Dirk Kuyt Craig Bellamy Ryan Babel Fabio Aurelio
Alberto Aquilani Charlie Adam Maxi Rodriguez
Nathan Eccleston David Amoo Stephen Darby
Fernando Torres Raul Meireles David Ngog
Paul Konchesky Christian Poulsen Emiliano Insua Philipp Degen
Thomas Ince Milan Jovanovic Sotirios Kyrgiakos
Javier Mascherano Yossi Benayoun Andriy Voronin Andrea Dossena
Charles Itandje Damien Plessis Lauri Dalla Valle
Nicolas Anelka Gary McAllister Christian Ziege Nick Barmby
Stephen Wright Jari Litmanen Pegguy Arphexad Bernard Diomede
Vegard Heggem Markus Babbel Emile Heskey Abel Xavier
Vladimir Smicer Mauricio Pellegrino El-Hadji Diouf Alou Diarra
Igor Biscan Gregory Vignal Richie Partridge Paul Harrison
Jon Otsemobor Mark Smyth Antonio Nunez Milan Baros
John Welsh Josemi Fernando Morientes Zak Whitbread
Bruno Cheyrou Neil Mellor Robbie Fowler Jerzy Dudek
Daniele Padelli Craig Bellamy Mark Gonzalez
Chris Kirkland Paul Jones Gabriel Paletta Darren Potter
David Raven Djibril Cisse Bolo Zenden Stephen Warnock
Jan Kromkamp Momo Sissoko John Arne Riise Harry Kewell
Anthony Le Tallec Peter Crouch Danny Guthrie Robbie Keane
Steve Finnan      

Tuesday, January 29, 2008


Date of Birth: 15/08/1976
Birthplace: Maastricht
Debut : v TNS. July 13th 2005, Champions League qualifier. Won 3-0
1st team games: 47
1st team goals: 2
Other clubs: PSV Eindhoven, Barcelona, Chelsea, Middlesbrough.
International caps while with Liverpool: -
International goals while with Liverpool: -
Honours with Liverpool: UEFA Super Cup 2005, FA Community Shield 2006.


Versatile Dutch international Boudewijn Zenden was captured on a free transfer from Middlesbrough in July 2005 and played his part in helping Liverpool reach the Champions League final in 2007.

Zenden, who was commonly known as Bolo, became the third Dutchman to play for Liverpool following in the footsteps of Sander Westerveld and Erik Meijer. He had an injury hit spell at Anfield but he was a useful outlet for Rafael Benitez because he could play central midfield, left midfield and even played at left back on a few occasions.

The Dutchman's best moment was the 2007 Champions League semi-final at Anfield. He was a surprise choice to start the game but he did a good job on the left side of midfield and scored a penalty in the shoot-out that Liverpool went on to win.

He also played in the Champions League final against AC Milan and in the 2005 Super Cup final he showed his versatility by playing in three positions during the win over CSKA Moscow in Monaco.

Bolo began his career at PSV Eindhoven and collected a Dutch Championship winner's medal in 1996, before he moved to Spanish giants Barcelona. Benitez first came across Zenden when he played for Barcelona and helped the Catalan club win the Spanish title in his first season at the Nou Camp.

He then moved to the Premiership in 2001 when he joined Chelsea for a fee of 7.5 million, before spending the whole of the 2003/04 season on loan with Middlesbrough, scoring the winner against Bolton Wanderers in the Carling Cup final as the club won their first ever major trophy.


Date of Birth: 12/08/1981
Birthplace: Arles, France
Debut : v Grazer AK. 10th August 2004, Champions League qualifier. Won 2-0
1st team games: 79
1st team goals: 24
Other clubs: Auxerre, Marseille
International caps while with Liverpool: 32
International goals while with Liverpool: 9
Honours with Liverpool: UEFA Champions League (2005), UEFA Super Cup (2005), FA Cup (2006)


Flamboyant striker Djibril Cisse became a club record signing when Liverpool paid £14 million for his services in July 2004 and he went on to score in three major cup finals for the club.

