Monday, July 9, 2007

100 Person Who Shock The Kop - NO 1: Kenny Dalglish



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Liverpoolfc.tv are pleased to reveal that the player voted number one in our '100 Players Who Shook The Kop' series is the greatest player to have pulled on a red shirt, the legendary 'King' Kenny Dalglish.
Four years after our ground-breaking '100 Days That Shook The Kop', we are delighted to invite you to enjoy our new '100 Players Who Shook The Kop' series – the definitive countdown of the 100 players who have made the biggest impact at Liverpool.

Over 110,000 supporters have all nominated their own personal Top 10 players in order of impact made and now the definitive top 100 countdown is underway.

Every player who has made the top 100 – and there are some surprises in there - will be honoured on this website via the e-Season ticket console with a specially produced video clip, including archive footage and exclusive interviews.

Since 1892 hundreds of players have represented this club but everyone has their own particular favourites so don't expect this list to be based solely on talent. The greatness of a player can be measured in many ways – obviously, his ability on the pitch is the most important, but 100 PWSTK is much more than that. It's about the impact the individuals chosen have had on this club, be it for a variety of reasons. Maybe it was because of their unique rapport with the crowd, a specific incident that has never been forgotten or anything else that has left a lasting impression.

Name: Kenny Dalglish

Years at Liverpool: 1977 to 1990
Position: Forward

Date-of-birth: 4/3/1951
Birthplace: Glasgow

Signed from: Celtic (August 1977)

Games: 529
Goals: 172

Honours: First Division Championship (1978/79, 1979/80, 1981/82, 1982/83, 1983/84, 1985/86), European Cup (1978, 1981, 1984), FA Cup (1986), League Cup (1981, 1982, 1983, 1984), Charity Shield (1977, 1979, 1980, 1982, 1986), Super Cup (1977), PFA Player of the Year (1983), Football Writers Player of the Year (1979, 1983)

There can only ever be one King and the man who’s earned the right to take his place on the Anfield throne is the one and only Kenneth Mathieson Dalglish. Regarded by the majority of Liverpudlians as the club's greatest ever player, his all round stunning brilliance has been deemed to have shaken the Kop more than anyone else.

When he joined the club in August 1977 it was hard to see how Liverpool could top their first European Cup triumph of the previous season but with the highly influential Dalglish in the team the next 13 years were to bring a succession of untold riches.

Unlike many Liverpool signings of this era, Dalglish was already a household name when he made the switch from Parkhead to Anfield. His deeds in the green and white hoops of Celtic had made him one of the most sought after figures in the British game and it required a record £440,000 fee to secure his services.

The Scotland international was brought in to replace the recently departed Kop idol Kevin Keegan, who'd moved to Hamburg earlier that summer. If any player could step into Keegan's illustrious boots it was Dalglish and fears some Liverpudlians may have harboured over their new purchase were quickly laid to rest.

Dalglish found the back of the net within seven minutes of his league debut for the Reds, against Middlesbrough at Ayresome Park, and followed that up by hitting the target again on his first appearance in front of the Kop three days later as Newcastle were beaten 2-0.

He slipped seamlessly into the Paisley's all-conquering red machine and achieved the seemingly impossible by helping them move up another gear or two. The new King of the Kop crowned his first season at Anfield by topping the club's goalscoring charts and chipped in with the only goal of the 1978 European Cup Final against FC Bruges at Wembley – a delicate dink over the keeper that was quite simply perfection personified.

His superb ball control was complemented by a world-class footballing brain. He may never have been the fastest in terms of pace but if speed of thought had been an Olympic event Dalglish would have been a record gold medal holder.

Plying his trade south of the border mean his talents were given greater exposure but, never one to seek the limelight, he was loathe to take credit for his heroic actions and remained typically modest despite his increasing superstar status.

In 1979, his supreme individual ability was recognised by the football writer's of England who voted the canny Scot their Football of the Year. It was a fully deserved reward for a player whose every touch had Kopites purring with delight.

A selfless team player who brought others into play, he was an on-pitch visionary who could spot an opening that the naked eye of most would never see. David Johnson, in the late seventies, was the first grateful recipient of this but it was Kenny's strike partnership with Ian Rush that was to fire the Reds to greater glory during the eighties.

With Rush taking over the mantle of chief goalscorer, Dalglish became the undisputed creator supreme and if assists were recorded back then, he'd have been the first name on everyone's Fantasy Football teamsheet.

In the real world he was a priceless commodity and the role he played in the club's ongoing success was vital. A double footballer of the year in 1983, he was without doubt the finest British-born player of his generation and rightly spoken about in the same tone as such world renowned stars from this era like Maradona, Zico, Platini and Rummenigge.

With the ball at his feet he was a pure genius and of the 172 goals, he himself scored, it's hard to recall one that wasn't a classic. From the aforementioned European Cup winner, to sublime curlers at Highbury, Portman Road and Goodison, a mazy dribble through the Man United defence at Maine Road, a stretching volley in the League Cup Final replay versus West Ham at Villa Park and title clinchers against Tottenham and Chelsea. There are countless more memorable strikes and everyone will have their own particular favourite.

The one common denominator in all the goals he netted was the famous Kenny celebration; a quick turn, arms aloft and a beaming smile that would have lit up even the murkiest night sky over the Mersey.

The adulation showered on him by the Kop could be described as hero-worship at its most fanatical. He was loved at Anfield like no player before and the feeling was mutual. His name was the first the fans would sing and many a bed sheet was converted into a homemade banner paying homage to him.

In the aftermath of the Heysel Stadium disaster he was a surprising but popular appointment as player/manager and fears that his new role would result in him spending more time on the touchline and less on the pitch were initially unfounded.

It was on his return to the side during the run-in to the momentous 85/86 campaign that Liverpool embarked on an unbeaten run that would see them clinch a coveted League and FA Cup double and how fitting it was that Dalglish 'the player' scored the goal that secured the title.

Gradually, but inevitably, his appearances became less and less over the next few years as he concentrated more on the managerial aspects of his dual role but there was still the odd flashes of brilliance to revel in as the master sought to teach his apprentices.

What Dalglish went on to achieve as Liverpool manager cemented his legendary status but that is for another series. He did more than enough during his playing career to be rightfully hailed as the greatest player in Liverpool history.

Kenny, we'd walk a million miles to have you in our team again. Long live the undisputed King of the Kop!

Sold to: Retired (May 1990)

Claim to fame: Scoring the winner in the 1978 European Cup Final

Saturday, July 7, 2007

100 Person Who Shock The Kop - NO 2: Steven Gerrard



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Voted in at number two in our '100 Players Who Shook The Kop' series is Liverpool's present day captain marvel, the 'Huyton Hammer' Steven Gerrard.
Four years after our ground-breaking '100 Days That Shook The Kop', we are delighted to invite you to enjoy our new '100 Players Who Shook The Kop' series – the definitive countdown of the 100 players who have made the biggest impact at Liverpool.

Over 110,000 supporters have all nominated their own personal Top 10 players in order of impact made and now the definitive top 100 countdown is underway.

Every player who has made the top 100 – and there are some surprises in there - will be honoured on this website via the e-Season ticket console with a specially produced video clip, including archive footage and exclusive interviews.

Since 1892 hundreds of players have represented this club but everyone has their own particular favourites so don't expect this list to be based solely on talent. The greatness of a player can be measured in many ways – obviously, his ability on the pitch is the most important, but 100 PWSTK is much more than that. It's about the impact the individuals chosen have had on this club, be it for a variety of reasons. Maybe it was because of their unique rapport with the crowd, a specific incident that has never been forgotten or anything else that has left a lasting impression.

Name: Steven Gerrard

Years at Liverpool: 1998 to present
Position: Midfield

Date-of-birth: 30/5/1980
Birthplace: Whiston

Signed from: Apprentice

Games: 348
Goals: 64

Honours: European Cup (2005), FA Cup (2001, 2006), UEFA Cup (2001), League Cup (2001, 2003), Community Shield (2006), Super Cup (2001), PFA Young Player of the Year (2001), PFA Player of the Year (2006)

The ultimate modern day footballer, Steven Gerrard is fulfilling the dream of every local Liverpudlian. The greatest English player of his generation and arguably one of the best in the world right now, pundits have run out superlatives to describe Liverpool's talismanic midfield powerhouse.

As the inspirational skipper of the Reds he's already lifted both the FA and European Cup and our hopes of adding the Premiership title to this illustrious list rests largely on his shoulders.

A boyhood Red who was raised in nearby Huyton, he rose through the ranks of the club's youth Academy and has since stamped his authority all over the team. During the dark days of the immediate pre-Rafa era he carried the team in a way not seen since Billy Liddell in the fifties.

Originally spotted by Liverpool scouts as nine-year old, Gerrard's precocious talents were carefully nurtured by Steve Heighway and his staff at the club's centre of excellence. Aged 14, he had trials at various clubs, including Manchester United, but his intense love of the Reds was evident even then and all were rejected.

Nothing was going to distract him from his pursuit of the Anfield dream and though growth problems were to restrict his progress at times during his mid-teenage years, his single-minded determination to succeed shone through.

The management team of the time knew all about the talented youngster that was waiting in the wings and chomping at the bit to make his first team breakthrough but Gerard Houllier was the boss lucky enough to first reap the benefits.

After taking just one look at him in training at the Academy, Houllier immediately promoted Gerrard to Melwood in November 1998 and by the end of the month had handed him his senior debut at home to Blackburn.

The 18-year old rookie fully grasped the opportunity to impress and certainly didn't look out of place in his early games for the Reds. Whether he was deployed in centre of midfield or as a right-back, he exuded an air of confidence from the outset, barking out orders, tackling with tenacity and spraying the ball about like a seasoned professional.

