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Heroes Of Liverpool FC
4 years ago
4 years ago
4 years ago
Talking Liverpool heroes one would think the emphasis would be on those players in the 1970s & 1980s, those who made Liverpool into a legendary club. The likes of Kevin Keegan, Steve Heighway, Ray Clemence, Ray & Alan Kennedy, John Toshack, David Fairclough, Terry Mcdermott, Graeme Souness, Emlyn Hughes, Alan Hansen, Phil Neal, Phil Thompson, Jimmy Case, Sammy Lee, Mark Lawrenson, Kenny Dalglish, Ronnie Whelan, Ian Rush, John Barnes, John Wark, Steve McMahon, Steve McManaman.... To mention a few.
4 years ago
Haha yeah. A couple of us have touched on those guys without going in to detail but that's just because its hard to do when you havent really seen them play. That's why I for one have written about the guys I saw week in and week out growing up. I could do a whole bunch of posts on the guys youve mentioned but all it would be is a list of stats and achievments. I try to be a bit more personal with mine (thus the inclusion of Vladimir Smicer, lol)
4 years ago
Unfortunately I wasn't even born at that time in the 70's and 80's when Liverpool was the Elite standard for English & European football alike. I have a DVD titled "100 Players Who Shook The Kop" and many of the players you mentioned Northstream are on it. You could also add the likes of the Anfield Iron Tommy Smith & Jan Molby & Ian St. John & Ron Yeats. Once I get a little more time off from school I'll add a few of the players mentioned and hopefully some kind of video clip of them in action
4 years ago
Guess I'm lucky to have experienced the 80s and some of the 70s football. Most of my mates were Liverpool supporters when I grew up and I was also member of the Liverpool supporter club for a couple of years (as it was leading the way at that time). I've also been there when Liverpool secured their 13th title, quite an experience!
4 years ago
Very awesome! Thanks for sharing. Good to hear you had some kopite in you
As I'm sure your friends told you, us Redmen absolutely despise Man United! So let's see Tottenham do the double over the devils!
4 years ago
Well this thread has been pretty quiet as of late... So here is my contribution towards it--
John ‘Digger’ Barnes or "Barnesy" to many, is one of my all time favourite Liverpool players. He joined the Reds in the summer of 1987 for£900,000 along with Peter Beardsley who was a club record of £1.9 million. As we all know they turned out to be two of the best summer signings in the history of the club. I shudder to think how much it would cost to buy two players of this quality today. They represented probably the best transfers to come into Liverpool for the next twenty years until the arrival of Fernando Torres in 2007.
Born in November 1963, John was raised in Kingston, Jamaica. He moved to England because his father was Jamaica’s military attach to London in the late 70s and early 80s.
In 1981, when he was just 17, John found himself at Watford FC via recommendation from one of the club’s fans. He had been making a name for himself playing for local club Sudbury Court with his dazzling skills on the ball. Watford manager Graham Taylor described Barnsie as a jewel he had unearthed and promptly signed him for the unusual fee of a new kit for Sudbury Court.
John made his first team debut in September 1981 in a Second Division game with Oldham Athletic. This was the season in which Watford would complete their incredible journey from Fourth Division to First Division in just six years under Graham Taylor and chairman Elton John. Watford finished second to Luton Town at the end of the 1981/82 season and gained promotion to Division One.
These were the days when teams didn’t need to be super rich to be successful and Watford had an incredible first season in Division One by finishing runners up to Liverpool and qualifying for the UEFA Cup. The following season was another great one for Watford as they reached the F.A. Cup Final, losing 2-0 to Everton. There is some famous footage from the 1984 FA Cup Final of a giant banner in the Everton section of the crowd that reads ‘œSorry Elton, I guess that’s why they call us the Blues!’ A brilliant allusion to Watford chairman Elton John’s song and Everton‘s shirt color and the sort of wit only found on Merseyside. During the 1983/84 season, Watford also had a UEFA Cup campaign in which they reached the third round, losing to Sparta Prague. This was considered a huge success considering they hadn’t ever been in the First Division before 1982.
John was given his England debut against Northern Ireland in May 1983 when he came on a substitute for his Watford team-mate Luther Blissett. In June 1984 he was to score possibly the most famous goal of his career against Brazil in the Maracana Stadium in Rio. It was an incredible solo goal in which Barnes beat several players before rounding the goalkeeper and slotting the ball into an empty net. It remains one of the greatest solo goals of all time and helped England to a 2-0 victory. Unfortunately this great moment was soured considerably during the plane journey home when John was subjected to horrendous racist abuse from members of the National Front. These racists considered the score of the game against Brazil 1-0 because Barnes goal didn’t count.
