Wednesday, January 3, 2007

100 Person Who Shock The Kop - NO 94: Sam Hardy


Sam Hardy was one of the first in a long line of great Liverpool goalkeepers and he's been voted in at number 94 in our countdown of '100 Players Who Shook The Kop'.
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: Sam Hardy

Years at Liverpool: 1905 to 1912

Position: Goalkeeper

Date-of-birth: 26/8/1883
Birthplace: Newbold, Chesterfield

Signed from: Chesterfield (May 1905)

Games played: 239
Clean sheets kept: 64

Honours won: First Division Championship (1905/06), Dewar Shield (1906)

Sam Hardy was one of the first in a long line of distinguished goalkeepers to ply their trade at Anfield. Despite conceding six goals against Liverpool for his hometown club Chesterfield in January 1905 he did enough to impress the club's legendary secretary-manager of the time Tom Watson and four months later was signed for a fee of £500. Watson's judgement proved correct as Hardy went on to establish himself as one the finest stoppers in the land. Regarded as an unspectacular keeper, he earned the moniker 'Safe and Steady Sam' and made his Reds debut in October that year, replacing Ted Doig in a 4-1 victory over Nottingham Forest. Uncanny anticipation was considered to be one of Hardy's greatest assets and he showed this in abundance during his first season with the club as Liverpool walked off with the First Division title. He was a regular figure between the sticks at Anfield for the next six years and won 14 of his 21 England caps during this time. Held in the highest of esteem by Liverpudlians it was a sad day all round when in May 1912 time was called on his Anfield career and he left to join Aston Villa, with whom he won further honours.

Sold to: Aston Villa (May 1912)

Claim to fame: Keeping goal in the title-winning side of 1905/06

Did you know? After leaving Liverpool he won two FA Cup winners medals with Aston Villa and the Second Division title with Nottingham Forest

Where is he now? Worked as a hotelier in Chesterfield after retiring from football and died, aged 83, on 24 October 1966.

John Keith on Sam Hardy: "He was clearly a great goalkeeper because all the contemporary reports talk about this wonderful custodian which was a phrase they like to use. I remember some old timers at Liverpool when I was only young and they used to say they will never have another Sam Hardy. He was different class and he won the championship with Liverpool and played for England so clearly he was quite a goalkeeper."

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