Why Liverpool's 2001 UEFA Cup win saw Gary McAllister wear the wrong shirt when collecting his Man of the Match award from Johan Cruyff

Gary McAllister Liverpool UEFA Cup 2001
(Image credit: Getty Images)

When Liverpool beat Alaves 5-4 in the 2001 UEFA Cup final through a golden goal in extra-time, Gary McAllister picked up his Man of the Match award from the legendary Johan Cruyff while wearing one of his team-mates' shirt. 

Having already swapped his match-worn Liverpool shirt with an Alaves player at the conclusion of the match, the Scotsman had to scramble around to find one with the liver bird on his chest rather than a Spanish crest. 

Talking through the match, in which McAllister scored a penalty and assisted a further two goals, as well as providing the free-kick for Alaves' own goal in extra-time, he says Liverpool should have won the game more comfortably, though the spectacle certainly lived up to expectations for the neutral. 

“We were 3-1 up at half-time and felt we were going to win by four or five – but after some brave decisions by the Alaves manager, they got back into it and the final was on a knife-edge," McAllister tells FourFourTwo. "In extra-time, we knew it would be over if anybody could score a golden goal. 

"We won a free-kick and I concentrated on getting a decent delivery into the middle of the penalty area. Thankfully, the ball caught the head of an Alaves defender and went in at the back post. 

"I was fortunate to be named man of the match and handed the trophy by Johan Cruyff, who was a hero of mine growing up. I’d actually swapped shirts with his son, Jordi, after the game but had to have a Liverpool top on to pick up the award, so I met Johan wearing Nick Barmby’s shirt! A glorious night.”

At 36, McAllister also managed to play the entirety of the 116-minute match, a feat many after the game lauded him for. 

The 2001 UEFA Cup also represented the first European trophy of his esteemed career, while Liverpool's victory that night at the Westfalenstadion in Dortmund, Germany, meant the Reds secured a treble of cup wins that season, adding to the League Cup and FA Cup they had already picked up earlier in the campaign. 

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Ryan Dabbs
Staff writer

Ryan is a staff writer for FourFourTwo, joining the team full-time in October 2022. He first joined Future in December 2020, working across FourFourTwo, Golf Monthly, Rugby World and Advnture's websites, before eventually earning himself a position with FourFourTwo permanently. After graduating from Cardiff University with a degree in Journalism and Communications, Ryan earned a NCTJ qualification to further develop as a writer while a Trainee News Writer at Future. 

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