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On this day in Liverpool history - 26th December
Thursday, 26th December 2013

Nic’s debut

2001 - Nicolas Anelka made his red bow as we won 2-1 at Aston Villa with goals from Jari Litmanen, gifted to him by Peter Schmeichel, and Vladimír Šmicer. Jari also struck a spot-kick against the post.

           

Bowyer off again

2005 - We equalled a club record of eight consecutive League wins with our 2-0 defeat of Newcastle United, our 250th victory in the Premier League, a sequence that eventually rose to ten. Josemi came off the bench late on to make his 35th and final reds appearance, with Michael Owen making his first return to Anfield as an ex-red while Lee Bowyer was sent off for the visitors for the second successive season. Steven Gerrard and Peter Crouch were both on target in the first half. This was also our eighth consecutive clean sheet in the League, the best run since 1922/23.

           

Reds trebles

1963 - Roger Hunt netted four as we thumped Stoke City 6-1 at Anfield to give Bill Shankly his hundredth victory as reds boss, in his 188th game in charge. Ian St. John and Alf Arrowsmith also scored in one of eight meetings with the Potters on this day in history. The scores were level at 1-1 at half-time, with five of our goals coming at the Anfield Road end in the second period. John Ritchie struck the first of his five goals against the reds.

           

1928 - Gordon Hodgson scored a hat-trick in his hundredth League game as we trounced Burnley 8-0 at Anfield. Jimmy Clark and Dick Edmed both bagged braces with Bill Salisbury netting the other. The score could have been far greater as Bob Done missed a penalty, we had three goals dubiously ruled out for offside, hit the crossbar three times and the posts twice each. Burnley had beaten us 3-2 at their ground the previous afternoon.

1969 - We also thumped the Clarets, winning 5-1 at Turf Moor, one of five other occasions we have met them on Boxing Day. Ian Ross bagged his first reds goal while Bobby Graham, Chris Lawler, Peter Thompson and Ian Callaghan were all also on target. Tommy Lawrence saved a penalty from Burnley’s Brian O’Neil who then followed up to score from the rebound.

1896 – Keeper Willie Donnelly made his reds bow as we lost 4-1 at Burnley, despite Frank Becton scoring inside five minutes in our first ever Boxing Day fixture. Billy Bowes bagged a hat-trick, the first of his four goals past us, with Will Toman also on target.

           

Hosting the Trotters

2008 – Robbie Keane bagged a second-half brace as we beat Bolton Wanderers 3-0, with Albert Riera having opened the scoring before the break. These were to be the Irishman’s final reds strikes.

2003 - We won 3-1 with all three of our goals being headers, coming from Sami Hyypiä and substitutes Florent Sinama-Pongolle and Vladimír Šmicer. Henrik Pedersen struck a late consolation.

1906 - We also hosted the Trotters when we lost 2-0. Jackie Owen and David Stokes netted, with Wattie White missing a penalty.

           

Also against the Potters

We have faced Stoke City on seven more occasions on this day in history.

1905 – We lost 2-1 at the Victoria Ground, when they were still known just as Stoke. Joe Hewitt struck our goal.

1936 – We lost 1-1 in the Potteries, with Vic Wright on target.

1938 – We lost 3-1 at the Victoria Ground, with Willie Fagan scoring our goal. Tommy Sale netted the last two of his five goals against the reds, with Frank Baker also on the scoresheet.

1946 – Berry Nieuwenhuys and Albert Stubbins struck as we won 2-0 at Anfield.

           

1955 – Billy Liddell converted a penalty, with John Evans also netting as we were held to a 2-2 Second Division draw in L4. Harry Oscroft struck one of his six goals against the reds, with Johnny King bagging one of his five past us.

1970 – Our home encounter ended goalless.

1975 – We drew 1-1 at Stoke, with John Toshack on target.

           

Happy birthdays

1878 - Centre-back Alex Raisbeck was born in Wallacestone, near Polmont in Stirlingshire. He signed from Stoke for £350 in May 1898 and struck nineteen times in 341 games in eleven years with the reds, becoming our first skipper to lift the League title, in 1901. He won a further League title five years later, as well as a Second Division championship, and returned to the club as scout in 1939 until his death ten years later.

           

1903 - South African goalkeeper Arthur Riley was born in Boksburg in the Transvaal. He became our first ever foreign signing in August 1925, and went on to make 338 reds appearances before taking over from his father as the club’s head groundsman.

1920 – Scottish left-winger Tommy McLeod was born in Musselburgh. He joined the reds from the Army in October 1945, but only made seven senior appearances before joining Chesterfield in July 1951.

