Tuesday, March 27, 2007

100 Person Who Shock The Kop - NO 57: Stan Collymore


The gifted, but often controversial, striker Stan Collymore enters our '100 Players Who Shook The Kop' countdown at number 57.
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: Stan Collymore

Years at Liverpool: 1995 to 1997
Position: Forward

Date-of-birth: 22/1/1971
Birthplace: Stone, Staffordshire

Signed from: Nottingham Forest (July 1995)

Games: 81
Goals: 35

Honours: None

Stan Collymore shook the Kop in more ways than one during his brief, incident-packed, time at Anfield and remains one of the most talked about players to have ever pulled on the famous red shirt. Opinion among the fans remains divided when his name crops up in conversation but there can be no denying the impact he made. The manner of his arrival from Nottingham Forest during the summer of 1995 was to set the tone for rest of his Liverpool career. Courted by Liverpool and Everton debate about his final destination raged for weeks and it took a club record £8.5 million for Roy Evans to acquire his services. With such a huge transfer fee hanging over his head, Cannock's most famous export unsurprisingly found himself under an intense media glare and initially he handled it well. An explosive Anfield debut, in which he scored the winning goal against Sheffield Wednesday and a stunning strike at home to Blackburn, installed him as an immediate crowd favourite. His ability on the pitch was never questioned but mentally there were problems lurking just around the corner. Despite those early goals Collymore struggled to settle off the pitch and that led to a serious loss of form. As frustration set in he made matters worse by openly criticizing the club and manager in a magazine article and clear the air talks were required before he was back in the team. He then forged a prolific strike partnership with Robbie Fowler, scored a dramatic winner in the famous 4-3 thriller against Newcastle and helped Liverpool reach the 1996 FA Cup Final. But what should have been one of the highlights of his playing career was to signal the beginning of the end for him at Anfield. A below-par performance at Wembley saw him substituted and he struggled to hold down a regular place in the side the following season. Collymore's refusal to move nearer to Merseyside was a constant source of irritation to the club management and the controversy-hungry newspapers had a field day when he failed to turn up for a midweek reserve outing at Tranmere. A subsequent fine had little effect on his ever-increasing poor attitude and with a young Michael Owen waiting in the wings Liverpool decided to cut their losses and offloaded a troubled Collymore to his boyhood favourites Aston Villa for £7 million. On the evidence of what he went on to achieve after leaving Anfield, the decision was a wise one, but even now you can't help wondering 'what might have been' when it comes to Stanley Victor Collymore's Liverpool career.

Sold to: Aston Villa (July 1997)

Claim to fame: His late winner in the classic 4-3 victory over Newcastle

Did you know? He retired from football at the premature age of 30

Where is he now? Often seen at games in his role as a media pundit and recently launched an acting career by appearing alongside Sharon Stone in Basic Instinct 2

Roy Evans on Stan Collymore: "I have no regrets signing Stan. If we are talking about his ability, in the first year he showed fantastic strength, pace, could finish as well, could make goals but if one thing let him down – probably his mentality."

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