Phil Jagielka and Leighton Baines have been recognised for their 11 years of service to Everton by being jointly honoured with an award inspired by the achievements of the Club’s greatest ever manager.
The defensive pair, who have both been mainstays of the Blues’ first team since arriving at Goodison Park in the summer of 2007, picked up the prestigious Howard Kendall Award at The Dixies, Everton’s End of Season prize ceremony, on Tuesday evening.
The annual accolade, named in honour of the man who won league championships with Everton as both a player and a manager, and as boss guided the Club through its most trophy-laden era in the mid-1980s, recognises individuals or a group who are considered to have realised outstanding achievement.
Following Saturday’s 2-0 victory over Huddersfield Town, in which both played a part, only Tim Howard (354) and Leon Osman (352) can boast more Premier League appearances for the Toffees than the 332 amassed by Baines and the 313 tallied by Jagielka, the Club captain since Phil Neville departed Goodison in 2013.
Baines has also surpassed 400 matches in all competitions for the Club, his landmark outing coming in the 1-0 win over Newcastle United last month. The left-back’s total, now 401, has him 18th on the list of all-time Everton appearance makers, with Jagielka two places further back on 376.
The pair were presented the award by Howard’s wife Lily and Ian Snodin.
On receiving the award alongside his longstanding teammate and friend, skipper Jagielka said: “We’ve grown and matured as people. It’s helped grow into the people we are. We’ve managed to keep going throughout the years. We are both proud parents now, too.
“It’s down to myself and Leighton and Seamus and the boys who have been here a long time to keep the spirit and the atmosphere going in the squad.”.
Baines added: “We’ve been here for 10 years and sometimes you think, where does the time go? We have given everything we’ve got and will continue to do so.”
The Howard Kendall Award was sponsored by Keppie Massie.