David Fairclough, or ‘Super sub’, renowned for his memorable scoring exploits after stepping off the bench. The label is one Fairclough never relished but has learned to live with as he reflects on his massive medal haul.
The flame-haired Liverpool-born raider joined the club during the Bill Shankly era but exploded onto the big stage during Bob Paisley’s management reign. During his debut season of 1975-76 he hit seven goals in 14 League appearances – nine of them as substitute – to help take the title.
Fairclough’s pace and shooting power, which brought him 55 goals, tested the finest defences. His most famous strike came in March 1977 when, with time running out, he went on and scored the winner against crack French side St Etienne in the European Cup quarter final second leg.
Fairclough’s own favourite goal also came as a substitute at Anfield a year earlier when he beat six Everton defenders before firing past goalkeeper Dai Davies to win the Mersey derby. Yet despite his reputation Fairclough’s 61 stints as a substitute were eclipsed by his 92 Liverpool starts. He joined Swiss club Lucerne in 1983, the first of a batch of clubs at home and abroad.