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On This Day In Everton History: April 30th

A legend’s final game for the Blues

Everton FC Photocall
Tony Hibbert in his final season with Everton
Photo by Barrington Coombs/Everton FC via Getty Images

April 30th is packed with important events in the clubs past, so let’s take a look at how this date shaped Everton history as we know it!

1932: Everton secure back-to-back league titles

Coming into the 1931-32 season, Everton had just been promoted after winning the second division league title the year prior. Surely, Everton fans were just happy to be back in the top flight of English football, but the club had other plans for that year. The Toffees lost only 3 of their first 17 matches in their first campaign back in the first division, setting them up for a title run. Unfortunately, Everton hit a bump in the road after that, losing 8 of their next 12 matches, but they would recover, going on a 10-game unbeaten streak. With three games remaining, the Toffees still had a shot at the title. That brings us to April 30th, 1932.

With the opportunity to lock up the league that day, Everton took on Bolton Wanderers at Goodison Park. Bolton wasn’t having a great season, but they did beat the Toffees in their first meeting earlier that year, 2-1, and this one would be just as close. Both sides fought to the very end, but it was one goal that decided the match. None other than Dixie Dean put one past the Bolton keeper to give the Toffees the 1-0 win. The victory not only gave Everton three points, but more importantly, it handed them their second league title in 2 years, completing an unbelievable journey from relegation all the way back to the top of English Football.

Everton F.C. 1931
A library file picture of the line up of 1931 Everton F.C. at their home ground Goodison Park
Photo by PA Images via Getty Images

1960: Everton fail to win an away match at any point during the season

The 1950’s were a rough time to be an Everton fan. The club failed to finish above 10th in a first division season that decade and in three second division seasons, they finished in the top 4 just once, including one year where they finished in 16th, coming dangerously close to relegation to the third division. So, when 1959-60 rolled around and Everton failed to have a memorable year, not many were surprised, but they never thought it would get to the point it got to at the end of the year. That brings us to April 30th, 1960.

On the final day of the season, the Toffees travelled to Old Trafford to take on Manchester United. With Everton 15 points out of first and United not looking much better, this match didn’t mean much from a standings perspective, but it did carry significance in another area. Coming into the game, the Toffees hadn’t won an away match in 21 attempts that year and this was their final chance to break that streak. They had beaten Manchester United at home that season 2-1, but as you can tell, hitting the road was a different story that campaign and it showed once again on the final day of the season. United absolutely man-handled the Toffees, putting five past Everton’s Albert Dunlop to secure a 5-0 victory. With the loss the Toffees had officially gone an entire season without an away win, a streak that carried into September of the following campaign.

2016: Tony Hibbert plays final match for Everton

Tony Hibbert is one of the more fascinating characters in the club’s recent history. The right-back was a solid player for sure, but he captured the fanbase on a level that is equal to stardom. Born in Liverpool, Hibbert was an Everton boy through and through. He grew up a Toffees supporter, making his decision to join the youth academy at a young age a pretty easy one. He would spend 8 years there, winning the youth FA Cup, before beginning his senior career in 1998. But, despite the fact he had moved on from the youth teams, Hibbert didn’t make his debut for the club until 2001. From then on, he was an integral part of Everton teams for the next 10+ years. But in 2016, it came time to call it quits, which brings us to April 30th, 2016.

With 4 games remaining, the Toffees welcomed Bournemouth to Goodison Park for a pretty insignificant match as both sides were already out of the title race and Bournemouth was hanging tight just above the relegation zone. However, it was significant for one person, Tony Hibbert. With the game tied at 1 going into the break, Roberto Martinez opted to make a change. For the first time in 511 days, Hibbert was set to make an appearance. The Liverpool-native played the final 45 minutes that day as Everton took down the Cherries 2-1. It was the final match that Hibbert would throw on the royal blue shirt, finishing his career with 329 total appearances and 297 starts for the club. The one stat that stands out above the rest, though? In all those appearances, Hibbert failed to score even one goal, something that will, most likely, never be replicated again.

And THAT is today in Everton history!