They promised a riot if Tony Hibbert scored in his testimonial last night, and sure enough the stalwart defender smashed home a free-kick to score his first Everton goal in a comfortable 4-1 win over AEK Athens, reports the Liverpool
The 31-year-old was rewarded for his loyalty to Everton with a testimonial game against the Greek side. Hibbert signed for Everton as a 10-year-old and has gone on to make 309 first-team appearances for the club, however before last night he had failed to score a single goal for the Toffees, prompting his cult status amongst Evertonians.
A stunning 30 minute hat-trick from new signing Steven Naismith put the Merseyside club ahead but it was Hibbert who captured the moment of the night as a laid off free-kick was met with his right foot and arrowed into the back of the net, prompting mad scenes from the Gwladys Street end with some supporters starting a pitch invasion.
It was a magical moment for a player who rarely enters the spotlight, preferring to focus on family rather than the media circus that follows football.
Everton would have been pleased to win the game, despite the testimonial tag-line. David Moyes’ side have had an indifferent pre-season campaign and suffered defeat against Blackpool at the weekend.