Mark Lawrenson (Footballer)
Born1957. Mark attended Teresa’s Catholic Primary School in Penwortham and, later, Preston Catholic College. His father, Tom, had been a winger for Preston North End. Mark began his career, as a 17-year-old, with Preston North End in 1974. Lawrenson was voted Preston’s Player of the Year for the 1976–77 season. After 73 league appearances for Preston, Mark moved to Brighton & Hove Albion in the summer before the 1977–78 season for £100,000. Mark made 40 league appearances by the end of his first season of the club. Liverpool then offered a club transfer record of £900,000, and Lawrenson joined the club in the summer of 1981 and 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.
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. 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.
Mark’s Liverpool career ended after 332 appearances and 18 goals in all competitions. After his time at Liverpool, he was appointed Oxford United manager in 1988 and also managed Peterborough United from 6 September 1989 until 9 November 1990. Mark was selected to play for the Republic of Ireland and won the first of 39 international caps at the age of 19, in a friendly with Poland in April 1977. Lawrenson played his first competitive match on 12 October 1977 against Bulgaria in a 1978 World Cup qualifier. Lawrenson scored his first of his five goals for Ireland against Cyprus in Nicosia on 26 March 1980 in a 1982 World Cup Qualifier. Mark played his last match for the Republic of Ireland in November 1987.
Lawrenson began his television career providing match analysis on HTV West’s local football coverage, before working as a pundit for the BBC.