Liverpool have a storied history as one of England’s and Europe’s most successful football clubs and a long list of legends to suit. The Anfield natives have been blessed with a star-studded squad across the years with some of the game’s most iconic players gracing the pitch on Merseyside in a red shirt.

Legends are made at Liverpool who live long in the hearts of the club’s loyal fanbase. So Rousing The Kop has taken a look at the top 10 icons of this legendary club. From Ian Callaghan, the Reds’ all-time leading appearance maker, and Ian Rush, their all-time top scorer, to fabled captain, Steven Gerrard.

Kenny Dalglish

Photo by Mark Leech/Getty Images
Position: Centre-forward
Appearances: 515
Goals: 172
Managers: Bob Paisley (1977-1983), Joe Fagan (1983-1985)
Years at Liverpool: 1977-1990

Legends at Liverpool do not come bigger than Kenny Dalglish with his name etched firmly in Anfield’s folklore. The iconic forward is affectionally known as King Kenny on Merseyside for his prolific efforts over 13 years with the Reds. He also made the move into management while still a player with them.

The Scot arrived at Anfield from Celtic in August 1977 and soon made his debut against Manchester United in the Charity Shield. It was the start of a truly remarkable career as Dalglish’s contribution to Liverpool’s successes stretched far beyond his gifted feet scoring 172 goals across 515 appearances.

Dalglish would eventually make history by becoming the only person in the English game to win the league title as a player, as a player-manager and as a manager. He made the transition in 1985 after Joe Fagan resigned to play in and coach the side and would lift the Reds’ first double in his first year.

He even scored the goal on the final day of the term as Liverpool beat Chelsea 1-0 to snatch the title by two points to Everton. Dalglish’s career helped build Liverpool’s trophy cabinet with six top-flight titles, three European Cups and four League Cup titles before another two league titles as the coach.

Steven Gerrard

Photo by Etsuo Hara/Getty Images
Position: Midfielder
Appearances: 710
Goals: 186
Managers: Gerard Houllier (1998-2004), Rafa Benitez (2004-2010), Roy Hodgson (2010-11), Kenny Dalglish (2011-12), Brenden Rodgers (2012-15)
Years at Liverpool: 1998-2015

Gerrard embodies everything and more of what makes a Liverpool legend having emerged from the academy to captain them to glory. The midfielder was one of the best of his generation and possibly all-time. He was a warrior and a hero for the Reds for 17 years which featured 186 goals in 710 games.

The former England skipper’s time as Liverpool captain also saw the club return to European glory in 2005. He led the Reds to the Champions League title with one of the truly remarkable nights in the competition’s history. Gerrard led Liverpool to come from 3-0 down to beat AC Milan on penalties.

It marked Gerrard’s second European title with Liverpool having also won the UEFA Cup in 2000/01. While UEFA named the England icon as its Men’s Player of the Year for 2005. The Reds also won two FA Cups and three EFL Cups over the midfielder’s career at the club before he joined LA Galaxy in 2015.

His will to fight to the end cemented Gerrard’s place as a Liverpool legend and in their fans’ hearts. It was ingrained in the midfielder from his debut to give everything for the club. While his career saw the 114-cap Three Lions technician prove himself to be the complete package in their engine room.

Ian Rush

Photo by Mark Leech/Offside/Getty Images
Position: Centre-forward
Appearances: 660
Goals: 346
Managers: Bob Paisley (1980-83), Joe Fagan (1983-85), Kenny Dalglish (1985-1987, 1988-1991), Ronnie Moran (Caretaker, 1991), Graeme Souness (1991-94), Roy Evans (1994-1996)
Years at Liverpool: 1980-1987, 1988-1996

Rush was the Welsh Wizard on Merseyside for two stints spanning 660 appearances and 346 goals. He briefly left Anfield for the 1987/88 season to join Juventus after agreeing to the move one year before. But the iconic Cymru striker only lasted 14 months in Turin before he returned to Anfield.

While his time in Serie A was short-lived, it made Rush a better player and Liverpool benefitted from it. The Italian game helped the forward become a more rounded operator, taking his defensive skills to a higher level. It also set Rush aside from the other forwards of his generation back at Anfield.

His second stint at Anfield ensured Rush wrote in his name amongst the legends of Liverpool as the club’s all-time top-scorer. He offered the Merseyside natives unrivalled firepower at the top of their attack for 15 seasons. While the forward played a remarkable 65 fixtures alone in the 1983/84 term.

That term saw Liverpool win the First Division title plus the League Cup and European Cup with Rush their top-scorer. He would go on to lift five league titles, three League Cups and two European Cups through a storied career at Anfield. It will take a truly spectacular striker to ever eclipse Rush’s run.

