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The stuff of legend

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Depending on subjective opinion both here on ToffeeWeb and the wider media, the title of 'legend' is often used and just as often abused. I ask your opinion on what qualities and/or achievements are prerequisites needed to be accepted as a legend. Specifically, I would like to know just what is required of an Everton legend.

To illustrate what I am talking about, let's take for example the suggestion that Tim Cahill, who is already a living legend in Australian Soccer, should also be considered as an Everton legend ? or at least one in the making.

The mere suggestion of such a thing gets some backs up and the Australian Mafia will get its usual airing. I ask those people, are you listening Mike Oates, who is it that they reckon is an Everton legend? And their reasons for it? Perhaps the time has come for a defined set of criteria that will determine what constitutes a legend.

Should there be a department or ombudsman tasked with evaluating criteria and declaring whether or not a candidate is suitable for legendary status?

Then there is the question, should the title be awarded only to those who are dead or should there be a category of living legends. My personal choice for the latter is Davy Hickson.
Dick Fearon, West Australia     Posted 02/10/2010 at 00:23:48

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Mike McLean
1   Posted 02/10/2010 at 05:04:19

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Alive or dead makes no difference. Bally was a legend for years before he passed on.

My belief is that there has to be general agreement that a player is (a) very good indeed, and that (b) he is firmly in the Everton camp. Winning something also helps! As much as the groupies may squawk, I don't believe there's anything like a consensus about Cahill.
David Hodgson
2   Posted 02/10/2010 at 08:20:04

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Will Tim Cahill go down as one of the best goalscoring midfielders/attacking midfielder this club as ever had? Yes. Does he give 100% every time he dons the royal blue jersey? Yes. Does he consistently come up with crucial goals time and time again for us? Yes. Does he love being an Evertonian? I would say yes. Bar winning a trophy with us what else does this man have to do be regarded an Everton legend?
Ste Lewis
3   Posted 02/10/2010 at 10:16:18

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Legend: A traditional historical tale (or collection of related tales) popularly regarded as true but usually containing a mixture of fact and fiction. I was born 1979, legends in my living match-going memory include Neville Southall, Dave Watson and the player who has evoked more passion and more stories than any other: the burglar twatting, McStay nutting, policeman butting, prison visiting, tatoo wearing, binge drinking, thorn in the redshite side that was Duncan Ferguson. I work in schools and yesterday a seven year old kid told me called his new dog 'Duncan Mikel Ferguson'. I doubt he remembers seeing him in the flesh! Cahill will doubtless be remembered as a fine and loyal player but where is the mystique, where are the tales? He could jump as high as a three story house with two 7ft defenders on his back?
Shane Corcoran
4   Posted 02/10/2010 at 11:27:02

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The mystique? He was a thug and a good footballer who never fufilled his potential as he was regularly injured or suspended. Give me Tim any day of the week.
I doubt we'll see too many of what we would call legends at Everton as money dominates too much both from the point of view of what a player demands and what a club thinks he's worth.
Liam Reilly
5   Posted 02/10/2010 at 11:11:15

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Must Be as passionite about the club as a lifelong supporter, 
Must be a true ambassador and promotor of the club even on International duty
Must have that something different that gets the supporters pulse racing
Mustn't dissappear when things get a bit tough on or off the field
Mustn't move onto better' things at the first oppertunity
Must continue to speak with passion and continue to promote the club after they leave

I'm sure there are lots more, but Cahill is the only player in our current team that ticks all these boxes for me, but the last one and I hope it's a while yet before he does
Liam Reilly
6   Posted 02/10/2010 at 11:32:26

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Forgot,
Must make a difference (probably the most important one)

You only need to look at the Stats when Cahill plays to when he doesn't to apprecieate that he ticks that box
Ste Lewis
7   Posted 02/10/2010 at 11:38:14

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Yeah mystique does sound a bit fanciful, I can be a right verbose cunt at times.
Dick Fearon
8   Posted 02/10/2010 at 11:14:21