Regarded as one of the top strikers in Europe, he was signed by Gerard Houllier, even though the Frenchman had left before the player arrived at Anfield.

The speedy striker had awful luck on signing for the Reds when he broke his leg during a match at Blackburn on October 30th 2004. He then made an amazing recovery and was back in the nick of time to score a vital penalty in the Champions League shoot-out win over AC Milan.

The following season he came off the bench to help Liverpool win the UEFA Super Cup when he scored twice and set up another goal for Luis Garcia in the 3-1 win over CSKA Moscow.

His last game for Liverpool ended in glory too when he achieved a dream of scoring in three cup finals in a red shirt. He scored a fantastic goal as Liverpool beat West Ham in Cardiff to win the FA Cup.

Unfortunately for the player he was then ruled out of the 2006 World Cup Finals when he broke his ankle for a second time in the space of two years.

The striker then recovered and spent the 2006/2007 season on loan at Marseille. The move was then made permanent in the summer of 2007.


David Raven Defender
Date of Birth: 10-03-1985
Birthplace: Liverpool
Debut : V Tottenham Hotspur. December 1st 2004, Carling Cup quarter-final
1st team games: 4
1st team goals: 0
Other clubs: -
International caps while with Liverpool: -
International goals while with Liverpool: -
Honours with Liverpool: -


Right back David Raven came through the Academy and was given his first team chance by Rafael Benitez during the run to the Carling Cup final in 2005.

Raven made his first team debut during the Carling Cup tie at Tottenham in December 2004 and made one memorable goal saving tackle in particular to deny Jermaine Defoe a certain goal. Liverpool won the game on penalties and Raven was named Man of the Match

A big Liverpool fan who swopped a potential career as a musician to ply his trade in football, Raven was captain of the England youth team.

In search of regular first team football he left Anfield to join Carlisle United in the summer of 2006.


Darren Potter : Midfield
Date of Birth: 21-12-1984
Birthplace: Liverpool
Debut : v Grazer AK, August 10th 2004. Champions League qualifier. Won 2-0
1st team games: 17
1st team goals: 0
Other clubs: -
International caps while with Liverpool: -
International goals while with Liverpool: -
Honours with Liverpool: -


Republic of Ireland Under-21 international Darren Potter came through from the Academy and made his first team breakthrough in the 2004/2005 season under Rafael Benitez.

The midfielder, who was released by Everton as a youngster, made his debut in the Champions League qualifier with Graz in August 2004 when he came on as a substitute for Steve Finnan. Potter then made his full debut in the second leg 1-0 defeat.

He saw regular action in the Carling Cup run in 2004 and produced some impressive performances against the likes of Tottenham, Middlesbrough and Millwall as the Reds reached the final before they lost 3-2 to Chelsea.

He enjoyed a loan spell with Southampton during the 2005/2006 season before moving to Wolves.


Gabriel Paletta : Defender
Date of Birth: 15/02/1986
Birthplace: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Debut : v Reading, October 25, 2006 at Anfield. Won 4-3
1st team games: 8
1st team goals: 1
Other clubs: Banfield, Boca Juniors
International caps while with Liverpool: -
International goals while with Liverpool: -
Honours with Liverpool: -


Defender Gabriel Paletta became the second Argentinian to sign for Liverpool after Mauricio Pellegrino in the summer of 2006.

The centre-back was a product of the Banfield youth system, breaking into the first team in 2005. He helped his country win the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championships, playing in all seven games alongside the likes of Lionel Messi.

From there, most presumed Paletta would join Argentine giants River Plate. Indeed, the club had already reserved the number six shirt for him before Liverpool swooped.

His no-nonsense approach to the game led to comparisons with club legend Jamie Carragher during the early days of his Anfield career. Unfortunately, such talk proved premature.

