No. 71 – Stubbins spectacular diving header in the Snow
Albert Stubbins will always be remembered on the Kop for a spectacular diving headed goal in an FA Cup against Birmingham on a frozen Anfield pitch. It was the first of March 1947 when Birmingham City travelled to Anfield for the FA Cup 6th round clash. After overcoming Walsall 5 ‘“ 2, Grimsby Town 2 ‘“ 0 and Derby County 1 ‘“ 0 in previous rounds, Liverpool were on the verge of a semi Final FA Cup spot.
Birmingham arrived at Anfield with the ground covered in a blanket of snow, an Albert Stubbins hat trick and a goal from Jack Balmer was enough for Liverpool to progress through to the semi’s. Liverpool won 4-1, but Albert Stubbins grabbed all the headlines, not only for his three goals but it was his second goal which will forever be etched into the annals of the club.
The kop looked on in disbelief to see Stubbins diving onto the ground which was hard as concrete covered in ice and snow to connect with a low free-kick of Billy Liddell, but Stubbins dived in and scored an amazing goal with a perfectly timed header which left him with two lacerated knees…
Many years later Stubbins retold the day he scored the goal “In the second half Billy Liddell took a free kick and I took a position on the edge of the box. The Birmingham defence felt that as I had gone back there I wasn’t going to cause any problem and left me more or less unmarked. It was one of Billy’s low free kicks and when he struck it I started running at full speed. As the ball came flashing across I just dived at it and I was able to direct it to the keeper’s left. Given the power of Billy’s kick and the pace at which I met it the velocity of the ball was terrific. It just flew in! It was an icy ground and both of my knees were lacerated and bleeding but it was certainly worth it.”
Albert’s bravery on the pitch throughout his Liverpool career became the stuff of legend, he scored 28 goals (24 league goals) in that 1946-7 season which made him Liverpools joint top scorer with Jack Balmer, helping Liverpool to win the League Championship, the first time in 24 years.
Cyril Sidlow, Jim Harley, Ray Lambert, Phil Taylor, Bill Jones, Bob Paisley, Willie Fagan, Jack Balmer, Albert Stubbins, Cyril Done, Billy Liddell