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Champions of Europe 2005: LEGENDS' TRIBUTE TO NEW KOP KINGS.

Byline: By MIKE HORNBY & MARY MURTAGH

FOR the famous names of Liverpool FC's glittering past it was another glorious night to remember.

The legends who helped make the Reds one of the most loved and followed clubs in the world watched last night as a new generation of players turned dreams into reality.

An unforgettable night saw a wretched first half, stunning fightback and dramatic penalty shootout before Liverpool FC lifted the European Cup for the fifth time.

And for strikers John Aldridge and Ian Rush, it was a night of emotion and pride.

Aldridge, who played for Liverpool from 1987 to 1989, said: 'I was speechless. What a great night.

I am very proud to come from Liverpool and be associated with it after that performance.

'It was a phenomenal achievement. There is a saying that football is a game of two halves and that is exactly what it was.

'To come back like that was amazing.'

And Rush summed up the feelings of most football fans when he said: 'Few of us are going to witness a game like that in our lifetime.'

He added: 'Talk about a game of two halves - it was incredible - well done to the boys.

'They will be on a high right now and they should enjoy every minute because they have worked hard for it all season.

'When I look back at the game the turning point has to be Gerrard's goal.

'The thing about Liverpool supporters is that you only need to give them a little to get them back up to full voice.

'Gerrard's goal did that and it turned the tide.'

Ian Callaghan, who played outside right from 1960 to 1978, said: 'It was incredible. I have never seen a game like it. To be three down at half time I don't think anyone held out hope.

'Rafa must have said a lot to them at half time because it was an incredible second half. There was three goals in six minutes with two incredible saves. It was fantastic.'

Alan Kennedy, who played left back from 1978 to 85, added: 'That was one of the greatest ever European Cup games. Liverpool were awesome in the second half. The fans were brilliant.'

And former midfielder Sammy Lee said: 'I am delighted. There were so many highs and lows in the game. That double save at the end was just one of the many highlights of the game for me.'

Phil Neal said the match topped the excitement of the 1977 final' It was absolutely astonishing,' he said.

'I never thought I would see any game exceed the 1977 final but I did tonight.

'It was an incredible, unbelievable result.'

He added: 'It was important that we scored that goal so quickly into the second half, and then the other two goals came so soon afterwards

CAPTION(S):

IT TAKES ONE TO KNOW ONE: Anfield legends (from top left) John Aldridge, Alan Kennedy, Ian Callaghan, Sammy Lee, Ian Rush and Phil Neal today praised the current crop of Reds stars
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Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:May 26, 2005
Words:509
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