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40 years on: Liverpool win their first European Cup

Liverpool won the first of their five European Cups on 25 May 1977, Terry McDermott, Tommy Smith and Phil Neal on target against Mönchengladbach in Rome. UEFA.com asks what happened next.

40 years on: Liverpool win their first European Cup
40 years on: Liverpool win their first European Cup ©Getty Images

Having won their second UEFA Cup the previous season, Bob Paisley's Liverpool took the European Cup 12 months later in Rome with a 3-1 victory against the same opponents they had beaten to lift the 1972/73 UEFA Cup: Borussia Mönchengladbach. However, it was a close-fought contest in the Italian capital.

Rainer Bonhof hit the bar early on, and after Terry McDermott put the Reds ahead, Gladbach deservedly equalised through Allan Simonsen before a Tommy Smith finish and Phil Neal's penalty turned the tide decisively in Liverpool's favour. They proved their success was no accident by retaining the trophy – without departed star Kevin Keegan – the following year.

1 Steve Heighway
The winger came into football after completing a degree in politics and economics, but showed a different kind of intelligence in the 1977 final, supplying the defence-splitting pass from which McDermott scored and the corner that led to Smith getting the Reds' second. Later ran Liverpool's academy, bringing through the likes of Jamie Carragher, Robbie Fowler, Steven Gerrard, Steve McManaman and Michael Owen.

Highlights: Liverpool's first European Cup

2 Joey Jones
"I was only a fan on the pitch," explained the North Wales-born left-back who was playing for Wrexham when he joined his boyhood heroes in 1975. The Rome success made him the first Welshman to win the European Cup, but his trademark clenched-fist gesture was to prove as popular in later stays at Wrexham, Chelsea and Huddersfield. After retiring, aged 37, in 1992 he stayed with Wrexham, coaching their youngsters.

3 Ray Kennedy
A foul on Kennedy earned the penalty from which Neal notched Liverpool's third against Gladbach. A striker converted into a stylish midfielder by Paisley, the former Arsenal man remained at Anfield from 1974–82. Diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease in 1984, he now lives quietly in the north-east of England.

4 Emlyn Hughes
A central defender in the 1977 final, Hughes – nicknamed 'Crazy Horse' for his enthusiastic dashes upfield – could operate at left-back and in midfield too. Irrepressible and enthusiastic, he made 665 appearances in all competitions for Liverpool from 1967–79, and became a popular television personality in the years following his retirement. Died in 2004, aged 57, from a brain tumour.

Terry McDermott pictured in 1977
Terry McDermott pictured in 1977©Getty Images

5 Terry McDermott
McDermott netted Liverpool's opener in Rome, but reckoned Keegan was the star of the game, explaining: "He tore Berti Vogts, an experienced German international, to bits. He was like an electric eel – you couldn't get near him." The midfielder later assisted former Reds team-mates Keegan and Kenny Dalglish at Newcastle, and is currently assistant coach at fourth-tier Blackpool.

6 Jimmy Case
The tough, Liverpool-born midfielder hedged his bets as a youngster, combining training with Liverpool with training to be an electrician, but football prevailed: he was a Red from 1973–81, but spent the latter part of his career – and the years since his retirement in 1996 – on England's south coast, briefly coaching Brighton. "That 1977 final was a cracker, end-to-end, with loads of chances," he remembered.

Kevin Keegan and Ray Clemence in Rome
Kevin Keegan and Ray Clemence in Rome©Getty Images

7 Phil Neal
Signed from Northampton Town in 1974, the right-back hit the penalty that finally killed Gladbach off. 'Mr Consistency' left Liverpool to become player-manager of Bolton in 1985 having collected eight league titles, four European Cups, one UEFA Cup and one UEFA Super Cup. After spells at Coventry, Cardiff and Manchester City, he moved out of management and has since done media work.

8 Ray Clemence
Recruited from home-town club Scunthorpe by Bill Shankly in 1967, the keeper played over 1,000 professional matches, picking up European silverware with Liverpool (1967–81) and Tottenham (1981–88). He made some fine interventions in the 1977 final, and gave future England No1s the benefit of his experience in a long stint as national-team goalkeeping coach.

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