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Ee-Aye-Addio

Broomy

TIA's Redkopi
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Think of all the Liverpool bookmarks in the story of your life as a football fan.
Flicking through them all, pick your favourite day, moment, match or player and share your story with us here in this thread ......



THE LEGEND OF HEROES

#5 - SOTIRIOS KYRGIAKOS



Sotirios Kyrgiakos - Liverpool's Greek Warrior

Sotirios Kyrgiakos made 49 appearances for Liverpool between 2009 and 2011 scoring 3 goals along the way.....

How do you remember Sotirios Kyrgiakos in a Liverpool shirt? What match epitomized his grit and determination? What were his strengths/weaknesses? What are your best memories of him as a player? How will he be described in generations to come?

In detailed analysis, describe and let us know here how you will always remember Sotirios Kyrgiakos during his Liverpool career?

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cardiffpete

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Apr 14, 2009
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3,641
Fascinating article cardiffpete, kudos mate! Just had a look back at the signings Graeme Souness made... He brought 15 players to Liverpool for £17,940,000... When you look back at the list of those 15 players, you can quickly see where it all went wrong for him, eh?!

Mark Wright, Dean Saunders, Mark Walters, Rob Jones, Michael Thomas, Istvan Kozma, Lee Jones, Scott Paterson, David James, Paul Stewart, Torben Piechnik, Stig Inge Bjørnebye, Nigel Clough, Neil Ruddock, Julian Dicks.

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I'll do another Souness (as our manager) bit here. Just that he deserves a right "roasting" ...in every single sense of the word (even though you've now moved onto to Soto by now). Just that Souey was a proper train-wreck of a manger for us. Even 25 years later, I just seethe and still foam at the mouth ...in disgust at just what he did to us, as a football club.

It all started when David Moores assumed control of the club in 1991 ...after the share issue, to help finance the considerable costs (about 10m quid) of the re-development of the old Kemlyn Road stand and the conversion of the Kop. There was poor take-up on the share issue though, so it allowed Moores to instantly acquire enough shares to take control of the club. As a fan, Moores had stood on the Kop himself and with the managerial vacancy becoming open, he then set his heart on getting Souness, although others were in the running ... and he even gave him a very generous 5-year deal to boot. Souness wasn't the only name in the hat though then to take over. Some board members wanted Toshack instead, one wanted to approach Keegan ...and two were even in favour of sounding Kenny out again. Kenny actually revealed much later, that he himself also thought about approaching LFC that summer (as his mental burnout had by then dissipated and resolved itself) and that he would have jumped at the chance to get back in the saddle again for us. Ouch! No contact was ever made by either side though, probably at least partly due to Moores determination to get his own idol (Souness) into the job. A real pity that!. Kenny then got the call to say LFC had appointed Souness, so he just moved-on - to instead take over at Blackkburn, in the autumn. LFC (and Moores) then sued Kenny in open court in October of that year to recover some of his modest severance package

Moores then had a clear get-out to retire him for "health reasons", less than a year later - after Souness's triple-bypass - but especially after selling his story (of that) to the Sun and it then running front-page on April the 15th, of all days. He refused the opportunity, although it already very clear that major mistakes were being committed. Perhaps the FA Cup win convinced him that better times were just around the corner. After a horror-season then ensued (in 1992~3), Moores again refused to pull the plug though, and he fought-off strong internal boardroom disagreements and objections (ones that led to resignations) here. Moores then announced in May 1993 “I am pleased to announce that Graeme Souness will remain as manager, for the three remaining years of his contract.” Eventually, the plug was pulled (very belatedly) after a humiliating exit to Bristol City in the FA Cup. That match had to be played 3 times, the first abandoned after floodlight failure , the next seeing LFC extremely fortunate to draw 1-1 and then the final 1-0 Replay loss ...with LFC being outplayed and outfought in all 3 matches. Souness then quickly resigned, but not before negotiating a deal that saw LFC paying him his full salary (for the full length of his remaining 2 1/2 years contract. Souness did not even attend the press-conference, in contrast to Kenny here.

One ironic aspect here is that Souness did continually complain (and very vocally and very often in the Media too), that too many of his senior players were "only in it for the money" during his reign. But Souness himself (like Lineker later to Barca) had himself (as a player) left the club for far richer pastures, and thus exchanged the very Top of the Footballing World - for far lesser, but far more lucrative and sunnier surroungings. LFC were left still paying his managerial salary until 1996. The Bristol City loss had another curious detail, as both clubs used the same hotel and it had paper-thin walls. Thus when Bristol City's manager then (Russell Osman, of Ipswich fame) gave his pre-match tactical presentation it could be heard in all it's damning glory. Osman detailed, exposed and laid-bare all the countless flaws that LFC then had and he assured his players that they could and would win the match, as long-as they were "up for it" on the day and followed some simple tactics - and all of this in full-earshot of the LFC Board, LFC players and Souness. That must have reddened a few cheeks, that!


The state of the squad Souness took over certainly needed some immediate addressing and urgently too ...but the real trick here was also to probably avoid making too many abrupt and snap decisions. The other real trick was to make your signings of the type of quality that would become first team players very quickly (on merit and pure footballing ability alone) and for many of them to seriously add something to the team. It is my own huge and everlasting regret that LFC never sounded-out Kenny that summer (1991). Things could have been very different indeed for us, if we had just done that. Just look at the sheer quality of signings that Kenny then made at Blackburn, to first guide them out of the second Division and then to propel them to the title, 2 years later. There is the persistant myth that Blackburn were the original money-bags team that bought the title, and (to be fair) Kenny did pay huge for Shearer (in 1992) and then broke the bank again for Sutton a year later and he also paid very high for a very good Goalie, in Tim Flowers too and even Batty...but these were all serious proper players, just like Barnes and Beardsley had been for us before - and also some transfer records being broken then. Kenny also moved heaven-and-earth to try to sign Roy Keane too, but ManU wonn out there. Kenny's "midas touch" in identifying a great transfer had admittedly deserted him somewhat at LFC (Hello Jimmy Carter, Speedie etc here!) in his latter years for us. But, as they say "class is permanent, while form is temporary". I'm sure that so many LFC fans (all-throughout this dire period of our history) were serially casting envious glances at Kenny and Blackburn. Now only did Kenny sign the original SAS and Flowers, but he made so very many other really shrewd purchases too - taking the likes of Graeme Le Saux from Chelsea, signing Colin Hendry as his dominant CB and taking Tim Sherwood as his captain and leader (along with Hendry) and all for very low transfer fees. Another shrewd foray into the market was for Henning Berg a realtively unknown player from Scandinavia, for another small fee.

