Friday, June 29, 2007

100 Person Who Shock The Kop - NO 6: Billy Liddell



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Voted in at number six in our '100 Players Who Shook The Kop' countdown is the legend who was so good they named the team after him, Billy Liddell.
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: Billy Liddell

Years at Liverpool: 1938 to 1960
Position: Winger

Date-of-birth: 10/1/1921
Birthplace: Townhill (near Dunfermline)

Signed from: Lochgelly Violet (June 1938)

Games: 534
Goals: 229

Honours: First Division Championship (1946/47)

Life as a Liverpudlian in the 1950s was no bed of roses but while Billy Liddell was around there was always a shining light amid the gloom of relegation from the top-flight, humiliating cup exits to lower league opposition and seemingly annual near misses in the quest for promotion.

The mere mention of his name is enough to send ageing Liverpudlians into dewy-eyed reminisces of bygone football age. For them, William Beveridge Liddell is quite simply the greatest player to have ever donned the famous red shirt.

During a barren era, which commands little coverage in the Liverpool history books, Liddell ensured that the crowds continued to flock to Anfield in their thousands and was largely responsible for keeping the club's head above the abyss of Football League oblivion.

Although his modesty would never have allowed him to admit it, without him the Reds could well have sunk into the murky depths of the old Third Division and if they had who's to say they'd have ever escaped?

To the modern generation of Liverpool fans, who look back in time and can't see beyond the arrival of Bill Shankly, this is a scenario too severe to contemplate but it's no exaggeration and for this reason alone, Liddell's contribution to the success story that followed should never be under-estimated.

It's one of the most worn out clich├ęs on the Kop but he was so good they renamed the team in his honour. Throughout the 1950's Liverpool Football Club was nicknamed Liddellpool – a reference to the massive influence exerted by the flying Scotsman who had joined the club as a 17-year old in 1938.

Without doubt, 'King Billy of Anfield' was one of the post-war greats of the British game, a thrilling, skilful, two-footed winger - fast, direct and capable of bursting the back of any opposition net with one of his trademark thunderbolt shots.

His fame spread far beyond the boundaries of Merseyside, even if a quick glance at his medal collection does not make for impressive reading. A solitary League Championship medal, won in 1946/47, was scant reward to the talent he possessed.

But the fact that he was twice selected to represent Great Britain during the course of his career – a feat matched only by the legendary Stanley Mathews – is ample proof, if needed, of his immense stature in the game.

It was the Reds captain of the time and future Manchester United manager, Matt Busby who Liverpool have to thank for tipping off the club's Scottish scout Johnny Dougary about the precocious youngster who was plying his trade for Lochgelly Violet before his Kop shaking career south of the border.

Like all players of his age, the outbreak of war restricted his initial progress but, having scored on his Liverpool debut in a wartime fixture, he was ready to take his place in the first team when League football resumed.

His League debut for the Reds was a memorable affair – a 7-4 thriller at home to Chelsea - and he managed to make his mark by scoring two goals, one of them direct from a corner. It was the start of a campaign that was to see Liverpool crowned as the first post-war League Champions and Liddell played a vital role in that triumph, making 35 appearances and notching seven goals from the outside left position.

Unfortunately, George Kay's team failed to build on that championship success but Liddell's performances continued to be of the highest standard. In 1950 he inspired the Reds to their first Wembley Cup Final, but on a grey day in the capital the Kop's star man was infamously kicked off the park and Arsenal ran out 2-0 winners.

The following year he almost became one of the British games first exports to the continent when he was offered a £2,000 to go and ply his trade in Colombia. It was a very tempting proposition and one that he seriously considered but, given the young age of his twin sons, the Scottish international politely declined the offer, much to the relief of his adoring fans at Anfield.

On the pitch, Liverpool was a club in decline and in 1954 the unthinkable occurred when the Reds suffered the indignity of relegation to the Second Division. Many players of his ability would have jumped ship at the prospect of dropping into a lower league but Liddell's unswerving loyalty to the Reds ensured that he remained with the club as they strove to regain their top-flight status in the proceeding years.

A player of great versatility, Liddell filled every outfield position during his time at the club but excelled most in an attacking role. A move from inside to centre forward resulted in him notching a career best 33 goals in 1955/56 – a tally that would have been 34 had referee Mervyn Jones not controversially disallowed his late, late 'equaliser' in an infamous FA Cup replay defeat against Manchester City.

Ever the gentleman, Liddell didn't complain. During the course of his illustrious career he was never booked and captained the club with distinction. One of the finest role models ever to play the game, he was the perfect club ambassador – a devout Christian who never drank, smoke or swore, he did a lot of work for charity, helped out at local boys clubs and was a qualified Justice of the Peace.

But while he continued to bang in the goals, promotion continued to agonisingly elude Liverpool. In November 1957 Liddell achieved a major milestone when he surpassed Elisha Scott's all-time appearance record for the Reds. However, the following season, he missed his first FA Cup tie for the club, when he was dropped for the humiliating third round defeat at non-league Worcester City, and it signalled the beginning of the end for the ageing Liddell.

His popularity with the fans though remained as strong as ever. They campaigned for his recall but on August 31, 1960, Billy Liddell represented the Reds in a first team capacity for final time. It was his 537th appearance for the club – a record that remained unchallenged until Ian Callaghan's longevity saw it surpassed in the 1970's.

When his loyalty to the club was rewarded with a well-deserved testimonial, a crowd of almost 40,000 turned up to pay homage to a player who is still held in the highest regard over half a century since his hey day.

It was unfortunate fact of life that Liddell's prime did not coincide with the Shankly revolution that followed his retirement. Had it done, who knows what he would have gone on to achieve?

The great man is sadly no longer with us but visit Anfield on a quiet day and old-timers will swear they can still hear the once famous roar of 'give it to Billy' ringing around the Kop. Gone but never forgotten, when legendary Liverpool players are discussed you can be sure his name will always figure prominently.

Sold to: Retired (1960)

Claim to fame: Carrying Liverpool through the fifties

Thursday, June 28, 2007

100 Person Who Shock The Kop - NO 7: Jamie Carragher



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Voted in at number seven in our '100 Players Who Shook The Kop' series is current defensive rock and cult-hero of the fans, Jamie Carragher.
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: Jamie Carragher

Years at Liverpool: 1996 to present
Position: Defender

Date-of-birth: 28/1/1978
Birthplace: Bootle

Signed from: Apprentice (October 1996)

Games: 426
Goals: 3

Honours: European Cup (2005), FA Cup (2001, 2006), UEFA Cup (2001), League Cup (2001, 2003), Charity Shield (2001, 2006), Super Cup (2001, 2005), FA Youth Cup (1996)

His boyhood footballing allegiances may have lay on the wrong side of Stanley Park but ask any Liverpool fan who their representative is out on the pitch and you can bet the majority would plump for Jamie Carragher.

A blue-blooded Evertonian he may have been when growing up in the Marsh Lane area of Bootle but cut Carragher in half today and he'll bleed nothing but Liverpool red.

A no-nonsense defender, who plays with the passion and devotion of the most fanatical Liverpudlian, Carra has been a key figure in all of the Reds' recent triumphs and his value to the team is priceless.

A local working class hero, with the broadest of Scouse accents, he rose through the Anfield youth ranks and has remained true to his roots. As modest and down-to-earth as they come, in the modern game his attitude is both refreshing and endearing.

He also possesses a genuine love of the game and while such attributes have earned him the adulation of the Liverpool crowd, that's not the only reason why they hold him in the highest esteem. Far from it. His playing qualities command huge respect and not just within the confines of L4.

Widely regarded as one of the finest out-and-out defenders in Europe at the moment, comparisons with such defensive greats as Franco Baresi should not be taken lightly, for Jamie Carragher is fully deserving of such plaudits.

Although he started out in the game as a free-scoring striker and excelled in a holding midfield role for the Reds' successful FA Youth Cup winning side of 1996, he's a natural-born stopper.

Whether it be at left-back, right-back or centre-back, he defends the Liverpool goal as if his life depends on it – as perhaps best proved from half-time onwards in the unforgettable 2005 Champions League Final against AC Milan in Istanbul.

Originally spotted as a 12-year old by the late scout Harry Hodges, Carragher's meteoric progression from Youth Cup winner to European Champion is one that offers hope to all aspiring local youngsters and his rise to eminence as a role model was recognised in 2005 when awarded the freedom of his native Sefton.

