|David Fairclough was born in inner city Liverpool and he rose through the Liverpool ranks as a boy, signing for Liverpool Football Club in 1974, and made his debut for the club on the 1 November 1975 in the 1-0 league win over Middlesbrough at Ayresome Park. During his time with Liverpool he made 154 appearances and with his pace and shooting power scored 55 goals testing the finest defences. His most famous strike came in March 1977 when, with time running out, he went on and scored the winner against crack French side St Etienne in the European Cup quarter final second leg.
Fairclough was known affectionately as supersub because of his memorable scoring exploits as he frequently scored goals after he was brought into the match as a substitute in order to make an impact. During his debut season of 1975-76 he scored seven crucial goals in just 14 League appearances to land Liverpool the League championship - nine of these were as substitute.
David's first goal for the club came 3 days after his debut on the 4 November 1975, it came during the 6-0 hammering of Spanish side Real Sociedad at Anfield in a UEFA Cup 2nd round 2nd leg tie. His most famous Liverpool goal came in 1977 at Anfield as a substitute in a crucial European Cup quarter final against the French side St Etienne. Liverpool had been a goal adrift from the first leg in France, and 2-1 up in the home return. The aggregate score was level therefore at 2-2 but St Etienne were still in command due to their away goal. Liverpool therefore needed to score again to win the tie but time was running out. Manager Bob Paisley sent Fairclough on in the last 20 minutes of the game and the red-haired striker, only just 20 years old, responded in style. Only six minutes remained when Fairclough ran on to a long ball upfield and held off two St Etienne defenders. He prodded the ball home at the famous Kop end and Anfield had one of its greatest ever footballing nights. As the roar of the Kop screamed, Anfield folklore says that the roar could be heard 3 miles away. ITV commentator Gerald Sinstadt famously bellowed: "Supersub strikes again!"
Fairclough's own favourite goal also came as a substitute at Anfield a year earlier when he beat six Everton defenders before firing past goalkeeper Dai Davies to win the Mersey derby. Fairclough's scored a Liverpool hat-trick on the 9 February 1980 during the thrilling 5-3 league victory over Norwich City at Carrow Road, the goals came in the 4th, 18th and 75th minutes.
David left Liverpool on the 4 July 1983 joining NASL side Toronto Blizzard, he then moved on to Swiss side FC Lucerne before returning to England to have spells with Norwich and Oldham Athletic. He plied his trade abroad once more at Belgium club Beveren returning to home shores for stints with Rochdale, Tranmere Rovers and Wigan Athletic, he ended his playing days at non-league Knowsley.
David Fairclough “Supersub”
Honours (All with Liverpool)
Division 1 (Level 1): 1976, 1977, 1979, 1980, 1982, 1983
UEFA Cup: 1976
Charity Shield: 1976, 1977, 1979, 1980, 1982
European Cup: 1977, 1978, 1981
European Super Cup: 1977; Runner-up: 1978
Football League Cup: 1981, 1982, 1983; Runner-up: 1978