LFC NEWS

Watch: Every Premier League goal - 2011-12

LiverpoolFC TV - Sun, 06/07/2020 - 10:00
Look back on all the goals Liverpool scored in the Premier League during the 2011-12 campaign with our compilation video.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Watch today: 'The 12th man' - LFCTV's tribute to Bobby Wilcox

LiverpoolFC.TV - Sun, 06/07/2020 - 09:39

LFCTV will today pay tribute to the passionate dedication of one of the club's greatest supporters, Bobby Wilcox.

Our hour-long documentary about his life will air on the channel at 9pm BST – and it is available to watch on LFCTV GO for free at any time.

12th Man: Bobby Wilcox remembers a man who was familiar to fans of all ages, revered for his dedication and adored for his personality.

When he sadly passed away in January 2009, messages of love poured in from all around.

“Someone said to me that if Shankly was the best manager and Dalglish the best player then Bobby Wilcox was the best supporter,” said Jamie Carragher. “I don’t think there can be any greater tribute than that.”

Bobby travelled the length and breadth of the country with his beloved club.

He saw it all with the Reds; from the building of the bastion under Shankly to the miracle that was Istanbul in 2005, and he was an ever-present throughout.

His renowned ‘Wilcox Tours’ became the best way for Kopites to travel; and Bobby was the life and soul of the journey, in good times and bad.

“If we got beat and we were feeling down, he’d get us all together and give us a Shankly-style pep talk,” explains his good friend Phil Aspinall.

“Then he started a great big sing-song and everybody felt great again. Bobby had everyone under his spell.”

His spell extended to the club’s first-team stars.

No-one at Liverpool, it seemed, was ever far from Bobby’s charm.

“After away games when we were coming back on the train, I would often leave the other players to wander down to the buffet car and sit with Bobby and the guys,” explained Phil Thompson.

“He had so many great stories and was a true Red. His spirit will live on at Anfield for generations to come.”

To get an idea of how vast and inspiring Bobby’s spirit was, take an hour out to watch our documentary today.

Hear from his friends, his family and the footballers he supported who were, in turn, inspired by him.

And remind yourself why we all, like Bobby, fell in love with this football club in the first place.

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Categories: LFC NEWS

Watch today: 'The 12th man' - LFCTV's tribute to Bobby Wilcox

LiverpoolFC TV - Sun, 06/07/2020 - 09:39
LFCTV will today pay tribute to the passionate dedication of one of the club's greatest supporters, Bobby Wilcox.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Liverpool make Adama Traore move

HEAD NEWS - Sun, 06/07/2020 - 08:45

Liverpool are moving for Wolves' Adama Traore.

The champions-elect have enquired about the 24-year-old Spaniard, who has made a huge impact at Molineux this season.

It represents a massive headache for Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo, who could also lose Mexican star striker Raul Jimenez to Manchester United.

Full story: Daily Mirror

This story has been reproduced from the media. It does not necessarily represent the position of Liverpool Football Club.

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Categories: LFC NEWS

Liverpool make Adama Traore move

LiverpoolFC.TV - Sun, 06/07/2020 - 08:45

Liverpool are moving for Wolves' Adama Traore.

The champions-elect have enquired about the 24-year-old Spaniard, who has made a huge impact at Molineux this season.

It represents a massive headache for Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo, who could also lose Mexican star striker Raul Jimenez to Manchester United.

Full story: Daily Mirror

This story has been reproduced from the media. It does not necessarily represent the position of Liverpool Football Club.

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Categories: LFC NEWS

Liverpool make Adama Traore move

LiverpoolFC TV - Sun, 06/07/2020 - 08:45
Liverpool are moving for Wolves' Adama Traore.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Jurgen Klopp explains why Liverpool pulled out of Timo Werner deal

ThisIsAnfield.com - Sun, 06/07/2020 - 08:37

Jurgen Klopp has detailed how requiring “salary waivers” for current players does not go hand in hand with outlaying over £50 million for a new transfer.

The Reds had long been in the running for Timo Werner, who too had expressed a desire to make the switch to Anfield before the coronavirus caused financial uncertainties to ripple through sport and various industries.

Liverpool could face losses of anywhere up to £200 million due to the pandemic, with matchday revenue taking a significant hit with fans not expected to return to stadiums in 2020.