It hasn't all been plain sailing though. After making his first team debut as a substitute for Rob Jones in a Carling Cup tie at Middlesbrough in January 1997, he celebrated his full debut with a headed goal in front of the Kop during a 3-0 victory over Aston Villa, but struggled to hold down a regular place in the side and then found himself lampooned with the tag 'utility man'.

While his versatility was to work in his favour to a certain extent during those early years, it prevented him from showing his true class in one position and he was not instantly adopted as a firm favourite of the fans, like he is today.

Some doubted his ability to carve out a long-term future at the club and, when the team was struggling, it was not unknown for the crowd to unfairly vent their anger on the homegrown discovery.

There were even times when it looked like his Anfield career could be drawing to a close. A succession of big money buys were brought in and his place seemed in constant danger but each and every time he resiliently knuckled down, refused to kick up a fuss and eventually saw off the challenge of all newcomers.

Seemingly growing in stature with every game, Carra slowly won over the doubters and blossomed into a highly consistent performer who was to become one of the first names on the Liverpool team-sheet.

Having served part of his early football education at the FA national school of excellence in Lilleshall and represented his country on a joint record number of occasions at under-21 level, his growing reputation in the game was reinforced in 1999 when he won his first full England cap.

But while his talents have never been truly appreciated at international level his club bosses, Gerard Houllier and now Rafael Benitez, have never underestimated the immense contribution he makes.

Upon taking over the Anfield managership in 2004, Benitez was so impressed by his dedication and work-rate that he had no hesitation in appointing him vice-captain to Steven Gerrard, and as stand-in skipper he proudly held aloft the European Super Cup the following year.

Carragher will be first to admit that he's not the most technically gifted player to have ever pulled on the red shirt but a combination of hard work and a fully committed approach to his profession have helped him attain his goals.

An impeccable reader of the game and fine man-marker, he's strong in the tackle, dominant in the air and exerts a positive influence on all those around him. He would run through a brick wall in aid of the Liverpool cause and has displayed a willingness to play through the pain barrier.

After breaking his leg away to Blackburn in September 2003 he refused to accept that he couldn't continue and eventually left the field with a genuine belief that he'd let his team-mates down, while during extra-time of the Champions League Final he bravely soldiered on despite being crippled with excruciating cramp.

As you'd expect from such a defensive-minded player there are not many goals to recall when looking back over his career – just three in total, plus a successful penalty conversion in the 2001 Worthing Cup Final shoot-out against Birmingham - and won't mention the few he unfortunately put through his own net.

One of a select band of players to have played over 400 games for the club, his loyalty to the Reds is commendable. When once asked in an interview if he'd ever contemplate a move to somewhere bigger, his quick-as-a-flash reply was 'there is nowhere bigger than Liverpool'.

It's this type of attitude that has helped earn him 'living legend' status among those on the Kop, who dream about a 'team of Carragher's'. There have been many better players in Liverpool history but few have had a greater affinity with the crowd.

'23 Carra Gold' is the wording on one of the many banners to have been created by supporters in his honour and there can be no denying that Jamie Carragher is a present day jewel in Liverpool's crown.

Claim to fame: Giving Jerzy Dudek an inspirational pep-talk before the penalty shoot-out drama in Istanbul

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

100 Person Who Shock The Kop - NO 8: Kevin Keegan



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Voted in at number eight in our ’100 Players Who Shook The Kop’ countdown is Liverpool superstar of the seventies, Kevin Keegan.
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: Kevin Keegan

Years at Liverpool: 1971 to 1977
Position: Forward

Date-of-birth: 14/2/1951
Birthplace: Armthorpe

Signed from: Scunthorpe United (May 1971)

Games: 323
Goals: 100

Honours: First Division Championship (1972/73, 1975/76, 1976/77), European Cup (1977), FA Cup (1974), UEFA Cup (1973, 1976), Charity Shield (1974, 1976)

Kevin Keegan, superstar of the seventies, owner of the most famous 'bubble' perm of his day and a dynamic attacking force that helped inspire Liverpool to success during a glorious period in Anfield history.

Bought for a bargain £35,000 from the lower leagues in 1971, his high-profile departure in the summer of 1977 may have left a bitter taste but there can be no denying his stature as a true legend of this club.

In the six years he wore a red shirt, Keegan went from unknown rookie to an internationally renowned star, attracting a type of hero-worship that was almost pop idol-esque at times. Like Michael Owen two decades later, he became not only a Kop hero but also the golden boy of English football and a player who shouldered the hopes of a nation.

It seemed inevitable that one day he'd walk away and although it was not a universally popular decision when he did, he can look back with pride on what he achieved with the Liver Bird emblazoned across his chest.

One hundred goals, three League Championships, the European Cup, FA Cup and two UEFA Cup's, not to mention a multitude of magical memories mean he'll forever be revered in the red half of Merseyside.

'Robbery with violence' was how Bill Shankly described the capture of Keegan from Scunthorpe, such was the belief that he'd got himself a bargain buy to beat all others. And he was right.

Although he'd been signed with a view to replacing Ian Callaghan in midfield, the confident new recruit immediately impressed in an attacking role during pre-season. So much so that he was handed a surprise debut at home to Nottingham Forest on the opening day of the season – an occasion he marked by scoring in front of the Kop after just 12 minutes.

Revelling in his new-found fame, 'KK' didn't look back, formed an almost telepathic attacking partnership with John Toshack that would become one of the deadliest in the game and struck up an instant rapport with the fans.

Energetic, enthusiastic and one hundred per cent committed to the Kop cause, Keegan was a born winner who provided Shankly's second great side with the spark that ignited a renewed assault on the major honours.

His first season at the club may have ended trophy-less but the foundations had been laid and in 1972/73 Keegan fired the Reds to an unprecedented domestic and European double, topping the Anfield goalscoring charts in the process and netting what proved to be a crucial brace in the UEFA Cup Final first leg against Borussia Moenchengladbach.

Another two-goal Keegan blast clinched FA Cup success the following year as Newcastle, a club that would play a big part in his future life, were overwhelmed at Wembley. The effervescent number seven had already struck four times on route to the twin towers that season, including a perfectly lobbed effort over Leicester's Peter Shilton in the semi-final replay at Villa Park.

Fast, skilful and courageous, he was a handful for opposition defenders and was by now widely regarded as one of the finest attacking talents in the land. Despite standing tall at just 5ft 8ins, he was surprisingly adept when engaging in aerial combat and, as Leeds skipper Billy Bremner discovered to his cost, could also pack a punch.

Sent off for trading blows with Bremner in the 1974 Charity Shield, the first to be held at Wembley, Keegan caused further outrage by stripping off his shirt as he left the field. He was later slapped with an eleven game ban but emerged from this controversy more determined than ever.

On a personal level, the 1975/76 campaign was to be his finest as a Liverpool player, with his general all round play and crucial goals – notably away to Wolves and Bruges - proving instrumental as the League Championship and UEFA Cup came to reside in the Anfield trophy cabinet once again.

His efforts were rewarded when he was deservedly elected Footballer of the Year and, when he wasn't falling of his bike on TV show 'Superstars' or splashing Brut 'all over' with boxing legend Henry Cooper, he was thrilling Kopites week in, week out.

But, with the recently appointed England skipper's stock rising on and off the pitch, speculation mounted that several clubs from abroad were interested in signing him.

On the eve of the 1976/77 season every Liverpudlian's worst fears were confirmed when Keegan served notice of his intention to quit the club and join Bundesliga outfit Hamburg in twelve months time.

His decision was understandably met with disdain from certain sections of the Kop and his once soaring popularity dipped significantly in the months that followed as some fans questioned his loyalty.

Credit to him though, he knuckled down and got on with the job of aiding Liverpool's 13-year quest for European Cup glory. It may not have been a vintage campaign personally but it was to end on the ultimate high in Rome.

Four days after being made the scapegoat by some for the FA Cup Final defeat by Manchester United, which had scuppered dreams of the treble, Keegan won back the everlasting affection of the supporters with a dazzling performance against Borussia Moenchengladbach.

On a balmy night in the Olympic Stadium his tireless work-rate and close control bamboozled experienced German international Bertie Vogts to such an extent that he had no option but to bring him down for the penalty that sealed a momentous victory. There could have been no more fitting way for Liverpool's star man of the seventies to bring the curtain down on an illustrious career with the Reds.

Keegan may have gone on to be crowned European Footballer of the Year twice during his spell in Germany but it was at Anfield where he enjoyed his greatest success and spent his best years.

One of Liverpool Football Club's favourite sons, there'll always be a special place in the heart of the Kop for Kevin Keegan – an iconic figure of an era that no Liverpudlian who lived through it will ever forget.

