Who is Ian Rush? The Liverpool legend whose goalscoring heroics Mohamed Salah is emulating

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The Egypt international needs just 11 goals before the end of the season to beat the club's all-time highest goalscorer's best season in a Reds shirt

Mohamed Salah's four goals against Watford on Saturday took the Liverpool forward's season tally to 36, just 11 shy of the club's all-time record return in a single season.

The man that holds the record is Ian Rush, who struck 47 times during the 1983-84 campaign on his way to European glory.

However, Salah sits slightly ahead of the former Reds striker in terms of goals per game, with Rush having notched 35 in 49 appearances by March 19, 1984.

Salah needs to hit 12 goals in the nine remaining fixtures to surpass the legendary Welshman's record, though he will be unable to match the 65 games played by Rush in the record-breaking season.

Here, as the season runs into the final chapter, Goal takes a look at Rush's success, the race between the two, and Liverpool's all-time top scorers.


Who is Ian Rush?


Ian Rush Liverpool

Rush is widely considered as one of the finest players to have ever played for Liverpool and remains the club's all-time top scorer.

Born in Wales, Rush began his footballing career with Chester FC before leaving for Liverpool as an 18-year-old, despite growing up as a fan of Merseyside rivals Everton.

At the time, the £300,000 fee paid by Liverpool made Rush the most expensive teenager in football, though they would later sell him to Juventus for £3.2 million.

It took Rush nine senior games to open his account for the Reds and his initial struggle was enough for him to ask for a transfer away from the club, though manager Bob Paisley rejected the request.

He quickly developed a reputation for his ability in front of goal while he was also renowned for ground he covered during a game.

Rush would go on to make 660 appearances for Liverpool and represent Wales on 73 occasions, scoring 28 goals for his country.

He'd also go on to have a brief stint in management, taking over boyhood club Chester following a spell in coaching under Reds boss Gerard Houllier in 2003.


Playing career


Rush spent seven seasons at Anfield before leaving for Juventus in 1987, with the attraction of European football and a boost in salary proving too attractive to turn down.

He would spend just one season in Turin, however, after struggling to adapt to life in Italy.

After another eight seasons at Liverpool, Rush spent a season at Leeds United but would score just three goals in 36 Premier League appearances. 

Rush would then spend a short time at Newcastle, Sheffield United, and Wrexham, and played three games for Sydney Olympic before retiring in 2000.


What did he win?


Rush was a crucial part of Liverpool's success throughout the 80s, helping the Reds to five First Division titles. 

As well as winning the league, Rush picked up five League Cups, three FA Cups, three Charity Shields and scored during a penalty shootout in the 1984 European Cup final to secure the trophy for Joe Fagan's side.

Rush ended as Liverpool's top scorer in eight separate seasons, was the PFA Young Player of the Year in 1983, the PFA Players Player in 1984, and won a host of other individual accolades such as the European Golden Boot in the same season.

He also remains as the top scorer in the Merseyside Derby with 25 goals, with Everton's Dixie Dean in second place on 19.


What has Rush said about Salah?


"There's already been talk of Real Madrid looking at him, and who can blame them? In today's inflated market, it wouldn't surprise me if Liverpool one day received a 200 million pound [225m euros] bid for him," Rush is quoted as saying by Marca. "Hopefully, he is happy where he is - after all, he only arrived last summer.

"There's a time and a place to sell a player if the right money comes in, but for Liverpool, it's certainly not now. If they are thinking about winning the Premier League in the near future, then you can only achieve that with players like Salah. You can't be a selling club."

Following Salah picking up the African Player of the Year, Rush also compared the Reds forward to the best players in the world.

"On current form I would place Mo Salah ahead of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo," he said.

"He's better than them at the moment. Mo is also the African Player of the Year, which - considering the standard of their players throughout Europe - is a great honour."


What has Salah said?


