Name: John Ebbrell
In his 90s prime for: Everton
Lowdown: Signing schoolboy terms with Everton in 1981, Ebbrell went on to captain England Schoolboys at differing age groups. Many thought that he was destined for international recognition, but it would be fair to say that the midfielder simply didn’t fulfil his potential.
In eleven years at Everton he made 207 league appearances, and he seemed to be the sort of player that fans always tended to get on the back of. He was hard-working and intelligent, but did not score enough goals (13) or create enough chances. He would often cover for defenders and make crucial interceptions, but supporters don’t necessarily notice those abilities.
Ebbrell finally moved from Everton to Sheffield United on a free transfer in the summer of 1997. Unfortunately he made only one start for the club, and was forced to retire due to an infection in an operation wound on an ankle injury.
Beautifully, the in-depth Toffeeweb site lists in Ebbrell’s weaknesses column: “Abysmal shot, misses from anywhere, stupid tackles, no confidence in scoring positions, can miss virtually any chance”.
It is fair to say that John’s Wikipedia page may have been slightly altered, given that I’m not sure he made 2530 appearances for Everton or joined Sheffield United for £12million.
Now: Ebbrell has been a busy boy in retirement, starting as a scout under David Moyes at Everton. He then formed is own football agency, which merged with Proform Sports Management. After coaching at Tranmere Rovers, in July 2010 he became Centre of Excellence manager at the club.