Joe Mercer

Joe Mercer

Football Biography
Football Biography Less

Joe Mercer

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Joseph 'Joe' Mercer, OBE (9 August 1914 – 9 August 1990) was an English football player and manager.

Playing career

Mercer was born in Ellesmere Port, Cheshire, the son of a former Nottingham Forest and Tranmere Rovers footballer, also named Joe. Joe Mercer senior died, following health problems resulting from a gas attack during the Great War, while his son was only 12. In later life, after his footballing career was over, Joe Mercer junior became a regular attendee at Tranmere Rovers due to his father's involvement.

Joe Mercer, a left-half, first played for . He was a powerful tackler and good at anticipating an opponent's moves. He joined Everton in September 1932 at the age of 18 and claimed a regular first team place in the 1935–36 season. Mercer made 186 appearances for Everton, scoring two goals and a winning a League Championship medal in the 1938–39 season. While playing for Everton he gained five England caps between 1938 and 1939.

Like many players of his generation, Mercer lost out on seven seasons of football due to the Second World War. He became a sergeant-major and played in 26 wartime internationals, many of them as captain. The Everton manager Theo Kelly accused Mercer of not trying in an international against Scotland, but in reality Mercer had sustained a severe cartilage injury. Even after consulting an orthopaedic specialist, the Everton management refused to believe him and Mercer had to pay for the surgery himself....
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