Even take Mark Atkins here. Signed for a pittance by Blackburn (although long prior to Kenny) from Scunthorpe (Quick quiz question here ..and who did LFC also sign for a pittance from Scunthorpe, once-upon-a-time? Yes ...him!). Mark Atkins (or maybe better-known as Mark Who?) actually played a fairly major role in Kenny's title-winning campaign, in both covering the sometimes injury-prone RB slot well once-or-twice and then in also deputising and to some really very good effect in CM (after Batty's early injury for them). Atkins thus racked-up 30+ outings that term in the EPL (mostly partnering Sherwood then) and he even scored 6 goals in the process (including the opener in our 2-3 loss to them, now under Roy Evans that season (1994~5). It was basically always Batty-Sherwood in CM for Kenny's Blackburn ...but not that season -then it was actually mostly Atkins-Sherwood ..just like Whelan-McMahon for us in 1987~88, when statistically-speaking it was (slightly) more often Spackman-McMahon aka the very human trait of past memories becoming warped over time ...to maybe remember the better or more ideal partnerships, rather that the real-and-actual ones! Atkins'role under Kenny actually reminds me of how Kevin MacDonald was absolutely stellar for us in our CM in 1985~86 too and the double won then (and very nearly another treble won then too). I do doubt that too many LFC fans (even of that era) remember MacDonald all-too-well, but he was very special for one season for us ...and then in-just-an-instant his career was over (both for him and for us) in the very next September with a horror leg-break that extinguished his career at just 26 y.o. Anyways, Batty was back for Kenny's Blackburn on final day of the season to partner Sherwood (and another poignant Kenny return to Anfield). We won 2-1 on the day though, as that season finally saw the shoots of some decent-enough recovery at LFC, under Roy Evans, with Barnes converted to DM etc. Blackburn seriously escaped a bullet that day too, as ManU only needed to then win to clinch the title ...but they failed here, much to the delight of both the Blackburn and LFC fans too.

I was at Anfield that day myself (and even possibly begging and praying for LFC to actually maybe just lose, just to give Kenny his much-deserved title) ...but it was the perfect scenario in-the-end aka an LFC win, plus a Kenny win too. The whole ground then belted out "Always look on the bright side of life" ...after the final whistle and Kenny's title. That was the 2nd time the Kop had mocked ManU (by singing their own anthem) for failing to land a title ... aka we also did it in late 1992 as well, when we beat ManU ...to scupper their title bid then, to Leeds. I think the ManU fans very quickly abandoned their "Always look on the bright side of life" footie hymn after that, as it was just so easy to turn it against them. You could also completely take-the-piss out of the ManU fans ...by belting it out loud and thus mocking them with it, every time you beat them. Actually, I'm sorry that they stopped using it - as it's very probably a serial loser's anthem anyway. Kenny's 2nd stint for us was less spectacular on the transfer front, but he surely reigned-in by Comolli very often here. Also having been out of the day-to-day game for so long as well couldn't have helped. But if Paisley was unparalled at spotting a gem-of-a-signing and was equally brilliant at succession-planning ...Kenny was another natural here in spotting talent himself. Not always ...but pretty damn often. Kenny was not ever afraid to splash the cash either and even to break records in doing so ...but he mostly got it right. I do assume (for convenience) that big Andy was more Comolli-stuff here.

Back to Souness though and he seriously didn't have a clue for us - nor did his apologist (in our own chairman) aka Moores either. It's OK to be Kop-standing fan (and to even idolise Souey from there ...and he was worthy of any praise thrown at him, as a player). But every warning sign was then just disregarded by Moores, who allowed his own fandom (of a former great player) to seriously cloud his own professional judgement for us. Moores also was the one who sold us out to H&G, much later in 2007 btw ...in his final-act for us.

I'd liken Souness most to Roy Keane in his attempts at management. Many feared that Keane would just seemlessly take over-the-reins at ManU from Fergie, but the latter postponed his retirement and it then never happened. Keane's first stint in management then saw him trying to promote Sunderland back-into the Premiership. Keane then went cap-in-hand to his (now enemy in Fergie) and he just took all their deadwood and dross off them ...like O'Shea, Wes Brown, Bardsley, Richardson etc etc and Johnny Evans etc on nice loan-deals. Instant win-win for both clubs though aka Manu geting rid of so many unwanted players in one swoop and Sunderland with instantly a very good chance to make EPL (but these players simply wouldn't be good enough there). Plus he took many Irish NT players too, like Healy etc. Forget about putting any leg-work in and just targetting proper, long-term players. It was just an instant quite fix managerial approach, of only signing players you already knew. That does not show any real ambition though. We saw a little of this from BR in his very first season for us too and so many known-quantities-to-him being added, but Souness took it to a new level for us, in his signings. I did expect a little better from Roy Keane in management, but from very early-on, it was very obvious that he too just couldn't deliver here.

Souness however hood-winked a lot of clubs though on his own credentials. Not the only manager to ever do that though, of course. In another irony here, Souness himself was seriously hood-winked by a practical joker when he was Soton's boss in 1996. Souness (personally) took a phone-call from George Weah, except it wasn't him, acclaiming a great African talent in (his distant cousin) Ali Dia. Souness promptly signed the guy and also put-through the paperwork to make him eligible for EPL ..and he then even brought a rank amateur onto the pitch against Leeds, when Matty le Tissier got injured, before subbing him off in the same game. Unbelievable stuff that. Souness was still in management as late as 2006 too (at Newcastle), still splashing the cash very often - and mostly on terrible buys like Boumsong and Luque and even taking Owen for 20m (plus 24m in wages) ....and also still serially injuring his players, with some incredibly punishing pre-season, stamina-based stuff. Even a decade and a half later, he had learned nothing at all. He had also alienated half-his own squad at Newcastle in his very first 6 months in-charge there in the process. Chief amongst their (aka the player's complaints) was in Souness serially "bitching" to the media, after every loss (and just like he always did at LFC) ...aka he was dicing with relegation most of the season. He still always blamed his players and he still did it very publicly too (and still always via the media, as well). The players simply weren't tough enough, they didn't have self-belief etc. The same tired-old Souey stuff ... of ranting-and-raving and pointing the finger at everybody, except (of course) himself. In 2008, Souness was eventually voted the worst manager ever in the English league history ...and I wouldn't disagree here at all myself. Brash, self-centered, authoritarian and ultra ego-centric too ...Souness plowed some never before seen depths at LFC.

God how I do wish that somebody (other than bloody David Moores) had taken over at LFC in 1991. God how I wish we had made that (semi-instinctive) phone-call to Kenny back then. We might be celebrating 25 or 30 titles now, if we had have done just that. Souness was simply the manager from-hell for us ...while Kenny was simply always the chosen-one for us!! Kenny was just utter-class, while Souey was maybe utter-crass?!
 

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Billy Biskix

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Sotirios Kyrgiakos - Liverpool's Greek Warrior

Sotirios Kyrgiakos made 49 appearances for Liverpool between 2009 and 2011 scoring 3 goals along the way.....

How do you remember Sotirios Kyrgiakos in a Liverpool shirt? What match epitomized his grit and determination? What were his strengths/weaknesses? What are your best memories of him as a player? How will he be described in generations to come?

In detailed analysis, describe and let us know here how you will always remember Sotirios Kyrgiakos during his Liverpool career?

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I liked Sotos. We haven't had many genuine 'hardmen' defenders in the last ten years but he was one. Maiming Fellaini in the Derby in 2010 was the moment that he proved his hardman credentials. Diving in two footed, Fellaini saw him coming, tried to stamp down on him and did his ankle. He was out for 6 months after that. Shame. Poor Sotos was sent off but we went on to win the game.

He was bought by Rafa when we didn't have a pot to piss in. An ultra-cheap, far less refined replacement for Sami Hyppia. £2 million turned out to be a bit of a bargain though. He put in some genuinely good defensive displays in Rafa's last season but it was under Hodgson that he started to show his attacking prowess.

