In a bid to discover the Club's most memorable games of the Premier League's 20 seasons, we asked fans to vote in an exclusive poll on evertonfc.com. Today, our countdown from 20 to one continues with the day the world was introduced to a certain teenage goal getter...
EVERTON 2-1 Arsenal, 19 October 2002
(Radzinski 22, Rooney 90)
Those Evertonians who were not at Goodison Park this afternoon still won't believe in fairy tales. Those who were most definitely will.
Arsenal's magnificent record of 30 months without defeat was shattered by a brilliant goal in stoppage time; by a 16-year-old.
It couldn't have been scripted more dramatically.
Freddie Ljungberg had given the all-conquering Gunners an early lead after some shoddy Blues defending allowed the Swede to pounce. Yet, Tomasz Radzinski soon restored parity, brilliantly jinking his way past Pascal Cygan before firing through a crowded box.
With just seconds of normal time remaining, the game appeared to be heading for a draw. Until that is Wayne Rooney, making just his ninth top-flight appearance, rifled an incredible, unstoppable rocket past the veteran David Seaman.
Arsenal stunned, Everton rejoiced.
After all, the teenager may have stolen the show, but this was a win the Toffees richly deserved.
Indeed, they matched the champions in every department and the Man of the Match adjudicator had the most unenviable task of the afternoon.
Lee Carsley hit the post for the Blues, Tony Hibbert - it was that type of occasion - fired narrowly over, and Seaman made a terrific save to keep out a Thomas Gravesen snapshot.
The second half may have been lighter on genuine goalscoring opportunities but still there was no lack of endeavour from the hosts.
Rightly, the home fans sensed blood, and when Everton old boy Francis Jeffers entered the fray he was roundly, viciously booed. When Rooney followed him just moments later, that was the cue for fever pitch anticipation.
Dramatically, fantastically, the fervor was not misplaced.
The teenager, not 17 until next week, controlled a high ball in an instant and then placed a 25-yard shot into the top corner of the Park End net.
Goodison exploded as Moyes uncontrollably revelled in the moment. Merseyside may just have a new boy wonder.
Carsley (Stubbs 89)
Li Tie (Linderoth 55)
Radzinski (Rooney 80)
Manager: Arsene Wenger
Ljungberg (Edu 85)
Toure (Wiltord 64)
Kanu (Jeffers 71)
Manager: David Moyes
- "Wayne's an Evertonian through and through and will probably be out with his pals this evening showing them how he scored the winner. There are special players, he can become one of them." - David Moyes
- "Remember the name: Wayne Rooney.” – commentator Clive Tyldesley
- "At , Rooney is already a complete footballer. The guy can play. He's the best English under-20 I've seen since I came here. He can play people in, he's clever and a natural, built like a Gascoigne with his low centre of gravity. And he can dribble - I like strikers who can dribble." - Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger
- “At 1-1, I think everybody’s happy to take a point against a team like Arsenal, but for Wayne to clinch it that way was incredible… it was a terrific strike by the boy” – Everton captain Duncan Ferguson
- The Hannibal Lecter film 'Red Dragon', starring Anthony Hopkins and Edward Norton, is the top grossing film in the UK, while Las Ketchup's 'The Ketchup Song' tops the UK's music charts.
- Linda Franklin becomes the 12th victim of the so-called 'Washington sniper' in Virginia, USA. John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo are later convicted of 13 shootings and 10 murders.
- Valentin Tsvetkov, governor of the Russian region of Magadan, is assassinated in Moscow.
- US officials announce the existence of a clandestine North Korea nuclear weapons program.
- The Rooney feel-good factor worked wonders and Everton won five of their next six games, drawing the other.
- The Blues continued to defy pre-season expectations and despite four defeats in their final five games, secured a seventh-place Premier League finish.
- Champions Arsenal failed to retain their crown. Arsene Wenger's men finished second, five points adrift of Manchester United.
For a full 2002/03 fixture list, click here.