Jump to content
tlw content
tlw content

Kop Tales In Their Own Words: Jimmy Case meets Graeme Souness

In the 1970s you needed to be tough to survive in the cauldron of a first division midfield battle, and Jimmy Case and Graeme Souness were two of the hardest midfield players in an era of hard men. 
Case was the Kopite who was plucked from the non-league scene and went on to live the dream of conquering Europe with his boyhood club, while Souness was the Scot carved from granite who struck fear into every opponent he crossed paths with. Together they were terrifying. 
Before they were team-mates, however, they were adversaries, and the pair had one infamous run in during a 1977 clash at Anfield between Case’s Liverpool and a Middlesbrough side led by Souness. 
In his 2015 autobiography, ‘Hard Case’, Jimmy gives his version of the events that went down that day.


“Here was a player I knew from bitter experience. We had played Boro the season before, straight after the St Etienne European tie. The St Etienne game had been a bruiser against a top team so come the Saturday at Anfield , we had a few guys nursing injuries and we were all, mental, knackered. The last thing we needed was another battle, especially in the FA Cup, but that’s what we got and Mr Souness was their chief warrior at that time. 
We won the game 2-0 and I remember picking up a Sunday newspaper the next day to see this big picture of me lying on my back on the turf, with my hands and knees up, and Graeme has his left hand round my throat and his right hand clenched, fist drawn back, ready to punch me in the face! 
It was the climax of a tough old afternoon, with plenty of tackles flying about. What happened was that Graeme had got the ball out near the touchline - my territory - and he was about to knock it up the line when I came in and got between him and the ball. He didn’t like that one bit, especially when I was doing everything I could to stop him getting it back, sticking my arse into him, spreading my shoulders and lifting my arms like a pair of bat’s wings. 
I was solid and he was trying to push me out of the way. All I could see out of the corner of my eye was Graeme looking over my shoulder to see where the ball was. It all happened so fast, but I’d had enough and, as I brought my arms up, I popped him on the nose with my elbow. It wasn’t a full-blown jab, just a little ‘hello’ really, but as anyone will tell you, it does smart a bit. 
Can’t say I blame Graeme for being a bit pissed off with me and that’s when he manhandled me to the floor and looked like giving me a right hander as I’m yelling, ‘Go on, punch me, and you’re f***ing off!!’. All good fun, really, and I got away with it because neither the ref nor the linesman were very close to the incident and they hadn’t seen my little indiscretion. 
But no-one held grudges. When Graeme joined Liverpool in January 1978, we just shook hands and nothing was said. Now we were on the same side and any differences had to be put behind us. Suddenly, Liverpool had a really potent force in the middle of the park. When you pooled the two strengths of his character and mine, the result was formidable. These days, Graeme and I get along famously, except when we are up against each other on the golf course. 
For me he was the complete central midfielder, a tremendous player and a great acquisition for the club. Liverpool have had more than their fair share of talented midfield players, but he was the most influential of all. He had the sort of presence that meant his team-mates instantly trusted him, while the opposition were instantly wary.”



Case and Souness together would help the Reds win two European Cups, two League Titles and a League Cup between 1978-81 before Case was sold, many would say prematurely, by Bob Paisley,
The man with the cannonball shot would go on to enjoy a long and impressive career with Brighton & Hove Albion and Southampton among others, before eventually retiring in 1995 at the grand old age of 42.

User Feedback

Recommended Comments

I preferred Case to Souness as a hard man because Case was less snidey with his aggression,mostly! Souness was the better player though,although Liverpool often played Jimmy on the right of midfield while he played a lot more central at Brighton and Southampton and was brilliant there too. 

  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Captain Turdseye said:

Every day’s a school day. I didn’t know that Souness had played for Middlesbrough. 

And I had that Nick Hancock compilation on VHS when I was a kid!

Began at Spurs as an apprentice too.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, Captain Turdseye said:

Every day’s a school day. I didn’t know that Souness had played for Middlesbrough. 

I remember Terry Mac telling a story of playing against Souness at Boro, Terry got the ball and went forward, got within range and Souness was saying "go on...hit it......" so he did, and it flew in.........

  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Add a comment...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...