Manchester United vs Liverpool is arguably the biggest and the most fierce rivalry in world football. These two famous clubs have been at each other’s throats since time immemorial and will resume the battle when Liverpool travel to Old Trafford on Saturday (March 10) to meet their old foes. Ahead of Saturday’s Premier League clash at Old Trafford, we list down five such individuals who have played for both Manchester United and Liverpool.
As such, it is not a common thing for a footballer to play for both Manchester United and Liverpool. Only a handful of players have crossed the great divide and played in the famous red of both these clubs.
Five players who have played for both Manchester United and Liverpool:
1. Michael Owen
Liverpool: 1996 – 2004 (297 appearances, 158 goals)
Manchester United: 2009 – 2012 (49 appearances, 17 goals)
Seldom has a young player caught the eye of pundits and fans alike as Michael Owen did when he came through the ranks at Liverpool and broke into their first team in 1997. The talented striker ended his first season as a professional with a call-up into Glen Hoddle’s World Cup squad in France 1998, where he scored one of the best World Cup goals ever against Argentina and he became a star overnight.
Having lit up the Premier League and European football with electrifying displays for Liverpool and England, Owen earned himself a move to Real Madrid in 2004. After moving to Spain, regular injuries blighted his career and a particular knee injury at the 2006 World Cup, just months after a broken foot, all but ended his chances of hitting his previous heights ever again.
Bogged by persistent injury problems, Owen joined Manchester United on a free transfer from Newcastle in the summer of 2009. His career at Old Trafford was mainly characterised by substitute appearances, but he endeared himself to fans with a dramatic 96th minute winner in a derby against neighbours Manchester City.
2. Paul Ince
Manchester United: 1989 – 1995 (277 appearances, 28 goals)
Liverpool: 1997 – 1999 (81 appearances, 17 goals)
Arguably one of the best midfielders in European football in his prime, Ince started his career at West Ham where he impressed and subsequently signed for Manchester United in 1989. The powerful midfielder arguably enjoyed the best years of his career as a central part of Alex Ferguson’s first great Manchester United team and was a near ever-present in the inaugural Premier League season.
Having won the domestic double in 1993/94, Ince was moved on by the club in 1995 as a new generation of young players came to the fore at Old Trafford. The midfielder left for Italy where he enjoyed two successful seasons with Inter Milan before returning to English shores to sign for Liverpool for a little over £4m.
While at Liverpool, Ince’s most memorable moment came when he famously scored for the club against United in the unforgettable treble-winning season run-in. The then 31-year-old Ince was later snapped up by an ambitious Middlesbrough side for a fee in the region £1m in the summer of 1999.
3. Peter Beardsley
Manchester United: 1982 – 1983 (1 appearance, 0 goals)
Liverpool: 1987 – 1991 (175 appearances, 59 goals)
Peter Beardsley, the former England forward, is among the very few players who pulled on the jersey of both Manchester United and Liverpool during his career. Arguably one of the best wingers of his generation, Beardsley joined Ron Atkinson’s Manchester United side from Canadian club Vancouver Whitecaps but only made a solitary appearance in a League Cup tie in 1982.
After a brief time back in Canada, Beardsley was soon back in England playing for Newcastle United and quickly established himself as one of the best players in the league at that time. He subsequently joined Liverpool in 1987 in a deal worth £2m and was an important part of the Reds’ last truly great team.
He picked up two league winner’s medals and an FA Cup at Anfield before moving across the city to join Everton in 1991.
4. Phil Chisnall
Manchester United: 1959 – 1964 (47 appearances, 10 goals)
Liverpool: 1964 – 1967 (9 appearances, 2 goals)
More than his on-field achievements, Phil Chisnall is one player who is perhaps more known to football trivia hunters across the globe. Having joined Liverpool from Manchester United in 1964, the former attacker still remains the last player ever to have been transferred directly between these two clubs.
The transfer, though, took place when the United-Liverpool rivalry wasn’t so strong and fierce. Bill Shankly was only just laying the foundations for Liverpool, while United had already been a dominant force for some time. Speaking to the Liverpool Echo about it in 2013, Chisnall said, “It amazes me that no player has moved since. But the rivalry was not the same then. Liverpool were champions in 1964, but they were only promoted in 1962 and United were a much bigger club.”
He then joined Southend United, where he made a name for himself scoring 31 goals in 160 games. He had to retire early at the age of 29 due to a knee injury and made his last appearance at Stockport County.
5. Allenby Chilton
Liverpool: 1938 (0 senior appearances)
Manchester United: 1938 – 1955 (390 appearances, 3 goals)
Known to Manchester United fans as the man who was a central figure in Matt Busby’s first league title wining team in 1951/52, hardy Sunderland-born centre-half Allenby Chilton actually started his career at Liverpool.
Chilton moved to Merseyside in 1938 when he joined Liverpool as an amateur from his local colliery side in Seaham. However, he never actually got the chance to play a senior competitive game for the club before moving to Old Trafford only a few months later.
The player made his United debut on 2nd September 1939, just a single day before the Second World Ward broke out in Europe. He lost six years of his career, but was a near ever-present for United when normal football returned, eventually losing his place to Mark Jones of the Busby Babes generation in 1955.
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