Young Everton defender Jack Tierney has credited club legend Leighton Baines for making him fall in love with the round leather game. He talked up the influence of Leighton Baines on his career in an interview with the official website of Everton as expressed his gratitude for the impact that the former Toffees left-back has made on his young football career.
Baines’ influence on young Tierney dates back to the 2011 FA Cup tie with West London giants Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. According to him, Everton were losing in extra time and his dad told him that they would be going if Leighton Baines misses the free-kick awarded to the Toffees. Baines scored the free-kick and the moment has stayed with young Tierney till date. Everton forced penalties as a result of the successful free-kick from Baines and they went on to progress to the next round by beating their hosts during the shootout. The dramatic FA Cup tie in 2011 represents Tierney’s first memory of watching Everton. It was the first day he knew what it meant to be an Evertonian. The feeling of winning was a good one for Tierney even at a very young age.
Tierney stated that he asked Baines about his most memorable Everton goal when the retired England international fullback joined the Under-18 team earlier this season. His own most memorable Everton goal is definitely the free-kick that was converted by Baines to take the 2011 FA Cup game with the Blues to penalties.