Paletta played just eight games during his single season on Merseyside after making his debut in the League Cup against Reading.

Still, he did join an exclusive group of players who scored on their Reds debut (Stan Collymore, Nigel Clough – meet Gabriel Paletta).

The defender left Liverpool for Boca Juniors in August 2007.


Paul Jones : Goalkeeper
Date of Birth: 18-04-1967
Birthplace: Chirk
Debut : v Aston Villa. 10th January 2004. Premiership. Won 1-0
1st team games: 2
1st team goals: -
Other clubs: Kidderminster Harriers, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Stockport County, Southampton, Watford, Millwall, QPR.
International caps while with Liverpool: -
International goals while with Liverpool: -
Honours with Liverpool: -


Welsh international goalkeeper Paul Jones played two games for Liverpool during a short loan spell as cover for the injured Jerzy Dudek in 2004.

A former farmer who grew up supporting Liverpool, Jones, who was out of favour at Southampton, fulfilled an ambition to play for his boyhood favourites when Gerard Houllier came calling.

Dudek and Chris Kirkland were both injured and Houllier felt third choice keeper Patrice Luzi wasn't experienced enough, so Jones got his unexpected chance.

He kept a clean sheet on his Liverpool debut as the Reds beat Aston Villa 1-0 at Anfield but in his second and final appearance Houllier's side lost 2-1 away at Tottenham.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


Chris Kirkland : Goalkeeper
Date of Birth: 02/05/1981
Birthplace: Leicester
Debut : v Grimsby Town. October 9th 2001. Worthington Cup 3rd round, lost 2-1
1st team games: 45
1st team goals: 0
Other clubs: -
International caps while with Liverpool: -
International goals while with Liverpool: -
Honours with Liverpool: -


To say Chris Kirkland's time at Anfield is a tale of what could have been would be an understatement.

He was signed by Gerard Houllier from Coventry City on the last day of August 2001, and was recognised by many football pundits as one of the best young goalkeeper's to emerge in England for a while, but he suffered terrible misfortune with injury.

A troublesome back injury denied him a chance to become the regular number one at Anfield and he also suffered other injury problems.

Kirkland was part of a double goalkeeper deal that also saw Houllier bring Jerzy Dudek to the club. His big chance at Anfield arrived in the 2002/03 season when was given a chance when Dudek's form dipped. In a bad spell for the team Kirkland was the shining light at the end of the tunnel and produced some high standard displays. Unfortunately bad luck was just around the corner and a bad ankle injury sustained in an FA Cup tie at Crystal Palace in January 2003 saw him ruled out for the season.

He then returned briefly only to find himself on the sidelines again after breaking both his finger wrist respectively in a freak training ground collision.

Despite the bad misfortune he did play in a game that will live forever long in the memory banks at Anfield. Kirkland was part of the team that produced a fantastic comeback in the Champions League when the Reds beat Olympiacos 3-1 at Anfield in December 2004.

He left Liverpool in 2006 for Wigan Athletic and went on to win his first England cap.


Mark Gonzalez
Date of Birth: 10/07/1982
Birthplace: Durban, South Africa
Debut: 9th August 2006 v Maccabi Haifa (h) Champions
League qualifier: Won 2-1
1st team games: 36
1st team goals: 3
Other clubs: Universidad Catolica Santiago, Albacete. Real Sociedad.
Honours with Liverpool: Community Shield 2006


Winger Mark Gonzalez made an instant impression on his Liverpool debut when he came off the bench to score the winning goal in the Champions League qualifier against Maccabi Haifa in August 2006.

The goal turned out to be a vital one in the end because it was the winning strike in a 2-1 success at Anfield, and a 3-2 aggregate victory for Rafael Benitez's side overall on the road to Athens.

The Chile international's arrival at Liverpool was actually delayed by one year. Rafael Benitez wanted to sign him for the start of the 2005/2006 season but his work permit was initially denied. The player then spent the campaign on loan at Real Sociedad before getting the green light to move to Anfield in the summer of 2006.

