Evertonians greeted the £65,000 signing of Paul Power in the summer of 1986 with a chorus of barely suppressed bemusement. Power had served Manchester City for more than a decade, including many years as captain, but had never won anything beyond the odd England B cap, and at the age of 32 was considered by many to be past his best. Scarcely could he have imagined how quickly this was to change, nor Evertonians how crucial he would be to the club’s future success.
Nearing his mid-thirties, Power was a supremely fit player and his experience gave him a reading of the game that meant his diminishing pace was rarely exposed. He possessed accurate distribution and was capable in the air. For a player whose responsibilities were primarily defensive he also weighed in with a fair share of goals, including one in a 3-1 win against his former club in November 1986 that he refused to celebrate – a respectful touch that earned admiration from both Everton and City fans.
Arriving at a club in the midst of an injury crisis, he first slotted in as left back in place of Pat Van Den Hauwe, then as Kevin Sheedy’s replacement in left midfield. There were even a couple of appearances in central midfield. Everywhere he was asked to play, however, Power did so with commitment and dedication. His importance to Everton’s title victory at the end of the 1986/87 season was recognised by the Everton Supporters’ Club, which made him its joint Player of the Year with Kevin Ratcliffe.
As Everton’s injury crisis abated through the 1987/88 season, Power’s appearances became more sporadic. At the end of the season he announced his retirement and took up a position on Colin Harvey’s coaching staff. An articulate man, who had completed a law degree before entering professional football, he later took on several administrative roles in the game, before returning to Manchester City as part of its youth coaching set-up.