Hodgson's attacking play lacked sophistication. Especially when we were chasing 'famous' draws against the likes of Blackpool and Northampton Town. Last few minutes of the game Sotos would wander forward as we pumped high ball after high ball in the mixer. Sotos loved a scrap, scored the odd goal, almost killed Fellaini. A brief Liverpool career but a memorable one and a true cult figure.
 

hugo the horrible

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I liked Sotos. We haven't had many genuine 'hardmen' defenders in the last ten years but he was one. Maiming Fellaini in the Derby in 2010 was the moment that he proved his hardman credentials. Diving in two footed, Fellaini saw him coming, tried to stamp down on him and did his ankle. He was out for 6 months after that. Shame. Poor Sotos was sent off but we went on to win the game.

He was bought by Rafa when we didn't have a pot to piss in. An ultra-cheap, far less refined replacement for Sami Hyppia. £2 million turned out to be a bit of a bargain though. He put in some genuinely good defensive displays in Rafa's last season but it was under Hodgson that he started to show his attacking prowess.

Hodgson's attacking play lacked sophistication. Especially when we were chasing 'famous' draws against the likes of Blackpool and Northampton Town. Last few minutes of the game Sotos would wander forward as we pumped high ball after high ball in the mixer. Sotos loved a scrap, scored the odd goal, almost killed Fellaini. A brief Liverpool career but a memorable one and a true cult figure.
Agree with this,Sotos was a hard defender of a type I feel is always useful.
He wasn't here long but it would be hard to forget him,it's been said he'd run through a brick wall for the club,and he did,interesting because he was a brick wall himself.
Great to see uncompromising defenders like him,though I'm sure opposing players weren't quite so excited!
 

El_Pistolero

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Aug 20, 2011
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I would like to share a short story about a very special man, the one and only Bob Paisley...I think this tells you how normal he was and shows the massive gulf between the people involved in football today and the way things used to be...it was the earlier story posted by Broomy from Chris Wood that made me recall it.
This was back in the days when you used to just go and knock for each other one by one (usually until you had a big enough gang of you to have a kick about) you didn't bother ringing first, there was no mobiles to text each other, no Twitter, BBM, Facebook or Instagram to arrange things, you used to just turn up mob handed at people's front doors and ask if they were coming out.
I was about 13 or 14 and me and a couple of my mates had gone to knock for one of the lads we went to school with who lived in Hunts Cross.
It was a proper winter night, it was dark and it was baltic too, so we weren't up for playing footie and were struggling for something to do.
My mate mentioned that there was a church fete on in St Hilda's (I think it was called) so we decided it would be a good idea to go in just to warm up a bit more than anything.
We were walking around and we found out that Bob Paisley was there as the star attraction, Bob had retired from Liverpool by then and only lived a few miles up the road on the border of Gateacre and Woolton villages, he was such a humble man and despite not liking the attention, he did things like this because he knew his mere presence would mean the takings jumped and the church, charities and the area would benefit if he did.
I remember us all trying to talk to him at once and he was really patient with us, asking who we supported, all of us who were out that night were reds, so he was in his element, talking to us about who our favourite players were, if we went to the game, whether we played footie for the school and sunday league teams, asking what school and teams we played for, our favourite games / goals etc.
He spent as much time as he could with us sharing some of his memories of the some of the highlights in his career as well, although our stories were just as important to him as his own, he was genuinely interested in us. While we were talking someone came around selling raffle tickets and he gently persuaded us all to buy raffle tickets to help out, reminding us that it was important to do our bit for the community, to help other people who weren't as fortunate as us, so we all dug deep and bought as many as we could with the money we had because 'Sir' Bob had asked us to, eventually he got called away on official duties to do the draw for the raffle prizes and then present them to the winners.
One of my tickets was a winner, so I went up to grab my prize and he congratulated me and handed me a bottle of red wine, before looking around nervously as he was handing alcohol to a 13/14 year old. He said 'look son, you're too young for this really, where do you live?'.
So I told him I lived near Gateacre Village and he asked what road etc and he got one of the organisers to write my address down and he assured me that my prize would be given to my parents.
Anyway the fete was closing up and we got off and went to sit in my mate's house for a bit and I sort of forgot about the wine to be honest and didn't think about it again until I got home.
When I got home later on and let myself in, my Dad came running in to the hall to tell me that the one and only Bob Paisley had knocked on our front door an hour ago and handed him a bottle of red wine!
I can only imagine the look of surprise on my old man's face when he opened that door and saw Bob in front of him, it must've been priceless, he used to travel home and away with Liverpool back then and for Bob Paisley to be knocking on the door and handing him a bottle of red wine on a Friday evening was definitely the last thing he would have been expecting as he opened it.
I just think it says a lot about the man that he delivered on his word, making sure my prize got to me, not only that, but that he actually did it himself. I'm sure there must've been plenty of other people there that night who could've dropped it off for him, but he decided to do it himself as he had to pass our house on his way home, that's just the way he was, normal and down to earth and it was 'nay bother' as he said to my dad when he was being thanked profusely.
It does sadden me that those days are long gone, it would be up to one of the organisers of that event to deliver it now, or one of the lackey's, hangers-on or personal assistants that go everywhere with all of the people involved with the game.
It was a day I'll never forget and one I'm sure my old man will never forget either because one of football's greatest manager's rocked up un-announced at our front door delivering a bottle of wine....that was just Bob Paisley for you...
 

Red Armada

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Sotirios Kyrgiakos made 49 appearances for Liverpool between 2009 and 2011 scoring 3 goals along the way.....

How do you remember Sotirios Kyrgiakos in a Liverpool shirt? What match epitomized his grit and determination? What were his strengths/weaknesses? What are your best memories of him as a player? How will he be described in generations to come?

In detailed analysis, describe and let us know here how you will always remember Sotirios Kyrgiakos during his Liverpool career?
The day I heard Rafa had signed Kyrgiakos was the day I realised in how much trouble we were in with Gillett and Hicks. I had kept abreast with everything that was going on at the time but somehow the severity of our situation sunk in when I read the news of his signing.

I was vehemently against his capture. I knew Kyrgiakos better than most, having watched him ever since he established himself in the first XI of Panathinaikos as a young defender. I knew that he wasn't good enough. I knew that Rafa was backed into a corner because Kyrgiakos was not the type of defender that appealed to him. In my eyes he came to signify the era of doom that the two cowboys ushered.

So it's fair to say that I was biased against him even before he donned the red shirt for the first time. I wish I could say that I was wrong. He really wasn't at the required level. Thinking back now, however, I realise that he was much better than what I anticipated. The first Greek in Liverpool's history was suprisingly athletic for his size and his crunching tackles were second to none. Tall, strong as an ox, he played with his heart on his sleeve and at times even displayed leadership qualities that were much needed at those dark times.

Of course there were occasions when he was badly exposed particularly against fast forwards. But still, he held his ground more often than not and was always a threat from set-pieces. His goal against Stoke away was perhaps his most memorable moment on a day that we came very close to that first elusive win at Britannia. At the end it wasn't meant to be.

Kyrgiakos left Liverpool for Wolfsburg in 2011. He was one of the few players in recent years that did his absolute best for the club and in the end that's what matters. I would take him over some of our current players in a heartbeat.
 

spizfromoz

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That's right, felt safe at set pieces with Soto on the pitch.
 

Zoran

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The type of transfer you simply don't wish you're forced to do if you're Liverpool (tight budget at the time and we needed a quick backup option: we went for experience, physicality/defensive & offensive heading and overall attitude), but one that turned out to be solid at a very difficult time for the club when maybe another one or two didn't give as much as they could.

