Lawro, Whelan and Grobbelaar celebrating Liverpool's win in the 1982 Milk Cup final in which Whelan scored two goals in a 3-1 victoryRonnie Whelan has won himself a reputation as being the man for the big occasion. Twice, in successive years, at Wembley, he scored timely and dramatic goals to clinch the Milk Cup for Liverpool. The more important the match, the more important the part he seems to play. He set the tone by running half the length of the field to score a memorable goal on his senior debut against Stoke City in 1981, and he's treated us to a number of unforgettable goals since then. I vividly recall a sensational goal in the dying minutes of an FA Cup semi-final against Manchester United at Goodison, and then he popped in three during a two legged Milk Cup semi with Walsall the year after.
Scoring the winning goal vs Man Utd in the 98th minute of the 1983 Milk Cup final
"Bob had taken over from this God-like man Bill Shankly. Bob got used to the job and his association with Geoff Twentyman to bring in talented kids paid dividends and another man who was important to Bob Paisley was Tom Saunders. He confided in him with whom he was going to replace Kevin Keegan with in '77. It transformed the club again. He was never afraid. What I liked about Bob that he was never afraid to break up a winning formula. Whatever he achieved he was always looking to strengthen. We knew we were going to get a new face in pre-season. I signed in October. Ray Kennedy had been brought in the summer as Bill Shankly's last signing. Terry Mac came after me. An established player in midfield, runs ahead of the ball. Then there would be another one before the end of the season, usually before March. That was the pattern every year. Whatever you won you knew somebody was going to come in and take your place. You could either stay and fight or as I saw other people just leave. Joey Jones left when Alan Kennedy arrived. Soon as Ray Clemence knew Brucie was in the frame he was off. Steve Nicol was bought in '81. He was after my shirt. They brought Souness in, the team got better. Lawrenson came in, you're getting better. He used to bring in good people. They were not fly-by-knights which was an expression Bob used to use. They'll be focused."
Phil Neal in an exclusive interview with LFChistory.net