reading of the game, and above all he was a born leader, becoming captain at 23 and the youngest man to receive the FA Cup since Bobby Moore. His name comfortably sits amongst the best British defenders of all time and he’ll forever be remembered for his tackle on Kogl in the blood-curdling Bayern Munich game at Goodison which crunched like credit, and still echoes around Goodison to this day.

530 appearances, 2 goals “One Evertonian is worth twenty Liverpudlians” Everton’s consummate defender and captain, Labone was firmly ensconced in the England set up of the 60s; however, ‘the Last of the Corinthians’ turned down a place in Alf Ramsey’s 1966 World Cup squad to marry his wife. Both a modest and loyal servant, Labone’s relationship with Everton was monogamous, and light years away from the modern crazed transfer carousel where players put multiple club badges to their lips.

495 appearances Shunted down the list only because Southall is one of the best goalkeepers in history, Sagar is an Everton behemoth. Amazingly, Ted was just 11 months short of spending a quarter of a century on the Toffees’ books as a ‘keeper and unsurprisingly he holds the record of the longest time playing for one club in league football. The enormously athletic Sagar played 499 times for Everton – winning two division One Championships, an FA Cup, and a Charity Shield in the process. Although he was capped by England only four times, he remains a legendary Blue.

175 appearances, 5 goals This noble Welsh centre half was bought for £3,000 from Wrexham, and – alongside Tommy Lawton and Joe Mercer – was a key part of Everton’s resurgence, culminating in the 1939 League Championship. The Everton team of the time had youth and dynamism and Jones was a classy and technically-advanced defender. Dixie Dean once described Jones as “the best all-round player I’ve ever seen”. Stalked by Roma in the 1940’s, Jones instead stayed at Goodison after a £15,000 move collapsed. Known as the “Prince of Wales”, the unflappable Jones played 175 times for Everton.

384 appearances, 24 goals Harvey was a home-grown talent who made his debut at 18 years of age, playing against Inter in the San Siro in 1963, and is one of the few to both manage and play for this great club. Alongside Ball and Kendall – he made up the Holy Trinity; adored by the Goodison faithful, he was labelled ‘the white Pele’… A hugely skilful player who’s skimming passes across the park, more often than not to the waiting feet of winger Johnny Morrissey, provided the outlet and set up attack after attack. Harvey had an accurate and powerful long range shot but not always the confidence to try it or his goal tally would have been much higher. Unfairly never given international recognition, his 1 England cap seems like a cruel joke, especially considering Mr Beckham’s huge pile of caps. Even when he became Kendall’s number two in the mid-80′s he would leap into tackles, ignoring the pain of his hip injury to show the way for the squad during training sessions.

200 appearances, 110 goals “There’s Denis Law, there’s Jimmy Greaves, and there’s me…” – Vernon, on being asked to name the top goalscorers of his generation. Fiery, fast, skilful and with a monumental right foot, Vernon had a glorious goalscoring record, introducing ball to net with astonishing regularity and finishing top-scorer for Everton in four consecutive campaigns. Captain of the 1963 League Championship side (a Catterick masterstroke, calculated to tame the wild Welshman), Vernon was a ruthless penalty-taker, missing only one out of twenty spot-kicks.

228 appearances, 13 goals Howard Kendall was famed for his transfer clairvoyance, and few signings eclipse the purchase of Peter Reid. Although he was a player whose career had been pebble-dashed with injury, the tenacious Reid came to symbolise a team that could mix brutal steel with a velvet touch. In the seminal second-leg game against Bayern Munich, Reid, lying prone with a huge gash on his shin from a Lothar Matthaus tackle, ran to the touchline and instead of leaving to repair his wound, thrust a wet sponge down his sock and carried on. His actions set the tone for the rest of the game. Reid and his huge, growling midfield engine not only won the League Championship with Everton but won himself the PFA footballer of the year in 1985.

432 appearances, 150 goals “Sharp! What a fantastic goal! An unbelievable finish from Graeme Sharp! And the Evertonians have gone berserk!” His Anfield goal will stay in our hearts and stick in the gullet of Liverpool fans for years. The cathartic 30 yard half-volley started with a Stevens’ long pass and ended with Sharp, who stroked the ball down and rifled it over Grobbelaar’s head. We would beat Liverpool again later in the season, become champions and win our solitary European trophy, and Sharp’s goal makes all those memories flutter back. Behind only Dixie Dean in terms of scoring, Sharp – a £120,000 signing from Dunfermline – went on to score 150 goals, playing in Royal Blue for over a decade.

419 appearances, 23 goals Evertonians were lucky to see 15 years of service from Dave Watson, the consummate defender. Merseyside born Watson was signed from Norwich City in August 1986 for a fee of £1.23 mln. He won 12 England caps. His championship medal in his first season and the 1995 FA Cup win in the tail-end of his career are fitting bookends for this gutsy club captain.