Sold to: SV Hamburg (July 1977)

Claim to fame: Scoring twice in the 1974 FA Cup Final victory over Newcastle

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

100 Person Who Shock The Kop - NO 9: Graeme Souness



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Voted in at number nine in our '100 Players Who Shook The Kop' series is renowned midfield hard-man and one of Liverpool's greatest ever captains, Graeme Souness.
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: Graeme Souness

Years at Liverpool: 1978 to 1984
Position: Midfield

Date-of-birth: 6/5/1953
Birthplace: Edinburgh

Signed from: Middlesbrough (January 1978)

Games: 359
Goals: 56

Honours: First Division Championship (1978/79, 1979/80, 1981/82, 1982/83, 1983/84), European Cup (1978, 1981, 1984), League Cup (1981, 1982, 1983, 1984), Charity Shield (1979, 1980, 1982)

Forget his turbulent tenure in the Anfield hot-seat and remember Graeme Souness for his majestic midfield performances in the famous Red shirt during the most dominant period of success in the club's history.

Whatever sins he committed as Reds boss – and he has since apologised for them anyway – they should never be used to taint the wonderful memories he left behind as a player.

An awesome midfield enforcer, Souness was a renowned hard-man who possessed a subtle touch. Once described as 'a bear of a player with the delicacy of a violinist', he was the general who dictated much of Liverpool's play throughout a glorious six year career in front of the Kop.

A native of Edinburgh, Souey first shot to prominence as a young player of immense potential under the tutelage of the great Bill Nicholson at Tottenham but made just one senior appearance for Spurs before moving to Middlesbrough in 1973.

His precocious talent blossomed on Teeside and his services were soon reportedly being courted by many top clubs of the time. That was the cue for Bob Paisley to swoop and it took a record fee between two English teams to secure his services. It was a wise move and was to prove money well spent.

The impact was immediate. On his debut at West Brom, he hinted at what was to come by not mis-placing a pass, then on only his second home appearance he burst the back of Paddy Roach's net at the Anfield Road End with one of the finest first-time strikes you are ever likely to see as Manchester United were beaten 3-1 on a wet February afternoon.

Souness quickly became a regular, replacing the ageing Ian Callaghan and come the end of his first season at the club was celebrating a European Cup victory - his precision pass paving the way for Kenny Dalglish's winning goal at Wembley against FC Bruges.

The influence he exerted on the team grew with each passing season, as did his medal collection. As part of arguably the best midfield quartet in Liverpool history, Souness prospered and reaped the rewards. Titles and trophies came his way and in January 1982 so too did the honour of skippering the Reds

It was in the wake of a dismal Boxing Day defeat at home to Manchester City that Liverpool slumped to 12th in the table and Paisley shook things up by asking Souness to take possession of the armband from Phil Thompson. The tough Scot duly accepted and five months later the Championship pennant was once again flying high outside Anfield, while the Milk Cup sat comfortably on the inside.

Away from the game, his liking for the good things in life, including the odd glass of bubbly, earned Souness the soubriquet 'Champagne Charlie' but that was in stark contrast to his image on the field where nothing could disguise the fact that he was a ruthless competitor with a steely determination to win at all costs – qualities that made him a natural choice to lead the team.

No opposition crowd, however hostile, could faze his ice-cool temperament in the heat of the battle, while no opposing players would escape without retribution if they'd committed any misdemeanors against his Liverpool team-mates.

The more intimidating the atmosphere, the better he performed - a fact never better illustrated than during the climax to the triumphant 1984 European Cup winning campaign. In the semi-final second leg against Dinamo Bucharest, Souey was targeted by the Romanian crowd following an incident in the first leg that left a Dinamo player with a broken jaw. But, with every boo, whistle and jeer, the Reds skipper grew in stature and orchestrated proceedings as a place in the final was memorably secured.

Having already scored the winning goal which clinched the Milk Cup for Liverpool that season and having lifted a third successive League Championship, an unprecedented treble was now on the cards and there was no better man to lead the Reds into the lions den of the Olympic Stadium in Rome than Souness.

With a frenzied home crowd baying for blood, he boldly led his colleagues on a pre-match walkabout that sent confidence in the red camp soaring and planted the first seeds of doubt in the minds of the previously ultra-positive AS Roma fans.

A couple of hours later and Souey was deservedly basking in the glory of his finest moment in a Liverpool shirt after inspiring the Reds to a fourth European Cup triumph against all the odds. Leading by example in the white-hot Italian atmosphere and netting from the spot in the never-to-be-forgotten shoot-out victory.

But little did anyone at the time know, hoisting the giant trophy aloft was to be his last act as a Liverpool player. That summer he ended months of speculation by opting to try his luck abroad, leaving for the land of the lira in a £650,000 deal that saw him join Sampdoria.

Unlike many other 'greats' who had left the club, Liverpool struggled to replace a player of Souey's calibre. At the peak of his powers, the one-time 'emperor of Anfield', was rightly regarded as one of the best all-round midfield players there has ever been.

Few Liverpudlians will disagree and he'll always be considered an automatic choice whenever any all-time Reds XI is discussed. Even his unsuccessful spell as manager cannot change that.

Sold to: Sampdoria (June 1984)

Claim to fame: Skippering Liverpool to the treble in 1984

Sunday, June 24, 2007

100 Person Who Shock The Kop - NO 10: Emlyn Hughes



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The first player to be unveiled in the top ten of our '100 Players Who Shook The Kop' countdown is inspirational skipper of the all-conquering mid-seventies team, Emlyn Hughes.
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: Emlyn Hughes

Years at Liverpool: 1967 to 1979
Position: Midfielder/Defender

Date-of-birth: 28/8/1947
Birthplace: Barrow-in-Furness

Signed from: Blackpool (February 1967)

Games: 665
Goals: 49

Honours: First Division Championship (1972/73, 1975/76, 1976/77, 1978/79), European Cup (1977, 1978), FA Cup (1974), UEFA Cup (1973, 1976), Charity Shield (1974, 1976, 1977), Super Cup (1977)

With his heart on his sleeve and a beaming smile on his face Emlyn Hughes played the game how it should be played and remains an iconic figure of a glorious era.

The mere mention of his name rekindles a host of magical memories - Wembley '74, Molineux '76 and Rome '77, titles, trophies and triumphs. At Anfield he'll forever be remembered as one of our greatest ever players and most successful captains.

Those lucky enough to see have seen 'Crazy Horse' play will recall his boundless enthusiasm, never-say-die commitment to the cause and unrelenting passion for the club whenever he had the liver bird close to his chest.

Then there was his wild galloping forays into opposition territory and, on occasions, frantic goal celebrations after one of his exocets had crashed into the back of the net. Who can forget his much-celebrated double strike at Goodison in '73?

Younger fans will know him more as a captain on the long-running BBC quiz show 'A Question of Sport'. With his V-neck woollen jumpers and squeaky voice he became a national institution. But it was as skipper of the Redmen for which he'll always be best remembered.

Signed as a 19-year old from Blackpool in February 1967, after making just 31 appearances for the Seasiders, Emlyn was destined for the top from day one. Shanks was so impressed with the exciting potential or the raw youngster, legend has it that on driving his new £65,000 signing back to Liverpool after completing negotiations with Blackpool Bill Shankly told a policeman: "Don't you know who is in this car? There sits the future captain of England."

Laugh, some might have done, but Shanks was right and Hughes went on to skipper both club and country with distinction. Bought initially as a replacement for the ageing Willie Stevenson, the fresh-faced youngster was plunged immediately into the first team at left-back for the home game against Stoke. The Reds triumphed 2-1 and what would be a glorious Anfield career was born.

His energetic performances quickly endeared him to the fans on the Kop and as Shankly began to slowly dismantle his first great Liverpool team, Hughes established himself as a first team regular. Now operating in midfield his dynamic performances brought him England recognition, while Leeds made a cheeky attempt to lure him away from Anfield by offering the Reds Peter Lorimer in a part-exchange deal.

Whether it was at left-back, in midfield or at the heart of defence, where he eventually settled, Hughes could be relied upon to run through brick walls for the Liverpool cause. A born winner who took defeat personally, the pain etched on his face when sitting slumped in the dressing room at Highbury after Liverpool had narrowly missed out on the championship in 1972 said more than words ever could. Equally so, did the grin on his face when holding aloft the many trophies that would soon come his and Liverpool's way.