A left winger with pace to burn, Gonzalez had an injury hit solitary season at Anfield and at times found it hard to adapt to the physical side of the English game. He did score on his first Premiership start for the Reds against Tottenham at the Kop end, and then went on to be an unused substitute for the Champions League final in Athens.

Gonzalez returned to Spain and signed for Real Betis in July 2007.


Craig Bellamy
Date of Birth: 13/07/1979
Birthplace: Cardiff
Debut: 9th August 2006 v Maccabi Haifa (H): Champions League qualifier. Won 2-1
1st team games: 42
1st team goals: 9
International caps while with Liverpool: 11
International goals while with Liverpool: 4
Other clubs: Norwich City, Coventry City, Newcastle United, Celtic loan, Blackburn Rovers, West Ham United.
Honours with Liverpool: Community Shield 2006.


Boyhood Liverpool fan Craig Bellamy fulfilled a dream when he left Blackburn Rovers to join the Rafalution at Anfield in July 2006, and followed in the footsteps of the likes of Ian Rush, John Toshack and Dean Saunders as a Welsh international striker at Anfield.

Although his career at Anfield only lasted one season, Bellamy's best Anfield memory was his performance at the Nou Camp when Liverpool beat Barcelona 2-1 in the last 16 of the Champions League. The Welsh international scored the equaliser and then set up John Riise for the winning goal.

A player blessed with great pace, Bellamy scored on his Liverpool debut against Maccabi Haifa in the Champions League qualifier but he never quite hit the heights consistently in a red shirt.

The previous season Bellamy had been in terrific form for Blackburn Rovers and scored 17 goals which prompted Benitez to swoop for his signature.

After springing to prominence at Norwich City then Coventry City it was under Sir Bobby Robson at Newcastle that Bellamy flourished into one of the most feared strikers in the Premiership. He was a big hit with the Toon Army, but however, he had a much publicised bust-up with former Liverpool manager Graeme Souness during the Scot's traumatic spell in the hot seat at St James' Park. He scored 43 goals in 128 appearances for Newcastle.

After a loan spell with Celtic he had the chance to join Everton just before the start of the 2005/06 season, but decided against a move following a meeting with Toffees boss David Moyes. He then teamed up with his former international manager Mark Hughes at Blackburn Rovers and proved a big success at Ewood Park before his dream move to Anfield came about.

He signed for West Ham in July 2007.

Monday, January 14, 2008

PAST PLAYER PROFILE - Luis Javier Garcia Sanz

Luis Javier Garcia Sanz
Date of Birth: 24/6/1978
Birthplace: Badalona, Spain
Debut : 29th August 2004 v Botlon Wanderers (a) Premiership: lost 0-1
1st team games: 121
1st team goals: 30
Other clubs: Real Vallodilid, CD Toledo (loan), CD Tenerife (loan), Atletico Madrid, Barcelona
International caps while with Liverpool: 18
International goals while with Liverpool: 4
Honours with Liverpool: Champions League(2005), Super Cup (2005), Community Shield (2006)


He didn't drink sangria, but Luis Garcia came from Barca and most definitely brought us plenty of joy in his short but successful career at Liverpool.

Without doubt he proved himself as the little man for the big occasion and, in turn, won the hearts of almost every Liverpudlian.

His critics argued he was lightweight, drifts in and out of games and didn't contribute enough on a consistent basis but try balancing that against the fact that in just three years at the club the diminutive Spaniard netted some of the most memorable and important goals in Liverpool history and there's no argument.

Rafael Benitez knew what he was getting when he swooped to sign him from Barcelona at the start of his first full season at the Anfield helm. Having worked with him at Tenerife, Benitez was confident he'd added a creative spark to the team and that was certainly the case.

The number ten shirt at Liverpool has long been associated with exciting, skilful players and Garcia fulfilled this reputation. A tricky attacker who could beat defenders and set up goals as well as score them, Garcia was capable of filling a variety of forward positions – left side, right side or through the middle in the 'hole' just behind the strikers.

