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|Birthday||February 20, 1981|
Renowned by many as the best tackler at the club, Academy graduate Tony Hibbert has forged an impressive career with Everton.
Originally a midfield player, the Liverpool born star is now a top quality right-back.
Hibbert combines excellent defensive qualities with the ability to make intelligent forward runs. Strong and not short of pace, his presence in the side provides a boost to the Blues’ back four.
A member of the Toffees’ 1998 FA Youth Cup winning side, Tony made his debut in March 2001 as Everton defeated West Ham 2-0 at Upton Park.
Hibbert was rewarded with a new contract in January 2003 after a series of fine performances for the Blues under David Moyes, and has since become a first team regular.
The lifelong Blue was delighted to extend that deal in the summer of 2005.
After a solid 2005/6 campaign, the following season started in disappointing fashion for Hibbert, as he was laid low with a rare tropical illness picked up while on holiday.
He did return briefly but then ruptured his groin and was out for three months. He made his comeback in the 0-0 draw at Anfield in February but took time to regain his form and fitness. He played his part in helping the Blues secure a top six finish and a place in the UEFA Cup.
Hibbert shared right-back duties with Phil Neville in the first part of the 2007/08, performing in typically reliable fashion. He signed a new deal in January 2008, keeping him at Everton until the summer of 2012.
The tenacious tackler was an important figure in the second half of the campaign, turning in a serious of typically sturdy performances.
Injuries and the excellent form of other players meant Hibbert wasn’t a regular in the first part of 2008/09, but after Christmas he played four consecutive games for the Club.
But in mid-January, injury ruled him out again and he was forced to undergo an operation to cure a hernia problem.
However, he returned to the fray towards the end of the season and indeed played the final three games of the campaign as the Blues narrowly missed out on European qualification.
Hibbert broke the Club’s record for appearances in Europe in 2009/10, surpassing Brian Labone and Colin Harvey’s tallies of 19 – the most recent coming notably in the centre of defence in December 2009 against BATE Borisov at Goodison.
He remained a loyal Everton servant and marked the 10 year anniversary of his debut in March 2011.
In August 2012 Hibbert’s testimonial took place at Goodison and the stalwart wowed fans by unleashing a 20-yard free-kick into the bottom corner to notch his first ever goal and send the crowd wild.