Unfortunately John never reached these heights for England again and he was regularly a target for boos from the crowd. The fans were often frustrated that he never managed the performances he made at club level, while wearing an England shirt. Despite this, John played at two World Cups and received seventy-nine caps and remains England’s most capped black player.
In the summer of 1987 John finally reached the platform that his incredible talents deserved when he was signed by Kenny Dalglish. As I’ve stated many times before this was the greatest Liverpool side I’ve ever seen. Ian Rush had departed at the end of the previous season and been replaced by John Aldridge. Peter Beardsley and Ray Houghton were soon to join the side and a legendary team were born. Soon after joining Liverpool, John was nicknamed Digger after a character in the TV show ‘˜Dallas’ called Digger Barnes. Liverpool fans still affectionately refer to John by this name.
Due to a collapsed sewer under The Kop, Barnes Anfield debut was postponed until September. His efforts on the road led to great anticipation amongst the fans as word of his displays on the wing began to be circulated. When he finally made his debut against Oxford Utd we weren’t disappointed as he played well and scored.
We won 4′“0 that day and Barnes scored two superb goals. His first was a beautiful run into the box and a one two pass before firing past David Seaman. It was his second goal that day that I’ve chosen. Barnes won the ball inside his own half and then went on a fantastic run towards the goal. As he got to the edge of the box he jinked past a couple of defenders before slotting the ball home with perfection in front of The Kop. I believe that it was this performance that made him a true Kop Idol, which he remains to this day.
Liverpool went on to record twenty nine games unbeaten from the start of the 1987/88 season, equaling the record held by Leeds Utd at the time. Annoyingly they were denied the record at Goodison Park, losing 1-0 to a scruffy Wayne Clark goal. However Liverpool had the last laugh by romping to the First Division title and finishing twenty points ahead of Everton. The Reds also reached the F.A. Cup final where they were upset by Wimbledon. I still cannot believe Liverpool lost that game and I still remember my dad proudly announcing the night before that he’d placed a bet on the Reds to win 5-0. I agree with John Aldridge who said; ‘œif any team ever deserved to win a double, this was it’. The only highlight to come from this F.A. Cup Final was Liverpool’s official song ‘˜The Anfield Rap’, written by Craig Johnston and contained a rap from Barnes.
What makes John’s performances even more incredible was the amount of racial abuse he received from the crowd, mostly from rival supporters but shamefully a tiny minority of Reds fans too. In the 1980′s racist abuse wasn’t as outlawed as it is in the modern game and black players were regularly subjected to sickening chants and monkey grunts. Everton supporters gave John a really hard time when he was playing for Liverpool, shouting ‘œEverton are white’ and the even more disgusting, ‘œNi**erpool’. There is a very famous photograph from this period of John back-heeling a banana that had been thrown at him by Everton fans. The best way to get these idiots to shut up is to score goals against their team and John certainly did that by banging in loads of goals against Everton during his time at Anfield. John was to become a huge advocate for race relations, not just in football but in life. He was an inspiration for young black footballers and black people everywhere as he rose above the racism to succeed. John was eventually awarded with an MBE in 1998 thanks in part to his tireless work to end racism in the game.
On the 15th April, 1989, ninety-six Liverpool fans died at Hillsborough during the FA Cup semi final against Nottingham Forest. The tragedy deeply affected the entire city of Merseyside and the players themselves. The entire team was absolutely devastated and local born players such as Aldridge and Steve McMahon were affected in an even deeper way having been supporters themselves. John joined the Liverpool squad in rallying around the bereaved families, attending many funerals and helping out whenever he was needed. After a number of weeks without play the difficult decision was made between the club and the bereaved families to continue with the season and try to win in honour of those who had died.
John scored a penalty, with Aldridge also scoring in the replayed FA Cup semi final to set up the second ‘˜all Merseyside’ FA Cup final of the 1980′s. It was the perfect final for this time period as supporters of both teams came together. On Merseyside lots of families, including my own, contain both Blues and Reds. It was a terrific game, Aldo opened the scoring and Rush came off the bench to score twice in extra time and win the trophy for Liverpool in a three- two victory. John had a cracking game and he set up Rush for a wonderful headed goal. Liverpool may have won the cup but the real winner that day was the city of Merseyside as the fans and players truly did themselves, the ninety six and the entire city proud.
