Emlyn..tribute to Crazy Horse…(1947-2004) my favourite players
final of the Cup Winners Cup was an ageing one and has been knocked out
of the FA Cup by lowly Watford in the quarter finals. He decided, as
ever, with the best interests of the future of LFC in mind to look for
fresh young talent to take the club forward and build with and also to
move some of the older players on.
born, Emlyn Hughes, just 23 at the time, had made his debut three
seasons earlier in the spring of ’67 after signing for a sum of £65,000
from Blackpool after making just 28 appearances for them. Emlyn survived
the cull by Shanks along with the likes of Ian Callaghan and Tommy
the story goes the prophetic Shanks was stopped in his car by the
coppers as he drove his new signing back to Merseyside for the first
time and said: "Don’t you know who I’ve got in this car? The captain of
England!" The policeman leaned in for a closer look and says ”Well I
don’t recognise him" to which Shankly retorted: "No son, but you will!"
Emlyn himself recalls the yarn here…<a
Emlyn soon settled into life at Anfield in what was a transitional time for the club. He gained his nickname ‘Crazy Horse’
less than a handful of games after he rugby-tackled Newcastle’s forward
Albert Bennett who was slipping through his grasp in just his fifth
game for Liverpool. He had truly endeared himself to the Kop forever
Emlyn played in his preferred midfield role but Shanks later moved him to centre-half alongside
Thompson who had coincidentally also been brought back from a midfield
position. They almost immediately struck up a fantastic partnership,
Thommo’s first class distribution and ability to read the game was
complimented by Hughes who although predominantly left sided was strong
with both feet and also dominant in the air and despite his eagerness in
the tackle which earned him his nickname he soon matured into almost
the complete player. Shanks obviously saw something special for he
rewarded Emlyn with the captain’s armband, he had succeeded Tommy Smith,
a move which infamously ignited a long running feud between the pair.
Liverpool became renowned for their more continental style, maintaining
posession and building attacks from the back with controlled passing.
Emlyn had yet to taste success however. In 1971 when we reached the cup final he was inconsolable when
lost 1-2 in extra time to Arsenal. Legendary commentator Kenneth
Wolstenholme remarked: "Emlyn Hughes there, really absolutely sick."
However it wouldn’t be long before the future club captain would be on the winning side with a trophy to show for it.
1972/73 season was a history making one for the Reds and Crazy Horse
was at the epicentre. He played an incredible 65 games that season which
culminated in an unprecendented league and Uefa Cup double. And leading
his side to league glory ahead of Arsenal must have felt all the
sweeter. The merseyside derby of ’73 was an unforgettable one for Emlyn
who scored both goals in a memorable win at Goodison.
after the FA Cup semi-final replay in 1977, where Liverpool had won
3-0, Emlyn came out with what was to become a legendary quote “Liverpool
are magic, Everton are tragic.”
1973, we dispatched Tottenham on away goals after a 2-2 aggregate draw in the semi-finals before meeting
Borussia Moenchengladbach, we famously won the first leg 3-0 but the travelling Kopites had to bite their nails
to the ends in the second leg when we held out to win the cup when Borussia put up a great display winning 2-0
but succumbing 3-2 on aggregate.
Liverpool’s first Uefa Cup Trophy: (keep an eye out for Emlyn in the build up to the second)
saw Emlyn climb the famous Wembley steps to lift the FA Cup as captain
for the first time. This was our second FA Cup triumph and didn’t we do
it in style. We met the might of Newcastle United in the final….
Shanks embraces his skipper:
the Redmen had to settle for the runners up spot in the following
couple of seasons when we lost out narrowly to Don Revie’s Leeds United
and in 74/75 to Derby County. Shanks bowed out but luckily Liverpool
were able to count on Sir Bob Paisley to take up the reigns and almost
seamlessly the 1975/76 season saw Liverpool back on top domestically.
With just 5 defeats Liverpool were nigh on unstoppable as we held off
the challenge of QPR to bring the title back where it belonged. This was
to be another unforgettable season as we recorded another incredible
league and Uefa Cup double. The title was successfully defended in 76/77
when we won our record setting tenth league title.
One of the most memorable games ever played at Anfield, the 1976 Uefa Cup Final first leg v Club Brugges.
A crowd of over 50,000 packed into Anfield on the night of the 28th of April 1976.
Here’s what unfolded….
In the return leg Brugge went ahead with an 11th minute penalty only for Keegan to once again come
good and score our equaliser four minutes later, the game ended 1-1 and Liverpool had won the Cup again,
4-3 on aggregate. And here’s the footage….
A beaming Emlyn and his crew displaying their achievements from the
brilliantly successful 1975/76 season.
