Vaughan: 'I Knew There Was A Pathway At Everton... That Gave Me So Much Belief'

"David Moyes was definitely very fair with me in the chances I got. I never really gave him enough consistency with fitness to rely on me but there were a couple of times where I think I was close to getting the main starting shirt." 

James Vaughan is reflecting - candidly - on why, after bursting on to the scene to become the Premier League's youngest ever goalscorer on his Everton debut in April 2005, he didn't achieve more than his 60 appearances for the Blues. 

Had he truly made the grade at Everton, Vaughan, who has retired, aged 32, would gladly have spent his entire career with the Club.


Instead, with Louis Saha and Yakubu - two strikers for whom he had the utmost respect - above him in the pecking order, Vaughan decided to "see what I could make of myself" elsewhere, first by heading out on a series of loan spells, and then by completing a permanent transfer to Norwich City in 2011. 

Vaughan went on to play for clubs including Huddersfield Town, Birmingham City, Sunderland and Wigan Athletic.

He spent his final season with League Two Tranmere Rovers – following a loan from Bradford City for the second half of 2019/20 – and scored 22 goals from 32 starts.

In the second of our Bred A Blue series, Vaughan discussed joining Everton as a six-year-old and the journey that led to him becoming the Premier League's youngest ever goalscorer a decade later. 

He explains the impact coming through Everton's ranks had on his career, relives the elation of scoring in the Blues' FA Cup semi-final penalty shootout victory over Manchester United in 2009 - "To this day, I've never had a feeling like it" - and explains why being able to tell his five-year-old son he played in the final against Chelsea brightens what was otherwise the worst day of his professional life.

Listen to Vaughan discuss all this, the guiding influence former Everton coach Andy Holden had on his development, and how his Blues upbringing meant he felt "ready" to appear in the Premier League aged 16 years and 271 days above or by clicking here

Vaughan also talks about the media scrutiny in the weeks following his record-breaking strike against Crystal Palace and why he would be delighted for another Everton graduate to take his record and experience such a rare footballing accomplishment.

"Yes, it's my record," he says. "But the effort and sacrifice I put in to get to that moment... it would be great for someone else to experience that."

To catch up on the first episode of Bred A Blue, featuring Nick Chadwick, click here