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Merseyside United





Merseyside rivals Liverpool and Everton meet for their latest derby this Sunday, with the competition raging as fiercely as ever across the short distance of Stanley Park.


Liverpool was founded when Everton left what was originally their home ground, Anfield, to move to Goodison Park in 1892 after a dispute about rent.


The strong divide not only split families and friends, but can cause serious problems for players who have grown up supporting one and then signed for the other. We look at the players who have bravely played for both teams.



Fred Geary


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Fred Geary joined Everton in May of 1895, and was their top scorer from 1889-90 to 1892-93, netting the Blues' first goal in their first season at Goodison Park in 1892.

Liverpool - then in the Second Division while Everton were in the First - paid £60 to bring Geary (back) to Anfield.

He helped the Reds take the Second Division title and return to the top flight for 1896-97.



Dave Hickson


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Hickson signed for Everton in 1948 and then joined the army for three years, where he was coached by Dixie Dean. In 1953-54, he scored 25 goals to help them move up to the First Division, then left for Aston Villa and Huddersfield.

In 1957 he returned to Everton, but then unexpectedly joined Liverpool for £12,000, scoring twice on his debut. He later played for another Merseyside club - Tranmere Rovers.



David Johnson


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Johnson signed for Everton as a youngster and after showing his ability in early matches, Liverpool manager Bill Shankly pestered Everton counterpart Harry Catterick to sell the young striker, but was rebuffed.

Johnson made his Everton debut as a 19 year old on the 8 January 1971 in a 2-2 league draw with Burnley at Turf Moor. Later on in 1971 Johnson scored in a Merseyside derby game for Everton; he would do the same for Liverpool a decade later, making him, along with Peter Beardsley the only players to have scored for both clubs in the derby.

Johnson joined Bobby Robson's Ipswich Town in the November 1972.

In 1976 Tottenham Hotspur put in a bid for around £200,000 but Johnson did not want to move. However, his answer was different when Liverpool came calling. After 137 league appearances for the Tractor Boys, Liverpool got their man (though Shankly never did as he had retired two years earlier) and Johnson went to Anfield.

In his first season he was a frequent substitute, vying for the right to partner Kevin Keegan with both John Toshack and David Fairclough. In his debut season Liverpool were chasing an historic "treble" of League championship, FA Cup and European Cup as the season drew to a thrilling close.

Johnson picked up his first domestic honour with the League title and was selected as Keegan's strike partner for the FA Cup final at Wembley, but Liverpool lost 2-1 to Manchester United and Johnson made little impact to the extent that he was replaced by Ian Callaghan in the second half.

For the European Cup final against Borussia Monchengladbach in Rome three days later, manager Bob Paisley kept the team that had ended the match at Wembley, so Callaghan started and Johnson was on the bench. He picked up a medal as Liverpool won 3-1.

The following year Johnson was in the side which retained the European Cup but lost both the League title and the League Cup final to Nottingham Forest. In 1979 and 1980 he was a free-scoring centre forward as Liverpool regained and then retained the title, and in 1981 he played as Liverpool won their third European Cup and their first League Cup.

However, a sign of things to come was in that first League Cup success. After the first game at Wembley ended 1-1, Johnson was on the bench for the replay against West Ham United due to Paisley's decision to try out a young forward called Ian Rush. Rush never scored but played well and the following year he was the regular partner to Kenny Dalglish with Johnson being used less frequently.

Johnson did enough on a personal level to win a final title medal in 1982 and also won the League Cup again after getting the substitute's shirt for the final before he returned to Everton in the August of '82 for £100,000.

He retired a few years later after 4 goals in forty appearances in his second spell with the blue half of Merseyside.



Steve McMahon


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Halewood-born McMahon started his career at Everton, the club he supported as a boy, playing for them as a teenager after appearing at Goodison Park as a ball boy. He made his league debut on 16 August 1980 in the 3-1 defeat to Sunderland at Roker Park, he went on to be voted the supporters player of the year by the end of the 1980/81 season. His commanding presence in the Toffees midfield earned him the captaincy of the club but Everton's lack of success couldn't quench his thirst for honours, so after 4 seasons which included 100 league appearances and 11 league goals McMahon was on the move.

