The young Spanish forward Sandro Ramírez moves to Merseyside this summer and if he is to endear himself to the Everton faithful, he would do well to try his best to emulate the club’s striking legends of the past and and their scoring feats; he has some big boots to fill.
A good way to make a strong first impression on your new adoring fans is make a big splash on your debut, just as Tony Cottee did in 1988 when he fired a hat-trick at Goodison against Newcastle. A good return over your first three months of football with a new club will bring plenty of plaudits: reference here the Welsh striker Roy Vernon who scored nine times in his first dozen games for the Toffees after completing a move from Blackburn Rovers.
Of course a successful debut season works wonders, too; witness the 32 scored by Dixie Dean when he made his Everton bow in the 1925/26 season or the 40 in all competitions that Gary Lineker scored during his solitary season at the club six decades later.
How many league goals constitutes a successful season is open to different interpretations of course, but if Sandro Ramírez can match the 60 that Dixie Dean scored in 1927/28 then no one will complain. Actually, every Everton fan will be rather happy if he can merely match the 30 plus league goals scored by Lineker (1986) and Bob Latchford (1978).
Goals that play a part in a subsequent trophy success are typically well-received, so undoubtedly his new supporters will be quite content if he hits a respectable 20 plus league goals, but as part of a championship-winning season like Roy Vernon in 1964 or Joe Royle in 1970. Perhaps he can earn legendary status by scoring a decisive goal in an FA Cup Final like Alex ‘ Sandy’ Young in 1906 or Graham Sharp in 1984. Or a European Final like Graham Sharp, again, in 1985.
Hat-tricks are a good method of embellishing a reputation at a club and that striking phenomena Dixie Dean notched 37 of them during his Everton years. He never quite managed a double hat-trick like Jack Southworth did in an 1893 League game however.
If his move works out then Sandro Ramírez will set himself some longer term goals to write himself into the Goodison record books. We’ll not hold our breath in anticipation of him passing the 349 league goals of Dixie Dean, the 28 FA Cup goals by the same player or the 19 League Cup goals of Bob Latchford – however exceeding the modest eight-goal haul that makes his predecessor Romelu Lukaku Everton’s record European scorer shouldn’t be the tallest of orders.
If he ever has any hope of becoming Everton’s oldest scorer then he’ll have to hang around the Premier League until 2032 to take that record away from Wally Fielding, the forward who scored a goal against West Bromwich Albion in 1958 while fast closing in on his 39th birthday.
A more modest target for the young Spaniard might be to earn cult status by scoring a magnificent long-range winner at the home of their Merseyside rivals as Graham Sharp did in 1984, or show the sort of great bravery and battling spirit that Everton fans have always loved in their forwards. Dixie Dean fractured his skull in a motorcycling accident in 1926 and doctors thought his career might be over, yet on his next appearance he scored a goal with his head.
Then there was the wonderful tale of 1950s striker Dave Hickson. During a 1953 FA Cup tie he suffered a huge gash above the eyebrow after bravely putting his head into a penalty box melee. He had the gushing wound stitched, came back out to carry on playing against the odds and medical advice, scored what prove to be the winning goal, then headed against the post which opened the wound again to leave him bathed in crimson by the time the final whistle went.
If Sandro Ramírez can come within a country mile of any of these achievements then he’ll have a worthy career, but just as long as it doesn’t follow a similar trajectory to that of the aforementioned Alex ‘ Sandy’ Young. The Scottish forward scored the winning goal in the 1906 FA Cup Final, was the league’s top scorer the following season and is credited with scoring more league goals for Everton than any player apart from Dean.
His post-Everton career proved tragic however as he battled mental illness, spent time in jail for the manslaughter of his brother in Australia and was buried in an unmarked grave after living out his life in an Edinburgh asylum.