Though Everton hasn’t had the type of success that some of the top-flight clubs in England have had, it’s still one of the most well-known brands in the country. That’s because Everton has a very long history and is one of the original major clubs. No other team has been in the top division in England for as many years as Everton, and much of that is because of some solid managers.
Who among those managers was the best, though? Here are our picks for the top five in club history. Before we start the list, some of the managers who just missed the cut include Thomas H. Macintosh, Roberto Martinez, Carlo Ancelotti, Colin Harvey, and Johnny Carey.
Scotsman David Moyes was a prominent player with several clubs during the 1980s and 1990s, including Dunfermline Athletic and Preston North End. After retiring in 1998, he managed the latter club for several years before becoming Everton’s leader for over a decade between 2002 and 2013. Though he’d left for Manchester United in 2013, Moyes accomplished a lot on the way out.
Moyes is the only manager on the list to have managed the club since the 1980s, and one of just four managers to have more than 500 matches under his belt. Moyes won 42.05% of his matches during that time but surprisingly didn’t win any major titles. Still, Moyes was able to get Everton out of a very dark age in club history.
Known as “Old Cuff”, Will Cuff was the chairman for Everton throughout most of the 1920s and 1930s. Unlike the other managers on the list, Cuff doesn’t have a well-documented personal history, but his success as the club’s manager is well-noted. Prior to becoming the club’s chairman, Cuff was the manager from 1901 to 1918 during the early days of organized club football in England.
Cuff managed 577 matches with Everton, which is third all-time on the club’s list. Cuff won 275 of those matches, which is good for a 47.66% winning rate. Cuff won the Division One title once, as well as the FA Cup. What’s interesting is the two trophies came nearly a decade apart, meaning that there was quite a bit of downtime between the beginning and end of Cuff’s tenure, but it was worth the wait.
Just like Cuff, Harry Catterick is one of those names that younger people won’t be familiar with as his playing and managerial days came many decades ago. Catterick played for Everton and Crewe Alexandra following World War II then managed the latter club during the end of his playing days. After spending time with Rochdale and Sheffield Wednesday as a manager, he led Everton from 1961 to 1973.
Catterick won more than 46 percent of his matches with Everton, which is a fine accomplishment since he’s second all-time in matches managed at 594. Out of those many wins, Catterick was able to secure the Division One championship twice, while also adding an FA Cup and a pair of Charity Shields.
Yet another name that you have to go far back in the record books for, Dick Molyneux was born in Prescot and became the Everton manager just more than a decade after its founding. Molyneux led the club from 1889 to 1901 prior to managing Brentford for the final years of his life before passing away in 1906 at just 48 years old. During his Everton days, though, Molyneux was able to accomplish a lot.
Molyneux is one of just two managers to have a stint last for more than just a couple of matches while retaining a winning percentage of .500. Molyneux won 194 of his 386 matches, which is good enough to put him at number two on the list despite his lack of trophies. Still, Molyneux was able to win one Division One title.
Ryton native Howard Kendall was a member of Everton as a player for seven years between the 1960s and 1970s while also spending time for other clubs which included Birmingham City, Preston North End, and Stoke City. After retiring in 1981 as a player-manager with Blackburn Rovers, Kendall became the manager for Everton. Overall he had three stints which were from 1981 to 1987, 1990 to 1993, and 1997 to 1998.
While there were other managers who had hundreds more matches under their belt than Kendall, he was able to accomplish more in his time. Kendall had a 54.14% winning rate as manager, winning two Division One titles during his first stint. Kendall also won an FA Cup, a UEFA Winners’ Cup and a trio of Charity Shields, though his second and third stints weren’t as remarkable.