289 appearances, 138 goals Big Bad Bob was England’s best centre forward during the 70′s – his thirty goals in the 1977-78 season won him £10,000 from the Daily Express (which he shared amongst team-mates, ground staff and the PFA Benevolent Fund) – indeed he was the first to reach that number in six seasons. Ian Rush’s idol, Latchford was a bustling centre forward in the classic Toffee mould. He may have only managed to halve Bill Dean’s superhuman season tally but he is still an Everton legend.

275 appearances, 125 goals Sandy is a legend from the early 20th century and the first Toffee to score the winner in an FA Cup Final when Everton beat Newcastle United in 1906. Young played for St Mirren and Falkirk before coming south to Goodison in 1901. To twist PG Wodehouse – in terms of goalscoring, Young would pour but forget to say “when” – topping Everton’s scoring charts for five seasons running.

300 appearances, 110 goals A pipsqueak at 5ft 6in, Chadwick was a huge name in football. He joined Everton in the inaugural Football League season of 1888-89, and went on to win the League in 1891 as Everton became the first champions to play at Anfield. Chadwick is also in the exclusive club of players to score over a century of goals for Everton. Seldom outfought by any opponent and a brilliant dribbler, his name proudly – and deservedly – sits high on this list.

274 appearances, 29 goals “I’ve had love affairs with other clubs, with Everton it’s a marriage.” Harry Catterick beat Liverpool to the punch in the spring of 1967, and how history could have been different if Howard Kendall had ended up a red. As a player Kendall was a member of the Holy Trinity – a gang of three lads who were anything but likely – and someone with an important foot in both the 1970 and 1985 championship camps. Kendall was, in modern parlance, the ‘holding’ midfielder who facilitated the rapier thrusts of Harvey and the ‘free’ role played by Ball. Whereas Alan Ball and Colin Harvey coursed over the Goodison turf like lusty hounds, Kendall sat deeper, scheming and spraying his ecumenical passes. The clever through-balls of the late 60s turned into hugely astute signings as a manger during the 80s. He represented England at schoolboy, youth and under 23 level but amazingly never won a full England cap.

153 appearances “There wasn’t a winger who played against him who could claim to have broken even in the exchange, let alone come out on top.” – Alan Ball Wilson is not only the best left back in Everton’s history, he became a world champion in 1966. Wilson was 29 when Harry Catterick bought him from Huddersfield for £40,000 and England’s Alf Ramsey regarded Wilson to be the best left back he had ever seen. Hard in the tackle, and armed with the ultimate defenders’ get-out-of-jail-free card, raw pace, he improved under the more intense Everton training system. Wilson played a clean game, and was never booked for a foul in a Football League match.

275 appearances, 119 goals Merseyside-born and home-grown, Joe made his debut aged 16 versus Blackpool. A precocious talent who was a superb header of the ball and an imposing physical presence, Royle scored 23 goals in the 1969/70 championship season at the tender age of just 21. Under Catterick’s inventive management, Joe frequently operated as a lone striker in front of a five-man-midfield, long before the formation became commonplace. His penalty-taking technique was literally stunning….hit the ball as hard as you can!

349 appearances, 93 goals Sheedy’s talent lay fallow at Liverpool, until Kendall took him to Goodison for £100,000 – it speaks volumes that Bob Paisley was both against the deal and unhappy with the tribunal-set price. Blessed with a left foot that was responsible for countless perfect passes – aiding and abetting Gary Lineker during the striker’s smash-and-grab tenure at Goodison – and wonderful free kicks, he was a vital part of Everton’s heady mid-eighties success. Look beyond his left foot – I know it’s hard – and you see an excellent 97 goals in 368 appearances. Another genius signing by Kendall, he gave the two-fingered salute to the Kop after scoring, pushing him higher up this list.

399 appearances Harry Catterick’s first signing; £27,000 from Blackpool in March 1962, for what was then a record fee for a ’keeper, turned out to be one of his most astute. West was an agile goalie whose excellent handling, shot-stopping and judgement of angles made him a virtual ever-present during two championship winning campaigns. Had he not had the misfortune to be a contemporary of the legendary Gordon Banks, he would certainly have had more than just three England caps. West turned down a chance to join the squad in the World Cup finals in Mexico in 1970 because he wanted to stay at home with his family.

243 appearances, 111 goals “I would have died for Everton. I would have broken every other bone in my body for any other club, that’s how I look at it, you know. I would have died for this club.” As Everton’s “Cannonball kid”, Dave Hickson hurtled around the field, fighting for his team during a fruitless era and securing his place in the Goodison firmament. Hickson played for all three Merseyside clubs, but it was Everton that he fell in love with. Dixie Dean coached this courageous striker who memorably reopened a stitched up head wound in looking for his second goal against Man United in 1953.

