Like most people with families filled with sports fans, I started to enjoy football at around the age of seven. I was born in 1995 and so 2017 earmarks 15 years of football for me.
It got me thinking – I wonder, who has been lucky enough to pull on the famous red shirt of Liverpool Football Club the most while I’ve been a fan?
So I checked the numbers and the results are…interesting; I’ve a feeling the older you are the more you’ll simply laugh at some players featured in this hypothetical XI.
I originally had Ryan Babel playing at right midfield but switched the formation to 4-3-3 and opted to include Jordan Henderson instead.
I’ve tried to construct an XI that could’ve played alongside each-other and not force players into unnatural positions to favour others – putting Jamie Carragher at right-back was difficult enough.
If it’s not crystal clear, I’ve looked through Liverpool’s all-time appearance records and picked out the players who made the most appeances between 2002 and now.
Nobody currently in Liverpool’s squad is threatening to break into the XI during the 2017/18 season so it’ll be relevant for some time.
Below are some ‘honourable mentions’ for people who, like me, got into football in the early noughties and are curious as to who has been lucky enough to pull on the famous red shirt of Liverpool Football Club the most while they’ve been a fan.
The following players have a similar number of appearances as the those included in my XI but may have made their name before 2002, not racked up enough appeances before leaving Liverpool or still making their name at the club.
John Barnes – 407
Robbie Fowler – 369
Jamie Redknapp – 308
Michael Owen – 297
Jan Molby – 292
Didi Hamann – 283
David James – 277
Steve Finnan – 217
Ryan Babel – 146
Some will wonder why players such as Owen and Hamann aren’t in the above XI and that’s simply because I don’t have lengthy memories of these players.
Including Henderson, over Hamann, is perhaps the most undesirable decision I’ve made but Didi left just after Istanbul and Henderson has been at the club for six years now.
Creating your own XI from scratch based on appearances isn’t difficult, just use lfchistory.net like I did and then whip out the calculator and open a new tab for Wikipedia.