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Keita, Gerrard, Heskey and more: LFC's six Premier League No.8s

Sun, 01/07/2018 - 10:30

Naby Keita has taken the No.8 shirt that has hung vacant at Anfield since the departure of talismanic captain Steven Gerrard in 2015.

The Guinea international - who officially became a Liverpool player on July 1 - will become the sixth man to don the digit since the introduction of Premier League squad numbers in 1993.

Here, we've cast a glance back at his five predecessors.

Although past players like John Aldridge and Jimmy Case also became synonymous with the No.8 jersey, designated numbers weren't introduced as standard in the English top flight until the 1993-94 season.

Before then, players in starting line-ups wore one to 11 for each match, meaning players could change numbers every fixture.

So, the first Liverpool player to don the No.8 on a permanent basis was a man signed from Tottenham Hotspur just a year before the regulations came into force...

Paul Stewart (1993-1995)

England international Stewart had been linked with both Manchester clubs in the summer of 1992 but it was Liverpool boss Graeme Souness who swooped to sign the attack-minded 27-year-old.

Converted from a striker into a midfielder during his time at Spurs, Stewart showed he still had an eye for goal when he scored on his Anfield debut and his European bow for the Reds.

Handed the No.8 shirt for the 1993-94 campaign, Stewart departed Liverpool for Sunderland in 1996 after a series of loan spells.

Stan Collymore (1995-1997)

Signed from Nottingham Forest for a club-record fee in the summer of 1995, striker Collymore was handed the No.8 shirt ahead of his first season at Anfield.

The England international scored a debut winner against Sheffield Wednesday on the opening day of the campaign and quickly struck up a prolific partnership with Kop favourite Robbie Fowler. The pair scored a combined total of 55 goals in the 1995-96 season and 47 in the following campaign.

However, in 1997, following the emergence of Michael Owen, Collymore left to join boyhood club Aston Villa.

Oyvind Leonhardsen (1997-1999)

Signed from Wimbledon in 1997, Norway international Leonhardsen was handed the vacant No.8 shirt by Roy Evans and was a first-team regular during his first season at Anfield.

However, the industrious midfielder with an eye for goal became a bit-part player under Evans' successor Gerard Houllier and was sold to Spurs in 1999.

He left Anfield one shy of a half-century of appearances for the Reds.

Emile Heskey (2000-2004)

Having seen Heskey play alongside Michael Owen for the England U18 team in France, Liverpool boss Houllier moved quickly to snap up the Leicester City striker when he came on the market in March 2000.

The newly-capped senior England international was handed the vacant No.8 shirt by Houllier and given his debut the day after signing.

Heskey played superbly in his first full season, scoring 22 goals in 56 matches as Liverpool claimed a historic treble of UEFA Cup, League Cup and FA Cup - starting in all three finals.

Despite struggling to score at the same rate in subsequent years, he remained in the No.8 shirt until the summer of 2004 when he left to join Birmingham City.

Heskey netted 60 goals in 223 appearances for the Reds.

Steven Gerrard (2004-2015)

With the No.8 available once more, a man who had risen from Academy graduate to club captain in just five years took it on.

Steven Gerrard would go on to become one of the greatest players in the club's illustrious history.

Gerrard made his debut for the Reds in the No.28 jersey back in 1998, won the 2001 treble and was made skipper in 2003 while No.17 and, in his first season as LFC's No.8, led the club to Champions League glory in Istanbul

The Kop hero spent 17 years in Liverpool's first team, scoring in the finals of the Champions League, UEFA Cup, FA Cup and League Cup and winning virtually everything while making 710 senior appearances.

When the 35-year-old inspirational skipper left to join LA Galaxy in 2015, there were calls from some to retire the No.8 shirt with which he was so synonymous.

However, the jersey has now passed on to a new name.

Naby Keita (2018-)

Dynamic midfielder Keita is the man who will ensure the No.8 jersey appears on Liverpool's teamsheet once more.

"It pleases me a lot. It’s an important number and it carries a lot of history - but more importantly for me, having this number gives me the motivation to play and to follow in the footsteps of the players who’ve worn this shirt before," Keita said of taking the No.8.

