Every Liverpool Captain Since the Reds’ Last League Title – Ranked
Alan Hansen was the last Liverpool captain to lift a league trophy for the Reds, doing so at the end of the 1989/90 season.
Nine men have followed in the 30 years since, but who are the best and worst skippers to lead Liverpool in that time? Here’s a look at every Reds captain since 1990 – ranked…
9. Jamie Redknapp (1999 – 2002)
Jamie Redknapp – Liverpool captain
Jamie Redknapp’s Liverpool captaincy pretty much went the same way as the rest of his career, blighted by injuries, and he only played 31 times in all competitions over the three years that he held the armband.
Redknapp was Liverpool club captain for the 2000/01 cup treble season but he didn’t actually play a single minute during that campaign because of his knee trouble. He was, however, encouraged by his teammates to jointly lift the FA Cup in Cardiff regardless.
8. Ronnie Whelan (1990 – 1991)
Ronnie Whelan – Liverpool captain
Having already held the captaincy during the late 1980s when Alan Hansen was injured, Ronnie Whelan was again appointed Liverpool skipper in 1990.
The midfielder had been a mainstay of the side throughout the 1980s and was already a six-time league champion, a European Cup winner and a two-time FA Cup winner. Sadly for Whelan, injuries of his own began to limit his impact and appearances in the new decade.
7. Mark Wright (1991 – 1993)
Mark Wright – Liverpool captain
Mark Wright was made Liverpool captain upon his £2.2m arrival from Derby in 1991, replacing the retiring Alan Hansen at the heart of the Reds’ defence.
In his debut season at Anfield, Wright lifted the FA Cup at Wembley in 1992, although he was fairly quickly replaced as Liverpool skipper, despite remaining at the club until he retired in 1998.
6. Paul Ince (1997 – 1999)
Paul Ince – Liverpool captain
Liverpool was Paul Ince’s first stop when he returned to England from a two-year spell in Italy with Inter. He was combative on the pitch and firmly buried traces of his past with Manchester United.
It was a mixed couple of years for the club, with third and seventh place finishes under Ince’s leadership – the former matching their best finish in the Premier League era at that time and the latter their second-worst.
5. John Barnes (1996 – 1997)
John Barnes – Liverpool captain
John Barnes was very much nearing the end of his distinguished career when he inherited the Liverpool captaincy in 1996. By that time he’d been at Anfield for nine years.
Barnes was already wearing the Liverpool armband on a regular basis the season before he was appointed permanent skipper. The club didn’t win anything but it was an important transitional period that he helped oversee nonetheless.
4. Ian Rush (1993 – 1996)
Ian Rush – Liverpool captain
Ian Rush led by example as Liverpool captain and was the club’s top scorer for the eighth and final time in his debut season with the armband in 1993/94, even though the Reds finished eighth in the Premier League – their lowest league finish since 1963.
3. Sami Hyypia (2002 – 2003)
Sami Hyypia – Liverpool captain
Sami Hyypia was already Liverpool’s primary captain for much of the club’s cup success under manager Gerard Houllier and was handed the honour properly when Jamie Redknapp departed.
The Finn was a popular figure and remains a club legend for his service and leadership, while he was also the first and still only non-British or Irish to be Liverpool club captain. He showed humility and professionalism in other ways when the captaincy was taken from him in 2003.
2. Jordan Henderson (2015 – present)
Jordan Henderson – Liverpool captain
An inauspicious start to his Liverpool career during a tough period for the club wouldn’t have suggested that Jordan Henderson should become a great Reds captain, but that has indeed been the case after growing more into the role with each passing season.
Henderson’s captaincy encountered early difficulties when he was injured two games into the 2015/16 season. Yet the former Sunderland star has thrived under Jurgen Klopp’s management, lifted the Champions League trophy in 2019 and will lift the Premier League trophy in 2020.
Off the pitch he has also led the #PlayersTogether initiative to help raise money for NHS charities during the coronavirus crisis.
1. Steven Gerrard (2003 – 2015)
Steven Gerrard – Liverpool captain
Steven Gerrard is the longest serving club captain in Liverpool history, wearing the armband and leading the Reds for more than a decade when Gerard Houllier saw fit to bestow the honour upon at the tender age of just 23.
Without Gerrard, Liverpool’s successes of the 2000s would not have been possible. He played a crucial role in the 2005 Champions League comeback, while the 2006 FA Cup final has become known as the ‘Gerrard Final’ because of his contribution to the win.
His two best individual seasons saw Liverpool come agonisingly close to winning a long overdue Premier League title, while he was included in seven PFA Teams of the Year during his time as Liverpool skipper.