Everton FC, one of the oldest Clubs in English football and one of only three to be founders both of the Football League and the Premier League (the others being Aston Villa and Blackburn Rovers) sprang from very humble roots. Their original name was St Domingo's and they were founded in 1878 so that the parishioners of St Domingo's Church Everton could play sport throughout the year - cricket was played during the summer. When people outside the parish wanted to join in, the name was changed to Everton. The famous home to the Club, Goodison Park, has been in use since its completion in 1892.
From early times the Club knew success. League titles in 1888-89 and 1914-15 and in between the FA Cup in 1906. Sustained success came at the end of the Twenties with the signing in 1925 of the greatest Everton player of all time Dixie Dean who in 1927-8 set the record for League goals with sixty in thirty nine games, a record that still stands nearly ninety years later. Dixie's influence, and especially his goals, helped Everton to their third League Championship.
Everton were to wait thirty years for another period of real achievement. They regained their place in the First Division in 1953-4 but it was under manager Harry Catterick that the Club rose in status. In his second season in charge (1962-3) Everton were League champions, and four years later FA Cup winners with a 3-2 win over Sheffield Wednesday. League champions again in 1969-70, with a nine point gap over second place Leeds United. At this time, Everton became the first English club to achieve a place in a European competition for five successive years.
The mid-eighties, under Howard Kendall’s managership, saw even greater success: FA Cup in 1984 and two League titles in 1984-85 and 1986-87 and the European Cup Winners’ Cup in 1985. In the course of the European victory chase, Everton beat Bayern Munich 3-1 in the semi-finals, after being behind at half time. In that year Everton only just missed the treble, losing to Manchester United in the final.
The next big trophy for Everton was their fifth FA Cup win in 1994 under former player Joe Royle but the latter years have, by Everton standards, been variable with a fourth place in the Premier League 2004-5. David Moyes had taken over as manager in 2002 and stayed for ten years until he left for an unhappy year at Manchester United as Sir Alex Ferguson’s replacement. Moyes kept Everton on an even keel without actually winning any silverware, the nearest he came being the runner up slot in the 2009 Cup Final.
Moyes was a big player in the transfer market, breaking the club record four times: James Beattie (₤6 million), Andy Johnson (₤8.6 million), Yakubu ₤11.25 million) and Marouane Fellaini (₤15 million). He was also responsible for bringing Wayne Rooney into the Everton side before he was sold to Manchester United for ₤28 million - also a Club record. Moyes’s replacement was Roberto Martinez who led Everton to fifth place in the Premier League, with the best points tally for twenty seven years. Current form has been less impressive but there has been a gradual improvement in the latter part of the season and an unexpectedly decisive 3-0 victory over Manchester United saw the team move into the top half of the table.
Many famous players, apart from Dixie Dean and Wayne Rooney,, have graced the Everton team over the years. Among many famous names we can mention goalkeeper Neville Southall who was at Goodison Park for seventeen years and played a record 751 games; midfielder Tim Cahill; central defender Brian Labone; striker Bob Latchford; Scottish international Graeme Sharp, Welsh international Kevin Ratcliffe and briefly Gary Lineker before he was sold to Barcelona.
Current players who the fan base seem to admire and not mentioned so far include goalkeeper Tim Howard; Ross Barkley a young attacking player; and midfielders Gareth Barry and James McCarthy.
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