First the ballot facts: 6,142 votes were verified. Some 3,980 votes were cast via NSNO and ToffeeWeb and another 2,144 votes were recorded via postal voting. The 1,500 or so fans who voted concentrated on 10 of the 20 listed candidates. In fact, these top 10 candidates received 82% of the total votes.
To some surprise, a household name, a certain Gary Lineker, failed to make it into the top 10. There are a few others surprises. One of them resulted from a massive surge in votes over the last 48 hours of the ballot which influenced the standing of one candidate. His identity will be revealed in the very near future.
Of course, there was one clear leader. Hail Duncan Ferguson! Despite a career punctuated by controversy and injury, Duncan led the Hall of Fame ballot throughout the month of December. He picked up 68% of the votes available to him.
This emphatic endorsement cements his place in the club's history. For a dozen years or more, Duncan was the soul of Everton. His distinctive style plus his aerial dominance was the answer to Gwladys Street's prayers. He was the most powerful player of his age and arguably the most difficult players to defend against. His brilliance made our hearts pound, his ill-discipline made them murmur.
Ferguson was Everton's record signing and his rare talents warranted more than a 1995 FA Cup winner's medal. He made 250 appearances, scored 78 goals and earned eight red cards. The striker's contribution from the bench was pivotal in Everton's campaign as were his match–winning goals. He enjoys the distinction of the Scottish player to haver netted the most goals in the FA Premier League. Also renown for his ability to fight crime, when two men attempted to burgle his home in 2001, Big Dunc is respected also as one of the most generous people in football.
Now, the task facing Brian Snagg and Roger Kenyon, the organizers of the Hall of Fame Dinner, is to lure him from the Majorca sunshine in March. That may not be too difficult because it will provide him with a rare opportunity to thank the loyal Evertonians who stood by him during incarceration, injuries and other controversies. Hail Duncan Ferguson!
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