Decades: the '70s

by   |   19/01/2017  75 Comments  [Jump to last]

Now this all started as a drunken night in the pub as a lot of the best arguments often do.

My brother and I were talking about the best Everton players we have ever seen. Both of us started watching in the 70s so we ended up discussing it by decade and trying to determine the best 5.

It occurred to me that looking back is always popular in these parts so I thought sharing our combined deliberations might at least stimulate some debate and would provide some mild relief from the transfer window.

We had no scientific criteria for what is the 'best'. Just the players who we remember with affection and provided the memories that being a football supporter is all about. And they played at least one game in the decade concerned.

So in order to test the waters, I will start with the first decade, the 70s. A decade where I watched most of my football on the Gwladys Street, mostly dressed with at least three scarves. One around the neck, one around the wrist and one tucked in my waist band.

5. Andy King

A bundle of energy as a player. A midfield player with a lovely touch and an eye for a goal. Written into Everton folklore for one of the great Derby moments. Sadly missed.

4. Brian Labone

A one club Evertonian, a leader of men, a proper centre half and one of a few to raise the Championship and the FA Cup in a blue shirt.

3. Bob Latchford

Bob Latchford walks on water is what my pin badge said. The best header of a ball I've ever seen, a serial goalscorer. He was a British record signing and he paid it in full. His 30 goal season was a welcome oasis in a really barren patch for the club. One of the great Goodison hat tricks as we beat Coventry 6-0 and went top of the league.

2. Mick Lyons

Maybe not a footballing decision and I'm sure the most controversial given the number of 69-70 League winners who could be included. But Mick embodied being an Everton player. A Scouser through and through, played with his heart on his sleeve who gave the impression if he bled it would be blue. Also scored a goal I still remember to this day ( it was the day my Grandad died), a diving header through flying boots.

1. Alan Ball

Not a difficult choice even though most of his football for us was in the 60s. I had his picture on my wall, I got my white boots and like most of us was in a state of shock for days when he was sold to Arsenal. Not just the best player of the 70s but the best I've ever seen.

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