Interviews, Videos — January 6, 2012 11:15

Ian Callaghan Speaks On 1965 FA Cup Final, Shankly, Billy Liddell & Steven Gerrard

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The Asian Kop is proud to present an exclusive interview with Liverpool legend, Ian Callaghan.

Ian speaks on watching Billy Liddell as a Liverpool fan and reflects on the time when he signed for the club in 1960.

Also in the interview, the club’s record appearance holder speaks on Bill Shankly, the cross for Ian St. John in the ’65 FA Cup final and why Steven Gerrard would fit into any Liverpool squad.

The interview ends up why the former midfielder feels there is something special about the club since Kenny Dalglish’s return.


Appearances: 857
Goals: 68

Ian Callaghan Honours

Football League First Division:

Champion: 1964, 1966, 1973, 1976, 1977. Runner-up: 1969

Football League Second Division:

Champion: 1962

FA Cup Winner: 1965, 1974. Runner-up: 1971, 1977

Football League Cup Runner-up: 1978

FA Charity Shield Winner: 1966, 1974, 1976. Shared: 1964, 1965, 1977. Runner-up: 1971

European Cup Winner: 1977, 1978

UEFA Cup Winner: 1973, 1976

Cup Winners’ Cup Runner-up  : 1966

European Super Cup: Winner: 1977

World Cup Winner: 1966

Transcript of Interview

The Asian Kop: It’s an absolute honour and a privilege to be sat here with Ian Callaghan, Ian welcome to the Asian Kop.

Ian: Thank you very much!

The Asian Kop: There are so many questions that kind of bubble up in my mind and, without me trying to stutter or stammer being in your presence, I wanted to ask you what was it like being a fan for Liverpool before being a Liverpool player?

Ian: Well it was fantastic really because I came to watch Liverpool, I must of been 12-13. It was the first professional game I’d seen and Liverpool had a guy playing then called Billy Liddell. Now Billy Liddell was some player and it was just the anticipation when this guy got the ball and the atmosphere, although they were a second division club, and I just took to it. Then some weeks later I went to watch Everton who were first division, school of science, and it just wasn’t the same for me. I was playing, you know, for Liverpool boys at 14 and then got the opportunity to sign for Liverpool or Everton and although my Dad, he was an Evertonian really but he didn’t go to watch the games, but if you asked him who he supported he would say Everton. So when I got the opportunity to sign for Liverpool or Everton I only wanted to sign for Liverpool, although they were a second division club. You know looking back on my career it was the best thing I ever did because obviously a man called Bill Shankly arrived at Liverpool about a year later after I signed amateur and obviously changed everything here, signed me as a pro and yeah I had a fantastic 14 years for Liverpool, wonderful.

The Asian Kop: Could you imagine what Bill had done for the club when you signed your pro contract that was what the outcome would be at the time?

Ian: Well he was such a character and I think he was a character in as much as that’s what Liverpool needed. He was, you know, sort of a bit extrovert, and what he did when he came, he made promises and he changed the club completely. He changed the training methods, he was far in advance really you know about the game, he was. You know as I say it was the best thing I ever did and you know I signed pro, he give me my debut very quickly

TAK: And the shirt colour, was that a positive…?

Ian: Sorry

TAK: From him changing the shirt colour to red?

Ian: Well it was, you know that was some seasons later when he changed it to all red because obviously, you know, we had white shorts with a stripe down, red and white socks, and he thought everybody, especially Ron Yeats, looked a lot taller in all red. It was psychological thing but it was all through him you know that he did change things.

TAK: What would you say has been your best performance in the Red Shirt?

