(This page refers to the Liverpool and Wales footballer. For the Peel session band of the same name, see Ian Rush(2).)

Ian James Rush, MBE, (born 20 October 1961 in St Asaph, Wales) is a Welsh former footballer. Rush played for Liverpool F.C. from 1980-1987 and 1988-1996, and is the club's all-time leading goalscorer, having scored a total of 346 goals in all competitions during his two spells at the club. Regarded as one of the greatest-ever Liverpool players, Rush came 3rd in the "100 Players Who Shook The Kop" – an official Liverpool fan poll.[1]

Rush also had short spells playing at Chester City, Juventus, Leeds United, Newcastle United, Sheffield United, Wrexham and Sydney Olympic. He made 73 appearances for the Wales national football team and he remains the record goalscorer for Wales with 28 goals between 1980 and 1996. Since retiring as a player in 2000, Rush has had a stint as manager of Chester City (2004–05), and has worked as a television football pundit. (Read more at Wikipedia.)

Links to Peel

"One of these days you're going to be very pleased to be able to tell your grandchildren that you saw Ian Rush play, because he's a great footballer."
(John Peel, 18 November 1981)

Ian Rush was Peel's choice when he was offered the chance to pick his own guest to interview for the Chain Reaction series on BBC Radio 5 in 1993; in the previous programme, Peel had himself been interviewed by David Gedge of the Wedding Present.[1] Explaining his reasons for selecting the footballer, the DJ mentioned growing up as a Liverpool fan and also that all four of his children had names with references to the Anfield club[2]:

"And I have always said, and this is true, that if we had a fifth child, the name Rush would come into it. So when I was asked to interview someone who I would wish to interview, I asked Ian Rush to come down, and he has done this."[3].

Rush was the former Liverpool strike partner of Kenny Dalglish, Peel's all-time favourite player,[4] and obviously remained high on the DJ's list of footballing heroes. During the interview, Peel described Rush appearing on the show as a “great honour” and admitted that he hadn’t been able to sleep the night before.

Liverpool FC & The Boot Room Boys "Pass and Move (It's the Liverpool Groove)"

Liverpool FC & The Boot Room Boys "Pass and Move (It's the Liverpool Groove)"

Rush can be seen clearly at 1.49 (in baseball cap) and at 2.34.

The following year, Peel was quick to book a session with a Welsh indie band who had named themselves after the Liverpool and Wales striker.[5]

Rush himself would appear on the Peel wingding as part of the chorus on the Liverpool F.C. (& The Boot Room Boyz) single‎ 'Pass & Move (It's The Liverpool Groove)', released ahead of the 1996 FA Cup final.[6] He was also mentioned in the lyrics: "Rushie's scored more than all the rest / Respect to the lad…"

"'Best football record in the history of the world ever?" pondered Peel. "Very possibly."[2]

In later years, with the team in decline, Peel came to miss the glory days of Liverpool, commenting on 22 April 2004:

"You don't feel nearly as involved as you used to. Obviously somebody like Kenny Dalglish, we adored, didn't we? And Ian Rush and all of those people ..."

Shows mentioned

  • 18 November 1981: USSR 3 - 0 Wales. A defeat in their final qualifying match meant that Wales missed out on a place at the 1982 World Cup finals on goal difference only. JP: "I felt very sorry for the Welsh after the defeat in Russia, and particularly for Ian Rush. And if any of you live long enough to actually have grand children and you go regularly to football matches, one of these days you're going to be very pleased to be able to tell your grandchildren that you saw Ian Rush play, because he's a great footballer."
  • 07 September 1982: "Oh guess who is back at the top of the first division tonight, it sounds like a blinder of a match. Forest leading 3-2 at half time at Anflield. Liverpool won 4-3 in the end. Hodgson two, Souness and Rush."
  • 02 January 1986 (TOTP): "At 29, here's Jennifer Rush, scoring more often than Ian Rush at the moment."
  • 06 March 2002: In response to a listener inquiry about her nickname, JP declares his wife to be the finest person he’s ever met, including Kenny Dalglish and Ian Rush.
  • 09 September 2004: JP: "I don't think Ian Rush would get a game these days, at least not for Liverpool - unless he'd sought Spanish nationality." [7]

See also



  1. The idea behind the series was that a celebrity interviewer would choose another famous person to interview. In a "chain reaction," the following programme would see the interviewee of the previous show turn interviewer and pick their own guest.
  2. His children were named Alexandra Mary Anfield Ravenscroft; Florence Victoria Shankly Ravenscroft; Thomas James Dalglish Ravenscroft; and William Robert Anfield Ravenscroft.
  3. Chain Reaction: John Peel Interviews Ian Rush (Transcript).
  4. Peel had already interviewed Dalglish for the Trevor Dann-produced documentary You'll Never Walk Alone as part of a Radio 1 week in Liverpool. The programme was first broadcast on 12 March 1983.
  5. See Ian Rush(2).
  6. It was played by Peel on his 04 May 1996 and 11 May 1996 (BFBS) shows.
  7. A sly dig at the recent transfer history of the new Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez.
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