Saturday, May 12, 2007

100 Person Who Shock The Kop - NO 39: Steve Nicol


At number 39 in our '100 Players Who Shook The Kop' countdown is one of the most versatile players to ever player for Liverpool, Steve Nicol.
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: Steve Nicol

Years at Liverpool: 1981 to 1995
Position: Defender/Midfielder

Date-of-birth: 11/12/1961
Birthplace: Irvine (Scotland)

Signed from: Ayr United (October 1981)
Games: 466
Goals: 46

Honours: First Division Championship (1983/84. 1985/86, 1987/88, 1989/90), European Cup (1984), FA Cup (1986, 1989, 1992), Charity Shield (1988, 1989), ScreenSport Super Cup (1986/87)

The £300,000 purchase of Steve Nicol in October 1981 must go down as one of the shrewdest transfers in Liverpool history. His arrival from Ayr United as a relative unknown 19-year old went almost unnoticed but in the prevailing years he was to distinguish himself as one of the finest players to ever pull on a Red shirt. Like most new signings from that era, the red-haired Scot was to initially serve his Anfield apprenticeship in the club's all-conquering reserve side but, such was his quality, it wasn't long before he was pushing for a first team place. After making his debut early in the 1982/83 season, Nicol finally established himself in the senior side during the following campaign and made a substitute appearance in the European Cup Final triumph over AS Roma. Although he missed from the spot in that tense shoot-out in Rome, the fact he displayed the courage to volunteer for the first kick was noted by the Reds backroom staff and he soon cemented a permanent position in the side. Principally a right-back, Nicol was equally adept at operating on the right side of midfield and he quickly became a key member in the side that won the double in 1986. Two seasons later he again displayed his great versatility by switching to the left-flank and linking up with John Barnes to devastating effect. He clinically netted a hat-trick in a famous away win at Newcastle and was to chip in with his fair share of vital goals. The butt of many a dressing room joke he may have been but on the pitch Nicol was a player who commanded the ultimate respect of his colleagues and in 1988/89 he was deservedly voted Footballer of the Year. There seemed to be no end to the Scotsman's talents and a competent spell at centre-half in the absence of Alan Hansen was further proof of his indispensable value to the team. Enthusiastic, determined and highly consistent, Nicol could pass, tackle and run all day. During his illustrious Liverpool tenure a glittering array of honours came his way, including 27 international caps for Scotland – a figure that should have been much higher. When age eventually caught up with him, the ever-popular Nicol was granted a free transfer and it's testimony to his unique talents that a player of his ilk has not graced Anfield since.

Sold to: Notts County (January 1995)

Claim to fame: Scoring a hat-trick v Newcastle at St James Park and overshadowing new Geordie signing Mirandinha in the process

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