- Born: 15/11/1983
- Birthplace: Alphen aan den Rijn, Netherlands
- Nationality: Dutch
- Apps/ Goals: 122 (24) / 6
- Debut: 13/09/2009 v Fulham (A)
Dutch international John Heitinga was Everton's fourth signing of the summer in 2009.
The defender arrived from Atletico Madrid for an initial fee of £6m, penning a five-year contract.
Despite being only 25 when he signed, Heitinga brought a wealth of experience with him, having played for Ajax as well as Spanish giants Atletico Madrid.
He's also one of Holland's most experienced defenders, heading towards 100 caps and occasionally captaining his country before switching to the Toffees.
He was at Ajax's famous academy for most of his childhood before making his debut aged 17. Once established, he was a regular for the Amsterdam side and spent five years playing alongside Steven Pienaar before the South African left for Dortmund.
During his time in Holland, Heitinga won the league twice and the KNVB Cup - the Dutch equivalent of the FA Cup - three times.
John was voted Holland's player of the year in 2008 and went on to join Atletico from Ajax in the summer of that year for a fee of €10m, featuring regularly for the Spaniards before moving to Merseyside.
Heitinga made his debut at Fulham in September and played his first few games in midfield before reverting to the centre of defence.
Making 35 appearances in all competitions - and was cup-tied for Europe - Heitinga became a firm fans' favourite with his tenacious and full-blooded displays.
He suffered an ankle injury during the 2-2 draw at Aston Villa in April 2010, but returned for the final game of the season at home to Portsmouth.
In the summer of 2010, Heitinga played a crucial role in helping Holland to the World Cup final before they eventually lost 1-0 to Spain.
Heitinga played in all seven matches for Bert van Marwijk's side at the heart of the Dutch defence and became the first Everton player since Ray Wilson in 1966 to play in a World Cup final.
It took him a while to get going in 2010/11 but the highlight was definitely his maiden Toffees goal against Birmingham - the Dutchman sending a powerful sidefoot effort into the top corner from outside the box.
Heitinga was Everton's Player of the Season for 2011/12 before representing the Netherlands in their disappointing European Championship campaign.
The defender endured a tough 2012/13 season that was made no easier by the form of fellow centre-backs Phil Jagielka and Sylvain Distin.
There was a moment of real joy, however, when Heitinga fired in a late winner at Bolton in the FA Cup fourth round.
He was back among the goals the following January in an FA Cup fourth round win over Stevenage. But having played only five times that campaign, Heitinga was allowed to leave the Club and joined Fulham on a free transfer on deadline day less than a week later.