The Best Players Ever to Wear Each Shirt Number at Everton

Saturday, 27 March, 2020 71comments  |  Jump to last

Don Smith at the 90mins website offers up his choices for the best players ever to wear each shirt number at Everton.

Limited to shirt numbers 1 thru 11 and the old traditional positions associated with them, it seems a rather an antiquated concept in this day and age of fixed 25-man squads in which numbers no longer relate to fixed positions.

But when most of the selection are stars from arguably Everton's best team oof 30-odd years ago, perhaps it's more understandable.


Reader Comments (71)

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Patrick McFarlane
1 Posted 28/03/2020 at 09:29:53
Bound to cause some arguments on here.
Alan McKie
2 Posted 28/03/2020 at 10:06:24

1 Souhall
2 Parker
3 Wilson
4 Kendall
5 Labone
6 Harvey
7 Stevens
8 Ball
9 Lineker
10 Vernon
11 Morrissey

I have left a lot of big names out, it's hard. I cannot include players I have never seen play. Looks I have chosen the majority of players from this 63-70 teams

Robert Tressell
3 Posted 28/03/2020 at 10:06:30

The best that I can actually remember watching would be:

Martyn, Lescott, Jagielka, Coleman, Baines, Carsley, Gravesen, Arteta, Kanchelskis, Richarlison, Lukaku.

Honorable mentions to Beardsley, Rooney, Jeffers, Saha, Amokachi, Campbell, Ferguson, Limpar, Barmby, Pienaar, Deulofeu, Hutchison, Collins, Osman, Barkley, Gascoigne, Gomes, Cahill, Parkinson, Fernandes, Digne, Ball, Hinchcliffe, Neville, Unsworth, Distin, Gough, Weir, Stones and Howard.

Some of them only delivered fleetingly or after their sell-by date... but still. Some good nostalgia looking back. I've probably missed a few from this era (circa 1990 to present day). Hopefully the future is a bit more star-studded and trophy-laden.

Alan McKie
4 Posted 28/03/2020 at 10:12:09
Sorry, I will take Lineker out and include the Golden Vision at 9, cos he did play at 8 & 9, but I couldn't drop Bally, so Gary out.
John McFarlane Snr
5 Posted 28/03/2020 at 11:50:27
Hi John [16] {Patrick doesn't sit right with me}

The selection of Dom Smith's "The best players ever to wear each shirt number at Everton" is bound to lead to immense differences of opinion. The choice of Dixie Dean and Alan Ball, as the only players to represent the pre 80s & 90s period is in itself a bit of a talking point.

There is likely to be an avalanche of nominations, with poster's making a case for their favourites. I'm surprised that the names of Alex Parker, Bobby Collins, Tommy Ring, Ray Wilson, Bob Latchford, and Peter Beardsley were discounted along with many others, but, as they say, "One man's meat" etc.

Michael Kenrick
6 Posted 28/03/2020 at 13:17:44

I like your subtle approach to expand the scope of this, reeling off your list of players without a care as to what shirt number they wore.

Just think: what competition could there possibly be for Seamus Coleman at 23?

Joleon Lescott at 16?

Or Sylvain Distin at 15?

More tricky ones are Deulofeu... 10? 19?? or 7???

But of course, the real challenge is posed by a player who has been here for 5 seasons and worn no less than 5 different shirt numbers!!!

14, 19, 24, 29, & 34...

Who could that possibly be???

Robert Tressell
7 Posted 28/03/2020 at 13:51:18

Thank you, you're welcome.

The subtlety comes from being too lazy to read the article in the link, but bored enough not to resist a comment.


Patrick McFarlane
8 Posted 28/03/2020 at 14:18:08
1 Southall
2 Todd
3 Pejic
4 Ratcliffe
5 Watson
6 Reid
7 Steven
8 Dobson
9 Sharp
10 Arteta
11 Sheedy

Not an easy task and I have stuck to those players that I have actually watched play but to omit Beardsley, Dave Thomas and many more is very hard.

