The Merseyside Derby is notorious in Liverpool for being a passionate and intense occasion for fans.
But did you know – just 34 men have crossed Stanley Park and played for both Liverpool and Everton in 130 years.
The most recent direct transfer between the two in 2002 was Abel Xavier.
A new book by author Peter Kenny Jones called “Crossing the Park: The Men Who Dared to Play for Both Liverpool and Everton” focuses on both players and managers who represented both Merseyside rivals.
“Crossing the Park” attempts to understand why what was once a friendly derby turned into a fierce rivalry between supporters.
Peter, a football historian and writer, wanted to explore why there has not been a direct transfer between Liverpool and Everton for more than 20 years.
He saw that football fans especially in Merseyside were very tribal while footballers were a lot more willing to change their allegiance.
“The length of time that both clubs were friendly with each other was surprising and somewhat upsetting,” he said.
“It’s hard to see how short of a period the two sets of fans have been opposed to each other but now it feels like the norm.”
Peter being a huge Liverpool fan already prompted him to write a previous book “Liddell at One Hundred” telling the story of Liverpool’s fourth top goalscorer Billy Liddell.
The book features interviews from various notable faces including Everton legend Johnny Morrissey, David Burrows and former manager Rafa Benitez.
Benitez won a Champions League title with Liverpool in 2005 before later becoming Everton manager in 2021.
There was a lot of controversy surrounding his appointment among many Everton fans, and Peter found it surprising that Benitez had split allegiance between the two clubs.
With Everton’s move to Bramley Moore fast approaching, he saw this as a perfect opportunity to write about “Crossing the Park” as there may never be another man who ever makes the move.
‘Crossing the Park’ will be released on April 24, 2023 and is available to pre-order via Amazon, via the Publishers and the website https://peterkj.wixsite.com/football-historian.