The date of May 25, 1977 will forever be etched in the memory of Liverpool supporters: the day the club won the European Cup for the first time.
As we celebrate the 40th anniversary of that achievement, one of the heroes of the night has given us a unique insight into the men that conquered Europe.
Terry McDermott has the distinction of scoring the opening goal in Rome with an excellent finish following a pass from Steve Heighway.
It is an experience the proud Scouser from Kirkby will never forget.
He told Liverpoolfc.com: “I look a lot older now than I did then! You can never forget those days and that was probably the biggest day of all for the lads, certainly my career, to win the first European Cup for Liverpool.
“It was fantastic. The lucky ones were the people that were playing in the game and the next lucky ones were the people who were there on the night.
“Scoring our first goal is something I will never forget. You always dream and hope that something like that will happen but you never do think it will happen.
“I have watched the goal back many times on LFCTV. It looks so easy but I can assure you it wasn’t because when you have a giant, six-foot-odd goalkeeper bearing down on you, I thought ‘Do I try and take the ball around him or kick it?’
“Fortunately, I managed to strike it well past Wolfgang Kneib and it was an amazing feeling to see the ball hit the back of the net.
“It was just a magical night for all of us and we will never forget it.”
Read on as McDermott shares his personal memories of the starting XI and five unused substitutes who all contributed to Liverpool bringing the European Cup home to Merseyside for the first time.
Ray Clemence: Probably the best goalkeeper that we’ve ever had. In our day England had two of the best goalkeepers in the world in Ray and Peter Shilton. Peter was a good goalkeeper but Clem was a brilliant goalkeeper. Clem made some vital saves for us in the final. He didn’t have an awful lot to do but just when we needed him he provided it. He was superb for us.
Phil Neal: Mr Reliable. You knew exactly what you were going to get from Phil. It’s like our first team now with James Milner, as you get a seven, eight, maybe a nine out of 10 week in, week out. You look at the games Phil played for us, he played around 400 games without being injured. That takes some doing and he was just a great full-back. Phil of course scored our decisive goal from the penalty spot in Rome. Myself and Phil used to take our penalties back then and we had both missed a few. If Phil hadn’t fancied taking one on the day then it would have been me. Phil took it so elegantly, putting the ball into the corner and sending the goalkeeper the wrong way. We knew we had won the European Cup when Nealy scored.
Joey Jones: The man who ate the frog’s legs! Everybody remembers the famous banner and what a player Joey was. Joey would give you everything on the pitch and give you everything off the pitch as well. He was a lion. You wouldn’t want to mess with Joey on the pitch. Even though he’s got a frail body he would have a scrap with anyone! A funny lad.
Tommy Smith: Tommy scored with a thumping header from a corner. What he was doing up there, I don’t know, because he wasn’t the tallest and he didn’t score many goals. Steve Heighway put this great ball in and Tommy came running in and headed the ball into the top corner of the net. Tommy was an inspiration to everyone, a great, great player. When I was a young kid I played against Tommy and I knew how good he was. Sometimes when you get to meet players they don’t meet up to your expectations but Tommy was different class, a great fella.
Ray Kennedy: Ray could do everything. He adapted from a centre-forward to playing left midfield for Liverpool. What a player he was! He scored goals, made goals, he worked his socks off and he was just an all-round top player. I don’t know how many England caps Ray got but all I know is he should have got more!
Emlyn Hughes: Our captain and Crazy Horse. I got on so well with Emlyn. He looked after me when I first came to Liverpool. He put his arm around me and took me under his wing. He got me into going racing. I went everywhere with Emlyn and we also had a horse together. We played for England together and he was just an absolutely fantastic player for Liverpool and England. Mr Inspirational, a great guy and sadly missed.
Kevin Keegan: People ask me who was the best player I ever played with and I can’t choose between Kevin and Kenny Dalglish. Kenny was an unbelievable player but Kevin was so inspirational. The 1977 European Cup final was his last game for Liverpool before moving on to Hamburg. We lost the FA Cup final to Manchester United and Kevin got a little bit of stick with people saying he was saving himself. I think he showed the answer to that against Borussia Monchengladbach because he was absolutely magnificent. Everywhere he went Berti Vogts went with him, he followed him everywhere. If Kevin had gone to the toilet Berti would have been right behind him! Kevin ran him ragged and of course when he was brought down by Vogts, Nealy scored the penalty to give us the European Cup. Kevin was a world-class player.
