FeatureWataru Endo and a brief history of Liverpool's No.3 shirt
Wataru Endo became the 11th man to wear the No.3 jersey for Liverpool during the Premier League era when he made his debut on Saturday.
The Japan international completed a move to the Reds from VfB Stuttgart on Friday and was then a second-half substitute against AFC Bournemouth the following day.
Midfielder Endo helped Jürgen Klopp’s side see out a 3-1 victory over the Cherries as he wore the club shirt for the first time in competitive action.
Read on for a brief history of the men’s No.3 jersey at Anfield…
No.3 has, of course, graced many shoulders throughout LFC history, and is most commonly associated with the left-back position.
After numbers were officially introduced to shirts several years earlier, Gerry Byrne and Ronnie Moran were the most frequent custodians during the 1950s and ’60s.
That included the former’s remarkable performance – including an assist – having suffered a broken collarbone in the fifth minute when the Reds lifted their first FA Cup after extra-time at Wembley in 1965.
It was subsequently used with distinction by the likes of Alec Lindsay, Joey Jones and Alan Kennedy in the two decades that followed, as Liverpool enjoyed sustained and unforgettable success domestically and in Europe.
Indeed, the number was on Kennedy’s back – and beamed around the world – for each of the two occasions he delivered the decisive strike in a European Cup final: first against Real Madrid in 1981 and then from the penalty spot past AS Roma three years later.
It would pass on to Jim Beglin and Barry Venison, among others, while the vintage 1987-88 campaign under Kenny Dalglish concluded with Gary Ablett in possession of the No.3.
By the time of the formation of the Premier League and then the assignment of designated squad numbers, the jersey was with David Burrows, before switching to Julian Dicks, briefly John Scales and then Bjorn Tore Kvarme.
At the beginning of the new millennium, it was the turn of Christian Ziege, who featured 32 times in a 2000-01 season that yielded glory in the League Cup, FA Cup and UEFA Cup.
Abel Xavier selected No.3 after his move across Stanley Park from neighbours Everton, and in 2003 it went to right-back Steve Finnan for a spell of five seasons.
A hugely consistent and reliable defender, Republic of Ireland international Finnan helped Liverpool reach two Champions League finals – winning one – and lift the FA Cup across 217 appearances.
Paul Konchesky and Jose Enrique were next, with the latter racking up 99 games for the club and winning the League Cup, before the number found its way into midfield in 2018.
That came with the arrival of Brazil international Fabinho, who would go on to become a key figure in a Klopp squad that stylishly won a host of major honours.
Fabinho surpassed 200 matches on Merseyside and helped the Reds win the Premier League, Champions League and plenty more before departing this summer.
The vacant shirt was then claimed by new recruit Endo last week, with the Japan captain happy to take a number with special personal meaning.
“Number three is my number because I played as No.3 in Stuttgart and when I was playing in Japan, also,” he told Liverpoolfc.com. “I love this number! I cannot wait to play with this number here.”