Ian Callaghan: Wikis


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Ian Callaghan
Personal information
Full name Ian Robert Callaghan
Date of birth April 10, 1942 (1942-04-10) (age 67)
Place of birth    Toxteth, Liverpool, England
Playing position Midfielder
Senior career1
Years Club App (Gls)*
Ft Lauderdale Strikers (loan)
Swansea City
Canberra City (loan)
Cork United
Crewe Alexandra
640 (50)
020 0(0)
076 0(1)
009 0(0)
00? 0(0)
00? 0(?)
015 0(0)   
National team
1966–1977 England 004 0(0)

1 Senior club appearances and goals
counted for the domestic league only.
* Appearances (Goals)

Ian Robert Callaghan MBE (born 10 April 1942 in Toxteth, Liverpool) is a former Liverpool footballer who holds the record for most appearances for the club.


Life and playing career

A Liverpool supporter as a child, Callaghan joined the club as an apprentice on 28 March 1960 and made his debut on 16th April in a 4-0 win against Bristol Rovers at Anfield.

A right-winger, Callaghan was a regular in the team from 1961 onwards. The club was promoted from the Second Division as champions in 1962 under the management of Bill Shankly, having spent spent eight years in the second tier and coming close to promotion on occasion under both Shankly and previous manager Phil Taylor. Callaghan appeared twenty three times that season and also managed to score his first goal for the club which came in the 56th minute of the game against Preston North End at Deepdale on the 4 November 1961.

Callaghan became a major part of the side which finished 8th in their first season back in Division One. The following year, 1963-64, Liverpool won the League championship by four points over north-west rivals Manchester United and five over Merseyside rivals and reigning league champions Everton.

In the 1964-65 season, Liverpool could only finish 7th in the defence of their title but they did reach the FA Cup Final against league runners-up Leeds United. With the match goalless after 90 minutes, extra-time followed. Roger Hunt opened the scoring Liverpool three minutes into the extra period but Billy Bremner equalised for Leeds just two minutes later. The game looked to be heading for a replay when Callaghan broke down the right nine minutes from the end and sent a cross which was met by a diving Ian St John who headed home from close range.

The 1965 season saw another League championship but this was tempered by defeat in the European Cup-Winners Cup final as Borussia Dortmund won 2-1 at Hampden Park. Callaghan's and team-mates Hunt and Gerry Byrne were then named by Alf Ramsey in the England squad for the 1966 World Cup for which England were hosts.

Callaghan played in the group game against France which England won 2-0, but ultimately was left out of the side as it progressed, with Ramsey preferring Alan Ball in an innovative system which did not deploy natural wingers of Callaghan's type. The team went on to win the World Cup and became known as the "wingless wonders".

In the late 1960s as Shankly set about dismantling the now aging team, Callaghan switched from the wing to a more central midfield role.

Liverpool, with Callaghan in the side, reached the 1971 FA Cup final, losing 2-1 to Arsenal after extra time. The 1972-73 campaign saw Liverpool achieve a League and UEFA Cup double, winning the league by 3 points over Arsenal and defeating German team Borussia Mönchengladbach 3-2 on aggregate in the UEFA Cup, Ray Clemence saving a Jupp Heynckes penalty at Anfield (the visitors would have won the trophy on the away goals rule if he had scored).

In 1974, Liverpool won the FA Cup for the second time, beating Newcastle United 3-0. When Shankly then announced his retirement, Ian was the only player to have been in the first team longer than he had managed it. Also in 1974, Callaghan was named the Football Writers Footballer of the Year and was awarded the MBE for his services to football.

In 1976, at the age of 34, he playeded in Bob Paisley’s side which won a League and UEFA Cup double. He played in all the European matches and missed just 2 league games. The League was a tight affair as Queens Park Rangers pushed the Reds all the way and were actually top with Liverpool having one game left to play, away at already relegated Wolverhampton Wanderers. Liverpool trailed 1-0 with just fourteen minutes remaining before Kevin Keegan equalised, John Toshack put them into the lead and, with a minute left, Ray Kennedy added a third goal. The UEFA Cup final saw the Anfield club face Bruges of Belgium. Liverpool took a slender 3-2 lead to Belgium and held Bruges to a 1-1 draw to take the trophy for second time.

In the 1976-77 season, during which he reached the age of 35, Callaghan was awarded a third and fourth, and final, England caps, having made his international debut on the 26 June 1966 in Helsinki against Finland and won his second during the 1966 World Cup.

Liverpool won the League again in 1977, beating Manchester City into second spot by a single point. The other Manchester club, United, stood in their way for a domestic double and the second part of the potential treble. Callaghan was a substitute for the game (FA-cup final) which was a thrilling spectacle, but United stopped the run by beating the Anfield club 2-1. Ian came on in the second half and impressed Paisley enough for him to keep Callaghan in the side for the European Cup final in Rome a few days later. Terry McDermott put Liverpool ahead in the 29th minute but Allan Simonsen equalised in the 50th, Smith scored his first goal of the season in the 67th to give the Reds the lead once more and with five minutes left Keegan was brought down by man marker Berti Vogts in the penalty area. Penalty expert Phil Neal converted the spot kick and Liverpool held on to beat Borussia Mönchengladbach 3-1 and brought the trophy to Anfield for the first time.

Callaghan played one more season for Liverpool appearing in 41 league and cup matches. By the end of the 1977-78 season, Liverpool had retained the European Cup beating Bruges 1-0 in the Wembley final. Callaghan was a non-playing sub for the game which was won with a Kenny Dalglish goal. He did, however, play in Liverpool’s first ever League Cup final at Wembley, which they lost to Brian Clough's Nottingham Forest after a replay. The League Cup would ultimately prove the only domestic trophy to elude him.

In the autumn of 1978, Callaghan finally left Liverpool after 856 first team appearances, during which he scored 69 goals. He joined his former Anfield team-mate John Toshack at Swansea City, helping them to two consecutive promotions. He also spent some time playing in the United States for Fort Lauderdale on loan, alongside fellow veterans Gordon Banks and George Best. He also played for Canberra City, also on loan, Cork United and Sandefjord of Norway and finally concluded his career at Crewe Alexandra where he set an all time record of 88 F.A Cup appearances. He retired at the age of 39 in 1982 though it was injury rather than age that finally curtailed his career as he suffered an Achilles tendon problem which forced him to quit. He played his last league game for Crewe Alexandra away against Halifax Town on the 20 March 1982, losing 1-2.

Callaghan, a true gentleman who is well liked and respected, has kept a low profile since retirement but his name remains in the club's record books for the most first team appearances, the most League appearances, the second most European appearances (behind Jamie Carragher), as well as the distinction to be the only Liverpool player to progress from Second Division championship to European Cup. His appearances record is unlikely to be beaten. A further record is that he was only once booked in his entire career.

After retiring from football Ian Callaghan started an insurance sales business with an office in Lydiate and can still be seen at Anfield as he is a regular visitor to the club he still supports and is the president of the Official Liverpool FC Fanclub. Still revered by the Anfield faithful, he was voted in at No.15 in the '100 Players Who shook The Kop' poll in the summer of 2006.

In the 1966 World Cup final only the 11 players on the pitch at the end of the 4-2 win over West Germany received medals. Following a Football Association led campaign to persuade FIFA to award medals to all the winners’ squad members, Callaghan was presented with his medal by Gordon Brown at a ceremony at 10 Downing Street on 10 June 2009.[1]




External links

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