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Big Dunc: A few home truths

By Mark Hanson :  25/11/2010 :  Comments (51) :
Editor's Note:  This is a tremendous interview with longtime Echo Journalist David Prentice, provided to us by Mark Hanson, to whom we are incredibly indebted.

So, first question, on the Duncan issue where do you stand ? friend or foe!

I?m a journalist so it was quite difficult to get to know Duncan. Interestingly, the first dealing I ever had with him was when he was on loan and we played Portsmouth away in a midweek cup game, where he made his Everton debut (October 1994). After the game, the team was staying in the hotel for the rest of the week as we had Southampton away on the Saturday.

A few of the players were in the hotel bar having a few drinks, including Duncan, and I joined them.  At that point, Duncan didn?t know I was a journalist so he was quite friendly!  He?d picked up an ankle injury that night and was sat back in a chair with ice strapped to his ankle while enjoying a few pints.  I asked him if he fancied staying at Goodison and he was adamant that he didn?t, it was just a loan spell and he was verrrrry much a Rangers player.

The other thing that stood out was Ian Snodin and David Burrows having a long-running banter session that got serious.  They were having a go at each other about their respective performances at Fratton Park that night but when Burrows expressed surprise that Snods had got anywhere near the England team, Snodin lamped him and there was a fist-fight!

Ferguson was reclined with a pint and his ankle in ice, looking for all the world like an emperor holding court, and not the least bit perturbed by his two team mates scrapping.

So you?re saying that Duncan took a while to get settled in at Goodison, not love at first sight?

Duncan is a complex character and I think he needs to be loved and appreciated.  I genuinely think that it was the reaction to his performance in the 2-0 derby win (November 1994) and the way the fans took to him that made him think there could be something special for him here.  I think it was that that made him want to sign for the club on a permanent basis.

OK, what?s your take on his relationship with the various Everton mangers, three of them made him captain?

Howard Kendall ? There was a real mutual admiration.  Kendall is a renowned man-manager and knew which buttons to press to get Duncan going? I guess the fact that both are quite social, very different to David Moyes, might help.  It?s fair to say that Duncan played through the pain barrier to keep Everton up in the 97-98 season, playing for the fans and playing for Kendall.  It?s interesting that I?ve seen Joe Royle telling a few anecdotes at sporting dinners where he teases Duncan?s sometimes lax approach in games and I always note Howard making faces as if to show real disagreement.

Walter Smith ? I think there was mutual respect.  Walter was genuinely shocked at Duncan being sold to Newcastle.  This had been rumbling for a couple of weeks and I first noticed that during a game against Forest away a couple of weeks earlier (September 1998), when Duncan scored two goals, he seemed to be making goodbye gestures to the fans.  It seems as though Peter Johnson?s anxiety about the financial health of the club had prompted him to hawk Ferguson to other clubs and Duncan was less than happy.

The next thing is Walter Smith, Archie Knox plus wives are walking down the steps from the players? lounge after the Newcastle game in November 1998 (when Duncan was sold) to be greeted by Duncan asking ?Why didn?t you stand up for me, boss??  Smith and Knox expressed shock and surprise and asked him if he?d actually signed anything, Duncan said no but he?d shaken hands on it.

The first I knew was when I was getting text from fans after the game.  I was actually in a pub in Formby with David Unsworth at the time and he was as shocked as anyone!  The next day in the office, Lorraine Rogers aka Mrs Peter Johnson, called to insist that Walter Smith was fully aware of the Duncan sale.  I can tell you that, when I put this to Walter, he was incandescent and wouldn?t let me leave until I?d heard him talk on speaker-phone to Johnson and get him to confirm his version of events.  His rage told me I didn?t need to hear Johnson speak!

Walter was happy to have him back for his second spell, although I think Bill Kenwright and all his big-hearted romantic approach to the game played a big part as well.

David Moyes ? I?d say there was mutual suspicion here.  Moyes has a version of a player and Duncan, for his fitness and attitudinal issues, isn?t it, but the size of his contract meant he had to face up to using him in the best way possible.  There was obviously the big training ground bust-up.  One Everton player was in the toilet at the time, which is above Moyes's office.  He could hear the banging and shouting going on, when Duncan emerged he shouted that he?d told the boss ?a few home truths?...