Despite his small frame he was more than adept in the air but it was with the ball at his feet that he was at his mesmerising best. His goalscoring instincts were evident on his first game for the club, when in a 1-0 defeat at Bolton he had what looked a perfectly good goal disallowed but he soon made up for that disappointment.

During Liverpool's glorious march to Champions League glory in 2004/05 Garcia registered an impressive five goals, including two that Kopites will never tire of replaying over and over again, albeit for different reasons – a spectacular dipping 30-yarder that set up victory over Juventus in the quarter-final and the less spectacular but more crucial scrappy effort that ultimately defeated Chelsea in the semi-final.

Throw in a decisive strike in the Merseyside derby and it's easy to see why Garcia became such a firm favourite of the fans. After such a successful first season at the club, his second was always going to be difficult but while, on the whole, he was probably slightly less effective, his remarkable knack of netting in big games continued and the now famous 'Luis Garcia' song, to the tune of 'You Are My Sunshine' regularly rang around Anfield.

Another derby goal raised the roof of the Kop once again, while Chelsea were made to suffer at the hands of little Luis for a second time in a major semi-final, this time in the FA Cup at Old Trafford.

Although suspension ruled him out of contention for a place in the FA Cup Final victory over West Ham, you got the impression that with Garcia in the team anything was possible. His trademark thumb-sucking goal celebration was mimicked by kids all over Merseyside and he was well on his way to achieving cult-status among those who sat on the Kop.

Unfortunately, he then suffered a cruciate knee ligament injury in a Carling Cup-tie at home to Arsenal and the sight of him being stretchered off the Anfield pitch was to be the last we'd see of him in a red shirt. During the summer of 2007 he surprisingly returned to Spain to rejoin Atletico Madrid.

He may only be five foot seven but thanks to Luis Garcia Liverpool fans were taken to football heaven and back more than once. And for that, he'll forever be fondly remembered at Anfield.


Daniele Padelli

Date of Birth: 25/10/1985
Birthplace: Lecco, Italy
Total games : 1
Total goals : 0
Former Clubs : Sampdoria, Crotone


Goalkeeper Daniele Padelli returned to Sampdoria in June 2007 after his loan spell at Anfield came to an end.

The Italian Under-21 international joined Liverpool in January 2007 and made his one first team appearance in the Reds' final Premiership game of the season in a 2-2 draw with Charlton Athletic.

Padelli was a regular member of Gary Ablett's Reserve side after moving to Anfield and made seven appearances for the second string.


Jerzy Dudek
Date of Birth: 23/03/1973
Birthplace: Rybnik, Poland
Debut : 8th September 2001 v Aston Villa (h) Premier League: lost 1-3
1st team games: 186
1st team goals: 0
Other clubs: Sokol Tychy, Feyenoord.
International caps while with Liverpool: 58
International goals while with Liverpool: 0
Honours with Liverpool: Champions League 2005, Worthington Cup 2003


Whatever the future may hold for Jerzy Dudek it's doubtful his career will ever scale the heights of that glorious night in Istanbul on 25 May 2005.

It was Dudek's goalkeeping heroics that helped secure a never-to-be-forgotten fifth European Cup triumph at the Ataturk Stadium, ensuring that his name will forever be etched in Liverpudlian folklore.

The son of a Polish miner, Dudek was signed from Feyenoord by Gerard Houllier on a dramatic deadline day swoop in August 2001. Fellow keeper Chris Kirkland joined on the same day but it was the big Pole who was immediately handed the chance to stake his claim for the number one shirt.

Renowned for his bravery and strong reflexes, his early form was impressive but a high-profile howler that contributed to a home defeat against Manchester United blotted his copy-book.

He was eventually forgiven by the Liverpool fans for that misdemeanour against their bitter rivals but when he made a similar error in the same fixture three years later it seemed as though his reputation would be permanently stained.