A virtual ever-present during the memorable 1972/73 season, in which an unprecedented Championship and UEFA Cup double was won, Hughes was handed a huge personal accolade on the eve of the following campaign when he was named club captain in succession to Tommy Smith, although it was a move that was to signal the beginning of a long-running feud between the pair.

It was also around this time that Hughes moved into the centre of defence on a permanent basis as Shanks made an inspired tactical change to Liverpool's style. Gone were the days of the old defensive stopper and the Reds now began to play football from the back. It was a switch that was to reap rich dividends. Emlyn caped his first full season as skipper by proudly holding aloft the FA Cup at Wembley and another League/UEFA Cup double followed two seasons later.

The inspirational Shanks had gone but with Hughes revelling in his new found responsibility greater glory lay on the horizon. 1977 was to be Emlyn's finest year and for a self-confessed royalist it was fitting that it should come in the year of the Queen's jubilee.

Another championship medal came his way, as did the personal accolade of Footballer of the Year, but all that was topped on a balmy night in Rome when the European Cup was won by Liverpool for the first time. As captain Hughes had the honour of lifting the greatest prize in club football on the Reds' behalf and twelve months later he found himself creating more history when doing exactly the same again as Liverpool became the first British side to retain the trophy following a 1-0 victory over Bruges at Wembley.

His loyalty at Anfield was rewarded with a testimonial in 1979 but a knee injury, coupled with the emergence of a young centre back by the name of Alan Hansen, contrived to bring the curtain down on one of the most illustrious Liverpool careers.

He played the last of his 665 games for the Reds in the forgettable FA Cup semi-final replay defeat against Manchester United at Goodison and a £90,000 transfer to Wolves soon followed.

At Molineux he finally got his hands on the one trophy that eluded him on Merseyside, the League Cup, before entering management. He always spoke of his dream to one day return to Anfield as manager but after failing to set the world alight in the managerial hot-seats of Rotherham, Hull, Mansfield and Swansea he forgot about that particular ambition and pursued a career in television and then public relations.

Sadly, Emlyn's popularity on Merseyside after leaving the club was not what it should have been. It's no secret that he alienated himself from some of his former team-mates towards the latter part of his Anfield career, while an ill-timed jibe at our neighbours from across the park at the victorious 1977 homecoming celebrations and an annoying habit of taking public swipes at the club unfortunately tarnished his image further in the minds of some.

But there can be no denying Emlyn Hughes his status as a Liverpool legend. When the tragic news of his premature death was announced in November 2004 Kopites mourned his passing with tears and tributes, proof that his heroic deeds in a red shirt had never been forgotten. Old Crazy Horse will never walk alone.

Sold to: Wolverhampton Wanderers (August 1979)

Claim to fame: Being the first Liverpool captain to hold aloft the European Cup

Saturday, June 23, 2007

100 Person Who Shock The Kop - NO 11: Ray Clemence



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Voted in at number 11 in our '100 Players Who Shook The Kop' series is the man widely regarded as the greatest goalkeeper in Liverpool history, Ray Clemence.
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 Clemence

Years at Liverpool: 1967 to 1981
Position: Goalkeeper

Date-of-birth: 5/8/1948
Birthplace: Skegness

Signed from: Scunthorpe United (June 1967)

Games: 665
Clean Sheets: 323

Honours: First Division Championship (1972/73, 1975/76, 1976/77, 1978/79, 1979/80), European Cup (1977, 1978, 1981), FA Cup (1974), UEFA Cup (1973, 1976), League Cup (1981), Charity Shield (1974, 1976, 1977, 1979, 1980), Super Cup (1977)

Rated by many as THE greatest Liverpool goalkeeper of all-time, Ray Clemence was undoubtedly the finest stopper in Europe during the seventies and one of the key factors in the Reds unstoppable march to glory during a success-strewn Anfield decade. An unflappable, reassuring presence between the sticks, Clem possessed the safest hands in the game and inspired confidence in those around him. In his vivid green jersey he became an Anfield institution and will go down as one of the shrewdest transfer bargains in football history. Signed from Scunthorpe for £18,000 during the summer of 1967, he served his Anfield apprenticeship in the Central League before replacing Tommy Lawrence in goal on a permanent basis during the 1969/70 campaign. He quickly impressed and his fine progress was rewarded in 1972 when he was called up to the full England squad for the first time. The previous year he played in the FA Cup Final defeat against Arsenal but honours soon came his way and he was to become one of the most decorated keepers in the game. Life as Liverpool's last line of defence during this era could be a lonely existence and one of Clemence's most valuable assets was his concentration. While his team-mates relentlessly battered their opponents into submission at the opposite end of the pitch, he could have been forgiven for temporarily taking his eye off the ball and letting his mind wander. But that is one accusation which could never be levelled at him. On occasions he would maybe only be called upon once or twice during the course of 90 minutes but the stunning save he'd then pull off would prove just as priceless as the goals scored by his more famous colleagues. Equally vital components of Clemence's game were his sense of anticipation, positional awareness and lightening quick reactions. The successful UEFA Cup campaigns of 1972/73 and 1975/76 provided two notable examples of Clemence at his best, as he denied the penalty takers of Borussia Moenchengladbach and Dynamo Dresden, respectively, with exceptional full-length diving saves. Many an English First Division forward also saw their goalscoring hopes flounder when coming face to face with Liverpool's ace custodian, while his crucial stop from Uli Stielike in Rome '77 proved to be the turning point of a momentous first European Cup Final. With Clem in goal, errors were rarer than a Reds defeat, clean sheets became a common occurrence and defensive records tumbled as a result. Having helped Paisley's Liverpool conquer Europe, he was largely responsible for taking their domination of the domestic scene to unprecedented heights in 1978/79, conceding a mere 16 goals from a 42-match league programme. That season saw Clemence, undoubtedly, at the peak of his game but still he found himself embroiled in a long-running battle with Peter Shilton for the number one shirt at international level. His cause was forever championed by those on the Kop who were privileged to watch his expertise at close quarters but they were as shocked as anyone when Clemence announced he was to leave the club for Tottenham on the eve of the 81/82 season. His last act in a Liverpool shirt was to shut-out the Real Madrid attack in Paris as a third European Cup triumph was secured and, on reflection, for a player who served the club with such distinction it was only fitting that he bowed out at the top. During his eleven years in the first team he missed just six league matches, won every major honour in the game apart from the European Cup Winners Cup and displayed a high level of consistency that no Reds' keeper has since been able to match. A popular figure on and off the field, debate will forever rage as to whether Clemence was the greatest but statistics certainly back up the argument. Based on his ratio of goals conceded per game and number of clean sheets kept per game, he has no equal between the Anfield sticks. Think of Ray Clemence in the Liverpool goal and a multitude of superlatives spring to mind that are best summed up by just two simple words - goalkeeping excellence.

Sold to: Tottenham Hotspur (August 1981)

Claim to fame: Conceding only 16 league goals in the 78/79 season

Thursday, June 21, 2007

100 Person Who Shock The Kop - NO 12: Alan Hansen



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Voted in at number 12 in our '100 Players Who Shook The Kop' series is arguably this club's finest ever centre-back, Alan Hansen.
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: Alan Hansen

Years at Liverpool: 1977 to 1991
Position: Defender

Date-of-birth: 13/6/1955
Birthplace: Sauchie (Scotland)

Signed from: Partick Thistle (May 1977)

Games: 620
Goals: 14

Honours: First Division Championship (1978/79, 1979/80, 1981/82, 1982/83, 1983/84, 1985/86, 1987/88, 1989/90), European Cup (1978, 1981, 1984), FA Cup (1986, 1989), League Cup (1981, 1983, 1984), Charity Shield (1979, 1980, 1982, 1986, 1989)