That uncertainty has caused the Reds to reassess their business in the transfer market, one which would see a £50 million move, once considered a bargain, prove both careless and callous, especially considering discussions with current players over “salary waivers.”

In an interview with Sky Germany, the boss spoke highly of both Werner and Kai Havertz, who has remained linked with Liverpool for some time, but grounded his, and the club’s position, in the reality currently facing football clubs.

“There are a lot of good players on this planet,” Klopp told Sky Germany. “Timo Werner is a great player, Kai Havertz is a great player.

RB Leipzig striker Timo Werner notched his 25th Bundesliga goal of the season against Cologne (Ina Fassbender/AP)

“Right time, opportunity – everything has to come together. Six, seven weeks ago, we didn’t know if we could play again this year. If we hadn’t played the second half of the season, we would have thought, ‘OK, when can you really play football again?’ And now it starts right away.

“We act as if everything is already settled. It’s not settled. We use this little loophole we’ve been left to play football again. Everything else we have to see the moment it happens. We can’t pretend now that everything’s going to be fine in the future.

“There are all sorts of rumours in England about who Manchester United are going to pick, Chelsea are going to pick,” he continued.

“It’s rather quiet here [at Liverpool] at the moment, I think it’s safe to say. If you want to take it seriously and run a normal business and depend on income and have no idea how much you will earn…especially because we don’t know when we can start playing with spectators again.

“At the moment, all clubs are losing money. Without spectators, we have to pay back the season tickets and probably sell none next year.

“At least maybe without the first 10 or 15 games. The VIP areas won’t be packed and the tickets won’t be sold. This will have an impact on other partners and things will look a bit different.

 Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp celebrates with Georginio Wijnaldum after the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and West Ham United FC at Anfield. Liverpool won 3-2. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“Discussing with the players about things like salary waivers and on the other hand buying a player for £50-60m, we have to explain.”

Amid widespread financial uncertainties, Liverpool’s stance is the right one. Justifying a considerable outlay when asking those currently on the wage bill to take a cut would prove a stretch.

And it is this very awareness which ensures the club remains both harmonious and united, as they have done since Klopp’s arrival with a wage structure designed to reward rather than to incentivise new additions.

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Jordan Henderson interview | The captain's memories of winning No.6

LiverpoolFC.TV - Sun, 06/07/2020 - 08:35

Jordan Henderson has detailed his vivid memories from a year ago as Liverpool were crowned champions of Europe for the sixth time.

The midfielder became the fifth Reds captain to lift the trophy after he and his teammates beat Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 in the Champions League final on June 1, 2019. 

To mark this week’s first anniversary of the triumph, Henderson provided his reflections on the night during an in-depth chat with Liverpoolfc.com.

He took us inside the build-up to that unforgettable evening in Madrid, analysed how the game itself unfolded and, of course, recalled the ecstasy of the post-match celebrations.

The chat is now available to read in full below...

[embedded content]

A year on from the 2019 Champions League final, let’s take you back to the semi-final first. You put so much energy into that, so how did you go about refocusing for that final push?

Obviously the league season was a good season for us. To get 97 points was a fantastic season but unfortunately we couldn’t quite get over the line. So, the feeling after the last game was really tough and it was a hard one to take. But, I knew it would help in a weird way in terms of going into the final and the game against Spurs in Madrid because we could use that pain to make sure that wasn’t going to happen again and be on the right side of the result this time around. Thankfully, that was the case.

How did you find the lead-up to the 2019 final compared to the lead-up to Kiev the year before?

It was a little bit different because we had such a long period of time in between the last game until the final. To be fair to the manager and his staff, I think he got it spot on in terms of the lead-up and then the different periods we had within those three weeks and come the game I felt as though we were in a really good place physically and mentally. I think that showed within the game.

What did you personally take from Kiev that you used in your preparations to try to go one better in Madrid?

I think the experience of playing in a Champions League final, you can’t really underestimate that. A lot of us had been there the year before and experienced that and I think it did help us come the second time around. Just that experience, game-management stuff within the game, how you would feel prior to the game and the adrenaline and stuff like that. I think once you’ve experienced it then the second time around you can learn a lot from that, and I felt as though we did that. Thankfully, we managed to get the job done and it was a brilliant result in the end of course for us and a very special night.

