Big Dunc's Goodison Park exit confirmed
Duncan Ferguson's Everton career has finally come to an end after manager David Moyes decided not to offer the striker a new contract.
The Scot spent nearly 10 years at Goodison Park in two spells but, at 34, his role this season was mainly limited to substitute appearances.
However, he signed off in front of his adoring home fans with a 90th-minute equaliser in the 2-2 against West Brom - his first goal of the campaign.
China international Lie Tie, signed from Liaoning BaoDao in August 2002, has also been released while Matteo Ferrari, on loan from Roma since last summer, will return to Italy.
'Duncan Ferguson and Li Tie have both been released and we have decided not to take up the transfer option on Matteo Ferrari following his loan,' Moyes told the club's website.
Moyes has moved to secure the future of experienced defenders Alan Stubbs and David Weir with veteran goalkeeper Nigel Martyn is also set to be offered a new deal if he proves his fitness after an ankle injury.
'We have offered new contracts to Alan Stubbs and David Weir and we will be offering one to Nigel Martyn subject to a specialist's report,' Moyes added.
West Brom defender Steve Watson has seen the player in action close-up as both a team-mate and an opponent and after yesterday said he was pleased to see the back of him - although that may not be the case if Ferguson re-surfaces in the Championship to face the relegated Baggies.
'I would rather be playing alongside him than against him - any defender will tell you that,' said the former Everton full-back.
'He's a talisman for Everton and always wears his heart on his sleeve; he's an Evertonian and has done fantastically for them.
'He'll be badly missed and is one of those old fashioned centre-forwards that people find it very hard to play against.
'On a day when we said goodbye to one legend in Brian Labone who sadly died recently, Everton have said goodbye to a second afterwards. It was probably fitting that he scored the equaliser.
'I've played against him enough times to know how difficult he is to face and I have spoken to enough world-class centre-halves to know that on his game he is virtually unplayable.
'You can hardly get near him at times - he is so strong and physical. In that way he is like Alan Shearer and enjoys making life difficult for centre-halves.
'He has always had this special bond with the Everton fans - even when he joined Newcastle he never tried to hide that at all.
'He will be hard to replace. James Beattie has done very well, had a good season and proved to a lot of people that he is a very good striker - and I will be looking forward to seeing him do well next season in what is a straight replacement for `big Dunc'.'