John Barnes

Photo Credit: Simon Bruty/Allsport via Getty Images
Position: Winger
Appearances: 407
Goals: 108
Managers: Kenny Dalglish (1987-1991), Ronnie Moran (Caretaker, 1991), Graeme Souness (1991-94), Roy Evans (1994-1997)
Years at Liverpool: 1987-1997

Liverpool have seen numerous legends over the years but John Barnes takes his place as one of their all-time best. The Kingston, Jamaica native was a truly gifted winger and is one of England’s greatest icons following a storied career for club and country after moving to England with his family aged 12.

Barnes was blessed with an exceptional ability on the ball to dribble past defenders or to simply burn them with his pace. While his 108 goals in 407 appearances for the Reds secure the forward his place among their greatest goalscorers. They also helped the Merseyside natives to succeed across Europe.

Liverpool won two league titles, two FA Cups and one League Cup crown through Barnes’ decade at Anfield. The Reds have Dalglish to thank for getting the winger to Merseyside in 1987, as well, while building the club’s legendary attack alongside moves to bring in Peter Beardsley and John Aldridge.

An injury cruelly curtailed Barnes’ best days after rupturing his Achilles tendon during England’s last Euro 92 warm-up fixture. It robbed the winger of his electrifying pace and forced Barnes to change his position into central midfield. But his knowledge of the game would lead to the Reds’ captaincy in 1996.

Graeme Souness

Photo by Mark Leech/Getty Images
Position: Midfielder
Appearances: 359
Goals: 55
Managers: Bob Paisley (1978-83), Joe Fagan (1983-84)
Years at Liverpool: 1978-1984

Tenacity and leadership were par for the course during Graeme Souness’ six years at Liverpool which cemented his legend status. The Scottish icon was the ultimate midfield maestro of his day. He could set the pace of the game in some of the Reds’ greatest teams and drove the Anfield natives to glory.

Souness won five top-flight titles and three European Cups before leaving for a taste of Italy in 1984 with Sampdoria. But his parting gift would be to deliver the League Cup by beating Everton 1-0 in a replay of the final. The midfielder unleashed a fierce strike from the edge of the Toffees’ penalty area.

Even when the stakes were high or tensions rose, Souness kept his discipline. While Bob Paisley gave the Scot the captaincy at Anfield in 1981 after stripping Phil Thompson of the armband. He would go on to guide the club to the top-flight title that season with a flurry of important goals along the way.

Having such a strong temperament on the pitch saw Souness turn to coaching in 1986 as he joined Rangers as a player-manager. Five years in Glasgow then brought his return to Anfield as their head coach through to 1994. Liverpool also won the FA Cup during the 1991/92 campaign under Souness.

Alan Hansen

Photo by Liverpool FC via Getty Images
Position: Centre-half
Appearances: 620
Goals: 14
Managers: Bob Paisley (1977-83), Joe Fagan (1983-85), Kenny Dalglish (1985-90)
Years at Liverpool: 1977-1990

Few players have ever amassed more than 600 appearances for Liverpool but Alan Hansen is one. He featured 620 times in the heart of the Reds’ defence through his 13-year stay at Anfield. Those years also saw Liverpool lift eight league titles, three European Cups, two FA Cups and three League Cups.

His skill and tactical awareness as a centre-half set Hansen apart from the other defenders of his era. The Scotland hero was also an elegant operator at the back and a leader of men. Hansen captained Liverpool to the double in 1985/86 having taken ownership of the armband under Dalglish in 1986.

Yet it was a slow start for Hansen after he moved to Merseyside from Partick Thistle in 1977. Paisley held him back at first and it was not until 1979 that the Scot began to make the centre-back position at Anfield his own. But once he secured the role, his swashbuckling approach took the Reds to glory.

Hansen established a reputation for taking the ball out from the back when it was still fashionable to play it safe. And while his attacking mentality reduced over the years, his ability to read the game let the defender stay on his feet. It also helped him to be one of the most decorated players of his day.

Roger Hunt

Photo by Liverpool FC via Getty Images
Position: Centre-forward
Appearances: 492
Goals: 285
Managers: Phil Taylor (1958-59), Bill Shankly (1959-1969)
Years at Liverpool: 1958-1969

Before Rush came along and stole the record, Liverpool legend Roger Hunt was their top-scorer with 285 in 492 games. His goals also helped fire the Reds to two top-flight titles and an FA Cup during 11 years at Anfield. Yet the forward was not an out-and-out striker when he made his bow during 1959.

Instead, Hunt debuted for Liverpool as a deep-lying forward. The role allowed him to demonstrate a brilliant ability to create moments of magic. The Englishman ticked almost every box having boasted great strength, speed, skills and a lethal shot. Yet above all, his work rate was tireless from the start.

