John Barnes - Liverpool, in the dugout at Anfield
Liverpool completed the signing of John Barnes from Watford on this day in 1987 for a fee of £900,000.
To describe the kind of impact that Barnes had at Anfield following his arrival as a player, and all-round footballing figure – one well-known Liverpool fan media outlet is dedicating an entire week covering his time with the Reds.
Barnes arrived at the Reds having scored one of the greatest goals in England’s international footballing history – where he danced through the Brazilian defence at the Maracana three years earlier.
Liverpool's John Aldridge , John Barnes and Steve McMahon celebrate with the Championship trophy
His first season would see him become part of one of the Reds’ greatest footballing sides that stormed to the league title in 1988. They were branded the entertainers as he formed a deadly attacking trio with Peter Beardsley and John Aldridge.
Barnes would play a huge role in Liverpool winning the 1989 FA Cup, and the 1990 League title. Some have said during that period as a wide player, he was the best Liverpool player fans have witnessed. He won the Football Writers Player of the Year Award twice, as well as the PFA’s Player of the Year on one occasion.
Liverpool's John Barnes (L) and Ronnie Whelan celebrate with the trophy
He wouldn’t flourish to the same extent after the departure of Kenny Dalglish in 1991, and injury would strike in the form of a ruptured Achilles tendon in 1992. Ultimately it would see him play as a deep lying midfielder when Roy Evans became manager in 1994 with Barnes no longer possessing the pace which partly made him such a threat out wide.
Barnes would be part of the Liverpool midfield that won the League Cup in 1995, and captained the side under Evans the following season, but would leave the club in 1997 – departing to Newcastle United on a free transfer.
His Liverpool career spanned 407 appearances, where he scored 108 goals for the Reds.