Duncan Ferguson’s arrival at Goodison Park in 1994 came at a time when the club was looking for inspiration and a light to shine in what had become a very dark period for the club. Only seven years removed from Everton winning the league, Everton was a club primarily concerned with staying in it. Clubs at the bottom end of the table find it hard to find players with commitment, passion and love for the club. Struggling clubs are often filled with rejects or players past their prime. Ferguson was neither, and his elevation to be loved by the fans was due to his love for the club.
Everton’s last trophy came with Ferguson at the club but the often injured Ferguson had only just returned for the final and was unfit, yet his passion to play and win for the club was evident again. The solo moment that may be remembered most fondly however was his performance against Man Utd in 2005, a game Everton needed to win if the dream of Champions League qualification was to come true. On a memorable night Ferguson headed home the winning goal in a 1-0 victory which helped us achieve that dream. When Everton needed inspiration, he was there again. A trademark header, sealing Everton’s transformation from relegation candidates to Champions League qualifiers.
Some of Ferguson’s worst moments on a football pitch are ones that are remembered most fondly. Whether it was throwing Paul Ince to the floor or throttling Steffan Freund, Evertonians always had a soft spot for the Glaswegian’s hard man imagine. The worst moment in his career in my eyes should have been his best. Having helped us get to the Champions League play offs, he should have helped us get to the group stages if it wasn’t for a mysterious decision from Collina to disallow a goal. That goal should have bought the tie level and the momentum would have been with Everton. Instead Villarreal went through and eventually went to the semi-finals.
When Everton bought Ferguson it wasn’t an easy decision after a loan spell which didn’t fully convince. However the faith was immediately re-paid with a derby goal and a derby win in 1994 when a trademark header put Everton on their way to victory. It was one of many great performances in the Merseyside Derby and the start of his legend.
Why I Love Him
Duncan Ferguson helped to lift the doom and gloom around the club and give the fans hope. All football fans want to see the players on the pitch have the same passion as the fans do in the stands. Ferguson was very much a fan on the pitch and fell in love with the club with the same strength that the fans fell in love with him. This shows in the Everton tattoo he got in 2001 and showed off on the pitch after another Derby goal. He may have missed many games due to injury or suspension but his impact on the club was huge. He came to the club to help us stay in the Premier League and left after helping us get into the Champions League. He knew what the club meant, and still does as a coach, and having those characters at a club is priceless.