Tuesday, February 6, 2007

100 Person Who Shock The Kop - NO 81: Alan A'Court


At number 81 in our '100 Players Who Shook The Kop' countdown is stalwart winger of the fifties and early sixties, Alan A'Court.
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 A'Court

Years at Liverpool: 1952 to 1964

Position: Outside-left

Signed from: Prescot Cables (September 1962)

Date-of-birth: 30/9/1934
Birthplace: Rainhill

Games: 382
Goals: 63

Honours: Second Division Championship (1961/62)

Had Alan A'Court been born ten years later he'd no doubt be able to now boast a medal collection to rival those of the more decorated colleagues in the Liverpool Former Players Association. It's an unfortunate fact of life that his best days in at Anfield coincided with the most barren spell in the history of the club. His talents deserved more yet he remained loyal to the club he's supported since a child and refused to turn his back on the Second Division Reds, despite strong interest from several top-flight clubs, including Arsenal. Signed from Prescot Cables as an 18-year-old in September 1952, A'Court spurned the advances of Everton and Bolton to become an Anfield apprentice. A speedy left-winger who packed a powerful shot, he worked his way rapidly through the junior ranks and just six months after joining made his first team debut away to Middlesbrough. Sadly Liverpool were not the powerful force they had been in the immediate post-war years and the following season A’Court played 16 times as the Reds dropped through the First Division trapdoor. Stepping into the shoes of the great Billy Liddell was a daunting task but not one that overawed the youngster and he soon established himself as a first team regular. In January 1955 he made a famous goalscoring contribution in a much-celebrated FA Cup win over Everton and international recognition beckoned. He represented the Reds at the 1958 World Cup in Sweden and few could have held it against A'Court if he’d decided to desert the Liverpool ship that found it so hard to escape the muddy waters of Division Two during the mid-to-late fifties. But it was never an option he seriously considered and his loyalty paid off in 1962 when, as an ever-present, he celebrated promotion back to the big time. He played 23 times during the Reds first season back among the elite but injuries began to take their toll and the end was in sight. Following the arrival of Peter Thompson, A'Court was allowed to leave and the curtain came down on an illustrious, if not entirely glorious, Liverpool career when he joined Tranmere for £4,500 in 1964.

Sold to: Tranmere Rovers (1964)

Claim to fame: Representing England at the 1958 World Cup despite plying his domestic trade in Division Two for Liverpool.

Did you know? He was one of only two players to suffer relegation with the Reds in 1954 and promotion eight years later

Where is he now? Retired and living in Nantwich

Ron Yeats on Alan A'Court: "He was a little bit like Harry Kewell; he could go past people and was a great crosser of the ball from any angle. I think our strikers of that day Roger Hunt and Ian St John fed a lot from him."

No comments: