TAKING a look back on some of the big events that have happened during this week in Liverpool FC’s illustrious history.
1st August 1996: Berger Signs
On this particular date, Liverpool signed Patrik Berger from Borussia Dortmund for a fee of around £3.25million. The Czech international would make 196 appearances and scored 35 goals in the famous red shirt.
In just his third league appearance he came off the bench and scored a brace to help the Reds secure a 3-0 win over Leicester City. He scored two more goals in the very next game against Chelsea, in which he was rewarded with a start, and he won the Player of the Month award for September.
From what I remember, he had a rocket of a left foot.
2nd August 1969: Big Erik’s Birthday
He may not have been a lot of people’s cup of tea, in terms of footballing ability, but there is no doubt that Erik Meijer is a very sound bloke, and gave 110% in every game during his at Liverpool.
The big Dutch man has established himself as something of a cult hero amongst Reds fans over the years, turning up to the 2001 UEFA Cup final in Dortmund and partying with fans before the game, and doing the same in 2016.
Any excuse to use this:
Time flies – @robbohuyton and @Erikmeijer_ in Dortmund – 2001 v 2016 pic.twitter.com/6yzxO0NSEN
— The Anfield Wrap (@TheAnfieldWrap) April 8, 2016
2nd August 1979: Crazy Horse Departs
On this day the late, great Emlyn Hughes swapped Liverpool for Wolverhampton, bringing his 12 and a half year stay on Merseyside to an end. He remains to this day joint fourth on the all time top appearances list, with no less than 665 appearances.
During his time at Anfield he won four league titles, one FA Cup, two European Cups, two UEFA Cups and in 1977 he was named FWA Footballer of the Year, but his most prestigious honour came at the end of the 1968/69 season when he was voted the most attractive Football League player.
If – like me – you’re too young to have seen Hughes play, here is a glimpse for you:
5th August 1948: Clemence’s Birthday
The other half of the joint fourth spot in all time appearances list, Ray Clemence only missed six matches in 11 years after establishing himself as Bill Shankly’s number one, taking over from the ageing Tommy Lawrence.
In his 665 appearances, he won five league titles, one FA Cup, one League Cup, three European Cups and two UEFA Cups. Clemence was a very consistent and athletic ‘keeper, and behind a defensive four of Phil Neal, Alan Kennedy, Phil Thompson and Alan Hansen, the Reds were a force to be reckoned with at the back.
At 33 years of age Clemence went looking for a new challenge, after 14 years at the club, but he remains one of England’s all time greats between the sticks.
5th August 1991: Beardsley Goes Blue
It’s been 15 years to this week that Peter Beardsley left the club to join Everton and it still looks one of the biggest mistakes that Graeme Souness made, in a mistake-laden spell at the helm.
My age means I never got to witness the Beardsley, John Barnes and John Aldridge combo but it sounds magic. Beardsley sounds magic. A naturally gifted footballer who would be worth his weight in gold in today’s climate. In 175 games he scored 59 goals, and played a crucial part in the Reds’ last league win.
Sold before his time, for a low sum and to the Ev. Can it get worse?
5th August 2009: Xabi Says Goodbye
Huge error from Liverpool letting @XabiAlonso slip away.
— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) February 16, 2013
This one still hurts. Rafa got it wrong. Badly wrong. The manager had been looking to bring in Gareth Barry to replace Alonso at the end of the 2007/08 season. Barry was a good player at the time, but that would’ve been an error. Xabi didn’t like it though, and after perhaps his best season at Anfield in 2008/09 he was sold to Real Madrid for £30million.
210 glorious appearances. 18 great goals, two from his own half. He really was some player, and was for Madrid in the years after his departure. He’s still an admirer of the club and most at the club are still big admirers of his.
Xabi was the man.
7th August 1999: Sheffield Wednesday 1-2 Liverpool
The opening day of the 1999/00 saw Liverpool walk away with all three points. Robbie Fowler scored the first goal of the game, which took 75 minutes and Titi Camara scored on his debut to secure the win.
The other debutants that day were none other than Didi Hamann, Sami Hyypia, Vladimir Smicer, Sander Westerveld and Big Erik Meijer.
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