What was the biggest factor you adapted in order to make sure you were better equipped 12 months on from Kiev?

I think again, just learning from the whole experience. In the first time around I still felt that we could go and win the game, of course. I felt we were still in a good place, we prepared really well for the game and going into the game we felt really good. Sometimes that’s football. You don’t always get maybe what you deserve on the night. You learn from certain things within the game and things that you can do better after reflecting afterwards, but I think all of them things the next time around helped us because that’s on the pitch, off the pitch and we all learned from that experience. It did help us come the final in Madrid.

You cited the near miss in the Premier League as being part of your motivation going into the final in Madrid, but how much did you use what happened in Kiev as motivation too?

That was another big factor. Not only that but prior finals over the years that we have been involved in, the Europa League final as well, League Cup final that we lost. All of them things you sort of learn from and it gives you even more hunger to go out there and put things right and improve. Every time we have faced that adversity we have bounced back in a really good way. It was just a case of continuing to do that and if we did that then we knew the time would come where we’d managed to win something. Thankfully it did.

After the three-week build-up, how did it feel to finally lead the team out at Estadio Metropolitano? 

There’s a lot of excitement and a lot of adrenaline in the body. For the three weeks building up to it there wasn’t a day that went by that I didn’t think about it. It was probably the first thing I’d think about when I woke up and the last thing I’d think about when I was going to sleep for a long time. So, all of that build-up and the adrenaline, the excitement, it’s about trying to use that in the right way and controlling that as best you can and to use it within the game in the right way. I felt as though we did that definitely and again, things like that help and that’s through experience of playing in big games and finals.

How do you keep that nervous energy in check and channel it positively on the pitch in such a huge game?

When you are sort of within the game or in the warm-up and stuff it’s a lot easier. I find it a lot easier once I’m there in the stadium and I’m warming up or playing in the game. It’s a lot easier to focus on what your job is and what you are trying to do and focus on the game really, as it’s happening there and then. It’s the weeks leading up to it that are quite hard because it’s everything you think about leading up and that was probably the toughest part for me, the build-up and having that three-week period and waiting for so long when you just want to get out there and play. In the end it was a fantastic result and we managed to do the business.

[embedded content]

You got off to a flying start in the game, of course. What goes through your head when a penalty is awarded inside the first couple of minutes?

Delighted! To get the penalty and score the first goal, which is always important. It maybe changes the mindset a little bit for both teams, but ultimately I thought having scored so early on, having reflected on the game and watched it back - because when you are in the game and are trying to find solutions straight after the game you think we didn’t quite play probably to the levels that we had previously and wasn’t a great performance - but actually when I analysed the game and I looked back at it I thought we handled the situation very well. It was a very mature performance, we defended really well and did everything we needed to do in a final to win the game, so there was still a lot of positive things looking back on the game.

You were 1-0 up for so long - did you feel during the game that you were going to get over the line, or was there always a bit of a concern because the lead was so slender? 

Yes, 1-0 is a dangerous scoreline because one mistake or one special moment from a Spurs player and it’s all level again. It’s always dangerous but in the best way I thought we controlled it defensively really well. We are known a lot for going forward, creating so many chances and scoring so many goals, but I thought the defensive performance from everybody that night was pretty good. Even though we were defending for maybe large parts of the game I still felt in control. We did it very well and we were hard to break down. I knew if we could create one or two more chances going forward then we can get another one.

And you do get another one when Divock Origi scores late on. What are the emotions when that second goal finally goes in?

It was a massive goal and a massive moment in the game. Of course, it gave us that little bit more breathing space and probably deflated Spurs that little bit more, so that was another key moment within the game. But even still, and it’s 2-0, you are basically just giving everything, trying to defend as best you can, trying to keep the ball as long as you can until that final whistle goes.

[embedded content]

Explain to us how it felt when that final whistle did blow...

[It’s] every emotion you can think of really. Joy, relief, happiness, just everything that you could possibly think of. It was just the most special moment to hear that final whistle go, to know that all of the hard work and everything that we have done together in the past however many years, we actually got over the line and managed to win one of the greatest trophies ever. It was everything I dreamt of and more really. 

Can you compare those feelings to anything else you have experienced or is it in a different category to everything else in life?

