Saturday, April 14, 2007

100 Person Who Shock The Kop - NO 52: Ray Houghton


At number 52 in our countdown of '100 Players Who Shook The Kop' is attacking right midfielder of the exciting late eighties team, Ray Houghton.
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: Ray Houghton

Years at Liverpool: 1987 to 1992

Date-of-birth: 9/1/1962
Birthplace: Glasgow

Signed from: Oxford United (October 1987)

Games: 203
Goals: 38

Honours: First Division Championship (1987/88, 1989/90), FA Cup (1989, 1992). Charity Shield (1988, 1990)

Sold to: Aston Villa (August 1992)

The signing of Republic of Ireland international midfielder Ray Houghton from in October 1987 was to prove one of the most astute of Kenny Dalglish's managerial reign at Anfield. Having already acquired the talents of John Barnes and Peter Beardsley during the summer of that year, Houghton was seen as the final piece of the jigsaw and the then tidy sum of £800,000 that it to took to prise him away from Oxford United was quickly looked upon as chicken feed. Houghton was to play a pivotal role in one of the best attacking Liverpool teams ever seen, chipping in with some vital goals and collecting League Championship and FA Cup honours along the way. A Glasgow-born Irish international, Houghton started his career at West Ham but made his name at Fulham in the early eighties. He moved to Oxford, with whom he won the Milk Cup in 1985, and was a much-coveted figure within the game at the time Liverpool swooped to sign him. An industrious right-sided midfielder who always gave 100 per cent, Houghton was equally adept at scoring goals and creating goals, while his probing runs into opposition territory meant he never gave defenders a moments peace. He endeared himself to Reds fans when scoring a superb headed goal against Everton in the 1-0 FA Cup 5th Round win at Goodison Park and also netted in the famous 5-0 win over Nottingham Forest at Anfield as Liverpool went on to clinch the First Division Championship. The following season he added an FA Cup winners' medal to his collection but injuries restricted him to just 16 league appearances as the title was won again in 1990. Two years later Houghton walked away with Liverpool's Player of the Year award and helped the Reds to another FA Cup triumph but the 2-0 win over Sunderland was to be his last appearance for the club. A dispute with manager Graeme Souness saw him harshly offloaded to Aston Villa and Liverpudlians mourned his premature departure. The fact he went on to achieve further success in the claret and blue of Villa, not to mention star for Ireland in the 1994 World Cup, further justified claims that he was sold too soon but Ray Houghton achieved more than enough in his five years at Anfield to be worthy of inclusion in any list of all-time great Liverpool players.

Claim to fame: His headed winner at the Park End in March 1988

Did you know? Houghton first played against Liverpool for Fulham in the marathon Milk Cup tie of 1983

Where is he now? Working as a media pundit

Gary Gillespie on Ray Houghton: "He was a skilful player. His work-rate was phenomenal and he'd always chip in with a goal, which was valuable for any midfielder player to do."

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