We are all aware that Everton is known as producing some of the best players that the sport of football has even witnessed.
Examples include Wayne Rooney, Brian Labone, Leighton Baines, and Danny Cadamarteri. However, countless analysts and fans alike still feel that Kevin Ratcliffe is the best leader that the club has ever had to offer. What makes this individual so special, what are some of his major accomplishments and why will he remain highly respected within the annals of Everton history?
Known as the “Hard Man”
While Ratcliffe did indeed possess a certain level of finesse while on the pitch, he was also one of the most formidable tacklers in existence. Not only did this provide a massive level of protection for Everton, but the fact of the matter is that many players were hesitant to go toe to toe with him in the heat of battle.
Perhaps one of the reasons why he was so aggressive while playing for Everton involves his history with the team. Having coe through the ranks of the Everton Youth Academy, he spent his formative years shaping his skills with the club. So, it is clear to appreciate why he remained quite loyal over the years. This is arguably one of the reasons why he was awarded with the captaincy at only 23 years of age in 1983.
A Sound and Fair Leader
Captains can make or break any team and this largely based off of the examples that they choose to set. Ratfliffe was unique in the fact that while he was indeed a “hard man”, he also possessed a decidedly magnanimous personality on the pitch and during training sessions. This is why Everton enjoyed one of its most successful runs under his guidance. Accomplishments include the 1984 FA Cup Final, the 1984-1985 League Championship and the 1984-1985 European Cup Winners Cup. It is clear to see that this string of victories was at least partially due to the momentum provided by Ratcliffe.
A Legend in His Own Time
It is interesting to note that Ratcliffe might not have been blessed with a natural gift for the game. However, his sheer speed and aggressiveness while on the pitch certainly made up for any potential shortcomings. As anyone who plays online pokies NZ knows, we all love an underdog. The fact that Ratcliffe still rose to the top even though he was not the most instinctively talented player pays tribute to his sheer determination.
These are some of the reasons why Kevin Ratcliffe is often dubbed as the best Everton player of all time. Of course, other personalities such as Dixie Dean and Neville Southall deserve their far share of attention. The facts and observations mentioned above may be disputed by some and yet, no one can deny the fact that Ratclifffe was a force to be reckoned with during his tenure with Everton.
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