Luis Suarez and the 30 Greatest Liverpool Strikers of All Time

Mark Jones@@Mark_Jones86Featured ColumnistDecember 12, 2013

Luis Suarez and the 30 Greatest Liverpool Strikers of All Time

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    Game by game, Luis Suarez's stock amongst the Liverpool faithful is soaring.

    The Uruguayan might have had his troubles in the past, but right now he is undoubtedly the hottest property in English football, scoring 14 goals in 10 Premier League appearances this season and a staggering 11 goals in his last five games at Anfield.

    Suarez is following a rich tradition of great Liverpool forwards of the past, with the club blessed with plenty of great goalscorers and crowd favourites ever since their formation in 1892.

    Here, we look at 30 men who could be relied upon to find the back of the net in a Reds shirt, as we tell the story of Liverpool Football Club through their goal getters.

In the Beginning: Sam Raybould

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    Year of debut: 1900

    Games: 226 Goals: 129

    Sam Raybould signed for Liverpool in the eighth year of the club's existence in January 1900, and the former Derby County man went on to become a terrific success at the club.

    He scored a then club record 31 goals in the 1902/03 season, but his time at Liverpool was marred by a seven-month ban imposed on both him and right-back Archie Glover after they agreed to accept "financial inducements" from Portsmouth as a bribe to sign for them in 1903.

    Banned for life from ever signing for the South Coast club, Raybould stayed at Liverpool and plundered 129 goals in a seven-year Reds career.

Jack Parkinson

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    Year of debut: 1903

    Games: 220 Goals: 130

    One of Liverpool's first recognised go-to man for goals, local lad Jack Parkinson broke into the first team in 1903, the 11th year of the Reds' existence, and he stayed there for over a decade.

    Having won the Second Division in 1904/05, a broken wrist hampered him throughout Liverpool's 1905/06 championship winning campaign, but in 1910/11 he fired in a stunning 30 goals in 31 appearances.

    Twice capped for England, he retired from football in 1914, shortly before the onset of the First World War.

    His 130 goals for the club place him 10th on Liverpool's all-time top goalscorer list.

Harry Chambers

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    Year of debut: 1915

    Games: 339 Goals: 151

    Harry Chambers signed for Liverpool a year after Parkinson's retirement in 1915, but he had to wait four years for his debut due to the suspension of league football during World War I, during which Chambers was enlisted in an Irish infantry regiment.

    When he did finally make his Reds debut however, Chambers was eager to make up for lost time, and was instrumental in the club's league championship successes in 1922 and 1923, scoring a memorable hat-trick in a 5-1 victory over Everton at Anfield.

    Chambers scored five goals in eight appearances for England, with his 151 Liverpool strikes putting him ninth on the club's all-time scoring list.

Dick Forshaw

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    Year of debut: 1919

    Games: 288 Goals: 124

    Forward Dick Forshaw was ever-present in the Liverpool sides than won both the 1921/22 and 1922/23 league championships, scoring 36 goals over that period.

    His best season saw him score 29 goals in 35 games in the 1925/26 campaign, a return which included a hat-trick in a 5-0 home win over Manchester United at Anfield.

    Following eight years at Liverpool, Forshaw made the short journey to Everton in 1927, staying there for two years.

Gordon Hodgson

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    Year of debut: 1925

    Games: 377 Goals: 241

    South Africa-born Gordon Hodgson has managed to hold a place in Liverpool's top three all-time goalscorers for over three-quarters of a century thanks to his efforts in the 1920s and 30s.

    His 36 league goals in the 1930/31 season set a club record that went unbroken for 30 years, and he was the Reds' top scorer in seven of the nine full seasons he played for the club.

    As well as being a supremely gifted goalscorer, Hodgson was also an accomplished cricketer, and helped Lancashire to two County Championship titles in his 56 matches for the Manchester-based county, with his best bowling figures of 6-77 coming against Middlesex at Lord's (pictured) in 1932.