1880 - Defender Phil Bratley was born in Rawmarsh, Yorkshire. He only played thirteen first-team games after signing from Barnsley in 1914. He returned to Rotherham County, one of his former clubs, the following year, but was killed in action during the First World War.

           

Double debutants

1953 - Full-back Frank Lock and forward John Evans both made their debuts in a goalless draw with West Bromwich Albion at Anfield. They had both signed from Charlton Athletic the previous day.

1950 – Inside-forward Jack Haigh debuted as Jack Balmer bagged the only goal of our Anfield encounter with Blackpool.

1951 - We also faced the Seasiders, going down 2-0 at Bloomfield Road with Stan Mortensen bagging both goals, two of his eleven against us.

           

1957 - Forward Bobby Murdoch made his reds bow as we beat Grimsby Town 3-2 at Anfield, with Billy Liddell scoring twice, including a penalty, and Tony McNamara also on target in this Second Division fixture. This was the last time we played a double-header against the same side on successive days over Christmas, having lost 3-1 at Blundell Park the day before.

1930 – Wing-half Robert Ireland played his only reds game in our 1-1 draw with Grimsby, with Tim Coleman netting the first of his nine strikes past us and Archie McPherson scoring for the reds.

 

           

Two hundred up

1990 – Gary Gillespie played his 200th reds game as we were held to a 1-1 draw at Queens Park Rangers, with John Barnes on target and Mark Falco netting for the R’s.

1960 – Inside-forward Jimmy Harrower reached a century of reds appearances in our 2-1 defeat of Rotherham United in the Second Division at Anfield. Roger Hunt and Kevin Lewis scored our goals.

           

Beating the Mancs

1978 – We won 3-0 at Manchester United thanks to a Ray Kennedy header and goals from Jimmy Case and David Fairclough, to hand Bob Paisley his first win at Old Trafford as boss.

           

Beating the Rams

2007 - We beat Derby County 2-1 at Pride Park thanks to a very late Steven Gerrard goal after Fernando Torres had given us the lead in the first half.

1988 - We also visited the Rams, with Ian Rush grabbing the only goal of the game at the Baseball Ground.

           

Outpaced by Rovers

We have faced Blackburn Rovers four times in top-flight fixtures on Boxing Day.

1903 - Fred Buck netted his only reds goal as we lost 2-1 at Anfield, with Fred Pentland bagging a brace for the visitors.

2002 - Andy Cole equalised after John Arne Riise’s deflected shot, to score his seventh Premiership goal at Anfield and one of his eleven past the reds in total as we were held to a 1-1 draw in L4. Emile Heskey was playing his hundredth League game for the reds.

           

2006 - We lost 1-0 at Ewood Park with Benni McCarthy on target, despite dominating for long periods.

2011 - Charlie Adam scored an own goal on the stroke of half-time for Blackburn Rovers at Anfield, with Maxi Rodríguez heading in shortly after the break, with the game ending 1-1.

           

Winning in the Black Country

We have won three times at West Bromwich Albion on this day in history.

2004 – We triumphed 5-0 when John Arne Riise struck twice, with Florent Sinama-Pongolle, Steven Gerrard and Luis García also on target. Milan Baroš had a penalty saved, with Cosmin Contra being sent off for the Baggies.

1898 - Hugh Morgan netted the only goal of the game at Stoney Lane.

1983 - Steve Nicol and Graeme Souness struck as we won 2-1 at the Hawthorns.

1900 - We also visited Stoney Lane, losing a friendly 5-2, with Raby Howell and Sam Raybould grabbing our goals.

           

An Anfield milestone

1924 - We played our 500th home League game with Harry Chambers netting the only goal of the game against Notts County.

           

Down to twelfth

1981 - We slipped to twelfth in the League after losing 3-1 at home to Manchester City, with Ronnie Whelan on the scoresheet. Rookie keeper Bruce Grobbelaar was responsible for two of the goals, while Kenny Dalglish was employed ‘in the hole’ behind Ian Rush and Craig Johnston for the first time. Kevin Reeves netted his fourth and final goal against us, with Asa Hartford also on target and Kevin Bond converting a penalty. Phil Thompson lost the captaincy to Graeme Souness following this defeat as we went on to stage the mother of all comebacks to clinch our thirteenth League title.

           

We have faced City three more times on Boxing Day.

1913 – We lost 1-0 away, with Fred Howard nabbing one of his nine goals against the reds.

1974 – We won 4-1 at Anfield, when Brian Hall grabbed a brace with Steve Heighway and John Toshack striking the other goals, and Colin Bell netting for the visitors.

1985 – We again lost 1-0 away with Alan Hansen playing his 300th League game for the club.

