Having struggled to adequately replace Tommy Wright through much of the 1970s, in the early 1980s Everton were suddenly blessed with a surfeit of gifted right backs. John Gidman, Gary Stevens and Brian Borrows were all fine custodians of the number two shirt, providing the appropriate mix of defensive solidity and attacking verve.
Following Howard Kendall’s arrival as manager in May 1981, the experienced Gidman was an early departure, raising much-needed transfer funds. Kendall started the season with Billy Wright in the right back berth, but after the early stages of the new campaign alternated between Stevens and Borrows, both of whom had graduated through Everton’s youth ranks. Neither let the new manager down. Borrows was, perhaps, the more complete footballer, confident and polished in possession and a fine outlet on the overlap. What Stevens lacked in élan he made up for with his athleticism and pace. Although Borrows was no slouch, it was this that ultimately saw Stevens win through.
Following Everton’s November 1982 derby day massacre, Borrows was dropped and never regained his place. The following March Kendall accepted a bid for his services from Bolton Wanderers. Borrows returned to the top flight with Coventry City in 1985, and put in a lengthy and distinguished stint in the Midlands.