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Who Wore It Best? Liverpool's Number One

From the best to the worst, a look at the players who wore the number one for Liverpool.

Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Who Wore It Best? is an ongoing series where we'll look back at the players who donned each number during the Premier League era, and then you get to decide who wore it best. First up: the number one shirt.

A few things: we're only talking about the Premier League era, starting in 1993, when official squad numbers began in England. In the case of players who wore multiple numbers during their Liverpool careers, you should base your final judgment on their performances while they wore that number (ie Gerrard as number eight vs Gerrard as number 17). In the case of players whose careers with Liverpool began before 1993, it's only fair to consider their whole time with the club when making your decision.

Stats and miscellaneous information come from,, and Wikipedia.

or: a nearly comprehensive look at 23 years of Liverpool goalkeepers
Bruce Grobbelaar

Position: Goalkeeper
Nation: Zimbabwe
Seasons With Liverpool: 1981-82 through 1993-94

Bruce Grobbelaar -€” the man, the myth, the moustache. Grobbelaar was snatched by Liverpool manager Bob Paisley from the Vancouver Whitecaps in 1981 and commanded the goal during one of Liverpool's most successful periods. The eccentric keeper played 310 straight games for the club from 1981 to 1986, and surpassed the 600 game milestone by the end. During his tenure with the club, he won -€” are you sitting comfortably? -€” six league titles, three FA Cup medals, two League Cup trophies, and one European Cup medal. Grobbelaar will likely always be remembered for his performance during the penalty shoot-out in the 1984 European Cup final against Roma, which was tied 1-1 after extra time. His theatrics between the sticks, including the now-famous "spaghetti legs", proved enough to psych out two of the Italian players, allowing Liverpool to win the game and the cup.

Grobbelaar wore the no. one shirt until the 1993-1994 season - the first with squad numbers - when he was overtaken by...

David James

Position: Goalkeeper
Nation: England
Seasons With Liverpool: 1992-93 through 1998-99

David James was the Liverpool custodian through most of the 90s, having joined in 1992 as the understudy to Grobbelaar. James eventually earned the number one spot, and took over the shirt to begin the 1994-1995 season. He had the distinction of being the goalkeeper during the bizarre ‘Spice Boys' era of the late-90s where money from television rights and sponsorships began making Premier League players mass-marketed superstars and millionaires. If you look past the Armani adverts and that infamous white suit, James had a successful career between the sticks. He's fourth on the list of all-time Premier League appearances, and second only to Petr Čech for most clean sheets in the Premier League-era. With Liverpool, he took home the League Cup medal in 1995 when they defeated Bolton Wanderers.

Sander Westerveld

Position: Goalkeeper
Nation: Netherlands
Seasons With Liverpool: 1999-2000 through 2000-01

While only playing just over 100 games with Liverpool, Westerveld racked up quite the silverware count, because his time with the club coincided with their famous treble-winning season of 2000-2001. As a result, Westerveld moved onto La Liga having earned a League Cup medal, an FA Cup medal, and a UEFA Cup medal with the Reds. In August 2001, Westerveld played the first game of the season before he was sold to Real Sociedad, where he went on to have a solid career. In his place, manager Gérard Houllier brought in the man who would go on to become the hero at Istanbul...

Jerzy Dudek

Position: Goalkeeper
Nation: Poland
Seasons With Liverpool: 2001-02 through 2006-07

Jerzy Dudek is a name that will go down in Liverpool history after his heroic performance against AC Milan in the 2005 Champion's League final in Istanbul helped secure Liverpool's comeback victory. Dudek arrived at Anfield from Feyenoord and immediately became Liverpool's new number one, though he wouldn't get that shirt officially until 2002. He replaced Sander Westerveld when the Dutchman departed at the end of August 2001. With Gérard Houllier, the Big Pole In Our Goal won the League Cup in 2003, but it was in new manager Rafa Benítez's inaugural season that the magic happened. Though the Reds had a disappointing league campaign, something special was happening in the Champion's League, anchored by Dudek in goal. His "hand of God" double save in the final to deny Shevchenko in normal time, and then his Grobbelaar impression in the ensuing penalty shoot-out, where he once again denied Shevchenko, cemented his place in Liverpool lore. Because football is a funny old game, and Benítez wasn't one for sentimentality, Pepe Reina was brought in from Barcelona to replace Dudek that summer. Subsequently, Dudek also has an FA Cup medal from 2006, where he was an unused substitute through the whole tournament. In 2007 he moved on to Real Madrid.

Diego Cavalieri

Position: Goalkeeper
Nation: Brazil
Seasons With Liverpool: 2008-09 through 2009-10

Diego Cavalieri was put in the unfortunate position of having to try and wrest playing time from Liverpool's world class goalkeeper, Pepe Reina, with very little success. He played no league games, but featured in domestic cup competitions, as well as the early stages of the Europa League, and a Champion's League group game after Liverpool had already been eliminated -€” ten matches in total. Eventually, Cavalieri went back to Brazil in search of more playing time.

Brad Jones

Position: Goalkeeper
Nation: Australia
Seasons With Liverpool: 2010-11 through 2014-15

Brad Jones was a steady back up to Pepe Reina and then Simon Mignolet, known for working hard but never quite being an adequate understudy. His moment of glory in a Liverpool shirt came on April 10, 2012. First choice Pepe Reina was suspended on a red card and second choice keeper Alexander Doni conceded a penalty and was sent off against Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park. Jones came in and saved the spot kick with his first touch of the ball as a Premier League player. Liverpool went on to win the game 2-3. It was especially touching because Jones dedicated the save to his son, Luca, who had passed away the year before. He then presided over Liverpool's 2-1 victory over Everton in the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley, another career highlight, though the Reds lost the final to Chelsea. In 2015, he and Liverpool parted ways when he joined Bradford City.

Loris Karius

Position: Goalkeeper
Nation: Germany
Seasons With Liverpool: 2016-17

Loris Karius is the latest Liverpool player to wear the number one shirt, and while he hasn't made an appearance yet, the expectations will certainly be higher for him than they were for the last couple of shot stoppers to wear it.

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There you have it: all of the Liverpool number ones over the last twenty-four seasons. Now, you get to have your say.

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