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HALL OF FAME Everton: 1984-85

by Len Capeling & Andrew Forgrave


LET the arguments begin. Forget the Dean-Geldard-Lawton triumvirate of the 1930s and the Young-Vernon-Ball axis of the 1960s, this was the finest Blues side of the century, managed by Goodison's greatest ever manager, the honourable Howard Kendall.

Of course, seeing is believing. Older readers will write in and rap my knuckles. But I won't budge. Note for note this was the heavenly choir.

In goal, Neville Southall. At his peak he would have walked into any World XI. Magnificent in the air, panther-like reflexes. Good as Banks, better than Shilton.

Right-back: Gary Stevens. Could run all day, didn't like tackling, as befits an ex-winger, but his forward surges could be devastating.

Left-back: Pat Van Den Hauwe. Opponents still talk of him in hushed tones. Parents invoked his name to scare their children. Still after all, the club's best left-back since Ray Wilson. Brick-wall brave, a winner.

The centre-backs were special, Derek Mountfield, in the best season of his own career, chipped in with 15 vital goals. Kevin Ratcliffe, gazelle-fast and murderous in the tackle, let very little past.

At outside-right, the cultured Trevor Steven, brilliant dribbler and occasional goalscorer. Complementing him on the left, the 'magician', Kevin Sheedy, a frail genius whose free-kicks were a wonder to behold as Everton won the League, the Cup Winners' Cup and suffered glorious failure in the FA Cup final.

In between them, the all-gutsy, all-action Peter Reid and his spare pair of legs, Paul Bracewell, were the beating heart of of the side, getting, giving, running themselves into the ground. In this season of seasons, few opponents could live with them.

Up front, Graeme Sharp and the messianic Andy Gray (in for the cruelly injured Adrian Heath) forged an alliance that is branded on the memory. Sword and sorcery.

Thanks, Howard.

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