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Steve Heighway profile image
 
 

Steve often took the "highway" up the left wing, riding tackles, showing perfect ball-control at breakneck speed and delivering great passes.

He was one of the greatest entertainers who has ever graced the Liverpool shirt. Dublin-born Heighway was spotted playing for non-league Skelmersdale United and signed for Liverpool in May 1970 when he was 22 years old.

Like his team-mate Brian Hall, Steve was a University graduate, with a degree in Economics, and therefore had a very different background to most professional sportsmen of the time. The club had a fairly settled side at the start of the 1970-71 season as Bill Shankly continued his rebuilding programme in the wake of the dreadful FA cup defeat at Second Division Watford at the start of the decade, but a freak accident in the home match with Chelsea early in October was the start of a long run of success for Heighway as a Liverpool player.

Bobby Graham's broken leg, which effectively ended his Liverpool career, saw Steve replace him from the substitute's bench and when the starting line-up for the next league match, away to Tottenham, was announced, his long run in the side would start for good. 

He had an unorthodox style and that and his pace caused many a problem for defenders during his debut season. He turned in one of the most memorable 'derby' matches in history in November 1970 when, with Liverpool two goals down to the defending champions at Anfield, he received the ball out on the left-wing after a raking pass from Tommy Smith. Side-stepping John Hurst's attempt to cut him in half, he made his way into the penalty-area and, with everyone expecting a cross, squeezed the ball past Andy Rankin at the near post.

Seven minutes later his pin-point cross from the left landed on John Toshack's head and Liverpool were level. Chris Lawler scored the winner for the Reds a few minutes from time.

Shankly's young side reached the FA cup final that season and Steve scored a similar goal past Bob Wilson but despite taking the lead, Liverpool suffered the heartbreak of an extra-time defeat to Arsenal. Like a number of his colleagues that day, Steve would return to Wembley three years later as a winner and again he scored (this time against Newcastle).

By then he was an established and important member of the side and had many caps as a regular international with the Republic of Ireland to add to the championship and UEFA cup medals he had won with Liverpool in 1973. 

Steve was never a prolific scorer, the highest number of goals he managed in a league season was the nine he got in 1974-75, but he created numerous openings for players like Keegan and Toshack and later on for the likes of Dalglish, Johnson and Fairclough.

Heighway added another UEFA Cup winners' medal in 1976 before being part of the team that won the greatest prize of all in Rome in 1977. He added a second European cup winners' medal a year later when he came on for Jimmy Case against Bruges at Wembley. He couldn't be absolutely sure of his place after that but still made 28 league appearances in 1978-79 as he collected the fourth of his First Division championship medals. He was hardly called on at all during the next two years and made a decision to leave England and try his luck with Minnesota in the United States after playing 475 first-team matches in all competitions for Liverpool.

Eventually he returned to England and although his playing-career was at an end, the years of good service he had given Liverpool had not gone unnoticed and he became an employee of the club again, taking over the responsibility of Liverpool's youth Academy.

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  • 1 year later...

https://www.liverpoolfc.com/news/steve-heighway-retires-lfc-coaching-role?fbclid=IwAR2XSzDPkFlmxo31dX9JU1wbsCR4TPqxB3JrOrsg0AWoFUa5-iQwiVtZJVo

Steve Heighway has announced his retirement from his coaching role with the Liverpool FC Academy at the age of 75.

 

The Reds legend, who made 475 appearances, scored 76 goals and won a host of major honours – including multiple league titles and European Cups – during his playing career at Anfield, returned to the Kirkby youth base at the beginning of 2015.

Having initially taken up a part-time position at the request of Academy manager Alex Inglethorpe, later that year Heighway was appointed as a full-time consultant.

Heighway had previously served as LFC’s head of youth development for a remarkable 18 years, guiding the likes of Jamie Carragher, Robbie Fowler, Steven Gerrard and Michael Owen into the first team, before initially retiring in 2007.

“Steve has decided it is the right time to retire from his coaching role at the club,” Inglethorpe told Liverpoolfc.com.

“Steve has not only enjoyed a successful playing career at the club, but also an incredible coaching career lasting over 40 years, in which he has overseen the development of some of the most iconic players to have played for Liverpool Football Club.

“Whilst Steve may no longer be putting on his boots to work on the grass, he will still be at the Academy to watch games and share his expertise and wisdom for those fortunate to be in his company.

“I would like to lead the thanks to Steve for the time and guidance that he has given to not only myself but to all of us at the Academy over the last seven years.”

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