Everton is one of the biggest clubs in England. They have a huge fan-base and a rich history. Many great players have played for the club throughout it’s history. In this article, let us have a look at some of the best Everton players ever.
Here are the top 10 best Everton players ever –
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10. Graeme Sharp
The Scottish international signed for Everton for £120,000 in 1980 and his goals quickly became an integral part of one of the most successful Everton sides of all time. Sharp’s greatest achievements were as part of the Everton team which in 1984 won the FA Cup (he scored the first goal in the final), in 1985 and 1987 won the Football League First Division and also in 1985 the European Cup Winners’ Cup. In October 1984, he scored the lone goal in Everton’s first win at Anfield since 1970. He was on the losing side in the FA Cup finals of 1986 and 1989, with both of these finals being won by Everton’s local rivals Liverpool.
His key role in this golden era led to his inclusion in Everton’s “Greatest Ever Team”, following a poll in the club’s 125th anniversary. Sharp scored 159 goals in 455 appearances, during his time at Everton.
9. Kevin Sheedy
Kevin Sheedy played for Everton from 1982 to 1992, scoring 97 times in 368 games. He was a crucial figure of the 1984 Everton team that won the FA Cup. He was part of Everton’s title-winning teams in 1985 and 1987, and in 1985 the European Cup Winners’ Cup, scoring in the final itself.
In the 1980s Sheedy scored the most goals from free-kicks in the top-flight of the English football league. He was selected in the PFA Team of the Year in both Everton championship winning years of 1985 and 1987.
8. Bob Latchford
Latchford was the complete centre-forward, able to score or create chances for teammates using either his feet or head. Despite his good height, he was very fast over short distances, a quality he used to his advantage when scoring many of his goals.
Once the most expensive player in the English League, Latchford’s £350,000 move from Birmingham City to Everton came with high expectation, and he didn’t disappoint. The free scoring striker scored a total of 138 goals in 289 appearances for Everton, becoming the club’s top scorer during the 1975, 1976, 1977 and 1978 seasons. He was also the league’s top scorer during the 1977-1978 season.
7. Gary Lineker
Gary Lineker only played for one season for Everton, but left a lasting impression at Goodison Park and is still loved and respected by the club’s fans.
Lineker arrived at Everton, who were the English champions at that time, after being crowned as the First Divisions top scorer while at Leicester City. The Englishman took no time to make his mark at the club and fired 30 goals in 41 appearances which helped the Toffees lift the FA Cup.
His Golden Boot winning performance in the 1986 World Cup attracted the attention of Barcelona who signed the striker soon after making the 1985-86 season Lineker’s only season at the club.
6. Leighton Baines
One of the best Everton players ever, Baines is a “dependable left back” who is best known for his set-piece expertise and penalties. Leighton Baines joined Everton from Wigan in 2007 for a fee around £6 million.
He is one of the important members of the current Everton squad and has been voted as Everton player of the season twice in 2010-2011 and 2012-2013. He was also included in PFA team of the year in 2011-2012 and 2012-2013.
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5. Brian Labone
The epitome of a one club man,Labone joined Everton at 17 in July 1957 and quickly became regarded as one of the best central defenders of his era, known for his strong tackling, speed, and ability in the air. He played 23 years for Everton in the period 1958-1971.
After Labone sadly passed away, former Everton captain, Kevin Ratcliffe, made the following tribute: “Brian was Everton. If you could put together a team of every player that has ever captained Everton, every one of us would turn to Brian to lead us out. He will always be known as the captain of Everton.”
4. Alan Ball
The Englishman won just one major honour during his time with the Toffees but his impact was so immense that he was considered as one of his generation’s best midfielders along with Colin Harvey and Howard Kendall who were referred to as Everton’s ‘Holy Trinity’.
Ball, who was the youngest member of England’s 1966 World Cup winning squad, scored 78 goals in 250 appearances for the Toffees which helped him gain a reputation as one of his country’s best midfielders.
3. Kevin Ratcliffe
One of the best Everton players ever, Kevin Ratcliffe was known for his superb defending skills which included some tough tackling and helped him gain a reputation as a hard man.
The Welshman international was a product of Everton’s distinguished youth academy. And by the age of 22, he had already firmly established himself in the Toffees’ first team.
He was made Everton captain by Howard Kendall in 1983 at the tender age of 23. Whilst captain, Ratcliffe led Everton to one of their most successful spells in the club’s history, winning the 1984 FA Cup Final, the League Championship in 1984–85 and1986–87 and the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup 1984–85.
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2. Neville Southall
Undoubtedly one of the finest goalkeepers of his generation, Neville Southall will always be considered as one of best Everton players ever.
The legendary shot stopper was signed by iconic Everton manager Howard Kendall for £150,000 which proved to be a bargain as Southall soon rivalled Ray Clemence and Peter Shilton for the title of the best goalkeeper in England. The Welshman was an integral part of Everton in their glory days which saw them win two First Division titles, two FA Cups, four Community Shields and one League Cup.
Southall also picked up loads of personal awards for his goalkeeping skills which included him being included in the PFA Team Of The Year four consecutive times. He was also named as one of the greatest players of the 20th Century by World Soccer.
1. Dixie Dean
Without a doubt, Dixie Dean is Everton’s best player of all time. With a total of 383 goals, Dixie Dean still holds the record as Everton’s top scorer. During his 12-year career Dixie Dean became the Merseyside club’s top goal scorer with 383 goals in all competitions and still holds the English national record of most goals in a season with 61 goals in the 1927-1928 season.
On the foot of the Dixie Dean statue outside Goodison Park are the words ‘Footballer, Gentleman, Evertonian’. No words could summarise this great man better.
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