The series continues with a look at the career of Danny Cadamarteri - the teenager who burst onto the scene with a sensational match-winning contribution in the October 1997 home victory over Liverpool.
YOUNGEST DERBY SCORER
During the derby clash at Goodison in the 1997/98 season, academy graduate Cadamarteri dispossessed Bjorn Tore Kvarme just inside Liverpool’s half, skipped past Neil Ruddock and fire a low shot into the corner past a helpless David James.
In finding the net, the fledgling striker made the score 2-0 and put his name into the record books as the youngest ever scorer in the Merseyside derby, aged 18 years and 6 days – a statistic that still stands today.
“I remember it like it was yesterday,” Cadamarteri told evertontv. “It [the ball] ended up going to Kvarme and I’d been pestering him, and seen he was a little bit rash every now and again. So, I chased him down, and if I’m totally honest, it probably was a foul!
“I just gave him a little bit of a clip, but he went down like a sack of spuds. The ball broke and from that minute onwards, I just thought ‘run for goal, run for goal’.
“I remember Neil Ruddock coming towards me and thinking, ‘Oh my God, he’s going to smash me’ – he’d been trying all day to kick lumps out of me and thought I’d try and shift the ball away from him.
“My touch managed to take Ruddock right out of the equation. I just saw David James and thought I’d get my head down and smash it. I looked up and it’s just nestled in the bottom corner.”
Cadamarteri’s unmistakeable bouncing dreadlocks, that derby wonder goal and his arrival on the scene, at a time when Liverpool had a young Michael Owen, ensured he would be remembered fondly by Evertonians.
Martin Tyler’s commentary on his famous strike – “He’s in on James, he’s round Ruddock…oh wonderful, wonderful goal!” – is still heard on Sky Sports adverts today.
“It was the eruption, it was just electrifying,” recalled the now 34-year-old. “I turned around and remember Graham Stuart picking me up. It was that feeling, that you felt like you were on top of the world.
“It’s a life changing moment and the noise from inside Goodison Park, it still gives me goosebumps just talking about it now.”
Since leaving Everton for his hometown club Bradford City in 2002, Cadamarteri has gone on to represent several other Yorkshire-based clubs including Leeds United, Sheffield United, Doncaster Rovers and Huddersfield Town.
He has made 188 appearances for those clubs, scoring 17 goals in the process.
Comparing the Merseyside derby to the all-Yorkshire fixtures he competed in, he said: “I think the luckiest thing for me was when I moved to Liverpool and lived with a family of Evertonians and I became a ‘plazzy scouser’ as they called me!
“So, I got a feel for how it was around the city, not just in the dressing room. My mates up in Liverpool, some were Evertonians and some were Liverpudlians in the same household.
“But, there is such a relaxed feeling amongst the two clubs afterwards. There is a lot at stake – the bragging rights and the pride - but there is still a good feeling around the city after the game.
“There is a massive build-up to it which everyone is excited about, not just in Liverpool but everywhere you go. People say ‘the Merseyside derby is on this weekend’ whether you’re in Leeds, Bradford or London. It’s talked about regardless because it's a great fixture.”
During his nomadic career, Cadamarteri spent two years in north of the border with Dundee United. Winning the Scottish Cup with the Terrors at the climax of the 2009/10 campaign was the highlight of Cadamarteri’s spell with the only club he has represented outside of England.
He was named among the substitutes for that final, where they overcame Ross County 3-0 at Hampden Park.
Cadamarteri was also part of the Huddersfield Town squad that was promoted from League One in 2012, scoring three goals in 28 appearances that season.
Their promotion was sealed with a dramatic 8-7 penalty shootout play-off final triumph over another of his former clubs, Sheffield United.
PLANNING FOR THE FUTURE
Cadamarteri is now on the books at Carlisle United – the 12th club he has represented in his professional career.
He was signed by the Cumbrians’ former boss Greg Abbott who offered him a two-year deal in the summer of 2012.
Abbott said: “Danny started like a whirlwind at Everton and hit the scene like a ton of bricks, but things haven’t come as much to him as his ability suggested. He works tremendously hard, has a real passion for the game.”
Cadamarteri admits he has not hit the heights he once wished to, however, as his playing career draws to a close, he has been planning for the future by attaining his coaching badges.
He explained: “I’m still contracted at Carlisle, but I’ve had a knee injury for the past seven or eight months.
“So, during that period I’ve been doing my UEFA B [coaching badge] and just finalising my youth module 3 awards as well – just watching, learning and preparing for later on down the line.”