Ian Rush

Just don't tell him Italy is a foreign country

Player Biography
Full name: Ian James Rush
Date of birth: October 20, 1961
Clubs played for: Chester, Liverpool, Juventus, Leeds, Newcastle, Sheffield United (loan), Wrexham, Sydney Olympic
Liverpool v Leeds United
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Liverpool v Leeds United League Cup final, 1982 League Cup final, 1982 League Cup final, 1983 Liverpool v West Ham United, league match at Anfield March 1983. Ian Rush Liverpool player beats Frank Lampard and goalkeeper Phil Parkes to score liverpool's 3rd goal. Ian Rush, 1983 Ian Rush, 1984 Mark-Hughes-Ian-Rush-Gordon-Davies-wales-england-1984-cropped Ian Rush Liverpool v Southampton, 1986 Liverpool v Southampton, 1986 Liverpool 3-2 Everton, FA Cup Final, May 22 1989 FA Cup final, 1986 FA Cup semi-final, 1990 FA Cup semi-final, 1990 Wales v West Germany, 1991 Wales v West Germany, 1991 Dean Saunders and Ian Rush, 1991 Tony Adams and Ian Rush FA Cup final, 1992 Fulham v Liverpool, 1993 Fulham v Liverpool, 1993 Ian Rush
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Club Career

Liverpool’s record goalscorer is widely regarded as the best striker ever to pull on the famous red jersey. Pace, anticipation and an ability to shoot equally well with either foot made him a potent threat – particularly in tandem with strike partner Kenny Dalglish.

Ian Rush became the game’s most expensive teenager when he signed at Anfield from Chester for £300,000 in 1980 and, bar an ill-fated one-year spell at Juventus, served the club with distinction for the next 16 years. He saw out his career with spells at various clubs including Leeds, Newcastle and Sheffield United, finally retiring in 2000.

Club Stats

Years Clubs App Goals
1979-80 Chester 34 18
1980-87 Liverpool 224 139
1987-88 Juventus 29 7
1988-96 Liverpool 245 90
1996-97 Leeds 36 3
1997-98 Newcastle 10 0
1998 Sheffield United (loan) 4 0
1998-99 Wrexham 18 0

International Career

Although boasting a respectable international goal ratio of roughly one every two and a half games, Wales’ failure to qualify for a major tournament robbed Rush of appearing on the biggest stages of all. His first goals came against Scotland on May 21, 1980 and his last versus Estonia on May 23, 1994. His 28 goal tally remains a Welsh record.

International Career Stats

Years Clubs App Goals
1980-96 Wales 73 28

Managerial Career

Rush had a short but unsuccessful spell in chrage at his first club Chester City during the 2004/05 season, but resigned after the club sacked his deputy Mark Aizlewood. He also had a stint as striking coach at Liverpool.

Key Games

Everton 0-5 Liverpool (First Division, November 6, 1982)

Ever a thorn in the side of Merseyside rivals Everton, Rush's domination of the Toffees reached new heights in this Goodison Park encounter. An Alan Hansen pass split the home defence and Rush drilled the ball past Neville Southall. 1-0. Then the Welshman doubled the advantage with a deflected shot. Mark Lawrenson added a third before Rush completed his four goal haul, first latching onto a Kenny Dalglish cross from close range and then finishing off another through ball from his strike partner. Rush's quadruple remains a post-war record for goals by a single player in a Merseyside derby.

Liverpool 3-1 Everton (FA Cup final, May 10, 1986)

Already crowned League champions (Everton finished second), Liverpool sealed the Double with this 3-1 victory at Wembley. Gary Lineker had opened the scoring for the Toffees in the 27th minute but two goals from Rush in the 56th and 83rd minutes – either side of a Craig Johnston effort (62) – ensured a comfortable victory. Another notable landmark for Liverpool was that they also became the first FA Cup final team to line up without a single English player in their ranks.

Wales 1-0 West Germany (European Championship qualifier, June 5, 1991)

World Cup winners West Germany were unbeaten for 16 games and boasted a side brimming with talent like Andy Brehme, Jurgen Klinsmann and Rudi Voller. However, boosted by a vociferous home support, Wales manager Terry Yorath played a tactical masterstroke, playing his best three attackers – Rush, Dean Saunders and Mark Hughes – but dropping the latter into midfield. Aided by the sending off of Thomas Berthold, the Welsh held firm until 20 minutes from the end when a long ball from Paul Bodin found Rush in the clear and his shot flew over Bodo Illgner in the German goal. A famous win and a rare highlight in an ultimately frustrating international career.


Club Competition Year
Liverpool First Division Championship 1981-82, 1982-83, 1983-84, 1985-86, 1989-90
FA Cup 1986, 1989, 1992
European Cup 1984
League Cup 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1995
PFA Player of the Year 1984
Football Writers' Footballer of the Year 1984

Did You Know...?

Rush is the second highest FA Cup scorer of all-time, with 44 goals (behind Henry Cursham of Notts County - 49 goals between 1877 and 1888).

He once famously remarked of his time in Italy - allegedly - that "it was like being in a foreign country!"

He originally turned down Liverpool's overtures. He recalls: "I was enjoying myself at Chester and I didn't think I was ready to go to such a big club with the sort of names they had. But they came back in for me towards the end of that summer and it was only when Bob Paisley invited me around Anfield and Melwood that I decided to give it a go."

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From the back pages

Everton 0-0 Liverpool Published: March 26, 1984

Milk Cup final match report

Watford 0-2 Liverpool Published: April 2, 1984

First Division match report

Liverpool 1-1 Roma (Liverpool won 4-2 on penalties) Published: May 31, 1984

European Cup final match report

Liverpool 3-2 Everton Published: May 22, 1989

FA Cup final front page

Liverpool 3-2 Everton Published: May 22, 1989

FA Cup final match report

Everton 4-4 Liverpool Published: February 21, 1991

FA Cup 5th round replay back page report

Everton 4-4 Liverpool Published: February 21, 1991

FA Cup 5th round replay report

Wales 1-0 West Germany Published: June 6, 1991

European Championship qualifier back page

Wales 1-0 West Germany Published: June 6, 1991

European Championship qualifier match report

Liverpool 3-0 Arsenal Published: August 29, 1994

Premier League back page

Liverpool 3-0 Arsenal Published: August 29, 1994

Premier League match report

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