Q&A: Tony Barrett
Describe your greatest Liverpool FC moment between 1985 and 2005.
It’s impossible to see past the 2005 Champions League final in Istanbul. I honestly believe that Liverpool will struggle to match the wondrous events of that night for as long as they exist. That’s how utterly incredible it was.
Describe your worst.
Hillsborough. 96 people went to a football match and didn’t come home. A wholly preventable tragedy made worse by the disgraceful cover up which followed it.
What was the greatest Liverpool goal scored during that period? Why?
John Barnes’ second goal in the 4-0 win over QPR at Anfield in the 1987/88 season. Usually I go for team goals over individual efforts but this was so special that I can’t look beyond it. At the time, Barnes was one of the best players in the world and was certainly the best winger. This goal showcased all of the individual components that made him great – the ball control, the balance, the burst of pace and the ability to finish.
What was the greatest game?
Sorry to be predictable but it would have to be Istanbul again. If it’s the greatest ever Champions League final, which it is, and it left a lasting impression on world football, which it did, then it deserves to be regarded as the greatest game.
Who was the greatest player?
Of that era it would probably be John Barnes, just ahead of Steven Gerrard. If a few years were added on I think Gerrard would nick it though.
And who was the greatest manager?
Kenny Dalglish. To win Liverpool’s first ever double and then follow that achievement up by producing arguably the club’s best ever team (in 87/88) marks him out as a managerial great.
Describe how it was to be a Liverpool fan during that period.
A strange mix to be honest. There were the obvious highs of the title wins in 1986, 1988 and 1990, the treble win of 2001 and the Champions League win of 2005. But there have also been some real lows, like the lengthy wait for a league title and the Souness years. That’s without even mentioning the horrific events at Heysel and Hillsborough.
Can Liverpool ever regain its place among Europe’s elite?
They can but there is no real evidence at present that they will. In terms of fan base, history and achievement, Liverpool are still part of the elite. But on the pitch, the place where it really matters, they are as far away from it as they have been for many years and we’re yet to see any indications that an upturn in fortunes is imminent.