He probably couldn't believe when we came in for him as he signed a new contract in Greece and just prepared to play maybe his final season or two in his country. The Liverpool chance certainly gave him a couple of more years of life and football in the big leagues.

That was him every second of his time on the pitch here, trying so hard like it was the last game of his career, injuring himself and having cramps a couple of times per game!

Yeah he was slow, overly-aggressive (there's this interview 'team-mates' interview with Kuyt and Lucas who said "do you remember Soto just kicking everyone in his first training session!") and not so good on the ball (I do remember him having a good long pass though, especially towards the left side of the pitch... always thought this was maybe an habit from playing for Greece who had Samaras out on the left... or maybe just my crazy imagination), but he was aware, alert and tried to do the best he could. In the end I think we could all say he was perhaps better than expected.

We've had some flops (sometimes technically not good enough to survive/live in this league, but also often not able to cope under pressure) in terms of similar "cheapish" transfers the search for strength in depth, but this guy judging from the look on his face at his first presser bought into the place, quickly went to war for us and was one that was actually mentally up for the task (perhaps too much!).
 

1dragon

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I'd remember that this transfer was met with mixed feelings in general from Liverpool fans. Some thought Kyrgiakos was a good backup for an increasingly injury prone Agger and an error prone Skrtel. Greek players are known for their mental fortitude and defensive awareness, which was what many hoped that Soto would bring to the team. Others felt we could have done better, as he was an ageing player and too slow for our league.

Suffice to say, Rafa got this bargain buy spot on. We were increasingly prone to conceding through set pieces. Agger and Skrtel were criticized for not being aggressive enough in the air, while Carragher started to show signs of decline in terms of aerial ability. I recalled that each time we conceded a corner or free kick, I would be nervous as the opposition always seem to score from them during that period. In came Kyrgiakos, in part due to injury to Agger and Carragher. He announced himself to the premier league in style, completely dominating the Stoke players in the air and immediately easing our concerns on set piece defending. For the first time in that season, I felt secure whenever we defended against set pieces. The Greek God, Soto, among the many names we later gave him (because of the difficulty in getting his name right) was the uncompromising defender that we had been looking for a long time.

Not blessed with better pace like Skrtel or the positional awareness of say, Sami Hyypia, Kyrgiakos more than made it up with his grit and bravery on the pitch. In short, he gave it his all and never gave up. I do not remember any of his performances being particularly bad. He was one of the more consistent performers on the pitch. He will be remembered as the most impactful player who made less than 50 appearances for the club.
 

Maria

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When, Kyrgiakos signed for LFC, I didn’t know who he was to be honest. I thought it must be a good signing, ifRafa chose him. I don’t remember very much about Kyrgiakos except for a few games where he stood out for me, such as the game against Spurs, Stoke and Bolton. Whenever he was on the pitch, he had such an imposing presence and a menacing one at that against our opponents. He kind of reminded me of Souness, a very hard man to shift off when playing against him.

The match I remember the most, was the one against Bolton. It was a tough game and although we managed to win 2-0, we were not particularly great attacking but we defended heroically, and he played a major role keeping Bolton from scoring. He deservedly got ‘Man of the Match’ that day.

From what I remember, he played for LFC with conviction and fearlessness and this is what I liked about him. It seemed at the time, he was the best replacement after Hyppia left, although he was not as eloquent as the former but he had this tough mentality to get the job done on the pitch which I feel is lacking in the players under Brendan Rodgers today. If there was not so much turmoil at the club (with the owners and Rafa at loggerheads) we may have got much more out of him. Perhaps he left too soon.
 

Broomy

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I can only imagine the look of surprise on my old man's face when he opened that door and saw Bob in front of him, it must've been priceless, he used to travel home and away with Liverpool back then and for Bob Paisley to be knocking on the door and handing him a bottle of red wine on a Friday evening was definitely the last thing he would have been expecting as he opened it.
Ah thats brilliant, it's memories like that which makes the whole thread come alive. It will be fascinating reading back through this thread in ten years time of your memories of players like Oyvind Leonhardsen, Vegard Heggem, Dominic Matteo, Steve Harkness, Karl-Heinz Riedle to John Barnes, Ian Rush and Billy Liddell, reminiscing through all your personal memories, moments, players, matches and tales of following Liverpool both at home and abroad...


So far we've looked back at your earliest childhood memories, #1 Emlyn Hughes Memories, #2 Luis Garcia, #3 The 94/94 season, #4 Ronnie Whelan and #5 Sotirios Kyrgiakos Memories along with Billy Biskix and cardiffpete's enthralling read on Graeme Souness' managerial reign at Anfield....

Keep the memories coming... Think of all the Liverpool bookmarks in the story of your life as a football fan. Flicking through them all, pick your favourite day, moment, match or player and share your story with us here in this thread .......
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shankly96

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I don't really remember that much about Soto as a player, not enough for any matches to stand out anyway. One day he was here with almost no fanfare, and he left with just as little fanfare. I do remember him being a big ol' bastard though. I also remember him being able to defend set pieces, something that we haven't been able to do since he left, a damning indictment on our defence, and the match training that the team do. Thinking about it our defensive stability went with him, Agger and Carra had to deal with injuries in the years after and Skertl has always been a risk at set pieces and one on ones. We had quite a long time as a defensive team throughout the 00s, particularly with the cb pairing of Sami and Carra, and it seems a bit anti-climactic that Soto leaving would signal the end of it, but that's life, and I suppose it shows why he was liked, he knew what to do, and he actually did it, something that really needs to get sorted out with the current team.
 

LaurazRed

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My cult hero has to be Titi Camara. He scored at Highbury in a one nil win. The goal that sticks in my mind was the one against West Ham after the death of his father. I can remember him falling to his knees after he scored understandably he was very emotional. While he never was in the same class as Fowler or Owen and he only got 11 or 12 goals in one season with us. I used to really like watching him play even though he could be very hit and miss.
 

Broomy

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#The Night Liverpool won two Cups

Here I take you right back to the 1946/47 season, the night Liverpool won two cups. Seasons come and go but these are the days we'll always remember...


In the final game in the First Division during the 1946/47 season, Liverpool beat Wolves on a baking hot day, Stubbins and Balmer were the goalscorers as the Reds recorded a 2-1 win - a result that left Liverpool on the brink of a first championship since 1923.

Although Liverpool had played their last game of the season, they had to wait a fortnight to see if Stoke (the other team capable of winning the League) would beat Sheffield United.

The long awaited return of the football league took place in September 1946 after the football authorities called a halt to the professional leagues due to World War Two. Inspirational pre-war skipper Matt Busby had left to join Manchester United as manager but Liverpool had new faces such as young Bob Paisley and Billy Liddell.

However, due to one of the worst Winters in England, the 1946/47 season had run into the Summer and the Championship was to be decided when Stoke City visited Sheffield United at Bramall Lane on 14 June 1947.

On that same night, Liverpool played Everton in the Senior Cup Final and just before full time, it was announced by loudspeakers that Sheffield had beaten Stoke. Anfield erupted and celebrated 2 cups by beating Everton 2-1….. The Anfield pitch was swarmed by fans in celebration

With the Lancashire Senior Cup already in the bag it had been an unforgettable treble-winning season. A total of twenty-six players played their part in the 1946/47 season title success and, together with chairman Bill McConnell and manager George Kay, their place in Anfield folklore is forever assured.

