Tom Davies revealed a childhood dream was realised on Wednesday night as he led out Everton as captain in their Carabao Cup triumph over Rotherham United.
The 20-year-old became the Blues’ youngest ever starting skipper in the 3-1 victory, eclipsing the record held by Steve McMahon, who was 21 when he skippered the Toffees in an FA Cup clash with Newport County in January 1983.
Academy graduate Davies rose to the occasion at the Grand Old Lady in front of the Blues’ largest home crowd for a round two League Cup fixture since 1968.
Davies produced a typically energetic display in the heart of the Everton midfield, with his sharp, incisive passing helping to lay the platform for the Toffees victory.
And the boyhood Evertonian revealed leading out his beloved Blues at Goodison represented one the most special moments of his burgeoning career.
“I found out I was going to be captain about two hours before kick-off,” he explained. “It was a bit of discussion earlier on – ‘who was going to be skipper?’ – so I was just delighted to find out it was me.
“All the lads were made up for me. It was a great feeling [leading the team out]. It is something everyone in the ground wants to do as a kid, so for me to actually do it is a big achievement in my career. I’m so thankful to be given the chance.”
Davies – who joined Everton aged 11 – was one of three Academy graduates to start the game against Rotherham, with Kieran Dowell and Jonjoe Kenny also in Marco Silva’s starting XI.
The Blues took a first-half lead when Gylfi Sigurdsson swept home Sandro Ramirez’s cross, before Dominic Calvert-Lewin nodded home a pinpoint cross from the impressive Lucas Digne just after the hour mark.
Will Vaulks pulled one back for the Millers with just four minutes remaining but Everton replied instantaneously – Calvert Lewin’s superb, swerving strike after a fine pass from Davies ensuring the Toffees are in the hat for Thursday night’s round three draw.
Captain Davies was satisfied with the Blues’ display overall.
“I think we were in control for most of the game,” he said. “We had a bit of a sticky patch when they scored but I think that was just down to being a little bit tired. And we kicked on again after that.
“It was a good performance, obviously we’d like to keep a clean sheet but we won 3-1 and we’re through to the next round. It’s a good result.”
The England Under-21 international insists the Blues’ focus is already on their next Premier League game, as they face Huddersfield Town at Goodison on Saturday (3pm kick-off).
Everton head into the match unbeaten in their opening three Premier League fixtures and Davies revealed the players’ determination to secure another home victory and head into the international break on a high.
Davies also expressed his eagerness to keep up his early-season form and continue to impress boss Silva.
“I’m enjoying it [playing under Silva] so far,” he revealed. “He plays the way I want to play so I’m going to work as hard as I can to get into his starting XI and see where it goes from there.
“We’re focused on the weekend now, getting another win and keeping our run going in the league.
“Every team in the Premier League is a threat. We can’t take out foot off the gas, especially playing at home. We have started well here and we want to continue that.”