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Everton Past Player Profile
ANDY HINCHCLIFFE
Left Defender/Wing-back

Andy Hinchcliffe FACTS
Born Manchester, 5 February 1969
Height 5' - 10" (178cm)
Joined Everton from Manchester City in July 1990 (800k)
Debut v Leeds United (h), 25 August 1990
Nicknames Brucie, The Chin
Finale v Bolton Wanderers (h), 28 December 1997
Left Everton to join Sheffield Wednesday in January 1998 (2.75M)
Honours England Youth, England U-21, 3 Full England Caps, FA Cup winner ('95)
PREVIOUS CAREER
Seasons Club Apps (Lg + Cup) Gls
1987-90 Manchester City 112 + 27 8 + 3

STRENGTHS WEAKNESSES
  • Excellent left foot
  • Top class in dead ball situations
  • Good crosses and passes
  • Does try to dribble sometimes
  • Has pace
  • Good strong tackling ability
  • Needs improvement in his defensive play
  • If he lacks confidence, is really bad
  • Should score more
  • Tends to get too tight on the wing
  • Injury prone
BIOSKETCH
 
It's not often that a player moves to another club only for the man who sold him – and presumably saw him as surplus to requirements – to become his new boss again, not once, but TWICE!  It first happened to Andy Hinchcliffe, when Howard Kendall transferred him from Manchester City to Everton in July 1990 in exchange for Neil Pointon and 200,000.  Many City supporters were severely critical of the deal, which they saw as dispensing unnecessarily with a promising prospect, a defender with a rich flair for going forward who could double as a midfielder.

Andy started soundly with the Blues, taking the eye with his pace up and down the flank and striking the ball with impressive crispness.  He was especially adept at crossing on the run, having a knack of bending a ball tantalisingly out of a keeper's reach, and was capable of springing offside traps with probing passes.  But fitness problems disrupted his progress and thereafter he never seemed sure of his place as Howard Kendall experimented with back-four permutations.

At times, the fans were mystified by his absence – perhaps the manager had reservations about his defensive qualities – and as new players arrived in 1991, Andy's task in building a future at Goodison appeared to grow ever more formidable.  The following spring brought a brief resurgence in fortune as he compiled a sequence of creditable midfield performances.  Then injury struck again and the ill-fated Mancunian was back on the sidelines.

Andy's progression at Everton continued in fits and starts as the mangers changed between 1993 and 1994.  He eventually established himself as the first-choice left-back in Joe Royle's briefly resurgent team of the mid-nineties.  Hinchcliffe played a key role in the relative successes of the 1994-95 and 1995-96 seasons.  His unfortunate collision with an advertising hoarding at Goodison Park in the game against Leeds United on December 1996 is seen as pivotal in the ultimate decline of the Everton team, and the fall of their Royle emperor who left at the end of March 1997.  

Earlier, Hinchcliffe had achieved the ultimate recognition all players crave: to be chosen to play for one's country. Solid performances for Glenn Hoddle's England team in Georgia, Moldovia, and at Wembley against Poland confirmed the maturity and assurance he brought the left-back/wing-back role, albeit in the absence of Grame Le Saux with a long-term injury.  

Andy's contributions to the England team did not at first seem stellar, but the Italian spies had some complimentary words to say about him that proved fatefully true for Everton:

"Since he came into the team, he has been a revelation," said Pietro Carmignani, Italian Number 2. "I know the England press don't think a lot of this guy, he gives England more strength to their shape than they have had before.  He's not such an exquisite player, but he holds the side of the field and allows Beckham and Gascoigne to get into forward positions."

His loss due to injury, soon after those words were spoken, coincided directly with Everton's decline from Title dark-horses to relegation battlers in 1996/97.  Hinchcliffe missed the rest of the season, and made a slow recovery to eventually come back in September 1997.  But the quality simply wasn't there.  His crosses and dead balls of note were few and far between.

The transfer rumours, which had started the day Kendall returned, eventually became fact at the end of January 1998, following a move to Tottenham that fell apart farcically as Spurs got cold feet about a possible Achilles heel injury.  Howard Kendall finally sold Hinchcliffe again when Ron Atkinson brought him for Sheffield Wednesday.  

In March 2002, Andy Hinchcliffe was forced into retirement at the age of 33 after knee surgery failed to get in back into shape after another injury.  
  

 ANDY HINCHCLIFFE EVERTON CAREER STATISTICS
League
Season
Squad
Number
League
Apps (sub)
League
Goals
Cup
Apps (sub)
Cup
Goals
TOTAL
Apps (sub)
TOTAL
Goals
1990-91 3, 11 21 (-) 1 9 (-) - 30 (-) 1
1991-92 3, 11 15 (3) - 5 (-) - 20 (3) -
1992-93 3 25 (-) 1 3 (2) - 28 (2) 1
1993-94 3 25 (1) - 5 (-) - 30 (1) -
1994-95 3 28 (1) 2 7 (-) 1 35 (1) 3
1995-96 3 23 (5) 2 7 (2) 1 30 (7) 3

1996-97

3 18 (-) 1 2 (-) - 20 (-) 1
1997-98 3 15 (2) - 3 (-) - 18 (2) -

Totals: 170 (12) 7 41 (4) 2 211 (16) 9

 
Last update: 30 January 1998

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