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Ian Rush Exclusive


He's Liverpool all time record goalscorer, one half of the most famous double act in club history, the destroyer of Evertonian dreams and current club ambassador. Ian Rush checks in for a quick chat with TLW...

First of all, Ian, tell us about your role at Anfield these days?

- I'm currently the official ambassador for Liverpool Football Club. I travel the world, helping to promote the brand - Liverpool has such great supporters across the globe and so many of them, it's a brilliant thing to be able to do. I really enjoy travelling the world with the Club. I'm also Elite Performance Director at the Welsh FA, which again I really enjoy. I really like the grassroots side of football and getting involved with that. Both of these roles keep me going.
You were on the tour to Asia and Australia last year. What did you make of the reaction the Club received and would you have liked to have something like that when you played? Or do you prefer the old fashioned approach of, for example, a trip to Ireland?

- You have to move with the times. It was great when we went away to the likes of Norway and Ireland, but I think with the Club having such a big following across the globe, it's fantastic that we can go to different areas and see all of the fans. Supporters from across the world don't always have the chance to come to Anfield, so we have to take Liverpool to them now. It's a great achievement to do that, and I think it's brilliant that LFC do go on tour to the likes of Asia and Australia.
Do you think anyone will break your derby goals record?
- Well records are there to be broken, but I think it will be difficult because you're going to have to play for a long time - and in a lot of derbies - to do that. But it is possible.
The goal you scored against Athletic Bilbao in 1984, tell us about that and how hard that game was.
- That was a very difficult game, as we drew 0-0 in the first leg and to go there and win, it was difficult. They had a strong defence and this was hard to go against, but it was quite an unusual goal. Alan Kennedy decided to come down the left-hand side, come across and come on the inside, and he actually crossed it with his right foot! I managed to head it into the net and I think we caught Bilbao by surprise, first of all by Alan using his right foot and then by my header. I didn't get many with my head in those days so I think it most probably caught them off guard.
What was the toughest, most intimidating European away game you played for the Reds?
- Bilbao was one of them, but the Dinamo Bucharest semi-final was a tough one as well. I think we won the first leg 1-0 and we went to Bucharest where it was pouring down with rain. The whistles from the fans were quite intimidating too, that was a really tough trip, but we won 2-1 and I scored both goals.
The hat trick you scored away at Villa Park in January 1984. Probably your best ever?
- Yes, I suppose in a way. A couple of mine against Everton are also quite standout but the game at Villa should have never been played. The game was live on TV and the pitch was rock hard but the hat trick I scored in that game probably stands out more than any other.
You scored 346 goals for Liverpool. What would you say was your best and what was your favourite?
- I don't have a favourite, every single one of them was as important as the other as my job was to score goals. Whether it was from a yard out or 20 yards out, I got the same feeling. It was my job to score goals, and that's what I did. Again, I don't have a particularly favourite game either.
Do you think the final the final against Roma was LFC's greatest performance?
- I suppose you could say that, in my time at least.  To go there and win was absolutely fantastic.
Is it true the players were singing Chris Rea's 'I don't know what it is but I love it' in the tunnel standing next to the Roma players?
- Yes it was, that's very true. Craig Johnston was the one that brought that in. Roma reacted as if they didn't know what was going on. We were playing a European Cup Final and they couldn't understand what was happening - I think it put them off a bit as well. It just goes to show the team spirit at the Club.
Michael Laudrup was a team mate of yours at Juventus. How good was he and do you still keep in touch with him?
- Michael is probably one of the most skilled players I've ever played with. He's a great person too and I was made up when he got the job at Swansea. I was disappointed when he left but I still keep in touch with him.

How close is Brendan Rodgers to getting the team back to the top, and what else do you think the team needs to get there?
- I think Brendan has done a great job. The most important part is getting the team spirit together, which he's done. By doing that he's done a brilliant job. His job is to continually improve the team and he's doing that all of the time.
Out of the current side, who would you most liked to have play with and why?
- For me, it would have to be Gerrard. Like Kenny, he is one of those players that would put through goals for you, which as a striker is what you need.
Ian Rush joins a whole host of Liverpool legends in playing in the 'Celebration of the 96' match at Anfield on April 21, with tickets, priced at £15 for adults and £5 for children. Tickets are available to buy online at www.liverpoolfc.com

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