On this day in 1961 one of the legends of Welsh football – Ian Rush – was born.
One of 10 children, Rush’s talent on a football pitch was obvious from an early age as he starred for his school, for Deeside Schools and for the Welsh Schools teams.
After leaving school Rush joined Chester City as an apprentice and got his chance in his favoured centre forward role when Wrexham bought the club’s first choice striker, Ian Edwards!
He grabbed the chance with both hands scoring 14 goals in just 33 appearances for the Seals and before too long both Liverpool and Manchester City werebeating a path to Sealand Road to try and sign him.
Rush moved to Anfield for £300,000 in May 1980 and won his first Welsh cap a few weeks later, coming on as a substitute for Ian Walsh in a 1-0 defeat to Scotland at Hampden Park.
It’s incredible to note that Rush had already won two caps for his country before ever pulling on the famous red shirt of Liverpool!
But he made his debut for the Reds in December 1980 as a second half substitute, replacing Kenny Dalglish, at Ipswich, but he failed to score in his first nine matches for Liverpool.
He finally broke his duck in September 1981 scoring in a 7-0 rout of Finnish side Oulun Palloseura in the European Cup.
Less than a month later and Rush had scored his first league goals, bagging a brace against Leeds united and also grabbed a goal in a 3-1 derby day defeat of Everton.
His status as a Kop hero was beginning to take shape!
In May 1982, he scored his first international goal, beating Pat Jennings as Wales thrashed Northern Ireland 3-0 at the Racecourse, Wrexham.
He also found the back of the net in the next four Welsh matches against France, Norway, Yugoslavia and England becoming the first Welsh player to score in five successive internationals.
Rush went on to win a hatful of trophies including five Championships, three FA Cups and a European Cup with Liverpool.
He also won 73 caps for Wales between 1980 and 1996 and broke Ivor Allchurch’s all-time goalscoring record, netting 28 goals for his country.