Liverpool FC: Top 10 Left-Backs of All Time

Nabeel KhokharCorrespondent IAugust 25, 2011

Liverpool FC: Top 10 Left-Backs of All Time

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    With Kenny Dalglish now firmly at the helm of Liverpool Football Club, there is some semblance of order and vision for the future of the club.

    The position of left-back, in recent times, has been a bit of a bogey position for the club, with the squad never having a reliable and steady player in this position.

    To the joy of fans, Dalglish has seemingly solved this problem with the acquisition of a quality left-back in the shape of Jose Enrique from Newcastle United. And despite having only played a few times with his new squad, the Spaniard seems to have slotted into the position and club effortlessly.

    All the signs are there that Enrique will establish himself as the Liverpool first choice left-back, despite healthy competition from the squad's younger members for this position.

    Whether the Spaniard goes on to become one of Liverpool's best ever left-backs, only time will tell.

    But who were the best left-back in the history of Liverpool Football Club?

    The following are Liverpool FC's top 10 left-backs ever.

10. Steve Staunton

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    Liverpool Debut: 17 Sept. 1988

    Liverpool Appearances: 148 and seven goals

    Nationality: Irish

    Steve Staunton actually had two spells at Liverpool Football Club, first from 1998 to 1991 and then from 1998 to 2000.

    In his first spell, he won the FA Cup in 1989 and the League title in the 1989-90 season.

    It was present manager Kenny Dalglish that signed Staunton as a 17-year-old playing for his hometown club of Dundalk in Ireland in 1986, for the absolute bargain price of £20,000.

    His debut for the Reds was so impressive that he kept his place in the starting lineup for the rest of the season.

    Staunton opened his Liverpool account in the next game after his debut and actually scored a remarkable second-half hat trick, after coming on to replace Ian Rush in a League Cup match against Wigan in 1989.

    Staunton also actually played in goal for the Reds too when goalkeeper Sander Westervald was sent off in the Merseyside derby in 1999.

    Staunton was a no-nonsense left-back with a great left foot. 

9. Stig Inge Bjornebye

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    Liverpool Debut: 19 Dec. 1992

    Liverpool Appearances: 184 and four goals

    Nationality: Norwegian

    Graeme Souness signed Stig Inge Bjornebye from Rosenberg in Norway soon after he had scored the winning goal in the Norwegian Cup Final in 1992, for £600,000.

    At first, the Norwegian struggled to adapt to English football and his performances under Souness were well below par. But when Roy Evan took over as Liverpool manager, Bjornebye began to put in more impressive displays.

    Bjornebye had one of the sweetest left foots in the league at the time he was playing for Liverpool. His ability to bomb down the left wing and send in accurate swinging crosses for strikers such as Robbie Fowler and Stan Collymore, was one of the highlights of his game.

    But the arrival of Gerard Houiller and the acquisition of Steve Staunton together spelled the end of Bjornebye's Liverpool career. However, he vowed to stay and fit for his place but was ultimately unsuccessful and moved away from Anfield to Blackburn Rovers for £300,00, where he was reunited with former manager Souness.

8. David Burrows

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    Liverpool Debut: 22 Oct. 1998

    Liverpool Appearances: 193 and three goals

    Nationality: English.

    In 1998, current manager Kenny Dalglish, signed David Burrows from West Bromwich Albion, for £550,000, a few days before his 20th birthday.

    Two days later, he was making his debut for the Reds against Coventry City and went on to make 20 appearances in that season.

    But having to compete with Steve Staunton for the left-back berth made Burrows' attempts to make the position his own, tough.

    In the following season, Burrows got more chances and ended the season with a league title winners' medal, as Liverpool won their 18th Championship.

    After Dalglish left the Reds, to be replaced by Graeme Souness, Burrows found life more difficult and ultimately left Anfield in 1993 for West Ham United.

