Welcome back to Last Word On Football’s look at some of Liverpool’s most iconic figures. From players to managers, we look at who has an impact during their time at the club that no Liverpool fan will ever forget. Next up is prolific striker and Liverpool’s all-time top scorer Ian Rush.
Rush was a loyal servant to Liverpool over two spells spanning sixteen years. The Welsh frontman helped Liverpool to several trophies including League titles, FA Cups, League Cups and European glory. He remains the club’s all-time leading goal scorer and continues to be adored by the fans due to the passion for the club Rush has both on and off the pitch.
Icons of Liverpool: Ian Rush
Ian Rush arrived at Liverpool in April 1980 for then a British record fee for a teenager. Liverpool paid £300,000 to sign Rush who made his international debut for Wales prior to his move to the Reds.
His first spell at Liverpool ended in 1987 when he joined Juventus for a British record of £3.2 million. While he initially joined Juventus in 1986, Rush spent the 1986/87 on loan at Liverpool. Rush’s Italian adventure lasted just one season returning to Liverpool in 1988.
Rush departed Liverpool for the final time in 1996 having made 660 appearances, scoring 369 goals. He also collected 18 trophies and several individual accolades; this included PFA Young Player of the Year and Players’ Player of the Year.
Ian Rush: The Early Years
The Welsh frontman arrived at Liverpool in April 1980 but didn’t make his debut until December of that year. His first year at Liverpool was spent mainly in their youth set up and reserves allowing him to develop and get used to his surroundings.
His breakthrough campaign arrived with Rush notching his first Liverpool goal in a European cup tie against Oulun Pallosuera. Rush’s first league goals arrived in a comprehensive win over Leeds United with Rush completing the 1981/82 season with a League and Cup double as well as 30 goals in 49 games.
The 1982/83 campaign saw Rush once again collect a League and Cup double and finish as Liverpool’s top scorer for a second consecutive season. This season also earned Rush the PFA Young Player of the Year award for 1983.
Ian Rush: A Special Season in More Ways Than One
Rush’s most iconic season was the 1983/84 campaign. The striker had an outstanding season collecting three trophies as well as several individual accolades.
Rush notched an impressive 47 goals in 65 games as Liverpool stormed to a third consecutive league title, a fourth straight League Cup and his second European cup title as a Liverpool player.
Several personal accolades followed including PFA Player of the season, The Welsh FA’s player of the season, BBC Wales’ Sports Personality of the Year as well as the First Division Golden Boot and European Golden Boot.
His First Departure
Rush struggled to reach the heights of his sensational 1983/84 campaign but continued to deliver for Liverpool. His efforts under Kenny Dalglish caught the eye for Italian giants Juventus.
The Italian side paid a British record of £3.2 million for Rush in 1986. However, he stayed at Liverpool for the 1986/87 campaign. His first spell ended in 1987 with Rush notching 139 goals in 216 appearances. He departed Anfield as a hero and was forever adored.
The Second Coming
Rush made a sensational return to Liverpool in 1988 for a British record fee of £2.7 million. The fans, players and manager Kenny Dalglish were delighted to see him return. “Rushie is back, Rushie is back” echoed around Anfield as he made a triumphant return, however, Rush was joining a competitive frontline with youngsters John Aldridge and Peter Beardsley already in place with Dalglish looking to put fresh young blood into his Liverpool team.
His first season back saw Rush collect his second FA Cup title with the prolific frontman scoring the winning goal in extra-time against bitter rivals Everton. The final carried great significance following the events at Hillsborough during Liverpool’s FA Cup semi-final. An iconic goal in Liverpool’s history and a goal which meant so much to the players, manager and fans.
While his second spell saw Liverpool collect fewer trophies, Rush continued to deliver for Liverpool finishing as top goal scorer in the 1990/91, 1992/93 and 1993/94 seasons. His final piece of silverware arrived in 1994/95 season as Liverpool beat Bolton Wanderers in the League Cup final.
A Sombre but Iconic Departure for the Final Time
After 469 appearances across sixteen tremendous seasons at Liverpool, Rush departed the Reds in June 1996, exiting the club on a free transfer.
His final appearance for the Reds was in the FA Cup final as Liverpool slumped to a narrow loss to Manchester United. Rush eventually signed for Leeds United but always remained a true Liverpool icon and hero. While his departure was a largely quiet affair, he remains one of Liverpool’s most loyal servants and adored players.
Ian Rush: A True Liverpool Icon
Rush remains an adored figure at the club with the former striker regularly at Liverpool games. His goals are fondly remembered by Liverpool fans and to this day remains a fans’ favourite and icon of the club.
His sixteen years at Liverpool brought success, highs, lows and excitement. He remains Liverpool’s all-time top scorer and remembered for his tenacious style of play, quality goals and all-round passion for the Reds. Ian Rush is a true Liverpool icon.