Liverpool’s all-time Irish XI

17 March 2017

To celebrate St Patrick’s Day, we’ve scrolled through Liverpool’s history and selected an all-time Reds Irish team.


Liverpool more than most English clubs have a strong Irish following among the fanbase.

Throughout the Reds’ great history, we have been fortunate to see some fantastic Irish players grace the Anfield turf.

Some have won multiple league titles and European Cups, while others have etched their name into Liverpool folklore because of their character and consistency.

Here is our best Reds Irish XI:

 

Goalkeeper – Elisha Scott

Liverpool Football Club celebrate its 125th birthday this year, having been founded in 1892, and Elisha Scott was someone born just a year later.

He represented the Reds for an incredible 22 years, between 1912 and 1934, making him the Reds’ longest-serving player to this day.

Scott played 468 games in total, and only World War I stopped him from appearing more times.

 

Right-Back – Steve Finnan

DUBLIN, REPUBLIC OF IRELAND - Saturday, March 24, 2007: Republic of Ireland's Steve Finnan and Wales' Ryan Giggs during the UEFA European Championships 2008 Group D qualifying match at Croke Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Few Liverpool full-backs in the Premier League era have been more dependable than Steve Finnan, and he was a key man during an excellent spell for the Reds in the mid-2000s.

Finnan won the 2005 Champions League and the FA Cup a year later, and you could count on one hand the number of errors he made during his five-year stay at Anfield.

 

Centre-Back – Mark Lawrenson

Mark Lawrenson, Liverpool

Forget the “Lawro” persona that we have all grown to find very irritating, Mark Lawrenson was one of Liverpool’s all-time great centre-backs.

He forged a remarkable partnership with Alan Hansen throughout a glorious 1980s period, winning five First Division titles, a European cup, an FA Cup and three League Cups.

What we would give to have such a world-class defender in Jurgen Klopp‘s back-line now.

 

Centre-Back – Phil Babb

Let’s face it, Phil Babb is never going to go down as one of Liverpool’s finest defenders, but he wasn’t all bad, following his £3.6million move from Coventry City in 1994.

The centre-back certainly had a mistake in him – he may still be recovery from colliding testicles-first into a goal-post in 1998 – but there were flashes of class during the “Spice Boys” era.

 

Left-Back – Jim Beglin

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, October 4, 2015: Former Liverpool player Jim Beglin arrives before the Premier League match between Everton and Liverpool at Goodison Park, the 225th Merseyside Derby. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Like Lawrenson, Jim Beglin’s reputation has been tarnished a little because of his work as a pundit, but he was a very efficient left-back for Liverpool in the 80s.

Although never exactly one of the first names on the team-sheet, he always did a job for the team and played a key role in Kenny Dalglish’s title-clinching goal at Chelsea in 1986.

Sadly, Beglin’s career was cut short at the age of just 27, having never recovered from a horrific leg-breaking tackle by Everton‘s Gary Stevens.

 

Right Midfield – Ray Houghton

He may never have earned the accolades of John Barnes or Peter Beardsley, but Ray Houghton was an excellent footballer who played a vital role in arguably Liverpool’s best ever side, in the late 80s.

Hard-working, intelligent and with the ability to chip in with goals, the diminutive midfield found the net 38 times in 202 matches for the Reds.

For Republic of Ireland, he scored a famous winner against Italy at the 1994 World Cup.

 

Centre Midfield – Ronnie Whelan

Liverpool's Ronnie Whelan celebrates scoring the equalizing goal 3 minutes from time to earn a replay

Ronnie Whelan enjoyed a wonderful Liverpool career that saw him win six titles, three League Cups, two FA Cups and the 1984 European Cup.

His brilliance often went under the radar, but he used the ball well, worked his socks off, displayed versatility and had quality in the final third.

493 appearances, 73 goals and endless memories.

 

Central Midfield – Jason McAteer

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, January 6, 1996: Liverpool's Jason McAteer in action against Rochdale during the FA Cup 3rd Round match at Anfield. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Ok, so we all know it was as a wing-back where Jason McAteer most thrived in a Liverpool shirt, but he was signed from Bolton Wanderers because of his all-action performances in midfield.

McAteer himself would admit to never being the most talented player, but he was an effective member of Roy Evans’ attack-minded outfit of the mid-1990s, getting up and down the right flank and producing good end product for the likes of Robbie Fowler and Stan Collymore.

A boyhood Liverpool fan, McAteer’s first ever Reds goal was a lovely moment, coming against Rochdale in front of the Kop, in a 7-0 FA Cup win in January 1996.

 

Left Midfield – Steve Heighway

A Liverpool great from the 1970s, Heighway made over 300 appearances for the Reds and played 34 times for Ireland.

Four league titles, an FA Cup, League Cup, two UEFA Cups, two European Cups and a UEFA Super Cup wasn’t a bad trophy haul for the man whose name is still sung at Anfield now.

Heighway has also been a huge contributor to the club in his post playing days, a key academy figure who was instrumental in bringing through Steven Gerrard, among others.

 

Striker – Robbie Keane

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Friday, December 26, 2008: Liverpool's Robbie Keane celebrates scoring his side's second goal against Bolton Wanderers during the Premiership match at Anfield. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

There can be no doubting that Robbie Keane’s short-lived time at Liverpool is one of the most disappointing in recent memory.

The Republic of Ireland’s all-time leading goalscorer seemed the perfect fit when Rafa Benitez signed him for £19million in the summer of 2008, with some even tipping him to have a Dalglish-esque impact behind Fernando Torres.

He managed just seven goals in 28 games, however, and with the substitutes’ bench becoming his best friend, he was shipped back to Tottenham in January 2009.

There was at least a stunning strike at Arsenal for him to remember fondly.

 

Striker – John Aldridge

John Aldridge, Liverpool (Picture by: Dave Munden / EMPICS Sport)

When legendary striker Ian Rush was sold to Juventus in 1986, there was panic among Liverpool supporters. John Aldridge filled the void superbly, though.

Joining from Oxford United for £750,000 in January 1987, the Garston-born marksman went on to score 63 goals in just 104 appearances.

He was far from the most aesthetically-pleasing player, but when chances came his way, he was ruthless. By the time Rush returned to Anfield, Aldridge often kept him out of the side.

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