As an institution, few in Britain can match the success of Liverpool Football Club. Not only are the men from Merseyside one of the most successful teams in England, but also in Europe when it comes to winning silverware in their history.
Over the years, many players have played key roles in the Red’s success. Some of them become stalwarts of the club. Here are the ten players who made the most appearances in the red shirt of Liverpool:
Ian Callaghan (857 appearances from 1960–1978)
Arguably, few players in the British game can match Callaghan’s record for Liverpool. He came through the youth ranks at the club and made his first-team debut in 1960. The midfielder went on to serve the club until 1978, winning a plethora of trophies during his career.
Callaghan won the First Division title on five occasions with the Reds while also helping Liverpool win promotion back to the English top flight in 1962 when they won the Second Division title. Callaghan also helped his team to two European Cups and the UEFA Cup on two occasions while also winning two FA Cups in 1965 and 1974.
Incredibly, during his long career, Ian Callaghan only ever received one yellow card, which is some feat for a midfield player. On an individual basis, the midfielder won the FWA Footballer of the Year award in 1974.
Jamie Carragher (737 appearances from 1996–2013)
Like Callaghan, Jamie Carragher came through the youth ranks at the Merseyside club, making his first-team debut in January 1997.
The boyhood Everton fan won numerous trophies during his playing career with the Reds. He won the League Cup on four occasions and the FA Cup twice. In the continental game, Carragher was part of Liverpool’s 2005 European Cup win in their famous comeback against AC Milan in the competition’s final. He also had a role in the Reds winning the UEFA Cup in 2001.
Carragher’s versatility also saw the defender win 38 caps for England at international level after his Three Lions debut in 1999 as a substitute against Hungary.
Steven Gerrard (710 appearances from 1998–2015)
Another of the club’s products, Gerrard is one of the greatest players to have donned a Liverpool shirt. Always a man for the big occasion, the midfielder played a vital role in the Reds winning many trophies, including two FA Cups, three League Cups, a UEFA Cup and, of course, the big one, the Champions League in 2005, when Gerrard dragged his team back into the final.
His displays in a Liverpool shirt earned him enormous personal recognition, too. He was named PFA Player of the Year in seasons 2005/06 and PFA Player of the Year in seasons 2000/01 and 2008/09. Gerrard was also a regular in the Premier League Team of the Year, appearing in the team in eight seasons.
Gerrard became a vital player for England during his playing career, making 114 appearances for the Three Lions and scoring 21 goals.
Ray Clemence (665 appearances from 1967–1981)
Clemence played a crucial role in one of the club’s most successful periods in its history. He arrived from Scunthorpe in 1967 and left in 1981. In that time, the former England goalkeeper picked up five First Division title winners medals, three European Cup winners medals and two UEFA Cup winners medals, amongst other numerous medals won during his career on Merseyside.
Clemence’s last first-team appearance for Liverpool came in the 1981 European Cup final, which the Reds won 1-0 against Real Madrid, with Alan Kennedy grabbing the only goal eight minutes from time.
At international level, Clemence won 60 caps for England featuring in Euro 80’ and was also part of the Three Lions squad for the 1982 World Cup.
Emlyn Hughes (665 appearances from 1967–1979)
Like many players on this list, Hughes enjoyed a trophy-laden playing career on Merseyside after joining the Reds in 1967 from Blackpool for £65,000. Hughes played both in defence and midfield for Liverpool, amassing 665 appearances in a long Reds career.
The highlights of his time on Merseyside were the Reds winning the First Division five times, the European Cup twice and the UEFA Up on two occasions.
In an internet poll held by Liverpool’s official website, Hughes came tenth in a list of 100 players who shook the Kop.
Ian Rush (660 appearances from 1980–1987 and 1988–1996)
In two spells with Liverpool, Rush was quite simply a goal machine. In fact, the former Wales international is the Red’s record goalscorer with 346 goals scored during his time on Merseyside.
The forward’s goals inspired Liverpool to win five First Division titles, two European Cups, three FA Cups and the League Cup on five occasions.
Rush won many individual accolades during his time with Liverpool, including the PFA Players Player of the Year, FWA Player of the Year, and the First Division and European Golden Boot in 1984. The forward also appeared in the First Division Team of the Year on five occasions.
Rush enjoyed a long international career with Wales, representing the Dragons on 74 occasions and scoring 28 goals.
Phil Neal (650 appearances from 1974–1985)
Neal joined Liverpool from Northampton Town in 1974 for a fee of £66,000. He went on to win the First Division title on seven occasions, the European Cup four times, the League Cup on four occasions, and the UEFA Cup once. His trophy haul during his time at Liverpool makes Phil Neal one of the most decorated Englishmen to have played the beautiful game.
Neal also appeared for England on 50 occasions during his career, scoring five goals for the Three Lions.
Tommy Smith (638 appearances from 1962–1978)
The tough-tackling Smith made his debut for Liverpool in 1963, having impressed boss Bill Shankly in training. The centre-back, who started his career as a centre-forward, played a crucial role in both Shankly’s and Bill Paisley’s success at the club.
Smith won the First Division title on five occasions, the FA Cup twice, as well as winning the UEFA Cup twice, and the European Cup in 1977. His part in the triumphs earned him legendary status at the Merseyside club.
Smith was voted 25th on the list of the players that shook the kop internet poll held via the club’s official website.
Bruce Grobbelaar (628 appearances from 1981–1994)
The South African replaced the legendary Clemence as Liverpool’s first-choice goalkeeper in 1981 after Grobbelaar joined the Reds from Vancouver Whitecaps for £250,000.
After a rocky first few months, Grobbelaar became a mainstay in the Liverpool starting eleven for much of his 14-year career with the Reds. During his time on Merseyside, Grobbelaar helped Liverpool to win six First Division titles, three FA Cups, four League Cups and the European Cup in 1984.
Off the field, the popular Grobbelaar made a 1994 appearance in Merseyside-based soap Brookside, playing himself.
Alan Hansen (620 appearances from 1977–1991)
The Scottish defender arrived at Liverpool from Partick Thistle for £100,000. The money was well spent, as Hansen established himself as a classy central defender in the First Division.
Hansen is among the most decorated former Liverpool players, as during his time at the club, the defender won the First Division title on eight occasions, the European Cup three times, the League Cup three times, and the FA Cup twice.
It all could have been so different for Hansen, though, as between 15 and 17, he stopped playing football to pursue his interest in his beloved golf. However, his father and brother persuaded him to return to football at the age of 17, and the rest is history.