I was watching ESPN Classic the other day and catching an FA Cup match between Tottenham Hotspur and Southampton played at the old Dell. I cannot remember the year of the match, but it was at the time when Gerry Francis would have recently become manager of Spurs.
Players in that Spurs side include Nick Barmby, Darren Anderton, Teddy Sherringham and Jurgen Klinsmann. The match saw Saints go something like 2-0 up before Spurs made the comeback chiefly through one player grabbing two goals in normal time before completing his hattrick in extra time which released the rest of his comrades to stroll in a couple more goals so what appeared to be an exit for the misfiring Spurs ended in the Lilywhites scoring six.
That hat-trick hero wasn’t Klinsmann or Barmby or Anderton. That hero was none other than the much maligned Ronnie Rosenthal.
That name should conjure in most footie fans minds THAT miss whilst playing for Liverpool against Aston Villa. What I remember about the guy more than anything else though was the impact he made at Anfield when he was signed and to get the perfect hat-trick on your debut in a season that would see you win the League for what would be the last time is quite memorable.
Rosenthal would become the first example I remember of the unsung hero. When people think of the great Liverpool strikers understandably they will think of Rush, Fowler, Owen, Aldridge and Torres and going back further people will talk about Liddell, Hunt, Toshack and Keegan. Maybe Ronnie wouldn’t be such a terrace favourite, but he was a good player, better than being judged by that miss and I for one after all these years missing out on the league, am grateful for a player like him.