It was going to take something special for Dudek to redeem himself in the eyes of the fans and a man-of-the-match performance in the Worthington Cup Final triumph over United later that season went some way towards that.

It was not until the 2004/05 season reached the most dramatic of climaxes, however, that his past sins were finally forgotten.

His stunning double reflex save from Andriy Shevchenko when the score was tied at 3-3 has deservedly gone down as one of the greatest saves ever, while his antics in the subsequent penalty shoot-out mean he'll now always be looked upon in the highest esteem by everyone connected to this club.

His penalty saves from Pirlo and Shevchenko inspired a pop song to be recorded in his honour but just weeks after his heroics in Istanbul a new goalkeeper was brought to the club and Dudek made just 12 more appearances in the first team.

If he was to play on until he's 100 it's unlikely he'll ever eclipse the high of Istanbul but the memories will never fade.


Robbie Fowler
Date of Birth: 09/04/1975
Birthplace: Toxteth, Liverpool
Debut : v 22nd September 1993 v Fulham (a) League 2nd round 1st leg: won 3-1
1st team games: 369
1st team goals: 183
Other clubs: Leeds United, Manchester City
International caps while with Liverpool: 26
International goals while with Liverpool: 7
Honours with Liverpool: FA Cup (2001), UEFA Cup (2001), League Cup (1995, 2001), Super Cup (2001), PFA Young Player of the Year (1995, 1996)


It's not for nothing that Robbie Fowler was known as God by those on the Kop. One of the most revered figures in Liverpool's recent history, Fowler is also one of the most naturally gifted goalscorers to have graced the famous red shirt.

Since scoring on his debut against Fulham in a 1993 League Cup tie, Fowler enjoyed a long-running love affair with Kopites that never wavered.

A boyhood Evertonian, he switched allegiances when joining the club's 'centre of excellence' at the age of 11. Even at that tender age, his vast potential was there for all to see as he ripped up scoring records and made a name for himself at local schoolboy level.

A host of clubs sought his coveted signature but Liverpool made the successful swoop. It was the late Jim Aspinall who is rightly credited with persuading him to sign for the 'enemy' and it must rank has one of the most important this club has ever made.

Fowler rose through the ranks as expected and those in the know knew the Reds had a special talent in their midst. In April 1992 his progress was rewarded with a professional contract and the following January he appeared on a senior teamsheet for the first time when named as one of the substitutes in a third round FA Cup replay at home to Bolton.

An infamous 2-0 defeat to the lower league Trotters that night was proof that Liverpool needed a player like Fowler in the team but then boss Graeme Souness managed to resist the temptation to blood him until two months into the following season.

With the Reds still struggling for goals, Souey handed his highly-rated rookie striker a start at Craven Cottage and was rewarded with a debut goal. In the return at Anfield, Fowler famously netted all five in a 5-0 win and a star was born.

An instinctive goal-poacher, he claimed his first league match ball after just five senior outings and ended the season as Liverpool's top scorer with 18. Excited Kopites viewed his arrival on the first team scene as divine intervention from up above and he certainly answered their prayers in the years that followed.

His first full season in the limelight saw his reputation blossom from promising youngster to fully-fledged superstar, this rapid elevation no doubt aided by a fastest-ever Premiership hat-trick against Arsenal, a Coca-Cola Cup winners medal and the PFA Young Player of the Year accolade.

He also topped the Anfield goalscoring charts again, breaching the 30 mark for the first time, and the so-called 'Toxteth Terror' was suddenly one of football's most feared finishers.

What Fowler lacked in pace and height he made up with an uncanny ability to sniff out goals. No opposition net was safe when he was in the vicinity of the penalty box. Close-range tap-ins or long-range super strikes, the 'Growler' was wonderfully adept at both and, as the goals flew in by the bucket-load, his stock rose higher and higher.