What?s your take on Duncan?s fitness issues and his willingness to go through the pain barrier?

Duncan had a supreme physique, a real good trainer who spent a lot of time in the gym boxing, doing weights.  I?m told he still works out every day.  A lot of the players would say that he was one of the ones who could run and run in pre-season ? a natural athlete.

The problem was that he picked up a lot of injuries by the way he played and that meant he was on the rough end of some tough tackling.  I remember the challenge by Charlton?s Richard Rufus on his second Goodison debut (August 2000) as particularly dreadful.  Those things catch up with you when you get older.  I think you can see his bad tempered and aggressive approach on the field actually gets worse later in his career as his body starts to slow him down and stop him performing the way he wants.

So, can we solve the conundrum of why a guy with such pride and a close bond with the fans didn?t achieve the consistency of a great player?

I agree it?s shame. I remember one of his team mates saying exactly that to me after a goal Ferguson had scored in a derby game.

He certainly had plenty of self-confidence.  I remember Daniel Amokachi struggling in training and Duncan saying, ?Hey, watch me, I?ll turn you into a £4M player!? and the time when Alan Shearer made his debut for Newcastle at Goodison as a £15M player, Duncan went around Bellefield all week breathing fire and singing ?Shearer?s gonna get it? to himself, which resulted in an absolutely awesome performance.

But there are stories like the time that Joe Royle tried to show him some videos of Christian Vieri?s movement and approach ? and Duncan looking totally into space?

I guess the drinking didn?t help?

I wouldn?t say that Duncan was a problem drinker, more of a binger than a daily drinker, like, say Gazza.  I think even before the drink-driving arrest, 36 hours before the 2-0 derby win, he?d only had about three pints ? yeah, over the limit but not steaming.

And what on earth did those burglars think they were doing??

The first one was after a cup game at Watford.  I was out in town being harangued by a group of Evertonians who were insisting that Duncan had a cocaine habit and was actually refused hospital treatment for an injury because of the amount of coke in his system.  They were accusing me (and the press generally) of a cover-up.

They were so assertive that I put this to Walter Smith on the Monday.  He laughed and told me that Duncan was THE most drug tested player at the club and had never come out positive... although alcohol content was a different matter.  It was while in his office that Duncan came in to see Walter, hiding one side of his face, and then became clear he?d suffered this in the struggle.

Second time the break-in took place in an outhouse-type building on his property that was used for storage.  It was the burglar?s bad luck that Duncan happened to be in the building at the time. The ensuing struggle left the burglar substantially worse off and I remember that Mrs Ferguson was very upset when the guy tried to bring a case against Duncan for excessive force, fearing that Duncan?s past record would count against him.

Do you think he misses us?

I don?t think Duncan will go back to Goodison while Moyes is in charge but I think he generally isn?t interested in coming back to England/Goodison.  In fact he?s actually moved house over in Mallorca to be in an even more remote part of the island.

Reader Comments

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Michael Kenrick
1   Posted 25/11/2010 at 20:11:37

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Funny... after reading that, I feel a lot more empathy toward Big Dunc for some reason...
Declan Brown
2   Posted 25/11/2010 at 21:05:46

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Loved this.

The Rumble in the Jungle in Moyes's office with the quote "told him a few home truths" made me laugh, would have paid money to see that, as did singing "Shearer's gonna get it" in the build up to Shearer's first game for Newcastle.

The man is a legend in my eyes, a true blue player, like Cahill who would happily bleed for the Everton cause and fans without giving it a second thought.

Great article, enjoyed every bit of it.
Dick Anderson
3   Posted 25/11/2010 at 20:44:24

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I really believe Duncan is an Everton legend. Some fans claim Duncan doesn't deserve that title but can you think of many Everton players in the 1990s who can come close to Duncan?

For the most part, the 1990s were a dark time for Everton fans. We regularly fought relegation and to me Duncan was one of the few bright lights in that dark decade.

