Everton’s title success of 1987 was all the sweeter for skipper Kevin Ratcliffe, who played every single league game of that momentous season.
Already a Blues legend having lifted the FA Cup in 1984, and the First Division title and European Cup Winners' Cup the following year, Ratcliffe was named in Howard Kendall’s starting XI for all 42 fixtures in the 1986/87 campaign, playing 54 games in all competitions.
“People ask me if I got tired, but when you’re playing that amount of games, it means you’re successful, so I never did,” said Ratcliffe, one of the quickest centre-backs around at his peak.
“The only time I was tired was when we won the title at Norwich City. Once the job was done, everyone was just mentally, emotionally and physically drained. We’d done what we’d set out to achieve and the adrenaline just went when we won it. We were exhausted.”
Ratcliffe goes with the general consensus that the triumph was more of a squad effort than the previous title victory two years earlier.
He said: “If you looked back now, nine times out of 10 people would get the team wrong and the starting positions players played in.
“Myself, Neville Southall and Graeme Sharp would be in their normal positions, but the likes of Adrian Heath, Alan Harper, Trevor Steven and Gary Stevens were often played in different positions.
“People like Paul Wilkinson played a part, and we had some good squad players around, who didn’t throw their dummies out the pram if they got left out after having a good game.”
To read the full interview with Ratcliffe, grab a copy of the new 1986/87 souvenir magazine, which is on sale now.
Written by the Club, the 84-page special looks back on the glorious campaign with key performers from a brilliant production.
The publication comes with the official DVD of the 1986/87 season and is priced £6.99. It is available to buy from Everton One, Everton Two and all good retail outlets as well as online from www.merseyshop.com.