Peter Reid, guest editor of the Issue 8 of Seventy 3 (available for purchase now), is the most significant connection between Everton and Sunderland. After all, the lyrics of the infamous song tell it all: "We once thought of you as a Scouser dressed in blue, but now you're red and white through and through".
Reid was our saviour. The man who formed part of an Everton side that dominated in the 1980s arrived in the north east in 1995 and prevented an unthinkable relegation from the second tier of English football following his appointment. He subsequently took us on a rollercoaster ride that saw two promotions, an agonising play-off final defeat on penalties and two seventh-place finishes in the Premier League.
During his reign on Wearside, there was further Everton influence in his first-team. Most notably in the early days it was Paul Bracewell, a man who had played alongside Reid at Goodison Park and who had three spells at the heart of the Sunderland midfield. He also assisted Reid during his time in charge.
There have been plenty more midfielders too. Gavin McCann was a Reid signing from Everton and the tough-tackler typified everything about his manager. During his five seasons on Wearside his form earned him an England cap. Don Hutchison also arrived in his native north-east after being signed from Everton in a £2.5million deal and played his part in the successful period before departing for West Ham in a controversial move.
Goalkeeper Thomas Myhre and winger John Oster were to other Evertonians who joined the Reid revolution, although neither was ever able to hold down a regular berth in the Sunderland side. Kevin Kilbane, on the other hand, was a regular on the left flank – possibly having more fans on his back than supporters as his signing coincided with a miserable run of form – but departed after relegation from the top-flight to join Everton.
One of Reid’s very earliest signings turned out to be a bit of duck egg too – the £600,000 he paid out to Everton to sign Brett Angell anything but successful. Ten games and no goals later he was offloaded.
Aside from Reid’s signings, there have been many other connections. One of the best has to by Billy Bingham, the Northern Ireland international who spent eight years playing on the wing for Sunderland before later turning out in the Everton blue. In the 1970s, Mick Buckley and Rod Belfitt both made the opposite journey swapping Merseyside for the north-east, the same switch Jack Hedley had made more than 50 years earlier. In the 1980s, meanwhile, Ian Atkins earned a £70,000 move to Everton following two years at Sunderland.
Ian Snodin, a regular at Everton during the 1980s and 1990s, had a brief loan spell at Sunderland in 1994, three years after his Toffees team-mate Peter Beagrie had also signed on a short-term loan spell for Sunderland.