Everton yesterday had Ross Barkley and Leighton Baines unveil a set of new plaques to honor talent spotters Bob Pendleton and the late Sid Benson, naming grounds at Finch Farm after them. Both were scouts with the club for many years of service and with a impressive list of talent brought to the team. The pair worked for over 30 years with the club and earned the recognition for their service.
The late Benson was honored earlier this season after his passing when Ross Barkley displayed his undershirt after scoring in the 4-0 win over Yoevil Town. That was quite a moment for him to dedicate to one of the scouts credited with bringing him to Everton.
PHOTO: Class gesture from @RBarkley20, who dedicated his goal tonight to the late Sid Benson. #RIPSidBenson pic.twitter.com/tgc4Ss6sm6— Everton (@Everton) August 23, 2016
The pair of scouts are also credited with finding players like Wayne Rooney, Leighton Baines, Leon Osman, Tony Hibbert, Francis Jeffers and Phil Jevons. Players spoke very highly of both scouts and Jeffers retold of his thoughts as a 14 year old:
“I left home when I was 14 to go and play for England schoolboys, Sid was the only scout that rang to see how I was getting on. You didn’t see other clubs scouts ringing to see how their lads were doing.”
Scouts often work silently on most clubs and barely get any credit when their finds hit it really big, but to see these players show such emotion about a scout involved in bringing them to Everton certainly speaks to their humanity as well as skill. Read more about Sid Benson on our page following his passing.