Chris Lawler

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Chris Lawler
ChrisLawler-Oslo-12oct2007.jpg
Lawler in 2007
Personal information
Full name Christopher Lawler
Date of birth (1943-10-20) 20 October 1943 (age 73)
Place of birth Liverpool, Lancashire, England
Playing position Right-back
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1960–1975 Liverpool 406 (41)
1975–1977 Portsmouth 36 (0)
1976 Miami Toros (loan) 21 (1)
1977–1978 Stockport County 36 (3)
1978 Bangor City 20 (1)
1980 Raufoss IL ? (?)
1981 IK Grand Bodø ? (?)
National team
England U-23 2 (0)
1971–1972 England 4 (1)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

Chris Lawler (born 20 October 1943 in Liverpool, Lancashire, England) is a former footballer who enjoyed much of Liverpool's success of the 1960s and 1970s.

Life and playing career[edit]

A right-sided defender, Lawler joined his local club when he turned 17 in October 1960 and made his debut at the age of 19 in a 2–2 league draw with West Bromwich Albion at Anfield on 20 March 1963. For two seasons his progression into first team regular was gradual playing just 6 matches in each of the seasons, but by 1965 he was the first choice right back, he also scored the first of his many goals, for a right-back, during this season in the 5–1 thrashing of Burnley at Turf Moor on 5 December 1964, Lawler's timing and anticipation of turning up in the right place at the right time to score vital goals earned him the nickname 'The Silent Knight'. The 1964–5 season culminated in him being selected in the team which beat Leeds United in the FA Cup final at Wembley, earning the trophy for the club for the first time in its history.

His name was pretty much first on manager Bill Shankly's team-sheet thereafter, missing just three games in the next seven seasons. During this period, he helped Liverpool win the League championship in 1966 again beating Leeds into second spot by six clear points, three wins in the old two points for a win system. This was followed by disappointment, as Liverpool were beaten 2–1 by Borussia Dortmund in the Cup Winners Cup at Hampden Park, Glasgow, in the Reds' first ever appearance in a European final

Lawler survived Shankly's massive cull of 1970 which saw many of the older 1960s stars shipped out and replaced with younger talent. Other than Lawler, only Emlyn Hughes, Ian Callaghan and Tommy Smith were retained.

He again tasted defeat when he played in the 1971 FA Cup final loss to Arsenal, but that was put behind him when Liverpool earned a League title and UEFA Cup double in 1973. Liverpool finished three points ahead of Arsenal in the league, and fought off a fightback by Borussia Mönchengladbach in the UEFA Cup final: after Liverpool had won the first leg 3–0 at Anfield, Mönchengladbach fell just short, winning the second leg 2–0. Liverpool thus gained a 3–2 aggregate victory.

It was during this period he won his four England caps. He scored on his debut, in the 5–0 defeat of Malta in a UEFA European Football Championship quailifier at Wembley on 12 May 1971.

He was only on the bench after a spell out injured as Liverpool reached the FA Cup final again in 1974, but gained another winner's medal after Liverpool swept aside Newcastle United 3–0 on 4 May.

Shankly's sudden departure in the summer of 1974 also heralded pretty much the end of Lawler's distinguished Liverpool career. New manager Bob Paisley purchased specialist right back Phil Neal from Northampton Town at the end of the year and Lawler featured only sporadically, making his final Liverpool appearance against Hibernian in a UEFA Cup tie on 17 September 1975. He joined Portsmouth in October ‘75, who were managed by former Liverpool team-mate Ian St John. Lawler later joined Stockport County in 1978; he also played for Welsh League side Bangor City. In 1976, he played the summer on loan to the Miami Toros of the North American Soccer League.[1] In 1980–81 Chris Lawler played and coached second level club Raufoss I.L. in the Norwegian league system.

Lawler became a coach at Liverpool FC after his playing days were over until he was acrimoniously released from his duties in 1986. Rumours about something involving his release and the man who replaced him – Phil Thompson, surfaced at the time. Lawler has kept a low profile since then, though has done some work for Liverpool, scouting for players. He also works in Skelmersdale, coaching young children.

Lawler is still held in high regard amongst the Kopites who voted him in at No.51 in the 100 Players Who Shook The Kop poll on www.liverpool.tv the Official Liverpool Football Club web-site.

Career details[edit]

* Liverpool F.C (1960–1975) – 549 appearances, 61 goals

  • 3 Football League (level 1) championship medals (1964, 1966 and 1973)
  • 2 FA Cup winners medals (1965 and 1974)
  • 3 Charity Shield (1964 (shared), 1965 (shared),1966 and 1974)
  • UEFA Cup winners medal 1973
  • F.A Cup runners-up medal (1971)
  • European Cup Winners' Cup runners-up medal (1966)
  • Charity shield runners-up medal (1971)
  • 1st division Runners up 1968–69

* England (1971) 4 caps, 1 goal

References[edit]

External links[edit]