EPL

Liverpool great Heighway retires at 75 as Carragher leads tributes to mentor to Reds stars

By Sports Desk December 01, 2022

Liverpool favourite Steve Heighway has called time on his Reds career at the age of 75, with Jamie Carragher hailing him as "a huge influence".

Former winger Heighway has spent 25 years working at the club's academy, across two spells, and Liverpool announced he has decided to retire.

Heighway played for Liverpool from 1970 to 1981, winning a string of league titles and two European Cups with the Reds, while scoring 76 goals in 475 games.

His youth coaching role proved hugely significant too, with Heighway helping to nurture talents such as Robbie Fowler, Steven Gerrard, Michael Owen and Carragher.

He was head of youth development from 1989 to 2007 before initially retiring, but Heighway returned to the club as a full-time consultant in 2015, after being invited back by academy boss Alex Inglethorpe.

That saw him work closely with Inglethorpe with a view to bringing through youngsters capable of challenging for places in Jurgen Klopp's first-team squad.

Carragher, who made 737 appearances for Liverpool, was quick to thank Heighway on Thursday.

He wrote on Twitter: "What a contribution from Steve Heighway @LFC as a player who won Leagues & European cups.

"Then heading up an academy that produced McManaman, Fowler, Owen, Gerrard……amongst a few others!

"A huge influence on me as a young player and still to this day. Thank you Steve."

Inglethorpe told Liverpool's website: "Steve has decided it is the right time to retire from his coaching role at the club."

He described Heighway overseeing "the development of some of the most iconic players to have played for Liverpool Football Club".

Related items

  • Like father, like son – Liverpool’s youngsters now making a name for themselves Like father, like son – Liverpool’s youngsters now making a name for themselves

    Liverpool’s youngsters have had a significant week in the spotlight, helping beat Chelsea in the Carabao Cup final on Sunday before setting up an FA Cup quarter-final trip to Manchester United after victory over Southampton.

    Three of them – Bobby Clark, Jayden Danns and Lewis Koumas – are following in their former professional footballer fathers’ footsteps.

    Here, the PA news agency looks at the fresh faces who have taken their opportunity to shine at Anfield.

    Bobby Clark

    Given a handful of opportunities in recent weeks, the 19-year-old is an attacking midfielder. The son of former Newcastle midfielder Lee Clark, he joined the club from the Magpies in 2021 and signed a long-term contract last December.

    Jayden Danns

    An 18-year-old forward, son of the much-travelled former Colchester, Crystal Palace and Bolton midfielder Neil Danns, only made his first-team debut as an 89th-minute substitute in the 4-1 win over Luton last Wednesday. A week later he came off the bench to score twice against Southampton.

    Lewis Koumas

    Koumas, the son of former Wales international Jason Koumas, joined the club as a 10-year-old from one of his dad’s former clubs Tranmere and only signed his first professional contract last month. He enjoyed a dream debut as, picked in the starting line-up, he scored the opening goal against Southampton.

    Conor Bradley

    A relatively familiar name among the group having been given an opportunity in the second half of the campaign in the absence of Trent Alexander-Arnold. The Northern Irish right-back, 20, who spent last season on loan at Bolton, has shown promise for his attacking and defensive qualities.

    James McConnell

    The 19-year-old midfielder has featured a handful of times off the bench after making his debut against Toulouse in the Europa League in October. Joined Liverpool as an Under-15s player after catching the eye at Sunderland.

    Jarell Quansah

    Warrington-born defender who has established himself in the first-team squad this season. The 21-year-old, who had a loan spell with Bristol Rovers last term, is a ball-playing centre-half who has come through the ranks at Liverpool after joining them at the age of five.

    Trey Nyoni

    Nyoni spent 10 years at Leicester’s academy before joining Liverpool in September. The England Under-16 international’s rapid rise saw him come off the bench against Southampton to become the club’s youngest player to feature in the FA Cup at 16 years and 243 days and third-youngest in Liverpool’s history.

  • Virgil van Dijk’s advice to young Reds: ‘Soak it in and don’t get carried away’ Virgil van Dijk’s advice to young Reds: ‘Soak it in and don’t get carried away’

    Liverpool captain Virgil van Dijk had advised the club’s emerging young stars to keep their feet on the ground – as he will be keeping an eye on them.

    Eighteen-year-olds Jayden Danns and Lewis Koumas, sons of former Premier League professionals Neil and Jason, scored the goals which beat Southampton 3-0 to set up an FA Cup quarter-final at Manchester United.