7. Tom Bromilow

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    Liverpool Debut: 25 Oct. 1919

    Liverpool Appearances: 375 and 11 goals

    Nationality: English

    Tom Bromilow's career at Liverpool Football Club started off like no other player's. During the later stages of World War I, Bromilow turned up at the club, in full uniform, and asked if he could have a game!

    When the War finally ended, Bromilow signed as a professional and made his debut and went on to be a regular in the first team for a decade.

    He went on to make 375 appearances for the Reds and scored 11 goals. His final outing was on the last day of the 1929-30 season.

    Bromilow had a very successful Liverpool career, with two League titles (the club's second and third).

    Sadly Bromilow died suddenly on 4 March 1959 on a train, while scouting for Leicester City.

6. Gerry Byrne

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    Liverpool Debut : 28 September 1957

    Liverpool Appearances : 333 and 4 goals

    Nationality : English

    Gary Byrne, was Liverpool born and bred and made his way into the first team via the junior ranks at Anfield.

    Byrne was a hard tackling defender and the arrival of Liverpool's legendary manager Bill Shankly in 1959, kicked off his career.

    In the 1960-61 season, he went on to make 33 appearances for the Reds' first team.

    Not the most well known player, Byrne was nevertheless part of the hugely successful Liverpool team compiled by Shanks in the 60s.

    He was part of the Liverpool team that finally won the FA Cup in 1965 for the first time in its history.

    Byrne's bravery and commitment to Liverpool was cemented during that historic final, when very early in the game he broke his collarbone. Concealing his injury, he played on in considerable pain and in the knowledge that a further heavy tackle could have resulted in him puncturing a lung.

    In those days substitutes were not part of the game and had he gone off, Liverpool would have been a man short and their first ever FA Cup may have not been won.

    Byrne goes down in Liverpool history as a true Kop hero.

5. Billy Dunlop

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    Liverpool Debut: 25 March 1895

    Liverpool Appearances: 363 and three goals

    Nationality: Scottish

    Billy Dunlop debuted for Liverpool Football Club in only their second season as a Football League club.

    Dunlop established himself in the first team and became a mainstay of its defense and in 1901 was a member of the team that won Liverpool's first ever League title, a feat which they repeated in 1905.

    The Scot was known to be a solid defender, a fine tackler and useful in the air. His distribution out of defense was far more cultured than what was common in the day, where a good hoof up the pitch was all that was expected from a defender.

    Sadly, Dunlop died in 1945 but remains one of the greatest left-backs to have played for Liverpool Football Club.

4. Alec Lindsay

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    Liverpool Debut: 16 Sept. 1969

    Liverpool Appearances: 248 and 18 goals

    Nationality: English

    Bill Shankly signed Alec Lindsay from his hometown club of Bury in 1969, when he was 21 years old.

    As in recent times, the left-back position was a problem position for Liverpool in the late '60s and early '70s.

    In the 1970-71 season, Ian Ross, Roy Evans, Ron Yeats and Lindasy himself, had all had a chance at left-back. But it was Lindsay that got the nod for the position and played in the 1971 FA Cup final against Arsenal in that position.

    Lindsay had a powerful shot from his left foot and was always good for a few goals a season, and in the 1972-73, he was an integral part of the team that won the League title and lifted the UEFA Cup.

    Midway through the 1974-75 season, Lindsay lost his place to new boy Phil Neal, who was Bob Paisley's first signing as Liverpool manager.

    Lindsay notched up a considerable amount of appearances for the Reds by the time he left in 1977 and is one of the greatest ever to play in this position. 

3. Ronnie Moran

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    Liverpool Debut: 22 Nov. 1952

    Liverpool Appearances: 379 and 17 goals

    Nationality: English

    You cannot get more Liverpool Football Club than long-term servant Ronnie Moran.

    Most modern day fans know Moran from his time as a member of Liverpool's backroom staff and manager. But Moran was one the Club's most successful players, particularly at left-back.

    Moran was born and raised in Liverpool and signed for the club shortly after his 18th birthday in 1952.

    He established himself as first-choice left-back in the 1955-56 season, a time when the Reds were in the Second Division.

