Born : Mancot, North Wales. 12th November 1960
Played : 469 games for Everton, 58 Wales caps
During Kevin’s time at Everton, it was sometimes said that any visitor to Goodison Park could tell whether or not Kevin Ratcliffe has played the day before, as if the Welshman had been on duty, there would be scorchmarks on the pitch!
However, there was a time when Ratcliffe very nearly left Everton, before his career had really got underway. Fed up with an apparenly lack of recognition, and constantly being played out of position, Ratcliffe confronted Howard Kendall, and there was talk of a move to Ipswich.
Thankfully, no deal took place, and Ratcliffe stayed at Goodison Park, and in December 1982 his fortunes took a decisive upturn when he replaced Billy Wright alonside Mark Higgins in the centre of Everton’s back four. Within 12 months he had made the captaincy his own, and 6 months later became the youngest man to lift the FA Cup.
That FA Cup win signalled the start of Everton’s most succesful period, during which Ratcliffe was a constant, excelling first alongside Derek Mountfield, and then Dave Watson as Everton’s trophy room filled up.
Neville Southall said of his captain, “Rats was quick as anything, and nasty as anything!
I think people donâ€™t give him credit for that, heâ€™s always got away with it, because he used to do it quite slyly. Heâ€™d give an awful lot of stick out, and he was quick as lightening, as well as being really good upstairs. He could think his way through a football game, and if youâ€™re going to have a captain, youâ€™ve got to have a captain who can think on his feet.”
Ratcliffe’s speed of thought, and his speed on the pitch served Everton for over 10 years, but in 1992, he was given a free transfer away from the club he had grown up supporting as a young lad. He described his move away from Goodison Park in his book “My memories of Everton” – “Leaving Everton was certainly a wrench, the worst day of my life to be more exact. But, I had my medals, my memories, and most of all no matter what my future held I had played for Everton, my team.”
European Cup Winners Cup Winner 1985
FA Cup Winner 1984
League Championships : 84/85 + 86/87