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Everton Album: Wrestling Westerveld

by Matthew Gamble @efc_mattgamble

Merseyside derbies are renowned as being among the feistiest of world football's high-profile clashes.

Red cards have been commonplace during the Premier League era - and three came in one match in 1999 as Everton recorded a historic 1-0 Anfield win.

Kevin Campbell had given the Blues an early lead and Liverpool had been frustrated in their search for an equaliser.

With a little over 15 minutes of the game left, Campbell's strike partner, Francis Jeffers, burst through on an Everton attack but saw his dart halted by the linesman's flag.

"I remember it clearly," Sander Westerveld, Liverpool's goalkeeper that day, told evertonfc.com. "It was an offside and the ref had blown and I had the ball in my hand, then he ran into me.

"I tried to push him away and he had my shirt. Then there were a few punches."

The pair clash and are subsequently sent from the field of play

Jeffers was able to look back with a smile at the incident.

"I won on points!" he told evertontv. "I landed a few more shots than big Sander!

"The passion takes over, it got a bit heated that night, but it was still enjoyable because we were on the winning side."

Both Jeffers and Westerveld were dismissed for the altercation and Steven Gerrard followed them down the tunnel in added time.

"It was my first derby, a big game and my first year in England," continued Westerveld, who would later join Everton on an emergency loan in 2006. "I'd played derbies in Holland, but the Merseyside derby was like nothing I'd played before. There was a lot of pressure and we were losing 1-0.

Westerveld

"I had the argument with Franny, but those things happen and I was disappointed to get the red card. I didn't think much had happened but the referee said we had raised our hands.

"I saw Franny a couple of times afterwards and there were no hard feelings. It wasn't a great first derby for me and a lot of people have mentioned that since!

"For example, one of the players I played with in Italy over 10 years later found the picture on Google and put it up in the dressing room. I am always reminded of that game.

"It looks like I am taking all the punches, so it doesn't make me look bad. Or does it?"

Sander Westerveld and Francis Jeffers were talking to evertonfc.com in October 2010.

 

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