Jimmy Case: A great, great player. Jimmy didn’t get the number of caps for England I felt he should have got, in fact he didn’t even get one, which I find hard to believe. Jimmy gave everything he got and is a mad Liverpudlian who came from south Liverpool. He was just a great player, a scorer of great goals and if anyone from the opposition started doing anything naughty on the pitch, you knew five minutes later Jimmy would sort it out! Jimmy was our enforcer. He wasn’t just a hard lad, which he was, but he was a magnificent player for Liverpool and in my opinion we let him leave the club long before he should have done.
Steve Heighway: Stevie was unbelievable, what a player he was for Liverpool. I’ve only just realised how good he was. I knew he was a good player when I played alongside him in a red shirt but when you look back now at the footage at the way he used to go past people for fun, the accuracy of his crosses and his passing, believe you me he was better than I was. Steve Heighway is the type of player Liverpool could do with now because he could do everything. Steve was such a great player for Liverpool and he’s still there now at the Academy, which is good.
Ian Callaghan: The nicest man in football along with Kevin Keegan. I still see Cally a lot now when we are doing hospitality for the club and he is no different to what he was back in our playing days. He is a gentleman but what a good player he was, 857 games tells you that and much more. It was such a pleasure to be on the same pitch as him because he was a great player. He only got booked once in his whole career, but even though people see Cally as a quiet man who just got on with his job, he could be tough and he knew when to put his foot in. He wasn’t just a winger who didn’t like to make a tackle, Cally could mix it up with anyone. People remember the 1965 FA Cup final when Cally provided the cross for Ian St John to head home. Cally was a diamond and there’s not many people like that.
Terry McDermott: It was a pleasure and a privilege for me to share these wonderful memories with my friends and people I still see regularly to this day, 40 years on. By the way, if you meet this fella just watch your pockets!
David Fairclough: Davey doesn’t like being called ‘Supersub’ but his book is called that so it must be true! Davey was telling me a few weeks ago he once scored a hat-trick against Norwich City only to be dropped for the next game. Davey was great for Liverpool and scored some vital goals. What a player he could be in a red shirt, not just when he came off the bench but to be fair when he was given a chance to start the game as well. He scored goals and if Davey was playing now in the modern game he would cost a lot of money. He was a very good player and he’s another one of the lads I see regularly on matchdays and I always look forward to having a chat with him. Known amongst the lads as the ‘Whip’, I don’t know whether that’s because of his dodgy gear or maybe it’s because I’ve heard from the lads when they have a ‘whip’ around in the bar he is nowhere to be seen!
Peter McDonnell: Peter didn’t play that many games for us but that was because we had Ray Clemence, one of the best in the world. Peter was a very able goalkeeper, there’s no doubt about that. If Clem had picked up an injury at the time, you wouldn’t have been too bothered about Peter coming in. He never let anyone down.
Alan Waddle: Big Alan Waddle, a tall lad who was a Geordie. I got on great with him and he was my enforcer if any of the lads used to moan at me! He was a talented player who could change a game with his pace.
David Johnson: I know the ‘Doc’ was disappointed not to start in the final but he was a great player for Liverpool. When people talk about great Liverpool teams and players he doesn’t get too many mentions, but what a player he was. When you look back on his career and the amount of goals he scored and the great partnership he had with Kenny Dalglish, that shows you what a great player he was. He was also good in the air, he was quick, he could put his foot in and he wasn’t frightened. He was a great foil for either Kevin [Keegan] or Kenny. The Doc is a great friend of mine. He’s alright now, not a great fella but he’s alright, and if ever you want to see him you can always find him in the local boozer!
Alec Lindsay: I remember playing against him for Newcastle United in the 1974 FA Cup final against Liverpool and still to this day I don’t know why Alec’s goal was disallowed. I actually played with Alec at Bury before he went to Liverpool. He was a great character but no-one knows where he is now. Alec had a left foot like a wand, he was strong, tough, ginger and a good fella. I’d love to see him again and find out what he’s up to these days but no-one can find him, he’s like Lord Lucan!