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THE UNDER-TOLD Liverpool, 1981

Howard Gayle, won the EUFA competition with Liverpool in 1981 and became the first black player to play for the club.

First Black Liverpool player

Howard Gayle, 63, made history and he passes on his wisdom to the younger generation

First Black Liverpool player ‘gutted’ at having to leave club he’s loved all his life

Toxteth-born Howard Gayle, 63, made history as the first Black LFC player when he joined the club in 1977 (Image: Danny Rigg)

The history-making first Black Liverpool FC footballer said having to leave his home-town club was a “gut-wrencher.”

Howard Gayle, 63, made history as the first Black person to train at the club’s then-training ground at Melwood ground, and to play with their first team after joining LFC in 1977.

But he left the club in 1982 after only a handful of appearances in the first team, and says he was told he would be better off finding a new club.


“It was a gut-wrencher when you hear that. And my Liverpool career was over. So it was a question now of, I’ve got to put it all behind me, and I went and found another club where I can progress and develop again.”


The reserve right-winger ran rings around Bayern Munich in the European Cup semi-final of 1981.
Brought on as a substitute for the injured Kenny Dalglish, he was met with a chorus of monkey noises and the sight of Nazi salutes from some of the German fans as he warmed up.

Howard was himself substituted after 61 minutes when he received a yellow card for lashing out at a Bayern player after an hour of aggressive tackles from the opposing team.

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