Geoff Strong

Last updated

Geoff Strong
Geoff Strong (1966).jpg
Strong pictured in 1966
Personal information
Full nameGeoffrey Hugh Strong [1]
Date of birth(1937-09-19)19 September 1937 [1]
Place of birth Kirkheaton, Northumberland, England
Date of death 17 June 2013(2013-06-17) (aged 75)
Place of death Southport, Lancashire, England
Position(s) Inside forward
Senior career*
YearsTeamApps(Gls)
1954–1957 Stanley United
1957–1964 Arsenal 125 (69)
1964–1970 Liverpool 155 (29)
1970–1971 Coventry City 33 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Geoffrey Hugh Strong (19 September 1937 – 17 June 2013) was an English professional footballer who scored 98 goals from 313 appearances in the Football League playing for Arsenal, Liverpool and Coventry City. He began his career as an inside forward, but went on to occupy every outfield position.

Contents

Early life and career

Strong was born in Kirkheaton, Northumberland, in 1937. [2] He trained as a machine-tool fitter and played amateur football for his local club, Stanley United. [2] Strong's 14 goals from his first four appearances of the 1957–58 Northern League season did not pass unnoticed, [3] and in November 1957, he signed amateur forms with Football League First Division club Arsenal. [4]

Arsenal

Strong played mainly in the Gunners youth and reserve sides and his first-team debut was delayed by his call-up for National Service in April 1960. He finally started for the first team against Newcastle United on 17 September 1960, two days before his 23rd birthday; he scored the last goal as Arsenal won 5–0. [4] [5]

Strong played 19 league games that season, scoring ten goals, and appeared in 20 the following season, 1961–62, before finally becoming an automatic first-choice in 1962–63. Playing as an inside forward or centre forward, Strong formed a lethal attacking partnership with Joe Baker and became a regular goalscorer for the club his record being 31 in all competitions in 1963–64; Baker and Strong together scored 62 that season. [4] [5] [6]

However, despite Strong and Baker's goalscoring efforts, Arsenal were going through a barren patch; the best league position they achieved during this period was seventh, and they made little impact in the FA Cup. Strong made it clear he wanted to move to a more successful club. [4] [7] Although he was still a regular starter at the start of the 1964–65 season, Arsenal sold him for £40,000 to Liverpool in November 1964. He had scored 77 goals from 137 matches for the Gunners. [2] [5]

Liverpool

Strong was thrown straight into the Liverpool side and made his debut on 7 November 1964, in a 1–1 league draw with Fulham at Craven Cottage. His first goal came a month later on 5 December in a 5–1 defeat of Burnley at Turf Moor. [8]

After just 16 appearances in a red shirt Strong's wish for more success came to fruition, as Liverpool won the FA Cup for the first time in the club's 73-year history. Strong, who was now used as a utility man, made his first appearance in the competition for Liverpool in the final at Wembley, deputising for the injured Gordon Milne as the Reds beat Leeds United 2–1 after extra time. [9] [8] He played in the semi-final of the European Cup, as Liverpool lost to Inter Milan 4–3 on aggregate having led 3-1 from the first leg in Italy. [8]

Strong went on to play in almost every outfield position over the next six seasons, [10] but he eventually settled in at left back after Gerry Byrne retired. [9] [8] Strong was part of the side that won the 1965–66 Football League title, six points clear of Leeds United. He, however, missed the 1966 Cup Winners' Cup final, which Liverpool lost 2–1 to Borussia Dortmund at Hampden Park, through an injury that he picked up in the semi-final second leg win over Celtic. Strong had a major influence in the Reds reaching their first European final, as it was he who scored the winner, a towering header, even though he was carrying a leg injury. [9] [11]

Liverpool went trophyless for a few seasons after the 1966 title win, and following a 1–0 defeat at the hands of Second Division Watford in the sixth round of the 1969–70 FA Cup, Bill Shankly decided that changes had to be made. The old guard had to be replaced by a younger generation, and Strong was one of the players that was caught up in the cull. [12] After 201 matches and 33 goals, [8] Strong left Liverpool in July 1970 for Coventry City for a £30,000 fee. [2]

Coventry City

He spent a single season at Highfield Road and his experience was helpful in Noel Cantwell's young team. He formed an excellent partnership with a young Jeff Blockley and the Sky Blues set a club record by conceding only 38 league goals. He retired from playing in 1972. [13]