The twenty six players who wrote their name into Anfield folklore that season are :

Jim Harley, Cyril Sidlow, Phil Taylor, Jack Balmer, Laurie Hughes, Bernard Ramsden, Bill Jones, Berry Nieuwenhuys, Len Carney, Eddie Spicer, Robert Priday, Harry Eastham, William Watkinson, Charlie Ashcroft, Tommy McLeod, George Kaye, Billy Liddell, Willie Fagan, Bob Paisley, Ray Lambert, Tom Bush, Stan Palk, Albert Stubbins, Cyril Done, Ray Minshull, John Easdale.
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Broomy

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THE LEGEND OF HEROES

#6 - RAY KENNEDY



Ray Kennedy - Converted by Bob Paisley from a striker to a left sided midfielder....
393 Liverpool Appearances and 72 goals...
A Liverpool legend....

How do you remember Ray Kennedy in a Liverpool shirt? What match epitomized his grit and determination? What were his strengths/weaknesses? What are your best memories of him as a player? How will he be described in generations to come?

In detailed analysis, describe and let us know here how you will always remember Ray Kennedy during his Liverpool career?

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Billy Biskix

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Ray Kennedy taught me that not all players are equal and that some have to work harder than others to win over the fans. I was very young when I first started going to watch Liverpool and all the players were heroes then. I didn't have a concept of a poor Liverpool player. They didn't exist. There were only good ones and great ones. Shankly wouldn't buy a bad player and Kennedy was Shankly's last transfer in, £200,000 from Arsenal, a massive fee back then.

Kennedy was a striker and he struggled when he first came. Our striking partnership was Keegan and Toshack and no one was going to dislodge them. Kennedy looked a bit ponderous, clumsy even and was carrying a bit of weight. I remember one of his very first appearances at Anfield and a man next to me getting more and more agitated with him until eventually he rose from his seat and shouted 'For God's sake, Paisley, get that bloody great lump of lard off the pitch!'. Everybody fell about laughing, but I was just confused. I felt sorry for Kennedy. After that I willed him to be good. He had to be because he played for Liverpool.

And he was good. In fact I would say he turned out to be a great player, but not as a striker. He underwent probably the most incredible transformation of any LFC player by becoming one of the finest left-sided midfielders of his generation. A testimony to his hard work and perseverance and the absolute genius of Bob Paisley who spotted his potential in that position.

He was an elegant player and deceptively quick. His striking instincts meant he also scored plenty of goals. The goal in Broomy's YouTube video near the end against Derby is probably my favourite of his. I was at that game. I can remember him ghosting in, putting the keeper on his arse and rolling it in. He made everything look so easy that it was hard to believe he was the same player we'd bought from Arsenal.

He played a pivotal role in the most iconic game in our history against St Etienne in 1977. He scored the second with a slightly scuffed right foot shot and then a typically lazy flick of the left foot sent Fairclough bearing down on the Kop for the goal that put us through.

He left Liverpool in the early eighties for Swansea but his form quickly went downhill. What no one knew then was that Kennedy was in the early stages of Parkinson's Disease which had a real resonance for me as a close relative of mine had acquired the same illness. So I knew how cruel it could be.

Ray's story as both a player and a person is a fascinating and poignant one. There is an excellent book about his life written by him and his doctor called 'Ray of Hope'. It's probably hard to find now but well worth a read if you ever come across it. It's one of my favourite LFC books about one of my all-time heroes.
 

cardiffpete

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Ray Kennedy taught me that not all players are equal and that some have to work harder than others to win over the fans. I was very young when I first started going to watch Liverpool and all the players were heroes then. I didn't have a concept of a poor Liverpool player. They didn't exist. There were only good ones and great ones. Shankly wouldn't buy a bad player and Kennedy was Shankly's last transfer in, £200,000 from Arsenal, a massive fee back then.

Kennedy was a striker and he struggled when he first came. Our striking partnership was Keegan and Toshack and no one was going to dislodge them. Kennedy looked a bit ponderous, clumsy even and was carrying a bit of weight. I remember one of his very first appearances at Anfield and a man next to me getting more and more agitated with him until eventually he rose from his seat and shouted 'For God's sake, Paisley, get that bloody great lump of lard off the pitch!'. Everybody fell about laughing, but I was just confused. I felt sorry for Kennedy. After that I willed him to be good. He had to be because he played for Liverpool.

And he was good. In fact I would say he turned out to be a great player, but not as a striker. He underwent probably the most incredible transformation of any LFC player by becoming one of the finest left-sided midfielders of his generation. A testimony to his hard work and perseverance and the absolute genius of Bob Paisley who spotted his potential in that position.

He was an elegant player and deceptively quick. His striking instincts meant he also scored plenty of goals. The goal in Broomy's YouTube video near the end against Derby is probably my favourite of his. I was at that game. I can remember him ghosting in, putting the keeper on his arse and rolling it in. He made everything look so easy that it was hard to believe he was the same player we'd bought from Arsenal.

He played a pivotal role in the most iconic game in our history against St Etienne in 1977. He scored the second with a slightly scuffed right foot shot and then a typically lazy flick of the left foot sent Fairclough bearing down on the Kop for the goal that put us through.

He left Liverpool in the early eighties for Swansea but his form quickly went downhill. What no one knew then was that Kennedy was in the early stages of Parkinson's Disease which had a real resonance for me as a close relative of mine had acquired the same illness. So I knew how cruel it could be.

Ray's story as both a player and a person is a fascinating and poignant one. There is an excellent book about his life written by him and his doctor called 'Ray of Hope'. It's probably hard to find now but well worth a read if you ever come across it. It's one of my favourite LFC books about one of my all-time heroes.
Great post!

I suppose you realize, but left-wing is mostly the "forgotten position" in football. It's pretty often the position, where the very worst player in a team is "hidden" in (at least in any non-serious game and also very often at pro level too) and one where very often an out-of-position player is played in. Not LFC though ....and not at all historically. LFC absolutely blitzed the LW slot for just about half-a-century from WW2 up until the early '90's.

It's a roll-call of some of the most iconic LFC players for us, throughout that period, is left-wing. First-off came Billy Liddell, then came Shankly's own missing jigsaw piece in Peter Thompson (but he was a lot more than that too), then came Steve Heighway (very underrated), then the great Ray Kennedy and his immediate successor in Ronnie Whelan (and both were far more inside-left than LW) ....and then straight onto the incomparable John Barnes. Almost half-a-century of brilliance in one position. Sometimes different brilliance, but sustained brilliance nonetheless

Thereafter LFC nosedived a bit there ...and ManU got Giggs and CR7 instead. Bah! That was our own trademark and untouchable position while so many other teams maybe saw it as the ultimate problem position, but barring maybe Yossi a bit in '08~09, we haven't dominated here in almost a quarter-century now.

Ray was a bit special indeed.
 

Big Bry

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As a 9yr old York lad, I didn't play much football, nor did I know anything about it. My first football memory is my dad taking me to Bootham Crescent to watch York when Peter Lorrimer had just signed. The only thing I remember about that night was the mint aero that my dad gave me and the horrible purple strip that York City had with a massive Y on the front. Truly hideous!
All of that changed however when I was sent to Bradord for a week to be with my family there. My uncle was a little Irish fella who loved LIverpool. During my week there Liverpool played Bayern Munich in the Semifinal of the European Cup it was on TV and my uncle had hired a colour TV from Rumbelows with massive push buttons for the occasion!
I remember being glued to the TV captivated by the strange sounding names, Rummenigge, Durnburger, Augenthaler, Weiner and of course Dalglish and Souness.
I remember being more and more tense as the game went on, willing Liverpool to win. Then late in the game David Johnson passed to this bloke on the edge of the box. He took it on his chest and volleyed it with his right foot past the German keeper. The man was the legend Ray Kennedy. He captained them that day. My uncle went berserk kissing everyone. We eventually drew that game and went on to win the Cup with Alan Kennedy's famous goal.

