Considered amongst the finest English footballers of his generation, when Gordon Lee paid Derby County £300,000 for Colin Todd’s services in September 1978 he equalled the Everton transfer record fees spent on Martin Dobson and Bob Latchford. Once considered the ‘new Bobby Moore’, Todd had outdone his illustrious forbear domestically, winning two League Championships with Derby County in 1972 and 1975 – the same year he was crowned PFA Player of the Year.
Todd was an impeccable, unflustered defender; a perceptive reader of the game and strong tackler who had brought poise and assurance to the Derby and England defences. In short, he was a footballing thoroughbred who had proved one of the finest central defenders of the era. And yet, to the incredulity of Evertonians and, no doubt Todd himself, Gordon Lee insisted on playing Todd out of position at right back, preferring the novice Billy Wright as Mick Lyons central defensive partner.
The experiment never worked and the blond north easterner failed to recapture the form of his Baseball Ground heyday. He played just three more games after the end of the 1978/79 season before joining Birmingham City for £275,000 exactly a year after his arrival.