Monday, June 4, 2007

100 Person Who Shock The Kop - NO 23: Steve Heighway


Voted in at number 23 in our '100 Players Who Shook The Kop' series is wing wizard of the seventies Steve Heighway.
Four years after our ground-breaking '100 Days That Shook The Kop', we are delighted to invite you to enjoy our new '100 Players Who Shook The Kop' series – the definitive countdown of the 100 players who have made the biggest impact at Liverpool.

Over 110,000 supporters have all nominated their own personal Top 10 players in order of impact made and now the definitive top 100 countdown is underway.

Every player who has made the top 100 – and there are some surprises in there - will be honoured on this website via the e-Season ticket console with a specially produced video clip, including archive footage and exclusive interviews.

Since 1892 hundreds of players have represented this club but everyone has their own particular favourites so don't expect this list to be based solely on talent. The greatness of a player can be measured in many ways – obviously, his ability on the pitch is the most important, but 100 PWSTK is much more than that. It's about the impact the individuals chosen have had on this club, be it for a variety of reasons. Maybe it was because of their unique rapport with the crowd, a specific incident that has never been forgotten or anything else that has left a lasting impression.

Name: Steve Heighway

Years at Liverpool: 1970 to 1981
Position: Winger

Date-of-birth: 25/11/1947
Birthplace: Dublin

Signed from: Skelmersdale United (May 1970)

Games: 473
Goals: 76

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), Super Cup (1977)

A winger who possessed electrifying pace and scintillating skill in equal abundance, Steve Heighway lit up Anfield in the seventies and was a key component in the all-conquering Reds eleven that dominated at home and abroad during this time. Like his Anfield team-mate Brian Hall, Heighway graduated from university with a BA in Economics before entering the world of professional football. He was initially spotted by Bob Paisley's son's while playing for local non-league outfit Skelmersdale United and after going to watch him for the first time Paisley had no hesitation in declaring him the best amateur footballer he'd ever seen. On his assistant's recommendation Bill Shankly quickly wrapped up a deal to deal to sign the prodigious youngster, who burst onto the first team scene like a breath of fresh air just a few months later. Heighway, dubbed 'Big Bamber' in recognition of his academic achievements, made his senior bow in a low-key League Cup tie against Mansfield and then became an overnight fans favourite after playing a starring role in one of the most famous derby comebacks of all-time, scoring from an acute angle to reduce the 2-0 deficit and crossing for John Toshack to level matters before the Reds eventually went on to snatch a memorable 3-2 victory at Anfield in November 1970. In an era when out-and-out wingers were a rare commodity the two-footed Heighway instantly had Reds fans on the edge of their seats with his dynamic style of play. Graceful and athletic, he was a beautifully balanced wide-man who could go past defenders on the inside or outside. His galloping forays into opposition territory were a joy to watch and made him a potent weapon in Liverpool's attacking armoury. Although he often wore the number nine shirt during the course of his time at Anfield, Heighway was predominantly used on the wing and was a regular provider of goals, with Terry McDermott twice being a notable benefactor; in the 1977 European Cup Final and the 7-0 thrashing of Tottenham the following year. But he also contributed with his fair share of vital strikes. His stunning finish in the FA Cup Final against Arsenal was the one bright spot of an otherwise disappointing Wembley afternoon in 1971, while he repeated the feat three years later on what was a more joyous occasions against Newcastle. He also netted the decisive goal that secured Liverpool's first appearance in a European Final – the 1973 UEFA Cup. A Republic of Ireland international, Dublin-born Heighway became the first Reds player to represent the Emerald Isle since the legendary Elisha Scott in 1933 and remained a firm favourite of the Kop until, aged 33 and having won almost every honour possible, he moved across the Atlantic in 1981. Of course, he's since returned to his spiritual home to head the club's youth development programme and is now more renowned for nurturing the talents of the stars of the future. But to an older generation of Liverpudlians, the mere mention of Steve Heighway will rekindle memories of some of the most dazzling wing play ever witnessed at Anfield. Like the song says, with Heighway on the wing 'we had dreams and songs to sing'.

Sold to: Minnesota Kicks (1981)

Claim to fame: Scoring in both the '71 and '74 FA Cup Final

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