A stop-gap loan signing in January 2003, Brian McBride made an immediate impact in an Everton shirt, scoring within 10 minutes of making his debut, against Tottenham Hotspur. A week later he scored a brace in Everton’s home win over Sunderland, adding much needed momentum to their push for European qualification.

A tall, strong target man with good positioning and accomplished distribution, McBride had previously come under David Moyes’ watch when he played a loan spell with Preston. He impressed during his two months at Goodison, and Moyes tried to extend his loan. However, Major League Soccer, which held his playing registration, would only agree to a permanent move – variously quoted between £600,000 and £2 million. With transfer funds at a premium, the Everton manager deemed the asking price too much for a man who was past his thirtieth birthday.

McBride returned to the US for the MLS season, but came back to England a year later in an £800,000 deal with Fulham. At Craven Cottage he provided four years distinguished service, assuming the club captaincy and proving that life exists beyond thirty.