From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Brian Leslie Labone (23 January 1940 – 24 April 2006) played football for Everton between 1958 and 1971.
Liverpool-born Labone chose to join Everton at 17 in July 1957 instead of going to university. His debut for the first team was in 1958. He was widely regarded as one of the best central defenders of his era. He was a strong tackler, good in the air, adequately fast but he rarely used his left foot.
Labone made 451 League appearances for Everton and a total of 534 in all competitions. He scored two league goals and was booked only twice throughout his career. Labone played in the championship teams of 1962-63 and 1969-70, in the FA Cup winning team of 1966, and in the FA Cup final of 1968.
Labone played 26 times for England between 1962 and 1970. He withdrew from England's 1966 World Cup squad because of his imminent marriage but played in three of the four games in the World Cup in 1970 in Mexico.
In 1970-71 Labone sustained a serious injury to his Achilles tendon and retired from playing. He maintained his links with Everton where he worked as a guide for guests & visitors and a website columnist.
Whilst returning home from an Everton fans awards evening Labone died suddenly after collapsing in the street close to his Lydiate home at the age of 66.
Everton captain Kevin Ratcliffe paid the following tribute - "Brian was Everton. If you could put together a team of every player that has ever captained Everton, every one of us would turn to Brian to lead us out. He will always be known as the captain of Everton".
Brian Labone was a credit to Everton and will always be remembered as the true 'Mr Everton'.