Post-War Heroes: Jack Balmer

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    Year of debut: 1935

    Games: 312 Goals: 111

    Although he made his debut before the Second World War, it wasn't until after it that Jack Balmer really began to shine.

    Balmer played as an amateur across Stanley Park at Everton, but it was Liverpool boss George Patterson who gave him a first professional contract in 1935.

    The war perhaps took away his best years as a footballer, but after it he scored 24 goals as Liverpool won the 1946/47 league title, a season which also saw Balmer set a club record for scoring three successive hat-tricks, a record which still stands.

Billy Liddell

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    Year of (official) debut: 1946

    Games: 534 Goals: 228

    Viewed more as a winger than a forward, Billy Liddell nonetheless also played upfront during a stellar Liverpool career during which he was so important that the Reds were often referred to as "Liddellpool."

    After arriving from Scotland in 1939, Liddell had to wait for his debut due to the Second World War, but from 1949 onwards he ended up as Liverpool's top goalscorer in eight out of nine seasons.

    His haul of goals places him in fourth in Liverpool's list of all-time top goalscorers, whilst he won the league title in 1947 and has his Reds achievements commemorated with a plaque outside Anfield.

Albert Stubbins

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    Year of debut: 1946

    Games: 178 Goals: 83

    After appearing for Newcastle United either side of World War II, Geordie Albert Stubbins eventually moved on to Liverpool, where he left an everlasting mark on one of the city's other main institutions.

    Stubbins reportedly decided to move to Liverpool over Everton on the toss of a coin, and he scored 28 goals as the Reds won the 1946/47 league championship.

    He remained in the Reds team up until 1953, and was on the losing side in the 1950 FA Cup final, whilst he later found fame as the only footballer to feature on The Beatles' iconic Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album in 1967.

The Shankly Era Superstars... Roger Hunt

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    Year of debut: 1958

    Games: 492 Goals: 286

    Following spells at several non-league sides, forward Roger Hunt was signed by Liverpool manager Phil Taylor in 1958, but it was under Taylor's predecessor Bill Shankly that he would really begin to shine.

    His 41 goals helped secure promotion from the Second Division in 1962, and from there the Reds never looked back under Shankly. The club won their first ever FA Cup in 1965, a year before Hunt was part of the England team which won the World Cup in 1966.

    A renowned goal poacher, Hunt's 245 league goals for the Reds remain a club record, whilst his haul of 286 overall ensure that he takes second place on the club's all-time top goalscorers list behind Ian Rush.

Ian St. John

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    Year of debut: 1961

    Games: 425 Goals: 118

    Whilst Hunt was a key figure in the Shankly era, it wasn't until the arrival of Ian St. John, seen on the left here with England World Cup winner Sir Geoff Hurst and a friend, that things really began to motor under the legendary Scot.

    Liverpool more than doubled their club record transfer fee to bring St John down south from Motherwell for £37,500 in 1961, but it proved to be a huge bargain.

    A hat-trick against Everton in the Liverpool Senior Cup announced his arrival, and alongside Hunt he was to be the main inspiration for the Reds' successes under Shankly, scoring the winning goal at Wembley as the Reds finally won the Holy Grail by lifting the FA Cup thanks to a 2-1 win over Leeds United in the 1965 final.

Bobby Graham

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    Year of debut: 1964

    Games: 137 Goals: 42

    One of the most patient players in Liverpool history, Scotsman Bobby Graham often stood by and watched the fine form of Hunt and St. John keep him out of the team.

    He was a trusted member of Shankly's squad though, and after the above pair finally bowed out of the team ahead of the 1969/70 season, Graham played in all 54 games over the campaign, scoring 21 goals including a stunning strike in a win over Everton at Goodison Park.

    Just when he was starting to get a foothold in the team though, Kevin Keegan and John Toshack arrived to block his place in the team again.

Alun Evans

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    Year of debut: 1968

    Games: 111 Goals: 33

    Shankly caused a stir when he plucked the teenage blond bombshell Alun Evans from Wolverhampton Wanderers in 1968, and the forward made an instant impact amongst those on the Kop.