There began my 33 year (and counting) obsession with Liverpool Football Club, started by that Man Ray Kennedy. Very soon after this a football magazine came out with a poster of Ray Kennedy lifting old big ears. That poster went straight on my wall. Sadly he left soon after and started to deteriorate.
However though bitten by the bug I started wanting to play and soon went into the School Football Team as a ten year old when all of the kids were a year older. I played left midfield and wanted to have that magic wand of a foot. In fact I captained the team the year after just like Ray captained LFC that night and it made me incredibly proud.
A few years on and now playing for my towns over 35s football team I still play on the left of midfield but sadly can't crash them in from all areas of the pitch like he could.
I do share one other attribute with Ray though. I'm no skinny bugger!
 

Broomy

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#Ray Kennedy v Bayern Munich (April 22, 1981)

All of that changed however when I was sent to Bradord for a week to be with my family there. My uncle was a little Irish fella who loved LIverpool. During my week there Liverpool played Bayern Munich in the Semifinal of the European Cup it was on TV and my uncle had hired a colour TV from Rumbelows with massive push buttons for the occasion! I remember being glued to the TV captivated by the strange sounding names, Rummenigge, Durnburger, Augenthaler, Weiner and of course Dalglish and Souness. I remember being more and more tense as the game went on, willing Liverpool to win. Then late in the game David Johnson passed to this bloke on the edge of the box. He took it on his chest and volleyed it with his right foot past the German keeper. The man was the legend Ray Kennedy. He captained them that day. My uncle went berserk kissing everyone. We eventually drew that game and went on to win the Cup with Alan Kennedy's famous goal.
Great memories Big Bry! That 1981 European Cup semi final!! First leg at Anfield finished 0-0.... 2nd leg, away to Bayern Munich (Champions of the Bundesliga).

I remember Liverpool already without Phil Thompson and Alan Kennedy, I remember Kenny Dalglish going off with an ankle injury after just five minutes. I remember David Johnson struggling with an old hamstring injury towards the end of the match. I remember Alan Hansen and Colin Irwin's sterling performance at the heart of the defense.

I remember the Liverpool Echo match report full of praise for Alan Hansen following the match: "On a night of so many heroes it was difficult to pick out a single individual but for me Liverpool's top man was Alan Hansen for a superb display of skilful defensive work. Hansen, with his accurate reading of the game and his tremendous tacking ability, was the rock on which so many Munich attacks came to grief. His influence in frustrating the German advance early in the game cannot be underestimated and he was still heavily involved in keeping them out right at the death."

I remember extra-time looming, Ray Kennedy being pushed more and more forward, Howard Gayle been taking down by I think, Wolfgang Dremmler in the box (should have been a penalty!!). But most of all I remember Ray Kennedy (famed for his left foot)... Seven minutes remaining, Clemence knocks it up the field, David Johnson gets there first, volleys the ball inside to Kennedy who smashes it home with his "right foot" past Bayern's goalkeeper Walter Junghans! Then I remember the shock... Five minutes later, Bayern equalise through Karl-Heinz Rummenigge but it was too little too late... Liverpool were heading to Paris for the 1981 European Cup Final!!


One of our best ever players was Ray Kennedy... He won five First Division titles, three European Cups and a UEFA Cup with Liverpool between 1974 and 1981. A total of 393 games for Liverpool and 72 goals.

Here's a great little summary of Ray Kennedy from the Anfield Wrap... "(Ray Kennedy) - And what a left-sided midfielder. A wonderful player. A beautiful player of football. Amazing grace. Amazingly graceful. He floated through games, glided over the turf. A big man. A powerful man. But a man with a lovely light touch. He could shoot, he could pass, he could head a ball. And he did. Only John Barnes has ever come close as a left-sided player.

How to describe him to those who never really saw him? Imagine Jan Molby with pace. Imagine Emre Can with goals. That’s not really it — but its somewhere in the neighbourhood.

For me, in a team with Dalglish, McDermott, Souness, it was Ray Kennedy who captured my imagination. And so much of Ray Kennedy had to be imagined from afar in Dublin — because these were the days when Ray Kennedy existed in highlights on Match of the Day with Jimmy Hill, on the Big Match with Brian Moore, on Sportsnight with Harry Carpenter or on Midweek Sports Special with …was it Elton Welsby or Nick Owen?

When Ray Kennedy was broadcast live, it was in cup finals or on BBC Radio 2. And it was from a crackling radio in my parent’s front room with my older brother and his mate Michael that Ray Kennedy became indelibly imprinted on my psyche, in my memory."
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Broomy

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#Howard Gayle v Bayern Munich (April 22, 1981)

Speaking of that 1981 European Cup semi final against Bayern Munich... Bayern had outplayed Liverpool in the 1st leg at Anfield and Liverpool managed to get away with a 0-0. However the second leg of the semi final will also be always remembered mainly for the contribution of Howard Gayle’s inspirational performance. Just after 5 minutes of the second leg, Kenny Dalglish hobbled off injured, it was Howard Gayle who replaced Dalglish.


In the Forgotten Heroes section on TIA, Keith Perkins summed up Gayle’s contribution perfectly…

"Howard Gayle took the field and ran them ragged. As a completely unknown quantity to them, the Bayern Munich side could not contain this player who ran at them with the ball at such high speed, which was totally alien to what they expected as the usual Liverpool style.

All they could do was resort to kicking and fouling him repeatedly – to such an extent that Howie was starting to lose his cool and was beginning to retaliate. The rough treatment was too much, and he was booked for lashing out at a Bayern defender. After that booking, roughly an hour after entering the match, Paisley pulled him off the field and replaced him with Jimmy Case who played for the remaining twenty minutes

That should have been Howard Gayle’s moment of glory, with many commentators and reporters describing him as a rising star and a key player in a gritty and courageous performance by a Liverpool side who were just not willing to lose. But, it left him with a sense of bitter disappointment for having been substituted in the second-half after coming on earlier as a substitute himself. ‘I was told it was to prevent me from being sent off’, said Gayle.

Paisley’s reasoning was that Howard’s repeated retaliation could result in a second booking and a sending off, which would mean that Liverpool would be playing with ten men for the remainder of the ninety minutes, and possibly into extra time. That reasoning may be sound, but it came across as a lack of confidence from the manager."


Although he may wish to be remembered for many other aspects of his career, Howard Gayle will always be known as the first black player for Liverpool FC, and for that one night’s performance in Munich....
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Broomy

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Some Memories Never Fade....


THE LEGEND OF HEROES

#7 - DIETMAR HAMANN



'The Kaiser' - Our Adopted Scouser
283 Liverpool Games... 11 Unforgettable Liverpool Goals....

How do you remember Didi Hamann in a Liverpool shirt? Our defensive midfielder with an occasional eye for a beautiful goal? What match epitomized his grit and determination? What were his strengths/weaknesses? What are your best memories of him as a player? How will he be described in generations to come?

