[Season Diary]

April 2003

If it happened and it was Everton-related, it's right here in the comprehensive Season Diary.
Items are in reverse chronological order (more recent first). 

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 April 2003

News Headlines & Features

Kevin McLeod hopeful of new contract
30 Apr - Kevin McLeod is one of the Everton fringe players we have tracked with interest over the last few seasons as he has tried and largely failed to break in to David Moyes's first-team squad.  With his current contract due to expire at the end of the season, a decision on the player, who is having a successful loan spell at Second Division QPR, will be a signal of Moyes's intent either to breed his youngsters for the future, or to look elsewhere for more proven talent.

Lies, damned lies and statistics
29 Apr - How do you go about comparing one season with the next?  Phil Roberts has come up with a bizarre procedure wherby he deliberately excludes the best spell of Everton results in a decade, and then uses the resulting censored data-set to demonstrate that we are no better off than last season!  Phil, don't be a daft sod.  There is an adage in football that is as simple as it is true: the table does not lie.  Don't go messing with it, will ya!

Calling that Nice Mr Moyes
28 Apr - Despite the slightly fortunate victory over Aston Villa, question marks still hover over Everton's midfield and attack, so Leon Osman (2 goals) and Nick Chadwick (1) are continuing to knock very loudly at the door of the first team with the goals that gave Everton Reserves a handsome 3-1 win in the "mini derby" against Liverpool. Tobias Linderoth played 47 minutes before being substituted in favour of Stephen Schumacher while Alessandro Pistone played the full 90. Report from Steve Milne

Last-gasp Wonderkid Wondergoal
25 Apr - It all came down to a wonderfully opportunistic strike by The Boy deep into added time as Everton had struggled to really put anything solid together despite being given lots of space and time on the ball in a very open, very mid-table, very end-of-season game.  Everton were stung just after half-time when poor defending let Allback in at the far post.  Moyes then threw on Ferguson but it was his partner Campbell who got on the end of Naysmith's only decent cross, hammering home a classic header, and setting up a long second-half struggle that looked for all the world like it would end in a disappointing draw.  And then just when his manager was considering taking him off... ROONEY!!!!!!

Ripe for a Reshuffle
24 Apr - With three games to go and the wheels threatening to come off Everton's season, David Moyes has to come up with something to try and re-energise his squad and stave off the challenge of Blackburn for the last remaining UEFA Cup place. Lyndon Lloyd argues that, just like last season, Moyes should inject some youth into the team and make use of the Reserves' top two performers: Leon Osman and Nick Chadwick. After all, despite their inexperience, neither could be worse than some of the current first team incumbents.

Toffee Pages
23 Apr - It's been an idea long in germination, but we are now proud to give a plug to the excellent concept of ToffeePages.  No, it is not a new unofficial fan website of fanzine; this is a unique venture spearheaded by Frank Hargreaves to promote the idea that Evertonians in business should get together and pool their resources.  It's early days yet, but the first issue is being distributed at the last three home games of the season.  Get your copy and, if you have a business, get involved!

A yawning gulf in class
21 Apr - Everton's faltering Champions League challenge was emphatically crushed by a fluid Chelsea at Stamford Bridge despite the midfield changes rung by David Moyes. Playing in all black they started reasonably well, but Chelsea capitalised when Weir slipped giving Gudjohnsen acres of space to open the scoring from short range.  Everton responded with spirit but no product and Hasselbaink scored a weird headed goal soon after half time. Immediate subs by Moyes aimed to change the game but another avoidable goal and an audacious fourth goal by Zola sealed Everton's fate. Lee Carsley scored a well-worked consolation but Moyes's side's shortcomings were brutally exposed.
Match report by Lyndon Lloyd

Dead wood cost us dear
20 Apr - After the most dismal derby display from Everton in years, in what was hyped to the hilt as the most important derby in years, reactions are inevitable.  Nick Armitage contends that the serious limitations of certain players were cruelly and mercilessly exposed — and probably not for the last time! He says that we have sorely missed Hibbert, Pistone and Radzinsli, with the dead wood remants of Walter Smith's squad bringing us to our knees. 