There were some good players in the 1990s:

Neville Southall ? An Everton legend and kept goal for most of the 90s but arguably was past his best. He is more of an 80s legend.

Dave Watson ? Another Everton legend who will probably be best remembered for his efforts in the 80s.

Tony Cottee ? Arrived with a big reputation and scored some goals but too inconsistent.

Peter Beardsley ? Had a great couple of years and scored 20 goals in a season but he'll always be remembered as a Liverpool or Newcastle legend.

Joe Parkinson ? Was just beginning to look the real deal when injury ended his career.

Andrei Kanchelskis ? Had a great couple of seasons but that was it. Didn't play for Everton long enough.

Gary Speed ? Had a good couple of seasons but left a sour taste when he joined Newcastle.

Duncan played for Everton over 10 seasons. He made 260 appearances and scored 67 goals. Sure he should have scored more goals but don't forget he played in some of the worst Everton sides in history.

Duncan had the misfortune to play in teams with the likes of Barmby, Cadamarteri and Gemmill. Plus there were a couple of seasons there in which Duncan pretty much sat out due to injury and he went to jail for awhile too.

Imagine how many goals a fit Duncan could have scored in modern Everton sides who finish in the Top 5 and have creative players like Arteta and Pienaar.

Most of my memories of the 1990's are bad memories but there are a few highlights and most of them revolve around Big Duncan:
  • His first goal for the club which just happened to be against Liverpool.
  • Waiting for him to be released from jail. It was like a kid waiting for Christmas.
  • His FA Cup celebration with the blue nose.
  • I loved his stubborness, once he decided never to play for Scotland or talk to the press again he stuck to it for the rest of his career.
  • I loved how he would win Man of the Match awards and never give an interview to Sky.
  • His hat-trick against Bolton.
  • The sadness when he was sold to Newcastle and the joy when he returned.
  • Boasting about how tough he was when he beat up the burgulars.
  • I can't remember the specific game but one time he completely destroyed Man Utd almost singlehandedly.
  • People dont realise but he was a regular visitor to the kids in Alder Hay.
  • Duncan always played his best against the big teams. I think I'm right in claiming Everton never lost to Liverpool with Duncan in the side. Is that right?
  • The way he scored in the final minute of his final appearance with his very last touch of the ball.
I would never put Duncan in the same class as Dixie Dean, Alan Ball or some of the other great Everton heroes. But I would say Duncan was a legend of his time. A real bright light in dark days.
Mike Rourke
4   Posted 25/11/2010 at 21:28:27

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More, more, MOOOOOOORE!!!
Steve Mink
5   Posted 25/11/2010 at 21:54:01

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Goal-shy money sponge who condemned us to years of hoofball.

I sometimes dream I am sent to Hell and when I get there I am tied to my old seat from the Bullens Road and forced to watch a compilation tape on loop of the many thousands of hopeless balls David Unsworth played up to "Big Dunc". It is only marginally more painful than the real life experience in the 1990s.
Jeff Armstrong
6   Posted 25/11/2010 at 21:50:03

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Spot on Dick (#3), "a legend of his time" ? Big Joe reckoned he was a legend before he was a player! Why? Because the fans loved him from the start; it didn't take him long to feel this was the right place for him. Durrant didn't hang around, he was crocked and looking for fitness; Duncan was lost and looking for a home... he stayed for 10 years and gave us someone to appreciate amongst a lot of dross.

He will always be a topic for debate though: the suspensions, injuries, goals record etc. Seems he was also a bit of a fortune teller cause he sussed Moyes out years ago by the sound of it.

"Here's a home truth, boss, you're a negative one-trick pony with no Plan B."

Guy Hastings
7   Posted 25/11/2010 at 22:15:07

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Great stuff ? where's all the non-Dunc stuff, though? Or is that it?
Lee Courtliff
8   Posted 25/11/2010 at 21:42:41

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It was 17 August 1996. Opening day of the season. We are at home to Newcastle. All the media are creaming themselves over £15 million pound Alan Shearer (top scorer at Euro '96) making his debut for his beloved hometown team!