283 appearances, 58 goals Trevor Steven provided ammunition for Sharp and Gray in the mid-eighties and scored his share of goals too. Steven was the archetypal winger and the brilliant crossing and sheer cunning of the man known as “Tricky Trev” was a wonderful asset in a hugely successful team. Like almost all of the mid eighties Toffee alumni Steven took a while to bed-in but his four medals are steeped in success.

428 appearances, 82 goals Eglington had the pace that launched a thousand attacks during a career that had a wingspan of more than a decade. He came across from Shamrock Rovers in 1946 in a £10,000 deal that included Peter Farrell, and played on the left wing scoring a healthy number of goals, including a fabulous five against Doncaster Rovers in 1952.

115 appearances, 70 goals Fred was a beefy forward with a sensational goal to game ratio. A Catterick signing from Blackburn Rovers in 1964 for a club record £90,000, he was nicknamed “Boomer” because of his massively powerful right foot. Sadly Pickering never really recovered from being dropped from the 1966 FA Cup Final. Despite scoring in every round up to the semi final, Pickering watched his replacement Trebilcock score two at Wembley. A knee injury and a loss of form made for a muted ending to Pickering’s Everton career – but at his best he was an astonishing goalscorer.

52 appearances, 38 goals “There’s no doubt at all that Everton was the best team I ever played in.” For months the Gwladys Street looked upon Andy Gray’s replacement with suspicious eyes, but eventually this goal-glutton won over huge swathes of Goodison. Lineker spent only one season at Everton, but it was punctuated by goals at every turn. He scored 40 goals in 57 appearances in total for Everton, won the Golden Boot at the 1986 Mexico World Cup – and then moved to Barcelona. His short Everton career was the perfect season for a striker, and if he had stayed longer he would surely be even higher on this list.

434 appearances, 59 goals Mick Lyons had the misfortune to play during the barren years of gradual decline at Goodison following the 1969/70 title win. Not skilful but powerful and physically imposing, not even his iron will was enough to resist the slide which culminated in the bleak Gordon Lee years. He said he would run through a brick wall for Everton……..and frequently did.

293 appearances, 89 goals A club-record-signing when he joined Everton from Stoke City in January 1982 for £700,000, little Adrian Heath brought guile to Everton’s midfield. Health was a polyglot player who was comfortable speaking both the language of a forward and a midfielder. Intelligent off-the-ball movement meant that the pitter-patter of Inchy’s feet was heard everywhere, most obviously with his vital goal against Oxford in the League Cup, a game that marked a change in fortunes for Howard Kendall and his team.

311 appearances, 50 goals Another trapeze artist on the wing – as testament to his balance he wore rubber studs in all weather – but Morrissey was extremely tough, too. Add to this the fact that this red turned Blue for £10,000 in 1962 and you have the perfect Goodison idol. Morrissey made his debut against Liverpool after signing for Everton – and he scored in a 2-2 draw but the brilliance of the Holy Trinity has often, unfairly, left this man in the dark. Morrissey scored 50 goals for the Blues, and regularly dispensed languid floated crosses for Joe Royle to attack with his head.

371 appearances, 4 goals Pugnacious Tommy Wright was a product of Merseyside and had already been recognised as an England schoolboy when he joined Everton. When he wasn’t fiercely defending his flank, he was making wingers lives a misery by storming into the opposition half with his penetrating runs. A part of the miraculous 1966 FA Cup final win he went on to win eleven caps for England, including some appearances in the 1970 World Cup. Whilst never as accomplished as Ray Wilson, Wright was still a top class full back.

147 appearances, 48 goals Collins was only 5ft 4in, his career at Everton was only four years, and yet he made a lasting impression. An inside forward with amazing awareness, it only took two campaigns for the ‘Pocket Napoleon’ to be top scorer. He went on to bigger success at Leeds United where he won player of the year in 1965 and was described by manager Don Revie as a ‘teacher’ on the pitch. However, Evertonians still remember his sharp passing and how he demanded the ball as if possession were his oxygen. Above all, Collins lays his claim for a place on this list with the way he took responsibility for pulling the socks up of the whole team, twice helping the Blues avoid the drop.

148 appearances, 24 goals A local lad born and bred, Mountfield was paired with Kevin Ratcliffe in the centre of defence when Mark Higgins was struggling with injuries. Neither Ratcliffe nor Mountfield looked back, forming a strong and successful defensive relationship. Both players were quick, but Mountfield was also a huge threat in the opposition area, goalscoring from a defender that wasn’t to be witnessed at Goodison again until the arrival of Joleon Lescott. Mountfield scored ten league goals during the title-winning 1984-85 campaign – but was shunted out of a first team place by Dave Watson in 1986, and Mountfield ultimately left for Aston Villa in the summer of 1988.

