Everton Quotes: Famous Sayings About the Toffees

As one of the most successful clubs in English football, Everton aren’t just steeped in history on the pitch – they’re also a goldmine for quotes off the field.

Here, we’ll be taking you through some of the best Everton quotes, including the meaning of the club’s motto, famous sayings, former player quotes, and even what their rivals have said about them.

Everton Facts

Founded: 1878 (as St Domingo FC)

Nickname: The Toffees (find out why here)

Stadium: Goodison Park (since 1892; their original home was, in fact, Anfield)

Honours: 9 First Division titles, 5 FA Cups, 9 Charity Shields, 1 European Cup Winners’ Cup

5 Unusual Facts About Everton FC

  • Everton hold two FA Cup records – the fastest goal in a final (Louis Saha after 25 seconds vs Chelsea in 2009), and the most semi-final defeats (13).
  • Everton’s club shop in Liverpool’s biggest shopping centre, ‘Liverpool One,’ is cheekily called ‘Everton Two’. There is also an ‘Everton One’ – it’s located just by Goodison Park, in fact.
  • The tower in the club’s badge is a real tower – it’s called ‘Prince Rupert’s Tower’, and it could be found, handily, in the Everton district of the city of Liverpool (on Everton Brow).
  • Everton were the first British club to construct a purpose-built football stadium, to have a four-sided stadium with two tier stands, and to install dug-outs and under-soil heating.
  • Despite numerous flirtations with the drop, Everton have been ever-presents in the top-flight of English football since 1954.

Everton Quotes

Let’s start our dive into Everton quotes by looking some of the most famous and funny. But before that, what is the ‘Grand Old Team’ club motto, and what does it mean?

Everton FC Motto: Nil Satis Nisi Optimum – Meaning

‘Nil Satis Nisi Optimum’ is a Latin phrase which translates as ‘nothing but the best is good enough’

The motto first featured on an Everton crest in 1938, while fans protested when, in 2013, the badge was redesigned without the slogan.

The crest was subsequently changed again a year later, this time featuring those famous four words.

Famous Everton Quotes and Sayings

“I’m a Scot by birth and an Evertonian by choice.”

Alex Young, Everton striker during the 1960s.

“Evertonians are so enthusiastic about their players. It staggers me every time I go there. I might have started at Birmingham, but my soul is at Goodison.”Bob Latchford, Everton striker from 1974 – 1981.

“Football was never the same for me after I left Everton. Although I always wanted to win, losing never really seemed to hurt anymore.”

Kevin Ratcliffe, Everton defender from 1980 – 1992.

“When we came out for the second half against Bayern Munich, the roar literally made my hair stand on end.” 

Derek Mountfield, Everton central defender from 1982 – 1988. Mountfield was referring to Everton’s 3-1 victory over Bayern Munich in the semi-finals of the 1985 European Cup Winners’ Cup – which the club went on to win.

Funny Everton Quotes

“Well done lad, but remember, you’re still only half as good as I was.”

Dixie Dean, Everton’s all-time record goalscorer, to Bob Latchford after his 30th league goal in 1978.

“It was like guiding a rabid dog home.”

Journalist Ian Hargraves when asked by Howard Kendall to keep an eye out for Pat Van den Hauwe (AKA ‘Psycho Pat’, Everton defender from 1984 – 1989, on a flight home from pre-season.

“The football played by ‘Big Sam’ was awful, if it could even be called football.”

Former Everton midfielder Nikola Vlasic on the football played under Sam Allardyce during his brief spell at the club from November 2017 to May 2018.

Everton Manager Quotes

There’ve been plenty of soundbites, ringing endorsements and possible missteps from recent incumbents of the Goodison Park hot seat. Here are four of each of their best:

David Moyes Everton Quotes

“I am from a city [Glasgow] that is not unlike Liverpool. I am joining the people’s football club.”

Following Moyes’ appointment as Everton boss in 2002.

“If anybody wanted to leave, they’d be poorer for it. Most people that have left here, it’s not tended to work out for them.”

On reports that winger Steven Pienaar wanted to leave Everton in April 2010.

“He arrived at Everton and, of course, the first thing everyone clocked was the hair. I’ve always been quite strict when it comes to the appearance of my players. I don’t want to see earrings in training, things like that.

“With Marouane’s hair, I actually wondered if it might take a bit of the pace off the ball when he went up for a header. But I soon realised it was part of his personality. Part of who he is.”

On the big-haired Marouane Fellaini, Moyes’ biggest Everton signing at £15 million in 2008 and who he signed again for Manchester United in 2013.

“I wasn’t surprised, because I know how supporters react and I had left their club, but I was disappointed. I got Everton competing at the top end of the league with a mid-table budget. I gave everything I could in trying to make Everton the best I could.

