Everton had some great players throughout their long history and in this article, we want to take a look at the best forwards this club ever had. After all, attackers are the most beloved amongst the fans because they score goals, aren’t they?
Everton is a club with a big history in England, one of the oldest clubs in the country, they have almost always played at the top tier of English football and in all these years, lots of great players have played for them. In the game of football, attackers of forwards have always been a crucial part of every team. In today’s article of SportMob, we want to take a look at the best players who played for Everton and introduce you the best Everton forwards of all time. But first, let’s take a brief look at this great club’s history.
The Everton Football Club was originally brought about by St. Domingo Church Sunday School. After two years as St. Domingo’s FC, the named was changed to Everton, after a district in Liverpool. Everton FC grew rapidly and they established themselves as one of the best football clubs of its time. They were one of the 12 founding members of the English Football League, the first competitive soccer tournament in the world.
Their first experience of winning a silverware was in 1891, with the team dominantly capturing its first League championship. In 1893, they made their first FA Cup final, which they lost the match to Wolverhampton. It wasn't just the roses for the club, after all; Everton would end as a runner-up five times before earning the league title for the second time in 1915, with just one FA Cup triumph in between.
In the 138 years of Everton's history, they played only 4 years far from English football's top tier. They also won 9 League titles, 5 FA Cups and the 1985 Cup Winners' Cup during their rich history. The Everton club is playing its home matches at Goodison Park, England's first big football ground, since 1892.
Now that we know a little more about the 142 years long history of the Everton football club, it might be a good idea to dig deeper in this rich history and list the best Everton forwards of all time. From Romelu Lukaku to Dixie Dean, get ready to read about some of the best strikers in Everton history.
The only player in our list of best Everton forwards of all time who played for the club in two different periods, Duncan Ferguson is player whom you have to include him in all the lists of Everton bests. Born on 1971, the Scottish Duncan Ferguson has played 272 league matches for the club, scoring 72 goals in his two spells with Everton.
Under the leadership of Mike Walker, Everton was not having good days in October 1994 and they were pursuing their options to revitalize their floundering season. The remedy introduced was to take two players from Rangers, Ian Durrant for a month and Ferguson for 3 months, on a loan contract. Walker's replacement, Joe Royle, eventually made Ferguson's transfer to Everton permanent, and Ferguson played a vital role in keeping Everton from relegation and having them secure the 1994-95 FA Cup as well. For Ferguson, the following 1995–96 season was less good. A recurring hernia injury forced him to be unavailable for a substantial period, as did his jail term in the first half of that season.
In November 1998, Ferguson eventually was transferred to Newcastle United for a fee of around £8 million. The offer was made to sell Ferguson to Peter Johnson, the president of the Everton, without the approval of Walter Smith. Ferguson published a two-page letter of good-bye to supporters in the club journal, explaining that he was sorry to leave and he'd never miss them. As one of the all-time Best Everton strikers, he moved back to Everton on the summer of 2000, playing for another 5 seasons before retiring from professional football at the end of 2005-06 season.
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As the record goalscorer of the Everton in English Premier League, Romelu Lukaku is surely amongst the best Everton forwards of all time. Without a doubt, Lukaku is also one of the most renowned players for the newer generations of Everton supporters in our list of best Everton forwards ever. The Belgian star played for the Toffees between 2013 and 2017, participating in 166 league matches and scoring 87 goals.
He was a Chelsea player when at the end of the summer transfer window of 2013 he moved to Everton on a loan deal. That season he was able to put on some great performances for his new club, with 15 goals scored in 31 league matches. That season he also had some injuries, but his perfect performances in his loan season helped Everton finish 5th in the Premier League. At the end of his loan deal, Everton signed Lukaku for a fee around £28 million which was a club record on a 5-year contract.
His goal in a 3-1 victory over Burnley on 15 April 2017 indicated that Lukaku was the first soccer player after Bob Latchford to score 25 goals in 2 straight seasons in all tournaments, and the first since iconic Dixie Dean to score a goal in 9 straight games in Goodison Park. After another three seasons playing for the club, and proving himself as one of the Everton best forwards ever, he rejected a new 5-year contract offer from Everton. In the June of 2017, he joined Manchester United on fee rumored to be around £75 million, plus £15 million in add-ons.