Retirement

After retiring, he left the game completely, and for a while ran his own hotel furnishing business; [2] he also co-owned a pub with former Liverpool player Ian Callaghan. [14] In the 2006 Liverpool F.C. website poll, "100 Players Who Shook The Kop", Strong was voted in at number 95. [15]

Strong, who had suffered from Alzheimer's disease for some years, died at the age of 75 in a Southport care home in the morning of 17 June 2013. [9] [11]

Honours

Liverpool [8]

Related Research Articles

Kenny Dalglish Scottish association football player and manager

Sir Kenneth Mathieson Dalglish is a Scottish former football player and manager. During his career, he made 338 appearances for Celtic and 515 for Liverpool and earned a record 102 full caps for the Scotland national team scoring 30 goals, also a joint-record. Dalglish won the Ballon d'Or Silver Award in 1983, the PFA Players' Player of the Year in 1983, and the FWA Footballer of the Year in 1979 and 1983. In 2009, FourFourTwo named Dalglish the greatest striker in post-war British football, and in 2006, he topped a Liverpool fans' poll of "100 Players Who Shook the Kop". He has been inducted into both the Scottish and English Football Halls of Fame.

Joe Cole English footballer

Joseph John Cole is an English football coach and former professional footballer who played as an attacking midfielder or winger in the Premier League, Ligue 1, League One and United Soccer League.

Peter Andrew Beardsley MBE is an English former footballer who played as a forward or midfielder between 1979 and 1999. In 1987, he set a record transfer fee in the English game and represented his country 59 times between 1986 and 1996, once as captain, taking part in two FIFA World Cups and UEFA Euro 1988. At club level, he played for Newcastle United, Liverpool and Everton, having also had spells with Carlisle United, Manchester United, Vancouver Whitecaps, Bolton Wanderers, Manchester City, Fulham, Hartlepool United and the Melbourne Knights. He was briefly appointed as the caretaker manager of Newcastle United in 2010.

Ian St John Scottish association football player and manager

John "Ian" St John was a Scottish professional football player, coach and broadcaster. St John played as a forward for Liverpool throughout most of the 1960s. Signed by Bill Shankly in 1961, St John was a key member of the Liverpool team that emerged from the second tier of English football to win two league titles and one FA Cup—in which he scored the winner in the 1965 final—to cement a position as one of the country's top sides. He played for Scotland 21 times, scoring nine goals.

Michael Thomas (footballer, born 1967) English footballer

Michael Lauriston Thomas is an English former professional footballer who played as a midfielder from 1986 to 2001.

Roger Hunt English footballer

Roger Hunt, is an English former footballer who played as a forward. He spent eleven years at Liverpool and was the club's record goalscorer with 286 goals until that number was surpassed by Ian Rush. Hunt remains Liverpool's record league goalscorer. Under Bill Shankly, Hunt won two league titles and an FA Cup. Regarded as one of Liverpool's greatest ever players, Hunt is referred to as Sir Roger by the club's fans. He was ranked 13th on the 100 Players Who Shook the Kop, an official fan poll.

Ray Clemence English sportsman

Raymond Neal Clemence, was an England international football goalkeeper and part of the Liverpool team of the 1970s. He is one of only 31 players to have made over 1,000 career appearances. Winning three European Cups, five League titles, two UEFA Cups, a UEFA Super Cup, an FA Cup and a League Cup with Liverpool, the last of his 665 appearances for the club was the victorious 1981 European Cup Final.

Raymond Kennedy is an English former footballer who won every domestic honour in the game with Arsenal and Liverpool in the 1970s and early 1980s. Kennedy played as a forward for Arsenal, and then played as a left-sided midfielder for Liverpool. He scored 148 goals in 581 league and cup appearances in a 15-year career in the English Football League and also won 17 caps for England between 1976 and 1980, scoring three international goals.

Ronnie Whelan Irish soccer player and manager

Ronald Andrew Whelan is an Irish former professional footballer player who played as a midfielder and sometimes as a defender. He played an integral role in the dominant Liverpool side that won a wealth of titles in the 1980s. He was at the club from 1979 until 1994, scoring a number of vital goals. In 100 Players Who Shook The Kop, a poll of 110,000 Liverpool fans conducted by Liverpool's official website, Whelan came in 30th.

John Aldridge English/Irish footballer

John William Aldridge is a former football player and manager. He was a prolific record-breaking striker best known for his time with English club Liverpool in the late 1980s.