279 appearances, 33 goals Ellesmere Port born Chedgzoy can claim to be the main catalyst for the corner-kick rules that were highlighted a few seasons ago with the corner kick controversy involving Wayne Rooney and Ryan Giggs at Old Trafford. Against Arsenal, Chedgzoy dribbled a corner kick into the area and took a shot, exposing a loophole in the rules. England’s outside right – and a father figure to the young Dixie Dean – Chedgzoy won the league title in 1915 and was capped eight times for England.

95 appearances, 7 goals “Brace complemented Peter Reid perfectly. Their understanding was terrific right from the start and you could almost guarantee that if somebody got past Reidy, Paul would be a few yards behind him waiting to get them.” Andy Gray on Paul Bracewell. Bracewell, a tough, tidy, and driven midfielder won a Championship medal with Everton, as well as the 1985 European Cup Winners’ Cup final. For England, Bracewell won a scandalously meagre three caps. Bracewell’s severe ankle injury kept him out of the entire 1986-87 title-winning campaign and took over 18 months for doctors to successfully diagnose and cure. The great shame about Bracewell is that his talent was hobbled by midfield, and he was only at the top of his game for a ridiculously short amount of time. Despite this, he left his mark on Goodison, and was a major artery in our midfield.

52 appearances, 20 goals The number of goals Kanchelskis scored for Everton from the right wing would make most strikers green with envy. He earns his place on this list thanks to his explosive first season on Merseyside, when he scored 16 goals in 21 games. The season after he was hampered by injury and distracted by an agent whispering sweet transfer nothings into his ear. Kanchelskis is regarded by Joe Royle as the best player he has ever managed, and it was hard to disagree as the Russian sliced through the opposition with his pace. Mike Tyson’s hugely influential trainer Cus D’Amato used to tell him that “speed kills” and he’d repeat it like a mantra to his young charge; Kanchelskis displayed a similar brutally direct speed to the heavyweight.

68 appearances, 22 goals “Goodison brought out the best in me. Everything about it – the fans, the team, the history of centre forwards – was right. It was like it was meant to be” Glasgow born Andy Gray was 27, but very injury prone, when Howard Kendall bought him for £250,000 from Wolves, but the Scot managed to crowbar huge success into a short Everton career. If Kendall had more money to splash he would have tried to bag Brazilian Nunes or Paul Mariner. Luckily he didn’t. At Everton, Gray would leap and ricochet his way to an FA Cup, a League Championship, and a Cup Winners’ Cup. Gray was exceptionally brave, putting his battered body on the line, leading with his head in places where most wouldn’t put their feet and inspiring those around him and in the stands. Standout moments include his header against Sunderland, his European hat-trick when Everton swatted aside Fortuna Sittard, his goal in the Final against Rapid Vienna, and his goal the year before against Watford in the FA Cup Final. Let’s remember the Gray of the mid-80s; a man a million miles from his white-noise wittering as a football pundit.

358 appearances, 29 goals In 13 years of Everton service, Harris was employed in every outfield position but will best be remembered for the fantastic 1966 FA Cup Final victory, a game in which Harris starred and also playfully wore the fallen hat of a policeman during a chase with a rogue fan. To call Harris a utility player doesn’t do him justice, he was a chameleon on the field because he had a thick portfolio of skills; he was an excellent tackler, solid in the air, skilful, and had a fierce shot.

67 appearances, 15 goals Wayne Rooney – What If? It neither began nor ended with that goal; a precocious Rooney lobbing a vandal’s brick over Seaman’s head to shatter an unbeaten Arsenal. The Rooney phenomenon was already something of an open secret amongst those in-the-know at Goodison, and he went on to score other great goals for Everton, performing an impossibly sharp u-turn at Elland Road whilst leaving Lucas Radebe for dead, as well as a great return goal at Arsenal’s place . The rest of this blue fairy tale remains unwritten; Wayne didn’t go on to drag us into a golden age, instead the bullish street-fighter left for Old Trafford. No matter how much dirt emerges about Rooney, no matter how much the Scouse genius runs roughshod over his “Once a Blue, always a Blue” oath of fealty with obnoxious and hypocritical badge-kissing, Rooney is surely the greatest talent to come through Everton’s youth team (also displaying flashes of excellence in Blue that haven’t yet been replicated in red) and deserves his place on this list.