It was a bright, hot day as my father and I took to our season ticket seats in the Top Balcony.

Even though the press basically said we should not even bother turning up, we were quite confident (for Everton fans). The reason being that we knew something they didn't. Or something they had over-looked. That something was the fact that almost TWO years after we signed Duncan Ferguson this was THE season he was finally injury free, with no tribunals/court appearances to worry about and a full pre-season "under his belt". This was HIS time; he knew it, we kind of knew it and Alan Shearer was about see it up close and personal!

I was almost 15 years old and what I saw that day will live with me for the rest of my life. Big Dunc started pretty much as a lone striker with Graeme "Diamond" Stuart playing just behind him, almost like a Cahill role. From the first minute, we battered them. Duncan took on pretty much their entire back four on his own and slaughtered them. We were 2 up at half-time, he had made both of them. To this day, I have never seen one man occupy an entire defence on his own the way Dunc did that day. Especially the first half.

That day was the most optimistic of my Everton life (my first game was October 1990). As my dad and me were walking off the game I turned to him and said... "Dad, we are gonna be up near the top ALL season, challenging." Those were my exact words. We avoided relegation in the last week of the season (thanks to Blackburn beating Middlesbrough).

I picked a shit time to support Everton. My Dad was there in the 80s, with trophies, with respect and fear from other teams/fans. I was there in the 90s with derision from all the glory hunters at school. But I had Big Dunc. I had my childhood hero, I saw the man who gave me something that will always live with me. And one day, hopefully, I will have a son who loves our team just like I do and I will take him to see his hero.

Football is a funny thing. Complete strangers give you some of the most memorable moments of your life. And Big Dunc gave my generation more than one! For all his faults, he made me proud to be an Evertonian during some dark days! I also saw Brett Angell play... See what I mean.

Brian Wilson
9   Posted 25/11/2010 at 23:10:26

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Don't subscribe to the rose-tinted hype for an undoubtedly talented player who was apt to keep it hidden far too often.
Charlie Percival
10   Posted 26/11/2010 at 02:01:03

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I don't like the quote in the article that says Duncan will never be back. He HAS TO COME BACK one day! I hope so!

I want to read that book that was pulled from the shelves last minute!

Is it true hes married to John Parrott's daughter? I'm 99.9% sure it is. John Parrott's a blue too as JP used to sit near me in the main stand. Not sure if he still sits there, he must do.
Mike Elbey
11   Posted 26/11/2010 at 02:53:54

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Absolute legend in my view.

We should remember he played in some of the worst Everton teams of all time. What Duncan did was play like a fan and that's why so many of us adored him.

Charlie, I think it was John Parrott's sister he married...
Andy Codling
12   Posted 26/11/2010 at 07:16:09

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@ Steve Mink, you could say the same about Jagielka's constant hoofballs to Saha, who can't even be arsed to get on the end of them. I'd have Dunc back again tomorrow, especially if it meant someone would tell Moyes what a dour negative, one-dimensional manager he is.
Gareth Humphreys
13   Posted 26/11/2010 at 08:12:38

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A much better legend than he was a player.
Craig Taylor
14   Posted 26/11/2010 at 09:15:43

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Brilliant character. Not the the most amazing player, but was exactly what we needed in those days. Heart on his sleeve, Badge on his arm.

The start of the article says he was a Rangers man; he definitely became an Everton man.

Matt Thomas
15   Posted 26/11/2010 at 09:47:02

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Duncan was unfortunate to suffer from injuries, some caused because of no protection from officials i.e. David Elleray at Blackburn where Colin Hendry went through the back of him at least 4 times unpunished and because he complained Duncan got booked and eventually sent off for retaliation. Also the Charlton game for his second debut with one of the worst tackles you'll ever see, these obviously didn't help him.

I witnessed first-hand Duncan training at Bellefield after everyone else had finished; his training routine was more akin to a boxers, he was extremely fit. A good way to appreciate Duncan's play was although the hoofball was played to him a lot, he also made many of them into good passes by simply getting on the end of them.