“It was a long process but we did it – my staff, players and others at the club. We had some glorious nights at Goodison and the fans were superb. I’ve got huge affection for Everton – it was my life for over a decade.”

On the negative reception he received at his first game back at Goodison Park after leaving Everton for Manchester United – a 2-0 defeat in April 2014, which proved his last match in charge of the Red Devils.

Roberto Martinez Everton Quotes

“I have never seen a player with such an incredible professionalism as Gareth Barry. Gareth is one of those players who gets underrated.

“The reason we have so many developing young players is there are leaders in the mould of Gareth Barry. It is no coincidence when we have Gareth Barry around them.

“For me, he is one of the best English players ever.”

On then-Everton midfielder Gareth Barry in January 2016.

“I think you do not have a better English player. Technically, he is as good as you get.

“The way he executes, how he reads the game, for me, he is one of the most sensational you are going to see in Premier League history.”

On then-Everton midfielder Tom Cleverley in February 2016.

“I thought, tactically, we were outstanding. 

“If you look at the way we got set up in the second half, we were the better side and I think we showed an incredible tactical understanding and character.”

After a 3-2 home defeat to West Ham in March 2016, a game which ten-man Everton were leading 2-0 until the 78th minute.

“Phenomenal”

Used when lavishing praise on a number of things and people – namely Ross Barkley as a person, Aiden McGeady as a footballer, Arouna Kone’s return from injury, Mason Holgate as a young talent, Wayne Rooney after he scored against Everton for Manchester United, and Tyias Browning’s defending. And there are plenty more where they came from…

Ronald Koeman Everton Quotes

“When I spoke to Everton, the plan, the project, the history of the club was interesting. 

“If I didn’t see ambition in Everton I wouldn’t come to Everton, and that’s maybe a good message to all of the players.”

Following Koeman’s appointment as Martinez’s successor as Everton boss in June 2016.

“If he likes to play football then he needs to leave Everton.”

On Oumar Niasse in August 2016, who Koeman initially exiled but then brought back into the fold a year later.

“I don’t have any problem with Oumar because I spoke with him before the transfer window ended and said: ‘OK, you will get your chance with the first team. Work hard and get your chance.’

“That is what he did. His attitude was perfect.”On Niasse in September 2017, after he scored two late goals in a 2-1 home win over Bournemouth to potentially save Koeman’s job.

“Everton are a club, and also the fans, who expect sometimes too much.

“I think sometimes they are still living in the past about the great seasons that they had at Everton.

In an interview with Alan Shearer for The Athletic, published in February 2021.

Carlo Ancelotti Everton Quotes

“I am an Evertonian. The first day I signed I was an Evertonian.

“I love the feeling the supporters have for the team. They are really passionate about the team.

“You can see this in the stadium and city. There are lots of Evertonians here and the atmosphere in the city is really nice for me.

“It is a strength for us to have this kind of connection with the supporters.”

Speaking in January 2020, a month after his appointment as Everton manager.

“Everton is a beautiful club.

“This place is a family. It is a real family.

“I came here because it was a great opportunity. It is a great club with great tradition – and a club that has big ambitions.”

In February 2020, when explaining why he came to Everton and what attracted him to the club.

“I would like to be there when the new stadium is opened.

“It will be a good achievement for me. To finish the contract here in 2024 means that you did a good job and when you do a good job, the contract will not be stopped in 2024. It will continue.

The time I spent here is one year and I have felt really good, so I would like to stay as long as possible.”

In February 2021, when discussing the possibility of still being Everton manager when their new ground is expected to open in 2024.

“We have two fantastic strikers.

“They have it all in their hands, because they are modern strikers in my opinion who have everything. They are strong, they are fast, they are good without the ball.

“We couldn’t ask for more. I am a lucky man.”

In March 2021, on Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison.

Famous Everton Player Quotes

It’s not just the managers that have come up with some corkers, though – those in the royal blue have delivered some timeless classics, too:

Alan Ball Everton Quotes

“Once Everton has touched you, nothing will be the same.”

On his affiliation with the club he served from 1966 – 1971.

“I was running back to the centre circle after I scored the second goal against Liverpool and pure elation welled up inside me.

“I remember thinking, ‘I just love this place – I want this place forever.'”

When discussing scoring for Everton in the Merseyside derby.

“I felt pride, wonderful pride, when I was captain. It was an honour to take over from Labby.

“Anybody who has ever captained a big club, which Everton are, will tell you it’s a great honour.”

When he replaced Brian Labone as Everton captain.

Dave Hickson Everton Quotes

“I’d break every bone in my body for any club I play for but I’d die for Everton.”

On how, despite being born in Salford, Hickson felt a true affiliation with Everton during his two spells as a player (1948 – 1955, 1957 – 1959).

“Everton is my football life. When I go out into the middle I do not play for directors, managers, spectators or myself. I play for Everton.