Gary Thompson Gillespie is a Scottish former professional football defender who played for Coventry City and later Liverpool, through much of their dominant period of the 1980s.

Stephen Nicol is a Scottish retired professional footballer who mainly played as a right back and occasionally played in other positions across defence and midfield. He played for the successful Liverpool teams of the 1980s. He was also a regular member of the Scotland national football team and represented his country at the 1986 FIFA World Cup.

Peter Barr Cormack is a Scottish former international football player and manager. His greatest success was with Liverpool in the early 1970s, for whom he played 178 times, winning two league championships, one FA Cup and two UEFA Cup medals.

Robert Hewitt Gould is an English former footballer and manager.

Kevin Richardson is an English former footballer who played as a midfielder. Richardson featured for English clubs Everton, Watford, Arsenal, Aston Villa, Coventry City, Southampton, Barnsley and Blackpool. He also had a spell in La Liga with Real Sociedad. He was also capped for the England national football team. During October 2009 he was appointed as the assistant manager of Darlington. Richardson is currently a coach at Newcastle United's academy.

John Miller was a Scottish footballer who played in the Football League for Bolton Wanderers, Derby County and The Wednesday.

Jimmy Carter (footballer) English footballer

James William Charles Carter is an English former footballer. Playing as a winger, Carter featured for Crystal Palace, Queens Park Rangers, Millwall, Liverpool, Arsenal, Oxford United and Portsmouth throughout his career. Following his retirement from football, Carter has been heavily involved in the world of property investment. Since 2015 Carter has been a member of the commercial sales team at Millwall.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain English association football player

Alexander Mark David Oxlade-Chamberlain is an English professional footballer who plays as a midfielder for Premier League club Liverpool and the England national team.

Liverpool 9–0 Crystal Palace (1989) Football match

On 12 September 1989, Liverpool faced Crystal Palace in a First Division fixture at Anfield, during the 1989–90 season. Crystal Palace were newly promoted to the Division, while Liverpool had been narrowly pipped to the League title by Arsenal in the previous season. Liverpool won the match 9–0, recording their biggest ever top-flight win, and inflicting Palace's heaviest ever defeat. Eight different players scored for Liverpool, the first time this has happened for the same club in English football history - until Manchester United’s 9-0 defeat of Southampton on 2 February 2021.

References

  1. 1 2 "Geoff Strong". Barry Hugman's Footballers. Retrieved 1 November 2017.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 Ponting, Ivan (18 June 2013). "Geoff Strong: Footballer who won League and Cup with Liverpool". The Independent. London. Retrieved 1 November 2017.
  3. Hunt, Brian (1989). Northern Goalfields. Official Centenary History of the Northern League 1889–1989. Skol Northern League Management Committee. p. 224. ISBN   0-9514597-1-6.
  4. 1 2 3 4 Harris, Jeff (1995). Hogg, Tony (ed.). Arsenal Who's Who. London: Independent UK Sports. p. 233. ISBN   978-1-899429-03-5.
  5. 1 2 3 Kelly, Andy. "Arsenal first team line-ups". The Arsenal History. Retrieved 1 November 2017.
  6. "Geoff Strong". Arsenal F.C. Retrieved 1 November 2017.
  7. "Arsenal". Football Club History Database. Richard Rundle. Retrieved 1 November 2017.
  8. 1 2 3 4 5 6 "Geoff Strong". LFChistory.net. Retrieved 1 November 2017.
  9. 1 2 3 4 Kay, Dan; Jones, Neil (17 June 2013). "Former Reds star Geoff Strong dies aged 75". Liverpool Echo. Retrieved 1 November 2017.
  10. "Geoff Strong". Liverpool F.C. Retrieved 2 February 2018.
  11. 1 2 "RIP Geoff Strong". Liverpool F.C. 17 June 2013. Archived from the original on 20 June 2013. Retrieved 17 June 2013.
  12. "Bill Shankly". LFChistory.net. Retrieved 1 November 2017.
  13. "Gone but not forgotten". Coventry City Former Players' Association. Retrieved 1 November 2017.
  14. Bowman, Jamie (20 June 2013). "Tributes paid to Anfield legend Geoff Strong who has died aged 74". Southport Visiter. Retrieved 1 November 2017.
  15. "100 PWSTK – The definitive list". Liverpool F.C. 8 October 2006. Archived from the original on 30 August 2017. Retrieved 1 November 2017.