Your Best Scottish Blues

by Mike Taylor
@Everton

Everton’s connection with Scotland is a successful and long-standing one. 

From the earliest days as St Domingo to the present-day dugout, the Blues have enjoyed the services of some of the finest talents to hail from north of the border.

“The history of Scots coming here was something I was well aware of when I signed for the Club,” Ambassador Graeme Sharp told evertonfc.com. “I wanted to come down here and test myself in the English game and I was soon made aware of the forwards who had been here in the past and what they had achieved.

“There had been a lot of good Scottish players who came down here but Alex Young was the one that really stood out for me.

“But there were many before and there have been many since. I had the privilege of working with the likes of Jimmy Gabriel, who became a coach at Everton, and playing with Andy Gray. 

“Everton is a Club where the Scots have always been well represented.”

Ahead of Burns Night, an annual Scottish celebration to be celebrated this evening where people mark the anniversary of Robert Burns' birth with whiskey, haggis and Auld Lang Syne, we asked you for your favourite Blue Scots.

Below we look at the four most popular choices you came up with…
 
Alex Young
Appearances: 275
Goals: 89

470aYoung

Nicknamed ‘The Golden Vision’, Alex Young came possibly as close as any single player to embodying the essence of the Soccer School of Science.

He stroked the ball, rather than kicked it. He glided across even the heaviest of surfaces, shimmying and tricking his way past clogging defenders before effortlessly floating shots past baffled goalkeepers. 

During his playing peak, the hero worship for Young on one half of Merseyside during the Swinging Sixties bordered on the hysterical. 

A deep-lying centre-forward, he was never in the same mould as traditional Everton number nines like Dixie Dean, Tommy Lawton and Dave Hickson, but he possessed incredible spring and could hang in the air to meet crosses before dispatching bullet headers with one flick of his blond halo. 

Signed in November 1960 from Hearts for £40,000, Scottish experts reckoned Young was too inconsistent and too peripheral to cut it in England. 

They were proved spectacularly wrong. 

He peaked in the 1962/63 Championship side, when his striking partnership with Roy Vernon was the bane of First Division defences. Young scored 22 goals, and created countless more for his skipper, as Everton claimed their sixth League title. 

He was also an integral member of the 1966 FA Cup winning side, the team which became the first to pull back a two-goal deficit to win at Wembley. 

Graeme Sharp
Appearances: 446
Goals: 159


470asharp

Signed as an unknown from Dumbarton for a fee of £120,000 in April 1980, Sharp went on to spend more than a decade as the Club's leading striker - with only Dixie Dean netting more goals for the club in Everton's history.

Sharp hit top form with the arrival of Andy Gray in November 1983. Under the tutelage of his fellow Scot, Sharp was able to mature into a key player in Howard Kendall's side.

In the 1984 FA Cup final against Watford he left the Hornets' fans singing the Blues by netting the first goal in a 2-0 win.


And there was no stopping hime the next season as he fired 30 goals in 54 games to help the Toffees win the league title and European Cup Winners’ Cup.

Another league crown followed in 1986/87 to cement Sharp’s place as a true Everton legend. 

Duncan Ferguson
Appearances: 273
Goals: 72

470aDunc

On the pitch Ferguson could be savage, merciless, unplayable – a man who played on the edge. Off the pitch his teammates oft spoke of his human qualities – the softly-spoken gentleman who had time for everyone – funny, kind and considerate.

Big Dunc initially joined Everton on loan in 1994 but Joe Royle made the switch permanent when he took over and Ferguson scored his first goal against Liverpool in the manager's first match. He, of course, went on to finish that season with the one honour of his career – the 1995 FA Cup.

Such goals became a theme for Ferguson with his contributions in big games against the Reds and Manchester United quickly etching his name into Blues folklore. The striker invariably saved his best for when he faced the best.


In all, Duncan gave 10 years to the Club across two spells – an 18-month stint with Newcastle splitting his Everton love affair.

Duncan was a symbol for the Club just like the Everton crest tattooed on his arm emblemised his pride at donning the No.9 shirt.

He returned to the Club as an Academy coach in October 2011, before stepping up to become a first-team coach in February 2014.

Andy Gray
Appearances: 68
Goals: 22

470aGray

One of the most influential signings Everton ever made, Gray joined the club in November 1983 from Wolves.

His personality, bravery and commitment rubbed off on the squad and Everton conquered heights that were unimagined during his explosive but short-lived spell with the Blues.

Gray scored in the 2-0 FA Cup final win over Watford in 1984 and he also netted another vital goal a year later when Everton beat Rapid Vienna 3-1 in Rotterdam to win the European Cup Winners Cup a year later, just weeks after the league title had been secured.

He proved a vital player in the run-in to the 1984/85 season following a serious injury to Adrian Heath that afforded him the opportunity to forge an impressive partnership with fellow Scot Graeme Sharp. His ceaseless energy and willingness to put his head where other players wouldn't put their feet endeared Gray to the Goodison faithful and proved pivotal in helping provide the side with the driving force to deliver two trophies and go within a whisker of a treble - losing out in the FA Cup final to Manchester United after extra-time.





Honorable Mentions

As well as the trophy-laden quartet above, two other players, hailed for their work ethic and commitment to the Everton cause, were also regular choices on social media.

David Weir
Appearances: 270
Goals: 9


470aWeir

Signed by Walter Smith from Heart of Midlothian in 1999, Weir became a consistent figure at the heart of the Blues’ defence during his time with the Blues.

Already a full Scotland international before heading to Merseyside, Weir endured a difficult start at Goodison with Smith playing him initially out of position at right-back. 

But he proved to be a terrific asset to a Club going through difficult times as he linked up well with fellow Scot Richard Gough in his first full season with the Toffees and later went on to build a strong partnership with Alan Stubbs.


Steven Naismith
Appearances: 123
Goals: 26


470aNaisy

A boyhood Rangers supporter, Naismith began his professional career at Kilmarnock before moving to Ibrox. He then moved south of the border on a free transfer in the summer of 2012.

Naismith spent three-and-a-half years at Goodison Park, winning the hearts of Evertonians with his never-say-die attitude and knack of scoring important goals at vital times.

The Scot also embodied the spirit of the Club off the field, regularly helping out charities in the Merseyside area - even after his departure to Norwich City in January 2016.



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