His immediate predecessor Gerrard even presented the 23-year-old with the jersey at Melwood.

"It was an incredible day for me. He gave me the No.8 jersey. When it happened, it was a surprise and I didn’t expect it," Keita noted.

“When he came in, I looked at him and said, ‘wow’ because he is a legend. He is somebody who always showed respect, who gave his all on the pitch, somebody who is loved here.

“If somebody like that gives you his shirt number, it’s not to play around with, it is to try and do as much as he did - that’s my motivation.”

Buy your 'Keita 8' official 2018-19 LFC home and away shirts online now>>>

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This week's LFC community events

Sun, 01/07/2018 - 10:00

Check out a schedule of local community events planned by the LFC Foundation and Red Neighbours teams in the coming week.

For more information on these activities, and the work of the two organisations, follow @LFCFoundation and @Red_Neighbours on Twitter or visit foundation.liverpoolfc.com.

Monday July 2          

Premier League Kicks session:

Walton Hall Park 7pm – 8pm age 11-17

Speke Community Centre 6pm – 8pm (age 11+)

Respect 4 All Ability Counts session (Disability):

Anfield Sports and Community Centre 6pm – 7pm (age 8-12), 7pm – 8pm (age 13+)

Tuesday July 3

Premier League Kicks session:

Toxteth Firefit Hub – 5.30pm-6.30pm (age 8-13), 6.30pm – 7.30pm (age 14-19)

Respect 4 All (Disability):

Anfield Sports and Community Centre 6pm-7pm (age 8-16), 7pm-8pm (age 17+)

Wednesday July 4

Premier League Kicks session:

Anfield Sports and Community Centre - 5pm-6pm (age 7-13), 6pm-7pm (age 13-17),  5pm – 6pm (age 8-13 girls only)

Respect 4 All (Disability):

Anfield Sports and Community Centre 6pm-7pm (age 8+)

Thursday July 5

Premier League Kicks sessions:

Liverpool Aquatics Centre, Wavertree - 5pm-6pm (age 8-13), 6pm-7pm (age 14-17)

Gateacre School 6pm-8pm (age 11-17)

Respect 4 All (Disability):

Anfield Sports and Community Centre - 7pm-8pm (age 8+)

Military Veterans:

Netherton Goals - 5pm-7.30pm 

Friday July 6

Premier League Kicks sessions:

Liverpool Aquatics Centre, Wavertree - 6pm-8pm (age 14-19)
Anfield Sports and Community Centre – 6pm-9pm (age 14-19)
Croxteth Sports Centre - 6pm-8pm (age 11-17)
Wirral Hive 6pm – 8pm (age 13-19)

Respect 4 All (Disability):

Anfield Sports and Community Centre 6pm- 7pm (age 8-16), 7pm-8pm (age 17+)

Red Neighbours Walking Football:

Anfield Sports and Community Centre - 11am-12pm

Red Neighbours Walking Netball:

Anfield Sports and Community Centre - 11.30am-12.30pm

Saturday July 7


Respect 4 All (Disability):
Woodchurch High School - 10.30 - 11.30am (SLD Child),  12.30pm – 13.30 (SLD Adults)

Open Goals:
Wavertree Sports Park - 11am-12pm and 12pm-1pm
Stanley Park -11am - 12pm and 12pm - 1pm                                         
Norris Green Park - 1.30pm-3pm            

Sunday July 8


Open Goals:  
Walton Hall Park - 1pm-2pm and 2pm-3pm
Belle Vale Park - 1pm-2pm and 2pm-3pm 
Doric Park - 11am – 12pm 

Military Veterans:
LFC Academy - 2pm-5pm

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Confirmed: The Liverpool players reporting for day one of pre-season training at Melwood

Sat, 30/06/2018 - 14:58

A total of 26 players are scheduled to report to Melwood for the first day of Liverpool’s pre-season training programme.

Many members of Jürgen Klopp’s squad - including new signings Fabinho and Naby Keita, and most of those who were out on loan last term - will reconvene on Monday morning as preparations for 2018-19 begin following the summer break.

