He is probably best known as an Everton player, although he made most appearances for Sunderland His other clubs, as a player were Stoke City, Newcastle United and Fulham, whom he also managed briefly, where despite making a good start to the season, he was sacked by the chairman half way through his first season. He won two First Division Championship medals with Everton in 1985 and 1987, as well as the 1985 European Cup Winners' Cup final, when Everton beat Rapid Vienna 3-1.
He has the unwanted distinction of never winning the FA Cup, but being with the losing finalists on four occasions, in 1985, 1986 and 1989 with Everton and in 1992 with Sunderland.
In October 2000 he became manager of Halifax Town although his stint there lasted less than a year. He resigned from the club 4 games into the 2001/02 season. During his brief spell in charge he steered to the team to just 11 wins in 41 games, which included a 2-0 home FA cup exit at the hands of non league Gateshead..