The game against Fulham this month offered up an opportunity for Anfield and the fans to express their thanks and pay tribute to one of the finest ambassadors to have worn the glittering red rouge of Liverpool Football Club.
Liverpool legend Brian Hall picked up an award from Ian Ayre, retiring upon completion of 28 years service to the Reds as both player and head of public relations.
The Glasweigan didn’t fit the stereotype and wasn’t an average footballer. As a fresh faced student he arrived in Liverpool to read Mathematics and three years later had graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree.
His astute and studious nature and characteristics were reflected in the way he played the game at the heart of Bill Shankly's red revolution.
Diminutive in stature, Hall provided the energy and drive in the Liverpool engine room. Coupled with the dynamism was a calming influence on his fellow players as well as intelligent reading of games. It was enough to catch the attention of Shankly who earmarked Hall for a role amongst his stable of thoroughbreds.
After a debut in April 1969, Hall's big break had to wait two years, replacing the injured Ian Callaghan on the right side. Such an impression was made by the new boy that upon his recovery and return to the first team Shankly switched Callaghan to centre midfield in order to accommodate his new star.
Shankly preached simplicity, and Hall’s quantum theories were swapped for a philosophy of passing to the nearest red shirt and moving, passing to the nearest red shirt and moving. Shankly liked his players to stick to a routine until it became embedded within the self.
Hall, who starred for Liverpool during two prominent decades is remembered most fondly for giving Everton a bloody nose - his memorable winner against the Toffees was enough to take Liverpool back to Wembley for the first time since 1965.
Reminiscing the moment Hall said: "It's not so much me remembering my first-ever goal for Liverpool. I’m not allowed to forget it.
"To score it at Old Trafford in an FA cup semi final against Everton, and it turns out to be the winner, is not a bad memory. In fact, things don’t come much better than that do they?"
Liverpool lost the final thanks to Charlie George and a rampaging double winning Arsenal team, but three years later Hall tasted FA Cup glory, adding further silverware to the League Championship and UEFA Cup.
In 1976, after winning two First Division titles, an FA Cup, Charity Shield and two UEFA Cups, Hall transferred to Plymouth Argyle after losing his first team place to Jimmy Case. He also played briefly for Burnley and Northwich Victoria before taking up teaching.
In 1991 he returned to Anfield to head up the Public Relations department until his retirement.
The 65-year-old played 224 games and scored 20 goals for the Reds between 1969 and 1976 added: “This was something I didn’t expect. I was happy to just slip away and enjoy my retirement.
“It’s very special and I’d like to say a big thank-you to everyone at Liverpool Football Club, especially our wonderful supporters who have been with us for all these years.
“I’ve had the privilege of walking out on this pitch thousands of times.
“It’s been an incredible 28 years.”
Happy retirement Brian – you’ve earned it.
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