Cool on the ball, calm under pressure and an integral member of the meanest defence in Liverpool history, Alan Hansen in a red shirt was class personified. Rated by many as this club's finest ever central defender, Hansen can boast one of the most impressive medal collections in football. He was at the heart of the Liverpool back four for 13 years and during that time it's difficult to remember him turning in a poor performance. Signed from Partick Thistle for £100,000 on the recommendation of legendary Celtic and Scotland boss Jock Stein, Hansen arrived on Merseyside as a shy, skinny kid but quickly 'beefed up' and was soon pushing for a first team place. He made his debut in a 1-0 home win over Derby County in September 1977 and played in the following years European Cup Final triumph over FC Bruges at Wembley but it was not until the magnificent 1978/79 season that he finally ousted the legendary Emlyn Hughes from the team and made one of the two centre half berths his own. This was the campaign in which Liverpool famously conceded just a miserly 16 league goals and Hansen played in all but eight of the 42 games. Relying on brain rather than brawn, very few centre forwards ruffled him. A crisp tackler, his reading of the game was exceptional. Widely regarded as one of the most skilful centre halves in the history of British football his game oozed elegance and his graceful style was tailor-made for Liverpool's penchant for patiently building from the back – a tactic that brought them huge success at home and abroad. His pace, control and vision was as effective in creating attacks as in stopping the opposition's and his aptitude was underlined by his multi-sport prowess which also embraced international recognition at basketball, volleyball, squash and golf, a game at which he still excels. He was at his most majestic when striding forward with the ball at his feet, turning defence into attack at the blink of an eye, a trait never better illustrated than on that unforgettable afternoon at Goodison in November 1982 when he set up Ian Rush for the first of his four goals in that much-celebrated 5-0 romp. Whoever his defensive partner was, and there were a few during the course of his long tenure at Anfield, he never seemed phased and the plaudits deservedly came his way, as did a glittering array of honours. Like a fine wine, he seemed to get better with age and when new player/boss Kenny Dalglish decided to relieve Phil Neal of his captain duties in 1985, Hansen was the natural successor. He reveled in his new-found responsibility and lead by example as the Reds clinched a coveted League and FA Cup double at the end of his first season in possession of the armband. Astonishingly, despite winning 26 caps for Scotland, he was snubbed by his country for the 1986 World Cup – a gross error of misjudgment that baffled everyone at Anfield - but 'Jocky's' qualities were never under-appreciated on the Kop. His legendary status increased as he skippered the club to a further two championships before a serious knee injury eventually curtailed his career. It's often said that you don't really miss what you've got until it's gone and it was no coincidence that Liverpool were to endure almost a decade of defensive frailty following his retirement. Once touted as a future manager of the Reds, Hansen has since carved out a successful career in the media and remains a highly respected figure, not just among Liverpudlians but within the game in general.

Sold to: Retired (1991)

Claim to fame: Captaining Liverpool to the League and FA Cup double in 1986

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

100 Person Who Shock The Kop - NO 13: Roger Hunt



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Voted in at number 13 in our '100 Players Who Shook The Kop' series is noble goalscoring hero of the Sixties, 'Sir' Roger Hunt.
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: Roger Hunt

Years at Liverpool: 1959 to 1969
Position: Forward

Date-of-birth: 20/7/1938
Birthplace: Golborne

Signed from: Stockton Heath (1959)

Games: 492
Goals: 286

Honours: First Division Championship (1963/64, 1965/66), FA Cup (1965), Second Division Championship (1961/62), Charity Shield (1964, 1965, 1966)

The only player to have an honorary knighthood bestowed upon him by the Kop, Roger Hunt enjoyed immense popularity among the 28,000 fans that used to pack the famous terrace during the swinging sixties. It's easy to see why, because without his many goals Liverpool may never have escaped the depression of life in Division Two, regained their mantle as the country's top team and stood shoulder to shoulder with the cream of the continent. Until Ian Rush came along he was the club's all-time record goalscorer and still no player has netted more for the Reds in the league. Let us also not forget that he won the World Cup for England. He remains the only Liverpool player to have this particular medal in his collection but his heroic contribution to that triumph is often sadly overlooked when a dewy-eyed nation reminisces about 1966. One place where he'll never be forgotten though is Anfield, Sir Roger's home for a success-filled decade when the name Hunt became synonymous with the word goal. Spotted by ex-Red Bill Jones while plying his trade for a local amateur team, Hunt scored on his debut, under the managership of Phil Taylor, at home to Scunthorpe as a 21-year old in 1959 and didn't look back. Although new boss Bill Shankly embarked on a mass clear-out of playing personnel upon succeeding Taylor in the Anfield hot-seat, young Hunt's position was never in jeopardy. Shanks was a big admirer and immediately entrusted the 'blonde bomber' with the responsibility of spearheading Liverpool's charge back to the top-flight. In 1961/62 he did just that, plundering a remarkable 41 goals from 41 games as the Reds went up as runaway champions. His partnership with Ian St John has since passed into football folklore and together they then proceeded to terrorise First Division defences. He top-scored when the title came Liverpool's way in 1963/64 and again two season's later. He netted the opening goal in the momentous first FA Cup win of 1965 and scored regularly in Europe too. With such deadly finishing instincts Hunt was quite simply a priceless commodity in Shankly's first great Anfield team. Fast and strong, he would run himself into the ground for the Liverpool cause and was a handful for even the most accomplished of defenders. Whether it was a simple tap-in or spectacular strike, Hunt was the man and he continued to find the back of the net on a regular basis for the remainder of the sixties. In January 1968 he overtook the great Gordon Hodgson as the club's all-time leading goalscorer with a typical poachers strike at Stamford Bridge but the end was nigh for the Kop favourite. As the boss started the construction of his second great side, an ageing Hunt was, not surprisingly, one of the first casualties and he bade the Reds a fond farewell the following year. Three years later he tread the Anfield turf for one final time. It was the occasion of his well-deserved testimonial and the gates were locked hours before kick-off as fans clamoured to pay their respects. An astonishing gate of 56,000 was recorded, with many thousands more reported to be locked outside. If anyone had ever doubted his popularity among Liverpudlians they had no ground for argument after this amazing show of support. Belated recognition of the vital role he played in England's finest hour finally arrived at the turn of the century when he received the MBE but it went almost unnoticed by Kopites because they had honoured him when it mattered and love him to this day for what he achieved in a red shirt. Despite what biased members of the southern-based media may have thought, to quote a line from the famous Kop chant of his time - 'Sir Roger Hunt - was wonderful!'

Sold to: Bolton Wanderers (December 1969)

Claim to fame: Scoring more League goals for Liverpool than anyone else

Sunday, June 17, 2007

100 Person Who Shock The Kop - NO 14: Michael Owen



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Voted in at number 14 in our '100 Players Who Shook The Kop' series is former Anfield striking sensation Michael Owen.
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: Michael Owen

Years at Liverpool: 1996 to 2004
Position: Forward

Date-of-birth: 14/12/1979
Birthplace: Chester

Signed from: School (December 1996)

Games: 297
Goals: 158

Honours: FA Cup (2001), UEFA Cup (2001), League Cup (2001, 2003), FA Youth Cup (1996), Charity Shield (2001), Super Cup (2001)

A boy wonder for club and country, Michael Owen's emergence on the senior scene caused unprecedented ripples of excitement inside Anfield and provided hope for success-starved Liverpudlians who craved a return to the trophy-filled days of the seventies and eighties. His goals were instrumental in helping to briefly fend off those hunger pains but, as one of the most feared finishers in the game, his fame spread far beyond the confines of L4 and he was to sadly fly from the Liver Bird's nest in anti-climatic circumstances without sampling life at the top table in a red shirt. Owen first shot to prominence as a 16-year old in 1996 during the club's memorable run to a first FA Youth Cup triumph. He fired the young Reds to glory amid the glare of the television cameras and the Academy's best kept secret was out in the open. Those in the know had been well aware of the Chester-born striker's immense potential since he joined the Liverpool youth set-up aged 11. Blessed with pace to burn, breathtaking skill and an all-important predatory eye for goal, his talents were nurtured at the FA's School of Excellence in Lilleshall and he scored prolifically when rising meteorically through the Anfield ranks. His reward came in May 1997 when then boss Roy Evans pitched him into his first team debut against Wimbledon at Selhurst Park. Having seen his side yet again fail to make any real impact on the title race, the boss could no longer resist the temptation to blood the precocious youngster, whose progress had set tongues wagging frantically. He was summonsed from the bench as a second half substitute and duly repaid his managers faith by registering the first of 158 goals for the Reds. Kopites had themselves a new hero and, with Robbie Fowler sidelined through injury, the boy Owen was chosen to lead the Liverpool forward line for much of the following season. He didn't disappoint and within months his burgeoning reputation was raised a few notches more when he made history by becoming England's youngest debutant of the last century. But while this was a proud moment for all at Anfield, there's a reflective school of thought among many Liverpool followers that the talented teenager's head was turned by events at international level, so much so that it eventually fuelled his desire to move abroad. English football's hottest prospect ended that season as joint top scorer in the Premier League and was voted PFA Young Player of the Year. Envious glances were being cast towards Anfield by all of the continent's top clubs and when Owen lit up the 1998 World Cup with a stunning solo effort against Argentina his star was shining brighter than ever. Thankfully, the level-headed Owen's twinkle-toed feet remained firmly on the ground and to the delight of all Liverpudlians he lived up to his superstar status in the years that followed. A clinically-taken hat-trick away to Newcastle in August 1998 proved his heroics at France '98 were no flash in the pan and he was to top the Liverpool goalscoring charts every season until his departure. His finest year was without doubt 2001 and his name will forever be associated with our dramatic FA Cup Final victory over Arsenal in Cardiff, his two late goals securing the second leg of the famous cup treble. Owen also netted in the Charity Shield and Super Cup victories that took Liverpool's amazing haul of silverware to five in just in a matter of months and ended the year by becoming the first British player in two decades to win the prestigious European Footballer of the Year award. In 2003 he was on the scoresheet in another Cup Final triumph as Liverpool defeated Manchester United to win the Worthington Cup but, despite these important goals, Owen strangely struggled to command the type of adulation from the crowd that was cascaded down on some of his less talented team-mates. His rapport with the Kop was not helped by ongoing speculation that he was reluctant to commit his long-term future to the club. Even the arrival of Rafael Benitez, as Gerard Houllier's successor, failed to persuade him and with just a year remaining on his contract he opted to test himself abroad and joined Real Madrid in an £8 million deal on the eve of the 2004/05 season. What followed in the ensuing campaign proved the grass isn't always greener on the other side and as the Reds celebrated Champions League success Owen was no doubt privately ruing his decision leave. It's no secret that he was desperate to return but it was not to be. The possibility of Michael Owen once again pulling on a Liverpool shirt now seems highly unlikely but his legendary status at Anfield is already assured. You only have to cast your mind back and remember the host of 'goal'den memories he left us with to be certain of that.