One of the Welsh players in the list of best Everton forwards of all time, Roy Vernon has scored 111 goals in 203 matches in all competitions for Everton in a career that lasted 5 years from 1960 to 1965 and thus we can include him in our list of best ever Everton forwards. Roy Vernon was also the team captain between 1962 and 1965. He has also played 32 matches for Wales National Team, scoring 8 times.
Vernon was an important Blackburn player, however, he signed for Everton in 1960 for £ 27,000 following an argument with Blackburn boss Dally Duncan. He soon became a leading goal scorer for the "Toffees" after netting nine goals in his first 12 games in 1959–60, he then scored 22 in 1960–61, a career-best of 28 in 1961–62, and was the highest scorer with 24 goals and captain in the 1962–63 season, when the club won the First Division
In addition to his open playing style, Roy Vernon was undoubtedly the greatest and best penalty-taker for Everton ever. Vernon had some bad off-field antics which made Harry Catterick, the manager of Everton at the time to sell Vernon to Stoke City for a fee of £40,000. Although he did not have a long career with the Toffees, but he definitely deserves a place in our list of all-time Best Everton forwards.
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The next player that we are going to introduce to you in the list of best Everton forwards of all time is Joe Royle, the only one in this list that was both a player and later a manager for Everton. Joe played 276 matches for the Toffees between 1966 and 1974, scoring 119 goals in all competitions. Joe Royle also represented England on 6 matches and scored 2 goals for Three Lions.
One of the Everton best forwards ever, Joe Royle was born on 8 April 1949 in the Norris Green region of Liverpool. He graduated from Quarry Bank High School in Allerton district of Liverpool, where he was an all-round athlete. During that time, he was playing for Liverpool schoolboys’ team and it was when he showed his great football talent.
Several clubs, notably Manchester United, wanted to sign Royle, but Everton, his favorite hometown club, succeeded in attracting him to their side. He went on to play 270 games, betting 119 times. He played his first match for the club at the age of 16 and became the youngest footballer to play for the Toffees until James Vaughan broke the record by 11 days on 10 April 2005. At Everton, Royle was the leading scorer for the five seasons, specifically scoring 23 goals in the 1969–70 Championship-winning team. In 1974, Manchester City boss Tony Book signed Royle for £170,000, and he went on to win additional honors when he helped Man City lift the 1976 League Cup.
The second Scottish player in our list of best Everton forwards of all time is Alex Young, a striker that scored 109 goals for the Toffees in 275 matches in all competitions between 1960 and 1968 when he was playing for the club. Because of his great goalscoring abilities when he was a player, the fans gave him the nickname of 'The Golden Vision'. Alex Young was a Scotland player too, scoring 5 goals in 8 matches for them.
Having started his professional football career at the Scottish side Heart of Midlothian, Young and George Thomson were transferred to Everton in November 1960. A relationship quickly formed with Roy Vernon. In the 42 league matches, Young netted 22 league goals and accomplished several other goals in the winning season of Everton's 1962-63 league triumph. His graceful touch won him the moniker 'The Golden Vision,' a title invented by Danny Blanchflower, he says: "...the vision each Saturday that we all have of a much more ideal world, a world which has gotten a pattern and is finite. And that is Alex – the Golden Vision."
As well as securing the league title, in the memorable comeback victory of Everton in the final of 1966 FA Cup, Alex young claimed the FA Cup title with the club. At the age of 23-26, as at Everton, Alex Young was at his best before being affected by a knee injury. He has had long career problems with blistered feet that influenced his performance at the club, however, he was good enough to secure a place for himself in the list of best Everton strikers ever.
Gary Lineker is one of the players with not many games played for the club in our list of best Everton forwards of all time, but his great performances for the Toffees and 40 goals he scored for them in 52 matches in all competitions were enough to establish him as one of the best forwards in Everton history. With 48 goals scored for England in 80 matches, Lineker is also deemed as one of the best English forwards ever.
Defending First Division champions Everton recruited Lineker for £ 800,000 in the 1985 season; he netted 40 goals for his new team in 57 games in the 1985-86 season. Everton's first match with Lineker happened to be an away match against his former team Leicester City; by accident, he went into the Leicester locker room at halftime. Once again he was the top goal scorer for the First Tier, this season with 30 goals (together with 3 hat-tricks), and he eventually helped Everton finish second in the table. While at the Toffees, for the third straight year, they made it to the FA Cup final but lost the match to Liverpool 3-1, despite Lineker bringing them an early advantage as he outpaced Alan Hansen to score a nice goal. Liverpool had managed to beat Everton to the league title by just two points as well.