In 1995/96 he plundered over 30 goals for the second successive season, made his full England debut and comfortably retained his Young Player of the Year award. He outshone Eric Cantona on his over-hyped 'return', much to the chagrin of Sky TV no doubt, and fired the Reds to an FA Cup Final appearance at Wembley.

Four goals at home to Middlesbrough in December 1996 saw him hit the milestone figure of 100 goals for the Reds quicker than striking mentor Ian Rush, while another 30-goal haul the following season took Liverpool to the closest they've been to a 19th League Championship.

The classic 'local boy made good', Fowler's popularity among the fans was at a scale not seen since Kenny Dalglish was in his pomp. To them, he could do wrong, even if his infamous 'Spice Boy' image of the time brought him some unwanted off-field attention.

Controversy seemed to follow him on the field also during the late nineties but his faithful flock stood by him through the bad times. A lovable rogue, Fowler never forgot where he came from and in 1997 famously went public with his support for the sacked Merseyside Dockers during a European Cup Winners Cup tie against Brann Bergen.

Also that year, he won a UEFA Fair Play award for admitting that he had not been fouled by Arsenal keeper David Seaman after a penalty had been awarded during a league match at Highbury.

Two serious injuries then forced him to endure a lengthy and frustrating spell on the sidelines, which coincided with the emergence of Michael Owen. But although Fowler temporarily lost his 'golden boy' status, Owen could never boast the same kind of rapport with the Liverpool crowd and it was no secret who they favoured most.

With Gerard Houllier in sole charge Fowler encountered more problems and found himself a victim of the Frenchman's controversial rotation policy. He may no longer have been guaranteed a regular starting place but Houllier was well aware of his importance to the squad in terms of team spirit and handed him the captain's armband as a result.

In February 2001, Fowler scored a spectacular goal on Liverpool's first visit to the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff and became the first Reds skipper to lift a trophy in six years as Birmingham were beaten on penalties in the Worthington Cup Final.

It was to be the first leg of an unprecedented cup treble that season and Fowler also figured in the FA and UEFA Cup Final, coming off the bench in both and netting in the latter. Four days after the drama of Dortmund he was on the scoresheet again as Champions League qualification was clinched for the first time.

But despite these goalscoring heroics, speculation that Houllier wanted to sell him refused to disappear and in November 2001 the unthinkable happened; Fowler was offloaded to Leeds, against his will, in a record-busting transfer.

To say the Kop was shaken by this would be a gross understatement. Letters of protest flooded the local press and even the massive fee received failed to soften the blow.

When Fowler failed to set the world alight at Leeds and then Manchester City the anger at his sale subsided slightly but the general consensus remained that he was suffering from a broken heart at being forced out of his beloved club. He remained a big Reds fan and even travelled to Istanbul to watch the 2005 Champions League Final.

Talk of him returning occasionally popped up in the sports pages but was always shrugged off as pure fabrication. Until January 2006 that is; when Liverpool's prodigal son sensationally returned to a hero's reception.

His free transfer capture from Manchester City delighted Kopites. Fowler, himself, admitted it was a dream come true and it warmed the hearts of everyone when he finally pulled a red shirt once again.

His second coming was never going to be as glorious as the first but the occasional glimpses of his past magic were a sight to behold and his presence within the squad radiated a positive aura around the dressing room.

During the summer of 2006 Rafa Benitez extended his contract but Fowler was to play just a bit-part role during his last season at the club and in May 2007 he bid the Kop an emotional farewell when he tread the hallowed turf of Anfield for the final time against Charlton Athletic.

He left with his head held high and the best wishes of everyone at the club. His striking exploits are the stuff of legend and, in the eyes of his adoring fans, Robbie Fowler's halo will never slip.


