Irish Footballers that Played for Liverpool FC - Steve Heighway
Steve Heighway - Introduction
Flying winger Steve Heighway was born in Dublin on 25 November 1947. When he was ten he moved to England where his parents were from. Heighway came to prominence while playing for amateur club Skelmersdale United as a 22 year old. Already an economics graduate he had come to believe that his opportunity to play professional football had passed him by when Bill Shankly signed him for Liverpool FC. Steve Heighway joined Liverpool in May 1970.
Steve Heighway & Liverpool
Steve Heighway made his Liverpool debut on 29 August 1970 against West Bromwich Albion at the Hawthorns. He came on as a second hand substitute for Peter Thompson in a 1-1 draw. Following a number of appearances on the bench or as a substitute he nailed down a first team place from the beginning of October of the 1970/71 season.
Heighway was a swashbuckling and dashing winger that was a provider of ammunition for the Liverpool forwards as well as chipping in with some important goals himself. Steve Heighway scored his first goal for Liverpool FC against Burnley at Anfield on 17 October 1970. He scored the second goal to give the Reds a 2-0 win at Anfield.
He scored nine goals in 49 appearances during his first season at Anfield including one one against Hibernian in the third round of the European Fairs Cup. His most memorable goal in his first team was in the FA Cup final against Arsenal. The final had gone to extra time when Heighway raided down the left wing with Gunners defender Pat Rice in close attendance. Once in the box he let fly with a low left foot drive that beat goalkeeper Bob Wilson at the near post. Unfortunately for Heighway and Liverpool this sparked Arsenal into life and goals from Eddie Kelly and Charlie George won the Cup for Arsenal. A disappointing end to a great season for newcomer Steve Heighway.
Steve Heighway Piles up the Silverware
Heighway became an ever-present in the Liverpool FC team while Bill Shankly was manager and he won his first piece of silverware when Liverpool won the First Division title in the 1972/73 season. The winger scored six goals that season. He also scored two goals in the UEFA Cup as Liverpool went on to win their first European silverware. In one memorable match he destroyed Dynamo Berlin at Anfield creating the first goal for Phil Boersma and scoring the second goal in a 3-1 win.
Steve Heighway played a very important role in successive seasons as Liverpool won three more First Division titles, another UEFA Cup, the FA Cup, and two back-to-back European Cups in 1977 and 1978. These were the high water mark for Heighway with Liverpool FC and his career tapered off after this.
Steve Heighway made his last appearance for Liverpool FC at Anfield on 8 April 1981. In a first leg European Cup semi-final the Reds drew 0-0 with Bayern Munich. In eleven seasons with Liverpool FC Steve Heighway made 475 appearances and scored 76 goals. In the process he amassed nine winners medals in major competitions.
Steve Heighway - Ireland Career
Steve Heighway made his debut for Ireland on 23 September 1970 against Poland at Dalymount Park. It was a friendly match and the Irish lost 0-2.
His first competitive match for Ireland was a home 1-1 draw against Sweden a month later. It was a 1972 European Championship qualifier. Despite playing in some talented Irish teams he never appeared in a major championship finals which his skills would have graced. Steve Heighway played his last match for the Republic of Ireland on 9 September 1981 against Holland in Rotterdam. It was a 1982 World Cup qualifier that ended in a 2-2 draw. Heighway was taken off after 60 minutes in favour of Gerry Ryan.
He won 34 caps and scored no goals. The small number of appearances over an 11 year span, no goals, and some indifferent appearances led to criticism from some quarters that he was not fully committed to Ireland. Here was Steve Heighway's response to this:
"I was delighted to play for Ireland as although my parents were actually English, I was born in Dublin and grew up there until I was ten, so I had that association with the country that I didn't have with England. I had played at underage level for Ireland on the international scene already but had also represented England in School's football but Ireland was the team that I had decided to play for, and I never had to give it anymore thought after that."
Steve Heighway - Liverpool & Republic of Ireland Statistics
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