Sunday, June 17, 2007

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


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

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