Emotions are running high at Everton as the club officially release ex-Rangers striker Duncan Ferguson from his coaching contract.
The Goodison Park legend has been a part of the furniture at the Premier League club recently but will now move on to pursue potential management opportunities elsewhere.
Having turned out for Everton as club captain, the big man has also been involved in the coaching staff behind the scenes and served as a caretaker manager on two occasions but now Duncan Ferguson will move on from Frank Lampard’s current set-up.
The response from Everton has been particularly emotional but it’s clear from Duncan Ferguson’s farewell interview that the decision is one taken with his best interests in mind.
“It’s been a massive decision for me, an incredibly difficult one but I need to move on, to take that next step in my career and look for that new challenge,” said Ferguson [EFC].
“Being a caretaker manager has given me confidence to step into management.
“The Club has been fantastic with me. They’ve supported me all the way through my journey.
“You’ve got the Chairman who has supported me as a player and as a coach. He’s been amazing with me, so I would like to thank him. And then there’s people like our CEO Denise [Barrett-Baxendale] who has been fantastic.
“It really is a caring club with some proper people in it. They’re massive Evertonians.
“And, of course, there’s the fans. They’ve been incredible to me since I came in ’94. We’ve got a strong bond.
“The relationship we’ve had over the years has been special. They know how much they mean to me. I’ll always love them.”
Ex-Rangers star Duncan Ferguson leaves Everton
Rangers fans of a certain vintage will remember Duncan Ferguson well as an aggressive, powerful, talented forward of a bygone era whose time at Ibrox was fraught with controversy.
The big striker cost Rangers a sizeable £4m in 1993, a then British record transfer fee for the 21-year-old forward.
However, after a headbutt on Raith Rovers star John McStay in 1994 Ferguson served a three-month prison sentence for assault.
An initial loan move to Everton then followed before the deal was made permanent, and the rest is history as the Duncan Ferguson love story with the Liverpool club was written.
The striker also spent short two-year stint at Newcastle United – with the Magpies paying £8m for the privilege – before Ferguson returned to Goodison two years later.
Speaking of Everton, the Premier League outfit look likely to replace Rangers amid a major controversy involving Old Firm rivals Celtic.