    After a debut goal against Leicester though, injuries and misfortune dogged his next couple of years, until he bagged a fine hat-trick in a Fairs Cup fourth round tie against Bayern Munich in 1970, the same year that his fine goal helped beat Everton in the FA Cup semi-final.

    He disappointed in the final loss to Arsenal though, and with a couple of other forwards now around to take his place in the team he departed for Aston Villa in 1972.

John Toshack

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    Year of debut: 1970

    Games: 247 Goals: 96

    A Shankly signing from Cardiff City in November 1970, giant Welsh forward John Toshack scored his first goal for the Reds as they came from 2-0 down to beat Everton 3-2 at Anfield thanks to three goals in the final 21 minutes.

    The following season saw Kevin Keegan join the Reds from Scunthorpe United, and he and Toshack struck up an almost telepathic understanding that would lead to three First Division titles, two UEFA Cups and an FA Cup.

    He scored 96 goals in his 247-game Reds career, and assisted Keegan for many more.

Kevin Keegan

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    Year of debut: 1971

    Games: 323 Goals: 100

    Few knew how big a superstar Kevin Keegan was to become when he joined the Reds from Scunthorpe in 1971, but his energy and personality soon came to define the Liverpool side of that era.

    He scored twice in the 1974 FA Cup final victory over Newcastle United in Shanky's final match in charge, whilst after the legendary boss left the club and was replaced by Bob Paisley he was still the star in the side which shone brightest.

    Keegan's goals led the Reds to their 1977 European Cup final in Rome, where he helped inspire them to a victory which proved to be his final one for the club. The England international then moved on to Hamburg, where he picked up two European Footballer of the Year awards.

Paisley's Poachers: David Fairclough

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    Year of debut: 1975

    Games: 154 Goals: 55

    Forever connected with one night and one moment, David Fairclough was surely Liverpool's first example of just how a substitute can change the course of a match.

    Considered as a back-up forward, the ginger-haired substitute came off the bench to score and cap a remarkable comeback against Saint-Etienne in the quarter-final of the European Cup in 1977, the year that the Reds won the trophy for the first time.

    He started the European Cup final against FC Bruges at Wembley the following year, and despite largely being considered as a "supersub" during his Reds career, he still managed a healthy strike rate of around one in three.

David Johnson

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    Year of debut: 1976

    Games: 213 Goals: 78

    Despite coming through the ranks at Everton it was at Ipswich Town where David Johnson made his name as a forward, before the Scouser moved back to Merseyside and joined Liverpool in 1976.

    As part of a glittering strikeforce, he wasn't always guaranteed a start, but he became the first man to score for both clubs in a Merseyside derby in 1978, and was then a free-scoring contributor to the Reds' league titles in 1979 and 1980.

    He played in the team which won both the European and League Cups in 1981, but the emergence of youngster Ian Rush was beginning to limit his chances, and he moved back to Everton in 1982.

Kenny Dalglish

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    Year of debut: 1977

    Games: 515 Goals: 172

    Initially considered as merely a replacement for Kevin Keegan when he joined from Celtic in 1977, few knew just what impact Kenny Dalglish was going to have on Liverpool for the rest of his life.

    He ended his first season by scoring the winning goal in the European Cup final victory over FC Bruges at Anfield in 1978, and he went on to establish himself as a titanic figure in the club's history, on par with the likes of Shankly and Paisley.

    As either a player, manager or both jobs combined, Dalglish is partly responsible for half of Liverpool's 18 league titles, and after he won the League Cup in 2012 following his recent return as manager, he is back at the club as an ambassador once again.

Eighties Super Strikers: Ian Rush

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    Year of debut: 1980

    Games: 660 Goals: 346

    There simply aren't forwards like Ian Rush around anymore, with the Welshman plucked from lowly Chester City and given time to develop in the reserves before becoming the ultimate goal machine.

    Liverpool's all-time record goalscorer also holds the record for scoring the most FA Cup final goals at Wembley and the most in Merseyside derbies, whilst he is the second highest goalscorer of all time in the long and storied history of the FA Cup.