After making 13 appearances that season, Gerrard went on to fully establish himself in the side during the 1999/2000 campaign, netting his first goal in a 4-1 win over Sheffield Wednesday and collecting his first red card for a foul on his derby debut. Once these occasional bouts of recklessness were eradicated from his game Gerrard set about blooming into the complete midfielder that we know today.

His intense passion first came to the fore in March 2000 when after making a vital goal-line clearance in the Anfield derby he celebrated like he'd scored a last-minute winner. It was moments such as this that initially endeared Gerrard to the fans on the Kop.

His meteoric progress at club level was rewarded with a first full England cap that year and the following season saw his profile raised several notches more as he performed a key role in Liverpool's unprecedented cup treble success, scoring in the UEFA Cup Final win over Alaves and deservedly walking off with the PFA Young Player of the Year award.

During that treble-winning campaign, the 'Huyton Hammer' also netted what has since been voted Liverpool's best ever Premiership goal – a thunderous long-range strike that helped defeat Manchester United – and he's since assembled an impressive repertoire of spectacular strikes that would grace any 'greatest goals' dvd.

With his influence on the team becoming more and more important, Gerrard was handed the honour of succeeding Sami Hyypia as club captain in October 2003 and how he thrived on the added responsibility.

The latter days of Houllier's reign as manager though were not the happiest at Anfield and as the team lurched from one on-pitch crisis to another, it was the Herculaneum Gerrard who dragged them out of the mire and into the promised land of a top four Premiership finish.

His role in the unforgettable Champions League triumph of 2005 that followed was pure legendary; from his amazing last-gasp Kop shaker that sealed a passage into the knockout phase at the expense of Olympiacos to the spine-tingling night against AC Milan when he kick-started and orchestrated the miracle of Istanbul.

The sight of Gerrard proudly hoisting the gleaming silver trophy into the Turkish night sky was the cue for tears of happiness to be shed by many a tough Scouser. Bringing home 'number five' meant so much and will never fade from the memory.

In the immediate aftermath of his Ataturk heroics, Gerrard pledged his long-term future to the club, just has he'd done the previous summer in light of annoying speculation linking him with a move to Chelsea, but still the rumours rumbled on.

As the weeks went by without a new contract being put before him, worried Liverpudlians became increasingly concerned and Gerrard, his mind in turmoil, took the drastic step of submitting an official transfer request.

Liverpool looked to have lost the services of their best player and feelings of anger, disbelief and sorrow were visibly vented on the city streets. But in one of the most amazing u-turns ever performed, the red half of Merseyside awoke the next morning to discover all their Christmases had come at once; Gerrard had come to his senses and was staying after all!

With his future finally resolved, his performances reached even higher standards the next season and another super-human effort in a major cup final confirmed his standing as the heir apparent to Kenny Dalglish as Liverpool's greatest ever player.

Trailing to West Ham in Cardiff, Gerrard snatched the trophy from the Londoners grasp by masterminding another awe-inspiring comeback, setting up one goal and scoring two as the Reds clawed their way back into a game in which they twice looked dead and buried.

His last-gasp leveller at the end of normal time has already passed into FA Cup folklore and the subsequent penalty shoot-out victory ensured Gerrard became only the second player in history, after Stanley Matthews, to have a final named in his honour.

At 26, the undisputed 2006 PFA Player of the Year is showing no signs of slowing down. There's no reason to believe he won't be the fulcrum of this team for a long time to come and it's incredible to think his best days may still be ahead of him.

Manchester United boss Alex Ferguson once described him as 'the most inspirational player in England, bar none,' and if he continues to progress at the rate he has done then, fingers crossed, it must surely be only a matter of time before the much-coveted Premiership title is residing in the Anfield trophy cabinet.

Kenny might still be the king but Stevie is most definitely the prince and if he can get his hands on that one trophy that has so far eluded him then maybe one day soon the crown will be passed over.

Claim to fame: Lifting the European Cup in Istanbul

Thursday, July 5, 2007

100 Person Who Shock The Kop - NO 3: Ian Rush



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Voted in at number three in our '100 Players Who Shook The Kop' series is Liverpool's all-time record goalscorer, master marksman Ian Rush.
Four years after our ground-breaking '100 Days That Shook The Kop', we are delighted to invite you to enjoy our new '100 Players Who Shook The Kop' series – the definitive countdown of the 100 players who have made the biggest impact at Liverpool.

Over 110,000 supporters have all nominated their own personal Top 10 players in order of impact made and now the definitive top 100 countdown is underway.

Every player who has made the top 100 – and there are some surprises in there - will be honoured on this website via the e-Season ticket console with a specially produced video clip, including archive footage and exclusive interviews.

Since 1892 hundreds of players have represented this club but everyone has their own particular favourites so don't expect this list to be based solely on talent. The greatness of a player can be measured in many ways – obviously, his ability on the pitch is the most important, but 100 PWSTK is much more than that. It's about the impact the individuals chosen have had on this club, be it for a variety of reasons. Maybe it was because of their unique rapport with the crowd, a specific incident that has never been forgotten or anything else that has left a lasting impression.

Name: Ian Rush

Years at Liverpool: 1980 to 1987 & 1988 to 1996
Position: Forward

Date-of-birth: 20/10/1961
Birthplace: St Asaph

Signed from: Chester City (May 1980) & Juventus (August 1988)

Games: 660
Goals: 346

Honours: First Division Championship (1981/82, 1982/83, 1983/84, 1985/86, 1989/90), European Cup (1984), FA Cup (1986, 1989, 1992), League Cup (1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1995), Charity Shield (1982, 1986, 1989, 1990), ScreenSport Super Cup (1986), PFA Young Player of the Year (1983), PFA Player of the Year (1984), Football Writers Player of the Year (1984)

Only one word is needed to describe Ian Rush's Liverpool career. Goals. Plenty of them, to be more precise. No player in Anfield history has scored more and his record his one that will take some beating.

Nothing shakes the Kop more than a goal and in two glorious spells with the club he netted so many times he must surely have been guilty of causing some structural damage before the old terrace was finally pulled down in 1994.

More importantly, his predatory instincts were instrumental in Liverpool dominating the game for most of the eighties. He was loved at Anfield, feared at every opposition ground and renowned throughout Europe.

A goalscoring legend if there ever was one, it's hard to imagine that his glittering career with the Reds had such an inauspicious beginning. Signed from Chester City towards the end of the 1979/80 season for a then British record fee for a teenager - £300,000 – Rush felt he wasn't being given a fair crack of the whip by then boss Bob Paisley and asked for a transfer after making just a handful of appearances.

A possible move to Crystal Palace was discussed but Paisley had no intention of ever letting him leave and for that, Liverpudlians can breathe a huge sigh of relief. Rush eventually saw sense, knuckled down and was soon banging goals in for the first team.

Tall, thin and ungainly, the young striker looked anything but a future striking hero when he broke into the team but how looks can be deceptive. It actually took him nine games before registering his first goal for the senior side but once that hit the back of the net there was no stopping him.

It was in 1981/82 that he fully established himself as a Reds regular. Paisley was in the process of rebuilding his team and Rushie's tally of 30 goals in 49 appearances sent out an ominous warning to Liverpool's rivals and helped deliver two trophies to the Anfield sideboard.

The once shy Welshman had also emerged from his shell and no longer felt out of place inside a star-studded dressing room. As a result his confidence soared and the goals began to flow at an even more prolific rate.

In November 1982, an awesome display of finishing by the boyhood Evertonian sunk shell-shocked Everton without trace on an unforgettable afternoon at Goodison that etched his name indelibly into Merseyside football folklore. On the Gwladys Street terrace where he'd once stood, they watched in disbelief as the new Reds number nine massacred the Blues and fired Liverpool to their biggest derby win since 1965.

It also confirmed his reputation as the hottest striker around and soon the big clubs in Europe worryingly began to circle overhead for the first time. Often described by his team-mates of the time as Liverpool's first line of defence, Rush was not just a goalscorer but a hard-working, selfless runner who never gave up the chase.

Electric pace and eagle-eyed anticipation meant he was also a nightmare to mark and his attacking partnership with Kenny Dalglish is genuinely regarded as one of the finest there has ever been.

His tormenting of opposition defences continued unabated and the pinpoint accuracy in his shooting boots was never more evident than during the following season – a campaign in which he was arguably at the peak of his powers.

A remarkable 47-goal haul – 48 if you count his spot kick conversion in Rome – was enough to see him become the first British player to win Europe's Golden Boot, a perfect accompaniment to an unprecedented treble of League title, European Cup and Milk Cup, not to mention double player of the year recognition.

Running on to perfectly threaded through balls was Rush's forte and when one-on-one with a keeper you'd bet your mortgage on him netting. But what made him stand out from the rest was the variation in his goals; countless close-range tap-ins, yes, but also in his locker were many well-drilled angled efforts, the odd 25-yard pile-driver and occasional header.

One of his finest displays of finishing came on an icy night at Villa Park in January 1984 when he bagged a memorable hat-trick that came straight out of the top drawer. Liverpool's master marksman netted against almost every team that had the misfortune to come up against him but it was Mersey neighbours Everton who he inflicted the most damage on and the most memorable of those he notched against the Blues were undoubtedly the two in the 1986 FA Cup Final.

With the coveted League and Cup double at stake, Rush broke Evertonian hearts again with a two-goal blast in a famous 3-1 win beneath the twin towers. But as the dust settled on that triumph the blue half of the city where given reason to dance with joy when it was announced that Liverpool's lean, mean, goalscoring machine had a agreed a deal to join Juventus.

Not surprisingly, news of his move, which wasn't due to go through until the following summer, shook the Kop to its core and a 'Rushie Must Stay' campaign was launched in a futile bid to keep their hero at Anfield. Determined to bow out on a high, Rush signed off by breaching the 40-goal barrier for only the second time in his career and left for the land of the lira with everyone's best wishes.

