Thursday, May 17, 2007

100 Person Who Shock The Kop - NO 34: John Toshack


At number 34 in our '100 Players Who Shook The Kop' countdown is towering Welsh striker of the seventies, the mighty John Toshack.
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: John Toshack

Years at Liverpool: 1970 to 1978
Position: Forward

Date-of-birth: 22/3/1949
Birthplace: Cardiff

Signed from: Cardiff City (November 1970)

Games: 246
Goals: 96

Honours: First Division Championship (1972/73, 1975/76, 1976/77), FA Cup (1974), UEFA Cup (1973, 1976), Charity Shield (1976)

The towering presence of John Toshack in a Liverpool shirt struck fear into opposition defences for the best part of the 1970's and was a key factor in the success achieved by the club at home and abroad during this time. Signed for £110,000 from his hometown club Cardiff in 1970 he made an immediate impact at Anfield when netting on his home debut in a famous 3-2 victory over Everton. His first season on Merseyside ended in heartbreaking fashion as the Reds lost to Arsenal in the FA Cup Final but the following campaign saw him link up with new signing Kevin Keegan and arguably the most famous strike partnership in football history was born. The understanding between the pair bordered on telepathic and together they fired Bill Shankly's new look team to the League Championship and UEFA Cup in 1973, while the FA Cup followed twelve months later. 'Toshack, Keegan, One-nil!' was to become a common commentary catch phrase as Tosh's delightful knock downs and flick ons were gobbled up by his more diminutive sidekick. Standing tall at just over six foot, Toshack was renowned for his aerial power but also possessed a deft touch and displayed great mobility for a big man. Despite his popularity with the fans, only a failed medical prevented him from being sold to Leicester in the mid-seventies but he bounced back with devastating effect. In 1975/76 he put those troubles firmly behind him when plundering 23 goals as Liverpool completed another League and UEFA double, with one of those coming in the grand setting of Nou Camp as Barcelona were beaten by British opposition on home soil for the first time. Unfortunately, the following season saw Toshack suffer once again as the thigh injury that had scuppered his move to Filbert Street reappeared. It forced him to miss out on the club's first European Cup Final in Rome and with competition for one of the two striking berths becoming ever more fierce it came as no surprise when he eventually departed for Swansea in 1978. A successful career in management followed but the 'mighty' Toshack will always be best remembered at Liverpool for the crucial role he played in some of this club's most memorable triumphs. 'Can you hear the Kopites roaring? - Toshack is our king!'

Sold to: Swansea City (March 1978)

Claim to fame: Scoring the winner v Barca in the Nou Camp

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