Yes, you can’t compare that feeling with anything else. It’s so hard to explain now. It’s the best feeling I’ve ever had in my life. Obviously, people will say, well when you have kids and stuff, which again of course is a totally unique and most special feeling in the world as well, but it’s different. Just everything that goes in with sport, the competitiveness and everything, it’s just a different feeling to when you have kids or anything else like that. It is so unique and it was an amazing feeling I hope I’ll never forget.

Had you thought in advance of how you would lift the trophy?

Yeah, but actually I didn’t really plan on doing that, to be honest! It was a little bit of banter in the changing rooms prior. Robbo was messing about, he’d always do the shuffle pretending to lift the trophy and stuff like that. So, when the time came I felt as though I just wanted to sort of do it together and use that sort of banter that we’d had previously in terms of the little shuffle and stuff. I just wanted to be able to see the lads’ faces just before I lifted it as well. That was really special for me to be able to see the lads rather than just have my back to them, so yeah it was a little bit off the cuff, to be honest. After we done that in the Champions League the lads made sure I kept on doing it for the Super Cup and Club World Cup.

Well, it’s an iconic trophy lift now...

A lot of people enjoyed it, especially young kids and stuff. I had a lot of videos of kids doing it, doing the shuffle and stuff, so that was really nice, but actually on the night it wasn’t something that... well you don’t plan to do that when you are lifting the Champions League. You just want to go up and lift it but it was just something that I felt was right because, like I say, the things that Robbo was doing previously and I just wanted to be able to see the lads before I lifted it. That was a special moment as well.

Is there a moment that stands out for you from the post-match celebrations on the pitch?

Well, obviously the standout for me personally would be when I saw my dad on the side. We were on the pitch for quite some time and I didn’t want to come off! But for me personally when we were celebrating on the pitch it was nice to be able to spend that moment with my dad. I would say that is another moment of the night which stands out for me.

[embedded content]

Did the emotion of all that pre-match motivation, to make sure you got over the line this time, come pouring out at that moment?

Yes. Football means a lot to me, to my family and we’ve been through a lot not only in football terms in those finals and everything you work for, and just in life as well with what my dad went through, his life and how much it means to him. I know how much it means to him and he knows how much it means to me. Just everything, up until that moment, it just felt as though it was meant to be somehow in the end, looking back. It was meant to be that way and it was a very special moment.

Just how special was it to have your dad, who has been through a lot, there in Madrid watching when you lift one of the biggest prizes in world football?

Very special. Not only my dad but my mum as well, my wife, my family being there obviously means a lot. But, especially my dad after what he’d been through over a long time really, a few years leading up to it, and how much it means to me to be able to win that trophy and everything that we went through together. To be able to spend that moment with him so quickly after doing it was a real special and unique moment.

And there is now a banner on the Kop with that image of you lifting the trophy - how does that make you feel when you look up and see it before games?

Yes, it is special. To be part of the club’s history and to see that banner on the Kop, you never get used to it, to be honest! I just try to use it as even more motivation to make sure I do everything I can for this football club and this team to be successful, which I’ve always tried to do. But in terms of stuff like that you can never thank the fans enough for what they give to us as a club and as a team. That’s what makes this football club so special really.

How would you describe the squad that you are a part of, the club you are part of? It’s a pretty special time to be at Liverpool FC...

Definitely. As I just said before I couldn’t have dreamt of doing it with anybody else. The amount of great players of course that we have in this team, but how they are as people, how we are as a dressing room, how close we are and not only players but that’s the staff as well. The fans are incredible of course so it’s just an amazing football club and over the past couple of years we’ve played some pretty good football, went through some pretty tough times but also some pretty amazing times, so I’m just so excited to see what the future holds for this team and this football club because I know we’ll continue to give everything and keep improving and keep learning. If we do that then there’s no reason why we can’t have more success in the future. 

Just finally, is there a particular memento from the final that you’ve kept in the house just to remind you of that special evening in Madrid?

There’s plenty of things you keep from the day, you know! Shirt, boots, everything. Even your tracksuit and your trainers, you just keep everything and get it and keep it in a safe place. We all got a book as well about the journey from losing the final in Kiev to then getting to another final in Madrid and then winning it. We all got a book so that’s nice and a keepsake to have. Now and again I’ll have a bit of time just looking through the photos... it’s nice just to go through those now and again.

