Along with such other promising youngsters as Kevin Ratcliffe, Graeme Sharp and Steve McMahon, Paul Lodge, was a player in whom Gordon Lee vested Everton’s 1980s hopes.  Handed his debut in a 3-1 defeat to Aston Villa in February 1981, Lodge was given an extended run as the 1980/81 season fizzled to its disappointing conclusion.

Considered a more promising and naturally gifted prospect than McMahon, Lodge was given another run under Howard Kendall’s watch midway through the following campaign.  While his natural talent was never in question, he seemed to lack the physicality or guile to cut it in hurly-burly of the First Division.  After a couple of loan moves in the first half of the 1982/83 season, Lodge was sold to Preston North End in February 1983.  He played in the lower leagues for a couple of years but by his mid-twenties had slipped out of the professional game.