    The last week has seen academy players thrust into the spotlight with an injury crisis denying Jurgen Klopp the services of 13 first-team players – with Andy Robertson’s illness briefly adding to the issues – and after impressing in the Carabao Cup final win over Chelsea they were central figures against Saints.

    Danns came off the bench to score twice in only his third appearance, all coming in the space of eight days, while Koumas was making his debut when he scored the opener.

    Klopp cautioned about putting too much expectation on the teenagers and Van Dijk said the next step in their development was to build on their early breakthroughs.

    “It was a big night for all of them and they should really take it in and enjoy it and see it as a start and really use it in every way,” said the 32-year-old defender, who admitted he felt old when “half my age” Trey Nyoni came off the bench.

    “They all have quality and all can play good football but it is about showing your quality and it’s a start.

    “For example, Trey at 16 years old, it is incredible. There will be so many ups and downs coming for him but he has to take it in as players (are) maybe coming back in the next weeks and months and it could be difficult for him (to get in the squad).

    “He has to keep pushing and the same for the rest of the young boys. That should be the mentality and I am sure they will do that.

    “In my career I’ve seen players who make their debuts after coming through the ranks and then disappear.

    “Even learning from being around the first team is massive and you should soak it all in and don’t get carried away.

    “They have to keep improving, keep working; staying humble is a very important thing but we have a great culture and I’m definitely one of the guys to make sure they keep doing that.”

    To produce such a result with injuries biting hard, just three days after a gruelling 120 minutes at Wembley, was testament to the determination of the youngsters and the endurance of the senior players still able to turn out.

    Van Dijk played only the first half as Klopp agreed a pre-match plan for him to be replaced by Ibrahima Konate after his influential performance against Chelsea.

     

    View this post on Instagram

    A post shared by Virgil van Dijk (@virgilvandijk)

    And the Dutchman revealed one of the perks of being captain was that he got to take the trophy home on their arrival back on Merseyside.

     

    “I wanted to show my kids in person, close up,” he said.

    “I put it on the kitchen counter when I came home and left it there. I’ve got four kids and they were so happy to see it and then I took it back to training the next day so everyone could take a picture with it at the AXA (training centre) as they have all played their part in the success we have had and they deserve to be holding the trophy.”

  • Liverpool announce £9m loss for 2022-23 season Liverpool announce £9m loss for 2022-23 season

    Liverpool made a pre-tax loss of £9million last season as increased commercial income did not offset a drop in money made from media and matchday revenues.

    The previous 12 months had produced a small profit of £7.5m.

    Liverpool’s biggest income stream in 2022-23 was the £272million, up £25m, generated from off-field income but a last-16 Champions League exit a year after reaching the final meant television money dropped by £19m to £242m.

    Matchday revenue also fell by £7m due to fewer games being played across last season after the previous campaign when the club played in every fixture – a total of 63 – they were eligible for, winning both domestic cups and reaching the Champions League final.

    While overall revenue remained the same at £594m, increasing costs are cutting into the balance sheet with staff expenses having increased 79 per cent since 2018, up from £208m six years ago to £373m for the year ending May 2023.

    The wage bill in this period alone rose £7m to £373m.

    Administrative expenses for that same period have increased by 70 percent from £320m to £562m, while utility costs have doubled from two years ago while rising inflation has driven up other costs.

    “Operating this great club in a financially sustainable manner and in accordance with football’s governing principles has been our priority since FSG (Fenway Sports Group) acquired LFC in 2010,” said managing director Andy Hughes.

    “Despite the significant growing costs of football, the success of our commercial operations demonstrates the strength of our underlying financial position so we can continue to operate sustainably while competing at the highest levels of football.

    “While these financial results are a moment in time on our journey, what remains constant is the growing global appeal of the club and, thanks to our amazing support, LFC continues to be the most globally followed club in the Premier League.”

    Matchday revenue will increase after the new Anfield Road stand was fully opened earlier this month, taking Anfield’s attendance to 61,000.

    “Matchday revenue is a hugely important part of our overall financial sustainability model,” added Hughes.

    During the reporting period Liverpool signed Darwin Nunez, Cody Gakpo, Calvin Ramsay and youth team goalkeeper Kornel Misciur for a combined initial fee of £105m but offloaded Sadio Mane, Divock Origi, Takumi Minamino and Neco Williams.

    There were also significant contract renewals for Mohamed Salah – who became the highest earner in the club’s history with a reported £300,000-a-week deal – Joe Gomez, Harvey Elliott, Curtis Jones, Jarell Quansah, Stefan Bajcetic and Ben Doak.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.