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Please be informed that a former footballer from Liverpool has just passed away today. 😔

I would like to pay tribute to Larry Lloyd, who was one of Shankly's favorite players and a man who would "kick his grandmother for a fiver."

by Dandozzy

There is a certain generation of Liverpool supporters who would not even be familiar with the name Larry Lloyd, but for many of them, he was an essential component of a squad that was going through a transformation at Anfield.

The fact that Bill Shankly once spent six seasons without winning a trophy for the Reds and that Lloyd was a member of his final team that was set to become Bob Paisley’s juggernaut is so astounding that it seems almost unbelievable to even try to explain it.

In light of the arduous challenge of having to replace Ron Yeats at the heart of defense, it was the generation of a fearless and tough-tackling center-back, and these were attributes that the enforcer, who was born in Bristol, most certainly possessed.

Geoff Twentyman, the head scout, was struck with the tall defender’s overwhelming dominance and leadership, and he pushed for a contract to be finalized with Bristol Rovers.

Although the towering defender was not the quickest or the most technically talented player, he was impressive nonetheless.

During his conversation with his new player, the famed Scottish manager made the following statement: “Larry, I have arrived at the conclusion that you would kick your grandmother for a fiver!”

The response that he gave, which was, “I would actually kick her for half of that!”, demonstrated to everyone what characteristics the new man possessed.

However, starting in the final six games of the 1969–1970 season demonstrated to everyone what the future was going to be like. Appearances were difficult to come by throughout the first season of the season.

During the following season, Lloyd established himself as a mainstay, and he missed only two league matches.

This occurred during a year in which the Reds achieved a fifth-place finish in the First Division and Alun Evans scored 15 goals, which was a club high.

These results demonstrated that the Reds were not the same as their impenetrable past personalities.

For Liverpool fans and players, the 1971 FA Cup final was a chance for redemption; however, Charlie George’s extra-time winner left them broken.

It wasn’t until Shankly stood on the steps of St. George’s Hall and picked the red half of the city back up that they were able to find their ground again.

When the Reds were unable to win the Charity Shield, it laid the stage for another season of despair; yet, they were able to replenish their batteries and mount an improbable assault on the title of First Division champions once more.

A finish in third place did not tell the whole tale, as on the final day of the season, when a victory over Arsenal would have resulted in league success, a questionable goal that was disallowed meant that the game finished in a scoreless draw, and Derby won the championship.

Larry Lloyd, who participated in each and every one of the 66 competitive matches that were scheduled to be played against Liverpool during the 1972–1973 season, was the driving force behind the mental toughness that allowed Liverpool to bounce back from losing in the FA Cup and the First Division in consecutive seasons.

It was a year in which the specters of previous defeats were banished, and it was Arsenal’s long-standing adversary who emerged victorious this time.

Additionally, the Bristolian defender scored a goal in the first leg of a UEFA Cup final victory over Monchengladbach.

In this new period of Liverpool, the enforcer at the back was a crucial component, as evidenced by the fact that he won two pieces of silverware and participated in every game that was feasible.

Bill Shankly was responsible for putting together his second great squad.

It appeared to be the beginning of the tale, rather than the beginning of a story that was about to come to an end for Lloyd.

The new period was going to continue with him in the center of the defense, but a thigh injury that occurred at an inopportune time – under the supervision of a manager who detested it when players missed games – was the final straw.

The appearance of Peter Cormack, Phil Thompson, and Emlyn Hughes meant that there was no room for the 25-year-old player as he was getting closer to returning to full fitness.

The fact that he was able to make a speedy transfer to Coventry City for a significant amount demonstrated that it was the best decision for everyone involved.

While the Reds went on to dominate both domestically and on the continent, Lloyd would soon become a member of Brian Clough’s Nottingham Forest, and his matches against Liverpool became just as well-known as his clashes against Liverpool during his time on Merseyside.

Lloyd’s decision to leave our club was not one that he had a great deal of remorse over because he had the very rare pleasure of playing under Shankly and Clough and winning trophies for them.

Additionally, he enjoyed similar levels of success in Europe and England.

Although his returns to Anfield were not always met with the most favorable response, this was largely due to the fact that he was accused of being a traitor. However, his rivalry with Forest was also a strong factor in this.

Nevertheless, when one considers the defender’s history as a Red, it is difficult to claim that he ever did anything other than give his fullest effort for his team in the 218 games that he played.

The news of his demise at the age of 75 is something that will be met with a great deal of regret from a number of our followers; but, it does provide us with the opportunity to give some thought to the career of a man who gave his absolute best for a team that was on the verge of achieving greatness.

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