342 appearances, 80 goals Born in Hereford in 1878 Sharp was a lightning-fast and exciting outside right who represented England at cricket and football, he played 342 games for Everton and went on to be a director at Goodison. Jack bagged three league championship runners-up medals, one FA Cup runners up medal and lifted the FA Cup in 1906 when Everton beat Newcastle United 1-0 at Crystal Palace. A superb cricketer he hit 38 hundreds for his beloved Lancashire and, in 1909, also managed to crowbar three Test matches against Australia into his career, scoring 105 at the Oval.

Our current midfield laureate, Arteta has feet like Rory Delap’s arms and more importantly, a sharp footballing brain. His  ruthless combination of power and technique led to a series of unstoppable free kicks last season. Ostensibly brought in as Thomas Gravesen’s replacement – Arteta has gone on to outshine the Dane. No diver, Arteta is instead equipped with the fleet-footed skill and innate sonar to pick up countless fouls against him. Last season, following a move to central midfield, chairman Bill Kenwright compared the Spaniard to Alex Young, the “Golden Vision”; dubbing Arteta La visión de Oro. He has been sorely missed as he recuperates from his knee injury.

184 appearances, 2 goals A league title winner at Goodison in 1938-39, Ellesmere Port born Mercer was an excellent left half and an England legend. Everton got four seasons out of him before the war. As with many players of his generation the war ‘stole’ what would have been his best years. He moved to Arsenal for £9,000 in 1946, though he continued to commute from Merseyside. Mercer’s fierce tackling and marauding runs were to be missed. His long and distinguished managerial career included spells at Sheffield Utd., Villa, Manchester City and as the care-taker England boss.

240 appearances, 3 goals Everton signed Britton in 1930 from Bristol Rovers. Three years later the talented midfielder had won the FA Cup and was later to be recognized by England, winning nine caps in all. Britton provided much ammunition for Bill Dean, who would later claim that his crosses were the best he had ever received.

284 appearances, 12 goals Stevens graduated through the youth team and became a strong right back. Though admittedly not the most technically gifted, he was almost unbeatable because of his extreme pace. Such was his symbiotic relationship with the man who played in front of him that Gary Stevens and Trevor Steven effectively came as a pair. The much hyped on-field relationship between Gary Neville and David Beckham doesn’t hold a torch to our Blue duo.

272 appearances, 82 goals Derek ‘Shirley’ Temple, a pacy and versatile player, scored the third miraculous goal in Everton’s famous 1966 Cup Final comeback against Sheffield Wednesday, a cool finish in a cauldron of pressure. His two-footed wing play even won the attention of Alf Ramsey, earning him one England cap in 1965.

247 appearances, 68 goals An effervescent and skillful attacking force, Andy King first came to Goodison in 1976 as a £35,000 signing from Luton Town. None of his 68 net-bulgers were more memorable than his volleyed goal against the old enemy in October 1978, which has gone down in Goodison lore; King smashed the ball past Ray Clemence, ending seven years of inferiority to the Anfield club. King had exquisite technique and a huge heart, and the only regret from Evertonians is that he didn’t truly fulfill his massive potential.

306 appearances, 1 goal Cresswell oozed such class that he became known as “the prince of full backs”. He won seven caps for England and helped Everton to win the Football League Championship twice and the FA Cup in 1933.

385 appearances, 34 goals A product of Everton’s youth system, Hurst was a key member of the 1970 league championship-winning side, playing at the heart of the defence alongside Brian Labone. An imposing and skilful player, Hurst has been somewhat neglected by the historians but his contribution is not forgotten by this admirer. Confusingly for those less flexible times he wore the No 10 shirt. Legend had it at the time that this allowed the goal-shy Colin Harvey to wear the No 6 shirt thus lifting psychological pressure from the attacking midfielder’s shoulders. Given Harry Catterick’s man-management skills, this is not as outlandish an explanation as might be imagined.

190 appearances, 29 goals “I think you learn more from failure than you do from success. I was and I was totally devastated. You just got a letter in those days – ‘Thank you, you’re crap, goodbye’” – Dobson on being rejected by Bolton as a youngster. Bolton Wanderers must still be kicking themselves for rejecting Martin Dobson when he was a teenager. Unbelievably, he is the second high profile Evertonian to be shown the door marked “gerrout!” by Bolton, the first being Alan Ball. Dobbo was a tall, gracile midfield player with excellent technique who was bought from Burnley by Billy Bingham in 1974, for a record British transfer fee. The £300,000 that Everton spent on him provoked questions about whether money was beginning to rule the sport, questions which have never stopped. Dobson won won five caps for England under three different managers; Sir Alf Ramsey, Joe Mercer, and Don Revie. Dobson had excellent close control which aided his wonderful shooting and passing, and when he was in possession of the ball he was neither hurried nor wasteful. The latest Everton starlet to make it into the first team, Jack Rodwell, has been compared to Dobson – and he should take it as a huge compliment.