The Reds’ eight-strong World Cup contingent - Trent Alexander-Arnold, Roberto Firmino, Marko Grujic, Jordan Henderson, Dejan Lovren, Sadio Mane, Simon Mignolet and Mohamed Salah - will not be present, along with Virgil van Dijk and Georginio Wijnaldum.

Van Dijk and Wijnaldum featured for the Netherlands in an international friendly immediately after the 2017-18 campaign and will report back later.

Players scheduled to report to Melwood on Monday: Camacho, Chirivella, Clyne, Fabinho, Gomez, Grabara, Ings, Jones, Karius, Keita, Kelleher, Kent, Klavan, Lallana, Markovic, Milner, Moreno, Ojo, Origi, Phillips, Robertson, Solanke, Sturridge, Ward, Wilson, Woodburn.

Keep up to date with everything that happens on day one of pre-season with Liverpoolfc.com's behind-the-scenes live blog from Melwood and LFCTV or LFCTVGO.

All nine of the Reds’ pre-season friendlies will be shown live on LFCTV and LFCTV GO (excludes USA and Italy). Click here to sign up for either service.

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Transfer decision on Barcelona 'keeper imminent

Sat, 30/06/2018 - 11:41

Liverpool will reportedly discover next week whether Barcelona stopper Jasper Cillessen will be on the move this summer.

Cillessen has emerged as a potential target with AS Roma holding firm on Alisson Becker and Atletico Madrid’s Jan Oblak too pricey.

Spanish newspaper Sport suggest Liverpool could swoop for the Holland international.

And it has been revealed meetings will take place next week in order to discuss where Cillessen’s future lies beyond the summer.

Source: Daily Express

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

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Four to face trial over Hillsborough charges

Fri, 29/06/2018 - 15:59

It has been ruled that David Duckenfield, South Yorkshire Police’s match commander on the day of the Hillsborough disaster, will face trial over charges of manslaughter by gross negligence of 95 Liverpool supporters.

Sir Peter Openshaw made the decision to lift a stay on Duckenfield’s prosecution at Preston Crown Court on Friday.

Graham Mackrell, former club secretary of Sheffield Wednesday Football Club, is to face two charges for alleged breaches of safety legislation, while Donald Denton and Alan Foster, then of the South Yorkshire Police, and the force’s then-solicitor Peter Metcalf will go to trial charged with perverting the course of justice.

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Blackburn Rovers v Liverpool: Ticket details

Fri, 29/06/2018 - 15:00

Liverpool FC can confirm the following information regarding ticket sales for the upcoming pre-season friendly against Blackburn Rovers.

The match at Ewood Park is scheduled to kick-off at 7.45pm BST on Thursday July 19.

LFC has received an allocation of 6942 stand tickets for this ALL ticket fixture. Supporters not in possession of a ticket are urged not to travel.

Ticket prices

Adults - £10

Over 65* and Young Adult (18-21)* - £5

Junior (12-17 yrs)* and Under 12s* - £2 (must be selected with a ticket priced £5 or over)

*Please be aware that supporters in possession of concessionary tickets may be asked for ID at the turnstiles.

Disabled supporters

Liverpool FC has received within the allocation 30 pairs of wheelchair/personal assistant tickets, priced at £10 per pair. Ambulant tickets are also available and concessions apply.

For further information, please click here or telephone one of our advisors on 0151 264 2500 and select option two.

Ticket sales

The below sales will take place ONLINE only.

Season ticket holders: From 8.15am BST on Tuesday July 3.

Supporters can purchase one ticket per qualifying supporter for up to a maximum of TEN tickets per transaction.

Should tickets remain, sales will take place strictly in the following order subject to availability and on a first come, first served basis:

Official Members: From 8.15am BST on Wednesday July 4.

Supporters can purchase one ticket per qualifying supporter for up to a maximum of TEN tickets per transaction.

General sale (including Fan Card holders): From 8.15am BST on Thursday July 5.

Supporters can purchase up to FOUR tickets each. (Please note this is the total number of tickets you can purchase, including any tickets bought in any earlier sale). 

All the above sales are subject to availability and no guarantee can be given that tickets will be available to all who apply.

PLEASE NOTE THAT SHOULD TICKETS NOT SELL OUT, TICKET SALES WILL END AT 12PM BST ON FRIDAY JULY 13.