Ian: I think that’s very difficult to say when you’ve played the amount games that I’ve played. I think if you asked me highlights of my career, I think would be ’65 because we won the FA Cup for the first time in the history of Liverpool. At the end of the day the first time you do something you’re making history for the club, you’re making history for yourself. And then I was fortunate enough to go right through and win titles with Bill Shankly and then went right through to the 70’s when he resigned and Bob Paisley reluctantly took over. And then the ‘77 European Cup, which was the first time again that Liverpool won the European Cup, so it was very special to be in the team that was the first team to win the European Cup and the FA Cup, yeah

TAK: When you were on the attacking third in the ’65 final when you put the cross in for Ian St John, were you just putting it in an area where you thought someone might get on the end of it?

Ian: Yeah I received the ball and a guy called Willy Bell was playing left back and you know that was my- I loved to go past full backs if I could- and I got the ball and went past Willy and I thought I’d taken it too far, I thought it was going to go over the by- line and I managed to pull it back. And it was just crossing the ball really and as it was it came behind Ian St John, he had to sort of lean and sort of get behind the ball and header it in. It was a fantastic, you know, occasion because it was about 8 minutes to go when that goal went in. You know the longest 8 minutes ever. It was fantastic.

TAK: There’s always been talk about atmosphere in Anfield; St Etienne, very recently Olympiakos, and Chelsea, but what was the atmosphere like bringing the cup home and parading it here at Anfield?

Ian: Well the lovely thing was we came home and we were playing Inter Milan in the Quarter Final of the European Cup, here. And again Bill Shankly had this thing where Gerry Byrne had broken his collar bone on the Saturday in the FA Cup Final and probably the most heroic thing I’ve ever seen, to carry on into extra time with a broken collar bone. But anyway, on the Tuesday evening Gordon Milne got injured the week before so he didn’t play in the Cup Final and Bill Shankly told them to go out and parade the FA Cup before the game and they walked around the perimeter of the pitch with the FA Cup and the fans just went wild and you know it was amazing the atmosphere because Inter Milan they were the -they were World Club champions, they beat a South American team. They were a fantastic team and we absolutely hammered them here 3-1, and we also had a goal disallowed, Chris Lawler for offside, it wasn’t, so yeah it was just an unbelievable atmosphere.
Now you mentioned St Etienne. You know if you had to pick two nights here, they were the two nights that I’d pick for atmosphere. European atmospheres seems to be a lot different than to Premiership atmospheres, if you like, especially when you play the top teams there’s just a marvellous atmosphere

TAK: Is there any first team players you would like to take back with you, playing in the era that you did?

Ian: I think Stevie G would probably walk into any Liverpool team, I really do. I think he’s such a fantastic player and any team going through 60’s 70’s 80’s 90’s, Stevie would get in any team, I think yeah.

TAK: And of course you played in the centre midfield role as well so you obviously know how difficult that role can be?
Ian: Oh yes, I mean Stevie is a fantastic player and a fantastic athlete and I think it’s great me being a local lad- and you know not only Stevie but Jamie Carragher. Jamie Carragher has been an unbelievable player here and still is. I think it’s great that two local lads have probably been the best two players Liverpool have had for I don’t know in how many years so yeah.

TAK: If there was one medal that you’ve won that you cherish the most, which one would that be?

Ian: Well I’m very fortunate really in as much as that you know winning, I got a second division medal you know which was in 1960- 61 and then gone right through to ‘77 and got a European Cup medal as well and then an FA Cup medal. so they’re all very precious to me you know and then fortunately enough I was a member of the ‘66 World Cup squad and then two years ago I got a World Cup medal so you know I’m very proud, really am, because it’s the only time England have won the world cup was ‘66 so you know I became very much part of that squad of 22 players.

TAK: And finally if I had to ask you in your own words, what makes this club such a great club to support, what would you say?

Ian: I would say the supporters. Because they know their football and they’re very very passionate and I think now with Kenny being back there’s something special again about this football club and you know if someone said to me what’s your wish here, you know for this football club and it would be to win the Premiership. you know it’s been about 20 years I think, you know I just feel now that with Kenny, and Kenny’s a winner, I just feel as though I think within the next couple of years we will win the premiership I really do, and I sincerely hope so.



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