“The only thing that worries me in this business is the feeling that somewhere, somehow, I am not wanted any longer at Goodison Park.”

A quote printed on the back of his book, ‘The Cannonball Kid’, published in 2013, the same year in which Hickson passed away aged 83.

Tim Cahill Everton Quotes

“No amount of money could make me play for Liverpool.

“That isn’t disrespect to Liverpool or their fans, it’s respect for Everton.”

On why the Australian midfielder could never have swapped blue for red on Meseyside.

“Every time I score, the passion comes out and I try to relay that back to the fans and to the players and the staff how grateful I am to be playing for such a good football club.

“The fans have taken well to me. I am part of the furniture at Everton, but I don’t take it for granted.”

In an interview with The Guardian in April 2009.

“He was a massive influence on my career. He’s like a father figure to me in the football world – someone I always call on for all of the big decisions.

“He believed in me from day one, and I felt indebted to work for him.”

On David Moyes, in an interview with FourFourTwo in 2018.

Duncan Ferguson Everton Quotes

“The fans here have always been great towards me. They are unbelievable. They took me in and they are the best fans in the country, if not the world.”

On the Scottish striker’s relationship with Evertonians.

“It was the best ten years of my career, in fact they are the only team I ever actually played for.

“That’s what happens when you play for Everton, you forget the rest, the rest means nothing.” 

On the ten years Ferguson spent at Everton as a player across two spells (1994 – 1998, 2000 – 2006).

“I miss the place, I miss the football and I miss the derbies. You are a long time retired, I have been retired for five years and it feels like 25.

“So, to the players that are here now, stay in football as long as you can and stay at this club as long as you can, because there is only one way after leaving this club, and that is down.”

On missing playing for Everton five years on from his 2006 retirement.

“It’s Howard Kendall’s watch. Lily [Kendall’s widow] came down and gave it to me to put on my wrist and wear it.

“Lily gave it to my wife this morning. She said she wanted me to wear it on the bench for Howard. I loved him. He was a diamond, wasn’t he? It was very emotional.

“It doesn’t work but there you go, it’s nice. It’s an amazing feeling. To get the result and you could just feel it in the stadium, couldn’t you? Everyone was so happy, everything went well.”

After leading Everton to a 3-1 win over Chelsea as caretaker boss in December 2019. Ferguson wore former manager Howard Kendall’s broken watch on his wrist during the match.

What Rivals Say About Everton FC

Not everyone has such lovely things to say about Everton, though.

And you don’t have to go far to hear some of them – just take a walk across Stanley Park…

Liverpool Quotes about Everton

“Liverpool are magic, Everton are tragic.”

Sung by former Liverpool player Emlyn Hughes during their European Cup celebrations in 1977.

“Everton are a bigger club than Liverpool. Everywhere you go on Merseyside, you bump into Everton supporters.”

Former Liverpool player Graeme Souness.

“We all know for them it’s like a World Cup final.” 

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp before the Merseyside derby at Goodison Park in March 2019.

Bill Shankly Everton Quotes

Bill Shankly, Liverpool Manager (1959 - 1974) | Scousephile | Flickr
Shankly managed Liverpool from 1959 – 1974.

“If Everton were playing at the bottom of the garden, I’d pull the curtains.”

One of several jokes the former Liverpool manager made at their Merseyside rivals’ expense.

“The difference between Everton and the Queen Mary is that Everton carry more passengers.”

“I always look in the Sunday paper to see where Everton are in the league – starting, of course, from the bottom up.”

“I have not been short of invitations to other clubs and have been received more warmly by Everton than I have by Liverpool.”

After his retirement.

Rafa Benitez’s Everton “Small Club” Quote

“Everton put eight or nine men behind the ball and defended deep, but that’s what small clubs do.

“When a team comes to Anfield and only want a point, what else can you call them but a small club?”

After a 0-0 Merseyside derby draw at Anfield in February 2007.

Benitez has backtracked on this comment slightly since then, though:

“I didn’t want to be disrespectful to the club. I was talking about the way they were playing, not the club.”

In an interview with the Independent, October 2011.

He gave a similar retraction while as a guest pundit on Sky Sports in December 2019, less than a week after the Everton job became available:

José Mourinho Everton Quotes

“I may look stupid saying this, but I think we should be going home with three points because we scored two great goals and usually, when you score two and concede one, you win the game.”

After their perfect start to the 2005-06 season came to an end with a 1-1 draw at struggling Everton. Chelsea has a second goal controversially disallowed, though.

“I managed against (Roberto) Martinez’s Everton, (David) Moyes’ Everton and it is always difficult.

“It is always beautiful, with a great crowd and a great stadium, which is historical for my country (Portugal) as Eusebio scored four goals in one match there during the World Cup in 1966. 

“I had so many great matches there. Some I lost, some I won, but always a great match.”

