Now we get to the midfield of my dream team. Personally I feel midfield is the most important position on the pitch so I have had to make my decisions carefully. Liverpool have had many great right wingers who could have made my team. Two that come to mind are Billy Liddell who played on both wings for LFC and from my era Steve McManaman. After looking at teams from the past, I felt I had to put Ian Callaghan (Cally) into my right wing position.
Ian Callaghan was born in Toxteth, Liverpool in 1942. He became a Liverpool apprentice and would make his LFC debut in April 1960 against Bristol Rovers. Few could have imagined at the time how long Callaghan would serve Liverpool and the record he would still hold to this day. Ian Callaghan made a very impressive, record breaking 857 appearances for Liverpool scoring 68 goals. Imagine how that felt to pull on the famous red jersey that amount of times. Most of us dream of pulling on the shirt just for one match. I would think that it is very unlikely that anyone will surpass this haul of appearances. Another amazing fact is Ian Callaghan was only booked once in his Liverpool career. For any player to make so many appearances for any team but especially LFC then you have to be something special.
Ian Callaghan played right wing in his earlier years replacing Billy Liddell and later on playing centre midfield. He became a 1st team regular in the 1961-1962 season and would create many assists for the impressive duo of Hunt and St John. Callaghan was the only player to play from the old second division days of mediocrity to winning the European Cup in 1977.
Callaghan is described by many former team mates as a tireless, energetic and a skilful player. His versatilty was a factor which most probably helped him amass so many appearances for LFC. Also described by many as a gentleman with a very humble attitude. He walked into Anfield and out of Anfield as the same down to earth character (only with a large medal collection). He would be a Liverpool player from 1960 until 1978 and would also receive international recognition with four caps.
Ian Callaghan like all the players in my dream team has a great medal collection. Most notably he has 5 league titles and 2 FA Cups domestically. In Europe he won 2 European Cups, 2 Uefa Cups and a Super Cup.
Ian Callaghan got the place in my team for many reasons. His football ability and energy in midfield. Also him being a scouser and fan of the club from a child helped him. To play for a club which you love must help to fight for the team in rough times.
Cally, I give you my number 11 shirt. You were an outstanding servant to our great club I just wish I had been around to see you play live rather than on DVD’S.