Chris Lawler joined his Liverpool when he turned 17 in October 1960 and made his debut at the age of 19 in a 2-2 league draw with West Bromwich Albion at Anfield on the...Read More
Chris Lawler joined his Liverpool when he turned 17 in October 1960 and made his debut at the age of 19 in a 2-2 league draw with West Bromwich Albion at Anfield on the 20 March 1963. For two seasons his progression into first team regular was gradual playing just 6 matches in each of the seasons, but by 1965 he was the first choice right back, he also scored the first of his many goals, for a right-back, during this season in the 5-1 thrashing of Burnley at Turf Moor on the 5 December 1964, Lawler’s timing and anticipation of turning up in the right place at the right time to score vital goals earned him the nickname ‘The Silent Knight’. The 1964/65 season culminated in him being selected in the team which beat Leeds United in the FA Cup final at Wembley, earning the trophy for the club for the first time in its history.
His name was pretty much first on manager Bill Shankly's team-sheet thereafter, missing just three games in the next seven seasons. During this period, he helped the Reds win the League championship in 1966 again beating Leeds into second spot by 6 clear points, 3 wins in the old 2 points for a win system. Unfortunately this was followed by the taste of disappointment as Liverpool were beaten 2-1 by Borussia Dortmund in the Cup Winners Cup at Hampden Park,Glasgow, the Reds first ever appearance in a European final
Lawler survived Shankly's massive cull of 1970 which saw a large proportion of the 1960s older stars shipped out and replaced with younger talent. Only Emlyn Hughes, Ian Callaghan and Tommy Smith similarly survived this fate.
He again tasted the disappointment of defeat when he played in the 1971 FA Cup final defeat to Arsenal, but that was all put behind him when Liverpool earned a League title and UEFA Cup double in 1973, The Reds beat Arsenal by 3 points in the league and fought off a fightback by Borussia Mönchengladbach after The Reds had won the first leg 3-0 at Anfield Gladbach fell just short winning the 2nd leg 2-0 thus Liverpool gaining a 3-2 aggregate victory
It was during this period he won his four England caps, it was a goal-scoring debut too, it came in the 5-0 thumping of Malta in a UEFA European Football Championship quailifier at Wembley on the 12 May 1971.
Shankly's sudden departure in the summer of 1974 also heralded pretty much the end of Lawler's distinguished Liverpool career. New manager Bob Paisley purchased specialist right back Phil Neal from Northampton Town at the end of the year and Lawler featured only sporadically, making his final Liverpool appearance came against Hibernian in a UEFA Cup tie on the 17 September 1975, he joined Portsmouth in October ‘75, who were managed by former Liverpool team-mate Ian St John. Lawler later joined Stockport County in 1978, he also played for Welsh League side Bangor City. In 1976, he played the summer on loan to the Miami Toros of the North American Soccer League. In 1980 - 1981 Chris Lawler played and coached second level club Raufoss I.L. in the Norwegian league system.
Lawler became a coach at Liverpool FC after his playing days were over until he was acrimoniously released of his duties in 1986. Rumours about something involving his release and the man who replaced him - Phil Thompson surfaced at the time. Lawler has kept a low profile since then, though has done some work for Liverpool, scouting for players. He also works in Skelmersdale, coaching young children.Read Less
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