After just one season in Italy though, he was to make a sensational return amid a blaze of publicity. Having been made aware that their former star had failed to fully settle in Turin, Liverpool jumped at the chance to bring him home and Rushie responded by picking up where he left off, scoring goals for fun and proceeding to smash what goalscoring records he hadn't already.

Everton remained high on his hit-list and another brace of FA Cup Final goals against them in 1989 saw him finally overtake the legendary Dixie Dean as the long-standing derby goal-poacher supreme. Three years later he became the most prolific scorer in FA Cup Final history after he netted his fifth in the showpiece event during the 2-0 victory over Sunderland.

In October 1992 he found the back of the net for a 287th time in a Liverpool shirt and in doing so surpassed Roger Hunt as the most prolific striker in Anfield history. The same year, Rushie's status as one of the club's elder statesman saw him handed the captaincy by manager Graeme Souness and in 1995 he fulfilled a personal dream by lifting the Coca Cola Cup as Reds skipper.

His work at Anfield was still not done and his last act before leaving for Leeds on a free transfer shortly after the 1996 FA Cup Final, was to pass on his goalscoring wisdom to striking prodigy Robbie Fowler.

While records are there to be broken it's not inconceivable to suggest Rushie's phenomenal tally of goals in a Liverpool shirt is likely to stand the test of time.

But even if he is, somehow, one day, displaced from his position at the summit of the clubs all-time leading goalscorers, the fact he shook the Kop a record 346 times means he'll forever be renowned as one of the all-time Anfield greats.

Sold to: Juventus (July 1987) & Leeds (May 1996)

Claim to fame: Scoring more goals for Liverpool than any other player

Monday, July 2, 2007

100 Person Who Shock The Kop - NO 4: Robbie Fowler



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Voted in at number four in our '100 Players Who Shook The Kop' series is the goalscoring sensation who took football by storm in the nineties, the 'Toxteth Terror' Robbie Fowler.
Four years after our ground-breaking '100 Days That Shook The Kop', we are delighted to invite you to enjoy our new '100 Players Who Shook The Kop' series – the definitive countdown of the 100 players who have made the biggest impact at Liverpool.

Over 110,000 supporters have all nominated their own personal Top 10 players in order of impact made and now the definitive top 100 countdown is underway.

Every player who has made the top 100 – and there are some surprises in there - will be honoured on this website via the e-Season ticket console with a specially produced video clip, including archive footage and exclusive interviews.

Since 1892 hundreds of players have represented this club but everyone has their own particular favourites so don't expect this list to be based solely on talent. The greatness of a player can be measured in many ways – obviously, his ability on the pitch is the most important, but 100 PWSTK is much more than that. It's about the impact the individuals chosen have had on this club, be it for a variety of reasons. Maybe it was because of their unique rapport with the crowd, a specific incident that has never been forgotten or anything else that has left a lasting impression.

Name: Robbie Fowler

Years at Liverpool: 1993 to 2001 & 2006 to present
Position: Forward

Date-of-birth: 9/4/1975
Birthplace: Toxteth

Signed from: Apprentice (April 1992)

Games: 348
Goals: 177

Honours: FA Cup (2001), UEFA Cup (2001), League Cup (1995, 2001), Super Cup (2001), PFA Young Player of the Year (1995, 1996)

It's not for nothing that Robbie Fowler is known as God by those on the Kop. One of the most revered figures in Liverpool's recent history, Fowler is also one of the most naturally gifted goalscorers to have graced the famous red shirt and his striking exploits are already the stuff of legend.

Now in his second spell at the club, even if he doesn't net another goal for the Reds, his halo will never slip in the eyes of his adoring fans. Since scoring on his debut against Fulham in a 1993 League Cup tie, Fowler has enjoyed a long-running love affair with Kopites that has never wavered and shows no sign of abating.

A boyhood Evertonian, he switched allegiances when joining the club's 'centre of excellence' at the age of 11. Even at that tender age, his vast potential was there for all to see as he ripped up scoring records and made a name for himself at local schoolboy level.

A host of clubs sought his coveted signature but Liverpool made the successful swoop. It was the late Jim Aspinall who is rightly credited with persuading him to sign for the 'enemy' and it must rank has one of the most important this club has ever made.

Fowler rose through the ranks as expected and those in the know knew the Reds had a special talent in their midst. In April 1992 his progress was rewarded with a professional contract and the following January he appeared on a senior teamsheet for the first time when named as one of the substitutes in a third round FA Cup replay at home to Bolton.

An infamous 2-0 defeat to the lower league Trotters that night was proof that Liverpool needed a player like Fowler in the team but then boss Graeme Souness managed to resist the temptation to blood him until two months into the following season.

With the Reds still struggling for goals, Souey handed his highly-rated rookie striker a start at Craven Cottage and was rewarded with a debut goal. In the return at Anfield Fowler famously netted all five in a 5-0 rout and a star was born.

An instinctive goal-poacher, he claimed his first match ball after just five senior outings and ended the season as Liverpool's top scorer with 18. Excited Kopites viewed his arrival on the first team scene as divine intervention from up above and he certainly answered their prayers in the years that followed.

His first full season in the limelight saw his reputation blossom from promising youngster to fully-fledged superstar, this rapid elevation no doubt aided by a fastest-ever Premiership hat-trick against Arsenal, a Coca-Cola Cup winners medal and the PFA Young Player of the Year accolade. He also topped the Anfield goalscoring charts again, breaching the 30 mark for the first time, and the so-called 'Toxteth Terror' was suddenly one of football's most feared finishers.

What Fowler lacked in pace and height he made up with an uncanny ability to sniff out goals. No opposition net was safe when he was in the vicinity of the penalty box. Close-range tap-ins or long-range super strikes, the 'Growler' was wonderfully adept at both and, as the goals flew in by the bucket-load, his stock rose higher and higher.

In 1995/96 he plundered over 30 goals for the second successive season, made his full England debut and comfortably retained his Young Player of the Year award. He outshone Eric Cantona on his over-hyped 'return', much to the chagrin of Sky TV no doubt, and fired the Reds to an FA Cup Final appearance at Wembley.

Four goals at home to Middlesbrough in December 1996 saw him hit the milestone figure of 100 goals for the Reds quicker than striking mentor Ian Rush, while another 30-goal haul the following season took Liverpool to the closest they came to a 19th League Championship during this era.

The classic 'local boy made good', Fowler's popularity among the fans was at a scale not seen since Kenny Dalglish was in his pomp. To them, he could do wrong, even if his infamous 'Spice Boy' image of the time brought him some unwanted off-field attention.

Controversy seemed to follow him on the field also during the late nineties but his faithful flock stood by him through the bad times. A lovable rogue, Fowler never forgot where he came from and in 1997 famously went public with his support for the sacked Merseyside Dockers during a UEFA Cup tie against Brann Bergen.

Two serious injuries then forced him to endure a lengthy and frustrating spell on the sidelines, which coincided with the emergence of Michael Owen. But although Fowler temporarily lost his 'golden boy' status, Owen could never boast the same kind of rapport with the Liverpool crowd and it was no secret who they favoured most.

With Gerard Houllier in sole charge Fowler encountered more problems and found himself a victim of the Frenchman's controversial rotation policy. He may no longer have been guaranteed a regular starting place but Houllier was well aware of his importance to the squad in terms of team spirit and handed him the captain's armband as a result.

In February 2001, Fowler scored a spectacular goal on Liverpool's first visit to the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff and became the first Reds skipper to lift a trophy in six years as Birmingham were beaten on penalties in the Worthington Cup Final.

It was to be the first leg of an unprecedented cup treble that season and Fowler also figured in the FA and UEFA Cup Final, coming off the bench in both and netting in the latter. Four days after the drama of Dortmund he was on the scoresheet again as Champions League qualification was clinched for the first time.

But despite these goalscoring heroics, speculation that Houllier wanted to sell him refused to disappear and in November 2001 the unthinkable happened; Fowler was offloaded to Leeds, against his will, in a record-busting transfer.

To say the Kop was shaken by this would be a gross understatement. Letters of protest flooded the local press and even the massive fee received failed to soften the blow.

When Fowler failed to set the world alight at Leeds and then Manchester City the anger at his sale subsided slightly but the general consensus remained that he was suffering from a broken heart at being forced out of his beloved club. He remained a big Reds fan and even travelled to Istanbul to watch the 2005 Champions League Final.

Talk of him returning occasionally popped up in the sports pages but was always shrugged off as pure fabrication. Until January 2006 that is; when Liverpool's prodigal son sensationally returned to a hero's reception.

His free transfer capture from Manchester City delighted Kopites. Fowler, himself, admitted it was a dream come true and it warmed the hearts of everyone when he finally pulled on a red shirt once again.

He may not be the player he once was but already we've seen glimpses of his past magic. During the summer of 2006 Rafa Benitez extended his contract until the end of the current season and hopefully there is still another glorious chapter of the remarkable Robbie Fowler story to be written.

Whatever the future holds, it's hard to envisage him being loved by the fans more than he already is – although helping Liverpool to a long awaited Premiership title would surely do him no harm!

Sold to: Leeds United (November 2001)

Claim to fame: Scoring the fastest-ever Premiership hat-trick

Sunday, July 1, 2007

100 Person Who Shock The Kop - NO 5: John Barnes



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Voted in at number five in our '100 Players Who Shook The Kop' series is one of the most entertaining wingers we've ever had the privilege of watching at Anfield, the great John Barnes.
Four years after our ground-breaking '100 Days That Shook The Kop', we are delighted to invite you to enjoy our new '100 Players Who Shook The Kop' series – the definitive countdown of the 100 players who have made the biggest impact at Liverpool.

Over 110,000 supporters have all nominated their own personal Top 10 players in order of impact made and now the definitive top 100 countdown is underway.

Every player who has made the top 100 – and there are some surprises in there - will be honoured on this website via the e-Season ticket console with a specially produced video clip, including archive footage and exclusive interviews.

