25 Liverpool Legends: The Men In Red Who Rocked The Kop!
There are many criteria which must be filled to be recognised as a legend. At many clubs this is usually goalscoring record alone. However, at Anfield commitment, passion and a never say die attitude go allot further than goals.
To achieve a tally of 5 European Cups and 18 League Titles, many great players have pulled on a Red shirt and graced the field at Anfield Road. It is very difficult to pick just 25 Liverpool legends from many, many candidates; but this list of players have shone brighter than any others. They have made the Kop roar on countless occasions or showed a level of commitment beyond any other. Here are 25 of Anfields greatest Legends...
25. Tommy Smith
Similar to todays Carra, Tommy Smith was THE original hard man in Red. His hard tackling and brute force were not the limit of his talents. Smith was a natural in possession and a great passer. He was sent off only once during his career (despite of his reputation), due to an exchange of words as oppose to a bone shattering tackle.
24. Steve Mcmanaman
A great product of the Liverpool youth system and fully accomplished midfield attacker. Even Ian Rush considered him to be Liverpool’s most promising talent. It could be argued that Macca remains the most successful English player to join Real Madrid, maintaining his place in the first team most consistently.
23. Ian St John
One of the players to make a significant difference towards the transition of Liverpool FC from division 2 strugglers, to European giants. His partnership with Roger Hunt was highly renowned, with the saint hammering home 118 goals for the Reds.
22. Peter Beardsley
The Geordie striker broke the English transfer record when he arrived from Newcastle. He and fellow new comer John Barnes formed a deadly trio with John Aldridge, with Peter notching 59 goals in his fairly short Liverpool career. In 1991 Beardsley transferred to local rivals Everton, however, his hattrick against Man Utd in 1990 will be forever remembered by the Anfield faithful.
21. Bruce Grobbelaar
One of the greats in goal for the Reds, he is perhaps best known for his ‘spaghetti legs’ tactic during penalties; famously copied by Jerzy Dudek in Istanbul.
20. Xabi Alonso
Underrated for so long. Greatly missed now he’s gone. Gareth Barry? Not even in the same league. An amazingly creative player capable of inch perfect 30/40/50 yard passes! Scorer of own half goals on more than one occasion. Lynchpin in midfield. Come back Xabi!
19. Jan Mølby
A fine passer and great threat to any defence despite his lack of pace. A key figure in the 1985/86 double winning season with 21 goals, he has scored a total of 42 penalties while in a Red shirt. A club record.
18. Fernando Torres
‘We bought the lad from sunny Spain, he gets the ball, he scores again,’ oh yes he does! The Spaniard is undoubtedly one of the most exciting players to grace the field at Anfield in many years. El Nino is well on his way to becoming a fully fledged Liverpool legend.
17. Billy Liddell
During the dark days of the second division Liddell ensured crowds still flocked to Anfield, and prevented the Reds slipping even lower down the leagues. A skillfull, pacey, two footed winger Liddell netted 228 goals for the Reds; where he spent his entire career. Although overshadowed by legends of the 70' and 80's glory days, Liddell was the star of his generation; and more than deserving of legendary status.
16. Phil Thompson
From living close to Anfield as a child, to lifting the European cup as a Red; Phil’s Liverpool career was fairytale. His partnership at the back with Emlyn Hughes encouraged the Reds to play from the back with style and grace. In 1979 he broke records with his back four conceding only 16 league goals. Like many of the great Red, Scousers to play for Liverpool his passion for the club ran in his very blood; and no less than 110% would ever be given.
15. Sami Hyypiä
Undoubtedly one of the greatest centre backs Anfield has seen. A hero among Reds fans held in the highest regard possible. A sad day it was when he left for Germany. Fingers crossed for a coaching return for the Finn!
14. Michael Owen
Michael Owen the boy wonder! A childhood Evertonian (a common feature of Anfield legends) he is the only Liverpool player to win the highly prestigious Ballon d’Or. As a red he netted 158 goals in 297 appearances and is currently our youngest ever goalscorer.
13. Ian Callaghan
Callaghan pulled on a Red shirt 857 times during his career, the most of any to this day, and perhaps ever! One of the only players to survive the journey from the depths of division 2 to European glory, he was a true gent of the game and a fantastic role model. Like so many of his fellow legends Cally was a dedicated and tireless worker who would never give up on victory.
12. Roger Hunt
The clubs all time record scorer, until a certain Mr. Rush came along! He scored 286 goals for the Reds helping in earlier days to lift them from division 2; and become the greatest team in Europe. His deadly finishing skills and tireless work rate made him an ultimate scoring machine and a true legend.
11. Alan Hansen
The opinionated scot was a key component of one of the toughest defences in world football. Considered by many as the Reds finest ever centre half Hansen helped to win 8 league titles and 3 European cups, a highly impressive medal collection. He was also the first captain to lead the Reds to a double
10. Ray Clemence
Known as the greatest Goalkeeper ever to guard the goal at Anfield, the 5 league titles and 3 European Cups collected whilst he stood between the posts are testament to this.
9. Graham Souness
Souness helped to bring 15 trophies to Liverpool in just 6 years. Despite of his large stature, he possessed delicate skills on the ball and became the heart if the Reds defence. He is one of only 4 Liverpool captains to lift the great European Cup. Unfortunately his time as Reds manager was not as yielding as his on field days, but regardless Souness is a true great
8. Emlyn Hughes
The first Liverpool captain to lift a European championship, Hughes was an integral feature of both Shankly and Paisley sides. He pulled on the Red shirt 665 times for Liverpool, the second highest number of appearances at the club. Hughes played in many positions during his career, but he is perhaps best known for his relentless attitude in the heart of defence.