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Mike #1, In your own different ways show just how subjective is the awarding of legend status.
Mike suggests a vague reasoning based on a general consensus that X in this case Ball is regarded as being a worthy of the title. From a purely Everton view point did Alan do that much more for the club than Tim.has and is still doing.
As part of the holy trinity Alan made a valuable contribution toward our success.
It should be remembered how different were the circumstances faced by Alan's Everton.
In those days we were one of the big rich clubs and could sign practically anyone we wanted. When Alan arrived he was a British record signing,
It is a completely different scenario for Tims Everton. No longer are we a rich club and it is a huge challenge against mega rich opponents. Variables such as those do not assist toward balanced comparisons of a players value. For instance, Alan cost us 115 thousand pounds and we sold him to Arsenal for around 200, thousand. Cahill would be worth many times more than that.
I use that analogy partly to demonstrate one of the differences between then and now.
Another and more pertinent difference is that the Premiership is light years ahead in speed and average players skill level.
Ste #2.I destroy my own argument here by saying that I also would have big dunc on my list of legends.
I wonder if those with the means to research players records could enlighten us on the actual records of Ball and Cahill.
I am just about to update my computer and will temporally be unable to contribute any more to this topic.

Howard Don
9   Posted 02/10/2010 at 11:50:40

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Repeating myself here as I said all this in a recent post, but for me Colin Harvey is way out in front of anyone else.

A Fantastic midfield player, my favourite member of the Holy Trinity of Ball, Harvey and Kendall and a Championship and FA Cup winner to boot.

Add to that he was the first first team coach throughout the '80s glory years, and took on the Managers job when Kendall and our best players were deserting for European football.

Finally he was a superb youth team coach in his later years with the club until he decided he couldn't do it at the level he demanded of himself.

No contest for me Colin has given more to our club than anyone over the past 50 years.
Trevor Lynes
10   Posted 02/10/2010 at 13:38:01

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Legend is a term that should be used very sparingly and to my mind only a very select few should be listed in that way otherwise the term is valueless.
I am loath to name a player as a legend who is only of average or decent premier league standard, especially if he is playing for a club who has not performed in top competition.
I do not believe that many of our current side would get a place in Chelsea or Man Utd teams except as squad bench warmers.
My legends would include Southall..Ray Wilson..Ball...Vernon..Young...after those few I would be struggling.
Ferguson was just a very direct, physical centre forward who was ill disciplined and sometimes downright embarrasing with his 'thuggish' tendencies.
When he played we were just a very 'hoof ball' team who just played to his strength...no midfield at all.
When I honestly look at todays team I see a lot of average to good premiership standard players without a lot of creativity or guile.
All the above is without wearing the 'blue tinted' glasses.
Mike McLean
11   Posted 02/10/2010 at 14:00:50

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Ball, Harvey, Labone ... and ? Cahill is a dog compared to them in terms of ability. Has he made a difference? Impossible to answer, isn't it. Might we have finished sixth instead of fith? To me it shows our desperation when the likes of Ferguson and Cahill are held up as modern icons.
Charles King
12   Posted 02/10/2010 at 14:53:31

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It's all relative, every era has to have a hero.

If they're the best you've seen it's a short hop to bestow legend status on them, look at Beckham by common consent can't head, tackle, dribble but todays generation think he's one of the greats, tossers.
Jay Harris
13   Posted 02/10/2010 at 15:16:29

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Where does a definition start or finish?

Also IMO an Everton legend does not conform to the dictionary definition of a legend.

The first and most important definition is he must have extreme passion for the club and supporters.

Secondly it helps if he can play a bit.

Thirdly he must have some character and backbone.

And then it helps if he scores a few against the RS.

For me Cahill for his love of the club and his attitude towards supporters and life in general and also taking into account his very important goals is on his way to the "Everton Legends" club.
David Hodgson
14   Posted 02/10/2010 at 17:20:32

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Nice one, Timmy lad, crucial goals at crucial times as usual, like I said in a previous post, you'll do for me! NSNO. Legend.
Aiden Doyle
15   Posted 02/10/2010 at 17:38:37

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To my mind, the true legends are the players that the supporters of OTHER clubs can talk about, even years after they?ve hung hung up their boots.