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Categories: LFC NEWS

Jordan Henderson interview | The captain's memories of winning No.6

LiverpoolFC TV - Sun, 06/07/2020 - 08:35
Jordan Henderson has detailed his vivid memories from a year ago as Liverpool were crowned champions of Europe for the sixth time.
Categories: LFC NEWS

QUIZ: 12 questions on Ian Rush – how well do you know our record goalscorer?

ThisIsAnfield.com - Sun, 06/07/2020 - 07:00

Ian Rush is Liverpool’s most prolific goalscorer of all-time, a revered and legendary figure. But how well do you know his career?

The Wales international spent a total of 15 years at the club over two stints, after jetting off to Juventus for one season in 1987/88.

Rush’s time at Anfield was full of record-breaking feats and he is remembered for his goal-scoring instinct, pace, game awareness and gritty determination to also do the dirty work.

Life at Liverpool, however, did not get off to a flying start as he had felt he wasn’t initially getting a fair crack at the first team under Bob Paisley.

But his time would soon come and he would forge a story of legend, wreaking havoc both domestically and in Europe.

Rush made Liverpool’s No. 9 shirt his own, but how much do you know of his career?

There are 12 questions – can you get them all right? Want more quizzes? Try these!

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Klopp dreaming of 'crazy' bus parade next season

Liverpool FC on Sky Sports - Sun, 06/07/2020 - 00:00
"If this is the 12th or 13th matchday of next season and we want to celebrate it - who is going to stop it? Then we still have the trophy and then we can drive it around town and stand on the bus"

Last Updated: 07/06/20 1:04pm

0:47 Jurgen Klopp says Liverpool could hold an open-top bus parade through the city midway through next season, if they clinch the Premier League title behind closed doors Jurgen Klopp says Liverpool could hold an open-top bus parade through the city midway through next season, if they clinch the Premier League title behind closed doors

Jurgen Klopp says Liverpool could hold a Premier League title parade midway through next season, if that is when coronavirus restrictions on mass gatherings are eased.

Liverpool are on the verge of securing a first top-flight title for 30 years and Klopp's side require just two victories from their final nine games to guarantee the trophy.

Matches are set to resume behind closed doors on June 17, meaning Liverpool's supporters will not be at Anfield to celebrate their likely triumph, or permitted to gather in the city to honour the campaign.

"That you can't celebrate in the way you've always dreamed of, that's not nice, I totally understand that," Klopp told Sky Germany. "I feel the same way. It's not that my ideal is to celebrate alone in the stadium, then just drive home.

Liverpool celebrated last season's Champions League triumph with a parade Liverpool celebrated last season's Champions League triumph with a parade Liverpool celebrated last season's Champions League triumph with a parade

"It wasn't like that when you thought about it. But that cannot be changed now. Why should we now make a big deal about something that can't be changed?

"There comes a day when life will get back to normal. When someone has found the vaccine, when someone has found a solution to the problem, when infection rates are zero or below - that day will come eventually. Then we have the right to celebrate what we want to celebrate on that day.

"If this is the 12th or 13th matchday of next season and we want to celebrate it - who is going to stop it? Then we still have the trophy and then we can drive it around town and stand on the bus. If other people then think that we are completely crazy, I honestly don't care.

"Can it then still be a special celebration? No question. It's different, but different is sometimes absolutely OK."

Season can become 'historic'

Liverpool had amassed a remarkable 82 points from 29 games when the Premier League was suspended in March, with Klopp's side having dropped points on just two occasions, with a solitary draw and a defeat.

With his side on course to eclipse Manchester City's record total of 100 points from the 2017-18 season, Klopp has urged his players to win all of their remaining fixtures.

1:05 Trent Alexander-Arnold is confident Liverpool can find their form again once the Premier League restarts after the coronavirus suspension Trent Alexander-Arnold is confident Liverpool can find their form again once the Premier League restarts after the coronavirus suspension

"The problem at the moment is that we still have to become one (champions)," Klopp said

"I am not sitting here and want to doubt that, but I also know that we want to win football matches and not only two, but if possible nine.

"This can become historic, I have to say so clearly. And not only club historical, but historical in general. We have the chance to get an unbelievable number of points and so we prepare ourselves and then we will see what comes out of it."

