Player profile

Nick Tanner

Nick Tanner

Birthdate: 24 May 1965
Birthplace: Bristol, England
Other clubs:Mangotsfield United (1982-85), Bristol Rovers (1985-88), Norwich City (loan 1990), Swindon Town (loan 1990)
Bought from:Bristol Rovers
Signed for LFC:£20,000, 08.07.1988
Liverpool debut: 02.12.1989
Last appearance: 16.12.1992
Debut goal: 28.12.1991
Last goal: 28.12.1991
Contract expiry: March 1994
Win ratio: 38.98% W:23 D:21 L:15
LFC league games/goals: 40 / 1
Total LFC games/goals: 59 / 1

Player profile

Bristol-born Tanner played locally as a teenager for Mangotsfield United before becoming a Bristol Rovers player in 1985, the year of his twentieth birthday. He was used mainly as a midfield player by Rovers and had made over a hundred Football League appearances for the Pirates when Liverpool made their move in 1988. Tanner joined a club that had just won its seventeenth League Championship. Like so many other new arrivals at Anfield, Tanner had to be patient, especially as Liverpool felt he might be a better central defender than a midfielder. Central defence was a position in which the Liverpool team was still strong. Tanner finally made his competitive debut for the Reds, during an away match with Manchester City shortly before Christmas in 1989. He figured in three more first division matches that season. Although Liverpool reclaimed the championship title they had lost so dramatically to Arsenal in 1989, the young defender had not unfortunately made enough senior appearances to qualify for a medal. At a time when only two substitutes could be named, Tanner made Liverpool's bench just three times in 1990/91 but his career was revived by a change of manager when Souness was appointed to replace Dalglish. With Alan Hansen now retired and Gary Gillespie moving to Glasgow Celtic, now was the opportunity for the young West Country defender to really make his mark. Although not picked for the first two League matches, Tanner played from the start in 32 of the remaining 40 first division games. In the twentieth of those matches he scored his only Liverpool goal, a close-range effort at Goodison Park that crept over the line despite the claims of Everton defenders that it had not. 

Tanner only made ten appearances in the 1992/93 season in a turbulent time at Anfield. Still suffering hugely from the aftermath of both Heysel and Hillsborough, big questions were starting to be asked about Souness’ style of management. Unfortunately, a persistent back problem forced Tanner into early retirement as a player in 1994. This must have been a huge disappointment for someone who was still ‘the right side of thirty’. Injury therefore deprived him of at least five years as a professional footballer. Tanner told that he is proud of his time at Liverpool. "I only cost £20,000! I can honestly say I did my best in every game and feel I gave good value for money at a very difficult time for the club."

Appearances per season

Season League FA LC Europe Other Total
Totals 40 2 8 8 1 59
1988-1989 0 0 0 0 0 0
1989-1990 4 0 0 0 0 4
1990-1991 0 0 0 0 0 0
1991-1992 32 2 5 6 0 45
1992-1993 4 0 3 2 1 10

A more detailed look at the player's appearances

Total Opponent
4 Nottingham Forest
3 Arsenal
3 Aston Villa
3 Manchester United
3 Tottenham
2 Port Vale
2 Crystal Palace
2 Wimbledon
2 Auxerre
2 Swarowski Tirol
2 Leeds United
2 Luton Town
2 Sheffield United
2 Stoke City
2 Everton
2 Coventry City
2 Chelsea
2 Manchester City
1 West Ham United
1 Oldham Athletic
1 Sheffield Wednesday
1 Bristol Rovers
1 Charlton Athletic
1 Norwich City
1 Southampton
1 Genoa
1 Chesterfield
1 Notts County
1 Crewe
1 Peterborough United
1 Apollon Limassol
1 Spartak Moscow
1 Kuusysi Lahti
Total Started/substitutions
51 Started
19 On the bench
8 Substitute
5 Substituted
Total Competition
36 League
8 League Cup
6 UEFA Cup
4 Premier League
2 European Cup Winners Cup
2 FA Cup
1 Charity Shield

Goals per season

Season League FA LC Europe Other Total
Totals 1 0 0 0 0 1
1988-1989 0 0 0 0 0 0
1989-1990 0 0 0 0 0 0
1990-1991 0 0 0 0 0 0
1991-1992 1 0 0 0 0 1
1992-1993 0 0 0 0 0 0

A more detailed look at the player's goalscoring

Total Opponent
1 Everton
Total Started/substitutions
1 Started
0 Substitute
Total Competition
1 League
Total Goal minute period
1 31-45 minutes
Total Open play/Penalty
1 Open play

Milestone Appearances

# Date Against Stadium Competition
1 02.12.1989 Manchester City Maine Road League
50 08.08.1992 Leeds United Wembley Other

Milestone Goals

# Minute Date Against Stadium Competition
1 41 28.12.1991 Everton Goodison Park League

Related Articles

View from the people - Nick Tanner

This is the first installment of our new weekly series "A view from the People" in which a guest columnist is featured if he has an interesting story to tell related to Liverpool FC.More

Related Quotes

"He hasn't played for 15 months because of a back problem. It began as an injury but worsened and there is no way he can play now without pain."

Roy Evans on Nick Tanner in 10.03.1994