Where are they now? Liverpool class of 1984
Sunday, 29 April 2018
Liverpool edged out semi-final opponents Roma to win the European Cup in 1984. We turn back the clock.
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Liverpool will return to the scene of one of their most famous triumphs on Wednesday when they line up against Roma in the UEFA Champions League semi-final second leg.
It was at the Stadio Olimpico where they broke Roma hearts in the 1984 final. Phil Neal put the English side ahead, but Roberto Pruzzo equalised and ultimately it hinged on penalties. Step forward Bruce Grobbelaar, the Zimbabwean's 'spaghetti legs' routine a memorable feature of a shoot-out in which two Roma players missed, enabling the Reds to win their fourth European Cup in eight years.
1. Craig Johnston
A hard-working midfielder, Johnston's Anfield highlights included the European Cup triumph in 1984 and a domestic double two years later. Born in Johannesburg and raised in Australia, he retired in 1988 aged 27 to care for his sister Faye, who had suffered brain damage as a result of a holiday accident. He later pursued an array of business interests, most notably designing football boots, and is now a photographer, a hobby he took up as a player in the 1970s.
2. Mark Lawrenson
An elegant centre-back, Lawrenson formed a fine partnership with Alan Hansen at the heart of the Liverpool rearguard after joining from Brighton in 1981. The European Cup win was perhaps his finest hour in seven seasons in a red shirt. He wandered between England and the United States after leaving Merseyside in 1988, and tried his hand, briefly and unsuccessfully, as a manager. Now well known in Britain a media pundit and columnist.
3. Phil Neal
The most decorated player in Liverpool history, Neal's winners' medal in Rome was his fourth, having been present for the triumphs in 1977, 1978 and 1981. A fixture at right-back for a decade – Neal made a record 365 consecutive league appearances between December 1974 and September 1983 – he once played half a season with a broken toe to ensure he retained his place. That he found the net in the final was little surprise – he was known to fans as 'Zico' due to the goals he contributed from defence.
4. Joe Fagan
One of the founding members of the mythical boot room, Fagan rounded off a memorable first season in charge of Liverpool with the 1984 triumph in Rome, having also led the Reds to the English title and League Cup. Although born in Liverpool, he never represented the club as a player, and only joined the coaching staff in 1958, famously walking to work every day from his house near Anfield until his 1985 retirement. Fagan continued to live there until 2001, when he passed away.
5. Graeme Souness
A no-nonsense Scottish midfielder, Souness's hard-man image and unyielding commitment disguised a player of touch, vision and class. Lifting the European Cup in 1984 was the Emperor of Anfield's final act as he ended six trophy-laden years with the club to join Sampdoria, with whom he won the Coppa Italia. Souness claimed honours as a manager (initially combining duties with playing) at Rangers, Liverpool, Galatasaray and Blackburn, and is now a TV pundit – a no-nonsense one, of course.
6. Sammy Lee
"If they are to get into the top three every side needs its hardworking bees, and Sammy was one of those bees," Phil Neal said of the diminutive Lee. On the books of his hometown club since he was 16, the industrious midfielder played all 67 games in 1983/84 and made nearly 300 appearances in all before exiting in 1986, at 27. Since retiring in 1991, Lee has held various coaching positions at Bolton, Liverpool, Southampton, England, Crystal Palace and, since December, as assistant with the Reds' arch-rivals Everton.
7. Ian Rush
A predatory striker, Rush remains Liverpool's record marksman having scored 346 goals in two spells at Anfield, which were separated by a spell at Juventus. The Welshman managed 47 in 1983/84 alone, his top-flight tally of 32 making him the first British recipient of the European Golden Shoe. Rush had a season as manager at Chester City but since 2005 he has worked as a TV pundit and in ambassadorial roles for the Reds.
8. Ronnie Whelan
"Our man for the big occasion," manager Bob Paisley once said of midfielder Whelan, who scored crucial goals in the Reds' 1982 and 1983 League Cup final successes. Dublin-born Whelan's brand of skill and sweat served the Reds for 15 years, yielding six league titles, three FA Cups and the 1984 European Cup. The midfielder picked up 53 caps for the Republic of Ireland and now works as a TV pundit in Ireland and on the after-dinner circuit.