Poor Everton succumb to depleted Reds
19 Apr - After a frantic opening Campbell had a header cleared off the line but bad defending allowed Michael Owen in and he scored after half an hour.  The second half started as scrappily as the first but when Carragher clattered Naysmith in the area, the referee pointed to the spot and David Unsworth made no mistake to equalise.  Liverpool responded positively, though, and were ahead again within minutes, Danny Murphy driving home spectacularly from 25 yards.  David Weir and Gary Naysmith were sent off second bookable offences in the last 10 mins with the second equaliser nowhere in sight.  Report from Richard Marland.

Punching the Gift Horse in the Mouth
19 Apr - They couldn't have asked for more help or more incentive.  Chelsea, Newcastle and Blackburn all lost.  Liverpool were stripped of their first-choice central defence and lost another defender just 10 minutes into this season's Goodison derby.  But Everton, just when they needed all the determination and guile they've shown for much of the campaign, let themselves down with a poor display and ended the game with 9 men on the end of a desperately disappointing 2-1 defeat.

Said departs Goodison
15 Apr - Egyptian international Ibrahim Said has left Everton by mutual consent after a three month loan spell at Goodison Park.  Originally taken on by David Moyes on trial last summer, the defender was signed on loan in January as cover for Tony Hibbert.  His contract was cancelled supposedly to allow Said to return to Cairo and attend to his ailing mother.  However, Said made half a dozen reserve appearances, and was judged by David Moyes to be not good enough for thr Premiership.

The Greatest of them All
13 Apr - Last week, the celebrations of Everton's fine history continued with another special dinner event — this time in recognition of Alan Ball, who was for many Evertonians the greatest player to ever wear the Royal Blue shirt of Everton.  Ian MacDonald was once again in attendance to capture the atmosphere and anecdotes that made up this unique appreciation of Everton's superb Ball of Fire.

Moyes's boys get the job done
12 Apr - Kevin Campbell scored his first goal since December to earn Everton a priceless victory at The Hawthorns with his strike just before half time.  Not for the first time this season, the Blues had to come from behind to earn the win.  Alan Stubbs was pushed into the ball but adjudged to have handled in the area after 17 minutes and Igor Balis scored the resulting penalty.  Everton's response was swift and five minutes later they were level when Cambell got in front of Hoult with a header from a corner that found the net to make it 1-1.  The home side missed some clear chances, one an open goal from six yards out and Campbell made them pay by firing home Wayne Rooney's square pass.

Kings Dock dream is officially dead
11 Apr - It was a grandiose and ambitious proposal befitting the stature of Everton Football Club, and for a while it looked a disctinct possibility... But today the club, citing rising constructions costs, have announced that the dream of a state-of-the-art stadium and arena on the banks of the Mersey is officially over. Liverpool Vision will be pressing on with a smaller proposal for the prestigious waterfront site while Everton must look at other alternatives for their home stadium.

125th Anniversary Season Strip
7 Apr - Everton have officially unveiled the kit for next season, the club's 125th anniversary, on the Official website. A newly designed 1960s-esque home shirt will be launched on 8th May and if you order via the online Megastore by 1st May, you'll get your new shirt by the launch date. Pre-orders start tomorrow (8th April) and the Blues will also be playing in the new home strip for the final game of the season against Manchester United. An accompanying amber away strip will be launched on 10th July and a silver-grey third kit on 14th August. View photos.
What do you think of the new home shirt? Vote.

China trip is OFF
7 Apr - Everton have called off their trip to China at the end of May, which would have seen them compete for the Kejian Challenge Cup against Aston Villa, Shandong, and Shenzhen.  Well-founded fears over SARS, which has now killed 23 people in Canada, have led to the decision in an effort to protect the helath of the players, club officials, and supporters.  According to the BBC, Chinese authorities knew of the disease back in November but kept it quiet to avoid panic setting in.

Determined Everton back into 5th
6 Apr - The talk will be about the decision to award the penalty that David Unsworth rammed home as the decisive goal but in actuality it was justice done for other incidents in this game that didn't go Everton's way, most notably Andy O'Brien's deliberate handball to deny Rooney's run on goal that might have drawn a red card on another day. Wayne Rooney nodded home the opening goal off David Weir's flick after 18 minutes but a Laurent Robert wonder strike levelled matters going into half time. It was 2-1 after an hour, though. Campbell fell under Woodgate's challenge, referee Barry pointed to the spot and Unsworth blasted home from 12 yards.

