Duncan Ferguson was a giant Everton legend who went to prison, head-butted a policeman and had a symphony written about him. The Scottish striker had his brushes with the law, was a hero for the Toffees and was sent off a record eight times in the Premier League during a checkered career. THEY called him ‘Duncan Disorderley’ and with good reason so what Toffees can expect from Everton from dugout.
For the records
Duncan Ferguson famously scored a hat-trick for Everton in a 3-2 win over Bolton in December 1997. It was the first time in Premier League history that a hat-trick of headers had been scored in a game. Duncan Ferguson had nine red cards in his career, a total that included a record eight in the Premier League.It’s a mark he still shares with Arsenal legend Patrick Vieira and the one and only Richard Dunne.
In January 2006, Ferguson was sent off for punching the Austrian in a game between Everton and Wigan. Ferguson is rare footballer with three convictions for assault.In 1991, he received a £100 fine for headbutting a policeman while two years later he got another £200 fine for punching a man – on crutches – at a taxi rank in Sterling. Ferguson’s high-profile brushes with the law inspired a Finnish composer, Osmo Tapio Raihala, write a symphonic poem in honour of the troubled Scot.
Ferguson was known was three things – Temper as stated above, refusal to do any press interviews. And the third was his love of his racing pigeons.
A thief was unaware of the fearsome reputation of Everton striker Duncan Ferguson in 2001. Fiery Ferguson caught a burglar trying to make off with CDs and champagne from the Scottish international’s home near Liverpool. ‘Big Dunc’– 6 feet 4 inches – sat on him until police arrived. But still the underworld didn’t learn, because two years later, another burglar who Ferguson caught in the act, needed hospital treatment. The raider tried to press an assault charge against Ferguson, but failed and got himself a four-year prison sentence in the bargain.
Duncan Ferguson played with a fire and passion that on his day meant he was impossible to play against. But he also got frustrated easily and that was reason for his record sending off’s. Unfortunately, he played in an era containing Everton’s poorest sides in the club’s premier league history. Consistently fighting relegation, the side lacked quality and all too often the ball was hoofed forward towards Ferguson’s head in the desperate hope something would happen. Ironically though it was because of Everton’s struggles that Ferguson became so revered. When you watch a side playing poorly the least you want to see is someone fighting for the shirt. Ferguson displayed the same passion as the fans in the stands, especially when he scored.
Duncan Ferguson certainly wasn’t the best striker to pull on an Everton shirt but he was one of the most influential. Plus there were not too many players who openly displayed their Everton tattoo when they scored a goal!!
Duncan Ferguson said “In order to inflict as much damage as possible to your opponents, you need to generate maximum power in your neck muscles. Keep your eyes open and make contact with your forehead, as I did here when headbutting Raith’s John McStay… Everyone knows I was good in the air, but I would have been lost without the wing play and feathery touch of my pals, especially their ability to expertly home in on the target. It’s true that in my playing days I thrived on having a lofty presence and I would encourage every one of you to take up pigeon fancying. Squad rotation and rest was unheard of when I started playing in the early ’90s, but now all the best teams do their best to make sure players don’t play too many games. In that respect, I was well ahead of my time, always ensuring that I missed at least half of every season…
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