Legendary Liverpool Captainship Drama: The Day a Legend Was Replaced

Phil Thompson and Graeme Souness, both legendary Liverpool captains, had a tumultuous handover of the armband. Thompson, a boyhood Liverpool supporter, became captain in 1979 and had a shining moment in 1981 when he lifted the European Cup. However, just six months later, Bob Paisley decided to pass the captaincy to Souness after a defeat to Man City.

Thompson recalled the “awful day” when he learned about the decision, feeling furious and betrayed. He confronted Paisley, who explained that the responsibility seemed to burden Thompson. Despite his initial anger, Thompson now acknowledges that Paisley made the right call, as Liverpool went on to win the league after the change in captaincy.

While Paisley’s decision was ultimately successful, the lack of communication and personal touch in handling the situation left Thompson feeling hurt.