Those were the days my friend…
had almost become the norm around the fields of Anfield Road and in
1976/77 season one of the greatest Reds sides led by Emlyn was on course
for an unprecedented treble of league, FA Cup and European Cup. Old Big
Ears had eluded the Reds and indeed British sides in general up to that
point, Leeds had reached the final in ’75 when they lost to Bayern but
it had been a long time since a British side had succeeded on Europe’s
With Sir Bob at the helm however and the league title
successfully defended this was about to change as Liverpool headed for
Rome to contest the European Cup Final v
The FA Cup was also up for grabs, Just four days earlier Manchester
United somehow managed to cruelly rob us of our treble dreams by
inflicting a 1-2 Wembley defeat in the FA Cup. Emlyn was as distraught
as he was in ’71 but there were bigger wars to be won.
It was no
easy ride to Rome in ’77 however, in the quarter-finals we faced
St.Etienne who were finalists in 1976. After a demoralising 1-0 defeat
in France. A big effort would be required if we were to overcome this
talented outfit at home.
One of the greatest nights the Kop ever witnessed….
The rest as they say is history…..”WE SHALL NOT BE MOVED!”
After hammering Zurich 6-1 on aggregate and with the title wrapped up Emlyn confidently led
the Reds out at the Stadio Olimpico to a rapturous reception where the fans had almost literally painted the town Red.
also saw Emlyn rightfully crowned Football Writers Player of the year,
this was a personal achievement, that Emlyn was honored to receive. It
was a great end to one of his best seasons at Liverpool.
sings ‘Liverpool are magic, Everton are tragic’ at the homecoming
parade at St. George’s plateau in 1977 while Phil Thompson, David
Johnson and Jimmy Case crack up…..
Liverpool were denied a league three in a row by Brian Clough’s great Nottingham Forest side
and Emlyn had to settle for a runners up medal.
started the season by winning yet another European trophy, the first
Super Cup which we lifted after hammering Hamburg 6-0 at home (7-1 on
aggregate.) Defending the European Cup would be no easy feat but with
the final being held at Liverpool’s second home Wembley it was a further
incentive for Bob’s men. Dynamo Dresden and Borussia Mönchengladbach
were dispatched and our old friends Brugges lay in wait on the 10th of
Emlyn’s final squad picture ahead of the 1978/79 season:
At this stage in his LFC career, Emlyn’s place came under pressure from the rapidly emerging young Scottish centre half
Alan Hansen. But 16 appearances meant that Emlyn’s final season at
Anfield was another successful one as we lifted our 11th league title
exacting revenge over the Nottingham Forest side who had beaten us in
the League Cup final of ’78. At the end of the season after an
illustrious Anfield career Bob felt it was time for Crazy Horse to move
Emlyn was sold to Wolves for a fee of £90,000 in August 1979.He
made his Wolves debut at the Baseball Ground on Wednesday, 22 August
1979 in a 1-0 win over Derby County and went on to win the League Cup in
his first season with Wolves – the only trophy he didn’t win with
Liverpool – and duly lifted it as captain after a surprise 1-0 win over
Nottingham Forest at Wembley. He was later decorated with the OBE for
services to football and featured on the television tribute show This Is
Emlyn is the only Liverpool player to have lifted the European Cup as captain twice.
Emlyn won the first of his 62 England caps against Holland in 1969 – and went on to captain his country 23 times
and was a non-playing part of the 1970 World Cup squad.
Funny clip of Emlyn from A Question Of Sport…
‘Come all without
Come all within
You ain’t seen nothing like the Mighty Emlyn’
Emlyn Hughes Liverpool Stats
Goals: 48 goals
Honours with LFC:
* 4 Division 1 championship Winners medals (1973, 1976, 1977 and 1979)
* FA Cup winners medal (1974)
* 2 European Cup winners medals (1977 and 1978)
* 2 UEFA Cup winners medals (1973 and 1976)
* European Super Cup winners medal (1977)
* 3 Charity Shield winners medals (1974, 1976 and 1977)
* 3 First Division (Level 1) runners-up medals (1969, 1974 and 1978)
* 2 FA Cup runners-up medals (1971 and 1977)
* Football League Cup runners-up medal (1978)
* European Super Cup runners-up medal (1978)
* Charity Shield runners-up medal (1971)
* Wolverhampton Wanderers F.C (1979–1981) – 58 appearances, 2 goals
* Football League Cup winners medal (1980)
* England (1969–1980) – 62 caps, 1 goal
* Personal Honours
* Awarded the OBE in (1980)
* Football Writers Footballer of the Year (1977)
Football Writers Player of the Year: 1977
League appearances: Hughes 474
League goals: Hughes 35
Total appearances: Hughes 657
Total goals: Hughes 48
I end with a very fitting youtube tribute to our legendary former captain.
Emlyn you will never walk alone.
Emlyn’s statue in his hometown of Barrow:
Emlyn Hughes 1947-2004
Other Rawk material on Emlyn:
true to say that if Shankly had told us to invade Poland we’d be
queuing up 10 deep all the way from Anfield to the Pier Head."