A great testament to Duncan was by Sir Bobby Robson who said his best striker pairing was Duncan and Alan Shearer stating Shearer learned so much about centre-forward play from Duncan.

Liam Reilly
16   Posted 26/11/2010 at 09:46:18

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Brillaint article.

Legend to me. Loved the big man. He brought some smiles to my face in some very tough times. OK, so he didn't always play within the rules of the game, but that's what made him such a competitor.

I often wonder how different some Evertonions perspective of Dunc may have been if Collina had have allowed THAT goal to stand at Villarreal.
Peter Webster
17   Posted 26/11/2010 at 10:16:00

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Sir Dunc.
Jimmy Last
18   Posted 26/11/2010 at 10:26:07

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What a fantastic read!

I also did most of my growing up in the 90s (started supporting in 87, so had at least one season of being a glory supporter) and one of the few bright spots was Big Dunc. I remember, growing up in London, all my Spurs mates harping on about what a rock Big Sol was, and then one game Dunc literally lifted him with one arm and floored him. Or his and Rideout's goals against the RS when we were bottom, Royle's first game in charge I think.

Just thinking about the guy brings a smile to my face, and if I am ever in a bad mood, a good ol' rendition of "Duncan, Duncan Ferguson..." gets me right back up there.

Why? I have no idea. Worrying (with a wife and 3 kids)? Probably. But that is why the guy will always be an absolute legend.
Danny Burke
19   Posted 26/11/2010 at 10:50:51

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I love Big Dunc!

I was born in 82 and was was too young to really appreciate the good times of the 80s. Duncan was one of the few bright spots I had growing up; don't get me wrong, he had his faults and sometimes I wonder "what if" with him but he is and always will be a legend!

The Newcastle games was one of the most dominant perfromances I have ever seen from any player. His first goal in the derby, Utd in 95 and the shirt swirling celebration, Utd away when he scored 2, Utd at home when he bullied their defence and wrapped up 4th place, all the sending-offs, one of the best headed goals ever at Highbury, doing Paul Ince then getting fouled and throwing Ince on the floor (check out on YouTube), making Richard Gough look a fool on International duty, the look on Jimmy Bullard's face after Dunc floored Scharner at Wigan and the Steffan Freund strangulation.

Thanks for the memories Big Man!
David Thomas
20   Posted 26/11/2010 at 11:15:39

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I'm fairly sure Duncan's wife is John Parrot's wife's sister.
KPR Williams
21   Posted 26/11/2010 at 11:14:24

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I'd love to read an autobiography of the big fella... Don't do hero worship, but when the big man was up for it, he was hairs on the neck good, reckon he came along a generation too late. Imagine him and a few of the old hard men going toe to toe. He could get the ground rocking!
Charlie Percival
22   Posted 26/11/2010 at 11:37:59

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Haha, David, sounds more like it! ta.
Adam Carey
23   Posted 26/11/2010 at 10:08:24

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If we are talking Legend status such as Dean, Ball or Young then the answer is no. However, for 10 years of my Everton life (a third in all), he was THE player I wanted to see leading the line, terrorising defences and lifting the crowd when coming on from the bench.
For that, I say thank you Big Dunc. A legend in MY time.
Gavin Ramejkis
24   Posted 26/11/2010 at 12:17:18

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David (#20) ? I am pretty sure you are right; personally I loved Dunc when he played for us, yes he was frustrating but also great to watch, scared the shite out of the RS, scared the shite out of Man U and having met him a few times at Leisure Lakes can wholeheartedly say he is a really nice genuine bloke with all the time in the world for kids. He also wrote back to my niece whilst he was in Barlinnie which not many players these days would bother their arses to do.

Dunc will never be a legend on a par with the likes of Ball, Dean and the likes but in his day he was the best we had and at times you just couldn't beat him, he gave me plenty to hold my head up about in some dark days as a blue.

Finally, he also came out in favour of KEIOC unlike many of the shameful player statements at the time. I remember biting my lip when he missed that final pen only to get the rebound as I desperately wanted him not to be the only Number 9 we have ever had not to score in a season.

