Liverpool Lore: A focus on Liverpool's all-time leading scorer, Ian Rush

There are few players during his time that could match the natural goalscoring exploits of Ian Rush at Liverpool.
Ian Rush
Ian Rush / Getty Images/GettyImages

We have made it through another week! It's Friday which means we are back with another edition of Liverpool Lore. Today's focus is going to be on a quite familiar name to even the most causal Liverpool fans, Ian rush.

Throughout my time doing this series, the players I have covered have ranged from legitimate club legends to a cult hero during their time in Red and everything in between.

However, Rush might very well be in a special class of his own. Let's take a look back at his journey with Liverpool.

His talent was evident from the beginning

Born in northeast-Wales, Rush wasted little time showcasing his soon to be world class talents for the world. Liverpool were among some huge English clubs to scout him when he was just 13 but he would eventually choose to play for Chester.

Following his stint with Chester that introduced him to professional football, Bob Paisley sanctioned a £300,000 for the then 19-year old Rush to sign with Liverpool.

He made his Reds debut in 1980 as a substitute coming on for one Kenny Dalglish. Talk about a serendipity moment, eh? Two icons at very different times in their careers.

His first senior team goal would not come until a year later in 1981 when he scored against Finnish side Oulu Palloseura. It was from that point on that Rush would announce himself on the biggest stage and never look back.

The 1981/82 season would see him net 30 times to go with 8 assists from 49 games played in all competitions.

Liverpool 1982 League Cup Wwinners / Getty Images/GettyImages

He was one of the scorers in Liverpool's 3-1 League Cup Final triumph over Tottenham to cap a sensational breakthrough campaign. There were few players at this time that had his natural instincts around the goal.

Cementing his status as one of the world's best

Rush did not rest on his laurels in the 1982/83 season which saw him bang in another 31 goals as he solidified his status as one of the best forwards in world football.

His strike partnership with Dalglish was something that no defense in the world could handle as both players had a connection that few attacking duos can get. Rush had a super first step which would have him two steps ahead of the defender before they recognized the danger they were in.

It was another domestic double for Liverpool in that season as they had become one of the most fearsome sides in Europe.

Rush would improbably take his game to yet another level from there. 47 goals and 14 assists came in 1983/84. Yes, 61 goal contributions from 65 matches, that is FIFA video game stuff. Mind you, in the eighties, this was unheard of as well.

He would score in the European Cup semifinals and was one of the Reds to convert their penalty in the shootout in the Final.

Ian Rush
Ian Rush / Getty Images/GettyImages

He had now taken his elite forward game to the continent and there was no looking back. Rush would later say that summer he was tempted to leave Liverpool for Napoli but the club stamped out that idea and the Naples side would instead turn to one Diego Maradona.

Goals and trophies and more goals

Another stellar campaign in the 1985/86 season saw Rush lead Liverpool to yet more silverware.

However, the Heysel tragedy of 1985 meant the Reds would receive a European ban which at the time was a crippling financial punishment for the top clubs.

Juventus agreed to a then record £3.2 million for Rushie to join them, although he would do it the following year, Naby Keita style. There was no hangover effect as Rush smashed home 35 goals in his final season before heading to Turin.

His one season in Italy was a mixed bag as he scored some fine goals and played well enough, but it was clear his high-octane style was not a fit for the Italian game.

Like that, he was back at Anfield after one season away. Just the way Liverpool drew it up, eh?

His second act with Liverpool was marred by some injuries but his scoring instincts never went away. He scored a clutch brace in the FA Cup final to overcome Everton. His prowess against the Toffees in his career alone is enough to warrant legend status as he scored 25 goals against them in his time.

Setting records in Red

A pair of 26-goal seasons took Rush into the early nineties and he finally reached the summit of Liverpool goal scorers in October 1992. Fittingly, his record breaking 287th goal came against Manchester United.

Rush had surpassed the legendary Roger Hunt to be Liverpool's All-time leading scorer, a record he still holds today.

What makes a good forward even beyond their own personal accolades is an ability to play with different types of players. We mentioned his dynamic pairing with Dalglish, but this new era at Liverpool saw "The Ghost" partner "God", Robbie Fowler.

As he entered deep into his thirties, it was clear the Reds attack was in safe hands with Fowler and Stan Collymore.

Rush would play his final game for Liverpool in 1996 against Manchester United, a 1-0 defeat for Liverpool.

Ian Rush made an absurd 660 appearances for Liverpool and scored 346 goals in those games. He is widely considered one of the best forwards of his generation and his all-time record is very safe for the time being.

He won 14 trophies as a Liverpool player during both his stints with the club and his knack for scoring in the big games only amplifies his mystique.

At a club with an impressive lineage of forwards, Rush ranks right at the top.