Owen, Fowler, Suarez, Salah and more: A dozen memorable debut LFC goals

FeatureOwen, Fowler, Suarez, Salah and more: A dozen memorable debut LFC goals

By Liverpool FC


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On this day 27 years ago, the prodigious Michael Owen announced himself to the world by marking his Liverpool debut with a goal.

May 6, 1997 saw Owen became the youngest goalscorer in Reds history at the time – aged 17 years and 144 days – by netting on his first senior appearance.

That effort against Wimbledon at Selhurst Park would be the first of 158 goals Owen racked up for the club in total, placing him ninth on the all-time list.

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Here are 11 more stories from the 95 players who have found the net on their Liverpool debut…

Billy Liddell – Chester City 0-2 Liverpool (January 1946)

There was a time when Billy Liddell was so good, and so influential at Anfield, that Liverpool were nicknamed ‘Liddellpool’.

The Scot is one of the club’s greatest ever players, and still sits fourth on the Reds’ all-time scoring list.

The first of his mammoth haul of 228 strikes came at Chester’s Sealand Road ground in a 2-0 win, back in the days when the FA Cup third round was played over two legs.

Roger Hunt – Liverpool 2-0 Scunthorpe United (September 1959)

Only Ian Rush has scored more goals for Liverpool than Roger Hunt, whose Anfield tally started during a Second Division clash with Scunthorpe in September 1959.

Hunt scored the Reds’ second goal that day, firing in from a Jimmy Melia pass.

“It was a big moment for me, but there weren’t many celebrations afterwards,” the future World Cup winner would later recall. “I had a cup of tea and luckily enough my father had been at the game so I managed to get a lift back home with him.

“The ride home capped a great day.”

Kevin Keegan – Liverpool 3-1 Nottingham Forest (August 1971)

The opening weekend of the 1971-72 season saw optimism high at Liverpool, who had lost the FA Cup final in heartbreaking fashion to Arsenal a few months earlier.

And when a young forward by the name of Kevin Keegan forced home his first Reds goal, 12 minutes into his debut, that hope only grew.

Liverpool went on to win 3-1, and Keegan became one of the club’s first true superstars, scoring 100 goals in 323 appearances.

Ray Kennedy – Chelsea 0-3 Liverpool (August 1974)

The signing of Ray Kennedy from Arsenal in the summer of 1974 had been overshadowed somewhat by the shock resignation of revered Reds boss Bill Shankly.

But the classy, left-footed Kennedy would go on to become an Anfield great, and announced himself with a goal on his debut at Stamford Bridge.

As last acts go, Shankly’s recruiting of Kennedy proved a pretty good one.

Ronnie Whelan – Liverpool 3-0 Stoke City (April 1981)

Ronnie Whelan’s debut came in a game against Stoke that was played on a Friday night at Anfield, due to the following day’s Grand National.

Whelan, who went on to captain the club and make close to 500 appearances, needed only 27 minutes to score – 18 months after arriving from Home Farm.

The midfielder latched on to Sammy Lee’s pass to fire in, on what was his one and only appearance during the 1980-81 campaign.

Robbie Fowler – Fulham 1-3 Liverpool (September 1993)

It didn’t take long for one of Liverpool’s great No.9s to make his presence felt with the senior team.

At just 18, Fowler was selected to play alongside Rush in a League Cup second-round, first-leg tie at Craven Cottage.

He responded in what would become typical fashion, converting Don Hutchison’s cross clinically at the back post to seal a 3-1 win.

A fortnight later, he scored all five in the Reds’ second-leg victory at Anfield, and an overnight sensation had emerged.

Stan Collymore – Liverpool 1-0 Sheffield Wednesday (August 1995)

Liverpool broke the British transfer record when signing Stan Collymore from Nottingham Forest in the summer of 1995, and their investment paid off immediately.

On his Reds debut, Collymore delivered a goal of stunning quality to see off Sheffield Wednesday, turning away from two defenders and bending the ball home from 25 yards.

It was a spectacular contribution, from a player who went on to make a habit of producing such strikes.

Luis Suarez – Liverpool 2-0 Stoke (February 2011)

It took Luis Suarez only 16 minutes to make his mark at Anfield.

Brought on for Fabio Aurelio with Liverpool leading Stoke 1-0, the Uruguayan, a deadline-day arrival from Ajax, was sent through by Dirk Kuyt and, having rounded goalkeeper Asmir Begovic, managed to squeeze his finish past a covering defender in Andy Wilkinson.

Suarez would go on to become one of the most exciting and gifted players ever seen at the club.

Sadio Mane – Arsenal 3-4 Liverpool (August 2016)

Sadio Mane announced the beginning of his Reds career in breathtaking style at Emirates Stadium.

With Liverpool leading 3-1, Mane produced a moment of individual brilliance down the right flank, beating two Arsenal defenders before firing into the top corner off his left foot.

Jürgen Klopp’s side went on to win 4-3 and Mane finished his maiden season as the team’s Player of the Year. Further greatness awaited, of course.

Mohamed Salah – Watford 3-3 Liverpool (August 2017)

After arriving from AS Roma in the summer of 2017, Mohamed Salah hit the ground running at Anfield.

His first game came at Watford, a match in which Salah netted Liverpool’s third goal in a wild 3-3 draw to kick off their league campaign.

The scene was set. By the end of his first year on Merseyside, the Egyptian had scored 44 times in all competitions. That total now stands at 211.

Virgil van Dijk – Liverpool 2-1 Everton (January 2018)

If Virgil van Dijk had written a script for his Liverpool debut, it would have looked a lot like this.

An emphatic header at the Kop end to mark his first appearance with the winning goal in a Merseyside derby – this one in an FA Cup clash at Anfield.

Klopp had made a late decision to throw his new centre-back signing from Southampton straight into the maelstrom. He was richly rewarded.



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