Russ Quinlan
25   Posted 26/11/2010 at 12:31:17

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He was brilliant, maybe didn't score as many as he should have but gave the team passion, which we have lacked ever since. I loved the 'tackle' on Steffen Freund!

Tim comes close but Dunc's pure physical presence scared the living poop out of the opposition!

Ste Boyle
26   Posted 26/11/2010 at 12:42:23

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I remember playing Man Utd in a midweek game at Goodison, not long after Ferdinands agent had made the statement the Ferdinand was 'The best defender in the world" ? He couldn't get near Ferguson that night, and looked terrified every time the ball came into the box.

Corner comes in, Ferguson gets in front of 'the best defender in the world' to nod home what would be the winner. The noise still makes the hairs stand up. One of most memorable nights at Goodison thanks to the The Big Man. What a guy

Steve Pugh
27   Posted 26/11/2010 at 12:57:29

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Too many people seem to confuse Legend with Great Player, whilst virtually all great players are legends you can be a legend without being a great player. A legend is merely somebody that leaves a big impression, and Dunc certainly did that on every single Evertonian that saw him play.
Leon Perrin
28   Posted 26/11/2010 at 12:31:12

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At last a post without irrelevant 4-5-1 bollox in, first I've read right through for ages.

Dunc was a Champion in Everton teams that were full of journeymen, he could play it on the deck or in the air put the fear of god into Liverpool, Man Utd and the like.

Had an Everton tattoo; put Moyes in his place.

Not a legend? Wake up.

Craig Walker
29   Posted 26/11/2010 at 13:38:25

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I thought Big Dunc was a complete legend. I remember watching the 2-0 derby win with a bunch of kopites in the Student Union at Cardiff University. They all laughed when the Everton team was announced. Dunc bundled the ball and about 3 defenders into the Gwladys St net, wiping the smiles off their faces.

I'm pretty sure he was undefeated in his first spell against Liverpool but not his second. I seem to remember he got the first goal in the McAllister derby but we ended up losing 3-2. I've still never forgiven Alexandersson and Paul Gerard for that goal!

Moyes may have his critics, me included, but thank God we don't rely on players like Alexandersson and Paul Gerard these days!
Craig Taylor
30   Posted 26/11/2010 at 13:50:12

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Yes, he is married to JP's sister.
Jeff Magee
31   Posted 26/11/2010 at 13:34:12

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Thanks Andy@12 and Leon@28 ? for one horrible moment I thought I was going to have to read an entire thread without anyone telling me how shite a manager DM is... Now if we could just have someone come on and tell us that Mr Kenwright sometimes tells fibs, I will be able get back to work knowing that all is well in ToffeeWebWorld ;-)

Back to thread I am slightly dissapointed that it was not love at first sight from Big Dunc's perspective ? I am undecided as to whether he is a legend or not mostly because I hardly ever saw him live ? I don't get to GP as often as I would like to and whenever I did he was either injured or suspended ? I know he couldn't help the injuries but the suspensions?

Not in same league as Bally or for that matter Paul Bracewell ? most underestimated Everton 'legend' in my opinion.

Dean Pierpoint
32   Posted 26/11/2010 at 14:58:13

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I was lucky enough to have watched the 2-0 derby game from a corporate box, and had the privelige of meeting Duncan after the game. Whatever the media made up about this guy, he was a player who made time for the fans... how many playing today do the same?

Great player? ? could have been, a near miss... Legend? ? yes, in the fact that he cared for the club and its fans, and understood how important beating teams like the RS, Manure etc really was to the faithful.
Colin Ryan
33   Posted 26/11/2010 at 15:28:43

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The big man was a legend... but am I the only one thinking Timmy Cahill is now an even bigger legend, with a better goals-to-game ratio, and a great ambassador for our club!
David Booth
34   Posted 26/11/2010 at 16:34:49

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In 40 years of watching Everton I have seen numerous players who would qualify for a list of my favourites: Kendall, Ball and just about every member of the fabulous mid-eighties team - but Duncan tops the list.

I know the stats don't really back that up, but anyone who watched him play will understand.