    Following a year spent with Juventus in Turin in 1987/88, Rush return to Liverpool and remained just as prolific as he always was, winning five league titles as well as several more team and personal accolades.

John Aldridge

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    Year of debut: 1987

    Games: 104 Goals: 63

    When Rush left for Juventus, Liverpool were under pressure to come up with a like-for-like replacement. They got one in John Aldridge.

    The forward didn't just look like the man he was filling the shoes of, but he also scored goals like him, as the boyhood Liverpool fan hit the net with stunning regularity in the 1987/88 Liverpool side which many supporters still claim to be the best in the club's history.

    Rush's return from Juventus made things tough for Aldridge though, and after two sparkling years and plenty of goals, he left to become Real Sociedad's first non-Basque player in 1989.

Peter Beardsley

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    Year of debut: 1987

    Games: 175 Goals: 59

    Not a conventional forward, Peter Beardsley was nonetheless a terrific attacking force in that famed Liverpool team of the late 1980s.

    The Geordie's nimbleness and eye for goal was celebrated by Reds fans following his arrival from Newcastle in 1987, when he almost instantly struck up a terrific understanding with Aldridge and winger John Barnes.

    Beardsley won two league titles for the Reds as well as the 1989 FA Cup, before leaving to join rivals Everton in 1991.

Into the Nineties: Robbie Fowler

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    Year of debut: 1993

    Games: 369 Goals: 183

    Liverpool supporters had been aware of a youngster called Robbie Fowler in their youth ranks in the early nineties, but they couldn't have imagined the impact he was going to make.

    The teenager announced his arrival on the senior scene with five goals in a League Cup match against Fulham, before bagging a Premier League record fastest ever hat-trick against Arsenal in August 1994. The treble was completed in four minutes and 33 seconds.

    Fowler was prolific for one so young, scoring 31 goals in 1994/95 and 36 in 1995/96, and was feted by supporters who loved him.

    He was a frequent captain of the team which won three trophies in 2000/01, and after leaving for Leeds the following season he even made a shock comeback to the club in early 2006, when he added to his goals tally to become the fifth-highest scorer in Premier League history.

Stan Collymore

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    Year of debut: 1995

    Games: 81 Goals: 35

    Goals at Nottingham Forest had made Stan Collymore one of the Premier League's hottest properties in the mid-90s, and that led Liverpool to part with a British record £8.5m for his services.

    He scored on his debut against Sheffield Wednesday in 1995, and generally impressed as the Reds reached the FA Cup final that season.

    He also bagged the winner in the unforgettable 4-3 success over Newcastle United at Anfield that season, and after featuring again the following campaign he left the Reds for boyhood club Aston Villa following two seasons which had brought an impressive 35 goals.

Michael Owen

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    Year of debut: 1997

    Games: 297 Goals: 158

    Like Fowler, everyone knew about Michael Owen long before he broke into the first team, and the forward didn't disappoint.

    A debut goal at Wimbledon was followed with a stellar first full season in 1997/98, a campaign which saw him break into the England squad for the summer's World Cup, where he scored an unforgettable goal against Argentina.

    At Liverpool he is mostly remembered for the two goals in the final seven minutes of the 2001 FA Cup final which somehow wrestled the trophy from Arsenal's grasp in Cardiff, and he continued to be Liverpool's main man over the next couple of seasons before a move to Real Madrid in 2004.

    Amazingly, all of his goals for the Reds came before the age of 25.

The Noughties: Emile Heskey

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    Year of debut: 2000

    Games: 223 Goals: 60

    It is easy to forget given the forward's status as the butt of many jokes in the past, but Emile Heskey was at times untouchable in his first full season at Liverpool.

    The ex-Leicester man scored 22 goals as the Reds won the League Cup, FA Cup and UEFA Cup in 2001, and he was considered to be a vital part of Gerard Houllier's team as the Reds battled for honours both home and abroad.

