Player profile

Phil Babb

Phil Babb

Birthdate: 30 November 1970
Birthplace: Lambeth, London, England
Other clubs: Bradford City (1990-92), Coventry City (1992-94), Tranmere Rovers (loan 2000), Sporting Lisbon (2000-02), Sunderland (2002-04)
Bought from: Coventry City
Signed for LFC: £3.6m, 01.09.1994
International debut: 23.03.1994 vs. Russia
International caps: Ireland 35/0 (25/0 at LFC) - 2002
Liverpool debut: 17.09.1994
Last appearance: 16.05.1999
Debut goal: 04.09.1996
Last goal: 04.09.1996
Contract expiry: 01.07.2000
Win ratio: 52.35% W:89 D:44 L:37
Honours: League Cup 1995
Total games/goals opposite LFC: 5 / 1
LFC league games/goals: 128 / 1
Total LFC games/goals: 170 / 1

Player profile

After going through the youth system at Millwall without making an appearance Babb established himself in midfield at third division Bradford from 1990, scoring 14 goals in 80 League appearances and In July 1992 he got his big break when he moved to Premiership Coventry City. He took over the captaincy at the club and was voted Player of the Year at the Sky Blues in the 1993/94 season. Babb became Britain's most expensive defender when he was bought along with John Scales to solve Liverpool's defensive problems after shining brightly for Ireland in the 1994 World Cup. Babb's strengths were his speed, man-marking skills and tackling but his distribution of the ball, positional sense and sometimes alarming carelessness let him down. He became an integral part of Evans' 5-3-2 formation with Scales and Ruddock alongside him in the centre of defence. Babb scored a single goal for Liverpool that came against his former club, Coventry, on 4 September 1996. Babb was a regular in his first two and a half seasons at the club but lost his way somewhat in the otherwise impressive 1996/97 that ended ultimately in disappointment. Mick McCarthy, then Republic of Ireland's coach, tried to analyse what had happened to the previously composed defender at Liverpool: "I don't think that formation suited Babb, who has always looked more comfortable in the middle of a flat back four. It didn't help that other senior players at Liverpool were struggling at the time, and the end product was that Phil began to lose confidence."

Injury disrupted Babb's progress in the following season but he was back in the first 11 from January 1998 onwards. Houllier gave him a chance after he took sole control of the club in the 1998/99 season but he struggled to recapture the form that prompted Roy Evans to sign him for the club. The writing was on the wall for Babb when he was left out of a weekend tournament in Belfast in July 1999 and the arrival of Hyypia and Henchoz in the summer of 1999 effectively made him a spectator in his last year at the club. He was loaned for one month to John Aldridge's Tranmere in late January and helped Rovers to the League Cup final. He made a surprise move to Sporting Lisbon where he enjoyed a revival of some sorts and enjoyed his football again for two years, winning the League and Cup double in his second season and voted the league's top overseas defender. Sporting offered him a new contract but he and his family wanted a return to England. He opted for Peter Reid's Sunderland in the summer of 2002 but was relegated from the Premiership in his first season and spent one year in the First Division before retiring from the game that had given him so many highs and lows. Since then he has largely been out of the game, except for a spell as manager of Conference South side Hayes & Yeading from the summer of 2013 until February 2015.

Appearances per season

Season League FA LC Europe Other Total
Totals 128 12 16 14 0 170
1994-1995 34 6 7 0 0 47
1995-1996 28 4 4 4 0 40
1996-1997 22 1 3 5 0 31
1997-1998 19 0 2 1 0 22
1998-1999 25 1 0 4 0 30
1999-2000 0 0 0 0 0 0

A more detailed look at the player's appearances

Total Opponent
9 Newcastle United
9 Wimbledon
8 Arsenal
8 Tottenham
8 Chelsea
8 Southampton
8 Blackburn Rovers
8 West Ham United
8 Manchester United
7 Middlesbrough
6 Aston Villa
6 Leeds United
6 Sheffield Wednesday
6 Leicester City
5 Coventry City
5 Manchester City
4 Nottingham Forest
4 Derby
4 Burnley
4 QPR
4 Crystal Palace
3 Sunderland
3 Charlton Athletic
3 Everton
2 Bolton Wanderers
2 Norwich City
2 Ipswich Town
2 Birmingham City
2 Spartak Vladi.
2 Brøndby
2 Kosice
2 Mypa 47
2 Sion
2 Celta Vigo
1 Barnsley
1 Brann
1 Shrewsbury Town
1 Port Vale
1 Celtic
1 Stoke City
Total Started/substitutions
164 Started
20 On the bench
6 Substitute
11 Substituted
Total Competition
128 Premier League
16 League Cup
12 FA Cup
9 UEFA Cup
5 European Cup Winners Cup

Goals per season

Season League FA LC Europe Other Total
Totals 1 0 0 0 0 1
1994-1995 0 0 0 0 0 0
1995-1996 0 0 0 0 0 0
1996-1997 1 0 0 0 0 1
1997-1998 0 0 0 0 0 0
1998-1999 0 0 0 0 0 0
1999-2000 0 0 0 0 0 0

A more detailed look at the player's goalscoring

Total Opponent
1 Coventry City
Total Started/substitutions
1 Started
0 Substitute
Total Competition
1 Premier League
Total Goal minute period
1 61-75 minutes
Total Open play/Penalty
1 Open play

Milestone Appearances

# Date Against Stadium Competition
1 17.09.1994 Manchester United Old Trafford League
50 26.08.1995 Tottenham White Hart Lane League
100 23.10.1996 Charlton Athletic The Valley League Cup
150 04.10.1998 Chelsea Anfield League

Milestone Goals

# Minute Date Against Stadium Competition
1 68 04.09.1996 Coventry City Highfield Road League

Related Articles

Press Association match report

Match report from Press Association on Liverpool - Chelsea on 04.10.1998. More

Ferguson wins the battle of the managers

Match report from British Soccer Week on Man Utd - Liverpool on 17.09.1994.More

Scales and Babb join Roy Evans

Roy Evans bought Liverpool a pair of central defenders in 1994.More

Babb's happy Highfield return

Match report from 04.09.1996 by John Curtis of "Press Association" More

Babb a RED - at last!

Article from British Soccer Week 08.09.1994.More

Related Quotes

Dominic Matteo, said: "The joke was definitely on the rest of the players. Everyone said that he wouldn't score, but he kept them quiet with that goal."

Babb was surprised by his goal: "The lads are still in shock, in even more shock than me. I still haven't come down yet. It's such an nice feeling to score against your old club."

Babb scored his only goal for LFC against his old side, Coventry on 04.09.1996.

Phil Babb crashed memorably into the post at Anfield vs. Chelsea on 4th of October 1998.

While he was lying there holding his knackers, someone shouted 'Don't rub them Phil, count them'."

Al daas on RAWK forum

Other Clubs

Club Season Club rank League apps League goals Total apps Total goals
Bradford City 1990-1991 England Third Division 34 0 37 0
Bradford City 1991-1992 England Third Division 46 4 54 4
Coventry City 1992-1993 England Premier League 34 0 37 0
Coventry City 1993-1994 England Premier League 40 3 44 4
Coventry City 1994-1995 England Premier League 3 0 3 0
Tranmere Rovers 1999-2000 England Second Division 4 0 7 0
Sporting Lisbon 2000-2001 Portugal 1 11 0 12 0
Sporting Lisbon 2001-2002 Portugal 1 27 0 33 1
Sunderland 2002-2003 England Premier League 26 0 30 0
Sunderland 2003-2004 England Premier League 22 0 30 0
Total 247 7 287 9
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