Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Everton Greatest All-Time Team

Everton's most successful season: 1984-1985
Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index.

Manchester UnitedLiverpoolArsenal,
ChelseaTottenhamManchester CityEvertonIpswich
Aston VillaNewcastle UnitedNottingham Forest
Leeds UnitedLeicester CityWest HamBlackburn Rovers
East Midlands

This is my selection of a 25 member all-time team for the club.  The number 25 was chosen because it is the official squad size for the Champions' League.

Formed in 1878, Everton were founding members of The Football League in 1888 and won their first League Championship two seasons later. Following four League Championship and two FA Cup wins, Everton experienced a lull in the immediate post World War Two period until a revival in the 1960s, which saw the club win two League Championships and an FA Cup. The mid-1980s represented their most recent period of sustained success with two League Championship successes, an FA Cup, and the 1985 European Cup Winners' Cup.
1962-1963 League champion

GK: Neville Southall (Wales)
Southall was FWA Football of the Year in 1985 and one of the few keepers to win the award.  He was regarded as one of the best British keeper of his generation in a generation filled with great keepers.  He started with Bury, but played most of his career with Everton, where the club was enjoying its most successful period. He won two First Divison title and two FA Cup with them.  He had 92 caps for Wales.

Neville Southall
GK: Ted Sagar (England)
Ted Sagar joined Everton as an apprentice in 1929 after playing for Thorne Colliery in Yorkshire and made in debut in 1930. He played in the championship winning sides of 1931–32 and 1938–39 and the FA Cup winning side of 1933.  He made 499 appearances for Everton; this goalkeeping record for the club was only beaten by Neville Southall in 1994. He played 4 times for England before the War.

GK: Gordon West (England)
After 33 League games for Blackpool, Gordon West signed for Everton in 1962 for £27,000, then a British record for a goalkeeper. He won the Football League First Division: (1962–63), (1969–70,) and the FA Cup(1965–66).  He joined Tranmere Rovers F.C. at the end of his career. West won three caps for England. He turned down a place in the 1970 FIFA World Cup squad because he wanted to stay at home with his family.

RB: Gary Stevens (England)
Graduated from Everton's academy, Gary Stevens played in the great Everton side of the 1980's.  He later played for Rangers in Scotland. He took home two league titles.  Stevens went to the 1986 World Cup Finals (along with the Tottenham Hotspur player Gary A. Stevens.  Capped 46 times, Stevens, causing a spot of confusion) and played in all of the games as England reached the quarter finals.  He also played at Euro 1988 and Italia 1990.

RB: Tommy Wright (England)
Wright spent his entire career with Everton.  He played in the winning team in the 1966 FA Cup Final. He also won the 1969/70 Football League Championship.  Capped 12 times.  He made his debut in the 1968 European Championship.  He also participated at the 1970 World Cup Finals in Mexico.  He was named as an inaugural member of Gwladys Street's Hall of Fame in 1996, and as an "Everton Giant" in 2016.

CB Kevin Ratcliffe (Wales)
Kevin Ratcliffe was the captain of Everton during its golden era in the 1980's.  He won two English League titles, one FA Cup and another Cup Winners' Cup. In 1991, he went to Dundee and then played for a short spells with Cardiff City, Nottingham Forest, Derby County and Chester City. Ratcliffe was capped 59 times by Wales, often as captain. Wales never qualified for a major tournament while he was active. 
Kevin Ratcliffe
CB: Phil Jagielka (England) 
Phil Jagielka born in Manchester of Polish descent.  He played for Sheffield Wednesday before joining Everton in 2007.  The transfer was the highst ever for a Sheffield United player. He was made captain the squad in 2013. At the time of writing, he has over 40 caps for England since 2008.  He went to European Championship in 2012 and World Cup Finals in 2014.

CB: Dave Watson (England)
Watson moved to Everton for £900,000 in 1986 after six years at Norwich.  He remained at Goodison Park for 15 years.  Watson was an integral part of the Everton side throughout the 1990s, and following the departure of goalkeeper Neville Southall in 1998 he became the club's oldest and longest serving player.  Capped 12 times.

