Monday, January 1, 2007

100 Person Who Shock The Kop - NO 95: Geoff Strong


At number 95 in our 100 Players Who Shook The Kop countdown is sixties utility player Geoff Strong.
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: Geoff Strong

Years at Liverpool: 1964 to 1970
Position: Utility

Date-of-birth: 19/9/1937
Birthplace: Northumberland

Signed from: Arsenal (November 1964)

Games played: 200
Goals scored: 32

Honours won: FA Cup (1965), First Division Championship (1965/66), Charity Shield (1966)

Geoff Strong's versatility was a priceless asset to Liverpool's quest for honours during the sixties. Signed from Arsenal for £40,000 in November 1964, with whom he had made his name as an inside forward, scoring an impressive 69 goals in 125 league games, he was used by Liverpool to great effect in many different positions. In the six years that he spent at Anfield the likeable Geordie played in almost every position apart from goalkeeper and excelled in every one of them. At the end of his first season with the Reds Strong famously replaced the injured Gordon Milne in the 1965 FA Cup Final and performed admirably against Footballer of the Year Bobby Collins as the Reds won the trophy for the first time. The following season he scored one of Anfield's most celebrated goals against Celtic in the semi-final of the European Cup Winners Cup when, despite being badly affected by a leg injury, he climbed to meet Ian Callaghan's right-wing centre and headed the ball past Ronnie Simpson for the goal which took Liverpool through to the final. 'The cripple has scored' being perhaps Kenneth Wolstenholme's second most-famous utterance as a commentator! Unfortunately, injury ruled him out of the final. In the 1968-69 season he proved a capable left-back after replacing Peter Wall in that position, but he was one of the casualties of the dreadful FA Cup quarter-final defeat at Watford in February 1970 and only represented the club on five more occasions, the last being a home defeat to champions-elect Everton exactly a month after the cup defeat. He moved on to Coventry City that summer. Even though he was more of a squad player than a regular in the side, Geoff was a very popular player and when he led his new team out at Anfield in November 1970, he received a wonderful ovation from the Liverpool crowd as a tribute to the service he had given the club for nearly six years.

Sold to: Coventry City (summer 1970)

Claim to fame: Scoring the goal that fired Liverpool into their first European final

Did you know? He now has two steel knees as a result of the injuries sustained during his career

Where is he now? Recently retired from running his own refurbishing business - SDR - on Kirkby Industrial Estate

John Keith on Geoff Strong: "Geoff Strong was a jack of all trades and he could play absolutely anywhere. He never played in goal but I'm sure he could have done."

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