former professional footballer

Date of Birth: 2 June 1957

Age: 67 years old

Zodiac sign: Gemini

Profession: Former footballer



Mark Thomas Lawrenson is a former professional footballer who played as a defender for Liverpool, among others, during the 1970s and 1980s. After a short career as a manager, he then became a radio, television and internet pundit for the BBC, TV3, BT Sport and Today FM, retiring at the end of the 2021–22 football season. Born and raised in England, Lawrenson qualified to play for the Republic of Ireland through his grandfather, Thomas Crotty, who was born in Waterford.

Club career

Preston and Brighton

Mark Lawrenson was born in Preston and attended St Teresa's Catholic Primary School in Penwortham and, later, Preston Catholic College, a Jesuit school. His father, Tom, had been a winger for Preston North End. He always wanted to be a footballer, although his mother, Theresa, wanted him to become a priest. He began his career, as a 17-year-old, with his hometown club, Preston North End in 1974 who were then managed by World Cup winner Bobby Charlton. Lawrenson was voted Preston's Player of the Year for the 1976–77 season.

After 73 league appearances for the Deepdale club he moved to Alan Mullery's Brighton & Hove Albion in the summer before the start of the 1977–78 season for £100,000. Ironically, they outbid Liverpool who also showed interest in the 19-year-old Lawrenson. Lawrenson made his Brighton debut on 20 August 1977 in a 1–1 draw against Southampton at The Dell. He settled in at the Goldstone Ground and made 40 league appearances by the end of his first season of the club. He went on to make 152 league appearances by the end of the 1980–81 season. However the club entered a financial crisis in 1981 and Lawrenson was forced to leave the club to make funds available. A number of clubs were interested in signing Lawrenson after his resilient performances for both Preston and Brighton, but it was Liverpool manager Bob Paisley who secured his signature.


Liverpool offered a club transfer record of £900,000, and Lawrenson joined in the summer of 1981. He was to form a formidable central defensive partnership with Alan Hansen after Phil Thompson suffered an injury. He was also used occasionally at left-back. He made his first start for the team at left-back in a 1–0 league defeat at the hands of Wolverhampton Wanderers at Molineux on 29 August 1981. He scored his first goal a month later during the 7–0 European Cup 1st round 2nd leg trouncing of Finnish team Oulun Palloseura at Anfield on 30 September. Lawrenson came on for Ray Kennedy in the 64th minute scoring in the 72nd. Also coming off the bench to score his first goal for the club was Ian Rush.

In Lawrenson's first full season, 1981–82, Liverpool won the League championship and the League Cup, defeating Tottenham Hotspur in the final. The team retained both titles for the next two seasons (in the League Cup finals defeating Manchester United in 1983 and Everton in 1984), becoming the third club in history to win three league titles in a row. They also added the club's fourth European Cup in 1984, the last time Liverpool would win Europe's most prestigious club prize until 2005. Lawrenson dislocated his shoulder three weeks before the 1985 European Cup final, the Heysel Stadium Disaster. He started the game, which Liverpool lost 1–0 to Juventus, but was injured after a few minutes and had to be substituted.

Lawrenson earned a reputation as an accomplished player and in the 1985–1986 season he was an integral part of the Liverpool side who completed the third league championship and FA Cup double of the 20th century. They overtook derby rivals Everton to win the league by two points and later came from behind to defeat Everton 3–1 in the 1986 FA Cup final at Wembley. After 1986, Lawrenson's first team place came under threat from the younger Gary Gillespie. Lawrenson's partnership with team captain Hansen continued for one more season before he, already out through a minor injury, suffered Achilles tendon damage in 1988 which prematurely ended his career. He earned a fifth and final title medal when that season ended. His Liverpool career ended after 332 appearances and 18 goals in all competitions – one of which was the fifth goal in a 5–0 defeat of Merseyside rivals Everton on 6 November 1982, a game in which Ian Rush scored four of the five goals.

In 1989, Lawrenson spent one season with the Florida side Tampa Bay Rowdies in the American Soccer League.

Later career

After his time at Liverpool, he was appointed Oxford United manager in 1988. His time at the club was frustrating and he resigned after star striker Dean Saunders was sold by the board of directors without Lawrenson's approval. Over that winter, he made a brief playing comeback in the Football Conference, making two appearances for Barnet. Lawrenson also managed Peterborough United from 6 September 1989 until 9 November 1990.

Lawrenson returned to playing with non-league clubs Corby Town and Chesham United. His final season as a player was as part of the Chesham team that won the 1992-93 Isthmian League. The club was not promoted to the then Football Conference as this would have required ground improvements that could not be afforded, so he decided the time was right to retire from playing completely.


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Date of Birth: 02.06.1957. Age: 67. Zodiac sign: Gemini.
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