CB:  Brian Labone (England)
Brian Labone played his entire career with Everton in England.  He was an one-club man. His professional career lasted from 1958 to 1971, during which he won the Football League championship twice and the FA Cup once. Labone played 26 times for England between 1962 and 1970. He withdrew from England's 1966 World Cup squad because of his imminent marriage but played in three of the four games in the World Cup in 1970 in Mexico.
Brain Labone
LB: Ray Wilson (England)
From 1952 to 1964, Wilson played for Huddersfield.  In 1964 Wilson joined Everton, by which time he had played 30 times for England, and remains to this day Huddersfield's most-capped England international.  For England, he would win 53 caps in total and was a starter at the WC Finals in 1966 in which England won.  He played in the 1968 European Championship where England reached the semifinal.

LB: Leighton Baines (England)
Leighton Baines started his career with Wigan Athletic, and was part of the team that won the Second Division in the 2002–03 season and was a runner-up in the 2004–05 Championship and the 2006 League Cup Final. He joined Everton in 2007, helping them reach the 2009 FA Cup Final. He has played for England at under-21 and senior levels. Baines was included in the England squads at UEFA Euro 2012 and the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
Leighton Baines
CB/DM: Mick Lyons (England)
Lyons started with Everton in 1971.  He left in 1982 while serving as their captain.   He won the League Cup in 1977.  He played for Sheffield Wednesday from 1982 to 1985.  He later played for Grimsby before retiring in 1987.  He played twice England B in 1978.

DM:  Peter Reid (England)
Reid built his reputation at Bolton Wanderers, before signing for Everton in 1982. He helped the club win two league titles, a FA Cup and the 1985 Cup Winners' Cup. He was voted as the PFA Players' Player of the Year in 1985.  He represented England at the 1986 FIFA World Cup and 1988 UEFA European Championship. He won 13 caps in total. Reid joined Queens Park Rangers in 1989, but moved on to Manchester City a year later to begin his managerial career.
Peter Reid

CM/DM: Howard Kendall (England)  
Kendall started with Preston North Endl. He was a runner-up in the 1964 FA Cup with Preston, and at 17 years 245 days was the youngest player to play in a Wembley final. In 1967 Kendall joined Everton, where he played in midfield with Alan Ball and Colin Harvey, the trio gaining the nickname "The Holy Trinity". With Everton he won the First Division title, the Charity Shield, and was again an FA Cup runner-up. 

CM: Alan Ball  (England)
Alan Ball was the youngest member of England's World Cup winning team in 1966. At the club level, he started his career with Blackpool.  He also played with Everton, Arsenal, Southampton and various clubs in North America and Hong Kong.  He played 72 times for England and was a key player at the World Cup finals in 1966 and 1970.  However, he missed the ill-fated match vs Poland in the 1973 World Cup qualifier due a suspension.
Alan Ball
RM: Trevor Steven (England)
Started with Burnley, he joined Everton in 1983. He helped the club win two league titles, a FA Cup and the 1985 Cup Winners' Cup. He joined Graeme Souness' Rangers in 1989.  In 1991, Steven moved for £5.5 million - the joint-highest fee involving a British player at the time, shared with David Platt of Aston Villa to Olympique Marseille where he stayed for one season, winning the French league title.  Capped 36 times.

LW: Tommy Eglington (Northern Ireland/Ireland)
Tommy Eglington played as an outside-left for, among others, Shamrock Rovers, Everton and Tranmere Rovers. Eglington was also a dual internationalist and played for both Ireland teams – the FAI XI and the IFA XI.  He made debut for both team on the same year in 1946. Eglington's playing career followed a similar path to that of Peter Farrell. As well as teaming up at international level, they also played together at three different clubs.

LW: Kevin Sheedy (Ireland)
Sheedy spent the largest portion of his playing career with Everton – with whom he won the FA Cup, European Cup Winners' Cup and two Football League titles – and also played for Hereford United, Liverpool, Newcastle United and Blackpool. Born in Wales, he played 46 times for the Republic of Ireland and scored the country's first ever goal in a World Cup finals during Italian 1990.  He also played in Euro 1988. 

AM/CM: Colin Harvey (England)
Harvey was often described as an elegant and skilful player and was nicknamed the "White Pele" by Everton fans. Harvey became a part of the famous midfield trio known as the "Holy Trinity" with Alan Ball and Howard Kendall. Widely regarded as the best midfield of their generation, they were the key components of Everton's Football League First Division winning team in the 1969/70 season.

