Although not big a name as Manchester United or Liverpool, Everton is considered as one of those top Premier League clubs. If Man Utd and Liverpool are top-level Premier League clubs, Everton, for sure, is among the second top-level EPL clubs.
Everton is also among the Premier League clubs that has always competed in the major English league since its foundation in 1992. They have never relegated from the Premier League and maybe that’s one of the reasons it is considered as one of the Premier League top clubs.
In this post, we are to best Everton players of all time. In fact, we are going to let you know about the
greatest players in the history of Everton
or in other words Everton best footballers of all time. Who are they really? Are there any legendary footballers among them?
The list of Everton greatest players ever not only consists of the greatest players in the history of Everton but also Everton Legends of all time. Who are they really? Stay with us to know.
The best goalkeeper Everton has ever had, Neville Southall is a 62-year-old retired Welsh footballer who guardedEverton
posts for almost all his career. Although he served more than 10 clubs during his career both on permanent and loan contracts, the length of his service to all these clubs was not more than 4 years. It is as he served Everton for 17 years - If you take away his loan years to other clubs when at Everton from these years it will be around 15 years - and made more than 10 times more appearances for the Blues than the other clubs he served during his career.
Well, how many appearances then? 750 in total. This is as the second club he made the most appearances for wasTorquay United
with 61 appearances. In fact, Neville Southall holds the record of most appearances for Everton both in league and across all competitions with the former being 578 and the latter 750. And the interesting fact here is that concerning the number of appearances for Everton, Southhall is by far in front; actually with a difference of more than 100 appearances at league level and more than 200 appearances in all competitions.
Southall was actually Everton’s first goalkeeper just two years after he joined Everton in 1981 until the end of his spell with the Premier League club in 1998. He was not only considered as an Everton’s gem during his career but also one of the best goalkeepers of his generation. He also won eight of his nine club trophies with Everton including two First Division titles and two FA Cups. And there is just one more Everton record for Southall: With 269 clean sheets, he holds the record of most clean sheets earned at Everton.
The first passed footballer on our list of best Everton players ever, William Ralph Dean, known better as Dixie Dean, served Everton more than any other club during his career; actually for 12 years between 1925 and 1937 during which he made 450 appearances for the Premier League club which is more than 10 times more than the number of appearances he made for other clubs during his career.
Dixie Dean was indeed a prolific goalscorer; this, you can easily notice from his goalscoring record: He actually scored 425 goals in the total 489 appearances that he made during his career; and the interesting fact here is that 400 of these goals were scored for Everton which translates to 94% of all his career goals. Now you see why he’s considered more as an Everton player and even more: As one of
Everton Legends of all time
Dixie Dean’s best goalscoring record with Everton was in 1927-28 season where he managed to score 67 goals for them across all competitions and in 46 appearances. That also gets him the highest season-based goal-to-appearance ratio among all the seasons he served Everton: Almost 1.5 which means he scored two goals in every three appearances in the aforementioned season.
The only Scottish footballer on our list of best Everton players ever, Graeme Sharp is a 60-year-old retired footballer who only served four clubs during his career: the Scottish club, Dumbarton, Everton,Oldham Athletic
, and the Welsh club, Bangor City, again with Everton getting the highest share of Sharp’s years of service: 11 years from 1980 to 1991 during which he made 322 appearances and scored 111 goals for Everton at league level.
Although not as prolific a goalscorer as Dixie Dean, Graeme Sharp became Everton top goalscorer in four seasons, namely 1981-82, 1982-83, 1984-85 and 1987-88 seasons. He also scored the goal of the season against Liverpool in 1984-85 season. Graeme Sharp won all his club trophies with Everton including two First Division titles and one FA Cup.