As an Evertonian, I?d still have no problem in considering the likes of Moore, Charlton, Cantona, Bergkamp, Viera & Petit, Ryan Giggs & Paul Scholes, George Best, Ian Bloody Rush and many others as legends. Similarly, I know numerous fans of other clubs who still have huge admiration for Harvey, Kendall & Ball, the key members of the great eighties side and (albeit for slightly different reasons) Duncan Ferguson.

Whilst we have some very capable players in the squad today, I genuinely don?t feel that any of them deserve the accolade. Though I?m certainly not his biggest admirer, Tim Cahill is probably the only one who?s appeal transcends the Everton fanbase and is probably the closest we have right now. I also believe that Fellaini might, in time, become a genuine legend ? though he?ll probably outgrow the club in doing so.
Tony J Williams
16   Posted 02/10/2010 at 18:28:42

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He is the only one of the current squad who could get near to becoming a legend.
Dennis Stevens
17   Posted 02/10/2010 at 18:31:30

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I don't think you can consider any current player a 'legend' - it's something that becomes apparent in retrospect. However, it's also very subjective. Some might consider players from the '70's such as Latchford & McKenzie to be legends, yet to others they may not even come close.
Tony Cheek
18   Posted 02/10/2010 at 20:02:02

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Tim Cahill is an Everton legend... full stop. He gets 6 pieces of shit kicked out of him, week-in, week-out. Makes life a misery for some evil bastard centre backs (Vidic, Carragher). Pulls us out of the shit more times than Duncan could even dream of. Never makes a twat of himself (Rooney, Bellamy). Is a real ambassador for the club. Yep in my eyes he has reached that status already. First name on the sheet!!
Tony Doran
19   Posted 02/10/2010 at 20:10:27

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He's my favourite player at Everton for years. Don't get me wrong, he's not even the best player in the current squad but if you could bottle his drive, determination and will to win and also his mighty big balls of steel and sell it you'd be loaded. He's an absolute beast who just loves making cunts of so called hard centre backs.
Antony Matthews
20   Posted 02/10/2010 at 20:18:46

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If Cahill scores the winner next week, he will be a legend... albeit till we play them next time.
Tom Bowers
21   Posted 02/10/2010 at 21:30:08

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Timmie is quite a player and a real bargain buy but no one can describe him as a legend just yet. Dixie Dean,Big Neville,Alex Young,Dave Hickson,Tommy Lawton are just a few who have earned that accolade so far.Other players have been very popular for different reasons but cannot compare to the aforementioned.
David Hodgson
22   Posted 02/10/2010 at 23:06:15

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Like what's been said earlier though, Tom, the word 'legend' can be taken in different ways... Obviously Timmy is not in your eyes and quite a few others but in my era (first full game I can properly remember was the '89 FA Cup Final) he has been outstanding and like I said scores crucial goals at crucial times, and loves being an evertonian. In fact, we've just got our first 3 points of the season so fuck it, I love him and want to have his wallabies!
Peter Fearon
23   Posted 03/10/2010 at 00:14:52

