There were joyous scenes at Goodison Park tonight, as Everton picked up their first win since mid-December thanks to a brace from new signing Theo Walcott and Seamus Coleman played the full 90 minutes in his first senior appearance for the club since breaking his leg on international duty for Ireland ten months ago.
Walcott opened the scoring after 25 minutes, finishing tidily from a low Gylfi Sigurdsson cross, and he volleyed home a second just 14 minutes later. A Jamie Vardy penalty closed the gap on 71 minutes but Everton held out to claim the three points.
Though it was Walcott’s contributions to the scoreboard that ultimately secured victory, Coleman seemed to be the hero of this evening’s tale. Shortly after Walcott’s first, the Goodison faithful broke into a chorus of “60 grand, 60 grand, Seamus Coleman” though the Donegal man had not been directly involved in the goal.
His praises were also sung, less literally, on Twitter throughout the game and in its aftermath.
After a lung busting run of 40 yards, taking four LCFC players out the game and delivering a lovely ball through to Niasse, all four sides of the stadium sing Seamus Coleman’s name.
He’s been superb so far tonight.
— Tony Scott (@Tony_Scott11) January 31, 2018
Energy of Seamus Coleman tonight was something else it really was! First proper competitive game back and he was running up and down that wing in injury time like it was the first min! Walcott showed he’s ability also tonight! Onwards and upwards now ? ? COYB ? ?
— Tony Bellew (@TonyBellew) January 31, 2018
Seamus Coleman is a spectacular player. In every sense of the word the man is pure class. On and off the pitch he is one of the very best. Never underestimate his importance to this club. Utterly irreplaceable.
— Rachel (@RachelEFC9) January 31, 2018
Everton lead and, while he had no part in goal, stadium breaks into rendition of '60 grand, 60 grand Seamus Coleman' – somewhere a lone Sligo voice is at pains to point out they made more via clauses
— Daniel McDonnell (@McDonnellDan) January 31, 2018
Seamus Coleman. What an example! What an inspiration!
— Ric George (@Ric__George) January 31, 2018
Seamus Coleman is just unreal. Everything about him is exceptional.
— NSNO.co.uk (@nsno) January 31, 2018
Theo Walcott takes the acclaim for #efc with his goals but the night belonged to Seamus Coleman, superb display and fought to the end. Heartfelt salute to the Gwladys St after the final whistle.
— Andy Hunter (@AHunterGuardian) January 31, 2018
Seamus Coleman epitomises everything an Everton player should be. He gave absolutely everything there. He had nothing left. What a man.
— Watched Toffee (@WatchedToffee) January 31, 2018
— Carl Markham (@carlmarkham) January 31, 2018
Seamus Coleman is a great role model… he blows my mind! What a man ??
— Pete Cranfield (@cutthroatpete) January 31, 2018
Seamus Coleman, it's like he's never been away, fantastic performance here #EFC
— Adam Jones (@Adam_Jones94) January 31, 2018
Great to see Seamus Coleman back on the pitch tonight for @Everton
— Shay Given (@No1shaygiven) January 31, 2018
They say every player can be replaced but you can’t replace seamus Coleman and his passion for Everton what a guy
— martin (@WeAreEvertonian) January 31, 2018
Just an amazing performance by Seamus Coleman. To deliver that quality after his first game back after a totally shattered leg. I even mistakenly called him "Shamen" at one point. #EFC
— John Merro (@johnmerro1) January 31, 2018
Seamus Coleman is the epitome of a model pro. Wouldn't surprise me if he's fitter, faster and stronger by every metric than before his injury. Attitude is incredible and always has been. #EFC
— Greg O'Keeffe (@GregOK) January 31, 2018
Everton manager Sam Allardyce also got in on the act post-match.
“Seamus is an example to everyone at this football club, with the way he performed with quality and got through 90 minutes,” said ‘Big Sam’. “It was marvellous to see.”
? SA: "Seamus is an example to everyone at this football club, with the way he performed with quality and got through 90 minutes. It was marvellous to see." #EFCmatchday
— Everton (@Everton) January 31, 2018
The win moved Everton to 31 points for the season but the Toffees remain in their pre-match position in the Premier League standings, 9th, three points behind Leicester, who fell to 8th after tonight’s defeat.