- Kevin Ratcliffe
Infobox Football biography
playername = Kevin Ratcliffe
fullname = Kevin Ratcliffe
dateofbirth = birth date and age|1960|11|12
height = height|ft=5|in=11
youthclubs = Everton
years = 1980-1992 1992
clubs = Everton
caps(goals) = 348 (2)
nationalyears = 1981-1993
nationalteam = Wales
nationalcaps(goals) = 059 (0)
manageryears = 1995–1999 1999–2003
managerclubs = Chester City Shrewsbury Town
Ratcliffe joined Everton as an apprentice in 1977 and made his début in 1980 but was not a first team regular until 1982. In 1983 at the age of 23 he was made captain, just as the club began a highly successful spell.cite web|url=http://evertonfc.com/history/kevin-ratcliffe.html|title=History: Players: Everton Giants: Kevin Ratcliffe|accessdate=2008-09-16] Whilst captain Ratcliffe won the
1984 FA Cup Final, the Football League Championship in 1984–5 and 1986–7 and the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup 1984–85. There were also two other FA Cup finals. Ratcliffe made 461 appearances for Everton and scored two goals in that time (one a 30-yarder at Anfield).
Ratcliffe was considered one of the fastest central defenders ever to play football.who On arrival at Everton he challenged the whole first team squad to a sprint race and won.Fact|date=September 2008 Ratcliffe claimed that he challenged
Linford Christieto a sprint in the street shortly after the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, in which Christie won the 100 m gold medal, and beat the runner. Fact|date=September 2008 He was not the most skillful of footballers but he anticipated superbly, tackled ferociously and did the simple things well.
Ratcliffe was capped 59 times by Wales, often as captain. He also represented his country at under-21, youth and schoolboy level. Despite several near-misses and boasting famous players such as
Ian Rush, Neville Southalland Mark Hughesas well as Ratcliffe, Wales failed to qualify for a major tournament while Ratcliffe was involved in the set-up.
In 1994, Ratcliffe joined Chester City as assistant-manager to
Mike Pejicand continued to play for a year. In the summer of 1995, he became manager of the Blues and stayed at the helm until August 1999, when he left after falling out with new owner Terry Smith[http://www.chester-city.co.uk/august99news.asp] . The highlight of his years at Chester was guiding the club to the Division Three play-offs in 1996-97 and he later took credit for steering the club to a mid-table position in 1998-99 while in serious financial trouble.Reputedly Ratcliffe drew £5000 from his own bank account to help cover the costs of a water bill because the club's cheques were refused.
In November 1999 Ratcliffe joined Shrewsbury Town as manager and helped them avoid relegation from the
Football Leagueon the final day of the 1999-2000 season at Chester's expense. The highlight of his tenure was a January 2003 FA Cup third round victory over his old club Everton, who were doing well in the Premiership at the time. Interestingly, Everton manager David Moyeswas a former "Shrewsbury" player. But a disastrous run after this saw Shrewsbury relegated to the Football Conferenceafter 53 years in the Football League. Ratcliffe left the club within days, stating that he had to take the blame for Shrewsbury's downfall as he had brought in most of their players.
Ratcliffe now works for
* [http://www.toffeeweb.com/history/legends/Ratcliffe.asp Ratcliffe in Toffeeweb's Everton Hall of Fame]
* [http://www.neilbrown.newcastlefans.com/player/kevinratcliffe.htm Kevin Ratcliffe at Neil Brown's stats site]
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