On this day we have seen significant departures on June 3rd in previous years. There may have been more of course but the two I am going to mention were very significant. Also, although many of us did not think so at the time, the departures resulted in a positive end result. Looking at each of them in turn.
Significant Departures On June 3rd – Kevin Keegan
The first one to mention was the departure of club icon, Kevin Keegan, on 3rd June 1977. Although we all knew that the European Cup Final in Rome was to be Keegan’s last game, fans were still mourning his departure. He was such a big influence on how we played and such an important cog in the team.
Keegan had announced the previous summer that the 1976/77 was to be his last in a Liverpool shirt. So, his £500,000 transfer to German giants, Hamburg, wasn’t a big shock. But it still resonated in a negative way though. At first that is.
Many thought he was irreplaceable. Not quite panic stations, but fans were concerned. So, after 323 appearances and 100 goals, Keegan was off to try his luck in the Bundesliga.
But little did we know at the time that his departure would have such a positive impact on our fortunes.
Thinking back, it seemed highly unlikely that we could sign a replacement as good. And if we did, we would have to pay more than the £500k we received from Hamburg.
Not so as it happens. Fast forward to 10th August 1977 and Liverpool announce the signing of one Kenneth Mathieson Dalglish. And for less than we sold Keegan for. A fee of £440,000 was exchanged with Scottish giants, Celtic and Sir King Kenny was on his way.
The rest, as they say, is history.
Significant Departures On June 3rd – Rafa Benitez
Is it really 10 years since Rafa left us!!! How quickly has that time flown by. Again, Rafa’s departure was regretted by many. But also, like in Keegan’s case, his departure developed into a positive situation. Although not many saw it so at the time.
Rafa’s lasting legacy of course will be the victory in Istanbul to bring home “Number 5”
But, he made another telling contribution that many fans did not recognise at the time. But looking back, we can all see it now.
It was Rafa who started the ball rolling in ‘outing’ the “Gruesome Twosome” – Tom Hicks and George Gillett.
Rafa’s first public spat with Hicks and Gillett came a few hours after we lost the 2007 Champions League Final in Athens.
That started the descent into almost total oblivion. But, as we all know, FSG came in and rescued the day in October 2010. But, if it wasn’t for Rafa’s determination and going into battle with H&G, would we be in this position now? Maybe, maybe not. But, I think it is worth recognising that Rafa definitely started the ball rolling when he called out H&G on a more regular basis.
Another fine legacy to have at the club. Not as transparent and definitive as Istanbul maybe, but still a great legacy.
Thanks Rafa. And thanks to Keegan for all his great service.
There you go. A short blog post to get me back into the groove after an enforced absence for health reasons.
Two significant departures on 3rd June that both turned out to positive moves in the long run. Anyone know of any other significant departures on 3rd June?
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