Unfortunately the league and cup double was cruelly denied for a second successive season as Arsenal grabbed two late goals at Anfield to steal the title on goal difference. The second goal from Michael Thomas came in injury time with virtually the last kick of the season. I remember the game was on a Friday night and the most abiding memory I have of that night was my dad’s extreme anger when he returned from his weekly darts match at the pub.
The following season was another great one for Liverpool and a great one personally for John. He scored twenty-two goals on his way to another player of the year award and Liverpool’s eighteenth league championship. Once again we also went on an F.A Cup run before finally succumbing 4-3 to Crystal Palace in the semi final. A game most memorable personally for my dad (not the tallest fella) jumping high into the air after a Steve McMahon thunderbolt. He jumped so high that his head actually made a small crack in the ceiling, causing plaster from the artex to land in a mess on the living room carpet!
John was part of the England squad at the 1990 World Cup in Italy. Once again he was unable to take his Liverpool form into the international stage. The most memorable playing moment for John was when he scored a cracking volley against Belgium in the second round. Unfortunately the goal was wrongly disallowed for offside and John went off injured. John’s most memorable contribution to the 1990 World Cup was through his performance on the official England song ‘˜World in Motion’ by New Order. We’ll never forget his rap and head bobbing dance in the accompanying music video.
In August 1997, after ten years at Liverpool, John finally decided to leave as he was no longer a first team regular. According to Robbie Fowler in his autobiography, Barnes and Roy Evans had a blazing row after a 3-1 defeat to Man Utd and that was the last time he played for Liverpool.
John decided to rejoin Kenny Dalglish and Ian Rush with a free transfer to Newcastle Utd. John only played one season at St. James Park and it was a disappointing one despite a few highlights such as a victory over Barcelona in the Champions League and reaching the F.A. Cup Final against Arsenal. The Magpies lost the final 2-0 and this was John’s last game for the club.
For the 1998/99 season, John signed for Charlton Athletic, who had just been promoted to the Premier League. Defeat on the final day of the season relegated them back to Division One, and John announced his retirement as a player after 20 years and 754 appearences with four clubs.
In 1999 John was appointed manager of Celtic, with Kenny Dalglish working as director of football. Despite the ‘˜dream ticket’ hype, John’s tenure was pretty awful as Celtic had a poor start to the season. After a shock exit in the Scottish Cup to lowly Inverness Caledonian, John was sacked and Dalglish took over until the end of the season.
Since his retirement from football John has turned his attentions to working in the media. His first TV presenting job was fronting coverage of the ‘˜African Nations Cup’ and he was then given his own show on UK’s Channel Five. John continues to present ‘˜John Barnes Soccer Night’ on Channel Five as well as hosting a weekly show on LFC TV. John’s TV presenting skills are not as good as his playing skills, but that’s just my personal opinion. He is also famous now for his appearance on the BBC TV show ‘˜Strictly Come Dancing’.
John also does a lot of charity work including being an ambassador for ‘˜Save the Children’. He is currently fronting a campaign called ‘Score Ethiopia’ which is providing football based amenities in Ethiopia, as well as improving living conditions for the people there.
In 2006 John was voted in at number 5 in the series ’100 Players Who Shook the Kop’. Anybody who ever saw John Barnes at the height of his career will tell you he was one of the finest players ever to pull on the red shirt. I doubt very much there are many Liverpool fans anywhere in the world that could leave him out of their all time eleven. Thanks Barnesy for everything you did for Liverpool Football Club! You'll Never Walk Alone
4 years ago
Jan Molby - The Great Dane
A Danish and Liverpool legend alike! Some quotes I will start off with for Molby lad
“Jan was simply the best foreign player ever to come to England” – Ian Rush.
“Jan was a very, very talented player, with a great knowledge and appreciation of how to play football” – Kenny Dalglish.
High praise from two of Anfield's greatest ever players, says a lot of Jan doesn't it?!
Jan started his football career in Denmark with his hometown club, Kolding in 1981. After just one season he moved to the great Dutch side Ajax where he played alongside the legendary Johan Cruyff and future greats such as Frank Rijkard and Marco Van Basten. Cruyff spent time on the training ground with Jan teaching him the art of passing and it was at this stage of his development when he started to become what he later became, the best passer of the ball in the business.