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The word legend is often overused in place of mere eminence. I would define an Everton legend as a popular player, living or dead, who has not just multiple achievements on the field to his name but a sequence of stories attached to his career and who has come to embody a particular quality or an era in the club?s history. Dave Hickson, Roy Vernon, Harry Catterick, Howard Kendall, Duncan Ferguson, Alex Young, Alan Ball, Colin Harvey, Derek Temple, Brian Labone, Gordon West, Joe Royle, Neville Southall and Bob Latchford all qualify and I doubt if there any Evertonians who would cross any of those names off a list of legends. I would argue that Johnny Morrissey, partly because he was such a colorful character, qualifies too, though he was far less skilled than some of the others. Some of the old stars too, Dixie Dean, naturally, Ted Sagar, of course, Joe Mercer, and Tommy Lawton among others, also deserve legendary status. But does Mike Trebilcock, for his cup final double, qualify? Does Paul Rideout?s 1995 winner qualify him? Does Alan Whittle deserve it for his late season goals which won the league title? Is Gary Lineker and Everton legend? I would argue no, but that Duncan Mackenzie does deserve the title. Leon Osman may well play out his entire career at Everton but I doubt if most Evertonians would grant him this kind of accolade. There has to be something more heroic than longevity, and more lasting than simply winning trophies. And so, to Tim Cahill. I believe he is well on his way to achieving legendary status. In many ways he embodies the qualities we look for in the whole team ? courage, indomitable spirit, skill, hunger for victory, and goal-scoring prowess. When we look back on the Dave Moyes years in a couple of decades time, Tim Cahill will probably be the first name that comes to mind. because he is an icon of the era.
Dick Fearon
24   Posted 03/10/2010 at 01:26:36

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When Cahill scored that much needed cushion against Brum I could almost hear the chorus of dammits and not all were from Brummies.
That goal was another pinprick to the inflated elitism of posters who say someone as uncouth and lacking in so many ways as Cahill is not as worthy of the kind of praise lavished on others who plied their trade when, compared with today, the game was played at snails pace.
Peter #23 (not related.) I agree with you and my list of worthy players goes back to our days in the old second division.
None were perfect yet each had a huge following that I would be loath to quibble at.whatever status they were allotted.. The great Alex and the Ball of Fire plus others who are now venerated had their full complement of critics.
What makes Cahill stand out is a unique ability or instinct that enables him to score vital goals against top sides. The average fan would be fortunate indeed if in their own lifetime they would see another Everton player with the same incredible quality.I wish some people would come down from their horse, drop their pat a cake idea of what this game is all about and recognise that all the pretty ball skills in the world are of no use if the ball does not hit the net.
By the way, Timmy is the only Everton player since Dixie to score in three derby games.
How many times must Tim repeat that feat before his critics throw in the towel?
Aiden Doyle
25   Posted 03/10/2010 at 02:19:00

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Many, many more times Dick. If people recall Cahill as the best (Everton) player of his era it?s a reflection of how lacklustre his contempories are, not an indication of his greatness.
Dick Fearon
26   Posted 03/10/2010 at 06:10:23

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So Aiden, #25, that Tim equalled a feat only previously accomplished 80 years ago by Dixie counts for nothing, eh? What if Tim, playing with a bunch of lacklustre 'contempories' (your words) goes a step further by scoring in more derbies than the great Dixie?
John McFarlane
27   Posted 03/10/2010 at 11:25:17

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Dick, the following players have scored in three Derby games since Dixie Deans time.
Tommy Lawton 1937-38 [Home and away] 1938-39 [away]
Johnny Morrissey !962-63 [home] 1964-65 [home and away]
Roy Vernon 1962-63 [home] 1963-64 [home and away]
Andy King 1978-79 [home and away] 1979-80 [away]
Two players Graeme Sharp and Duncan Ferguson, have scored in four derby games.
Graeme Sharp 1981-82 [home] 1984-85 [away]1985-86 [home] 1989-90 [away]
Duncan Ferguson 1994-95 [home] 1996-97 [home] 1997-98 [away] 20000-01 [home]
With regards to the question of Legendary status, I believe it is devalued nowadays, but I also believe that Bobby Collins should be given consideration as an Everton legend.
James Cadwaladr
28   Posted 03/10/2010 at 12:18:54

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Tim Cahill is respoinsible for 5 of our 6 points this season.

3 key goals and a couple of assists that have resulted in a point against wolves, almost single handedly rescued a draw from no where against United and another goal yesterday, granted the points were in the bag but hes still the only person scoring.