Plaudits pour in
3 Apr - It is hardly surprising that all the talk this morning is about Wayne Rooney's performance for England against Turkey last night.  Rooney was excellent, showing that he has the maturity of mind to match the prodigious skills he brings to the football field at the highest level.  The decision to start him was made as early as last Sunday by Eriksson et al, though Rooney didn't find out until only a few hours before the game. 

Moving on to Plan B
2 Apr - With the Kings Dock financing fiasco finally running its course, Everton have been considering alternatives for constructing a new stadium.  No sites have been named as yet, but the rumours suggest that these will be on the outskirts of, or even outside the City of Liverpool.  Redevelopment of Goodison is apparently still a non-starter, raising concerns that Everton will now end up moving to a cheap Pride Park or a Reebok Stadium lookalike out in the sticks, rather than a prime city-centre state-of-the-art venue worthy of the Club's name and motto.

A day late and a dollar short
1 Apr - Quoting unnamed sources, the Daily Post is surmising that Everton's last-minute submission, claiming they have been able to raise their £30M share of the original £155M stadium cost, plus a further £35M to cover cost increases, is effectively a face-saving tactic to placate the fans.  Recriminations will probably be muted as there is little the fans can do other than mourn the passing of such a golden opportunity.


Snippets & Rumours

Gravesen on target for Denmark
30 Apr - Once again displaying his Dr Jekyll for Denmark to his Mr Hyde at Goodison, Thomas Gravesen scored the only goal as the Danes beat the Ukraine in a friendly tonight.

Scots crumble again
30 Apr - Gary Naysmith and Scot Gemmill did little to help avoid another dismal performance by Scotland, who bombed 0-2 to Austria in front a seething Hampden Park crowd of just 12,189.

New Commercial Manager
30 Apr - Everton have announced the appointment of New Brighton Rugby Club Director, Alistair Saverimutto, as their new Commercial Manager.

Shrews down Rats out
30 Apr - Shrewsbury Town knocked Everton out of the F.A. Cup, but couldn't halt a slide that eventually saw them lose their League status. They've now lost ex-Everton hero Kevin Ratcliffe as their manager as well.

Harvey Testimonial: Parma
29 Apr - Colin Harvey is to be honoured with a special Blueblood testimonial game in which Parma from the Italian Serie A will be the opponents at Goodison Park on 10 August 2003.

Fulham game on beamback
28 Apr - Everton have announced that the penultimate game of the season at Fulham will be beamed back live to Goodison Park on Saturday.  Entrance by ticket only.

Clarke returns from Vale
28 Apr - It hasn't been labelled a crisis yet, but the growing number of injuries has led to Peter Clarke cutting short his stay at Second Division Port Vale and returning to Everton.

Rooney pipped by Jenas
27 Apr - In a field of hot talent, Wayne Rooney and many poeple's favourite, John O'Shea, were edged out of the PFA Young Player of the Year award by Newcastle's Jermaine Jenas. Thierry Henry picked up Player of Year.

Ferguson in possible trouble ... again
26 Apr - Nothing has been confirmed yet, but the BBC is reporting that the FA could decide to study video evidence of Duncan Ferguson's stray elbow hitting Villa's Gudjonsson. Some things never change!

Moyes to meet Eriksson
25 Apr - England boss Sven Goran Eriksson will be meeting ten Premiership managers, including David Moyes, next week to discuss the club-versus-country issue. Moyes obviously has concerns about the level of future involvement of Wayne Rooney in the senior England team.

Gravesen cleared over Bernard tackle
25 Apr - The FA will not be charging Thomas Gravesen for the clumsy tackle on Olivier Bernard that had Alan Shearer spouting forth all sorts of hypocritical nonsense. Perhaps our new status among the Premiership elite has removed us from the blacklist!

Clarke's loan is also extended
25 Apr - Peter Clarke is to continue playing for Port Vale until the end of the season, cementing a pattern for David Moyes that the farming out of young players (McLeod, Chadwick, Osman) is less a strategy to give them experience — more a sign that they simply aren't good enough for his first-team squad.