David Siggers
9 Posted 28/03/2020 at 17:07:08
Reid my favourite player ever.
1 Southall
2 Pat VDH
3 Stevens
4 Ratcliffe
5 Watson
6 Reid
7 Steven
8 Dobson
9 Gray
10 Sharp
11 Sheedy
Mark Andersson
10 Posted 28/03/2020 at 19:29:01
Not this old chestnut. No matter who you pick, the key is who would get the best out of them as a team. So you have to pick a manager first.

Kendall won lots of silverware using a squad of players that were not all great individuals. So, for me, I would only pick one Evertonian who I would trust to pick his best 11.

Andy Crooks
11 Posted 28/03/2020 at 19:34:22
Gary Lineker should be in any team. He was our last act as a "big" club. Both his signing and selling. I think he, maybe because of his abject punditry, is vastly underrated.
Mark Andersson
12 Posted 28/03/2020 at 23:32:40
Not this old chestnut. No matter who you pick, the key is: Who would get the best out of them as a team? So you have to pick a manager first.

Kendall won lots of silverware using a squad of players that were not all great individuals. So, for me, I would only pick one Evertonian who I would trust to pick his best 11.

Ken Kneale
13 Posted 29/03/2020 at 12:39:38
Andy. I also find him irritating and positive about Everton only when it suits him but, notwithstanding, I agree with your comment that he was a level of player we have struggled to get near since in the main.

One of the reasons I regularly muse, if not for the ban, who knows where Everton would be now? I would hazard to say, considerably higher up the football tree pecking order.

Robert Tressell
14 Posted 29/03/2020 at 13:32:08
Sad that I can only remember watching Sharp, Watson, Southall when they were past it - and we were starting a slump that lasted for pretty much the whole of the 90s.

That's probably why fans who are 40-ish and younger will generally credit Moyes with doing a good job because (other than a couple of seasons or so with Royle in command) we were really terrible up till then.

Dick Fearon
15 Posted 29/03/2020 at 14:00:57
On the old BBC radio's Grandstand, I heard a similar discussion but this was to name the best UK national team.

The panel was Joe Mercer, Stan Cullis and Bill Nicholson. When it came to naming a centre-forward, each of them named Dixie as the No 9 and having no equal. Their word plus that of my dad is good enough for me.

I would find a place for Neville Southall, Ray Wilson, Bobby Collins, Tim Cahill and Alex Young. There are far too many competitors for the other positions and I could be here all night trying to pick others while omitting so many others.

Martin Reppion
16 Posted 29/03/2020 at 14:10:28
This is one of my favourite games.
OK, I'm 57. Didn't see much of the 60's.
And in terms of players I've seen I prefer to go for those I saw a lot of live.
The 1985 team, try explain that to the kids today brought up on squads, was potentially the best club side ever. So all I can do is pick that XI and decide in each spot is there anyone that could fit in and improve it.
Southall remains the best I have ever seen. Gets in my all time world XI never mind just here.
Not sure how to improve the back 4. Baines for me makes a great case as he has done it year in year out and is yet another leader.
Watson who came in for Mountfield and fit in perfectly completes the changes at the back.
The midfield of Steven, Reid, Bracewell and Sheedy was perfection. It had balance. They complemented each other and with justice would have dominated Europe for the decade. I could argue for Ball, Richarlison or many others, but I can't see how this group could be improved. You can't buy that understanding. Bracewell's glorious ball for Steven to score against Sunderland is still fresh in the memory 35 years on.
Up front I'm old fashioned enough to still love a proper centre forward. I've seen some greats in the hallowed number 9 shirt. Latchford, Royle, Brett Angel (joking). But Graeme Sharp at his best was awesome. Strikers work in partnerships. Sharpy himself rates Inchy heath as his favourite partner. But imagine what he could have done making space for Rooney?
Pointless fun yes. But we need fun at the moment.

