Baxter to get another chance in U23s

Thursday 26 January 2017  161 Comments  [Jump to last]
Troubled Everton Academy product Jose Baxter has been offered the chance to relaunch his career again at Finch Farm this summer.

The 24-year-old forward is currently serving a drugs-related ban from football which expires in June whereupon he has been offered a 12-month contract by Everton.

Baxter, a boyhood red who came through Everton's youth ranks but was released in the summer of 2012 and had spells at Oldham Athletic and Sheffield United, will be assigned to David Unsworth's Under-23s side according to an exclusive report by Paul Joyce in tomorrow's Times.

No details of the deal have been released yet but it appears to be an extension to a role he already plays with the club's official charity, Everton In The Community.

"I'm speechless," the Bootle-born player is quoted as saying in the report. "Not many people get a second chance and here I am with a third."

Unsworth, meanwhile, was approaching the arrangement with an open mind, saying: "As soon as he comes through the gates ... he will be treated just like an U23 player and we work very, very hard.

"It's important to say it will not be a first-team contract [financially]. He will be given the same opportunities as everyone else. If that means he moves on to a Championship club or a League One club later on, that will be down to Jose.

"We want to help because that is the sort of club we are. He is one of our own, but I have said to Jose, in no uncertain terms, that his is your last chance."  


Reader Comments (161)

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Peter McHugh
1 Posted 26/01/2017 at 00:00:08
Amazed
Mike Gaynes
2 Posted 26/01/2017 at 00:01:30
Best wishes to the young man to straighten out his life. And well done to the club and Rhino for giving him the opportunity.
Ernie Baywood
3 Posted 27/01/2017 at 00:04:34
People might say there's no room for sentiment but he's one of ours and if we can help him get back on track then I'm all for it. Make the most of it Jose!
Drew Shortis
4 Posted 27/01/2017 at 00:06:44
What a story it would be if against all the odds Jose turns into the player his early glimpses of talent suggested he could be. Good luck!
Andy Crooks
5 Posted 27/01/2017 at 00:10:07
I know, I absolutely know, that second chances can be taken. Take it and do youself proud.
Paul Morgan
6 Posted 27/01/2017 at 00:10:47
Why?
Joe O'Brien
7 Posted 27/01/2017 at 00:11:17
Good luck to him, but wow – I didn't see that coming.

Maybe George Green might get back with us too... ???

Ian Jones
8 Posted 27/01/2017 at 00:12:56
Interesting development. Only 24 years of age. What a chance he has been offered.
Gavin Johnson
9 Posted 27/01/2017 at 00:14:07
He seems a troubled lad. Maybe he needs to stay onsite full board in those new player suites to keep him out of mischief.

I wish him the best of luck. I think the ability is there but he never seemed to be the fittest. Fingers crossed he gets fit and sorts his head out.

Brian Williams
10 Posted 27/01/2017 at 00:24:56
Glad to see so many positive comments on this.

Let's just see if the Kenwright bashers twist it to have a go at him because this is Kenwright's gesture. His idea, he's made it happen.

James Stewart
11 Posted 27/01/2017 at 00:27:12
Is this an early April fools? Ridiculous.
Peter Gorman
12 Posted 27/01/2017 at 00:43:15
This is Everton in the Community at work, incredibly charitable to help out a lad who clearly needs it. Best of luck to Jose sorting out his head, better late than never.

From the perspective of football, it makes no sense whatsoever. Baxter is so far below the standard of player we require. it is unreal and potentially he will take game and development time off a young kid that needs it.

Mike Corcoran
13 Posted 27/01/2017 at 00:56:25
Personal tragedies this week lead to me to believe he's due a shot at redemption. So proud of the club for looking out for him. Amidst all the shite that gets thrown at players, please remember that they are just young men and earning a mad wage doesn't solve any problems they can't cope with outside footy. Money ain't everything (yeah I know it helps).
Karl Masters
14 Posted 27/01/2017 at 01:05:16
Very commendable. Will he be able to take the chance? Very lucky young man.

l hear Billy Kenny has been called in to Finch Farm for a trial (... sorry, I just couldn't help myself; let's hope Jose has stronger willpower than me.)

Habib Erkan Jr
15 Posted 27/01/2017 at 01:32:50
And to think "You'll never walk alone" is sung at the start the Red Shite's matches.. Jose you have the good fortune to have started your career at Everton.

Hope you realize you have been given a second chance, that you do not deserve and would not have gotten anywhere else. Please take full advantage of the opportunity you have been given and make us proud.

David Ellis
16 Posted 27/01/2017 at 01:44:34
Brian@10 - I bet Kenwright's already got the movie rights all signed up.
David Barks
17 Posted 27/01/2017 at 02:24:02
I think this is a pretty damn good thing that can only help us and the man. If he can't cut it with us but proves to be a professional, he can go on to another club. But if somehow he applies himself and becomes a player for us, what a story.
Alan J Thompson
18 Posted 27/01/2017 at 04:38:17
There's more to life than kicking a football and congratulations to Everton on knowing it and even better, putting it into practice to help someone. Take it and shine, lad.
Mike Dolan
19 Posted 27/01/2017 at 06:05:29
Jose, can't you see that this is probably your last chance?

Good luck, lad... that means avoid the bad luck.

Andy Codling
20 Posted 27/01/2017 at 07:15:49
As ridiculous as giving Jeffers a job. Not the type of people I want involved at the club.
Kenny Smith
21 Posted 27/01/2017 at 07:43:16
Absolutely disgraceful. What message does this send out to our youngsters. At least he can drive the team bus for the U23s now Niasse has gone and Gibson serves his ban.
Adam Carey
22 Posted 27/01/2017 at 07:50:18
I think that this is a fantastic gesture from the club. Obviously we are not fully aware of any details of the contract, but to me this sounds like an alternative approach to our charity which looks after past players who have fallen on hard times. (Sorry, can't think of the name).

All of the sound bites imply that we are simply taking one of our own back under our wing in an effort to get him back on track. This just shows that Everton truly is a family club.

I hope Jose takes the opportunity and turns himself around. We know Rhino and the U23 coaches won't treat him with kid gloves.

Colin Glassar
23 Posted 27/01/2017 at 07:55:03
Is this Bill Kenwright's idea of a new signing? Good luck to the lad, I hope he doesn't regret his life in a few years time.

Where's Moshiri's money for new players, Bill?

William Cartwright
24 Posted 27/01/2017 at 07:57:40
If it's okay with Rhino, it's okay with me...!
Peter Gorman
25 Posted 27/01/2017 at 07:59:46
I also wonder exactly what impact he will have on the other kids in his class. Will he steer them onto the straight and narrow, serving as a stark warning not to throw away their talent? Or will they end up powdering their noses behind the bike sheds at USM Finch Farm?

Reading the original article, it appears Jose is painfully aware he is a lucky, lucky man – but whatever issues he is dealing with won't go away overnight so fingers crossed this works out well and, as others say, most likely he impresses enough to get a contract with a professional club.

Kevin O'Regan
26 Posted 27/01/2017 at 08:05:43
Andy (20) – "not the type of people I want involved at the club".

