One of Howard Kendall’s so-called ‘Magnificent Seven’, Alan Ainscow was the most experienced of the manager’s glut of signings in the summer of 1981.

ARRIVING at goodison with 300 appearances to his name, garnered from spells at Blackpool and Birmingham, the £250,000 midfielder was seen by the new manager as the sort of dependable and dedicated professional who might aid the progress of some of Everton’s promising younger players. Doughty, reliable, but never the sort of flamboyant player who might earn the unending affection of fans, Ainscow scored on his debut against Birmingham, but thereafter struggled to make his mark in a transitional Everton team.

In November 1981, Ainscow suffered a broken leg against Notts County and, although he returned the following spring, thereafter he found himself part of Kendall’s tactical experimentations and unable to hold down aregular spot. Released at the end of the 1982/83 season, he had a spell with Hong Kong’s Eastern Athletic before returning to England to play out his veteran years in the lower leagues.