Paul Tran
17 Posted 29/03/2020 at 14:22:18
1. Southall
2. Stevens
3. Pejic
4. Ratcliffe
5. Labone
6. Harvey
7. Steven
8. Ball
9. Latchford
10. Sharp
11. Sheedy

2nd XI

1. Martyn
2. Todd
3. Van Den Hauwe
4. Hurst
5. Watson
6. Reid
7. Arteta
8. Dobson
9. Royle
10. Husband
11. Thomas

Michael Kenrick
18 Posted 29/03/2020 at 14:22:23
Tim Cahill... there's another conundrum.

In 8 years with Everton, he only ever wore the #17 shirt (my fave). Loved him... but I don't think he qualifies for this, does he?

Rules is rules.

Phil (Kelsall) Roberts
19 Posted 29/03/2020 at 16:03:52
We can change the rules!

So how about a thread on best in any shirt number as a squad.

The 18 shirt - Schneiderlin, Sigurdsson, Barry, Neville, Rooney, Gascoigne, Terry Phelan(!), David Weir, Joe Parkinson, Kenny Sanson.

Now there is an eclectic selection. Could be a bit more wide ranging and more fun. Dean for 9?

John Davies
20 Posted 29/03/2020 at 19:50:39
Just my selection gents, based on who I saw play. I'm 62 years old and have been a Mad Blue since 1963 when I first went to Goodison Park.

1. Neville Southall
2. Tommy Wright
3. Ray Wilson
4. Peter Reid
5. Brian Labone
6. Kevin Rattcliffe
7. Trevor Steven
8. The one and only Alan Ball
9. Bob Latchford
10. Gary Lineker
11. Dave Thomas

I didn't really get to see "The Golden Vision" in action but my Uncle Brian says he was the best of them all.

Keep safe everyone.

Mark Andersson
21 Posted 30/03/2020 at 01:20:10
Gary Linker is said to have said the best team he ever played with was Everton... shame he didn't win anything with us that season.

I read his bio years ago; he had a chance to go to the shite but turned them down coz he thought he wouldn't gel with big-nose Rush.

Phil Paulson
22 Posted 30/03/2020 at 16:16:19
Too similar to Rush – goal hanger and pace to burn.
Dennis Stevens
23 Posted 30/03/2020 at 19:45:26
Surely, the best, if not only, player to wear each shirt number 1-11 would be Sandy Brown! I wonder what a team of 11 Sandy Brown's would have been like?
Dave Williams
24 Posted 30/03/2020 at 21:50:54
Wilson (never seen a better left-back)
Niall McIlhone
25 Posted 31/03/2020 at 00:53:10
I'm with you on the Number 17 shirt, Michael: It belongs to Cahill. Retire the shirt.

Won nothing, gave everything. Absolutely everything, home and away, he will forever be regarded as the epitomy of what we expect of a player pulling on the blue shirt. Had he played with better players, who knows what he could have achieved.

Liam Reilly
26 Posted 31/03/2020 at 14:00:04
Only the ones I've seen play for Everton:

1. Southall
2. Stevens
3. Van Den Hauwe
4. Ratcliffe
5. Mountfield
6. Reid
7. Kanchelsis
8. Bracewell
9. Latchford
10. Lineker
11. Sheedy


Honorable mentions to TC and Lukaku and I think Richarlison will be there in a season or 2

David Price
27 Posted 31/03/2020 at 15:39:38
Based on seeing live
1 Southall (that's the easy bit)
2 Coleman
3 Baines
4 Todd
5 Labone
6 Reid
7 Steven
8 Ball
9 Lineker
10 Beardsley
11 Sheedy
12 Harper A. ( Who else ?)

Great fun, stay safe blues.

Robert Leigh
28 Posted 31/03/2020 at 16:31:40
Based on those I've seen (born in ‘89)...