He joined Aston Villa on 20 May 1983 for £175,000 (apparently rejecting a move to Liverpool in order to stay in the good books of the Evertonians), he made his league debut on 27 August 1983 in the 4-3 derby win over West Bromwich Albion at Villa Park. McMahon settled quickly and established himself in the heart of the Villains midfield. However the success he craved never materialised with Villa finishing a disappointing 10th in his first season at the club, and to confound matters his previous club, Everton, finished 3 places above them in 7th spot. The following season, 1984/85, ended up worse than the previous one as Villa finished in 10th spot again, only this time Everton won the title.

McMahon agreed to join Liverpool on the 12 September 1985 for £350,000 thus becoming the first signing to be made by new manager Kenny Dalglish, and filling the void left by Graeme Souness over a year earlier.

After playing 15 games of the 1991/1992 McMahon left Liverpool to join Manchester City for £900,000 on Christmas Eve 1991 after playing 276 games, during which time he scored 50 goals.



Kevin Sheedy


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Sheedy started his career with Hereford United, followed by a short spell with Liverpool, but played just three competitive games in four years and was sold to Everton for £100,000 in 1982. At Everton he made 357 appearances (12 as substitute) and scored 97 goals.

Sheedy's most notable achievements were as part of the 1984 Everton team that won the FA Cup (although he missed the final through injury). In 1985 and 1987 he won the Football League, and in 1985 the European Cup Winners' Cup, scoring in the final itself.

Sheedy left Goodison Park in 1992 on a free transfer to join Newcastle United, and helped them win the Division One title, and promotion to the Premier League, in 1992-93. He ended his career with Blackpool in the 1993-94 Division Two campaign.



Peter Beardsley


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Beardsley debuted with Carlisle United, spent three years with the Vancouver Whitecaps in Canada, then returned to Manchester United and then Newcastle.

In 1987 Kenny Dalglish paid £1.9million for Beardsley at Liverpool, where he helped them win two league titles and an FA Cup.

He left in 1991 for Everton, becoming one of only two men to score for both sides in a Merseyside derby. He later played for the other half of Manchester at City.



Gary Ablett


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Liverpool-born Ablett joined Liverpool F.C. as an apprentice upon leaving school in 1982.

He finally made his Liverpool debut on 20 December 1986 in a goalless league away draw with Charlton Athletic, when regular defenders Barry Venison and Mark Lawrenson were absent due to injury.

Alongside experienced players in defence, such as Gary Gillespie, Steve Nicol and skipper Alan Hansen, Ablett helped Liverpool win the League championship and reach the 1988 FA Cup Final. Ablett only collected a runners-up medal in the latter competition due to Liverpool's 1-0 defeat by Wimbledon.

In 1988-89, Liverpool made it to their second consecutive FA Cup final. This time they were successful, after a 3-2 victory over Everton. They lost the League title, however, to Arsenal with practically the last kick of the season. Ablett was now firmly established as the club's regular left back, missing just three league games that season.

Ablett flitted in and out of the squad over the next year, relegated in the pecking order following the arrival of Glenn Hysen and the progress of Steve Staunton and David Burrows. He was used more frequently as a central defender rather than left-back after Hansen began suffering more with injuries. Eventually, he took the central role more often following the arrival of left back David Burrows from West Bromwich Albion and won the League again with Liverpool in 1990.

Kenny Dalglish resigned as Liverpool manager on 22 February 1991, and his successor, Graeme Souness, decided to sell Ablett for £750,000 to Everton in January 1992, after 147 appearances for the Reds. Ironically, his departure came at a time when he was getting more first team opportunities than he had done since the 1988-89 season.

He made his league debut for the Toffees on 19 January 1992 in a 1-1 draw with Nottingham Forest at Goodison Park.

Ablett won the FA Cup with Everton in 1995, becoming the only player to win the competition with both Merseyside teams. However, he lost his first team place to Andy Hinchcliffe in the 1995-96 season.

Ablett went on to make 128 league appearances and score five goals for Everton, and later went on to have a brief loan spell with Sheffield United before making a permanent move to Birmingham City for £390,000.



David Burrows


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Burrows was signed by Liverpool from West Brom for £550,000 in October 1988. Vying for a place with Steve Staunton, meant that Burrows' first team opportunities were limited in his first season at Liverpool.

At this time he was not regularly featuring in the team, with the equally inexperienced Steve Staunton enjoying an extended run at left back which lasted through to the end of the season, including the 3-2 FA Cup final victory over Everton in which Barry Venison was selected for a place on the substitute's bench ahead of Burrows.