For information whilst in Blackburn, stadium information, facilities and more, please click here

For TICKET FULFILMENT (delivery and collection of tickets) click here.

For TRAVEL INFORMATION click here.

For IMPORTANT SAFETY NOTICE INFORMATION click here.

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Oxlade-Chamberlain's recovery 'moving in the right direction'

Fri, 29/06/2018 - 12:10

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is satisfied that his recovery from injury is ‘moving in the right direction’.

Knee ligament damage sustained during Liverpool’s Champions League semi-final victory over AS Roma in April ended the midfielder’s impressive first campaign at Anfield prematurely.

The Reds’ No.21, who underwent surgery that also denied him the chance to represent England at this summer’s World Cup, has been working hard on his rehabilitation throughout the off-season, and has provided an upbeat update on his progress.

“It’s alright. I saw the surgeon just now, he’s happy with everything, so we’re moving in the right direction,” Oxlade-Chamberlain told the England team’s official Youtube channel.

“It’s just obviously going to be a long process and a boring one, but that’s life. I’m all good.

“I’ve got to stay positive, it’s not going to get me anywhere if I’m not positive around the lads and just in general. It’s life, I’m still living so I’m happy.”

More from Ox: 'Moping won't get me through rehab!'>>>

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Inside look: Naby Keita arrives at Melwood

Fri, 29/06/2018 - 11:21

Naby Keita checked into Melwood ahead of officially completing his transfer to Liverpool on Sunday – and you can take an exclusive inside look at his visit to the training ground in our video now.

The midfielder, who will formally seal his switch from RB Leipzig on July 1, underwent his first LFC interview and photoshoot, as well as taking part in a light training session with a fitness coach.

Our cameras were with Keita throughout his visit to Melwood to capture him taking in his new surroundings, and you can watch our clip for free below now.

Get your ‘Keita 8’ official 2018-19 Liverpool home and away jerseys online now>>

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World Cup: Alexander-Arnold makes competitive England debut

Thu, 28/06/2018 - 23:05

Trent Alexander-Arnold made his competitive debut for England in Thursday's World Cup loss to Belgium.

Liverpool's No.66 was named in the Three Lions' starting line-up in their final Group G fixture, which was won by Adnan Januzaj's second-half strike with both teams' places in the last 16 assured before kick-off.

Jordan Henderson and Simon Mignolet were unused substitutes in Kaliningrad.

Elsewhere in Russia, Sadio Mane's Senegal were eliminated from the World Cup by virtue of the fact they received more yellow cards than Colombia after a 1-0 defeat to the South Americans.

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LFC Foundation's Open Goals project expands

Thu, 28/06/2018 - 15:22

The LFC Foundation's Open Goals project has now expanded to its seventh location, Jubilee Sports Bank in Kensington, with sessions launching on Saturday June 30 from 1:30pm BST.

Come and get involved in some of our fun activities, provided by LFC Foundation coaches and volunteers, all of which is free.

And while you’re busy having fun, you’re also getting fit together as a family and developing new skills with games such as cat and mouse, tag, hot potato and quick cricket - so there's something for everyone!

Why not head over to Jubilee Sports Bank with your family this Saturday and get involved in all the fun! You can find us at:

Jubilee Sports Bank
Kensington
L7 2QR

LFC Foundation host Open Goals in parks around the city every Saturday and Sunday, with sessions lasting around one hour:

Saturdays

• Stanley Park | 11am - L4 0TD

• Wavertree Park | 11am - L15 4LE

• Norris Green Park | 1:30pm - L11 1BG

• Jubilee Sports Bank | 1:30pm - L7 2QR

Sundays

• Doric Park | 11am - L13 5XX

• Belle Vale Park | 1pm - L25 2PE

• Walton Hall Park | 1pm - L4 9XP

What is the LFC Foundation's Open Goals?


Open Goals is a multi-sports and physical activity project designed to support families to be more active together, taking place every weekend in parks across Liverpool. This includes games such as frisbee, tag, family fun and much more!