He could take on a whole team on his own and is the closet player I have ever seen that matched the fervour, passion and commitment of the fans. He was the ultimate Evertonian.

'Legend' is something that probably ought to be reserved for a very select few such as Dixie, Bally and Big Nev.

But Duncan was definitely the 'greatest'...
Jon Beck
35   Posted 26/11/2010 at 16:38:40

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Like many I was lifted by Duncan's presence on the field, however rare that might have been. Shame those with an anti-Moyes agenda have to hijack another thread though.
Michael Kenrick
36   Posted 26/11/2010 at 17:26:47

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Sorry, Joe (#35), but perhaps you missed the last line of the interview. Here it is again for you, in bold:

"I don?t think Duncan will go back to Goodison while Moyes is in charge." Hmmm... Does that saddle Big Dunc with an "anti-Moyes" agenda?

Kinda significant, don't you think, that we're having discussions on other threads about (a) the inability of current Everton strikers to score goals, and (b) the evidence that strikers coming to Everton generally start their Goodison careers well, but that their goal-scoring prowess eventually starts to suffer and they just go down hill.

I wonder if you can see any connection? Or is it just a so-called "anti-Moyes agenda" with no substance?

Certainly looks like Big Dunc had some issues with Moyes that are strong enough to keep him well away... Who knows what it was about but it must surely have had something to do with the way Big Dunc played the game.

Thomas James
37   Posted 26/11/2010 at 18:18:00

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Interesting I think this is the first season since he left that we have had a real problem up front. We need Duncan NOW. Him and the Yak up front would be a match for any defense.

His scoring record doesn't mean that he is not an Everton Legend. How many games did he inspire a win with his appettite on the pitch.

In his last season he never started a game, he kept coming off the bench to put in some magical performances. The game away in Norwich was an amazing performance, so was his performance off the bench, brilliant header goal and assist...and away in Villareal.
Stephen Kenny
38   Posted 26/11/2010 at 19:03:55

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The way Moyes managed Dunc through to the end of his career was probably as good as Dunc could have ever asked for considering the amount of times he let Moyes, his teamates and by extension us down on the pitch, and allegedly off it. To a man of undoubted principles this is not acceptable. That he wont come back while Moyes is in charge reflects worse on Dunc than Moyes.

Despite this and anything else we may or may not know he is my Dixie Dean, Alan Ball, Ratcliffe or whichever player any Evertonian can mention!

He made my school years bearable. Fucked the shite more than any player has bar Tim and made sure that there werent a side in the league who would come to Goodison and try and take the piss. My Hero!!
Eugene Ruane
39   Posted 26/11/2010 at 19:10:15

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I think he was actually a better footballer than we saw, but because of how we played (welly!) he was always either just flicking a (hoofed) ball on to...erm..nobody, or trying to get on the end of a cross.

He did on occasion really look 'up for it' but I always got the impression he wasn't really that keen on playing football at all and would rather have been fucking about with pigeons or in a bar somewhere.

Just an impression like.

Understand totally why he is adored by those who never saw Ball, Young, Sharpy, Reid, Sheeds etc
Jon Cox
40   Posted 26/11/2010 at 19:13:46

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I loved big Dunc. It was that goal against Man U, I think we won 1-0.

I'll never forget it. It was all about passion. Appart from Tim Cahill, who at this point in time does passion for us fans?
Jon Cox
41   Posted 26/11/2010 at 19:30:35

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Jon (35) Anti-Moyes? You've got it so wrong there, mate. A lot of us on here are very definitely ANTI not doing fuck-all for eight years. (Warning: double negative alert!!)
Jon Cox
42   Posted 26/11/2010 at 19:35:13

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"Understand totally why he is adored by those who never saw Ball, Young, Sharpy, Reid, Sheeds etc "

Well I did. It's just a shame Dunc didn't play in the same team as some of them.
Matthew Lovekin
43   Posted 26/11/2010 at 19:50:59

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Lee (#8), I was at that Newcastle match in '96 as well ? it was the first time I went to Goodison and probably still the most memorable game.

