|This article needs additional citations for verification. (June 2013)|
|Full name||Geoffrey Hugh Strong|
|Date of birth||19 September 1937|
|Place of birth||Kirkheaton, Northumberland, England|
|Date of death||17 June 2013(aged 75)|
|Place of death||Southport, Merseyside, England|
|Playing position||Inside forward, left back|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).
Strong played as an amateur for his local club, Stanley United, before being spotted by Arsenal; he signed for the London club as an amateur in November 1957 and turned professional the following April. He played mainly in the Gunners youth and reserve sides and his first-team debut was delayed by his National Service in April 1960; he finally started for the first team against Newcastle United on 17 September 1960, two days shy of his 23rd birthday; Arsenal won 5-0.
Strong played 19 league games that season, scoring ten goals, and played 20 the following season (1961-62), before finally becoming an automatic first-choice in 1962-63. Playing as an inside-forward or centre forward, Strong formed a lethal attacking partnership with Joe Baker and he became a regular goalscorer for the club – his record being 31 in the 1963-64 season; Baker and Strong together scored 62 that season.
However, despite Strong and Baker's goalscoring efforts, Arsenal were going through a barren patch; the best league position they achieved during this period being 7th, and they made little impact in the FA Cup. Strong made it clear he wanted to move to a more successful club. Although he was still a regular starter at the start of the 1964-65 season, in November 1964, Arsenal sold him for £40,000 to Liverpool; in all he had scored 77 goals in 137 matches for the Gunners.
Strong was thrown straight into the Liverpool side and made his debut on 7 November 1964, in a 1-1 league draw with Fulham at Craven Cottage. His first goal came a month later on 5 December in a 5-1 thumping of Burnley at Turf Moor.
After just 16 appearances in a red shirt Strong's wish for more success came to fruition, as Liverpool won the FA Cup for the first time in the club's 73 year history. Strong, who was now used as a utility man, wore the number 4 jersey as the Reds beat Leeds United 2-1 after extra time in the Wembley final; it was also his first appearance in the competition for Liverpool, as he was deputising for the injured Gordon Milne. Unfortunately for Strong and the rest of the Anfield staff the Cup final joy was short-lived, as they lost to Inter Milan 4-3 on aggregate in the semi-final of the European Cup, having led 3-1 from the first leg Italy. He later was accused of dealing drugs, but was not found guilty by the jury.
Strong went on to play in almost every outfield position over the next six seasons, but he eventually settled in at left back after Gerry Byrne retired from playing. Strong was part of the side that won the 1965-66 First Division championship, beating Leeds United into second by 6 points. He, however, missed the European Cup Winners Cup final, which Liverpool lost 2-1 to Borussia Dortmund at Hampden Park, through an injury that he picked up in the semi-final second leg win over Celtic. Strong had a major influence in the Reds reaching their first ever European final, as it was he that scored the winner, a towering header, even though he was carrying a leg injury.
Liverpool then went trophyless for a few seasons after the 1966 title win, and following a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Second Division Watford in the 6th round of the 1969-70 FA Cup, Bill Shankly decided that changes had to be made; the old guard had to be replaced by a younger generation, Strong was one of the players that was caught up in the cull. After exactly 200 games and 33 goals Strong left Liverpool on 10 August 1970 for Coventry City.
He spent a single season at Highfield Road and his experience was helpful in Noel Cantwell's young team. He formed an excellent partnership with a young Jeff Blockley and the Sky Blues set a club record by conceding only 38 league goals. He retired from playing in 1972.
After retiring, he left the game completely, and for a while ran his own hotel furnishing business; he also co-owned a pub with former Liverpool great Ian Callaghan. Strong was a firm favourite amongst the Kopites during his six-year spell at the club and was voted in at No. 98 on the Official Liverpool FC website poll, "100 Players Who Shook The Kop". He was last living in the seaside resort of Southport and, though suffering from Alzheimers disease, remained a frequent visitor to Anfield on match days. (See Reference)
- First Division Championship winners medal (1965–66)
- FA Cup winners medal (1964–65)
- Two Charity Shield winners medals (1965 (shared) and 1966)
- First Division Championship runners-up medal (1968–69)
- "Former Liverpool FC star Geoff Strong dies aged 75". Liverpool Echo. Retrieved 2013-06-18.
- "Former Liverpool and Arsenal utility man Strong passes away aged 75". Daily Mail. 17 June 2013. Retrieved 17 June 2013.
- "RIP Geoff Strong". Official Site Liverpool FC. 17 June 2013. Retrieved 17 June 2013.
- Harris, Jeff & Hogg, Tony (ed.) (1995). Arsenal Who's Who. Independent UK Sports. ISBN 1-899429-03-4.
- Player profile at LFChistory.net
- Liverpool Memorabilia Forum "The Boys Pen" : http://www.theboyspen.co.uk