Since 1892 hundreds of players have represented this club but everyone has their own particular favourites so don't expect this list to be based solely on talent. The greatness of a player can be measured in many ways – obviously, his ability on the pitch is the most important, but 100 PWSTK is much more than that. It's about the impact the individuals chosen have had on this club, be it for a variety of reasons. Maybe it was because of their unique rapport with the crowd, a specific incident that has never been forgotten or anything else that has left a lasting impression.

Name: John Barnes

Years at Liverpool: 1987 to 1997
Position: Winger

Date-of-birth: 7/11/1963
Birthplace: Kingston, Jamaica

Signed from: Watford (June 1987)

Games: 407
Goals: 110

Honours: First Division Championship (1987/88, 1989/90), FA Cup (1989), League Cup (1995), Charity Shield (1988, 1989, 1990), Football Writers Player of the Year (1988, 1990), PFA Player of the Year (1988)

At his scintillating best in the late 1980's, there was no finer sight in football than that of John Barnes gliding down the left flank in a Liverpool shirt. One of the most exciting wingers of all-time, Barnes enthralled the Anfield crowd and ensured 'full-house' signs became a permanent fixture outside the Kop gates during one of the most entertaining era's in this club's history.

An awesome blend of poise, pace, strength and skill, when the Jamaican-born wide-man was in full flow he was quite simply a joy to watch and those privileged to have saw his sublime talent at close hand will forever cherish the memories.

With Barnes in the team, a front row seat in the Kemlyn Road or Paddock became one of the hottest tickets in town on an Anfield matchday. Whenever he gained possession an air of anticipation would sweep through the ground, anything seemed possible as he advanced towards goal and to a generation of Liverpudlians he's still regarded as 'simply the best.'

As the first high-profile black player in Liverpool history, a unique niche in Anfield folklore was assured before he'd even kicked a ball on Merseyside but the impact he made, on and off the pitch, following his £900,000 arrival from Watford in June 1987 was phenomenal.

Given the racial barriers that existed at the time, Barnes found himself the focus of intense scrutiny from day one of his Liverpool career but he took it all in his stride and quickly brought them crashing down, winning over the locals with his charismatic charm and amazing ability.

Despite the rubbish that had been written in the newspapers about his initial reluctance to join the Reds, Kopites took him instantly to their hearts, even though they were forced to wait three weeks for his home debut.

A collapsed sewer under the famous terrace delayed his Anfield bow but he'd whetted their appetite with a series of dynamic performances in Liverpool's first three away games of that momentous 87/88 season. Queues snaked around the ground and through the narrow side streets as fans clamoured to greet him and those lucky enough to gain admission were not disappointed with what they seen.

A stunning free-kick against Oxford set the pattern for a home campaign that was to yield a glittering array of magical memories – much of them stemming from the twinkle-toed trickery of Barnes. A superb solo strike against QPR a few weeks later sent his reputation soaring and confirmed his new-found standing as a Liverpool superstar.

Disgraceful racial graffiti that had been predictably daubed upon many walls across the city in the aftermath of his arrival slowly disappeared, and nothing was going to distract him from his number one objective of keeping the Liverpool fans entertained – not even an infamous banana throwing incident in the Merseyside derby at Goodison Park that season.

In true Barnes style, he reacted by back-heeling it off the pitch and ultimately having the last laugh but continuing to let his football do the talking. He played the game to the backdrop of a samba beat, his South American-style technique leaving supporters transfixed and opposition defenders bamboozled.

His sweet left foot and intricate close control was to prove the downfall of many a team as Liverpool took football in this country to previously unscaled heights during their run to a record-equalling 29-game unbeaten run from the start of the league season and a comfortable 17th title triumph.

Not surprisingly, Digger deservedly walked away with the 87/88 Player of the Year accolades but defeat to Wimbledon in the FA Cup Final denied him and his team-mates their dream double.

On reflection, his first season at the club was his finest but Barnes continued to perform at a consistently high level and remained a true Kop idol as the Reds added more silverware to their bulging trophy cabinet over the next two years.

Success in the 1989 FA Cup Final against Everton went some way to making up for the deep disappointment of losing at Wembley twelve months previous but victory on this occasion was tainted by the tragic events at Hillsborough in the semi-final, a disaster that touched Barnes as much as any of Liverpool's longer serving players – such was the way he'd integrated himself into city life.

A third successive campaign of breathtaking brilliance from Barnes in 1989/90 helped secure another Championship, he top-scored with 22 league goals and was voted Player of the Year again. Critics of Barnes argued that he failed to replicate his outstanding club form for England but that was of little concern to Liverpudlians who continued to marvel at his magic.

Widely regarded at club level as one of the top players in Europe, if not the world, at the time, the ongoing European ban sadly denied Barnes the chance to test himself against the cream of the continent and so prevented him from emulating the medal haul of his illustrious Anfield predecessors.

The absence of Euro honours though should not detract from what a great player he was. The qualities he possessed would have saw him walk into any of the great Liverpool sides of the past – no lesser a figure than Bob Paisley once said as much – and he should rightly be spoken about in the same breath as the many legends that tread the Anfield turf before him.

An exemplary role model, the positive influence he exerted on the club's up and coming youngsters meant he was the ideal man to succeed Ian Rush as captain in the mid-nineties - the likes of Steve McManaman, Jamie Redknapp and Robbie Fowler all benefiting from training and playing alongside him.

By this time, Barnes' role in the team had changed. The legacy of a serious injury and ageing legs had reduced his effectiveness as a flying winger who, at the peak of his powers, would scythe through opposition defences like a hot knife through butter.

But rather than bow out of the limelight, content in the knowledge that he'd already achieved greatness in a red shirt, Barnes moved inside and started pulling the strings from a central midfield position, his intelligent football brain allowing him to dictate play with the minimum of movement. Short, sharp, measured passes became the key components of his game and with him orchestrating proceedings possession was very rarely conceded.

Unfortunately, the glory days had passed, the team was going through a major transitional phase and no further honours were to come his way as skipper. Some fans questioned his role in the team and there were even calls for him to be dropped. He led the side out for the turgid 1996 FA Cup Final defeat to Manchester United but it was to be his last high-profile game for the club and after just one more season at Anfield Barnes finally brought the curtain down on his illustrious Anfield career.

He spent a total of ten years with Liverpool, was a pivotal member of the side throughout and just as the number seven shirt will always be associated with Kenny Dalglish, the number ten will forever belong to Barnes.

On the pitch, John Barnes helped take Liverpool's brand of football to previously unscaled heights of excitement, but in a wider social context the contribution he made to the club was even more enduring.

More than anyone, it was he who helped eradicate racism from Anfield and the legacy of that can still be seen today. Sadly, he also left behind a gaping void on the left flank of the Liverpool midfield that is yet to be suitably filled and it's going to take a special player to even go close to emulating him.

Sold to: Newcastle United (1997)

Claim to fame: Being the club's first high-profile black player

Friday, June 29, 2007

100 Person Who Shock The Kop - NO 6: Billy Liddell



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Voted in at number six in our '100 Players Who Shook The Kop' countdown is the legend who was so good they named the team after him, Billy Liddell.
Four years after our ground-breaking '100 Days That Shook The Kop', we are delighted to invite you to enjoy our new '100 Players Who Shook The Kop' series – the definitive countdown of the 100 players who have made the biggest impact at Liverpool.

Over 110,000 supporters have all nominated their own personal Top 10 players in order of impact made and now the definitive top 100 countdown is underway.

Every player who has made the top 100 – and there are some surprises in there - will be honoured on this website via the e-Season ticket console with a specially produced video clip, including archive footage and exclusive interviews.

Since 1892 hundreds of players have represented this club but everyone has their own particular favourites so don't expect this list to be based solely on talent. The greatness of a player can be measured in many ways – obviously, his ability on the pitch is the most important, but 100 PWSTK is much more than that. It's about the impact the individuals chosen have had on this club, be it for a variety of reasons. Maybe it was because of their unique rapport with the crowd, a specific incident that has never been forgotten or anything else that has left a lasting impression.

Name: Billy Liddell

Years at Liverpool: 1938 to 1960
Position: Winger

Date-of-birth: 10/1/1921
Birthplace: Townhill (near Dunfermline)

Signed from: Lochgelly Violet (June 1938)

Games: 534
Goals: 229

Honours: First Division Championship (1946/47)

Life as a Liverpudlian in the 1950s was no bed of roses but while Billy Liddell was around there was always a shining light amid the gloom of relegation from the top-flight, humiliating cup exits to lower league opposition and seemingly annual near misses in the quest for promotion.

The mere mention of his name is enough to send ageing Liverpudlians into dewy-eyed reminisces of bygone football age. For them, William Beveridge Liddell is quite simply the greatest player to have ever donned the famous red shirt.

During a barren era, which commands little coverage in the Liverpool history books, Liddell ensured that the crowds continued to flock to Anfield in their thousands and was largely responsible for keeping the club's head above the abyss of Football League oblivion.

Although his modesty would never have allowed him to admit it, without him the Reds could well have sunk into the murky depths of the old Third Division and if they had who's to say they'd have ever escaped?

To the modern generation of Liverpool fans, who look back in time and can't see beyond the arrival of Bill Shankly, this is a scenario too severe to contemplate but it's no exaggeration and for this reason alone, Liddell's contribution to the success story that followed should never be under-estimated.

It's one of the most worn out clich├ęs on the Kop but he was so good they renamed the team in his honour. Throughout the 1950's Liverpool Football Club was nicknamed Liddellpool – a reference to the massive influence exerted by the flying Scotsman who had joined the club as a 17-year old in 1938.

Without doubt, 'King Billy of Anfield' was one of the post-war greats of the British game, a thrilling, skilful, two-footed winger - fast, direct and capable of bursting the back of any opposition net with one of his trademark thunderbolt shots.