Sold to: Real Madrid (August 2004)

Claim to fame: Scoring twice in Cardiff to win the FA Cup against Arsenal in 2001

100 Person Who Shock The Kop - NO 15: Ian Callaghan



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Voted in at number 15 in our '100 Players Who Shook The Kop' series is the man who played more games for Liverpool than anyone else, Ian Callaghan.
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: Ian Callaghan

Years at Liverpool: 1960 to 1978
Position: Winger/Midfield

Date-of-birth: 10/4/1942
Birthplace: Liverpool

Signed from: Apprentice (1960)

Games: 857
Goals: 68

Honours: First Division Championship (1963/64, 1965/66, 1972/73, 1975/76, 1976/77), European Cup (1977), FA Cup (1965, 1974), UEFA Cup (1973, 1976), Second Division Championship (1961/62), Charity Shield (1964, 1965, 1966, 1974, 1976, 1977, Super Cup (1977)

There can be no better role model for aspiring young Liverpool players than the club's record appearance holder Ian Callaghan. In a highly distinguished Anfield career that spanned almost two decades the ever popular Cally was a shining example of everything that is good about the game. A true gentleman in every sense of the word, the Toxteth-born winger/midfielder was the only player to survive Liverpool's fairy-tale journey from life as a mediocre Second Division outfit to the lofty summit of European football. Along the way he won almost every honour possible, including the highest respect from his fellow professionals and the adulation of the fans, and was booked just once. Toxteth-born Cally initially joined the Reds as an apprentice and made his senior debut after just four outings for the reserves. The momentous occasion came in April 1960 at home to Bristol Rovers and if that was not daunting enough, he also faced the added pressure of replacing Liverpool idol Billy Liddell. But while other youngsters may have buckled in such circumstances, the fresh-faced 17-year old turned in a performance that belied his tender years and was deservedly applauded off at the end by both teams, the crowd and the referee! It signalled the start of a remarkable career that can be distinctly divided into two sections. Although he played as a wing-half during his childhood, it was as a raiding right winger that Callaghan first made a name for himself at Liverpool. Fast, direct and possessing incredible stamina, it was during the promotion winning campaign of 1961/62 that he became an established first team regular and it was his pinpoint crossing that supplied many a goal for the prolific strike partnership of Hunt and St John as League Championship and FA Cup glory came Liverpool's way during the heady years of the mid-sixties. Callaghan's name was one of the first on Shankly's team-sheet for the remainder of the decade but a cartilage operation meant he missed a large chunk of the 1970/71 season and his long-term future at the club was considered to be in jeopardy. However, when fully recovered, the evergreen Callaghan was given a new lease of life in a central midfield role and confounded his doubters by raising his level to an even higher standard. A tireless worker with bags of energy, he peaked in 1973/74 - a campaign in which he notched his one and only senior hat-trick, overtook Billy Liddell's record of 492 Liverpool appearances, helped the Reds to a second FA Cup success and became the first Anfield player to win the Football Writers Football of the Year award. If that was not enough, he was then honoured in the New Year Honours list with an MBE for his services to the game and his remarkable longevity meant he was still an important part of the team when Europe was conquered for the first time in 1977, an emotional occasion for a man who'd played in the club's first game in continental competition 13 years earlier. At 35, there was still one final chapter to add to the Cally fairy-tale – a surprising recall to the England squad, 11 years after his last cap when he'd played in a 1966 World Cup group game. Despite all his success, the self-effacing Ian Callaghan never changed and walked out of the Anfield dressing room for the final time in 1978 as the same affable individual who had joined the club for a £10 signing on fee all those years before. He left with an envious medal collection, a glowing reputation and a total number of appearances that is unlikely to ever be surpassed. Who said nice guys don't win?

Sold to: Swansea (1978)

Claim to fame: Playing more games for the Reds than any one else

Saturday, June 16, 2007

100 Person Who Shock The Kop - NO 16: Jan Molby



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Voted in at number 16 in our '100 Players Who Shook The Kop' series is the great Dane Jan Molby.
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: Jan Molby

Years at Liverpool: 1984 to 1996
Position: Midfield

Date-of-birth: 4/7/1963
Birthplace: Kolding, Denmark

Signed from: Ajax (August 1984)

Games: 291
Goals: 62

Honours: First Division Championship (1985/86, 1987/88, 1989/90), FA Cup (1986, 1992), Charity Shield (1986)

Liverpool’s ‘Greatest Dane’, big Jan Molby was an undisputed cult-hero among Kopites and one of the best passers of a ball to ever grace the fields of Anfield Road. His Liverpool career did not yield the treasure trove of honours it should have done and was often dogged in controversy but the fans loved him and he loved them back. Signed by Joe Fagan from Ajax on the eve of the 1983/84 season, Molby’s first year in a red shirt gave little indication of what was in store. As Liverpool struggled in the wake of losing Graeme Souness to Sampdoria, Molby found it hard to adapt to the faster pace of life in the English top-flight. His hefty frame and sluggish movement meant he hardly set the place alight and critics doubted the wisdom of Fagan’s £225,000 purchase. Off the field, however, he was settling in nicely and famously developed an accent that was more Kirkdale than his native Kolding – an attribute that quickly endeared him to the locals. The turning point for Molby was the appointment of Kenny Dalglish as player/manager during the summer of 1985. Dalglish, who was to later hail the Denmark international as ‘one of the finest midfielders of his generation’ had the utmost faith in him and was rewarded with a succession of vintage performances during the momentous double-winning campaign that followed. A new slimmer-looking Molby responded to a prolonged run in the team by displaying the visionary passing, subtle touches and general midfield power play that the Reds had been sadly lacking. It was no coincidence that his much-improved form resulted in an upturn in Liverpool’s fortunes and he became a pivotal figure in the side, supplying many a perfect through ball for the ever grateful Ian Rush and chipping in with a fair share of vital goals himself. A tremendous set-piece exponent, Molby holds the club record for most spot-kick conversions (42) and famously netted from 12-yards out to keep the Reds FA Cup dream alive in a tense quarter-final replay away to Watford that season. With power and precision in his shooting he could be lethal when faced with a gaping goal and was equally capable of hitting the net from further out, usually in spectacular fashion. This was never more evident than at Anfield on a November night in 1985 when he struck one of the greatest goals of all-time - a belting long-range strike that whistled into the top corner of the Kop net past a hapless Gary Bailey in a memorable Milk Cup tie against arch-rivals Manchester United. Unfortunately, a television strike at the time has denied us the pleasure of seeing this goal over and over again but there was many more in the Molby locker, with a rasping effort against Norwich and a sweetly struck free-kick versus Ipswich springing instantly to mind. His imposing physique earned him the nickname 'Rambo' and as the proud owner of a League Championship and FA Cup medal he was seemingly at the peak of his game as the 86/87 season approached. A glorious future in red beckoned. Unfortunately, a broken foot, a spell in defence and three months behind bars for driving offences was to restrict his influence over the following three years. The time spent in prison, while bringing him unwanted bad press, added to his increasing iconic status among the supporters who welcomed him back to the fold enthusiastically. Shortly after his release, a much trimmer Molby then began to show signs of recapturing the dominant form of ’86. He was part of the side that won the FA Cup again in 1992 but, while his ability with a ball at his feet were never questioned - he continued to spray wonderfully measured long and short passes around the pitch - persistent spells on the treatment table and weight problems gradually reduced his effectiveness. During the course of his 12-year Anfield career he twice came close to leaving the club, for Barcelona and Everton respectively, but his dedication to the Liverpool cause was never doubted and in 1994 he was deservedly honoured with a testimonial game. One of English’s football’s most successful foreign players, Jan Molby was eventually released two years later to take up a player/manager role with Swansea and he left with the best wishes of everyone who’d been fortunate enough to witness his unique and sublime talents at their peak. Denmark’s finest export since Carlsberg? There’s no ‘probably’ about it. He was.

