Just a few days after one fan-favourite left Everton, another darling of the masses is moving on from the club.
Duncan Ferguson, who has been Everton’s First-Team Assistant Manager under a number of recent managers, has decided to leave the club to pursue his managerial ambitions.
The Club legend, inducted as an Everton Giant in 2011 after two memorable stints as a player at Goodison Park - in which he captained the side under three different managers - returned to the Blues to coach in the Academy that same year and in 2014, after working as Under-18s Assistant Manager and gaining his UEFA Pro coaching licence, was promoted to a position with the First Team.
The Scot underlined his iconic status with two spells as caretaker manager. The first of those in December 2019 saw Ferguson oversee a victory over Chelsea at a rocking Goodison and go unbeaten in further matches against Manchester United and Arsenal.
He remained an instrumental figure on the backroom teams of subsequent managers and was described by Frank Lampard as “an Everton legend, who… the players respect, the Club respects and the fans respect”.
Speaking to evertontv, the 50-year-old Scot said:
“It’s been a massive decision for me. An incredibly difficult one but I need to move on, to take that next step in my career and look for that new challenge. Being a caretaker manager has given me confidence to step into management.
“The Club has been fantastic with me. They’ve supported me all the way through my journey. You’ve got the Chairman who has supported me as a player and as a coach. He’s been amazing with me, so I would like to thank him. And then there’s people like our CEO Denise [Barrett-Baxendale] who has been fantastic.
“It really is a caring club with some proper people in it. They’re massive Evertonians. And, of course, there’s the fans. They’ve been incredible to me since I came in ’94. We’ve got a strong bond. The relationship we’ve had over the years has been special. They know how much they mean to me. I’ll always love them.”
The timing seems right for Big Dunc as a number of opportunities in the lower leagues are currently open, and we will be following his managerial career with great interest as we have those of other former Everton players, including David Unsworth who is also out trying to make a name for himself away from the Toffees.