Steve Staunton had two spells at Anfield and in his first he helped the Reds win the FA Cup and League Championship.
But he became a victim of the rule restricting the number of non-English players at each club. Graeme Souness decided the defender was dispensable and sold him to Aston Villa on August 7, 1991. Staunton developed into one of the best left full-backs in the country. Once Roy Evans had taken over at Anfield in 1994, Staunton was linked with a return to Liverpool almost every single year. He finally came back on July, 3, 1998.
Steve's versatility proved useful for Liverpool as he could play in a number of different positions. Although he played as a left-back more often than not, he actually struck a second-half hat-trick when replacing Ian Rush in a League Cup tie against Wigan in 1989 and even made a brief starring appearance in goal in a Merseyside derby ten years later when Sander Westerveld was sent off a few minutes after Liverpool had made their third and final substitution.
Staunton represented the Republic of Ireland over a 100 but during the reign of Gerard Houllier he was used only sparingly in his first full season in charge (1999-2000). In the following season, he appeared only twice for the first team, both times as substitute. Two weeks after his final appearance away to Olympiacos in the UEFA Cup, Steve returned to Villa Park and appeared regularly for Villa for another two years before ending his playing career with spells at Coventry City and Walsall. His final game as a professional footballer came on New Year's Eve, 2005.
In the middle of January 2006, three days before his 37th birthday, Staunton was surprisingly named as Brian Kerr's successor to manage the Republic of Ireland's full international team. The Irish had failed to qualify for the World Cup in Germany in 2006 so Steve's short-term aim was to ensure qualification for the next European championship finals in 2008. Despite the setback of qualification failure, Staunton refused to resign and stated that he intended to honour his four-year contract. However, matters were taken out of his hands by the Football Association of Ireland on October 23, 2007, and it was subsequently announced that he had been replaced as international manager by Don Givens, who took over as temporary manager until a permanent replacement to Steve Staunton was unveiled in Giovanni Trapattoni.
Staunton later assisted Kop hero Gary McAllister at Leeds United before the pair were released.
Other Clubs: Dundalk, Bradford (loan), Aston Villa, Crystal Palace (loan), Aston Villa (2), Coventry, Walsall