In advance of our first League visit to the Britannia Stadium, YNWA looks at the careers of some of those players have represented both Stoke City and the mighty reds over the years.
Current double agents
Salif Diao signed from Sedan for £4.7m in August 2002. He made 61 reds appearances, scoring three times, and moved to Stoke City in January 2007 after a successful loan spell there, having already been sent out to both Birmingham City and Portsmouth on a temporary basis. He is contracted at the Britannia Stadium until the summer of 2010 and has so far played 54 times without yet finding the back of the net.
Dominic Matteo played 155 games for us in defence before leaving for Leeds United in a £4m deal in August 2000. He joined Stoke City on a free transfer from Blackburn Rovers in January 2007, but has so far turned out only 25 times for the Potters, and just once so far this season in the Carling Cup, and is now operating as a midfielder.
Other recent double agents
Patrik Berger struck 35 times in 196 reds games after his £3.25m capture from Borussia Dortmund following a successful Euro ‘96 with the Czech Republic. However, he was later dogged by persistent knee trouble, and allowed to join Premiership new-boys Portsmouth on a free transfer in June 2003. He later moved to Stoke City on loan from Aston Villa in November 2006 and played seven times in the Potteries, returning to re-join the first-team picture at Villa Park.
Frode Kippe joined City on loan in December 1999. He played twenty times in four months at the Britannia Stadium, and returned the following October for a further loan spell, this time making 24 appearances across the rest of the season as the Potters narrowly missed out on promotion to the First Division. He had made just two first-team appearances while at Anfield, both from off the bench in the Worthington Cup, and is now back with Lillestrøm in his native Norway, for whom he is captain.
Defender Stephen Wright made 21 reds appearances before moving to Sunderland for £3m in August 2002. He joined Stoke on loan from there five years later, playing seventeen times as they made a belated return to the top flight last season, although he has since joined Coventry City. Young reserves forward John Miles left for Stoke City on a free transfer in April 2002 having failed to make our first team. He only made one senior appearance for the Potters before moving on to Crewe Alexandra, and is currently with League Two side Accrington Stanley.
Between the sticks
Bruce Grobbelaar moved to the Victoria Ground on loan in March 1993. He played four games for the Potters, who were on their way to the Second Division title, before briefly returning to our first team at the expense of David James. He had played 628 times for the reds since his £250,000 capture from Vancouver Whitecaps in March 1981, helping us to six League titles, one European Cup, three FA Cups, three League Cups and three FA Charity Shields, joining Southampton on a free transfer in August 1994.
Tommy Younger arrived from Hibernian in June 1956 for £9,000 and made 127 reds appearances, as well as winning 24 caps for Scotland. He returned north of the border after three years at Anfield to join Falkirk. He came back to England in 1960 to play ten times for Stoke, and also spent time as Assistant Manager at the Victoria Ground after retiring from playing.
Scot Ken Campbell took over from Sam Hardy in the reds goal, playing 142 times including the 1914 FA Cup Final, before being replaced after the war by the great Elisha Scott. He left for Partick Thistle in April 1920, then joining New Brighton as an amateur and opening a sports shop in nearby Wallasey, before signing for Stoke in March 1923. Mark Prudhoe left Darlington for £210,000 to join the Potters in June 1993. He played 101 times before moving to Bradford City for £70,000 in August 1997. He had joined the reds on loan from Stoke in November 1994, sitting on our bench on eight occasions.
England international midfielder Paul Stewart was one of Graeme Souness's failed buys, arriving from Tottenham Hotspur for £2.3m in July 1992, making 42 uninspiring appearances before joining Sunderland for free after four seasons at Anfield, netting just three times. He signed for Stoke City on a free transfer from the Mackems in July 1997, going on to notch three goals in 24 outings as they were relegated to the Second Division before retiring the following summer.
Mark Walters signed from Rangers for a £1.25m fee in August 1991, going on to score nineteen times in 124 reds appearances. He had been a big success in Scotland, but could not reproduce that at Anfield, and eventually moved to Southampton in January 1996, after a loan spell in the Potteries at the end of the 1993/94 season in which he netted twice in nine games. His most famous of 124 games in a red shirt came when he inspired a UEFA Cup comeback against Auxerre in 1991. He also scored the crucial second goal in our defeat of Manchester United that handed the title to Leeds United earlier the following year, one of his nineteen reds strikes.
Northern Irish forward Sammy Smyth bagged twenty goals in 44 reds games after signing from Stoke City for £12,000 in December 1952, for whom he had struck seventeen times in forty League outings. Left-winger Alan A'Court scored 63 times in 381 reds games, helping us to the Second Division title in 1962, and representing England at the 1958 World Cup in his time at Anfield. He later became Assistant Manager at Stoke under George Eastham in 1969, eventually taking over the reins in January 1978 for a month as caretaker when Eastham departed.
Howard Gayle, the first black player to represent Liverpool in modern times, made only five first-team appearances before moving on to Birmingham City in January 1983. He joined Stoke from Sunderland, and struck twice in six League appearances during 1986/87 before joining Blackburn Rovers. Forward Colin Russell only ever tasted half an hour of first-team action for the reds, coming on for Gayle in a home League defeat to Sunderland in May 1981. He bagged two goals in eleven League appearances for Stoke while on loan from Huddersfield Town in 1983/84, whom he had joined from the reds in September 1982.
Dick Johnson joined the reds in February 1920, and struck thirty times in 82 outings, helping us to the League title in 1923 before leaving for Stoke in February 1925. Joseph Brough signed from Burslem Port Vale in 1910 and struck three times in eleven outings before joining Stoke the following year.
Between the wars
Hanley-born forward Harold Taylor joined the reds from Stoke City in July 1932. He only made 72 appearances in his four years at Anfield, netting just six times. Left-back Jack Tennant arrived at Anfield from Torquay United in May 1933. He went on to appear 42 times for the reds before joining Bolton Wanderers in January 1936. He had spells with Stoke either side of his time at Anfield.
Other double agents
Centre-half Alex Raisbeck signed from Stoke City for £350 in May 1898. He played 341 times in eleven years, becoming our first skipper to lift the League title in 1901. He won a further championship medal five years later, as well as a Second Division title. Left half-back Jim Bradley signed for the reds from Stoke in September 1905 after the club had resigned from the League, having played 199 League games for the Potters. He notched eight times in 185 reds games, helping us to claim the League title in his debut season.
Left-back Alec Lindsay netted eighteen times in 248 reds games, helping us to the League and UEFA Cup in 1973, and FA Cup and FA Charity Shield the following year, before leaving for Stoke City in September 1977. He bagged three goals in twenty League outings before crossing the Atlantic to sign for Oakland Stompers. Left-half Willie Stevenson missed just nine League games in his first four seasons, making a total of 241 appearances and netting eighteen times, helping us to two League titles and our first FA Cup triumph in 1965. He moved on to Stoke City in December 1967 for whom he bagged five goals in 95 League games before signing for Tranmere Rovers in 1973.
Full-back John Robertson had two spells with Stoke, before moving to Anfield from the Victoria Ground in 1900. He helped the reds to our first League title in his first campaign, failing to score in 47 games before moving into amateur football with Southampton in May 1902.