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Liverpool agree fee for Dominic Solanke

Thu, 28/06/2018 - 14:37

Liverpool have agreed an undisclosed fee with Chelsea for striker Dominic Solanke – some 12 months after he moved to Anfield.

The England frontman joined the Reds last summer after his contract expired at Stamford Bridge but as he's under 24 the Londoners were due compensation.

Talks dragged on throughout last season and with no agreement reached the fee looked set to be decided by the Professional Football Compensation Committee.

However, further discussions between the clubs has now resulted in the issue being resolved directly between Liverpool and Chelsea.

Liverpool are remaining tight-lipped over the price they have agreed to play for the 20-year-old.

The ECHO understands that the Reds had initially valued Solanke at around £3million with Chelsea demanding closer to £10million. Now a compromise has been achieved so there is no need for a tribunal.

A Liverpool spokesman told the ECHO: “The issue has been resolved between the clubs. We will have no further comment on the matter.”

Solanke, who won the Under-20 World Cup with England last summer, had been in the youth ranks at Chelsea since 2004 but made just one first-team appearance for the club.

He decided to move on as he felt his pathway was blocked at Stamford Bridge and he was attracted to Liverpool by Jurgen Klopp's willingness to put his faith in youth.

Solanke enjoyed an impressive first season with the Reds. He made six starts and a further 21 substitute appearances.

His progress was recognised with a full England debut against Brazil and he ended his long wait for a Liverpool goal with an emphatic finish against Brighton on the final day of the Premier League campaign.

Source: Liverpool Echo

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

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Barry Lewtas appointed U18s manager

Thu, 28/06/2018 - 12:59

Liverpool FC can confirm that Barry Lewtas has been appointed the club's new U18s manager.

Lewtas has been promoted from coaching the Reds' U16s side to fill the role vacated by Steven Gerrard.

Academy director Alex Inglethorpe said: "We're delighted Barry has decided to take up this position.

"He already has a strong relationship with those players who will make the step up to our U18s in 2018-19 thanks to his previous role with the U16s."

Following Lewtas' move, Marc Bridge-Wilkinson has taken the post of Liverpool's U16s manager.

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Ladies pre-season programme confirmed

Thu, 28/06/2018 - 12:30

Liverpool Ladies will begin their pre-season programme with a friendly visit to Manchester United Women on Sunday July 15.

The Reds will then visit Everton Ladies on Tuesday July 24 before embarking on a pre-season tour of Germany that will see them face SGS Essen (August 1) and Bayern Munich (August 5).

The pre-season schedule will draw to a close with an away friendly against Durham Women on Sunday August 12.

Liverpool Ladies pre-season fixtures 2018-19 season:

Manchester United Women (A) Sunday July 15 
Everton Ladies (A) Tuesday July 24 
SGS Essen (A) Wednesday August 1 
Bayern Munich (A) Sunday August 5 
Durham Women (A) Saturday August 12 

Kick-off times TBC

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Liverpool's youngest Premier League players ever

Thu, 28/06/2018 - 11:00

Having revealed Liverpool's oldest ever Premier League players yesterday, it only seems right to take a look at the other end of the spectrum too.

Many a fresh-faced teenager has run out for the Reds over the years and we've looked back through the record books to pick out the youngest.

Jerome Sinclair holds the record for the earliest debut in all competitions - making his Liverpool bow aged 16 years and six days - but he doesn't make it into our XI of the youngest ever players to turn out for the Reds in the Premier League.

While one player features in both our youngest and oldest teams.

Goalkeeper

Scott Carson makes his Liverpool debut

Scott Carson (19 years, 183 days)

The veteran of this team, goalkeeper Scott Carson was the ripe old age of 19 years and 183 days when he made his Premier League debut for Liverpool.

Signed from Leeds United January 2005, he kept a clean sheet against Newcastle United at St James' Park in March that year as Graeme Souness' Reds won 1-0.

The future England international played nine games for LFC before joining West Bromwich Albion, where he made more than 100 appearances, and he currently plays for Frank Lampard's Derby County.

Defenders

Trent Alexander-Arnold (18 years, 68 days)

Currently part of Gareth Southgate's England squad at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, it's been a meteoric rise for Scouser Trent Alexander-Arnold, who made his Premier League debut for the Reds in December 2016.

