Kevin Keegan made an immediate impact for Liverpool after signing from Scunthorpe United in 1971.
In 323 games at Anfield, spread across six seasons, he scored 100 goals. He was brave, quick and had energy to burn, and despite being only 5ft 8in, he was superb in the air, thanks to his great jumping technique and perfect timing.
Liverpool manager Bill Shankly paid Keegan the ultimate compliment by crediting him as the player who ignited the Reds’ success in the 1970s. And what success.
Liverpool won the League three times, the UEFA Cup twice, and The FA and European Cups during Keegan’s time at Anfield.
He subsequently moved to Hamburg in 1977 and became the only British player voted European Footballer of the Year twice in a row, in 1978 and 1979.
It’s a shame the striker’s impressive England career, in which he scored a goal every three games on average and was captain 31 times, largely coincided with the team’s lean years, when they failed to qualify for any major championships held between 1972 and 1980.
When England went to the 1982 World Cup Finals in Spain, a back injury restricted Keegan to just 27 minutes as a substitute in a 0-0 draw against the hosts, which resulted in his side’s exit from the competition.
It was his last appearance in an England shirt, but he returned as manager in 1999 and led the Three Lions to the Euro 2000 Finals.