As one of the oldest clubs currently in the Premier League, Everton’s history books are filled with legendary players.
Formed 14 years earlier than local rivals Liverpool, the Toffees have had their fair share of major trophies – winning an impressive nine Fist Division titles, five FA Cups and even a European Cup Winners’ Cup.
But who was responsible for taking the club to such heights? Here are 90min’s 10 greatest players for the Merseyside club…
William Ralph Dean, or Dixie Dean as he is more famously known, was arguably one of the greatest goalscorers to ever grace the English game.
To put this into perspective, Dean scored an incredible 60 goals in just 39 games for the Toffees in the 1927/1928 season – a record that (let’s face it), will unlikely ever be broken. Unsurprisingly, that same season he was the leading goalscorer in the first division – the same year that Everton won the league.
Despite the side being relegated just two years later, the centre forward stayed with the club and helped guide them to promotion that following campaign. Remarkably, Everton were crowned champions in 1931/32 where he was once again the top goalscorer in the division.
Unfortunately, his career was cut short by the outbreak of war.
Neville Southall, described as one of the greatest goalkeepers of his generation, rightfully deserves a spot on this list of Everton legends.
He began his career as a semi-professional football before joining Bury in 1980. Just a year later, he moved to Everton where he became one of the clubs key men. During the mid-80s, Southall played an important role in the club’s success – helping them to capture two titles and their first European trophy.
The keeper holds the all-time club appearance record – racking up a whopping 750 appearances in all competitions. He was also named the FWA Footballer of the Year in 1985.
Known for his ability to both create chances and score goals, Graeme Sharp was the perfect striker – helping Everton to win league titles in both 1985 and 1987.
He was also highly responsible for Everton’s 2-0 FA Cup win over Watford in 1984, netting the opener in the final.
Sharp scored the equaliser in the following season’s European Cup Winners’ Cup semi-final against Bayern Munich, as well as finishing his career as the Toffee’s top post-war goalscorer with 150 goals in all competitions.
Another forward, Bob Latchford was bought for a record fee of £350,000 from Birmingham in 1974 – but it took a few years for him to establish himself at the club.
In the 1977/78 campaign, he netted 30 league goals for the club (an achievement since equalled by Gary Lineker). However, it’s the story behind the goals which makes this statistic so remarkable.
A national newspaper was willing to offer Latchford £10,000 if could end the season with 30 goals. In the last league game against Chelsea, he needed two – and in the last 18 minutes of the game, he managed to net both in quick concession. However, he only kept a small amount for himself, after giving the money out to his teammates and charities.
Now regarded as one of the greatest Everton managers, Howard Kendall’s time as a player was also pretty impressive.
Starting his footballing career with Preston North End, before moving to Everton in 1964, Kendall was an integral part of Everton’s success throughout the 60s.
Part of the ‘Holy Trinity’ in midfield – playing alongside Alan Ball and Colin Harvey – he helped the Toffees win the First Division title in 1969/1970.
⚽️⚽️⚽️⚽️⚽️⚽️⚽️⚽️⚽️⚽️⚽️⚽️⚽️⚽️⚽️⚽️⚽️⚽️⚽️⚽️⚽️⚽️⚽️⚽️⚽️⚽️⚽️⚽️⚽️⚽️⚽️⚽️⚽️⚽️⚽️⚽️⚽️⚽️⚽️⚽️@GaryLineker joined the Blues #OnThisDay in 1985. pic.twitter.com/ZD8v4G76M0
— Everton (@Everton) July 5, 2018
Despite spending just one year with the Toffees, Gary Lineker’s short-term success with the club will always be remembered fondly.
Joining from boyhood club Leicester City back in 1985, in his first and only season at Goodison Park, Lineker managed 40 goals in all competitions. A remarkable 30 of these came in the league (including three hat-ticks), helping Everton to second place in the league.
It’s therefore no surprise that Lineker then went on to have a successful spell with England in the World Cup that same year.
Another former player now that’s perhaps better known for his managerial career, Peter Reid was an astonishingly brilliant midfielder for the Toffees.
A defensive midfielder back in the day, Reid was a key figure for the club throughout the 80s, helping the Toffees claim the First Division title and the European Cup Winners’ Cup in 1984/1985 – earning the PFA player of the year that same season.
Brain Labone is a one-club man – spending an impressive 23 years with the Merseyside club.
The former central defender and captain will always be regarded as one of the greatest players to ever wear an Everton shirt – helping his team to glory in both the First Division and FA Cup.
| On this day 10 years ago, the football world and the Everton family lost a true icon of the game. Alan Ball MBE, forever in our hearts. pic.twitter.com/uIEKZOIjrr
— Everton (@Everton) April 25, 2017
As previously mentioned, Alan Ball was part of the famous midfield trio at Everton during the 1960s – linking with Kendall and Harvey at Goodison Park.
He also helped Everton win the 1969/70 First Division, and the FA Cup final in 1968.
When Everton beat Watford in the FA Cup final back in 1984, Kevin Ratcliffe became the youngest captain since Bobby Moore to lift the trophy.
Ratcliffe spent the majority of his career with the Toffees where he progressed through the youth team, before spending short spells at clubs such as Dundee and Nottingham Forest.
After earning a spot in the first team, he was given the captain’s armband within the space of a year, where he then went on to win several major trophies – including a First Division title, an FA Cup and the European Cup Winners’ Cup.