Stan Collymore’s greatest goal
vs Sheffield Wednesday, Premier League, 1995
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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