Top of the table
25 Apr - Everton are the most improved in the Premiership.  No big surprise there, but the creators of the table that proves it show that, when they started the project in November, the chance of a top-seven place for Everton was already 30 per cent.  The new table shows, however, that they genuinely have become a much stronger side.

Radzinski likely to sit out again
25 Apr - David Moyes's is cautioning that Tomasz Radzinski is unlikely to be ready to face Aston Villa tomorrow, meaning that Wayne Rooney will make a sixth successive start for the Blues despite the manager's desire to give him a rest.

Internationals nark Moyes
24 Apr - David Moyes will lose most of his midfield players during the buildup for the penultimate game of the season at Fulham next week after Carsley, Gravesen and Gemmill (plus Naysmith, who is suspended) were called up for International duty in midweek friendlies.

At least somebody's had a good week
24 Apr - Ex-blue Brian McBride was named Major League Soccer (MLS) Player of the Week for the week ending April 20. This is the fourth time he's won the award.

QPR extend McLeod loan
23 Apr - Kevin McLeod will stay with Second Division Queens Park Rangers until the end of the season following an extension of his loan deal.

More injury troubles for Hibbo
23 Apr - In Tony Hibbert's brief return to first-team action on Monday, he picked up a nasty gash on the ankle that needed stitches, and could be doubtful for Saturday's game with Aston Villa.

Wayne: Footballing Intellect
23 Apr - Our kid Wayne hasn't been able to shake off defenders too well in the last couple of games, but this long piece in The Times talks about his "kinaesthetic intelligence" when doing what he does on the pitch.

Rooney won't be charged for spitting
23 Apr - Despite the best efforts of small-minded Liverpool fans to get him into legal trouble, Merseyside police have dismissed charges that Wayne Rooney spat at visiting fans during Saturday's derby based on video evidence.

Reserves beaten at Boro
22 Apr - A fairly young reserves team went down 3-1 at the Riverside Stadium tonight, Chadwick scoring the Everton goal — his fifth in five...

Brian Viner in the Independent
21 Apr - Everton's favourite journalist, Brian Viner, has a great story about his son being the Everton mascot in Saturday's derby match.

Rooney in spitting probe
21 Apr - Wayne Rooney is facing an investigation that he spat in front of Liverpool fans during the derby game. A police spokesman said "We will be making enquiries as soon as possible and liaising with both clubs".

More on Moyes
21 Apr - This Times article doesn't offer up much new stuff about David Moyes, but it is pleasing to see the young Scoyt still getting plenty of flattering press.

Moyes hates to lose
20 Apr - This piece from the Sporting Life shows how David Moyes hates to lose.  Acknowledging all the glaring faults that cost Everton the game, he still feels "we didn't deserve to go away from the derby with nothing."

Red mist descends
19 Apr - Red cards for Naysmith and Weir, the 6th and 7th of the season for Everton (most ever?), will see both players suspended for the game at Fulham.  David Weir will also miss the last game of the season against Man Utd as this was his second dismissal.

Will he stay or will he go now?
19 Apr - With the recently departed Ibrahim Said using the excuse of family problems (in his case a sick mother) to leave Everton, could Joseph Yobo use the same excuse to make his exit?

2 days could transform our season
19 Apr - While admitting that Chelsea remain strong favourites to clinch the fourth Champions League berth, this article in The Independent puts today's game in the perspective of a "face-off for a [potential] £15m prize." 6 points for the Blues by Monday would throw the race wide open.

Paint your face Blue
19 Apr - Artistes from the world-rekowned Everton Independent Supporters Association will be providing free face painting for Junior Blues at the Megastore from 1pm on Saturday.

Mersey Derby Fever
18 Apr -
Big Nev Weighs in on Derby
Unsworth Ready to Live the Dream
Radzinski Eyes Derby Recall
Ratcliffe: Pressure is on Reds
Moyes's Miracle on Merseyside
Stubbs Turns Up the Heat

Why the derby matters
18 Apr - The Beeb gives its take on why "Saturday's match between Everton and Liverpool at Goodison Park is more than just another game between two of the biggest rivals in British football". Also, get your blood pumping for the derby with this rare article of quality from Football365.

