Throughout LFC's 125th anniversary year, Liverpoolfc.com will retrace the club's history through the striking images that plot a fascinating journey.
Eleventh in the series is a photograph that, at first glance, appears to merely show a penalty being missed. In truth, there’s much more to it than that…
"It came down to Joe Fagan. He put his arm around me before the penalties were actually taken and he said: 'Listen, we are not going to blame you for trying to stop the ball from going into the net. If they can't hit the target, it's their fault!'
"As I walked away, he said: 'But Bruce, try to put them off!'”
Bruce Grobbelaar’s account of the reasoning behind an act known as ‘spaghetti legs’ was offered to Liverpoolfc.com on the 30th anniversary of a victory that has gone down as one of the finest in the club’s exalted history.
On Wednesday May 30, 1984, Liverpool won their fourth European Cup.
That they did so by defeating AS Roma - the reigning Italian champions and a team that included World Cup winners and Brazilian superstars - at their home ground, the Stadio Olimpico, is testament to not just the ability, but also the character and mental fortitude of Joe Fagan’s side.
It is also testament to their goalkeeper’s unique method of distraction.
After a tight and tense 120 minutes finished all square at 1-1, penalties were required to decide the destination of the trophy.
Steve Nicol’s early miss meant the shootout was tied at 1-1 when Bruno Conti stepped up to take Roma’s second kick.
"He was dancing as if he was on a disco and I thought: 'If you want to dance with me, then we are going to dance 1960s style!' So I put my hands on my knees and when he came up to kick it I crossed my legs…” Grobbelaar recalled.
Conti, one of the Giallorossi’s World Cup winners, duly blazed his effort over the bar.
By the time Francesco Graziani took Roma’s fourth penalty, they were 3-2 down in the shootout after Graeme Souness, Urbaldo Righetti and Ian Rush had kept their cool.
After more antics from Grobbelaar, Graziani also cleared the crossbar - a moment captured perfectly in the image above.
It was then up to Alan Kennedy to put the seal on Liverpool’s fourth European Cup triumph in seven years. He did so by sending Franco Tancredi the wrong way.
"The spaghetti legs came about when I went to the back of the net and bit it! The net looked to me like spaghetti so I went and did the spaghetti legs. That's where it comes from,” said Grobbelaar.
A simple explanation for an iconic act that would, of course, play its part in another European Cup win 21 years later when, at the behest of Jamie Carragher, Jerzy Dudek reprised it to similar effect in Istanbul.
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