Neil Mellor: Striker 2002-2006

Date of Birth: 4/11/1982
Birthplace: Sheffield
Debut : v Ipswich Town. 4th December 2002
1st team games: 21
1st team goals: 6


A product of the Liverpool Academy Neil Mellor will always be remembered by Liverpool fans for the vital part he played in helping the Reds beat Olympiacos in a vital Champions League clash at Anfield in 2004, and a last minute winner at the Kop end against Arsenal.

Mellor came off the bench to score and then set up Steven Gerrard for the never to be forgotten winner that saw Liverpool go on to win the Champions League in Istanbul.

Mellor had a phenomenal scoring run in the youth and reserve teams and when he got a first team chance he didn't let anyone down. Unfortunately after his heroics against Olympiacos injury was just around the corner and he spent almost the whole of 2005 on the sidelines after having a double knee operation to cure tendonitis.

To say the injury came at a bad time for the striker was an understatement. However his vital goals and contribution were recognised by the fans when he was voted in at number 90 in our highly acclaimed 100 Players Who Shook the Kop series.

Before he got his first team chance Mellor's scoring record was something else. In 2000-2001 he hit 56 goals in all competitions for the reserve and youth team and scored eight goals in four games during Liverpool's run to the FA Youth Cup semi-final. Then the following season he scored 20 goals for the reserves, made his first team debut and scored his first senior goal against Sheffield United in the Worthington Cup semi-final.

After scoring twice in a pre-season friendly his scoring record prompted then manager Gerard Houllier to label him a "goal machine" before the next day he sent him on loan to West Ham. After an injury hit spell at Upton Park Mellor returned to score 10 goals in four reserve team appearances. It was under Rafael Benitez that Mellor was given his chance and in the Spaniard's first season at Anfield the Sheffield born striker certainly left a lasting impression in front of goal.

Mellor left Liverpool in August 2006 when he joined Championship side Preston North End.


Bruno Cheyrou : Midfield (2002-2006)

Debut: v Southampton, August 2002. Won 3-0.
1st team games: 48
1st team goals: 5
Birthplace: Suresnes, France
Other clubs: Other clubs: Lens, Racing Club of Paris, Lille, Marseille, Bordeaux


Bruno Cheyrou left Liverpool in the summer of 2006 to return to France with Rennes bringing to an end a disappointing spell at Anfield.

He was signed by Gerard Houllier from Lille for a big fee of 4.5 million in June 2002 but was been a major disappointment at Anfield. When he signed him Houllier labelled him the 'next Zidane'. Cheyrou looked fantastic in a pre-season game against Lazio at Anfield in 2002 but then by his own admission struggled with the pace and physical presence of the English game.

The French central midfielder had many highs and lows in the 2003/2004 season. After starting the first game of the season against Chelsea he left the pitch after an hour with a foot injury. This was to keep him out of action for almost five months. Upon returning he scored twice in an FA Cup win over Newcastle and scored a few more vital goals including the winner at Chelsea. However, that was to be as good as it got for Cheyrou in a red shirt and he was played in a variety of positions by Houllier including left wing, right wing, central midfield and even up front.

After the departure of Houllier the France international found himself surplus to requirements under new boss Rafael Benitez. He spent the entire 2004/2005 season on loan at Marseille and the following season on loan at Bordeaux before moving to Rennes.


Zak Whitbread : Defender 2004-2006

Date of Birth: 4-3-1984
Birthplace: USA
1st team games: 6
1st team goals: 0


Liverpool defender Zak Whitbread joined League One side Millwall in June 2006 after a successful loan spell with the club in the 2005/06 season.
A product of the club's Academy, American centre half Zak Whitbread enjoyed a prosperous 2004/05 season when he made his first team debut and was handed a new contract. Whitbread was a regular during the Carling Cup run in 2004 and helped the team to memorable victories over Millwall, Middlesbrough and Tottenham Hotspur.

However for the 2005/06 season Zak was back in the reserve team and jumped at the chance of regular first team football with an initial loan spell at the New Den.

Whitbread teams up with a former Liverpool favourite at the New Den in former midfielder and Lions Boss Nigel Spackman.