Stan Collymore’s great­est goal

vs Sh­effield Wed­nes­day, Premier League, 1995

FourFourTwo - - CONTENTS -

Chas­ing their first league ti­tle in five years, Liver­pool broke the Bri­tish trans­fer record in the sum­mer of 1995 to re­cruit the ser­vices of Not­ting­ham For­est striker Stan Collymore.

The £8.5 mil­lion goal-get­ter was ex­pected to line up along­side An­field’s new­est hero Rob­bie Fowler on the open­ing day of 1995-96 – but the 20-year-old lo­cal hero was sur­pris­ingly benched, with Collymore part­ner­ing vet­eran for­ward Ian Rush up­front against Sh­effield Wed­nes­day.

Liver­pool’s mar­quee sign­ing was feel­ing the heat. “I didn’t sleep the night be­fore,” he ad­mits to FFT. “I’d joined for a record trans­fer fee and I had re­placed this won­derkid in the start­ing line-up.”

The first hour of Stan’s de­but passed with­out in­ci­dent as the Owls’ well-drilled de­fence shack­led the newly-capped Eng­land in­ter­na­tional. Then, Collymore pounced on a loose ball 35 yards from goal and de­cided it was time to make a state­ment. “When the ball came to me I knew I had to do some­thing to show I meant busi­ness,” he says. Sur­rounded by three Owls de­fend­ers, Collymore jinked his way through the blue-and-white shirts stand­ing in his path be­fore curl­ing an inch-per­fect shot be­yond the reach of an out­stretched Kevin Press­man. An­field erupted. “I man­aged to work some space for my­self and felt con­fi­dent strik­ing the ball with my left foot,” he ex­plains. “When it hit the back of the net my head nearly ex­ploded. I went com­pletely loopy and ran over to the Cen­te­nary Stand. There is a great pic­ture of Chris Wad­dle stand­ing be­hind me with his mouth wide open and hands on hips.” Collymore and Fowler went on to form a pro­lific part­ner­ship in that sea­son, hit­ting 55 goals be­tween them, but their ex­ploits couldn’t pre­vent Manch­ester United from do­ing a league and cup dou­ble.

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