FANCY yourself as an Anfield statto? Reckon you really know your Reds?
Well try this one for size.
Give me six Liverpool legends who have scored goals in 12 successive seasons for the Reds.
That’s right. Half-a-dozen goalscoring greats whose longevity matches their legend and have celebrated strikes in a dozen different seasons.
King Kenny, obviously, I hear you shout.
Well, actually, no. He might be the greatest player ever to pull on the Red jersey but Dalglish ‘only’ managed goals in 10 successive seasons.
Well, Rushy then. Except Ian Rush’s spell in Italy interrupted his astonishing spell of goalscoring greatness.
Students of Liverpool’s mighty marksmen might offer the name Gordon Hodgson – the South African striker who terrorised opposition defences in the 1930s – except he drew a blank after 11 consecutive seasons of goalscoring derring do.
Or the legendary Sir Roger?
No. Roger Hunt was a goalscorer for 10 successive seasons at Anfield – a remarkable nine of them as club top scorer.
The six players who have scored goals for Liverpool in a dozen seasons or more are a distinguished . . . and eclectic bunch.
And they have just been joined by Steven Gerrard.
The Reds skipper has racked up an astonishing number of statistical achievements during his time at Anfield . . . my particular favourite being his status as the only man to score goals in the finals of the League Cup, FA Cup, UEFA Cup and European Cup.
But his clinically converted penalty against FK Rabotnicki means he is now rubbing shoulders alongside . . . cue drumroll . . . the legendary Billy Liddell (who scored goals in 15 straight seasons, more than anyone else in Anfield history), pre-war goalscoring gods Jack Cox and Arthur Goddard . . . . and a couple of stars straight from left-field – literally.
Ronnie Whelan’s status as a marksman is quite rightly defined as being a scorer of great goals rather than a great goalscorer.
But Whelan didn’t just score some stunning goals in Wembley cup finals. Whelan’s laser-guided left-foot converted efforts in an astonishing 14 different Anfield seasons.
While the goal Emlyn Hughes cracked in the second leg of the European Super Cup final in 1978 against Anderlecht meant he also joined the elevated ranks of scoring in 12 consecutive seasons.
That Gerrard has now joined such esteemed company is further evidence, if any were needed, of his enduring greatness.
Often true greats tend to be appreciated more after they’ve hung up their boots than they are when they’re plying their trade.
And Gerrard is occasionally a man on the receiving end of unwarranted barbs from some fans on the rare occasions he slips below his impossibly high standards.
Don’t make that mistake.
Steven Gerrard is a genuine, 24 carat, living Liverpool legend – a man rubbing shoulders with only Liddell and Dalglish as perhaps the greatest player ever to grace that fine football club.
The stats say so.
Many thanks to that peerless Anfield anorak, Ged Rea, whose voracious appetite for facts, figures and statistical trivia is even greater than my own. Great work Ged!
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