- Born: 14/09/1986
- Birthplace: Irvine
- Nationality: Scotland
At Everton between 2012 - 2016
Scotland international Steven Naismith joined Everton as a free agent in the summer of 2012.
He went on to spend three-and-a-half years at Goodison Park, scoring 25 goals in 123 appearances, before leaving to join Norwich City in January 2016.
Naismith was a Rangers fan as a boy and spent time at the Ibrox club’s academy before beginning his professional career at Kilmarnock.
The Irvine-born player was still a 17-year-old when he made his senior debut and gradually became a regular part of the first-team fray.
The 2005/06 season proved to be a breakthrough campaign as Naismith bagged 13 goals and was named the Scottish Football Writers’ Young Player of the Year.
Further awards arrived the following season when he claimed 15 goals and received the Scottish PFA Young Player of the Year award.
His performances had caught the eye of the SPL big guns and Rangers won a tug of war to regain the services of their former starlet in August 2007.
He had also made his full international debut against the Faroe Islands by that stage and established himself as a regular squad member for Scotland.
At Rangers he slipped seamlessly into life as a first-team star, even appearing at Barcelona's Nou Camp in the Champions League, only for injury to hamper his progress.
Naismith continued to be an important cog in Rangers’ ministrations under Ally McCoist and ended his Ibrox career with three SPL titles, two Scottish League cups and a Scottish Cup.
Making his Goodison debut on 8 August, the Scot bagged a hat-trick in Tony Hibbert's testimonial against AEK Athens.
In 2012/13, Naismith scored the equaliser against Liverpool at Goodison as well as goals against Reading, Norwich and Chelsea respectively, though he was largely limited to appearances from the bench in his first season as a Blues player.
The following campaign he flourished under Roberto Martinez, regularly providing a creative spark and popping up with some vital goals.
That form continued in 2014/15 when he scored against Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea before signing a three-year contract extension.
His goalscoring exploits carried over into 2014/15, with three goals in his opening three games.
Naismith followed it up with memorable strikes in wins over Manchester City and in Europe against the likes of Lille.
The forward found first-team opportunities limited during the opening months of the 2015/16 season, although he did step off the substitutes’ bench to net a memorable hat-trick in a 3-1 victory against Chelsea at Goodison Park.
Those were his final goals for the Toffees before leaving to join Norwich City for undisclosed fee in January 2016.
Steven was well known for helping those less advantaged, and would often pay for match tickets for unemployed fans, and Christmas meals for the homeless.
He will be missed by many Evertonians, and we wish him well.