Saturday, April 28, 2007

100 Person Who Shock The Kop - NO 47: Sammy Lee


At number 47 in our '100 Players Who Shook The Kop' countdown is pocket-sized midfield dynamo of the great early eighties team, Sammy Lee.
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: Sammy Lee

Years at Liverpool: 1977 to 1986
Position: Midfield

Date-of-birth: 7/2/1959
Birthplace: Liverpool

Signed from: Schoolboy (1977)

Games: 259
Goals: 19

Honours: First Division Championship (1981/82, 1982/83, 1983/84), European Cup (1981, 1984), League Cup (1981. 1982, 1983, 1984), Charity Shield (1982)

It's debatable if there has ever been a more passionate Liverpool player than Sammy Lee. A boyhood Liverpudlian, who idolised the great Bill Shankly sides of the sixties and early seventies, Sammy fulfilled a dream when he joined the club as an apprentice in 1976. Tom Saunders and Bob Paisley spotted him when playing in a junior cup final at Melwood and it's fair to say he never looked back. Small in size he may have been, standing stall at just five foot seven inches, but in terms of stature he was a giant. This pocket dynamo style midfielder made rapid progress through the youth ranks and was soon earning rave reviews for his outstanding performances in Roy Evans' all-conquering Central League side. Paisley was a huge admirer, he followed his development closely and once described him as a 'young Billy Bremner'. It was not until 1978, however, that Lee made his senior bow. It came against Leicester City at Anfield and the stocky Scouser celebrated the occasion by scoring in front of the Kop, the terrace where just a few years earlier he stood and cheered on his heroes. Another two years passed by before he eventually displaced Jimmy Case on the right side of midfield permanently and made the number eight shirt his own. Sammy's infectious enthusiasm rubbed off on all of those around him and his unquestionable commitment to the Liverpool cause made him a firm favourite of the crowd in those early days. In April 1981 he turned in arguably his finest performance for the club when he successfully man-marked the legendary Bayern Munich midfielder Paul Brietner in a tense European Cup semi-final. Never one to shirk a tackle, Sammy possessed a fine range of passing and would also chip in with the odd spectacular goal. Just ask former Man City keeper Joe Corrigan, who had the pleasure of picking a long-range Sammy thunderbolt from the back of his net at Maine Road in April 1982. As an almost ever-present in Liverpool triumph's at home and abroad during the early eighties it came as no surprise when international recognition came his way. The pride of leading his beloved Liverpool to victory meant so much to him and in an eight-year playing career at Anfield Sammy deservedly amassed a glittering array of honours. Sadly, injury and loss of form resulted in certain sections of the crowd disgracefully turning on him and he was eventually forced to move on in 1986 when he could no longer command a regular first team place. His love of the club, however, never died. He jumped at the chance to return as a coach in the early 1990s and although his Anfield ties have now been severed once again, Liverpool Football Club will always hold a special place in the heart of one of its favourite sons, and vice-versa.

Sold to: QPR (August 1986)

Claim to fame: Marking Bayern Munich's Paul Brietner out of the game in the 1981 European Cup semi-final second leg

Did you know? He was first called up to the first team squad for the away leg of the 1977 European Cup semi-final against FC Zurich when he was just 17

Where is he now? Assistant manager to Sam Allardyce at Bolton

Kenny Dalglish on Sammy Lee: "Sammy was everybody's pal and a great wee player. I remember he was totally shocked when he scored his first goal against Leicester but a great wee character. A smashing fella and one of the most popular here. On the pitch he was a great work horse who could pass and move, close people down and loved the club."

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