1. Pickford (Paul Gerrard the first keeper I remember, and it isn't him!!)

2. Holgate (sorry Hibbo)

3. Baines (easiest decision)

4. Stubbs

5. Stones

6. Arteta

7. Richarlison

8. Saha (soon to be Gomes I hope, even though he's #21 now)

9. Ferguson

10. Arteta (not sorry for repeating, he wore them both well)

11. Mirallas (infuriating, but got me off my seat first few seasons he was with us)

Tommy Surgenor
29 Posted 31/03/2020 at 16:38:53


Dave Williams
30 Posted 31/03/2020 at 16:48:56
This makes you realise what great players we have had over the last 50-60 years. Imagine being an opposition midfielder faced with Collins, Kay and Ball- that would scare the crap out of most from both a skill and aggression perspective, with Reid and Gabriel chomping at the bit on the bench!
It shows how many changes in playing personnel we currently require.
Paul Ward
31 Posted 01/04/2020 at 10:06:50
Based on watching since 1953.


Roger Helm
32 Posted 01/04/2020 at 22:30:41
I found it so difficult I needed a second eleven

Southall. West
Baines. Wilson
Labone. Watson
Ratcliffe. Jagielka
Stevens. Newton

Reid. Kendall
Harvey. Sheedy
Ball. Beardsley

Dean. Latchford
Young. Lineker
Thomas. Morrisey

George Stuart
33 Posted 02/04/2020 at 02:18:14
Okay, for what its worth, no era exceptions:

1. Southall *
2. Stevens
3. Ray Wilson
4. Radcliffe
5. Labone*
6. T. Stephen
7. Beadsley
8. Ball *
9. Dean *
10. T Lawton
11. D Thomas

I stared the nailed-on indisputables.

Hardest pick was left wing. Sheedy was a brilliant player but left winger?

Beardsley and Ball might have gotten in each other's way trying to run the show but pushing Beardsley up to do his runs would create the space for Ball to create his beutiful art.

Some contempory descriptions of Lawton were that he was better than Dean (unlikely) that and his goal scoring record get him a place over Sharpy.

Special mention goes to Andre Kanchelskis and Wayne Rooney as our best post 1980s players.

George Stuart
34 Posted 02/04/2020 at 03:04:21
How about the most indefatigable?

1. Southall
2. Ratcliffe
3. M. Pejic (spellchecker turned into Panic !)
4. M. Lyons. (Not great but never stopped).
5. Sandy Brown (enough said)
6. Peter Ried
7. Psycho Van Den Hauwe (I know he was a fullback)
8. Roy Vernon (harder than nails)
9. Bruiser Latchford.
10. Morrissey (hard as nails)
11. D. Thomas (never stopped running and they could kick him all day. No shin pads and all).

George Stuart
35 Posted 02/04/2020 at 03:20:27
Looking at Tommy Lawton's incredible career and stats on Wikipedia (every blue nose should read them), reveal that there were three games played before the outbreak of WWII.

Tommy scored 4 goals in those 3 games not in the record. Now, when I were a lad, the table was not published until after the third game. For obvious reasons.

What if Everton were top of the table then? Any statos know? If so, I believe we should start a campaign to have the 1939-40 championship awarded to Everton. I know the full fixture list wasn't completed but war underlines the relative unimportance of football, we were (still are) a big club. It's only right. Blah blah blah

Sound familiar?

George Stuart
36 Posted 02/04/2020 at 03:32:37
I found the 1939-40 table. Blackpool were top with 3 wins. From Sheffield Utd, Arsenal 3rd and effing Liverpool 4th above Everton on goal difference.

Tommy Lawton was top goal scorer with 4.

So, give the 1939-40 championship to Blackpool, I say!
Their only championship I believe.

Phil Lewis
37 Posted 04/04/2020 at 12:45:31
It would take an essay to explain my favourite EFC team. But suffice to say, my selections are based on consistency of performance. I was a ten year old in the 'Pen' in '63 to witness us lifting the title against Fulham. My personal choice is, in a 4-4-2 formation:


Mark Rimmer
38 Posted 05/04/2020 at 10:35:03
Give or take a few players, we all pretty much agree who the best players are, I think changing the "best players" for the "worst players" would make for a much more enjoyable/comical discussion.
Peter Mills
39 Posted 05/04/2020 at 11:32:42
Mark #38, here's a start:-

Seamus McDonagh

Earl Barrett
Per Kroldrup
Glenn Keeley
Tiger McLaughlin

Ibrahima Bakayoko
Iain Durrant
Mike Milligan
Iain Wilson

Oumar Niasse
Denis Stracqualarsi

Steve Ferns
40 Posted 05/04/2020 at 11:52:26
Sorry to Tim Cahill, who I admire deeply for everything he did, but my favourite number 17, and it is a hot competition, was Anders Limpar. He did also wear 11 after Beagrie left, but he was best as 17 in the year we won the cup.

