Think of the name Waddle in a footballing context and you think of Chris of Newcastle, Tottenham and inability to say the word ‘penalty’ properly fame. But Alan, his cousin, was a Liverpool signing from Halifax in June 1973.
It would be interesting to see the reaction of forumites if we signed someone from Halifax today but the team in which Waddle played had been signed from the lower reaches of the Football League and had established themselves very effectively in the first team.
Liverpool went into this game as defending champions but suffering from injury problems and, although second in the table, a long way behind leaders and eventual champions, Leeds. Everton were doing much better than in recent seasons and lay fifth, just two points behind us.
Liverpool’s injury problems got worse after a few minutes when Kevin Keegan was crocked following an appalling tackle by Dave Clements (think Mirallas on Suarez but worse). Needless to say, Clement wasn’t sent off and Keegan struggled on until being subbed just beforehalf-time.
Deprived of their attacking talisman, the Reds had struggled throughout the first half to pose any threat and their struggles continued in the second half. Mick Lyons, a prototype for the ‘Once a Blue, always a Blue shtick) seemed to have opened the scoring but much to the astonishment of all, the referee ruled it out for some mysterious offence.
Seeing your closest rivals having a goal wrongly ruled outmust be one of the greatest pleasures of watching football, only surpassed by seeing your own team score an undeserved winner moments later.
Alan Waddle took advantage of a misunderstanding in the Blues defence to score his only goal in a Red shirt, and in front of the Gwladys Street, too. Phil Thompson reminded them of the score, but used one more finger than he should have. Needless to say, the moral majority in the Gwladys Street, who live such sheltered lives, got on their high horses and Thommo was forced to apologise after the game.
All in all, a deeply satisfying win, probably undeserved on the balance of play, but all the sweeter for that.
Liverpool: Clemence; Smith, Lloyd, Hughes, Lindsay; Thompson, Callaghan, Cormack; Keegan (Hall 42), Waddle, Boersma.