I can understand where you're coming from Andy, but every single one of us has a dark side – and have done things wrong and been forgiven for it.

If we were to draw up a list of people that supporters don't want at EFC for ethical reasons (based on the ideals of random supporters), then dump all those people, then EFC would no longer exist. Get real. Everyone deserves a 2nd chance in life – just a question of "Get busy living or get busy dying..."

Liam Reilly
27 Posted 27/01/2017 at 08:05:46
Wow, was not expecting that.

I suspect the U23s are short with the recent loans and perhaps more to come, but nonetheless well done to the club for such a gesture.

If he keeps his head down and works hard, he may still have a future in the game.

Dan Egerton
28 Posted 27/01/2017 at 08:12:18
"It appears to be an extension to a role he already plays with the club's official charity, Everton In The Community." And then maybe a contract this June 30.
Gordon Crawford
29 Posted 27/01/2017 at 08:15:06
I hope it's a lovely story for him. Everyone deserves a chance to change. I wish the lad all the best. :)

Yes, Colin, I've been saying and thinking the same thing. Where is the money? More importantly the new signings that we so desperately need?

Alan Humphreys
30 Posted 27/01/2017 at 08:17:36
Let's not forget the lad turned down the offer to stay at Everton so as to seek more playing time at lower league clubs and at presumably a lower wage. That in itself is commendable and whilst his personal demons haven't helped outside football I hope this opportunity kick starts a new chapter for him and he finds a club, just don't see it being Everton long term.
Andrew Ellams
31 Posted 27/01/2017 at 08:44:28
I don't see a negative in this to be honest. We have a multi award winning EitC and this story proves that anybody can fall on bad times.

I'm guessing Everton will give him 12 months to sort himself out and then help him find a new club where he can play first team football.

On a day when you have Mourinho denying the result of a football match because he didn't agree with a refereeing decision, it's nice to support a club with a bit of class

Dave Abrahams
32 Posted 27/01/2017 at 08:46:09
Brian (#10), I hope Jose takes the chance to turn his life round, it's a good deed Everton are doing for the lad, but as you are bringing Kenwright into the picture maybe it is Kenwright who is paying whatever wages Jose will be receiving.

Otherwise, it is a great gesture Everton are doing, if not then it is Kenwright being generous with Everton's money (as usual).

Whoever is paying, good luck to you, Jose.

Tony Hill
33 Posted 27/01/2017 at 08:57:50
I like this because I think it can only create respect and solidarity within the club. Whether it works out is up to the player but I find it a thoroughly heartening move. Unsworth is a class act and if Kenwright is indeed behind this then full credit to him too.
Will Mabon
34 Posted 27/01/2017 at 09:00:02
It's a charitable gesture for sure. He's lucky to have the kind of talent that once had him earmarked. A lad less gifted though still of potential professional material, would likely not have received this chance, had he strayed off the path.

Have to hope the snow damage has not permanently capped his potential fitness level. Best of luck to him. As said above, it could make some story. Boy's Pen Billy Brings Back Baxter From Brink Of Beak Oblivion – the musical.

"He seems a troubled lad. Maybe he needs to stay onsite full board in those new player suites to keep him out of mischief."

Did I hear those are being removed, Gavin? Something along those lines is a good idea though – or a trusted chaperone maybe. Everything should be thrown into a chance like this. He's incredibly fortunate.

Rob Dolby
35 Posted 27/01/2017 at 09:08:53
Lucky Lucky boy. This has to be more about rehabilitation than football.

EitC must be heavily involved in this. I just hope that he straightens his life out.

Proud to be a blue.

Brent Stephens
36 Posted 27/01/2017 at 09:12:09
He's done his time. He sounds repentant. Start again.

Or are we so mean we never forgive anybody for their mistakes? If so, just ask yourself whether you make mistakes and therefore should never have another chance?

Good luck to the lad.

Thomas Surgenor
37 Posted 27/01/2017 at 09:15:24
I'm in the pro camp for this move.

He should be able to impart some life experience on the younger kids. This boy had more hype around him than many of them ever will, he was in the first team squad and then all of a sudden threw it all away. He was taken advantage of by people he thought were "friends", who were only using his name and money to pedal.

He has made mistakes and although it seems he doesn't learn from them, his experiences might educate some of the younger talent on how quickly hey could throw it all away.

That goal pre-season at Forest though...

Dermot Byrne
38 Posted 27/01/2017 at 09:17:07
So proud of the club. No idea if he just made mistakes or has an addiction problem.

What will be interesting is how he copes with every one telling him how lucky he is and this is his last ever ever chance. Though completely understandable, I hope the saintly don't get too sanctimonious. I hope he has some kind of mentor or support network.

Gerard Carey
39 Posted 27/01/2017 at 09:20:34
Has to be a great chance for him, I hope he is up to it and and grabs it with both hands. Well done Everton again for going that extra bit to help.
Anthony Dwyer
40 Posted 27/01/2017 at 09:22:17
A 12-month contract!!! Really!!!

Why not just allow the lad to train for free, get himself fit if he chooses to, the make some calls on his behalf.

12-month deal, really...

Some may call me a miserable get, but fuck me, this lads had chance all us can only dream of, two of them, and sponked them.

Allowing him to train with our U23 squad would be a real touch of class by the club, giving him a 12-month deal is charitable beyond belief.

Ray Roche
41 Posted 27/01/2017 at 09:22:18
Andy Codling (#20),

Andy, I have no idea how good a coach Jeffers is and I doubt if you are much wiser, so to describe his position on the coaching staff is as ridiculous as, well, commenting on his ability when you don't know how well he performs at his duties.

Maybe he's just the person to point out the errors in dabbling with illegal substances to the younger players.

Chris Gould
42 Posted 27/01/2017 at 09:31:44
It would seem that the U23s are being run like a separate team with Rhino allowed to bring in his own players to help win their their league. It's a smart idea as, if we become the best U23 team in England, then youngsters will see it as the best chance to improve and get noticed.

Jose has a lot of league experience and may be a good leader... if he can keep control of his demons. It looks like the club have really got their act together.

We need to tie Rhino down on a decent contract. It won't be long before another club offers him big money to replicate what he's done here.

Paul Thompson
43 Posted 27/01/2017 at 09:40:50
This has suprised many of us, but it's clearly not out of the 'blue', but reflects a path he's on through his work for EitC.

EitC is one of the things that makes our club different and I'm proud of the work it does. If the club feels the lad has earned another chance, I'm in full support.

Martin Nicholls
44 Posted 27/01/2017 at 09:45:49
If we want success on the field, we need to match the ruthlessness of the successful Premier League Clubs. Man Utd supported Ferdinand because they recognised his value to them – by contrast, Chelsea seized the opportunity to cancel (the under performing) Mutu's contract and subsequently issued a lawsuit against him. Many on this site (including me) have been highly critical of our Club's "support" for Gibson yet the general view on this thread is one of support for this "gesture".