Sold to: Swansea City (1996)

Claim to fame: Being Liverpool’s all-time leading penalty scorer

Friday, June 15, 2007

100 Person Who Shock The Kop - NO 17: Bruce Grobbelaar



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Voted in at number 17 in our '100 Players Who Shook The Kop' series is the often eccentric but highly successful goalkeeper of the 1980's, Bruce Grobbelaar.
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: Bruce Grobbelaar

Years at Liverpool: 1981 to 1994
Position: Goalkeeper

Date-of-birth: 6/10/1957
Birthplace: Durban, South Africa

Signed from: Vancouver Whitecaps (March 1981)

Games: 627
Goals: 0

Honours: First Division Championship (1981/82, 1982/83, 1983/84, 1985/86, 1987/88, 1989/90), European Cup (1984), FA Cup (1986, 1989, 1992), League Cup (1982, 1983, 1984), Charity Shield (1982, 1986, 1988, 1989, 1990)

From handstands at Wembley to spaghetti legs in Rome, Brucie Grobbelaar was a complete one-off – an eccentric goalkeeper who would have you tearing your hair out in frustration one minute and jumping with joy the next. But a quick glance at his glittering medal collection is proof, if needed, of his status as a Reds legend, not to mention the fact that three of the greatest Liverpool managers of all-time – Paisley, Fagan and Dalglish – all rated him so highly. One of the most colourful characters to have ever played the game, not much was known about the rookie South African when Bob Paisley signed him from Vancouver Whitecaps in March 1981. He was brought in as back-up to Ray Clemence but when Clem surprisingly departed for Spurs that summer the Liverpool back-room team were left with no option other than to throw him in at the deep end. Following in such illustrious footsteps was always going to prove difficult and his early days between the Anfield sticks were marred by some of the most horrendous goalkeeping howlers we’ve had the misfortune to witness. While he impressed with his stunning agility and superb reflexes, Grobbelaar’s flamboyant, and sometimes erratic, style came in for severe criticism. Every mistake he made was highlighted, especially two that gifted Manchester City a rare Anfield victory on Boxing Day 1981. Opposition fans called him a clown and Evertonian's once presented him with a jester hat in recognition of his unflattering new moniker. However, it was the Liverpudlians who had the last laugh. His confidence was unflappable and he more than made up for his early misdemeanours during a glory-laden career. It is testimony to his terrific strength of character that he came through those difficult first few months in the Liverpool goal and although high-profile errors were never totally eradicated from his game – Sheffield Wednesday's Imre Varadi in 1984 and Everton's Kevin Ratcliffe two years later being two grateful beneficiaries – the good times far outweighed the bad during his 13 years as the Reds number one. Despite the brickbats that continually came his way, Grobbelaar proved himself an almost immovable object between the Anfield sticks and established himself as a firm favourite of those on the Kop. Several challengers tried but none succeeded in condemning Grobbelaar to a place outside the first team for long. His ability to pull off saves of the highest quality played a major role in Liverpool remaining at the forefront of the chase for honours throughout the eighties. His antics on the line in the 1984 European Cup Final penalty shoot-out against AS Roma will forever live in the memory, while his stunning ‘kangaroo leap’ save from Graeme Sharp in the 1986 FA Cup Final has since passed into legend. With Brucie in goal it seemed as though there was never a dull moment, even if he did sometimes hit the headlines for the wrong reasons. A former soldier in the Rhodesian army, he was not averse to picking fights but when he infamously lost his temper with his own team-mates – notably Jim Beglin and Steve McManaman in two high-profile derby matches - more than a few eyebrows were understandably raised. It was this enthusiasm and passion he displayed for the club that made the revelations which clouded his latter days as a Red all the more baffling. Thankfully, they weren't proved and the golden memories of an often controversial but always charismatic custodian remain untainted. Bruce Grobbelaar's style of goalkeeping may have been a little unorthodox but very few Liverpudlians will say they didn't enjoy watching him. He helped put the fun back into football and aided the almost incessant supply line of silverware into the Anfield trophy cabinet.

Sold to: Southampton (1994)

Claim to fame: Unnerving AS Roma's Bruno Conti and Francesco Graziani in the ’84 penalty shoot-out in Rome

Thursday, June 14, 2007

100 Person Who Shock The Kop - NO 18: David Fairclough



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Voted in at number 18 in our '100 Players Who Shook The Kop' series is the one and only 'Supersub', David Fairclough.
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: David Fairclough

Years at Liverpool: 1976 to 1982
Position: Forward

Date-of-birth: 5/1/57
Birthplace: Liverpool

Signed from: Apprentice (January 1974)

Games played: 153
Goals scored: 55

Honours won: First Division Championship (1975/76, 76/77, 79/80, 82/83), European Cup (1978), UEFA Cup (1976), Charity Shield (1977)

Despite only starting 88 games in an eight year Liverpool career, David Fairclough is one of the most famous Liverpool goalscorers of all-time. He made another 65 appearances as substitute and it was in this role for which he’s best remembered. The sight of him warming up on the touchline was enough to strike fear into the opposition and when the number 12 board was held up to signal his introduction a huge buzz of excitement and anticipation would sweep around Anfield. 'Supersub' was a moniker he loathed and one he felt held him back in his career, but there can be no denying it’s because of his goalscoring heroics as twelfth man that he's spoken of in legendary tones today. His name is inextricably linked with arguably Liverpool’s greatest-ever night. Mention the word St Etienne and the memories of his never-to-be-forgotten strike that shook the Kop to its foundations are rekindled. With the Reds seemingly heading out of the European Cup against the flamboyant French Champions the flame-haired Fairclough was summonsed from the bench in one last desperate throw of the dice by Bob Paisley. Moments later he was racing through on goal, holding off the shackles of a vastly experienced defence and keeping his cool to slot the ball under the advancing keeper, sending the densely packed terrace into raptures and cementing his place in Liverpudlian folklore forever. Two months later Liverpool won the European Cup for the first time but despite THAT goal being the definitive moment of the campaign he was only named among the substitutes in the Olympic Stadium, Rome. For the FA Cup Final four days earlier he was left out of the matchday squad altogether and that just about sums up his career with the Reds. Born and bred in the city and educated at a school just a stones throw from the Spion Kop, Fairclough was a rabid red who fulfilled his boyhood dream. The fresh-faced youngster joined the club as an apprentice in 1974, made his debut the following year and then shot to prominence with vital goals as the League Championship and UEFA Cup were won in 1975/76. Not surprisingly the fans took to him straight away. A stunning goal last-gasp goal against Everton during that title charge enhanced his cult status on the Kop and a lengthy career in the Liverpool first team beckoned for the new striking sensation. His goalscoring feats of 1976 and 1977 were what created the Fairclough legend but for consistency the 77/78 season would have to go down as his finest in a red shirt. He started 31 games, netted 13 goals and capped it all by collecting a European Cup winners medal at Wembley, completing the full 90 minutes of a dour 1-0 Wembley victory over FC Bruges. With seemingly limitless reserves of energy, Fairclough was humorously dubbed the Bionic Carrot and remained a lethal weapon in the Liverpool armory but with players of such calibre as Keegan, Toshack, Heighway, Johnson and Waddle all battling for a place in the starting line-up competition for places was tough and a regular place in Paisley’s eleven could never be guaranteed. Critics argued that he was not as effective when starting a match and that he’d fade in certain games but his knack of netting important goals could never be questioned and it was a trait he never lost. In February 1980 he hit the headlines once more with a six-goal blast that included a hat-trick away at Norwich and a last minute equaliser in the League Cup semi-final versus Nottingham Forest. It was not enough to save Liverpool from an aggregate defeat but it preserved the club’s proud unbeaten home run. Another goal in the marathon FA Cup semi-final against Arsenal the same year offered further proof that he was the man for the big occasion but those big occasions were to get less and less. As the early eighties unfolded Fairclough' s Liverpool career was drawing to a close and, frustrated at his lack of chances, he eventually gave up the fight. His fame lives on though and, despite the tenuous claims of other goalscoring substitutes, there'll only ever be one Supersub in the eyes of his adoring Liverpudlians. It may not be how he'd have preferred to be remembered but it's what made him a legend and is the reason why he'll never be forgotten.