His fame spread far beyond the boundaries of Merseyside, even if a quick glance at his medal collection does not make for impressive reading. A solitary League Championship medal, won in 1946/47, was scant reward to the talent he possessed.

But the fact that he was twice selected to represent Great Britain during the course of his career – a feat matched only by the legendary Stanley Mathews – is ample proof, if needed, of his immense stature in the game.

It was the Reds captain of the time and future Manchester United manager, Matt Busby who Liverpool have to thank for tipping off the club's Scottish scout Johnny Dougary about the precocious youngster who was plying his trade for Lochgelly Violet before his Kop shaking career south of the border.

Like all players of his age, the outbreak of war restricted his initial progress but, having scored on his Liverpool debut in a wartime fixture, he was ready to take his place in the first team when League football resumed.

His League debut for the Reds was a memorable affair – a 7-4 thriller at home to Chelsea - and he managed to make his mark by scoring two goals, one of them direct from a corner. It was the start of a campaign that was to see Liverpool crowned as the first post-war League Champions and Liddell played a vital role in that triumph, making 35 appearances and notching seven goals from the outside left position.

Unfortunately, George Kay's team failed to build on that championship success but Liddell's performances continued to be of the highest standard. In 1950 he inspired the Reds to their first Wembley Cup Final, but on a grey day in the capital the Kop's star man was infamously kicked off the park and Arsenal ran out 2-0 winners.

The following year he almost became one of the British games first exports to the continent when he was offered a £2,000 to go and ply his trade in Colombia. It was a very tempting proposition and one that he seriously considered but, given the young age of his twin sons, the Scottish international politely declined the offer, much to the relief of his adoring fans at Anfield.

On the pitch, Liverpool was a club in decline and in 1954 the unthinkable occurred when the Reds suffered the indignity of relegation to the Second Division. Many players of his ability would have jumped ship at the prospect of dropping into a lower league but Liddell's unswerving loyalty to the Reds ensured that he remained with the club as they strove to regain their top-flight status in the proceeding years.

A player of great versatility, Liddell filled every outfield position during his time at the club but excelled most in an attacking role. A move from inside to centre forward resulted in him notching a career best 33 goals in 1955/56 – a tally that would have been 34 had referee Mervyn Jones not controversially disallowed his late, late 'equaliser' in an infamous FA Cup replay defeat against Manchester City.

Ever the gentleman, Liddell didn't complain. During the course of his illustrious career he was never booked and captained the club with distinction. One of the finest role models ever to play the game, he was the perfect club ambassador – a devout Christian who never drank, smoke or swore, he did a lot of work for charity, helped out at local boys clubs and was a qualified Justice of the Peace.

But while he continued to bang in the goals, promotion continued to agonisingly elude Liverpool. In November 1957 Liddell achieved a major milestone when he surpassed Elisha Scott's all-time appearance record for the Reds. However, the following season, he missed his first FA Cup tie for the club, when he was dropped for the humiliating third round defeat at non-league Worcester City, and it signalled the beginning of the end for the ageing Liddell.

His popularity with the fans though remained as strong as ever. They campaigned for his recall but on August 31, 1960, Billy Liddell represented the Reds in a first team capacity for final time. It was his 537th appearance for the club – a record that remained unchallenged until Ian Callaghan's longevity saw it surpassed in the 1970's.

When his loyalty to the club was rewarded with a well-deserved testimonial, a crowd of almost 40,000 turned up to pay homage to a player who is still held in the highest regard over half a century since his hey day.

It was unfortunate fact of life that Liddell's prime did not coincide with the Shankly revolution that followed his retirement. Had it done, who knows what he would have gone on to achieve?

The great man is sadly no longer with us but visit Anfield on a quiet day and old-timers will swear they can still hear the once famous roar of 'give it to Billy' ringing around the Kop. Gone but never forgotten, when legendary Liverpool players are discussed you can be sure his name will always figure prominently.

Sold to: Retired (1960)

Claim to fame: Carrying Liverpool through the fifties

Thursday, June 28, 2007

100 Person Who Shock The Kop - NO 7: Jamie Carragher



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Voted in at number seven in our '100 Players Who Shook The Kop' series is current defensive rock and cult-hero of the fans, Jamie Carragher.
Four years after our ground-breaking '100 Days That Shook The Kop', we are delighted to invite you to enjoy our new '100 Players Who Shook The Kop' series – the definitive countdown of the 100 players who have made the biggest impact at Liverpool.

Over 110,000 supporters have all nominated their own personal Top 10 players in order of impact made and now the definitive top 100 countdown is underway.

Every player who has made the top 100 – and there are some surprises in there - will be honoured on this website via the e-Season ticket console with a specially produced video clip, including archive footage and exclusive interviews.

Since 1892 hundreds of players have represented this club but everyone has their own particular favourites so don't expect this list to be based solely on talent. The greatness of a player can be measured in many ways – obviously, his ability on the pitch is the most important, but 100 PWSTK is much more than that. It's about the impact the individuals chosen have had on this club, be it for a variety of reasons. Maybe it was because of their unique rapport with the crowd, a specific incident that has never been forgotten or anything else that has left a lasting impression.

Name: Jamie Carragher

Years at Liverpool: 1996 to present
Position: Defender

Date-of-birth: 28/1/1978
Birthplace: Bootle

Signed from: Apprentice (October 1996)

Games: 426
Goals: 3

Honours: European Cup (2005), FA Cup (2001, 2006), UEFA Cup (2001), League Cup (2001, 2003), Charity Shield (2001, 2006), Super Cup (2001, 2005), FA Youth Cup (1996)

His boyhood footballing allegiances may have lay on the wrong side of Stanley Park but ask any Liverpool fan who their representative is out on the pitch and you can bet the majority would plump for Jamie Carragher.

A blue-blooded Evertonian he may have been when growing up in the Marsh Lane area of Bootle but cut Carragher in half today and he'll bleed nothing but Liverpool red.

A no-nonsense defender, who plays with the passion and devotion of the most fanatical Liverpudlian, Carra has been a key figure in all of the Reds' recent triumphs and his value to the team is priceless.

A local working class hero, with the broadest of Scouse accents, he rose through the Anfield youth ranks and has remained true to his roots. As modest and down-to-earth as they come, in the modern game his attitude is both refreshing and endearing.

He also possesses a genuine love of the game and while such attributes have earned him the adulation of the Liverpool crowd, that's not the only reason why they hold him in the highest esteem. Far from it. His playing qualities command huge respect and not just within the confines of L4.

Widely regarded as one of the finest out-and-out defenders in Europe at the moment, comparisons with such defensive greats as Franco Baresi should not be taken lightly, for Jamie Carragher is fully deserving of such plaudits.

Although he started out in the game as a free-scoring striker and excelled in a holding midfield role for the Reds' successful FA Youth Cup winning side of 1996, he's a natural-born stopper.

Whether it be at left-back, right-back or centre-back, he defends the Liverpool goal as if his life depends on it – as perhaps best proved from half-time onwards in the unforgettable 2005 Champions League Final against AC Milan in Istanbul.

Originally spotted as a 12-year old by the late scout Harry Hodges, Carragher's meteoric progression from Youth Cup winner to European Champion is one that offers hope to all aspiring local youngsters and his rise to eminence as a role model was recognised in 2005 when awarded the freedom of his native Sefton.

It hasn't all been plain sailing though. After making his first team debut as a substitute for Rob Jones in a Carling Cup tie at Middlesbrough in January 1997, he celebrated his full debut with a headed goal in front of the Kop during a 3-0 victory over Aston Villa, but struggled to hold down a regular place in the side and then found himself lampooned with the tag 'utility man'.

While his versatility was to work in his favour to a certain extent during those early years, it prevented him from showing his true class in one position and he was not instantly adopted as a firm favourite of the fans, like he is today.

Some doubted his ability to carve out a long-term future at the club and, when the team was struggling, it was not unknown for the crowd to unfairly vent their anger on the homegrown discovery.

There were even times when it looked like his Anfield career could be drawing to a close. A succession of big money buys were brought in and his place seemed in constant danger but each and every time he resiliently knuckled down, refused to kick up a fuss and eventually saw off the challenge of all newcomers.

Seemingly growing in stature with every game, Carra slowly won over the doubters and blossomed into a highly consistent performer who was to become one of the first names on the Liverpool team-sheet.

Having served part of his early football education at the FA national school of excellence in Lilleshall and represented his country on a joint record number of occasions at under-21 level, his growing reputation in the game was reinforced in 1999 when he won his first full England cap.

But while his talents have never been truly appreciated at international level his club bosses, Gerard Houllier and now Rafael Benitez, have never underestimated the immense contribution he makes.

Upon taking over the Anfield managership in 2004, Benitez was so impressed by his dedication and work-rate that he had no hesitation in appointing him vice-captain to Steven Gerrard, and as stand-in skipper he proudly held aloft the European Super Cup the following year.

Carragher will be first to admit that he's not the most technically gifted player to have ever pulled on the red shirt but a combination of hard work and a fully committed approach to his profession have helped him attain his goals.

An impeccable reader of the game and fine man-marker, he's strong in the tackle, dominant in the air and exerts a positive influence on all those around him. He would run through a brick wall in aid of the Liverpool cause and has displayed a willingness to play through the pain barrier.

After breaking his leg away to Blackburn in September 2003 he refused to accept that he couldn't continue and eventually left the field with a genuine belief that he'd let his team-mates down, while during extra-time of the Champions League Final he bravely soldiered on despite being crippled with excruciating cramp.

As you'd expect from such a defensive-minded player there are not many goals to recall when looking back over his career – just three in total, plus a successful penalty conversion in the 2001 Worthing Cup Final shoot-out against Birmingham - and won't mention the few he unfortunately put through his own net.

One of a select band of players to have played over 400 games for the club, his loyalty to the Reds is commendable. When once asked in an interview if he'd ever contemplate a move to somewhere bigger, his quick-as-a-flash reply was 'there is nowhere bigger than Liverpool'.