AM: Tim Cahill (Australia)
Cahill is the all-time leading scorer for Socceroos with 50 goals and was considered one of greatest Australian players ever.  He played for Millwall, Everton, the New York Red Bulls, Shanghai Shenhua, and Hangzhou Greentown. At Everton, he was one of their star players for 8 seasons between 2004 and 2012.  He represented Samoa at youth level.  Later, he switched to play for Australia in 2004.  He went to three World Cup Finals.  He led Australia in winning the Asian Cup in 2015.

Tim Cahill
FW: Alex Young (England)
Alex Young is the all-time fourth highest scorer for English club Everton and scored the only goal to win the 1906 FA Cup Final. Some attribute to him a total of 113 league goals for Everton, which would put him in second spot behind Dixie Dean. He was also the Football League's top scorer in 1906–07.  He also played for Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester City and South Liverpool.

ST: Dixie Dean (England)
Dean was a star player in the pre-War era,  Dean played the majority of his career at Everton before injuries caught up with him and he moved on to new challenges at Notts County. He is best known for his exploits during the 1927–28 season, which saw him score a record 60 league goals. He scored 379 goals in 438 games, 28 goals in FA Cup matches. He also scored 18 goals in only 16 caps for the national team. 
Dixie Dean
ST: Tommy Lawton (Greater Manchester)
Considered to be one of England's greatest attackers.  He started his career shortly before the outbreak of the War.  He scored 65 goals in 87 matches for Everton before the War.  He joined Chelsea after the War.  In 1947, he shocked the world by joining Third Divison Notts County.  He later played for Brentford and Arsenal. He scored 22 goals in 23 matches for England.

ST: Graeme Sharp (Scotland)
Sharp started his playing career at Dumbarton before signing for Everton for £120,000 in 1980, with whom he won the 1984 FA Cup, the 1985 European Cup Winners' Cup and two Football League titles.  He later played for Oldham.  He played 12 times for Scotland between 1985 and 1988.  He played a single match at the 1986 World Cup Finals in Mexico against Uruguay in the first round.

ST: Bob Latchford (England)
Bob Latchford made more than 500 appearances in the Football League, playing for Birmingham City, Everton, Swansea City and Coventry City in the First Division. During his time at Everton, he was the club's leading post Second World War goalscorer with 138 goals, a record he held until 1989 when Graeme Sharp broke it. He won 12 full caps for England between 1977 and 1979.  While as a player, he represented the players at Professional Footballers' Association.
Bob Latchford

Honorable Mention
Wayne Rooney (England), Roy Vernon (Wales), Dave Hickson, Tony Cottee (England), Andy Gray (Scotland), Joe Royle (England), Gary Lineker (England), Andrei Kanchelskis (Russia), Mikel Arteta (Spain), Tommy Lawton (England), Mick Lyons (England), Phil Neville (England), Peter Farrell (Ireland), David Unsworth (England), Tim Howard (USA), Billy Scott (N.Ireland), Barry Horne (Wales), Duncan McKenzie (England), TG Jones (Wales), Joe Mercer (England), Derek Temple(England), Romelu Lukaku (Belgium), Johnny Morrissey (England), Pat Van Den Hauwe (Wales/Belgium), Sam Chedgzoy, Dave Hickson (England), Keith Newton (England), Alan Stubbs (England), Steve Pienaar (South Africa), Phil Neville (England), Duncan Ferguson (Scotland).