The following season he moved to 11 and 17 was given to another great player of the Premier League era, Andrei Kanchelskis.

So, yeah, three of our best of the last 25 years have worn 17. Limpar remains my personal favourite. (But note: favourites aren't always the player you think is best.)

Chris Williams
41 Posted 05/04/2020 at 12:05:33
Peter @39,

Aaaaaargh. Horrible

Can I suggest the following substitutes (with held nose)

Paul Gerrard
Brett Angell
Bernie Wright
Tony Thomas
Alex Nyarko
Claus Thomsen
Jimmy Hill (Norwich City)

Martin Nicholls
42 Posted 05/04/2020 at 12:47:42
Peter #39 & Chris# 41 – no place for Espen Baardsen??
Chris Williams
43 Posted 05/04/2020 at 12:55:29

I did consider him, but plumped for Gerrard, because of his cost. There's plenty of choice at goalkeeper. I was thinking Geoff Barnett, for some reason but my willpower gave out. You can't spend too much time on this at one go for mental health reasons!

Having said that there's plenty of choice in all positions. John Spencer, Mo Johnson, who Howard had to get dug out of his hotel room every day, after his nocturnal exertions.

Dave Abrahams
44 Posted 05/04/2020 at 13:06:03
Chris (43), worst of the worst. Paul Gerrard, I can still hear myself screaming, nearly every game, “Get him off!” Fuckin' useless, and listening to Graeme Sharp telling me that he was a ‘confidence player'. A confidence player? Who gave confidence to no-one.

Oh, and Chris, who dug Howard out of his own flock so he could go and dig Mo out of his?

Peter Mills
45 Posted 05/04/2020 at 13:33:51
Unfortunately, there is far too much choice right across the board.

I was going to include Nick Barmby, not because he was a bad player but just because he deserves to be in the team. But this is no time to be churlish.

Robert Tressell
46 Posted 05/04/2020 at 13:44:42
What about a biggest disappointments 11? Disappointments for transfer fee blown, for talent wasted etc, for early promise gone or for being good at another club but crap on arrival. Not terrible players - just players that left you thinking what might have been...

Manager: Ronald Koeman

Richard Wright
Jonny Heitinga
Alessandro Pistone
Slaven Bilic
Per Kroldrup
Alex Nyarko
Manny Fernandes
Niclas Alexandersson
Theo Walcott
Royston Drenthe
Frannie Jeffers


Steve Simonsen
Marco Matterazi
Olivier Dacourt
Jack Rodwell
Billy Kenny
Andy van der Meyde
Simon Davies
Jose Baxter
John Paul Kissock
Daniel Amokachi
Ibrahima Bakayoko
James Beattie
Andy Johnson
James Vaughan

Chris Williams
47 Posted 05/04/2020 at 14:15:49

Barmby's name lives on in infamy. The old guy who sold the Golden Goal tickets outside the Everton Shop used to shout “don't be a loser like Judas Barmby” for years.

Sold loads.

Dave, that's a very good question. Maybe he delegated! I was told that story by a lad who worked for me whose brother was in the youth set up. Another one he told me was that Bob the Pole was so miserable and wanted out so much, he pretty much worked his ticket. Pity because at first he looked a player.

Martin Nicholls
48 Posted 05/04/2020 at 15:47:12
Chris #43 - fair point.

Baardsen came to mind for me because his one game for us was probably the worst (certainly most traumatic for me!) performance from an Everton goalkeeper I've seen in the 58 years I've been a match going Blue!