    A goal in a highly-charged Champions League clash with Roma in 2003 was probably his last major contribution for the club, and he left for Birmingham in 2004 having bagged 60 Liverpool goals.

Milan Baros

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    Year of debut: 2002

    Games: 108 Goals: 27

    Without Milan Baros Liverpool wouldn't have won the Champions League in 2005, and the forward certainly had his moments in the years prior to that.

    After joining in 2001 the Czech was forced to wait patiently for a spot in the team, but he scored four goals in his first three Premier League starts in the following campaign, and was generally considered to be decent backup to Owen and Heskey.

    Winning the Golden Boot at Euro 2004 seemed to be a turning point for him though, and he was looked at as Liverpool's first-choice forward throughout the 2004/05 campaign, when he made vital contributions to both the semi-final victory over Chelsea and the unforgettable final win against AC Milan.

Peter Crouch

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    Year of debut: 2005

    Games: 134 Goals: 42

    A surprising signing for the European champions in the summer of 2005, giant forward Peter Crouch was nonetheless trusted by Rafael Benitez to provide Liverpool with goals.

    After a stuttering start he managed to do just that, and he was a key part of the team which won the FA Cup in 2006 and got to the Champions League final in 2007, where many were disappointed that he was only named on the bench against AC Milan in Athens.

    A season in and out of the team followed, but when he was picked Crouch often didn't disappoint, and he was a firm favourite with fans right up until his departure for Portsmouth in 2008.

Dirk Kuyt

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    Year of debut: 2006

    Games: 285 Goals: 71

    Signed as a forward from Feyenoord in 2006, Dirk Kuyt's best days for Liverpool came as a hard-working right midfielder, but he is included here simply for his ability to score crucial goals when they mattered.

    A header in the 2007 Champions League final ultimately proved fruitless as the Reds lost 2-1, but over the next five years Kuyt would often pop up just when his team needed him and score crucial strikes, most notably in Merseyside derbies as well as versus Manchester United, against whom he scored a hat-trick in March 2011.

    Liverpool's second highest scorer in the Champions League (12) and fifth highest in all European competition (15), he also found the net at Wembley as the Reds won the 2012 League Cup final against Cardiff.

Fernando Torres

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    Year of debut: 2007

    Games: 142 Goals: 81

    Astonishingly, there were some who questioned the purchase of Fernando Torres from Atletico Madrid for a then club record fee in 2007. He quickly proved them wrong.

    The Spaniard enjoyed a stellar debut season in 2007/08, scoring a stunning 33 goals and setting a Premier League record for the most strikes by a foreign player in his debut campaign in England.

    The following campaign saw the Reds come as close as they've ever been to Premier League glory largely off the back of Torres' goals, but injuries often hampered him and left fans frustrated.

    The departure of Rafael Benitez in the summer of 2010 affected him too, and the Reds sold him to Chelsea for a whopping £50 million six months later.

The Current Star Man: Luis Suarez

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    Year of debut: 2011

    Games: 107 Goals: 65

    Plenty has been said and written about Luis Suarez in the past, but there is little doubt that right now he is in the best form he's shown for the Reds since his bargain £22.8m move from Ajax in January 2011.

    He's scored 14 goals in 10 matches this season, and has found the net 11 times in his five Anfield appearances during this campaign, all off the back of him scoring 30 goals in 2012/13.

    He's certainly on track to smash that record this season, and indeed to challenge the records of even the greatest players on this list should he stick around at the club for years to come.

And a Legend in the Making? Daniel Sturridge

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    Year of debut: 2013

    Games: 30 Goals: 22

    Currently rivalling Suarez for star billing is Daniel Sturridge though, with the Englishman proving to be a breath of fresh air since his arrival at Liverpool from Chelsea in January.

    A stellar strike rate of better than two goals in every three games is something that will be difficult to keep up over the longer term, but you can bet that the forward will be desperate to do just that when he returns from injury in the New Year.

    He and Suarez have got a lot to live up to, but with 87 goals for the club between them they are certainly looking determined to go close to the records of some of the great players mentioned here.