Today was a sad day for the Liverpool family as it was announced Steve Peplow had passed away aged 72.
The apprentice turned pro was at the club from the age of 15 and had to wait five years before making his debut for the first-team, following impressive performances for the reserves.
After scoring 19 goals in the 1968/69 reserve season, Bill Shankly rewarded the Scouser with a place on the bench for a 10-0 victory over Dundalk at Anfield (Gerard Houllier’s first game on the Kop, as a fan).
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His first game was also a landmark day for Match of the Day, the first-ever match broadcast in colour was Peplow’s debut appearance for the Reds.
Making his debut due to the absence of Roger Hunt, he donned the No.8 shirt in the next two matches as he starred at inside-right against Leeds United at Elland Road and Vitoria Setubal in a European night under the Anfield lights.
Failing to score or assist, and the phenomenal form and longevity of Sir Roger Hunt, meant that these fleeting appearances at the end of 1969 were all that the homegrown talent was able to make for Shankly’s side.
There were several transfers that followed with short spells at Swindon Town, Nottingham Forest, Mansfield Town and Chicago Sting (all in the space of six years), before finding his home on the Wirral.
Eight years, 272 appearances and 47 goals for Tranmere Rovers, where he earned promotion in a white shirt, meant that his best years were spent on the other side of the Mersey.
A specially commissioned tape of his Anfield debut was presented to him during his wedding, the perfect example of what the day meant to him as a local lad.
RIP Steve Peplow 1949-2021
You can watch the highlights from Peplow’s debut courtesy of Reel history of West Ham FC on YouTube:
Information for the article sourced from LFC History, Liverpool and Tranmere Rovers.
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