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evertonfc.com blogger Rob Guest takes a look at the history of the three shirt numbers now being worn by the Blues’ deadline-day arrivals…
Last month’s transfer deadline-day proved to be a busy one at Goodison Park with James McCarthy, Romelu Lukaku and Gareth Barry all signing on the dotted line.
Within hours they had been handed the number 16, 17 and 18 shirts respectively. But who are the past players of this great club to don those jerseys?
Well, Republic of Ireland international McCarthy became the 11th different player to wear the number 16 shirt following his £13 million move from Wigan.
American international Preki was the Toffees’ first owner of the shirt, inheriting it when permanent squad numbers were first introduced at the start of the 1993/94 campaign.
One of the Club’s most iconic players to wear the shirt was Thomas Gravesen, who signed from Hamburg in 2000 after impressing at the European Championships. The Denmark international immediately became a cult hero with his tough-tackling displays and played a key role in the Club qualifying for the Champions League in the first half of the 2004/05 season before departing for Real Madrid.
Chelsea loanee Lukaku took on the number 17 shirt last worn by Tim Cahill before his move across the Atlantic to join MLS side New York Red Bulls. The Australian became a fans’ favourite at Goodison with his committed displays and knack of popping up in the box to score a number of crucial – normally headed - goals.
Another famous number 17 was winger Andrei Kanchelskis, signed from Manchester United in 1995. The Russian international endeared himself to the Goodison faithful as he finished the 1995/96 season as the Club’s top scorer, notching a notable double at Anfield to clinch a 2-1 win and open his account for the Blues.
The loan acquisition of Barry from Manchester City has seen the England midfielder take the number 18 shirt recently vacated by former captain Phil Neville. Neville, a summer 2005 arrival from Manchester United, took over the skipper's armband from David Weir 18 months later and led the Toffees to a number of famous wins, as well as an FA Cup final in 2009.
Prior to Neville, the shirt was worn by Wayne Rooney when he memorably scored his first ever goal for the Toffees against Arsenal in October 2002.
Paul Gascoigne also wore the shirt during his short spell on Merseyside, in which he made 38 appearances, scoring one goal.
Evertonians can now purchase the new home, away or third kit with any player’s name and number on the reverse online here or in-store at Everton One and Everton Two.
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