           

Boxing Day gloom

2012 – We lost 3-1 at Stoke City, with Joe Cole coming off the bench to make his 42nd and final reds appearance. Steven Gerrard opened the scoring from the spot, but Jon Walters and Kenwyne Jones put the home side ahead before a quarter of an hour had elapsed. Walters added his second after the break.

           

2000 - We lost our first Boxing Day game since 1986 as Christian Karembeu struck the only goal of the game on an icy pitch at Middlesbrough.

1934 - We also met Boro, with Syd Roberts and Berry Nieuwenhuys on target in a 2-2 draw at Anfield. Tim Coleman and George Camsell each struck one of their nine goals past us.

1998 - We won at the Riverside Stadium when Vegard Heggem’s wonder goal, his first ever reds strike, rounded off a 3-1 win after Michael Owen’s slight touch on a Jamie Carragher shot opened the scoring. Brian Deane equalised with one of eight goals against the reds before Jamie Redknapp put us back in front after Mark Schwarzer was penalised for picking up a back pass. David James was playing his 200th League game for us.

           

Most recently

2009 - Stephen Ward was sent off at Anfield for two bookable offences, with Pepe Reina riling the Wolverhampton Wanderers fans by running most of the length of the pitch to remonstrate with the referee. We won 2-0, with Steven Gerrard and Yossi Benayoun both netting in the second half.

           

Reds farewells

1973 – Roy Evans played his eleventh and final senior reds game as we lost 2-1 at Burnley. Kevin Keegan missed a penalty after an hour, with Peter Cormack netting our goal late on.

1932 - Outside-left Gordon Gunson struck his 26th and final reds goal in our 3-0 defeat of Chelsea at Anfield, with centre-half Tom ‘Tiny’ Bradshaw and centre-forward Harold Barton also netting.

           

Christmas derby despair

We have made the short trip across Stanley Park to face the Blues three times on this day in history, without winning.

1894 – Harry Bradshaw bagged our consolation as we lost a friendly 2-1.

1939 - Matt Busby was on target as we again were beaten 2-1 in a friendly.

1944 - Billy Liddell bagged a brace as we drew 2-2 in the Wartime League.

           

Keetley’s first

1923 - Joe Keetley netted the first of just two reds goals as we lost 2-1 at Newcastle United, with Tommy McDonald bagging a brace.

           

We have also faced the Geordies in the top flight on four more occasions on this day in history.

1912 - Tom Miller was on target twice as we won 2-1 at home, with George Wilson netting one of his six goals against the reds.

1921 - Harry Chambers bagged the only goal of the game late on at Anfield.

1925 - We lost 3-0 at St. James’ Park as Hughie Gallacher struck one of his eight goals past us, with Jimmy Clark and Tommy Urwin also on target.

1999 - Michael Owen nabbed a brace as we drew 2-2 in the North East. Alan Shearer netted one of his eight goals against the reds, with Duncan Ferguson bagging one of his five past us.

           

Another defeat for Shanks

1959 - Bill Shankly took charge of his first away game for the reds as we lost 3-0 on a slippery pitch at Charlton Athletic, with Jim Fryatt bagging a brace and Sam Lawrie also netting. This was our tenth League defeat of the season. Things soon changed, however, as we lost just three of our remaining nineteen fixtures to finish third, eight points off a promotion spot.

           

Wearside yuletide cheer

1901 - Sunderland won for the third consecutive League season at Anfield, this time by 1-0.

1910 - They also left L4 with both points with Arthur Goddard netting a penalty in our 2-1 defeat, as Tim Coleman nabbed two of his nine goals against the reds.

1964 - However, we won 3-2 at Roker Park, with Willie Stevenson netting a brace and Gordon Milne also on target.

           

Great Scott

1922 - Oldham Athletic’s League visit to Anfield was played as a benefit game for legendary keeper Elisha Scott. Donald Mackinlay and Dick Johnson were on target in a 2-1 win as we welcomed back David Ashworth who had been reds boss until just six days earlier and was now Oldham’s Manager.

           

Prudhoe on the move again

2001 - Ex-reds loanee keeper Mark Prudhoe signed for Bradford City. He played eight times for the Bantams before joining Southend United as Player/Coach.

           

Birth and death

2006 – Future red Charlie Adam became a father to Jack.

2010 – Utility player Bill Jones died at the Countess of Chester Hospital. He signed from Hayfield St. Matthews in September 1938 and scored seventeen times in 277 games for us, with his appearances including the 1950 FA Cup Final when he was preferred to Bob Paisley. Bill won two significant medals in the 1940’s - first he was awarded a Military Medal for his part in the crossing of the Rhine in the Second World War, and then he won a League title medal in 1947 on his return to Anfield. His grandson Rob later represented the reds in defence on 243 occasions in the 1990’s.




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