Having been with the Academy since the age of six, Jürgen Klopp gave the youngster his league bow aged 18 years and 68 days when he came on as late substitute for Divock Origi in a 3-0 win at Middlesbrough.

The 2017-18 campaign proved to be a real breakthrough season for the former U16 and U18 captain, who played 33 games and started the 2018 Champions League final against Real Madrid.

Joe Gomez (18 years, 78 days)

Liverpool clinched the signature of highly-rated young defender Joe Gomez from Charlton Athletic in June 2015 and he was one of five Reds to make their debut under Brendan Rodgers on the opening day of the 2015-16 campaign.

Aged 18 years and 78 days, he was by far the youngest of the quintet, but a serious knee injury curtailed his progress in his first season at Anfield.

Gomez battled back after 15 months out to return to action under Klopp in an FA Cup tie against Plymouth Argyle on January 8, 2017, and the versatile defender signed a new long-term contract with the club days later.

Jack Robinson (16 years, 250 days)

Warrington-born defender Jack Robinson is the youngest player in our XI. He progressed through Liverpool's Academy system to be handed his debut at just 16 years and 250 days old.

Rafa Benitez subbed him on to replace Ryan Babel in a 0-0 draw with Hull City in the last Premier League game of the 2009-10 season.

An attacking left-back during his early years with the Reds, Robinson played 29 of his 34 games for Queens Park Rangers last season as a centre-back.

Jon Flanagan (18 years, 99 days)

At the age of 18 years and 99 days, Academy graduate Jon Flanagan was handed a shock debut by Kenny Dalglish against big-spending Manchester City at Anfield in April 2011. The Reds won 3-0 and full-back Flanagan earned praise from every quarter. 

His breakthrough season came in 2013-14 when he played 25 games. By the end of the campaign, Brazil legend Cafu had flown to Merseyside to watch him in action, which led to Flanagan being dubbed 'The Scouse Cafu'.

He left Anfield this summer to join Steven Gerrard's Rangers in the Scottish Premier League.

Midfielders

Steven Gerrard makes his Liverpool debut

Steven Gerrard (18 years, 183 days)

November 29, 1998, was a momentous day for Liverpool FC. Steven Gerrard made his first-team debut under Gerard Houllier as a substitute against Blackburn Rovers.

Relatively unknown at the time at the age of just 18 years and 183 days, he would go to become one of the greatest players to ever pull on a Red shirt and take the football world by storm.

The future LFC captain would win the Champions League, UEFA Cup and multiple FA Cup and League Cups during a 710-game Anfield career.

He played his last game for Liverpool aged 34 years and 358 days and has the unique distinction of featuring in both the youngest and oldest Premier League XI.

Jordon Ibe (17 years, 163 days)

Pacey midfielder Jordon Ibe made an immediate impact at Anfield when he came on for his debut aged 17 years and 163 days on the final day of the 2012-13 season.

The former Wycombe Wanderers winger provided the assist for Philippe Coutinho's decisive goal in a 1-0 win against Queens Park Rangers.

He was given an extended run in the team during the 2015-16 season but moved on to AFC Bournemouth, where he currently plays, the following campaign.

Jordan Rossiter (18 years, 153 days)

Jordan Rossiter joined Liverpool as an U6 player and graduated through the ranks to be handed his Premier League debut against Arsenal in August 2014, aged 18 years and 153 days.

The midfielder had made his bow in the League Cup the season prior and scored the opening goal in 2-2 draw with Middlesbrough to become what was then the second youngest scorer in the club's history, aged 17 years and 183 days.

He's currently at Rangers, now managed by Kop hero Gerrard.

Strikers

Michale Owen makes his debut for Liverpool

Michael Owen (17 years, 144 days)

Michael Owen burst on to the scene for Liverpool in May 1997, scoring just 16 minutes into his debut to become the club's youngest ever goalscorer at 17 years and 144 days old.

Within a year, the Englishman had become one of the hottest properties in world football, due to his brilliant goalscoring record and THAT incredible strike against Argentina at World Cup 1998. 

