Today marks 15 years since Vladimir Smicer, the man who would go on to secure cult status at Anfield, arrived at Melwood to sign for Gerard Houllier's Reds – on the same day he celebrated his 26th birthday.

Tomorrow will also be the ninth anniversary of the former Czech Republic international's final game for the club - on the greatest stage of them all and on perhaps the greatest night in Liverpool history.

Smicer departed for Bordeaux in the summer of 2005 just weeks after signing off in style by playing a crucial role in the Reds' unforgettable Champions League final victory over AC Milan. 

Coming on as a substitute for Harry Kewell, Smicer scored the Reds' second goal in the comeback that stunned the watching world.

Calm and composed, his final kick in Liverpool's colours was a successful, crucial strike in the penalty shoot-out, directly prior to Jerzy Dudek's save from Andriy Shevchenko, which confirmed victory for the Reds.

It was a sweet reward for Smicer, who had returned to action in February 2005 after missing most of the 2004-05 campaign after a knee operation.

He first arrived at Anfield in 1999 and joined his close friend Patrik Berger at Liverpool.

An attacking midfielder, Smicer first shot to prominence in 1996, helping Slavia Prague reach the semi-finals of the UEFA Cup before starring for the Czech Republic during their run to the final of Euro 96.

He then moved on to French club RC Lens, where he enjoyed more success - inspiring the club to a first-ever French title in 1997-98.

In June 1999 he was recruited by Liverpool to fill the void left by the departure of Steve McManaman to Real Madrid.

Smicer's first campaign in England was a difficult one as the midfielder struggled to come to terms with the pace of the local game and his cause was not helped a succession of injuries.

However, the 2000-01 season saw Vladimir fare much better, whether it be on the flanks or behind the front two.

Having got to grips with life in the Premiership and regained full fitness, he showed in glimpses just what he was really capable of and played an important role in the Reds' treble cup triumph.

His Anfield legacy was secured in the special moments, like the last-minute winner against Chelsea in 2002 and his performance in the 2-0 win over Roma in the Champions League at Anfield.

And then, the perfect ending - his Champions League final heroics of 2005 - which ensured Smicer will forever be remembered as a legend on the Kop.