Squad Explanation
-- The 1980's was Everton's Golden era. Howard Kendall took over as manager and guided Everton to their most successful era. Everton won the FA Cup in 1984 and two League Championships in 1984–85 and 1986–87. In Europe, the club won its first, and so far only, European trophy by securing the European Cup Winners' Cup in 1985.  Neville Southall, Graeme Sharp, Kevin Sheedy, Trevor Steven, Gary Stevens, Peter Reid and Kevin Ratcliffe played in that generation. However, I could not find space for Andy Gray.
European Cup Winners' Cup 1985
-- The 1960's was also a great period for the city of Liverpool.  The Beatles was at its prime.  Everton won two league titles and a FA Cup. Gordon West, Tommy Wright, Brian Labone, Howard Kendell, Alan Ball and Colin Harvey played in that period.  Ray Wilson won the World Cup with England.  Alan Ball was still with Blackpool at the time of the Finals.  Note: The Fab Four was not known to be football fans.
-- Neville Southall (Wales) was the obvious choice for their greatest keeper.  Ted Sagar was a one club player.  He played his first game in 1929 and his last game in 1952.  He holds Everton appearance record.
-- Jordan Pickford has became a World Cup hero during the 2018 Finals.  At the time of writing, he only played a single season for the club.  He won the Everton's Player of the Year Award.  It is still a long way for anyone to consider him.  Billy Scott was seriously considered for the third keeper.  His brother Elisha Scott was the great goalkeeper with Liverpool FC.  Nigel Martyn spent three seasons here. And I also looked at Tim Howard. In the end, I went with Gordon West who was the most expensive goalkeeper at the time of his transfer to Everton.
-- Dave Watson and Brian Labone are 2nd and 3rd in appearance record for Everton.  Kevin Ratcliffe was the captain of Everton during its golden era in the 1980's.  Phil Jagielka also won Everton Player of the Season several times.
-- Rightback Gary Stevens was from the Golden era in the 1980's and he also had a decent career with England.  Tommy Wright was a one club player.  Wright went to the 1970 World Cup Finals with his Everton teammate Keith Newton who was also a rightback.  Newton played as a leftback with Everton, but was the main starting rightback for England.  Wright edged Newton because of his longer career with Everton.
-- Ray Wilson won a World Cup with England.  Leighton Baines now has been to the club for 11 seasons. They belonged to this team. They kept Pat Van Den Hauwe, David Unsworth and Keith Newton.out of the team.
-- Leftback Leighton Barnes spent 13 seasons with the club.  he made PFA Player of the Seasin twice.
-- Howard Kendell, Alan Ball and Colin Harvey formed one of Toffee's greatest midfield.  Everton even built a statue of their Holy Trinity outside Goodison Park. I took all three of them. They won the league in 1968-1969 season. The trio kept Mikel Arteta (Spain) off the team.  I also had Tim Cahill who was Everton's first player to be nominated for Ballon d'or in 18 years.
Howard Kendell, Alan Ball and Colin Harvey
-- Peter Reid was PFA Player of the Year when Everton won the League and Cup Winners' Cup Double in the 1984-1985 season. 
-- Andrei Kanchelskis (Russia) was the best right winger in the Preimership when he played for Everton, but his career here was too short.  I put him on honorable mention. 
-- I cannot believe that I left Wayne Rooney off the team.  He is Everton's greatest homegrown talent, but he left Goodison Park at the age of 18.  In 2017, he returned to the club, but he did not do enough to get a place on this team. I have selected Roberto Baggio on the all-time team for Fiorentina.  I have not done the same for Rooney. 
-- Tommy Lawton had a wonderful career with Everton.  He was First Division's top-scorer in 1938 and 1939, helping Everton to finish as champions of the Football League in the latter campaign.  
-- Andy Grey's career was cut short because Everton bought Gary Lineker.  He did not stay here long enough.  On the other hand, Duncan Ferguson also spent a long career with the club, but he lost his place to the most famous names on the team.
-- I also left Gary Lineker off the team, but I am really not sure.  He is often listed as a Top 10 ever player for Everton, but he only spent one season at Everton. However, he was the top scorers in the English league with 30 goals.  He won both PFA and PWA Player of the Year.  He was also Ballon D'or winner that year, but he won it for the 1986 World Cup performance. He still made my honorable mention.
-- At Everton, Latchford was the top scorer for six successive seasons.  At the time of his departure from the club, only Dixie Deane scored more goals than him.  Graeme Sharp suppressed him as the highest post-War goal scorer for the club. They kept both Rooney and Lineker off the team. 

-- With a total of 383 goals, Dixie Dean still holds the record as Everton’s top scorer.  He is considered the greatest ever from Everton.
-- Alex Young (Scotland) also missed out. He was the hero of the 1962-1963 league winning season.  I selected another Alex Young form 1900's.



  1. Mick Lyons and Tommy Eglington were loyal servants of the club, but never outstanding footballers.T G Jones - widely regarded a world class footballing centre half cannot be omitted. And Roy Vernon's strike rate (111 goals 200 games) make him a self-evident pick.

  2. Agreed completely on all counts Celia. TG Jones aa certainty. Ahead of Dave Watson I would think. Joe Mercer also worth consideration I think. Played more for Arsenal, but his peak years were at Everton. Might have him above Peter Reid.