For a club with such a current deficiency of recognised strikers, it is easy to forget how rich Everton’s heritage is in this position. In past eras, fans have been fortunate enough to witness many elite forwards don the Royal Blue shirt and accumulate some colossal goal tallies.
At the moment, if a patched up Louis Saha is unavailable, Tim Cahill is so often required to trade with defenders as a makeshift striker. With no obvious candidate for the prestigious number nine shirt since Duncan Ferguson’s retirement, it is no wonder some fans are venting their frustrations at the club's current predicaments.
In truth, and in terms of strikers, Evertonians have been experiencing a substantial lull compared to the quality that used to constantly spearhead sides at Goodison Park. With such sparse financial backing, presently there seems no obvious sign that this will change soon.
In recognition of Everton’s illustrious history, crammed full of long stints at the club by several prolific marksmen, here is an attempt to rank the best. Time at the club, surrounding circumstances and goal tallies all come into effect. Feel free to add your own version of a top ten afterwards.
Where to start? Of course, nobody in Everton’s proud archives can compete with the divine status of Dixie Dean. He was the only player to receive almost 100% of votes into Everton’s greatest team, selected in 2003, and the Toffees even erected a statue outside Goodison Park to commemorate his triumphs.
With 383 goals, including 60 league goals in one season, (a record that will surely remain in tact forever) he is one of the greatest strikers in English history, let alone Everton’s. Dean was an archetypal number nine, and was among the inaugural 22 players inducted into the English Football Hall of Fame in 2002.
Nobody has scored half as many goals for Everton as Dixie Dean. He is the Toffees' icon and he should rightly look down on all strikers to have player for Everton.
In the 2003/04 season, to mark Everton’s 125th anniversary, fans were asked to select their greatest ever team. The fact Sharp made the starting line-up alongside Dixie Dean demonstrates not only the rapport he shared with fans, but the contributions he made on the pitch.
He is Everton’s second highest goal scorer with 159 goals, and was behind several spectacular goals sure to be enshrined in the Toffees' folklore forever. A thumping finish at Anfield and several crucial goals in the trophy laden 1980s elevate Sharp above most other Everton strikers.
Alex Young (The Golden Vision)
Alex Young scored 89 goals for Everton, a tally surpassed by only 14 players in the Toffees’ history. His high placing on this list is due to the key role he played during a very successful era at the Toffees. Young also had a knack of creating most other Everton goals scored in games he played in.
Nicknamed “The Golden Vision”, Young was elected an Everton Giant in 2000, marking his role in the club's history. He was fundamental in the 1963 championship winning side, and played a pivotal role in the Toffees' FA Cup success in 1966. He was also one of eight Everton players named in a top 100 list of Football League Legends.
Another player with a goal tally not as high as some, cruelly robbed of his best years by the Second World War, yet Lawton was undeniably still a striking sensation. He managed 70 goals in 95 games for the Toffees, a strike rate that can only be bettered by Dixie Dean among top Everton finishers.
Had he been able to continue at Goodison Park in the early 1940s, he would have featured far higher on the Toffees’ top scorer charts, perhaps even claiming second overall as his own. Lawton is one of only 12 Everton players to ever have been inducted into the English Football Hall of Fame.
With 138 goals, Latchford is Everton’s third highest goal scorer of all time and he registered several impressive scoring campaigns in the late 1970s. He was the Toffees' top goal scorer five seasons in a row and his 30 league goal season in 1978 is Everton’s joint highest post-war total.
Latchford was viewed as one of the leading scorers of his generation, although his struggle to win a single trophy in his Everton career slightly tarnish his very impressive feats.
Alex “Sandy” Young
The second Alex Young to make this list, and this Alex Young is in fact Everton’s fourth highest scorer of all time with 125 goals. Young was an early twentieth century marvel who is most celebrated for scoring the winning goal in the 1906 FA Cup final. He was also Everton's top scorer for half a decade from 1903-1908.
Sixth on Everton’s all time scoring charts, apart from Dixie Dean, Vernon has the best strike rate of any of the top 15 scorers. Named in the same Top 100 list of Football League Legends as Alex Young, Vernon was captain of the glorious title winning side of 1963 and with Young, formed one of the most potent partnerships in Everton’s history.
Royle stands alone as Everton’s fifth top scorer of all time, with 119 goals. Inducted in as an Everton Giant in 2004, he was top scorer in the league winning side of 1970 at just 21 years of age. Royle was also just 16 when he first played for the Toffees and remained the club’s youngest ever player until James Vaughan beat his landmark in 2005. He also returned to the club as manager and won the side's last trophy in 1995.
Chadwick was another Everton deity from the very primitive years of football. He played in the first ever football league season becoming the Toffees' first ever top goal scorer and went on to win the championship with Everton in 1891. With 110 goals, he is one of only eight players to have reached a century of goals for the Toffees.
Finally, Hickson is the last member of this top 10. Another centurion, with 111 goals, he is cherished for his love of the club and the fearless example he set on the field during a frustrating period at Everton where the Toffees failed to win any trophies. Now in his eighties, he is still a prominent member of staff at Goodison Park.
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