Minnesota United head coach Adrian Heath was honored by his former club Everton FC over the weekend, as he was welcomed back to Goodison Park to celebrate his induction into the club’s Hall of Fame – and also got surprised with an unexpected and very special gift.
One of the most successful strikers in Everton history, Heath (who previously led Orlando City SC into MLS as the Lions' head coach from 2008-16) helped the Toffees win an FA Cup and two English First Division championships from 1984-87. That stretch also included victory in the 1985 European Cup Winners’ Cup, at the time one of Europe’s top club competitions.
Heath took part in the first two rounds of the ECWC run, but suffered a serious injury that kept him out for the rest of the tournament, which meant that he did not qualify to receive a championship medal when Everton defeated Austria’s Rapid Vienna in the final.
So the Everton Heritage Society decided to rectify this three-decades-old slight, commissioning a Swiss jeweller to craft an exact replica of the medal and presenting it to Heath at halftime of the Toffees’ Premier League match against Cardiff City on Saturday. The thoughtful gesture obviously moved the Englishman, who is now enshrined in club lore as an “Everton Giant.”