Get your Everton-related number plate
18 Apr - If you fancy sporting either EFC 89A (£299 + VAT) or EFC 106A (£150 + VAT) on your motor, head over to www.r4v.co.uk.

There but for fortune (or Mr Moyes!)
18 Apr - Ex-Everton goalie Thomas Myhre is one of three Sunderland players who have been invited to find other clubs as the impact of relegation hits home.  And other saleable assets include Gavin McCann — estimated fee of around £1.5M.

Everton's chance for Europe
18 Apr - According to The Times Predictor, Everton have a 78% chance of winning a Uefa Cup slot, but the Champions League place has almost disappeared at a paltry 4%.

Entering the final phase [Link Fixed]
18 Apr - With the build-up to tomorrow's massive derby game reaching a frenzy, Sean Watson has taken time out to review and summarize the issues concerning our soft centre: the midfield.

Other Side of the Said Saga
17 Apr - Ibrahim Said's story about his sick mother is beginning to look a bit suspect after he wanted to get straight back into action at his old Cairo club, Al Ahly.

Hoult own-goal decision
17 Apr - The Dubious Goals panel of the FA have decided that Russel Hoult punched the ball into his own net for Everton's equalizer at West Brom (er... not on 18 Jan???), denying Kevin Campbell his 11th goal of the season (Weir didn't even touch it).

Six of the best
17 Apr - The Post comes up with six of the best derby games over recent years. Of course none of them matter as much as the next one, but then again they never do, do they!

Another accolade for Wayne
16 Apr - PFA Young Player of the Year? Sounds like a shoe-in. Pick a suit, find some gum, and start that interview training now!

They don't come much bigger
16 Apr - The biggest derby since Joe Royle's first game in charge, maybe even the most important since '89 Cup Final or the Championship season of 1986/87, Saturday's clash with Liverpool is going to be a massive game.

Remembering a fallen Blue in Iraq
16 Apr - As we gear ourselves up for the battle against the Reds, this tribute to an Everton fan who lost his life recently in Iraq reminds us that it is just a game and that there is a Brother in Blue who won't be watching the events of this Easter weekend unfold.

Reserves downed by Barcodes
15 Apr - A Reserves side featuring Duncan Ferguson, Niclas Alexandersson, Nick Chadwick and Leon Osman lost 2-1 at home to a strong Newcastle side. Chadwick scored the Blues' goal from Osman's cross. Steve Milne provides his report .

Saturday's ref is Paul Durkin
15 Apr - Refs are never liked but this season seems to have seen an increase in glaring mistakes and justified criticsm of referees at the highest levels.  So the appointment of Paul Durkin to take charge of the derby is generally welcomed.

Sharpy comes through for young Blue
14 Apr - When the grandfather of a young Blue who recently lost his fight against serious illness found the Megastore empty of shirts in which to bury the lad, Graeme Sharp and the club came through and typified the spirit that seems to lie at the very heart of Everton FC.

Moyes wants FA hearing
14 Apr - David Moyes has made it clear to the FA that he expects a hearing in which to present his case against what he feels was an unjust dismissal from the dugout at The Hawthorns on Saturday. He categorically denies using 'foul and abusive language' and exhibiting 'inproper behaviour'.

Taking lessons from Mad Dog?
14 Apr - Joe-Max Moore's first game in the MLS since leaving Goodison in December ended badly when he was shown a straight red card less than 10 minutes after coming on as a substitute for New England Revolution.

Campbell claims both goals
13 Apr - He admits he didn't know much about it, but Kevin Campbell says he got the last touch in Everton's first goal against West Brom.  "The 'keeper has come out for the first one and punched the ball, it's hit the back of my head and gone in."  Replays show Weir missed the ball completely, so we're giving it to SuperKev.

Moyes in bother
13 Apr - David Moyes could face disciplinary action from the FA following his removal from the technical area after 38 minutes for 'foul and abusive language and improper behaviour' in the West Brom game yesterday.

McLeod brace for QPR
12 Apr - Kevin McLeod continues to impress at the Second Division level, scoring two to keep QPR in line for a play-off place. Peter Clarke also helped Port Vale secure a late win over Northampton.