Mohamed Salah

"In Chelsea I didn't play, so I didn't have my chances. I said to all my friends, I think I said it on many interviews as well, that I wanted to come back," Salah said. "I like the Premier League a lot. I feel it has my style of football. I like to play [in] the Premier League.

"I said since day one here that I'm happy here at Liverpool and I want to show my football here. If you look at me now and five years ago, everything has changed - mentally, physically, everything."

Article continues below

Liverpool's Premier League top scorers by season


Name Goals Season
Mohamed Salah 28 (so far) 2017-18
Philippe Coutinho | Sadio Mane 13 2016-17
Roberto Firmino 10 2015-16
Steven Gerrard 9 2014-15
Luis Suarez 31 2013-14
Luis Suarez 23 2012-13
Luis Suarez 10 2011-12
Dirk Kuyt 13 2010-11
Fernando Torres 18 2009-10
Steven Gerrard 16 2008-09
Fernando Torres 24 2007-08
Dirk Kuyt 12 2006-07
Steven Gerrard 10 2005-06
Milan Baros 9 2004-05
Michael Owen 16 2003-04
Michael Owen 19 2002-03
Michael Owen 19 2001-02
Michael Owen 16 2000-01
Michael Owen 11 1999-00
Michael Owen 18 1998-99
Michael Owen 18 1997-98
Robbie Fowler 18 1996-97
Robbie Fowler 25 1995-96
Robbie Fowler 25 1994-95
Ian Rush 14 1993-94
Ian Rush 14 1992-93

Liverpool's all-time top scorers


Name Years League Cup League Cup Other Total (apps)
Ian Rush 1980-1987 | 1988-1996 229 (469) 39 (61) 48 (78) 23 (45) 346 (660)
Roger Hunt 1958-1969 245 (404) 18 (44) 5 (10) 18 (34) 286 (492)
Gordon Hodgson 1925-1936 233 (358) 8 (19) 0 (0) 0 (0) 241 (377)
Billy Liddell 1938-1961 215 (492) 13 (42) 0 (0) 0 (0) 228 (534)
Steven Gerrard 1998-2015 120 (503) 15 (40) 9 (28) 42(132) 186 (710)
Robbie Fowler 1993-2001 | 2006-2007 128 (266) 12 (24) 29 (35) 14 (44) 183 (369)
Kenny Dalglish 1977-1990 118 (355) 13 (37) 27 (59) 12 (58) 172 (515)
Michael Owen 1996-2004 118 (216) 8 (15) 9 (14) 23 (52) 158 (297)
Harry Chambers 1915-1928 135 (315) 16 (28) 0 (0) 0 (1) 151 (339)
Jack Parkinson 1903-1914 125 (200) 5 (19) 0 (0) 0 (1) 130 (220)

Liverpool's 30-goal club


Mohamed Salah Liverpool

Only 13 players have ever reached the 30-goal mark for Liverpool during the club's career, with Salah being one of them.

Name Goals Season
Mohamed Salah 36 (so far) 2017-18
Luis Suarez 31 2013-14
Luis Suarez 30 2012-13
Fernando Torres 33 2007-08
Robbie Fowler 31 1996-97
Robbie Fowler 36 1995-96
Robbie Fowler 31 1994-95
John Aldridge 31 1988-89
Ian Rush 40 1986-87
Ian Rush 33 1985-86
Ian Rush 47 1983-84
Ian Rush 31 1982-83
Ian Rush 30 1981-82 
Kenny Dalglish 31 1977-78
Roger Hunt 30 1967-68
Roger Hunt 32 1965-66
Roger Hunt 37 1964-65
Roger Hunt 33 1963-64
Roger Hunt 42 1961-62
John Evans 33 1954-55
Billy Liddell 32 1955-56
Billy Liddell 31 1954-55
Gordon Hodgson 36 1930-31
Gordon Hodgson 32 1928-29
Jack Parkinson 30 1909-10
Sam Raybould 32 1902-03

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