Every Everton fan has a special place in their heart for Graeme Sharp, one of the architects of the club's golden age. In the mid-1980s Everton were the team to beat and but for the ban on European football after the Heysel disaster could have gone on to challenge their great rivals Liverpool's dominance in Europe. Graeme Sharp was the focal point of that team, the lethal finisher who shot them to two league titles, an FA Cup win and the European Cup Winners Cup.
Only Dixie Dean has scored more goals for the blue half of Merseyside. In almost 450 appearances for Everton, Sharp hit the net 159 times, becoming a Goodison legend in the process. Signed as an unknown quantity from Dumbarton in 1980, Sharp grew in stature and confidence under Howard Kendall.
An intelligent all-round frontman, he created as many goals as he scored. Strong in the air, he was particularly adept at laying the ball off for others, as was his compatriot Andy Gray, with whom he formed a devastating partnership.
It was Sharp who started the ball rolling for Everton's golden period. In the 1984 FA Cup final he got the first goal in a 2-0 win over Watford at Wembley and there was even better to come the following year.
The Toffees won their first league title in 15 years and Sharp hit 30 goals in a memorable campaign which ended with their only ever European trophy, the Cup Winners Cup. He was again instrumental in that run. Against Bayern Munich in the semi-final second leg it was Sharp who scored the crucial equalizer and tirelessly harried the Bayern Munich defenders into submission. Everton went on to win 3-1 and then repeat that scoreline in the final against Rapid Vienna.
In that wonderful season there is one moment that sticks out more than any other for Everton fans – Sharp's goal at Anfield. Effortlessly bringing down a Gary Stevens long-ball, the Scot silenced the Kop with a magnificent 25-yard volley.
Two years later and Everton would win the title again with Sharp once more playing a pivotal role. The Toffees looked outsiders for the league crown but a barnstorming second half of the season saw them overtake Arsenal and, more importantly, Liverpool.
Sharp stayed at Everton until moving to Oldham in 1991. That transfer outraged many fans who believed he still had plenty to offer in a blue shirt. The only slight disappointment in Sharp's career was not getting the recognition he deserved on the international stage. A man with his goal record playing for the best team in England at the time should have won more than 12 caps. Regardless, he remains an Everton legend and still has strong connections to the club.