By the time the striker left Anfield for Real Madrid in 2004, he had won the UEFA Cup, League Cup and FA Cup treble under Gerard Houllier and scooped the Ballon d'Or - only the fourth Englishman to ever do so after Stanley Matthews, Bobby Charlton and Kevin Keegan.

Ben Woodburn (17 years, 43 days)

Owen's record as the youngest goalscorer in LFC history stood for 19 years, until an Academy graduate by the name of Ben Woodburn struck against Leeds United in a League Cup quarter-final aged just 17 years and 45 days.

The striker had made his Premier League debut a few days prior to that, coming on as 90th minute substitute for Georginio Wijnaldum in a 2-0 win over Sunderland.

Described as having the "perfect balance of talent and attitude" by manager Klopp, Woodburn earned the nickname 'The Prince of Wales' after scoring a sublime 25-yard winner on his international debut in September 2017.

Raheem Sterling (17 years, 107 days) 

Raheem Sterling was cited as one of the most exciting talents in English football when he joined Liverpool from Queens Park Rangers' youth set up in February 2010.

Handed his Premier League debut two years later, aged 17 years and 107 days, he would go on to play an important part in Liverpool's title challenge in 2013-14, scoring nine times as Brendan Rodgers' Reds finished second.

He left the club in July 2015 when he signed for Manchester City and is currently at the World Cup with the England squad.

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Liverpool launch International Academy in Hong Kong

Thu, 28/06/2018 - 04:00

Liverpool FC has today announced the launch of a new International Academy in Hong Kong.

Together with partner PNH Soccer Academy Ltd, the Reds will now deliver ongoing coaching programmes to youngsters at multiple venues across Hong Kong.  

The youth coaching will provide unique opportunities for children aged three to 17, from grass roots level through to teams that compete in local leagues and tournaments, to learn to play ‘The Liverpool Way’. 

Age-specific coaching sessions will help players improve their football and social skills and develop their technical, tactical, physical and social abilities.  

A wide range of year-round programmes are planned, including ongoing player development sessions, soccer schools in the holiday season and an annual youth football tournament. 

Through the unique coaching methods of Liverpool FC, there will also be a focus on improving key life skills of the young participants, such as communication, teamwork, confidence, preparation and organisation. 

The implementation and development of the coaching programme will be overseen by an LFC coach, who will be based in Hong Kong to head up the project. 

Local coaches will also be involved and will benefit from a comprehensive coach education scheme, which will include the LFC International Academy global accreditation, to deliver coaching ‘The Liverpool Way’.

Reds legend and LFC International Academy ambassador Ian Rush said: “Our International Academies are a fantastic opportunity to bring authentic LFC coaching to children and young people around the world. 

"This project will provide many opportunities for young players to improve a broad range of skills such as teamwork and communication.

“Alongside the player development element of this programme, coach education is an equally important aspect of the project, which is why we introduce local coaches to the same philosophies and techniques delivered at our very own Academy in Liverpool. 

“Both players and coaches will get the opportunity to develop their abilities on and off the pitch and do so through ‘The Liverpool Way’.”

Perhson Wong, chairman of PNH Soccer Academy Ltd, said: “We are excited with the opportunity to work alongside a prestigious football club with such a strong heritage. It is a great opportunity for us to offer a unique coaching system that brings the best of both local culture and international standards to our young players.

“We believe every child is unique and has the potential to grow as a strong, influential individual. This all starts with education and professional training. 

"We are confident with a good team of professionals, we can build a leading soccer academy ‘The Liverpool Way’, coaching both football skills and instilling the LFC mentality in the next generation. 

"It is our wish to nurture our young players and teach them the true Reds spirit of ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’.”

To officially launch the start of the programme in Hong Kong, over 500 local children aged between four and 12 will take part in a three-a-side tournament that will span across three days at Olympian City, Kowloon.

Due to kick off on Saturday June 30 at 11am (HKT), a total of 60 teams will take part in the competition, playing against each other to be crowned the overall champions of their age group.

The pop-up event will see LFC Legend Vladimir Smicer overseeing the tournament and coaching of players, while taking part in a signing session with fans.

