For a player who made nearly 150 appearances over a six-year spell at Goodison, Trevor Ross made a remarkably small dent in Evertonians’ consciousness. A former England schoolboy international who qualified to appear for Scotland under-21s, Trevor Ross was signed from Arsenal in November 1977 for a hefty £170,000. The midfielder was intended to add some defensive solidity to a midfield shorn of Bruce Rioch, who had recently left to rejoin Derby County.
Certainly the early signs were good; Everton finished his first season in third place, and came fourth the next year, having topped the table as late as February. However, for all the industry and aggression he brought to the right of Everton’s midfield, there was a lack of élan and guile that might have significantly improved the team. He was troubled by consistency too, particularly after Everton began to wane under Gordon Lee’s charge.
After an unhappy 1979/80 season Ross requested a transfer, but no one came in for him and he instead spent the first half of the 1980/81 season on the sidelines. Eventually he repaired his differences with Lee and returned to the team, with promises of a fresh start.
‘I didn’t see any future for myself here,’ he told the match day programme in January 1981. ‘I was down and depressed but I was fortunate to have the encouragement of [reserve team coach] Colin Harvey. He nagged at me and told me to keep my head up.’ His enthusiasm, he said, had returned and ‘slowly everything slipped back into place. I hope that’s how its stays from now onwards.’
Despite Lee’s demise at the end of the season and the frenetic transfer activity of his successor Howard Kendall that summer, Ross remained an Everton player and was a regular on the left of midfield through the 1981/82 season. But as Kendall started to shape his own team during 1982 he slipped from contention.
Loan moves to Portsmouth and Sheffield United came to nothing and he eventually joined AEK Athens, which he later described ‘the worst mistake of my life.’ He returned six months later to Sheffield United and later played out his career with Bury, where he was reunited with Martin Dobson – the Shakers’ Player Manager.