An Irish midfielder with an uncanny eye for goal – particularly in important matches – is next up in our 100 Players Who Shook the Kop countdown…
Date of birth: September 25, 1961 Place of birth: Dublin Nationality: Irish Position: Midfield Years at the club: 1981-94 Signed from: Home Farm Left for: Southend United Position in 2006 poll: 30
Liverpool stole consistent midfielder Ronnie Whelan from under the noses of Manchester United and were rewarded with more than 10 years of tenacity, reliability and goals from the Irishman.
Signed just days before celebrating his 18th birthday, the Dubliner would make almost 500 appearances for the Reds and knock home a series of important strikes during his Anfield stay.
Described as 'the man for the big occasion' by no less than Bob Paisley, Whelan perfected the art of arriving late into the penalty area; Ronnie was a tough tackler too, though - the ideal midfield blend.
He made his Liverpool debut in April 1981 and, in a precursor of events to come, marked the occasion with his first goal for the club in a routine home victory over Stoke City.
Whelan's true breakthrough arrived the following season. The Republic of Ireland international clocked up 47 games, culminating in a league winner's medal and 14 goals; two of those came in the League Cup final triumph over Tottenham.
The 'Milk Cup kid' reproduced his heroics 12 months later, notching an extra-time Wembley winner against Manchester United - so regularly victims of Whelan's eye for the target - to add to a second championship medal.
Whelan's whirlwind introduction to Anfield life continued into 1983-84, when he tasted League Cup and First Division glory for the third consecutive campaign; there was also the small matter of lifting the European Cup in Rome.
By the end of the decade, Ronnie had reinvented himself as a central midfielder to accommodate the flying John Barnes on the left. Three more league titles and two FA Cups had also increased his bulging collection of honours.
Having had two spells as skipper too, injuries beset the Irishman from the beginning of the 1990s and he could no longer maintain a regular position in the starting XI under Graeme Souness and later Roy Evans.
Just seven games short of joining an elite group of players with 500 Liverpool appearances, Whelan waved goodbye to the Kop during the summer of 1994 with the respect of all who had the privilege to watch him play.
Appearances: 493 Goals: 73 Honours with LFC: 1 European Cup (1983-84),6 First Division titles (1981-82, 1982-83, 1983-84, 1985-86, 1987-88, 1989-90), 3 FA Cups (1985-86, 1988-89, 1991-92), 3 League Cups (1981-82, 1982-83, 1983-84) Did you know? Whelan supported Manchester United during his childhood Where is he now? A pundit for RTE Sport and occasionally LFC TV