All of his skills combined delightfully during the 1961/62 season to guide Liverpool to promotion out of the old Second Division. He also earned his England debut in 1962 and went to the World Cup that summer. While the step up to the top-flight saw the forward discover a greater level within himself.

Years and years passed with Hunt firing Liverpool to glory in the First Division and FA Cup. He also made England’s 1966 World Cup squad. But unlike in 1962 when he watched the tournament from the bench, the forward would prove crucial in guiding the Three Lions to global glory on home soil.

Mohamed Salah

Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images
Position: Winger
Appearances: 290+
Goals: 175+
Managers: Jurgen Klopp (2017-present)
Years at Liverpool: 2017-present

Liverpool signed Mohamed Salah from AS Roma in June 2017 for £34m as a leading target for Jurgen Klopp. He had struggled in England whilst on the books at Chelsea from 2014 to 2015 before moving to Italy initially on loan. Yet the winger is now the Reds’ Egyptian King as the talisman of their attack.

Salah exploded from the off at Anfield with 32 goals and 11 assists in 36 Premier League games over his debut campaign. His haul secured the forward the Golden Boot for that season before winning it again in 2018/19 (22) and 2021/22 (23). He has only finished a term with fewer than 20 in 2019/20 (19).

Such a prolific record also extending into the cup competitions has secured Salah a place among the top goalscorers in Liverpool’s legendary history. It is not outside the realms of possibility that he can break into the top four one day, either. The winger is now under contract at Anfield until June 2025.

Liverpool awarded Salah a new contract in July 2022. It also made him the best-paid player in their history with the deal worth over £350k-a-week. The Reds were previously reluctant to break away from their salary structure. But his goals have helped return the Merseyside outfit’s winning ways.

Salah’s efforts through the 2019/20 season may have been his worst in terms of goals during a full Premier League campaign. Yet they helped the Reds win their first top-flight trophy in 30 years. He has also won a Champions League title from three finals so far, plus an FA Cup and one League Cup.

Robbie Fowler

Photo Credit: Mike Hewitt/ALLSPORT via Getty Images
Position: Centre-forward
Appearances: 369
Goals: 183
Managers: Graeme Souness (1993-94), Roy Evans (1994-98), Gerard Houllier (1998-2001), Rafa Benitez (2006-07)
Years at Liverpool: 1993-2001, 2006-07

Former England striker Robbie Fowler not only earned legendary status whilst at Liverpool but the nickname, God. He scored 183 goals in 369 games for the club over his two spells at Anfield. Those strikes further helped fire the Reds to a UEFA Cup crown, an FA Cup title and two League Cup titles.

Souness gave Fowler his breakthrough in 1993 having honed his trade in the Reds’ academy from an early age. Yet the fellow Liverpool legend may not have expected what was to come as Fowler fired home in his first two appearances. He then scored all five to thrash Fulham 5-0 in the League Cup.

It took Fowler 47 minutes to score his hat-trick against Fulham – decades in comparison to his four-minute, 33-second treble against Arsenal in August 1994. David Seaman, Tony Adams and Martin Keown were powerless to stop Fowler from setting a Premier League record that stood until 2015.

Fowler had a ferocious shot in him and earned Liverpool’s No9 shirt from the 1996/97 campaign. Yet injuries and issues outside of his performances started to divert the attention away from his streams of goals. But Rafa Benitez briefly brought the prodigal son back to Merseyside for the 2006/07 term.

Ian Callaghan

Photo Credit: Allsport UK /Allsport via Getty Images
Position: Midfielder
Appearances: 857
Goals: 68
Managers: Bill Shankly (1960-1974), Bob Paisley (1974-1978)
Years at Liverpool: 1960-1978

No player has yet ever made more appearances for Liverpool than absolute Reds legend, Callaghan. The former Anfield midfielder spent 18 years as a first-team player on Merseyside and made a truly remarkable 857 appearances. He also enjoyed a decorated career with the club and with England.

Callaghan joined Liverpool in the early days of Shankly’s iconic tenure at Anfield when the club was still in the Second Division. Yet by the time the midfielder left in 1978, he had just helped the Reds secure back-to-back European Cup titles under boss Paisley to add to his five top-flight titles, as well.

Liverpool lifted their first FA Cup in 1965, too, with Callaghan a key player before adding another in 1974. While the Reds triumphed in the UEFA Cup in 1973 and 1976 before their European Cup wins. They even won the European Super Cup in 1977 before the curtain fell on the Toxteth native’s time.

His 18 years at Anfield were the stuff of legend having been a local lad who replaced club icon Billy Liddell aged 18. Callaghan had wonderful pace on the wings from his petite stature at 5 ft 7 and was an ultimate professional. But creating the winner in the 1965 FA Cup final was his ultimate moment.