In the summer of 1984 Liverpool were still celebrating the treble from the previous season of the League Cup, First Division Title and the European Cup. Team captain Graeme Souness was lured by the Lira and moved onto Italian Serie A side Sampdoria. Liverpool manager Joe Fagan then spent Â£225,000 on bringing the 21 year old Jan Molby to Liverpool as Souey’s replacement.
Jan became a firm favourite on Merseyside very quickly after his arrival at Liverpool. Off the pitch he shared a similar sense of humour with the Scouser’s and he immediately settled into life on Merseyside. He also developed a distinctive Scouse accent and has been seen as an honorary Scouser ever since
Jan’s first season at Liverpool was a rare one without winning any silverware for Liverpool as Everton swept to the First Division title. It was during his second season that he really made his name on the pitch. The double winning season of 1985/86 was undoubtedly Jan’s finest in a Red shirt. He scored eighteen goals that season and many of them were classics. In November 1985 Man Utd came to Anfield for a League cup match. It was during this game that Jan scored what many of those present regard as the greatest goal they’ve ever seen. He took the ball from Norman Whiteside in the Liverpool half and then went on a run beating three or four players before unleashing a rocket shot from twenty yards that flew into the top corner. Gary Bailey, the Man Utd keeper at the time, still insists it’s the hardest shot he ever faced. Unfortunately at the time there was a television dispute and no football games were being recorded for television. Therefore there is no video record of this amazing goal.
Jan’s finest moment for Liverpool came in the first ‘˜all Merseyside’ FA Cup Final in 1986. He ran the second half setting up the first and second goals and then having an important hand in the third goal too with a sublime blind pass to Ronnie Whelan who chipped it over the defence to Ian Rush. He almost scored himself when he went one on one with the Everton keeper Bobby Mimms, but unfortunately he hit his shot straight at Mimms.
Unfortunately he was never able to hit these heights on a regular basis again and he was never able to maintain a regular place in the first team. He was beset by a number of problems and every time it seemed that Jan was about to go on a run back in the side he would be struck down by injury and somebody would come in and take his place. Jan freely admits that while he was out injured he would eat too much and not keep himself as fit as he should have done. This would cause him problems when he was free from injury as he was often overweight when he was put back in the side. Regardless of how much he weighed, Jan was still always able to completely dominate the midfield and his passing was always sublime. There is a quote from Alan Hansen that sums this up perfectly.
"Right up to the day that he left Anfield, you knew that whenever he was on the ball it was going to a red shirt, no matter what his weight was. He’s probably the only player who was sixteen stone (224 lbs) but could play so well. The problem was he couldn’t get up and down, so he’d stand in the middle of the park and be given the ball. Then he’d play. If he’d been playing at fourteen stone, or something, then I think we’d have been talking about the best of the best." - Hansen
He wasn’t in the side for the FA Cup semi final at Hillsborough in April 1989 but he was in the stands as part of the traveling party. Jan witnessed the chaos in the Leppings Lane end before being taken into the dressing room with the rest of the players when the game was abandoned. Merseyside holds a special place in Jan’s heart and he was deeply affected by the Hillsborough tragedy. Along with the rest of the players he attended many funerals and devoted a great many hours of his time to speaking with and comforting the grieving families of the ninety-six who lost their lives. For instances such as this Molby is very respected and appreciated throughout Merseyside, he showed he had a kind heart and wanted to support the local people of Merseyside.
In 1996 he moved to Swansea City where he became the player manager. At the time Swansea were struggling at the bottom of Division Two (now Division One) and despite his best efforts they were relegated. In his first full season as a player manager, Jan came within a minute of taking Swansea back into Division Two when they lost the playoff final at Wembley to Northampton Town with the last kick of the game. After a bad start to the next season, and turmoil in the boardroom Jan was sacked as manager. He then began a career in the media with various newspaper columns and his own nightly show on the Manchester based radio station Century FM. He had two more spells in management with Kidderminster Harriers and Hull City from 1999 to 2004 and now currently works back in the media. He can often be heard commentating on Liverpool games for the BBC Radio Five Live and he regularly plays for the successful Liverpool senior side along with Ian Rush and others in the indoor six-a-side tournaments held around the world.
Despite struggling with injuries, weight gain and off the field indiscretions, Molby still managed to make a massive impact in his twelve years with Liverpool. His 16th placing in the ‘˜100 Players Who Shook the Kop’ series is proof of just how highly he is still regarded by Liverpool fans.
Here is Molby in "100 Players Who Shook The Kop"
3 years ago
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