In the summer of 2017 we decided on the four founding members of the TLW Hall of Fame and then added four more inductees as the ‘Class of 2017’. Another four went in a year later and so on. Every summer four more legends will be inducted. However, we need your help to do it.
HOW IT WORKS
The voting panel consists of representatives from TLW, the media, the former players association and also a popular fan vote, which is where YOU come in, by voting below.
Each year there will be a group of ten nominees, from which four will be voted in. The six who don’t get in will remain on the ballot for the following year and beyond, until they are eventually selected. Those voted in will be replaced by four new names for the following year.
In 2017 Ian Rush, John Barnes, Billy Liddell and Ian Callaghan were voted in to join the four founding members; Bill Shankly Bob Paisley, Kenny Dalglish and Steven Gerrard. 2018 saw Emlyn Hughes, Roger Hunt, Alan Hansen and Graeme Souness selected, while in 2019 five players made it in after Jamie Carragher, Phil Neal and Kevin Keegan were joined by Phil Thompson and Ian St John following a dead heat.
There will be a separate category for managers & coaches (with one inductee every four years), but for now we’re just concentrating on the players.
There was no vote in 2020 or 2021 but rather than skip those years we're just going to resume from where we left off, so although it's 2022 you'll be voting on the "Class of 2020" and we'll do 2021 in a few months and then 2022 soon after so we're all back on track for 2023.
The five remaining candidates who did not get in last time will now be joined by five new nominees this year. The new five are Ray Kennedy, Sami Hyypia, Ron Yeats, Chris Lawler and Ronnie Whelan.
As explained in previous years, it was not just a case of picking the ten greatest players available, which in itself would also have been incredibly difficult. Other factors come into it, although only great players will be considered. For example, few would claim that Phil Neal was one of Liverpool’s ten most talented players of all time, but nobody can match his medal haul or achievements so therefore he's in
We also felt that it was important to have a mix of players from across several eras rather than just selecting the greats of the 70s and 80s. For example, none of us saw Elisha Scott play but excluding him on that basis wouldn't be right. His career record speaks for itself. Some have missed out so far as a result of the decision to spread it across all eras, but over the coming years they’ll all be added to the mix, usually when someone from their generation (or playing position) has just been voted in. For example, Jamie Carragher went in last time so will be replaced by Sami Hyypia in this year's list. Ray Clemence will go on the ballot when Scott is eventually voted in.
We would really appreciate your support and participation, both in terms of voting and spreading the word by telling your friends and sharing on social media.
So without further ado, here are this year's nominees...
The most natural goalscorer to pull on the famous red shirt. Toxteth born Fowler burst onto the scene as an 18 year old and for the next few seasons took English football by storm, becoming the quickest Liverpool striker to reach 100 goals when he achieved the milestone in only his 165th game.
A succession of injuries prevented him from sustaining that blistering form, but Robbie sits 36th in the all time appearances list and in two spells with the club he amassed 183 goals. Unquestionably one of the most loved players in club history.
Regarded by many fans as the club's best ever full back, Nicol enjoyed a stellar 13 year career at Anfield where he excelled in a variety of positions.
He took over from the ageing Phil Neal at right back during the 1985/86 season and helped the Reds win the league and FA Cup double, but it was on the opposite flank where he enjoyed his best form, combining with John Barnes to wreak havoc during the 1987/88 season when he was named Player of the Year by the football writers.
The scorer of one of the most iconic goals in club history when he headed in at the Anfield Road end in a 7-0 win over Spurs in 1987. Terry Mac was a local lad who had to make his name elsewhere before getting his chance to shine with the Reds.
He started at Bury and moved to Newcastle, where he was part of the side that lost to Liverpool in the 1974 FA Cup final. A few months later he was signed by Bob Paisley. He won five league titles, three European Cups and a host of other trophies, as well as being named PFA and Football Writers Player of the Year in 1979/80.
