Emblazoned on the ironclad paneling that surrounds Goodison is a maxim that epitomises an array of Everton matches. Nil Satis Nisi Optimum avows that nothing, but unparalleled greatness is good enough.
Throughout their 138 turbulent years of existence, Everton have been involved in a slew of memorable, adrenaline-charged matches that no Evertonian could overlook.
We’ve assembled a selection of some of the greatest Everton matches for you to relive and remember.
The 1985 European Cup Winners’ Cup Final
Everton’s greatest achievement? Quite possibly. That team of footballers who lifted the European Cup Winners’ Cup in Rotterdam are superstars; immortalised in an anthem which notes the entire squad, from the iconic Neville Southall, to the talismanic Trevor Steven.
Howard Kendall’s team triumphed over Rapid Wien in what was a straightforward encounter in comparison to their semi-final conquering of Bayern Munich.
However, the image of Kevin Ratcliffe leading his squad up the steps of the Feyenoord Stadion is a moment that will undoubtedly outlast any Evertonian.
The Great Escape (1997-98)
From European success, to avoiding relegation, Evertonian’s have experienced everything football has threw at them.
Indeed, “The Great Escape” is eulogised not for the match itself nor for the Everton matches that brought about its happening, but rather for what it symbolised.
“Intensive care still needed at this famous football club,” exclaimed Martin Tyler as Kendall’s mediocre team survived relegation on a tortuous afternoon at Goodison.
An unreserved swarming of their team followed as Evertonian’s celebrated their triumphant escape. Gareth Farrelly’s opening goal was, perhaps, the catalyst for Everton’s revival.
Dixie Dean’s 60th Goal
60 goals in a single season is simply unimaginable today. But, in 1928, William Ralph “Dixie” Dean – who is immortalised in bronze outside his spiritual home – climbed highest to score a header that would cement his name in footballing folklore.
The history-making goal was not celebrated with as much vigour as one would imagine because it seemed a forgone conclusion. “Dixie was unique,” effused Alex Young, “a legend. An icon,” he added.
60,000 Evertonian’s witnessed footballing history on that fabled summer’s afternoon in 1928. However, if you were to ask them whether Dean’s haul would ever be surpassed, they probably would have nodded in as much as a reserved manner as Dixie’s 60th goal celebration.
His record is yet to be beaten.
The 1995 FA Cup Final
This match divides opinion amongst Evertonian’s. A cluster laments the reality that they have never witnessed Everton win a notable trophy; whilst those born in 1995 clutch onto the undeniable truth that they were alive when Dave Watson lifted aloft the FA Cup.
In the 50th FA Cup Final to be contested at Wembley since the Second World War, Joe Royles’ Everton triumphed over Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United.
The toffees won the match via a header by Paul Rideout, after Graham Stuart’s thunderous shot rebounded off Schmeichel’s crossbar.
And yet, that match is now remembered by plenty of Evertonian’s as the final time their team won a trophy, and rather than the intoxicating match it most definitely was.
Everton 3 – 0 Liverpool (2006-7)
Now this was great. Andy Johnson’s now notorious fingers flaunted the emphatic score. It was humiliating and wondrous in equal measure.
Sure, Everton had triumphed over their tormentors before, but this was different, this was historic.
Pandemonium ensued when Johnson capitalised on a mistake from the tormented Liverpool goalkeeper, adding to what already was a rout.
This match is immortalised not only for the impressive goal haul, but also for the comedic image of an Evertonian showboating alongside his heartbroken Kopite companion.
Ferguson’s Champions League Header (2004-5)
Manchester United, again. On this occasion a spot in the coveted Champions League was in the balance.
Duncan Ferguson’s thumping header sent Goodison apoplectic and reinforced his already solid spot in Evertonian hearts.
Although Everton did not mathematically qualify for the Champions League until they beat Newcastle United a fortnight later, David Moyes’ men had shown that they were deserving of a place at footballers top table.
Remember the Name, Wayne Rooney
The 2002/03 campaign is remembered for a single player. Wayne Rooney.
Every Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning that followed the 19th October, 2002 seemed insignificant after a teenage Rooney lobbed David Seaman from 30 yards.
39,572 Evertonian’s witnessed Rooney’s historic goal as Everton halted Arsenal’s undefeated streak in what can only be described as an unforgettable match.
That day, Clive Tyldesley uttered the quotable phrase: “remember the name, Wayne Rooney.” How could any genuine Evertonian forget?
The Dixie Dean Hotel
The Dixie Dean Hotel is set to complete Liverpool’s upcoming Football Quarter. The luxurious venue will sit opposite the iconic Shankly Hotel, which commemorates and celebrates the life of Liverpool’s legendary manager.
The unique hotel will offer Evertonian’s an unrivalled football experience, perfect for overnight stays, watching Everton matches and enjoying unseen memorabilia.
To keep up to date with the latest developments, follow The Dixie Dean Hotel Facebook page.