Liverpool squad kneeling an 'extraordinary moment'

While Liverpool's performances on the pitch this season have given Klopp plenty of reason to be proud, the German revealed an off-field gesture by his players this week had impressed him.

His squad showed their support for the Black Lives Matter movement as they knelt around the centre circle during a training session at Anfield, a move that several other Premier League clubs followed.

0:40 Klopp is 'proud' that the squad took a knee in support for the Black Lives Matter movement, following the death of George Floyd Klopp is 'proud' that the squad took a knee in support for the Black Lives Matter movement, following the death of George Floyd

The gesture followed the death of American George Floyd, who died on May 25 after a white police officer who has since been charged with his murder held him down by pressing a knee into his neck.

"For us, the contact with each other and Black Lives Matter is natural," Klopp said. "If you look at our team, we have players from Africa, from England, et cetera.

"It's so natural for us that we didn't even think about sending a message at first. Because it's completely normal, nobody realised that we would have to say it again. But then the boys noticed it. Then they spontaneously decided to do it.

"I have been very proud of the boys for a long time, but this was another extraordinary moment. When I saw them there and this photo was taken, I was really proud, because it is also an important message. No question about it."

Super 6: Sancho to Halt Hertha?

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No new Coronavirus cases for second Premier League test in a row

ThisIsAnfield.com - Sat, 06/06/2020 - 21:07

The Premier League’s plans for Project Restart have been given a fresh boost after there were no positive cases in the latest round of coronavirus tests.

A total of 1,195 players and club staff were tested in the sixth screening session, which took place on Thursday and Friday, and that yielded the second all-clear.

“The Premier League can confirm that on Thursday 4 June and Friday 5 June, 1,195 players and club staff were tested for COVID-19. Of these, zero have tested positive,” the league said in a statement.

The news is another step in the right direction for the league, which is scheduled to resume on June 17.

There were six positive cases from three clubs in round one, two from two clubs in round two, a further four from two clubs in round three, none from round four and one from round five.

That means there have been a total of 13 positives from 6,274 tests administered.

Testing will continue on a twice-weekly basis.

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Peter Beardsley: A blend of Keegan & Dalglish who left Liverpool too soon

ThisIsAnfield.com - Sat, 06/06/2020 - 19:00

Peter Beardsley may be a controversial figure in football’s modern era, but his time at Liverpool saw an underrated gem with shades of Kevin Keegan and Kenny Dalglish.

This is my life, and this is how it reads
A documentary that nobody believes
Albert Steptoe in Gone with The Breeze
Mother played by Peter Beardsley, father by John Cleese

My Book, by The Beautiful South, taken from their 1990 album Choke. Criminally, it only reached number 43 in the UK singles chart.

While Albert Stubbins made the front cover of The Beatles’ iconic album, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, I can’t think of another instance where a Liverpool player, other than Peter Beardsley, was bestowed with a namecheck in the lyrics of a published piece of music.

I fell for Beardsley long before Kenny Dalglish made him Liverpool’s record-breaking £1.9 million signing in the summer of 1987.

Beardsley was a star in the making during Newcastle United’s promotion campaign of 1983/84; the team from St James’ Park garnered a lot of positive attention between 1982 and 1984.

The Kevin Keegan factor had kicked in and the interest at both a local and national level went through the roof.

Liverpool's Kevin Keegan celebrates with the FA Cup

A club seemingly in a potentially irreversible downward slide of Burnley, Blackpool or Preston North End proportions, they pulled off a masterstroke when they appealed to Keegan’s sense of footballing romance—when more attractive options were available to him.

Attendances swelled on the Gallowgate end, and while the defending was still questionable at times, it was now enhanced with a gung-ho sense of adventure to attacking.

When they re-signed Terry McDermott, in the winter months of 1982/83, they went from interesting curiosity to compulsive viewing.

In January 1984 they even came to Anfield for a Friday night FA Cup third-round tie, which generated one of the finest atmospheres we’ve ever had in L4 for a domestic game of football. The BBC broadcast it live to a massive audience.

Of course, all eyes were supposed to be locked on Keegan, with the best supporting actors being McDermott and the eye-catching Chris Waddle.

Yet here was this slightly hunched oddity, with a low centre of gravity and bewitching close control, that would constantly draw my attention. A natural heir to Keegan, but a player that had more in common with Dalglish.

