Former Players - Number 9. Duncan Ferguson

20th April 2005: the visit of Manchester United was a pivotal moment in Evertonís quest for the final Champions League place. David Moyes, the manager, had decided to name an unchanged team apart from one; Duncan Ferguson was to start. The last time Everton had beaten the Red Devilís was in 1995 when Ferguson himself had risen highest to head home the winning goal. This spring night at Goodison Park was to be no different. On the stroke of the hour mark Ferguson lost his marker in the box and planted a diving header into the back of the net in front of the Gladys Street End faithful. The scenes from Goodison Park were hysterical. As he ripped of his shirt to reveal the club crest tattooed on his arm the 40,000 people strong crowd marveled at the hero they have worshipped for now over a decade. This was the night that a new legend was etched into the Everton history books.

Duncan Ferguson began his career as a trainee at Dundee United. He soon became noted as a physical and aerially supreme centre-forward, attracting much interest from top Scottish clubs; one being Rangers. So in the summer of 1992 Ferguson made a record breaking £4 million move to Rangers. Injuries have restricted Fergusonís potential throughout his career and in two years at Rangers he managed to make only twelve appearances without scoring and failed to win over the home fans. Joe Royle, the Everton manager at the time, took a gamble with him and for another £4million brought Ferguson to Goodison Park. Scoring a goal against arch rivals Liverpool on Joe's first match in charge, immediately made Duncan an iconic figure in the blue half of Merseyside. Evertonís financial problems however took a turn for the worse and Big Dunc, as christened by the Everton fans, dramatically moved to Newcastle United for £7million in 1999 after five years of service to the club and winning an F.A. Cup winners medal along the way. Ferguson was obviously deeply saddened by the move and let his feelings known in an interview with a national newspaper where he said that ĎEverton fans will always be a part of meí and Ďmy dream is to one day return homeí. After his debut for Newcastle in a F.A. Cup tie in 1999 he turned to a reporter and said ĎI hope we win the cup, but if we donít, I hope Newcastle do.í This love of Everton shone through in Duncan and after an injury marred time at Newcastle he got his wish and was sold back to Everton much to the delight of his Evertonian followers.

Many have said that if there was a book on Duncan Ferguson it would be a top seller. His aggressive style of play and short temper has regularly landed Ferguson in controversy. Whilst playing for Rangers in 1994, an extraordinary moment of chaos saw Ferguson head butt Raith Rovers defender John McStay. Consequently Ferguson was charged with gross violent misconduct and was sentenced to three months in Barlinnie prison, only the second player to serve time behind bars for an on-the-field incident. This punishment saw Duncan Ferguson become a guinea pig in the Scottish F.A.ís attempt to clamp down on match violence. It is possible to see this level of violence on the pitch every Saturday afternoon and this was why Ferguson felt so let down by the Scottish Football Association. He took the decision to refuse to play for his country again. He only made seven caps at international level and showed Scotland what a gem they could have had, rattling the upright with a sweetly struck bicycle kick on his debut. Since then various Scottish managers have approached Ferguson in attempt to bring him out of international exile, but in vain.

More recently in 2003 whilst playing against Fulham in an F.A Cup tie he was accused by Luis Boa Morte of racism. This type of accusation involved police investigations and club reports. Ferguson was always baffled by the claims and protested his innocence. Ferguson had recently travelled to Nigeria to attend his ex-striking-partner, Daniel Amokachiís, wedding. Amokachi ridiculed the accusations directed at his good friend as did ex-Everton player Kevin Campbell and without further ado Ferguson was cleared of all claims.

Ferguson holds the worst discipline record since the dawn of the Premiership in 1992. He has picked up eight red cards, countless yellow cards and is always involved in any fracas. He reacts to small situations and is therefore often the target for sly comments from opposing players. However his size and strength scares even the most solid of defenders, such as his demolition of Rio Ferdinand in last yearís campaign. Until he retires he will terrorise any defensive line and will strike fear into opposing players. In his youth Ferguson was also a nifty boxer, a fact that two burglars found out when they attempted to rob his Merseyside home. Ferguson caused himself an injury in grappling with the two trespasses that were later hospitalised for their efforts.

One question still remains a point of interest for all Evertonians: was Duncan Ferguson a Everton legend? It is without doubt that in my opinion he had been our best player for nearly a decade. Duncan always used to raise the hopes of fans whenever he was placed on the team list. It is just unfortunate that a man of such talent and endeavour never reached his true potential through consistent injuries and his notorious temperament. However Duncanís dynasty will always remainÖ..good luck to you mate and thanks for all the glorious memories. Phil R. (22/02/07)

Duncan 2005/2006     Former Players Index

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Big Dunc In Pictures


















Big Dunc In Action

Big Man

Duncan Ferguson

The one and Only

Dunc's No Push Over

Duncan 2005/2006     Former Players Index

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