In December 2016, on former battles with Everton at Goodison Park and the significance of the stadium to Portugal.

Everton Quotes About Liverpool

“There was nothing like silencing the Kop. When you stuck a goal in there, it all went quiet, apart from a bit of choice language aimed in your direction.

Scoring there was a delight to me… I used to stick the ball in the net and bow three times to the Kop. They never liked me doing that.”

Dixie Dean

“One Evertonian is worth 20 Liverpudlians.”

Brian Labone

“I grew up an Everton fan, my whole family are Everton fans and I grew up hating Liverpool – and that hasn’t changed.”

Wayne Rooney, prior to facing Liverpool for Manchester United in March 2009.

“My tattoo is not about football. When I was 3 or 4, I went to my first day at school. My parents gave me a necklace with these words.

“Maybe Liverpool fans are so angry against me because I said no two times to Liverpool – I am blue.”

Lucas Digne, after joining Everton in July 2018. Digne has a chest tattoo which reads: ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’, a famous motto of Liverpool’s.

Most Famous Everton Quote

“I have the honour of being the most successful manager in the history of Everton Football Club, one of the greatest and the biggest clubs in the world.”

Howard Kendall, Everton manager during the club’s golden period of the mid-1980s.

This feels a particularly important quote because it epitomises the effect that Everton as a club had on those who represented it. Kendall was not a Scouser – he was born in Ryton, County Durham, in fact, but both as a player and across three spells as a manager, his adoration for the Toffees became patently obvious.

And of course, for a time under Kendall, when he led Everton to two First Division titles and a European Cup Winners’ Cup between 1985 and 1987, Everton really were one of the greatest and biggest clubs in the world.

That so many with Everton connections attended his funeral after his passing in October 2015, and that there was a film, ‘Howard’s Way’, made about his first and most successful spell as Blues boss, reflects just what a monumental figure Kendall is in the club’s history.

He got Everton, and Everton got him.

Best Everton Books

You can have a look at the best books about Everton FC available on Amazon below:

SaleBestseller No. 1
A Grand Old Team To Report: 45 Years Of Following Everton Football Club
  • Hardcover Book
  • David Prentice (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 320 Pages - 10/22/2020 (Publication Date) - Reach Sport (Publisher)
Bestseller No. 2
Everton Quiz Book
  • Carpenter, Chris (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 44 Pages - 08/13/2018 (Publication Date) - Independently published (Publisher)
Bestseller No. 3
The Quiz Book of Everton Football Club In The 21st Century: Over 150 questions included inside
  • Pearson, Jack (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 60 Pages - 04/06/2020 (Publication Date) - Independently published (Publisher)
Bestseller No. 4
Everton Team: Word search for kids: A Word Search Book For Everton Fans, Football Word Search Puzzle Book For Kids Featuring All Past & Present ... Everton Lovers, (Football Activity Book)
  • Maggio, Football (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 131 Pages - 11/15/2020 (Publication Date) - Independently published (Publisher)
Bestseller No. 5
Everton Footy Fun Activity Book: For 3-7 year olds
  • Payne, Kevin (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 24 Pages - 11/19/2019 (Publication Date) - Independently published (Publisher)
SaleBestseller No. 6
Everton: The Official Complete Record
  • Hardcover Book
  • Steven Johnson (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 600 Pages - 09/22/2016 (Publication Date) - De Coubertin Books (Publisher)
SaleBestseller No. 7
Everton Greatest Games: The Toffees' Fifty Finest Matches
  • Hardcover Book
  • Jim Keoghan (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 208 Pages - 10/02/2017 (Publication Date) - Pitch Publishing Ltd (Publisher)
Bestseller No. 8
Signature gifts Premium Personalised Football Newspaper Book - Everton
  • The perfect football gift for any Everton fan, revisiting the most memorable moments in the club’s history - Now including the 2020/21 season!
  • See historic football club newspaper clippings and headlines gathered into a hand-bound hardback imitation leather book
  • Click "Customize now" to PERSONALISE this book with any name (up to 22 characters) and have the option to emboss the cover
  • ADD A PERSONAL MESSAGE of two lines (up to 30 characters per line) to feature on the title page of the book *See more details on supported characters further down
  • OPTIONAL LUXURY GIFT BOX to keep this extra special gift protected as a precious keepsake
SaleBestseller No. 9
Everton FC On This Day: History, Facts & Figures from Every Day of the Year
  • Hardcover Book
  • Neil Roberts (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 192 Pages - 10/01/2012 (Publication Date) - Pitch Publishing Ltd (Publisher)
Bestseller No. 10
Everton: Number Nine: Nine Players, One Iconic Shirt
  • Keoghan, Jim (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 137 Pages - 06/14/2020 (Publication Date) - Independently published (Publisher)

Matthew Chandler

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