Following the untimely death of former Liverpool and Everton striker David Johnson, MerseySportLive looks at the five best players to wear both famous Red and Blue shirts.

Given the fierce rivalry between the fans, not many have played for both clubs. The number is 35 to be exact, the majority playing in the early 20th century.

Gary Ablett

Ablett won honours on either side of Stanley Park, including three league titles with Liverpool in his seven-year spell. At the Reds he wasn’t always established in the starting XI, though towards the end of his time there was a regular at left back, whilst also deputising for the injured Alan Hansen at times.

In 1991 new Liverpool manager Graeme Souness sold Ablett to Everton where he went on to make 128 appearances and won the FA Cup, making him the only player to win the competition with both Merseyside clubs.

Fred Geary

Starting his career in the nineteenth century, football looked very different when Geary played. At Everton he was a prolific goalscorer, netting 86 goals in 99 games, helping the Blues to their first ever First Division title.

In 1895 he joined Liverpool for a fee of £60, scoring 11 goals in 19 games, helping the Reds win the Second Division title.

On his England debut Geary scored a hat-trick, though only added one other cap for his nation.

David Johnson

Next on the list is Johnson himself. The striker spent six years with Liverpool in which he won four league championships, two European Cups, one League Cup, and a UEFA Super Cup.

The ‘Doc’ netted 78 times in 213 appearances for the Reds. Johnson also had two spells at the Toffees where he debuted in 1971 aged 19, before re-joining them in 1982 following his trophy laden period at Liverpool.

Johnson sadly died earlier this week following a battle with throat cancer.

David Johnson - Liverpool FC - download from Alamy images under licenced pack
David Johnson, Liverpool – Soccer – Toyota Cup – World Club Championship – Liverpool v Flamengo – National Stadium, Tokyo.

Peter Beardsley

Beardsley earned a reputation as a journeyman following his career, perhaps unfairly given his immense talent.

He joined Liverpool from Newcastle for a then record fee of £1.9 million, scoring 59 goals in 173 appearances and winning two league titles and an FA Cup for the Reds.

His electric pace was key in Liverpool’s last few years of sustained success before their historic 30 year wait for a league title. As first team opportunities reduced at Liverpool, Beardsley joined Everton in 1991 where he scored 26 times in 85 appearances.

Steve McMahon

Topping the list, McMahon played a key role in helping Liverpool to three league titles and two FA Cups in the 1980s, a stint which earned his reputation as a Liverpool great.

McMahon started his career at Everton, playing 100 times over the period of four seasons which saw him earn the club captaincy.

The midfielder earned high praise from managerial great Bob Paisley, who said “When Steve McMahon plays well, I always think that Liverpool will play well.”

No one has played for the both clubs since Abel Xavier, who moved from Goodison to Anfield in 2002. The days of players making the move across Stanley Park seem well and truly over.