Player profile

Avi Cohen

Birthdate: 14 November 1956
Birthplace: Cairo, Egypt
Date of death: 28 December 2010
Nationality: Israel
Other clubs: Maccabi Tel Aviv (1975-79), Maccabi Tel Aviv (2 / 1981-87), Rangers (1987-88), Maccabi Tel Aviv (3 / 1988-90), Maccabi Netanya (1990)
Bought from: Maccabi Tel Aviv
Signed for LFC: £200,000, 18.07.1979
International debut: 22.09.1976 vs. Greece
International caps: Israel 51/3 - 17.02.1988
Liverpool debut: 15.09.1979
Last appearance: 21.02.1981
Debut goal: 03.05.1980
Last goal: 03.05.1980
Contract expiry: October 1981
Win ratio: 41.67% W: 10 D: 9 L: 5
LFC league games/goals: 18 / 1
Total LFC games/goals: 24 / 1

Player profile

Abraham "Avi" Cohen was the first foreign player to represent Liverpool since South African Doug Rudham arrived 24 years earlier. His transfer successfully concluded six months of Liverpool interest in the player. They had received glowing reports about the defender and in February 1979 he spent a week training with the club under the watchful eye of manager Bob Paisley. He joined Liverpool in the summer and due to Ray Kennedy's absence, he was given an early debut at Leeds on 15 September 1979 on the left side of midfield. Cohen didn't feature again until the end of the season as the champions had a fairly settled side who went on to clinch its second consecutive championship against Aston Villa. It was a day of mixed fortunes for the Israeli left-back. After David Johnson had given the Reds an early lead, Cohen had the misfortune to slice an attempted clearance over Ray Clemence's head into his own goal. But five minutes after the interval, he made up for his error by driving a low shot into the Kop goal to give Liverpool a lead they didn't surrender.

Cohen played in 14 League matches the following season when Alan Kennedy was out injured and rarely on merit. He stirred up controversy when he decided to play against Southampton on 20 September 1980 that fell on the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur. Cohen was lambasted by the Israeli media. Cohen didn't feature from February onwards as Liverpool went on to win their third European Cup and returned to Israel in November. He moved back to Britain in May 1987 playing one season for his old teammate, Graeme Souness, at Rangers. Cohen managed several teams in Israel from 1990-2001 and the former Israeli captain was the chairman of the Israel Professional Footballers Association for over five years. Avi tragically died only 54 years of age on 29 December 2010 following a motorcycle accident in Israel. Kenny Dalglish remembered his old colleague: "Avi was a lovely man who will be remembered fondly by everyone at Liverpool who knew him. He quickly integrated himself into the football club when he joined us and spent a lot of time learning English which really made him popular. He was well liked by all the lads and although he didn't spend a long time at the club, he certainly left his mark and no-one will forget how he helped us win the League against Aston Villa."

Appearances per season

1979-1980 410005
1980-1981 14113019

A more detailed look at the player's appearances

2Aston Villa
2Brighton & Hove Albion
2Oulu Palloseura
1Stoke City
1Ipswich Town
1Leeds United
1Manchester City
1Nottingham Forest
1Leicester City
1Birmingham City
1Crystal Palace
1Swindon Town
Total Started/substitutions
21 Started
9 On the bench
3 Substitute
3European Cup
2FA Cup
1League Cup

Goals per season

1979-1980 100001
1980-1981 000000

A more detailed look at the player's goalscoring

TotalGoal minute period
146-60 minutes
TotalOpen play/Penalty
1Open play

Wartime Appearances / Goals

No records to display.

Stats note

Milestone Appearances

115.09.1979Leeds UnitedElland RoadLeague

Milestone Goals

15003.05.1980Aston VillaAnfieldLeague

Related Articles

Love at first sight

An article from the Liverpool Echo on 24 February 1979.More

Avi suits Anfield style

An article from the Liverpool Echo on 22 February 1979.More

Reds trial for Israeli star

An article from the Liverpool Echo on 22 January 1979More

Dear Yossi

Former Liverpool defender Avi Cohen - the first Israeli to play for Liverpool - has penned a letter to fellow countryman Yossi Benayoun following his transfer to Anfield.More

Reds spread net across Europe

An article from the Liverpool Echo on 3 February 1979.More

Avi beats the freeze and impresses Bob

An article from the Liverpool Echo on 17 February 1979.More

Related Quotes

"When Avi came in for training, he found that his peg was next to Kenny Dalglish‘s. Avi repeatedly said to Kenny, ‘Me, you, same.’ Kenny replied in his broad Glaswegian, ‘What do you mean by that?’ 'You learn English like me, Ken'..."

Avi Cohen felt Kenny Dalglish was just as incompetent in English as himself

The player was in the squad the following season

SeasonShirt #Position
1979-1980 * Defender
1980-1981 * Defender
* Note, Since the 1993-94 season players have been allocated a fixed number.