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Ian James Rush (1961)

Ian James Rush (20 October 1961), as 'Welshman', took the winning goal remarkably often during his international career. Pure striker with a distinctive mustache.

Goalgetter Rush started his professional football career in 1978 in England at Chester City. That club was playing in one of the lower series at that time. In his second season, Rush played 33 games for Chester City and scored fourteen goals. This did not go unnoticed and it earned him a transfer to Liverpool FC.

At first he hardly played at that big club from Liverpool, but in his second season he immediately conquered a starting place. Rush became one of Liverpool's most important players, winning trophy after trophy with the club. In 1981 and 1984 he won the European Cup I. Rush not only took titles with Liverpool, but also won many awards himself. In 1984 he won the Soulier d'Or as the European top scorer of the season. Liverpool with Rush in the ranks is the club that ruled football in the 80s of the 20th century.

Rush could leave for any club in England if he wanted to, but chose the Italian Juventus in 1987. Liverpool got £ 3.2 million for their star player. At Juventus, Ian Rush had enough chances to play but failed to score like in Liverpool. In his first season for Juventus, he scored seven times. It would also immediately be his last season, because in 1988 Rush already decided to return to FC Liverpool. Juventus only got £ 2.7 million for Rush's return to England.

In Liverpool, the Welsh man was welcomed with open arms. Rush immediately conquered his starting place in the first team and soon found his 'tor instinct' back. Ultimately, the goal machine Rush continued to play at Liverpool until 1996.

Then the attacker, who was at an end of contract with Liverpool, went to Leeds United for free. There he also became a defining player in the first team, but he couldn't score there like he did with Liverpool. Only three times did he find his way to goal at Leeds. At the time, Rush was already 36 years old and knew he was no longer among the absolute top. He therefore decided to wind down his career, in beauty, and moved to Sheffield United in 1997.

He hardly played at Sheffield and also did not score and this club also played in the English Second Division. Still, Rush was able to move to Newcastle United in 1998. Rush played ten games but again did not score a single time. A year later, the now 38-year-old striker decided to put an end to his career as a football player.

Ian Rush capped 73 times for Wales, scoring 28 goals in the period 1980-1996. He made his debut for the national team on Wednesday 21 May 1980 in the away game against Scotland (1-0) when he came in for Ian Walsh of Crystal Palace FC after fifteen minutes. His 73rd and last international match followed on Wednesday January 24, 1996 in the exhibition game against Italy (3-0). Rush took the winning goal remarkably often during his international career.

(Photo: Wikipedia)

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