Seeing a thread with folk calling Tim Cahill a legend got me thinking. In your life as a blue who do you identify with as a "legend". Its a mix of ability, passion, club service and then I guess that something extra that will be different for each person.
Age is also clearly a factor, so being 36 I remember the players from my first trips to Goodison with an extra special feeling. Anyway, in my lifetime my legends are:
Van Den Hauwe
Of the current squad I'd love to think the likes of Baines and Fellaini could be addedif they stick around and we crack on as a team. Likewise 5+ years of goals and skills from Jelly and Mirralas would be nice.
I'll be a bit pedantic - each as you say have our own opinion and criteria. I would say most if not all of those mentioned are legendary players but there can only be one true Legend in my lifetime - stand up Alan Ball (RIP)
MY all time hero Kevin Sheedy Neville Southall
few others from the 80s however this may suprise some people but Paul Rideout gave me one of the happiest days in my life scoring the FA Cup Final winner so a defo legend to me.
Tough to narrrow it down, so being totally ruthless, pick maximum of one per decade:
60s - Ball
70s - Lyons
80s - Southall (this was the toughest choice)
90s - Big Dunc
00s - Cahill
10s - so far looking like Screech if he sticks around, or Baines
Being brought up with the all conquering team of the 80's I would obviously be tempted to list those players but as the original post states we can class legends as people who are not always part of trophy winning successful teams. For example half of Man City's team wouldn't be there if it wasn't for the obscene money influx. So will they all be looked on as icons or not by city fans?
For me I would also like to put forward Graham Stuart and David Unsworth.
The guts Stuart showed to take that penalty against Wimbledon in 94 and he never hid from responsibility. Far better have pulled on the shirt but not many have shown as much courage under pressure. I was gutted he hit the bar in the 95 final as that would have been a defining moment for him. He was also shipped out too early during that shameful season in 97/98.
David Unsworth was superb during his first 2 seasons, arguably the finest young defender in the country. But for me his 2 week career at Villa once he heard Everton had shown interest is the stuff of a real fan who loves a club.
Being 19 ive quite clearly missed Everton's best times so to answer the question, no, i haven't witnessed a legend tbh. I really dont class Ferguson and Cahill as legends, i really dont. I class them both more as 'Cult Heroes' than legends. Got called a Kopite once by a Blue for not think Ferguson was a 'Legend'.
I think you can get legend status in a few ways - achievement, cult status, club loyalty, or a mixture of them. It is easier to pick them from the past as not only did we win more trophies but players generally stuck around for longer.
I don't agree that Arteta is a legend - he won nothing and pushed for a move from the club. Cahill is for his longer service and the fact that he carried the team on countless occasions. Hibbo probably is as a1 club man and his inability to score.
Big Dunc has a claim as he loved the club with a passion. Can't think of anyone else who really deserves that tag from 90s onwards.