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Liverpool legend Ian Rush claims he was disrespected by George Graham at Leeds and reveals he defied manager by refusing to take part in weight training

talksport.com, 1 June 2020, 05:58
Liverpool legend Ian Rush claims he was disrespected by George Graham at Leeds and reveals he defied manager by refusing to take part in weight training
Ian Rush has opened up about his difficult relationship with George Graham at Leeds United.

The legendary striker left Liverpool to join the Whites under Howard Wilkinson in 1996.

However Rush, Liverpool's all-time leading scorer with 346 goals, felt unwanted the moment former Arsenal boss Graham replaced Wilkinson in September.

Speaking on talkSPORT's exclusive series, 'Up Front With…', Rush said: "George Graham comes in and George says he doesn't want me.

"So I've said, 'okay, what are we going to do?' I think there were four or five of us at Leeds United who George tried to get rid of. He thought we were earning too much money!

"He ended up putting me on the right side of midfield. He said, 'if you don't want to play there, you don't have to play'.

"I said, 'I'll play' because I just wanted to play football. I would have played at right-back if he'd asked me to.

"He thought I wasn't going to play and that would have made an easy decision for him."

Rush scored just three league goals as Leeds finished 11th in the Premier League, before moving to Newcastle the following summer.

The 58-year-old, who helped Liverpool win five top-flight titles, two European Cups, three FA Cups and five League Cups during his three spells at Anfield, felt he deserved more respect from Graham.

Rush recalled a moment he and Graham clashed over his refusal to lift weights.

He added: "I carried on and played and at the end of the season he said, 'listen, you best find yourself a club because you're not really wanted at Leeds United'.

"And I said, 'well until I get a club, I'm staying here'. There were about five of us that pre-season and he had us training with the kids.

"I felt I needed a bit more respect really because I was 36 years old, I'd done a lot in the game.

"I know George had been fantastic in the game himself, but I think he could have helped me a bit more there.

"For one instance, they'd just signed Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink; Jimmy was doing weights and George asked me, at 36 years old, to start doing weights.

"I was thinking, 'are you serious? I've never done them in my life playing for Liverpool, I'm not going to start now!'. Obviously that didn't go down well.

"I then got a chance to go to Newcastle so I took it."

You can listen to the full interview by tuning into 'Up Front With Ian Rush' on Tuesday at 7pm LIVE on talkSPORT.

Ian Rush has opened up about his difficult relationship with George Graham at Leeds United.

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