In detailed analysis, describe and let us know here how you will always remember Didi Hamann during his Liverpool career?

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Chewbazza

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How will I remember Didi Hamann?

He was never a shirt-seller; a show-boater; a dynamo. He'd be easy to overlook in every top 10 list, every "best ever eleven" and was probably very few fans' favourite player, and a record of 11 in 283 seems nothing of note, even for a defensive midfielder. So how will I remember him?

I will remember him as one of the most important players to have worn the red shirt in my lifetime.

Influential, professional, consistent, reliable. These are the characteristics anybody would want in their holding-player, and boy, was Hamann all of these and then some. While Gerrard was scoring the goals and writing the headlines, Hamann was the player that was making it possible. Dictating play, showing maturity and intelligence, this often unsung hero did his job which allowed everyone else to do theirs.

After 7 years, Didi walked away with a UEFA Cup, 2 European Super Cups, 2 FA Cups, 2 League Cups and a Charity Shield.

But let's not forget the big one. For many fans, the night in Istanbul changed when Benitez introduced Hamann. For many, he was the difference that allowed Gerrard off the leash to devastating effect. And of course, he was the one who set the tone in the penalties after scoring the first.
With a broken toe.

Don't be mistaken though, he was more than capable of making magic of his own.



A great servant to the club, and nearly a decade on, his strong links to the club still survive.
 
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jaffod

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I didn't have much interest in football as a young kid. The saturation coverage of today was still a long way off and you gleaned your knowledge and developed your interest by listening to the big kids in the street or your dad/older brothers at home although in my case I still didn't really have much of a clue until I was about 10 (some would say not much has changed).
It all started for me on 2nd December 1972, a Saturday night a few weeks before Chrimbo and footy was probably the last thing on my mind as I sat there in my flannelette pyjamas and dressing gown waiting for the dreaded order to "get up those wooden hills". But time crept on so I sat there and said nowt so as not to draw attention to myself. Before too long those instantly recognisable opening notes from the Match Of The Day theme tune were wafting across the living room from the old black and white telly in the corner and my old man was telling me "the 'pool are on, and you can stay up and watch them as long as you go straight to bed when it's finished".
I'll admit I knew very little about the game in general and probably even less about the blokes wearing the red shirt in those days but I did have a vague idea I supported Liverpool so that was good enough for me. It didn't start well and before too long Birmingham City had stunned the football world and raced into a 2-0 lead. The 'pool hit back and made it 1-2 (the record books tell me it was our flame-haired left-back Alec Lindsay with the goal) before the 2 goal margin was restored by one of the Latchford brothers. Peter Cormack again reduced the areas just before the players trooped off the pitch at the sound of the referee's whistle.
"Thanks for that dickhead" I said to my old man as I silently vowed never to watch another football match. We'll, I didn't really of course because that would have got me a good hiding and I'm not sure I was familiar with the term "dickhead" at that early stage of my development anyway. But wait! What's this? They're kicking off again. A 2nd half no less! I told you I knew next to nothing, not even the fact a football match comprised of 2 periods of 45 minutes' football!
Suddenly it's 3-3 and the mighty Reds have got Birmingham on the retreat all roared on by a baying Kop before big John Toshack seals an unlikely victory with 15 minutes to go.
Unbelievable!! A very happy boy skipped up those wooden hills that night and a seed had been sown.

After that momentous night not much happened for a few months. Like I said earlier coverage was sparse in those days and most of it passed me by until one sunny Saturday afternoon in late April my old man interrupted my dismal attempts at 'keepy-uppy' and called me in. Tea-time I thought. Except it wasn't. The league championship had been secured and the lap of honour was being beamed live on Grandstand or World Of Sport (not sure which, maybe both) and there was Kevin Keegan, Emlyn Hughes, Stevie Heighway, Tommy Smith and all the other legends who would soon be nearly as familiar to me as my own family members were as they paraded that beautiful trophy in front of the Kop all watched over by the great man himself, Mr Bill Shankly.

I have a vague recollection of going into the back room to say goodnight to my Dad as it's school the next day and it's gone 8 o'clock. He's got a small orange transistor radio pressed to his ear as he attempts to get decent reception. "What's the score?" I ask him. 2-0 he tells me. I have no idea who the 'pool are playing and still don't to this day but I assume it's an important game because he normally wouldn't bother listening to a live commentary. I negotiate staying up a little longer and just before my stay of execution runs out he looks up and tells me it's 3-0 to Liverpool. I'll never know for sure but I reckon he was listening to the first leg of the 1973 UEFA Cup final against Borussia Moenchengladbach as the Reds took the first steps towards dominating both European and domestic football for the next decade .I'd ask the old bugger about it next time I see him (he's 85 soon and still going strong) but I'm pretty sure he'd have no idea what I was on about and in a perverse way I prefer the mystery of not knowing!

The 1973-74 season is the first one to be really memorable for me. An Alan Waddle winner at Goodison, lowly Doncaster threatening to dump us out the cup at Anfield and very nearly achieving it, an Ian Callaghan hat-trick against Hull City in a weekday afternoon kick-off in the League Cup, being taught a lesson by Red Star Belgrade and listening to the Reds dispatch Leicester City in an FA Cup semi-final replay at Villa Park on the afore-mentioned orange transistor radio.
It was all starting to mean something by now and the day finally comes when my old man tells me to get ready because he's taking me to the match. He wasn't a match-goer himself but must have recognised the time was right. It was 16th April 1974 and the 'pool wee taking on Manchester City on a beautiful, sunny spring evening. I can still remember the 3-4 mile walk from our house off Rice Lane (you'd get locked up for child cruelty these days) and the first sight of the Anfield Road end jutting out as we emerged from that alleyway that led from Stanley park onto Anfield Road.
A programme was purchased (5p and I've still got it) before taking up our places on the Anny Road end terrace. It all becomes a bit hazy here and for some reason I can only recall it in black and white in my minds eye. I don't remember the sea of red that must have been present or the beautiful, lush green pitch. Maybe because I couldn't see it! The mighty Reds were 4-0 up by half time (all scored at the Kop end) and all I'd seen was the back of the bloke who was stood in front of me!
At half time George played 'Baby Love' by the Supremes and 'Seasons In The Sun' by Terry Jacks and I've loved those 2 songs all my life since. I can remember them playing like it was yesterday. The 2nd half was goal-less and I recall my old man lifting me up when we were on the attack but it was all in vain. There were some old City fans stood right by us and they kept saying how they wanted Liverpool to score again so we wouldn't have a goal-less end! Times have changed but maybe they were just taking pity on a young lad attending his first game and just wanted him to see a goal despite their side being on the wrong end of a walloping.
A week or so later I was back to see my first Reds' defeat as a certain Ray Kennedy scored the only goal of the game before becoming Bill Shankly's last signing for Liverpool.

So that was that, the journey had begun. I'm sure I've taken some poetic licence somewhere in there but that's how I remember it and I wouldn't change a thing!
 

Drubas

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Didi was one of those players you never really appreciated until he was not on the pitch. He glued everything together.

Dynamic nowadays is when you can play different positions. Didi was dynamic in terms of always adapting. He was a thinker. He saw what the team needed and adapted his role. If you put him on the pitch he would always contribute, no matter who we played or what kind of game it was.

Unfortunately for him, those kind of players will never get the headlines, but without them you will not win trophys.
 