I don't get it – Baxter had already left our Club so whilst I could understand him getting support from the Former Player's Foundation, this is weird – unless of course someone at the Club genuinely believes he won't be a bad influence AND that they can turn him into a Premier League player. Can't see that as I don't believe we would have re-signed him if he hadn't failed those drugs tests and been "unemployed".

As for "fantastic gesture in giving a former player a chance" I wonder what a current player, Niasse, thinks!

Alan McGuffog
45 Posted 27/01/2017 at 09:50:37
Tony Kay still got his boots?
Chris James
46 Posted 27/01/2017 at 09:56:18
Echo what Chris Goulding is saying here. The idea of building the best youth team in the country seems pretty smart, especially IF Koeman actually gives the lads a go in the first team.

I guess with Davies, Holgate and to an extent Barkley and Lookman this is sort of happening.

Anyway, I'm sure he's not going to be paid much and if he fucks up again he's out, so I think this is a calculated risk as well as showing again that Everton has something extra as a club.

Andy Codling
47 Posted 27/01/2017 at 09:58:44
Ray, I found myself in the same location as Jeffers a few years back and can honestly say what a low life he is, a player who knocked Everton's biggest ever contract at the time to go to London.

I don't see the sympathy for privileged prima donnas who earn huge amounts of money for kicking a ball round who don't appreciate what they had. Michael Branch was released from prison in September – how about helping that drug dealer out?

Steve Ferns
48 Posted 27/01/2017 at 10:00:42
For all those criticising the employment of Jeffers, what about the employment of Ferguson? For some, Ferguson's off-field behaviour is neatly brushed under the carpet for what he did on the pitch.

However, with Ferguson, the bottom line for me is that the man who was paid 㿏k a week to play for the club he "loved" and couldn't lay off the booze and fags, never mind what he got up to in the Adelphi, well that's not love for me.

Anyway, that's ancient history – both Jeffers and Ferguson are coaching on merit, and I think their pasts can only help them. There's few experiences in football that the pair couldn't give insight and guidance on, whilst a whiter-than-white player would lack that experience to give the proper guidance.

As for Baxter, for all you know, the lad is on an average working man's salary. He proved himself to be Championship level in the past, which is above U23 level, and so, surely he can only help improve the lads he trains with.

If he really applies himself and impresses Koeman enough to get a proper contract off us, well fair play, but I don't think anyone is suggesting this is the aim. It appears to be more of a chance to help the lad as he tries to get ready for a comeback in the 2017-18 season at a lower league club.

Ray Roche
49 Posted 27/01/2017 at 10:01:55
Well, Andy, I can only bow to your superior knowledge regarding Jeffers.

As for Baxter, isn't it more of an extension to his current duties at EitC, one where his experiences may help younger players who might be tempted??

Andy Codling
50 Posted 27/01/2017 at 10:03:11
Michael Ball's views on Twitter... Mixed. Great by EFC give him an OTHER chance. But gives out wrong message to other young lads & hope it doesn't block another kids path
John G Davies
51 Posted 27/01/2017 at 10:13:39
Good that the club is giving Jose a chance. Easy for a young inner city kid to let the money and recognition take him off the rails. I hope it works out for him.
John Dean
52 Posted 27/01/2017 at 10:15:24
Is an improved public image just a happy by-product of this story and that of Bradley Lowery... or is it all part of Moshiri's vast eternal plan to make us more than any other Premier League club?
Colin Hughes
53 Posted 27/01/2017 at 10:18:22
Everton FC – the biggest unregistered charity in the country.
Eugene Ruane
54 Posted 27/01/2017 at 10:41:33
Will # 34 - 'As said above, it could make some story. Boy's Pen Billy Brings Back Baxter From Brink Of Beak Oblivion - the musical.'

Pictures..

Liverpool Empire, Jan, 2019 - HEADING BAX'TER THE TOP!

Songs include 'I'm just a boy who can't say no', 'Be kind to the beak kind.' The Hokey Cokey.'

Cast..

Les Dennis as Ronald Koeman.

Michael Starke as David Unsworth.

Brian Regan as Jose Baxter.

Ricky Tomlinson as Jimmy 'kitman' Martin.

Bill Kenwright as himself

Sponsor details - Link

Kenny Smith
55 Posted 27/01/2017 at 11:22:31
EitC do some great work which has been well documented and recognised. I'd rather the money spent in this fella who has blown the chance of a lifetime went to a real charity case.

He's had his chances and has shown total contempt to the authorities who govern this game. I'd've given anything to've been a professional footballer and to've been able to say I represented our great club. He's had his chances.

Peter Morris
56 Posted 27/01/2017 at 11:34:29
Plenty of potential pitfalls and man traps on the path, but at this stage we should just judge it on what it is, which is a fantastic demonstration of the values and humanity that is baked into the DNA of Everton FC.

If it goes pear shaped, it goes pear shaped. The club is big enough in every sense for the word to shoulder any potential downsides.

Congratulations, Everton FC. Congratulations, Bill Kenwright. Congratulations, David Unsworth. You make me proud to be a lifetime Blue for all of my nearly 60 years.

James Macdonald
57 Posted 27/01/2017 at 11:35:46
Not sure on the logic of this. Surely there is no point taking a player into the U23 set up unless you think he is a potential first-team player which we already know is not the case here. In taking a slot, is he not blocking the path of another youngster?

The only other reasonable explanation would be that he would help the others develop given his experience in league football but I am not so sure how good an example he would be.

Clive Rogers
58 Posted 27/01/2017 at 11:41:03
Sounds like Unsworth is the instigator and Kenwright has just given the nod. Don't think it will be a case of blocking other youngsters' paths as surely he won't be with the U23s for long. At 25, the aim must be first team squad as soon as he's fit, if he performs well.
Paul Burns
59 Posted 27/01/2017 at 11:45:27
Fucking ridiculous.

He's not one of ours, he's a 'pooly.

I fucking give up.

Phil Sammon
60 Posted 27/01/2017 at 12:01:25
'This story proves that anybody can fall on bad times.'

Deary me, some people really do take the biscuit. This is not a child stricken by illness. This is a young man who has chosen to use illicit drugs.

I'm actually eager to give the guy another shot... but please don't make out that he's a victim.

Jay Wood
61 Posted 27/01/2017 at 12:17:04
Why? some ask.

Why not? is my reply.

Highly commendable move by the club and one I am comfortable with.

Well done, Everton, for once again showing our club in such a compassionate light.

Scott Hall
62 Posted 27/01/2017 at 12:21:52
Well done, Everton. There's a lot of fans that still regret what happened with Billy Kenny. I know Jose has never had his talent, but you don't just let someone end up in the shit.
Ian Jones
63 Posted 27/01/2017 at 12:26:40
Interesting piece on the main Everton website about Jeffers indicating he regrets leaving Everton when he did and perhaps should have stayed longer.

Hindsight is a wonderful thing...what appears to be a promising career can be shortened by injuries, getting in with the wrong crowd, a move to another club for what ever reason, head's turned (as Jeffers mentions), better club, more prospects of trophies, money etc.

A player's fortunes can also turn in an instant, Ryan Mason for one – let's hope he can pick up from his head injury – Fabrice Muamba.

