Anfield’s top of the Kops – Liverpool’s all-time greats

Liverpool’s record-breaking season – currently on hold because of the coronavirus outbreak – has led to comparisons being made to the club’s previous great sides.

By Peter Storey
Friday, 17th April 2020, 11:45 am
Updated Friday, 17th April 2020, 12:17 pm
Midfield maestro Steve Gerrard
Midfield maestro Steve Gerrard

How would Jurgen Klopp’s champions-elect compare to some of these Anfield greats?

Here the Lancashire Post picks out 10 of the Reds’ best players in their history.

Steven Gerrard

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Kevin Keegan was a hero in the seventies

(Appearances: 710, Goals: 186, Champions League: 1, FA Cup: 2, UEFA Cup: 1, League Cup: 3)

The fact he has taken over from Kenny Dalglish as many fans’ greatest player is testament enough to the all-action midfielder’s enduring legacy. Aside from the highs of Istanbul 2005, the 2001 treble and the 2006 FA Cup final Gerrard, unlike most of his peers on the list, consistently operated at the highest level, though he did not win a league title medal.

Kenny Dalglish

(Appearances: 515, Goals: 172, League titles: 6, European Cups: 3, League Cup: 1)

Goalscoring legend Ian Rush

Known as ‘King Kenny’, the Scot’s bootprints are all over the club’s greatest period of success between the late 1970s and early 1990s. Bought to replace a Kop idol in Kevin Keegan, Dalglish quickly established himself as the new hero with the winning goal in the 1978 European Cup final in his first season. Blessed with vision few of his contemporaries could match, his partnership with Ian Rush was one of the very best.

Ian Rush

(Appearances: 660, Goals: 346, League titles: 5, European Cups: 2, FA Cups: 3, League Cups: 5)

One of the most lethal strikers of his generation with a record which has stood the test of time. With Dalglish providing the ammunition the hard-working Wales international was hugely prolific with a predatory instinct which made him feared throughout Europe.

Graeme Souness

(Appearances: 359, Goals: 55, League titles: 5, European Cups: 3, League Cups: 3)

Souness was not just the midfield hardman he is often remembered for being – although he was an uncompromising, ruthless opponent – as he had a quality of touch to match his toughness.

Ray Clemence

(Appearances: 665, League titles: 5, European Cups: 3, UEFA Cups: 2, FA Cup: 1, League Cup: 1)

Without doubt the greatest goalkeeper in the club’s history. Signed for just £18,000 from Scunthorpe, Clemence’s 11 years as first choice saw him win every major club honour and establish himself as one of the world’s best and while he benefited from playing in the best team of the era he was more than an equal of his team-mates.

John Barnes

(Appearances: 407, Goals: 108, League titles: 2, FA Cups: 2, League Cup: 1)

While Barnes may not boast the trophy haul of many of the club greats his presence among them is without question. Barnes was the first high-profile black player to play for the club in the 1980s, a time when racial abuse echoed around stadia across the land, and the photograph of him backheeling a banana thrown at him remains a powerful image. On the field Barnes glided across the pitch with grace and poise to devastating effect in the final third.

Robbie Fowler

(Appearances: 369, Goals: 183, UEFA Cup: 1, FA Cup: 1, League Cup: 2)

Affectionately known as ‘God’ by the 
Kop, Fowler was loved as much for who he was – his support for the Liverpool Dockers in 1997 earned him a UEFA fine but endeared himself more to the fanbase – as for what he did. The ‘Toxteth Terror’ was arguably the best natural finisher of his generation and is still the club’s 
all-time leading Premier League goalscorer.

Billy Liddell

(Appearances 534, Goals: 228, League title: 1)

Signed in 1938, during the Scottish winger’s 23-year Anfield career he came to prominence in the 1950s during one of the club’s barren spells, which included relegation to the second division. Scored a career-best 33 goals in 1955-56 in the second tier as he almost singled-handedly prevented the club slipping even further down the divisions.

Kevin Keegan

(Appearances: 323, Goals: 100, League titles: 3, European Cup: 1, UEFA Cup: 2)

Keegan’s move to Anfield from Scunthorpe in 1971 for £35,000 – described by Bill Shankly as “robbery with violence” – catapulted him towards being the football star of the 1970s. Fast, skilful and committed his ‘little and large’ partnership with John Toshack was one of the most prolific of the decade and he gave the number seven shirt a new-found reverence.

Alan Hansen

(Appearances: 620, Goals: 14, League titles: 8, European Cups: 3, FA Cups: 3)

The classy centre-back and 
Anfield captain was a precursor for the modern-day ball-playing defender, relying on brain over brawn, and his leadership qualities made him perfect captaincy material with the final six 
years of his career spent wearing the armband.