Our latest Bred A Blue podcast guest is Shrewsbury Town defender Matthew Pennington.
Pennington came through the ranks at Everton to play nine games for the first team – scoring a memorable goal in a Merseyside derby at Anfield.
"It was a corner and I was told to block one of their players so Jags could get a run at the ball, but the ball landed inside the six-yard box and I just put it in!"
He recalls his early days with the Blues, when he managed to successfully balance his football with his education, and his youth international career when he counted Jordan Pickford, Nathan Redmond and James Ward-Prowse as his England colleagues.
It was Roberto Martinez who gave Pennington his Everton debut, but the youngster was substituted at half-time after the Blues made a dreadful start to a League Cup tie at Barnsley!
Pennington was impressed by the Spaniard from the day he took charge at Everton.
"He said ‘hello Matthew’ to me and I thought to myself, ‘how does he know my name? He’s only just started’ but that showed the class that Martinez had."
Pennington reveals that he thought he was in a good position to really push on when he signed a three-year deal under Marco Silva in 2018 but expresses his frustration at not getting another opportunity after putting pen to paper.
He also talks about the disappointment of Wembley 2016 when he thought he was going to play some part in the FA Cup semi-final against Manchester United.
"I was recalled from a loan at Walsall and I was convinced I was going to start," he says. "But Besic started at right-back…and he’s not a right-back! But it might have been a blessing in disguise because Martial was really, really good that day!"
After several loan spells, Pennington left Everton in 2021 and he recalls the emotion he felt before and after his final Under-23s match, when he knew his time was up and that he wouldn’t wear the Royal Blue jersey again.
Now a regular with League One Shrewsbury, Pennington is enjoying his football and he makes for an articulate and interesting Bred a Blue guest.
Have a listen – and learn what Matthew Pennington in 2017 and Joe Blythe in 1900 have done for Everton that no other player in our history has ever managed.
Listen to Matthew Pennington's Bred a Blue story here or in the player below.
To catch up on other episodes of Bred A Blue, featuring guests including John Lundstram, Keith Southern and Paul Tait, click here.