I think Jose Baxter was right to leave Everton when he did to seek out a career elsewhere with a view to more regular football, and although I have never seen him play, from what I can gather from comments made in the past on ToffeeWeb, he seemed to be a decent prospect. Same can be said for Ryan Ledson.

Whatever the reason behind him returning to Everton, I think the club and the player should be supported. I assume that you don't necessarily lose any of your natural ability as you get older, so if he wants to apply himself to the task in hand then I hope this works out for both parties... and if he subsequently moves on... I hope we get some money for him this time!

Brian Williams
64 Posted 27/01/2017 at 12:28:47
Clive (#58).

It's actually the other way round.

Andy Codling
65 Posted 27/01/2017 at 12:30:26
Yet many fans would not have Wayne Rooney back at Everton, I despair!
Marc Carran
66 Posted 27/01/2017 at 12:40:37
I understand both how people could feel sorry and not sorry for him, but I can't help but think his "wages" even if they were 50p, 㿞 or 𧺬, they could've been used best elsewhere, maybe a foodbank of some sort. I'm sure we don't need his presence at the club to let the youngsters know how easy it is to fuck up your career.

A better question yet, is should there've been some sort of meeting beforehand to question this decision. Even if the wages are paid out of Bill's pocket, the actual questionable act is letting him or his presence in the club.

Gordon Crawford
67 Posted 27/01/2017 at 12:40:56
Michael Ball saying it gives the wrong impression is just missing the mark. Everton are not saying they condone Baxter's behaviour. They are saying you have served your time for your crime, now it's time for you to change your life around. Which is a lovely gesture. We need more grace and mercy in this world.
Kevin Gillen
68 Posted 27/01/2017 at 12:43:23
A really good gesture by the club and with this lad's talent also possibly a wise one.
Dermot Byrne
69 Posted 27/01/2017 at 12:44:36
Paul Burns 59: your last line is good news.
Ian Jones
70 Posted 27/01/2017 at 12:45:14
Andy @ 65 sorry if I am missing your point about having Wayne Rooney back.

No doubt there are many pros and cons for Wayne Rooney returning. Not going to even try to go through them.

I would have Wayne back purely for his football ability alone...and nothing to do with it being a return to where he started etc and all that malarkey.

Kevin Tully
71 Posted 27/01/2017 at 12:46:38
Imagine for a moment you had been with Everton for quite a few years, come through the academy from a young age. You had never been late for training, or missed a team meeting. You had literally ran yourself into the ground trying to impress the coaches, and you and your family had made huge financial sacrifices to chase your dream. You are let go, contract not renewed.

Then you read this story. Does it send the message that it's OK to use class A drugs? At Everton you will be given a THIRD chance. How do some parents feel about this at the academy – this wasn't a reefer the lad had been smoking after all.

I'm not saying this is right or wrong, I don't know the lad. Just pointing out there is a lot more to consider that 'giving someone another chance.' It's not black or white. It seems that pulling on a blue shirt can buy you a lot of credit. When do you think Neville Southall will be invited back to the club?

Christopher Wallace
72 Posted 27/01/2017 at 13:00:46
Thankfully, just a small number of "bitter blues" in this thread, or people who have led a very charmed life.

Nice gesture by club, and glad to see most TWers see the positivity in this move.

Dermot Byrne
73 Posted 27/01/2017 at 13:15:15
I think you are right: it is not black and white, Kevin. However, if those in the shit are never helped to sort themselves out, it becomes a cold sippery slope.

Sadly every time anyone with drug issues is helped, there will be those who are bitter about it due to their own struggles and failures. You will also get the likes of The Sun frothing at the mouth.

So do we stop helping the likes of Jose and introduce some kind of moral means test? No, better to speak to EitC or EFC and see what there is for those who are not good enough.

As for the message re Class A drugs. The country has condemned them and criminalised them for decades, spent a fortune through criminal justice system and by comparison done little to help users pack in. And that has worked brilliantly.

John Pickles
74 Posted 27/01/2017 at 13:16:58
Davie Moyes must be furious... in his ex-Blues collection, he needed Baxter for the set.
Sam Hoare
75 Posted 27/01/2017 at 13:17:49
Why not? Nice to help out someone in need and if he buckles down and works hard he might just be able to pay us back on the pitch.

In reality we are probably just giving him access to the facilities and helping him get fit. Sure his wage is small and possibly appearance related.

He might be able to offer some sage advice to youngsters about the pitfalls of wasting your talent.

I like it.

Denis Richardson
76 Posted 27/01/2017 at 13:24:27
Can I get a contract too?

Baxter, Gibbo, Hibbo, Niasse(!) - it's like we're spending monopoly money.

Stan Schofield
77 Posted 27/01/2017 at 13:24:35
This isn't simply a case of helping someone who transgressed. It's surely a case of doing something in the best interests of Everton. It's then very nice if it's also in the best interests of this individual, which it appears to be.

By the way, I don't agree with some of the posts that take issue with what's been done, but at the same time I wouldn't dismiss the comments as those of "bitter blues" (Christopher@72). Better to focus on the issue at hand, rather than make personal remarks about the category of blue who doesn't share your point of view.

Terry Underwood
78 Posted 27/01/2017 at 13:25:43
He needs to move house, totally cut off his old "friends" and give thanks every day for this chance; I suspect it's his last...
Ste Traverse
79 Posted 27/01/2017 at 13:28:31
What is the point?

We let him go years ago for not being good enough so why now at 24 is he suddenly up to standard?

I well remember his bitter attack on the club on twitter after he was released plus the dodgy rumours about him which went around the City while he was here.

I don't know who has decided to bring him back but they need to have a word with themselves.

Brent Stephens
80 Posted 27/01/2017 at 13:30:00
Kevin (#71), where other lads who are let go, I assume they are let go because Everton think they won't make it football-wise. If they had been taking drugs, it would make no difference – another chance would be irrelevant if Everton don't think they'll make it.

In Baxter's case, I assume that Everton think he might be able to make a go of it football-wise. It's a different sense of "another chance".

Peter Morris
81 Posted 27/01/2017 at 13:35:22
Comparing this gesture with taking or not taking back Rooney is a complete red herring. If Rooney were to return, it would be to contribute on the field as a first-team player, I would assume.

The Baxter situation, in my judgement, is all about entering into a very generous bargain with a former academy player, offering him the opportunity to rebuild his fitness and match readiness using the club's facilities and resources, and for him to relocate around close family where he can get the emotional support he clearly needs.

He has the opportunity to get his dignity and self-respect back and he can draw a small salary to help this. In return, he contributes to the causes of the U23 team, which is after all, a professional outfit. He will be a senior member of that squad and will be expected to perform and behave as such. This is rehabilitation, facilitated by his club.

The expectation of both parties is that success is judged by Baxter being good enough in his time back at Everton for him to find a contract at a lower league club. That's it.

On that basis, I think it is a wonderful and unique gesture by Everton FC.

Franny Porter
82 Posted 27/01/2017 at 13:57:00
No problem at all with this, young lad makes a mistake and the club are in a position to help him.