The Ulsterman joined Liverpool in 1912 and left in 1934, meaning he was between the sticks for an incredible 22 years.
In that time he won two league titles but, more importantly, he captured the hearts of those on the Kop. Scott was idolised by the fans, so much so that when the club attempted to sell him (to Everton!) it was the reaction of the supporters that forced them into changing their mind. Legendary Everton striker Dixie Dean described him as the best keeper in the world, and a fan poll in 1939 saw him voted Liverpool's greatest ever player.
The Anfield Iron. The man who according to Shanks "was not born, he was quarried". Smith was the hardest man in an era of hard men but he was also a terrific footballer who excelled in a number of positions.
He made his debut in 1963 and his final appearance came 15 years later. In that time he won everything there was to win, with his finest hour coming in Rome in 1977 when he found the net with a thumping header in the European Cup Final. Tommy played 638 times for the club and paid a heavy price for that in later life with numerous ailments including severe arthritis and dementia. He passed away in 2019, aged 74.
The man for whom the expression "actions speak louder than words" could have been created for. The Silent Night. The Ghost.
Chris Lawler sits in 42nd place in Liverpool's all time leading goalscorers list even though he was a right back. He didn't take penalties. He didn't take free-kicks. He just used to sneak into the box unnoticed and get on the end of things. A great defender with the ability to finish like a striker, Lawler amassed an incredible 61 goals for the Reds. He also sits 11th on the total appearances list and he is perhaps the most under-rated legend in Anfield history.
One of the most stylish, graceful footballers to ever pull on the famous Red shirt, Ray Kennedy was your favourite player's favourite player. Admired and respected by everybody, Kennedy joined the club on the day Bill Shankly retired.
He'd made his name as a striker at Arsenal but his Liverpool career didn't really take off until Bob Paisley converted him into a left sided midfielder. The rest is history. Ray currently sits in 29th spot on the all time appearances list (having played 393 games) and 33rd on the leading goalscorers chart with 72 strikes. Kennedy was one of those players who could be described as being ahead of his time and could have thrived in any era. Sadly Ray's later years were plagued by Parkinson's disease and he passed away in 2021.
The Colossus. It was the arrival of Yeats and fellow Scot Ian St John that really kick started the Bill Shankly era at Anfield. Those two were the catalyst as the team won promotion to the top flight and wrote a new, glorious chapter in the history of the club.
Yeats was not a man to be trifled with and prior to becoming a footballer he worked in a slaughterhouse. During a 10 year stint with the club he captained the side to three trophies and also made valuable contributions when his playing career ended when he was brought back to the club as a scout by Kenny Dalglish. Unquestionably one of the all time great LFC players.
The giant Finn was a modern day Colossus so it's ironic that it was the original 'Colossus' who discovered him and urged Gerard Houllier to sign him as the solution to Liverpool's defensive weakness.
Hyypia was an unknown when he arrived from Willem II in Holland but it was clear from day one that he was much better than anyone realised. Big Sami forged a formidable pairing with his partner in crime Stephane Henchoz, and would later form an equally effective duo with Jamie Carragher. He wasn't the quickest but he read the game like few others, he was dominant in the air and he could play. Sami also had a knack of scoring important goals and he enjoyed a stellar career at Anfield spanning a decade.
Under-appreciated in his time but history has been kind to Ronnie Whelan. Bixarrely, he was often the whipping boy of the Kop during Liverpool's dominance throughout the 80s but the Irishman is well and truly regarded as one of the greats now.
Coming into the side as a young right footer and being asked to follow in the huge footsteps of legendary figures such as Ray Kennedy and Steve Heighway can't have been easy, but Whelan put his own stamp on the position. He didn't play the way they did but he was hugely effective and had an uncanny knack of cutting inside and bending the ball into the top corner in the biggest of games. After the arrival of John Barnes, Whelan re-invented himself in central midfield and became a key member of what was (and in the eyes of some still is) the greatest side in the club's history.