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1 Posted 27/07/2020 at 16:46:53
That last sentence probably sums Leighton Baines up better than anything.
I always got the impression that his belonging to us was important to him as well. Just look at any clips of him celebrating one of his goals. Nothing over the top, he would just coolly make his way over to the fans and celebrate by saluting us almost like he was just waving to his mates.
Who knows, maybe he was?
Again, thank you Leighton.
2 Posted 27/07/2020 at 17:12:20
3 Posted 27/07/2020 at 17:24:15
I'd probably include Cahill as a legend also - Arteta and Pienaar less so because they moved on.
If only we had Cahill and Arteta now.
4 Posted 27/07/2020 at 17:31:43
Baines is certainly a legend!
5 Posted 27/07/2020 at 17:49:59
6 Posted 27/07/2020 at 18:12:29
When the fine folks of TW helped me make my Goodison pilgrimage in 2017, one of the great privileges provided by the club was the opportunity for us to walk on the hallowed turf after the game and meet a couple of the players -- Tom Davies, who had given me the thrill of a lifetime with the first goal I saw at Goodison, and Leighton Baines, who had given me so many thrills over the years.
It's legend now that Bainesy almost quit the game as a youth because of his shyness, and I saw that unassuming manner when we shook hands and talked. I was surprised how diminutive he was. He congratulated me on enjoying my debut trip so much (two wins), and I intended to thank him for being such a great role model for youngsters with his class and modesty, but I didn't actually say the words for fear of gushing and embarrassing both of us (I was pretty emotional). I wish now I'd gone ahead and said it. So I'll say it now... it's been an honor, Mr. Baines.
I have a photo of the two of us, Gaynesy and Bainesy -- not posed, just chatting -- taken by my extraordinary friend Kev Johnson, and it's a photo I cherish and enjoy whenever it pops up on my desktop background.
Ray #5, thanks. I'd never seen that before.
7 Posted 27/07/2020 at 20:23:47
Also, the best penalty kick taker and one of the best (obviously Kevin Sheedy was pretty good too) free-kick takers.
So let's cheer for Leighton and we'll be sorry to see him go. Lucas Digne is a fine player and he has scored some great goals too but there's a long way for him to go to achieve what Leighton did. I hope he will.
8 Posted 27/07/2020 at 21:49:51
9 Posted 27/07/2020 at 21:51:59
I don't blame him for not taking a 1-year contract; he bows out while Everton were still in the top flight. Maybe he knows that this bunch of gutless players will go down next season..
Just a shame Baines didn't win any honours for his scrap book but he did win the honour of being an Everton legend.
10 Posted 28/07/2020 at 01:15:13
11 Posted 28/07/2020 at 05:56:40
12 Posted 28/07/2020 at 12:49:00
13 Posted 28/07/2020 at 12:59:31
14 Posted 28/07/2020 at 13:07:43
15 Posted 28/07/2020 at 16:03:19
Absolutely brilliant left-back; between 2009 and 2014, he was one of the best in Europe.
I miss seeing that "Bainaar" combo. I miss those laser guided freekicks and those cool as you like penalties.
Gutted he never won a trophy with us and for me seeing Leighton end it means there's only Seamus Coleman left now from that little crop of players that came together under Moyes that fans really care about or connected with.
I look at Everton now and it just feels like an alien place. The rest are just not good enough or just go through the motions most of the time
Good luck Leighton, it was a pleasure!
16 Posted 28/07/2020 at 18:59:21
A great shame he won no trophies but his free kicks, penalties and sportsmanship, make him up there with the best players at Goodison Park, and in the Premiership era, arguably the best along with Tim Cahill, Arteta, Peanuts, Carsley, Barry, and Lukaku, Seamus and Gana, and I'd say Tim Howard.
There's been a few others, but compared to the demeanour of the current squad there's barely a handful of players you'd say yes, stay based on merit.
On a positive hopefully it's an awaking call to the club, of the reality of the scale of the rebuilding of the squad.
It won't be easy and I'd take three thoroughbreds than seven potentials, and hopefully no has-beens.
Farewell, Bainesy, and good luck in the next job.
17 Posted 28/07/2020 at 19:26:24
18 Posted 30/07/2020 at 00:45:44
19 Posted 30/07/2020 at 03:39:47
If there is anything I can add to the numerous accolades already written... Bainaar was certainly a special partnership and a joy to watch.
Though we all know of players, who performed brilliantly, become a lot less effective, once the partnership they have is gone.
I think, the partnership helped Baines bloom into the player that he is. And one tribute that I can pay to him, is how he continues to flourish, even when the partnership was no longer what it was.
I thought he became a lot more surer of himself, and held his own, regardless of who played in front of him.
The two seasons which I thought he was at his peak, is 2012-13 and 2013-14. Then, Pienaar has returned for his second stint, and in the latter season, Pienaar was in and out of the team.
Yet Baines continued to flourish.
That's my tribute to the man.
20 Posted 30/07/2020 at 08:39:47
21 Posted 31/07/2020 at 12:01:51
Good luck for the future, Leighton, whatever you decide to do.
22 Posted 01/08/2020 at 02:48:42
23 Posted 01/08/2020 at 10:49:17
24 Posted 01/08/2020 at 10:55:58
And he even reads books and has interests.
25 Posted 01/08/2020 at 11:46:17
I think that game was on 2 January, the season had been great up to then, but it slowly fizzled out. This was the last time Everton won away in the league under Moyes, which doesn't surprise me really, because winning away was never one of Moyes's strong points, even though the rot had already set in before he joined us.
26 Posted 01/08/2020 at 12:34:22
27 Posted 01/08/2020 at 13:08:44
I like Digne, he's also scored a couple of cracking free-kicks, but it just shows you how important it is for a team to win because people still bring up Sheedy's twice-taken free-kick from years ago, a lot more than Baines at West Ham, or maybe I'm just getting old?
28 Posted 01/08/2020 at 13:39:26
His humility is to be admired. It will stand him in good stead in retirement as he will not miss the adoration which leaves such a gap in the lives of other players when they hang them up. For that, I love him.
But there is part of me who wishes he would have just said to Mirallas, Lukaku, various England players and even Digne, "Fuck off out of my way. I take the free-kicks and penalties around here!"
29 Posted 02/08/2020 at 10:03:52
30 Posted 04/08/2020 at 08:47:44
Superb ability and class. And he was genuinely good.
31 Posted 04/08/2020 at 00:15:06
Baines is my favourite player in almost 30 years of watching the Blues.
I haven't had any kids yet, mainly due to the price of housing, but the name Leighton will be on the shortlist, if I'm ever blessed with a son.
I'll hope he can grow up to be half the man. A class-act.
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