Things like this make me proud to be an Evertonian.

Kevin Tully
83 Posted 27/01/2017 at 14:04:10
Interesting question, Brent. Is it just okay to give players another chance because they are more talented? The precedent is set now anyway; I hope we extend this programme to any player who fails two drug tests. We've all made mistakes.
Dave Abrahams
85 Posted 27/01/2017 at 14:06:55
Ste (#79),

We didn't let him go because he wasn't good enough, David Moyes offered him another contract but his wages were reduced by 50 per cent, per week and Jose decided he didn't want to sit mostly on the bench for the next two years so took the gamble on finding another club.

He was out of football for a few months because of this and it was only Alan Stubbs getting him fixed up with Oldham Athletic that he got back into the game, he progressed there and a transfer to Sheffield Utd; he has problems with them and is banned until June this year.

Hopefully he will take the chance offered by Everton and get back into football and make a career and a good living out of football. He can not afford to make any more mistakes now, it's up to himself now. Take the chance, Jose, you will not be getting another one in football.

Eugene Ruane
86 Posted 27/01/2017 at 14:10:10
He deliberately, wilfully and literally SHAT on every one of us...sort of.

Lined us up and actually THURRP!...THURRP!...THURRP!.. (figuratively speaking)

And how dare he not live up to our incredibly high standards!

Okay, so he's only really training with the Under-23s and will only play if considered up to scratch, but how do we know he isn't ON A 5 YEAR DEAL AT 㿨k WEEK!?

That is just like saying "Yeah, do drugs it's fine, you'll be rewarded" (or... would be if that was the deal... which it isn't).

No-one should ever, EVER be given more than two chances (apart from – fist pumps – Big Dunc, obviously) and anyone earning more than me should have a care – I've got my eye on you.

(By the way, for anyone interested, it IS available – Link )

Nicholas Ryan
87 Posted 27/01/2017 at 14:39:21
As others have said, we did NOT get rid of him because he wasn't up to it. He was offered a new deal, which he declined, because Moysey couldn't promise him 1st team football.
At the time, he was a very, very, promising young player. He's still only 24. If he's 'sorted his head out' he has time to 'come again'.

He is, as the Australia cricket coach John Buchanan once said [of Mark Ramprakash] " A young man afflicted with talent." !!

Kieran Kinsella
88 Posted 27/01/2017 at 14:40:09
Maybe they want him as an example to the U23:

"Look, you maggots, you think you're going to make it big? You're nothing, dirt on my shoe, Jose thought he was a star and look what happened to him."

Soren Moyer
89 Posted 27/01/2017 at 15:32:09
That's fine but what about a few REAL signings for the main squad? What happened to the so-called "war chest"?
Martin Nicholls
90 Posted 27/01/2017 at 15:43:47
Stan (#77) – reading through this thread I was going to respond to the silly remark by Christopher (#72). I see you've already said in your second paragraph what I intended to say – thanks.

I don't mind being called a "Bitter Blue" by RS as I am happy to admit I am extremely bitter about how their actions have adverse!y affected our Club. Surprised to hear a fellow Evertonian using that expression about any of us, though.

Kev Johnson
91 Posted 27/01/2017 at 15:55:51
Good luck to the boy , no other club would do this . God I love Everton
Stan Schofield
92 Posted 27/01/2017 at 15:58:32
Martin, yes, it seems to be a tendency these days, that some folks, if they don't like the substance of what you're saying, they get personal with you, and daft terms like 'hater' seem to be fashionable.

If a personal comment is ever directed at me, I ignore it apart from pointing out the pointlessness of making it. I see it as irrelevant, but think it's useful to say this to the individual making the personal comment.

Kristian Boyce
93 Posted 27/01/2017 at 16:14:47
I understand the gesture the club are making, but I feel that they are putting him back into the situation that got him into trouble in the first place.

In today's game, money is flowing and young players are richer than ever. We don't know the terms he's been offered, but ifs, it's probably a couple of grand a week. That's nothing it goes along the same lines as the other U23g for a professional player, but for most of us on this forum, it's a heck of a lot more that we get a week. This was his issue first time round. Earning lots of money compared to his peers, and having tons of free time.

Players only go to the club 2-3 hours per day for training and the rest of the time they are left to their own devices. Players aren't also known for their intelligence either, with many focusing on the game and not their education while growing up. By being a local lad from not the best area of town it was easy for him to be targeted by 'friends' due to his lifestyle.

I hope that the contract he gets has some clauses in it regarding drug testing as well as him providing time for EitC, in which I believe he has been working with presently. He needs something to keep him occupied during the day, but he's probably screwed himself if he was thinking about coaching as his convictions will more than likely prevent him working with youth.

In the end of the day, he's a very lucky man to earn this redemption. I highly doubt that we will ever see him around the first team, but if he performs in the U23s he might be able to get a contract at a lower league or foreign team after the year.

Tony Abrahams
97 Posted 27/01/2017 at 16:35:25
It would be pointless giving him another chance if he never had the talent. I just hope Jose can now become a role model rather than a kid who can't shake his demons once he gets bored?

I don't like Kenwright but I hope Baxter takes the chance that Bill has given him with both hands, and goes on to have a good career, which I'm not sure would be possible without Everton giving him this chance.

I hope you can take it, Jose, and also help loads of other young kids in the future. Good luck, lad, and hopefully this can be a story with a happy ending?

Hugh Jenkins
98 Posted 27/01/2017 at 16:40:09
24 years old is far too young to write off anyone. All Credit to our Club for giving him a "third chance", as he describes. He is a talented player, so hopefully, he will embrace this chance and make the most of his talents.

The history of the game is littered with flawed genii. I am sure, given past circumstances that there will be many checks and balances in place to ensure he sticks to the righteous path.
Nowadays checks can be carried out on a daily basis and I would expect, given his history, that that will happen. Also, to avoid subterfuge, the test will be conducted in the presence of third parties, who will ensure that no "sleight of hand" is taking place.

This is literally the "last chance saloon" for Jose. If he takes it and is a success, we as a club benefit. If he doesn't and fails – we as a club benefit insofar as we are seen to be not overly judgemental and to give everyone a chance to rectify past mistakes.

It is definitely a "win-win" for EFC, with possibly a hidden pot of gold at the end of that particular rainbow?

Peter Gorman
99 Posted 27/01/2017 at 16:43:34
At least they didn't add insult to injury then, Brent.
Patrick Murphy
100 Posted 27/01/2017 at 16:45:17
Danny Hall of the Sheffield Telegraph gives his views on Jose Baxter's second chance.

"Everton's offer to one of their own is commendable, especially in an age largely devoid of loyalty either way. Baxter has made his mistakes but has also served his punishment - and for someone with a love of football like his, such a lengthy ban from the game will maybe help the penny finally drop. This columnist, for one, certainly hopes it does because Baxter has much to offer, on and off the field; both as a footballer, and as a man who knows what it feels like to almost lose everything..."

Everton FC could easily have turned their back on the lad and some would argue it would have been the correct action to take, however, they have made a brave decision and who knows both the club and the player might benefit from this decision in the long term. The most important thing is that Jose has learned his lesson no matter how things pan out with his football career.


