Friday, January 12, 2007

100 Person Who Shock The Kop - NO 90: Neil Mellor


At number 90 in our '100 Players Who Shook The Kop' is present day striker Neil Mellor, who burst through the youth ranks and scored two memorable goals during the 2004/05 season.
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: Neil Mellor

Years at Liverpool: 2003 to present

Position: Forward

Date-of-birth: 4/11/1982
Birthplace: Sheffield

Signed from: Graduated from the Academy

Games: 21
Goals: 6

Honours won: None

No matter what Neil Mellor goes on to achieve in life, he'll always be remembered by the red half of Merseyside for two dramatic moments that shook the Kop during the never-to-be-forgotten 2004/05 season. A graduate of the club's Academy, Mellor scored goals galore for the youth and reserve team, attracting a cult following of fans and earning a deserved first team call-up from Gerard Houllier in 2002/03. A powerful, old-fashioned style centre forward, he netted his first senior goal in the first leg of the Worthington Cup semi-final away to Sheffield United but was loaned out to West Ham the following season, where injuries halted his progress. It was not until Rafael Benitez took charge at Anfield that Mellor enjoyed a prolonged run in the first team. With the club in the midst of a striking injury crisis, the popular goal-getter was once again summonsed from the ranks of the second string. Although he had his doubters, he fully justified his manager's faith in him by plundering two vital goals in a short space of time – a much-celebrated injury-time winner against reigning Premiership champions Arsenal and the crucial second in the 3-1 Champions League victory over Olympiacos. Unfortunately another nightmare spell of injuries was just around the corner for Mellor and he spent almost a year on the sidelines in 2005 following a double knee injury. Another spell out on loan, this time with Wigan Athletic, was also plagued by injury problems. To some, his inclusion in this list may come as a surprise but few fans will ever forget the aforementioned goals and the role he played in the glorious road to Istanbul.

Claim to fame: His last-minute winner against the then reigning champions Arsenal

Did you know? Neil's dad Ian was also a professional footballer and played for, among others, Manchester City and Sheffield Wednesday

Where is he now? Recovering from his latest knee operation

Chris Bascombe on Neil Mellor: "Credit to him. He has never looked out of his depth at the highest level. Always looked as though he would score a goal and did so against some very top teams."

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