    With the arrival of Bill Shankly came promotion to the First Division, but due to injuries, Moran did not qualify for a Second Division Winners' medal when promotion was secured in 1962. But he won a First Division Winners' medal in 1964.

    During the 1964-65 season, Chris Lawler established himself as Liverpool's right-back and Gary Byrne took over at left back.

    Moran was Liverpool through and through, and his commitment and enthusiasm for the game and club was infectious to those around him. Shanks saw this and offered him a position on his coaching staff in 1968.

    Moran went on to even manage the club on two occasions as caretaker manager and finally retired completely from Liverpool and football in 1998, after 46 years of service to Liverpool Football Club.

    Moran is part of the fabric of the club's history as both a backroom staff member and as one of its greatest ever left-backs.

2. John Arne Riise

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    Liverpool Debut: 12 Aug. 2001

    Liverpool Appearances: 348 and 31 goals

    Nationality: Norwegian

    In the summer of 2001, Liverpool signing John Arne Riise from AS Monaco for £4 million. Riise came to Anfield with the reputation of having a tremendously powerful left foot and being a goal-scoring left-back.

    He actually scored on his debut for the Reds in the 2001 Super Cup against Bayern Munich, as Liverpool went on to win 3-2. In his first season at Anfield, Riise scored 10 goals.

    Subsequent seasons were a little below par, but with the arrival of Rafa Benitez, Riise raised his game again.

    Being part of the victorious team that lifted Liverpool's fifth European Cup in Istanbul in 2005, will forever make Riise part of the club's glorious history. Moreover, it was his cross from the left that was headed in by Steven Gerrard, that began the memorable and ultimately successful fightback.

    Riise scored some memorable goals in his Liverpool career, but his most well remembered and possibly best, was his thunderous free kick against Manchester United in November 2001.

    Riise's 348 appearances for the Reds takes him into the top 50 for most appearances for Liverpool.

    In 2008, Riise left Anfield for AS Roma, but his mark on the club will forever be there and fans will always chant, "I wanna knooooooow, how you scored that goal!"

    Riise, is the second best left-back to have ever played for Liverpool Football Club. 

1. Alan Kennedy

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    Liverpool Debut: 19 Aug. 1978

    Liverpool Appearances: 359 and 20 goals

    Nationality: English

    In 1978, manager Bob Paisley bought Alan Kennedy from Newcastle United for £330,000 to once again solve another Liverpool left-back problem.

    Kennedy had a shocking debut for the Reds against Queen's Park Rangers, when he almost scored an own goal and overall had a very poor game. He went into the dressing room at halftime expecting support from Paisley, but the manager gave him tongue in cheek encouragement, by telling him, "They had shot the wrong Kennedy!"

    But after that inauspicious start, Kennedy established himself as Liverpool's first-choice left-back and well and truly solved the club's problem in that position.

    For the next three seasons, Liverpool's left side was dominated by Kennedys. Alan as the left-back and an unrelated Ray as the left midfielder. And together formed a solid partnership.

    Kennedy's Liverpool career was highly successful, but without doubt, it had two highlights.

    The first was against Real Madrid in the European Cup Final in Paris in 1981. With the game locked at 0-0 and looking likely to go into extra time, Kennedy picked up the ball on the left edge of the area and surged into box unleashing an unstoppable shot into the net at the near post. 

    That goal won Liverpool their third European Cup.

    The second was maybe even more memorable, as Liverpool took on the mighty Roma in the European Cup Final of 1984, in Roma's home stadium in Rome.

    The game went to a penalty shootout and up stepped Kennedy to the spot, knowing that if he scored Liverpool, would lift the Cup. His confident penalty and subsequent celebration are etched firmly into the history of the competition and Liverpool Football Club.

    In 1985, Kenny Dalglish sold Kennedy to his hometown club of Sunderland. But in his time at Anfield, Kennedy helped the Reds to four League titles, four league cups, one European Super Cup and two European Cups.

    Alan Kennedy top the list of Liverpool Football Club's top 10 left-backs ever.