Make the most of it Jose

Peter Gorman
101 Posted 27/01/2017 at 16:49:13
Back to Baxter and on a point of order; people keep calling him a 'talented' player. Has anybody actually watched him play in the years since his departure. He really isn't that big a talent.

Plenty of kids look world-beaters in the youth leagues but never progress as expected and can't cut it professionally. There is no great shame in that.

I've watched a bit of Baxter at Oldham and Sheff Utd and he looked short, weak and bang average for the league standard (mostly League two I think). This was all before his much publicised issues, as a playing professional. Bear in mind, for such a supposedly talented young man he didn't exactly have clubs clamouring for his signature until Stubbsy's intervention.

Just to moderate some opinions; hope he makes it somewhere but he'll only be near the Everton first team in a month of Sundays.

Stephen Brown
102 Posted 27/01/2017 at 16:49:21
Dave 85

Speaking of Alan Stubbs, he's on Fantasy Foitball Club at 6pm! Along with Stuart McCall's 1-11.

Ian Cowhig
103 Posted 27/01/2017 at 16:58:07
I was lucky enough to be in one of the lounges at the West Ham game around Armistice Day. One of our ex-servicemen was interviewed in the lounge about the support EitC had given him following his discharge from the army. Very moving interview, and one which had everyone on their feet.

One of the main things was how EitC had helped with his initial issues, but then training to get him in to work. It sounds as though Jose has had that initial help. And then EitC have requested the club to support with the next steps.

I can understand the concerns that he may take the other lads in to the shady world. But I believe this will be monitored closely.

Brent Stephens
104 Posted 27/01/2017 at 17:01:39
" he'll only be near the Everton first team in a month of Sundays".

As is the case with most of our U23s.

Ray Roche
105 Posted 27/01/2017 at 17:12:49
Ian, it's wonderful work that EitC does, but I thought that Baxter is working WITH them and is the right guy to HELP the youngsters avoid the pit falls that have may come their way.

Who better than a man who has been into the depths of despair, but managed, with help, to find his way back onto the straight and narrow. Surely he can pass on the lessons he's learned?

James Hughes
106 Posted 27/01/2017 at 17:14:36
Not EFC related but a different perspective on attitudes from a former player, but is worth a read even though it is the s*n

https://www.thesun.co.uk/sport/football/2715665/brede-hangeland-names-emmanuel-adebayor-in-extraordinary-lazy-xi-rant-claiming-he-would-eat-muffins-in-the-gym/

John G Davies
108 Posted 27/01/2017 at 17:23:53
To anyone upset about the chance our wonderful club is giving a young man to turn his life around. And to those of you who have kids. The old saying "There but for the grace of god" applies.

Give the kid a chance to get his life back on track, for fuck's sake.

Ian Cowhig
110 Posted 27/01/2017 at 17:28:56
I agree Ray. The ex serviceman had also become part of the EITC team.
Both will from their experience be able to support others. The difference with Jose is that the EITC & the club, believe that it best suits his future to have an opportunity to get his career back on path. And why not with us.
Personally think this is a good thing. And again is something as supporters we should be proud of.
Dermot Byrne
112 Posted 27/01/2017 at 17:51:17
Reading 99% of the posts on this thread makes me proud to be a Blue and part of TW. Sure we call players, managers and each other twats most weeks (apart from Citeh week !) but in the end this reflects our motto too.

Warm glow... Or that may be the codeine for current tooth abscess. Oh shit, now what have I started!

Phil Walling
113 Posted 27/01/2017 at 18:02:37
I wonder if poor Niasse will ever merit a second chance. Watching him last night, I had to say I've seen far worse in an Everton shirt!
Brian Williams
114 Posted 27/01/2017 at 18:08:43
Peter Morris (#81).

You put it perfectly mate and you're 100% correct too.

John Raftery
115 Posted 27/01/2017 at 18:28:21
Phil – I can also think of a few who were worse than Niasse. Bernie Wright, Rod Belfitt, Brett Angell, Mickey Walsh, Mick Ferguson would be near the top of my list.
Chris Williams
116 Posted 27/01/2017 at 18:31:27
Dear God John. Did you have to rake that litany of shite up?

Please show more compassion!

Ciarán McGlone
117 Posted 27/01/2017 at 18:52:01
Thought he was a fairly average player when he left... I doubt he's any better now.

Dermot Byrne
118 Posted 27/01/2017 at 19:06:39
Faster Ciaran? Shit joke. Apologies.
Jeff Armstrong
119 Posted 27/01/2017 at 19:14:34
The only way this works for everyone is that he's on national minimum wage, got full use of a Premier League club's facilities, gets fit, and moves on to another club and builds a career.

Then, the club can be applauded for this gesture and all the hand wringing could stop.
Ste Traverse
120 Posted 27/01/2017 at 19:15:27
Dave (#85).

He wasn't, isn't, and never will be good enough for us. There was hardly a stampede of Premier League clubs wanting to acquire his services when he left first time around which says it all.

If this happened a month/6 weeks ago when most were pissed off this move would be universally slaughtered, yet some are saying he deserves a 'second' chance.

Second chance?

If you include the 'chances' he's had at other clubs he's on about his fifth chance by now and still keeps getting into trouble.

Everton sentiment at it's worst.

John Raftery
121 Posted 27/01/2017 at 19:23:04
Chris – my apologies. But I must add one more? Ernie Hunt. The sixties may have been a golden era for our club but unfortunately he was not part of it. We paid 㿼k for him which was top money in those days.
John Dean
122 Posted 27/01/2017 at 19:34:10
Belfitt and Hunt each scored a cracking goal against, were subsequently signed by Everton never to perform well afterwards.
Mike Berry
123 Posted 27/01/2017 at 19:34:56
It just shows what a great and caring club Everton is.

I know nothing more than anyone else with this story, but assume rightly or wrongly that we are giving him a chance to rebuild his career so that he can find a contract with some club (even ours) after that 12 months.

Well done, Everton.

Chris Williams
124 Posted 27/01/2017 at 19:35:14
Please stop already, John.
Brent Stephens
125 Posted 27/01/2017 at 19:41:22
Ste (#120), "If this happened a month/6 weeks ago when most were pissed off this move would be universally slaughtered."

You don't talk for me.

Dermot Byrne
126 Posted 27/01/2017 at 19:50:10
#120... All have a view on this. My view expressed earlier. But perhaps you need to get some humanity mate. Your posts are nothing to do with how I see my club. But, I'd fight for your right to be your way.
David Donnellan
127 Posted 27/01/2017 at 19:51:13
I don't see too much wrong with this arrangement, although it did come out of the blue. I can't see him being on top dollar, after all the club is helping him out & not the other way round, let's see what happens. Best of luck to him.

John (#121), Ernie Hunt lives in my city, he was a window cleaner in the city centre for years. I haven't seen him about for a long time, I guess he is long retired now.

Peter Murray
128 Posted 27/01/2017 at 19:54:10
Colin Glassar (#23),

There comes a point when the anti-Kenwright sneering is inappropriate.

