Ray Houghton:  Midfielder in club 1987-1992
 Ray Houghton:  Midfielder
 Date of Birth: 09/01/1962
 Squad: number:
 With the Reds: 1987-1992
 Bought from: Oxord United
 Signed for LFC: Ј825,000 - 19.10.1987
 Debut: 24th October 1987 v Luton Town (A) D1 win 1-0 (Aged 25)
 Debut goal: 04.11.1987
 1st team league games: 147 (+ 6 as sub)
 1st team league goals: 28
 Total 1st team games: 195 (+ 7 as sub)
 Total 1st team goals: 38
 Contract expiry: 28.07.1992, transferred to Aston Villa for 900,000 pounds
 International caps: 73  (34 as Liverpool) Rep. Ireland
 International goals: 6
 International debut: 26.03.1986 vs. Wales
 Former clubs: West Ham United, Fulham, Oxord United, Aston Villa, Crystal Palace, Stevenage
 Birth Place: Glasgow, Scotland
 Honours: 2 Division One Championships 87/88, 89/90, 2 FA Cups 88/89, 91/92
 Personal Honours:

  Total LFC and other club games/goals

League FA Cup FL Cup Europe Other Total
Seasons App Gls App Gls App Gls App Gls App Gls App Gls
1987-88 2/2 5 7 2 33/2 7
1988-89 38 7 5 6 3 1 52 8
1989-90 16/3 1 3/1 2 21/4 1
1990-91 31/1 7 3 1 3 2 1 38/1 10
1991-92 36 8 8 1 3 1 4 2 51 12
Total 147/6 28 27/1 4 14 3 4 2 4 1 195/7 38

  A more detailed look at the player's appearances

  Total   started/substitutions   Total   Competition
  195   Started   153   League
  15   On the bench   27   FA Cup
  7   Substitute   14   League Cup
  9   Substituted   4   UEFA Cup
  2   Centenary Trophy
  2   Charity Shield

  Career Milestones for Ray Houghton:

  Appearances in all competitions

Date Against Result   Venue Competition
1 24.10.1987   Luton Town 1-0   Kenilworth Road League
50 29.10.1988   West Ham U 2-0   Upton Park League
100 23.12.1989   Manchester U 0-0   Anfield League
150 06.05.1991   Nottingham F   City Ground League
200 26.04.1992   Manchester U   Anfield League

   Goals in all competitions

Date Min Against Result Venue Competition
1 04.11.1987 62   Wimbledon 1-1   Plough Lane League

  Update 13.11.2006


  Republic of Ireland international midfielder Ray Houghton was signed by Kenny Dalglish from Oxford United in October 1987 for J800,000, and he was to play a pivotal role in one of the best Reds sides to grace Anfield featuring a forward line of Peter Beardsley, John Barnes and John Aldridge.

  Of the Houghton signing, player-manager Dalglish said: I’ve been interested in Ray for some time, and if you know what you want, the player is worth waiting for. Good players don’t come along too often, and when they do you have to try to sign them.”

  After being given a free transfer by West Ham after just one appearance for the Hammers, Glasgow-born Houghton bounced back at Fulham in 1982. He then moved to Oxford in 1985 and played alongside John Aldridge. In his first season at the Manor Ground, Houghton scored at Wembley as Oxford won the Milk Cup Final at Wembley, beating Queens Park Rangers 3-0.

  His international career took off too. Qualifying for the Republic of Ireland through his father, Houghton won the first of his 62 caps in a friendly against Wales in Dublin during March 1986.

  The move to Anfield followed and Houghton made his Liverpool debut in a testimonial in Scotland for Dundee stalwart George McGeachie and scored in a 4-0 win. He made his full Reds debut the following Saturday on October 24th, 1997, on the plastic pitch at Kenilworth Road in Liverpool’s 1-0 win at Luton Town.

  Houghton’s first goal for the Reds was in a 1-1 draw at Wimbledon. Coming on as a substitute for Craig Johnston, Houghton beat three defenders before slotting past Dave Beasant. Houghton then became a regular on the right of midfield and endeared himself to the Reds fans when he scored a superb header against Everton from a John Barnes cross, in the 1-0 FA Cup 5th Round win at Goodison Park.

  He also scored in the famous 5-0 win over Nottingham Forest at Anfield on April 13th, 1988, as Liverpool went on to win the Division One Championship, but slipped up on a second double in the FA Cup Final against Wimbledon. Houghton ended his first season at Anfield with seven goals in 35 games.

  At the end of the 1987-88 season Houghton was off to the European Championships in Germany, and scored with a header in a 1-0 win over an England side containing Anfield teammates John Barnes and Peter Beardsley.

  Houghton’s first full season at Anfield was one of tragedy with the Hillsborough disaster claiming the lives of 96 Liverpool supporters. He played in the 1989 FA Cup win over Everton at Wembley only for the Reds to be denied a double again, this time by Arsenal in a dramatic last game at Anfield.

  In his diary of the 1988-89 season, speaking about the disaster Houghton said: “I am not a Scouser but I felt I belonged. I always will now.”

  The following season saw Liverpool regain the title but Houghton’s role was restricted with just 16 league appearances due to a back injury, but he still qualified for a Championship medal and was fit to play in the 1990 World Cup with the Republic of Ireland.

