Amidst the farcical 1997/98 season, French international centre forward, Mickael Madar represented one of the few positives in a dismal campaign. Indeed, in a season in which preservation of the club’s top flight status was only marginal, it could be argued that Madar’s six goals saved Everton’s skin.

Signed on a free transfer from Deportivo La Coruna in December 1997, Madar, who had been part of France’s squad at the 1996 European Championships, was still recovering from the effects of a long term injury. A tall, skilful centre forward, his partnership with Duncan Ferguson made the Everton front line among the most physically imposing in the club’s history. But in many ways, Madar, with his flicks and shimmies and excellent positional sense was the antithesis of the physical Ferguson – an elegant contrast to the fiery Scot. He was potent in front of goal and evidently something of a character too. After bravely heading a second half winner against Blackburn, he memorably ripped off his shirt to reveal an undershirt bearing a photograph of his children to which he pointed manically in celebration.

Yet such theatricals had little place in the new dour order imposed by Walter Smith, following his appointment in July 1998. Sent off in a pre-season friendly, Madar was ostracised by the new manager. Asked after 0-0 draw with Blackburn in September 1998 about his relationship with the manager, Madar responded:  ‘He's only seen me play twice. The first time I got a hat-trick and the second time, I was sent off too quick for him to make any judgments.’ He thought that Everton ‘Just want to get rid of me and get me off the wage bill.’ There followed a brief return to the first team, but in December, just a year after his arrival, Madar was given a free transfer and joined Paris Saint Germain.