It's this type of attitude that has helped earn him 'living legend' status among those on the Kop, who dream about a 'team of Carragher's'. There have been many better players in Liverpool history but few have had a greater affinity with the crowd.

'23 Carra Gold' is the wording on one of the many banners to have been created by supporters in his honour and there can be no denying that Jamie Carragher is a present day jewel in Liverpool's crown.

Claim to fame: Giving Jerzy Dudek an inspirational pep-talk before the penalty shoot-out drama in Istanbul

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

100 Person Who Shock The Kop - NO 8: Kevin Keegan



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Voted in at number eight in our ’100 Players Who Shook The Kop’ countdown is Liverpool superstar of the seventies, Kevin Keegan.
Four years after our ground-breaking '100 Days That Shook The Kop', we are delighted to invite you to enjoy our new '100 Players Who Shook The Kop' series – the definitive countdown of the 100 players who have made the biggest impact at Liverpool.

Over 110,000 supporters have all nominated their own personal Top 10 players in order of impact made and now the definitive top 100 countdown is underway.

Every player who has made the top 100 – and there are some surprises in there - will be honoured on this website via the e-Season ticket console with a specially produced video clip, including archive footage and exclusive interviews.

Since 1892 hundreds of players have represented this club but everyone has their own particular favourites so don't expect this list to be based solely on talent. The greatness of a player can be measured in many ways – obviously, his ability on the pitch is the most important, but 100 PWSTK is much more than that. It's about the impact the individuals chosen have had on this club, be it for a variety of reasons. Maybe it was because of their unique rapport with the crowd, a specific incident that has never been forgotten or anything else that has left a lasting impression.

Name: Kevin Keegan

Years at Liverpool: 1971 to 1977
Position: Forward

Date-of-birth: 14/2/1951
Birthplace: Armthorpe

Signed from: Scunthorpe United (May 1971)

Games: 323
Goals: 100

Honours: First Division Championship (1972/73, 1975/76, 1976/77), European Cup (1977), FA Cup (1974), UEFA Cup (1973, 1976), Charity Shield (1974, 1976)

Kevin Keegan, superstar of the seventies, owner of the most famous 'bubble' perm of his day and a dynamic attacking force that helped inspire Liverpool to success during a glorious period in Anfield history.

Bought for a bargain £35,000 from the lower leagues in 1971, his high-profile departure in the summer of 1977 may have left a bitter taste but there can be no denying his stature as a true legend of this club.

In the six years he wore a red shirt, Keegan went from unknown rookie to an internationally renowned star, attracting a type of hero-worship that was almost pop idol-esque at times. Like Michael Owen two decades later, he became not only a Kop hero but also the golden boy of English football and a player who shouldered the hopes of a nation.

It seemed inevitable that one day he'd walk away and although it was not a universally popular decision when he did, he can look back with pride on what he achieved with the Liver Bird emblazoned across his chest.

One hundred goals, three League Championships, the European Cup, FA Cup and two UEFA Cup's, not to mention a multitude of magical memories mean he'll forever be revered in the red half of Merseyside.

'Robbery with violence' was how Bill Shankly described the capture of Keegan from Scunthorpe, such was the belief that he'd got himself a bargain buy to beat all others. And he was right.

Although he'd been signed with a view to replacing Ian Callaghan in midfield, the confident new recruit immediately impressed in an attacking role during pre-season. So much so that he was handed a surprise debut at home to Nottingham Forest on the opening day of the season – an occasion he marked by scoring in front of the Kop after just 12 minutes.

Revelling in his new-found fame, 'KK' didn't look back, formed an almost telepathic attacking partnership with John Toshack that would become one of the deadliest in the game and struck up an instant rapport with the fans.

Energetic, enthusiastic and one hundred per cent committed to the Kop cause, Keegan was a born winner who provided Shankly's second great side with the spark that ignited a renewed assault on the major honours.

His first season at the club may have ended trophy-less but the foundations had been laid and in 1972/73 Keegan fired the Reds to an unprecedented domestic and European double, topping the Anfield goalscoring charts in the process and netting what proved to be a crucial brace in the UEFA Cup Final first leg against Borussia Moenchengladbach.

Another two-goal Keegan blast clinched FA Cup success the following year as Newcastle, a club that would play a big part in his future life, were overwhelmed at Wembley. The effervescent number seven had already struck four times on route to the twin towers that season, including a perfectly lobbed effort over Leicester's Peter Shilton in the semi-final replay at Villa Park.

Fast, skilful and courageous, he was a handful for opposition defenders and was by now widely regarded as one of the finest attacking talents in the land. Despite standing tall at just 5ft 8ins, he was surprisingly adept when engaging in aerial combat and, as Leeds skipper Billy Bremner discovered to his cost, could also pack a punch.

Sent off for trading blows with Bremner in the 1974 Charity Shield, the first to be held at Wembley, Keegan caused further outrage by stripping off his shirt as he left the field. He was later slapped with an eleven game ban but emerged from this controversy more determined than ever.

On a personal level, the 1975/76 campaign was to be his finest as a Liverpool player, with his general all round play and crucial goals – notably away to Wolves and Bruges - proving instrumental as the League Championship and UEFA Cup came to reside in the Anfield trophy cabinet once again.

His efforts were rewarded when he was deservedly elected Footballer of the Year and, when he wasn't falling of his bike on TV show 'Superstars' or splashing Brut 'all over' with boxing legend Henry Cooper, he was thrilling Kopites week in, week out.

But, with the recently appointed England skipper's stock rising on and off the pitch, speculation mounted that several clubs from abroad were interested in signing him.

On the eve of the 1976/77 season every Liverpudlian's worst fears were confirmed when Keegan served notice of his intention to quit the club and join Bundesliga outfit Hamburg in twelve months time.

His decision was understandably met with disdain from certain sections of the Kop and his once soaring popularity dipped significantly in the months that followed as some fans questioned his loyalty.

Credit to him though, he knuckled down and got on with the job of aiding Liverpool's 13-year quest for European Cup glory. It may not have been a vintage campaign personally but it was to end on the ultimate high in Rome.

Four days after being made the scapegoat by some for the FA Cup Final defeat by Manchester United, which had scuppered dreams of the treble, Keegan won back the everlasting affection of the supporters with a dazzling performance against Borussia Moenchengladbach.

On a balmy night in the Olympic Stadium his tireless work-rate and close control bamboozled experienced German international Bertie Vogts to such an extent that he had no option but to bring him down for the penalty that sealed a momentous victory. There could have been no more fitting way for Liverpool's star man of the seventies to bring the curtain down on an illustrious career with the Reds.

Keegan may have gone on to be crowned European Footballer of the Year twice during his spell in Germany but it was at Anfield where he enjoyed his greatest success and spent his best years.

One of Liverpool Football Club's favourite sons, there'll always be a special place in the heart of the Kop for Kevin Keegan – an iconic figure of an era that no Liverpudlian who lived through it will ever forget.

Sold to: SV Hamburg (July 1977)

Claim to fame: Scoring twice in the 1974 FA Cup Final victory over Newcastle

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

100 Person Who Shock The Kop - NO 9: Graeme Souness



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Voted in at number nine in our '100 Players Who Shook The Kop' series is renowned midfield hard-man and one of Liverpool's greatest ever captains, Graeme Souness.
Four years after our ground-breaking '100 Days That Shook The Kop', we are delighted to invite you to enjoy our new '100 Players Who Shook The Kop' series – the definitive countdown of the 100 players who have made the biggest impact at Liverpool.

Over 110,000 supporters have all nominated their own personal Top 10 players in order of impact made and now the definitive top 100 countdown is underway.

Every player who has made the top 100 – and there are some surprises in there - will be honoured on this website via the e-Season ticket console with a specially produced video clip, including archive footage and exclusive interviews.

Since 1892 hundreds of players have represented this club but everyone has their own particular favourites so don't expect this list to be based solely on talent. The greatness of a player can be measured in many ways – obviously, his ability on the pitch is the most important, but 100 PWSTK is much more than that. It's about the impact the individuals chosen have had on this club, be it for a variety of reasons. Maybe it was because of their unique rapport with the crowd, a specific incident that has never been forgotten or anything else that has left a lasting impression.

Name: Graeme Souness

Years at Liverpool: 1978 to 1984
Position: Midfield

Date-of-birth: 6/5/1953
Birthplace: Edinburgh

Signed from: Middlesbrough (January 1978)

Games: 359
Goals: 56

Honours: First Division Championship (1978/79, 1979/80, 1981/82, 1982/83, 1983/84), European Cup (1978, 1981, 1984), League Cup (1981, 1982, 1983, 1984), Charity Shield (1979, 1980, 1982)

Forget his turbulent tenure in the Anfield hot-seat and remember Graeme Souness for his majestic midfield performances in the famous Red shirt during the most dominant period of success in the club's history.

Whatever sins he committed as Reds boss – and he has since apologised for them anyway – they should never be used to taint the wonderful memories he left behind as a player.

An awesome midfield enforcer, Souness was a renowned hard-man who possessed a subtle touch. Once described as 'a bear of a player with the delicacy of a violinist', he was the general who dictated much of Liverpool's play throughout a glorious six year career in front of the Kop.

A native of Edinburgh, Souey first shot to prominence as a young player of immense potential under the tutelage of the great Bill Nicholson at Tottenham but made just one senior appearance for Spurs before moving to Middlesbrough in 1973.

His precocious talent blossomed on Teeside and his services were soon reportedly being courted by many top clubs of the time. That was the cue for Bob Paisley to swoop and it took a record fee between two English teams to secure his services. It was a wise move and was to prove money well spent.

The impact was immediate. On his debut at West Brom, he hinted at what was to come by not mis-placing a pass, then on only his second home appearance he burst the back of Paddy Roach's net at the Anfield Road End with one of the finest first-time strikes you are ever likely to see as Manchester United were beaten 3-1 on a wet February afternoon.

