Tim Cahill become one of the most high profile Australian footballers of all time during his eight seasons at Everton. The attacking midfielder was known for getting stuck in, his incredible heading ability, pace, vision, skill and loved to score important goals at crucial moments.
Tim Cahill was born on the 6th of December 1979 in Sydney, Australia and began playing football at local sides such as Sydney Olympic and Sydney United before deciding to move to England. The attacking midfielder was snapped up by Millwall on a free contract in 1997. Cahill continued his progression at Milwall and he was part of the side that won the Second Division in 00/01 and the squad that became the first ever Millwall side to go to an FA Cup final when they lost the 2004 final 3-0 to Manchester United. The Australian made a total 249 appearances and scored 56 goals during his time at Millwall before Everton signed him for £1.5m in the summer of 2004.
Cahill wasted no time in his debut season at Everton as he scored 11 goals in 33 Premier League appearances as Everton finished an impressive 4th. The Australian ended the season as the club’s top scorer and was voted the fans’ player of the season.
Everton dropped to 11th in the Premier League in the 05/06 season but also drew Cahill’s old club Millwall in the FA Cup. And of course, Cahill scored the winning goal in the replay at Goodison Park but refused to celebrate his goal out of respect for his old club.
Everton improved in the 06/07 season as they rose to 6th in the Premier League and Cahill was named as one of the 50 nominees for the Ballon d’Or which made him the first Everton player in 18 years to be nominated for the award. Unfortunately, the attacking midfielder suffered knee and foot injuries that led to him only managing to make 18 Premier League appearances in the 06/07 season.
Cahill signed a new contract at the end of the season and eventually returned from injury in the 07/08 season during a UEFA Cup clash with Greek side Larissa on the 25th of October 2007 where he also managed to score a header in their 3-1 win. Cahill also showed his importance in the 07/08 season when he scored an extra time winner against Luton Town to send Everton to the Quarter Finals of the League Cup.
Tim Cahill managed to score 8 times in 30 appearances for Everton in the 08/09 season as they finished 5th in the Premier League. The Australian also managed to score a late equaliser in a Merseyside derby that made him the first Everton player since Dixie Dean to score three goals in derby games at Anfield. Cahill reached a landmark on the 28th of January 2009 when he scored his 100th career goal in a fixture against Arsenal. Everton also reached the 2009 FA Cup final but lost to Chelsea 2-1 despite taking the lead after just a minute.
Cahill stood in as captain for an injured Phil Neville in the 09/10 season and scored his 50th Everton goal in a 3-1 win over Carlisle United in the FA Cup. On April 17th 2010, Cahill scored a 90th minute winner vs Blackburn in a 3-2 win for his side. The Australian scored 8 times in 33 league appearances as Everton finished 8th.
Cahill began his 10/11 season brightly by scoring in Everton’s 2-0 win over bitter rivals Liverpool in October 2010 and then scored his 50th Premier League goal against Blackpool a month later. The attacking midfielder only managed 9 goals in 27 appearances in the 10/11 season as he suffered a foot injury in the 2011 Asia Cup which ruined his season.
The 11/12 season was Cahill’s last as an Everton player but it wasn’t too enjoyable as he went through a goal drought during the first couple months of the season before ending it with a tap in against Blackburn in January 2012. During Cahill’s last Premier League game at Goodison Park, he was sent off because of an altercation with Newcastle’s Yohan Cabaye after Cabaye had pushed an Everton ball boy but Cahill still remained upbeat about his time at Everton as he said,
“I want to thank everyone at Everton, from the club to the tremendous supporters. It has been a privilege to be an Everton player for the past eight years and it was a very difficult decision to leave. I will always support Everton and I wish the club the best of luck in the future”.