High hopes were held after the acquisition of former England youth international Bobby Laverick – a contemporary of Jimmy Greaves – when he signed for Everton for a fee of £5000 in February 1959. He joined a club still finding its way after the arrival of Johnny Carey as manager but was never able to make the left wing berth his own.
According to the football historian Ivan Ponting, ‘Bobby was quick, could control the ball at speed and could shoot with crispness and accuracy.’ Yet he ‘never evinced the burning desire to succeed that is crucial to any professional footballer’. A chipped bone sustained barely a month after joining would not have helped his progress.
‘He was quite a decent player: he was quick and a good crosser of the ball,’ recalled his team-mate Derek Temple who, speaking in 2011, expressed some mystification as to why Laverick never realised his potential. ‘You get these fellas who have a great deal of ability and they don’t seem to make it. I don’t know why it is. I suppose it’s consistency and luck, particularly at the start where you need to be in the right place at the right time. I’ve seen it many many times where someone gets injured, their understudy might be injured and you get a youngster put in and suddenlythey’re away.’ In January 1960 Johnny Carey brought in Scottish international Tommy Ring and in June that year Laverick was allowed to leave for Brighton and Hove Albion for a fee of £3500.