Liam Buckley, is an Irish former professional football player and manager, and television pundit.
Liam began his League of Ireland career with Shelbourne F.C. and signed for Shamrock Rovers as a full time player in the 1979 close season. He scored his first goal for the Hoops against his former club at Milltown on the 21st of October 1979 and he went on to score another seven league goals that season.
On the 30th of April 1980 he represented the League of Ireland against Argentina at the River Plate Stadium where Diego Maradona scored in a 1-0 defeat.
Represented his country at U21 level in 1981.
Following a spell with Vancouver Whitecaps in the 1981/82 season he finished as Rovers' top scorer with 21 goals and while the following season was a disappointment he still ended up as top goalscorer at Milltown. The 1983/84 season ended in triumph as Rovers won their first League title in twenty years. Liam had scored 13 League goals before he broke his collar-bone against Waterford at Milltown on the 26th of February. However he returned to action less than six weeks later to score the winner in the FAI Cup semi final replay against Shelbourne.
He made 5 appearances in European competition for the Hoops.
Liam was capped at full international level against Poland and in July was transferred to Belgian club K.S.V. Waregem (4451). While there he gained his second international cap against Mexico. With Waregem he reached the UEFA Cup semi final in 1986. He made 25 league appearances, scoring 5 goals.
He was transferred to Racing de Santander on loan for the 1986/87 season and made his debut at the Camp Nou on the 30th of August. It's a game he fondly remembers: "Gary Lineker and Mark Hughes were making their debut for FC Barcelona and there I was making my debut for Santander. There was a crowd of around ninety thousand and the atmosphere was tremendous and although they beat us 2-0 I think that occasion is the highlight of my career".
He later moved to FC Montreux-Sports (November 1987/89) where he spent two seasons.
He came home and signed for Rovers again in 1989 but injuries prevented him from establishing a regular first team place. In his final season in the Hoops in 1991/92 he scored once in eleven appearances.
He then transferred to St. Patrick's Athletic where he went on to win the League in 1996 as assistant to Brian Kerr. Kerr left in December 1996 after a decade at Richmond Park to take up the position of technical director at the Football Association of Ireland.
He left Pats when he wasn't offered the managers job and went on to become player-manager at Athlone Town F.C. whom he guided to the FAI Cup semi final in 1998.
After guiding Pats to the League in 1998 Pat Dolan stepped down after one game of the 1998/99 season and appointed Buckley as manager. Pats walked away with the league but a humiliating defeat in Europe followed by indifferent domestic form saw Buckley sacked in December 1999 .
He then had another spell as Athlone's manager before being appointed Shamrock Rovers manager in April 2002.
In his first season he guided Rovers to the FAI Cup Final and 3rd spot thus ensuring European football again after the UEFA Cup losses to Djurgardens IF.
Famous wins over Odra Wodzislaw saw Rovers become the first Irish side to win home and away since he himself had played and scored against Fram Reykjavik in 1982.
However Rovers form dropped alarmingly after the UEFA Intertoto Cup games and a seventh place finish had the fans worried. In the 2004 season with practically a new team Rovers again struggled and Liam was sacked in September 2004
Still a popular figure with Rovers fans for his legendary goalscoring prowess he now works as a pundit for Setanta Sports.
* 1 Honours
o 1.1 As a player
o 1.2 As a manager
* 2 References
As a player
* League of Ireland Championship: 2
o Shamrock Rovers 1983/84
o St. Patrick's Athletic 1995/96
* Leinster Senior Cup (football): 1
o Shamrock Rovers 1982
As a manager
* League of Ireland Championship: 1
o St. Patrick's Athletic 1998/99