Former Liverpool goalkeeper Sander Westerveld has praised Everton fans for their welcome after signing an emergency loan in 2006.
Westerveld, 45, has made two appearances under David Moyes and insists he is “proud” to have represented the two Merseyside rivals during his career.
“I was playing for Portsmouth but I was on the bench,” said the former Netherlands international, who played 77 times for Liverpool between 1999-2001, at Anfield Edition.
“On his way to see Chelsea play at Barcelona, David Moyes called me in the car and said he needed a goalkeeper who could play for a month. I said yes straight away.
“I hung up the phone and was like ‘oh shit this is Everton.’ I’ve always had a really good connection with Everton because nine of my 10 friends in Liverpool were Bluenoses.
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“I called them and they said ‘we would love to have you there, everyone will understand, you are not going straight from Liverpool to Everton, you have been kicked out of Liverpool’.
“From the second I arrived I was so impressed with the atmosphere and warmth of the Everton fans. It was one of the best experiences of my entire career.
“I ran on the field and they accepted me and applauded. I was really surprised, everything was positive.
“It was almost like they were saying thank you because they had three goalies, I was there to help and I tried to help them.
“It was a great opportunity to show myself to the world again and have a few minutes under my belt. From the very first minute to the very end, I loved it.”
Westerveld then signed for Almeria in Spain before spending periods with Sparta Rotterdam, Monza and Ajax Cape Town, where he worked as a goalkeeper coach since the end of his playing career in 2012.
He revealed he had the opportunity to extend his time at Goodison Park and remains fond of his short stint at Everton.
“I was even allowed to stay another month but my wife was pregnant and I told Moyes I had to go home,” he said. “I’m still friends with a few players, Arteta and Cahill, and even the head of the kit. He has a place in my heart.
“I made history, I was the only goalkeeper to play for both clubs. I’m proud to have played for Everton as well.”