For more information, please visit: https://www.facebook.com/LFCIAHK or http://www.lfcacademy.hk/ 

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Firmino and Brazil march on as Grujic bows out

Wed, 27/06/2018 - 23:18

Roberto Firmino and Marko Grujic were both unused substitutes as Brazil defeated Serbia 2-0 to secure a place in the knockout stages of the World Cup at the expense of their opponents.

Firmino, who had made key contributions from the bench in both of his country's previous fixtures, saw his countrymen reach the last 16 by topping Group E as Paulinho and Thiago Silva netted.

Grujic's compatriots needed a victory to reach the next round of the competition, but saw their campaign ended by the five-time winners in Moscow.

Next up for Firmino and co is a meeting with Mexico, who finished second in Group F, behind Sweden.

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Watch free: Introducing... Naby Keita

Wed, 27/06/2018 - 18:59

Get to know the real Naby Keita as we grill Liverpool's newest recruit on a variety of topics ahead of the completion of his move to the club on Sunday.

The 23-year-old will officially become a Reds player on July 1 after a career that his seen him journey from Guinea to France, Austria and Germany while establishing himself as one of the world's premier central midfielders.

But what drives the man who will wear the club's iconic No.8 shirt when he is away from the field? 

During Keita's recent visit to Melwood, we fired several quickfire questions at the Guinean, tackling big issues such as his favourite dance, what makes him happy, and what he might have done had he not made it in football.

To find out the answers, simply watch the YouTube video embedded below. 

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LFC Foundation hosts girls football tournament

Wed, 27/06/2018 - 18:00

LFC Foundation welcomed eight local girls teams to the LFC Academy in Kirkby this month for a special football tournament.

The Premier League Primary Stars Female Football Intervention Tournament saw over 80 young players from primary schools across the city go head-to-head in a series of knockout games. 

The competition was the culmination of a six-week programme, during which the girls received training from LFC Foundation coaches and were encouraged to plan and deliver their own sessions in school breaks. 

David McParland, LFC Foundation project lead, said: “This programme is designed to introduce girls of primary school age to the world of football.

“We encourage them to develop their skills and confidence, and the sessions can really improve their fitness levels too. 

“At the end of the six weeks, the girls come away with a great deal of knowledge and understanding of the sport, which they can take with them as they progress into secondary school.”

Liverpool County FA were also on hand to talk about the numerous off-the-pitch roles within football and how to pursue a career in the industry. 

LFC Foundation is committed to increasing the number of opportunities and pathways for women and girls in football, with ‘girls only’ football sessions running every Wednesday at Anfield Sports and Community Centre (5-6pm, ages 8-13 years). 

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Naby Keita range available to purchase online now

Wed, 27/06/2018 - 15:59

Naby Keita has been handed the No.8 jersey ahead of formally completing his move to Liverpool on July 1 – and you can purchase our brand new home and away shirts with his name and number on now, as well as a range of other items.

The midfielder will officially become a Red on Sunday, but has visited Melwood to undergo his unveiling duties as the club’s latest signing.

And Keita revealed how he was presented with the iconic No.8 jersey by the man who last wore it – a certain Steven Gerrard – when he visited Merseyside last August to agree the move.

Click here to get your ‘Keita 8’ jerseys online now – as well as a range of other merchandise, including t-shirts, mugs, keyrings, scarfs and mouse mats.

Click here to browse our Naby Keita range>>

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In photos: Naby Keita’s first Melwood session

Wed, 27/06/2018 - 15:59

Naby Keita has completed his first workout at Melwood - and our photographer was at a sun-drenched training ground to snap the best bits of his workout.

Liverpool's new No.8 completed some conditioning and ball work under the watchful eye of first-team fitness coach Conall Murtagh as he became acquainted with his new place of work ahead of formally sealing his move to the Reds on Sunday July 1.

Keita will meet many of his new teammates for the first time on Monday, when those Liverpool players not involved at the World Cup are scheduled to report for the start of pre-season training.

Take a look at a photo gallery of the Guinea midfielder’s maiden Melwood session below…

Get your ‘Keita 8’ official 2018-19 Liverpool home and away jerseys online now>>

Photos by Andrew Powell

Brought to you by Vitality, official wellness partner of Liverpool FC

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