Dave Abrahams
49 Posted 05/04/2020 at 16:04:45
Chris (47), “ maybe he delegated”, nice one Chris, the lad who told you the story was telling you the truth, which was that Mo and Howard were birds of a feather when it came to having a bevvy, only theirs came in crates, not glasses!!
Chris Williams
50 Posted 05/04/2020 at 16:30:21
It's all part of growing up, Dave.
Brian Wilkinson
51 Posted 06/04/2020 at 23:36:24
I feel for Adrian Heath, never gets in any squads poll, very very underrated player, crying shame he got that terrible injury.
Mike Hughes
52 Posted 06/04/2020 at 23:58:53
Robert #46,

Add Terry Curran to the list of disappointments.

From the same era, there was an Irish wonderkid who never made it. Martin somebody. (Murray???)

And for my PTSD – Glen Keeley. I was in the Gwladys Street End that night of his one and only performance for us. The professional foul rule had just come in but someone forgot to mention it to Keeley.
Add Ronald Koeman – surely the most passionless, frigid employee of our club.

I disagree with your inclusion of Andy Johnson. Moyes's deployment of him was not to his strengths.

George #34 – I got a 40/1 shot winner at this year's Cheltenham Festival called “Indefatigable”.

As a follow-up, what about snidest RS player? Gerrard, Souness, Suarez, Case, Barmby. The Twat List.

Mike Gaynes
53 Posted 07/04/2020 at 00:38:15
Robert #46, bit tough on some of those, aren't ya? Vaughan cost us nothing, was savagely sidetracked by injury, and -- let's face it -- wasn't gifted with any particular talent except pace and courage. And Amokachi did get us one hand on the Cup.

#Brian 51, I feel the same. Did you get a chance to listen to the podcast posted by Minnesota United last week? A lovely hour with Adrian. 0/04/01/coaches-corner-adrian- heath

Brian Wilkinson
54 Posted 07/04/2020 at 02:48:29
No Mike, will try and find time to listen to it.
Brian Wilkinson
55 Posted 07/04/2020 at 03:02:49
Peter @39, did you never see the goalie Drew Brand for us in the seventies, let 5 in on his debut and only played one further game for Everton. He could be worth adding to your selection.
Brian Wilkinson
56 Posted 07/04/2020 at 03:08:00
Pretty much with you on most of your picks, Peter @39. Three I am adding are Drew Brand, Ashley Williams and Sandro.
Robert Tressell
57 Posted 07/04/2020 at 07:12:44
Mike - Vaughan was a disappointment in the sense of what could have been. All the attributes of a top class striker but no luck whatsoever.

On a general note, I realise my disappointments exclude all the Steve Walsh signings of a few years ago. In some respects he just about single-handedly assembled a disappointments 11.

Mark Murphy
58 Posted 07/04/2020 at 07:56:59
I've been watching the “live” watch backs on YouTube (all games I attended live). None of the present crop, and I include Richarlison, Gomes, Baines (although he is close) would get in the 85 team.

Van den Hauwe

I will love them forever.

Robert Tressell
59 Posted 07/04/2020 at 08:30:29
Mark - that's interesting. I only remember Pat VDH as a violent and limited full back for Spurs. Baines a total class act and desperately unlucky to overlap with the outstanding Ashley Cole. The thing Baines never quite had (that it seems the 1980s lot had in spades) is a nasty streak and a winner's ruthlessness. Maybe that's why Pat VDH has the edge?
Brian Wilkinson
60 Posted 07/04/2020 at 15:24:27
There was a lot more to Pats game than being a hard man, yes he looked after his team mates, but he was a decent left back defending and attacking.
Mark Murphy
61 Posted 07/04/2020 at 17:51:02
Robert watch the full Bayern game and take note of Pat - he was exceptional!

To be fair - I watched the Sunderland game last night (THAT Steven goal) And John Bailey played well in that game - but Pat was better.