139 appearances, 51 goals ‘KC’ was rescued from Turkish side Trabzonspor by Walter Smith, after the President called him a “discoloured cannibal”. The Trabzon President also famously said of him “We bought him as a scoring machine, but he turned out to be a washing machine”. Campbell was however a steadying presence for us, scoring 51 times in 139 starts and grabbed Everton by the collar just as we were about to leap off the precipice. Campbell’s goals, especially the crucial net bulgers at the end of 1998-99 season, when he scored 9 goals in eight games, kept us afloat. The partnership that Campbell forged with the young Franny Jeffers was so successful that Wenger spent £8 million on Jeffers, who never lived up to his promise. Many of the stars that sit with Campbell in this list carry their medals as a mark of their success, Campbell’s success is bigger than that – his proud legacy is of keeping us in the Premier League.

184 appearances, 72 goals A British record signing when Colin Harvey bought him from West Ham in 1988 – TC scored a hat trick on his debut, bagging the first after a mere 34 seconds. As an attempt to replace the irreplaceable – goalscorers like Gary Lineker, Andy Gray and Graham Sharp – Cottee has always been underrated. Even though he scored 72 goals for the Toffees he is still – somewhat unfairly – looked down on. Cottee was a quick, off-the-shoulder striker similar to Michael Owen, and a true supersub in the 1991 4-4 draw at Anfield.

Apps 219 Goals: 5 Strong, fast, an expert tackler and a swashbuckling attacker , Alex Parker was bought from Falkirk in 1958 and spent seven seasons with Everton. The right back won a Championship medal in 1962-63 and left the club in September 1965 to join Southport. One of Everton’s best ever right backs, Parker was extremely lively, and made over 200 appearances for the club.

That it would cost ten Cahills to buy one Robbie Keane shows not the gulf in class between the two players but the brilliance of this David Moyes signing. Strong and unfeasibly dominant in the air for someone who is only 5ft 10in, Cahill has an unreal knack for goalscoring. The Australian is the competitive heart of the current Everton team and is often pushed to an emergency centre-forward position. Whether he is scoring a last-minute overhead kick, leaping into the stands to sign autographs on foreign tours, or mussing the hair of young and wide-eyed fans, he is always doing it for the team. Evertonians love Cahill and you get the impression that the feeling is very much mutual.

136 appearances, 22 goals. Nicknamed Diamond because his best position was at the top of a midfield quartet, Stuart deserves to be on this list solely on the back of his contribution to the 1994 3-2 victory over Wimbledon. Up until the final day, Stuart had scored just once in the league – yet he managed to score twice against Wimbledon – cooly despatching a penalty, and then side-footing past Segers nine minutes from time, amidst bitten-nails and frayed nerves. Stuart saved Everton that year, somehow pulling our heads from the gnashing jaws of relegation. The season after with Joe Royle at the helm, Stuart helped Everton finish in sixth place, just two points behind Arsenal and Aston Villa. Stuart was neither blessed with pace nor a prolific goalscoring touch, but he played with a heart not present in many players given greater talents than himself.An FA Cup winner, and our saviour in 1994, Graham Stuart retired from football after Norwich City let him go in 2005.

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. Gabriel, having coached in Seattle, is now in semi-retirement in the North-west of the US. No matter how far away he is, a corner of Wembley will forever be Jimmy Gabriel’s.

Apps 182, Goals 7 Hinchcliffe was our left-footed dead-ball specialist during the nineties. Perhaps not as accomplished the right-footed dead-ball specialist that is still clinging onto the England squad for dear life – but actually more well-rounded. Because of Mr Beckham’s Murdochian stranglehold on football it is easy to think that good cross and set-piece merchants are immobile automatons obsessed with angles and lining up their Coke cans in an orderly fashion in their fridge. This would be wrong. Whereas Beckham has all the mobility of Dr Strangelove stuck in a mud drenched lay-by, Hinchcliffe was actually quite quick, and occasionally took on players too. David Beckham made his first international appearance in September 1996 against Moldova – Hinchcliffe was in the same side – and although nowhere near as accomplished as Beckham, our left-back was criminally underrated at international level. When George W. Bush was basking in the light of reelection he gave special thanks to Karl Rove, calling him “the architect”. Duncan Ferguson’s place on this list, and some of his most memorable goals are due in large part to Andy Hinchcliffe – the architect of many a towering headed goal with his whipped, inswinging corners. Hinchcliffe is even memorialised in music with Finnish composer Osmo Tapio Räihälä writing “Hinchcliffe Thumper” in 1993.