Well done, Blues. This is about having the right values. Like, for example, being only one of two clubs in the Premier League paying the living wage.

Martin Nicholls
129 Posted 27/01/2017 at 19:56:20
John (#122) – can't recall the Belfitt goal you mention but was the Hunt goal the Willie Carr set-up (the famous donkey kick) for Coventry? If so, that was after he left us.

My take on the Hunt signing was that it was done on the strength of a cracking shot he had against us for Wolves (in 1967 FA Cup tie) which Gordon West brilliantly saved!

John Dean
134 Posted 27/01/2017 at 20:13:43
I have a memory of Belfit collecting the ball inside the Ipswich half and carrying it towards the Stanley Park End and driving a shot home from just outside our box. Completely out of character.
Andy Crooks
136 Posted 27/01/2017 at 20:22:10
This is not "Everton sentiment at it's worst", this is our club at it's best. Realising that a club is at the heart of the community or it is a Sky-owned commercial vehicle. Well done to whoever made this happen.

Patrick Murphy
137 Posted 27/01/2017 at 20:22:21
Here's the infamous Rod Belfitt scoring in a 2-3 reverse at home to Man City.

Man City

Christopher Wallace
138 Posted 27/01/2017 at 20:41:02
My last post was removed – I can see no other reason than drug reference (mods burying their heads in the sand).

Feedback please...

John Dean
139 Posted 27/01/2017 at 20:44:27
Seeing Lawson in that clip reminds me that our daughter got married up at Otterburn 10 years ago and he was the church warden there. Had a good reminisce, his best stories featuring an uncontrollable Bernice Wright who Lawson said used to sleep overnight on park benches. Great story and I hope it's true.
Oliver Molloy
140 Posted 27/01/2017 at 20:47:45
Christopher, I asked you to elaborate on your "cocaine is an incredible drug" statement because I don't understand.

Did you or was it removed?

Christopher Wallace
141 Posted 27/01/2017 at 20:47:59
Alcohol USE is fine by me, as is drug USE (regardless of what the "government" tell us).

Make no mistake - alcohol ABUSE is far more prevalent and destructive than drug ABUSE.

Yet, I am censored on this site for even mentioning drug use, yet we can (rightly so) talk about boozing while watching the blues all day?!

Christopher Wallace
142 Posted 27/01/2017 at 20:49:04
Sorry Oliver, I didn't see your post... mine was removed
Oliver Molloy
145 Posted 27/01/2017 at 20:58:03
Yeah my question to you was removed also but I had asked you to elaborate on why you would say "cocaine is an incredible drug".

I don't agree as I'm sure you will gather, I have seen too many people turn into other people after indulging in this stuff.

Martin Nicholls
146 Posted 27/01/2017 at 21:00:06
Good clip and a decent finish by Belfitt. Other observations:

(1) Surprised to see Francis Lee staying on his feet when challenged in box by Henry Newton prior to 1st goal;

(2) Good to see John Connolly who was subject of a recent debate on this site;

(3) Similarly good to see young Tom Davies's uncle Alan Whittle in what must have been one of his final games for us;

(4) Despite Lee's normal penchant for diving in the box, good to see others staying on their feet when challenged;

(5) Spectacular og by Henry N!

Christopher Wallace
147 Posted 27/01/2017 at 21:04:01
Yes Oliver, over-indulgence can be a terrible thing... just like over-indulging in eating, smoking, drinking, etc.

I imagine you know more people struggling with weight issues/drink problems than drug habits??

Regardless, the point was a rich young, working class man in Liverpool is exposed to this problem, and we live and learn by our mistakes.

Don Alexander
148 Posted 27/01/2017 at 21:09:30
If we needed an employee to make it clear to our youngsters that you can make a proper bollocks of your career and life by way of off-field criminality, despite having a God given physique designed for your specialist role, then we have one. Step forward Duncan Cowan Ferguson.

I'm mystified why Jose Baxter is back with us. Frankly, he didn't hit the heights with us or anyone else and his physique is unimpressive. Add to that the gullibility of young men in their mid to late teens and, unless the lad has Messianic qualities in getting through to them, it could all be a waste of time, with the possibility of it going horribly wrong, again, as it tends to with drug users.

Anyway, I'm still hoping for better than Baxter in the window. As big Ron has said, he still wants more players, and nowhere is his name associated with the lovey-dovey re-signing of our youngest ever first team goalscorer. That worries me a little.

Christopher Wallace
149 Posted 27/01/2017 at 21:23:48
Everton fans in 1966 on the gear!

Credit to @lekkylegs

https://mobile.twitter.com/lekkylegs/status/824690175645286400/photo/1

Paul Hewitt
150 Posted 27/01/2017 at 21:28:07
It's a 12-month deal, so the lad can get back on his feet. Good luck.
Oliver Molloy
151 Posted 27/01/2017 at 22:35:15
Christopher,

So tell me again what is incredible about the drug cocaine.

What is it exactly?

Eugene Ruane
152 Posted 27/01/2017 at 23:20:31
The greatest anti-coke ad ever?

I'd just play this and slap a line on the end that says 'Charlie - Cool?'

Link

Andy Crooks
153 Posted 27/01/2017 at 23:29:53
Fucking hell, Eugene.
Eugene Ruane
154 Posted 27/01/2017 at 23:33:59
Meanwhile, George Green..

Link

Andrew James
155 Posted 28/01/2017 at 00:18:52
Christopher

Not having it that cocaine is less damaging than alcohol. I like a drink and work with people who are regular cocaine users. Their memories are shot and their egos rampant. They struggle with physical exercise and have chest pains.

Not seen Scarface?

On to Jose, we have to remember that clubs take these kids in at a young age and arguably they don't get to learn a trade elsewhere because they were focused purely on playing in our academy. Therefore Baxter might only know football. I like what the club has done, it shows we are there for him as he gave up much of his childhood and adolescence trying to become a professional for us.

There are much greater problems or issues within EFC to be annoyed about than giving a young lad a chance to become more disciplined and perhaps show our academy players a few things.

Chris Hockenhull
156 Posted 28/01/2017 at 00:42:15
Andrew James (#155), having spent many many many years working amongst the shitty mess of so called 'recreational drug use'... spot on. Sorry you too have to be amongst the knobs who circulate amongst you who think it's all okay because they believe they are on 'the level'... Christopher... go check out the reality of this shit please!!!!
Ernie Baywood
158 Posted 28/01/2017 at 02:33:57
I find it odd that people refer to being a young footballer as having the opportunity of a lifetime. To get that point they would have shown unbelievable dedication just to have a slim chance of actually being successful.

After all that, many won't have a career. There's not many career paths where you can be finished in your early twenties with limited skills that you can redeploy in another job.

For me, it can't be about being ruthless. If you're in the business of producing young footballers then you also need to be involved in what happens if it doesn't work out for them.

Martin Nicholls
159 Posted 28/01/2017 at 09:03:03
Ernie (#158) – fair point but Jose had already "made it" in that he'd already been awarded a number of professional contracts. Even on (in football terms) fairly nominal amounts he's probably already been paid more than many earn in a lifetime. What he's done with it is of course another matter!

