Everton in 1980s

After nearly being relegated the season before Everton managed to raise themselves to 15th place in 1980/81 season. Gordon Lee brought in a new goalkeeper in the form of Jim McDonough from Bolton Wanderers and blooded three youngesters in Steve McMahon, Paul Lodge and Joe McBride. The end of the season saw a former Everton legend join the club as player/manager Howard Kendall and he helped sow the seeds of probably Everton’s finest decade to date. Howard’s first full season 1981/82 saw him start by brining in what was known as the ‘Magnificent 7? in the form of Alan Ainscow, Alan Biley, Mick Ferguson, Mike Walsh, Mickey Thomas & Neville Southall. He would later pay an Everton record fee for Adrian Heath to move from Stoke City for £750,000 not forgetting the captures of Derek Mountfield and Alan Irvine also and the blues went onto finish a respectable 8th for that season. In 1982/83 Everton moved up one place by finishing the season in 7th place. Kevin Sheedy had moved across Stanley Park for £100,000, Peter Reid was captured from Bolton Wanderers for £60,000 and Terry Curran and Glen Keeley came in on loan although the latter’s Everton career probably proved to be one of the shortest in the club’s history when he was sent off on his debut against Liverpool and he never regained his place. 1983/84 finally saw Everton win the FA Cup for the 1st time since 1966 and Everton’s first trophy since they won the league back in 1969/70. Howard Kendall had brought in Trevor Steven from Burnley and Andy Gray from Wolves. They would prove invaluable to a team that would win the cup. 1984/85 and the first league title for 15 years & the clubs 8th title in total arrived at Goodison Park at the end of a magnificent season that saw Everton miss out on a domestic double thanks to a Cup Final goal by a future Everton player Norman Whiteside then at Manchester United but pick up the clubs first European Trophy during a glorious night in Rotterdam against Rapid Vienna. Howard’s team of heroes had been supplemented by the arrival of Pat van den Hauwe and Paul Wilkinson. Peter Reid was voted PFA Player of the year, Neville Southall the Football Writers’ Association player of the year. However the sad note for Everton was the death of former player and manager Harry Catterick who had died at Goodison shortly after watching Everton draw 2-2 against Ipswich Town in the FA Cup. 1985/86 brought the start of the European ban for English clubs and Everton ended that season as runners-up in the League despite paying a record £800,000 fee for Striker Gary Lineker. 1986/87 saw Everton win their ninth League Division 1 title. The Blues brought in Dave Watson from Norwich City, Bobby Mimms, Neil Adams, Kevin Langley & Ian Snodin during the title winning season a season which saw them reach the Final of the ’European replacement’ the Screen Sports Super Cup however they finished runners up to Liverpool. The season ended with Howard Kendall moving on to Athletic Bilbao leaving Colin Harvey to take permanent charge. Colin Harvey’s first season in charge 1987/88 saw the Toffeemen finish in 4th place. Harvey brining in Ian Wilson to add to the title winning squad. 1988/89 and Everton spent big on a small centre forward in the shape of Tony Cottee spending £4.5 million a fraction of this total was paid back with a hat trick in the first game of the season his 3 goals helping the Blues win 4-0 against Newcastle United. Harvey also brought in Pat Nevin, Stuart McCall & Neil McDonald. Everton would play in the post Hillsborough FA Cup Final against Liverpool that season. 1989/90 and the end of decade season saw Everton finish 6th with the Blues buying in Stefan Rehn, Ray Atteveld, Mike Newell, Martin Keown & Norman Whiteside.