Another forward on our list of
best Everton players ever
, Robert Dennis Latchford, known as Bob Latchford, is a 70-year-old retired English footballer who served the two English clubs, Everton andBirmingham City
, more than the other clubs he served during his career with Everton again getting the highest share of Latchford’s years of service, though not by a wide margin: 7 years from 1974 to 1981 vs 6 years of service to Birmingham City from 1968 to 1974, however, the number of appearances Latchford made for Everton (236) are almost 1.5 times higher than the number of appearances he made for the other English club (160).
A better goalscorer than Graeme Sharp - based on his goal-to-appearance ratio for Everton which is almost 0.45 vs Sharp’s ratio of 0.34, Bob Latchford was also named Everton’s top scorer in four seasons from 1975 to 1978. Despite this, he never won a trophy with Everton. His best shot with Everton was finishing runners-up with the club in the Football League Cup in 1977.
The second passed footballer and the only one-club man on our list of best Everton players ever, Brian Labone served Everton for 13 years between 1958 and 1971 and during this time made a total of 534 appearances for the Premier League club 451 of which were at league level. Since Labone was a defender, he only scored two goals in his league appearances for Everton.
Labone was also kind of a gentleman on the pitch because he was only booked two times during his 13-year career. He had also a strong faith in the team he played for as he once was quoted “One Evertonian is worth twenty Liverpudlians,” - he probably meant Liverpoolian! And maybe that faith of his has caused him to be considered as one of Everton Legends of all time. Who knows? It should also be noted that during his service to Everton, Labone won two Football League championships and one FA Cup.
The first and only striker on our list of best Everton players ever, Gary Lineker is a 60-year-old retired footballer who, unlike the other footballers already mentioned, did not serve Everton more than other clubs during his career. In fact, Everton was the club he served the least during his career: Actually for one season (1985-86), however, since Lineker was a prolific goalscorer, he managed to score 37 goal in 52 appearances that he made for Everton getting an Everton goal-to-appearance ratio of 0.7 which means he scored almost 1.5 goals in every two appearances for the Blues.
During his playtime for Everton, Gary Lineker scored three hat-tricks for them: In a home match against Birmingham city which ended in Everton’s 4-1 win, again in a home match against Manchester City which ended in Everton’s 4-0 win, and finally in a 6-1 home win against Southampton. Linker also won one FA Charity Shield with Everton in 1985. He is also one of the fewfootballers in the history of football who have never been booked during their careers
The first midfielder and the third passed footballer on our list of
best Everton players ever
, Alan Ball served 13 clubs during his career with Everton and Arsenal having the highest share of Ball’s years of service: 5 years each and back to back, however, it was Everton for whom Ball made the most number of appearances and also scored the most number of goals for during his career.
Ball actually made 254 appearances for Everton and scored 80 goals for them between 1966 and 1971, while he only made 218 appearances and scored 52 goals for Arsenal in the same length of time. Ball is a member of The Holy Trinity! Don’t get surprised! This is the term which refers to the best Everton midfield trio of Ball’s generation made up of him, Colin Harvey, and Howard Kendall. It should also be noted here that Ball’s transfer fee to Everton (£112,000) in 1966 was a record transfer fee in the English football at the time.
The second Welsh footballer after Neville Southall on our list of best Everton players ever, Kevin Ratcliffe is a 60-year-old retired footballer who served Everton for a major part of his career; actually for 12 years between 1980 and 1992 which makes up 80% of his career length. This is as the other clubs he served during his career, some of them being Nottingham Forest,Cardiff City
, and Derby County, only get a share of one year or less from Ratcliffe’s years of service.
Ratcliffe actually made a total of 461 appearances for Everton during his playtime and scored two goals for them in that time which is no strange for a defender. The fact that he was chosen as Everton’s captain at the very early age of 23 just three years after his senior service to the Blues means that he had proven himself at the top English club.
During his captaincy, Everton managed to win one FA Cup in 1984, two Football League Championships in 1984-85 and 1986-87 seasons, and one UEFA Cup Winners' Cup in the former season. And just one more thing; Ratcliffe is the only footballer on the list of
Everton best footballers of all time
who is a sheer product of Everton and not coming for the other clubs to play for the Blues.