The following year, with Staunton more frequently deployed in midfield and manager Dalglish prepared to rotate his squad more, Burrows played on a more regular basis and won his first honour with Liverpool when they clinched the League title, finishing nine points clear of Aston Villa. When Dalglish quit in 1991 and was replaced by Graeme Souness, Burrows found his chances more restricted, though he did score his first Liverpool goal on 31 August, 1991 in a 3-1 victory over Everton at Anfield. Later that season he was picked by Souness for the 1992 FA Cup Final, which Liverpool won, beating Sunderland 2-0 at Wembley.

Burrows left for West Ham United in September 1993, along with Mike Marsh, as part of a deal that took Julian Dicks to Anfield. Burrows had appeared 193 times for the Reds, scoring three goals. He spent just a single year at Upton Park, appearing 35 times scoring twice. He was used a bargaining tool for the return of Tony Cottee from Everton. Burrows joined Everton in September 1994, but his time at Goodison Park was short lived. He spent just six months at Everton, playing 23 times, before he was on the move again, this time to Coventry City.



Don Hutchison


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Hutchison started his career at Hartlepool United  as a trainee. He was a member of the Promotion winning squad of the 1990-91 season. However he left long before the season's end with his last game being on 24 November 1990, a 2-0 win against Scarborough.

His talents were quickly spotted by the big guns and he moved to Liverpool under Kenny Dalglish. Hutchison said of his time at Anfield, "I got on well with Graeme Souness and I think he quite liked my style of play because I got a stuck in."

He then moved on to West Ham for two seasons. He broke the club's record transfer fee - £1.5 million - when he signed for this spell at the club in August 1994.

Hutchison next moved to Sheffield United where he flourished under the management of Howard Kendall. Hutchison enjoyed good form, so much so that when Kendall left to manage Everton, he made Hutchison one of his signings, and ended up club captain.



Nick Barmby


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Barmby started at Tottenham, joining Middlesbrough in 1995 for £6.25million. Only 14 months later he moved to Everton, and was a star in Glenn Hoddle's England side until injuries ruled him out for three years.

The midfielder moved to Liverpool, scoring against Everton at Anfield and propelling his team to UEFA Cup triumph.

Gerard Houllier tried to sell him to Sunderland in October 2001, and despite clinging on, he was off to Leeds in 2002.



Abel Xavier


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Xavier didn't score in 49 games from 1999-2002 for Everton, but when he debuted for Liverpool at Ipswich that year, he netted in 16 minutes.

Sadly, he soon dropped out of the first-team, was loaned out to Galatasaray in Turkey and did not return.

The flamboyant defender played in seven countries in his career, eventually moving to LA Galaxy in the US and then leaving football and converting to Islam.



Sander Westerveld


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Following the 1998-1999 season, during which he helped Vitesse Arnhem to qualify for Europe, Westerveld was sold to Liverpool, where he succeeded David James. He became the most expensive goalkeeper in British football when he joined the Reds for a reported fee of £4 million during the summer of 1999. Westerveld made his Liverpool debut against Sheffield Wednesday on the 7 August 1999 in a 2-1 away win. The giant keeper was Gérard Houllier's first choice to succeed James as Anfield's number one, and Westerveld fully justified the manager's confidence by playing a leading role in Liverpool's return to Europe, conceding the fewest goals in the 1999-2000 Premiership season.

He played a key role in the treble season of 2000-2001 for Liverpool, emerging as the hero of Liverpool's League Cup final victory over Birmingham City, making the match winning save from Andy Johnson in the penalty shoot-out.

However, towards the end of his two season spell on Merseyside, he was often subjected to criticism from the media. After a major mistake in a game against Bolton Wanderers on 27 August 2001 he was put on the bench by then-manager Gérard Houllier, who promptly signed two new goalkeepers - the Polish international Jerzy Dudek (who would become a Champions League-winning hero) and the injury-prone but impressive Englishman Chris Kirkland. Westerveld was then sold despite being part of a team that had won three trophies the previous season.

A move abroad saw a successful spell with Spanish side Real Sociedad culminating in Champions League participation and finishing as runner up in La Liga of the 2002=2003 season.

In July 2005 he moved back to England with Portsmouth, being signed by Alain Perrin, where he was to be first choice ahead of Jamie Ashdown and Greek keeper Konstantinos Chalkias. However, after an inconsistent time at Fratton Park, in February 2006 he was allowed to move on a short term loan to Everton, because of a goalkeeping crisis which saw Nigel Martyn, Richard Wright and Iain Turner all unavailable. Westerveld played only two games.

Once he returned to Portsmouth he remained a substitute and was released by Harry Redknapp in May 2006.