Player profile

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.

Appearances per season

1994-1995 34670047
1995-1996 28444040
1996-1997 22135031
1997-1998 19021022
1998-1999 25104030
1999-2000 000000

A more detailed look at the player's appearances

9Newcastle United
8Blackburn Rovers
8West Ham United
8Manchester United
6Aston Villa
6Leeds United
6Sheffield Wednesday
6Leicester City
5Coventry City
5Manchester City
4Nottingham Forest
4Crystal Palace
3Charlton Athletic
2Bolton Wanderers
2Norwich City
2Ipswich Town
2Birmingham City
2Spartak Vladi.
2Mypa 47
2Celta Vigo
1Port Vale
1Stoke City
Total Started/substitutions
164 Started
20 On the bench
6 Substitute
11 Substituted

Goals per season

1994-1995 000000
1995-1996 000000
1996-1997 100001
1997-1998 000000
1998-1999 000000
1999-2000 000000

A more detailed look at the player's goalscoring

1Premier League
TotalGoal minute period
161-75 minutes
TotalOpen play/Penalty
1Open play

Wartime Appearances / Goals

No records to display.

Stats note

Milestone Appearances

117.09.1994Manchester UnitedOld TraffordLeague
5026.08.1995TottenhamWhite Hart LaneLeague
10023.10.1996Charlton AthleticThe ValleyLeague Cup

Milestone Goals

16804.09.1996Coventry CityHighfield RoadLeague

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

The player was in the squad the following season

SeasonShirt #Position
1994-1995 6 Defender
1995-1996 6 Defender
1996-1997 6 Defender
1997-1998 6 Defender
1998-1999 6 Defender
1999-2000 6 Defender
* Note, Since the 1993-94 season players have been allocated a fixed number.