Focus On; Peter Cormack

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Four days before his 26th birthday in July 1972, Cormack signed for Liverpool, managed by Bill Shankly. Shankly told Cormack he was ‘the final piece in the jigsaw'[14] of that Liverpool team and he became an integral part of the Liverpool midfield as the Anfield club won their first trophies of the 1970s with the League championship and the UEFA Cup.

Cormack made his Reds debut on 2 September 1972 in a league fixture at the Baseball Ground in a 2–1 defeat to Derby County. His first goal came the following week at Anfield in a 4–2 win against Wolverhampton Wanderers. In October he headed the only goal of the game with 13 minutes to go for a home win in the Merseyside derby against Everton. Two minutes into the second half of Liverpool’s penultimate League match against Leeds United in April 1973, Cormack fired Liverpool’s opener in a 2–0 win, a result that helped Liverpool to finish ahead of Leeds and Arsenal and win the title for the first time since 1966.

In the UEFA Cup, Cormack scored in the second round win against AEK Athens. Liverpool defeated four German teams en route to the trophy and beat Tottenham Hotspur in the semi-final. Cormack played both legs of the 3–2 aggregate win against Borussia Mönchengladbach in the final .[12][3] His throw-in fed Chris Lawler to provide the high cross for the first goal.[17] In total, Cormack played 52 games and scored 10 goals in his first season at Anfield.

Cormack won silverware in his second season, when Liverpool emphatically beat Newcastle United 3–0 at Wembley in the 1974 FA Cup Final. Cormack played in the final in central midfield with another Scottish-born player, Brian Hall.[18] He played in all eight games in that FA Cup run and in all 42 league matches that season, two of those as a substitute, as Liverpool finished second to Leeds United in the league. Overall he played 57 games that season, scoring 11 times.

Cormack started his third season with the club by scoring a penalty in the penalty shoot-out win against Leeds in the 1974 FA Charity Shield. His next goal was in the 11–0 thumping of Norwegian minnows Strømsgodset in the European Cup Winners’ Cup at Anfield, still a club record win. Liverpool again finished second in the league that season, this time to Dave Mackay’s Derby County F.C. Cormack played 36 league games, scoring three goals.

In 1975–76, Cormack’s fourth season at Anfield, Liverpool completed another League and the UEFA Cup double. Cormack played in both legs in the UEFA Cup first round 3–2 aggregate win against his former club, Hibernian. Cormack was a regular league starter until the end of October. In the next six leagues games he made the team sheet only once, as a substitute against Coventry City. He was then named as substitute against Burnley before a run of four games in the starting line-up, including a crucial 2–0 home win against Queens Park Rangers that put Liverpool in top spot ahead of the London club. The last of those four games was the 1–0 home league win against Manchester City on 27 December 1975. Cormack scored the only goal in what was to be a landmark game for him. A long-standing underlying problem with knee cartilage materialised into an injury after the game, when the cartilage cracked.[12] He lost his place in the team and missed the rest of the season, which included the 4–3 aggregate win against Bruges in the UEFA Cup Final, and never played again in the Liverpool first team. He was an unused substitute in the 1976 FA Charity Shield win against Southampton at the start of the following season.

In his 125 Liverpool league games Cormack scored 21 times. He played 178 first team games in total, scoring 26 goals.


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