A hat-trick of hat-tricks
Torres put himself in exclusive company by scoring three hat-tricks in his debut season for Liverpool. He became the fifth player in Liverpool's history to achieve this great feat and entered the history books in glorious fashion vs. West Ham at Anfield on 5th of March 2008, previously scoring hat-tricks vs. Middlesbrough just two weeks earlier and Reading in September.
John Miller scored three hat-tricks in his debut season and only season at Liverpool in 1892-1893 in the Lancashire league. He scored a hat-trick on the 15th of October, 22nd of October and put five goals past Fleetwood Rangers on 3rd of December.
No Liverpool player can match the achievements of the great George Allan who scored FOUR hat-tricks in his first season in 1895-1896. Port Vale (4 goals), Rotherham United (3 goals), Rotherham United again (4 goals) and Crewe (3 goals). It must be noted though that Liverpool played then in the second division.
Tony Hateley was Liverpool's record signing back in 1967 when he arrived for 96,000 pounds from Chelsea. He scored a hat-trick in only his third game vs. Newcastle, scored four goals vs Walsall in a 4th round replay in the FA Cup and in the penultimate game of the season he netted three times in a 6-1 Nottingham Forest thrashing.
John Wark signed for Liverpool late in the 1983-84 season and only featured in 9 games, but in his first full season he became the first player since the 1967-1968 season to score three hat-tricks in his debut season for Liverpool. He scored three vs. Lech Poznan in the first round of the European cup at Anfield, three in a 7-0 win vs. York in a FA Cup replay (yes, Liverpool needed a replay to get past York!) and three goals in 18 minutes finished off WBA at the Hawthorns in the league.
Torres even overshadows Robbie Fowler who grabbed two hat-tricks in his debut season. Fowler scored 5 goals vs. Fulham on 5th of October 1993 in the League cup in his 4th game for Liverpool's first team and a hat-trick vs Southampton on 30th of October 1993 in his 5th league match. Fowler was only a raw 18-year-old back then and not as accomplished as Torres, but never in his glorious Liverpool career did Fowler manage three hat-tricks a season.
If you are wondering how the likes of Ian Rush, Gordon Hodgson, Kenny Dalglish, Michael Owen and Roger Hunt did in comparison with Torres, they did not match Torres in terms of number of hat-tricks in their first full seasons. Rush scored one hat-trick vs. Notts County. The hat-trick king of Liverpool, the South African Gordon Hodgson, who scored 17 hat-tricks for Liverpool, "only" scored two hat-tricks in his first season. Dalglish scored a hat-trick vs. Wrexham in the league cup and Manchester City in the league. Owen netted two hat-tricks vs. Grimsby and Sheffield Wednesday and Roger Hunt did not achieve that feat in the 1959-60 season though he scored a brace on four occasions.
Fernando Torres has impressed us all and added a new dimension to Liverpool's play. He deserves his plaudits and has become quite a phenomenon. His popularity has reached heights that only a select few achieve at Liverpool.
His song hit the top of the charts at Anfield:
His armband proved he was a Red. - Torres Torres,
You'll never walk alone, it said - Torres Torres,
We bought the lad from sunny Spain,
He gets the ball, he scores again.
Fer-nan-do Tor-res, Liverpool's number nine!
The whole world has caught on this most brilliant song in ages and Nike as well!
A joke that's been circulating among Liverpool supporters shows how highly Torres is rated:
Gerrard, Carragher and Torres go before God. He questions their beliefs: "What do you believe, son?" Stevie says "Footy is the food of life", God sits him to his left. Carragher says: "Courage, honour and passion on the pitch", God sits him to his right. Finally God asks Torres: "What do you believe, son?". Torres says: "I believe you're sitting in my seat."
All these accolades and great feats speak for themselves but what is most impressive of all in Torres' armoury, is his attitude towards the fans, his team-mates, Liverpool Football Club and Liverpool as a city.
"There's the relationship between the fans and the club - the social background of Liverpool's fans, from a hard-working city supporting a hard-working club, this is very important to me."
Arnie ([email protected]fchistory.net) - Copyright - LFChistory.net