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On this day in Liverpool history - 31st May
Saturday, 31st May 2014

Edging towards the title


1947 - We moved to within touching distance of our fifth League title as our 2-1 win at Wolverhampton Wanderers took us one point clear of both Wolves and Manchester United, in our final game of the season. Jack Balmer and Albert Stubbins bagged our goals before the break while Wolves legend Stan Cullis, who had guested for the reds during the war, played his final ever game for the club. Jimmy Dunn scored the first of his four goals past us in the second half. However, we had to wait a further two weeks to know for sure if the title was ours, as fellow championship challengers Stoke City had one final game, which they lost at Sheffield United.


           


First and last caps


2000 - Steven Gerrard made his England debut as Kevin Keegan’s side beat the Ukraine 1-0 in a friendly at Wembley thanks to a goal from Robbie Fowler. Emile Heskey won his first cap as a reds player in this game, with future red Nick Barmby and ex-red Steve McManaman also featuring.


1989 - Future red Stig Inge Bjørnebye won his first cap for Norway as they beat Austria 4-1 in a friendly in Oslo. On the same day, Ian Rush, future reds player Dean Saunders and Assistant Manager Colin Pascoe faced future red Karlheinz Riedle in a goalless World Cup qualifier between Wales and West Germany in Cardiff. On the same day, Glenn Hysén won his last cap as a Fiorentina player as Sweden beat Algeria 2-0 in a friendly.


1994 - Dominic Matteo made his England Under-21’s debut as a substitute in their 3-0 defeat by France in the Toulon Tournament in Aubagne. Fellow reds Robbie Fowler and Jamie Redknapp both also played.


           


1977 - Kevin Keegan won his final cap as a reds player, skippering England in their 1-0 defeat to Wales in the British International Championships at Wembley. Fellow reds Emlyn Hughes, Joey Jones, Ray Kennedy and Phil Neal all also featured.


1994 - Ronnie Rosenthal won his last cap as a reds player, and 37th in total, as Israel lost 3-0 to Argentina in a friendly in Tel-Aviv.


2008 – Future red Andy Carroll won his sixth and final cap for England Under-19’s as they held Belarus to a goalless draw in Minsk, so qualifying for the European Championships Finals.


           


Walker’s first steps


1874 - Inside-right John Walker was born in Coatbridge. He joined the reds from Heart Of Midlothian for £175 in March 1898, playing 120 times and scoring 31 goals, including the decisive final goal of the season to hand us our first League title in 1901. The following year he returned to his native Scotland, moving to Rangers.


           


Goals galore in the US


We have twice racked up hefty scores in US tour games on this day.


1953 - We trounced Toledo All Stars 10-3 with Kevin Baron, Jimmy Payne and Billy Liddell all bagging braces, and Alan A’Court, Bob Paisley and Jack Smith all also on target.


1946 - We thumped St. Louis All Stars 5-1 in the Walsh Stadium, with Willie Fagan netting twice this time around, and Bob Priday, Jack Balmer and Cyril Done also netting.


           


A new trophy


1919 – We claimed the Lancashire Senior Cup, under its temporary tile of the Lancashire Section Subsidiary Competition, as we beat Oldham Athletic 3-0 in the Final at Old Trafford. Harold Wadsworth and John Miller netted either side of a Harry Lewis penalty.


           


Derby stalemate


1941 - We drew 2-2 with Everton in a Wartime League game at Anfield with Billy Liddell and Cyril Done on target.


           


Sal on target


2003 - Salif Diao netted in Senegal’s 2-1 friendly defeat of Cape Verde in Dakar, with clubmate El-Hadji Diouf also featuring.


2002 - They both also featured as Senegal beat France 1-0 in the opening game of the World Cup Finals, with future red Djibril Cissé appearing from the bench.


           


Happy birthday Alan


1981 - Ex-reserves defender Alan Navarro was born in Liverpool. He never made a first-team appearance for us, and moved to Tranmere Rovers for £225,000 in January 2002.


           


Venison to Turkey


1995 - Barry Venison joined Galatasaray from Newcastle United for £750,000. He was signed by ex-reds boss Graeme Souness, but only remained in Turkey for five months, playing eight League games.


           


Mighty Mouse on target


1976 - Kevin Keegan bagged a brace as England beat Team America 3-1 in the US Bicentennial Tournament in Philadelphia. Ray Clemence and Phil Thompson both also played for England, while ex-red Tommy Smith appeared for the Americans.


           


On Song again and again


Rigobert Song has played for Cameroon three times on this day in history.


2008 – He netted as skipper in their 2-0 defeat of Cape Verde Islands in a World Cup qualifier in Yaoundé. Xabi Alonso, Nabil El Zhar, Fernando Torres and ex-reds Nicolas Anelka and El-Hadji Diouf also represented their countries that day.


2001 - He was booked in their 2-0 defeat by Brazil in the Confederations Cup in Japan.


1998 - They won a friendly 2-0 in Luxembourg.


           


Internationals on target


2013 – Alberto Aquilani bagged his first strike as a Fiorentina player as Italy beat San Marino 4-0 in a friendly in Bologna.           


2005 - Djibril Cissé struck in France’s 2-1 friendly defeat of Hungary in Metz.


2004 - He also featured for his country in a 2-0 friendly defeat of Denmark in Lens, with Christian Poulsen winning his final cap as a Schalke 04 player, and future red Philipp Degen also in international action that day.


           


2005 - Ex-red Michael Owen bagged a treble to become England’s all-time fourth top goalscorer as he struck his final goals as a Real Madrid player. England beat Colombia 3-2 in New Jersey, with Peter Crouch making his senior bow, winning his only cap as a Southampton player. Ex-red David James and future reds Joe Cole and Glen Johnson also played. On the same day, future red Besian Idrizaj played for Austria Under-19’s as they lost 3-2 to Scotland in a European Championships qualifier in Vöcklamarkt.


           


The Wright man again


2005 - Mark Wright was appointed Manager of Peterborough United. He was only in charge until the following January, winning twelve of his 35 games in charge.


           


Conal on the move


2006 - Former reserves forward Conal Platt signed for Bournemouth having been released by the reds at the end of the season. He only made one senior appearance for the Cherries and is now playing for Stalybridge Celtic in the Conference North.


           


John a Rover again


2007 – Future reds goalkeeping coach John Achterberg signed a new two-year playing/coaching contract with Tranmere Rovers. He went on to play 312 times in total for Rovers.


           


Youngsters in action


2011 – Five reds featured for England Under-19’s as they beat Montenegro 1-0 in a European Championships qualifier in Switzerland. Andre Wisdom skippered a side that also included Conor Coady, Tom Ince, Michael Ngoo and Jack Robinson.




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