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The best players to ever pull on a Liverpool shirt...

Posted by Christopher Smith on

To celebrate the release of Liverpool's new 125th anniversary home kit for the 2017/18 season, we thought we'd take a look back at some of the greatest players to ever wear the liver bird on their chest.

Ian Rush (1980-1987 & 1988-1996)

Not only did Ian Rush have one of the best moustaches in world football, but he also sported one of the best goalscoring records. In two separate spells with Liverpool, Rush managed to scored a total of 346 goals in 636 appearances: that's a rate of just over a goal every 2 games!

Known for being lightening quick & for being in the right place at the right time, Rush scored all types of goals throughout his career: headers, tap-ins & thunderbolts.

Rush now has regular stints on tv as a pundit, though he has sadly shaved the moustache.

Kenny Dalglish (1977-1990)

Arguably the greatest Scottish player of all time, Kenny Dalglish is hailed as both a Celtic & Liverpool Legend. He was signed to replace Kevin Keegan, and what a signing he turned out to be!

Dalglish had all the attributes needed to be a great: he was strong, had incredible vision, was as brave as a lion & on top of all that had a great eye for goal too.

King Kenny, as he was affectionately known, also went on to become a Premier League winner as a manager, though sadly not with Liverpool. He was in charge of Blackburn Rover's iconic title win in 1995. 

Steven Gerrard (1988-2015)

The most recent player on our list, there's absolutely no way Steven Gerrard can be described as anything other than one of Liverpool's all-time greats. He was especially well-known for scoring stunning long range strikes, particularly at important moments.

Essentially a one-club man, (he had a brief spell with LA Galaxy at the very end of his career) Gerrard will perhaps be best-remembered for the club's famous night in Istanbul.

At half time in the Champion's League final in 2005, Liverpool trailed AC Milan 3-0 and all looked lost. Gerrard was having none of it & dragged his side kicking & screaming back to 3-3, scoring his side's first goal & winning a penalty for their equaliser. Liverpool went on to win on penalties.

Graeme Souness (1978-1984)

If Begbie from Trainspotting had been a football player, he'd likely have turned out like Graeme Souness - the man was properly hard & at times downright scary. Brought up in Edinburgh & spending his youth career at Tynecastle Boys Club, Souness signed for Liverpool in 1978.

Sometimes because of Souness' borderline cruel nature on the pitch & all-round scariness, it's easy to forget what a technically gifted player he was. His touch could only be described as silky, while his football brain let him dictate entire matches at will. 

Make no mistake though, if Souness felt you had wronged him or any of his teammates, you would know about it very soon.

Kevin Keegan (1971-1977)

Perhaps unfairly, when you mention Keegan's name to anyone these days they immediately think of his "I would love it we beat them" comment made during Newcastle United's failed title charge in the 90s. Make no mistake though, Keegan's managerial career bears very little resemblance to his playing career.

During his time at Liverpool, Kevin Keegan scored exactly 100 goals & became a firm-favourite thanks to his unlimited energy & always giving 100% commitment to every game. He was also one of the game's first pin-up boys, with his good looks & flowing curly hair giving him fame beyond football.

Although Keegan's departure from Liverpool for SV Hamburg left a sour taste in the mouth of some fans, he remembers his time at Liverpool incredibly fondly. When describing his time at Anfield in an interview he once said: "when they start singing You'll Never Walke Alone my eyes start to water. There have been times when I've actually been crying while playing".

Honourable mentions:

Luis Suarez: the controversial Uruguayan is easily one of the most naturally-gifted players to turn out for the club, scoring some sensational goals along the way. However, 3 seasons at Anfield isn't long enough to call him a true great.

Robbie Fowler: the club's darling of the 90s & one of the original "Spice Boys". Fowler scored in abundance for the club during a relatively barren period by Liverpool's high standards.

Michael Owen: blisteringly quick & deadly in front of goal, Owen left for Real Madrid just before the club won the Champion's League. Sullied his club legacy by signing for Man Utd in his later career.

Ray Clemence: arguably Liverpool's greatest ever goalkeeper, he won every major trophy in England & Europe with the exception of the Cupwinner's Cup.

Ron Yeats: Bill Shankly's favourite defender at the club during the 60's, Yeats' leadership qualities are still spoken about to this day.

Alan Hansen: an elegant player who read the game beautifully, he paved the way for ball-playing defenders coming to prominence. Post-career he admitted to crippling pre-match nerves, which is astounding as he was the personification of calm on the pitch.

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