  The 1990-91 season was the last for Kenny Dalglish as manager of Liverpool, and under Graeme Souness Houghton’s Liverpool career was coming to an end.

  Houghton helped Liverpool to win the FA Cup, beating Sunderland 2-0 at Wembley in 1992 and was the Reds second top scorer behind Dean Saunders with 12 goals from 52 appearances.

  Houghton won the Liverpool Player of the Year award and was in the top six for PFA Player of the Year for season 1991-92, his last at Anfield. However, the FA Cup Final was to be Houghton’s last in a red shirt, and the following season his number eight jersey went to Paul Stewart!

  In a dispute over a pay increase, sadly the Reds Player of the Year Houghton was sold by Graeme Souness to Aston Villa in the summer of 1992 for J825,000.

  Houghton is a player who will always be remembered by Liverpool fans as a workaholic who always gave 100 per cent. He could score goals, create goals and never gave defenders a moments peace, and will also be remembered as the final piece in the jig-saw for Kenny Dalglish’s wonderful 1987-88 championship winning side.

  After life at Anfield, he went on to produce good performances for Villa, winning a League Cup winners medal in 1994, and played in the 1994 World Cup in the USA, where he scored in the opening 1-0 defeat of Italy. After a spell at Reading, Houghton is now coach at Crystal Palace.


  1988 v Israel, Yugoslavia, Norway, England, USSR, Holland; 1989 v Northern Ireland, Tunisia, Spain, France, Hungary, Spain, Malta, Hungary, Northern Ireland, Malta (16).

  Transferred from West Ham United to Fulham on 7/7/1982, free transfer.

  Transferred from Fulham to Oxford United on 19/10/1987 for Ј825,000.

  Transferred from Aston Villa to Crystal Palase on 23/03/1995 for Ј300,000.

  Transferred of Aston Villa to Crystal Palace on 23/3/1995 for Ј300, 000.

  Free transfer uf Crystal Palace: to Reading:on 21/7/1997.

  Think of the Glaswegian who played for the Republic of Ireland, scoring vital goals against England in Euro '88 and Italy in USA '94 and the name of Ray Houghton should immediately spring to mind. However it should also be noted that he had quite a few moments in the Red shirt of Liverpool. Kenny had brought in Aldo from Oxford towards the end of the 86-87 season as a replacement for a Turin bound Rushie, and co-incidence would have it that Oxford - who would that season be relegated - were the first home opposition of the 87-88 campaign and had a certain Ray Houghton in their ranks.

  Despite our 2-0 win, the King must have liked what he saw as Houghton played a blinder and about 7 games later a deal was done which saw Houghton's name on a Liverpool teamsheet - the plastic pitch treatment was the venue for his debut in a 1-0 win over Luton.

  He then jumped off of the bench at Plough Lane to go past a posse of Wombles to score his first goal for the Reds. He was next in the wars at White Hart Lane feeling the full force of Steve Hodge's elbow - for which he was dismissed - leaving a repaired Ray to do the damage as we won 2-0. Houghton was in direct competition with Craig Johnston for the right hand side berth, but the popular Aussie warmed the subs bench while Ray was contributing to a piece of Liverpool history as we remained unbeaten at the start of the season.

  We met the shite in the 5th round of the FA Cup at The Pit that season, putting one over on them, with the brilliant combination of Barnes and Beardsley really becoming something to admire. Everton found out to their cost as a throw from Ablett fed Barnes who fought off his marker and played a neat one-two with Beardo and a trademark left wing cross found Houghton who beat Paul Power to the ball head home. His first headed goal in a Liverpool shirt was one we would all remember.

  He was also in the side for the now legendary 5-0 demolition of Nottingham Forest at Anfield, on a day when not even the Brazilians could have matched us for class. Ray scored the first when some incisive passing from Barnesy carved out the opening for Houghton to slip in behind the Forest defence to beat Steve Sutton. Forest and the Blueshite were the only teams to beat us in the league that season as Ray claimed his first title winners' medal, but the anti-climatic FA Cup Final against Wimbledon robbed him of the double as they took the cup back to the surrounds of south-west London.

  Unlike the FA Cup, the Dons were unable to get their mucky mits on the charity shield as Aldo's double saw to that. Fresh from his exertions in Germany with the Ireland squad in Euro'88, Ray began the season playing the numbers game, with Rushy back from Juve, his shirt number was constantly fluctuating. With Rushie struggling to find his form, more often than not Houghton sported the number 9 shirt on his back. An ever present throughout the 88-89 season, Houghton ran Steve Nicol pretty close as Liverpool's player of the season and chipped in with 7 goals including a brace that doomed West Ham - a team that released him as a youngster - in a 5-1 win at Anfield. Similar to Gary Mac at Coventry last season Ray refused to celebrate his goals, perhaps a little embarrassed?

  A goal in the derby in 88 also helped his popularity among Reds' fans. Houghton won an FA Cup medal that season making up for the disappointment of the previous year. His performances in the league (both pre and post Hillsborough) fully merited another Championship medal, but the heartache of the notorious Arsenal game put paid to that as the title made its way to Highbury.

  by Dave Rankin

  Total Ray Houghton in other clubs games/goals

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