No problem with trying to help him straighten his life out but, unless the Club can see genuine benefit to itself in this, surely the matter would be more properly dealt with by the Former Player's Foundation. Not trying to be pedantic here!

Dave Abrahams
160 Posted 28/01/2017 at 09:28:54
Eugene (154), George Green is still hanging on at Burnley; he has definitely got more than enough talent but his temperament is very suspect. He could have been well on his way to being a millionaire. When, if ever, is he going to realise how good he can be? Hope he makes it but unfortunately wouldn't bet on it, even with down-to-earth and level-headed Sean Dyche looking after him.
Dave Williams
161 Posted 28/01/2017 at 11:13:46
George Green had the lot and should have been in our first team by now had he stayed on the straight and narrow – huge waste.

Baxter has not been given a contract with a view to playing for the first team – he wasn't good enough as a youngster and certainly won't be now after years of not living the right way. This is surely a case of the club seeing him working with the EitC people and someone deciding that giving him 12 months as a player may just help him get back on track.

None of us know what state he is in, what his mental state is like, and how desperate his situation might be. Yes, we can all point to other ex-players who need help and that is what the Former Players Foundation is there for but I see this as a case of trying to give the lad a helping hand before it is too late and the club have either been very concerned at his condition or spotted something there which makes them feel that this might just turn him around. Either way the cost will be paltry when we look at the money in the club now and good on the club.

On Ernie Hunt, he unlike the others listed above was a good footballer. Catterick bought him after he scored against us when we beat Wolves 4-2 (I think) and I was there and he played very well. Problem was he was an attacking midfielder and the Holy Trinity was reaching its peak at the time so Harry played him as second striker playing off Big Joe and it didn't work. He left after 12 games and 3 goals (I think) and went to Coventry where he had a good career and scored "that" goal.

Ste Traverse
162 Posted 28/01/2017 at 13:15:42
"I've never stopped being a Liverpool fan, Steven Gerrard is my biggest idol"

This is the guy, on top of the drugs stuff, some are 'welcoming' back to this club.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2268822/Former-Everton-youngster-Jose-Baxter-getting-career-track-Oldham.html

Brian Williams
163 Posted 28/01/2017 at 13:23:28
Ste. I don't think it's a case of welcoming him back, it's more a case of the club making a compassionate gesture to help someone get their life back on track, and Evertonians being pleased about the club's gesture. I don't think any of us expect, or hope, him to make it into the first team squad.

I certainly don't, but am genuinely pleased Bill Kenwright has taken this step. The fact that he (Baxter) proclaims his love of the RS makes the club's gesture even more magnanimous. Not many clubs would do what ours is doing. Take pride in it.

Martin Nicholls
164 Posted 28/01/2017 at 13:25:06
George Green now on loan at Salford City.
Dermot Byrne
165 Posted 28/01/2017 at 14:02:54
Mr Traverse... You really have pumped out some small-minded crap on this thread. Pity... you don't usually.
Eugene Ruane
166 Posted 28/01/2017 at 14:28:54
Brian # 163 - Agree completely but fear you're pissing in the wind trying to convert some of TWs more clenched fists.

Not to worry though, doesn't matter how they rage, the deal is done.

Hopefully Baxter ("he's got 'I DESPISE EVERTON' tattooed on his nob ffs!") can make the most of his third chance and to use an Opra-ism, 'turn his life around.'

Despite some of the teeth-grinding and warnings from some, he's a daft twat rather than fucking Pablo Escobar.

Plus there seems to be this idea from the frustrated venters that there's a specific amount of times (one?) a human can fuck-up before being dismissed forever.

I disagree - these lads Link have all fucked up many, many times but I don't believe they should be fucked off from society.

Anyway, whether it does or doesn't work out for Jose Baxter, I believe it's Everton FC doing the right thing.

Which is, imo, the..um..right thing.

Brian Williams
174 Posted 28/01/2017 at 15:49:33
Eugene. His tattoo only reads that when the RS win, otherwise it's IDON,,,,,I'll get me coat!
Tony McNulty
175 Posted 28/01/2017 at 17:29:34
I don't know all the ins and outs of all of this, like most of us on here.

But I can't make up my mind whether outsiders will think along the lines of:

• What a gang of soft ‘ollies at Everton. That player is never going to make it. And their Chairman is a sentimental buffoon living in La La land. Another episode in the soap opera that is Uncle Bill and his Flying Circus. Another musical in the offing (see Eugene Ruane (54))

OR

• There's more to life than money. There are lots of currencies. And one day a great player might come along who has a choice of signing for us or another club, and for a moment he pauses. He thinks back to the treatment of Jose Baxter. And instead of deciding solely on the basis of cash, he chooses us.

As for your earlier post Eugene, is it for copyright reasons that you missed out the songs, “Puff, The Magic Dragon” and “I've got you under my skin”?

You also omitted Robbie Fowler's guest appearance singing, “I walk the line” (or something like that).

Mark Morrissey
176 Posted 28/01/2017 at 17:46:32
Just have to hope he get's all the support he needs to stay clear of drugs. The plight of the modern day footballer is exactly the same as the footballer from the 60s and 70s – too much money, not enough sense with what to do with it.

I hope Jose takes this opportunity with both hands and stays clear of the many distractions waiting for mega rich footballers. He needs a good woman behind him and an equally good manager.

Here's hoping but well done to EFC for giving him another chance in life.

Tony Hill
177 Posted 28/01/2017 at 18:14:13
I don't think this is sentimental; it is a targeted and trusting action of a type which will, or should, lead our young players to get an inkling of what matters. The club is taking a calculated risk in the hope of achieving something against the grain. Not a bad way of conducting business and, more importantly, life.

If we can translate similar considerations on to the pitch then I expect us to do very well.

Peter Jones
178 Posted 28/01/2017 at 19:44:01
Jose Baxter! Welcome back to Everton! Prove all the cynical critics wrong. I know you will. It happens all the time. COYB!!!!
Will Mabon
180 Posted 28/01/2017 at 00:01:42
Eugene, #54 - good call on the sponsor!
Will Mabon
181 Posted 29/01/2017 at 00:16:55
...but not so keen on Sheen, Eugene! In a previous life I caught a small glimpse into that "World". Just seeing some of it, is alone enough to make you question this whole planet.
Will Mabon
182 Posted 29/01/2017 at 00:26:42
"I wonder if poor Niasse will ever merit a second chance. Watching him last night, I had to say I've seen far worse in an Everton shirt!"

He did ok, Phil. There's every reason to believe there's a career for him to at least Championship level if he can maintain it.

Anthony O'Brien
183 Posted 29/01/2017 at 06:46:07
Anyone know what has happened young Conor McAleny? I've not heard much about him under Ronald Koeman only that he wasn't given a squad number at start of season.
Michael Kenrick
184 Posted 29/01/2017 at 06:54:31
McAleny has barely played in a handful of Under-23 games this season but he did start last Monday in the so-called Premier League Cup against Wolves.

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