In his last game in the league, he scored a brace in a 3-1 home victory against West Ham United. However, Lineker and his teammates were denied championship glory, when Liverpool managed to win their final Chelsea match in the season. After he retired from professional football, Lineker has repeatedly claimed that this Everton team was the greatest team he ever played in and Everton fans always include him in the list of best ever Everton strikers.
The second Alex Young and the third Scottish to appear in SporMob’s list of best Everton forwards of all time is Alex “Sandy” Young, one of the oldest players to be deemed as all-time Best Everton strikers. During his 9 year tenure at Goodison Park, he managed to score 125 goals in 314 matches in all competitions. He also represented Scotland on the International level, playing only 2 matches and failing to score a single goal.
Alex Young is the fourth top goal scorer of Everton, and he also scored the winning goal for Everton in 1906 FA Cup Final. Some credit a record of 110 league goals for Everton to him that would place him second next to Dixie Dean.
In 1906-07, he had been the Football League's highest scorer. He transferred to Tottenham Hotspur in 1911, where he scored 3 goals in five games. Young ended up playing for Manchester City after departing Spurs, before retiring at South Liverpool.
Entering the top three players in the list of best Everton forwards of all time we have Bob Latchford, a former English footballer who played for 7 years between 1974 and 1981 for Everton, scoring 106 goals in 236 league matches. He was a tall and very fast attacker and got some great goalscoring skills which he utilized to score some great goals for his country and club.
Born in Birmingham, he played six seasons for his hometown club Birmingham City before he was moved to Everton for an English record transfer fee of £350,000. As part of that deal, Archie Styles and Howard Kendall joined Birmingham City, with just £80,000 payment from Birmingham. For six straight seasons, Latchford was the highest scorer at Everton.
In 1977-1978, he scored thirty goals, and received a £10,000 award for the first professional player in a single season, given by a national newspaper. Latchford was generally recognized as one of the greatest English attackers of its generation in the mid-seventies and also Everton best forwards ever.
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The last Scottish player in our list of best Everton forwards of all time we have Graeme Sharp, one of the greatest attackers to ever play at Everton and the only forward with most matches played for the Toffees in all competitions. In his 11 years at the club between 1980 and 1991, he played 322 league matches for the Toffees, scoring 111 goals. During his playing years, he won 12 caps for Scotland, scoring just one goal for them. He was a part of Scotland team at the 1986 World Cup at Mexico.
Sharp began his professional football career at Scottish side Dumbarton before joining Everton in 1980 for £120,000. At first, Sharp was not a first squad player and he played just six league matches for the Toffees by the end of the 1980-81 season. But then, new club boss Howard Kendall came along who quickly preferred Sharp as his main attacker, a decision which proved to be his best as Sharp scored 15 goals in 29 league matches for the club.
During the next nine seasons, his goals for the club continued to flow. He will always be deemed as one of the best Everton forwards ever.
The greatest striker in the history of Everton, one of the best forwards of his day and the only Everton player in our list of best Everton forwards of all time to be inducted to English football hall of fame is Dixie Dean. With 399 league matches played for the club and 349 goals scored, he tops the club charts between Everton attackers in both matches played and goals scored. With 12 years played for the club between 1925 and 1937 he also has the longest spell at the club.
When Dean was 8 years old, his father brought him to a league match at Goodison Park. As Everton secretary Thomas H. McIntosh agreed to meet him at the Woodside Hotel in 1925, it was a dream becoming reality for Dixie. Dean was so pleased that he ran a distance of four kilometers from his house in the north of Birkenhead to the riverside to visit him. In March of 1925, when he was only 18 he signed the contract with Everton.
As one of the Everton best forwards ever, he had an instant impact for the club, scoring 32 goals during his first full season with Everton. In the summer of 1926, a motorcycle crash in Holywell, North Wales, left Dean with a broken skull and jaw, and the physicians were uncertain if he will be able to play again. During his next match, he scored with his head.
The most important thing about Dixie Dean is that after all these years, he is still the only footballer to score 60 league goals in just one season. He set this great record during the 1927-28 season, establishing himself as one of the best strikers in Everton history.