Souness quickly became a regular, replacing the ageing Ian Callaghan and come the end of his first season at the club was celebrating a European Cup victory - his precision pass paving the way for Kenny Dalglish's winning goal at Wembley against FC Bruges.

The influence he exerted on the team grew with each passing season, as did his medal collection. As part of arguably the best midfield quartet in Liverpool history, Souness prospered and reaped the rewards. Titles and trophies came his way and in January 1982 so too did the honour of skippering the Reds

It was in the wake of a dismal Boxing Day defeat at home to Manchester City that Liverpool slumped to 12th in the table and Paisley shook things up by asking Souness to take possession of the armband from Phil Thompson. The tough Scot duly accepted and five months later the Championship pennant was once again flying high outside Anfield, while the Milk Cup sat comfortably on the inside.

Away from the game, his liking for the good things in life, including the odd glass of bubbly, earned Souness the soubriquet 'Champagne Charlie' but that was in stark contrast to his image on the field where nothing could disguise the fact that he was a ruthless competitor with a steely determination to win at all costs – qualities that made him a natural choice to lead the team.

No opposition crowd, however hostile, could faze his ice-cool temperament in the heat of the battle, while no opposing players would escape without retribution if they'd committed any misdemeanors against his Liverpool team-mates.

The more intimidating the atmosphere, the better he performed - a fact never better illustrated than during the climax to the triumphant 1984 European Cup winning campaign. In the semi-final second leg against Dinamo Bucharest, Souey was targeted by the Romanian crowd following an incident in the first leg that left a Dinamo player with a broken jaw. But, with every boo, whistle and jeer, the Reds skipper grew in stature and orchestrated proceedings as a place in the final was memorably secured.

Having already scored the winning goal which clinched the Milk Cup for Liverpool that season and having lifted a third successive League Championship, an unprecedented treble was now on the cards and there was no better man to lead the Reds into the lions den of the Olympic Stadium in Rome than Souness.

With a frenzied home crowd baying for blood, he boldly led his colleagues on a pre-match walkabout that sent confidence in the red camp soaring and planted the first seeds of doubt in the minds of the previously ultra-positive AS Roma fans.

A couple of hours later and Souey was deservedly basking in the glory of his finest moment in a Liverpool shirt after inspiring the Reds to a fourth European Cup triumph against all the odds. Leading by example in the white-hot Italian atmosphere and netting from the spot in the never-to-be-forgotten shoot-out victory.

But little did anyone at the time know, hoisting the giant trophy aloft was to be his last act as a Liverpool player. That summer he ended months of speculation by opting to try his luck abroad, leaving for the land of the lira in a £650,000 deal that saw him join Sampdoria.

Unlike many other 'greats' who had left the club, Liverpool struggled to replace a player of Souey's calibre. At the peak of his powers, the one-time 'emperor of Anfield', was rightly regarded as one of the best all-round midfield players there has ever been.

Few Liverpudlians will disagree and he'll always be considered an automatic choice whenever any all-time Reds XI is discussed. Even his unsuccessful spell as manager cannot change that.

Sold to: Sampdoria (June 1984)

Claim to fame: Skippering Liverpool to the treble in 1984

Sunday, June 24, 2007

100 Person Who Shock The Kop - NO 10: Emlyn Hughes



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The first player to be unveiled in the top ten of our '100 Players Who Shook The Kop' countdown is inspirational skipper of the all-conquering mid-seventies team, Emlyn Hughes.
Four years after our ground-breaking '100 Days That Shook The Kop', we are delighted to invite you to enjoy our new '100 Players Who Shook The Kop' series – the definitive countdown of the 100 players who have made the biggest impact at Liverpool.

Over 110,000 supporters have all nominated their own personal Top 10 players in order of impact made and now the definitive top 100 countdown is underway.

Every player who has made the top 100 – and there are some surprises in there - will be honoured on this website via the e-Season ticket console with a specially produced video clip, including archive footage and exclusive interviews.

Since 1892 hundreds of players have represented this club but everyone has their own particular favourites so don't expect this list to be based solely on talent. The greatness of a player can be measured in many ways – obviously, his ability on the pitch is the most important, but 100 PWSTK is much more than that. It's about the impact the individuals chosen have had on this club, be it for a variety of reasons. Maybe it was because of their unique rapport with the crowd, a specific incident that has never been forgotten or anything else that has left a lasting impression.

Name: Emlyn Hughes

Years at Liverpool: 1967 to 1979
Position: Midfielder/Defender

Date-of-birth: 28/8/1947
Birthplace: Barrow-in-Furness

Signed from: Blackpool (February 1967)

Games: 665
Goals: 49

Honours: First Division Championship (1972/73, 1975/76, 1976/77, 1978/79), European Cup (1977, 1978), FA Cup (1974), UEFA Cup (1973, 1976), Charity Shield (1974, 1976, 1977), Super Cup (1977)

With his heart on his sleeve and a beaming smile on his face Emlyn Hughes played the game how it should be played and remains an iconic figure of a glorious era.

The mere mention of his name rekindles a host of magical memories - Wembley '74, Molineux '76 and Rome '77, titles, trophies and triumphs. At Anfield he'll forever be remembered as one of our greatest ever players and most successful captains.

Those lucky enough to see have seen 'Crazy Horse' play will recall his boundless enthusiasm, never-say-die commitment to the cause and unrelenting passion for the club whenever he had the liver bird close to his chest.

Then there was his wild galloping forays into opposition territory and, on occasions, frantic goal celebrations after one of his exocets had crashed into the back of the net. Who can forget his much-celebrated double strike at Goodison in '73?

Younger fans will know him more as a captain on the long-running BBC quiz show 'A Question of Sport'. With his V-neck woollen jumpers and squeaky voice he became a national institution. But it was as skipper of the Redmen for which he'll always be best remembered.

Signed as a 19-year old from Blackpool in February 1967, after making just 31 appearances for the Seasiders, Emlyn was destined for the top from day one. Shanks was so impressed with the exciting potential or the raw youngster, legend has it that on driving his new £65,000 signing back to Liverpool after completing negotiations with Blackpool Bill Shankly told a policeman: "Don't you know who is in this car? There sits the future captain of England."

Laugh, some might have done, but Shanks was right and Hughes went on to skipper both club and country with distinction. Bought initially as a replacement for the ageing Willie Stevenson, the fresh-faced youngster was plunged immediately into the first team at left-back for the home game against Stoke. The Reds triumphed 2-1 and what would be a glorious Anfield career was born.

His energetic performances quickly endeared him to the fans on the Kop and as Shankly began to slowly dismantle his first great Liverpool team, Hughes established himself as a first team regular. Now operating in midfield his dynamic performances brought him England recognition, while Leeds made a cheeky attempt to lure him away from Anfield by offering the Reds Peter Lorimer in a part-exchange deal.

Whether it was at left-back, in midfield or at the heart of defence, where he eventually settled, Hughes could be relied upon to run through brick walls for the Liverpool cause. A born winner who took defeat personally, the pain etched on his face when sitting slumped in the dressing room at Highbury after Liverpool had narrowly missed out on the championship in 1972 said more than words ever could. Equally so, did the grin on his face when holding aloft the many trophies that would soon come his and Liverpool's way.

A virtual ever-present during the memorable 1972/73 season, in which an unprecedented Championship and UEFA Cup double was won, Hughes was handed a huge personal accolade on the eve of the following campaign when he was named club captain in succession to Tommy Smith, although it was a move that was to signal the beginning of a long-running feud between the pair.

It was also around this time that Hughes moved into the centre of defence on a permanent basis as Shanks made an inspired tactical change to Liverpool's style. Gone were the days of the old defensive stopper and the Reds now began to play football from the back. It was a switch that was to reap rich dividends. Emlyn caped his first full season as skipper by proudly holding aloft the FA Cup at Wembley and another League/UEFA Cup double followed two seasons later.

The inspirational Shanks had gone but with Hughes revelling in his new found responsibility greater glory lay on the horizon. 1977 was to be Emlyn's finest year and for a self-confessed royalist it was fitting that it should come in the year of the Queen's jubilee.

Another championship medal came his way, as did the personal accolade of Footballer of the Year, but all that was topped on a balmy night in Rome when the European Cup was won by Liverpool for the first time. As captain Hughes had the honour of lifting the greatest prize in club football on the Reds' behalf and twelve months later he found himself creating more history when doing exactly the same again as Liverpool became the first British side to retain the trophy following a 1-0 victory over Bruges at Wembley.

His loyalty at Anfield was rewarded with a testimonial in 1979 but a knee injury, coupled with the emergence of a young centre back by the name of Alan Hansen, contrived to bring the curtain down on one of the most illustrious Liverpool careers.

He played the last of his 665 games for the Reds in the forgettable FA Cup semi-final replay defeat against Manchester United at Goodison and a £90,000 transfer to Wolves soon followed.

At Molineux he finally got his hands on the one trophy that eluded him on Merseyside, the League Cup, before entering management. He always spoke of his dream to one day return to Anfield as manager but after failing to set the world alight in the managerial hot-seats of Rotherham, Hull, Mansfield and Swansea he forgot about that particular ambition and pursued a career in television and then public relations.

Sadly, Emlyn's popularity on Merseyside after leaving the club was not what it should have been. It's no secret that he alienated himself from some of his former team-mates towards the latter part of his Anfield career, while an ill-timed jibe at our neighbours from across the park at the victorious 1977 homecoming celebrations and an annoying habit of taking public swipes at the club unfortunately tarnished his image further in the minds of some.

But there can be no denying Emlyn Hughes his status as a Liverpool legend. When the tragic news of his premature death was announced in November 2004 Kopites mourned his passing with tears and tributes, proof that his heroic deeds in a red shirt had never been forgotten. Old Crazy Horse will never walk alone.

