Tribute from King Kenny

From "Celebration Year 1994/95 Ian Rush"

I have played with and against some of the greatest strikers in the world during the past dozen years, and the greatest compliment I can pay Ian Rush is that he stands in comparison with the best, he's as good as any of them.

Whatever that knack of scoring goals is, he has it. And that is something nobody can teach a footballer. A player can improve his fitness, his skills, he learns through experience how to pace his game and the art of positional play. But for all that, when it comes to putting the ball in the net, it's something you're either born with or without. From the time he really broke into the team, in his second season at Liverpool, Ian has scored goals so consistently he has already proved himself a genuinely gifted player.

But Ian Rush has become more than that. As he has grown in experience, he has learnt to add new facets to his game. Nowadays he is much more of an all-round player. He is prepared to chase back and tackle, he makes goal chances for other people.

Ian has also stayed totally unspoilt by his success. There is no edge to him, no question of him getting a big head. Still, that is one problem we have all suffered at Liverpool. If anyone ever showed any signs of beginning to believe what he's read about in the papers he'd be brought down by the others in double-quick time.

When he first joined Liverpool he never opened his mouth in the dressing-room. He doesn't say an awful lot, even now. When Ian says I helped him to become the player he is, that makes me flattered. Like older players helped me in my younger days. I've tried to pass on any help I can to younger colleagues. Whether he was a good learner is something only he will know. But really, in this game, you learn for yourself.

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