The Story Of The Blues: Unexpected Hobbies

Everton players have had some particularly interesting extra-curricular interests over the years. Here are a few of them...

Duncan Ferguson - Racing Pigeons

Starting with perhaps the most famous non-football hobby from an Everton player, Duncan Ferguson became a fan of homing pigeons during his childhood years.

The former striker kept his beloved birds throughout his playing career and even took them to Majorca following his retirement from the game in 2006.

However, after returning to the Club to become a coach, the pigeons had to go.

“I’ve given them up to do the coaching,” Ferguson explained, back in 2013. “I've had to because coaching is every day, full on, and this is my life now.

“I’m working as hard as I possibly can to become a good coach.

"I loved the pigeons from when I was a kid and I was always in clubs. I even brought them down to Liverpool.

"It was my hobby but there’s no time for it anymore."

Dixie Dean - Greyhound Racing

Everton's greatest-ever goalscorer once owned - and raced - a greyhound.

He acquired the dog, called Poor Pat (allegedly taken from the Irish song Poor Pat Must Emigrate), in October 1927 - the beginning of his record-breaking season of scoring 60 league goals in a single campaign.

Poor Pat’s 500-yard dash at the Stanley greyhound stadium on Prescot Road generated some column inches in Trapper’s Talk, a popular section of the Liverpool Echo, at the time. 

In the build-up to the race, Dean was pictured taking Pat on a practice run over the jumps. He was accompanied by Everton winger Ted Critchley, who was doing the same with his greyhound, Double Reel. 

Unfortunately, Pat's success on the track wasn't comparable to Dean's on the football pitch - but that didn't stop the Blues great retaining an interest in the sport.

George Wood - Bird Watching

Back to birds with former goalkeeper George Wood, who made 126 appearances for the Toffees between 1977 and 1980.

When asked by a journalist who in the world he would most like to meet, the Scotland international replied Desmond Nethersole-Thompson, who was a famous ornithologist.

Picked for his national team for the 1982 World Cup in Spain, Wood spoke of his excitement at the opportunity to see some of the native raptor species.

Mike Pejic - Farming

Pejic, a tough, athletic left-back, joined Everton from Stoke City in 1976.

During his time with the Potters, Pejic held another job outside of football, running a farm near Leek, Staffordshire.

Brian Labone - Stamp Collecting

Labelled by former manager Harry Catterick as "the last of the Corinthians", Labone is a true Everton Giant who made 534 appearances for the Blues (the record for an outfield player).

A Rolls Royce of a centre-back, Labone captained the Club to league titles in 1962/63 and 1969/70, as well as lifting the FA Cup in 1966.

Away from football, Labone enjoyed collecting stamps!