The fact that he have been givin g him stick on here for not being good enough clearly have a lot to learn.
Roy Coyne
29   Posted 04/10/2010 at 01:44:59

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Peter (#23) ? I think people of similar age who saw the players mentioned would on the whole agree with you. I would not class a lot of players in later years as legends but the younger fans need heroes that they have seen play, Dunc being a prime example. Here was a guy who never fulfilled his potential but became the focus of fans needing a star to idolise personally. I felt his conduct at times let us down because of suspensions. Certainly Timmy is up there with any player we have had in the Premier era.
Alan Clarke
30   Posted 04/10/2010 at 09:25:31

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I think a legend is a guy who stands up to be counted when the rest of the team are playing shite and hiding and not taking any responsibility.

Duncan Ferguson is a legend. He fought for us and was the only glimmer of hope during our really shit years. He was the only player you paid to see in a team that included the likes of Alexandersson and Blomqvist. For all his disciplinary problems, he cared about the club and was a good player. It's not his fault he was in a really shit team. If you took him in his prime and put him in this team now, we'd be top 4. There is still nothing like a Ferguson goal.

Cahill is similar, he stands up to be counted and doesn't hide. The rest of our team of late have all been hiding and not taking responsibility. Cahill will keep fighting and has scored important goals for us. He was sorely missed against Newcastle and I'm sure we wouldn't have lost that game had he been playing.
Chris Fisher
31   Posted 04/10/2010 at 14:05:24

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Tim Cahill = Legend
Chris Rudd
32   Posted 04/10/2010 at 14:24:37

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The fact that we're even discussing it says a lot for Tim. IMO he's pulled us out of the shit more times than I want to think about, scored big goals at important times, given all manner of big grock centre halves pleasingly uncomfortable afternoons and without him we've often looked toothless. Previous posters are correct in saying that who someone plays alongside must colour our judgement of what he achieves in that blue shirt. Right now, to many people he is the physical embodiment of Everton. Legend or not I love the guy and feel far more confident of a result when he's playing than when he's not.

In a similar vein, as someone once said about Duncan Ferguson...he gave us something...when we had nothing. Amen to that.
Paul Gladwell
33   Posted 04/10/2010 at 19:44:18

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Reid,Sheedy,Sharp etc all Everton legends, is Cahill not up with these just because he never won what they did?
it`s not even an argument that he should be.
He has played as many games as them,scored as many goals and drank far less ale than them in being the model pro to give everything for us.
You could see on Saturday he is playing injured, but fights for the cause.
He has been slaughtered on here for having a poor first half of a season last year when he played most of it out wide, would any of those done that without a peep given the shit they would get off the fans?
Legends are fellas who give fans hope in dark times as much as men who give glory in great times.
There are thousands of young blues out there who never saw Reid and co, nevermind Ball and co, to them Cahill is a legend and so Is Ferguson so dont rob them of that.
Paul Gladwell
34   Posted 04/10/2010 at 20:25:11

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John I think Dick meant Anfield derbies,Cahill has scored a few there not to mention at Goodison.
Mitchell Wilton
35   Posted 05/10/2010 at 02:45:03

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There is no requirement that to be a legend they have to be from a sucessful team. However too many on TW seem to have ascertained that only great teams produce legends.

A little scenario:

What if we switched out one of the holy trinity, say Colin Harvey with Cahill? Would Harvey be a legend in this lacklustre era? IMO he wouldn't get an iota of recongnition as he would be let down by the inconsistency of the players around him. Why is this different from Cahill?
Mitchell Wilton
36   Posted 05/10/2010 at 03:12:44

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How about this:

I doubt anyone would dispute Matt Le Tissiers 'le god' status on the south coast, why is he different from Cahill:

1. Never won a trophy
2. Stayed with the club for his entire 16 year career (Cahill may have had a previous employer but he's signed here for 10 years, which will end up being 11-12
3. Similar goal returns (approx 1 goal every 3 games)
4. Has an exceptionally good record on and off the field
5. Have never pretended or tried to go anywhere else
6. Constantly appears out of criticism to produce a match winner (without the hand to the hear gesture to the crowd we're seeing all too often these days)
7. Anything else??

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