Colin IRWIN

Colin Irwin - Liverpool FC - Biography 1974/75-1980/81

Photo/Foto: George Herringshaw

Date: 13 December 1980

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    • POSITION
      Central Defender
    • DATE OF BIRTH
      Saturday, 09 February 1957
    • PLACE OF BIRTH
      Liverpool, England
  • CLUBS
  • Liverpool FC
    • Club Career Dates
      1974-1981
    • League Debut
      Saturday, 25th August 1979 in a 3-1 win at home to West Bromwich Albion (Aged: 22)
    • Club Career
      26 League apps (+3 as sub), 3 goals
  • Swansea City FC
    • Club Career Dates
    • League Debut
    • Club Career
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Colin IRWIN - Liverpool FC - Biography 1974/75-1980/81

Colin Irwin, a locally born central defender, came through Liverpool's youth system and signed professional forms for the club in November 1974 at the age of 17. However, breaking into an all-conquering side was never going to be easy and he had to wait five years for his first team debut, deputising for injured central defender Alan Hansen in a 3-1 League win over West Brom at Anfield on August 25, 1979. With Hansen still out injured, Colin started three of the next four League games and scored his first goal for the club in a 3-2 defeat at Southampton on September 1. After four appearances in three different competitons, he started in a 3-0 defeat at Soviet side Dynamo Tbilisi on October 3, in a first round, second leg European Cup tie which saw Liverpool exit the competition 4-2 on aggregate after a 2-1 win in the home leg at Anfield. That was to be Colin's last game for six almost months. Hansen returned to the side and resumed his rock-solid partnership with Phil Thompson in central defence as Liverpool went on an unbeaten run of 16 League games that lasted from early October to mid-January. A second consecutive League title was almost guaranteed by the time Colin returned to the side, filling in at left-back for the injured Alan Kennedy in a home game with Derby in early April, where he made his mark by scoring the opener in a 3-0 win. He appeared in two more League games that season, a 1-1 home draw with Arsenal and a 2-0 win at Stoke, but his total of eight League appearances was insufficent to gain a championship medal as Liverpool won a record 12th title. The 1980-81 campaign turned out to be Colin's busiest in a red shirt with 30 appearances in all competitions, though he only made one substitute appearance in the first two months of the season and did not start a match until November 22, 1980, a 2-1 League win against Aston Villa at Anfield. Injuries to Phil Thompson and then Alan Hansen meant Irwin started the next 13 League games, but Liverpool won only four of these as their hopes of a hat-trick of titles slipped away (they eventually finished 5th). Europe, however, was a different story and Irwin was to play a part. After drawing 0-0 at Anfield in the first leg of their European Cup semi-final tie with Bayern Munich, Liverpool travelled to Germany for a daunting second leg on April 22, 1981. With Thompson out injured, Colin linked up with Hansen in central defence and gave one of his best displays for the club as Liverpool drew 1-1 and booked their place in the final on the away goals rule. Irwin was on the bench for the final but didn't get on the pitch as Liverpool beat Real Madrid 1-0 in Paris with a goal from Alan Kennedy. Unfortunately, his non-appearance meant he did not pick up a medal, just like two months earlier when, after playing in a 1-1 draw with West Ham in the League Cup Final at Wembley, he was an unused sub as Liverpool won the replay at Villa Park 2-1. Irwin last appeared for the Reds on May 5, 1981, scoring his final goal in a 2-1 League win at Midlesbrough. An able deputy but always a squad player, he moved to Swansea City for £340, 000 in August that year. Colin made a total of 44 appearances for Liverpool, scoring three goals. (Martin Greensill)