Sold to: Wolverhampton Wanderers (August 1979)

Claim to fame: Being the first Liverpool captain to hold aloft the European Cup

Saturday, June 23, 2007

100 Person Who Shock The Kop - NO 11: Ray Clemence



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Voted in at number 11 in our '100 Players Who Shook The Kop' series is the man widely regarded as the greatest goalkeeper in Liverpool history, Ray Clemence.
Four years after our ground-breaking '100 Days That Shook The Kop', we are delighted to invite you to enjoy our new '100 Players Who Shook The Kop' series – the definitive countdown of the 100 players who have made the biggest impact at Liverpool.

Over 110,000 supporters have all nominated their own personal Top 10 players in order of impact made and now the definitive top 100 countdown is underway.

Every player who has made the top 100 – and there are some surprises in there - will be honoured on this website via the e-Season ticket console with a specially produced video clip, including archive footage and exclusive interviews.

Since 1892 hundreds of players have represented this club but everyone has their own particular favourites so don't expect this list to be based solely on talent. The greatness of a player can be measured in many ways – obviously, his ability on the pitch is the most important, but 100 PWSTK is much more than that. It's about the impact the individuals chosen have had on this club, be it for a variety of reasons. Maybe it was because of their unique rapport with the crowd, a specific incident that has never been forgotten or anything else that has left a lasting impression.

Name: Ray Clemence

Years at Liverpool: 1967 to 1981
Position: Goalkeeper

Date-of-birth: 5/8/1948
Birthplace: Skegness

Signed from: Scunthorpe United (June 1967)

Games: 665
Clean Sheets: 323

Honours: First Division Championship (1972/73, 1975/76, 1976/77, 1978/79, 1979/80), European Cup (1977, 1978, 1981), FA Cup (1974), UEFA Cup (1973, 1976), League Cup (1981), Charity Shield (1974, 1976, 1977, 1979, 1980), Super Cup (1977)

Rated by many as THE greatest Liverpool goalkeeper of all-time, Ray Clemence was undoubtedly the finest stopper in Europe during the seventies and one of the key factors in the Reds unstoppable march to glory during a success-strewn Anfield decade. An unflappable, reassuring presence between the sticks, Clem possessed the safest hands in the game and inspired confidence in those around him. In his vivid green jersey he became an Anfield institution and will go down as one of the shrewdest transfer bargains in football history. Signed from Scunthorpe for £18,000 during the summer of 1967, he served his Anfield apprenticeship in the Central League before replacing Tommy Lawrence in goal on a permanent basis during the 1969/70 campaign. He quickly impressed and his fine progress was rewarded in 1972 when he was called up to the full England squad for the first time. The previous year he played in the FA Cup Final defeat against Arsenal but honours soon came his way and he was to become one of the most decorated keepers in the game. Life as Liverpool's last line of defence during this era could be a lonely existence and one of Clemence's most valuable assets was his concentration. While his team-mates relentlessly battered their opponents into submission at the opposite end of the pitch, he could have been forgiven for temporarily taking his eye off the ball and letting his mind wander. But that is one accusation which could never be levelled at him. On occasions he would maybe only be called upon once or twice during the course of 90 minutes but the stunning save he'd then pull off would prove just as priceless as the goals scored by his more famous colleagues. Equally vital components of Clemence's game were his sense of anticipation, positional awareness and lightening quick reactions. The successful UEFA Cup campaigns of 1972/73 and 1975/76 provided two notable examples of Clemence at his best, as he denied the penalty takers of Borussia Moenchengladbach and Dynamo Dresden, respectively, with exceptional full-length diving saves. Many an English First Division forward also saw their goalscoring hopes flounder when coming face to face with Liverpool's ace custodian, while his crucial stop from Uli Stielike in Rome '77 proved to be the turning point of a momentous first European Cup Final. With Clem in goal, errors were rarer than a Reds defeat, clean sheets became a common occurrence and defensive records tumbled as a result. Having helped Paisley's Liverpool conquer Europe, he was largely responsible for taking their domination of the domestic scene to unprecedented heights in 1978/79, conceding a mere 16 goals from a 42-match league programme. That season saw Clemence, undoubtedly, at the peak of his game but still he found himself embroiled in a long-running battle with Peter Shilton for the number one shirt at international level. His cause was forever championed by those on the Kop who were privileged to watch his expertise at close quarters but they were as shocked as anyone when Clemence announced he was to leave the club for Tottenham on the eve of the 81/82 season. His last act in a Liverpool shirt was to shut-out the Real Madrid attack in Paris as a third European Cup triumph was secured and, on reflection, for a player who served the club with such distinction it was only fitting that he bowed out at the top. During his eleven years in the first team he missed just six league matches, won every major honour in the game apart from the European Cup Winners Cup and displayed a high level of consistency that no Reds' keeper has since been able to match. A popular figure on and off the field, debate will forever rage as to whether Clemence was the greatest but statistics certainly back up the argument. Based on his ratio of goals conceded per game and number of clean sheets kept per game, he has no equal between the Anfield sticks. Think of Ray Clemence in the Liverpool goal and a multitude of superlatives spring to mind that are best summed up by just two simple words - goalkeeping excellence.

Sold to: Tottenham Hotspur (August 1981)

Claim to fame: Conceding only 16 league goals in the 78/79 season

Thursday, June 21, 2007

100 Person Who Shock The Kop - NO 12: Alan Hansen



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Voted in at number 12 in our '100 Players Who Shook The Kop' series is arguably this club's finest ever centre-back, Alan Hansen.
Four years after our ground-breaking '100 Days That Shook The Kop', we are delighted to invite you to enjoy our new '100 Players Who Shook The Kop' series – the definitive countdown of the 100 players who have made the biggest impact at Liverpool.

Over 110,000 supporters have all nominated their own personal Top 10 players in order of impact made and now the definitive top 100 countdown is underway.

Every player who has made the top 100 – and there are some surprises in there - will be honoured on this website via the e-Season ticket console with a specially produced video clip, including archive footage and exclusive interviews.

Since 1892 hundreds of players have represented this club but everyone has their own particular favourites so don't expect this list to be based solely on talent. The greatness of a player can be measured in many ways – obviously, his ability on the pitch is the most important, but 100 PWSTK is much more than that. It's about the impact the individuals chosen have had on this club, be it for a variety of reasons. Maybe it was because of their unique rapport with the crowd, a specific incident that has never been forgotten or anything else that has left a lasting impression.

Name: Alan Hansen

Years at Liverpool: 1977 to 1991
Position: Defender

Date-of-birth: 13/6/1955
Birthplace: Sauchie (Scotland)

Signed from: Partick Thistle (May 1977)

Games: 620
Goals: 14

Honours: First Division Championship (1978/79, 1979/80, 1981/82, 1982/83, 1983/84, 1985/86, 1987/88, 1989/90), European Cup (1978, 1981, 1984), FA Cup (1986, 1989), League Cup (1981, 1983, 1984), Charity Shield (1979, 1980, 1982, 1986, 1989)

Cool on the ball, calm under pressure and an integral member of the meanest defence in Liverpool history, Alan Hansen in a red shirt was class personified. Rated by many as this club's finest ever central defender, Hansen can boast one of the most impressive medal collections in football. He was at the heart of the Liverpool back four for 13 years and during that time it's difficult to remember him turning in a poor performance. Signed from Partick Thistle for £100,000 on the recommendation of legendary Celtic and Scotland boss Jock Stein, Hansen arrived on Merseyside as a shy, skinny kid but quickly 'beefed up' and was soon pushing for a first team place. He made his debut in a 1-0 home win over Derby County in September 1977 and played in the following years European Cup Final triumph over FC Bruges at Wembley but it was not until the magnificent 1978/79 season that he finally ousted the legendary Emlyn Hughes from the team and made one of the two centre half berths his own. This was the campaign in which Liverpool famously conceded just a miserly 16 league goals and Hansen played in all but eight of the 42 games. Relying on brain rather than brawn, very few centre forwards ruffled him. A crisp tackler, his reading of the game was exceptional. Widely regarded as one of the most skilful centre halves in the history of British football his game oozed elegance and his graceful style was tailor-made for Liverpool's penchant for patiently building from the back – a tactic that brought them huge success at home and abroad. His pace, control and vision was as effective in creating attacks as in stopping the opposition's and his aptitude was underlined by his multi-sport prowess which also embraced international recognition at basketball, volleyball, squash and golf, a game at which he still excels. He was at his most majestic when striding forward with the ball at his feet, turning defence into attack at the blink of an eye, a trait never better illustrated than on that unforgettable afternoon at Goodison in November 1982 when he set up Ian Rush for the first of his four goals in that much-celebrated 5-0 romp. Whoever his defensive partner was, and there were a few during the course of his long tenure at Anfield, he never seemed phased and the plaudits deservedly came his way, as did a glittering array of honours. Like a fine wine, he seemed to get better with age and when new player/boss Kenny Dalglish decided to relieve Phil Neal of his captain duties in 1985, Hansen was the natural successor. He reveled in his new-found responsibility and lead by example as the Reds clinched a coveted League and FA Cup double at the end of his first season in possession of the armband. Astonishingly, despite winning 26 caps for Scotland, he was snubbed by his country for the 1986 World Cup – a gross error of misjudgment that baffled everyone at Anfield - but 'Jocky's' qualities were never under-appreciated on the Kop. His legendary status increased as he skippered the club to a further two championships before a serious knee injury eventually curtailed his career. It's often said that you don't really miss what you've got until it's gone and it was no coincidence that Liverpool were to endure almost a decade of defensive frailty following his retirement. Once touted as a future manager of the Reds, Hansen has since carved out a successful career in the media and remains a highly respected figure, not just among Liverpudlians but within the game in general.

Sold to: Retired (1991)

Claim to fame: Captaining Liverpool to the League and FA Cup double in 1986