105 apps, 4 goals Everton’s 57th best player (and Bournmouth’s 9th) is another one like Tony Kay who never came anywhere near to fulfilling his potential. Whereas Kay’s career was halted by draconian punishment, Parkinson’s was curtailed by injury – a cartilage tear that “despite operation after operation kept ripping”. Joe ran himself into the ground for Everton, and by playing through serious injury and making do on pain killing injections he put his career on the line for our club. It is interesting reading interviews with Parkinson; the poster boy for the “Dogs of War”, he was someone who was proud of his tough tackling, regarding it as a skill which he had mastered. Parkinson played his last game of professional football when he was 26 and retired in 1999. Joe he left behind his FA Cup winning performance against Man Utd and a series of midfield tackles which must still make the recipients wince.

57 appearances, 4 goals Tony Kay was Britain’s most expensive footballer when Everton swooped for him in 1962, paying a British record £60,000 for the red-headed wing half. Ponderous players attempting a midfield filibuster were greeted by Kay’s menacing physicality as well as his abundant skill. Harry Catterick, a shrewd judge of talent, clearly had big plans for Kay – plans that sadly never fully blossomed. That Kay is instead remembered for becoming embroiled in a betting scandal during his time at Sheffield Wednesday and being banned from football for life is one of Everton’s biggest tragedies. Capped once by England, Kay resembles Everton’s major “what if” and the reception he received upon his return to Goodison with other past legends hints at the player he could have been.

273 appearances, 72 goals As misunderstood as Boo Radley, as Blue as they come, and unsurprisingly the No 1 choice for this season’s induction into Gwladys Street’s Hall Of Fame. Ferguson may not be the most glorious Toffee ever but peer over the journalistic wall of words and you have the perfect talisman for late 1990s Everton. Fans projected all their angst onto this Scottish totem, who was blighted by injury, brimming with anger, a fan amongst players and, when the mood took him, an unplayable striker. A nearly man who was underrated on the floor and wonderful in the air – most memorably against Liverpool in 1994. In one of his final acts for the club, Ferguson was to score the curiously disallowed goal against Villarreal that would have kept Everton in the scramble to proceed to the Champions League proper.

132 appearances, 11 goals From the beginning of his Everton career, Gravesen set out to get noticed, playing like he should have an exclamation mark grafted onto his surname. The excitable Dane even saw red in one of his first outings, a “friendly” against Blackburn Rovers in 2000, for some appalling tackling. Gravesen had two stints at Everton, but his first was his best. Often starved of a partner to exchange skilful midfield repartee with, he was forced to roam on his own – a goggle-eyed, shaven-headed hunter-gatherer. Why is he on this list? Gravesen polarises opinion like Marmite, Spam and country music, but Tommy drove a workman-like Everton towards fourth spot and turned Real Madrid’s head before he could finish the job. Despite looking like he should be stroking a cat whilst plotting James Bond’s downfall from a hollowed-out volcano, he was hugely talented. Often starved of a partner to pass and exchange skillful touches with, he was forced to roam on his own, and when the mood took him he would often head down blind alleys and cul de sacs, submerged in his own skills with his head down. When he came to he would often find himself near the corner flag. If Everton are a Bill Kenwright production then Gravesen was the star of the pantomime, a player who grimaced and gesticulated when he played, and with his shaven head and bulging eyes he looked every part a Mad Dog of a midfielder. His theatrics were often greeted with an “Oh Tommy, Tommy…” bellow from the stands, and the songs of the fans were echoed back with his larger than life skills. His amazing chipped pass to Lee Carsley against Arsenal and his goal from the edge of the area against Crystal Palace were both world class in their execution. Tommy did come back for a muted second coming and waved goodbye to Goodison by dispatching a penalty against Fiorentina. He retired from football last season. I’ll never forget Thomas Gravesen, charging around the midfield like a rebel without a cause, but in some ways his Mad Dog persona perpetuated a huge myth about the Dane. Simply because he looked like a hard man midfielder people began to claim that he was. If I had a pound for every time Tommy was given the moniker “tough tackling” I would have a fortune to parallel a dodgy Russian oil oligarch. If Gravesen goes off into the sunset and his career dwindles and meanders to an end I hope he isn’t remembered as a hard man midfielder. In truth he couldn’t tackle very well at all – and much of the confusion must surely rest on the shoulders of his midfield lookalike Lee “Harry Hill” Carsley. In reality Gravesen was very over excitable, but that always translated itself into mad mazy runs, and charging after the ball like a blue arsed fly and not the hard-man ultra violence he was accused of. The bare truth is that Gravesen simply wasn’t the glass chewing, no-prisoners enforcer that many thought he was – this utter misreading of the basic tenets of his game wasn’t just among fans and pundits – Real Madrid tried to play him as a defensive midfielder and essentially failed.

15 Comments

As a footnote of no particular relevance at least four of the sixty (numbers 16,30,58,59)served prison sentences.

by Stephen Smoltz on Sep 21, 2011 at 10:19 am


This is a very well-written and affectionate portrait of some of Everton’s greatest. It’s also a rich source for many a debate.

