Sunday 11 December 2016

Dan Hodges: Liverpool is my adored home-town club, but they are wrong to offer solidarity to guilty Suarez

Published 22/12/2011 | 15:14

Liverpool's Luis Suarez during the Barclays Premier League match at the DW Stadium, Wigan. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday December 21, 2011. See PA Story SOCCER Wigan. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. Maximum 45 images during a match. No video emulation or promotion as 'live'. No use in games, competitions, merchandise, betting or single club/player services. No use with unofficial audio, video, data, fixtures or club/league logos.
Liverpool's Luis Suarez during the Barclays Premier League match at the DW Stadium, Wigan. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday December 21, 2011. See PA Story SOCCER Wigan. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. Maximum 45 images during a match. No video emulation or promotion as 'live'. No use in games, competitions, merchandise, betting or single club/player services. No use with unofficial audio, video, data, fixtures or club/league logos.

WHAT I’d really like this Christmas is a signed photo of Tommy Smith. Smith is not a household name outside of his native Liverpool. But within the city of his birth he is a legend.

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Tommy Smith scored the greatest goal ever scored by the nation’s greatest football team. On a sweltering night in Rome in 1977, Liverpool were locked in a desperate struggle with German side Borussia Monchengladbach. The winner would be crowned champions of Europe, but the momentum of the match was shifting away from the Merseysiders. An early goal had been cancelled out, and only a defiant save by England goalkeeper Ray Clemence managed to keep Liverpool on terms.



Then, in the 64th minute, Liverpool won a corner. Steve Highway, the languid number nine, floated the ball in from the left, Smith attacked it, arriving just ahead of two fatally distracted Borussia defenders, and a header bulleted into the top corner of the net. A late penalty sealed the victory, but it was Smith’s goal that had won the game and set his team on course for a period of unprecedented domestic and European dominance.

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