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Famous Like Me > Footballer > F > David Fairclough

Profile of David Fairclough on Famous Like Me

Name: David Fairclough  
Also Know As:
Date of Birth: 5th January 1957
Place of Birth:
Profession: Footballer
From Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia

David Fairclough (born Liverpool, January 5, 1957) was a footballer whose special role in the great Liverpool side of the 1970s was that of Supersub.

The reason for this strange nickname was that Fairclough, a talented goalscorer, rarely started matches for Liverpool in comparison with other players, but frequently came into the match as a substitute in order to make an impact.

Fairclough rose through the Liverpool ranks as a boy and made his debut for the club in November 1975. As the season progressed, Fairclough scored seven crucial goals in just 14 appearances to land Liverpool the League championship - nine of these appearances were as substitute.

The pecking order of strikers at the club saw Fairclough trailing behind the dream duo of Kevin Keegan and John Toshack, as well as England centre forward David Johnson. As the next season got underway, Fairclough found himself rising up to third in the ranks due to a succession of injuries to Toshack, meaning he was substitute more than ever.

His most famous Liverpool goal came at Anfield as a substitute in a crucial European Cup quarter final against the French side St Etienne. Liverpool had been a goal adrift from the first leg in France, and 2-1 up in the home return. The aggregate score was level therefore at 2-2 but St Etienne were still in command due to their away goal. Liverpool therefore needed to score again to win the tie but time was running out.

Manager Bob Paisley sent Fairclough on in the last 20 minutes of the game and the red-haired striker, only just 20 years old, responded in style. Only six minutes remained when Fairclough ran on to a long ball upfield and held off two St Etienne defenders. He prodded the ball home at the famous Kop end and Anfield had one of its greatest ever footballing nights. As the roar of the Kop let rip, ITV commentator Gerald Sinstadt famously bellowed: "Supersub strikes again!"

Liverpool won the League title again and also reached the FA Cup final at Wembley, as well as the European Cup final in Rome. Fairclough was not picked at all for the Wembley match as Paisley went for veteran winger Ian Callaghan on the bench (in this era, domestic football teams were permitted just one substitute). Liverpool lost to Manchester United. However, he was a substitute for the night in Rome (European fixtures allowed five substitutes) which Liverpool won 3-1. In order to earn a medal, a substitute needed to get a spell on the pitch and sadly for Fairclough, he wasn't put on.

However, the following year Liverpool reached the European Cup final again and this time Fairclough started the match. A 1-0 victory over Club Brugge retained the trophy for Liverpool.

Fairclough spent another five years at Anfield in what was a golden era for the club, but never won another medal because he wasn't given enough appearances in the team. He was a prolific scorer in the reserves, but the phenomenal partnership of Kenny Dalglish and Ian Rush rendered him surplus to first team requirements - the two main strikers also rarely were injured.

The supersub tag ultimately shrouded his number of first team starts with Liverpool - of his 153 appearances, only 61 were from the bench. He scored 55 goals.

Spells with Norwich City and Oldham Athletic followed, as well as spells abroad. He now works on the punditry and after-dinner circuit.

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