Newcastle arrived with the world record signing and tipped to win the league, but Dunc slaughtered them all by himself, he was an absolute colossus that day.

A true legend who deserved to play with better players for Everton.
Robert Daniels
44   Posted 26/11/2010 at 19:50:37

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Duncan was married to Parrott's wife's sister. I think the reason the big man loved Everton stems from his prison sentence. He received so many thousands of letters from fans, telling him to keep his chin up, it was the start of a love affair with the fans, Duncan wrote a thank you note from jail to my sister in law (who,'s from Glasgow) and it takes pride of place in there house to this day.

While in Liverpool, or Freshfield rather, Duncan got into a friendship with a major gangster; it is quite common knowledge in a certain area of Liverpool that they had a serious fallout and Duncan to my knowledge has never been back, or if he has, it's been very low profile.

I watched the teams of the 70s, 80s etc, and they were fantastic but to me big Dunc is right up there with the best of them. The sight of him in a blue shirt made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. His control on the ground was excellent, we just didn't use it enough. I loved him and wished we still had him.

I think if Dunc had his way, he would be at every game, like the rest of us.
John Nelson
45   Posted 26/11/2010 at 21:01:32

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Absolutely loved him and will continue to love him. True legend.

One of the worst days of supporting the blues for me was when he got sold behind Mr. Disappointment's back ? will honestly say although 12 at the time I absolutely cried my eyes out... as a result when he can on as a sub for his 2nd debut against Charlton and scored twice was absolutely brilliant. :)

Brilliant player, brilliant man, took no shit, ran the top teams ragged and more importantly was a Blue through and through.

True legend (as Cahill is).
John Nelson
46   Posted 26/11/2010 at 21:17:33

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As posted on here, although he was remembered for his brilliant heading ability, nowhere near enough gets said about his footwork and ball control, which was just as good in my honest opinion. Can only count once (seriously) where he gave the ball away after bringing it down.
Christopher McCullough
47   Posted 26/11/2010 at 21:54:37

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I could only bring myself to admire him on the few occassions he was "up for it" on the pitch. Unfortunately, he left me so frustrated far too often. As for his character; well, we all no know guys like this. He just happened to play for Everton.

The article made me laugh a couple of times; particularly, the Burrows-Snodin bit. Great read.
Ste Traverse
48   Posted 26/11/2010 at 23:16:45

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Dunc should have had a better career than he actually had. He played in some truely minging Everton sides and had to put up with aimless punts up the park coming his way from the likes of Ablett and Unsworth.

As has been stated in a few posts, his control was first class, as was his passing when people only thought of him for his aerial ability. Who could forget him grabbing a fan and kissing him after he scored up at Middlesboro in a League Cup tie... never saw that sort of thing before or since from any player!

He could be a bit lazy in some games but his performances in games that really mattered stood out. Remember his brilliant turn and shot from the edge of the box that thundered into the Liverpool net in '97 and a very similar goal at Old Trafford that same season. Liverpool and Man Utd were shit scared of him.
Paul Olsen
49   Posted 27/11/2010 at 05:18:31

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Hail Big Dunc!

Actually made me miss the 90's, my shining beacon in a horrible, horrible side.
Art Jones
50   Posted 27/11/2010 at 12:06:38

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Just to put the facts straight, John Parrott's wife and Duncan Ferguson's wife are sisters.

The story about the rumpus in Moyes's office in Bellefield is not quite true, Moyes was confronted by Ferguson and he was shocked when Moyes never backed down, in fact Moyes told him if he wanted to fight 'there's a big carpark outside'; Ferguson backed off.

Duncan's charitable work , especially for children, deserves an award of some description... A lovely man, he liked a drink, but so what? As a player he was too inconsistent throughout his career, not helped by his injuries but there were games when he never 'turned up'.

Personally I preferred the contribution to the team of Kevin Campbell as a player but then we all have our favourites don't we?

Ernie McAllister
51   Posted 27/11/2010 at 13:53:19

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Dunc for all his promise and the few goals he scored for me was too over rated.

I was under the impression he loved the sherbet more than he loved playing.

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