Bred A Blue: Gavin McCann On Frenetic Debut Season, Playing Against Spain's Best & Life As A Coach

Gavin McCann is one of those rare breed of footballers who left Everton and later represented his country.

Our latest Bred a Blue guest played 11 times under Howard Kendall during the frenetic 1997/98 season, before leaving for Sunderland where he flourished and was selected by Sven Goran Eriksson for an England international against Spain.

McCann speaks about the experience of playing against the likes of Pep Guardiola, Luis Enrique, Iker Casillas and Raul – quipping that "they had an El Classico a week later so I think they were only at 50 per cent."

The Blackpool-born midfielder also recalls his early days at Everton when he was under the tutelage of Everton legends like John Hurst and Jimmy Gabriel, and how Neville Southall was especially good to him.


McCann’s first-team debut came at Newcastle United in September 1997 when he replaced Tony Grant late in the game, but his abiding memory is that, "Slav (Bilic) got sent-off and had a cigarette in the shower, there was smoke everywhere!"

Unable to break through on a regular basis, "Earl Barret did me in training and I cracked my ankle and missed a load of games," McCann signed for Peter Reid at Sunderland and had later spells with Aston Villa and Bolton Wanderers.

He can name Kendall, Reid, David O’Leary and Martin O’Neill amongst his managers and he’s currently a coach at Northern Premier League outfit Hyde United, where former Everton Academy and Under-21 player Manasse Mampala is one of his players.

Listen to Gavin McCann'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.

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