Among the best Everton players of all time, Peter Reid also served Everton for a major part of his career like some other footballers already mentioned in this post, however, to him, Everton is not neither the club he is a product of nor the club he served the most during his career. It isBolton Wanderers
which comes first when it comes to Reid’s years of service. He actually served the League Two club for 8 years between 1974 and 1982, while he served Everton for 7 years between 1982 and 1989. So, Everton is actually the second club Reid served the most during his career - also the second club he made the most number of appearances for.
However, despite the fact that Reid served Bolton Wanderers more than any other club during his career, it was Everton with whom he won the most number of his career’s club trophies with. He actually won 7 club trophies with the Blues, while he only won one with Bolton Wanderers. So considering his club trophies, maybe Reid is more an Everton player. Like some other footballers on our list of
Everton greatest players ever
such as Kevin Ratcliffe, Brian Labone, Alan Ball, Dixie Dean, Gerame Sharp, and Neville Southall, Peter Reid has not only been inducted into Everton Club Hall of Fame known as Everton Giants but also was named on Everton Greatest XI in 2003.
Another defender on our list of
best Everton players ever
, Leighton Baines is a 36-year-old recently-retired English footballer who served only two clubs during his career:Wigan Athletic
and Everton with the latter getting a share of 13 years from his years of service and the former only 5. The interesting fact here is that he also served the same clubs in his youth career, though not in the defending post but as a midfielder and attacker.
The sad part of the story is that he never won a club trophy with either of the aforementioned clubs, though he finished runners-up in 2008-09 FA Cup with Everton and in two other competitions with Wigan Athletic. However, individually Baines was better at Everton; he actually was named Everton Player of the Season in two seasons and Everton Players' Player of the Season in three seasons.
He also scored Everton Goal of the Season in 2010-11 season despite being a defender. It should also be noted that, with 11 assists, Baines held the record of most assists as a defender in the Premier League history before his record was broken byTrent Alexander-Arnold
in 2019-20 season with 13 assists.
The only Irish footballer on our list of best Everton players ever, Kevin Mark Sheedy, simply known as Kevin Sheedy, is a 61-year-old retired footballer who, like some other footballers already mentioned in this post, served Everton more than any other club during his career; actually for 10 years between 1982 and 1992 where he made a total of 274 appearances for the Blues only at league level. He also scored 67 goals for them in all these appearances which translates to almost one goal in every 4 appearances.
And it was with Everton that Sheedy actually won most of his club trophies: 7 which includes two Football League First Division titles in 1984-85 and 1986-87 seasons, one European Cup Winners' Cup in 1985 and four FA Charity Shield trophies from 1984 to 1987. And with other clubs he served during his career? He actually won one Football League Cup with Liverpool in 1982 and one Football League Championship withNewcastle United
in 1992-93. It was actually with Everton, however, that Sheedy shined: He scored the most number of goals from free-kicks in the top tier English football league during the time he served Everton - in 1980s.
Another passed footballer on our list of
best Everton players of all time
, Howard Kendall is the only footballer on the list who not only played for Everton during his playtime but also managed Everton senior team after retirement; actually from 1990 to 1993. Just like most of the footballers mentioned in this post, Kendall also served Everton more than any other club during his career. He actually made 270 appearances and scored 30 goals for them in 7 years between 1967 and 1974.
As already mentioned in this post, Kendall was actually part of a magical midfield trio known as The Holy Trinity alongside Alan Ball and Collin Harvey. He is also the only footballer among Everton best footballers of all time who have served the Blues in two time periods, though his second spell with the club was a short one and limited to only a few appearances.
Kendall also won more club trophies with Everton as a manager than a player: 7 vs 3 which includes one FA Cup in 1983-84 season and one European Cup Winners' Cup in 1984-85. Kendall is also the only footballer on the list who managed Everton in two time periods: Once from 1990 to 1993 and another time in 1997-98 season.