|Andrew Pettinger - Goalkeeper
Young Andrew Pettinger was hailed as an investment in the future when Walter Smith snapped up the young 15-year-old from Scunthorpe's youth programme in April of 2000.
On June 1, 2001 he signed professional papers with a playing contract that was set to span two years. Later in the 2001-02 season, it appeared that he could be coming close to fulfilling his early promise when he was co-opted into the first team squad and finally given a shirt number. He even got a seat on the subs' bench at Southampton, but that was the closest he came to a senior appearance.
Pettinger played a vital part in Everton's storming run to the Final of the FA Youth Cup in 2002, and appeared to be well on the road to future stardom as an understudy to the more established goalies. He also played in the Liverpool Senior Cup ties, and made two appearances for the Reserves. Unfortunately, we don't have full appearance records for the Under-19s, but we know he played in the majority of their games.
But it wasn't to be. With young Alex Cole snapping at his heels in the U-19 team, Andrew Pettinger played his last games for Everton Reserves/Under-21s during the 2002 pre-season period before he left the club by mutual consent in September 2002.
The 18-year-old has suffered from homesickness since leaving Scunthorpe United. Everton have retained the youngster's playing registration, and have insisted on a large sell-on fee should the youngster fulfill his potential. But there was a suggestion that the teenager no longer wanted to pursue a career in professional football.
Some months later, in December of 2002 Pettinger signed an 18-month contract with Grimsby Town. Being back closer to his family, and starting afresh with a new club, he is 'loving every minute of life' at Blundell Park.
Andy Pettinger ended up playing just three games for Grimsby Town over the next 18 months, and appears to have been released at the end of the 2003-04 season.
There was a rumour that Oldham had taken him on trial in October 2006 but nothing seems to have come of that...
More about Andy Pettinger's career can be found in this article, No regrets for Pettinger...