There are only a blessed few players that hold a place so deep in the hearts of every Evertonian everywhere that when they do finally leave Goodison Park, they do so in body alone, not in spirit.
The obvious candidates for such an accolade roll off the tongue, with names etched in our clubs illustrious history – Alex Young, Dixie Dean, Bob Latchford, Kevin Ratcliffe… this whole piece could be just one long list of Everton legends.
In modern times, you have Dave Watson, Neville Southall and Duncan Ferguson to name just three that deserve a place in the Everton hall of fame.
But in the modern era, which I define as the year 2000 onwards, thereÂ´s probably only one man IÂ´d suggest was a definitive Everton icon, a man that we, as fans, are united in praising as one of our all time greats.
That man is Tim Cahill.
Bought from Millwall for a modest fee after six years of loyal service at The Den, Tim made an immediate impact, finishing top goalscorer in his first year with the Blues and winning Player of the Season accolades.
Just two years later, he was nominated for the Ballon DÂ´Or – the first Everton player in nearly twenty years to be nominated.
And during his thus far eight year stint with the Toffees, he has come to epitomise our fighting spirit and sheer will to do the best we possibly can. Standing under six feet tall, heÂ´s widely regarded as one of the biggest aerial threats to ever grace the Premier League, due to his outstanding leap and utter determination to make a ball his.
I write this article now not as a space filler on a fan website, but more to remind Evertonians of the commitment this man has given us.
Introducing the Everton Mishmash!
We are a side who have never competed for major honours during his time here, yet he has not once glanced at other clubs. HeÂ´s one of the faces of EA Sports FIFA franchise, garnering publicity alongside the biggest stars in world football, yet he has not once let that go to his head.
This man has been loyal to us, and as he continues what is undoubtedly a barren spell of form over the past 12 months, he deserves our loyalty in return.
With rumoured interest from QPR, itÂ´s possible that we could cash in on a 32-year-old to alleviate pressure from the banks, as we all too often do.
But, for me, thereÂ´s still a bit of humanity to football which extends beyond the harsh realities of the financial monster the game has become. For me, Tim Cahill stands on the shoulders of legends at Goodison Park, and in my view heÂ´s a man who doesnÂ´t see himself anywhere other than at Everton, or at a stretch back home in his native Australia for one last hurrah at the end of his career. It would take more than a few million pounds to persuade me to sell our soul and turn our backs on a legend in need.
We remain a family club, and Tim is part of the family, and a refreshing change from the constant line of mercenaries that constitute professional footballers these days.
So hereÂ´s to Tim regaining his form and playing in a Blue shirt to the best of his ability in the months to come.