It’s surprising to find, when reading the stats covering Liam Daish’s time at the Abbey Stadium, that he only played in 186 matches. In the mind’s eye he seems always to have been battling away at the heart of the U’s defence as they fought their way from the Fourth Division to the brink of the Premier League in three glorious, late-80s, early-90s seasons.

Signed by Chris Turner from Portsmouth in July 1988, Liam’s five and a half seasons in amber marked Liam out as a true U, a huge favourite with the fans and a man who never gave less than his all. As unyielding as teak, he stood tall and batted away attacks with unflinching determination.

That Liam was a footballer of considerable talent as well as strength was demonstrated when he became only the second United player, after Tom Finney, to play international football while at the Abbey. It was fitting that his five Republic of Ireland caps were awarded by Jack Charlton, with whom he shared many qualities.

After leaving the U’s he won honours with Birmingham and saw out his career with Coventry, before making his mark on non-League management and returning to his home town to look after Pompey’s youngsters. U’s supporters are grateful that they witnessed some of his best days.

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