7. Kevin Keegan
Beyond that perm Keegan has much to be remembered for whilst wearing a Red shirt. An attacking prodigy and superstar of the seventies Keegan is known as the playmaker that sparked Shankly’s second great side into the realms of major success. His achievements tally includes 3 league titles and a European cup.
6. John Barnes
The silky skilled, Jamaican born winger Barnes was strong minded both on and off the pitch. During times of racial tension Barnes was professional and committed, silencing any critics with his storming runs down the wing. Scoring over 100 goals, Barnes is undoubtedly one of the greats; a balance between skill, strength, pace and an excellent footballing mind.
5. Jamie Carragher
‘We all dream of a team of Carraghers.’ For his solid tackling and unbelievable bravery certainly; for his shooting and dribbling skills, perhaps not so much! The Reds hardman is as integral to the team as any other, and the rock hard foundation the Reds defence has been built on for many years. Now up to 651 appearances, unfortunately Carra has put as many goals past his own keeper as that of the opposition. However, were we to count the number of goals he has prevented with his outstanding dedication in defence those four, unlucky goals would be well forgotten; and are.
We’re it not for Carra and his fantastic commitment and relentless energy the Istanbul comeback may not have been possible. Along with fellow legend Sami Hyypia, he formed one of the tightest defensive partnerships in Europe; a challenge for even the top strikers. Carra’s commitment and passion toward Liverpool FC is above and beyond: He would put his body and life on the line to see the Reds clinch victory. Jamie we salute you!
4. Robbie Fowler
What can Robbie Fowler to in 4 minutes 32 seconds that no other premiership striker can? Answer: score 3 goals! A record he holds to this day. The Kop gave Dalgish a kings crown and Fowler...he filled the position of ‘God’ himself! A scouse, Evertonian as a boy Fowler netted 183 goals for the Reds in two spells at Anfield. A consistent natural finisher Robbie finished 3 consecutive seasons up to 1997 with a 30 goal tally.
The local boy was held in the highest regard of fans, equal to that of King Kenny, showing support for local dockers and maintaining the connection with his roots in the great city of Liverpool...as well as giving them a lot to celebrate!
3. Ian Rush
All time top scorer with 346 goals for the club? Step forward the moustached, welsh, goal machine Ian Rush! A boyhood Evertonian (like so many great Red’s legends), Rush was feared by back fours all over the country and Europe during his illustrious goal scoring frenzy throughout the 1980’s. The predatory instinct of the Welshman was not his only merit. Teammates credited his tireless work rate and commitment in every game.
He became the first British player to win Europe’s golden boot after a 47 goal streak in the 1983/84 season...just another year in the office for Rush. Fans were devastated when he opted to join Juventus in 1987; however, failure to settle (and of course missing the roar of the kop) saw his return just one year later. Where there is Rush and there has to be a mention of Kenny Dalglish and vice versa. The two were possibly the most prolific strike force of their time, and certainly the most famous in Anfield folklore.
Every decade or so there comes a Welshman to English football that is on a level above and beyond. Charles, Giggs and today a Mr. Gareth Bale. It is safe to say Rush is that Welshman of his generation, and it was more than an honour to have him serve the Reds over any other club in the world.
2. Steven Gerrard
The beloved captain of Liverpool FC, he could be described as a personification of the club. A scouse Liverpool supporter himself, Steven sadly lost his cousin in the 1989 Hillsborough tragedy. When he graces the field, fans know that his commitment is relentless and that the blood flowing through his veins is as red as theirs through and through.
Currently Liverpool’s top European goal scorer with 38, Gerrard will play anywhere bringing something special to the role. As the chant says ‘he’ll pass the ball 40 yards’ forcing play creatively forward at any opportunity. He can perform inch perfect tackles, take impressive set pieces, score penalties every time and above all else he can score 30 yard wonder goals when it really matters. With the likes of Xavi, Iniesta, Messi and Ronaldo dominating the world football headlines Steven is very much overlooked and wrongly so. He is an unbelievable player and playmaker, and always the standout performer. If anyone deserves greater praise and above all a league title winners medal it is Steven.
A regular international starter, his performances in an England shirt have often mirrored those in a red shirt; while those around him tire and lack enthusiasm he gets more and more determined. Steven Gerrard...may you long grace the fields of Anfield Road!
1. Kenny Dalglish
Netting 172 goals in 515 appearances for the Reds, ‘King’ Kenny Dalglish has more than earned his nickname. Hailed by many fans as the greatest footballer ever, his ultimate football brain envisaged passes others could only dream of. Although Kenny is not Liverpool all time top scorer, if the goals he created as part of his highly successful strike partnerships with the likes of David Johnson and most famously Ian Rush; that would soon change!
A key figure in Paisleys Red army and later off the field as manager, during his Liverpool career Dalglish has amassed an unbelievable number of achievements and winners medals, namely 6 league titles, 4 league cups, 3 European cups and an FA cup for good measure. Even today the King is ‘ambassador and head of football development’ continuing to be a key figure in the goings on of Liverpool FC.
During these tough times there is only one man many Reds fans see as the solution. All hail King Kenny!