More than just Rooney to Everton
12 Apr - A good article in the Birmingham Post in which West Brom players and their manager recognise there's more to Everton than just one wonderkid. "They are a good side all the way through and they deserve to be where they are in the league because they have been very consistent from day one."

Campbell effuses
12 Apr - The oldest member of the Everton squad, Kevin Campbell, says of the youngest member, Wayne Rooney, "It's a joy and a tremendous privilege to play alongside someone so gifted".

Jeffers compares Rooney to Henry
11 Apr - Wisely restricting any comparisons to himself and Rooney to their background, ex-blue Jeffers says our Wayne reminds him a lot of Thierry Henry.

Reserves see off Wednesday
10 Apr - A reserves team chock full of young players ran out comfortable 3-0 winners over Sheffield Wednesday at The Halton Stadium in Widnes thanks to two goals by Nick Chadwick and one by Michael Symes.  Click the headline to read Steve Milne's report.

Mad Dog's fate in FA's hands
10 Apr - Whether or not any action is taken against Thomas Gravesen for his tackle on Olivier Bernard is now up to the FA after Newcastle opted not to lodge a formal complaint and referee Neale Barry omitted any mention of the incident from his report to the governing body.

Rooney's house hit by vandals
10 Apr - Having had the family car tyres slashed last November, vandals have now attacked the Rooney Family house with a paintball gun. Wayne Rooney snr., said "We are not going to report it to police. There's nothing we can do." Dixie's statue at Goodison was also hit this week with the same green paint — perhaps the numbskulls think we won't guess they're Liverpool fans if they don't use red paint.

Norwegians want Everton in Europe
10 Apr - Tobias Linderoth's old team Stabaek are hoping that Everton will finish high enough in the Premiership to play in Europe next season. They are due a bonus payment of £250,000 as a result of clause they insisted on when Everton bought the player.

Radz could be fit to face Baggies
9 Apr - Tomasz Radzinski has made such a rapid recovery from his groin strain that he could be ready to face West Bromwich Albion at The Hawthorns on Saturday — 2 weeks earlier than expected.

Rooney needs no cosseting
9 Apr - Brian Granville, who writes for World Soccer, maintains that England would have lost the Turkey game without Wayne Rooney, and that Moyes's continued protection of the boy is now "absurd."

Rodrigo's dream
9 Apr - He's been injured all year, but Rodrigo is hoping to make a first team come back before the season ends. "Our final game is against Manchester United at Goodison and it would be a dream to be ready and picked to play." David Moyes might have other ideas depending on what there's to play for.

Gazza: Learn from my mistakes
9 Apr - Paul Gascoigne has some advice for Wayne Rooney, 'Be careful, enjoy your football and don't change anything for anybody. Learn from my mistakes and you'll be one of the greatest players of all time.'

Another classic night
8 Apr - Ian MacDonald was privileged to attend yet another special Everton function — a BlueNose fundraising dinner for the WellCare charity, with Howard Kendall the guest speaker.

Had enough of Len Capeling?
8 Apr - For any Everton fans who still bother to read Len Capeling's bile in the Daily Post, fan Peter Fearon suggests that it's time to boycott his paper.

Joe-Max Moore interview
8 Apr - In an interview with Soccer365 Joe Max-Moore talks about his time in the Premiership and playing in the Everton team. "I really enjoyed my time there. I wouldn’t change it for the world."

Reserves lose at Sunderland
7 Apr - A relatively young team that included Niclas Alexandersson could do little against a Sunderland side who ran out 2-0 winners.

Battle for the Champions League
7 Apr - Your guide to the end of season run-in for the four clubs chasing Arsenal and United and battling it out for Champions League qualification is right here. Track our rivals' remaining games side by side with our unique guide.

Player of the Month — March
7 Apr - It's that time of month again, but picking a PotM for March (the first month this season where we didn't register a win) won't be an easy task. Have a go, here.

FA request ref's report on Gravesen
7 Apr - Thomas Gravesen could face disciplinary action from the FA for his clumsy challenge on Olivier Bernard that has got the Barcode-sympathising media in a frenzy.