In an age of multi-millionaire players, foreign owners and the annual premier league stitch-up this list reminds you of the time when football was still a sport and a genuine competition. And those who witnessed Howard Kendall’s precision passes or Bally’s supreme skills and will-to-win will remember….

by David Garner on Mar 10, 2012 at 9:39 pm


Joe Parkinson ahead of Duncan McKensie? And where’s the research for earlier players? Well there are a few that I’ll look up, so thanks.

But am not especially impressed by the list. In my lifetime, I’d also add Baines and Pienaar, and afvaourite of mine when I was a little kid was Dave socks round his ankles Thomas.

by Roberto Birquet on Oct 5, 2012 at 1:10 am


    Roberto – I’ll be very interested to hear who makes your list.

    by Ed Bottomley on Oct 29, 2012 at 1:00 am


Hello,

I have written a new Everton book and I am an author of two Everton e-books (The Illustrated Everton Story and 101 Interesting Facts on Everton: Learn About the Boys From Goodison Park) that are on available on Amazon and other sources.

I am an Everton fan, I wondered if this is a fine book for you, family and friends to have and read!

The ‘Illustrated Everton Story’ is packed with historical and present facts, quotes and wonderfully illustrated with nearly 300 drawings. The book contains 24 chapters including the grand players and managers such as Alfred Milward, Jack Taylor, Dixie Dean, Joe Royle, Kevin Ratcliffe, Tim Howard and so on…

Please have a ‘look inside’ on the Amazon e-book and have a read and look at the drawings!!!

It would be great to hear from you Thank You and please be in touch about the drawings on the new Everton e-book The Illustrated Everton Story. I know many may have not have a kindle but just look inside the Amazon. ‘
Many Thanks

Andy Groom

by Andy Groom on Jul 3, 2014 at 8:27 pm


I am looking into the history of Everton FC and especially the part that Tommy G Joes centre half played in the team 1938-1947 aprox.I am unable to get a team photo with T G Jones in it.It would be wonderful if you could help me.Many thanks in anticipation.

by Elis Jones on Dec 10, 2014 at 3:55 pm


How is it possible that Tim Howard is no where on this list? This is not a rhetorical question. With his solid stats, his consistent rank as one of the world’s better keepers and his longevity at Everton, one would expect him to be on this list. Can someone explain the ommission?

by Joel Antolini on Sep 28, 2015 at 10:13 pm


    Hmmm. You can’t be serious.

    by Ed Bottomley on Sep 29, 2015 at 7:26 pm


John Willie Parker? 167 Appearances, 82 Goals?

If you know your history.

by Phil on Jan 10, 2016 at 12:43 pm


    Where would you rank him, Phil?

    by Ed Bottomley on Jan 13, 2016 at 4:17 pm


roger Kenyon where is he, he was one of the best

by jay Garrick on Jan 20, 2016 at 10:58 am


    Where would you rank him, Jay?

    by Ed Bottomley on Jan 20, 2016 at 3:11 pm


With respect, Tony Kay should not be in any list of great Everton players. True, he was a wonderfully gifted and talented man on the park, but his contribution to Everton was just an entertaining, but insubstantial, episode because his past misdemeanours meant that he did not actually contribute anything of substance to the club. He was an enormous, missed opportunity for both himself and for Everton.
In contrast, and whilst I am not suggesting that he be an Everton “great” – Mike Trebilcock achieved more in one match than Tony Kay did in his entirety at the club. Your call.

by Tony Maher on Nov 24, 2016 at 8:53 pm


Alex Young: the single most skillful piece of football I have ever seen was Alex’s against West Ham at Goodison in 66/67 after their players were lauded for their part in the World Cup win. In midfield, the ball came to Alex; Peters closed him diagonally from the left; Moore OBE (Other Bugger’s Energy) diagonally from the right – he chipped the ball 15 yards directly in front of him and between them – they turned toward it – it landed and spun viciously back toward him – he collected it and went between them as they both faced the wrong way. Delicious.

by Tony Maher on Nov 24, 2016 at 9:19 pm


Roy Vernon: how an emaciated little welshman could hit a ball so hard defies belief – albeit it was his left, not his right as your appreciation says, that was the hammer. He was lazy, but lethal.

by Tony Maher on Nov 24, 2016 at 9:26 pm


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Desert Island Kicks

You’re stranded on a desert island, what footballing memories would you take with you?

Read more…

Next Fixtures

Premier League: Saturday 11 March (15:00); West Bromwich Albion at Goodison

Saturday 18 March (15:00); Hull City at Goodison 

Goodison Raw

Focus on the facts not the rhetoric

Read more…