Peter Beardsley, Liverpool

Beardsley felt like a Liverpool player years before he signed on the dotted line.

I would grab any opportunity to watch him when Newcastle appeared on my television screen, while that lack of fulfilment of watching England play took an upturn when he broke into Bobby Robson’s squad in the buildup to the 1986 World Cup finals.

A magnificent performance against the Soviet Union cemented my feelings. Beardsley needed to be a Liverpool player.

Sat on the bench for the first two England games in Mexico, while Mark Hateley floundered, Beardsley had been restricted to 10 minutes at the end of their loss to Portugal.

On the brink of exiting the tournament, he was brought in against Poland, where his international partnership with Gary Lineker was set in stone.

It took another year for Liverpool to finally land him, but I was as delighted with the signing of Beardsley as I was that of John Barnes—another player that would bring me reluctantly to a television screen if England were playing.

It seemed obvious that Beardsley was made for Liverpool.

John Barnes, Peter Beardsley, Liverpool, 1988 (Picture by Ross Kinnaird EMPICS Sport)

Eclipsing Barnes’ transfer fee by £1 million, Beardsley was initially damned by the extent of the cost Dalglish paid for him, and it made for an uneasy start.

Beardsley mingled effortlessly upon his debut at Highbury, but Barnes got off to a phenomenal start. As good as Beardsley performed in those early weeks, Barnes was simply sensational, and at less than half the cost.

However, the Barnes-Beardsley-Aldridge triumvirate clicked perfectly, and 1987/88 was stunning. Beardsley was soon proving his worth and his third-eye intelligence began to reap some world-class performances.

Against Arsenal at Anfield, he was unstoppable; anybody associated to Nottingham Forest in 1988 will still wake in the middle of the night at the flashbacks of that iconic 5-0.

Despite Barnes stealing the show, it seemed apt that Beardsley scored the goal that clinched the league title, while he was one of the very few Liverpool players to perform to their natural level in an abysmal FA Cup final against Wimbledon.

If only his disallowed goal, at 0-0, had been permitted to stand.

From the eve of the 1988/89 season, the landscape favoured Beardsley that little bit less. The return of Ian Rush upset the equilibrium of the Liverpool team.

Ian Rush, Kop goal (PA Images)

The return of our prodigal son from Juventus was initially celebrated, until the mathematics of converting three into two was pondered.

For much of the campaign, illness, fitness and the form of a motivated Aldridge kept the Barnes-Beardsley-Aldridge link intact, but it was on borrowed time. By the autumn of 1989, Aldridge was gone.

Ultimately, Barnes linked well with Rush, better than Beardsley did; yet the three, as a triumvirate, were never as effective as it had been with Aldridge.

While Rush and Aldridge were said to look alike and score alike, the truth is that they were very different in their approach to scoring goals.

Aldridge was the classic penalty-box poacher, thriving on the ball played in to feet, making instinctive decisions, while Rush was at his best when chasing a ball played centrally, which allowed him more thinking time.

It is no coincidence that Beardsley linked so well with strikers like Aldridge and Lineker, but less so with Rush.

During his last two seasons at Liverpool, he would often be sacrificed in the name of tactics, or a change in formation. In 1990/91 especially, his brilliant form wasn’t always enough to maintain a place in the team.

He was incredible against Man United in the 4-0, yet he didn’t even make the bench at Highbury, on a day we were dismantled 3-0—a game that arguably marked the day the entire season was deflected in another direction.

Graeme Souness and his squad

By the end of the season, the title was relinquished, Dalglish had stunningly walked away from the club and Beardsley would soon be allowed to cross Stanley Park to sign for Everton.

Graeme Souness didn’t really give Beardsley a chance. He looked at the age of the player, he looked at the size of the bid Everton had made and he opted to take the money and run, given he had just paid an indecent amount for Dean Saunders.

It was a switch of players that was as mind-boggling then as it is now.

Beardsley remained a top-flight footballer of substance for another six years beyond his departure from Liverpool. A man allowed to leave way too early.

Just imagine a world where Beardsley had stayed at Liverpool, just think what he could have done alongside Robbie Fowler, rather than at Newcastle alongside Andy Cole and, later, Les Ferdinand.

Maybe he could have helped make the 1990s a far more appetising decade at Anfield.

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