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Famous Like Me > Footballer > C > Ian Callaghan

Profile of Ian Callaghan on Famous Like Me

Name: Ian Callaghan  
Also Know As:
Date of Birth: 10th April 1942
Place of Birth:
Profession: Footballer
From Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia

Ian Callaghan (born Toxteth, Liverpool, April 10, 1942) was a footballer who holds the record for the most appearances for Liverpool.

Callaghan, a Liverpool fan as a youngster, joined the club as an apprentice in 1960, making his debut that April, and saw the arrival later the same year of legendary manager Bill Shankly.

A winger based on the right hand side of the pitch, Callaghan was a regular in the team from 1961 onwards. The club was still in the Second Division in those days but were promoted as champions in 1962 under Shankly.

Callaghan was in the side which Shankly took to great heights in the mid-1960s, winning the League championship in 1964 and 1966 and the FA Cup in the intervening year. Callaghan set up the winning goal in the final at Wembley; his cross in extra-time was headed into the net by striker Ian St John.

Success in the League in 1966 was tempered by defeat in the European Cup-Winners Cup final to Borussia Dortmund, but Callaghan's disappointment reverted back to joy again when he, along with two Liverpool team-mates, was named by Alf Ramsey in the England squad for the 1966 World Cup, which England was hosting.

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 an innovative system which did not deploy natural wingers of Callaghan's type. The team won the World Cup and became known as the "wingless wonders". Callaghan's England career was almost over at the age of 24.

The rest of the 1960s proved fruitless for Liverpool, and Shankly set about dismantling the team and building a new, younger one. Callaghan, along with team-mates Tommy Smith, Chris Lawler and Emlyn Hughes, would emerge from the cull intact and became an "elder statesman" figure (even in his late 20s) as a vibrant young side developed around him. Callaghan switched from the wing to a midfield role.

With Callaghan in the side, Liverpool reached the FA Cup final in 1971 but lost 2-1 to Arsenal. Two seasons later, they won both the League title and the UEFA Cup, and then in 1974, they won the FA Cup for the second time, destroying Newcastle United 3-0 in the final. Shankly retired afterwards, meaning that Callaghan was the only player to have lasted longer in the first team than the time Shankly spent in charge of it. Also in 1974, Callaghan was named as Player of the Year and awarded the MBE for services to football.

At the age of 34, there was no slowing Callaghan down as he featured again in a side which won a League and UEFA Cup double in 1976. The following season, during which he reached the grand footballing age of 35, he was so impressive in Liverpool's march towards an unprecedented treble that he was awarded a fourth and final England cap. As for the treble itself, it didn't quite work out.

Liverpool won the League again but lost the FA Cup final to Manchester United. Callaghan was a substitute for this game, but impressed enough when he was introduced during the second half for manager Bob Paisley to keep him in the side for the European Cup final in Rome a few days later, which Liverpool won by defeating Borussia Mönchengladbach 3-1.

Callaghan played one more season for Liverpool, at the end of which they retained the European Cup, a game for which Callaghan was not selected. He did, however, play in the League Cup final at Wembley which Liverpool lost to 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 an astounding 843 first team appearances, during which he scored 69 goals. He joined his former Anfield team-mate John Toshack's renaissance at Swansea City, helping them to two consecutive promotions. He also spent some time playing in the USA for Fort Lauderdale, alongside fellow veterans Gordon Banks and George Best and concluded his career at Crewe Alexandra. He retired at the age of 39 in 1981 though it was injury rather than age that finally curtailed his career - he suffered an Achilles tendon problem which forced him to quit.

Callaghan 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 and the most European appearances for the club, 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.

Preceded by:
Pat Jennings
Football Writers' Association Footballer of the Year
Succeeded by:
Alan Mullery

This content from Wikipedia is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Ian Callaghan