Shearer labels Gravesen a 'coward'
7 Apr - Alan Shearer branded Thomas Gravesen a coward after the latter's tackle on Olivier Bernard, conveniently ignoring his own blatant studs-up indiscretion against Richard Wright.  "It is a challenge that could finish a player's career.  It should have been a straight red and everyone could see it."

The Moyes story
6 Apr - The Observer has a two-part story on the real Everton hero of the season - David Moyes. Click on the headline for part one, and here for part two. If you're reading this on Sunday morning, print it out, make a cup of tea, get back into bed and wallow!

Wayne's Mum
6 Apr - Not content on focussing on the football side of Wayne's Rooney life, the tabloids are already running stories about his family. This one in the Daily Mirror is about the strength of Wayne Rooney's Mum's character.

Rooneymania around the world
6 Apr - In an age when the Internet rules - at least for lightning fast access to information - it is no surprise that Rooneymania has swept the world. Here's another article in which a Turkish opponent waxes lyrical about that mazy run at the Stadium of Light - "I've seen Zinedine Zidane do it, I've seen Gheorghe Hagi do it, but, with them, you almost expect it. With Rooney, I had no idea he was going to even try that, much less pull it off".

Toon's Duncan Edwards, now a Blue
5 Apr - In this interview in the Guardian Steve Watson reveals that a rash goalie once made a rash statement comparing him to Duncan Edwards. He spoils it a bit by adding, "I wasn't even clued up enough to know who Duncan Edwards was".

Why oh 'Y'?
4 Apr - Shops around the country have been caught short of the letter 'Y' to be put on the back of the hottest selling England shirt - that with Rooney on the back. Let's hope much maligned Everton shop doesn't have the same problem.

Wayne Rooney Fan Club
4 Apr - No, this isn't the official (or unofficial for that matter) fan club, but a bunch of quotes from seasoned professionals gathered together by the Electronic Telegraph. Peter Reid, for example, says "I thought he was the best player on the pitch against a very good side. When he came off, even I stood up. That's how good I thought he was".

Moyes: Don't take Rooney to South Africa
4 Apr - David Moyes has made a strong plea for Wayne Rooney to be left behind when England make their trip to South Africa at the end of the season, saying "We have to protect him from over-exposure."

First the gush, then the fear
4 Apr - So everyone from the press up to the man in the street has been gushing about Rooney upping the wattage at the Stadium of Light. Now, the inevitable "we have to be careful how we treat him" articles are appearing in the same press that will undoubtedly flash their knives the moment a blip appears on the wunderkind's career. This Times Online article talks about Moyes's misgivings on the same subject.

Cleland goes into management
3 Apr - Former Everton defender Alex Cleland has been appointed assistant manager at Scottish 3rd Division side East Fife. He says, "I'm delighted to be back in Scottish football and it's a great opportunity for me".

Kejian Challenge Cup
3 Apr - Amidst fears over the SARS outbreak in China and Hong Kong, Kejian have gone ahead with a press-launch for a mini-tourney in which Everton and Aston Villa will each play Chinese teams Shandong and Shenzhen at the end of May.

100 Seasons Gala Dinner
3 Apr - It's late and it's long, but this report on a unique night of Everton celebrations as witnessed by the head and the heart of Ian MacDonald, makes an absolutely wonderful read.

China trip in doubt
2 Apr - Fears of a growing SARS epedemic in Asia are now threatening Everton's plan to play a couple of games in Shenzhen towards the end of May.

More Yobo Contract Confusion
2 Apr - Andy Hunter in the Daily Post is doing his best to explain that Joseph Yobo has signed an agreement but he hasn't actually signed a contract...  Go figure!

The clamour for Rooney continues
2 Apr - In an article which is as amusing for the abuse poured on former England manager Glenn Hoddle, the Daily Mirror says the current England boss has nothing to lose by selecting Wayne Rooney to start tonight's game against Turkey.

Reserves fall to Villa
1 Apr - Duncan Ferguson played 77 mins against on Aston Villa at the Halton Stadium tonight, but could not stop the Villians walking off with a 2-1 wi, Nick Chadwick getting the late consolation goal.

Bend it like Unsworth
1 Apr - It may sound suspiciously like an April Fool's gag, but the Chinese film director Zhang Yimou says he is working on a script for a film about Everton defender David Unsworth.