Phil Thompson was born and bred a Liverpudlian and remains committed to the cause. Few others can offer such a remarkable insight into life at Anfield from Shankly to Houllier and beyond.
Born in Liverpool in 1954, Phil later moved to his spiritual home of Kirkby where his footballing abilities were soon noticed and he quickly acquired a range of schoolboy honours before signing professional forms for his beloved Reds in 1971.
As he staked a claim for a first-team place, Kop messiah Bill Shankly would memorably declare: “Aye, Phil Thompson. The boy tossed up with a sparrow for his legs and lost!”
Shanks, however, was in no doubt about the young Thommo’s qualities and Phil would go on to claim a host of Anfield honours including seven League Championships, three European Cups, two League Cups and an FA Cup.
The proudest moment of his footballing life came in 1981 when he led the Reds to a third European Cup with a 1-0 defeat of Real Madrid in Paris, later parading the trophy at his local pub, The Falcon.
He left the Reds after winning 42 England caps before returning to Anfield in a coaching capacity under Liverpool player manager Kenny Dalglish.
Despite being controversially sacked by Reds boss and former teammate Graeme Souness in 1992, he sensationally returned to Anfield as Gerard Houllier’s right-hand man in 1998, going on to revive the glory days by claiming a famous treble of trophies in 2001.
Coming full circle and happy to be a fan again, he shared in the joy of the Reds’ 2005 Champions League triumph in Istanbul – as highlighted during remarkable scenes on SKY TV.