Billy Biskix

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It all started for me on 2nd December 1972, a Saturday night a few weeks before Chrimbo and footy was probably the last thing on my mind as I sat there in my flannelette pyjamas and dressing gown waiting for the dreaded order to "get up those wooden hills". But time crept on so I sat there and said nowt so as not to draw attention to myself. Before too long those instantly recognisable opening notes from the Match Of The Day theme tune were wafting across the living room from the old black and white telly in the corner and my old man was telling me "the 'pool are on, and you can stay up and watch them as long as you go straight to bed when it's finished".
I'll admit I knew very little about the game in general and probably even less about the blokes wearing the red shirt in those days but I did have a vague idea I supported Liverpool so that was good enough for me. It didn't start well and before too long Birmingham City had stunned the football world and raced into a 2-0 lead. The 'pool hit back and made it 1-2 (the record books tell me it was our flame-haired left-back Alec Lindsay with the goal) before the 2 goal margin was restored by one of the Latchford brothers. Peter Cormack again reduced the areas just before the players trooped off the pitch at the sound of the referee's whistle.
"Thanks for that dickhead" I said to my old man as I silently vowed never to watch another football match. We'll, I didn't really of course because that would have got me a good hiding and I'm not sure I was familiar with the term "dickhead" at that early stage of my development anyway. But wait! What's this? They're kicking off again. A 2nd half no less! I told you I knew next to nothing, not even the fact a football match comprised of 2 periods of 45 minutes' football!
Suddenly it's 3-3 and the mighty Reds have got Birmingham on the retreat all roared on by a baying Kop before big John Toshack seals an unlikely victory with 15 minutes to go.
Unbelievable!! A very happy boy skipped up those wooden hills that night and a seed had been sown.
I really enjoyed this post and identified with a lot of it, even the phrase 'get up those wooden hills'. I was glad you mentioned this match as it may also have been the very first LFC match that I watched on 'Match of the Day' too. Certainly it's the first one I can remember seeing. Maybe I was allowed to stay up because it had been a particularly exciting game, but what I remember it most for was the performance of the late Trevor Storton.

Until that point Storton was just the player I didn't recognise on my LFC squad poster that I had up in my bedroom. I didn't imagine I'd ever see him play but he played that day and I remember him having a torrid time. I've always imagined that he scored an own goal but the record books show he didn't but I'm fairly sure there was an almighty balls up involving him and Clemence that led to a goal. I can't find the goals on the internet so could be doing him a disservice but that's how I've always remembered it. I don't think he played much for us again after that. Just one of those slightly obscure players who popped up every now and then in the LFC teams of the early seventies. He went on to have a long career at Chester City.
 



Zico Nealy

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Ray kennedy was amazing- a powerful midfield player with the grace and touch of a No7. There are two stand out memories of him for me from my childhood. I remember being really worried at school all day about the return game with Borussia Moenchengladbach in the 1978 ~European cup semi. we had lost 2-1 two weeks earlier at their place and they looked really good, even better than 77. Me and a friend were talking about how we could get beat all day. We shouldn't have worried though- we left school and jumped the train and got to the Kop 2 hours before kick off, and it was jammed and the noise was incredible. I don't remember much about the game but we won 3-0 and killed the best team in Europe (other than us) and Razor scored a brilliant volley at the annie road end to (either) start the rout of finish it! it was brilliant technique on his left foot- the keeper just stood and watched! the other one was his goal away in Munich in1981. I was listening on radio city and all week players had been dropping out ill and injured. It started to look like the A Team was going. We were all worried because thye had contained us easily 0-0 at Anfield. Razor though capped a brilliant defiant display- like those of Houllier and Rafa away in Europe with a classy goal to put us through to Paris. For these two moments alone I will always love Razor Kennedy. He was like Gerrard- greta pass and vision and a knack of scoring important goals. he also played for us out of position, bought as a striker and playing on the left of midfield. Great player.
 

Zico Nealy

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I was at that Oulo game! that's me at the front of the kop, age 14. with my mate from school! How do i know it's me? My mum made that flag- LFC ARE MAGIC for my cousin for Wembley 77 and he let me take it to the games after that for a few years. I was too small to fly it so i put a bamboo cane on either end and would stand it in front ot the kop just to the right of the net. Happy days. This game was ace- half way through the kop started cheering for oulu because they were getting so pasted but were trying so hard, and were jokingly booing the reds and ole-ing oulu hahaha
 

Zico Nealy

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Just another thing about Ray Kennedy= talk about your 'best midfield in the world'- Ray Kennedy/Graeme Souness/terry mcDermott/Jimmy Case. How hard is that? they scared the shit out of everyone and then completely outclassed them on top,
 

jaffod

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Just another thing about Ray Kennedy= talk about your 'best midfield in the world'- Ray Kennedy/Graeme Souness/terry mcDermott/Jimmy Case. How hard is that? they scared the shit out of everyone and then completely outclassed them on top,

Absolutely right, those 4 would have had a game of 'keepy-uppy' with the so-called hardmen of today. Ray Kennedy and Jimmy Case were best mates off the pitch and had a reputation for liking the odd brawl after a few pints, such a shame Ray was struck by Parkinson's at such a young age and is still struggling to this day. I've always wondered if the club have done much to help him out, the bloke was pivotal in many of our successes during the glory period.

Ray Kennedy was probably my favourite player at the time. What a left foot he had. Stand-out match for me was the 1976 UEFA Cup final 1st leg at Anfield. 2-0 down and struggling, Steve Heighway rolls the ball into Ray's path about 20 yards out. It's coming to him from his left side rather than across him from his right, making it much harder to hit from a technical point of view, but Ray catches it perfectly and smacks it into the top of the Kop End net. The comeback is on and a couple of minutes later he has the chance to do it again but scuffs it onto the post only for his mate Case to score from the rebound..great days!!
 

Billy Biskix

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How do you remember Didi Hamann in a Liverpool shirt? Our defensive midfielder with an occasional eye for a beautiful goal? What match epitomized his grit and determination? What were his strengths/weaknesses? What are your best memories of him as a player? How will he be described in generations to come?

In detailed analysis, describe and let us know here how you will always remember Didi Hamann during his Liverpool career?

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The best way to emphasise how important Didi was to us is to highlight his part in possibly the worst footballing decision ever taken by a Liverpool manager in all the years I've followed the club.

Didi did the simple stuff well. He kept possession. He won the ball back. He protected the defence. We were much more secure when he was playing. So when we were 30 minutes away from making the Champions League semi-final in 2002 he was the one player that we all wanted on the pitch. We were in control against Bayer Leverkusen. It was 1-1 and we could afford to concede another goal and still go through. Then Houllier made a substitution. Smicer came on and Didi went off. No one could believe it. Five minutes later we were 3-1 down and going out. Eventually we lost 4-2. Houllier has tried to justify that decision but I can't believe he hasn't agonised over it ever since. We all knew he had fucked up. Keep Hamann on the pitch and we make the semi-finals. Take him off and we don't. That's how important Didi Hamann was to us.

I was underwhelmed when we first signed Hamann. I wasn't sure what he did. I'd seen him get sent off against us for Newcastle. Hadn't impressed that day. Then I was at his debut for us against Sheffield Wednesday and saw him limp off injured after 20 minutes. Gradually though his understated strengths became apparent. He was a rock for us at the base of the midfield. He may not have been renowned as a great trainer but he did it where it mattered, on the pitch. All top teams need a player like Didi Hamann.