Sold to: Lucerne (July 1983)

Claim to fame: Shooting Liverpool into the semi-final of the European Cup in 1977

Monday, June 11, 2007

100 Person Who Shock The Kop - NO 19: Peter Beardsley



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Voted in at number 19 in our ’100 Players Who Shook The Kop’ series is twinkle-toed Geordie genius of the great late eighties team, Peter Beardsley
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: Peter Beardsley

Years at Liverpool: 1987 to 1991
Position: Forward

Date-of-birth: 18/1/61
Birthplace: Newcastle

Signed from: Newcastle United (July 1987)

Games played: 175
Goals scored: 59

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

Peter Beardsley was a star performer in one of the greatest attacking sides ever assembled at Anfield but, had it not been for an error of judgement by Ron Atkinson, it could have been in the red of Manchester United that Beardo enthralled spectators in the eighties. It may come as a surprise to some Kopites that a player they revered so much was once on the books of arch-rivals United and there's no doubt they’ll thank their lucky stars he didn’t stay there. He was at Old Trafford for just six months as a youngster before Atkinson mistakenly deemed him surplus to requirements. He then secured a dream move to his hometown club, via a spell with Vancouver Whitecaps in Canada, and quickly set about making a name for himself in the famous black and white stripes. He netted a terrific volley for Newcastle at Anfield during our double-winning season of 1985/86 and the then Reds boss Kenny Dalglish must have made a mental note because when Ian Rush left for Juventus during the summer of 1987, Beardsley's name was high on his shopping list. The diminutive Geordie was one of the most sought after players in the British game and it took a then massive club record £1.9 million to secure his services. Some may have baulked at investing so much in one player but the dissenting voices were soon silenced as Beardo more than repaid the fee by establishing himself as a vital component in a mouth-watering attacking triumvirate that wreaked havoc across the country during the unforgettable title winning campaign of 1987/88. He inherited Dalglish’s famous number seven shirt at Anfield and one of the greatest compliments that can be paid to him is that his style of play was reminiscent of the King. His spellbinding close control would bamboozle opposition defenders and leave them tearing their hair out in frustration. After turning them inside out he’d stun them with a perfectly executed shot past the keeper when they least expected it, or he’d skip past them as if they weren’t there and then unselfishly tee up a team-mate to score. Fellow new signing John Barnes may have stolen the plaudits early on but the more astute observers in the Anfield gallery appreciated straight away just what an equally special player Beardsley was. His first competitive goal in Liverpool colours came in the second game of the season at Highfield Road. It was a solo effort that oozed class and one that would become his trademark. A thunderous volley against Mersey neighbours Everton, in front of an exultant Kop, a couple of months later cemented his status as a fans favourite and to prove it a fan ran on from the Kemlyn Road to plant a kiss on his forehead! A quiet lad off the pitch, Beardsley was a wonderfully gifted individual who was happy to let his football do the talking on it. Although not a prolific scorer of goals he was a joy to watch as the Reds embarked on a trophy-winning spree that yielded him two league titles, the FA Cup and a host of new admirers. With respect, Beardsley was one of most unlikely looking footballers but his hunched shoulders, pudding bowl haircut and twisted jaw belied a player of supreme class. His twinkle toed trickery constantly had the crowd on the edge of their seats and it came as a big surprise when Graeme Souness sold him to Mersey neighbours Everton on the eve of the 1990/91 season. The fact he continued to excel for a number of years after leaving Anfield made it an even more mystifying transfer but Liverpudlians can console themselves in the fact that for four years they witnessed the mercurial Peter Beardsley at the peak of his game and we'll be forever grateful for that.

Sold to: Everton (August 1991)

Claim to fame: Scoring a hat-trick v Manchester United in 1990, the last Liverpool player to do so

Sunday, June 10, 2007

100 Person Who Shock The Kop - NO 20: Phil Neal



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Voted in at number 20 in our '100 Players Who Shook The Kop' series is the most decorated Liverpool player of all-time, Phil Neal.
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: Phil Neal

Years at Liverpool: 1974 to 1985
Position: Full-back

Date-of-birth: 20/2/1951
Birthplace: Irchester

Signed from: Northampton Town (October 1974)

Games: 650
Goals: 60

Honours: First Division Championship (1975/76, 1976/77, 1978/79, 1979/80, 1981/82, 1982/83, 1983/84, 1985/86), European Cup (1977, 1978, 1981, 1984), UEFA Cup (1976), League Cup (1981, 1982, 1983, 1984), Charity Shield (1976, 1977, 1979, 1980, 1982), Super Cup (1977)

Never has the term 'Mr Consistency' been more apt than when discussing the merits of Phil Neal in a Liverpool shirt. One of the club's finest ever full-back's, Neal was rarely absent from the Reds starting eleven during a highly-distinguished 11-year Anfield career. Rarer still was an occasion when he had a bad game. Plucked from Fourth Division obscurity for £66,000 in October 1974, the former Northampton Town man was Bob Paisley's first managerial acquisition and undoubtedly one of his most inspired. A month after his low-key arrival Neal was pitched into his senior debut at just a few hours notice, but made a good early impression by coping admirably with the intense pressure of a high-octane goalless Merseyside derby at Goodison Park. From there on in he became an almost permanent fixture in the side, making a record 365 consecutive league appearances between December 1974 and September 1983 in the process. He adapted to life in the top-flight at such a rapid rate that an England call quickly came his way and his value to the Liverpool cause, as they battled for honours on the domestic and continental front, became immeasurable. Adept at operating in both full-back berths it was on the right side that he eventually settled and where he was at his best. Dependable rather than spectacular, he set about his tasks with the minimum of fuss, was never one to seek the limelight and always very much a team player. Calm under pressure, he kept things simple and was a key component of the Reds' record-breaking back four in the late seventies. Not many opposition wingers got the better of him, while at the opposite end of the pitch he made an equally vital contribution to the club's ongoing success of the time. By full-back standards, he was quite a prolific marksman, with his tally of 60 goals bettered only by Chris Lawler. The majority of these, admittedly, came from the spot but penalty taking was an art he mastered and his most celebrated strike came via this route on that balmy evening in 1977 when he sealed Liverpool's first European Cup triumph with an ice-cool finish past Borussia Moenchengladbach's Wolfgang Kneib in Rome's Olympic Stadium. Seven years later, at the same venue, he remarkably found himself on the scoresheet in a European Cup Final, prodding the ball home from close-range to open the scoring against hosts AS Roma and then holding his nerve from 12-yards in the shoot-out as the Reds upset the odds to clinch a fourth 'Campioni' crown. Given that Neal was the only Liverpool player to figure in all four Champions Cup victories between '77 and '84 it will come as no surprise to discover that he's remains one of the most decorated players to have ever played the game. His impressive haul of medals also includes eight League titles, four League Cups and a UEFA Cup, not to mention some less important gongs like the Charity Shield and Super Cup. Neal's loyalty and commitment to the club was deservedly recognised in the summer of 1984 when he was selected to succeed Graeme Souness as Liverpool captain and it was with a sense of immense pride that he wore the armband. Unfortunately, his one and only season in the role was to end in the tragedy through no fault of his own and the tragic events at Heysel ruined what should have been the crowning moment of his glittering Liverpool career. A change in management during the close-season that followed brought an end to his short-lived tenure as skipper and with the emergence of Steve Nicol, Neal finally severed his Kop ties to take up a player/manager role at Bolton in December 1985. His record for medals won and sheer consistency in a red shirt, however, has so far stood the test of time and is unlikely to ever be surpassed. For this alone, no-one can begrudge Phil Neal his legendary status at Anfield.

Sold to: Bolton Wanderers (December 1985)

Claim to fame: Scoring the penalty that sealed Liverpool's first European Cup succcess