Steve Carse
62 Posted 07/04/2020 at 18:30:46
George (34), 'Bruiser Latchford'? Hardly. Latchford was many things but a bruiser he wasn't. Hickson and Gray to name but two more readily come to mind for that label.
Joe McMahon
63 Posted 07/04/2020 at 18:51:51
Gary Speed and Peter Beardsley, sadly neither at Everton long enough. Not popular but Romelu Lukaku scored us a lot of goals. As mentioned Pat VDH, and you know what Paul Power was very good for us to.
Andy Riley
64 Posted 07/04/2020 at 19:52:38
Peter #39. I remember Iain Wilson signed from Leicester. An old guy who used to sit by me described him as a very deceptive player - even slower than he looked!
Robert Tressell
65 Posted 07/04/2020 at 21:46:32
Might just do that Mark @ 61. I was 6 in 1985 and don't really remember watching football properly till the Spurs v Coventry FA Cup Final of 1987.
Chris Hockenhull
66 Posted 07/04/2020 at 22:22:52
Steve 62. Interesting you say that I remember his third game v Birmingham at Goodison on a dark frizzy muddy day. He was absolutely on fire versus his old mates and absolutely bullied their defence... Kenny Burns in particular. Lanky hair and beard I was amazed how quick he was Funny thing was be battered his brother on a few occasions. Dave Latchford who was in goal (I think he was booked) and scored two.

He was no slouch and really got stuck in big time in those early games. Then I think he suffered (like a good few others) with Everton's training methods... put on weight... built up muscles and lost his speed. And when he got that bloody perm, he looked twice as large. But when he arrived he was fast and very aggressive.

Phil Lewis
67 Posted 08/04/2020 at 23:20:06
I cannot fathom to this day why Jack Rodwell, even with his injuries, didn't fulfill his early promise. He looked such a composed footballer early in his career for us. A TW contributer once said that he had too much 'Birkdale' and not enough 'Kirkdale' in him! Perhaps that was the reason why? Not enough aggression and determination.

I got talking in a pub years back with a couple of teachers from Campion School, off Great Homer Street. I complimented them on their excellent record in producing not only professional boxers but footballers also. Notably Stevie McManaman, whose family were lifelong friends of mine.

Steven, and Davy his dad, were great Blues fans. Davy once told me that Stevie was gutted when Kendall chased him, because he thought him too small and skinny. Dalgliesh stepped in and the rest is history.

Steven's teachers acknowledged his achievements with pride to me, but both said without hesitation, that the boy who should have become Captain of England for years and who definitely should have become another Duncan Edwards, was Billy Kenny.

They said that, as a youth, he had the lot. They had him earmarked for the very top. No doubt the truth will never come out and is probably best left unsaid, but it has been well documented that sadly, his off-field activities wrecked what should and would have been an illustrious career for us.

Brian Wilkinson
68 Posted 12/04/2020 at 19:30:50
What about the Number 12 shirt?

I think Alan Harper just edges it over Kevin Richardson.

John Graham
69 Posted 14/04/2020 at 19:38:36
Difficult in a couple of positions and will need to leave out a few of my favourite players but, as a team, I would go with this:

1. Southall
2. Gary Stevens
3. Baines
4. Kendall
5. Labone
6. Todd
7. Kanchelskis
8. Ball
9. Latchford
10. Rooney
11. Thomas

Players I can think of who almost got in:

Ray Wilson
Van Den Hauwe
Trevor Steven
Peter Reid
Andy Gray
Colin Harvey

David Currie
70 Posted 16/04/2020 at 21:17:44
Phil 67,

Billy Kenny was a superb player and Peter Beardsley described him as 'The Goodison Gazza'. I think he was only 18 when we beat the RS 2-1 at Goodison but was the best player on the pitch that night.

John Keating
71 Posted 16/04/2020 at 22:15:44
My brother may well have been talking to you in that pub. He was a PE teacher at Campion.

I remember him telling me that there was a young kid called Billy Kenny and he reckoned he would one day captain Everton and England. What a waste.

My brother also brought McManaman through. A really down-to-earth lad that never forgot where he come from. My brother met him in town when rumours were going around Real Madrid were after him. He confirmed he was going and said if my brother or any of the kids at school were ever to go to Madrid to get in touch and he'd sort tickets out. Still called my brother "sir".

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